Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog Casserole: This Skinny Girl's Got A Great Ass, But It's Covered By Her Dressing Gown! (What? It's A Blue Moon!)

Before we get very far, can I be a bit of a sap for just a second?
Well, it's my blog, and I'm doing it regardless.
Nine years ago today, one of the biggest blessings in my life violently scratched and clawed her way up my arm, and into my jaded little heart. About the size of a hotdog, and weighing a little over four pounds, her already broad stubborn will and mine immediately blended perfectly; we are still symbiotic as all sixteen pounds of her snores in my lap right now. My Lilly and I have been practically inseparable these nine years. It has been one of the greatest privileges in my young life to share our lives together; now, some folks might say "dude, it's just a dog", but those people probably don't know Lilly. She may not be a special needs baby, but she's my baby (though she also answers to Smush-Smush/Smushie/Smushie-Face/Smushie-Bear, Baby, Baboo, and You Little Munchkie) . When I say I have three best friends, she is counted. The apple of my eye, and one of the greatest joys of my first twenty years, my little girl -- the wild heathen she was when I first saw her -- has been more than I bargained for back in 2003, but in the best possible way.
And, yesterday, it was twelve years since another of my greatest joys, Lavern, magically appeared in our lives. Virnie may have already crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but I always specifically think of my babies on these final two days of August.
My beautiful girls.

We now bring you back to regularly scheduled programming.

*I love to keep track of how folks find my blog. I can't help it; if people stop searching for awesome things, then maybe I'll stop checking my statistics quite so often. I always screencap my favorites, but for the sake of saving space, here is a condensed list of my recent favorites, coupled with where I think they were directed:
punks holding koalas
images of cantankerous people
skinny girl great ass
the nutter in the dressing gown

The last entry was quite puzzling to me; so much so, I Googled it. All that came up was a blog -- all four posts of it -- called Dressing Gown Diaries. Considering it hasn't been updated since December 2008, I don't suppose that person was searching for it; I would, however, love to know what they were looking for.
Either way, I'm still wearing my dressing gown -- right now, as a matter of fact.
Speaking of blogs and things, I'm guessing that you have seen the changes I made to the page a while ago. Hopefully, it's easier to read than before, and fills your screen a little better. Also, for those of you who would like to sign up for an email alert every time I publish new material, scroll down the page to my subscription box (cleverly titled "Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)"), put in your email, and my posts can start harassing your inbox. At least, that's what Blogger said it would do, but maybe they've read my blog and simply view it's entire existence as Internet harassment.

*I'm assuming this was the first week of college/whatever classes for most people, right? How was it? Mine was hilarious.
Would you like to hear about it?
Too bad.
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

My major is somewhat specific, especially at this upper stage, so most of the people have been around since I started, with very minor additions. Now, picture, if you will, that I am sitting in a totally deserted classroom for so long, that I've had time to get up, double check that I was in the right room, and read the entire first chapter of the textbook. I'm already on edge about whether I'm even in the right place, when hoards of people suddenly pour into the tiny room. Since they were familiar faces, I knew I was just several decades earlier than the rest of them. So, there I am, continuing my business, when someone calls me by name. My internal groan machine pegged on "MAXIMUM CAPACITY, JUST SHOOT ME", I turn around to see a face I knew was there last semester, but who's name I neither knew, or had probably even heard before. I hadn't even given her an internal monicker, as I had for "The Talker", "Left-Lady" (who, ironically, chose to sit in the exact same place as she had last semester; I guess I didn't scare her nearly as much as I thought I did), "Frank", "Alfred", "The Goof-Ass" and "The Married People", just to name a few. I suppose she's a nice enough girl, I just don't know her name. Whoever she is, she knows my name, and I think it's a little creepy. Does this mean she needs a monicker? I actually don't know at this point.

