Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Two Lexicons for Eating Chicken

Only a little poorer and a little sunburnt, I'm back from Vegas. It happened exactly like you'd think it would, the whole Viva Nex Vegas: thirty-five drunk college students stumbling around flashing, colorful things. Next time, though, we should bring a shepherd's crook to help with crowd management.

I realize that Vegas excels in providing generic but pleasant experiences. I had fun, but not a single thing happened to our group all weekend that wouldn't have happened to anybody else who did the Vegas thing. Same slots, same blackjack tables, same buffets. In fact, even the hotels are, if it's possible, exquisitely generic. The Paris hotel, for example, is exactly what you'd expect: all the kitschiest, broadest elements of Paris condensed into casino decor. Likewise with the Venetian or New York, New York or any of the rest.

Alas, I need to do all the work I didn't do this weekend, so in addition to being my Viva Nex Vegas update this post must also function as "closed until further notice" sign for the Cereal Box. Thus:

CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!

Don't worry. I'm up to nothing interesting this week anyway.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Baby Swan

Given the word's meaning, I honestly believe that "cygnet" sounds far too technical.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Green Clouds

When I woke up this morning, I looked at the window first. The corners of sky I could see behind the big tree looked overcast, and for some reason I immediately thought of London — that summer two years ago, when it felt hot and sticky even when the clouds were out. I wish I could have been anywhere but here, but I most wanted to be in London again, awake and purposefully walking on those old streets.



This is the view from my window. For many of you, this would be the first time you've seen what the this view looks like, since I suddenly realize that I've had very few people over since I got back to Santa Barbara. You can barely see any sky in the picture, but take my word that it's cloudy today. The tree you see is an avocado tree. Presently, it's growing tiny fruit. About every twenty minutes, an aborted avocado fetus drops from the tree and bounces across the roof with a cheerful knocking noise. And every time I think it's somebody at the door. It's not. I don't get many visitors all the way downtown. But that damn avocado tree fools me every time.

I wish I was in London today, rather than being in Santa Barbara. I wish I wasn't in front of a computer again, writing for academics and hostile newspaper readers and online weirdos looking for some window into my personal life.

There, another one just fell.

They Call Me... Custard Yellow?

This decision being based on the judgment made by a certain artsy pair and their ballsy theories of clashing colors. This is now the only blog in the world with this template. But more importantly, what do you think?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dina Says I Don't Take Good Notes in Class

So do you agree with Dina?









In my defense, my grades are as good if not better than hers.

Thirteen and Fourteen

I finally got around to burning what I've been listening to onto Numbers 13 and 14 in the "What Drew's Been Listening To" series. Give me the word and a copy is in the mail. Or you could just, you know, download them yourself.
NUMBER THIRTEEN
  1. Erasure - "Who Needs Love Like That?"
  2. Beck - "Hell Yes"
  3. Felix da Housecat - "Ready to Wear"
  4. Weezer - "This Is Such a Pity"
  5. Kaiser Chiefs - "I Predict a Riot"
  6. Out Hud - "How Long"
  7. Kings of Leon - "King of the Radio"
  8. Gorillaz - "Feel Good, Inc."
  9. Pinback - "Fortress"
  10. Magnetic Fields - "When My Boy Walks Down the Street"
  11. m83 - "Don't Save Us From the Flames"
  12. Moby - "Raining Again"
  13. Of Montreal - "Old People in the Cemetary"
  14. Ladytron - "The Way I Found You"
  15. Raveonettes - "Love in a Trashcan"
  16. Louis XIV - "God Killed the Queen"
  17. Dogs Die in Hot Cars - "I Love You 'Cause I Have To"
  18. Moving Units - "I Am"
  19. Blonde Redhead - "In Particular"
  20. Beck - "Bad Cartridge (E-Pro Game Boy remix)"
  21. Yaz - State Farm
NUMBER FOURTEEN
  1. White Strips - "Blue Orchid"
  2. Spoon - "I Turn My Camera On"
  3. Caesars - "It's Not the Fall That Hurts"
  4. Out Hud - "One Life to Leave"
  5. Garbage - "Why Do You Love Me?"
  6. Kaiser Chiefs - "Oh My God"
  7. Hot Hot Heat - "Ladies and Gentlemen"
  8. Doves - "Black and White Town"
  9. Scissor Sisters - "Get It Get It"
  10. Kills - "The Good Ones"
  11. Kings of Leon - "The Bucket"
  12. Halo Benders - "Big Rock Candy Mountain"
  13. Of Montreal - "Forecast Fascist Future"
  14. RJD2 - "Smoke and Mirrors"
  15. Queens of the Stone Age - "Little Sister"
  16. Louis XIV - "Me Me Me Me"
  17. Spoon - "They Never Got You"
  18. Rilo Kiley - "Portions for Foxes"
  19. Ditty Bops - "Ooh La La (What Brought the House Down)"
  20. Zwan - "Number of the Beast"
More than a few of them are drawn from Coachella, but I'd recommend Spoon's stuff most highly. Or, you know, all of it. Commence downloading.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Power Pills

