Thursday, November 30, 2006

Jackass for Girls

"Cause it ain't fair that just boys getta be mental cause us girls are mental too, innit it!" - 3 Girls in a Boat

Man, could I love these British comedians, 3 Girls in a Boat, anymore than I already do? They just get better and better with every skit they post to YouTube. Their timing is impeccable, their acting is smooth, their accents are charming and their writing is edgy and cutting. If only our American sitcoms had 10% of their spunk and charm. Sigh.

Below is their parody of Jackass, a TV show I find particularly dull and repetitive. In these two episodes of Jackie Ass, Charity and Anne Marie's wild and crazy stunts are; going outside of the house without wearing make-up (see video below) and putting three sugars in your tea (video here). AHHH, NO YOU DIDN'T!

I look forward to future episodes in which the girls stunts may include entering a shopping mall WITHOUT spending any money, telling a random stranger about their menstrual flow and devouring a pint of ice cream on a first date. Shocking! What will these mad mental girls think of next!?

Entertain My Crippled Friend

The Boy with the Thorn in His Side by Belle and Sebastian

The Boy with the Thorn in His Side by The Smiths

Can't Get This Outta Your Head!

Boobs R Us

Well gents, it looks like you finally have some scientific justification for all your lecherous breast goggling (see article below - thanks Lani!). Apparently staring at a ladies chest is actually good for you, it might get you a swift upper cut to the jaw as well, but that is just the risk you take.

Zoologists point out that no female mammal other than the human has breasts of comparable size when not lactating and that humans are the only primate that have permanently swollen breasts. This suggests that the external form of the breasts is connected to factors other than lactation alone...

Some zoologists (notably Desmond Morris) believe that the shape of female breasts evolved as a frontal counterpart to that of the buttocks, the reason being that whilst other primates mate in the typical doggy-style position, humans are more likely to successfully copulate mating face on. A secondary sexual characteristic on a woman's chest would have encouraged this in more primitive incarnations of the human race, and a face on encounter would have helped found a relationship between partners beyond merely a sexual one...

Historically, breasts were regarded as fertility symbols, because they are the source of life-giving milk. Certain prehistoric female statuettes - so-called Venus figurines - often emphasised the breasts, as in the example of the Venus of Willendorf. In historic times, goddesses such as Ishtar were shown with many breasts, alluding to their role as goddesses of childbirth. - Wikipedia

Below, Carmen Electra pleads the case for Tits for Tots. Sure girls, you could learn how to have a meaningful conversation with a man, but why bother when boobies are the only currency that matters in America?! Sigh, I would cry if I weren't busy giggling so damn hard:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

YouTube Feeding Frenzy

Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.
General George S. Patton

Comments on my more "popular" YouTube videos often fall into a tiresome pattern: they begin friendly and supportive and then swing dramatically to vitriolic hatred spewing evil. And once they swing this way, there is no going back to the light, it is only sulfurous denunciation and blistering criticism for as far as the eye can see. Ouch.

feed·ing fren·zy (plural feed·ing fren·zies): violent feeding by many animals: an intense violent period of eating that occurs when a large number of animals of the same or related species such as sharks or piranhas converge on a food source

Sometimes I wonder if the feeding frenzy is really just one person sitting at their computer monitor and posting as "deatheater," "billiejoelover," and "punkrockforeva" all at the same time (maybe it is the same evil doer/chubby computer nerd in the Southpark World of Warcraft episode?).

What causes so many people to all of a sudden start attacking you? Is it some sort of instinctual fanboy pack mentality? Once the buffalo is wounded and down on the ground, the jackals rip out its entrails and strew them all over the sahara - that sort of thing?

The phrase "herd behavior" has acquired a certain currency in popular psychology, where the idea of a herding instinct is offered as an explanation of phenomena such as crazes where large numbers of people act in the same way at the same time. Such people are sometimes labelled with the derogatory term "sheeple." - Wikipedia

This intense swing from good to evil comments has infected a large number of videos I've posted. At first I thought it was a fluke but now I know better. It started with my Green Day videos. People were so nice at first and asking me if I could say hello to Billie Joe and thanking me for telling my story. Then the pure hatred began to spill out and I stopped bothering to read the comments, so inane, childish and rude were they.

