Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Suzy Snowflake

This post concerns search terms at the end of the year. These are the terms that most often led to this blog in 2008, in order:
  1. moesko island
  2. back of the cereal box
  3. gail simmons married (or some other Gail Simmons-related term, including to gail simmons wedding, gail simmons bio, gail simmons sexy, gail simmons breasts, gail simmons bitch, gail simmons scar, etc.)
  4. asian jailbait
  5. teen horniness is not a crime lyrics
  6. rita leeds
  7. puppy goo goo
  8. do you like luxury (or some variation thereof, including will ferrell do you like luxury or will ferrell luxury, snl do you like luxury)
  9. shining streaming
  10. qterplix
  11. composition how to write am or pm in a sentence
  12. splash woman
  13. grandma you're being careless
  14. drew mackie
  15. french onomatopoeia
  16. shirley the loon
  17. mountbatten pink
  18. snake wig
  19. juno morgan freeman (or some variation thereof, including morgan freeman bone collector, morgan freeman bone collecting, etc.)
  20. sabor de soledad
  21. i saw a boat and i liked it
  22. rory finch
  23. maya angelou fruit loops
  24. super mario compact disco
  25. happy text messages
  26. little shirley beans
  27. systemic hypoplasia
  28. bianca steeplechase
  29. charlotte braun
  30. fossilized ejaculate

Throw Out the La-La by the Busload

The past month in Facebook status updates, only because I feel this month has so far been particularly notable.
Drew wishes Abby Elliot well… Drew posits this: Ain’t nothing cuter than a fat country baby eating peaches off a hardwood floor… Drew went chasing waterfalls, despite warnings otherwise… Drew spends all day, everyday, talking to actors who are playing him in various movies and plays… Drew DVRs things now. Drew DVRs things he has no intention of watching… Drew would like to clarify that he’s wearing a Kurt Cobain sweater, not a Freddy Krueger sweater. There’s been some confusion… Drew loves — LOVES — the fact that his glass of water stays cold. His ice doesn’t even melt! ISN’T THAT GREAT?!… Drew supposes that he should feel appreciative that someone gave his apartment complex dumpster a fresh coat of paint… Drew rode in a limo today. By himself. From Staples to his house…. Drew saw a newt, which we apparently have in California… Drew just got a comment on his blog from the creator of Ren & Stimpy… Drew is watching the version of Babes in Toyland with Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves. — and it could not have less to do with Christmas… Drew is holly, jolly, roly, poly, others.

A Lion's Science Fiction Wings

The most read of this year’s Back of the Cereal Box posts:
  1. “The Simpsons Intro: What You Don’t See”
  2. “Juno’s Subtle Racist Slip-Up”
  3. “The Tiny Earth”
  4. “Massive Luxury Overdose”
  5. “The Secrets of the Starbucks Mermaid”
  6. “Turtle Rock Ain’t Got Nothing on This”
  7. “Stand Up for Anteater Rights”
  8. “Shells, But No Bananas: The Women of Mario Kart
  9. “Mega Surprise”
  10. “I Saw a Boat, And I Liked It”
  11. “All About Homer’s Mother”
  12. “He’s No Angel Either”
  13. “Say Hi to Fred”
  14. “Coldplay, Hotly Contested”
  15. “The Easter Egg of Easter Eggs”
  16. “Custody of Your Life”
  17. “Lebanese Samurai Mermaid Island”
  18. “On Trumpet Solos and Greek Mythology”
  19. “Some Folk’ll Never Eat a Skunk”
  20. “Ghost Teresa”

Monday, December 29, 2008

Diana, Diana, Diana

And, finally, the top five most-played songs, for this guy specifically.

5. “Ex-Guru,” by The Fiery Furnaces



4. “Falling Over, by The Whitsundays

3. “Trains to Brazil,” by Guillemots



2. “Lake Michigan,
by Rogue Wave

1. “Is It True?” by Miss Ludella Black

Just like being trapped in my earwax, really. (See the previous five and five and five here and here and here.)

Like Milk to You, Half-Swedish and Half-Asian

Did you ever wonder what posts have gotten the most comments here? Because I have. But now I know. And by the end of this post, you will too.