Of the new folk I saw this week, there is a little clique -- yes, a good ol' fashioned clique -- of freshly graduated high schoolers who, lyke-zoh-emm-gee-all-graduated-lyke-tahgether. For now, their collective monicker is "The Highschoolers", just because I'm that original. I had to give them a monicker the first night just because of their obnoxious behavior. I mean, I know that not everyone will sit quietly to themselves with their bottlecap glasses slipping down their nose as they review material until the class actually begins -- I know, 'cause I get weird looks for doing it (I have excellent peripheral vision, you in-class losers!) -- but there is no need to come in and give us your damn biography in an abomination of American English Slang. Yes, even their slang was an abomination, purely because I had no idea what they were talking about. I felt like I was back on the monorail at Disneyland (our carriage was filled with stereotypical high schoolers out for a good time). They seem nice enough, I suppose; they offered me gum, but it was very awkward...

...but without me thinking of this the whole time, like I did with the previous clip...

This is all well and good, but I've already got an anecdote about them. Two classes, and they've already made my brain work out something they probably haven't even thought twice about. Yesterday, in they waltz, talking about radio stations.
Yes, radio stations.
Before I even start on this train wreck, let me just say that I'm neutral on Top 40 radio -- we must never forget that The Beatles dominated Top 40 throughout their career, plus -- but for it to be someone's favorite radio station? Firstly, why? Secondly, who the hell listens to actual radio anymore? I haven't in years.
The following is a dramatization of the tail end of their conversation:

A: My favorite radio station is MIX 94.1!
B: Zohmygawd, we're gonna get along so good, lyke, that's my favorite station, too.
A: I know, it's so old school! They were playing [singsong] "I don't wanna clooOooooooOse my eyes" --
B: I know! I didn't wanna get outta my car! They were playing The Backstreet Boys earlier. Zohmagawd, I, lyke, love it.

Sure, I can excuse Aerosmith (even if that song was released in the 90's; I know, because my sister just had to have the single [yes, a physical CD, children, with just a few songs on it] when it came out with the film "Armageddon" [when she was on her Bruce Willis kick]), but to call The Backstreet Boys "old school" goes against the definition of the phrase (I just looked it up on Urban Dictionary, so I think I'm using this correctly). The Backstreet Boys are neither from a different generation than these girls are, nor were they groundbreaking/trendsetting. If anything, they were part of the post-New Kids On The Block boy band formula revival, rivaling NSYNC, or 98 Degrees in Top 40 radio. Now, I know many people don't have a memory quite as refined as mine (I have a theory that people's memories don't gear up until about age ten because they were unintentionally taught to shut their minds off when in school; since I didn't go to public school, I can remember bits and pieces of things up to age five [starting as early as about eight months old], and have an increasingly photographic mind from six and up), but, by my calculations, they were born in 1994; assuming their memories rev into gear at at age four, that would be around 1998. The same year this song was on the radio...

Now, it's not at all impossible that they remember that song on radio. I know, because I remember things on radio I probably shouldn't. However, I got to really thinking about this situation last night. To put this into context, I'm going to use myself as an example. Using the same parameters, I'm going to place myself at ages four and five, because I'm an October baby, and that cusp always throws stuff off. So, Top 40 radio in 1995 and 1996.
There was this...

...and this (it gets really loud at the end, so adjust volume accordingly)...

Now, looking again at the definition of "old school", The Highschoolers' bastardization just doesn't make sense. Maybe they could get away with it if they were talking about something from before they were born; if they had said MIX played something like "All Apologies", I'd probably allow that (insider family question: I don't remember if my sister had any Nirvana in her collection; she was more singer-songwriter than grunge, but she was in high school at the time, so I can't be too sure), but The Backstreet Boys?
Just. No.
Besides, I was an NSYNC kind of kid, and it was like a Beatles and Stones-esque I-won't-listen-to-the-other-band opposites. It split friendships on the playground, especially when I told my little friends that I was going to see them live; they tried to rip the seating chart out of my hands -- even though it clearly stated it wasn't a ticket, and I had only printed it to show them where we were going to sit -- and run away screaming "I STOLE YOUR TICKETS! JUSTIN'S MINE!" at the tops of their little girly voices. My mother, always the trooper, said she didn't mind taking me to the show because, unlike "those other boys", they didn't have tattoos. Which is a nice segue for...

