Today, I watched Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. I was kind of a latecomer to the original, and I definitely didn't think it needed a sequel, so I wasn't sure how to feel about this. Then MaryAnn ended up liking it, and she hated the first one, so of course I had to see it. My overall verdict is that it doesn't maintain as consistent a level of quality as the first one did, but the funniest parts are much funnier than anything that was in the first one. I guess what I'm saying is that it has higher peaks and lower valleys. Every time it tries to be offensive, it gets tiresome, and the "shocking" scenes go on way too long. It's much better when it forgets trying to offend people and simply becomes incredibly surreal. Seriously, at times it approaches Monty Python levels of weirdness. Towards the end, it goes so completely nuts that my jaw actually dropped a few times. I can't even talk about the plot without giving things away. Just go see it. Your day will be much stranger for it.
In other news, all my various time wasters on the internet have now officially been Christmas'd. MyVegas is doing sort of an advent calendar of scratch cards. Cookie Clicker just did a massive holiday update, with a ton of new content. Much more new content than the Halloween update which happened just before I discovered the game. Even Xbox Live is doing a twelve days of Christmas sort of sale. All of this is making me wish I had the money to actually celebrate Christmas this year. I've been able to scrounge together a few presents, but nothing like I would normally do. Which reminds me, I need to go downtown this week and look at the giant tree in Pioneer Square. It always cheers me up a little.
I finished the first DLC for Assassin's Creed IV today. Definitely one of the more fun add-ons in the history of this franchise. You play as Adewale, former slave and later Edward Kenway's quartermaster aboard the Jackdaw for most of the main game. It takes place some 15 years after the main game, after Adewale has become a full-fledged assassin. It has a surprising amount of new gameplay compared to other downloadable episodes. He has three new types of weapons, and fights very differently from Edward. The focus of the story is on freeing slaves and trying to inspire rebellion among them. There are something like six or seven different types of rescues you can do on land, and if you are feeling really ambitious, you can take on a slave ship convoy. This involves sinking three escort ships without damaging the ship carrying the slaves. Seems like risky subject mater to explore in a video game, but I think they did a good job with it.
- Music:Subway to Sally - Foppt den Dämon
Memo to A&E: YOU HAD TO KNOW THIS WAS COMING.
For the final bonus column of 2013, I'm going to break with tradition and not do a bonus IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS, because, well, there's a YAD Christmas Miracle in the form of the Duck Dynasty thing, and as much as I'd love to cover the hilarious right-wing defense of Phil "Duck Commander" Robertson, I have to address A&E, and America's, role in all this.
You see, every once in a while, America shows up with a colorful redneck, informs its parents' that they followed America home, and asks to keep it. And America being America's own parents, America accedes, and we adopt a redneck. And we invariably grow to regret it.
We adopted Larry The Cable Guy, and now there are a pair of movies forever staining our budget DVD racks. Oh, and Prilosec commercials. We adopted Paula Deen, and then were shocked, SHOCKED by her nostalgia for plantation days. I don't know if we adopted Ted Nugent exactly, but we keep feeding him whenever he wanders through our backyard, and we all know how that keeps working out, don't we?
And we adopted the Duck Dynasty people in a big way. And by "we", I mean "you", because fuck that noise. I was in a bookstore and was shocked to learn there were THREE actual Duck Dynasty books, and I didn't know whether to be happy that America was reading things, or sad that they might as well not have bothered.
And A&E sold us our pet rednecks. Comedian Andy Daly tweeted this, but we were all thinking it - there's no way there aren't hours and hours of this shit on footage that never aired. Our pet redneck has been shitting on the carpet, but A&E's managed to clean it up before we got home, and so we got fooled into thinking he was harmless and housebroken.
Which brings us to A&E's suspension. There are two possibilities here. The suspension is a PR move, making it look like A&E is shocked at the things Duck Commander believes, and disapproves of them. Or, more likely, A&E told Duck Commander in no uncertain terms to keep that shit under his filthy backwoods hat in public, and by going off to GQ, Duck Commander violated a specific term of his employment, and was suspended as a result.
The second and probable scenario isn't any more flattering to A&E, by the way. The first makes them incompetent, the second makes them complicit. Maybe someday we'll learn to not be fascinated by rural freakshows and charismatic bigots, but I'm not holding my breath.
Can't recall title or author, but I read it in the mid-to-later 1990s (maybe as late as 2002), when it had recently appeared in paperback form. If I recall rightly, I picked it up after reading a positive review that also mentioned it had been short-listed for the Booker Prize. As I recall, not a long book, probably well under 200 pages. Recollection is fuzzy, but it was definitely a sex-offender related plot. I believe the central characters were a middle-aged man (the potential or prospective villain) and a younger woman or girl whom he somehow takes into his home in what seems on the surface an act of kindness, although he's harboring rapacious/murderous intentions. I'm seeming to remember that he never acts on them, and she somehow gets away clean, never knowing the danger she'd been in -- but I'm less confident about that. Maybe I just didn't finish it. Anyhow, through my own efforts I rather quickly found A.M. Homes's "The End of Alice," but I don't think that's the one I want, despite some similarities between what I'm remembering and descriptions of that book (I'm also thinking it was a male author, though I suppose I might have missed that with "A.M. Homes"). For some reason I wanted to make Ian McEwan the author, although none of the novels listed in his bibliography seem to have matching descriptions. A similar name, perhaps? Any help out there?
