Archive for Screaming Memes

Such passé

If it appears that doge has let itself out and not come back, well, this is what happens to the meme of the moment: eventually the moment passes. But give Kyle Chayka credit for exploring the tail end, so to speak:

Curious about the lasting effects of Doge, I asked the National Shiba Club of America if the meme had spurred any sudden interest in the dogs. “Some Shiba people really seem to enjoy it, but we have not heard of an increase in popularity of the breed in general,” wrote back Lori Pendergast, the NSCA’s corresponding secretary.

But then:

Fittingly enough, Pendergast’s email was written in Comic Sans.

Wow. Much appropriate.

Comments (2)




Going to eleven

Nothing Tufnel about it: that just happens to be the number of questions being asked. (Blame Roger.)

Comments (6)




Another reason for the season

I don’t know if I can make a meme of this, but let’s see what happens:

Nancy Kwan in Keep Kwan in Kwanzaa

(Via — no, actually, I did this myself. I have no idea why.)

Comments off




Half a dozen over easy

“Six Songs of Me” is a meme I didn’t invent, though I’ve done three installments of a series called “Songs in the Key of Me” (Vents #487, #685 and #754), none of them answering any specific criteria except having mattered to me at for some reason at some time. As it happens, the Guardian invented this meme, and I figure, if Peter can do this, so can I.

  1. What was the first song you ever bought?
    The Rolling Stones, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” summer of 1965.
  2. What song always gets you dancing?
    I hesitate to call any of my random motions “dancing,” but there are some tracks which refuse to allow me to keep still. I assume they’re looking for upbeat numbers here, but I’m partial to the slow jam: let’s say, the Clovers’ original “Blue Velvet.” (Although Bobby Vinton’s starched-white cover isn’t at all bad.)
  3. What song takes you back to your childhood?
    There are those who would argue that I never left. However, Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World,” and its surprisingly adept remake by Herman’s Hermits, are particularly pertinent to my life as a young brooding loner, since I did know much about history, biology and whatever, at least by comparison to the studs of the era, and it wasn’t doing me the least bit of good.
  4. What is your perfect love song?
    From the first act of the musical I Do! I Do!, “My Cup Runneth Over,” a fairly large hit for the fairly large Ed Ames in 1967, which nicely blends the miraculous and the mundane, and sets an expiration date of Never.
  5. What song would you want at your funeral?
    “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House, which maintains a message of hope amid a barrage of bother. Besides, it’s so damn beautiful, yet no one knows exactly what it means. Precisely the way I’d want to go.
  6. Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.
    Jackie DeShannon’s “When You Walk in the Room,” which speaks for all of us subject to insane crushes that we dare not act upon. If ever I’m infamous enough to justify a biography, this is the title I want.

Pick up on this if you like; there is no taggage involved.

Comments (4)




Know thyself

I figure, if Andrea can do it, Lynn can do it, and Fillyjonk can do it, there’s no excuse for me not to do it, and so I did it.

Comments (8)




The lead-off man

It is seldom wise to deny LeeAnn anything — her wrath is implacable and her methods are inscrutable — but I have to beg off for one-twelfth of this meme of hers, on the basis that the first post of every year (since 2007, anyway) has been devoted to the worst post titles of the previous year, so there’s no January entry. That said:

  • February: The trouble with those little candy hearts is that there’s no room to print DON’T MAKE ME LAUGH.
  • March: Remember when City Council elections were non-partisan?
  • April: This assumes, arguendo, that (1) there will be a “now” five years from now and that (2) I will be around to see it.
  • May: The kinks, and not the ones who were the Village Green Preservation Society either.¹
  • June: Before you ask: no, I’m not praying for the end of time.
  • July: Hadn’t heard from her since November, and it’s not like she’s learned any new songs since then, but I suppose there’s something to be said for consistency.
  • August: I’ve been working all week on a plan to raise the national snark ceiling.
  • September: Actually, it’s been several decades since I was a minor, but these things still cheese me off.
  • October: Presumably you’ve read the book review; now here’s what it didn’t say.
  • November: Well, not technically, but hey, I’m not gonna complain.¹
  • December: In the proper Carlinian sense, you may be sure.¹

¹ Not technically a sentence.

(Similar project here.)

Comments (3)




Morning beclowns eclectic

This morning, Tam disclosed the 15 tracks most played on her iPod. I noted thereupon that I couldn’t follow suit — at the time, 890 (!) tracks in iTunes were tied for Most Played with 29 plays each — so I decided to write down the first 15 out of the Randomator (my semi-trick auto playlist). Number One was punched in manually, and the others duly followed:

  1. “A Wednesday in Your Garden,” the Guess Who
  2. “Deborah,” Dave Edmunds
  3. “Two Buffalos,” Rolf Harris
  4. “Jelly Jungle (of Orange Marmalade),” the Lemon Pipers
  5. “Holdin’ On to Yesterday,” Ambrosia
  6. “Let’s Live for Today,” the Grass Roots
  7. “Mr. Businessman,” Ray Stevens
  8. “Miracle,” Nonpoint
  9. “Breakdown,” Seether
  10. “Going in Circles,” the Friends of Distinction
  11. “She Bop,” Cyndi Lauper
  12. “Cinnamon Girl,” Neil Young with Crazy Horse
  13. “In Too Deep,” Genesis
  14. “All I Want,” A Day to Rememmber
  15. “Lips Like Morphine,” Kill Hannah

If anyone cares, this (un)set was followed immediately by Neil Sedaka’s original “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.”