*Have y'all seen the Don't Panic album trailer? (Oh, come on now, surely you knew I would fangirl this a little more publicly since I get to see them tour on the album drop cycle.)

Are we going to bet on how many times "I'll be your Wendy" will be reblogged on tumblr? Guesses? Also, dear-God-I'm-taking-my-mother-to-this-what-was-I-thinking?

Also released October 9 is the Magical Mystery Tour film! It's just so pretty!

Director's commentary, you say? Mmmmm.

This brings up Fangirl Problems. I, of course, want the super-dee-duper-delux edition, with the book and extra stuff; however, when I went to preorder it, it was about sixty-some dollars more expensive than the DVD alone. Knowing me, this isn't really a problem, more like feeling guilty for the splurge. What? Did you even question if I was going to get the biggest package available?

I am in the process of debating another preorder purchase, too. See, I would prefer to have a physical copy of The Maine's upcoming EP, but if you preorder their live DVD, the EP comes as a free download. Oh, silly Fangirl Problems.
But the EP sounds pretty interesting...

In October, Andy Burrows is releasing his first solo album; now, I've been waiting for him to do this for ages, but he's finally going for it. If we can judge anything from the song he's giving out on his website, or the single he released a few months ago, it should be a real treat.

As an aside, has anyone noticed that Andy Burrows...
...looks an awful lot like Graham Nash?
You be the judge.

If you keep up with Beatles news, you'll have heard of the BBC documentary "Produced by George Martin", which aired last year in the UK. Wait for it... it's coming out on DVD!


And, in the meantime, this chorus has been stuck in my head for about a week...

So, what have we learned from this edition of Blog Casserole?

*I'm a crazy dog lady.

*Y'all search some weird stuff. I don't know which is more worrying: that you guys search for this stuff, or that you arrive here when you do.

*I am anticipating some exciting packages in the near future...

*I should probably learn people's names...

...and I've turned into Miriam Margolyes...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yours, Mine, And Kevin's Christmas Story

I think it's pretty safe to say that, if you have explored this blog long enough, you will have noticed two very important things about its author: an intense, life-long love of period pieces; and that I subconsciously live my entire life as if I were in a warped period piece (the Hipster Versus Anachronism post, and the Titanic post are probably good places to look if you didn't grasp this information).
That being said, we're talking about one of my favorite films in the History of Ever, "A Christmas Story".

When I say the History of Ever, I really mean it; one of my earliest memories is looking through our VHS collection, picking out this movie, and asking my mother to set up the television so I could watch it. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize just how engrained in my life this film truly is.
Every Christmas, we put it on while we're trying our damnedest to be festive...

And, occasionally, we give each other themed presents...
See that circled package? It's an official Red Ryder BB gun. I kidded my mother for weeks that the package was just the right shape for it; oh, how we laughed when that was what it turned out to be!

This was last year. All twenty year olds need bunny suits, right?

There was even a Christmas that I gave my sister a leg lamp. Way back in the mists of time, we agreed that, should we ever find leg lamps on sale, we would get one for each sister. By that time, of course, my sister had gone off and gotten married, so, naturally, I never saw the lamp as a soft furnishing in her home (I sometimes wonder if she tried to return it, only to find that I got it half-price).

The icing on the cake, though, was during our marvelous trip to Canada (we don't talk about it). While we were passing through Cleveland, we had to stop at the Parker's house.
I bought a decoder pin there, which I display, and keep constantly set to B-22.

