Friday, June 29, 2007

Craig Ferguson On Pleasanton

Recently, Craig Ferguson of the Late Late Show payed a visit to Pleasanton, California. He seems to have liked it:

Of course, it could just be that he needed the setup for the Gay Nineties Pizza joke.

The Top Seven Least Badass Album Titles Possible

7. Hamsterdance!
6. Back to Aquamarine
5. Rod Stewart Sings the American Songbook
4. . . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Happy Bunnies*
3. Dark Side of the Oreo
2. Not In The Face! Not In The Face!
1. Licensed To Il Divo

*Yes, I know that's a band name.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Okay, That's Quite Enough of That

Speaking of covers...

Last night when I was listening to the radio, I found that two stations were simultaneously playing an emo version of Time After Time and a sensitive-dude take on Hey Ya. To which I say, all right, it was cute when Alien Ant Farm did it, but this is getting ridiculous.

Where Have I Heard That Song 2

Staying with the canine theme here:

This one's for everyone who enjoyed the New Wave, but wished it included more writhing.

Also, that lady really should be wearing her seat belt.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Look! A thing!

This is Caddie. Caddie has a piece of sandpaper. You would think that sandpaper would not be the most comfortable thing to carry around in your mouth, but she doesn't seem to mind. She's just excited because she has a thing she can carry around, and she wants everyone to know it.

On Achievement

Recently finished reading a book about the Chicago World's Fair (thanks Abigail!) and I came across this quote in one of the last chapters. It's from a man named Sol Bloom, who was twenty-three when he was put in charge of the midway at the Fair. He made a massive amount of money, then lost it all investing in refrigerated train cars full of perishables just before the Pullman strike. About which, he had this to say:

"Being broke didn't disturb me in the least. I had started with nothing, and if now I found myself with nothing, I was at least even. Actually, I was much better than even: I had had a wonderful time."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Stolen from the blog of the incomparable Manolo:

Two questions immediately spring to mind:

a) What is an algorithm march?
b) How did ninjas get involved?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Department of I Swear, It Was Right Here a Minute Ago

Can someone check behind the sofa cushions? Chile loses a lake.

Where Have I Heard That Song Before?

New game! I've been hearing some wacky covers/samples on the radio lately, and I just had to share. Listen and name the original tune:

This one's for all you fans of mid-nineties white-boy rapping, random action scenes and synchronized dancing. You know who you are.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Top Ten All-Time Worst Things to Step In

10. Excrement, herbivore
9. A shallow hole
8. Burning coals, when you have not achieved the proper mental state* to walk across them unscathed
7. Excrement, carnivore
6. It
5. An unidentifiable thing that goes "squish"
4. Excrement, omnivore
3. A deep hole
2. A mud-filled sinkhole in the Everglades*
1. A land mine

*as represented by foot speed
*skip ahead to 4:15 for relevant clip

Friday, June 15, 2007

Summer TV

It's summertime, and the laziness is setting in. So, in honor of that, I'm copping out of my video selection this week and just posting a bit from the new American version of "Creature Comforts". It's by Aardman Animation (the Wallace and Grommit people) and they take interviews with ordinary people on a variety of subjects and have them being said by claymation animals. It's funny. I like it. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Top Six Things You Least Expect to Find In Your Glove Compartment

6. Gloves
5. A chinchilla
4. Five pounds of gruyere
3. Hope for a better tomorrow
2. Pirate treasure
1. Yourself

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The New Ghettoization

Did you ever hear about something that you initially took to be a sign of the end of days, but then realized it was actually good news? That's how I felt when I heard about this Martha Stewart-themed housing development: rising dread and deep fear for what horrors we mortals have wrought, turning into a pleasant sense of optimism, only partially driven by cold medication.

Ms. Stewart is, of course, only the latest entity offering corporate identity as a surrogate for personal taste. You can already move into homes "inspired" by Thomas Kincade, in that paradise on Earth known as Vallejo, or forfeit your free will to the Disney Corporation in central Florida.

Now, I would rather live between a skunk ranch and a pit bull breeder* on a haunted Indian burial ground than in one of these places (after all, the restless spirits of the undead may fling knives around the room and make blood pour down the walls, but at least they'll never sneer at you for letting your lawn dry up or try and tell you what color you can paint your upstairs windowsills), but that isn't the point. The point is, there are people in the world who do want to live like that, and isn't it nice that we can round them up and put them all in the same place? Just think: they can live out the rest of their days squabbling amongst themselves about what three styles of ye olde light fixtures are classy enough to be allowed on the exteriors of their oversized, cheaply built houses, secure in the knowledge that no one near them will ever do anything even slightly individual and/or distinctive (which, as you know, causes all housing values within a ten mile radius to plummet like penguins dropped out of a hot air balloon), and leave the rest of us alone. Instead of segregating by race or religion, we can segregate by taste! (Or lack thereof.) (Or willingness to have said taste decided for one by a former model with excellent marketing skills.) So I say, good! Build more of these! Let every person in America who is afraid that their inability to control every aspect of their environment will drag them down to the dregs of society move in, so that those of us who don't can go ahead and paint our houses any damn way we please, and plant vegetable gardens in our front lawns, and convert our back yards into habitats for our seven pet gila lizards. The world would be a better place for it.

*Because the dogs would scare the skunks. Get it?

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Top Fifteen All-Time Greatest Words That Begin With the Letter "P"

15. Plangent
14. Peregrine
13. Pi
12. Passel
11. Parallelogram
10. Psoriasis
9. Patsy
8. Puce
7. Periwinkle
6. Pneumatic
5. Persnickety
4. Palliative
3. Pert
2. Parsimonious
1. Pollywog

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Let the Controversy Begin!

