Monday Morning Madness   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Saturday, July 29, 2006
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Friday Follies   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, July 28, 2006
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Blogathan   


Every year I read about Blogathan - a fundraising event in which bloggers raise money for their favorite charities by committing to blogging for 24 hours straight - I think, "You know, I really should do that." Then I remember that I spend far too much time on the Internet already, and defer in the interest of not, at long last, getting sucked into the Interneti n some strange, Tron--like accident involving my iPod, a cup of coffee and the latest
Windows security patch.*


My friend Tom does not fear the awesome, hypnotic power of the Internet, however*, and hence will be staying up all of Saturday in order to craft 48 sonnets over twenty-four hours in the name of charity. (Specifically, Doctors Without Borders.) To sponsor Tom, click here. If you'd like to follow along with Tom's "Iambic Insanity," he'll be blogging
his efforts here.


I fully intend to read along as Tom posts, but not, you know ashe posts. A girl needs her sleep. I can't be expected to conquer the world with bleary eyes.


*Although if that did happen, I believe I could usurp Master Control Program and take over the World (Wide Web) with very little effort.

** And why should he, he's practically wrote the book on it. Well, the FAQ anyway.


Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, July 27, 2006
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Well, Damn. I *Must* Be a Grown Up   


Because the very idea of this makes me want to vomit.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, July 24, 2006
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Monday Morning Madness   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, July 23, 2006
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Forget Going to CI to see The Warriors   


I need to get up to NYC this autumn to see Evil Dead: The Musical. - [G]


Fair warning to anyone who wants to come along...I absolutely want to sit in the "Splatter Zone".

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, July 21, 2006
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Friday Follies   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, July 20, 2006
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I Can Admit When I Was Wrong   


Several weeks ago, I declared this video, which combies footage from Monty Python and The Holy Grail with audio from Star Wars, the "Geekiest. Mashup. Ever." I feel I must apologize to you all, as I made said declaration without knowing all the facts.



Clearly, this video of the cast Original Series Trek singing Camelot from Monty Python and the Holy Grail is way geekier.



I hope you can forgive me; it was never my intention to mislead you.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, July 20, 2006
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Mmmm...Marrow   


I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to
live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived."
- Thoreau

(Or, as Mame Dennis more succinctly put it, "Live, live, live!")

I've been fascinated with Thoreau's "live deep" ideals since high school (I blame The Dead Poet's Society); not so much the living in the woods bit, with the mosquitoes and bears and all that - but definitely the part where one pursues life with vigor, passion, and determination rather than as a spectator consumed with the acquisition, possession and upkeep of commercial goods.

"Yeah," I've always thought. "That should be me."

However, I have come to the disappointing realization that I simply do not have the personal fortitude to fully deny myself all commercially available creature comforts and the occasional foray into conformity in my pursuit of life's bountiful pleasures. This is troubling to me,
because as personal philosophies go, both Thoreau's and Auntie Mame's have considerably more punch than, "I want to live deep and suck out the marrow of life - but, you know not so deep that I can't occasionally pop my head up for air. And, of course, I will also pair the marrow of life with the salad of life (and perhaps a nice Shiraz)- so as to get my recommended daily allowance of life's essential vitamins and minerals - and of course, every so often, indulge in the Ben and Jerry's Super Fudge Chunk of life, because, well, just because."

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, July 19, 2006
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Woo! Par-tay!   


Some of you no doubt have noticed that I've got a little blogging...well I don't like to say addiction exactly (I can quit anytime I want, I swear)...let's call it a predicliction. And as part of putting this predilection into practice, I do some blogging and editing for Phillyist.com. About a month ago, fellow editor Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey, pointed out that the site's first birthday (blogday?) was coming - to which I very helpfully responded with the sentiment that we should probably, you know, do, um, something with, er, some stuff.


Luckily for me, Jillian made arrangements for the something (a Phillyist b-day soiree at local watering hole, The Devil's Alley) and editor extraordinarie Jim Genzano set about acquiring some stuff (swank gear for door prize give-aways.) And what did I contribute? A whole lot of nothin', frankly, butI'll still go and partake of the open bar and free food (while supplies last) - and so can you!

