Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lower My Bills

Have you seen those LowerMyBills.com web ads? They usually have bizarre animated GIFs run on a continuous loop that don't seem to have anything to do with mortgage refinancing and debt consolidation. Sometimes it's a bunch of cartoon cheerleaders - one for every state in the union. Sometimes it's a series of photos turned into an animated GIF. Today I saw one of a silhouette of a woman in a long dress gingerly walking the peak of a tile roof. Bizarre. But damn them, they always get my attention.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The only candy with the exploded caramel

I can't have coffee or other caffeinated beverages for a while because of my problems with acid reflux. I'm not supposed to have chocolate either, but I hardly got any sleep last night and I'm crashing. So I bought a caramel Twix from the machine at work to help me out.
Lately I've been getting momentarily upset at the ad on the back for peanut butter Twix, thinking I mistakenly bought a peanut butter Twix when I actually did buy the caramel. So after my second of worry and relief, I opened up the package only to find that about half the caramel had exploded into one end of the wrapping.
Let me tell you, the Twix chocolate and cookie isn't the same without the Twix caramel and the Twix caramel isn't the same without the Twix chocolate and cookie crunch.
I want my money back! That was not a Twix! That was caramel, chocolate, and cookie, but that was not a Twix!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Lunch today

Today is pretty foggy and what I imagine to be London-y (I've never been), so I tried the split pea soup at Hale and Hearty Soups in the Chelsea Market . It was indeed hearty and very tasty. I had a small size and a half of a tuna wrap - they completely stuffed me. I think I'll just go with a small soup next time.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mr. Softee

I'm ten floors up from the street but I'll be damned if I can't hear the Mr. Softee truck down there now.

name of my new MacBook

I came up with a good name for my MacBook as I drifted off to sleep on the bus to work today: Chiclet!
The MacBook looks like a white chiclet - it's smooth, rectangular, and shiny. And who knows, maybe I'll use my MacBook write a novel that'll be categorized as chick-lit. Not that I love chick-lit, but whatever the publisher decides is out of my hands.
I love it when form follows function.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bruno Kirby, R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that we here at Mime is Money pay our last respects to actor Bruno Kirby, who died Monday from complications related to leukemia.
He had a long career: he was in such early-70s TV shows as Room 222 and the pilot of M.A.S.H.
Most notably for us, he played Rat Pack fan and limo driver, Tommy Pischedda, in This is Spinal Tap. The outtakes on the Spinal Tap DVD of Kirby crooning in his tighty whities is as good as anything in the released movie.
Bruno Kirby was certainly no fad.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cat in the photo booth

Strange checking out my new MacBook.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Christmas in August

Yesterday, I ordered a white MacBook with 1 GHz RAM and an 80 GB hard drive. I can't wait for it to arrive - I feel like an eight-year old waiting for Christmas!
My six-year old Compaq PC is showing its age. I plan on reformatting the hard drive (again!) and installing more memory (if the thing isn't too old for that). I'm only going to use it for personal business- and work business-related functions; I'll use the MacBook for the fun stuff like ripping and burning, man! Maybe I'll buy a video camera somewhere down the line and make video films, Bren Bren! Yeah!
(That reference to video films and Bren Bren is from Brendon Small's cancelled cartoon, Home Movies. The character who said "video film" and called Brendon "Bren Bren" is Fenton, voiced by Sam Seder, currently of Air America's Majority Report. Every now and then you can hear Fenton's voice slip out when Seder gets agitated.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Summer Reading: Little Children by Tom Perrotta

