Darth Vader: Diehard Pinko

I saw this on J$’s blog, and couldn’t resist posting it here.

“I’d just like to say that I think it is great that the galaxy’s most feared, notorious, despotic and evil Lord of the Sith lives in a time and a place where he is judged not by where he likes to stick his sith weiner, but by the content of his notorious, feareful, despotic, evil character.”

hellovader

UPDATE:

Apparently, it’s a photoshop job!

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (and we ain’t talking about no effin’ rooster here)

tristram

The Netflix selection currently in my DVD player is Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story,
an attempt at adapting a book largely thought to be “unadaptable.”

The description of the novel on Amazon.com gives some idea of why it might just be regarded such:

…[Laurence Sterne] provides several different channels of narration and never really settles on a main plot thread; he interrupts the flow of one narrative with another, delivering narrative flights of fancy like a marriage contract, a sermon, a notice of excommunication from the Catholic Church, a travelogue for France and Italy, and amusing anecdotes about extracurricular characters. In this way he presages the modernism of many twentieth century authors. [H]e does not restrict his text to English words; he intersperses Greek, Latin, and French passages where he likes, and on occasion he does not even use words at all, but symbols and glyphs to express certain concepts. A cross appears in the print when a character crosses himself; a character’s death is memorialized by a black page; a blank page is provided for the reader to draw (mentally or physically) his own vision of the voluptuous Widow Wadman, who has a romantic eye for Toby; long rows of asterisks and dashes are used for things that are better left unsaid. At one point Sterne even draws squiggly lines to illustrate the sinuosity of his narrative, celebrating his own whimsy.

And as it turns out, the book is unadaptable. I’m not quite convinced that the cast & crew ever seriously expected to be able to make a successful adaptation, or if they always all along intended for the film to be more of a documentary, following the stars and crew as they try — and fail — to bring this clearly very strange book to the silver screen. At one point, lead Steve Coogan is upside down in a mock womb, trying difficultly to express why he finds it so difficult to take himself seriously: “I’m upside down … talking to a camera … in a fucking womb!”

This is one seriously fucked up movie. It’s grrrreat!

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (and we ain't talking about no effin' rooster here)

tristram

The Netflix selection currently in my DVD player is Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story,
an attempt at adapting a book largely thought to be “unadaptable.”

The description of the novel on Amazon.com gives some idea of why it might just be regarded such:

…[Laurence Sterne] provides several different channels of narration and never really settles on a main plot thread; he interrupts the flow of one narrative with another, delivering narrative flights of fancy like a marriage contract, a sermon, a notice of excommunication from the Catholic Church, a travelogue for France and Italy, and amusing anecdotes about extracurricular characters. In this way he presages the modernism of many twentieth century authors. [H]e does not restrict his text to English words; he intersperses Greek, Latin, and French passages where he likes, and on occasion he does not even use words at all, but symbols and glyphs to express certain concepts. A cross appears in the print when a character crosses himself; a character’s death is memorialized by a black page; a blank page is provided for the reader to draw (mentally or physically) his own vision of the voluptuous Widow Wadman, who has a romantic eye for Toby; long rows of asterisks and dashes are used for things that are better left unsaid. At one point Sterne even draws squiggly lines to illustrate the sinuosity of his narrative, celebrating his own whimsy.

And as it turns out, the book is unadaptable. I’m not quite convinced that the cast & crew ever seriously expected to be able to make a successful adaptation, or if they always all along intended for the film to be more of a documentary, following the stars and crew as they try — and fail — to bring this clearly very strange book to the silver screen. At one point, lead Steve Coogan is upside down in a mock womb, trying difficultly to express why he finds it so difficult to take himself seriously: “I’m upside down … talking to a camera … in a fucking womb!”

This is one seriously fucked up movie. It’s grrrreat!

Chugger (Cont.)

Sunday afternoon, I took a delivery back to the scene of late Saturday night’s “chuggin’” home. The same girl who’d greeted me at the garage the previous night greeted me at the door with a statement somewhere between “Oh, it’s you!” and “There’s a Death Metal Band in my skull, and they won’t shut up.”

If ever it should be asked, “What is the hallmark of a great biography?” let my answer be this:

If ever it should be asked, “What is the hallmark of a great biography?” let this serve as my carefully considered response.

Going into the second volume of The Last Lion (well, heck, the first!), the reader knows the outcome, the reader knows what key events shall transpire that make the name of Winston Churchill synonymous with freedom and anti-Nazism. If the reader was, somehow, unaware of any of this, the author is quick to remind in the beautiful, haunting prose, “What [Hitler] did not know was the keenness with which Churchill was watching him, or how doggedly Churchill would stalk him for twelve years, until the Fuhrer of the Third Reich lay dead by his own hand in the ruined Reich Chancellery garden, a corpse enveloped by the writing flames of a Viking funeral, while the blackened hulks of what had once been Berlin collapsed all around him.” [The Last Lion, Vol. 2. pg. 79]

