Friday Follies   

  • Are You CG Saavy?: Play Fake or Foto and find out. I didn't do too badly - 8 out of 10; but my view on reality has always been a little skewed anyway. - [BC]

  • You Know You Totally Want a Bike Buddy Kenobi of Your Very Own:
  • Star Wars Toys That Never Were - [SH]

  • One Step Closer to The Merchant's War: Worth 1000's Corporate Takeover 5. Unlike actual adverts, many of these are subtle and/or inspired. I feel the sudden urge for a Mokie-Coke.

  • Man, That Judge Guy Keeps Psyching Me Out!: I Object is good for some short-term fun. (How come none of you guys told me law school was just preparing you for life as a professional player of the game "Chicken"?) - [FJ]

  • And the Prerequisite Friday Time Suck: Guess the Google.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, April 28, 2005
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Things You Didn't Know You Wanted to Know About Me   

Paul (of A Day in the Life), as part of one of those Ponzie Blog Schemes, participated in an interview meme. One blogger poses five questions to another blogger. That blogger answers the questions, then agrees to ask five questions to three other bloggers. And so on and so on.

I enjoyed Paul's answers to his interview questions; and that fact, coupled with an excessive lack of sleep on my part and a serious case of blogger's block - found me volunteering to be on his interview list.

His questions and my answers are below. If you'd like to be next on this hit parade:

1. Leave me a comment saying 'interview me', if you'd like to be interviewed.

2. I will respond by asking you five questions here. They will be different questions than the ones above. What you do with those 5 questions is up to you.

1.If you could go back in time where would you go and what would you do?

For starters, let's assume:

(a) that when I went back in time, a collection of atoms (removed from a static, non-living source) equalling the mass of me and whatever I was travelling with - were removed from my point of arrival in the past and sent to my present simultaneous with my arrival and for the duration of my visit - since there is a finite amount of mass in the universe - and I wouldn't want my presence in the past to cause some sort of mass overload that would throw the Earth off its axis and plunge all life as it was and was meant to be into a firey or implodey doom

(b) my presence in the past was somehow guaranteed not to cause a paradoxical event, nor would it transfer information nor disease strains that the past was not equipped to deal with

(c) I basically couldn't *break* anything on a cosmic, universal and/or personal-history alterating scale

Assuming this is a one time offer (otherwise I would go everywhen and everywhere. Reformation? Check? Middle ages? Absolutely! Kennedy assaination? You've got it! Day spent in the company of an unknown and random shepard in the alps before the time of recorded history? Sure! Where *wouldn't* I go?) I'd have to consider very carefully. It could be fun to track down the historical figures on which King Arthur is said to be based - or find the man himself, should he exist - but, of course, that would be difficult to do. Or I could go to Whitechapel on Friday, August 31, 1888, and secret myself unseen in Buck's Row - and get a good look (and perhaps photographic evidence) of Jack the Ripper - solving one of crime's greatest mysteries.

But on reflection, I don't think I should do either of those things. Bad or good, real or imagined, both these men have reached the sacrosanct position of Legend in our culture; there is something unsavory about the thought of unmasking either as mere mortal men.

So - instead I would go back to the Library of Alexandria and remove as much of it's information as I could to bring back with me. (Assume again, that the necessary mass exchange would take place - I'm serious about not wanting to implode/explode/destroy the universe). I would do this as close to the start of the terrible fires as I could, so that my theft would go unnoticed - and yet allowing myself enough time to get as much as I could and still escape injury.

Mind you, this plan becomes moot if the documents in question were to age exponentially as we travelled forward in time. I'd still like to go see it, of course...I think it's loss is one of the saddest events in history; but if I could bring back some of that lost history, then I would feel like I had done a service not only to myself but to mankind. And if you're fiddling with the Time/Space continuum, you might as well think of the greater good.

If I can't provide this service to mankind - then I might go entirely selfish and see an original performance of King Lear, or try to spend a day in ear shot of Oscar Wilde.

2.Would you rather be deaf or blind?

Well, neither if I had the choice - as I've grown accustomed to having all my sense. But if I had to pick - I'd rather be deaf blind (thanks for catching that, Alex). I'm a very tactile person - and there's a lot of the visual world that can be appreciated through touch or description - but I think sounds or somewhat more subtle. Although being told a painting isn't the same as seeing it - I think I'd get a better idea of what it was about than I would if someone tried to describe a song to me - or the sound of breaking glass hitting the floor.

And I would miss the warm intimacy of a whisper in my ear.

3.Why do you blog?
No reason, and lots of reasons:

  • My brain and my mouth have never gotten on well - I don't know if it's due to my shyness or just some faulty wiring - but I've always had an easier time expressing myself through the written word than the spoken; so writing has long been my chosen method of communicating. I even *think* better when I write things out rather than just letting them bounce wily-nily around my head. Blogging let's me organize my thoughts in a (vaguely) coherent manner - and thereby explore myself and my world a little better.

  • I really love the dialouge that it engenders. I've had conversations about topics big and small with people from all over the world because of this blog. I've come to realize some of my oddities are not so odd - and some of my quirks not so quirky (a fact that is both comforting and disappointing).

  • I like to entertain people.

  • I love to write - and blogging gives me an excuse, even an impetus to do it on days I really don't want to.

  • I like the attention (yay, comments!). I'm not proud of this fact, but it's true.

  • I consider it an collection of writing samples to be used in pursuit of writing jobs. (Of course, I should really consider proof-reading more stringently since this is the case).

  • It's a way to have my work published that is in my control. Sort of a coward's way out of rejection.

  • It amuses me.

4.You discover your wonderful one-year old child is, because of a mix-up at the hospital, not yours (which doesn't surprise you because the baby is Chinese and you don't know any Chinese people). Would you want to exchange the child to fix the mistake?
No - I don't think so. Love isn't genetic - and if I raised that child for a year (or even a day, or an hour), I would already consider it a part of my family and my life - and that's not something I give up easily - if ever.