Oh, it's late. Not that this is any later than I'm usually up, left to my own devices, but ordinarily right about now I'd be gathering up the kittens and joining scruloose
in bed, where he'd long since have been asleep.
But tomorrow (today, by the clock) is my brother's birthday, and at a bar not too far away there's karaoke going on with a mob of people. So we're following an erratic tradition: scruloose
is over there helping to celebrate said birthday, and my contribution is to not attend but also not be grumpy about however late scruloose
gets home. (Fortunately, my brother regards this as reasonable. ^^)
Sunrise is in just under six hours, and I've seen several Yule/Solstice posts going by. It's almost tempting to stay up through the night and greet the sun, even though it's not a tradition I've ever had. But if I were going to do that, I would've wanted to plan for it, rather than have it happen spontaneously and not account for how it'd throw off my sleep for the next several days. (Once again, my theoretical love of ritual runs up against my general failure to do anything about it. I guess I shouldn't be so sad about it when it affects a holiday I don't formally celebrate, given that I don't tend to even go through the rituals that are intrinsic parts of my religious "identity" [such as it is], but...I am anyway, somewhat.)
So: happy Yule or Solstice to everyone marking it tonight! Clearly reading about it is making me a bit melancholy, in a way, but I'm also really enjoying reading people's posts on it. It's hard--or impossible, even--not to take joy in the thought that the longest night is nearly over and daylight is going to gradually reclaim the place of prominence. Winter will pass, and it'll be spring before I know it.
...I was originally going to write other things in this post too, but they'll wait. I want to sit with this thought for a while. Spring is coming.[But wait--ETA, because the timing of my reading the relevant post is so perfect: the BPAL Yule scents have reached bookandbroom, who's run nearly all of the decant circles I've ever been part of. ^_^ It pleases me.]Originally posted at http://umadoshi.dreamwidth.org/483879.html. Comment here if you like, or comment there using OpenID. Comments at DW:
Okay, so this is the true story of today. There's a lovely reader over on Ao3 who wrote us a fanfic based on a letter Steve writes Tony 1796 Broadway
. The letter is about a box of chocolates Steve remembers from his childhood. It's called "Simple and Perfect
" by Filigree, and it's about Tony tracking down the same chocolates based on Steve's description of the box. Anyway, in the story, the chocolates are from a company called Li-Lac, and the box is gold and purple striped. Then today happened.( totally cut for lengthCollapse )
OH ALSO. Who is using tumblr these days? I've been using it more lately. I'm teaberryblue over there.
So today was actually pretty hellish. And by hellish, I mean, management bought us all pizza because it was such a nightmare.
Guess what? Target fucked up. Target fucked up hard. So yes, we were slammed with people calling in having psychotic fits. Understandable, of course, because Target fucked up and released a shitload of account numbers. However, I had this call, all day.
"Target had this thing.... should I change my card number? I don't want to. Tell me what to do!"
I'm not even paraphrasing. Folks, I can't tell a customer what to do if there's no actual fraud on the account and they are worried it could happen. If there is fraud, we change the card. If there isn't fraud but you're worried, its your call. Not mine. Yes, I know this is the worst possible time for a fraud issue, believe me every single person managed to mention that.... but that is really why I am not *telling you* that you *have to* replace your card. You're the adult. Its your decision.
I know this might shock some people but the credit card industry is not actually some cowboy post apocolyptic landscape where reivers make their own rules and things happen on the whims of young warlords. In fact, its actually highly regulated. That means, if you have a finance charge, or a late fee, or got reported to the credit bureau, or forfeited points, or all four of these things, odds are you were duly informed of the penalties of late payments. So when you throw a petulant hissy and get increasingly incensed that I am not agreeing with you that you have been criminally violated.
Just because you don't like or don't understand what I am saying, that doesn't mean I am wrong, lying, or breaking the law. I had this jackass today who just wanted to be an ass and bully me and no, it didn't go down the way he wanted because I wasn't wrong, lying, or breaking the law. He was also just being an ass.
He paid his bill late. In October, which means he's just noticing it now. First, he doesn't accept that finance charges are legit. I explain how they are calculated on the average daily balance method, and how there's a residual finance charge. He yells that had he called in for a payoff balance in order to close the account that there'd be no finance charge. I point out that if he called in and specifically said "I want a payoff balance as I am closing the account" the payoff balance would actually include the finance charge. He notes how thats ridiculous. Then he decides he wants to debate whether he was late or not. Yes, he was late. Late in a way that as he ranted, I could tell he was actually embarrassed. Then it dawns on him that he's actually been hit on his credit report because he's been reported as 30 days late. He then proceeds to insist that I am wrong about the definition of 30 days late. Yes, this escalated when I started pointing out that yes, his Visa did the same thing and would do the same thing.
Oh, and I can't make gift card reps speak english better and I can't handle the issue for you. I'm glad I am done with holiday shoppers.