Happy New Year and Bye

January 1st, 2006

Update, October 6, 2009: Hi there! This is just a little announcement for anyone who has wandered over here and is confused as to why there is no new content. I closed this blog on December 31, 2005 (well, actually, January 1, 2006, but it was around midnight, so…), and opened a new one for 2006. See the original post content below. But if you want my latest web ramblings, please go to the main page for all the links to all my sites, or head straight over to my current blog, The Spleenville HQ Chronicles. What does this mean in the great scheme of things? Well, for one thing, it means NO, I DON’T WANT TO ADD ANY ADVERTISEMENTS TO THIS SITE. (Yes, I periodically get spammed from my old sites for this purpose. Stop it. It is irritating, and is not making your business any more attractive.) Now everyone, change your links to either http://spleenville.com/ for the main site, or http://spleenville.com/v2/ for just the blog.

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So get out of here already.

Eve TV

December 31st, 2005

Regis Philbin in Times Square is talking via phone to a photo of Donald Trump. It isn’t the dullest conversation in the world, but it is flat and ordinary. A little bit ago the Reege was talking to new “singing sensation” Tyler Hilton. Then they played a teensy bit of his song and I changed stations really fast.

In advertising news, Chevy is now using an ersatz version of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” to sell their cars. A paean to the great days of tv past when original pop songs were transformed by studio musicians into less-offensive whitebread muzak before being allowed on television so as to not frighten the hordes in the sticks, or simply failure to get the proper permissions to use the original recording?

Where is that goddamn asteroid?

Upcoming Blog Move

December 31st, 2005

Oh yeah — I decided to start a new blog for the new year after all. Wordpress has come out with a new version, so I simply set up a new install in another folder. I’ll post the url here at midnight.

I’m gonna lounge on the couch and watch tv for a while.

Crackhead

December 31st, 2005

The saga of a man who is not pleased that his motorcycle has become a crackhead supply closet.

(Via Accidental Verbosity.)

The List

December 31st, 2005

Here is what I have assembled for my New Year’s Eve Party of One:

Some fancy-ass chicken-and-sundried-tomato whole wheat ravioli from the refrigerator section of the grocery store.
Some marinara sauce to go on the pasta.
Some fancy French cheese spread (two for one at Publix): some peppery stuff and some garlic-with-herbs flavored.
A small plastic container of olive tapenade (fancy word for olive spread).
A tin of sardines in mustard and dill sauce, for more of that authentic cocktail hour ambience.
Some crackly bread stuff (sesame) for the cheese and the olive spread and the sardines.
Whole wheat bread to make toast points for the same.
Some red grapes. (I like grapes.)
A can of mixed nuts.

Drink, from the liquor store:

An Australian sparkling wine, extra dry, because I like my champagne sweet.
Dry vermouth and a small flask of Tanqueray gin because I am going to make myself a martini. I don’t have olives, but I do have little pickled onions. I also bought one champagne flute and one martini glass.

If I don’t collapse in a drunken heap I’ll fire up the Precious and post my impressions of New Year’s Eve teevee. I know you can’t wait!

Update 7:23pm: I am now sipping the martini and noshing on my inedible edibles. Verdict on the martini: vile, yet somehow compelling. I used to drink Tom Collinses and Gin and Tonics but never noticed that gin smells like a Christmas tree. The juniper, I guess. I could get to like this stuff. The snacks — the sardines, cheese, tapenade — are just right for this kind of bizarre taste combination.

The irritating neighbors are already setting off fireworks. Oh joy. I can remember when fireworks were illegal — to sell, anyway — in Florida, so people had to drive all the way to Georgia to buy them. This generally meant you didn’t hear or see fireworks except on the 4th of July. Now they sell them in the grocery store, and people use them for all occasions: Christmas, birthdays, boredom.

Good God, I’m watching The Lawrence Welk Show. This is a bit more retro than I can stand yet.