Because reality is literally bending in on itself in an unprecedented effort to keep me from doing my homework, Jessica flew in from New York this weekend for a hi-there-hello in Santa Barbara. It was actually refreshing to see someone be so glad to wander around the usual State Street bars — kind of like seeing all the newly twenty-one Nexites toddle around to bars like big kids.

So Thursday night was a drunken blur involving Kristen, Kami and too many drinks, but Jessica met up with us at Elsie's Friday night and we had a real grown-up night out, without getting so drunk that we fall down or Bill's Bus or anything like that. We talked about New York and big city magazines and job applications and being small fish in big seas rather than contented, well-sunned fish swimming in Santa Barbara's oily waters. It was good for me, at least, to hear that and get some fire lit beneath my ass on getting my life in line.

The value of our convo, however, was slightly undercut for me because I was sitting next to the Pac-Man machine. No one was playing and the game was flashing those screens it does to keep itself occupied until someone puts a quarter in. (I'm told this is called "attract mode," in case you're ever on "Jeopardy" and the category is "terminology from obsolete video game systems.") Anyway, this Pac-Man machine's attract mode involved parading the different edible ghosts across the screen and listing their names, one-by-one.

I was surprised to learn that the ghost's names change depending on which version of Pac-Man you're playing. (This particular arcade cabinet had the entire Pac-Man series contained in one unit, you see.) The standard four-ghost setup for the original Pac-Man is Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. But those aren't the ghosts real names. Apparently, the game's designers decided to give them nicknames in addition to the real names, Shadow, Speedy, Bashful and Pokey. I have no idea why.

With Ms. Pac-Man, it's Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Sue, I'm guessing because they decided to better even out the gender ratio, what with the female lead and all. And in Pac-Man Jr., they switched Sue with Tim, though they still looked the same.

I find this fucking fascinating, and I'll never be able to explain way. So I totally probably missed something important Jessica said — a few words advising my career and putting me on the track to writing for magazine instead of writing for instruction manuals. All because I wanted to watch the ghosts.

ASSMAN

Oh, yeah, and while at Elsie's, we totally saw Carlos D, the bassist for Interpol, making good on his reputation of having a thing for the chubby ladies.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Idaho

Old roommate Meghan has been gone for about a week now. She's off on a two-month birdwatching expedition in the wilds of Idaho, near the Montana border. She called me from Missoula, during one of her weekly opportunities to use a phone and a computer, but I wasn't there to pick up. But I did get an email.
Dear Drew,

Idaho is not what I expected. The tent we're staying in is smaller than I expected, so I'll be sleeping outside, I'm told. It rains a lot here, so they gave me a tarp to keep dry. Unfortunately, the tarp is roughly the size of a washcloth, and I must decide between keeping my face dry or wrapping it around my waist in order mask my natural feminine smells, as my TA tells me that the timberwolves are "drawn to cooch."

Yes, timberwolves. They tell me that timberwolves got their name from their ability to chew through wood. There's been a lot of timberwolf attacks in the area lately, but my TA says that it's not because they're hungry. Instead, the apparently wily timberwolves are doing it "just to fuck around." I don't like that. Additionally, the presence of the wolves has driven the bears into a "frenzy" mode, so I'm told if I see any that I should act like a timberwolf and chew through the nearest tree trunk in a last-ditch effort to frighten the bear away.

Thanks so much for lending my your Game Boy and those books. They were really handy the first two nights, but then one of the other birdwatchers took them because she said I was "a baby" and that "babies don't get nice things." Then she pushed me. Her name is Joanie and I don't think she likes me. She pushes me a lot.

