Friday, February 29, 2008

Bazooka Beak

It’s… a whole lot of pink weirdness.

I’ve mentioned on this blog before my fascination with Birdo, a character in the Super Mario games that I’ve known since the days when my wee hands could hardly work a video game controller. Fortunately, Birdo was the first boss of the first level of Super Mario Bros. 2, which meant that even a novice could gaze upon her egg-spitting proboscis in wonder. My tendency to prefer the “underdog girl” made me interested in this weirdo dinosaur, who, it turns out, wasn’t initially even designed for the Mario games, was initially conceived of as a cross-dressing male, was eventually retconned into full-on female gender, and now speaks in latter-day games with unintelligible quacks. (In Birdo’s defense, you try making words with a mouth permanently warped into an “o.”) I even once compared Birdo to my friend Sanam. I can’t remember the criteria for the comparison, exactly, but I think Birdo beat Sanam, for some reason. (It makes sense, in retrospect.)

Today, I realized that I’m not the only one with a thing for Birdo and that some people’s obsession with this… thing… runs a lot closer to crazy than it does with me. Case in point: A post this morning on Kotaku titled “Scary Fetish Birdo Makes Me Cry.”

Congratulations, fetish weirdos. You discovered the only thing creepier than being sexually attracted to Birdo: making a means to act upon that attraction.

[ Source: 4chan via Ectoplasmosis via GayGamer via Kotaku ]

Our Eldest SUV

Today I mis-read the model of a vehicle as a Chevrolet SONORA as a Chevrolet SONDRA. They look remarkably similar when depicted in block font and viewed from a distance.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spencer Meets Knockers

Philosophical deconstruction of the knock-knock joke? Or me irritating Spencer by pretending I don't know how knock-knock jokes work? YOU DECIDE.
me: knock knock

Spencer: who it be?

me: knockers

Spencer: knockers...who...?

me: hi. it's me, knockers

Spencer: oh. hi knockers

me: can i borrow your belt sander? i need to do some belt sandin' for mrs. knockers

Spencer: um. sure. here it is

me: what?! you're crazy man. you can't give me a belt sander over google chat

Spencer: oh. um. right. okay. well. i can...drop it off. with mrs. knockers

me: could you? and sorry i threw up on you. just now

Spencer: um. yeah it's okay

me: why are you dressed like that?

Spencer: that’s a...good...question, knockers.

me: did you know i'd be dressed exactly the same? have you been spying on me?

Spencer: maybe, knockers.

me: what's that?

Spencer: that’s my new kitten

me: why is it shaped like a glass coffee table?

Spencer: new trendy kitten

me: you wouldn't be trying to put one over on old knockers, would you?

Spencer: aw, knockers. you know I would never do that

me: what about that time you stole all that money from me because you tricked me into giving you my credit card numbers and social security card?

Spencer: well, that was identity theft, that wasn't a joke

me: OH MY GOD. is that a KNIFE?!

Spencer: no, knockers. that's the kitten again

me: oh, i see now

Spencer: yes.

me: could you stop punching me in the teeth?

Spencer: that's the wind

me: if you say so. well, knockers is gonna go get to gettin' to, by which i mean writing my novel

Spencer: you have fun now. knockers.

me: and don't send over the belt sander. the truth is that i never needed one. i just wanted a reason to say hello

Spencer: and you’re welcome to come over and say hello anytime, knockers

[ then there was a lull ]

me: knock knock

[ Spencer did not respond ]

Soon You'll Be a Figment

I've been trying to find a good way to post this image for months, but no good occasion has yet arisen. Thus, you're looking at it now, for utterly no reason.


And you can't un-look at it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sunday Morning Math

A find: Garfield Minus Garfield accurately notes that Garfield approaches actual comedy — albeit a strange brand — when Jim Davis omits the titular cat and focuses instead on Jon Arbuckle's fragile mental state. Case in point:

[ clicken ]

A sad, sad man.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Billionaires Smile Like Weapons

Allegedly, a list of the songs that U.S. troops use to torture detainees has been leaked online. Among them: the Meow Mix jingle, Prince's "Raspberry Beret," David Gray's "Babylon," and something by Matchbox 20. Conspicuously missing: "Wild Honey Pie" (which would drive anyone to madness with just a few plays), anything from the Disney songbook library, and the Vengaboys hit "We Like to Party." A final note: I wonder how Rage Against the Machine would feel about their inclusion on the list.

[ Source: Mother Jones via LVHRD via Franzese]

And in case you've forgotten:

That's Not My Name

Relatively hard-to-fine British rock pop that works like a gender-flipped White Stripes: "That's Not My Name," by The Ting Tings.