(Total tracks available: 6,492.)

Comments (2)




Iffy culty

So there’s a book coming out called 100 Cult Films, and while some of the selections are at least somewhat arguable, hey, it’s an easy way to gin up a meme, right? I have boldfaced those I’ve actually seen:

    2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968
    Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988
    Angel of Vengeance, Abel Ferrara, 1981
    Bad Taste, Peter Jackson, 1987
    Baise-moi, Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trinh Thi, 2000
    Begotten, E. Elias Merhige, 1991
    Behind the Green Door, Artie Mitchell, Jim Mitchell, 1972
    La belle et la bête, Jean Cocteau, 1946
    Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Russ Meyer, 1970
    The Big Lebowski, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1998
    Blade Runner, Ridley Scott, 1982
    Blue Sunshine, Jeff Lieberman, 1978
    Brazil, Terry Gilliam, 1985
    Bride of Frankenstein, James Whale, 1935
    The Brood, David Cronenberg, 1979
    Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene, 1920
    Café Flesh, Stephen Sayadian, 1982
    Cannibal Holocaust, Ruggero Deodato, 1979
    Casablanca, Michael Curtiz, 1942
    Un chien andalou, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí, 1928
    Coffy, Jack Hill, 1973
    Daughters of Darkness, Harry Kümel, 1971
    Dawn of the Dead, George A. Romero, 1978
    Deadly Weapons, Doris Wishman, 1974
    Debbie Does Dallas, Jim Clark, 1978
    Deep Red, Dario Argento, 1975
    Dirty Dancing, Emile Ardolino, 1987
    Django, Sergio Corbucci, 1966
    Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly, 2001
    Don’t Torture a Duckling, Lucio Fulci, 1972
    Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton, 1990
    Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Aristide Massaccesi, 1977
    Emmanuelle, Just Jaeckin, 1974
    Enter the Dragon, Robert Clouse, 1973
    Eraserhead, David Lynch, 1977
    The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi, 1981
    Fight Club, David Fincher, 1999
    Flaming Creatures, Jack Smith, 1963
    Freak Orlando, Ulrike Ottinger, 1981
    Freaks, Tod Browning, 1932
    Ginger Snaps, John Fawcett, 2000
    The Gods Must Be Crazy, Jamie Uys, 1981
    Godzilla, Ishirô Honda, 1954
    The Harder They Come, Perry Henzell, 1972
    Harold and Maude, Hal Ashby, 1971
    Häxan, Benjamin Christensen, 1922
    Hellraiser, Clive Barker, 1987
    The Holy Mountain, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973
    The House with the Laughing Windows, Pupi Avati, 1976
    I Walked with a Zombie, Jacques Tourneur, 1943
    Ichi the Killer, Takashi Miike, 2001
    In Bruges, Martin McDonagh, 2008
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Don Siegel, 1956
    Invocation of My Demon Brother, Kenneth Anger, 1969
    It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra, 1946
    The Killer, John Woo, 1989
    Lady Terminator, H. Tjut Djalil, 1988
    The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson, 2001-3 (2 of 3)
    Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, George Miller, 1981
    Man Bites Dog, Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde, 1992
    Manos, the Hands of Fate, Harold P. Warren, 1966
    The Masque of the Red Death, Roger Corman, 1964
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, 1975
    Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow, 1987
    Nekromantik, Jörg Buttgereit, 1987
    Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero, 1968
    Pink Flamingos, John Waters, 1972
    Piranha, Joe Dante, 1978
    Plan 9 from Outer Space, Edward D. Wood Jr, 1959
    Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon, 1985
    Reefer Madness, Louis Gasnier, 1936
    Repo Man, Alex Cox, 1984
    Ringu, Hideo Nakata, 1998
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jim Sharman, 1975
    Rome Armed to the Teeth, Umberto Lenzi, 1976
    The Room, Tommy Wiseau, 2003
    Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975
    She Killed in Ecstasy, Jesús Franco, 1971
    Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven, 1995
    Soul Vengeance, Jamaa Fanaka, 1975
    The Sound of Music, Robert Wise, 1965
    Star Wars, George Lucas, 1977-2005 (3 of 6)
    Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Todd Haynes, 1988
    Suspiria, Dario Argento, 1977
    Tank Girl, Rachel Talalay, 1995
    Tetsuo, Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper, 1974
    This Is Spinal Tap, Rob Reiner, 1984
    Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Bo Arne Vibenius, 1974
    Thundercrack!, Curt McDowell, 1975
    El Topo, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970
    The Toxic Avenger, Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman, 1984
    Two-Lane Blacktop, Monte Hellman, 1971
    Two Thousand Maniacs!, Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1964
    The Vanishing, George Sluizer, 1988
    Videodrome, David Cronenberg, 1983
    The Warriors, Walter Hill, 1979
    Witchfinder General, Michael Reeves, 1968
    Withnail & I, Bruce Robinson, 1987
    The Wizard of Oz, Victor Fleming, 1939

I admit to having once rented Café Flesh and then not actually watching it.

