Thursday, February 28, 2008

Don't animals with big teeth usually scare children?

In the midst of work business I forced myself to read through my dental magazine again despite its overwhelming scariness. One product that caught my eye this time is a company making plush stuffed animals complete with models of human teeth – for the purposes of teaching little kids how to brush and floss properly, no doubt. Except that when you combine human teeth with animals, you frequently end up with tiny monsters that look either weird or creepy.

Case in point: Max Mustang – the Rastafarian horse. Complete with red eyes and dredlocks. Max = weird.

Second case in point is Finn Z Fish. It looks like Nemo’s grandfather needs dentures! And since most fish don’t have teeth, this one bordered on creepy for me. Although not as much as Shelly Z Starfish

Monday, February 25, 2008

Non-Live (Dead?) Blogging the Oscars

Although I spent pretty much all the Oscars alone in my apartment doing last-minute work stuff for a big presentation tomorrow, I can’t let an Oscars go by without my yearly “Thoughts on the Oscars” overview. Unfortunately, because I was working, I couldn’t live-blog it like I usually do, so here’s what I can recall during my short 10 minute lunch break:

  • Why is Best Supporting actor the first award? Aren’t we supposed to sit through an hour or two of technical awards and art direction before we get to the beefy stuff? Or do you think that maybe the Academy was feeling sorry for all the Spaniards staying up to watch Javier Bardem win and just said “Ah hell, let’s get it over with so they can go to bed? Notice how the Academy hates the French though – making them stay up and wait for Marion Cotillard and all. I mean, sure she was a bit of a surprise, but the Irish had to wait for Daniel Day-Lewis, didn’t they?
  • How in the HE** did Transformers not win for Best Special Effects?!?! A bunch of talking polar bears* is somehow more impressive than CARS that TURN INTO FRIGGIN GIANT ROBOTS and shoot LASERS!?! I think not. Bad call, Academy…
  • I am ambivalent about the Ratatouille win for best Animated Feature. Provided that “Surf’s Up” didn’t win, because surfing penguins that talk like Ninja Turtles is an insult to my intelligence. Ratatouille was not awful, but why wasn’t Transformers up for this? If 85% of the action is CGI characters and special effects I think it’s “animated” enough.
  • Why is Miley Cyrus presenting at the Academy Awards? Am I just not getting something here or is this just a desperate attempt to get little kids excited about watching the Oscars?
    Okay lady-readers. How many of you are all excited about the prospect of winning Heidi Klum’s gown from the red carpet for some “heart health for women” ad campaign? It just seems like if you’re going to give something away, it should be something that the winner could actually *use* if you want people to get excited about it. Sure, I’m sure Ms. Klum has some stalkers that would be very glad to win said dress, but I doubt they’re all up about women’s cardiovascular needs.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum’s sweep of the Sound categories is unwarranted. I saw that movie and the sound was pretty good, but it was no Transformers. I think the Academy just hates Michael Bay. As well they should, but sheesh.
  • Damn. Helen Mirren is one fine lookin’ dame. Literally and figuratively.
  • Wowsers! Good thing they gave Diablo Cody the envelope in addition to the Oscar itself. That dress was cut up so high that if she hadn’t been able to use the envelope as a shield, America would have seen London, France, and any other western European countries located up around her unmentionables.
  • Good for Jon Stewart for bringing out Marketa Irglova after the commercial break to give her part of the speech for Best Song. Damn conductor-guy-who’s-name-I-always-recognize-but-then-forget-the-next-morning and his totalitarian regime!
  • No Country for Old Men wins the big ones. Yay Minnesota!

* Granted, they were wearing armor – but that should have been considered in “Best Costuming” obviously…

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hey Knitters!

I know that I have at least a few people still stopping by, hoping beyond hope for something new to read that doesn't involve scary giant puppets or uninteresting stories of travel delays in airports. I also know that a few of said readers are folks who are known to pick up knitting needles now and again* and that at least one of them has a significant other who is a little nerdtacular**. For her, I present perhaps the kewlest knitted thing ever. A knit R2-D2 stocking cap!

It's one of those things that makes me *really* wish I could still knit, or had the time to learn how again. Anyway, it was designed by some woman who posts all her patterns for it on her blog. So run on over and pick up the pattern and you'll have Xmas presents for your favorite geek all set up by fall! No need to thank me...

