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What in hell?

Oct. 13th, 2009 09:25 pm UNICORN LOVE FOREVER: A fact-filled yarn for you and me.

My friend Adi was feeling down, so I wrote her this story. I hope you all love it.

He was easily eighty feet tall, with feet over three feet tall and eight feet long. Collapse )

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Current Location: Fort Victoria

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Sep. 22nd, 2009 06:00 am Spiders are nature's alarm clock.

They are hard to program for a specific time but my god, get a big enough one on you and you are staying awake, my friend. I did not get a good look at this one - my "throw this horrible arthropod off of me" reflex is what woke me up, not the spider - but from watching it scurry away without glasses on in a darkened room, I would put it at at least two feet across. Or maybe an inch. Somewhere between those two. I wanted to get a better look at this grotesque parody of God's creation, so I looked for my emergency flashlight, which I keep in a secure, easy-to-reach place that I've entirely forgotten.

Just try putting on pants when you're tired and afraid of a spider. Just try. Go ahead, I will wait for you.

It sucks, doesn't it?

Cats are the natural predator of the spider, but none of the cats living here appear to have eaten my horrible new alarm clock. Some of you might be thinking that this is a sign that I dreamed the whole event, but actually it is a sign that cats are assholes.

The more I write about this, the more offended I am. I grew up in New Hampshire, where you expect crap like this, but I love in goddamn Massachusetts* now, and frankly I demand better from my adopted state's fauna. I don't think there are even supposed to BE spiders in Boston; didn't the pilgrims burn them all away when they blew up Plymouth Rock in 1932?

I'm very tired, but sleep can wait. I'm going to strap some cats to a broom or something and conduct a full sweep of the apartment. Until then, consider the Green Zone breached, and on high Arachnid Alert.

*I spelled this on the first try, at six in the morning. I rule.

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Current Location: Fort Victoria

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Sep. 18th, 2009 03:55 pm Lament for a Long-Departed Empire: A New Poem by Eryk Nielsen

Friendly's kitchen, Ah, God, Friendly's kitchen, I do weep for thee.
Holy City,
Martial Empire,
Mecca of Culinary Grace,
Bastion of Freedom,
You
Are
My
World.

I weep for thee, Friendly's kitchen.
Freely flow the tears for those beautiful days
You nurtured me with kindness
as I nourished my hometown with home fries.
No experience approaches your ecstasy
No location resembles your radiance
No city can best your seraphic inhabitants:

Lord Fridge and Lady Freezer, stocked full with savory meats, cheeses, and veg.
Constable Cold-Tray, keeping bad taste at bay with his deputies: tomato, lettuce, and kale.
Mighty Stovetops, blistering hot, cooking the food of the righteous.
God-King Fryolator, twice-weekly anointed with fresh and holy oil.
Ice Cream Station, a frozen bounty of treasures both cream-based and fruitsome.
Employee Meal, spoken of in whispers, who gave of his hours that others might eat.

And the Attendants of the Court, chattering gaily as they casually turn the Wheels of the Universe
Nymphly coeds mingling happily with bitter lifers
Bringing food to the hungry as gasoline brings cars to the road.

In the midst of such great works walked unworthy I, gangly long-haired virgin,
Sailing from shore to shore in the Great Ship Friendly's Kitchen.
Gladly did I stock your pantries
Humbly did I follow your recipes
Vainly did I think to improve on them while on break
But if any goodness, any benefit, any positive outcome at all did come from my efforts,
It came solely from my contact with your nobility.
Everywhere I go in life I carry your Dream.

At the end of each shift, I walked out your door and died.
At the beginning of the next, I entered again and was reborn.
I weep for thee, Friendly's kitchen, nine years gone
Each day that I live, I live in the shadow of your passing.