And yet knowing the end, knowing that Churchill will find his political redemption, the love of the people to whom he serves, his farsightedness and keen awareness yet again justified, none of this diminishes the anticipation to which the pages shall be devoured. And as I devoured those pages, as I read about the growing danger of Nazi Germany, as it rearmed in violation of the Treaty of Versailles; as I read about Churchill trying to convince his government, and that of France, to use that rearmament as a reason to invade and remove the Hitler threat to the continent; as I read about the understandable aversion in British political circles to another war which could cost an even higher price when the butcher came calling, and the great sympathies felt by many ministers towards Hitler, in part motivated by the high cost of Versailles, and resulting in lax enforcement against German rearmament; and as I read about Churchill’s growing resistence, as an isolated, partyless minister, in the “wilderness”, building a network of informants keeping him apprised of the true scale of German’s military preparedness than other members of government were willing to give to the British people; as I read all of this, and as I turn each page with trembling fingers, despite that which I know in my head, my heart beats faster and faster: will Churchill succeed in persuading his beloved island empire to take a tougher stance against Germany? Will Churchill find his return to prominance, and his forecast of war with Germany proven both correct, and his unacknowledged warnings a reminder to that which could have been avoided? (Avoided, of course, had Britain’s leaders not been engaging in the “manipulations in the interests of political expediency and what amounted to treachery — compromising England’s very existance.” [pg. 111])

The answer to all, of course, a solid “yes.”

And the fact that my heart beats faster and faster the further into the book I get, and despite the fact that my head knows that Churchill shall find his victories, and for ever more be a hero of the freedom loving world, all I can think is that the hallmark of a great biography is that the reader forgets he is reading a history of person, and instead falls prey to a variation on that old maxim, in this case, “truth surely is stranger and more interesting then fiction.” And should that thought occur while reading such a book, then certainly the biographer has more than met his goals in attempting to capture, in words, the essence of a man’s life.

If ever it should be asked, "What is the hallmark of a great biography?" let my answer be this:

If ever it should be asked, “What is the hallmark of a great biography?” let this serve as my carefully considered response.

Going into the second volume of The Last Lion (well, heck, the first!), the reader knows the outcome, the reader knows what key events shall transpire that make the name of Winston Churchill synonymous with freedom and anti-Nazism. If the reader was, somehow, unaware of any of this, the author is quick to remind in the beautiful, haunting prose, “What [Hitler] did not know was the keenness with which Churchill was watching him, or how doggedly Churchill would stalk him for twelve years, until the Fuhrer of the Third Reich lay dead by his own hand in the ruined Reich Chancellery garden, a corpse enveloped by the writing flames of a Viking funeral, while the blackened hulks of what had once been Berlin collapsed all around him.” [The Last Lion, Vol. 2. pg. 79]

And yet knowing the end, knowing that Churchill will find his political redemption, the love of the people to whom he serves, his farsightedness and keen awareness yet again justified, none of this diminishes the anticipation to which the pages shall be devoured. And as I devoured those pages, as I read about the growing danger of Nazi Germany, as it rearmed in violation of the Treaty of Versailles; as I read about Churchill trying to convince his government, and that of France, to use that rearmament as a reason to invade and remove the Hitler threat to the continent; as I read about the understandable aversion in British political circles to another war which could cost an even higher price when the butcher came calling, and the great sympathies felt by many ministers towards Hitler, in part motivated by the high cost of Versailles, and resulting in lax enforcement against German rearmament; and as I read about Churchill’s growing resistence, as an isolated, partyless minister, in the “wilderness”, building a network of informants keeping him apprised of the true scale of German’s military preparedness than other members of government were willing to give to the British people; as I read all of this, and as I turn each page with trembling fingers, despite that which I know in my head, my heart beats faster and faster: will Churchill succeed in persuading his beloved island empire to take a tougher stance against Germany? Will Churchill find his return to prominance, and his forecast of war with Germany proven both correct, and his unacknowledged warnings a reminder to that which could have been avoided? (Avoided, of course, had Britain’s leaders not been engaging in the “manipulations in the interests of political expediency and what amounted to treachery — compromising England’s very existance.” [pg. 111])

The answer to all, of course, a solid “yes.”

And the fact that my heart beats faster and faster the further into the book I get, and despite the fact that my head knows that Churchill shall find his victories, and for ever more be a hero of the freedom loving world, all I can think is that the hallmark of a great biography is that the reader forgets he is reading a history of person, and instead falls prey to a variation on that old maxim, in this case, “truth surely is stranger and more interesting then fiction.” And should that thought occur while reading such a book, then certainly the biographer has more than met his goals in attempting to capture, in words, the essence of a man’s life.

Outchugged by the Pizza Guy

What a great night. Steady all the way up until nine, when the late guy got sent home, then just plain busy. My last delivery was to a nice spread up near Monkton, where a very cute, very adorable, very hot college-aged coed walked out to the driveway to greet me. Her first words were, “Dude, I’m trashed.”

She insisted that I bring the food back to the pool area, where I was quickly talked into chugging a beer. I was trying to talk them into just letting me have “one for the road” (i.e., for when I got home), but they kept insisting, and in what their words failed to convince, her boobs — not that I got to see them, er, in the flesh, but just bouncing as she jumped up and down clapping her hands and chanting “please please please” — did the job.

