|log (2001/08/03 to 2001/08/09)|
Thursday, August 9, 2001
The Reader is Warned: today's entry will be largely incomprehensible unless you read the last couple of days' entries also. And perhaps even then. I feel quite stream-of-consciousness.
Some electrons have arrived:
The Bicycle Pedaling Frog was unimpressed by his visit to CRLSTRM.
Other readers believe they have discovered the Secret of CRLSTRM:
Carol Stream, I think; that used to be the address on some of my bills (long ago, when I still mailed out checks). It's probably one of those places that doesn't really exist except on paper, sort of like that alleged state (Delaware?) where all the megacorps have head offices.
Now there's a catchy slogan. "Carol Stream; it's where bills come from!" Someone should suggest that to the webmaster; it'd be a considerable improvement over the current content.
WE, AS EMPLOYEES FOR THE VILLAGE OF CAROL STREAM WILL SERVE WITH PRIDE BY: Providing quality, affordable services/products and well maintained facilities for all our customers. committing to perform our jobs in a responsive and efficient manner following the highest ethical standards. Inquiring, listening, and responding to customers’ concerns in a timely and courteous manner.
Happy, happy, joy joy.
How's this for irony: I feel that you have insulted my intelligence -- but not regarding your opinions on marriage.
Thanks! Leave us face it, though; "their" and "they" are now singular also. (Now that's controversial!)
"I can't decide whether this whole Intellectual Art Scene is some of the smartest people on the planet realizing some of humanity's greatest potential for expression, or just a bunch of overeducated navel-gazers. Maybe both!" - Try [this link] - Can't remember how I came across this site - probably through your log!! Anyway, huge list of insane arty stuff that teeters on the edge of pointlessless. Great stuff.
Teetering on the edge of pointlessness. Attractive! And a bit familiar! *8) So: smart, or silly? Vanilla, or cranberry?
I don't approve of same-sex unions. Why can't the other gender join?
You said it, Mr. Cheese!
There were 8 searches for the week ending 8/4/2001 for davidchess.com at http://www.davidchess.com/.
I like that "lost key" especially. "Did you lose it on this site?" "No, but I like the color scheme."
A reader writes:
Bite the wax tadpole
Hunt-Wesson introduced its Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos before finding out that the phrase, in slang, means "big breasts." In this case, however, the name problem did not have a noticeable effect on sales.
What great readers I have; I hardly had to produce any content at all today! I did find the picture of tapioca myself, though; I went to images.google.com and typed "tapioca" in the box. This is why I'm paid the Big Bucks.
What is the function of carrageenan? Why do we have tapioca and cornstarch? What type of modifications are used? Why? What changes would be necessary to make this an instant pudding?
Burning questions for our times...
Intending to reassure me that I occasionally say something meaningful enough to be controversial, a reader writes:
there's no need to insult someone's intelligence because they have a different stance on ethical and political issues than you do
Unfortunately I agree with that completely. I wouldn't insult someone's intelligence just because they have a different stance on ethical and political issues than I do; I'd only do it because they were being stupid. And even then I probably wouldn't do it, me being such a nice guy and all.
On the other hand, I kinda suspect that this comment is a response to the way that I linked to a story about same-sex unions in Germany yesterday. Now I do think that Germany's current policy on this subject is smarter (more rational, more sensible, more sane) than is the U.S.'s (the Defense of Marriage act, for instance). If anyone feels that I have personally insulted their intelligence by expressing this opinion, well, um, they have my sympathy. *8)
Another reader writes:
Answer to Eno's quote: No, Hugh Hefner is likely to die sated. Was that quote from 'A Year With Swollen Appendices'? If not, then I recommend you read it - it's great. Jules
That was indeed from A Year with Swollen, and I'm in still the midst of reading it. It's basically Eno's daily diary from 1995 (1995?), with various appendices of supporting material. It's fascinating reading; I'm taking it nice and slow. I can't decide whether this whole Intellectual Art Scene is some of the smartest people on the planet realizing some of humanity's greatest potential for expression, or just a bunch of overeducated navel-gazers. Maybe both!
As for Hefner, I dunno. Maybe the point of the quote is that even Hugh Hefner will check out with the nagging feeling that there were depths left unplumbed (multiple entendres entirely intentional).
Rolling in the aisles: We got a bill the other day, and the address to send the money to was:
PO BOX 5204
For some reason this struck me as the funniest durn thing in the world (I'm giggling again just looking at it).
"I was born in a little farm house in Illinois, twenty miles outside CRLSTRM."
"It's the best restaurant in CRLSTRM."
"It gives me great pleasure to present the CRLSTRM High School champion football squad, the FGHTNG KNGHTS!!"
Hee hee hee hee hee! What's the name really, I wonder? "Coral Storm"? "Carl's Tram"? Wait, wait, it must be on the Web!
Ah, it seems to be Wheaton, Illinois. Of course!
So just about everyone suggests that the "h" in "href" probably stands for "hyper" or "hypertext", as in "http" and "html" and all. Now why didn't I think of that? So is it a "Hypertext Reference" or a "hyperref"? Either one sounds sort of silly.
Greetings to visitors from SmartyPants! The Broken Koans can be found in the general vicinity of our August First entry (near the end). Enjoy! A few more are queued up in the old Input Box, and I really do intend to try to make them their own page one of these days...
Comfort beverage of the week: a big dollop of sweetened condensed milk (ref Cambric Tea), a bag of Celestial Seasonings English Toffee Tea, and some barely-boiling water. Ohmigod, as they say! Extremely quieting to the soul, warming to the body, and all like that there. Works best if you start out chilled, for instance having soaked in a big tub of cold water for an hour or three.