Provided that I am telling the truth.
  1. “Dark Socks Beneath By Goody Two Shoes” (21)
  2. “Naming Conventions in Arrested Development,” (18)
  3. “Shells But No Bananas: The Women of Mario Kart (17)
  4. “The Simpsons Intro: What You Don’t See” (14)
  5. “Soy Cansado, Pero No Estoy Cansado”; “What the Fuck Is Wrong With Gail Simmons?”; “The Loco-Motion: The Greast Swindel in Pop Music History”; “Don’t Cock This One Up” (12 each)
  6. “Box Full of Puppies”; “Humoresque of a Little Dog”; “Deadly Youth” (11 each)
  7. “Who Killed Bill?” (10)
  8. “Plucking Daisies” (9)
  9. “Candlabras in a Wonderbra”; “‘Dickie,’ for Short?”; “Fresh Out of the Toaster”; “Well-Envoweled”; “Juno’s Subtle Racist Slip-Up”; “Your Beat Is Nice”; “Method Acting in Reverse”; “Belated Christmas Present From Sanam”; “Resourceful Ninja Secretary”; “Sea Salt and Smoked Tea”; “The Eternal Harvest”; “Why Roy G. Biv Ruined Everything”; “My Dichotic Soul” (8 each)
Lesson learned: I have a surprisingly lot of posts that have so far elicited eight comments — like, way more than I have had posts with seven or six comments. Odd.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Strong Spirit from Naniwa

More of the music that mattered to me in these past twelve months.

10. “Two Ways,” by The 1900s



9. “He’s Out There,” by Miss Ludella Black

8. “Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo,” by Jans Lekman



7. “Quiet House,” by Fleet Foxes



6. “Born on a Train,” by The Magnetic Fields



Look for the top five tomorrow.

I've Kissed Mermaids, Rode the El Nino

And here’s stuff what I wrote, what was about the electronic games, and what I thought you might could like.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Big Big Love

More of what I listened to most this year — the fifteenth to the eleventh.

15. “Rat Is Dead (Rage),” by CCS



14. “Rich Girls,” by The Virgins



13. “Ex-Con,” by Smog



12. “Disconnect the Dots,” by Of Montreal



11. “Chinese Translation,” by M. Ward



Numbers ten through six tomorrow.

A Scrabble Game Will Not Be Played

Some more points of interest for the past year, these being of a image-related nature.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Your Ninety-Seventh Tear

I decided to post my most-played songs of 2008. The twentieth trough sixteenth appear below. The rest will appear as this week winds down. Videos when available.

20. “Imitation of the Sky,” by Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears

19. “Fernando,” by Jenny Lewis



18. “Fantasy,” by Les Paul and Mary Ford

17. “My Only Offer,” by Mates of State



16. “I’m a Lady,” by Santogold



A point of clarification: These are new to me in 2008, but not necessarily new to the world. I calls them like I sees them.

Pyongyang Is in the Room

Some verbally-oriented points of interest for this soon-to-be-over year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Jews Go the Movies Day!

And to celebrate the occasion, one of the better TV Funhouse clips SNL has ever aired.



And Merry Christmas, too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Henrietta and Merna

Or perhaps this sufficiently makes up for my previous lack of Christmas cheer?



(Arbroath, via Boing Boing)

You Cannot Escape Christmas

My previous posts drew some criticism for a decidedly un-Chistmaslike focus on death, so I decided instead to put up something a little more seasonally appropriate.


Better?

EDIT: In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably note that the above demonic Christmas tree is the second draft of something I drew on the office whiteboard during downtime at work. Co-worker Ben was kind enough to photograph the first draft and post it on Facebook.


Somehow, I think I like the more hurriedly drawn whiteboard version better, possibly because scribble helps mask an ill-planned drawing. Which is why I draw that way.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Haunted Ballroom

Was I the only one who didn’t know that Glen Miller — as in Glen “Beloved by Old People” Miller — disappeared during World War II, never to be found? He was on his way to entertain American troops in France. Is that why old people love him so much? Should that put a chill down my spine every time I hear “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” which, thankfully, is almost never?

Locked / Unlocked

I stood just feet away from the door and watched the knob turn and knew that I would die, violently and very soon.

dark_door

Whoever or whatever was standing outside and about to open the door (Could I have forgotten to lock it?) would burst in and kill me in the spot — stab me, crush me, shoot me, devour me, incinerate me, or tear off my arm and shove it down my throat, causing me to choke to death on something that I would never have guessed that I’d choke to death on. Who saw this coming! I would say as I choked on my own arm. Or maybe it wouldn’t be a bloodthirsty drug addict or a seven-foot lobster monster or a fledgling cult member with everything to prove. Maybe instead it would just be death — personified and skeletal and robed — and he’d simply SuperPoke me and make everything turn white.

