Not a Jot Nor Tittle

12 June, 2006 at 4:55 pm (benjamin, dear diary, literary)

Jottings and small thoughts:

+ I had occasion to go to a florist a few weeks ago, and it had been a considerable amount of time — at least a few years — since I had had occasion to visit a florists’, and so I may have looked a little out of sorts as I stood patiently at the counter. However, despite any sense of experience I may have felt I possessed, the proprietor of the shop seemed to think I looked sufficiently at sea that I must be a teenager buying a corsage for the prom. You know how women will say they like getting carded because it makes them feel young? I can’t actually imagine wanting to be a teenager again, except for the marvelous metabolism, but I decided to take the comment in the same spirit: as a twisted, misguided compliment.

+ Went to a Chuck Palahniuk signing in Boston at the Brookline Booksmith. I’d never read anything by Chuck, but he was giving out free gelt to people who stood in line: bunny-ear headbands and stuffed rats. I got a plush snake, which he signed, “Chucky P.”

Vienna Teng's DREAMING THROUGH THE NOISE+ Hem and Vienna Teng, who I saw play a gig together at the Iron Horse last year, are both coming out with new albums this summer. This is Hem’s fourth album in three years, so I’m a little worried about quality control, but Ms. Teng is releasing her first album with Rounder Records, so I hope that it combines her excellent songwriting and technical expertise with their stripped-down, schmaltz-resistant sensibilities. I like her music, but it’s a guilty pleasure, as she does tend to have records produced with that extra dose of cheese. I found out about the releases on NPR’s All Songs Considered, which is darling enough to have RealMedia full-length previews of a track from each album. We’d prefer MP3, but we’ll make do with what we have. The Hem track is called “Not California“, and the Vienna Teng is quite good and titled “Blue Caravan“. Hem also has a zipped MP3 available from their website, a live recording of “Reservoir“.

+ Superman Returns is due out soon, and I’m all aflutter for its eventual release. However, for some unknown reason, Warner Brothers marketing people are trying to get in the way of my peaceful coexistence with commercialism as brokered by the fine folks at Universal Studios and as recorded in the previous post. Listen, WB: if you’re going to get Superman plastered all over the cereal aisle, at least contract out with General Mills or with Kelloggs… those guys are whores, and they will make sure that their cereals contain crappy toys. Crappy toys that I will lust after and buy cereal in order to acquire. You, however, have decided to go with Quaker, who are more wholesome, and are content to offer coupons and “Memory”-stylee matching games on the back of their boxes. This is insufficient. I require more crass commercialism with my blockbuster DC Comics movies, and you are not giving it to me. Admittedly, it is pretty damn cool that there’s a red cereal that turns the milk blue, but that’s not technology that I can place around my computer monitor and shoot at my students.

Superman: SPACE+ Lastly, on the cereal front: the “Memory” game? It comes on packages of Life, with a different set of eight cards on each flavour. Of the four pairs of cards, the first three are different pictures of Superman, Lois, and Lex Luthor. The fourth pair of cards is a location. And on the plain box of Life, that location is “SPACE”. Look, guys… I know you’re already lame, because you’re trying to pass off cut-up pieces of recyclable pressboard as a toy. But you couldn’t come up with three locations from the film that didn’t include “SPACE”? You have the entirety of the Warner Bros. press machine to provide you with material for this sham of a promotional item, whereas I’ve only watched the trailer. However, I can come up with three locations from that limited footage. Actually, more: Metropolis, Smallville, The Daily Planet, the Fortress of Solitude. Even allowing for the fact that the use of “Smallville” might involve sticky trademark issues, that’s still three better “Memory” cards than “SPACE”. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

+ I have more free disc space on my e-mail account than I do on my computer. How did that happen? Gmail really has caused a paradigm shift in the base expectations of what webmail should and can provide. That and the fact that my harddrive is only considered “sufficient” by pre-BitTorrent and DVD-burner standards. Ah, the quaint days of 1999.

1 Comment

  1. Chris McLaren said,

    You know, one of my favourite bits of fallout from Gmail is the Windows shell extension that lets you treat your GMail space as a virtual hard drive. (’s not something I have practical use for, but it’s a great example of some changes that are coming…

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