I have been sadly neglecting these most notable reader responses to Snappy phrase:
I wonder how far I can bend this CD.
Who could ask for anything more? Nonetheless, we also have Yob sleezle nopi:
Stick "yob sleezle nopi" into google. It has a recommendation. Click on it. Funny.Suna haka:
He had water thrown on the melted remains of Suet. She congealed. She came back to life. She was her old voluptuous self.
So may we all.
Meme o' the Day: DVD Rewinder.
Two Big Tub of Water thoughts from the weekend. First, while reviewing the various Magic Chemicals that they've had me adding to the Tub to make it Just Right, it occurs to me that the Tub now contains significant quantities of di-hydrogen monoxide. This is somewhat worrying!
Second, I want to get a long tube with a mouthpiece at one end, that I can drape over the wall of the Tub, and then breathe through while sitting cross-legged on the bottom (in through the mouth, out through the nose?). Not quite sensory deprivation, but sounds like fun. Buoyancy is cool.
So I lost the toss, and on Saturday I took the little daughter and two of her friends to see The Princess Diaries. It was abyssmal.
Well, okay, maybe not quite abyssmal. But really! The premise: fifteen-year-old girl who already has a pretty amazingly cool life (lives in a converted firehouse, teaches rock-climbing on weekends, has an old Mustang that'll probably be fixed up by the time she's old enough to drive it, etc, etc) discovers that she's the heir to the throne of a small European country. Her Big Decision is whether or not to accept the Princessship.
Let's see! Hmm! Be a Princess, don't be a Princess. Be a Princess, don't be a Princess.
So there's not, like, a whole lot of Dramatic Tension here. The little girls who made up most of the audience loved the "discover you're a Princess" thing, of course, but please! Just because something's for kids doesn't mean it has to be bland and simple. The Wind in the Willows! The Brothers Grimm! Even Harry freaking Potter, for pete's sake.
I will note that Julie Andrews makes a lovely foxy grandma / queen. Either she's amazingly well preserved, or someone did a fantastic makeup job. Or both. The protagonist, on the other hand, looked a whole lot better IMHO before her "geek to princess" makeover. The most disturbing lesson of this film seems to be "life will be great if only you can look like someone on the cover of a fashion magazine." Frog that, mon!
"How did you know? How did you know that I would respond to you the way I have?"
Weeks was trying to do two different things, and didn't end up doing either all that well, I thought. At one end it could have been a deep and interesting study of a powerful and somewhat pathological relationship. It gets close to that a few times (scene quoted above, f'rinstance), but it can't quite sustain it. It'd be hard to sustain it, of course, but that's why movie-makers get the Big Bucks.
At the other end it feels like someone read some of the milder master / slave fantasies on a.s.s.m and thought "hey, I could water that down enough to make a sexy R-rated movie out of it". There are scenes ripped straight out of the newsgroups: woman keeps her appointment in a seedy hotel, to find the room empty; the phone rings, and her Master's voice says "in the top drawer of the dresser you'll find a blindfold; put it on [click]". (I will acknowledge the nonzero probability that the newsgroups got the idea from this film; but it's not likely.)
But the sexiness doesn't work all that well, at least not for me. There are all too many "pan to symbolic object" shots (have to avoid the dreaded NC-17 (or X, at the time) rating). And Basinger is so thin! I dunno if it's the camerawork or something, but in this movie she seems positively emaciated. The anorexic look has never really appealed to me. (Mickey Rourke's hair, on the other hand, was great!)
If the movie got some people thinking about putting a litte spice and kink into their sex lives, that's cool. On the other hand, this is anything but a manual for doing that in reality! Making this kind of thing work in a stable relationship would require lots and lots of communication; exactly the opposite of what happens here. The ending is ambiguous between "kink kills relationships", and "lack of communication kills relationships." I think one is false and the other true (not that I've experimented much with either one myself!).
And the ending is so flat. It annoyed me in roughly the same way that the ending to "The Magus" did; all this stuff happens, but as far as we can tell from the story as told, it's caused no perceptible change (positive or negative) in the protagonist. So why bother?
What else was I gonna say? Oh, yeah! I notice that 9 1/2 Weeks and Delta of Venus, both directed or co-directed or written by Zalman King, both contain this same snippet of scene:
HE (whispering): Does this excite you?
Audie England's rendition was more convincing.
We'll close this topic with an apropos quote from Brian Eno:
Do all men leave this life feeling they've seen nowhere near enough nude people, played with far too few private parts, made a pitifully inadequate contribution to the honeyed chorus of bottom-slapping, tit-sucking, cock-pumping, belly-bulging lust issuing from the planet, and generally not fulfilled their once extremely promising sexperimental destiny?
Constitutional Law: So I haven't yet finished the Reading myself, but here are a few possible Questions for Research:
Why can't we all just be nice, eh?
And what's the "h" in "href" stand for? All I can think of is "head" or "heading", which make no sense...
This is a Solo Adventure for use with the Kobolds Ate My Baby! role-playing game. You will need a copy of Kobolds Ate My Baby!, some paper, a handful of dice and the ability to read. Along with the adventure you will find a map of the lands of the Necro-Groundhog for use with BLT! the official Kobolds Ate My Baby! collectable boardgame.
This same reader, apparently without a weblog of his own, writes quite memorably:
And the memes go 'round and 'round, and they come out here! We are truly blessed.
Having taken a brief detour to discuss the structure, chemistry, and symbolic significance of large tubs of water, we are about ready to return to the question of the Constitutional history of discrimination by private actors ("the part of the third dominatrix will be played tonight by PFC Metacarpus"). We don't have time to write (let alone think) about this today, but here's some recommended reading, in reverse chronological order:
That should keep y'all readers busy for a few minutes...