(Seen at Jennifer’s, though she says Peter started it, which is in fact true.)

Comments (10)




Gimme a head with hare

Mr. and Mrs. Porretto engage in some conversation:

CSO: She gave a quiz in one of her Earth Sciences classes, and for one of the questions, one student wrote: “I don’t know the answer, but here’s a bunny.”

FWP: And drew a sketch of a bunny?

CSO: Yup.

This of course harks back to the classic Bunny Meme:

I have no idea what you're talking about so here's a bunny with a pancake on its head

Oolong, the original bunny in this meme, passed away in 2003, aged eight and a half, although his memory is honored by younger bunnies, other species, and college professors.

Comments (4)




Big Macintosh says “Ayup”

This surprises me less than you think:

Pony Personality Test

The complete analysis:

A real hard worker you are, yup. If there’s one thing you hate, it’s being inactive or coming across as lazy. You’ll put in more effort than anyone else, even if it may be against your better judgment or even if delegating your work is a smarter option. It’s not surprising to see you working all day long, even if it’s to help friends out. However, friendship is still important to you, so you will always, always stick to your commitments and keep your promises.

You’re a tell-it-like-it-is pony, not holding your tongue and telling whoever whatever’s on your mind or what your true thoughts are. Thankfully, you can still pick your words carefully and still keep some sensitivity towards what you say. But, others may find you irritable in appearance if you’re not getting your way or you feel against something.

You are also most likely to be athletic and into staying fit, knowing that if you’re not, you won’t be able to keep up with your work. Fashion and looking good aren’t on the top of your priorities, to say the least. You also tend to be very protective of your friends, standing up for them against anyone who is causing them problems, and usually succeeding in warding off any foes. You’d gladly lose a limb if it meant saving a friend’s life.

Well, I’m not particularly athletic, though I suspect I could make some fruit fall from the tree if I kicked it hard enough. F=ma, y’all.

(I blame this on Fluttershy Fillyjonk.)

Comments (2)




What a wiki game you play

Brian J. Noggle, who wouldn’t be caught dead participating in a meme, has created a meme:

Go to your browser’s address bar and start typing en.wikipedia and report the five top results.

Deucedly clever, that. Here are mine, as of the time of typing this:

Explanations available on request, not that I expect any — and assuming I can think of any.

Comments (11)




Honey, disconnect the phone

Cue McCartney and stand back:

You are 19% Russian!
 

Who are you kidding? Just because you took a summer language course in Petersburg doesn’t make you a Russian.

How Russian Are You?
Take More Quizzes

I question this conclusion; at the very least, I should have scored lower than an actual Russian.

Comments (5)




Training wheels

An automobile-related meme, picked up from Jennifer:

  1. What was your first car? Model, year, color, condition?
  2. What adventures did you have in it, good or bad?
  3. What happened to it, what’s the end of the story?

“Susannah” was a 1966 Chevy II, just barely up from bottom of the line and therefore deemed worthy of the Nova badge. It was, I was told, destined for the scrapyard, but for one minor detail: turn the key, and it actually started. Making it drivable, however, looked like it was going to require, at the very least, replacement of the caved-in front right corner. The budget didn’t allow for such. Plan B: hammering on the back side of the fender until the wheel would actually turn. This worked, sort of, for a while.

The powertrain, however, was in pretty good shape: 230 straight six and Powerglide. After tooling around in the family VW Microbus, which required endless stick work, I was ready for the machine to do all the work, even with only half as many speeds. And I managed not to kill it for nearly ten thousand miles. (The rebuild ran about $170. I don’t even want to think about what it costs to fix one of today’s hypercomplex slushboxes.)

Apart from blowing up the transmission, and an unfortunate experience with an aftermarket stereo that caused a temporary failure of the wipers, only two horrible things happened to this car. One of them was a consequence of cheaping out on the front-end repair; one day, I noticed that the camber on the right front wheel had increased to something like 30 percent. Inspection revealed a rather large gap between two metal bits that were supposed to be connected. (A welder took care of this.) The other was a rude rear-end intrusion on a rainy day, which dented the decklid enough to render the lock theoretical at best. The car that hit me, having barely slowed down during the impact, quickly sped off into the storm.

