Date Archives August 2009

Black Barbeque X

Saturday was the Tenth Annual Black Barbeque, a yearly opportunity to drink and eat to excess and demonstrate to a large group of my friends what bad taste I have in men. One year, for example, I managed to bring Chris The Douche F, whom everyone at the party already knew. And hated. And then he was incredibly rude to my friend Katy, and then repeated all of his insults on his lame podcast show because, again, douche. Their behavior patterns are nothing if not predictable. And then he told me he was married. Did I mention we were there on a date? And then he spent the rest of the night hitting on Bonnie. This year, I brought a squirrely little douche who spent the day mocking me in front of my friends, and the only reason I didn’t break up with him on the spot was because I needed a ride home. It’s becoming a pattern. 3835357194_101b833bd2 Unfortunately, I couldn’t go all-out food-wise this year, but I was more than happy to take part in others’ excesses. The illustrious founder brought not one, but two Bacon Fatties. A Bacon Fatty, if you are not familiar with the term, is bacon wrapped in chorizo which is wrapped in latticed bacon and then is smoked for several hours. This dish is also known as A Heart Attack On A Plate and three bites are truly more than enough for all but men of the stoutest hearts and best insurance plans. Richard brought a giant freaking geoduck much like this except I failed to capture the inevitable similar pose moment on my phone because I live a life of failure. There was a geoduck bris, and we were left with a rather unfortunate length of neck-skin. 3835300574_d4b9300808 Before I get to this next bit, I should clarify: The Black Barbeque is named thus because all attendees are required to wear black. If an attendee neglects to wear black clothing, this attendee will be punished. If this attendee is there as someone’s +1, they are both punished. God help them if they wear white. This year’s punishment was to drink a skunky sun-warmed O’Doul’s, with nought to chase it. Cutback to the bris–at one point or another, this long, repellent bit of skin was flung at me, and I, like any good accelerator, found a way to make things worse. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and ghouls, I give you the world’s very first Geoduck Beer Cozy. 3834505137_61ed352aca Eventually the punishment evolved to having to remove the geoduck skin with one’s teeth before drinking the near-beer. Time passed, and the skin became more and more leathery. If Ed Gein had designed a beer bottle, it would look much like this. It loomed large in my mind, especially as no one had yet arrived who deserved a punishing. I feel strongly about these sorts of things–if, at the beginning of a movie, they show us a bomb, I have an expectation that bomb will go off at some point during the film. If it does not, it’s a disappointment and a waste. This is the sort of thought process that eventually caused me to inform the host that if no one shows up who deserves to be punished, *I* will take this punishment myself. For the good of…well…something. 3835289694_58f0a0285f When the time came, sadly, I didn’t take it like a man. Oh, I eventually got it all down, yes. And felt sick for some time afterward, yes. But I didn’t earn any style points in the process. Protip: Geoduck skin, once leathery, will stick to your teeth, much in the manner of a fruit roll-up when bitten into. 3838450484_4cdc09a27d Bonnie approves of this message.

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

I was surfing TVtropes tonight, as one does, and stumbled across the Onion AV Club’s 24 Great Films Too Painful To Watch Twice list. Since I’ve apparently got something for self-flagellation, I decided to add the films I hadn’t seen to my Netflix queue.

First off was Dancer in the Dark. It seemed a little off to me that the next closest thing to what I was actually searching for was ‘Aliens in the Attic’–I mean, if you’re looking for something to make you sob and snuffle unattractively in front of your TV and require ‘in the’ in the title, perhaps ‘Flowers in the Attic’ would be a better choice? And surely there are closer hits to ‘Dancer’ than ‘Aliens’–‘Dances with Wolves’, ‘Dirty Dancing’ or how about ‘The Dancer’? I chalked it up to what amounted to a search engine burp and kept moving down the list, adding as I went.


Next, “When The Wind Blows”, which seems to be unavailable through Netflix.


Hmm. Aliens in the Attic is the second most likely option? Really? This is odd indeed. ‘When the Wind Blows’…’Aliens in the Attic’. Yep. Similar. They even rhyme, if you aren’t too particular about pronunciation. Or letters. Basically, if you’re Krusty the Clown and your secret shame is that you can’t read, they’re awfully similar. What are ‘W’s but upside down, mangled ‘A’s?

