Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The airing of grievances

Today is Festivus so I figured I could use this as an opportunity for an airing of grievances. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, see this website.)

I don't understand this Infiniti ad and it's on ALL the time. I'm sick of it.

What is the deal? This guy buys a cup of coffee for Santa, which is a nice thing to do. But then why does he follow Santa home? OK, he's carrying his bag, again a nice thing to do, but why does he stay in Santa's apartment? He's sewing his jacket by the fire while Santa is, presumably, sleeping. He leaves because the next thing we see, Santa is picking up the jacket and admiring the stitching. Then we see dude at home (I guess it's his home) and he finds a key with a red ribbon on it. He got an Infiniti from Santa for being nice! No! It doesn't make sense! How did guy get home in the middle of the night? I still don't understand why he had to go back to Santa's apartment after he bought him a cup of coffee and why he would be there in the night while the old guy is sleeping. Frankly, it's a little creepy.

While we're at it, I also don't understand this Mercedes Benz ad either.

Santa's got a naughty and a nice list. Everybody knows that. And I get that the ad is trying to be clever with the red and white cars, but here's the thing. The people on the naughty list are supposed to get a lump of coal or reindeer poop or whatever bad thing people who do bad things are supposed to get. They aren't supposed to get the same car as a nice person but in a "naughty" red color.

This ad makes me think two things. One, being nice will get you nowhere, so you might as well do whatever you want because the only difference is the color of your car. Two, naughty people get Benzs, and naughty people get crap from Santa, therefore Mercedes Benz isn't actually all that nice. I don't think this is what the ad people had in mind, but that's what this ad says to me. (If someone in the ad business wants my input, I'm available for consultations, FYI. For example, I would have had people on Santa's nice list getting a Mercedes Benz and the people on the naughty list getting either one of their competitors cars or a Yugo--the Yugo is both funny and clever, take that.)

Happy Festivus!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Compiled list, sort of

I've been listening to Come With Me Now from the Kongos over and over again. I first heard the song in the trailer for Holy Motors (I never actually saw the movie) and immediately added it to my running playlist. If I like a song I can listen to it on repeat for months. One summer when I was still in high school I listened to the same three Dave Matthews Band songs on repeat everywhere I went. Dave Matthews = summer for me.

I finished reading Above by Isla Morley today. How to recommend this book without giving anything away? Truly, if you are interested in reading Above, I urge you not to read the inside flap/back of the book or any reviews. (It is one of my biggest pet peeves when the summary of the book gives away half, or more, of the plot. Why bother reading it after that?) It's much better to just start reading Above and figure it out as you go. I recommend it if you liked Room by Emma Donoghue. It starts in a similar way, but the story is not narrated by a child. The easiest thing to say is that the narrator, Blythe, is abducted by a survivalist. That's really all I'm comfortable telling you without giving anything away. It was a really gripping read and I stayed up until 2 a.m. one morning because I couldn't put it down.

In the vein of recommendations, I love watching this video of a groomer working on Charlie, who was found wandering on the side of the road in L.A. and taken to a shelter. Melts my heart.

Also, check out Per Square Mile: If the world's population lived like... It's from a while ago, but I just found it and it's still fascinating stuff.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gone Girl

Gone Girl opened in theaters yesterday, so while I was looking for a good weekend movie, I watched the trailer. Even though I've read the book and know what happens, the trailer still gave me the creeps. It took me two days to read the book (last summer) and I didn't like it. The thing about it was that I thought the writing was good, but I couldn't stand the characters. It's difficult for me to like a book if I don't like even one of the characters. By the end I was hoping an asteroid would hit and take them all out. That would have been a satisfying ending to me.

It's too bad because Gillian Flynn seems like a cool person. I like that she adapted her own book into the screenplay for the movie. But I won't be watching it; the book was enough of Nick and Amy Dunne for me. I've read that Flynn's other books are just as dark, if not darker. I can handle dark, to a certain point, but I need at least one character with at least one redeeming feature to have any hope of liking a book. If, by the end of a book, I'm fantasizing about rewriting the ending to include another ice age to kill off all the characters, that's not a good sign.

I heard an interview with Flynn on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me and she shared this anecdote, which I thought was funny: "My best friend from childhood was out having dinner and the woman next to her was reading 'Gone Girl.' And so she said, you know, how are you liking the book. And the woman said - slam. Well, have you read it? You know, I just - all I know is that there is something wrong with the lady who wrote this."

Monday, September 22, 2014

Banned Books Week

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that yesterday was the start of Banned Books Week. From Columbus State Library comes this fun little quiz, "Which Banned Book Are You?"

My quiz result was Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi. "You know that you would be able to right all wrongs in the world if only you were a prophet. In public, you must obey the rules, but in the safety of your home, you can embrace your rebellious side. Sometimes you feel trapped between the traditions of the past and a more modern future."

I can happily say that I've read Persepolis, but there are books on the challenged list that I still need to read, such as Catch-22, by Joseph Heller. So many books, and never enough time!