Saturday, December 22, 2012

So close

Ugh. Are there no Gen X copy editors? Really?

Needs superfluous periods to underscore the disdain.

Worst. Apocalypse. Ever.

Customer Service Avoidance Angst

The dogs got Clark a gift basket because my dogs are really fucking thoughtful. It was sent to his mom's, where he's staying a couple of weeks because then he could share the treats with her and his family. That was nice of them, right? 

I know, because, as I said, my dogs are really fucking thoughtful.

So it was frustrating to discover that instead of the basket, Clark received this. I'm not sure what it is, but it's not a gift basket. 

At least it's a quality product.

Now here's my problem. Amazon is set up really efficiently if you want to return a book. Or electronics. Basic non-perishable items.

Not gift baskets with food. These are non-returnable.

If you receive an incorrect item you simply follow the steps for a replacement or return. And if your item is non-returnable you...
...
... 
...
Ugh. In times past I've had to call Amazon customer service. I find it tedious. I hate talking on the phone.

I was thrilled to find an email address for the company who makes the gift baskets, only to be told that I need to contact Amazon (they gave me the phone number, hooray).

UPDATE: I found a form I could submit online by using a not-really-appropriate pulldown selection and that got the job done without me picking up a phone. All this angst for nothing. Pff.

What liberty looks like to me

Worst menorah ever? No, Christmas
lights defended by ACLU
First of all, kudos to Sarah Childs, who took an argument with her neighbors to a logical and satisfying next level.

Well, it's logical to me, fuck you for thinking it's not. I don't even care what the argument was about (unless someone was defending the current season of Glee, cause obviously there's no defense for that).

A simple 3 step process for conflict resolution:

  1. Try to work it out.
  2. Erect a crude display venting your frustrations.
  3. Repeat as needed.

The process is clear. Problem solved.

But no, the lame neighbors, who are lame, went and filed a complaint with the local police. When threatened with a fine, Childs took the lights down, but later returned them. Then the local police threatened to arrest her for violating Denham Springs' obscenity statute. I mean Denham Springs' NONEXISTENT obscenity statute. Denham Springs, come for Antique Village, stay for the NONEXISTENT obscenity statute.

The ACLU defended Childs against something (not entirely clear from here and here but as it's Louisiana it was probably just "pissing off a cop").
“In a free society, we cannot allow law enforcement to invent ways to coerce people into conforming to their neighbors’ tastes or desires. In fact the police have a duty to protect the rights of dissenters, and the City of Denham Springs has failed in that obligation to Sarah Childs.”-Margorie Esman, ACLU of LA
I'm sure the Denham Springs police officers have all learned a wonderful lesson from all this, and Childs and her neighbors are probably getting on just fine. Or, as it's Louisiana, one of them drove their house to a different spot in the trailer park.

Song of the Day: "The A Team"

Dirk Benedict, star of
The A-Team
"Who the fuck is Ed Sheeran?"I thought to myself when reviewing the 2013 Grammy nominees. He picked up 1 nomination, for Best Song of the Year. For context, I had similar thoughts about Skillsaw Skrillex and Esperanza Spalding mere weeks before they won their first Grammys, so it's entirely possible that when I have that response, it directly results in a Grammy win. Why do people keep calling me narcissistic?

I typically assume the answer is "American Idol dude" (not for Esperanza or Skilly though). He's not. In fact, he's not even an X Factor dude or Canadian Idol dude or Nashville Star dude. He's none of those dudes (or their metric equivalents). He's just a dude. British dude. + is his debut (no, seriously, the title is +). This song has already won him the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. The Ivor Novello Awards are songwriting awards, so "musically and lyrically" is kind of like "best song in the way a song is a song and not, you know, a car." There is no Best Song Highest Average MPG or Best Song Under 50 Calories.

Meanwhile, back at Ed Sheeran, turns out he was inspired, at least in part, by seeing Damien Rice in concert. Rock on!



Song: "The A Team"
Artist: Ed Sheeran

Turns out there may actually be 20 bak'tuns, not 13

Mayan Calendar via mayan-calendar.com


Could it be that everyone overreacted (you know what, I could just stop there and this could apply to pretty much everything) to the Mayan calendar?

It's almost like our intellectual curiosity about ancient cultures boils down to "hey, there's no more pages on that calendar, guess that means the world will end" without considering that maybe, just maybe, next year's calendar is coming. With 5,126 or more years between eras they had some cushion before they had to start carving the next one.

I made 2 of these someecards. Unfortunately not the funniest of the 3.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Song of the Day: "Scavenger"

Lucy Kaplansky's first ever music video comes from Reunion, her seventh album. Seems kinda weird that someone whose musical career exists entirely post-MTV, although it's not like MTV is playing music videos any more (despite the whole VMA thing).

That's all. Oh, seems the world didn't end, but there's still time.