XxAlexanderGordonxX (7 months ago)

The same thing happened with my Bai Ling video. The comments suddenly veered off on all these tangents about how hideously ugly I was with my Jewish nose and red lipstick. Hmm.

The last comment claimed I was racist (an ugly Jewish racist, apparently) which is probably a little bit true. Granted, that Bai Ling impression that I did was not so kind (and my Chinese accent sucked, I was more going for crazy lady accent) but COME ON, she is coo coo, that is why I LOVE HER! Oddly enough, this is one of my most popular videos?! Who would have thought Bai Ling had so many fans/defenders/Jew haters.

Visquo (6 months ago)
Bai Ling has a nice bod, but that's it. The ugly Jewish? girl presenting is annoying as fuck.

My Britney Spears videos get A LOT of heat but I stopped reading those comments a long time ago. There were lots of teens defending Britney's pregnancy weight gain and asking how we would feel if we were fat and pregnant. See, the thing is, they missed the irony we were going for entirely but YouTube is not known for its shades of grey. It is odd that a white trash girl from Texas could inspire so much fanatic love and support from her blood thirsty fans but, perhaps that is part of her charm.

btd456 (8 months ago)
eew what an ugly narrating bitch, where does that thing get off dissing other people?! seriously with that bright red lipstick and big bug eyes make her look like sum crazy crack whore! and whats with the cheap lesbian video too? who cares if brit hasnt lost the weight shes still a great person so fuck off ugly crazy bitch!

My James Frey video got TONS of mean comments which pissed me off as they were attacking my sister (you can call me a big googly eyed freak but if you fuck with my sister, there is hell to pay!!). I secretly suspect that it is James Frey HIMSELF posting all these nasty snarky comments. That would be SO like him, staying up late, drinking soup from a can and posting nasty YouTube comments under different user names like "F*ckOprah!"

flourescentlights (3 months ago)
James Frey isnt a shitty writer, and leave Jen alone,
They both have more talent, and nicer voices in their pinky nails, than you would in an intire entourage of yours.

Thanks to my Skel Fab vids, I had an awesome fight with a teen named Heather2006 (or was it a middle aged man in Wisconsin named Fred?? I will never know) about what a bitch I am for dissing Lindsay Lohan (she was ok with my dissing of Nicole Richie but back off the Lohan MFer!). More importantly, Heather2006 wanted to make it clear to me what a sad pitiful dorky loser I was for staying at home on a Friday night and playing with my paperdolls (pretty accurate Heather!).

heatherp2006 (6 months ago)
Yeah you girls are dumb. I love nicole and all them you are making fun off. how insecure can you be. oh that is not funny. by the way get your facts strait Jessica Simpson looks fine she doesn't look like that you girls are stupid and must have no social lifes. lol kidding or am I lol.

heatherp2006 (5 months ago)
you are gay

Oddly enough, after all our smarmy hatred back and forth, Heather2006 became strangely human and friendly to me...weird. It was almost like the human contact of our chatting chilled her out.

The case of animals evading a predator illustrates the uncoordinated nature of herd behavior. It can be shown that each individual can minimise the danger to itself by choosing the location and behavior that is as close to the center of the group as possible; this was the subject of a famous paper by evolutionary biologist W. D. Hamilton called Geometry For The Selfish Herd. The herd thus appears to act as one in always moving and acting together, but its behavior emerges from the uncoordinated behavior of self-seeking individuals. - Wikipedia

After all this acerbic hate so early in my meager YouTube career, I stopped posting videos that I knew would catch a lot of flack.

No more Britney, celebs (oddly enough, you can insult Brangelina and Jessica Simpson 'till the cows come home and nobody protests!?) or political stuff. I stuck to the less well known topics like artists and started making fewer celeb vids (got boring anyways).

This worked for a bit and the evil comments died down to a faint patter on my YouTube windowpane. Whenever I got a notification that there was a comment for any one of the vids mentioned above, I hid it away until a day when I felt strong and cocky enough for a good self-depricating laugh or two. Many were entertaining if nothing else.