A good recording:

And some video of the female Ting, Katie White, in action:

[ Source: + busblog ]

Anthropomorphic Pottymouth

Some time back, I went nostalgic and fired up Animal Crossing, a old Nintendo title involving ditch-digging and weed-pulling that nonetheless held my attention for a good few months. (There's also a guitar-playing dog involved. It's hard to explain.) In the game, the player is a villager living in a commune of talking, clothes-wearing animals, all of whom demand the player's attention at least once a day. They get upset if the player neglect to speak to them at least once every twenty-four hours. (They're kind of bitches that way.) Needless to say, the residents of my humble burg were quite upset that I hadn't bothered to say hi in thirty-six months.


Also, I'd forgotten until then that certain more impressionable villagers occasionally ask the player to teach them new words. Case in point: Rosie, a blue cat whom I'd apparently taught to say "cocktease," a phrase that she has apparently been using rather recklessly these past two-and-a-half years.

It's true what the people promoting this game said: It is just like more enjoyable version of real life.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Omnisexual Venn Diagram

It's a narrow cross-section.

[ From Spencer... the Flickr song chart pool ]

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sword Fights and Grammatical Errors

Oh One-Eye, so valiantly dueling with Vaguely Effeminate But Still Totally Imposing. And then maybe Lady Armor shows up. Or maybe Guy Who Fights With a Big Metal Ball For Some Reason.


I have previously spoken of my affinity for a bygone game called Samurai Shodown. Feudal Japan. Swords. People yelling things in other languages. There’s a dog in it somewhere. That’s all that my eleven-year-old brain needed to be happy. That all my brain needs to be happy now, come to think of it. The thing about this game is that it spells “showdown” without the “w.” To this day, whenever I have to write or type the word myself, I have to stop and remember whether it actually uses the “w” or not.

Go easy on me. I'm sure there's a good number of kids my age who legitimately thought combat was spelled with a "k" for similar reasons.

I never understood why “Shodown” ever came to be an acceptable substitute for “shodown” until recently. Apparently, those translating the game from Japanese to English found the original title, Samurai Spirits, uninspired and wanted to change it. However, doing so with the substitution of the spelling of “showdown” cause a problem in that it would have added an extra letter space to the design of the opening title screen. Thus, the “w” was dropped.

Yesterday, I was passing downtime with unbridled video game nostalgia and stumbled upon another game — this one unfamiliar — and realized that it also pitted residents of feudal Japan against each other in deadly combat and also did so under a title with an obvious grammatical error. Can I introduce Ninja Master’s?

Yes, the grocer's apostrophe existed even in feudal Japan.

So what, then, should that possessive noun be attached to? Ninja Master’s Fight? Ninja Master’s Putting Challenge? Ninja Master’s Make-Out Party for Other Ninja Masters, Especially Ones That Are Boys, Especially If They're Also on the Soccer Team?

Without having played the game, I can't really answer that.

Too Many Dinty Moores

I had planned to add another entry to the list of people unfortunate enough to qualify for membership in the “ha ha — this person’s name” club when Spencer explained his annoyance with the name of Dinty Moore, an author he had to read in his creative nonfiction class. Clearly, anyone who shares a name with a canned Hormel product has quite a burden to bear. However, the relationship is a bit more involved than I originally thought.

Ultimately, the name Dinty Moore originated in the long-running comic strip Bringing Up Father, known more commonly as Maggie and Jiggs. Creator George McManus included in the strip a tavern-owner character named Dinty Moore in honor of his real-life friend Peter Moore, who then apparently latched onto McManus’s coattails by legally changing his first name to “Dinty” and establishing a chain of restaurants called Dinty Moore’s sometime in the 1920s. (This real-life restaurateur Dinty Moore, however, did not become into the essayist Dinty Moore, however.) Later, in the 30s, Minneapolis meat retailer C.F. Witt and Sons registered the Dinty Moore name for a canned, cured meat product. (No clue how they pulled this off, seeing as how at least the main Dinty Moore restaurant in midtown Manhattan stayed operational until the 1970s and one would imagine that two different brands of Dinty Moore edibles would constitute some sort of trademark violation.) In 1935, Hormel Foods — current-day king of prefabricated meat-like substances and purveyor of Spam — bought the Dinty Moore name from Witt and slapped it on its own beef stew, a product which a 2001 New York Times article on the subject notes as having a reputation for an abnormally long shelf life. (The blog Memoirs of a Gouda describes it as “vile hatred in food form.”) Hormel continues to market the product today and even invented a cartoon lumberjack character — named, of course, Dinty Moore — to help in this effort, though he was eventually abandoned.