Fast forward to about an hour ago.
Here we sit, happily sipping our tea in the office. All is quiet, but for the annoying hum of the air conditioner, and an occasional chuckle as we each look (otherwise) silently at our respective screens. Suddenly, the silence is broken: "oh, by the way, I read that they were making 'A Christmas Story 2'", my mother said, innocently.

I put my supersleuthing skill to work, only to find the my mother -- as usual -- is right.

In case you don't want to read the article, let me just summarize the main point: instead of a Red Ryder, sixteen year old Ralphie wants a car. Specifically, this car.

Why did this have to be done under the guise of 'A Christmas Story'? Does anyone remember 'My Summer Story'? It was a travesty...

It's a similar situation to the remake of 'Yours, Mine, and Ours' that came out back in '05: I didn't see that remake, either.
Of course, I have an even longer history of a love affair with this movie. For example, the reason I chose a picture from the wedding scene is that, as a smaller child, I got to see the very dress Lucy is wearing in an exhibit at Disney World (this was in October 2002), and I spent a good hour just looking at it from every possible angle. I love that dress so much that, when I saw one practically identical to it in an antique shop a year or so ago, I bought it; as an aside, I'm still looking for a killer pair of blue shoes for it (tried green velvet, it didn't work).

Couldn't the film makers have just used the idea, rather than trying to cash in on the unreasonably popular sequel theory? Instead of Ralphie, call him... I don't know, call him Kevin. That's it, Kevin. Sixteen year old Kevin wants a killer car; Kevin wants a '61 Plymouth Valiant...
...and oh, how he wants that car! Stuff happens, and at the end of the film, Kevin ends up with a '67 Nova (since everyone knows that Novas have been kid cars since the dawn of time)...
Kevin is happy, the audience is happy, every-frickin'-body is happy. All's well that ends well. Bam. Have a movie idea on me, Hollywood, but don't ruin an American tradition. The only way this new installment could ever be part of the American tradition is in some sort of alternate universe.

Maybe we should just stay clear of Hollywood as a whole, and leave film ideas to musicians. They do other awesome stuff, let's just add to their workload.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blog Casserole: Wayne Bought Some Noodles For The Raccoons In The Sink

Maybe you've noticed (or not, since the rest of you have lives) that this slice of the Webbynet has been conspicuously silent over the last five weeks.
That's because I have been dealing with some very unreasonable people in a pleasantly brief summer class. With my final assignment submitted, I am back to my crazy little self, and my crazy little blog.
With that said, let's talk about some things that have happened in the last month.

*So, this Olympics thing is going on, apparently. I really wouldn't know, as I lost all interest in the affair after Paul closed the Opening Ceremony.

Have you seen the footage of Liverpool Street Station from that night? It's pretty awesome...

So is this video from earlier this week...

Speaking of the Opening Ceremony, can I say publicly that NBC's coverage really sucked? 'Cause it did. Not only did they cut half of the Arctic Monkeys set, they also completely removed Frank Turner's appearance. Way to go, NBC; you effectively took out the best non-Paul parts of the entire ceremony.
While we're on this subject, you would be surprised how many variations on the Band Olympics I've seen in the last couple of weeks. Thanks for stealing my blog post, people.

*I had a major Anachronism Moment last week. My mother was on indefinite hold with someone or other, and the wait music was Lady Gaga -- not corny elevator music, but Lady Gaga. I tried not to let it bother me, but it kinda sorta did, just a little, maybe. It caused me to do some digging for one of my favorite things from my not-so-distant childhood. I eventually found it; a music box that you would put a telephone receiver on to trigger the spinny wheely thingy, and it would play for about a minute before you had to wind it up again. Mine still works; it plays "Love Story"...

It raises an irritating question: why on earth would you make Lady Gaga your hold music? I mean, I know not everyone is going to make the "Love Story" music box their standard, but if I wanted to be reminded that "Bad Romance" was a mega-hit, I would have looked elsewhere; specifically, the 3:05 timestamp ...