In early 1978, I got married, and the young lady in question decided that it would be in everyone’s best interest if I got rid of this heap. We bought another Nova — a 1976 with the 305 V8 — and I passed the ’66 on to younger sister, who said she was going to take it to a demolition derby. I have no idea whether she actually did that or not, but at the time, it made perfect sense. Incidentally, the ’76 became the family hauler, and I took over her old car, a ’75 Toyota Celica. I was still driving it in 1995, eight years after the divorce.

Comments (3)




An excuse to dip into the archives

Our favorite Dutiful Xer tagged me for a meme, and I haven’t done one in a while, so why the heck not? We reserve the right to stretch any definition to fit the available material (and to play hell with pronoun agreement), of course.

My Most Beautiful Post: You are —->here [2 January 2005].

[T]he past never goes away. We have a path, a timeline, from which we do not deviate, but so does everything else. What we see as the present is simply the intersection of all those timelines: our own, those of our friends and families, the homes in which we live, the forests that were supplanted by the cities that now contain most of those homes.

My Most Popular Post: No doubt you’ve noticed this yourself [11 May 2009]. (Instalanched to the tune of 13,000-plus that day.)

My Most Controversial Post: A penalty box for two [9 June 2009]. (38 comments!)

This suggests that we’re not going to find much more fuel economy in future vehicles, unless the Obamanauts find a reliable source of liquid unicorn scat or something, and that in a world with its priorities in order, Henry Waxman would be forced to give up his limo for the back seat of a ’75 Civic.

My Most Helpful Post: However implausible it may seem [29 November 2010].

So I slid the battery out of its slot and into a Ziploc bag, and set it in the freezer for fourteen hours. I gave it three hours to warm back up, shoved it back into the machine, and plugged it in; the trusty orange Charging light came on. When the orange light turned to green, I disconnected the power cord and booted up the machine. After four minutes, I checked the power meter: 97 percent.

A Post I Didn’t Think Got the Attention It Deserved: Domo arigato, mystery motto [23 September 2011]. (Not only did it call for the simplest possible responses, the title was one of my best. Or worst.)

The Post I’m Most Proud Of: At the very edge of civilization [13 July 2004].

I don’t believe for a moment that having a population of ten per square mile, as North Dakota does, is some sort of tragedy. (Oklahoma has around fifty; factor out the two largest metro areas and the figure drops into the twenties, with Lawton, about the same size as Fargo, as the largest remaining city.) Maybe it’s inevitable that a place called the Peace Garden State is going to be rather sparsely populated. But I figure that the people who live here are ingenious enough to keep themselves afloat; after all, they manage to get by without voter registration just fine, and this is the sort of independent streak that usually means a finely-tuned survival instinct.

A Post Whose Success Surprised Me: Semi-nice try [20 August 2011]. (A simple reprint of a piece of comment spam, it got 13 comments in less than five and a half hours.)

Feel free to swipe the concept if you’re so inclined.

Comments (1)




Seems legit

Fillyjonk explains her fondness for Internet memes:

I love them. I know some people think they’re stupid, or certain ones are overdone, or whatever. But I think I love them for a very specific reason related to my sense of humor. I am that kind of person who will carry a joke a little too far, who will be laughing over a repetition of it even after other people have found it, well, repetitious. (For example: I still find Rickrolls pretty funny, though I think the “cool people” probably are going “2007 called; they want their meme back.”)

“X called; they want their Y back” is, of course, a popular snowclone.

It’s always seemed to me is that the appeal of these things is at least partially attributable to their amazing ability to annoy the hell out of the Y SO SRS? types who clutter up our days. And those who have endured my shtick for the last decade and a half know that the beatings will continue until the equines are resurrected.

I think also I find incongruities — things that shouldn’t go together, but that someone thinks to put together — extremely funny.

Rebecca Black in a physics question

Now that one I couldn’t resist.

Comments (3)




WWCHD?

Let’s see if I can make any sense of this batch of questions, all of which begin “What would you do if…”:

1. The couple right upstairs was always very loud and unrestrained in their frequent lovemaking sessions.
  I moved. But actually, I was more annoyed by subwoofers than by seduction.

2. You’ve got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection. Plus the killing jar.
  That’s how I know it’s my kid.

3. You were the only one on your block who never had a fingerbox.
  Somehow I doubt that.

4. You got a windfall of $100,000.
  I’d spend most of it on debt reduction, and then schedule a World Tour.

5. The police had a warrant and confiscated your computer.
  I’d change all my passwords immediately.

6. At a bar, a person of the same sex you swear you never met before knows everything about you.
  “Oh, wow, a regular reader!”

7. On your way to the art gallery you see yourself walking the other way with a wrapped painting under your arm.
  I’d wonder if I’d gotten that $100k windfall in item #4.

8. You had it wrong all along.
  Wouldn’t be the first time, believe me.

9. The search engine tells you exactly the best brand name product to use for that problem but when you search for the brand name product no search engine you use can find it.
  Not to worry. It’s on eBay somewhere.