This all flashed by in about a second. The knob turned, but only slightly. I had locked it. But would the lock hold? The parade of grisly endings whizzed by again, competing for that second of my attention only with my realization that I know nothing about locks. How do locks work? Is it a latch? Aren’t pins involved? Could it be a tiny man with Popeye arms manually preventing two gears from cogging together because I asked him to do so when I turned the switch clockwise? (I know its not the last of these, but I imagine I would have arrived at this conclusion as a young child had I ever bothered to wonder about locks before tonight.) Could it really be that only a latch or pins or a tiny man is preventing my inside — which I perceive to be safe — from joining with the outside — which, at this hour, I perceive to be unsafe and populated with drug-addicted lobster cultists?

I had only gone to front door because I heard what sounded like someone trying to get in. That my hunch turned out to be correct was little for me, who would be dying violently and very soon. The glare of the courtyard lights put the shadow of something on the front door’s blinds and I wondered if that something could see me through them.

I won’t know. The shadow and its owner left.

Can I presume it was all a mistake? Not that it didn’t happen. It did happen. But possibly it only happened because someone confused my front door with their front door. A drunk, it could have been. Or the girl one door over, who dances at clubs professionally and might have been tired from her full shift of go-going. But then again I suppose I would have heard her eventually open her correct door.

I’ve never been so interested in locks as I am now.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Mesopotamian Bull-Man Cometh

New dream job, as of today: designing military insignias. Someone has to do it, apparently, as evidenced by the below image, which appears on the shoulders of American soldiers currently fighting in Iraq.


A bit busy, is it not?

I can’t help but to look upon it and wonder if its designer attempted to pack a little too much symbolism into it. As always, Wikipedia comes to the rescue and explains it a bit.
On a black shield with a 1/8 inch (.32 cm) gold border 2 ½ inches (6.35 cm) in width and 3 inches (7.62 cm) in height overall two crossed silver scimitars points down with scarlet grips, superimposed in base by a wreath of palm in proper colors joined at the bottom with three loops of brown twine, overall a gold human-head winged bull of Mesopotamia, all below a gold seven pointed star… The star represents a vision of unity for the seven peoples of Iraq (Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Turkoman, Assyrian, Yazidi, Armenian) leading to a more secure, prosperous and free future for Iraqis. The crossed scimitars of the insignia recall the partnership between Multinational Forces and Iraqi Security Forces essential to bringing a democratic way of life to Iraq. The palm fronds symbolize peace and prosperity for a new nation. The colossal statue of the Mesopotamian human-headed winged bull recalls the rich heritage of Iraq and underscores strength and protection for the people of Iraq… The shoulder sleeve insignia was approved on January 7, 2005. The insignia was amended to change the symbolism on February 25, 2005.
Amazing, right? And don’t you feel just a bit stupid for not realizing that the hoofed, winged sphinx represents Iraq rich history? You probably though it foretold the coming the actual human-headed bull that needs to appear on Earth before this “military operation” will finally be done with.

I can’t help but imagine the pitch for this symbol: The designer, standing before a room elementary school book report-style, explaining what the seven-point star does and why it’s important. He apparently sold it, but I wonder if the proposal would have been accepted all the more enthusiastically if the eighth-inch gold border were described as “a racing stripe — you know, for speed.” At least whoever made this knew something about Iraq. At least the final product is something more culturally appropriate than, say, Abraham Lincoln riding a screaming eagle that’s raining red, white and blue lasers down upon people in turbans — all imposed over a crossed pair of Slim Jims in place of where the scimitars are in the real insignia.

But even then the racing stripe would do a lot to help.

Previous claims as to my alleged visual literacy:

Because "Notta" Is a Dumb Name, Apparently

Another entry in the ever-growing series “Ha Ha — This Person’s Name.”


I don’t blame the parents. I blame literally everybody they knew around the time little Destinee was born, as one of them should have pointed out what happens when the first name gets paired with this particular last name.

(Also: Can’t remember who sent me this. Was it you? If you did, thanks. It changed my life.)

And since this will likely be the last “Ha Ha — This Person’s Name” this year, we might as well take a look back at the people we laughed at.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

9021-Omen

Kat — who happens to be the little sister of the “A” in “D.A.C.K.” — now runs a blog for Blinkx, a website that allows people to search for TV online. It’s neat. The other day, Kat pointed out AnnaLynn McCord, an actress on the new Beverly Hills, 90210 — which, logic be damned, I still say should be called Beverly Hills, 90211, thank you very much Saved by the Bellused to model bridal wear.