A couple of episodes ago we did a piece on the British TV show Peep Show. As usual, we didn't really plan out what we were going to say and hadn't even watched the show in a while so we were a little rusty on the characters names - I know! I know! Just one stop to Wikipedia and we would have been all set!

But I tried to make up for this lack of preparation by spending countless hours editing this puppy. When you are editing a show as good as Peep Show, there are millions of good clips to choose from. I digitized hours of footage and spend about 20 hours or so wheedling it down to the 20 minute segment which aired on the show (complete with a hot hot HOT New Order montage that still gives me chills).

It wasn't genius, it wasn't awful, it was just a moderately ok review of a great TV show. I posted in to YouTube and hoped other fans might have some comments and we could share our mutual love of Brit comedy. It all started out fine and dandy. My teenage Scottish pal quoted some of his favorite Peep Show lines and I quoted back. Nice comments from other fans.

Then the hatred began. And it never stopped, (see all comments) it just kept on coming and coming and coming like a mad feeding frenzy and God help, me, I fanned the flames:


lennylightweight (2 months ago)
Those two women are terrible, how on earth did they get a job reviewing TV programmes. Great to see some US interest in what has been one of the greatest comedies from recent times, but come on, these two fish wives offer nothing of interest.

jeanpierre86 (3 weeks ago)
" There's uhhh Jaaa . . . Jez." You moron. you completely butchered the show. stick to watching friends or upn. doss cunt

AmarnaMaru (3 weeks ago)
I can't stand people like these two annoying cows. Acting like they discovered some show that's never been seen in America ever, because they're so intelligent or whatever, yet they don't know the names of the characters, actors, or even the story. Peep Show has been on tv is the US for quite awhile. It's called BBCAmerica, tools. I love that they act like the US wont get the show, or it'll be too shocking or whatever, yeah if all you ever watch is Friends or crap like that -Maru

evadeadbeat (3 weeks ago)
thanks for your thoughtful insights! ;)

xoxo an annoying cow xoxo

AmarnaMaru (3 weeks ago)
There are a lot of comedy fans in the US, who love shows from both sides of the Atlantic. At the very least, do a little homework! If you had bothered to look anywhere online, maybe you would have known the characters names at least. The reason this video bothers me is that it does a disservice to Peep show, and UK comedy in general. I don't want people to be put off UK shows, just because the reviewers were so lame. so, boo intellectual cripples! ... yah good comedy!

AmarnaMaru (3 weeks ago)
This is the part of the cream of UK comedy, they have bad/boring shows just like us. If you like UK shows, or you think you might, watch BBCAmerica, they show repeats all the time, other channels have UK shows as well. Then, get yourself a region free DVD player, and DVDs off AmazonUK. Its so worth it. Just please don't listen to people like these, who can simultaneously fulfill the myth that Americans are dim, while talking about how smart they are.

evadeadbeat (3 weeks ago)
thank you for all your thoughtful attention to these pressing issues!

xoxo a dim American who enjoys British comedy xoxo

PS why don't you edit your own Peep Show review! I'll be the first to watch it! The more, the better!

quizzabella (3 weeks ago)
Who are these two vacuous women? Peep Show is brilliant, but those two morons are doing nothing for the show with their inane comments

evadeadbeat (2 weeks ago)
four words, MAKE YOUR OWN VIDEO!

tomgude (2 weeks ago)
Oh and these two ladies... well done on liking it, but fuck me are you annoying!

Many of these comments fall into the category of: annoying-as-hell, hyper-critical fanboy mentality of, "How dare you attempt to be an expert on something that I know SO MUCH MORE about than YOU, piddly mortal! Pfft!"

"Fanboys" remain loyal to their particular obsession, disregarding any factors that differ from their point of view. They are also typically hateful to the opposing brand or competition of their obsession regardless of its merits or achievements.

Come on! We don't claim to be fucking Peep Show experts (there should be such a thing though)! We don't get paid for it, we do it because we enjoy it. We are just your average sort of fans expressing an interest. And more importantly, make your own video assfaces! I'd like to see you spend 20 hours editing the little bitch, forgoing sleep and bathroom breaks!