Now, to get back to the writer: He, quite simply, seems to have been named for the original comic strip character, according to his Wikipedia profile, though the fact that he wasn’t born until 1955 makes him the youngest of all the above Dinty Moores. I would think that his parents probably had awareness that the name was used in reference to people and things other than the original cartoon tavern owner. And what kind of a namesake is that, anyway? And for this latter Dinty Moore to have embarked upon a writing career, I feel, has probably resulted in more than a few comparisons between his prose style and the long-lives-but-ultimately-indigestible stew that shares his name.

In an entry at book blog Critical Mass, Dinty the writer himself comments on the strangeness of his name, saying that the original comic strip Dinty “was a wiry, mustachioed, cigar-smoking scoundrel in spats and a bowler hat who pulled the main character — Jiggs — away from his wife and daughter and off to visit the taverns. Dinty Moore represented every Irish-American stereotype of the time: buckets of beer, fatty corned beef, back room card games, coarse language, and unreliability.” Moore, whose further musings on names was apparently published in a summer 2007 issue of The Southern Review, also notes that though he’s been known as “Dinty” to all family and friends his entire life, his Christian name is “William,” because a priest refused to baptize him otherwise. He even attempted to write as Bill Moore for a period, but ultimately reverted back to “Dinty.”

Thus, while I’m halfway tempted to categorize this post under “Ha Ha — This Person’s Name Is Needlessly Complicated And, Ultimately, Fairly Silly,” I think I’ll just stick with the usual post tag. Although given that I’ve now listed six different Dinty Moores — the comic character, the restaurateur, the restaurant itself, the canned beef, the Hormel cartoon lumberjack, and the writer who initially inspired this post — I’m no longer sure whose name, exactly, I’m mocking. At the very least, the writer is the number one Google hit for a search of his name, so he at least has that.

And, you know, a writing career.

EDIT: There’s also apparently and F.W. “Dinty” Moore” Trophy awarded to the top goaltender in the Ontario Hockey League. And another Dinty Moore from Ventura served in the Navy during World War II.

Pop culture names, previously:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Emphysemic Waterfowl

After having drunk bottles and bottles of the stuff over so many years, I finally noticed the little joke printed on the side of the Smoking Loon corks.


And, yes, those are the legs of Daphne Blake prancing in the background. And, no, I'm not yet in the habit giving cameos to the legs of ladies of television past, previous evidence to the contrary.

[ Bonus: what a loon sounds like, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure ]

Nine Months of Trouble

I swear, this is the last time I'll mention Juno. Until I think of something else about it that bothers me, if ever so slightly. Anyway, the trailer for Teenage Mother, a 1967 cautionary tale film, recently popped up on Jezebel as an example of an anti-Juno.

Confusion: The opening newscast seems to set the scene in Petaluma, but that wouldn't seem to jive with the repeated pronunciations of "Teenage Mutha!"

[ Source: Feminist Law Professors via YouTube via Jezebel via Dina ]

Friday, February 22, 2008

Oh No, Little Town

For tonight, a bit of pop culture trivia that cannot seem to be true but nonetheless is: Jenny Jones — as in Jenny Jones of the Jenny Jones Show fame — was born in Bethlehem — as in Bethlehem, Palestine, birth place of Jesus.

Not only must I point out the innate indignity in not being the most famous person born in Bethlehem no matter what a person born there were to do with his or her life, but I must also note the mental paradox of a person like Jenny Jones being associated with a location held sacred to a mainstream religion.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mister Squarehead

A doodle, this time transposed from my notebook into Photoshop. Considering that I spent all of ten minutes on this, I think it turned out rather well.

The moral: Effort doesn't pay off.

Fifteen Years of Boredom

Of course, when Erin saw this Onion video about some poor soul who wastes his life studying anteaters, she thought of me.

On the subject of anteaters — and in total disregard to the tone of the video — how cool is this blog? What could be more worth your time than a blog that posts images of this caliber?




Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So Sweet and Clear

For all the horror that the Juno soundtrack was wrought upon the world, it’s also done an ounce of good. The bad comes first. Yes, we should hate this particular shiny disc for tricking a bunch of tweens into thinking that cool kids listen to cutesy Kimya Dawson songs. Not only is that crass, it’s mean-spirited.

