Thursday, May 29, 2008

Low-Point: The Institute of Official Cheer

This afternoon I came across this site run by James Lileks, who is a humor columnist in Minneapolis. Considering Minneapolis is often lauded for being a mecca for comedic talent (sarcasm.) I'd consider this a diamond in the ruff of -20 degree weather typically found there. I've never actually been there, so I don't have much to base an opinion on, but if I can get the same stuff online from the comfort of my air-conditioned cubicle then why should I?

Basically what he does is post old pictures/ads/comic book pages/cold war-era promotional artwork and make witty comments about discrepancies of old-timey politics.

In quiet, friendly letters the site proclaims what it does best: humiliate the defenseless past since 1996. If the subscript of the title page doesn't convince you of its inherent greatness then you're probably a grumpy pensioner yelling at all the readers to get off your cyber-lawn and wondering why all your commie neighbors haven't been black-balled yet.

Being something of a computer aficionado (double sarcasm.) I was instantly drawn to the compu-promo section. Lileks describes this section as, "big hideous computers, and the women who loved them: a salute to the early years of computer promotion." Once I saw this entry I knew I had struck the equivalent of Internet gold. Dotcom-karats I call em. Subtle references to other sources comedic genius, particularly those including old B-movies, always sit well with me. And this section is rife with them.

Thus far I haven't even strayed to any of the other sections. There are enough back-posts here that with a little luck I could probably stretch this out for the rest of the summer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hot Cookin

Normally I don’t like to admit that I watch American Idol. In fact, when I do watch it I’m usually locked in my bedroom with a blanket over my head. I debated a long time about writing about this, but I figured if I was ever going to blog about American Idol I might as well do it now during the post-AI media storm when my confession can be waved off as another piece of fan-girl blather and not seen as a reliable barometer of my personal taste. Wow. Can I write a run-on sentence or what?

The fact is, I love David Cook. As a friend once put it, I don’t love him like I love peanut butter. I mean, I luuuuuvvvaaaahhh him.

From the first moment Cookie walked in with his faux hawk and argyle sweater I was hooked. It turned out to be a bonus that he could actually sing. And once he sang his emo/rock version of Hello I knew I’d never think about American Idol the same. I guess you could say “He had me at ‘Hello” but I’d like to maintain SOME semblance of dignity here.

But what really gets me? He’s so darn articulate. Every time I see him on a talk show I giggle to myself then sigh in recognition that I will never be that eloquent. I want to use my feminine wiles to trick him into a philosophical conversation that requires a delicate formulation of logic and necessitates explanations of complex ideas. Then I’ll lean back in my chaise lounge and watch him articulate. And yes, you can watch someone articulate. At least I can. I don’t know what your problem is.

Also in my fantasy he’s pacing back and forth in a black tee-shirt and intermittently flashing his crooked half-smile.

Some people would accuse me of rapidly jumping from obsession to obsession, claiming that I’ll be over him in another month. But only idiots with shiny new ‘stangs would actually believe something stupid like that. Unbeknown to most Shia’s likeness still lives on my door, Danny Wallace’s book still lives on my shelf, and Brand New's croonings still live on my ipod. Perhaps the initial intensity wears off a bit, but I never go back on something I truly love. (Good Charlotte I’m still rooting for you! Even if it’s just for old time’s sake.)

So, to sum up: David Cook, I am your Cookie Monster, and I will continue to steal from the Cookie jar, because I know this Cookie will never crumble . . . and various other double entendres Cookie puns.
I have retarded tingles for myself.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Getting Rooster-y

Something amazing happened to me today. I managed to inadvertently tap into the male ego for a brief moment. Much the same way Gibson learned valuable lessons about the female gender in What Women Want, I too learned how easy it is to be corrupted by the sense of entitlement men seem to experience all the time. Like that one Big-Dirty who believed he had a shot with you even though you’re clearly out of his league? Yeah, I can see how he could disillusion himself into thinking that despite being TOTALLY off base. You know who I’m talking to.

So this weekend I bought a pair of jeans that were more expensive than I’d normally go for. But they were ridiculously on sale and there was only one pair left that someone had returned and so, in my shopping equivalent of a blood-frenzy, I snatched them up and hauled them home.