Er, ehm. Oh my, I got carried away there. Thankfully, there has been a little ray of sunshine through all the cruel mist:

tragiccarpet (16 hours ago)
Heh, we Brits really are protective of our comedies aren't we? Calm down chaps, even foreign devils can worship at the altar of British humour! I mean, I know we like to think it makes us better than every other nation on Earth (naturally), but lets try to be gracious in accepting their admiration. And come on, they are right about American sit-coms. Keep up the good work ladies!

evadeadbeat (3 hours ago)
yes yes, we DO worship at your mighty altar of British comedy! do not blame us for being piddly, pesky, inarticulate Americans with poor choices on the telly (the best we got is The Office and we stole it from you gents!). thank you thank you tragiccarpet for your kindness - from two foreign devils/birds/infidels!

We love you tragicgcarpet, honest we do. And in closing, let's all lower our blood pressure with the ever charming words of Miss Betty White:

Keep the other person's well being in mind when you feel an attack of soul-purging truth coming on."
Betty White

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Randy Ginger

I'm never getting too lonely because it's the kind of disease where you might sit in front of the TV with three bags of biscuits, rather than communicate with the world.
Geri Halliwell

What can I say? I still dig me some Ginger Spice even if her name is Geri Halliwell these days. In this sex kitten video, Geri drives her office mates mad with her heart stopping gyrations AND she drinks a big glass that milk? I always love me a sexy office video! Sigh, I miss you Ginger Spice!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Teenage Doppelgangers

These DrooX girls are so me in junior high - uber super nerds with imagination to spare. If my best pal Jen Cole and I had been able to make videos, this is totally what they would have looked like. Screw our poem books, lame ass fashion shoots, star gazing and horseback riding - we would have been shooting vids for YouTube night and day!

My favorite is the girls Wayne and Garth impressions (below). When I first saw it, I was convinced they were prepubescent boys complete with woodies and high pitched voices - that is how good they are at their craft! Go teenagers, go!

"Party on Dwayne and Squwarth!"

Home Again Home Again Jiggety Jig

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."
-- George Moore (1852-1933)

Margot and I took a drive out to Johnson this weekend. She had to conduct an interview for Seven Days and I was itching to get out of town, the farther the better.

We moved to Johnson Vermont from Manhattan when I was 7 yrs old and Margot was 12. The town is sheltered by mountains and, during our childhoods, was entirely isolated from the outside world. We each left town when we turned 15 yrs old and got the hell outta Dodge without one fond look back.

"'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble there's no place like home!"
-- John Howard Payne (1791-1852)

Going back to Johnson pulls me into a thicket of memories thicker than molasses. The houses look more run down than I remember, there are more renters and fewer family homes. I can still name all the families who used to live on Railroad Street - The Sladyks, The Benfords, The Manchesters - when will I forget these names?

But the cemetery hasn't changed much since I was a girl haunting its nooks and crannies with my gang of pals, a couple new occupants here and there.

After a trip "home" to Johnson, my head often feels cloudy and muted as though I have been seeing back in time through many layers of dusty, ancient cobwebs. And if I look closely enough, I will see a 10 yr old version of me playing Murder between the tombstones and giggling like a maniac.

It is funny to think that these complex layers of memories lie dormant until I choose to crack open the door to the past and then, WATCH OUT!

Dr. Evil: My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a 15 year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims, like he invented the question mark.

Sometimes, he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy - the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical: summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring, we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds. Pretty standard, really.

- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice--that is, until we stop saying "It got lost," and say "I lost it." - Sydney J. Harris

Sunday, November 26, 2006

YouTube Milestone

Well, it only took about ten zillion years but finally, after watching the hits go one after another, one by one, day after day, I finally hit the 300,000 view mark. Somebody uncork the champagne and pour it over my zombie head! Phew.

I know, I know, this means that there are 10 people in Thailand watching the Green Day video over and over again, but who cares, I will remain blissfully ignorant and pretend it is a big deal (oh but it is to me!).