If you come to the party, please introduce yourself and say hello. I'll be the one in the Phillyist t-shirt, attempting to hide behind my camera and making awkward attempts at socializing.

To Be Read in Your Best Rod Roddy Voice: If you live in or will be in the Philadelphia area on Tuesday, July 18th at between 6 and 8PM, come on down to Devil's Alley (1907 Chestnut Street)for a Happy Birthday Happy Hour Meet and Greet with the writers and readers of Phillyist.com (a website about Philadelphia).

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, July 17, 2006
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Monday Morning Madness   





















QuizGalaxy!


'What will your obituary say?' at QuizGalaxy.com

Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, July 16, 2006
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Friday Follies   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, July 14, 2006
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TV Mystery   


Over the past week, I've had more than one conversation about how old TV shows are never quite as our memories of them. (Like, say, Scarecrow and Mrs. King - why did I ever think that was good?) Other shows people mentioned that haven't stood the test of time include V: The Series, Simon & Simon, Murder She Wroteand Small Wonder. 1.



Well, ok, I don't think anyone ever though Small Wonder was good...but I certainly did watch a lot of it.



Mind you, I'm not referring to shows that were cheesy at the time - I still find a great delight in watching reruns of the original Battlestar Galactica and/or Buck Rogers (recently caught the Dracula episode of that, actually. It was wonderfully campy.) What concerns me is that what this means about the quality of television...because whereas I'd like to think I've simply grown as a person, and through experience and education, have become a more discerning TV viewer. Fact of the matter is, however, that I'm writing this post while watching the new season of Project Runway...and if I find myself up late on Sunday nights, I'm not above watching the odd episode of My Fair Brady - so clearly it isn't that my standards have gotten higher.


So why don't the old shows hold up? And don't try to blame it on the "passage of time" - because The Honeymooners, The Carol Burnett Show and even the very era-specific Laugh-In have held up just fine.



1I can think of at least one other one, but I won't name it here. I'm in trouble enough with one friend in particular for slagging on the Rockford Files (which I never liked). If I say anything bad about the particular show I have in mind at the moment, I'm fairly certain this friend would never speak to me again. Not to mention the fact that I'd likely be disowned by several members of my family (and at least one set of animated TV twins.)

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, July 12, 2006
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Does this really *warrant* novelization?   


snakesonaplane

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, July 10, 2006
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Roll for Initiative   


Do you like to role-play? I do. But it's sometimes I have a hard time staying in the fantasy when I have to drop character every few minutes to double check the rules.



Sigh. Not that kind of roleplaying.1 I'm talking table-top gaming - the sort of roleplaying one does with dice, Doritios, and a trusted group of friends2. Unless you've never met me before, and this is the very first blog post you've read on Sarcasmo's Corner, you already know I'm a big time geek. So it shouldn't surprise you to know that although I'm no gaming expert - I've played a few campaigns in my time. I own my own dice. I have characters in reserve from old games that I'm hoping to play again. I love the interactive story-telling of gaming, the improvisational and spontaneous nature of a dynamic group narrative, and the chance to explore and express parts of my personality which are left dormant in my day-to-day existence.3 And because I'm so story-oriented as a player - I detest getting bogged down with all the charts and books and manuals and assorted other bits many gaming systems require. How can I be expected to come up with character-approrpriate, witty repartee if I've got to refer back to Chart 3 page 22 of Player Manual 27 to find out whether or not my character class is capable of, say, hopping over that low hedge to banter with a foe without falling on her face, despite the fact that her backstory includes spending her formative years as an tightrope walker. I'm exaggerating, of course, but I hate being pulled out of the game universe like that for every little thing.4



Which is why I was excited to help playtest my friend Neil's system, heretofore known as Altonomy; if by playtest you mean (most recently) acting like a self-obsessed, (albeit charming) cad who'd just as easily sell out his grandmother as the rest of his party if it meant not being arrested, beaten, or eaten by zombies.5 Touting itself as "simple rules for serious role-players," Altonomy is just that - a simple set of rules for game play which leaves lots of room open for the actual play bit. Also, it's hella fun. Those characters I've got in reserve? They're from past Altonomy campaigns. They are the characters I've had the most fun developing and playing because I actually got to play them, within the rules but without rigidity.