What I would want to do is talk to the other parents in question, and find a way for us to all be part of each other's lives - a sort of extended family.

5.If you were running for president, what promises would you make that you had no intention of keeping?

I could never run for President - there's no way I could tow a party line or wear a power suit and smile so much my face hurt. This is why, instead, I aspire to be Surpreme Ruler of all the Universe. That way I can say and do whatever I want without having to spin it, grease any palms, or please any pundits.

Thanks, Paul. That was fun.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, April 27, 2005
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Ladies and Gentlemen...   

May I introduce, Soylent Grain.

I don't mean to be an alarmist - but isn't feeding a species to itself how Mad Cow Disease got started?

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, April 25, 2005
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Monday Morning Madness   

Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, April 24, 2005
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Friday Follies   

Today is Wilco Whiskey Tango Foxtrot day on Sarcasmo's Corner! (Aren't you glad you stopped by?)

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, April 22, 2005
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It is at times like these that I am glad for google hacks like this.

If any local folks can recommend some good places for rent in the center city area, please let me know.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, April 20, 2005
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Yes, My Musical Tastes Really *Are* That Ecclectic   

A meme stolen from seanbonner, with whom I apparently have very little in common, musically speaking.

How the meme works: Copy this list, leave in the bands you've seen perform live. Delete the ones you haven't and add other ones you've seen until they total to 25. The asterisk means that these are bands that the previous person had on his/her list. Two asteriks mean the last 2 people that did this had this band on their list, etc..


  1. "Weird Al" Yankovic*

  2. Guns N' Roses

  3. Aerosmith

  4. David Poe

  5. The Finn Brothers

  6. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (yes- like the cartoon. And yes, really)

  7. Metallica

  8. Poison

  9. David Bowie

  10. Duran Duran

  11. Morrisey

  12. Heaven's Edge

  13. Deirdre Flint

  14. Ratt

  15. Motley Crue

  16. ZZ Top

  17. George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers

  18. The Monkees

  19. Gary Pucket and the Union Gap

  20. The Grateful Dead

  21. The Hooters

  22. Herman's Hermits

  23. The Beach Boys

  24. BareNaked Ladies

  25. Skid Row

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, April 19, 2005
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Sarcasmo Pirate   

Sarcasmo Pirate
Now that the film festival is over - I need to find other excuses not to do my laundry. One is that I need to re-rip my entire cd collection to my new harddrive. (Sigh).

And while *that's* happening, I can entertain myself by making South Park style Sarcasmo avatars with the newest version of South Park Studio.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, April 18, 2005
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Film Festival Wrap Up (Part the Last)   

You can tell the Festival is in it's final days; attendees are all rough around the edges, their eyes slightly glazed and haunted from lack of sleep as they growl hellos and give aggressive nods of acknowledgements to fellow film-goers they've seen over and over again but don't actually know. Everyone is so movie-saturated that they are unable to answer the question "What films have you seen?", sometimes so shell-shocked that they can't recall which movie it is they've just walked out of before getting into the waiting queue. Still, there's a strange camaraderie there in those lines - ephemeral friendships built on celluoid and popcorn and shared laughter and pain.

Sleep deprevation + sitting for hours in darkened theaters; it's a strangely beautiful, surreal thing.

That being said, I've seen my final five films this weekend, and I'm wonderfully exhausted. (Who knew sitting on one's duff all weekend could make one so tired?)

  • A Clockwork Orange: Despite the fact that I really did go for the chance to see ACO on the big screen and not to hear McDowell speak, I'm so glad to have had the opportunity. He was erudite, charming, and terribly witty; so much so that when relinquished the microphone so they could screen the film, I thought "Aw, c'mon, we've all seen the movie before. Let him talk," and even considered bailing on the screening to see if I could track him down at a local watering hole and ply him with drinks in order to persuade him get him to share more stories. (After all, how often in life does one get to hear ribald tales about Sir John Gieulgud, complete with impersonations?)

    That being said, I'm very glad to have seen the movie in the way it was intended. It was stunning on the big screen, and a much more moving (and troubling) experience.

    They laughably gave out ballots for this film - as if any of us could vote for something so deeply ingrained in our pop culture. My Rating: Above excellent.

  • Oldboy: I can't say too much about Oldboy without spoiling it, so I'll be as brief as possible: Oldboy is perhaps the most well-crafted revenge story I've ever encountered - it runs neck and neck with The Count of Monte Cristo - and quite possibly surpasses it, as the story supports itself and does not rely on coincidence or any Deus Ex Machina to get the job done. As a story, it is compelling, engaging, and unpredictable. As a movie, it's a little all over the place stylistically (it defies genre description - as one moment it's an action film with street-real fight scenes; the next you're watching a surrealist dream fantasy; and soon after the fighting takes on a more fantastic wire-work feel) - and yet the style follows the story so well that it's forgivable. Oldboy is likely the best film I saw all Festival long. However - I am hesitant to give it a blanket recommendation because certain themes are not for the faint of heart. My Rating: Very Good.

  • Arahan: Stylish. Fun. Martial Arts. Flick. Despite some short comings (the story was a bit shaky at times, some great characters were under-used, and the antagonist could have been a bit badder (although he did dress terribly well!)) I still enjoyed it immensely. My Rating: Good

  • Soundless: Soundless had a sort of Les Mis vibe in that I wasn't sure which character was the protagonist and which the antagonist (or, at the very least, which character (all of whom were a bit broadly drawn for my taste) I was meant to feel an alliance with.) Unlike Oldboy, Soundless relied very heavily on coincidences and nigh preternatural abilities of police and criminal alike. Not a great movie - but neither an unenjoyable one to watch. My Rating: Fair

  • Karoke Terror: I don't know quite what to say about this film. It took what is, perhaps, the most original tack I've ever seen for comparing the relationship society has with two social groups - Aimless Youth and Middle Aged. It made me laugh, quite a lot and squirm quite a lot; and it confused me almost as much. In the end, I found myself wondering, "What just happened here?" and "Why?!?" and "How is it that I found it so entertaining?" My Rating: Fair

All my movie-going jaunts this weekend were well-enhanced by excellent company which just made the experience that much the better.