I remember the first weekend I posted vids to YouTube and was shocked (and mildly disturbed) to see a random Lindsay Lohan VS Nicole Richie paperdoll video get 800 hits in one hour. An addiction was born that day and I need my daily fix.

Oh YouTube, please never delete my account, thereby forcing me to start this hideous hit addiction from scratch and, god forbid, the NUMBER ONE...eeek!

The Art of Mix Tapes

I have wanted to do a weekly vlog for a long time now (thanks to Richard at Burlington Telecom for the idea!). Since I finally have some spare time on my hands (we love 4 day weekends!), I am playing around with different vlog formats and ideas.

Embedded below is experiment #4: a looong rant about mix tapes and how my musical tastes have been shaped by them and the people who gave them to me. Not to mention some readings from Nick Hornby's (whose name I butchered - egads, need spell checker!) High Fidelity about the art of mix tape making and its role in seduction.

If you have ever made me a mix tape, then you just might be mentioned in this video so beware! Most of the music is male but I guess that is cause most of these tapes were made by guys...hmmm...I guess the mix tape is a sort of dude thing:

Any comments are welcomed (such as, "omg, did you really stay up until 7am making this dumb ass video?"). I am still pretty unsure of what or where to go with this vloggey thingy (sort of how I feel about the bloggy thing as well!):

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Snowflakes, Fairies and Nuts

Lani and I enjoyed The Albany Berkshire Ballet's Nutcracker at the Flynn tonight. I find that there is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than a healthy dose of The Nutcracker. The show started out sloooow (oh how the opening party scene bores me so) and Clara was a tad young (she doesn't even go on point!?) and, imho, lacked spunk. But as soon as the lights lowered and the Christmas tree started to grow, I was hooked.

We used to go see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center when we were kids. The tree growing is one of my earliest memories of live performance. It continues to impress me today.

Even more than the rigid ballet moves, the music transports me. I got a tape of The Nutcracker's score by Pytor Illych Tchaikovsky's when I was 13 and I used to prance around the house to that music for hours. As overplayed as it may be in the holiday season, it still gives me joy.

Growing up, I watched the American Ballet Theatre's 1977 version of the Nutcracker with Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland over and over again on PBS. It is hard to top Baryshnikov and those legs of steel.

The Waltz of the Snowflakes always reminds me of the film The Turning Point in which a drunken ballerina (she gets drunk after Baryshnikov dumps her - man, he is all over the place) has difficulty performing her duties as a snowflake. She teeters in the back of the chorus until another dancer takes pity on her and pushes her off stage. Since that movie, I have always hoped to see a drunken snowflake.

The music for The Waltz of the Snowflakes always gives me warm fuzzies. The dulcet sounds of the children's choir used to run through my head Christmas night while I was lying awake with anticipation. It is so satisfying to see dancers moving to this music and embellishing the lutes, drums, and clarinets.

Sadly, the music for the production tonight was piped in (they needed the whole stage, there wouldn't have been room for the orchestra!) and to make matters worse, the speakers were blowing out when the music was too loud. Still, I got some chills when The Sugar Plum Fairy got lifted about her consort's head during the huge crescendos.

The Little Gallop of the children got a gasp and a burst of applause every time. It took a looong time for this procession of the tiniest members of the company (who were wearing little white leotards with fuzzy reindeer horns - awwww) to drag Clara across the stage in her sleigh. Child labor, hello!? The Trepak (male Russian dancer) got the warmest reception which was well deserved as he had springs in his feet that bounced him up to the rafters repeatedly. I was a fan of the Arabian dancer who was classy and sexy and limber.

And as an aside, check out this dirt on Pytor, The Nutcracker's composer. He married the first woman who chased him and ended up staying with her his whole life (despite the fact that he was gay). He tried to kill himself by jumping in a river and he exchanged over 1200 letters with his patroness. It was assumed that he died of cholera from drinking infected water but there is a new, much more exciting theory making the rounds:

In this account, Tchaikovsky committed suicide by consuming small doses of arsenic following an attempt to blackmail him over his homosexuality. His alleged death by cholera (whose symptoms have some similarity with arsenical poisoning) is supposed to have been a cover for this suicide. According to the theory, Tchaikovsky's own brother Modest Tchaikovsky, also homosexual, helped conspire to keep the secret.

