hradzka: (wtf)
I entered a tacky shit store today on a whim, and was absolutely staggered by what I saw. It wasn't just the large clocks with attached tacky sculptures or horses, or the framed 3D lenticular posters of wolves. It was the taxidermy. Yeah.

On a top shelf, and on a wall, above the giant watch clocks and mixed media seascapes, were the worst specimens of taxidermy I have ever seen in my entire life. Just to remind you: I am a gun nut, I live in a state where there are a truckload of hunters, and I have done some time in medical and natural history museums. I have seen my fair share of taxidermy. Some of it awesome. Some of it less so. These monstrosities blew my mind. I have never in my life ever seen taxidermy so horribly rendered. I had to restrain myself from snapping pictures, because the store owner was giving me a glare that strongly suggested he knew I was about to burst into horrified giggles at any moment. So let me tell you what I saw.

Picture a wall in front of you. On that wall are little wooden plaques, of the sort that might have heads mounted on them in another place, but most of the mounts are birds. Clumsy, awkward, misshapen birds, with wings cocked in odd directions and spines that bend the wrong way. They have not accepted their lot. They look very grim and unhappy about it. It does not help that they are missing feathers. Lots of feathers. In important places. They look threadbare.

Moving on.

Next to the birds, there is a squirrel on fake tree branches that some unskilled but hopeful artist has attached to the wooden plaque. It is a small squirrel, and it is awkwardly whipsawed to its left above the waist in an unsustainable and very unanatomical posture that the viewer can only theorize is meant to suggest vigorous treetop action. The posture does not, in fact, suggest this. It rather suggests a squirrel that has just been shot during the middle of its annual prostate exam. As a whole, the piece brings to mind those Victorian dioramas of squirrels and mice in boxing matches or the like, if one had been executed by a singularly inept taxidermist who had, in fact, never so much as seen a squirrel.

Now we come to the pieces de la resistance.

The wall with the unfortunate birds and even less fortunate squirrel is perpendicular to the front window of the shop. In that front window is a huge arrangement of shelves stacked high with various repulsive wares. At the top, the very top, there are, in a row, some five or six pygmy goats or some similar creature. They are black with small horns and small bodies and short legs, and they look utterly horrifying. Compared to the artistry the goats exhibit, the birds are beautifully and glitteringly arrayed; compared to the bulging, twisted filling below the goats' skins, the squirrel is positively well-formed. All of the goats are chewing plugs of hay, which would perhaps be evocative of life if their heads were not horrifyingly malformed, exhibiting bulges and, more frighteningly, caverous indentations in places where such things are not supposed to be.

They look utterly horrifying. It's especially so if you're passingly acquainted with taxidermists' methods, because the head of each one is misshapen in a different and more alarming way. One has seemingly no muzzle. Another has a muzzle, with a dent in it that makes one wonder if the piece was hit by a bowling ball after production. One's face is flattened in a way that looks, if you glance fleetingly, disturbingly human. I have seen a lot of disturbing things in my life, but I don't know if I've ever seen anything as gruesomely wrong, as quietly alarming, as downright Lovecraftian as these things. They are, thankfully, kept way up on the top shelf. This tells me something. It tells me that a shop that proudly stocks 3d lenticular posters of wolves and dioramas of violent squirrel death has something among its wares that it realizes people might not want to look too closely at.

The goats are all turned away from the street, so that their faces are not visible to passersby glancing through the shop window. I can only imagine that this small mercy must have been the result of no small number of accidents, and probably citations from police.

I did not buy anything. Though I was tempted by the wolf lenticular.
hradzka: (wtf)
So I got sick, but I'm getting better. Turns out when they say "don't drink the water," they should be saying, "don't even LOOK at it." Good news: even if you have giardiasis and are puking out one end and spraying out the other, you can cut your problem in half by taking the maximum safe dose of Immodium, and cut your problem at the other end by being too nauseous to eat! Yay.

Anyway, I'm better now, and my adventures in the housing market are resuming. I've looked at a couple of houses lately, and I've seen one fixer-upper that's a potential buy and one that's a freakin' nightmare. In the nightmare, somebody added on a screened-in porch. The part of the porch that connects to the house does not have a joist. Or any real support at all. Its support consists entirely of its rafters overlapping the previously-existing house roof. Inside what was once a garage, there's a huge pillar system of wood and such designed to keep the roof from buckling. I took a look at it and FREAKED OUT. The realtor was a little surprised, which amazed me.