They were 22. I’m 27. They were drinking Miller Light, and handed me a can. I don’t drink much, and I’m a lightweight, but when I do drink, I drink European Ales, and after I polished off the beer, the guys and gals around me were starring in awe. I wonder where they went to college, ‘cuz seriously, 22 years old and they’re having trouble polishing off some Miller Light? Pft.

Damn she was cute. I shoulda taken a photo.

(of her boobies!)

(Usually — which is to say, every day other than tonight — I don’t condone drinking and driving. But, it was just one beer, and y’know, does Miller Light even count?!)

Wie Sagen Sie Klimaanlage Auf Deutsch?

Today and tomorrow is the 106th Annual Maryland German Festival, held at the Timonium Fairgrounds. American Geisha and I were planning on going — and spent quite a bit of time arguing about who was going to drive, because apparently we’re an old married couple, even though we aren’t dating or having sex (come to think of it, the not having sex really doesn’t work because I don’t think many married couples have sex) — but when we were talking earlier during the day, the point of conversation came back to:

1. It’s really fucking hot outside.
2. German Fest is being held outside.
3. A/C is wonderful.
4. It’s really really motherfuckin’ hot outside.

So instead of standing out in the heat eating bratwurst, debating the best strategy for victory in world war, and drinking thick heavy Deutsch beer, we schlepped out to Ballbuster Video for a copy of Memoirs of a Geisha, then over to the Ugly Muffin for sandwiches, then back to her place for movie and food in air conditioned wonderfulness.

Germany isn’t a warm state. If my geography classes are remembered correctly, Germany is actually kinda far to the north, providing a usually cool environment. Doesn’t make sense to hold one during the hottest period of the year, and besides, there’s something about October that really goes well with German festivals … after all, they don’t call it Julyfest, do they? (And, apparently, AG and I were debating this, Oktoberfest is actually held in September, so shouldn’t it be Septemberfest?). And you know, honestly, if you’re going to hold your Julyfest in July, why not stick it some place with A/C? The Fairgrounds has air conditioned buildings, don’t they?

And now I’m off to work. Ciao, bitches.

Behind the Blog: Where I Explain the Origin of a Blog Name (To Be Specific? This Blog’s Name)

I decided to start a blog early in August of 2004. I knew I didn’t want to use blogger, and I wasn’t in a massive rush to get started. Blogging tools — at the time, Moveable Type — and a hosting company were easy decisions to make, particularly with such a knowledgeable friend providing the technical expertise to make this blog possible.

But it was taking me forever to determine a name for my blog. I didn’t want to write “Jeff’s Blog”, or “Hunt Valley Blogging”, or, “Why I’m Write and Everyone Else Is Always Wrong.” And then it just sort of clicked.

Malnurtured Snay.

I didn’t pull the name out of thin air, I’d been using it for quite some time on assorted forums and discussion boards. Why’d it take me so long to decide to use it? Couldn’t tell you. But it did, and so here we go — the backstory of where the name came from.

Many years ago, I worked at the PJ in Cockeysville, and I was friends with the night manager, a guy named Mike F. He lived in White Marsh with his buddy Steve, an IT guy at JHU and a former Marine. Both Mike and Steve were big into the online first person shooter game Counter-Strike, and I was quickly hooked on the game as well. Counter-Strike was what led me to get broadband internet, and eventually to play on a server called Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow, where I did so as Malnurtured Snay, and eventually as [EGBT] Malnurtured Snay, which is, incidentally, how I met both Tim and Mikuru.

Several nights a week, after work, I would follow Mike back to his place where he, me, and Steve would play Counter-Strike on the three computers in his house, LAN-hacking (so sue me!) as members of the fictional clan -=FaIL=-. Tossing grenades, jumping around corners and spraying with AK-47s, it was a fun way to pass many hours of the night. I noticed that Steve had his “player” hot-keyed for certain weapons, to bypass the long buy-menu at the beginning of each round. In addition, he had quick-keyed certain chat functions. Whenever he threw a grenade, he would trigger the phrase: “Snay Snay!” to alert us that a grenade was “in the hole.”

When I asked him, “What the fuck does snay mean?” he told me a story about Marine Boot Camp, where some hick redneck hillbilly got up in his face after finding out Steve was from Baltimore, with some nonsensical story about how Baltimoreans were retarded for pronouncing “snow” as “snay.” After Steve straightened it out — by which I assumed he meant pounded his face into the dirt, knocking out his last remaining tooth — he kept it in the back of his mind, bringing out for Counter-Strike.

Snay, Snay, Fire in the Hole! (I made sure to pay particular attention to this message after he threw a nade, called out “Snay Snay!” in team-chat, and then blew me up with it — friendly fire blows!)

One night we decided not to play as a clan, and were trying to come up the most unique and bizzare player names we could. Mike F. suggested I use “Malnurtured Sow” — I wish I could remember the names they both used, they were pretty funny, as I recall — and later that night, back at home, fraggin’ on my own computer, I changed the name again — from “Malnurtured Sow” to “Malnurtured Snay.”

A long story for a silly name.

And now you know the rest of the story.