Archive for the ‘Randomness’ Category

20638931_1587932687948153_447980582823745319_nIt’s National Book Lovers Day, because there is a day for everything!

I’m definitely having a reading year in twenty and seventeen, and heavy on the Dystopias for some reason! Started by re-reading Margaret Atwood’s Madaddam Trilogy – soon to be the next great HBO series. Then, a middling Atwood-lite called California by Edan Pelucki. Some speculative political fiction with Indian Country by Kurt Schlichter. More Atwood as I re-read Handmaid’s Tale for the 8th time. Even MORE Atwood with the more recent, and just-OK, The Heart Goes Last. Finally, this year’s winner so far, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.

What are YOU reading?

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Original 80s cover art, for the purists!

Allow me, Dystopian Literature Fan Number One, to be officially the last person on the web to discuss The Handmaid’s Tale.

First of all, I’m happy to see that 7 episodes in, people have finally stopped screaming how TIMELY it is. Written in the mid-80s, it was a response to the way Reagan installed a right-wing Christian dictatorship, took away women’s rights and shipped black people off to camps. If you don’t remember that happening then, that’s because it didn’t. But, TIMELY!!!

Anyway, the first 5 eps, I was riveted, watching the book come to life after reading it maybe 10 times. (Let us not speak of the 1990 theatrical release – as much as I love the late Natasha Richardson!)

handmaid 2

“So…see you at the Ceremony later?”

The last couple of eps, which have veered almost completely from the novel, I fear I am losing my buzz a bit – even though it is very well done. And I wonder, is this what it is like for those unhappy Game of Thrones book nerds?

I give them credit for trying to expand the story, even if the results are mixed. Seeing the breakdown and overthrow of the US? Excellent. RiotGrrl Ofglen as a symbol of resistance? Very good. The revelation about Offred’s husband? Maybe. Sympathizing with Serena Joy about how the revolution disappointed her? No. And the entire Mexican Ambassador thing? No me gusta!

I see that next week will bring to life just about the last remaining set piece of the novel, other than the ending. And now word comes that the series has been renewed for a second season. For the life of me, I can’t imagine what an episode 19 or 20 will look like. Despite all of this, it’s still appointment TV, and I am enjoying the ride for now. As for Big Splashy Hulu Adaptations, it’s much better than 11/22/63 was.  What do YOU think?

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If you’re like me at Christmas, you spare a good bit of no expense to provide nothing but second best the best for the guy whose name you picked out of a hat your loved ones. In that helpful spirit, here is how you get out-of-print songs that you don’t own off of the internet and onto your knock-off brand X mp3 player!

1. Download some cheese-eating audio editing software… like the one that rhymes with “Shmaw-dacity.”

2. Get a mini-to-mini audio cable (stereo.)  It helps if you swiped a bunch of these from the place you used to work. (Sorry, I left that out.)

3. Connect the audio out from one laptop to the mic in of a second laptop. (Oh yeah, you need two PCs. Dang it!)

4. Find the song on YouTube or something.

5. Record the song into the editing software.

6. Save As something remotely usable, like .wav, instead of whatever goofy proprietary file extension they give you.

7. Load the song into Windows Media Player on the first PC.

8. Burn the song onto a CD. It’s better to get ten or songs before you do this. (Again, sorry.)

9. Rip the songs BACK into Media Player, as .wma’s this time.

10. Sync the song to your cheesy brand-X mp3.

11. Repeat until exhausted, or until mp3’s become obsolete.

In all seriousness, Audacity is a little chunkified, but I have used it a lot to get my old LP’s (look it up, kids) into my mp3.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Remember, friends, Christmas can be a time of frustration and deep family weirdness…

…oh, were you expecting a “but“? I thought you knew me better!

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The following rant is made possible by the fact that you can delete friends on Facebook without notifying them.

Sleepy Moon Guy: Keeps his browser open all day long, and sitting on Facebook.  Indicated by the sleepy blue sliver of a moon symbol next to his name.  Technically, he’s an “online friend,” but he lies in wait, stealthy-like. If you happen to drop in for a moment, the steel trap springs shut and…and I guess you have to chew off your arm to get free.

The “Go on, ask!” Girl: Brief, cryptic updates like “my heart hurts…” Designed to make someone, anyone, anyone at all, ask “Aww, what’s wrong?” Anyone except me, that is.

The Twitter Newbie: You hear it on TV a lot lately…puzzled news people giving it their best, Seinfeldian “what’s the deal with Twitter?”  I get the deal with Twitter, OK? I get it better than most people who use it– like Twitter Newbie.  TN probably has a reason to tweet. Maybe he has a new business he’s trying to promote. So why is every tweet something like “I’m driving,” or “Just had lunch…chick-fil-a yum!” or, my favorite, “tweeting rocks!”  Here’s a tip…get the rocks out of your head and learn to tweet. Secondly, stop saying tweet.

I could go on and on about the TMI people and the ones who are constantly flinging food at you or challenging you to a pillow fight. But that would eliminate just about everyone. So, I’ll end my Facebook beef right here.