On the brighter side of life work has slowed down markedly recently. In fact, I have an entire weekend all to myself this weekend, with my only firm plans involving going to Lifesource to donate blood. Lifesource is a private company that basically manages blood donations in the Chicago area, and my relationship with them is a love/hate one. I love what they represent, but sometimes they get a little - shall we say - clingy. They have some computerized system that automatically knows when you are eligible to donate again, and all of us "regulars"*** start to receive phone calls from them to try and set up an appointment. It's like having a stalker, only it's vampire and not a jealous ex or crazy internet date gone horribly wrong. In retrospect, I'm not sure which situation would be worse. I've had some crazy internet dates...

Anyway, they call you something like 5-6 times a day, but never leaving a message. You just get to the point where you recognize the number on callerID and ignore it. It's not that I didn't want to, it's just that I had no time, and I hate feeling guilty about putting the caller off for, say a month despite their pleas that "We have a motorcycle accident victim in the hospital right now and we need you to come in to donate"****.

But now I have an appointment for Sunday and my concience will be clear for another 8 weeks or so. Ah, sweet redemption...

* Myself, I haven't knit since my junior high home ec class where I made slippers and a coat hanger cover that is still hanging in my closet. Why do hangers need knit covers, you ask? Hey, I didn't design the curriculum...
** Yeah, I'm looking at you J.Po.
*** I think I'm on my 2nd or third gallon of blood at this point.
**** Seriously, I had one guy use that on me last year. Obviously not credible, particularly when I said I couldn't come in until the weekend and Lifesource said "That'd be fine". I guess it wasn't *that* bad a crash then huh?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I know I'm totally slacking off with respect to blogging lately. Work's been a real obstacle to anything resembling real life for the past few weeks and this weekend was full of theater company stuff, prior social commitments, and taking a few hours off to enjoy a nice dinner with the GF. But this week's making up for taking the weekend off so I'm going to be pretty much offline most of the next day or two.

That said, I couldn't *not* share this:

Honestly I don't know whether I'd be freaked out or fascinated if I saw that coming down the street. I *can* say I'd seriously consider starting a Godzilla-type panicked stampede purely for the experience. I can also say that if I were a giant puppet, I'd still never take a shower given from am elephant. Two words: elephant boogers.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I mean, I know DVD's are advanced technology, but...

In an effort to catch up a little on my Netflix queue, and flesh out my film history knowledge, I sat down early this afternoon to watch the Charlie Chaplain classic "City Lights" while I was on the exercise bike.

When I brought up the main menu, I noticed that it was a very egalitarian setup - offering subtitles for english, french, spanish, a few Asian languages I didn't recognize, and what looked like Arabic.

But the weirdest thing about it? Once you chose "English" as your language you then got to choose from the "standard" audio or the "digital 5.1" audio...

...yeah. For a silent film.

Go figure.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Live! From the Monrovia Courtyard Marriott!

In case it wasn't obvious enough, I'm in the midst of another nationwide tour for work. And yes, it's actually pretty dull. Today and tomorrow I'm in Los Angeles. Last night I had to drive out to the middle of the desert* for one meeting this morning and now I'm sitting in my hotel after another meeting this afternoon. It's been about six hours since I got here and traffic has only started moving again after being a veritable parking lot since I arrived. Just another reason I'd rather not live here.

I'm a little surprised that I got here at all, actually. In case you missed it, that storm that caused all the tornadoes in Tennessee dumped somewhere between six and fifty inches of snow on O'Hare. There were nine flights from there to LAX yesterday, and of those, seven of them were canceled outright. Yet, for some reason, the travel gods had decided that my flight would still go. So, after taking an hour to pull back and get de-iced, we were off for 3.5 hours of bulkhead seating** and the worst movie I've ever seen as the in-flight movie***. Woot.

Anyway, I finally got around to sorting through some pictures I've had on my phone for a while and figured I'd post those since my life, being nothing but work for the past few weeks, is really dull.

First up is a picture I took a couple weeks back when I was in Vegas for a trade show. While one doesn't typically think of Vegas as being a hub of mass transit, they inaugurated "the monorail" a few years back to serve as a quick way to get to all the casinos on the east side of the strip. From what I recall, they had some financial trouble early on, which caused them to explore some alternative funding options. Including, apparently, "Monorail" brand water!

And from Christmas at my Aunt's house, a picture of her new baby kitten who is apparently just as big a fan of Mythbusters as the GF and I are. I know, there must be some sort of magical, cat-fancy-exuding power contained in Jamie's beret. I mean, just *look* at that fascination! (Click on the image for more detail of cat-fascination!)

* Remember what it looked like when Snoopy went to visit Spike in the desert? that.
** Which I loathe. I'm a sucker for under-seat storage.
*** "Martian Child" - Save yourself the two hours: The kid is just a weirdo and the dog dies.

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