See? Look at her, all like in her fancy princess wedding jewelry.


Kat astutely pointed out, however, that this particular photo makes her look just a little bit like another once-stunning beauty: Laura Palmer.


Let’s hope AnnaLynn meets a better end.

Aubrey Molehill

What follows is quite possibly the final collection of unusual terms leading to this blogs. For this year at least.

Unless I get bored or the internet community at large gets especially creative or stupid.
  1. Doy. Her name is Rosalina. Beat the Shell Cup on the intermediate engine class.
  2. Right here — if you count Dina and Batalla as Cereal Box characters.
  3. Oh god, if only.
  4. I seriously hope so.
  5. Number one hit! And good on the Lady Argus for getting some attention after all these years.
  6. Number one hit! On British Google specifically. And no, I do not know why.
  7. And it wasn't until years later that I realized that the name “national scar” is actually National Scar, as if it were some scandalous tabloid.
  8. According to what I reported in this post, it comes from “crane berry” — though I couldn’t tell you what cranes might have to do with cranberries or any other berries, for that matter.
  9. Number one hit!
  10. First off, I want to note that Google kindly suggests that this search term actually should be “rape culture and roses in ‘baby it’s cold outside.’” Secondly, this is as good a time as any to point you all back towards my post on the subject of rape culture and roofies — not roses — in the song.
  11. The line comes from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But it is probably referencing something else. I am not sure what.
  12. I feel like this person was probably looking for the word lava, which is different than magma. As for the true opposite of magma, I would suggest asking Chuck Klosterman.
  13. Aside from ladybird? Good luck. Though I once joked that ucalegon would work.
  14. First, I seriously hope that this is a reference to a line from a movie or something. Because if some internet-savvy person honestly is not sure of the difference between muffins and puffins, then there is no hope for humanity. Second, the short answer is this: Though you can eat both, only one of them tastes better if it is full of blueberries.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm So Hungry I Could Eat at Arby's

I’m often not one to explain my post titles, but this one comes from The Simpsons — specifically either Sherri or Terri, though I’m not sure which — and stands out for me as one of the best lines ever written for the show.



As the result of a conversation tonight with George, I realized that the much-maligned fast food chain Arby’s would seem to have derived its name from its most famous product: roast beef sandwiches. Roast beef. “R” and “B.” Thus, “Arby’s.” Makes sense, right?

Almost.

Says the Wikipedia page on the subject: The name does, in fact, come from the initials “R” and “B,” but these letters technically stands for “Raffel Brothers” — that is, Forrest and Leroy Raffel, who started the chain in 1964. That the restaurant would come to be associated with road beef is entirely a coincidence. Arby’s did, however, attempt to profit off the harmonious accident with the 1980s advertising slogan “Roast beef, yes sir,” though that doesn’t strike me as a particularly good campaign.

Nonetheless, I’m a bit surprised that I never before realized that the name sounded like two letters, much less two letters that happen to stand for the name of its signature product. This is my “pasta puttanesca” realization all over again.

Speaking of Postcards

As long as I’m on the subject of TV-promoting postcards, ABC has released promotional posters for the new season of Lost in the style of vintage postcards. Most of them miss the mark by a bit, but I thought that these two at least were cool.





See the rest as sl-lost.com.

Soylent Coleslaw

In an apparent effort to best the Metropolis-themed postcard packed in with the last Futurama movie, the newest, Bender’s Game, included four. They’re pretty cool, as far as free little tchotchkes go. But I’ll never mail them and would probably eventually just lose them, so I figured I’d scan and post them here.






Bonus points for the Morbo-a-the-Mars Attacks aliens one.

Also: Am I the only person who had never heard of Futurama’s Number 9 Man?

Killing Me Slosh-ily

One of my coworkers gets the official publication for the National Italian-American Foundation. He leaves them in the men’s bathroom, I presume because he wants us all to delight in photos of various Italian-descended celebrities wearing nice clothes and wrapping their arms around other Italian-descended celebrities wearing nice clothes. Actually, I think this may his only motivation for receiving this publication at work. It’s kind of like how I put copies of Allure and Bust in there, just to confuse people.

Anyway, once recent issue of the NIAF magazine featured this below image as part of its cover.


Doesn’t this seem just a little strange?

