Archive for July, 2005

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I Can’t Believe It

July 27, 2005

In my house we serve both real butter and a butter substitute called I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Though I’ll often eat whichver is closer to me, I do prefer the taste of the real stuff. There is one thing, however, that pleases me about ICBINB: its name.

The name I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! can, with a small punctuation change, be made into a much more humorous one. If you imagine gravity pulling down the apostrophe in “it’s” (perhaps it wasn’t nailed up properly) it might come to rest as a comma between “it” and the subsequent “s.” Were that to happen, it would then read “I Can’t believe it, snot Butter!” And as you can well imagine “I can’t believe it!” certainly would be an understandable exlamation upon the discovery of such an unwelcome substance at the dinner table.

Thus, “snot butter” is now its de facto name among the family (at least when we don’t have guests). These and other linguistic perversions run rampant at my house.

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Erich Von Daniken and the Ease of Sounding Convincing

July 26, 2005

I learned something important in my adolescence. Well, lots of things, really. But the one I’m thinking of right now is how easy it is to sound convincing even when you’re absolutely wrong.

Prior to this time I guess I’d always had the notion that if someone was dead wrong about something I’d just be able to tell it by listening to them make their case. Even if I didn’t know a lot about the subject. After all, I’m a smart guy. I can tell if something makes sense or not. Right? Thank goodness Erich Von Daniken came along and disabused me of this na├»ve notion.

For those of you who’ve never heard of him, he wrote a series of books detailing his theories about alien visitors to earth. According to Von Daniken all manner of things were attributable to them, from the events of the bible to the construction and purpose of the great pyramids. He is, of course, a crackpot and not taken a tiny bit seriously by real scholars in the fields in which such phenomena are properly studied.

But at the time I read his book, I didn’t know that. I didn’t have the benefit of a college education and a major in religious studies. Thus when I read his book I was at least half-convinced that the man was onto something. It was only later that I realized where his theories fell on the continuum of plausibility: somewhere just outside of lunatic-city.

So I learned an important lesson from Erich Von Daniken: not that God was an alien, but that without context it’s easy and common for people who are dead wrong to sound very right.

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Runny Babbit

July 24, 2005

I’ve mentioned before that I have a soft spot for the late Shel Silverstien. Imagine my surprise when my daughter showed me a”brand new” book of his while on a trip to the bookstore a week ago. My surprise at seeing this posthumously published new book was only surpassed by the delight I immediately took in its content. Runny Babbit feels like it was written for me (or by me?). It makes me smile and laugh just looking at it. Onto my wish list it goes. What’s it about? Here’s a bit of what the Amazon reviewer had to say about it.

Runny Babbit … is populated by the likes of Runny Babbit, Toe Jurtle, Ploppy Sig, Polly Dorkupine, and Pilly Belican (who owns the Sharber Bop), all denizens of the green woods where letter-flipping runs rampant. In this madcap world, pea soup is sea poup, Capture the Flag is Fapture the Clag, and snow boots are bow snoots.

So if you want to puy me a bresent, this dook might bo!

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The Queen Of Light Took Her Bow

July 22, 2005

I bought some more music today. First up was a group called Lovemongers doing a cover of an old Led Zeppelin song, The Battle Of Evermore. It was always one of my favorites. I give them a C- for creativity but an A+ for execution. It’s like the original almost note-for-note except with two women singing and no Robert Plant.

Next I bought a self-titled album by a group new to my collection, Brazilian Girls. The iTunes liner notes point out that none of them are Brazilian and only one is a girl. Other than that, their music is an odd but easy to listen to blend of reggae, jazz and electronica. Some of their lyrics may raise eyebrows, but the songs are infectious and fun. Try them.

Still haven’t bought that M.I.A album, and I still mean to. Also on my maybe list is Feist, and Imogen Heap‘s upcoming album, if it ever gets released.

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Friday iPod Random Ten

July 22, 2005
  1. One Week – Barenaked Ladies
    I’m not a huge BNL fan, but this is one of their classics. “I hope the smoking man’s in this one.”
  2. La belle Dame Sans Regrets – Sting
    Beautiful, beautiful song. Wouldn’t you like to sing this to that special someone? If only I knew French. And could sing. Heh.
  3. Star Me Kitten – R.E.M
    Any song that contains the lyric “fuck me, Kitten” is okay by me.
  4. James – Pat Metheny Trio
    This is a gorgeous joyball of a song. Not a huge jazz fan, but I love this one.
  5. It Hurt So Bad – Susan Tedeschi
    I think I got this as a freebie off iTunes. I’m not much of a blues fan.
  6. Galang – M.I.A.
    Another freebie. But I think I may buy the album. Not a longtime rap fan, but this is fun stuff.
  7. All Four Seasons – Sting
    “You might say that I’m just a cautious fella…”
  8. Changes – Butterfly Boucher & David Bowie
    A new favorite artist and an old favorite artist all rolled up in the same classic song. Love it.
  9. Joe – The Cranberries
    Who doesn’t like The Cranberries? Kinda punk, kind of barebones rock, always lots of energy and politics.
  10. Situations – Jack Johnson
    The artist I no longer hate. This song is only a minute or so long, but it’s delicious. “Situation Number two, its the only chance for you…”

Songs I like most from this week’s list include La Belle Dame Sans Regrets, James and Galang. Songs I like least include It Hurt So Bad, Star Me Kitten and Joe.

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Bibliophilic Pornography

July 21, 2005

I got the book I ordered and it’s gorgeous! The only question now is whether I should remove and frame the two included fold-out maps. They might look good as a pair, matted and behind glass, with nice wooden frames. Would it be sacrilegious to razor them out? Won’t they just get tattered in the book, gentle though we might be with them?

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There Is No Misandry

July 20, 2005

My computer’s dictionary is acting up again today. While it knows the word “misogyny,” it chokes on its opposite, “misandry.” Right clicking on the red underline for help yields “No Guesses Found.” Irritating!