Thursday, December 25, 2014

"Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer": A Deconstruction

It's a Christmas classic. But upon listening to "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" with adult ears, I have some questions.

1. "She'd been drinking too much eggnog and we begged her not to go. But she forgot her medication, and she staggered out the door into the snow."

Oh, you begged her not to go? You bunch of noble knights. You live close enough to Grandma that she, an old woman, can walk it - and nobody walks her home? Who ARE you people? Not to mention the fact that there is a Grandpa is mentioned in the song. Why was he staying and letting his elderly wife walk home in the snow?

2. "Should we open up her gifts or send them back?"

There are two ways to interpret this, and I must say that I don't care for either of them. One, you could be debating between sending her gifts back to the people who sent them and opening them up anyway. What use do you people have for gifts Grandma would receive? Is one of you short a Yankee Candle or a child's handmade shawl? Second, you could be debating between opening up the gifts or sending them back to the store for the refund. Grandma's death + gifts = profit??

3. "Now the goose is on the table, and the pudding made of figs."

You callous bastards are going through with Christmas dinner? Grandma's still warm, and you're celebrating?? I must say, as horrific as that sounds, it's entirely in keeping with the behavior on display in the rest of this song. Even her husband is drinking beer and playing cards! It sounds like this woman may have stepped in front of the sleigh, desperately seeking sweet relief from another Christmas with this bunch of jerks.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families, and my wish for you is that your families are caring enough that you will receive an elegy more loving than Grandma did.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Way We Were

It's that time again. I find myself with a white page in front of me and lots of inchoate thoughts about what I want to write but not a lot of ideas about how to actually write them. I guess that's what makes some people writers and some people pipefitters, right?

I'm here again, one year removed from the last time, thanks to Scope at Scope-Tech. Last year he had the idea for bloggers who'd given up their blogs to come together on one day, Cyber Monday, and post something. It was wonderful, and I'm so glad he's doing it again. I got to read about some of my friends after so long, and it brought back many great memories about the daily interaction we used to have. There were some who were closer than others in that big group, but we really were friends.

And I guess that's what I want to write about. If you were my friend then, you're still my friend. We may not talk at all, we may only wish each other Happy Birthday on Facebook, we may only chat a bit while playing Words With Friends1. No matter. Last night when I was thinking about what to write, I read a lot of my blog. I read a lot of the comments. I laughed out loud a lot. I was moved a lot. Now, we have fun with this Cyber Monday thing, but we all know that it will never be like it was. But that's okay. The blog and the people that read it and the things we told each other will always be a part of me. I never really told anyone that during the Golden Age of Blogs. There were snarky comments, jokes upon jokes, and a bit2 of flirting. It was a lot of fun, but I think I treated it sometimes like a TV show that I talked back to instead of like a group of people. I guess it's hard in the moment to tell people what they mean to you, because it's hard to have that perspective. I'm a different person now. I'm in a wonderful relationship, and it's taught me a lot about how to treat other people.

So let me tell you now. In the spirit of the holiday, I'm thankful for the time we all shared. It meant a great deal to me. I think of you often, and when I do, I smile.


1. If you play, we should totally play
2. A lot

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Consumer Protection

Dear Prodigal Bloggers,

Like many of you, I was inspired to resurrect my comfortably hibernating blog by Scope of Scope-Tech and his Cyber Monday mass blogathon idea. Since the Golden Age of Blogging, this blog has been inactive for three and a half years (save for two one-off posts you can see below this one) before today's slapdash1 (and late) edition.

Quite a bit has changed for me in that time, and I currently find myself in Australia. Culturally, Australia is very much like the USA in many respects and quirkily dissimilar in some minor respects. For instance, a six-pack of average beer costs $20 here, which has caused a major reduction in both swearing at televised football games and my waistline.

One particularly jarring difference is that cigarette packs in Australia do not display the logo of the manufacturer. Instead, every brand very2 graphically displays photographs of the health problems that can befall smokers. The pictures are truly disturbing, which is why I will link them here instead of posting them directly so that you can choose to look or not.

That brings me (finally) to my post for today. I wondered, if cigarettes are required to warn you very graphically about the dangers of smoking, why should other dangerous products not be subject to the same requirements? In this spirit, my crude Photoshop skills and I bring you:

Horrific Consumer Protection Packaging
As always, click pictures to embiggen.

I'm not sure those baskets are big enough for this meal. In other news, I kind of want to go to McDonald's right now.

If any word ever screamed out for quotation marks, it is the "real" in Real Housewives.

This warning may prove ineffective if you are pursuing a Real Housewife or watch excessive3 amounts of MTV.

To be fair, even though gin tastes like a pine tree air freshener, this warning may actually increase my consumption.

1. Terrible
3. Any

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fun With Camera Phones: Variety Meats Edition

This is from today's lunch menu.  I don't imagine it's among their more popular menu items.

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Prediction? BANE.

I recently went out to see The Dark Knight Rises, as every obedient pop culture monkey has over the last two weeks.  That reminds me - it's been two weeks.  I've waited long enough.  I'm going to spoil the shit out of this movie, and if you haven't seen it yet, leave now and come back later.  