But like I said, this album doesn’t constitute a total net loss for humanity. Its inclusion of the Sonic Youth cover of “Superstar” prompted me to seek out the version by The Carpenters, which I feel like I haven’t heard since early childhood, when riding in my mother’s car meant listening to the mellow 70s hits of KBAY, 100.3 FM. Literally, our every trip to the grocery store was scored with the likes of “Muskrat Love,” “Midnight at the Oasis,” or the Hill Street Blues theme. Eventually, KBAY switched formats and these songs faded from my memory. I don’t think my mom even listens to them anymore. She should, though, because ones like “Superstar” help me appreciate the value of pop music and even make me expect more from what’s popular today.

In short, I feel like The Carpenters should never have recorded their take on “Superstar” at the point in their career that they did. They’d already scored hits with “Close to You” and “For All We Know,” cementing their status as full-on music stars, and “Superstar” has the unique quality of being written from the point of view of the fan — not the singer. That a person whose musical prowess had allowed them even a modicum of fame could still identify with the common man is notable in itself. The fact that they could and would sing a song about it demands attention.

Granted, The Carpenters didn’t write “Superstar.” Leon Russel and Bonnie Bramlett did, two years before The Carpenters got their genetically similar mitts on it. However, having heard the first recorded version of the song — titled in full as “Groupie (Superstar)” and sung by Bonnie herself, in a deliberate, soulful manner — I have to say that The Carpenters’ take is superior. Whereas Bonnie’s voice booms, Karen’s voice quivers with sadness — understatedly, though. Beyond that, the more complex instrumentation that The Carpenters employ in their version helps to contrast against Karen’s voice. I hate to go all English major on this, but I’d venture to say that the very structure of The Carpenters’ “Superstar” helps to underscore the meaning of the song, with Karen’s plaintive voice losing the fight against an orchestra-like assortment of instruments much in the way that the speaker eventually allows the gap between rock musician and rock fan to keep them permanently separated. (Realization at the end of the first verse: “But you’re not really here / It’s just the radio.”)

I have another reason why I prefer The Carpenters’ version to any others I’ve heard, though I didn’t noticed it until today. According to the Wikipedia article on the song, one slight alteration was made to the song’s second verse — the line “And I can hardly wait / To sleep with you again” was subbed with “And I can hardly wait / To be with you again.” According to Wikipedia, the switch helped to whitewash the song of any direct sexual connotation that could have sullied the brother-sister pair’s squeaky clean image. I, however, feel like the amended lyrics also help to create a sense of the relationship between a musician and a fan who may have just attended a concert, rather than a groupie who scored a one-night stand with their idol. (Mental image: a girl, eyes closed, completely lost in the music and seemingly unaware of the fact that she’s in a packed venue, versus some road skank, waking up on a tour bus floor with cigarette butts and condoms in her hair.) Rather than specifying the relationship, the switch leaves it open to interpretation and accessible to the great many people who have heard a song played and felt the singer speak directly to them. (Sadly, the lot of us will not bang a rock star.)

Whatever might have been running through the head of either Carpenter sibling regarding the song’s meaning, their “Superstar” makes me like them more and reminds me how sad it is that Karen died. Considering The Carpenters’ popularity at the time, they would have had every reason not to give a damn about the people who listened to their music. (Musicians have acted like pricks with far less right to do so.) Instead, they made a good song better, more important. “Superstar” implies an awareness of how deeply a fan’s feelings can run. It’s empathetic. It’s respectful. It’s downright human.

I like this song. I like listening to it, but I also like that “Superstar” — a played-out, mainstream success that, in certain contexts, could be considered trite and sappy — can still move me to the point where I’d feel comfortable expressing admiration for it. It’s everything a pop song should be. (Hell, it even contains the lyric “Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby.”) And yet it manages to elevate itself beyond typical pop fodder. That must be it. Why else should my heart break a little each time I hear those opening harp strings?

Mr. Descriptive Word

Mr. Men updated for 2008:

I can't remember now if this riff on the beloved children's book series over at this blog — which, by the way, also includes Mr. Anal Retentive, Mr. Freaking Out, Mr. Homeless, Mr. Happy Drunk and Mr. Crystal Meth — was what sent me on a small research mission looking into these characters, which I first became acquainted with through their inclusion in Arby's Meals when I was a kid. (For the Arby's-phobic, Arby's Meals are the equivalent of McDonald's Happy Meals, a fact that negates most people's presumption that the Arby's equivalent of anything is that thing with barf on it.) It could have also been this news article detailing alleged anger-by-French at the introduction of Mr. Rude onto the apparently current British children's cartoon based of the original Roger Hargreaves books. Mr. Rude, of course, spoke with a French accent, despite that none of his fellow Mr. Men speak with anything other than a British accent. (Had there been a Mr. Boorish, I suppose he would speak like an American.) I ended up on the Wikipedia page for the Mr. Men books and their sister series, the Little Miss books and was blown away by how many there were.

