Nov 27, 2005

Most utterly useless gift found so far (under $50 version)

I don't know when chocolate fountains became all the rage, but man, I think this beats even Mickey Mouse-shaped waffle irons in terms of general uselessness.

And even if you are considering getting one, the comments note that (a) you have to melt 4-5 pounds of chocolate, and (b) add vegetable oil to get a good flow, which frankly sounds disgusting to me.

And I'd make a comment about the inherent social injustice regarding the balance of wealth that such a product represents, but that would make me a hypocrite, since I own a sushi kit.

Nov 22, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Who's up for turducken?

Nov 17, 2005

An allegory.

Say you're at a party. At night, when things are getting really fun, you see a guy stealing the host's jewelry and slipping roofies into the drinks. You tell the host, and the host calls the police. The asshole swears up and down that he's done nothing wrong and miraculously gets away with it.

The next day, at work, you find out that YOU'RE supposed to be the asshole because you caught the real asshole on his asshole behavior.

Makes sense?

Only to Cheney.

Nov 6, 2005

Elmo knows your name...and WHERE YOU LIVE!!!

Since I'm childless, I can enjoy the articles about popular hard-to-get Christmas presents without the skullcrushing pressure of actually obtaining them. One of the hot gifts this year is the "Knows Your Name" Elmo, a version of the Sesame Street character which actually speaks the child's name as it is being opened.

Not quite sure how the personalization occurs over the counter (I think it's via a USB port), but Toys 'R' Us has a personalization page for online purchases. Since the name is typed in on the page, I wonder if I can get one for my imaginary nephew "Fuckin' Shithead".

And in the great tradition of Furby hacking, I bet we'll see codes for new phrases on Slashdot any day now. Nevsky suggested a good one: "I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave..."

Nov 4, 2005

ohmygodohmygodohmygodit'sSISSY SPACEK!

My weekend was a trip down to join the Nevskys (Nevskies?) at the Virginia Film Festival, where a good time was had by all and a cornucopia of film delights came to pass.

Friday night brought Russia/Chechnya: Voices of Dissent, executive produced by Vanessa Redgrave and about as uplifting and lighthearted as you'd expect from a documentary about the Chechen conflict. A panel afterwards about documentary filmaking, despite the dignified presence of Redgrave, soon degenerated into self-promotion as other filmmakers talked up their projects at the expense of the subject. Meanwhile, Vanessa looked as if she was thinking "I've shat bigger ones than these nimrods," but in a dignified way, of course.

Saturday was a triple-feature spectacular, starting with the classic 1962 film To Kill A Mockingbird. Undoubtedly one of the greatest films of all time. So they say. Personally, I was bored except for the trial and Robert Duvall. But it's me. My brain has obviously withered from pop-culture, TV, and that bottle of peppermint schnapps I tried to kill in one sitting as a college senior.

The next film was Nine Lives, an experimental movie featuring a bevy of uber-talented actresses and nine single takes woven together. Not something I would normally see (since it didn't involve robotic exoskeletons) but uniformly well-acted, and the panel afterwards, featuring Sissy Spacek and Kathy Baker, was as entertaining as the earlier panel wasn't.

Final film was Sarah Silverman's Jesus is Magic, and while funny, it seemed to me that it would have been funnier if she didn't try so hard to be offensive. Fortunately, I had missed Silverman's article in the New Yorker, since all of the best jokes were there and Nevsky was spoiled for the movie.

All in all, a great time and a friendly reminder that I'm culturally illiterate.