*tap tap tap*

Back?  Good.  Anyway, I loved the movie.  I know lots of basement dwellers are complaining that the guy in the pit wasn't a licensed chiropractor, that Bruce Wayne couldn't have made his way back to Gotham from the subcontinent without an ID or money, that no police force would be stupid enough to flood the sewers with most of its manpower, and that Batman couldn't have survived ejecting from the Batplane at the end.  I would like to remind those people that they are watching a movie about a billionaire who has hollowed out a cave under his house in order to store an armada of secret vehicles and weapons that are probably sufficient to conquer two-thirds of the nations on Earth, all in the service of dressing up in an immobilizing rubber bat suit to beat up criminals.  Nerds, I'm sorry your superhero movie based on a comic book is not 100% rooted in scientific, medical, political, economic, psychological and temporal fact.  

I'm so glad I got that off my chest.  But seriously, that's not even the reason I'm writing this post.  This post is about the similarities between The Dark Knight Rises and another huge summer movie from back in the 80s, when summer movies were awesome.  I thought about this comparison all during the film, and the parallels just got more and more amazing.  People, what I'm here to tell you is this:

The Dark Knight Rises is a shameless rip-off of Rocky III.

But why, you ask?  Why would esteemed director Christopher Nolan dig into the 80s and choose to steal from Rocky III?  Dear reader - have you seen Rocky III?  IT. IS. AWESOME.  It's by far the best of the Rocky movies.  I pity the fool that does not recognize the greatness of Rocky III.  If you don't believe me, let's just look at the similarities one by one, shall we?

1. Both Batman and Rocky face an enemy in a ridiculous outfit.

Look at Bane.  He has that scary ass mask and body armor, then finishes the ensemble with a hipster jacket I can only surmise he found backstage at a Fleet Foxes concert.  Then we have Thunderlips.  His stylized pimp getup is clearly an influence on the fashion sensibilities of Kid Rock.  'Nuff said.

2. Batman and Rocky each face a dickhead who tries to break his back.

A little suspicious, no?  Here again we have Bane and Thunderlips (who by the way should absolutely form a villanous tag-team in the WWE) up to no good.  Thanks to the good folks at Warner Bros. and their team of copyright lawyers, scenes from The Dark Knight Rises will be represented by Lego re-enactments.  While both Batman and Rocky were spared a wheelchair, Batman did seem to take the worst of it, considering Rocky did not have any vertebrae protruding from his skin.

3. Batman and Rocky each exhibit a rich man's sense of invincibility and take a beating from a hungrier up-and-comer.

Rocky gets soft by appearing in American Express ads, wearing sweaters, and knocking over a succession of tomato cans that make Boxcar Ira look like Mike Tyson.  Clubber Lang is so desperate for a shot at the title that he is willing to proposition Adrian Balboa (and bravely follow through should she be into it) just to piss off Rocky enough to fight him.  Lang predictably destroys both Rocky and 50 years of progress against racial stereotypes.  Batman has the misfortune of facing a guy that's been sitting in a giant pit for years just getting madder and madder.  So mad in fact, that according to this Lego depiction, he administers a literal ass-kicking.

4. Batman and Rocky both lose elderly father figures who are tired of putting up with their harebrained schemes.

Alfred leaves Bruce Wayne because he thinks Bruce's Batman act will get him killed.  Possibly also because he's embezzled enough money from the Waynes to visit Italy every summer and he's tired of washing Bruce's underwear.  Mickey leaves because he thinks that Clubber Lang will beat the shit out of Rocky, and because he's tired of holding his mouth that way during all his speeches.

5. Batman and Rocky both leave their plush homes to keep it real and prepare for a rematch.

Both heroes get out of their comfort zones in the hope that they can find the same motivation as their hungry opponents.  Bruce Wayne literally tries to find the same motivation as Bane by sitting in the same stanky pit that made Bane who he is.  Rocky moves to a place that has black people.

6. Ass-kicking time.

Predictably, our heroes rediscover what made them great in the first place and handily defeat their nemeses.  Rocky employs the unusual strategy of letting Clubber Lang punch the shit out of him before kicking his ass.  Batman...well...he's doing something to Bane's ass.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Let's Just Call It Smell You Later

Dear readers (and the rest of you too),

This blog used to be good. It's kind of lost its way over the last few months and it's now just an infrequent repository of (kickass) songs and lame half-posts. I'm struggling to find the time to write in it, and I shouldn't have to struggle only to post crap.

I think for this blog to be good again, it needs direction. I need to take some time and rethink what I want it to be. I'm sure some of what I usually do will survive to WWW 2.0, but not all of it. Hopefully I'll be back before too long.

Thank you all for following my blog. I love knowing that someone out there is reading what I write, and occasionally enjoying it. I hope that I can come back and better reward your effort. I'll continue to read all of you, so I'll be around.

Thanks :)


Friday, June 25, 2010

Rocking For The Weekend: Jellyfish

This week I bring you Jellyfish, a great 90s pop band that isn't half as well known as they should be. They made two albums and were gone as quickly as they came, but left behind this gem called "Baby's Coming Back". It was a minor hit in 1991, and it's a great introduction to Jellyfish's hooky, vaguely orchestral pop. I haven't made a list, but I'm pretty sure this would be in my top ten favorite songs. Enjoy the weekend! I might even get Sunday off and join you!