Song: "Scavenger"
Artist: Lucy Kaplansky

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Song of the Day: "'til I Met Thee"

I left Cody ChesnuTT off my list of the wealth of great neo-soul we've gotten in 2012. In some ways he represents a little more than that, if not some of the best of that. He's like the nephew of both Terrence Trent D'Arby and Marvin Gaye, who's found salvation and wants to share the glorious news. And there's no denying the talent.

Personally I appreciate that he annotates the lyrics, letting us know which is verse 2, etc.



Song: "'til I Met Thee"
Artist: Cody ChesnuTT

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fun from the milieu, episode 2,726


"They always thank me after they succeed."

Do they always succeed? Shouldn't they thank you for your help even if they don't succeed?

Manners, dumbass.

Fun fact: Donald Trump is up to 4 bankruptcies (and counting), 2 divorces (and counting), recently sent investigators to Hawaii (he, cough, totally did) to look into Barack Obama's alleged birth and announced that they had found some interesting things but never actually disclosed them, then announced that he had amazing information on Barack and Michelle Obama's divorce plans (0 and counting), and then was super cool on election night declaring the end of America.

And you people think I'm a dick.

I have so much to learn still.

Song of the Day: "Thread"

Threads, the album from Now, Now with this track, is ranked #34 on Amazon's Top 100 Albums of 2012. Just below Metric and Magnetic Fields.

Since those are known quantities to me (my affinity for them varies, but at least I know them) I was curious. And so I listened.

Me likey.

And here we are.

That's the process.



Song: "Thread"
Artist: Now, Now

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Song of the Day: "Abraham's Daughter"

Not a lot of time to post today, so here's another possible Best Original Song contender (although as I listen to it now, no it's not). Arcade Fire from Hunger Games.

I have a hard time seeing this nominated ahead of Dolly Parton (coming soon) and yesterday's track.



Song: "Abraham's Daughter"
Artist: Arcade Fire

Monday, December 17, 2012

Song of the Day: "Everybody Needs a Best Friend"

I love Seth McFarlane. I'm looking forward to him hosting the Oscars. And possibly winning one. He wrote this Original Song contender, along with Walter Murphy, from his summer hit Ted (which I haven't seen but seems like a good Red Box rental).

Take that Diane Warren.

Murphy's worked with Seth on his recordings and live performances,  but is best known as the dude who arranged "A Fifth of Beethoven" (and possibly inspiring The Ethel Merman Disco Album but don't hold that against him). Murphy shares an Emmy with Seth for "You've Got a Lot to See," the Outstanding Music and Lyrics winner from Family Guy in 2002. Apparently it's a well-oiled machine (expect an Outstanding Music and Lyrics nomination for the Oscars opening number at next year's Emmy).

Singer Norah Jones is my cousin. She wouldn't get an Oscar although that seems inevitable for her, in a Christopher Cross kind of way.



Song: "Everybody Needs a Best Friend"
Artist: Norah Jones

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Notes on Silver Linings Playbook

I am not shirtless in this movie
Bradley Cooper is easily on his way to his first Oscar nomination (Best Actor) for his work in SLP and this is disappointing to me. This sets a bad precedent. It rewards him for films in which he does not take his shirt off. This is wrong. I implore every member of AMPAS to recognize this and vote for Daniel Day Lewis. Or Bill Murray. Someone we're not expecting to take a shirt off.

Or Channing Tatum, because he does.

The movie also breaks the 10-year rule with an unacknowledged 16-year gap between Cooper and a solid Jennifer Lawrence. She's likely also on her way to her second Oscar nomination--I think he's a sure thing (until my super-influential blog upsets him) and she's on solid ground. But since there's nothing specific to the story about that character being in her early 20s, I can't help but wonder why not Samantha Mathis, Emily Mortimer or Neve Campbell (with her actual dance background). I started the 10-year rule because of actresses like Mathis get forgotten when they turn 30 or, even worse, 40 (shudder).

Hell, why not Kim Basinger?! (Just kidding, she's awful.)

The movie is a strong contender for nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Robert DeNiro (Best Supporting Actor) probably has the strongest shot beyond those 4, with director David O. Russell picking up a nomination for Best Director (he'll already be nominated for the screenplay), and Jacki Weaver (Best Supporting Actress) as dark horses.

I don't see the movie picking up nominations for cinematography, editing or score (Danny Elfmann, you can't win, sorry dude).

Song of the Day: "Here We Go"

If your heart is broken
You will find fellowship with me
Christopher Owens, previously referred to lovingly as "dude from Girls," now has a name (as he is no longer in Girls ((if the band even exists without him))). Via Girls, Owens became a regular fixture on my year-end favorites lists every year since 2009.

Lysandre, his first solo release, will be out in January. I'm not sure if the title is related to the character from A Midsummer Night's Dream, but by mentioning it, I establish my literary cred. I'm not all pie charts and cynicism.



Song: "Here We Go"
Artist: Christopher Owens