Some of the more notable Mr. Men and Little Misses:
And the only book I can remember having is Mr. Rush, who I liked, because he was purple.

A Vacation to Indo-Europe, Wherever That Is

I've expressed my delight with the work being done over at Bradshaw of the Future, the blog that can make something as abstract as Indo-European seem meaningful. In a previous post, I even noted a few especially good posts, one of which etymologically linked the Hindu goddess Parvati with the Scandinavian-derived "fjord," a term for glacially carved, water-filled valleys. (It's a match-up I still find boggling, these two.) I even commented on the Bradshaw post itself, noting that I liked seeing verbal linkages between languages that come from two areas that exist on opposite ends of the chunk of earth that inherited Indo-European word parts.

It has since happened again: The February 7 post linked Hindu bigwig Shiva and the Gaelic dancing term "céilidh." That may even be closer to opposite ends of the landsmass.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Simpsons Intro: What You Don’t See

Technically, in every episode of The Simpsons that begins with the un-abbreviated intro, Milhouse appears. So too does Nelson, Dr. Hibbert, and even Maude Flanders, who overcomes the considerable handicap of being dead.

I speak of a brief section of the intro that occurs directly between Marge and Maggie’s simultaneous horn-honking and the arrival at Casa de Simpson that segues into the weekly couch gag. The camera pans away from Marge’s car and, if only for a few seconds, over a Springfield panorama, featuring various characters. It’s pretty hard to see the whole of it with the naked eye, and it wasn’t until the arrival of the Simpsons DVDs a few years back that I could actually see who was there by scanning frame-by-frame. For whatever reason, I was suddenly motivated last week by the urge to reproduce this scene in full in a way other people could see by Photoshopping the frames together. The result is below.


It may be even more fulfilling to see the full-sized version.

I like how this image, jagged edges though it might have, presents a cool Simpsons landscape that most people haven’t ever gotten a chance to appreciate, despite “seeing” it every time they watch the show. I’m also struck by the strangeness of who actually appears: It’s a mishmash of familiar regulars, anonymous background characters, characters who once were prominent on the show but are no longer, and finally characters that I don’t think ever appeared on the show, to my knowledge.

Here they are, in order of appearance, starting at the left at moving right, more or less.
  • Some anonymous girl
  • Some yokel-looking boy
  • Milhouse, throwing a baseball, despite his established suckiness at sports
  • A blonde, pig-tailed girl who is Bart’s class but has no name
  • The two look-a-like thugs who initially henched for Nelson in “Bart the General” but have more or less vanished from the show. (Wikipedia says their names are Weasel #1 and Weasel #2.)
  • Nelson himself
  • Richard, Bart’s weirdly gray-haired friend, who’s since become less prominent
  • Lewis, Bart’s black friend, who was never all that popular
  • Martin Prince
  • Unless I’m mistaken, Mr. and Mrs. Winfield up in the chairs. They’re the Simpsons neighbors who move to get away from Homer in “New Kid on the Block.” (In their absence, Ruth Powers moves in. In looking them up, I found this list of bygone characters from the show’s first season depicts the Winfields, in case you’re interested.) However, the woman is also a dead-ringer for Miss Feesh — the church organist and a character whose existence doesn’t seem to be well-documented online.
  • Jimbo Jones
  • Jimbo’s flunky Kearny, whose last name Wikipedia states is “Zzyzwicz.”
  • Patty and Selma
  • Kent Brockman
  • Sherri and Terri, looking more like the twins from The Shining than ever
  • Above the twins, from left to right: Herman the military antique store owner, Grandpa, and Jasper, the last of whom apparently has the last name “Beardley”
  • In front of the Springfield Retirement Castle: four old people I can’t identify. The first looks a little like Jerry Seinfeld.
  • Below, some anonymous Channel 6 cameraman
  • Officers Eddie and Lou
  • Dr. Marvin Monroe, who was dead and then wasn’t
  • The chronically nauseated Wendell Borton, hanging out of the bus window, likely puking
  • Dr. Julius Hibbert
  • Some blonde girl I’ve never seen before
  • A girl with green glasses who is in Bart’s class but has never been named.
  • Otto Mann
  • Some creepy, happy-looking girl, who I’ve never seen before
  • An equally unfamiliar kid who looks seriously messed-up
  • And then finally the Flanderses, only minus Rod
See? A weird bunch. But it’s here now. I suppose that I’m not the first to do this, but I couldn’t find any evidence of previous efforts online. (Admittedly, it’s not the easiest thing to Google.) However, I don’t see anything like it up on the Wikipedia page for the Simpsons opening sequence, which, not surprisingly, exists. So as far as my limited research has told me, this is a first.