REALTOR. "Um, is that bad? I'm not a builder."
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
A friend recently started a blog to record her thoughts on J-pop and dramas (note to self: finish watching K-drama CAPITAL SCANDAL, because it was pretty awesome and had neat historical guns in it!), and by means of this hipped me to something you guys might find of interest. Quoth my friend:

I watched this a long time ago with my friend who is, really, a fujoshi. ... People who call themselves fujoshi delight in it all. I do like this description: Fujoshi enjoy imagining what it would be like if male characters from manga and anime, and occasionally real-life male performers as well, loved each other.

I happen to really like BL (boy's love) manga, and I've seen Junjo Romantica about 10 times, but I probably don't fall in the category of fujoshi. Perhaps my like is too passive, I just enjoy reading a different flavor of love stories.

Still, we both really enjoyed the sadly short Fujoshi Deka, starring Shinohara Mai as a policewoman and closet fujoshi, with Takahashi Hitomi as her mentor. Shinohara, as the italicized line above shows, imagined BL relationships everywhere, and based all of her crime-solving theories on them. Sadly, most of the time, the truth was much more mundane, but she more often than not was right about the villain.

Yes, that's right: there is a Japanese TV show about a cop who solves crimes WITH THE POWER OF HER SLASH GOGGLES.

(Honesty compels me to report that it is only five episodes long, but I think you folks might be interested in checking it out anyway.)
hradzka: (wtf)
This is the most amazingly horrifying thing I have seen in a month: "The Animated Nipple Erection Compendium."


It is *exactly* what it sounds like: one man's brave attempt to document, categorize, and rate nipple erections in Japanese animation. You would think that this is an oddly specific fetish, and you'd be right, but it gets even more detailed. NOT SAFE FOR WORK, OR SANITY. )
hradzka: (unfair to batgirl)
This is the trailer for the new TOY STORY videogame, which looks really fun and entertaining.

This is the trailer for Mike Jittlov's cult feature film THE WIZARD OF SPEED AND TIME.

TWOSAT's score is by John Massari, who has (like Jittlov) worked for Disney in the past, although he's out on his own shingle these days. So I'm really hoping he got paid on this one! If not, chalk up another one for the Nostradamus of motion pictures.

ETA: I emailed John Massari and asked him! He says that Sony Pictures Music is licensing a lot of his compositions, including the TWOSAT score, for use in a variety of stuff. So he's getting paid and he's getting some publicity, which is always a good thing. And TWOSAT's cheery score is very suited for the game trailer. So this is a yay!
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
You guys! Behold! Spatch made TOP GEAR BINGO. It's glorious.

("Clarkson is a blowhard = FREE SPACE.")
hradzka: SF writer H. Beam Piper. (H. Beam Piper)
Acclaimed SF writer John Scalzi has written and will be publishing a remix/reboot of H. Beam Piper's acclaimed, beloved, Hugo-nominated SF novel LITTLE FUZZY. I am, as y'all know, JUST SLIGHTLY IN THE TANK for H. Beam Piper, and so roughly half the people I know dropped me a line about this and asked for my reaction.

My initial reaction to this news is visible at 2:37 (video).

I'm slightly calmer now. )
hradzka: (wtf)
Let me tell you about my evening, by which I mean, "let me cut-and-paste-and-edit some of my Tweets." This happened tonight while the GF and I were watching TV.

On Discovery Health, a married couple take something frozen in a baggie out of the freezer. It is a placenta. They're defrosting it.

A few minutes go by. They talk about family stuff, parenting styles, etc. ME. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING DEFROSTING A PLACENTA."

The mystery is revealed: they are going to use it to nourish a tree. They see this as an educational/spiritual thing for their kids. WHUT.

The girl whose placenta it was enters the kitchen as her dad is decanting the placenta from the baggie to a bowl. She looks about 10.

Repeat: *she looks about ten.* They have HAD HER PLACENTA IN THE FREEZER FOR TEN YEARS.

HIPPIE DAD. *enthusiastic* "This was your placenta! When you were born I cut this cord!" HIS DAUGHTER. "That's *disgusting.*" Tell 'im, hon.

They are determined to make this a Meaningful Thing for their children. Their children would rather be anywhere else on the planet.

I feel worst for the girl whose placenta it was. Her wee face! Never have I seen such mingling of terror, embarrassment, and DO NOT WANT.

The worst part was during the decanting. I am sorry I could not screencap the TV, but picture a lovely shot of the hippie dad decanting a freshly defrosted, blood-dripping placenta, and imagine it filmed in such a manner that his arm and the placenta frame the horrified, mortified face of a young girl who is experiencing precisely two thoughts: "OMG I AM GOING TO THROW UP" and "DAAAAAAAAAAD!"