Honestly, though, those books and games wouldn't have been much good for me, because of my accident and all. I finally saw the bird we've been looking for, a Montana reticulated starling, and I was really excited, until it attacked me. The doctor said he'd never seen a bird's beak inserted so far into a person's head before. Joanie said I must have made it mad by getting too close to its nest. I'm okay, but I'm gonna have a soft spot where the bird poked me and when they pulled the bird out, they had to kill it, since it had tasted blood once and probably would want to again.

Worst of all, the accident punctured the part of my brain that allows me to read, so I can't do that anymore. I can write, but I'm not sure what I'm writing or if it even makes any sense. If it doesn't, please know why. Please pray for me. I hope I can send off this email before my brain's entire language center dissolves. Coco! Coco!

Meghan.

P.S. Coco!
Of course, the real email wasn't nearly as funny. But don't you like this one better?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Don't Think About the Dancing Midget

Woof. I'm not sure, but I think these two paragraphs are my thesis statement.
As if to underscore the dramatic shift in location from the rural American south to Washington D.C., the northern section of Jean Toomer’s Cane concludes with two segments that stand in stark contrast to the remainder of the novel. “Theater” and “Box Seat” — thematically twinned by musical performances, multiple stream-of-consciousness monologues and a focus on such “in-between” states as half-light and partial wakefulness — are made all-the-more conspicuous by their placement so close to each other. Both focus on a man and woman with failed romantic chemistry, both take place in a theater and both involve the characters’ seeming inability to engage themselves in the performances before them. Instead, John, Dorris, Dan and Muriel retreat into their minds, their scattershot ponderings forming the bulk of their sections.

Furthermore, the more bizarre aspects of “Theater” and “Box Seat” — notably Dorris’ sudden emotional breakdown following her dance and the blood-splattered midget’s serenade to Muriel — are reflected in the work of contemporary director David Lynch, whose films frequently feature characters who arrive at important conclusions after viewing musical performances. A comparison between Lynch’s work and the thematic ties binding “Theater” and “Box Seat” will reveal a wealth of common imagery and techniques, setting Lynch’s work after Toomer’s in the traditions of modernism and surrealism. These styles, while often weird and difficult, demand an active reader or viewer, suggesting that the performance most worthy of one’s attention is the analysis of the work — not the flashy stage show.
Editing to follow. At least I finally got to write my David Lynch paper.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

While Her Mouth Flaps Admirably to Him

Psychologists once used to gauge mental disability with a classification system that has since been abandoned. The system worked like this:
  • Those with an IQ range of 70-80 were considered "borderline deficient."
  • An IQ of 50-69 meant you were officially a "moron."
  • IQs between 20-49 qualified you as an "imbecile."
  • And the those below 20 were "idiots."
The only aspect of this outdated system that still survives today is the phrase "idiot savant."

And a "cretin," by the way, is a person suffering from "a congenital condition caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone during prenatal development and characterized in childhood by dwarfed stature, mental retardation, dystrophy of the bones, and a low basal metabolism." It's also known as congenital mysedema.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tough Love

White Ant Biddies

I felt unproductive today, so I got a haircut. It doesn't matter how little I get done now — at least I can say I got my hair cut.

Driving out of Isla Vista, I stopped at the Pardall Road crossing to let an old lady in a walker cross. She was slow, but not ridiculously so. I'd say it took her about a minute to make it across, from sidewalk to sidewalk. Though she wasn't much of a sprinter, she didn't look that old, really. She made eye contact with me to make sure I'd let her cross, which is something I wouldn't have expected from a person so old to have lost touch with reality. She was dressed nicely, too. Old lady nice, but nice nonetheless. Her shirt matched her pants and she had done her hair.

As I watched her cross, I couldn't help admire her a little. Not like that lame old age veneration that we're all expected to practice. No, I admired this lady simply for having not died. I started to think about it: I'm surprised anybody could be old, what with how easy it would be to die. I could have died twenty different ways just on the drive home. I didn't, but I could have.

It's not remarkable that I survived today, but when you look at life as a series of near misses it seems entirely plausibly that after thirty or so years, the finger of God won't miss and will instead smoosh your head, right where you stand.

Smoosh.