Forgot to mention: I made the martini stirred, not shaken. (I copied what I saw a bartender do on the Fine Living Channel.)

Wrote a post

December 31st, 2005

Saved it for later. I still have a headache. Short summary: I am thinking of staying on this blog instead of moving to a new one, and I saw the trailer for Brokeback Mountain and noted that it’s being given The Notebook treatment, no matter what the movie might actually be like. If I were gay I’d be insulted by the schmaltzy strings and gloppy voiceovers emitting ridiculously fulsome praise of this film (Heath Ledger is better — at everything — than Jesus!, and it’s going to get every prize in the universe including the Nobel Peace Prize and the Proxima Centauri Gamma Irridium Star of Intra-Galactic Excellence). Then again, I still think of gay people as examples of wit, charm, and fashion, but that apparently hasn’t been true since Noel Coward died. Gays are now Just Folks, and are expected to tear up and reach for the hanky when one male movie actor makes googoo eyes at another male movie actor as the violins swell, just the way 99% of my sex does when they watch pinky goo crap like Bridges of Madison County. The only thing keeping pedophiles from getting this treatment is the Catholic priest scandal; when the church gets rid of the teen-altar-boy robe-lifters in its ranks I wouldn’t be surprised if the next Hollywood “art” blockbuster will feature the doomed romance of a middle-aged adult with a preteen (or younger?) child. Or maybe they’ll tackle incest first, who knows? We’re running out of things to do with our genitals, so I can only hope they’ll stop before they get to the insertion of inanimate objects, or man-chicken relations. Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t been paying attention for the last thirty years.

Just one more thing: I am more than half convinced that all this increase in crude sexual display in the movies is actually a symptom of a fear and even hatred of true sexuality, especially between the opposite sexes. Let me ask you this: is there one single movie released in the past, say, five years that was even one-tenth as sexy in its entirety than one five-minute sequence in any movie made up to the early sixties? I will illustrate: last night I happened to catch the last few minutes of the musical Band Wagon, starring Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, and others. Now I don’t care for musicals — unless they have Fred Astaire. There is something so self-assured and relaxed about Astaire, so adult yet enjoying it that no male actor of today can bring off even as a pose. It’s simply not possible for our overgrown adolescents to display such confidence. And Astaire was kind of goofy-looking, not really what we consider “handsome” these days. But compared to someone like, say, George Clooney — oh please, don’t make me laugh.

Anyway, I turned it on in the middle of a dance sequence. The cast is putting on a play (it’s a play within a play, you know, like Shakespeare was always putting in his plays), and there’s a stylized film noir set. Then the camera pans to Cyd Charisse, leaning against the bar and wrapped in this amazing black coat. She’s gorgeous. Then she slowly unwraps her coat (revealing this scarlet sleeveless dress with slits up to there to show off her famous legs) and she and Astaire do this dance sequence which was so sexy if I were a man I’d have passed out on the coffee table. So what do we have today to compare to anything like that? Madonna?

We’re doomed.

Volare

December 30th, 2005

This pilot is my new hero:

A drunken passenger on a holiday flight from England to Spain was dropped at a tiny island off the African coast after he swore at the cabin crew, a newspaper reported Friday. The plane’s captain decided to leave the man at Porto Santo, a volcanic outcrop in the Atlantic, after he became abusive when he was refused more alcohol, the Daily Mail said.