(Rumor has it their new album already has a name, Don't Panic, and will be released October 9th; I've already preordered two copies, you should, too!)

*Surely I'm not the only person on the planet that hates the YouTube ads, right? You're just trying to load a stupid video, why would you want to listen to some moron talk about Internet Explorer, chewing gum, Visa Cards, or whatever they're peddling these days. Since our internet is so obnoxiously slow in Hickville, the little "Skip Ad" banner button loads before the ad itself; when I know an ad is coming, I go to another tab until my five seconds are up and I can skip that bitch.
I was minding my own business one night, propped up in bed, three o'clock in the morning, no lights on, trying to load something (bets on whether it was for the blog? No?). I see that an ad is about to start, so I go to a different tab to occupy my brain until it's over. As I'm looking at this new tab, I hear something familiar coming through the headphones, and I immediately begin looking for it. It's not until the ad is half over that I realize it's my YouTube tab, and that... well, look for yourself...

So, apparently, these speakers are so awesome, you'll turn into chocolate when you plug in your genericly-termed-so-they-don't-get-sued-MP3-player. At least, that's what I got out of it. That, and there's finally some kind of international publicity for One Night Only. Who wants to start the slow clap?

One thing is certain: this ad is a helluva lot funnier...

And this one just feels like it needs to be here, because I love it...

OK, I'm good now, let's move on.

*Fall TV is going to start soon! There are some things I'll be keeping a keen eye on in the next couple of months, especially my returning stories.
Community starts October 19th...

Downton Abbey airs in September...
Justice for Mr. Bates!

Parade's End looks like it'll be pretty gear...

And we all know I watch Fresh Meat for Jack Whitehall's character...

JP and Howard were the only two characters that showed any growth in the first season, so I want to see what direction they've taken with them.

*More exciting than Fall television are Fall/Winter tour dates.
Yes, they did.

I have terrible anxiety issues regarding general ticket sales. Public sales are actually ten times more scary to me than presales. So, I did the only natural thing left: I supersleuthed presale codes. We've all been on the wrong end of a presale (Paul opening The Joint in Vegas immediately comes to mind), yet it was imperative to my survival to get presale. I may have had to buy a fanclub membership for a code, but it was worth the few extra bucks to not have to wait three days.
Except I'm not gunna sell my dog; not like anybody else would put up with her quirks, since she's been with me for nine years, and has taken on all of my terrible personality traits.

So, I, uh, may have gotten presale for this...
At BOK Center in Tulsa, where we saw Paul!

...and this...
Which is also my album preorder, entry to an album signing, and the possibility of meet and greet.

...and got these on sale...
I'm usually weeping uncontrollably at this point of the production.

I'm buyin' tickets like my sister used to buy shoes! It's bloody awesome!

The only thing I'm not sure about is taking my mother to the All Time Low show. You may remember that I used their live show as an example of what not to take your mother to when I was rationalizing taking her to see The Plain White T's (these references were made on not one, but two occasions). Since presale dates were announced, I've been sitting here thinking "my God, I'm taking my mother to this", with videos not dissimilar to this one flashing in my mind...

I'll say it again: oh my God, I'm taking my mother to this. Have I finally lost my mind?

So, what have we learned from this edition of Blog Casserole?

*The Olympics are ridiculously boring.

*Either you will laugh heartily at a Lady Gaga parody, or the image will scar you for life.

*Advertising can be effective, or it can just confuse the hell out of you.

*Though the odds aren't that great, we can still hold out hope that Community will be extended to a full season.
You're damn right that's Richard Ayoade.

*We get to see LOVE! Since, you know, last time we didn't actually see LOVE, as we were too busy watching other awesome things (and I hear they changed some stuff in the show, so that will be interesting).

*And The Who!

*And All Time Low!

*And I have to be careful not to do this at either concert...

Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)