10. Kenneth actually told you the frequency.
  And I tell him, “I believe that qualifies as TMI.”

(Purloined from Incurable Insomniac.)

Comments (5)




The paper is on a roll

I hate to respond to a perfectly good blog meme with a “Not Applicable,” but truth will out: I don’t actually read anything while seated on the throne.

The reason for this is twofold:

  1. The Army used to allow us something like 240 seconds to perform the Three S Functions (the other two being “shower” and “shave”) at 0-dark-hundred, and it got me into the habit of doing this sort of thing as quickly as possible;
  2. The otherwise-spacious layout of the palatial estate at Surlywood fails to put much “room” in “bathroom,” which may be one reason why the previous owner decided to sell. Little reason to linger when the walls are closing in on you.

Besides, as noted before, I don’t multitask very well.

Comments (3)




Half a pound of ground round

Tom T. Hall celebrates stuff like that. (Seriously.) The Great American Burger, however, did not make it to Hall’s list of things he loves:

I love … little baby ducks,
Old pickup trucks,
Slow movin’ trains,
And rain.

It goes on from there. Nothing complicated, nothing particularly out of the ordinary — and nothing you couldn’t relate to yourself. And it probably has nothing to do with the fact that Dick Stanley is asking some of us for seven things we love.

For my purposes here, I’m defining “things” in such a way as to exclude persons: off go my children, my grandchildren, and Whoever’s In Charge Up There. Which leaves the following:

  1. My house. It was the 11th one I looked at when I went shopping in 2003, and I didn’t need to see anything else: it was just big enough, just quirky enough, and just inside my budget limitations. If the expense of late has been larger than I might have hoped, well, geez, the place is 61 years old; it’s cheaper to maintain than I am, and I’m five years younger.
  2. My music. This covers a lot of ground; I quipped on a message board somewhere last week that in iTunes alone I had stuff from 1940 to last month. While I never cared much for Edward Bellamy’s socialist utopia in Looking Backward: 2000-1887, I did like his idea of piped-in music, and well before 2000, I was able to provide rather a lot of my own. (Major regret: I can’t play music worth a damn.)
  3. The Great American Burger. Variations on this theme are legion, and justifiably so. Maybe half a pound of ground round is overdoing it, or maybe not. For reasons utterly unrelated to calorie count, I always hold the mayo. (Your mileage may vary.)
  4. Mobility. I can walk, and I can drive. I cherish both of these functions, despite the expense. (I had knee surgery a few years back; I don’t need to tell you how much it costs to own a motor vehicle these days.) And I will be despondent should I lose either.
  5. My position as a member of the community. It’s not much of a position, at least in any official sense, but since I gave up the title of Perennial Renter (see item #1), I feel I have much more invested in this town, this neighborhood, and perhaps in my own sense of self.
  6. The Bill of Rights. I cherish the notion of a list of things a government can’t legally do. I’d like it even better if there were some way to force them to stop doing them. (Which perhaps argues for the primacy of the Second Amendment.)
  7. Switchable connectivity. I bought my first computer specifically as a communications tool, a quarter-century ago. I’ve been online more or less ever since. For those of us afflicted with, or delighted by, occasional spates of misanthropy, it’s a comfort to know that we can switch off various channels that annoy us.

I depart from Hall orthodoxy in one particular: as a matter of fact, I’m not so crazy about beer. How this happened, I’ll never know.

Comments (4)




To C what he could C

Following the lead of Xrlq, who did this with his B list, here’s a list of the artists in the C section of my CD tree. (This does not include classical stuff, which is filed by composer, and which would be tricky, what with all the compilations and such.)

  • Glen Campbell
  • The Capitol Steps
  • Captain and Tennille
  • Kim Carnes
  • Carpenters
  • Johnny Cash
  • Charly Cazalet
  • cc: Diva
  • Ray Charles
  • Catherine Marie Charlton
  • The Charms
  • Chicago
  • Susan Christie
  • June Christy*
  • Suzanne Ciani
  • Circus Maximus
  • The Dave Clark Five
  • Petula Clark
  • Marc Cohn
  • Natalie Cole
  • Sam Cooke
  • Jonathan Coulton
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Julee Cruise

* Includes one set with Stan Kenton.

Incidentally, said tree looks like this, except mine has the cherrywood finish.

Comments (12)




Clearly I don’t embarrass easily

We all thank Marko for asking, but I’m not in a position to list the five most embarrassing albums on my iPod, for the following reasons:

  1. I don’t have an iPod. I have a Sony MP3 Walkman and a couple of iTunes installs, the bigger of which is on my work box.
  2. No actual albums were uploaded to the Walkman; it’s all singles.
  3. That large iTunes install (4,563 tracks) is mostly singles. Apart from classical sets, there are only six complete albums:
    • Ory Chalk, Queen of Hearts
    • Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
    • Jethro Tull, Thick as a Brick
    • Local H, Twelve Angry Months
    • Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells
    • She & Him, Volume One

I don’t find any of those particularly embarrassing. Then again, this comes from someone who owns four Enya albums.

