Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Curse you, Vicks-scented Puffs!

I'm a little bit sick (although I WILL be better in time for Mardi Gras, never fear), so I went to CVS to buy Puffs.  Only when I got back to my desk and blew my nose did I realize they are VICKS-SCENTED PUFFS.  What in GOD'S NAME was someone thinking?  Blowing your nose is bad enough, but with this development you get a big whiff of Eau de Medicinal Chemicals (minus any actual medicine, says the Puffs website) the remnants of which stays on your hands and upper lip area indefinitely, making you feel and smell like one of those consumptive child actors from the upsetting '80s Vicks ads where a mother rubs Vick's on her son's chest in an excessively sensual fashion. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Hasbro and Mattel are trying to quash my attempts to become an awesome Scrabble player by making Facebook take down its fake-Scrabble application, Scrabulous .

Surely there is some mutually agreeable way to fix this? Like, say, Scrabble lets Scrabulous use its name in exchange for a small fee or some free ad space, with the realization that a Facebook member playing 5 simultaneous games of Scrabulous (me, for instance) is only going to become more fond of Scrabble, to buy Scrabble dictionaries, and to spread the gospel of Scrabble far and wide?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spears family and There Will Be Blood: separated at birth?

I saw There Will Be Blood on Friday, and while it was very gorgeous to look at and had an interesting score, by the end I thought it devolved into such a pile of overwrought disaster that it had ceased to be compelling.

In other words, it was very similar to the Spears family. Like a Daniel Day-Lewis character, Britney was the epitome of a certain brand of American ambition and success--and, like the TWBB, she was pretty to look at and listen to ("Toxic" was poetry, and don't try to tell me otherwise). The stage mother and the sweet-faced kid sister were great supporting characters. When Britney entered the Period of Skankiness--the 48-hour marriage, the backup dancer babydaddy, the Irish twins, the going into public bathrooms without her shoes on--it seemed to just add to the complexity, and drew us in farther.

But then sometime around the head-shaving incident, the whole thing started to unravel. In There Will Be Blood, SPOILER ALERT, the same thing happened approximately when D D-L caused a scene in a restaurant by getting huffy about slow service, putting his napkin over his face, and threatening to slit someone's throat. Once you've started down that path, it's a steep downward slide from fascinating into banal awfulness. The psychiatric committment, the pregnant 16-year-old sister whose boyfriend is demanding a paternity test--they might as well just SPOILER ALERT kill all the other characters in the movie and be done with it. Yes, yes, America is built on unbelievable depravity, I get it. I'd rather see Juno.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I am one with the inchoate urges of the electorate

I have always been a big critic of the Undecided Voter, those blank-faced avatars the news shows get to watch the Presidential debates and mutter blankly about how they're still not sure. How the hell can you NOT BE SURE, and how can your decision turn on something like which guy made better jokes at the debate?, I am always screaming at them.

So it took me by surprise that I have totally become that dude for the Democratic primaries. Until the Iowa caucuses I was on board with Obama--not rabidly so, because excessive sincere enthusiasm makes me nervous, but pretty decidedly. While watching the coverage of the caucuses that night, though, I found myself defending Hillary when people said things like that it would be more ground-breaking to have a black President than a female one. Also, I admit, I was impressed by the near-crying incident--I dont know if it was fake or not, but if it was, what a performance!

Then after she lost in Iowa, I found myself feeling slightly disappointed that the race might be over so fast, and also kind of bad for her for all the piling-on. I think she's too conservative, but I found all the coverage about how voters don't want to return to "the Clinton years" really annoying because I don't think people mean "Bill Clinton pretended to be a pinko but passed some hideously retrograde legislation and nominated medium-to-conservative judges," they mean "We had to hear about Monica Lewinsky all the time." Which, get over it, plus I'm sure Hillary will not bring Monica with her to the White House. Would my change of heart have been enough to make me vote for her if I lived in New Hampshire instead of a disenfranchised non-state? Who can say?

Now that she's back in the running, though, I am swinging back away from her. She is still too conservative, after all.

So, my sympathy for the dumb voter has increased, but hopefully that will go away soon.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I had been maintaining that I was too old for Facebook and that being on Friendster and LinkedIn was plenty of networking for me, thanks, but today I signed up for it furtherance of New Year's Eve resolution #1 (Become better at Scrabble), because my friend J informs me that you can play it on there. In a shocking turn of events, I discovered that MY DAD IS ALREADY ON FACEBOOK. This is a paradigm-altering event, like the emergence of TomKat from the primordial ooze. I have not yet finalized them, but Resolutions # 2+ will have to address my failure to keep up with my dad's level of coolness.