(Dedicated to the memory of Matt Sweeney, who is still alive)

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Current Location: Fort Victoria

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Sep. 18th, 2009 08:24 am An open letter to Ben and Jerry's

Usually, these open letters are something political, or at least socially relevant. Now I'm just writing to ice cream companies asking them to keep making my favorite flavors. This is the beginning of my rapid slide into curmudgeonly irrelevance, and I will soon be writing letters to the editor decrying neighborhood kids with there hoop-hop rap music and their crocs and obesity rates in preschools.

It's been fun, y'all.

--

Dear Ben & Jerry's website comment reader,

Guys. Guys. Key Lime Pie. Oh my god.

It's not just the best flavor you've ever come up with, it's the best ice cream ever invented by man, god or science. Seriously, it's barely even ice cream; it's some sort of weird alchemy combining citrus, angel tears, and crack cocaine.

You can't keep this as a limited batch. Not now. I'm goddamn addicted to the stuff, and if you take away my fix, I don't know what I'll do.

I'm begging you, put this flavor into permanent circulation, at least until health care reform passes and I can get into a decent addiction counseling program.

Your pal,
Eryk Nielsen

Current Location: Fort Victoria

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Sep. 16th, 2009 10:47 pm Bad Hamlet - a new parlor game

Inspiration struck on the couch this evening, in the form of a game for bored intellectuals. The challenge is to take a great dramatic work - play, movie, radio drama, what-have-you - and, using the most talented actors you can, make the worst fantasy cast possible. Age, race, and possibly gender can be ignored, as long as it's funny. Bad Hamlet, a game of mis-casting.

The original cast is, of course, Hamlet. Here's what we came up with:

Claudius: Morgan Freeman. MF is a charismatic, talented actor, and also completely non-threatening.

Hamlet: Toby McGuire. This is borderline, as I don't think he's that good an actor in the first place. Hamlet is such a broadly interpretable character that it's hard to find someone good who couldn't play him.

Polonius: Harrison Ford. "OK, kid, listen up: never a borrower nor a lender be..."

Laertes: Hugh Jackman. Jackman is actually very good for this role, except that it's too much of a background part for someone with his screen presence. Playing opposite Toby, he'll dominate every scene.

Horatio: Sean Penn. See Laertes, but with more scenery-chewing.

Ophelia: Hillary Swank. Someone much smarter than me could make a case that draws parallels between Hamlet and Boys Don't Cry, but I wouldn't listen.

Gertrude: Nathalie Portman. I really wanted Edie Falco for this, but the more I think about it the better she seems for the role, so that's no good. By the time Nathalie is old enough to play the Queen, she may well have the range to pull it off, but right now I don't see her doing it at all well.

Rosencrantz and Gildenstern: Young Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. Wayne has already been famously mis-cast as MacBeth, and he would certainly be terrible here. Eastwood is debatable; he's not known for his subtlety, but I could see him playing one of these two as a "wait-and-see" kind of character, who talks like an ass but is actually pretty calculated. Maybe he should be replaced with Ronald Reagan?

Anyway, this is the original Bad Hamlet, my lasting gift to the world.

Current Location: Fort Victoria
Current Music: Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms

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Sep. 11th, 2009 12:15 pm What's Up: Review to the Rescue!

A few days ago, I told you all about "What's UP: Balloon to the Rescue." Today, I watched it. I was a little nervous, loading up the DVD.. could this awful knock-off possibly live up to my crapspectations? The answer is yes. So much yes. Everything and more. Let's talk about it. The whole movie is on YouTube, so feel free to watch along.

'You numbskull! How can you drop a super-energized rock?!'Collapse )

So, I have mixed feelings about this. I mean, it's a terrible fucking movie, which is good, but I wanted more shameless ripping-off. There's a house with balloons on it, but that's the only real resemblance. A few of the jokes were actually pretty funny, but mostly you get the impression that nobody cared. This wasn't a soul-crushing experience for the writers; their souls were already crushed by the time they got here.

If anyone can track down the direct-to-DVD feature where they DO get their souls crushed during production, though, I'll be delighted to watch that one.