Even now, I'm looking around my bedroom and thinking of how easily I could off myself, if I so chose. I could just tear into my flat screen monitor and begin chewing on whatever cords I could find until I find one with enough juice to cook myself from the inside out. I could choke on my stapler. I could inhale a vitamin. I could chip the paint from my painting and give myself whatever poisoning your get from ultramarine blue. And that's just the stuff that I could do. There's a whole mess of devilry waiting to do us all in that we don't even have control over. Roving ocelot packs. Helicopter crashes. Gas fumes. You name it.

Old lady, I take my hat off my newly shorn head. Though slow today, you apparently have been nimble enough to stave off death and his many forms. And not only that, but you're still brave enough to stroll out into Isla Vista, where the young people ride their skateboards and their segways and their hoverscooters, for all you know.

Maybe not being smooshed by the finger of God won't be so bad after all. She seemed to be coping well.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Kappa Kappa Wong

Animated TV shows or movies in which Lauren Tom, best known as Ross' Rachel-enraging girlfriend Julie on "Friends," has supplied the voice for a female Asian character:
  • "Superman: The Animated Series" as Angela Chen
  • "King of the Hill" as Minh Souphanousinphone and her daughter, Kahn Jr.
  • "Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero" as Mariko
  • "Futurama" as Amy Wong and her mom, Ynez Wong
  • "Max Steel" as Laura Chen
  • "Teacher's Pet" as Younghee
  • "Batman Beyond" as Dana Tan
  • "The Zeta Project" as Agent Lee
  • "Codename: Kids Next Door" as Numbuh Three
  • "Clifford's Puppy Days" as Shun
  • "Kim Possible" as Yoshiko
  • "The Infinite Darcy" as Darcy Chang
  • "Mulan II" as Su
  • "Teen Titans" as Gizmo
I guess it goes without saying that all the live-action roles she's performed are Asian women also, but I just think it's strange that she's done this so often. I mean, it's not that she sounds particularly Asian. Any voice could theoretically come out of an Asian person's mouth. But they always go to Lauren Tom whenever they need a voice for an Asian girl. I mean, shit — it's not like Ming-Na is so busy.

That Lauren Tom — she gets around.

Masturbation Narration: The Truth About Donovan's "Mellow Yellow"

Because I’ve been getting a lot of traffic from people interested in the gay reading of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” but also because I’ve been listening to my Best of Donovan CD a lot, I’ve decided to write about what that song “Mellow Yellow” seems to be about.

I’d guess a lot of people don’t think too much about it, and that might be because some of the lyrics are hard to understand. People are mostly familiar with the opening verse and the chorus.
I'm just mad about Saffron
Saffron’s mad about me
I’m just mad about Saffron
She’s just mad about me

They call me Mellow Yellow (quite rightly)
They call me Mellow Yellow (quite rightly)
They call me Mellow Yellow
Clear as day, huh? I think it's especially hard because Saffron isn’t a common name in America — it’s a spice, and one people could easily be quite mad about, I suppose. But knowing that Donovan is Scottish, I think it's safer to assume that Saffron is a girl. Really, all we can get from this well-known set of lyrics is that Saffron and the narrator like each other a lot and that people refer to the speaker as “Mellow Yellow.” The song doesn't really get risque until the next few verses.
I’m just mad about Fourteen
Fourteen’s mad about me
I'm just mad about Fourteen
She's just mad about me
And then the chorus again.
Born high forever to fly
Wind velocity nil
Wanna high forever to fly
If you want your cup our fill
And the chorus.
Electrical banana
Is gonna be a sudden craze
Electrical banana
Is bound to be the very next phase
This is where it gets a bit sticky. I'm told an urban legend abounded in the sixties regarding smoking a dried, rolled-up banana peel as a means of getting high. Looking around online, I saw quite a few people assuming that’s what the remarks about “born high forever to fly” were about, but Donovan says the song is actually about a fourteen-year-old girl exploring her sexuality and getting to the point where she will soon start using a vibrator — a yellow model called “Mellow Yellow.” So the high isn’t a drug high, it's a sexual one. This makes the last verse make a lot more sense, what with that whole “electrical banana’ business.

I love that this is what the song is about, if for no other reason than this interpretation makes the narrator the vibrator — a talking fucking vibrator. And one in a song that’s been so commercial successful for the last forty-some years.

As for the other interpretation of the song, I think Arrested Development might have been referencing it in the episode where they mention the sixties folk hit, “Big Yellow Joint” — as in “Big yellow joint, big yellow joint / I’ll meet you at the big yellow joint.” So the whole smoking a dried, rolled-up banana peel might have more cultural presence that I would have expected.

