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Nations of the Mind
|Jun. 15th, 2008 12:49 pm Preparing To Vacate|
I have unilaterally decided that we are desperately in need of a break so we're planning a small family vacation in a few weeks. Typically I'm drawn straight towards the highest concentration of Roadside America giant fiberglass crap I can possibly locate. We're taking D. to Gatlinburg, which besides being adjacent to Smokey Mountains National Forest, where we can rent touring bikes and be eaten by bears, contains the highest concentration of tourist crap per square foot in the known universe, and I am including south Florida in that estimation.2 comments - Leave a comment
Trust me, it's kid heaven. Seriously, just look at this crap. (I love the way the website pops up random bible verses on each page too. I keep hitting refresh and laughing my ass off at the surreality.**) So far he knows he wants to do the monster truck ride, the indoor skydiving place and the giant Mirror Maze. Also lazer tag.* Personally, I'm kind of drawn to doing a short section of the Appalachian trail on a rented camel, but it's kind of pricey, as is the place where they roll you down a mountain in a giant inflatable hamster ball. And he's too young for the segue tour of the national park. However there will no doubt be mini-golf, probably at the place where you ride a ski-lift to the top and putt-putt all down the mountain while being heckled by animatronic animals.
Unfortunately, the Jesus park with the giant floating christ head that follows you with its eyes appears to be closed down, but the one where you climb up a hill and go up a tower shaped like a bible to view the giant Nazca Plain ten commandments on the ground below is still there.
Oh, we're going to hit a couple of real museums on the way and do some nature stuff before we immerse ourselves in saltwater taffy, dippin' dots and bears carved out of soap by local artisans.
Part of the fun of this place to me is seeing how many insane ways imaginative people can come up with to separate passersby from a few bucks. Jesus parks and feed the bears and rent a llama and have your picture taken with a genuine Indian. The time and effort that goes into some of these places is just mind-boggling, like the rare-bird breeding center and rainforest conservation garden run by creationists and filled with concrete crosses and little stone monuments explaining how the world is only 6000 years old and these animals did not EITHER evolve, but save them anyway.
If anyone needs me I'll be in the jacuzzi.
*It looks like the place has gone a lot more corporate than I remember, but we'll see. When I was a kid the whole strip was lined with odd little mom-and-pop places and theme motels but it looks to be suffering a bit from corporate creep and apparently someone dropped a load of condominium spores a few years ago.
**I keep getting total fragment stuff that reads like "So Abimelech was sorely grieved and smote his goats saying lo, they have eaten my tent." The assumption seems to be that bible verses, any bible verses, will magically save people whether they make a damn bit of sense out of context or not. The Appalachians are full of this kind of hedge-witch jesus-freakery. I know. My family tree is full of this stuff. Growing up I had plenty of elderly, toothless mountain relatives who would endlessly talk about jesus while showing you how to use certain bible verses to get rid of a toothache or stop bleeding.
|Jun. 7th, 2008 09:36 pm Stupidity And Hope|
The US military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the US Justice Department for, among other things, financial shenanigans that cost the American taxpayers an estimated 1.7 billion dollars. As a purely coincidental aside: "Pharaon was also an investor in President George W. Bush's first business venture, Arbusto Energy."Leave a comment
John McCain vows to continue Bush's illegal warrantless wiretapping program.
NJ blogger reports on voting machines routinely left unguarded after delivery in hallways, churches, loading docks...reassuring, no?
This company offers document storage and email notification for your unsaved loved ones left behind after you get raptured. I thought it was a joke, but the payment button actually goes to Paypal and it was reported on a legitimate news outlet, so your guess is as good as mine. The idea is to file documents turning your stuff over to your godless heathen next of kin after you fly away so they won't have to wait seven years for you to be declared dead, since seven years will run the clock out anyway. The promotional stuff is gold. Keep a clear paper trail after your disappearance, or do you want the antichrist to get your stereo?
And on a more cheerful note, congratulations, Mr. Sulu! Many happy returns.
And finally, have you seen this? Fucking wow. Send it to everyone you ever met, right away. Seriously, this is the campaign commercial that should be running. If Obama hasn't gotten the rights to use this song for his campaign, would someone please tell him to do it now?!? I'm pretty sure Roger Waters would OK it.*
*That song always gets me anyway. They closed the 1990 Berlin Wall concert with it, and I wore out two tapes of that show before I finally found the DVD. (Most of it is up on YouTube, to no one's great surprise.) Enjoy the awesomeness.
|Jun. 4th, 2008 10:16 am A Nugget Of...Something|
In the middle of a convoluted and silly dream about fighting alien invaders* and rescuing doomed hamsters a clear quote emerged, and I woke up with it running through my head. "Sometimes the right thing to do is the stupid thing to do."