I mean, you watch this knowing that the producers persuaded them to do weird hippie stuff for the camera, but if somebody asked me to do weird hippie stuff, my answer would not be, "Sure! I have my daughter's placenta right here in the freezer!" GOOD GOD, people.
hradzka: (wtf)
Over on LJ, [personal profile] iamza just made a post about SPARTACUS, and mentioned that [profile] kadymae and I had successfully pimped the show. I hadn't read [profile] kadymae's journal, so clicked on her username.

Then I got an interstitial. Well, sort of; it was a semi-transparent overlay over [personal profile] iamza's page, with a little blurb that read, "After the ad, you will be returned to your livejournal experience." I closed it, and found myself back on [personal profile] iamza's page. I closed the overlay before I thought of screencapping, but I swear to God, this happened.

Here's the thing: I have a Permanent Account. I know LJ puts ads on in some circumstances -- I've seen them at the bottom of folks' pages when I'm logged out, that kind of thing. I hadn't heard of an *interstitial* ad before. Has this been going on for ages, and I just didn't know about it?

ETA: OK, it has been going on for a while -- folks with nonpaid accounts have been seeing them for some time. I keep myself logged in, but had to flush my cookies, so wasn't logged out when I returned to my friends page. So LJ treated me like a nonpaid account, or somebody who didn't have an account, and they threw me an interstitial ad, which I had never seen because I have a permanent account.
hradzka: (wtf)
So, the Consumerist had an article about the Manllow, a fan-crafted Etsy item available in Edward and Jacob versions. (The scariest part: IT HAS HANDS.)

Y'know the first thing I thought of? Other than Japanese 2D love, I mean. Substitute Logan, as seen in Nancy Lorenz's Wolverine/Rogue fanstrip Cheeto Run.

Fandom, you don't know how ahead of your time you are sometimes. Then again, I remember fanfic in which Rogue was sighing over WUTHERING HEIGHTS because Heathcliff reminded her of Logan, and now there's actually an edition of WUTHERING HEIGHTS with a blurb on the cover noting that it's Bella and Edward's favorite book. love-crazed teens really need *advertising* to find WUTHERING HEIGHTS?
hradzka: (wtf)
Below the cut, memes collide:

Read more... )
hradzka: (catwoman and holly)
HEY GUYS! Did I forget to tell you that there is a Japanese musical revue of CASABLANCA with an all-female cast?

What? I did? Stupid me.

You must remember this...

Gorgeous Japanese women. Singing. Mostly in male drag. Some with moustaches. (One, dear God, in more or less blackface, because she's playing Sam and Japan is another planet.) Cigarettes and bottles of booze and really nice suits. You know which one is Victor Laszlo because she has a huge scar over one eye. Minimalist sets so there is little or nothing to distract you from the insanely hot Japanese women wearing men's suits and getting their Bogart and Rains on. Several of you are already ignoring me and have clicked on the cut because you are wondering if the reason I know all this is that I have seen a trailer and have thoughtfully embedded it for you.

The answer to your question is, Oh, my, yes. )

Is it available on DVD? Yes, it is. Do I own it? I do not. Are there English subtitles? I doubt it. Is it compatible with your DVD player? Probably not. Are you ordering it anyway? Yes, you are.
hradzka: (donuts?)
I present, for your edification, a very angry owl.

I have never seen anything even approximating that much hate on an animal's face. Well, not since the time I bathed a possum, anyway.

(Helpful tip: POSSUMS DO NOT LIKE BATHING. You know how much cats like it? Possums like it EVEN LESS.)
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
Dig this: there is a little town called Hardin, Montana. Hardin has a prison that has never been used, despite costing $27 million of your money, because Hardin, Montana. (The town doesn't even have a police force; they get the county sheriffs to do their law enforcing, and it sounds like the kind of place that's small enough that the cops and offenders are all on a first-name basis, so the Man knows who needs to get sent up the river and who just needs a gentle Friday night ass-kicking.) Because they don't use the prison (see: Hardin, Montana), they decide to make a business arrangement with a security company. Cool, right?

Er, a security company that refuses to reveal who owns it, whose representatives arrived in three Mercedes SUVs marked with Hardin Police decals (remember, Hardin *has* no Police), whose logo that turns to be the Serbian coat of arms, that claims to have worked with the US Government which in turn claims to have never heard of them, whose head turns out to be a convicted felon.

Also, their web site says emphatically that "We are NOT a Mercenary Army," but helpfully adds, "We are capable of assembling a up to one special forces battallion [sic] within 72 hours."

Their proofreading ain't so hot.