I have some more suggestions for possible passenger types to be abandoned on small, unpopulated rocks surrounded by miles of open water: the type known as “yuppie parents with small, screaming child that they refuse to discipline, and in fact glare at the stewardess when she tells them they have to collect their toddler, who is running up and down the aisle, and strap her down for landing,” the aisle-side seatmate who becomes a rigid corpse upon takeoff and thus does not respond — at all, with so much as a twitch of an eyelid — when you ask him or her to move a little so you can get out of your window seat and go to the bathroom, the seatmate who tries to read your book/computer/magazine/whatever over your shoulder and thus gives you a whiff of his intense garlic breath, the seatmate who tries to pick you up with intentions of joining the “mile high club” (even though he is over fifty, has a hideous combover, is wearing cologne that is causing the paint on the inside of the plane to peel off the walls, and has the physique of a beanbag chair that has lost half its beans), the seatmate who hogs your chair arm, the fat passenger who was too cheap to buy one of the bigger seats in first class but instead prefers to sit in coach and thus overflow into her seatmates’ chairs, the passenger whose jaw is on automatic so that during a three-plus-hour flight there is no moment free of the sound of inane chatter, and the child who thinks its funny to peer over the back of your seat and diddle with your hair and then “hide” when you turn around. Drop them all on islands preferably surrounded by shark-infested water and leave them there.

(Via With Cheese.)

Well, blow me down

December 30th, 2005

WTF? (By the way — zeta isn’t the last letter in the Greek alphabet.)

Via Steve H., who shows signs of being a bit tired of living in Hurricane Alley.

Frustrations

December 30th, 2005

Update: problem solved with the purchase of a bigger monitor. See the comments.

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I have been reading various websites on the subject of blurry text and LCD monitors, and what I am reading is not encouraging. Apparently this is a problem with a lot of different LCDs, larger ones too not just this little one. All the effort seems to have gone into upgrading the graphical display, for gamers and people who web-surf (for pictures, I presume, I leave to your imagination pictures of what), but those people who actually use the computer to read and write get to suffer eyestrain.

Another thing: type is somewhat clearer at larger font settings, but — text set above a certain font size (except for headers and the like) annoys me. I can’t stand those books printed out in large type for people with bad eyes, either. Paragraphs of large text, whether on the screen or the page, look like they are “shouting” at me. I’m weird that way.

Another thought I had was perhaps the odd size of the monitor had something to do with the text problems. The display is 15 1/4 inches wide, not the standard 15. Set at anything but 1280 x 768, images are distorted, though text is slightly better, but not good enough to be worth stretched-out, bizarre looking graphics. (I do like to look at undistorted images.)

I’m sure this is very boring for everyone reading this (”Is she still going on about the stupid monitor?”), but it’s my preoccupation of the moment. A reader emailed me suggesting I text the monitor on the laptop to make sure it isn’t the videocard that is the problem. I also have the other computer I could test it on — the old Windows 98 computer that is the whole reason I bought this, so I could give my friend the old computer along with the old CRT monitor. I promised to her like a year ago. Well, I will let you know the results. (”Oh joy!”)

Computer fun update: I am typing this on the laptop. I can only upgrade the laptop resolution settings from 1024×768 to 1280×1024. It’s set at the latter now. Type is slightly better looking, so I assume my desktop’s video card is probably somewhat to blame. (It’s still not wonderful, though.)

I found out another wonderful thing: my ancient Windows 98 computer is d-e-a-d dead. I assume that one of the power surges this area is prone to took it out, though I swear I just used it recently. Well, I am not investing one cent into fixing something so old, so I guess I have me an expensive paperweight. And my friend will be getting the WinXP desktop, as I did promise her a computer; I guess I’ll be getting myself a new desktop eventually. Argh!

I forgot to add: also images are distorted on this monitor at any setting but 1280 x 768. Maybe getting a weird-sized monitor wasn’t such a good idea.

Videodrone

December 29th, 2005

Update on my monitor situation, for those who care: I can’t stand the blurry text, so I’ve decided that I am going to take it back to Compusa, to either trade in for another of the same model, or if I don’t like what their demo model looks like I’ll get store credit and trade it in for a different. I could swear that the store model of this one looked fine but I looked at so many monitors I can’t remember now if I ran through some programs instead of just looking at the demo image; images look fine on this thing, and even text in images, but for some reason its character-display text that is fuzzy, and I can’t get it in complete focus in any resolution no matter how many times I fool with the settings. Sigh.