The Hip Drip

As our girl on the street Erin tells us, the wonderful Dr. Amberson is leaving our school's Italian and French department. Damn. What a loss. Loyal readers might remember me describing Amberson as some hip, Irish Sarah Silverman. She stood out during a quarter when I had young, good-looking professors exclusively. She's the one who let my use the phrase "technicolor bloodbath" in a paper. She's also the one I sold the shit-eating movie to. (Honestly, I'm glad to be rid of it.) But when I went to her office to make this financial transaction — that's when I asked her what she'd be teaching next year and that's when I found out she'd be doing the same types of classes, only in Florida.

And now I feel like with the exception of Professor Waid and the writing professors, so many of the great young lecturers head out shortly after I have them. I don't know why. I guess UCSB isn't the primo place for a lot of academic types. Even they, I'd imagine, don't want to be trapped in a picture postcard forever. It's the brain drain, only with the with-it instead of the "only smart."

And in the tradition of winding up posts with some non-sequitur punchline, I thought I'd mention that I bought a box of fancy tea today. The box was purple. When I got it home, I realized I had purchased "popped rice and Japanese sencha, lightly covered with Matcha." I have no clue what this means, though I'm pretty sure it is tea, since it comes it tea bags. I made some. It tastes like liquid cereal.

Our Man in Durban

Dave Chappelle: eloquent? thoughtful? a pious Muslim? Time magazine is running the first interview with Chappelle since he left for South Africa. And no, it turns out — he's neither in an insane asylum nor on crack. Dave Coulier, you owe me five dollars.
[ link: On the Beach With Dave Chappelle ]

Friday, May 13, 2005

You'll Have Your Good Things and I'll Have Mine

Damn.

Just when I forget to look forward to things, I find out that David Lynch is working on a new movie. Titled "Inland Empire," the film stars Laura Dern and Justin Theroux, among others, and involves "a woman in trouble." Lynch, who will also be involved in the paper I'm writing for Prof. Waid's class, has been very tight-lipped about the project, so much so that he's been working on it for the past two years without anybody realizing it.

I'm stoked on the idea of seeing another Lynch film in a movie theater. "Mulholland Drive" was amazing. Seriously, it took years to get me to shut up about it. And, at that, it sent me into this Lynch phase that threatened to make me go crazy and eat up all my free time. "Twin Peaks." "Lost Highway." "Blue Velvet." "Wild at Heart." "Fire Walk With Me." "Eraserhead." The fucking weird-ass short films. Goddamn "Rabbits." And finally "The Elephant Man" and "The Straight Story" last year.

"Inland Empire" is so hush-hush that it doesn't even have a page at IMDb. But you can still read about at Dark Horizons.

Ice Tart

"Nova Scotia" is Latin for "New Scotland." Literally, it's "nova" plus the word "Scot" with a suffix.

"I Am Bean," As Well

Someone who speaks Spanish and English could conceivably read the phrase "soy sauce" as "I am sauce."

The End of Judy

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Judy Studious has officially left the building. And that makes me the last remaining member of Team Pasado House to still live in Santa Barbara County.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Seeds

In case you didn't see the comment attached to the pickle post, I thought I'd draw attention to it thisaway. I'm just a little astonished that this happened — that someone turned a post into art so quickly. Make of it what you will.


For the interested, there's even more zombie pickles.

Mario Loves Baseball

Oh Mario, what will they have you doing next?
[ link: Italian plumber weirdness ]

Zombie Cucumbers

Then, for no reason at all, I suddenly feel sorry for pickles. These vegetables — and I mean vegetables in the sense that a body pumped with chemicals for a funeral is a person — would envy cucumbers, I'd think. Pickles look like cucumbers: same shape and color and all that, but they're not cucumbers. They're more dead than cucumbers. They're like zombie cucumbers. So while cucumbers are crisp and healthy, pickles are salty and mushy. And though pickles have seeds, they're not viable. And even if those seeds were viable, they wouldn't produce baby pickles — they'd make baby cucumbers. So even then, the parent and the baby wouldn't even speak the same language: The parent would speak pickle, while the baby would naturally speak cucumber.