I just finished reading Little Children by Tom Perrotta, who also wrote Election (they made that one into a movie with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick).
Rather than being about literal little children, the book is really about adults behaving like children on a playground and infatuated, horny teenagers.
Todd, a stay-at-home dad, and Sarah, a stay-at-home mom, have a summer fling: they think they're going to leave their spouses and run away with each other. But what will they live on? Their giddy adolescent feelings for each other? Neither one of them has ever held down a job good enough to raise a family on.
In the primary storyline, Perrotta deftly recreates the feelings of desperation felt by a girl with a crush: in a flashback, Sarah is in high school obsessing over a theater geek and finally gets to kiss him. The next morning, her father drives her to the SAT test; on the way, Sarah is giddy with the assumption that she has a boyfriend. Her heart is broken when, in line for the test, her "boyfriend" coldly explains that the kiss was a mistake.
In the present time, Sarah obsesses over keeping Todd and over his pretty wife Kathy. Sarah parks her car in front of Todd and Kathy's apartment and sits there for hours waiting for a glimpse of Kathy. When Kathy does finally come outside, Sarah's heart sinks at just how pretty Kathy is.
Minor characters include a child molester with the mentality of a 10-year-old weakling being bullied on the playground, his present-day bully: an ex-cop bent on driving the child molester out of town, Sarah's husband Richard, whose philosophy is to never fool himself into thinking he can fight his base desires, and a group of stay-at-home moms acting like a snotty band of popular teens.
The book ends with a suspenseful point-of-view switching scene in which the major and some of the minor characters reach their respective epiphanies. Todd and Sarah even realize that they've been acting like irresponsible teenagers, though Todd has to be hit on the head to finally get it.
Little Children is a deceptively quick read: its dialogue and prose belie a deeper meaning than a mere chronical of events that take place over one summer.

Pee Wee's Playhouse

I've been watching Cartoon Network's Adult Swim's reruns of Pee Wee's Playhouse (Wikipedia's entry) and it really takes me back to the late 80's/early 90's. I must have seen every episode three or four times because I remember them with great clarity.
I also find it hilarious that it's showing at 11 at night when the kiddies are supposed to be asleep. My sister was watching it at the tender age of 5 and I at 13.
I absoultely love the first season. It was an absurd mixture straight out of a John Waters movie. Everything fits together: the wonderful incedental music by Mark Mothersbaugh; the strange toys; the puppets; the speedo-wearing, buff and tan Tito the lifeguard; and the Divine Mrs. Steve.
The second season started up the other night - wow, what a disappointment. I forgot how much things changed. And not for the better, in my opinion.
In the first episode of the second season, Pee Wee is redecorating his playhouse and everything's under drop cloths. I guess this is their way of easing the kids at home into the big changes.
And those changes in order of what irks me most are:
  • Captain Carl (the always funny late Phil Hartman) is gone
  • The incedental music of Mark Mothersbaugh is replaced by that of The Residents and is more like traditional cartoon music than Mothersbaugh's subtle stylings
  • the cute and sassy Dixie is replaced by the trio of flowers who now announce the King of Cartoon's arrival (lame!)
  • the bedroom-eyed Globey, who always looked as if he were looking directly at whomever was talking to him, is replaced by a new cartoony, beady-eyed one (although the French accent remains)
  • there's a new King of Cartoons (and a TV to replace the film projector; Pee Wee was righteously disappointed when the new King bestowed upon him the TV)
  • beefcake Tito the life guard (hey, everything can use more Tito!) is replaced by Ricardo the soccer player who wears more modest shorts and a shirt (a shirt?!)
  • the playhouse kids (did you know Opal was played by the ill-fated Natasha Lyonne?) are gone
  • the "Divine" Mrs. Steve is replaced by Mrs. Renee
Thankfully, Lawrence Fishburn remains as Cowboy Curtis. (hoooo-whee!)
I'll still watch, but I'll feel cheated.

Jersey Shore literature

Salon is doing a series of book discussions focused on where in the world the book is set. Today's article by Susy Hansen is about the literature of the Jersey Shore. The first book on her list is Frederick Reiken's Lost Legends of New Jersey .
I read this a couple of years ago and found Reiken's discussions of the Shore to be pretty much just an expansion of those "You know you're from the Jersey Shore if..." emails. Great for people who grew up in Jersey and moved away, boring for people like me who still live here. FYI: The book only focuses on the Shore in the first half; it moves up to North Jersey thereafter.