Wednesday, March 30, 2005
( 1:48 PM ) The Rat
SOUTHERN DIALECT QUIZ. Those of you with Southern or quasi-Southern roots may need to do the test twice, once with answers for when you're drunk and again with answers for when you're sober... Thanks to JF for sending.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:48 PM
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
( 3:45 PM ) The Rat
HAPPY NATIONAL UMBRELLA MONTH!
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:45 PM
Friday, March 25, 2005
( 10:51 AM ) The Rat
REALLY NIFTY CLOCK.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:51 AM
Thursday, March 24, 2005
( 8:11 PM ) The Rat
FROM NEWS OF THE WEIRD. Vivienne, an interactive companion accessible on powerful, "third-generation" cell phones, was recently introduced by the Hong Kong company Artificial Life as a high-maintenance, video-image "girlfriend" who goes on dates with you, kisses, speaks six languages, converses on 35,000 topics, accepts flowers and diamonds, and may even marry you (though you also acquire a troublesome mother-in-law). Vivienne so far is prudish (no nudity, no sex), owing to Artificial Life's aim at marketing in modest cultures, but she will appear in Europe and some U.S. cities by the end of this year (at about $6 a month plus airtime). Said one Hong Kong video game player, characterizing Vivienne for the New York Times, "It's a little bit for the losers." [New York Times, 2-24-04]
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:11 PM
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
( 3:06 PM ) The Rat
REALLY, REALLY GOOD SANDWICHES here. (Site has a store locator.) Having been to a couple of these, the Rat can vouch that it is one of the only good things about Evanston, IL—and the only good thing about Madison, WI.
Incidentally, should you ever find yourself in Madison, as the Rat did recently, your best option is to get out as quickly as possible.
If, for some reason, that is not possible, the Rat recommends suicide.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:06 PM
Monday, March 14, 2005
( 12:03 PM ) The Rat
The amount of art lavished on the whole region of Potsdam is marvelous; some of the tops of the palaces were like forests of pedestals. In fact the two principles of Berlin architecture appear to me to be these—'On the housetops, whenever there is a convenient place, put up the figure of a man; he is best placed standing on one leg. Whenever there is room on the ground, put either a circular group of busts on pedestals, in consultation, all looking inwards—or else the colossal figure of a man killing, about to kill, or having killed (the present tense is preferred) a beast; the more prickles the beast has, the better—in fact a dragon is the correct thing, but if that is beyond the artist, he may content himself with a lion or a pig.'
The beast-killing principle has been carried out everywhere with a relentless monotony, which makes some parts of Berlin look like a fossil slaughter house...
—Lewis Carroll, The Russian Journal
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:03 PM
Sunday, March 06, 2005
( 2:41 PM ) The Rat
THE MATRIARCHY IS ALIVE AND WELL. Last night the Rat swung by the home of her brother W— and her sister-in-law S—, where S—'s two sisters had brought their kids for a visit. At last it's time to leave, but Sidney, the older son of S—'s older sister, wants to stay and watch another movie. When it's finally agreed they're going home, Sidney (who's about 5) points out that, after all, it's really up to him what they'll do. Whereupon Sidney's mother grabs him, and starts tickling him furiously and asking: "Oh yeah? Who's the boss—you or me? Come on! Who's the boss—you or me?"
Sidney's laughing so hard he can barely breathe, but finally manages to squeak: "I'm the boss! Me!"
His mother tickles him even harder. "That's the wrong answer! Come on—you or me? Huh? Who's the boss? Who's the boss?" Finally from Sidney: "You! You!" "That’s right," his mother says approvingly.
Then she gets an idea... and starts tickling him again: "Who’s the boss—Mommy or Daddy? Who's the boss?" "Mommy! Mommy's the boss!" Sidney gasps, still giggling.
At which point my brother, W—, steps in. "Hey, Sidney," he says, leaning over the couch: "—who’s the boss? Uncle W— or Auntie S—?"
Sidney gives that some thought. Then—mindful, no doubt, that it's Uncle W— who brings the presents—he says carefully: "I'd have to say, Uncle W—."
"Well you know what?" my brother asks.
And Uncle W— says: "You'd be wrooong..."
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:41 PM
( 2:20 PM ) The Rat
I can't look. I'd turn to salt.
—The Lion in Winter
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:20 PM
Thursday, March 03, 2005
( 4:56 PM ) The Rat
U.S. MILITARY ALMOST CATCHES UP WITH PROSPERO. Woot! Thanks to IKM for the link.
For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps,
Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins
Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
All exercise on thee; thou shalt be pinch'd
As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging
Than bees that made 'em. (Act I, scene ii)
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:56 PM
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
( 2:28 AM ) The Rat
MY ENTRY for the "Ten Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't" thing that's been making the rounds. In no particular order:
—been mistaken for a hooker on Christmas Day (I was also mistaken, on another occasion, for Satan, by someone who told me: "Satan, begone!")
—had more than 100 items checked out of a library at the same time
—been given, as a gift, an AR-15 rifle tricked out in pink and decoupaged with little watermelons
—had both this guy and this guy get me drunk (at different times)
—thrown up on a chairlift
—made a giant, swastika-shaped Rice Krispie treat
—had my clothes nearly ripped off in a riot in Paris
—had an editorial I wrote for this magazine, used by a local priest as part of his homily
—been to Pushkin's grave, but—because I was young and foolish—at a time when I had not yet read Pushkin
—asked a friend if I could crash at her place "for a couple of weeks," stayed four years
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:28 AM
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
( 11:56 PM ) The Rat
ORWELL ON "Pleasure Spots." An old favorite.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:56 PM
( 11:53 PM ) The Rat
I have a theory that one always gets what one wants.
—The Man in the Brown Suit
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:53 PM