So I watches Chopping Mall the night before last. Call me anal-retentive, but if a movie has the word "chopping" in the title, I would expect that at least one instance of chopping occur in the actual film. No such luck. Yes, unbelievably, the film contained no actual chopping. In fact, all of the killing in the films were performed by deadly 3-foot security robots who get all smart and crazy and homocidal after a lightning bolt hits their control computer (sound familiar?) which are supposed to be... I dunno... scary or something . This led to a bunch of electrocutions, some laser-induced death, and one instance of dropping someone off the third floor mezzanine. I guess they just thought that "Chopping Mall was too cool a title to pass up, even though they had already completed the film with the working title "Killbots". I can envision the marketing meeting now...

Producer: "I've just gotta say I really love your "Killbots" flick, I just have a few little changes I'd like to see."
Director: "Yes? Like what?"
Producer: "Well, about the title, specifically."
Director: "The title? 'Killbots'? What's wrong with that? It's about a bunch of robots that kill people, hence the name."
Producer: ""Well, I thought of a really great idea for a movie title, and I thought we could use it"
Director: "Okay, let's hear it."
Producer: "Chopping Mall"
Director: "... Chopping Mall?? But there's no chopping, not one single instance of anything at all ever being chopped in the slightest in the whole entire movie!"
Producer: "Well, it's in a Mall, and I'm afraid that if I don't use that great title for this flick, then some other studio will grab it first. Now move along please, I've got 8 other films to greenlight before lunch. Let's see, what's up next... 'Sorority House Massacre'? I love it!"
The producer, of course, being the one and only Roger Corman, producer of hundreds (yes, hundreds) of schlock horror/action/sci-fi/romantic comedy flicks.

I mean, there was one death by dropping, so even "Dropping Mall" would have made more sense. Or "Electrocuting Mall" or "Head Exploding Mall" or "Crushed Windpipe Mall". Oooh, wait, I know! "Shopping Maul", that's it! Two people die due to having their necks crushed, that's kind of like mauling! It's perfect!

I had a dream last night about a sequel to "Chopping Mall" in which the same security company that created the offending robots in the first place tries to recover itself after being sued into oblivion by the survivors of the first movie by reworking their robots to work as robo-psychiatrists. However, the evil head programmer was bribed by the Pharmaceutical compaines to program the robots to advise medication over alternate forms of therapy, but they go nuts and start chasing people around with syringes and trying to inject them with Xanax or Prozac, or Thorax or something. I'd call it... Ummm... "Psycho" ummm... "Psycho Robo Psychiatrists"... I think that works. Mr. Corman, if you're reading this, I'd happily change the title to whatever you want if you want to produce it.

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

I had a pleasant T-day. Got up, baked an apple pie and watched 8-Legged Freaks! (A cute little formulaic homage to giant insect films of the 50's, essentially Tremors with spiders). I then made the tri-county trek to my Aunt's house for a fulfilling familial feast, with all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

There was an 8-year-old boy there (My Uncle's brother's son, I think. I meet new family members every year.) there, so of course there was the obligatory:
Ken's Mom: "Ken, have you told Noah what you do for a living?"
Ken: "A QA Analyst? Why would he be interested in that?"
Mom: "Did you tell him who you work for?"
Ken: "A software publisher? What does that..."
Mom: "Yes, but what do you do all day?"
Ken: "(sigghhh....) I play video games all day."
Noah: "Really? What's your favorite game? What games have you played? How do I get past Psycho Mantis? Do you know any game designers? I wanna be a game designer! How do they make them? How do you test them?" What's the best game system? etc... etc...

It's all good though. One benefit of being a tester that that 8-year-olds think you're the shit. I think I'm probably the most disappointing game tester for kids to talk to, however, because I keep having these same converstaions at work, and I've developed these certain spiels.
Ken:"....PS2 has the largest market penetration, so a lot of strong third-party developers see the benefits of signing on with Sony. The GameCube does have the legacy first-party support, them being Nintendo and all. In terms of hardware, the Xbox blah blah blah..."
Noah: ZZZZzzzzzz...

I think I'll have to gear my routine for the younger set, like tell them about the rager I went to at Bowser's castle last weekend or something.

And I get all 4 days off! This is unprecedented, it's the first time I worked less than 40 hours since I started at my testing job. Now I can finally beat all those games I have sitting around. It's good to find some time to do something really productive. I'm certainly not buying anything today. I'm doing my part to fight rampant consumerism by sitting on my ass and left-right-bodyblowing my my through Mike Tyson's Punch Out.

I must admit that I bought a Sega Genesis, too. So I've added Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Phantasy Star 3 and Contra: Hard Corps to my list of retro-gaming challenges.


Okay, I don't think turkeys should be subjected to factory-farm environment any more than the next guy, but realize that following Moby's plan to call the Butterball Thanksgiving turkey hotline to complain about the treatment of turkeys will do no good.

I've worked technical support, and believe me, there is nothing we would derive more irritation and amusement from than people who would call us with general complaints about the company. You know what kind of effect that would bring about? We'll just nod and go "uh-huh" at you, and then as soon as you're off the line, laugh our ass off to our co-workers about the idiot who just called. You know how much say phone tech-support workers have in company policy?

Besides, the poor bastards are doing tech support for turkeys. For turkeys! They have to contend with people who didn't think to remove the wrapping before cooking the turkey. Give them a break. They don't need to have people yelling at them over the phone about how Butterball mistreats its animals.

Instead, try writing a letter to Butterball directly. Companies always take letters more seriously than e-mail or phone calls anyhow:
Consumer Affairs
Butterball Turkey Company
2001 Butterfield Road
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Leave the poor turkey techs alone. You'd be wasting their time and yours.