And Nothing Else Behaves Like Me

Because I haven't done this in a while, and because I've lately heard this song enough times, in enough different places, and from enough different sources to make it seem worth noting.
I am a scientist
I seek to understand me
All of my impurities and evils yet unknown
I am a journalist
I write to you to show you
I am an incurable
And nothing else behaves like me

And I know whats right
But I'm losing sight
Of the clues for which I search and choose
To abuse
To just unlock my mind
Yeah, and just unlock my mind

I am a pharmacist
Prescriptions I will fill you
Potions, pills and medicines
To ease your painful lives
I am a lost soul
I shoot myself with rock & roll
The hole I dig is bottomless
But nothing else can set me free

And I know whats right
But I'm losing sight
Of the clues for which I search and choose
To abuse
To just unlock my mind
Yeah, and just unlock my mind

I am a scientist
I seek to understand me
I am an incurable and nothing else behaves like me

Everything is right
Everything works out right
Everything fades from sight
Because thats alright with me

And again for the reading averse.

Now does that count for two more instances or just one?


For whatever reason, the below video reminds me of the make-up brand Smashbox. It also makes my non-existant ladyparts hurt.

The clip — from Fighter Maker, an entry in a DIY video game series that also includes RPG Maker and Shooter Maker — depicts only one of the myriad possibilities that an enterprising game designer could arrive at with the given software. For example, you could also program male fighters to punch each other in the privates. Or female fighters could punch male fighters in the junk.

The possibilities are endless.

[ Source: Destructoid post "VAGINA PUNCH!!!!" ]

Friday, February 15, 2008

F-Word, C-Word That

She came, she saw, she pointed out the audience's various foibles.

F-Word This, C-Word That

First off, thanks must be extended to the following: Susan the African-American lady, Edgar the gay guy, Eva the Asian lady, Frank the white guy, and One-Eye, the man with one eye. Had any of them not attended Lisa Lampanelli’s performance and not sat in the front rows, Lampanelli might have focused her wrath on the rest of us. In fact, after Lampanelli prowled the aisles like some kind of Italian lioness looking for prey, this reviewer could not have been happier to see her return to the stage, where the bright lights would spare those of us in back from being torn to pieces like so many hapless gazelles and zebras.

Anyone familiar with Lampanelli’s Grammy-nominated stand-up album Dirty Girl or her appearances on Comedy Central’s Friars Club roasts should understand that her better bits won’t be reprinted here, mostly because rendering them in print couldn’t re-create the full impact of her delivery. On paper, it’s old-fashioned bigotry. Coming directly from the gateway to Hell that is Lampanelli’s mouth, however, the jokes generate laughs, even from people who would otherwise be embarrassed or offended. Her act, if the Santa Barbara performance is any indication, consists of her mocking the people who paid to see her and managing not to get decked in the process. But how? With her mane of pretty blonde hair and her pink dress seemingly contradicting her every filthy comment, Lampanelli resembles a happy homemaker gone bad, and perhaps that fact allows her to get away with using derogatory names for every conceivable type of minority. After all, what other white comedian could have gotten dozens of Hispanic audience members at the Arlington not only to willingly raise their hands in identification of themselves as “spics” but also to laugh while doing it?

Those who attended likely knew what they were in for and laughed until they hurt. One hopes that anyone who wouldn’t have enjoyed Lampanelli’s one-woman war on political correctness had the good sense to see Dana Carvey at the Lobero instead.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Who Wants a Pickle?

This video helped relieve some of the monumental work- and errand-related stress this February 14 has dumped upon me. Comedian Chris Dotson doing a dead-on impersonation of David Lynch, in all his Lynchy glory.

[ Source: Popsucker ]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Blatantly Nab Need

I made a good one.

blatantly nab need

Other menu sign anagram adventures:


As if photos like this didn't make my job fun enough...

... I also get to write fun headlines like "Clean Air Bus Spews Black Smoke." The irony is almost stifling. No, wait. That's the acrid smell of a burning bus.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hung Like a Clubtailed Dragonfly

New Feb. 14-appropriate work by Mr. Franzese, of whom we don't hear enough nowadays.

It's a relationship valet ticket. I've recommended that one for the reverse side be made as well. Happy February, everybody!