Strange to report that having come to the end of my festival activities brings with it a certain feeling of accomplishment, for which I can not give reason. After all - aside from managing to get to the movies on time day after day - I didn't really do too much. In fact - if you look at the housework languishing in my apartment (all suffering from "I'll get to it when the movies are done..") - all I've really accomplished is two weeks worth of slacking off.

Now all I need is another excuse to do it some more.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, April 18, 2005
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Monday Morning Madnes   

  • Monday Morning Quiz: Here.

  • How Is it the Internet Embraced the Numa Numa Guy, and Not This?: Behold: Michalepella. To celebrate his digital camera, Michael and his friends) make videos of themselves performing acapella versions of popular songs. April is rap month - and although Michael does offer Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang for your viewing pleasue, don't skip out on his more classic offereings like Black Betty, I Am Woman, and I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow.- [MF]

  • What's Black, White, and Red All Over?
  • Something Awful's remix of Sin City. I especially liked these.

  • Actually - So Is This: Katmazutra; possibly a Sid and Marty Kroftt type cop-show; but it's folks without the fuzzy suits that are creeping me out in this trailer. - [iab]

  • You Now How Sometimes You Watch Something and You Don't Understand It and So You Make Everyone Else You Know Watch It To - Just to Share Your Confusion and/or Pain?:
  • This is one of tose times. The Fifth Avacado is one of those things. - [MonFil]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, April 18, 2005
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Film Festival Round-Up (Part the Second)   

I've seen two more films this week: One Missed Call and The Promise (and have four more to go). I can't say I was overwhlemed by either.

  • One Missed Call, which was admittedly made with the specific intention of being commercially successful, was a disappointment. Although I've only seen a handful of Japanese horror films, I could easily spot the "required" elements: the strangely creepy child; the earnest, investigative male lead (who has no official power and yet has no trouble getting information); the young woman of questionable sanity; the dangerous technology; the perceived redemption; the fake-out ending. One Missed Call comes perilously close to parodying the genre (and I don't think that was accidental). The story plods through most of the movie - but on the plus side - there's about a half-an-hour's worth of jump-in-your seat monster-vs-heroine action. (most of it was stuff you can see coming but it makes you jump anyway - and there was one brief moment that actually made my skin crawl.) Despite the fact that this movie was obviously making a statement about the cell-phone dependent youth-culture in Japan - I'm willing to bet the thematic ringtone is all the rage over there. (Also, I'd sort of like to have it myself.) My rating: Fair.

  • The Promise: I was excited for The Promise - and, although enjoyable - I felt it failed to live up to what it promised (sorry, Small Blue Thing - I know you liked it). It relied rather heavily on the soundtrack to create tension, and it was funny at surprising junctures (although I'm still not sure all the humor was intentional). Since the main character's perception of the events was so important to the story, it seems to me the is-she-or-isn't-she aspect would have been better served if all the actions that took place had been informed through her eyes, rather than some of them happening without her. My rating: Good.

Additionally, I was both pleased and disappointed by posters at the second movie. Pleased, because I saw a poster for High Tension, which I saw (as Haute Tension) at last year's festival and enjoyed. I'm delighted the original version is being released here, rather than a second-rate remake. Disappointed because I saw a poster for Dark Water, which is a remake of a Japanese film I saw a previous festival, which creeped the bejeezus out of me. I am sorry it is a remake that is hitting American theaters, and not the original.

I'm particularly excited about tonight's movie, A Clockwork Orange, beause although I've seen it at least a dozen times before, it's my first chance to see it on the big screen - and I'm a big believer in watching movies in the format for which they were originally intended as often as possible. Malcolm McDowell being there is just icing on the cake.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, April 15, 2005
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Friday Follies   

    This morning I realized it is imperative that I learn The Force - that way I can hit the snooze alarm without having to move.

    As of yet, I have not mastered it. Ah well. On to the links.

  • That Hello Kitty Sure Does Know Lots of Stuff:
  • Apparently the historical icon I'm most compatible with is Sigmund Freud, my charm is my smile, and I am attracted to bad boys. Who knew the kitten with the ribbon was so wise?

  • Won't You Stay for Tea? Little Red Monkey. (Earworm alert!)

  • But I Am Not Good with Polygons!: Someone put together a short film re-imagining Final Fantasy VI as a battle between classic gaming systems and newer, multi-function devices. It is rather lovingly detailed, and some of the battle attacks are inspired: Sega Fantasy VI (with English translation). (Warning: it is a little long, and a little sad, Kupo.) - [GTA]

  • And Speaking of Classic Games, Remixed: Nintendo themes, a cappella. [K]

  • I'm Not Entirely Sure How This Game Works: And I have no idea if I've won - but the results of making changes in la Pate a Son sure do sound purty. - [I4M]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, April 15, 2005
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I Wanna Be Mean, and Throw Mud Pies*   

I am disturbingly approachable. I know this because strangers talk to me constantly. In a two hour period while I was out yesterday I was asked for directions, (erroneously) identified as an easy mark by a hustler,**asked about the book I was reading (and having part of the ending ruined for me), and temporarily adopted as a friend by a bored Film Festival volunteer.

This sort of thing happens to me all the time, no matter how much anti-social armor I have on: headphones, nose in book, etc. The sad truth is, I'm not the least bit threatening. I'm beginning to fear I'll have to start carrying a sword if I don't want to be bothered by random people on the street. What's worse (and I don't mean to sound paranoid here) I am pretty sure there have been some sideways glances and snarky whispers heaved in my direction at the Evil Overlords of the Future Club.*** It is difficult for one to make a case for Supreme Universal Rule when the Average Man on the Street refuses to fear them, even just a little.

