Friday, February 23, 2007

West Village KFC or Early Tori Amos Video?

You make the call.

Gaaaah, this is hard to watch, but by tucking my pant cuffs into my socks, I was able to do it.

The Department of Health had said that the rat problem at this KFC had been addressed. This is technically true, as the animals in this video have clearly turned themselves into some kind of otter.

Also interesting: a "BBQ Snacker" now costs more than Yum! Brands' closing price.
Just kidding.

But still.


REPORTER: The sign says "KFC: We Deliver" but the only thing they're delivering today...
REPORTER: ...are health code violations.
PATRICK'S BRAIN: Oh... Right. That makes more sense.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Late Bronze Age Babylonians Have a Leg Up On My Son: The Play

Sam, aged two, and Dad, somewhat older, are eating breakfast; Sam is having a cereal called "Puffins". Sam notices there are only three Puffins left.

Sam: Look, Daddy, three Puffins.
Dad: That's right, and do you know what happens if you eat one?
Sam: (confused)
Dad: Three minus one is...?
Sam: (confused)
Dad: Eat one. (Sam does) OK, you had three, and you ate one, and now how many are left?
Sam: (looks down) Two!
Dad: Right, three minus one is two! Now eat another one. (Sam does) How many are left? Two minus one is...?
Sam: (looks down) One!
Dad: Right, now eat that one. (Sam does) How many are left? One minus one is...?
Sam: (looks down) Milk!


Thursday, February 15, 2007


I'm totally in love with Daily Monster, Stefan G. Bucher's timelapsed drawings of monsters that will (apparently) number 100 before he gets arrested for being awesome.

His sharpie makes cooler noises than my sharpie.

I am going to go out now and buy some compressed air and some... kind of... ink. thing.

I want to be better at everything.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Three Wishes, or: “Aaron Sorkin: Ue! Ue! Ue!”

I have never written a sketch before in my life and therefore I am likely a terrible sketch writer and yet I am still a better sketch writer than you, Aaron Sorkin; therefore: Aaron Sorkin, steal this sketch, and give it to Mark McKinney (whom you’re not giving enough to do right now anyway), and he will make it better, and then if you can get past this rise in amateurism (with fists!) you can put it on the show and plus, OK, get this: cast the Nate Corddry/Tom Jeter character as “MAN” and then behold the synergy: the Samantha Li and Lucy Kenwright characters get to see Tom Jeter’s nipples; I get to see Nate Corddry’s nipples; Tina Fey will have to take back that thing she said (OK, that’s not true, what she said is awesome and so accurate that it probably turned into cesium when it came out of her mouth); and we can drop this whole relationshippy direction this thing is taking, because I still believe that the potential of this show, as measured by:

...where Y (i.e., the modulus of elasticity λ), cross sectional area, A0, initial length, l0, which is stretched by a length, Δl and ok, I lost track there, but my point is the Ue — the potential — is so amazing, and this joyless fucking roadtrip through your fucking psyche is fucking wearing me fucking out.
(Oh, speaking of which, please note that I will clean up the swears and also I am willing to add a few lines at the end where Kristin Chenoweth comes on stage to pleasure you with pity- and/or make-up-sex, if that will make everything OK, but otherwise, I am serious: I am only giving you seven more chances this season to get this right.)

Three Wishes

A man is wandering on the beach and comes across a lamp. Looking at it skeptically at first, and then making sure no one else is watching, he rubs the lamp. Sure enough, a Genie pops out.

