Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
October 12, 2018
Thirty…seven.
Category: Miscellany

So earlier today I got a cell phone call from a telemarketer with a senior living company who wanted to tell me all about their wonderful life insurance options that would fully cover the cost of my coffin and funeral and provide extra security for my loved ones in the event of my untimely demise.

Now, I'm not generally the most assertive person when it comes to telemarketing calls -- I'll firmly say I'm not interested when they ask if I want what they're selling, but barring that I'm content to let them practice their pitches until my input is required -- and today, what with my melancholy mood and particular confusion with the nature of the call (generally it at least makes sense that I'd be on their lists; here I was almost concerned that this caller knew something I didn't), I was especially disinclined to interrupt the nice lady's spiel. So she'd unload with a paragraph of prepared text and ask if I was following, and I'd hesitate and nod as if she could see me and say, "Yes...?" and then she'd launch into the next passage of her speech, and this went on for some minutes.

Finally -- and I don't know why she didn't start with this question -- she asked, "Can I have your age, sir?"

I replied, "Thirty...seven."

A lengthy pause.

"Sir," she said, and then paused again... and then she flatly finished, "you don't qualify for any of our benefits. Thank you."

"Oh," I said. "No problem. Bye." And then I pulled the cell phone away from my ear and pressed the button to end the call.

But just before the call ended, she said, "Yes --"

And it really bothers me that, after all that effort I put into being polite in the midst of my bafflement, I inadvertently rudely cut her off! I'd also really like to know how that parting sentence would have ended. Alas.

-posted by Wes | 8:48 pm | Comments (0)
September 26, 2018
D. Dungeons, T. House, and apprentice directing!
Category: Miscellany

PEOPLE.

Dark Dungeons is free to watch on Amazon Prime!!!

Dark Dungeons is apparently an officially licensed adaptation of the titular Chick tract. (Despite my enduring love of those delightfully awful little comics, I hadn't heard of the film until a recent convo with several Rudes members.) I am suuuuper excited to watch.

(Btw, re: the Rudes -- I did mention that I joined a theater troupe this year, didn't I? I guess I might not have. I joined a theater troupe -- the Rude Mechanicals -- and have been in two plays. And now, as mentioned below, I'm apprentice directing. Huzzah!)

I mention this in part because I am apprentice directing a show -- Uncle Vanya! -- to start laying the groundwork and gaining the necessary experience and knowledge to someday direct a show myself. I really, really want to see a community theater incarnation of a Chick tract/Hell House/Judgement House type production, and part of me is thinking that if I want to see that I'd have to direct it myself. (But part of me is thinking I'd also need to write it -- which I could totally do; working title: "Tarnation House" -- which would potentially complicate matters. Hm.) (more...)

-posted by Wes | 4:27 pm | Comments (0)
August 27, 2018
Monday morning musings

I like to think I'm a pretty predictable person -- at least insofar as I'm able to anticipate my own actions (frex, I know how much I appreciate alliteration) -- but even I would not have guessed that I'd be watching anthro pony demonic transformations in multiple languages at 5 o'clock on a Monday morning.

It's also perpetually fascinating to me how *familiar* German sounds to me. Granted, I don't actually understand the language (stock phrases and memorized Doro Pesch lyrics excepted), and we moved back to the US in the summer of '88 -- making it a full 30 years since I lived overseas. Notwithstanding these facts, the language and even German accents still somehow strike me as sounds of home.

-posted by Wes | 5:38 am | Comments (0)
July 7, 2018
“Finest Hour” makes my mood sour
Category: Linkage … Miscellany

So right now I have a free Sirius XM trial going on. I generally enjoy these trials -- if nothing else, they give me new artists and songs to search for on Freegal -- but occasionally they'll devote significant airtime to a song that I can't flipping stand. (I realize this is a problem with radio in general; I just don't tend to listen to the radio outside of free Sirius trials. 😛 )

Anyway, currently I'm hating on "Finest Hour" by Cash Cash and featuring Abir. It actually has a decent sound -- it's the lyrics that bug the flip out of me, or maybe it's that the lyrics don't fit the sound. Like, I get how the song could be identifiable to a lot of listeners; we all probably have moments when we know we're not at our best and would probably prefer to just keep drinking and forget about everything even as with slurred voices we beg our loved ones not to give up on us. As a more melancholy-sounding track (and perhaps ideally one I wasn't hearing while driving), this would work for me.

But "Finest Hour" is apparently a dance track since they keep playing it on BPM and it never fails to tick me off. To me, dance tracks in general should be stuff I can rock out to and identify with in the moment, and in the moment I rarely feel like I am fucking up -- that's generally quieter, past-tense reflection. (For an "I fucked up" song I enjoy: try "Jack's Lament" from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, and even that ends on a comparatively triumphant note.) And if I do feel like I am fucking up in the moment, it's not a feeling that makes me want to dance (or bounce around in my seat as I zoom down the highway with the windows open). It is a feeling that makes me want to pour myself another drink or write sad posts on social media or maybe go to sleep regardless of the hour, and this bouncy shit decidedly lacks lullaby appeal.

Tl;dr: I dislike this song immensely and intensely.

-posted by Wes | 6:00 pm | Comments (0)
May 14, 2018
Spikes are definitely hostile design elements…
Category: Linkage … Miscellany

I just learned about "hostile design" today (via BBC Trending), and I'm finding it really fascinating. On the one hand, you have design features that could be useful to some groups but harmful to others: for example, railing on benches can provide support for the elderly (or just make for relaxing armrests for anyone reclining upright) but prevent homeless people from sleeping on the benches. And then you have other features that seem designed only to prevent people from using the item in an "undesirable" fashion, like benches with awkwardly placed bars that clearly aren't intended to provide support or comfort to anyone and therefore definitely discourage horizontal repose. Hostiledesign.org has a number of photos of especially egregious examples of the latter; apparently NYC designers love putting spikes on surfaces to keep people from lying or even sitting on them. It's terrible, and yet I can't help being impressed by the diabolical ingenuity and audacity of some of these approaches. SPIKES. Victor von Doom approves.

-posted by Wes | 4:56 pm | Comments (0)
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