Aside: I did an experiment last week during the commute: two days with Enya on the stereo (Watermark and Shepherd Moons), followed by two days with Nine Inch Nails (both discs of Ghosts I-IV). If my driving was at all affected by what was playing, I didn’t notice.

(Suggested by Mark Alger, who has even more Enya than I do. Then again, I still have all those Debbie Deborah Gibson albums.)

Comments (6)




Which may explain John Ydstie

Oh, those wonderful names on National Public Radio:

[W]e’ve often wondered what it would be like to be one of them. A Nina Totenberg or a Renita Jablonski. A David Kestenbaum or a Lakshmi Singh. Even (on our most ambitious days) a Cherry Glaser or a Sylvia Poggioli.

So finally, after years of Fresh Air sign-off ambitions, we came up with a system for creating our own NPR Names. Here’s how it works: You take your middle initial and insert it somewhere into your first name. Then you add on the smallest foreign town you’ve ever visited.

(Via Nicolle Guanabo’s husband.)

Comments (14)




John Beresford Tipton buys me a car

Well, not really. But play along with Francis W. Porretto here:

1. Michael Anthony (if you’re too young to remember the old TV show The Millionaire, look it up) has come to your home and offered to buy you the car of your choice, no matter what that car might be or cost. But there are conditions:

  • It has to be in current production;
  • You have to foot all running and maintenance expenses;
  • It will be the only car you’ll get to drive or use in any way for the next ten years, no matter what happens, where you might need to go, or why.

What would your choice be?

2. Defend that choice, with specific reference to your circumstances — and remember that you’re not allowed the use of any other car, including that of your spouse if you have one.

3. Now describe a set of circumstances you could plausibly face in which, no matter how carefully you chose your new car, you’d rather have some other car for those conditions.

Under present-day circumstances, I think I’d opt for Infiniti’s small crossover, the EX35. Justifications:

  • It’s essentially a wagon version of the G sedan, a highly-covetable little darb in its own right;
  • It still drives like a G, apart from a couple extra inches of height, separating it from the general run of SUVs that aren’t really SUVs;
  • It should fit nicely in my existing garage;
  • Operating expenses would likely not be much different from what I’m spending now on Gwendolyn. (The EX will burn a tad more fuel, but most repairs will be covered under warranty for four years.)

The EX is not a particularly good off-road vehicle, though, so were I to move way out into the sticks, I’d be better served by something with more rock-hopping capability.

Comments (1)




Working for scale

Prompted by Michele, I have determined that as far as the Chinese are concerned, I am a consumer of cheap crap a Snake. Let’s see about that:

Snakes have always been the seducers of human beings. If you know the story of “The White Snake”, you will understand what I mean. In reality, Snake people are born charming and popular. Snakes are spotlight magnets, and they will not be ignored. Peer group attention and public recognition are the least of what he expects. Yet Snakes are never noisy or deliberately outspoken, and they have have excellent manners.

This has, of course, nothing to do with Whitesnake. And while I insist that I don’t seek the limelight and don’t care a fig for fame, readers might point out that not only do I have a SiteMeter, but I actually pay for it.

I have been outspoken at times, occasionally even deliberately.

Most people are secretly or hopelessly in love with Snakes. Gather those frustrated folk you know and most likely, they are probably in love with a Snake. Irresistible as they seem, the Snake never wastes time in idle gossip. He thinks often and deeply. He is an intellectual, a philosopher, a cerebral person. Snake people rely heavily on first impressions, on their own feelings, on their sympathies, rather than on facts, on the advice and opinions on others. He seems to have a kind of sixth sense in this way.

If I seem to have a sixth sense, it’s because the other five aren’t working correctly, or something. And this description seems to conflict with my established INTJ status.

In money matters, the Snake has good luck: he doesn’t have to worry — he’ll always be able to lay his hand on money when he needs it. Generally, Snakes are careful but generous with friends and family. The Snake should stick to careers that won’t involve him in any risk — even the risk of working too hard, for to tell the truth, the Snake is a bit lazy.

I think I have all of $35 in my PayPal account. (I suppose I could stash a few more dollars in there, but I’m too lazy.)

In love, the Snake male is romantic and charming. He has a sense of humor and the female is usually beautiful and successful. but if a Snake chooses a partner, he’ll be jealous and possessive — even if he no longer loves her. Rejection is the worst blow his delicate ego can suffer. The Snake must be received, welcomed, accepted and approved by those with whom he comes in contact. They need a lot of security.

Hmpf. If it weren’t for rejection, I’d get no reaction from those beautiful and/or successful females at all.

As with real snakes, which hibernate in the cold season and come out when it’s warm, Snake people shine in the hot months. And the Snake born at midday in the heat of a tropical summer will be happier than one born in the middle of an icy night in winter. The destiny of those born under this sign is so sensitive to the inclemencies of climate that the almanac warns Snakes born on a stormy day that they will face danger throughout their lives.