Eeek! Slow, secret death by arsenic...takes guts. And on another odd note, an uber cool Russian blog (why can't I read Russian!? argh!) featured my Sofia Coppola Hate rant here. I am rather curious what the translation of this sentence might be:

любопытная стервочка, смешная к тому же, интересно, как она в постеле кричит?

Oooh, scenique just translated his statement for me (thanks!):

i said that its an interesting film and that you look lovely, that's all. i dont like a final scene with fake Sofia, because she is very fake. but as a whole your film is really good.

And to finish, here is some Clara (on point as she should be!) and her Nutcracker prince:

Friday, November 24, 2006

Lynch + Cow = WTF?

Man, thanks to James Israel's uber hip and with it blog Jump Cuts for bringing this weird one to my attention. David Lynch and a cow sitting on an LA sidewalk pushing Laura Dern for an Oscar nod. Jeez, you gotta love that guy. His big hair and nasal monotone just make me glad:

How To Drop 500 Clams in One Day

The car, the furniture, the wife, the children - everything has to
be disposable. Because you see the main thing today is - shopping.

- Arthur Miller
I didn't mean to do it, I swear I didn' just sort of, you know, happened that I managed to, er, uhm, spend $500 bucks today. ;) Oops. I guess it is time to put my credit card in the freezer.

I mean, how predictable can you get? Spending 1/2 of a thousand dollars on the same day that everyone else is out dropping money!? I feel like such a sheep, and worse still, a $$ hungry-sheep. Ick.

In my defense, I didn't set out to spend all this money AND I swear to God, I didn't know today was some crazy shop-til-you-drop-discount-day. I know, I know, what sort of an idiot raised in a cave would not know this!? To explain how I got to be 33 yrs old and so entirely clueless, please take into consideration the fact that my boho hippie mother NEVER went shopping for new crap when we growing up (she still doesn't) so these sort of shopping holidays hold no meaning for me. So that explains why I am 33 yrs old and totally clueless, at least partially.
The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread
and coming out with ONLY a loaf of bread are three
billion to one.

- Erma Bombeck
Still, I should have had enough sense to know NOT to go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. I mean, duh. But silly me, I figured all those lines of cars coming out of the mall parking lot were just an odd coincidence. Little did I know, today was BLACK FRIDAY - sounds positively frightful! Damn it, if I had known about this crazy day from hell, I would have totally been a non-consumer supporter of the Buy Nothing Day which is way more up my alley anyhow.

Since Thanksgiving has always had an emphasis on friends, family and community, while the day after Thanksgiving has more recently had an emphasis on consumerism and shopping, "Buy Nothing Day" may be seen by some protesters as a way of reclaiming the 'original meaning' of Thanksgiving: encouraging friends and family to socialize instead of encouraging individual income-earners to spend their money. - Wikipedia

It started innocently enough. I went to get my hair cut and the girl was so nice and did such an amazing job (oh the joy of having your scalp massaged - take note gents, this is a sure fire way to any girls' heart) that I somehow got hornswaggled into buying a fancy hair straightener (I can't help it, curly-haired girls like me find smooth, straight hair to be such a decadent luxury!) and a crapload of expensive hair care products that will supposedly make my hair smooth and shiny (yeah right).

See, in order to explain HOW I managed to drop $200 on hair care products (I am all about the lengthy explanations/justifications today - battling massive consumer guilt here), I will have to tell you more about my hair. Yes, that's right, my hair (now is when any sane person would stop reading this worthless, self-centered blog).

The thing about my hair is, it is a curly mess. It would turn into dreadlocks if left to its own devices. And when you brush it, my hair transforms into a dust cloud mess. So long ago, I gave up on shelling out big bucks for hair care products or even taking time to do stuff to it cause, you know, I just figured it was what it was.