Oh, and please note the slightly updated blog design. Lime green is in. Dark, cucumber green is out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Don't Cock This One Up

In an effort to resist studying for my midterm tomorrow morning — and taking a cue from Vitamin Q — I composed a short list of human body parts that double as verbs.
  • head
  • face
  • eye
  • mouth
  • teeth (as in, "Babies cry when they are teething.")
  • lash
  • ear ("to form ears," in the corn sense)
  • chin
  • tongue
  • gum
  • nose
  • neck (synonym for "make out")
  • cheek (British for "speak rudely to," like how we use it with "being cheeky")
  • brain (a good one: "to kill by smashing the skull")
  • arm
  • shoulder
  • palm
  • finger (as in, "I fingered your girlfriend," but also in the sense of identifying a culprit)
  • thumb
  • hand
  • nail
  • knuckle (though, more usually as "knuckle down")
  • elbow
  • breast (according to Webster, a synonym for "contend")
  • rib
  • back
  • knee
  • leg ("to walk," according to Webster)
  • foot
  • toe
  • heel
  • butt
  • stomach
  • blister (does this count?)
  • throat (as in, "to sing in a throaty voice")
  • skin
  • hip (a synonym for "tell" or "inform")
  • heart (according to me, as in the recently fashionable expression "I heart New York" to mean "I love New York" or the film "I (Heart) Huckabees")
So what did I miss?

Monday, May 09, 2005

If You Can't Bite Your Tongue, I'll Bite It for You

Back in town, and in woeful need of cramming for my test tomorrow. Not reading doesn't paid off, so I guess I can check that hypothesis off as tested. I'll be a real person again starting tomorrow night, but until then, I'm a ghost — I'm library vapor. Oh, and while driving home I thought of a book title: Once I Knew Love... But Then Came the Death Squads. You know, because having the whole plot summed up in the title is funny.

Here's some more cassowaries for you. Welcome to the Aviary of Doom.







The cassowary, it seems, is the new anteater. (Which is weird, when I think about it, because I could have sworn that the anteater was the new Maya Rudolph.)

Big Zero

So staying up late nights in Hollister gives me access to late night Adult Swim shows I otherwise never watch. Take "Big O." I have never watched this show. As far as I know, it's the implausible, ridiculous type of anime show that gives a bad name to stuff like "Cowboy Bebop," which is good. I have, however, seen the opening credits to "Big O" several times.

The opening titles consist of the following:
  • Various colored backgrounds.
  • Spinning concentric orange circles.
  • A black limousine that drives across the screen several times.
  • A theme song that consists of the accented female singers barking the shows title — "Big O! Big O! Big O! Big O!" — followed by bass synth.
  • Robots, I think.
  • And a section where the four main characters are introduced. We see a picture of their face, plus their job. The jobs are as follows: Negotiator, Officer, Android, Butler.
This last bit is probably the part that I love most. I want to meet the guy who sees that and says, "Wow! This show apparently has everything I've ever wanted in a show. An android and a butler! And then two other guys!" All the while with the "Big O! Big O! Big O! Big O!" and then bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum. There may be other characters. Or it may be a four-person set-up, very Seinfeldian. I really have no idea. Just as I have no idea what the "o" in the title might stand for. I don't want to ever see this show. But if you're ever skipping through channels and you see that Cartoon Network is playing "Big O," I highly recommend that you watch the opening minute, just to appreciate its utter absurdity.

But don't watch any more than that. Because your brain would melt.

By the way, a better four-job set-up than Negotiator-Officer-Android-Butler, I think, would be Trombonist-Gourmand-Toddler-Crosswalk Guard. See? Brain melting.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

When Will We Share Precious Moments?

Drew's Netflix rentals, September 2004 to present. (Movies worth seeing provided with IMDB links.)

Mister and Missus Turkey

Spending the weekend at home for Mother's Day means living in the land of roving turkey gangs. While waiting for a particularly ornery male to cross the road — they do this more often than chickens, I've learned — I got to thinking: what the hell do you call a male turkey? Personally, I'd prefer to call them Mister Turkey. Scratch that — I'd prefer to call them Doctor Turkey or Admiral Gobbles or something like that. But not knowing the proper terminology, I decided to look online when I got home.

Most male birds are called "cocks," so I made the mistake of Googling the phrase "turkey cock." Although I was happy not to turn up a bunch of Turkish gay porn sites on the family computer, it took a little searching to find out that the actual terms for Mister Turkeys are "gobblers."

Gobblers?