Only today did I discover the best thing about these jeans. Behind the zipper of the fly there is stitched a small and unobtrusive lightning bolt.

I wish I could describe the rush this discovery gave me. It was like I was instantly teleported the psyche of a man who was greatly endowed and asserted this confidence in his everyday life. Like I could suddenly get away with anything, and more importantly anyONE, I wanted to.

I immediately stormed into my office and confronted my boss about the bug report I’d been working on all morning, waving it wildly in his face and proclaiming that his inability to grasp simple explanations should not constitute hours of redundant work on my part.

Ok, so I didn’t actually do that. Partially because everyone I work with is fairly pleasant and quite competent. But I could feel myself just waiting for someone to cross me because then I could jab my finger in their shoulder and say, “Oh yeah? Cross THIS.”

Finding this hidden treasure was like free admission to the world of ego centric men who think they’re the best thing since sliced bread despite all evidence to the contrary.

As if my mind rationalized all outlandish actions because I have a hidden force to fall back on that would shock and amaze all if they only knew! The fools! They have no idea of the power I wield!

And then my female rational slowly returned as I realized that this secret weapon of mine was nothing more than a lightning bolt on my crotch.

I guess the Justice League will have to wait a little longer for my services.

Oh, and this also means that I WILL NOT be showing up uninvited on David Cook’s doorstep with any unfounded confidence. But I will still show up on his doorstep. Just without the confidence part. You never know.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Low Point--Whatever

I debated about posting this as another low-point because it comes from another sf/f author and if I haven't already driven you away with my sf/f geekiness I'm sure you're just waiting for an excuse. But then I read this post about a stupid headline and it managed to distract me for a full minute and a half and successfully brought me out of low-point territory.

This is a blog by John Scalzi and while he talks a lot about the sf/f genre and writing world, he also throws in lots of other amusing tidbits which should allow all you closet SciFi fans enough of an excuse to read guiltlessly. Also he seems a bit enamored with his cats, which also makes it a good fit for anyone who likes to divert all their unrequited love on the feline race.

And if you like sf/f AND you have seven cats . . . well.

Also, his actual novels/short stories are really good too. Even if you DON'T like sf/f OR live in MEOWtropolis.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Low Point--Writing Excuses

It seems that everyday at work I hit a point, a point where I find myself in the darkest reaches of my mind, one might call it the "depths of despair." Usually this hits around 3pm. A time when I'm burned out from classifying documents within nested zip files, and just the thought of writing up an issue report makes me left lung collapse. Typically, I've already cruised all my normal blogs, I've either gotten sick of my music, or left my ipod at home, and I'm so bloated-full of Diet Coke that Joe Banks could use me as a life raft instead of his luggage. (Anyone? Here's a hint.) PLUS it's Thursday, which is already my low-point in the week which makes today's low-point uber-low-pointy.

Tragically I can't just leave work, and they don't like it when I sing along to SA-LINE DEE-YON in my cubicle. Instead I'm forced to find some OTHER way to amuse myself. Today it was this:

This is a series of podcasts called Writing Excuses from three writers in Utah Valley about some of the pitfalls of writing fiction. One of them was a professor of mine, Brandon, whom I've mentioned before but all three have great advice to give. Each podcast is about 15 minutes long because, as they say, "you're busy, and we're not that smart." Well I don't know about how smart they are, but I am SERIOUSLY not that busy. I've already listened to about 5 episodes today because luckily I can take in writerly wisdom while formatting npg files. Oh the life of a software-tester. So glamorous. (Sarah? If you will? *Glamorous Glamorous* Thank you.)

I know this won't appeal too much to non-writer-types out there, which is pretty much all three of you, but if you've even been curious about the classification continuum of villains you might find it interesting. And if not then just read this list (which they also link on the podcast site) of things to consider when you're an evil overlord because it's pretty much the best thing ever.

Also, these pictures have nothing to do with this topic, they're just to distract you from the mundane nature of this post. "Well excuuuuuuse me Princess!" This, m'friends, is a low-point.