[ Source: Dave Is Drawing, says Flickr ]

Far as a Rental Car Can Go

Tonight I realized that I’ve made a pattern of not doing what I think would be funny. Perhaps this results from my brain’s desire to protect my body from physical harm. However, just positing that something would be “so funny” and actually making that allegedly funny thing happen are two very different matters. Presented below: three recent instances of me failing to create the funny.

One: Last Saturday night, Spencer and I attended CAF for its annual Valentine’s fundraiser, an event which doubled as a going away party for longtime employee Kami. Given that CAF tends to draw from a rather well-to-do crowd, the idea came that a fun way to pass time would be to approach apparently single women and begin the following line of dialogue: “Hello there. I couldn’t help but notice you from across the room. If you could, I’d like you to settle a bet between my friend and me.” At this point, I’d motion to Spencer across the gallery. “See, my friend over there told me you were a cougar, but I say you’re way too old to be a cougar.” The game would have to be played immediately in front of valuable art, of course, because the target’s natural reaction would be to strike me. But even if a fancypants modern art piece were to be crushed beneath the fist of some former debutante, I still say the game would be fun, at least in theory, and I can’t decide whether it would work better on the 40-something set — that is, actual cougars — or women my age, who would surely have an even better reaction to being called cougars.

Two: You may remember the girl who lives below me. Yes, the one with the guitar and the mental library of 90s hits. Perhaps because the nights are warmer now and the entire complex has its windows open, we can hear even more of what she does around her apartment. Most annoyingly, her cell phone chirps with a distinct “new text message” noise about every ten minutes. Just about an hour ago, however, that gave way to an exclamation of “Oh my god!” that we would have heard even if the windows were shut — the kind of line that’s either followed with the giggling glee of someone who has just run into her old sorority sister or the dull thud of a body hitting the floor. My patience having grown thin, I decided that the obvious way to shut this girl up and have fun while doing it would be to hurry down the stairs and knock on her door. When she answers, I would ask if everything was okay. She’d say yes, of course. I’d apologize for overreacting and explain that I was just worried for her welfare… given what happened to the poor girl who lived in the unit previously. “I shouldn’t — I shouldn’t talk about it,” I’d say, before telling her that if anything — anything — happens, that she shouldn’t hesitate to call for help again. Then, at least, she’d be quiet for at least the one night.

Three: Spencer is taking a creative nonfiction class that I took four years ago. Same professor, even. (The class ultimately prompted to write a strange short story that I titled “Godspeed, Captain Pinchy.”) When I took it, so did six or seven of my friends. Franzese, Dina, the Other Drew, Palmy, a few people from the Nexus, and my old roommate Moe. Because a large portion of the class involved writing short stories — ones based on events that actually happened — and then reading them to the class, my friends and I had a running joke about how funny it would be to read a dramatic, nail-biter of a tale in the front of the whole class… and then ended it with the narrator — the same person who had written the piece — dying tragically. I can’t imagine anything better than standing before a group of twenty other young writers and speaking the final words of that week’s project: “In pain, I placed my hands on my abdomen, only to find a strange warm feeling there despite how cold the wind blew that night. I had already stumbled to the ground by the time I realized it was blood. Strange how in the moonlight, even blood glimmers with the beauty of some mountain stream. I suppose that made it better — seeing the beauty in that blood and having it be the last thing I’d see — for soon I’d crumpled the ground. The pale moonlight slowly faded from my sight. I closed my eyes one last time. I thought of home. And I died.” Then, I’d put down the paper and confidently stride back to my seat, past my classmate’s expressions of confusion and rage as they realized that I’d completely failed to grasp the concept of the class.

Being a shit as performance art — now that would funny.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Countryside Is Overgrown

Two things I saw at Catholic today but did not buy.

mustache cup

This horrifying mug. Because there's nothing I'd like least than a beverage container with weird Bart Simpson eyes and facial hair. The strange date of 1887 is clearly fraudulent and makes me hate it all the more.

mystery sign

This mirrored sign, which made me feel like I was having a stroke until Spencer pointed out that it's Dutch. I Googled the phrase — "Ooit'n normall mens ontmoet? En... beviel't?" — and found exactly one hit: Slightly Off Kilter, a blog kept by a woman who considers it one of her personal mottos. According to her, the phrase translates into English as "Ever met a normal person? So... did you like it?" I, however, prefer to think that it means "Taste metal in mouth... Can't feel right side of body."

Worse Than a Murder-Death-Kill

Some quick thoughts, both of movies and the names of characters in movies.