Not so much that a group wants to salute a cocktail, I guess — preppies have been saluting the gin and tonic for years, so why shouldn’t that right be extended to specific ethnic groups? No, I’m more disturbed by the fact that a notable person would perform at the event dedicated to the thing that ruined her life. (Well, that and pills.) Liza Minnelli performing at a salute to the martini is a little like — what? — Robert Downey Jr. performing at a salute heroin? Pamela Anderson performing at a salute to hepatitis? Mary Tyler Moore performing at a salute to diabetes?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Princess Is in Another Season

Because it’s what you do after having paid tribute via baked goods to some bit of nostalgia, Lauren recently posted photos of a Super Mario Bros. re-creation on Facebook. My question: “Why on earth would you make Mario and Luigi to look African-American?”


The answer, which I should have guessed given the season: They’re not African-American. They’re gingerbread. I should have known.

I must remember, however that this lesson does not apply to real life.

Also, Lauren, if you are reading this and are planning future pastry-based ventures into the land of retrogaming, Super Marzipan Bros. would make for a great post title.

In Short, You Missed Out

Provided to Back of the Cereal Box by Mr. Prance Closer himself, proof that you missed out on the holiday event to end holiday events.

free_beagle_petting_wine

I mean, provided the dogs didn’t get stepped on, I’d imagine they enjoyed hours of wine-motivated attention. And the occasional spill, too.

A question: What the hell are the beagles doing on Tuesdays that they’re so damn busy?

Do the Smoke Detector

They call them links because they’re your links to more interesting parts of the web than my stupid blog.
And because it represents the most appealing Chloe Sevigny has ever been, here is the video for Beck’s “Gamma Ray.” Skip past the intro from Natasha Damnit, if you must, and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Remarkble, Notable, Distiguished, and Other Unflattering Descriptors

Along the lines of two other curiously named Santa Barbara businesses — I mean, of course, Artistic Nails and Unique Tan — here is a new example of an establishment forming its name by sticking an adjective onto the noun that is the product it delivers without enough consideration that the pairing might not be especially positive.


Artistic Nails and Unique Tan are worse, I’ll admit, in the sense that artistic would be a word one might describe a botched creative effort and, similarly, unique doesn’t necessarily imply “good.” Personally, I’m too busy pondering the implications of an invisible taxi to bother calling it. After all, how I would I know when it arrived? And wouldn’t said taxi be in constant danger of being hit by all the visible traffic?

And that’s to say nothing of Taxi Invisible’s choice to put the word off in bold. Apparently they’ve had some confusion about how the discount works?

Bronze State at Best

My dear fellow Californians who have reason to read this blog: Have any of you ever heard our state song? It’s not “California, Here I Come.” It’s something far worse. In fact, it’s likely one of the worst songs I’ve ever head reason to read the lyrics to —something befitting a far suckier state than California.

Read the lyrics to “I Love You, California,” by the illustrious F.B. Silverwood:
I love you, California; you’re the greatest state of all.
I love you in the winter, summer, spring and in the fall.
I love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore.
I love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore.
Chorus:
Where the snow crowned Golden Sierras
Keep their watch o’er the valleys bloom,
It is there I would be in our land by the sea,
Every breeze bearing rich perfume.
It is here nature gives of her rarest. It is Home Sweet Home to me,
And I know when I die I shall breathe my last sigh
For my sunny California.
I love your red-wood forests - love your fields of yellow grain.
I love your summer breezes and I love your winter rain.
I love you, land of flowers; land of honey, fruit and wine.
I love you, California; you have won this heart of mine.
{ Chorus }
I love your old gray Missions, love your vineyards stretching far.
I love you, California, with your Golden Gate ajar.
I love your purple sun-sets, love your skies of azure blue.
I love you, California; I just can’t help loving you.
{ Chorus }
I love you, Catalina; you are very dear to me.
I love you, Tamalpais, and I love Yosemite.
I love you, Land of Sunshine; half your beauties are untold.
I loved you in my childhood, and I’ll love you when I’m old.
Seriously, what the hell?

I’d post a YouTube clip, but I couldn’t find one online, likely because no one has bothered to sing “California, I Love You” since video technology was invented. I mean, the theme to The O.C. would be better than this crap.

This is by far the worst thing that’s happened to California ever.

Forty-Eight Women Named Wanda

For your edification and according Google image search.



Not sure why I thought I should do this, exactly, but I feel it merits mentioning that a surprising majority of Wandas were found on religious-affiliated websites. The runner-up: real estate-affiliated websites.