Next up is ‘In A Year With 13 Moons’. 0017wyet

‘Aliens in the Attic’? Really? I suppose they do both contain the word ‘in’. Surely not a common word in movie titles, not a common word at all, really. The last sentence nonwithstanding, of course. In fact, I’m quite certain that using the word ‘in’ is not in, you know, in the inner circles of influential grammar wizards. ‘In’ is not in with the in-crowd.

How about ‘Grave of the Fireflies’? There’s a common word in the title, yes, but I’m quite certain ‘the’ is disregarded by most search engines and other, more similarly titled movies will be pulled as a result.


Well, let’s see. Along with ‘The Water Horse’ which isn’t similar to the search term other than the incredibly common ‘the’ AND is a pretty popular result along with ‘Aliens in the Attic’, there’s ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ which also ONLY shares the most common of common words with the search term. Then there are some results that seem almost appropriate and normal, but scroll…wait for it…keep scrolling…and ‘Aliens in the Attic’? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE?


By now, I’m starting to think Netflix is fucking with me. Or maybe they’ve got some sort of sponsorship deal with the studio that put out ‘Aliens in the Attic’ and if I search for a movie that no one on earth enjoyed, it won’t pop up on the search because even sponsors don’t want to be associated with it.


…I am a broken woman. I am out of theories.

I called the Netflix customer support line and got a very nice chap on the other end who seemed poised to deal with what was likely his 1,000th complaint of the evening. I asked him quite directly whether Netflix did sponsored searches as I’d been searching for all sorts of movies this evening and ‘Aliens in the Attic’ always seemed to pop up, no matter what. He laughed and said no, he’d never heard of that, Netflix doesn’t do sponsored search results like Google.

Well, if they don’t, someone please explain these search results to me. Since the company has tried so hard to improve its recommendation algorithms by 10%, it seems counter-intuitive to me that they would try to repeatedly force a movie on someone who has already definitively indicated she has no interest in watching it, but I’m also having difficulty thinking of another plausible excuse for these search results.

Netflix, baby, are you lying to me? I enjoy the occasional bonus DVD and all, but I’m really not into ‘Aliens in the Attic’. Really.

Ranger Brad, I’m a scientist. I don’t believe in anything.

I love trolling the mega-clearance shelves at Half-Price Books, because I never know what manner of awesomeness or ridiculousness I’ll run into for a dollar.

This time, I struck gold with ‘Vampires: The Occult Truth’ by Konstantinos, which purports that vampires are not only real, but there are several different types and you need to be familiar with all of them in order to protect yourself. As early on as page two, the book has such laugh-until-you-cry statements as “I consider those who are interested in the occult to be the scientists of the future.” Not just scientists. Scientists of the future.

Later on in the book, he reveals a number of letters he’s gotten from ‘mortal blood drinkers of the present day’ also known as big giant freakshows.

I would like to tell you of my vampiric lifestyle. You may print this letter under the condition that you do not reveal my true identity in your book. Where I live, word travels quickly and I would most probably be ridiculed and forced out of town. For that reason, you can call me the Vampire Jeremy.

Why do I consider myself to be a vampire–a predator? I kill animals and drink their blood, that’s why. Don’t confuse me with the types of so-called vampires that you hear about today. They do not impress me. They do not hunt their prey, but only stick hypodermic needles into themselves to trade blood. They are not hunters.

To obtain my sustenance I mainly kill mammals, but I will also drink the cold blood of reptiles. I suppose that my drinking from lower creatures than humans makes me a little like the character ‘Renfield’ from the novel Dracula. But I am not insane.

I wait for immortality and drink of the lower creatures until a noble undead will one day take me as his or her own. I wait and believe that night will come, and have prepared for it.

There are letters from vampires who talk about getting badly sunburned while playing minigolf. There are letters from vampires who try to contact immortal vampires through ouija boards. There are letters from single-mom vampires. Some claim to possess spooooooky powers. They nearly all insist they are not crazy like all of those OTHER nutcases who think they’re vampires.

Here’s an excerpt from another pricelessly funny letter:

I will tell you one more thing: Do not fool yourselves, dear friends. You do not make a discovery here with me or any others of my species. We are as old as time itself. The books and films are simply what they are. Most do not even scrape the surface of the contents of our being. So do not try to understand. That would be like lifting eternal veils of a faceless bride.

I can pretty well claim that this is one of the best things I’ve ever spent a dollar on. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go print some new business cards. Mellzah Dildarian, Scientist Of The Future has a nice ring to it.