Anyhoo - the reason I mention it is because Neil's finally gotten around to finalizing the rules, and he's made them available for download (for a nominal fee). He's also got some Sample Rules available on the site, so the GMs and GM want-to-bes among you can peruse a bit before taking the plunge. In the hands of a competent (or in the case of my campaigns, kick ass6) GM, it's system that is both simple and fun.




1One does not discuss that sort of roleplaying on a public blog read by one's family and co-workers. One discusses that sort of roleplaying in private corners, and over a few drinks. Silly.

2 Which is not to say these items can't factor into the other kind of roleplaying as well, if that's your thing. Far be it from me to judge what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom, kitchen, and/or gaming room.

3 And - naturally, the chance to pretend that I'm a callous kick-ass warrior that no man or beast can best.Knowing that in my real life, I am reduced to a quivering mass of uselessness when faced with an interloping rodent, this should come as no surprise.

4 (Also, as a gaming dilettante, I'm kind of dumb with rules. I've played D&D and I'm still not 100% clear on what THACO is. And don't bother trying to explain it in the comments either - many experienced and gamers have tried.)

5 That's right - charming - sometimes I like to play against my own character.

6My most recent campaign is over, so that's not just lip service in exchange for XP. Although if said GM wanted to remember these accolades when planning future campaigns, I'm sure my character wouldn't mind. :p

Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, July 09, 2006
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Monday Morning Madness   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, July 09, 2006
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Darth Vader is a Looney!   


Geekiest. Mashup. Ever. -[BM]

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, July 07, 2006
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Friday Follies   


You know, I thought I had something to say, but I'm too tired to say it. Instead, here's the Friday linkdump, in small, easily digestible categories.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, July 06, 2006
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My Life with That Know It All Bast... Jeeves   


After seeing Wordplay for the second time yesterday, (I saw it earlier this year during the Philadelphia Film Festival), I once again resisted my sudden, overwhelming, Will Shortz-induced urge to begin subscribing to the Sunday Times in order to become a an unparalleled master of the boxed word, and instead decided to give-in to my giddy, puzzling urge by picking up a crossword puzzle collection from the local bookstore. (Subsequently, I have learned that there is only one pencil in my house - and that it is a poorly sharpened golf pencil with no eraser. And I'm quite crap at crosswords, so I'm not exactly doing a bang-up job of them so far. But I'm getting better as the night goes on.)



While there, I decided to try and find Brothers of the Head, the book that inspired a film of the same name, which I also saw at the Festival (trailers for the theatrical release of which I've begun to see recently - which hopefully means the soundtrack will be out soon too. I quite dug it.) Unfortunately for me (and my wallet), they didn't have it in stock, which meant my bookstore browsing reflexes kicked in (despite the fact I just got two books for my birthday and dropped a good bit of cash at the used bookstore last week. Oh cursed weakness for the printed page!). Which is how I came home with this: Wake Up, Sir!, a novel about a 30-something man from New Jersey who hired Jeeves.



I haven't read page one, and yet I'm already indignant. How dare this man, this novelist appropriate Wodehouse's Jeeves for his own purposes? After all, if any shiftless, American, 30-something, East Coast layabout deserves to have an erudite, problem solving, housekeeping, life managing, wit sharpening man's man about the place, its me. I all but claimed him for myself some time ago.



Of course, once I calmed down a bit, I reminded myself it was just a story, and that if I wanted to imagine how my life would be with Jeeves, I was certainly at liberty to do so. (This is precisely the sort of reason I need a valet, you realize; to stop me going off half-cocked at this sort of thing.)



Ergo, having nothing better to do with my time (other than housework I'm avoiding, which is yet another reason I need Jeeves to come knocking), and being off from work tomorrow in pre-celebration of my country's declaring its independence from Great Britain (and thereby having no reasonable bedtime which to ignore), I felt this was the opportune time to imagine my life as though it were entirely dependent on the reign and rule of one of Her Majesty's own.



After all, I'd be ill-advised to go ruin another crossword until I've found a proper pencil. (If Jeeves were here, he'd make sure I'd have loads of #2s all about the place, all sharpened to a perfect point, then slightly blunted so I couldn't accidentally do myself harm.)