Well, I do have a fairly-advanced case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. And I don’t recall what the weather was like the day I was born; I wasn’t allowed to go outside back then.

There’s a lot more to the description, but I think I can dismiss it with a hiss or two.

Comments (6)




Meet George Jetsam

Suggested by Steph Waller:

Go into your archives and post the first sentence from the first post you made each month last year.

Okay, will do. Let’s see what sort of crumby stuff I’ve been casting on the waters:

January: “Worst titles of 2007″ contains no full sentence until the very end: “Some marginally-acceptable turns of phrase are recounted here.”

February: “The City Sentinel broadsheet is adopting a time-honored method of hyping sales: they’re cutting the price.”

March: “Space is precious in Japan, which has five times the population of Texas in about half the area.” [On unusual farming techniques.]

April: “In a lifetime of klutziness, I’ve broken lots of light bulbs, even a socket or two, usually with no ill effects other than finding that one last shard of glass three weeks later.”

May: “During a one-hour period yesterday, someone’s botnet planted about 100 bogus TrackBacks here, connected to a whole link farm full of Yahoo! 360 blogs which were probably created by a botnet.”

June: “Patterico recommends Michael J. O’Gara for Office No. 94 of the Los Angeles Superior Court.”

July: “You don’t give a damn about us, but we’re your biggest customer.” [By “you,” I mean “television.”]

August: “In my opinion, the 45 rpm record is the greatest invention in the history of popular culture because it meant that for the first time in history, anyone — especially kids — could buy art — real art — with just the change in their pockets.” [This was a blockquote from elsewhere.]

September: “I started doing this about three years ago, and it proved to be relatively popular among the readership, by which is meant that not one of them has commanded me to cut it out or face the Wrath of [insert name of presumably wrathful entity].”

October: “This odd-looking contraption is nothing more than a strap for your cell phone or other electronic gizmo, made up to look like a blood drip, available in your blood type unless you have some wacky antigen that maybe five or six people on earth share.”

November: “Yes, it’s time for another DST rant: not mine, though.”

December: “If you were wondering ‘When’s the next time we get to look at some more weird search strings?’ the answer is ‘Right about now.'”

And it’s probably as well that I do this myself from my position at the very Heart of Obscurity, for no biographer would get within three meters of this unfocused detritus.

Comments (2)




Working on it

As seen here:

Just list all the jobs you’ve had in your life, in order. Don’t bust your brain: no durations or details are necessary, and feel free to omit anything that you feel might tend to incriminate you. I’m just curious. And when you’re done, tag another five bloggers you’re curious about.

Nice to know that blogdom, at least, still pays heed to the Fifth Amendment.

That said, I’ve done all of the following:

  • Newspaper carrier
  • Fast-food drone, including burger-griller and taco tucker
  • Personnel clerk
  • Infantryman [more or less contemporaneous with “personnel clerk”]
  • Inventory specialist
  • Accounts-receivable clerk
  • Customer-service specialist
  • Tape librarian
  • Accounts-payable clerk
  • Destroyer of used equipment
  • Telephone order-taker
  • Server operator
  • Website backend management [recently contemporaneous with “server operator”]

I need hardly point out that I was better at some of these than at others. And the order is not always precisely chronological: for one thing, I had two stints at “newspaper carrier,” roughly nine years apart.

My belated Christmas/on-time Boxing Day present: I’m not gonna tag you.

Comments (10)




I want my Dada

Courtesy of the DADA Server:

Your secret name is Stubbed Toe.
The animal which symbolizes you is Beer Thirty.
The color of your soul is Round.
The celebrity you most resemble is Nutmeg.
Your special pain or illness is Hans.
Your most important time of day is platypus.
The shape of your life is twighlight.
And the flavor which identifies you most is hitler.

Possibly even “hitlest.”

On a related subject: how many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb? [Answer: The bicycle’s broken.]

(Suggested by Scribal Terror.)

Comments (1)




Been here, did some of that

Seen at Og’s, and followed up by Andrea and Mark, so I figured I’d give it a shot myself. Items in bold are items I actually have done, with notes where necessary.