I don't like it. This is one of those cases where the technical term sounds made-up. Like "gonads" or "quark" or that one diacritical mark that looks like a dot and is actually called "dot." Even more tragically, the other name for male turkeys is "tom turkeys." As in "tomcat." As in "Hey! Look at all those tom turkeys out there." So then do female turkeys have some ridiculous and fake-seeming name? No. They're just turkey hens. You know, like you'd assume they were if "turkey cock" were the name for Mister Turkey. I think I'll stick with cassowaries.

And, by the way, I decided not to spoil another holiday dinner by scaring the shit out of my parents.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

What Makes the Melon Ball Bounce?

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamatea (Turipukakapimaaungahoronuku). At 83 letters long, it's the second longest place name in the world. The name translates to "The brow of the hill where Tamatea (the man with the big knees who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains) who traveled all over the world played his noseflute for his lover." It's in New Zealand and I've been there. All this time I thought it was the longest place name in the world, but today I found that the full name for Bangkok is actually 167 letters long. ("It begins with "Krung Thep something something something" and ends with a "t.")

Fuck. My life is a lie.

(And if you can answer the question posed in this post's title, I'll buy you a drink.)

Never Smile at a Centipede

[ one ]
Using the word "hysterical" is sexist. The root for the word is hystera, meaning "womb." The Greeks thought that when women's bodies got the best of them, they became unreasonably emotional. Thus, "hysterical." The same root shows up in "hysterectomy." So when you tell someone they're being hysterical, you're basically saying their ovaries have gone nuts and hi-jacked their brains with womb juice.
[ two ]
Unbeknownst the writers at Disney, "Jiminy Cricket" is a Southern euphemism — a "minced oath" — for "Jesus Christ." The most blasphemous place on earth.
[ three ]
A lot of white female characters drown themselves in southern literature because this class was so limited in the American south. What with prostitutes, nannies and wet nurses, the ladies had no purpose. In my imagination, going to the beach in the nineteenth-century south would mean hopping over the scattered bodies of ladies wearing big flowy dresses. "Oh, look. It's Mrs. Jenkins. Someone should bury her in the sand already."Three things I've learned in Prof. Waid's southern lit class.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I Like Pudding and Pudding Likes Me

I started registered at LiveJournal. Apparently I don't spend enough time waist-deep in bloggery, so I decided to create an account with LiveJournal. Meet What's In My Eye?, the sham journal I had to create in order to make comments on people's LiveJournal blogs without being relegated to anonymous status. Don't expect much. Unless you're a LiveJournal user. Then expect comments. I also think I'll join lots of LiveJournal groups in hopes of tricking people into coming to this site. Ha.

(Oh, and lamely, the one entry that will ever be posted at What's In My Eye? already got a comment. Mock him, please.)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Because "Martina" Was Taken?

I let my mind wander and I ended up in Super Mario World, more or less. I was thinking about the more obscure characters to populate Mario games and I recalled one of the first few female characters to show up: Valentina. Most wouldn’t know her, and for good reason — this lady bad guy appeared in one game and never schemed again, most because a company other than Nintendo owns the rights to not just Valentina but all the characters created specifically for a 1996 Super Nintendo game called Super Mario RPG.

One-timer or not, Valentina is notable because she was one of the first few lady bad guys ever too rain in Mario’s parade and, for someone that had reason to interact with kid-friendly notables like the Super Mario Bros., she’s also a little racy.

Check her out.


Aside from the rather prominent chest and the odd, football-shaped Betty Boop head, Valentina is constantly clutching what would appear to be a cocktail — a martini, to be exact. In Japan, she is called “Margarita,” which seems like a misnomer but, in my book, further underscores her predilection for booze. In fact, I’d bet that the translators switched her name so the association wasn’t so obvious. Also, If I remember correctly, the eventual showdown that Mario had with her in the game was made all the more notable by the fact that whenever Mario struck her, her whole body shuddered and set her breasts to a noticeable quivering motion.

Very odd.

I’m surprised Nintendo let this fly in a Mario game, much less one that kids in America got to play. They’re normally a bit more prudish than that. Perhaps it was okay that Valentina was such a bad girl because she was, in fact, a bad girl — a villain. In any case, she’s also an anti-Princess Peach who perhaps never got her fair shake at long-time do-baddery.

As to why she’s wearing a dead parrot on her head, your guess is as a good as mine.