So, without further self-indulgent ado, my equally (if not moreseo) self-indulgent:

Sarcasmo's Life With Jeeves


My eyes were wrenched screechingly open by the heavenly scent wafting under my nose. The following flood of sunlight attacking my irises was unfortunately, but there was little to be done: the siren song of caffeine is impossible for my body to ignore. After all, hundreds of years of harvesting, roasting, blending and corporate mass marketing have gone into this bewitching brew. I'm hardly one to argue with progress and evolution.



"Good morning, M'um," said the blurry cup of joe wavering in front of me. Or rather it was said by the owner of the hand proffering the cup of The Stuff. I sat up groggily, slipped my spectacles over my sleepy peepers, and took the cup gratefully in hand. "Is it Jeeves, is it good indeed?" I moaned as I took a sip, and immediately relaxed as my heart and brain began their morning sprints. I sometimes like to imagine they're racing one another about my nervous system. Oh, what a day it will be when one overtakes the other and they stumble over one another's untied laces. "Ah, well, perhaps after a few more hits of this I'll see things your way."



"M'um. Yes M'um."



"Sir, Jeeves." I sighed. "Please."



"M'um?"



"Just, call me 'Sir' Jeeves, if you can't call me by my Christian-although-I-am-not name. You know how I dislike being called 'M'um.' 'M'um' is a frowny word, and it makes me sound like a 300 year-old lady with a pill box hat, a walker, and an inbred lineage. Honestly, 'Sir' will do nicely. And coming from you it just sounds better. Valets say 'Sir.' and that's that."

The steam from the coffee clouded my lenses, but I could feel his disapproval weighing down on me. "What is it, Jeeves?"



"I simply couldn't call you 'Sir,' M'um. It would be highly improper."



"More improper than you acting as a gentlemen's gentleman for a la...a person of the female persuasion? What's a little extra gender-bending if we've already given tradition the old heave-ho?"



"Fair point, M'um. Er...Sir."



"Thank you Jeeves," I said, sliding my feet out of bed and into warmed slippers, my body soon ensconced in my waiting silk dressing gown. "And what's on today's agenda?"



"Well, it is a weekday, M'u...Sir, which means your office."



"Oh, yes, that. Damn and drat. No way around it I suppose, Jeeves? Any witty plan up that well-pressed sleeve of yours?" It may have been my imagination, but I believe the stalwart, stoic fellow might have blushed at that last bit. He does take pride in his sharp creases, and it does him good when I let him know he's done well now and again. Power of positive reinforcement, you know. Very big in Human Capital Management circles these days (Human Resources, that is. Don't know why they call it Human Capital, actually. Makes it sound quite like some nefarious people trafficking is afoot); good for morale, cheaper than a raise and all that.



"Only if you can discover a way to get them to pay for the privilege of employing your charming self without your ever having to actual work, I'm fear not, M'um. Sir. M'um."



"Ah, well, looks like I'll have to trundle in after a quick shower then. And listen, Jeeves, better go back to 'M'um.' One more 'Sir M'um, Sir M'um' and they'll have me out on suspicion to do Florida's govenor harm."



"Sir. Or rather, M'um, yes M'um."



Blast his superior grin. That man does know how to get his way.



"Yes, quite. By any chance, did you have any chance to proof read those blog posts for me?" I stretched, picked at my toast, and waited to be wowed by his toadying. Because what's the good of having someone to look after your every whim if they won't also toady for you now and again.



"Yes, M'um. I went over them as you slept," he said, tucking my sheets into hospital corners - simultaneously making the bed look neat while making it impossible for me to climb back into it and deny the start of the day. " They were very creative."



"Well, thanks awfully, Jeeves," I quipped, succumbing to my breakfast with new vigor. "Creative! Say, do you really think so?" I asked, accidentally spraying some crumbs in light of my status of one well-chuffed.



"Yes, M'um. The grammar especially." Jeeves fluffed a pillow, his back to me. His jacket was unnaturally taught, and showed nary a speck of dust nor hint of wrinkle. I found it a bit maddening, actually. As I ran my hands through my bed-rumpled hair, I made a bold attempt to create a wrinkle in his suit with my mind.



"Ah. I see. And what about the actual content?"