Little do my compatriots-in-evil know, but the problem goes much deeper than the random stranger on the street. People I know have described me "sweet" and "nice" and even "too nice for my own good." Last night over drinks a friend said she had a hard time believing I could ever "piss anyone off." Alas! Could it be true? Do I really ooze "Nice Girl****" vibes all over the place?

This is troubling, troubling news indeed. I mean, let's get with the program people: I revel in violent video games, giggle through blood-soaked films, listen to heavy-metal music, play table-top role-playing games, and have been known to eat the occasional Twinkie. According to several moral watchdog groups, I should easily be considered a Dangerous Woman; at the very least a Social Pariah. Most definitely not Nice.

Losing my standing down at The Club***** notwithstanding - English Language is such that I can't imagine anyone wanting to be Nice. I know I don't. Good? Sure. Kind? Maybe. Honorable? Definitely. But not Nice. Nice doesn't make an impression. Nice is boring. Nice is who you go to when you need help moving or have romantic trouble, but not who you invite to parties that no one can remember the details of the next day. Nice is who you want your siblings and/or friends to date - but who you never want to date yourself. Nice is not sexy, and is certainly not a challenge. Nice is a dependable snoozer, a polite bore, completely lacking in passion and creative energy. Oh sure, in movies the Nice Guy or Girl might get the romantic lead in the end - but only after the object of their affection has settled down and retired their Wild Ways for the Quiet, Static Life.

Who wants that?

Not me. I know I'd take the Surprisingly-Honourable Blackguard over the All Around Nice Guy any day.******

So what can I do to shake the foundations of this Nice Girl image? I'm realistic - I'm not expecting to straight to Evil Overlord or even

Villainous Vixen. I'd be happy to start with Wily, Wicked Woman and work my way up from there.

Here's what I'm thinking:

  • Systematically seduce and toy with the hearts of every man that I meet******* - destroying their relationships, their livelihood, and their lives simply for my own amusement.

  • Make a regular practice of kicking puppies and kittens.********

  • Pick up a part-time job interning with Mephistopheles.

  • Pick up a part-time job interning at the Bush White House.

  • Loosen the faucets of all the personal bathrooms I enter, so the drip-drip-drip drives people mad at night.

  • Schedule unnecessary street construction outside of people's homes at sun-up every weekday - and beginning at 2AM on weekends.

  • Stand outside of theatres showing M. Night Shyamalan movies with big signs explaining the twist ending.

  • Harass women I don't know or don't know well about their failures as women in regard to their personal reproductive choices, marital status, and no-doubt-inadequate housekeeping skills.

  • Steal candy from babies gadgets from geeks.

  • Start an All Reality TV channel. (Bugger - it's already been done.)

  • Remove the last vestiges of music from MTV.

Is this really the sort of thing I need to do to start getting some respect around here? 'Cause I will.

And then they'll pay for laughing at me at The Club. Oh yes, they'll pay.



* From "I Want to Be Evil"

**They have three basic stories: I Am From Out of Town and Due to Some Strange Turn of Events I Do Not Have the Necessary Train Fare to Get Home (I'm Suburban, So You Can Trust Me); I Just Got Out of the Hospital and Can't Reach My Family/Friends to Come Pick Me Up; I Am Deaf and Lost and Very Far From Where I Need to Be. I am always polite to these people (after all, someday I might meet someone who is actually in trouble) - but I basically have three standard responses: I'm Sorry I Don't Carry Cash With Me; I'm Sorry, I Have No Tokens, I Use a Bus Pass; and Oh, That's Terrible, Allow Me To Direct You To the Local Constabulary I'm Sure They'd Be Happy To Assist You. So far, no takers on the directions to the police station.

***Not that such a club exists, of course. Because if it did, I wouldn't tell you about it. And if it did exist and I did tell you about it, well, you know. Best to forget I mentioned it at all, don't you think?

**** Of course, being nice could all be part of my nefarious plan to lull the entire world's population into a false sense of security while endearing me into their good graces; thereby making Complete and Utter World Domination a veritable cake walk. However, if that was my plan I would never reveal it to you, as I am savvy enough to know hubris gets the villain every time. Of course, knowing you'd know that, I might reveal my actual plan believing you'd simply discredit it - since nothing hides a lie better than the truth. It's tricky business, this Save the World / Take Over the World stuff - which is why it would be better if you'd just let me handle things. Really.

***** Please refer to footnote ***

****** I may be dumb and irresponsible about romance - but I do know what I like; Smart, sexy, and mostly trouble.

******* Y'all can stop laughing now. Seriously.

******** Not really that practical - as I have dander allergies. Also - puppies and kittens - totally cute. AND they bite.

********* Footnote ***, for your own safety, etc...


Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, April 14, 2005
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Film Festival Round-Up (Part the First)   

Both Springtime and The Philadelphia Film Festival have started in earnest, so posts are going to slow down a bit here over two weeks, as I plan to divide my time between watching movies and being out-of-doors. (If the Festival would just show films in the park I'd be the happiest Sarcasmo ever!*)

I did catch four films over the weekend: Quiet as a Mouse, Frozen, Survive Style 5+ and Izo, and have One Missed Call lined-up for tonight. (If anyone wants to come along and hold my hand during the scary parts watch it with me, let me know.)

I don't really do film reviews,**per se, as I find I have difficulty doing so without giving spoilers; and despite being an avid movie watcher, I don't feel that I'm sophisticated enough about films to give meaningful reviews that people would find helpful. However, someone asked that I give my impressions of the movies I saw (thanks, JM) - and heaven knows I do like to throw my opinion around as though it counts for something, so here goes:

  • Quiet as a Mouse: Surprisingly charming for a film about violent, vigalante justice. The humour was dark (as promised) and genuinely funny - and the main character was interesting and surprisingly complex. However, despite a strong start, the movie seemed to become hestitant to fully address the points it raised - and ended-up meandering around towards an unsatisfying ending. My rating: Fair***

  • Frozen: A good story and well - acted (star Shirley Henderson somehow manages to effectively be simutaneously creepy and adorable); however writer/director Juliet McKoen seemed a little too eager for the audience to understand that ice was being (both visually and narratively) as a metaphor for an emotional state. My rating: Good (Becky - I'm curious to hear what you thought.)