Current Location: Fort Victoria

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Sep. 9th, 2009 01:37 pm The joy of the shameless knockoff

So, um, this. It exists. If you don't care to follow the link, it's a DVD called "What's Up: Balloon to the Rescue!" and it is exactly what you think it is. It's a short cartoon feature that exists entirely to make money off of nearsighted people, who think they are buying a copy of Pixar's "UP" instead. And that is awesome.

Every review I've seen of this on Amazon or Netflix is an angry rant about how they were fooled by the DVD, or how awful is it that the DVD tried to fool them, but.. man, I'm in awe of this. I can't wait to see it. Once you get past the awfulness of the packaging (and seriously, click through just to see the box art), you're left with what I can only imagine is an existential symphony of horror and delight. The decision to make the knockoff is the easy part; some sleazy studio boss green-lit it and then went off to smoke cigars off of asian prostitutes or something. But then, someone had to actually write the thing. And a team of animators had to produce it, painstakingly, frame by frame. Some team of artists spent months of their lives making a product that they had to know would be universally reviled. And that's beautiful.

So naturally I ordered it from Netflix. After weeks of sitting at the top of my queue ("Very Long Wait"), it's coming tomorrow. I can't wait. On the surface, it's a shitty movie for six-year-olds whose parents don't know that DVDs usually come out after the movie leaves theaters. But below that, it's a celebration of mediocrity. The movie wasn't made to be good. It was made to barely resemble a different film that is good. I am dizzy with anticipation.

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Current Location: Fort Victoria

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Sep. 2nd, 2009 11:00 am Roundabout

So I'm watching this week's Mad Men, and it's one of those stories where they follow several groups of people over the course of an evening. One group is working late in the office, and another is going to an outdoor soiree.. they cut from the office, where it is clear that they've been working well past normal quitting time, to the party, where it's very bright and sunny out. There's a moment of dissonance, and then I think "ahh, it stays light out late. It's a subtle way of letting us know it's summer."

As opposed to, you know, looking at the green grass and bright flowers, and knowing what a season looks like. Well played, brain, well played.

EDIT: Oh goddamn it it's on a Saturday. And it's probably November or something. Blarg.

Current Location: Fort Victoria

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Aug. 27th, 2009 11:30 am Hey, they can't all be clever...

THE INCOMPLETE LIST OF ANIMATED FILMS ON THE TOPIC OF CROSS-DRESSING

(In rough chronological order)

Snow White and the Seven Very Surprised Dwarves
Mantasia
Bambenis
Slung in the South
Alice... I Wonder... Man...?
Cinderfella
"Lady" and the Tramp
The Sword of the Stone-Cold Fox
Asterix the Girl*
The Bro-Wristed Cats
Robin Drag
Raggedy Ann is Andy: A Musical Adventure
The Fox With a Hound
Heavy Metal
The Flight of Drag Queens
The Secret of HIMH
Mickey's Christmas as "Carol"
The Wand in the Willows
An American (Tucked-Back) Tail
Alvin and the Chick-Monks
The Little Mermaid With The Unsightly Bulge
Beauty and the Beast of a Surprise the Next Morning
Aladdinadress
Lolahontas
The Hunchback of Not-A-Dame
Stanastasia
Princess Mononotwhatyouwereexpecting
Stulan
The Queen and I
The Emperor's New Hobby
The Triplets of Ballville
Howl's Moving Bustle
Man in Dress, Car
Beowulfinsheepsclothing
The Fantastic Musical Adventure of the Attractive Young Woman at the Bar Who Secretly Has Male Genitalia

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Current Location: Fort Victoria

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Aug. 14th, 2009 10:47 pm Taking a step back...

..Having written this big cathartic anti-Republican screed, I should clarify a bit. Yes, I'm angry, and yes, I can't help feeling superior to the angry screaming mob. But.. this is not something to be enjoyed. Get it out of your system, sure, but don't laugh at them. Be scared, maybe, or feel pity, but don't be smug, or at least not for long. I don't like feeling this way, and I hold out hope that sanity will return and I won't have to feel it any more.

Current Location: Fort Victoria

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