"The... content, M'um?" Jeeves is easily the only person I know who can give the impression of a raised eyebrow on his implacable face, just by using his voice. The wrinkle came then - not to his suit, but to my forehead.



"Ah. Yes. Quite right. Well..how do you mean, 'creative' then?"



"Well, M'um, the usual; homophone confusion, the haphazard switching of tenses... and may I say that you've made some interesting innovations in the field of spelling."



I took a moment then to refill my pitifully small coffee cup (I have repeatedly expressed a preference for cavernous mugs, capable of containing copious gallons of coffee, but Jeeves pointed out that cups without saucers lacked class, so I remain drinking my morning juice a pathetic thimbleful at a time) and to count to ten. In the most even-handed voice I could muster first thing in the morning, I screeched casually, "Perhaps you're just confused, Jeeves. You know, there is a difference between the British and American spellings of some words."



"Whereas that's true, M'um," admited Jeeves amiably as he mopped the coffee I accidentally let spill over my cup and saucer onto the floor, " however, I'm fairly certain that, for example, 'egywa' is not the proper spelling of any word known on either side of the Atlantic."



"I'll have you know it certainly is!" I retorted, and too quickly by half.



"I do apologize, M'um. I thought my vocabulary very extensive, but I am always grateful for opportunities to expand it. Would you be kind enough to furnish me with a definition?"



"Apology accepted, Jeeves. It takes a very big man to admit when he's in correct. I believe I'll have my shower now. Please lay out something corporate caz for the office, and pack me something suitably cheese-filled for luncheon"



"Of course, M'um. I trust you'll provide me with the definition when you return from your ablutions?"



"Definition, Jeeves?" Damn and blast his attention to detail (except when it applies it to keeping my pots and pans sparkling and my whites white. Really, the man's a wonder at cleaning.).



"Of 'egywa,' M'um."



"Oh, yes. 'Egywa,'" I mumbled, as the steam from my shower, already running at my preferred temperature, filled the room.



"Yes, M'um. 'Egywa,'"



"Well, Jeeves, if you must know, 'Egywa,'" is the proper spelling of the noise one makes when they fall asleep with their face down on the keyboard because they've stayed up too late blogging."



"Ah. I see. If I might be so bold, M'um."



I fixed Jeeves with my iciest of icy glares (which was a bit drippy, I must admit, with all the steam floating about) and countered, "If you might be so bold, M'um, what Jeeves?"



"Well, if one might consider a more reasonable sleep regimen, coupled with perhaps a more physically active hobby, it might allow for fewer instances of 'Egywas' in one's life. I am using that correctly, aren't I M'um? 'Egywas'?"



"Yes, Jeeves. That's an appropriate usage, as recognized by the O.E.D. I'm sure."



"Ah, thank you M'um. I do find it's helpful to use new additions to one's lexicon posthaste, to aid in the permanent memory their meaning."



"Of course, Jeeves. And while we're expanding our personal dictionaries, might I inquire as to whether you are familiar with the related term, ' yrf78pw(ryf'?"



"'Yrf78pw(ryf,' M'um? I can't say I am familiar, no."



"Well, 'yrf78pw(ryf' is the sound one makes when they are struck repeatedly and violently in the face with a keyboard by someone who has suffered the indignity of having the hard-won fruits of their very soul criticized and ridiculed by a man who is meant to keep their home clean, their coffee cup full, and their adventures wacky - and all before they've consumed enough caffeinated muck to join the human race."



"Yes M'um. Most enlightening, M'um. Thank you."



"Shall I use it in a sentence for you, Jeeves?" I inquired politely, my well-manicured nails (which Jeeves filed into perfectly symetrical square tips jus tthe night before) clicking ever-so gently against the defunct metal typing monstrosity of yesteryear I keep about the place, largely as a gorgeous, archaic paperweight.



"No, M'um. I believe I have sussed out the heart of it straight away."



"Excellent. Carry on, Jeeves."



"M'um."



Yikes! It's now 1:40 AM! Perhaps Jeeves is correct when it comes to my sleeping habits. I'm now to bed, to dream that I'll wake up to a clean apartment, crisp folded linens, and Stephen Fry standing by with a cup of coffee to get my brain in gear.


And some sharpened pencils and a big fat dictionary to help me wade through these puzzles.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, July 03, 2006
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