GENIE: Jesus.
MAN: Whoa, hey.
GENIE: Oh man, how long was I in there?
MAN: I don’t know. What’s the last thing you remember?
GENIE: Steve Martin was doing interesting work.
MAN: A looooong time.
GENIE: I suppose you want your three wishes.
MAN: Oh man, yes. Yes I do.
GENIE: OK. Shoot.
MAN: I’ve actually been thinking about this for a while. Wish number one: I wish for more wishes!
GENIE: (laughs) OK, whatever. (waves his arms like it’s no big deal) Wish granted!
MAN: Why’d you say it like that?
GENIE: Yeah. Um, I can’t really tell you.
MAN: Did I do it wrong? Did I fuck up? I thought that was a good one.
GENIE: I’m really not at liberty to tell you. It’s the Genie Code.
MAN: Crap! How do I know if I screwed up or not?
GENIE: I don’t know, I guess you could make a bunch of test wishes and see if they come true.
MAN: Yeah.
GENIE: But then, you wouldn’t know for sure if they were the unlimited wishes that you wished for in the first wish, or if you were squandering your remaining two wishes.
MAN: Yeah. Crap. Shit! Crap.
GENIE: It’s a tough call.
MAN: OK. Alright. For my second wish, I wish to know if I screwed up the first wish, and, if so, how?
GENIE: That’s sort of two, but I’ll give it to you. You said you wanted to wish for more wishes, which is cool; I gave you that. But: you didn’t say you wanted the wishes to come true.
MAN: That was understood.
GENIE: Not really.
MAN: Damn it!
GENIE: You have one more. Make it count.
MAN: Damn it! This sucks! Of COURSE I meant they would come true.
GENIE: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”
MAN: Shut up.
GENIE: “If fishes were wishes the ocean would be all of our desire.”
MAN: Shut up.
GENIE: Gertrude Stein.
MAN: Shut up. OK. (trying to word everything very carefully) I wish that whatever I wish for would come true, wait, cancel cancel cancel.
GENIE: Canceling.
MAN: Because then it could be like maybe, say like I dream that I’m fellating the Vice President then you’ll make it come true.
GENIE: You dreamt that you fellated Mondale?
MAN: (pause) No.
GENIE: Or, you know, not Mondale, but whoever’s Vice President now?
GENIE: Jesus.
MAN: IT WAS A DREAM. OK, stop distracting me. I wish… OK? Listening? I WISH that… my wishes will come true but this is not counting any dreams I have that I’m not in control of and not like just random thoughts I have throughout the day; aaand it has to be an out-loud wish and, wait, cancel cancel cancel.
GENIE: Canceling.
MAN: Shit.
GENIE: It’s hard, I know.
MAN: OK. I just sort of panicked, but I think I got it now. I WISH that… whatever I wish for will come true… whenever… I touch my middle finger and my thumb together like this… and start a declarative sentence with the phrase ‘I wish…’ then that’s the beginning of the wish and then whatever I say after that is what comes true… and then when I release my fingers, then that’s the end of the sentence, so whatever I say after that doesn’t count as the wish, unless I touch my fingers again, and I don’t have to say ‘I wish’ in the exact same tone of voice and inflection I just said it in… I can, like, modulate the way I say it, and my fingers don’t have to be in that exact position, just sort of like this in general, and if for some reason I lose my fingers in an accident, or I have laryngitis, then I get to revisit the criteria for wishing for things… and I can reverse the effects of any wishes that get screwed up and if, OK, wait, cancel cancel cancel.
GENIE: Maybe you want to aim lower.
MAN: I don’t know. I think, if I can get this, I think I’ll use my power wisely. I could maybe stop some wars or feed the hungry, or cure cancer or something. I mean, sure, some of them were going to be like, ‘I wish that every basket I tried to shoot would go in’ or ‘ I wish that I could stop time and undress people,’ but the larger world problems, I was going to take care of those things. You know? Those two didn’t count, OK? The basket and the stop time one.
GENIE: Got it.
MAN: I just feel like this is my chance to make a difference.
GENIE: So, what’s your final wish?
MAN: (thinks for a long time) I wish… OK, wait. I wish…
GENIE: Whenever you’re ready.
MAN: (thinks for a long time) I wish… I wish… that… my nipples weren’t the size of hubcaps. Anymore.
GENIE: Done. Congratulations. I’ll see you around. (he leaves)
MAN: Yeah. (He slowly pulls his shirt up. His nipples are, in fact, normal-sized nipples. He shrugs.) Yeah. OK.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Drinking Game

(1) Remember that Barry Levinson movie Toys?
(2) OK, so rent that.
(3) OK, now: every time something happens on screen that seems completely effed up, take a drink.

Note: this game also works with Tron.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Cost of Utopia

(or: Serf’s Up!)

Last weekend we saw part one of Coast of Utopia (Voyage) by Tom Stoppard. Maybe for background I should say that reading R&GaD in high school was formative, I think Invention of Love is hypergreat and Arcadia is one of the best things I’ve ever read in my life; I’ve read twelve of his plays (that’s a lot, right? I don’t think I’ve read twelve things of many (any?) other authors, except maybe Edward Packard, Choose Your Own Adventure stizz, and maybe Shakespeare and those weren’t even all voluntary) plus that book of interviews with him, and my favorite exchange in Brazil, which is full of favorite exchanges...

Sam: How are the twins?
Jack: Triplets.
Sam: My God, how time flies.

...not only was his line, but he fought for its inclusion when Gilliam didn't understand it. He fought the director for the inclusion of my favorite line. For me.