The best news roundup I've seen on this is via a hard-ish right blog Ironic Surrealism. The Freepers did some pretty good digging on this one, give 'em credit, and the details they've found to supplement press coverage just gets weirder and weirder. For example, if you check out the company's address on Google Street View, apparently the signs are digitally blurred. Not many people with the clout to make that happen. My guess is that the company is a scam trying to get federal contracts; wonder who the dude's powerful friends are, or if he's just dropping tons o' cash from stolen sources. An alternative possibility: they list themselves as international weapons suppliers. For someone with no scruples, that's a potentially lucrative market, but the guy who owns that company can't legally own a gun...

...oh, HOLY SHIT. I just remembered something. but NO WAY. He CAN'T BE CRAZY ENOUGH to be betting on this. Even if it went and held, it'd only apply to stuff made and kept in Montana. No freakin' way.

Man, I hope the diners in Hardin, Montana are packed with friendly, smiling, pie-eatin' FBI agents right about now.

ETA: [personal profile] cheyinka points out on DW that the spokeswoman for this mess is now quitting and is in fear of her life. The article from the Billings Gazette cheyinka links explains why: absolute nut-job Alex Jones is whipping his crowd up on this. Good gravy. Now the only thing we need is an actual amateur superhero deciding to get into the act.
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
I'm not a drug guy myself (as a kid, I was medicated for years with stuff that doctors later discovered to have profound mood-altering effects; that kind of experience will make you real damn reluctant to chemically alter your mood on purpose, so I never even took a serious drink until I was more than halfway through my twenties), but I read all manner of crazy shit, and when I was reminded of this old Harper's article by Michael Pollan, I thought it was damned interesting and worth posting about. )
hradzka: (cameron undone)
I never knew there was a terrible story behind the naming of Skippy peanut butter.

And I mean it: really, really terrible. The kind of terrible you can only get when you combine an unscrupulous business and a powerful government.
hradzka: (wtf)
I hate Auto-Tune.

It's dull, annoying, and makes all the music on the radio sound the same. That said, I think T-Pain is a freakin' genius for coming out with an Auto-Tune iPhone app, and I am actually considering getting it.

And recording sea shanties in Auto-Tune.

Seriously, somebody needs to go record a medley of fifties doo-wop with this thing.

UPDATE: Okay, bought. Three bucks. I experimented a little during lunch. Sea shanties and whaling songs may not be the best, as the effect on "Rolling Down to Old Maui" was particularly horrible; a girlfriend once complained about my shanty-singing, but I guarantee her she'd've hated it even more if I'd been using Auto-Tune. Quick-paced Irish tunes might not be too bad, though; the effect on "Finnegan's Wake" was sort of interesting.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
The Marvel/Disney animated musical, THE IRON MERMAID, is now complete with the addition of Obadiah Stane's big musical number.

Yes, I have done gone lost my mind.
hradzka: (tony stark)
Blame [personal profile] dafnap, [profile] sotto_voice, and [personal profile] prosodi for this one. Originally posted in comments under flock, now inflicted on you here. The Disney acquisition of Marvel taken to its logical extreme, with that heart-warming animated musical, THE IRON MERMAID.

Hey, buy my missile
it's really neat
it blows up stuff like you wouldn't believe
here, General, have a scotch -- I'll drink while I'm strolling.
Free booze thrown in
with every sale
no wonder my lawyers always turn pale.
Call Obie at home, deal's done, now I'm rolling...
I took over dad's business at twenty,
I'll sell you the guns for your wars.
Have I had Maxim girls? Oh, yeah. PLENTY.
Did I call them again? No, what for?
I get to sleep with the hottest girls,
though I'm not one of those beta fellows
who call a girl or take her out -- what's the word? Right. "Twice."
I drink like a fish, and abuse my friends,
I've got an airplane with stripperdesses,
I guess you could say that I'm not --
oh, whaddya call it? Right. "Nice."
What's that ahead, a bump in the road?
holy shit, I just heard something explode!
oh goodness me
I think I see
a hole in my chest...

I'm not that brave when I'm in a cave, being waterboarded,
I'm not unique: in a week, I could be dead --
so Yinsen says, and so I guess I'll have to build an arc reactor,
working harder, make powered armor, punch in some heads --

Now Yinsen is dead, and the bad guys too,
I'm going home, gonna eat cheeseburgers,
and maybe I'll even -- what's the word? "Change!"
Maybe it's strange,
But maybe somehow,
I'll be a hero, starting right now --
I'll stay up at night
and work by the light
that glows in my chest.

This was when I realized Obadiah was Sebastian. )


hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

November 2014



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The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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