But now I am actually gonna try to be proactive cause I DO so love having straight, smooth, movie star hair and THAT is all I will say about hair as this has already gone on far too long. And now, a word from Tammy Faye to cleanse the pallet:

I take Him shopping with me. I say, OK, Jesus,
help me find a bargain

- Tammy Faye Bakker
Consider monkeys exchanging favors -- say pieces of fruit for back scratches. Mutual grooming can remove ticks and fleas that an individual can't see or reach. But just how much grooming versus how many pieces of fruit constitutes a reciprocation that both sides will consider to be "fair", or in other words not a defection? Is twenty minutes of backscratching worth one piece of fruit or two? And how big a piece? ...

If clams can be money, furs can be money, gold can be money, and so on -- if money is not just coins or notes issued by a government under legal tender laws, but rather can be wide variety of objects -- then just what is money anyway? And why did humans, often living on the brink of starvation, spend so much time making and enjoying those necklaces when they could have been doing more hunting and gathering? -excerpted from Shelling Out - The Origins of Money, Nick Szabo

After the hair straightening fun, I took my new flat hair to the mall to buy new glasses and was immediately put off by the crazy lines, crowds and screaming infants. Yipes, serves me right for knowing next to nothing about shopping holidays.

The weary zombies masquerading as clerks told me that people lined up outside the mall at 5:30AM to be first in line for the on sale goodies.

Call me mad but, what difference does it make if you buy some comforter today instead of some other day? $20? Is this $20 really worth all the crazy parking hijinx, walking at a snail's pace behind mobs of people and waiting in awful lines to check out? But what do I know? Needless to say, I won't be buying much at the mall these holidays. It is not that I am mall snob or anything like that, it is just not my scene.
Money can't buy you happiness, but it does bring
you a more pleasant form of misery.

- Spike Milligan
As usual, I got pulled into the tractor beam of the Bon Ton teen department (this place always gets me with its sales) and against my better judgement got some striped t-shirts for $5 bucks each. I can't resist a bargain and I can't resist long striped, soft tees.

It is a character defect, I know. But I get paid back in spades when all the real teens shopping with their parents (who are my age) wonder out loud, "What the hell is that old lady shopping in the teen department for?" Ah well.

Next thing you know, I am trying on multiple glasses frames and agonizing over the fact that my face is shaped like a plate. Jesus, how can you dress up a plate with glasses? Granted, it is nice to obscure my shiny, red skin with an object of some sort but none of them seemed to fit just right. After trying on every chunky frame in the place, I decided on a purple/orange pair of long rectangular frames.

Yes, I know, I am already verging on kooky-old-spinster-arty-lady-wearing-colorful-glasses, owning lots of cats and shopping at the teen department territory as is but, you gotta work with what you know. And besides, once I re-dye my hair cherry black, I think the purple frames will fit right in. And since I am blind as a bat, that was another $315 down the drain and that was with a coupon. Damn it. It sucks to be blind and vain.
So this post has been ALL ABOUT ME and that is just plain awful. I know I should have spent this day feeding orphans or teaching surly teens how to read complicated philosophy. Instead, I bought myself a bunch of crap that I don't really need (I have glasses already and my hair is fine curly). Ah well, c'est la vie. Happy Black Friday TO ME and to all of the other selfish bastards in the house!
You aren't wealthy until you have something money
can't buy.

- Garth Brooks
And here is a video made by Chris Kelly who took his own unique approach to Black Friday. He stood outside a mall wearing a sandwich board and handing out free hugs to all who were interested. Seems like a nice gesture on this consumer crazy day:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Office Monkey!

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Late Wednesday night, most of our office had already fled the building as it was the day before Thanksgiving. As with most things I dislike, I had put off doing a loathsome invoice mailing all week and could put it off no longer.

Although there is something to be said for mundane, mindless jobs, I have a particular distaste for invoice mailings. Perhaps because I do them so often and it feels like each one brings me just a little bit closer to death's door.

To spice up the proceedings, I made this little video and asked the scintillating question, "Could a monkey do my job?" The verdict is still out. You be the judge.

Have a great Thanksgiving and be thankful that you are NOT a monkey doing invoice mailings!

Now this monkey can pig out and watch DVDs of The Office (check out this ultra dreamy montage of Pam and Jim), she's earned it!

Got no check books, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks - I got the sun in the mornin' and the moon at night. - Irving Berlin