  1. Started your own blog [Duh.]
  2. Slept under the stars
  3. Played in a band
  4. Visited Hawaii
  5. Watched a meteor shower
  6. Given more than you can afford to charity
  7. Been to Disneyland [I assume Disney World counts.]
  8. Climbed a mountain [Only if bicycling counts.]
  9. Held a praying mantis
  10. Sang a solo [If karaoke counts.]
  11. Bungee jumped
  12. Visited Paris
  13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from land)
  14. Taught yourself an art from scratch [If Web work is any sort of art.]
  15. Adopted a child
  16. Had food poisoning
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  18. Grown your own vegetables
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
  20. Slept on an overnight train
  21. Had a pillow fight
  22. Hitch hiked
  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
  24. Built a snow fort
  25. Held a lamb
  26. Gone skinny dipping
  27. Run a Marathon
  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
  29. Seen a total eclipse
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
  31. Hit a home run
  32. Been on a cruise
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
  34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors [First generation, anyway.]
  35. Seen an Amish community
  36. Taught yourself a new language
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
  39. Gone rock climbing
  40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
  41. Sung karaoke
  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
  44. Visited Africa
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
  46. Been transported in an ambulance
  47. Had your portrait painted
  48. Gone deep sea fishing
  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
  52. Kissed in the rain
  53. Played in the mud
  54. Gone to a drive-in theater
  55. Been in a movie
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China
  57. Started a business
  58. Taken a martial arts class
  59. Visited Russia
  60. Served at a soup kitchen
  61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
  62. Gone whale watching
  63. Got flowers for no reason
  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
  65. Gone sky diving
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
  67. Bounced a check
  68. Flown in a helicopter
  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
  71. Eaten Caviar
  72. Pieced a quilt
  73. Stood in Times Square
  74. Toured the Everglades
  75. Been fired from a job
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
  77. Broken a bone
  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  80. Published a book
  81. Visited the Vatican
  82. Bought a brand new car
  83. Walked in Jerusalem
  84. Had your picture in the newspaper
  85. Read the entire Bible
  86. Visited the White House
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating [Well, a squirrel, anyway.]
  88. Had chickenpox
  89. Saved someone’s life
  90. Sat on a jury
  91. Met someone famous
  92. Joined a book club
  93. Lost a loved one
  94. Had a baby [Technically, she had the baby, but it was a joint production.]
  95. Seen the Alamo in person
  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
  97. Been involved in a law suit
  98. Owned a cell phone
  99. Been stung by a bee
  100. Read an entire book in one day

Some of these seem a lot more mundane than others, which leads me to believe that the person who originally conceived this list was writing up his own list of things in the hope of finding people who had had similar experiences at all levels.

I find it surprising that I’ve done roughly a third of them — and not surprising that most people seem to have done more than that.

Comments (10)




The Big Five and me

Comments (3)




Detached or something

I saw this at Nina’s and for some reason thought I had to try it for myself. Here’s the premise:

The scale you completed is the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, created by Brennan, Clark, and Shaver (1998). The scale is a measure of an individual’s “attachment style” in romantic relationships. It yields scores on two dimensions of attachment that together explain a lot of the variability in how people relate to their romantic partners. The first dimension is called attachment-related Anxiety and it represents the extent to which an individual is secure vs. insecure about whether his/her partner will be available and responsive to his/her needs. A high score on attachment anxiety suggests that a person is afraid of rejection and abandonment. The second dimension is called attachment-related Avoidance and it represents the extent to which an individual is uncomfortable being close to others vs. secure and comfortable with depending on others. A high score on avoidance suggests that a person likes to keep his/her distance in romantic relationships and strongly dislikes depending on a romantic partner.

The reason why we are interested in romantic attachment is because several recent studies show a connection between moral values and attachment, as well as between political ideology and attachment. These studies however have produced conflicting results, and we hope to shed some light on the controversy.

The graph below shows your scores on attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety as they compare to those of the average liberal and the average conservative who have taken this survey on our website. Scores range from 1 to 7 and higher numbers indicate more attachment avoidance and anxiety. Your score is shown in green. The score of the average Liberal survey respondent is shown in blue and that of the average Conservative respondent is in red.

The difference in scores between Liberals and Conservatives, judging by the table, is fairly insignificant, though there are rather a lot more Liberal respondents, which I suspect is due to a greater fondness on the left for filing out surveys of this type. At any rate, I’m quite a bit more anxious than either.


Comments (5)




Lacking spectacle

Terry has requested half a dozen “unspectacular things” about me, which shouldn’t be difficult, inasmuch as I tend toward the dull end of the spectrum anyway. Let’s see what comes up:

  1. The last time I owned a car with a stick shift was 1995; still, every time I approach an intersection, my right arm goes for the gear lever. Old habits die hard, if they die at all.
  2. I’ve had the same set of flatware (undistinguished stainless) for twenty-six years; I think I’ve lost one fork during that time.
  3. I have two functioning wristwatches: an early-80s clunker, which I wear, and an up-to-date model which checks in with an atomic time signal every morning, which I don’t wear because (1) it’s way too chunky and (2) despite its daily corrections it keeps really lousy time.
  4. I’ve bought four copies of the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds since its 1966 release; several other albums on my shelf are in their third incarnation.
  5. In the manner of a Doting Dad, I once schlepped the kids all the way to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Unlike most such dads, I did this while the kids were in their twenties.
  6. I’ve had a Bluetooth headset for about a year. I think I’ve used it once.

To be any drabber, I’d have to have worked at Accountemps. Which, incidentally, I have.

Addendum: Someone on Tumblr has a photograph of a watch essentially identical to the one I’m wearing.

Further addendum: Which photo apparently I linked to last year sometime. So much for my memory.

Comments (4)