  • Survive Style 5+: Fun, stylish, and wacky - Survive Style 5+ treats genre film with a celebratory irreverence - and it has a kickin' soundtrack that I have to own. My rating: Excellent (but only because "Awesome!" wasn't an option)

  • Izo: During the introduction, Travis Crawford (programmer of the Danger After Dark portion of the festival) suggested that Izo was either a "love it or hate it" film; I disagree. I can't say I loved Izo - but I truly did enjoy it. Non-linear and a bit surreal, Izo is nevertheless fun, introspective and wildly imaginative.****. I'll admit that when I heard it called Miike's "most experimental film to date" I had concerns - but I didn't find it remotely confusing or hard to follow.***** Not for everyone - but I wasn't disappointed. My rating: Very Good.******

Surprisingly, the films I have seen so far all seem to ask, either figuratively or literally: "What is your function in this life?" (Well, except for Frozen - which seemed to be asking "Do you get the whole ice thing? Do you want me to explain it to you again?") I had no idea when I chose my films that I'd be subliminally examining a universal angst.

Nice thing about angst, though - it's well suited for sitting in the dark with strangers. And it's tasty with popcorn.

*Or at the very least, the happiest Sarcasmo this week.

**My friend Feanor, however, is an avid film reviewer, and keeps an impressive Film Festival diary every year; so if you're interested in the festival, check his blog out.

***I have mixed feelings about the festival ballots. On the one hand, I like that my vote on the film's quality could count towards a good, foreign or Independent film getting picked up by a major distributor and thereby reach a wider audience. On the other hand - you have to turn your ballot in immediately following the film - which doesn't allow for much reflection time. Also (or "on the third hand") - I wish the ballots were less simplistic. I belive the categories are "Bad, Fair, Good, Very Good and Excellent" - and sometimes there is only one aspect of the film that stops it from being "Good" for me rather than "Fair" - and I wish I had a way to indicate that.

****It also uses buckets of blood - but frankly, when there's a sword and a vengeful spirit involved - buckets of blood is a total plus in my book.

***** There is a very good chance that in an effort to frame the film, I was imbuing the narrative with a symbology and context that the director did not intend - but I'm pretty sure that's not the case. Rather, the fact that I wasn't confused by this movie is more likely a sign that my brain is not all together well.

****** In all honesty, Izo is probably a better film than Survive Style +5 - but I just wasn't feeling the "Excellent" rating when it came to ballot time - which just goes to show that my festival ratings are more or less based on my whimsy - therby confirming the notion that I shouldn't review movies to begin with.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, April 11, 2005
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Monday Morning Madness   

Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, April 10, 2005
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Friday Follies   

Before the silly links, a note: Apologies - seems there will be no Pretty in Pink 2 as previously reported. Seems a website posted it as a joke (grrr...stupid April Fool's day!), and some of the mainstream press picked it up as true. Sorry, fellow Duckie fans.

And now, linkage:

  • Who's Your Dead Celebrity Soulmate?: A different kind of online dating site, from Apparently, it's Poe for me, which works out - as I already have his action figure on my desk.. - [D]

  • Oh..Dear: Be nice to your mother...Mr. T says short shorts, and in song. - [SS]

  • It's Cute! Kill it!: Imagine Doom, but with cute little vampiric aliens rather than demons, and you've pretty much got Puki. - [LS]

  • I Would Have Thought Thing Were More Peaceful Above the Clouds: Wadda + Pie. Cute time waster. No idea which is which.

  • Everything I Do Is Part of the Act: What do Corey Feldman, singing puppets, Mr. T (ed: that's right - a second helping of Mr. T! It is nearly the weekend, afterall.), Slim Goodbody and aliens have in common? Besides this weird little video, nothing that I know of. -[MF] (Is now a bad time to admit I like the movie Dream a Little Dream? Yeah, I thought so.)

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, April 07, 2005
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In or Out?   

I've been working on a new personality type classification system. Granted, I'm not remotely qualified in this area (although I did take an anthropology class once), but as I hear it, there are groups who throw money at this sort of thing, and I can always use more funding for my plans for universal domination to further my research.

The Ennegram system has nine individual personality types; the Myers-Briggs system, sixteen. How unbelievably inefficient. We are living in an era of concise, easily accessible information. We do not have the time to memorize a large variety of tags by which to arbitrarily pass blanket judgments on friends and loved ones.

In the interest of the advancement of social science and of saving time - I have narrowed human personality types down to two distinct groupings: The Innies and the Outies. (And no - I don't mean their bellybutton.*)

"Innies": Innies are those who take great pains to leave as early as possible for social engagements not because they are necessarily anxious to get there and enjoy themselves; but rather because the earlier they can get to an event the earlier they can leave said event and return to the familiar comfort of their own homes.

"Innie" Strengths: "Innies" are great at social gatherings because they (a) waste no time in making conversation with people (wanting to complete the social circuit as early as possible) (b) don't ruin surprise parties or spoil movie experiences by showing up late and (c) never, ever overstay their welcome. Additionally, "Innies" are perfectly suited for giving travelling directions because they make it one of their Life Missions to discover the shortest way to travel between points A and B.

"Innie" Challenges: "Innies" are likely to miss out on the finales of concerts, long films and sporting events that go into overtime in an effort to "beat traffic." In addition, "Innies" are likely to demand that everyone be willing to leave for and from an event the moment that they are - which can cause tension if they live and/or travel with an "Outie."

