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.


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.


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.

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?


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.


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?

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.
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.