What I meant was "sometimes doing the stupid thing, or perhaps the thing that appears stupid, is the right thing to do," but I just realized that the way it came out is sort of backwards, i.e. "it is sometimes stupid to do the right thing." Wow, it sort of works either way.
*I remember that instead of planting horrible face-hugger eggs in their human victims, the aliens in my dream were using their human captives to heat TV dinners.
Brain, we have GOT to talk...
Current Mood: sleepy1 comment - Leave a comment
|Jun. 3rd, 2008 10:45 am I Done A Bad, Bad Thing|
*stands*1 comment - Leave a comment
Hello, my name is Ms. Anthropy, and I am a packrat.
(All) Hello, Ms. Anthropy.
Well, we all know there's no such thing as an ex-packrat, only a packrat in remission.
(Crowd nods, lights up)
I was doing really well, honestly. I've cleaned out closets and cabinets and even given away some furniture that we really didn't have room for. I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then...*wipes away tear*
(Crowd murmurs encouragingly, chainsmokes)
*sniffles* Well, you know how it is. There's always a temptation you can't get past. There was this notice in one of my homeschool loops, see. This lady who used to run a tutoring center was retiring and needed the materials out of the way, so she was offering the stuff to whoever would come get it. The trick of course was that you had to take all of it.
(Crowd shudders, murmurs sympathetically, smokes some more)
*weeps* Well, what would you have done? She had a 22-year collection of books and workbooks and masters and ghod knows what from pre-K on up to college prep. Every damn thing you'd ever need or want.
(Crowd waits for the punch line)
*breaks down completely* Thirty boxes worth. And four huge filing cabinets to put it in.
(Inaudible question from crowd)
*freaks out, starts shrieking like a crazy woman* Well, what the fuck would you have done?!? I rounded up two pickup trucks and tore out of here so fast the email was still hanging on the screen when we got back. I hit the road so fast my kid was still wearing his pajamas and I didn't freaking care, do you hear me?!?
(crowd recoils, smokes faster)
So anyway I'm paying for my sins. We spent Sunday night unloading boxes and those heavy damn filing cabinets, and I spent yesterday rearranging the guest room to make room for them and hauling them out of the living room and making a start on re-filing them so I can begin to go through them and see what to keep and what to pass on, and I hurt where I didn't even realize I had muscles. Seriously, I seem to have somehow managed to sprain my ass. How the hell does that work?
(crowd lights torches, grabs pitchforks, tears up Ms. Anthropy's "Packrats Anonymous" card)
*flees for her life, flicking lit ciggies over her shoulder to buy time* You bastards! What the hell would you have done?!?
(Seriously though, I'm trying to figure out the best way to share the wealth. I wish I could set up some sort of library where people could come in and scan what they need - preferably located somewhere not in my spare bedroom. This stuff could really help out a lot of people, if I can only figure out how to organize it. Anyone have any bright ideas?)
|Jun. 1st, 2008 11:39 am Better Than Crushing Heads Even|
God, I love YouTube.Leave a comment
My favorite Kids In The Hall sketch ever: (thanks, kingdom_key, for reminding me)
|Jun. 1st, 2008 12:03 am Too Many Open Tabs Theater: Paranoia, Origami Meat and Siamese Elephants|
A passenger is stopped at airport security and forced to change out of his Transformers t-shirt. Because, you know, the cartoon robot in the picture has a gun for an arm. 2 comments - Leave a comment
(How exactly would this work, threatwise? I'm picturing halfway through the flight he sticks his hand under his shirt and makes a pointy-finger.)
While we're at it, European airlines are testing a system that puts cameras in all the seatbacks, and runs the resulting video captures through a top-secret program designed to detect terrorism before it happens by monitoring passengers for suspicious facial expression.
The ASIFA archive has a gallery of stunning Boris Artzybasheff "Machinalia" illustrations from the 50's. They are somehow charming and creepy as hell all at the same time, not unlike the old (non-Disney) Alice in Wonderland illos, and I love them to bits.
On my planet, industrial machinery really looks like this.
We like doing papercraft. Doesn't everyone? Here, have some disturbingly realisting origami meat you can download and assemble. The site is mostly in Japanese, but if you poke around a bit you can find more papercrafts, including a cooked turkey and some giant insects.
And finally, someone found my all-time favorite Carol Burnett bit on YouTube. No, scratch that, this may be my favorite thing ever in the history of the universe. The absolute best part is watching them try to hold it together while Tim Conway keeps shoveling it on. Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, may I present...*drum roll*...the Siamese Elephant Bit.
|May. 29th, 2008 11:05 pm ...And One More|
(Sorry about this, my dirty little secret is that I adore LOLcats. Shhh! Don't tell anyone!)Leave a comment
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