"Outies": Unlike their counterparts, "Outies" thrive on activities and socializing; and can do so for hours on end (often to the chagrin of their charming hosts and patient hosts). Anxious and eager for new and stimulating experiences, "Outies" will often "stack" plans one after another, so their out-of-home experience doesn't have to end simply because an individual event does.

"Outie" Strengths:: "Outies" make good companions because they will be willing to try / attend almost any sort of outing with you. They generally know about obscure events, and even major events well in advance.

"Outie" Challenges: The ambling, "want to see everything" nature "Outies" possess can also make it difficult-to-impossible for them to stay on schedule. They are likely to annoy their "Innie" friends by "flaking out" on established plans and routines, or by demanding strange and spontaneous side trips that can be disruptive to more formal itineraries. In addition, they tend to be sub-par housekeepers, seeing their home more as a place to sleep in than as a habitat to live in.

"Wait a minute," you may be saying, "Neither of these describe me. I am prompt, enjoy social engagements, stay long enough to participate in the whole experience without putting out the hosts and behave in a courteous and socially responsible manner when doing things with a group." You may think this about yourself, and indeed it may be true - but as that would absolutely destroy my theory I'm afraid I must do the responsible thing and completely disregard your data, and thereby stubbornly insisting you out of existence.**

What the heck am I going on about?: Nothing really. It's an entirely specious argument designed to help me figure out my own strange behavior when it comes to social engagements; and rather than make sense of myself in the world that exists (or, you know, address and attempt to modify my personality flaws), I thought it would be easier to simply reframe all of society to fit my particular proclivity.

Hey, I've got no illusions about my delusions.***

Here's the thing: I love being out. I enjoy exposing my senses to new sensations; I adore learning the nuances of locations by wandering haphazardly through them; and I absolutely love the bright and lively exchange of theories, beliefs and ideas that occur when fascinating people gather together****. I'm all about the Going Places and Doing Things - a real "Outie" at heart.

My problem is this - although I love being out, I hate going out. Being at home means pajamas and no shoes and doing exactly what I want when and want and not having to consider the group dynamic. It means a chance to curl up on the sofa and read, or taking a two-hour bubble bath or playing video games until my eyes are so blurred I can't make out simple shapes or colors any longer. It is my world retreat, my comfort zone.

I happily make plans to go out - but when the time comes to actually keep them, I become terribly cranky. I find excuses to delay getting dressed ("Can't get out of pajamas yet; I haven't had coffee." "It's impossible for me to shower until I've checked and answered all my email.") and then, as the time to leave the cocoon encroaches ever nearer, I get childishly grumpy about it. "Why did I agree to go to this thing?...grumble mumble...should stop talking to other humans...always wanting to do stuff...why do I like having friends, again?"...etc.

And mind you this is before something I'm looking forward to doing, something I know I will enjoy once I get there. If you want to see some Grade A dillydallying, catch me getting ready to go somewhere I absolutely don't want to be. On those days, staying in bed is on par with an Olympic sport - and I've got the Gold Medal in Hitting the Snooze button. Cleaning the Aegean stable? Hercules would have broken down and wept like a frightened child if it were his responsibility to get me out the door on time for work every morning.

Let me put it this way: If all the world's leaders got together and gave me a ring to say,

"Hey, Sarcasmo, we've thought it over, and we've come to the conclusion that the world would be a much better place if we just disbanded all of our governments and gave complete and total control of the population to you. You'll need to accept the reigns and your title in an official ceremony with lots of media coverage, of course, but to make it easy for you, we've scheduled it for this Saturday at 9AM, just a few blocks from your home. That way you don't need to travel far or take unnecessary time off from work."

My likely response would be,

"Oh...9AM? On Saturday? Really? I mean it sounds great, but isn't that a little early?

"Well, if it's a problem, I'm sure we can find someone else."

"No, no problem, I'll be there."

Then Saturday morning would roll around, and I'd stomp around my apartment, muttering, "Why did I agree to go to this thing?...grumble mumble...should stop talking to world's leaders...they always want me to do stuff...why did I want to subjugate my fellow humans, again?"...etc

Mind you, I'd go. And I'd enjoy the heck out of it. (What girl wouldn't love her own coronation?) But that doesn't mean I wouldn't give my snooze alarm a good workout in advance.

At least with my classification system , my hate-going-out-love-being-out disorder can be neatly summed up as me being "An 'outie' with pronounced 'innie' tendencies." That sounds much nicer than saying I'm "Whiny, lazy, temperamental and socially-challenged."

And believe you me, no one will get to call me whiny, lazy, temperamental or socially-challenged once I'm your new world leader.

*Although it would be interesting to see if people's bellybutton orientation was statistically related to their personality orientation. Possible funders take note! I'm expanding the scope of my research to include important factors such as this!

**Terribly sorry about that, but after all, the process of discovery does often mean having to unlearn what we think we know - even if it means doubting our own existence. Well, not mine, of course. Yours. But only if you don't see the brilliance inherent in my system.

*** Or should the be the other way round? *Shrug*

****I'm likewise a big fan of the silly, strange, and/or entirely inappropriate conversations and behavior that can also occur when said people gather. It's all good.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, April 07, 2005
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I Bet That Thing Would Scare the Heck Out of an SUV   

I'll admit it, I totally had a panicked when I saw this on Gizmodo today - I thought "Great. They've given robots GUNS. Why not spare ourselves the brutal uprising and just hand our governance over to them now?" But then I clicked through - and saw that, much like the Star Wars transport it resembles, this Land Walker is people powered.

This means it's not so much a robot as a Mech. And if anime and video games have taught me anything, it's that mechs, although completely capabale of wreaking havoc pell-mell on major urban areas, generally need to be piloted by very specific sort of people; like cutesy teen wrestlers or heirs to a decimated realm who possess the blood of the dragon, - neither of whom is particularly interested in global domination.


Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, April 05, 2005
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So. Not. Right.   

Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown. - [SH]

Just about as painful as you might imagine.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, April 04, 2005
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A follow-up:

This weekend, I received my payoff thank you gift from Adagio Teas: some Ceylon Sonata and an ingenuiTEA teapot. The parcel arrived gift-wrapped, and with a handwritten thank-you note. These tea folks are a class act.

The tea (which came in a reusable, resealable (presumably) air-tight container) was flavorful and had a great, subtle aroma. I'm still playing around with the right steep time for it - I tend to like my tea on the stronger side and so steep it for several minutes- but there can be fine line between "strong" and "bitter," and it's a line I am prone to cross. Adagio has a tea timer on their site, so I might give that a whirl. I'm also looking to order some of their herbal / decaf teas for my night-time drinking needs. (Any recommendations? I usually stick with things in the mint family for evening tea, but I am open to anything.)

And that teapot? Totally my electric kettle's new best friend. Steep the tea in the pot - place the pot on the mug and the tea filters into the cup on it's own. It's like magic. Actually, it's like physics - but as no errant tea leaves have a chance to wheedle their way into the cup or block a spout it's like magic to me I'm ridculously excited by it. (Hooray for kitchen gadgets that lessen my chance of spilling boiling hot liquid on myself! I'm not very coordinated - as it is I have to stay 20 feet from French Presses at all times.) They say it makes 2 cups - which works out to about one large mug. So although it won't replace my teapot collection - because there are some days when a full pot is a necessity - I do forsee myself using it almost daily.

Thanks, Adagio Teas! And good luck with your GoogleRank. I'll be putting a permanent link in the left-hand side there. Hope it helps.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, April 04, 2005
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Since it Relates to Today's Quiz...   

There's allegedly a sequel to Pretty in Pink in the works, with Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald and John Cryer slated to participate. - [CT]

I don't know about you - but I'll pulling for Andie and Duckie having paired up happily in the interim. I can't help it; he was so dorkily adorable.

Actually - scratch that - I hope Duckie realized he was too good for Andie, and found someone who could appreciate him.

Used to have a bit of a crush on Jon Cryer, actually...can you tell? Between Pretty in Pink and Hiding Out how could I not?

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, April 04, 2005
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Monday Morning Madness   

  • Monday Morning Quiz: Here ya go.

  • Pen Twirling: If I tried this sort of thing, I would pretty much be guaranteeing myself a pen-in-the-eye; and I don't know how one would even begin to explain that on a worker's comp form. -[S.t] -

  • To My Bookclub - Maybe We Try This Next Month: Romance Novel Drinking Games. Actually, this could be fun for other authors too. Everytime a Dickens' orphan is adopted in the end by a weathly family, take one sip...if the orphan turns out to be a lost relative of the adoptive wealthy family, take two sips.... - [CT]

  • Walking Ideas: Logic puzzle with soothing music - [F].

  • And Because I Can't Find Anyting Else to Amuse You: Here are links to some cool t-shirts.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, April 03, 2005
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And When She Shines She Really Shows You All She Can   

Tonight I went with some friends to see Duran Duran - currently on tour to promote their album, Astronaut. Now, I can't rightly call myself a Duranie - I have difficulty putting the right names to the right band members* - and I'm a little hazy about the words to some of their songs - but I had such a fantastic time the last time I saw them in concert in small theater that I couldn't resist the chance to see them on a big stadium tour.

When I was in high school, my disposable income (such as it was) was spent on two things: books and rock concerts. Being primarily a rock/metal/glam fan** at the time, most of the concerts I went to were big stadium tours that were rampant with crowd energy, full of fans (both male and female) with intimidatingly large hair, and that featured a drummer who rode the bass drum so hard that each beat shook my rib cage like a new, stronger heartbeat. And I loved every ear-shattering second of it.

No longer sixteen, my concert-going income is not what it was, and when I do go to shows, I generally prefer to see singer/songwriter types in more intimate venues; concerts where I can see the singer's face; hear the lyrics and sing quietly along; and, if not a sit-and-have-a-drink venue, dance the goofy, repressed shuffle-dance of the considerate-to-other-concert-goers and of the-moderately-well-behaved.

Not so tonight.

After first suffering through a mediocre opening act***, arms crossed in front of me and irritated that I had to pull my long legs back every time someone wanted to get down the aisle, I worried that maybe I was, in fact, too old for this sort of thing; how utterly depressing. Thankfully, after an hour of being ageist with myself the lights went out and the real show began.

Duran Duran offered everything I remember from the great rock shows of my youth - an amazing telescoping lighting rig, a stage that projected into various parts of the audience, a plethora of multi-media images, and, most importantly, a band that rocked.

About twenty minutes into the show, something strange came over me; I don't know if the band hit it's stride at that point, or being back in the Spectrum bought back some long-buried body memories, or if I suddenly let go of my ego - but I seemed to enter into some place outside of myself where it didn't matter where I was or that there were other grownup people around me, who the band was or even if there was a band there at all; it just me and the music, and my body wholly embraced the dancing. And just to be clear - this was not the half-shuffle, wave your shoulders and/or hips so as not to bump into the person standing next to you dancing. I was a maniac, a whirling dervish, who sang at the top of her voice and eventually gave up on pushing her hair out of her eyes because it like a curtain across her face again every time she shook her head or jumped up and down. I rocked out - rocked it like I was sixteen and failing algebra was the worse worry I had in the world. ****

Actually, I rocked out harder than I ever did when I was sixteen..and I think I know a few reason why:

  1. Although being a grownup means I can't commit the same percentage of my income to concert tickets that I used to - it does mean that when I do go to shows - I can afford the good seats This means the even plane of floor level, rather than perched in the perilous top-tier sections with steps steeper than the Andes. If I had danced in highschool like I did tonight, I would have gone ass-over-teacups right over one of those protective railings.