You may say, “Dag, Boo…you must spend a lot of time on Facebook to form such a passionate opinion about it!”  To which, I may reply “Dag, Boo? For real? Are you that kid from To Kill a Mockingbird, or what?”

Dag, Boo...that literary reference didn't seem very forced at all!

Dag, Boo...that literary reference didn't seem very forced at all!

Seriously, though. It’s not a waste of time if I am judging you. That’s the first rule of blogging!

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This might have been a good post for the beginning of my vacation, instead of the end. At any rate, I went home for the holidays. I’ll be back in bidness  by midweek. Froeliche Wienachten, and whatnot!

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It’s a slow news day, and…

OK, that’s a lie. I’m just vibrating with anticipation for The Dark Knight and I can’t concentrate on anything else. (See Photo)

Vibrating with Anticipation

Vibrating with Anticipation

By the way, I know you probably haven’t heard much about the new Batman movie, but try to make time to see it. I would hate for this charming little art-house picture to go unnoticed.

Today, in lieu of actual content, I thought I would share a video that has been blowing my mind for for a few weeks. Whether you appreciate the art of video editing, or beautiful Japanese ballet dancers, you’re sure to dig it. Speakers up?…..Domo Arigato!

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Yesterday was the longest week of my life.  This was the day I spent trying to rehabilitate my laptop. As I reported previously, all of my USB devices suddenly stopped reporting for duty. Mouse, keyboard, scanner, printer, flash drives…all suddenly AWOL. Also, my touchpad was acting goofy. I could move the cursor, but I couldn’t double-touch; I had to left-click to select instead.  Now, for a copywriter this isn’t exactly the end of the world, but it’s a drag. Sort of like a carpenter with a broken hammer: the steel part at the top is missing, but I can still pound nails with the wooden handle.

So, the garage-and-attic safari began as I tried to locate all of my software (I move a lot!) I backed up important files to CD, which thankfully still worked. I wrote down as many user names and passwords as I could remember. And then I launched a recovery session.

Now, it’s time to rebuild. And whoops, my MS Office 2003 disc doesn’t work! I suddenly remember it didn’t work last time I recovered, either. So, it’s back to the garage, or attic, or wherever I found the software. After all, why would I bring the whole stack when I could just bring the one I thought I needed? Finally, I find my Office 2000 discs in a sleeve marked “I think this is the right one.” And, thankfully, it was the right one.

Final report: I got back full use of the touch pad. The USB ports STILL don’t work!  To quote Shakespeare: “Crappe!”

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Greetings, my fellow ink-stained wretches! Long weekend here. I’ve flown my mother into Charleston for her birthday. So it’s four days of touristy crap for the lady who not only cracked the whip tirelessly until I finished college, but who also bought me my first computer. It’s the least I can do…trust me, I checked!  L8R…

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We have lost one of the English language’s unlikeliest defenders; George Carlin is dead. Carlin said that there were three arenas of life that informed his comedy: the world at large (war, politics, religion, etc.) the peculiar observational world of the comic (the “didja ever notice” stuff) and the English language… “the words, phrases, sayings and the ways we speak.”

And he was full of them. Apparently his mother inspired his love of language. She was a single mom and (I believe) a schoolteacher with an incredible command of the language. George tried to impress her by picking up as much of her vocabulary as he could, and she would challenge him further. Carlin’s example:

George: “Hey ma, care to peruse the newspaper?”

(He waits for praise. Instead…)

Mother: “I’ll give it a cursory glance.”

Over the years, Carlin railed against the sources of abuse of the English language. Whether theses abuses came from advertising, government bureaucracy or political correctness, Carlin was merciless. However, for me at least, his rants on the language made me want to get it right. And one specific example has stayed with me forever, the abuse of “irony.” Typical example:

Me: He was cutting his grass and a car jumped the curb and killed him.

Other guy: Wow. Ironic, isn’t it?

Me: How so?

Other guy: Umm, well, uh, I have to go now.

Carlin’s first book “Brain Droppings” is full of great examples of oxymorons, redundancies, euphemisms and just plain abuses. I will be rereading it today in his honor.

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One thing I learned from writing 14 blog posts a day is that…I have the capacity to write 14 blog posts a day. This particular blog is not about important things like “A Strong Dollar will Solve the Oil Crisis,” or even “Fitting into Your Wedding Dress through Bulimia.” However, I plan to mitigate this blog’s uselessness by providing more of it. As Bart Simpson said about his internet stock portfolio: “Quick! What’s 2 million times zero? And please don’t say zero!”

To that end, I have made a home for my ill-fated screenplay, Bomb Pops. The synopsis, at least. It’s a coming-of-age period (mid-80s) piece set in Cincinnati. It involves a 30-year-old ice cream truck driver who has an existential freak out when the ice cream company switches from classic soft-serve to pre-packaged treats, e.g. Bomb Pops. Certainly we all remember the moment when we heard this news?

So, read the synopsis, and ask yourself how in the world a multi-million dollar bidding war did NOT ensue! Bomb Pops is a mildy autobiographic, deeply personal labor of love that I will change completely for the right price. Take out the swear words? Change the setting? Add a wise-cracking robot? Done!

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