But this play, in performance, was just kind of only OK: I had read it a couple of times last week in anticipation of seeing it, and it was infinitely more subtle and nuanced and, um, better? In my head? Because all the perfect little throwaway lines were rendered non-perfect, because they were all undefenestrated.

I posit: the director was worried we wouldn’t be able to remember all the characters due to their quantity and our television-shortened attention spans and their being Russian and our being American and/or our not being Tom Stoppard, and so he made all the actors find One Defining Emotion, crank it to eleven, and keep it there for three hours, so we’d be able to remember everyone; so we could go, oh, there’s the erratic, effeminate shouty one; right, that’s the sad, shouty one. Oh, there’s the nervous, shouty one.

But I brought my A Game: I read it twice; I wikipediad every-one (ok, it was my B+ Game); I recognized that Act II's doubling of Act I's timeline was just a dumb Hegel joke; I avoided reviews; &c. And so to see every actor overselling everything (we were in the back, so I’m not sure who they were pitching to/at; is the point of the play that Russians had to be loud so you could hear them over all those serfs?) made for an increasingly disheartening night; lines that I knew were key lines were kind of smothered by the fact that all the lines were said the same way — there were a couple of exceptions (David Cromwell, maybe), but Amy Irving: Really Bad; Jennifer Ehle: not bad (my brain won't allow her to be bad), but a near-one-note performance; Ethan Hawke: Worst Thing Ever (at least he has fiction to fall back on); Billy Crudup: almost embarrassingly hard to watch in his exaggerated hysteria, but still not as bad as Hawke and I guess eventually he forces his rhythm on the audience in a way that you finally just accept it, but no, you know what? He blows his late-in-the-play scene with Cromwell, so I’m still putting him in the bad column.

(I don’t go to the theatre that much anymore; are we going through an acting style phase where everything is presentational like this?)

Dinner for two....................$130
Two tickets to the play........$200
Car service home.................$30
7 hours of babysitting..........$84
Car home for Babysitter.......$20
Total (For Part I).............$464

Patrick: I guess I’ll just read parts two and three and
use the extra $928 to bribe preschool admissions people.

The Ginger Cat: Of course.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Eighty-three Days in the Making

I've been annoyed by the answer to question two in this interview since I first read it in November.

Sooooo, did it take me two minutes to post this next paragraph or two and a half months and two minutes to post this next paragraph? Hmmmmmmmmm, that's a real chin scratcher. Regardless, here it is:

Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat! Prat!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Call My Baby Babelpop, Tell You Why

Samantha: Never mind the earnestness, here's a new Babelpop post!
People Who Read Babelpop: Wow, that month went fast.
Samantha: Um, you said that last month.
People Who Read Babelpop: Actually, we said it in December.
Samantha: (Can't even finish typing this sentence because she sucks so mu

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yellow Dog Day Afternoon

I was going to get one of these* for lunch, and I walked by the NBC News LED ticker, and due to the spacing of the vertical bars and the fact that I was walking against the light, plus I was thinking of something else**, I thought at first it said "MOLLY IVINS, AUTHOR AND COMMUNIST, DEAD AT 62".***

As with most things, time and the whole quiet desperation thing have muted and blurred the irritating things about what it was like to live in Texas**** and enhanced the things that were really kind of great. This is a pretty big blow against the kind of great things list.

The Texas Observer has a page with a few tributes on it (including one from former governer and failed businessman GWB); reading it reminds you both that things continue to be stupid and suck, but also that there are people trying hard. We should all probably be trying harder.

* Oh my God, so much best. Midtown Lunch is doing the most important work in America right now. You know, other than the ACLU.

** I was amusing myself by imagining George Saunders characters singing Hole songs: "I want to be the girl with the most cake, due to I like cake?" (That's about as far as I got with that thought. Probably not much more I could do with it than that, I imagine.)

***For reals, it said "columnist" but for a second, it seemed totally plausible, both that that would be what the ticker was saying and that she had actually been an actual Communist, like one of my other muckraking iconoclast brain-crushes, Jessica Mitford: didn't I read that being a Populist is a gateway drug to Communism? Or is "Populist" just "Communist" without the beans?

**** Off the top of my head: there is a dearth of: (1) chicken tikka paratha; (2) tolerance (like I couldn't tell if this was real or not for a very long time; the line between hostile hypocritical religious nonsense and parody of same is a 250-pixel Gaussian blur of a photo of Occam's Razor, Photoshop stizz).