  2. I'm considerably more comfortable with my body than I was at sixteen. This does not mean I am a *good* dancer - but it does mean that I am more likely to dance with my whole body, and not just by swinging my head around my neck like a demented rag doll.

  3. I can now dance with complete abandon and without pretense - having come to the realization that it doesn't matter if I look like an ass, because the lead singer is not in fact, likely to lock eyes with me across the crowded amphitheater and realize that I am the woman he's been waiting for all his life, pull me up on stage, sing a spontaneous duet with me, and then whisk me off to be with him forever.*****

  4. So, as I sit here now at nearly 2Am, having recently showered because I came home from the show with my clothes stuck to my body with sweat and my hair so damp it curled around my face; and I am wondering: how I will ever manage to rouse myself in time for my book club tomorrow****** (and even if I do, how will I speak once I get there?), I am both elated and concerned.

    Elated because I've just walked home with my coat thrown open to the cool night air, my adrenaline pumping and feeling like I got back part of myself I've forgotten.

    Concerned because I, being no longer sixteen and in no kind of physical shape, have just spent the last two plus hours dancing, screaming, and jumping up and down on a cement floor in really crappy sneakers - and this adrenaline rush is not going to last forever. There will be joint hell to pay tomorrow.

    Ah well. Don't say a prayer for me now. Save it 'til the morning after.

    *Except for lead singer, Simon LeBon, whom I can identify easily. He's never particular interested me in photos on music videos - but on stage that man absolutely drips sex. And it didn't hurt any that at tonight's show he wore my top three favorite outfits to see on a man - and in descending order: a suit and tie; a dress shirt and jeans; and a fitted t-shirt and jeans. Honestly, if they had done a second encore and he had come out dressed like a pirate, I would have been certain his wardrobe was chose especially for me.

    **We've all loved things we are not proud of - and yes, I've seen Ratt, Britny Fox and Poison in concert - but I refuse to be embarrassed about it.

    ***They were so stilted, and their lyrics so bland that I actually found myself thinking that if my highschool friends and I had actually put our band together, this band's level was about what we could have aspired to. (For starters - none of us actually played any of the instruments - one member did actually get an electric guitar and take lessons, but we didn't get very far.) I was to be the lead singer (requiring me to only learn to occasionally play the tambourine - which *still* would have been disaster as I have no natural rhythm). I had named the band, written pages of lyrics, planned the titles of several of our albums; even planned to eventually launch my solo career by doing a remake of Paradise by the Dashboard Light with Axl Rose (seriously, I use to practice the female vocals all the time), which in turn would spark a legendary but short-lived Rock - N - Roll love affair between Axl and myself. (What can I say - I have a thing for front men.)

    ****Oh - what - like you were never sixteen?

    *****For those wondering, the strongest thing I had before the show was some black tea, which was followed by several glasses of water with dinner - so my lack of control inhibitions was entirely natural.

    ****** I can't be entirely certain, but I'm pretty sure no other concert-goers were injured because of my "dancing"; although I imagine one or two of the half-shufflers who probably a little irritated by it.

    *******Stupid Daylight Savings Time.

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, April 03, 2005
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    Madness Takes Its Toll   

    On my way home from work today, the dulcet strains of The Time Warp came through my headphones and made me smile. As I surrepitiously "kick, kick"ed in my bus seat* I had to laugh because when I hear The Time Warp what springs to mind is not visions of Tim Curry in fishnets stockings and a feather boa, Eddie and his Teddy, or even theater-goers chanting lines at the stage/movie screen; no - what I think of when I hear Riff Raff announce that "It's astounding," my mind turns to weddings.

    It seems to me that The Time Warp has been played at every wedding reception I've been to in the past ten years**. Granted, it's a fun song that never fails to bring laughing crowds to the dance floor - but let's be honest - although it is a dance song, it's not an especially good song to dance to. Sure, it starts off strong, but then there's Columbia's tap dance solo smack in the middle, which leaves wedding guests standing about in an akward circle; staring blankly at one another and clapping their hands, lost without the leadership of Doctor Scott step-by-step instructions.*** 2-4-6-8-10-12-14? We're there to dance, you little red-headed diva - not for counting lessons!

    Still - in some way it pleases me that Rocky Horror is now so ingrained in our culture that it has become a celebratory standard. This means that when I reach the point of my gray-haired dotage in which I feel compelled to instruct everyone how to live their lives***, I can turn to my nephew (or other loved one) and say with a great and tender seriousness, "I hope you get married soon, I so long for the day when I can shout 'Eat your heart out, Anne Miller' at your wedding."

    * Ever have one of those days where you feel the need to sing-along with, dance to, and or accompany on air-drum/guitar to every song you hear? The sort of day where people with their car radios cranked so loud their windows shake give you a smile and nod of commaraderie and recognition? I was having one of those sorts of days. I think it's the first hint of Spring in the air. Despite stirring up my hay-fever - Spring and Autmn weather puts me in a fantastic mood.

    ** Obviously, I go to some really classy weddings (I include in this list my own).

    *** The only good part about this point in the song is that it allows any ladies in the wedding party to temporarily gather in a small, intimate circle of their own. They are not doing this because they are sharing a touching moment of sisterhood and friendship - but rather to block one another from the rest of the guests as they adjust their clevage. Those specialty, formal brassieres are meant to make a gal look elegant as she walks stately down the aisle in a gown; they're not really all that effective for holding the important bits in for repeated jumps to the left; believe me.

    **** I think I'll hit this point around 2:45 PM next Wednesday. Consider yourself warned

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Saturday, April 02, 2005
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    Ok. Really, I Don't *DO* April Fool's Day   

    In all honesty - I find it irritating. (It's not that I don't appreciate pranks, mind you - but doing them on the day everyone expects you to is just so...ineffective).

    That being said - I could resist playing around with the Press Release generator on - mostly because it was willing to make me CEO in Charge of All Things. (Heck - if Workopolis could really get me that job - I'd be on the first plane to Canada...)

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, April 01, 2005
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