One: I saw the awful Sylvester Stallone movie Demolition Man a good three years before I first had to read Aldous Huxley's A Brave New World. However, TNT or SciFi or one of the other cable channels that plays bad movies ran Demolition Man recently and I realized that Sandra Bullock's character, Lenina Huxley, is doubly named in honor of Brave New World: The female lead's first name plus the author's last. That's two times more creativity than I would have expected.

Two: Though it has occurred to me before, Angelina Jolie's recent appearance here in Santa Barbara has reminded me of the strange fact that a character in Scream 3 is named partially in honor of her and partially in honor of the woman I'd imagine to be her sworn enemy. Parker Posey's character — the Gale Weathers clone who, much like Courtney Cox, formerly starred on a Must See TV sitcom — is named Jennifer Jolie. The last name's a dead giveaway for Angelina. The first name seems arguable until you consider the Must See TV connection and the fact that Cox spends a lot of time on screen with Jennifer Jolie. Thus, she amounts to Jennifer Anniston plus Angelina Jolie, a combo designed years before one would allegedly steal Brad Pitt from the other. For the record, Angelina Jolie gets double recognition in Scream 3: Emily Mortimer's character gets saddled with the name Angelina Tyler, the latter part of which I'd guess is a nod to Liv Tyler, who was a much bigger deal when the film came out than she is today.

A final sidenote: It might seem plausible that Deon Richmond's character in Scream 3, Tyson Fox, is named for Tyson Beckford and Jamie Foxx, especially given that Richmond is black and the latter two are both notable black celebrities. However, I'm not so sure that either was famous enough when Scream 3 came out in 2000 — much less when the film was first written — that they would have warranted such recognition. Rather, I can't help but wonder if Tyson Fox is actually a masculinization of Tyra Banks, who was famous enough in 2000, and Vivica Fox, who had appeared in the previous Kevin Williamson project, Teaching Mrs. Tingle.

This has been Drew, overthinking movies that are better off being forgotten.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Leaden, Lenten

What you should have considered giving up for Lent:
  • leather
  • those medications you suspect you don’t actually need
  • your dog
  • that attitude of yours
  • your natural musk
  • using any bathroom that I might have occasion to use
  • walking to emphasize the zoop zoop noise of your corduroy pants
  • taking my pens
  • always talking about how you're allergic to soy
  • talking about me with everyone else the way I know you totally do even though I already explained how what happened in the kitchen was a misunderstanding

Rooftops of Brixton

My last day in London, back in 2003, I had to kill a few hours in Brixton while I waited for my Uncle Andy to pick me up. (As near as I can remember, this day occurred somewhere between this post and this post.) Lacking the time, money or energy to do anything else, a snapped a few photos of the buildings near where I had been staying. I didn't actually see the photos until more than two years later. This preceded my age of digital photography, you see, and the roll of film I had taken them on sat in the camera, untouched, until I finally finished it off with the Halloween photo of Kami and me that I posted a few days ago. The photos, Ive always thought, make Brixton look a little nicer than it actually was. Something about these photos seems sad to me, however, and it isn't the fact that not-so-lovingly refer to the neighborhood they depict as "the beaten prostitute district."





What do you think? Do these make you feel anything in particular?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Beneath His Potato Nose

Could Mario still be Mario with another man's mustache?

[ A doozy: Atomike-Studio via FFFFOUND! via 4 Color Rebellion via Kotaku ]

Today's Moment of Fuzzy Animal Sentimentality

And it's as true today as when Jesus first said it thirty years ago.

but i'm still going to kill you

Monday, February 04, 2008

When You Unravel, the Secret Will Travel

How much do I love Bradshaw of the Future, a blog that entertains solely by offering two or three seemingly unrelated words and then explaining how they're etymologically connected? The answer: a lot. And I jump on each day's new post faster than you can say "Indo-European," which, admittedly, takes a moment or two to say.

Some choice surprise etymological ties of recent weeks:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Posing No Threat Whatsoever

Easily the best of's most baffling toys.

Credit for this one goes to HammillToe. Also, I had to double check that the "Cracked" in was the very magazine that I disregarded in my youth as a lame Mad magazine wannabe. Who would have thought: me, acknowledging Cracked, years later.

Fall of the House of Worsted-Tex

Ignore the lovely legs of Mary Tyler Moore striding by in the background and pay attention to the name of the menswear provider, which draped the likes of Gavin MacLeod and Ted Knight in spite of the notable handicap of having the most terrible brand name ever.

I don't know if it sounds more like a drunk Texan or just the most objectionable clothes in Texas.

[ From Spencer, who's blogging anew, don't you know ]