(Oh, and I'm sorry Moby, but Turkeys are not "beautiful birds", they are disgusting and stupid. I'm not saying this gives anyone the right to mistreat them, but they are really gross and really dumb. Maybe you have one of those "all life is beautiful" stances, which is great and all, but I personally feel that turkeys are among the ugliest of birds.)


Ideas that would make me rich, but that I don't really have the inclination to carry out:
  • Cigarette packs with an extra small empty compartment at the bottom into which one could dispose of one's cigarette butts until one reaches a more appropriate disposal place, in order to prevent carelessly disposed of butts.

    I personally just hang on to my cigarette butts in my pocket until I get to a trashcan or ashtray. Hey, I grew up in Santa Cruz, alright? I'm genetically predisposed against littering.

  • The Simon(TM) alarm clock, for just those people (like me) who have developed the super-ninja technique of deactivating their alarm clocks in their sleep, would require the user to memorize and ren-enter a series of increasinlgy difficult sequential button presses, like like the eponymous sound-and-light memory game from the 80's.

  • The Magnum Universal Remote, which not only changes channel, volume and tint of your television set, also is haped like a realistic .45 millimeter revolver, which allows the user to virtually blast holes in his television, each of which are accompanied by appropriately placed bullet homes, sound effects and a release of non-toxic fog which realistically imitates smoke. It's a cost-effective alternative to actually shooting a television which will save Mafia bosses hundreds in ammunition alone!

  • Magnetic Poetry bumper stickers Realized independently by the same folks who do the fridge magnets. I realized it years ago, but realized that people would just steal it, and didn't bother starting production. Oh yeah, and I was too lazy.

My roomate has a can of Cajun-Style Alligator... no, seriously, he does.

My question is this: What other kind of alligator could it possibly be? Italian-Style? Korean Style? Is there any other style of alligator than Cajun?

Exciting life update:

So Steve, Rhea and Sabs came up to visit this weekend. The ladies drank all my cheap-ass Alberson's vodka and we jammed out on guitar and accordion for awhile. I imagine Steve will have embarassing mp3's up on the HTN site soon enough. Let me first make the disclaimer that I never claimed I had any degree of profiency at the turntables, accordion, guitar, or whatever. I claim a complete lack of profiency in all areas.

We visited Ghiradelli square in SF, as well as having the obligatory clam chowder in a bread bowl on fisherman's wharf. Normally it would quite an insult the say that one's bowl tasted better than one's soup, but in this case, it was because the bowl was pretty darn good. I think I will invest in bread bowls for my house. In fact, I think I'll get bread plates, and bread coffee mugs, and bread forks, etc. Then I'll never have to do dishes again!

Saw a Gerhard Richter show at the SFMOMA. My official art critic response is: Man, that fucker can paint! His stuff does have a tendency to hurt one's eyes after prolonged viewing, since it looks a lot like blurred photographs, but it's worth a little bit of a headache to check out his mad technique. A lot of the stuff he did in the 80's doesn't really appeal, though, it seems like it was inspired by thermacolor, Ocean Pacific, and BonerActive wear.

Speaking of thermacolor, there was also a design exhibit, which featured a lot of furniture, and one of the chairs had a heat-sensitive coating that would retain a thermal imprint form the last person who sat on it. I don't know about you guys, but when I sit in a chair, and it's still warm from the last person who sat in it, I feel a little uncomfortable knowing that I am experiencing someone else very personal heat emissions. I think it would just be multiplied by having what is essentially a map of their butt on the seat as well.

Also, you could not touch the pieces in the design exhibit. Well, obviously if they cannot withstand museum patrons using them, they're not very well designed, are they? I mean, they had these couches and whatnot that looked very cool, but I doubt they'd be genuinely comfortable, and I guess I'll never know. I suppose we'll just have to take their word for it. One piece was simply a large plane of fabric propped against a wall, which "seems to defy all concepts of ergonomics", but is supposedly made of a special material which will conform ergonomically to your shape. Yeah, whatever, I'm just supposed to believe this? I think for their next exhibit I'll submit a plastic cube which allegedly will jump up and give you a blowjob, but none of the museumgoers will be allowed to touch it and will just have to take my word for it, and they'll be all ooh-ing and ahh-ing at my super techno SlarveCube(TM). The fools!

Sunday was spent mostly being lazy and watching Godzilla, the cheezy American version. You know, as stupid-ass disaster movies go, it really isn't that bad. I mean, a lot of stuff gets blown up or knocked over, and the protagonist scientist gets back together with his ex-girlfriend/wife, which are the defining characteristics of any good disaster flick. However, it is in no way, shape, or form Godzilla. All they had to do was just make it a different giant animal, like Reptilicus or something, and they wouldn't have had these expectations to meet.

And is it just me, or is Godzilla just extremely clumsy? I mean, when I (or lizards, for that matter) walk around, I don't crash through every damn building in my way. Granted, I'm not 100 feet tall, but I can very effectively manuever myself through small alleyways and soforth without running directly into buildings, or have such a terrible sense of proprioception that my arms flail about and crash into walls. Again, granted, I don't have a tail, but you'd think one would get used to it after a while. Whatever.

Last week I only worked 40 hours! Like a normal person! It was so bizarre. And this week I only have to work for three days! I derive special pleasure from knowing that the English developers on my current title must work Thursday and Friday, while I will be enjoying my new Sega Genesis at home. Heh heh heh.

I understand that our president only works until 4:30 pm and takes frequent naps during the day. Do you suppose his current zeal to start World War 3 stems from a desire to have an excuse to create more national holidays? If that's the case, I'm totally supportive.

"My friend got his foreskin pierced."
"Is he okay?"