If my wanderings around the blogosphere have taught me anything (besides precisely how much time I can get away with wasting at work) it's that nothing draws attention and gets a comments section going like a good list. Best this, worst that, shortest whatever. The downside is that everyone else figured this out before me, and all the good topics have been taken. Therefore, without further ado, Half the Fun presents:

The Top Ten All-Time Greatest Condiments

10. Chutney
9. Mustard, Yellow
8. Relish
7. Tabasco
6. Garum
5. Horseradish/Fake Wasabi*
4. Mustard, Fancy
3. Mayonnaise
2. Soy Sauce
1. Ketchup

*I have never been to a sushi restaurant fancy enough to serve real wasabi, hence its exclusion from this list.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sing! Sing A Song!

I don't usually go with topical videos, but I couldn't come up with anything this week, so I figured that with the Tony Awards on Sunday ("The Award Show No One In New York Understands Why No One Outside of New York Cares About") I'd go with the tribute to musical theater. I thought about going with this one, but it isn't exactly relevant and I'm pretty sure everyone has seen it already. So I picked a number from the first Broadway show I ever saw, on my trip to New York last year.

There really is nothing like the magical, uplifting feeling you get from American musical theater.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Warning Sign

If you have one of these:

You just might be a white, upper-middle class professional of a certain age.

(Sure, you may not actually be using it to buy a half-soy, no whip caramel macchiatos, extra hot to drink in your Prius while you listen to NPR, but let's face it, you might as well be.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Knee-Deep In Anklebiters

Last Sunday I went to my coworker's baby shower, where I was the only white person, the only single person and the only person not accompanied by one or more small children and/or babies and/or pregnant. It was an interesting party. Educational, too, especially for the hostess, who learned things like "Why You Don't Give a Gathering of Small Children Twenty-Four Colors of Play-Dough to Play With In a Carpeted Area" and "If You Own a Lovebird (They Bite), Be Sure to Warn People With Tiny Fingers to Keep Them Away From It". I didn't learn so much, but I did get to try seaweed-flavored potato chips, be slobbered on by another coworker's five-month-old (and help teach his mother how to do "this little piggy went to market") and impress another coworker's eleven-year-old with my shoes.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Much-Delayed Final Travel Update

I didn't know until Saturday night whether or not I would even have any time to explore on Sunday. My flight was scheduled to leave at 6:30, which I could make just fine with the ninety-minute ferry trip, but not the two-hour bus ride. And as expert as I have been getting at racing through airports, it isn't really my favorite mode of transportation, so if the ferry wasn't running I was going to have to take the 10 am bus, and then find something to do in the Boston airport for six hours. But the weather had calmed down and, while I did take the precaution of not eating the "egg mcmuffin" they prepared at the B&B for breakfast, it looked like it would be okay to travel by water.

I had pretty much covered the shopping possibilities on Saturday, so my plans for Sunday consisted of walking to the end of town and maybe out to the sandspit at the tip of the Cape. Once you get away from the downtown touristy area, Provincetown is really just ridiculously cute. Honestly, it's like someone cut a picture of a New England coastal town out of a book and pasted it up around you. One can only assume that it costs a minor fortune to live there.

The sand spit I was trying to get to isn't actually connected to the mainland by nature, only by a breakwater/walkway made of big slabs of stone across the salt marsh. There isn't actually that much to see there, just a couple of lighthouses and some dunes, but it was a destination, of sorts, being on the end of things. I was walking across the causeway, teetering in my cork wedges and balancing my kate spade bag on my arm, and I realized that I am not entirely the person I used to be. Then I took off my shoes and rolled up my pants, because I'm not that different, and at that rate I was going to break an ankle.

In the end, I didn't actually make it all the way across; it was further than it looked and it was starting to spit rain, so I got about a third of the way and then turned around. My thought was to walk back to town along the beach, which is supposed to be open to the public. Which I guess it is, but they don't make it easy. I got to the beach by blantantly tresspassing through a cluster of vacation cottages (they looked midmorning quiet and vacant, but I heard dance music thumping in one; possibly either the earliest or the latest party going). The beach was divvied up into sections by low walls and piers, but no one showed up to stop me from going across them. In fact, no one showed up at all, which was why, in spite of the weather, I was glad to have come so early in the season

I made it back to the inn in time to gather my things and borrow the owners' power cable for my computer for a few minutes before one of them drove me down to the pier (appreciated, again, because it had suddenly started raining very hard. Again.)

So I took the ferry out of the rain and back to Boston where, despite the city's brilliant policy of actively discouraging cabs from taking you to the airport, I managed to make it to my flight without running or being forced to give up my seat on the overbooked plane. That I made it home just fine should be obvious by now, seeing as that was two weeks ago, but I will say that I enjoyed the audio channel United offers to allow you to listen in on the air traffic conversations, if only because it lets you know exactly why you are twenty minutes late in taking off, and not to get excited when you start moving, because you're only going to another runway.

Friday, June 01, 2007

My Brother: Music Video Star

My little brother, Zach (or, if you're not related to him, Jay), was in a music video. It's for a British band called Air Traffic (sadly, not a partially reunited Air Supply), and apparently it's going to be played on some version of MTV.
(He's the guy in the room, not the guy outside. Or any of the guys playing instruments and/or singing.)

The model who is in it told him if he wanted to do this professionally, he would have to lose some weight, which as far as I can tell would involve amputation. Fortunately, he has grad school in mechanical engineering to fall back on.

(I swear, sometimes I feel like Danny DeVito in Twins.)