Tuesday, December 20, 2005

If You Read Only One Article on Massively-Multiplayer Online Games This Year, Read This One

Inferior solutions to common problems in Virtual Worlds

Disclosure: Blanqui's Blog and the author of the above article share genetic material, as well as certain characteristics, including, but not limited to, misanthropy.

Note 1: Blanqui's Blog does not condone the playing of video games, especially in lieu of a secondary education.
Note 2: Blanqui's Blog does not know what phat lewtz and kewl exp dolers are, so please, folks, no more e-mails and phone calls.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Should Antique Pies Retire Gracefully in the Face of New Pie Technology?

I confess I hadn't given the subject any thought until just this moment when B.I. Topaz alerted me to Fafblog!'s latest opinion piece on the matter, an excerpt of which follows:

The nanopies don't just taste better than regular ol pie. They taste more efficient. They are injected by the thousands into your bloodstream where they shoot up into the central nervous system and build microscopic technopie colonies at the base of the corpus delecatessum, the pie center of the brain. There they begin to stimulate the brainal nerves with the direct experience of pie a thousand times faster and more technolicious than old-fashioned hand-operated pie ever could!

And you still got your ol obsolete antique pie with its wind-up phonograph an its 32k of pie ram. That's just sad.


Source: Fafblog!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Guest Post: Meet the Squawker

Meet Ethel, Elegant Madame and Occasional Raging Bitch.*

"I'll sit under this Christmas tree, but I won't like it."

Ethel only drinks red wine. She has seen Sideways five times. (And don't bother telling her that Sideways is trite and clichéd, that basing a movie about wine snobs around the Napa Valley is like composing a paean to cheese focused exclusively on New England cheddar, a fine product but not worthy of that level of snobbery. She doesn't want to hear it. And she will bite you.)

"I swear to god if you persist in watching the Lifetime Original Movie She Cried No, starring Candace Cameron and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, I will bite you." (I persisted and she bit me.)

[*CDP, you know I love her. But tell her to stop biting me.]

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

About Amélie


One day. Your day. And yet the memories from it will last a lifetime.

Welcome to the world of Amélie.

Fashion-forward and impeccably designed using the most exquisite fabrics and detailing, an Amélie dress makes the most of your very special day--be it your wedding, your prom or just a night out on the town. And our legendary customer service ensures your Amélie relationship will continue long after the night is through.

One day. You deserve the one dress that you'll hold in your heart forever.

Make it an Amélie.

As if associating my precious name with the most American of teen rites of passage weren't horrifying enough, they've gone and used the accent correctly and printed the logo in a pseudo-Middle Eastern font. I am outraged.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Annals of Feline Neurological Disorders, Vol. I

Subject displays acute hemispatial neglect. Further evidence is seen in subject's routine defecation in roommate's right shoe.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Key to Past Post Titles

Mo' Better Life Extension: Name of a hair salon in Kyoto providing--what else?--hair extensions.

Wow Crazy Chicken: Emblazoned on a shirt in a mall in Shibuya. I wanted to buy it, but it cost $50. I won't pay more than $30 to look retarded, in case you were wondering.

No! Rip! No! Nude! No! Touch!: Advertisement for a place where they don't do any ripping, nuding, or touching. (I wonder if this is something similar to what happened in Lost in Translation, when the prostitute screamed at Bill Murray, "Rip my stocking!" and then threw herself on the floor yelling "No! No! No!" Maybe she came from 1-900-no-rip-no-nude-no-touch.)

Now It's on the Pinnacle of Evolution
: I'm sorry to say that I don't remember where I saw this.

Hand Shake Only: You don't want to know, trust me. (Here's a hint: The pictorial for this "massage" parlor's ad was a box of tissues. There was another ad that read "Hand or Foot Shake Only." I told you you didn't want to know.)

Coming up: Nothing. We're done here.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hand Shake Only

Day 6: After breakfast, D went to work and I went to the Golden Temple. First I took the wrong bus, then I took the right bus and got off at the wrong stop. Fortunately, Japanese public transportation is so marvelous that the buses are almost as easy to use as the subways, a phenomenon that I have never encountered in any other country.

The bus stop tells you when a bus is nearing. See the yellow ball at 205? That's bus 205 (the right bus) approaching.
Kinkaku, the Golden Temple.

After riding around on the bus some more, I went downtown and visited the 100-yen and 300-yen shops (like our 99-cent stores only with stuff you actually want to buy), which D had first taken me to the day before. She also took me to Loft, the best store that has ever existed.

Despite my extreme distate for housewares and housewares shopping (I felt like I was going to die every time my mother dragged me into Williams-Sonoma when I was growing up; the woman can look at wooden spoons for days), I loved Loft.

I had to ask the saleslady what this was for.

This is what it's for. I bought three.

I bought this bag (IV not included) near the Kyoto train station. It's made in China. So are the noses.

I didn't actually purchase this in Japan, but I did cajole D into giving it to me there.


Day 7: D and I spent the first part of the day walking around and the second part sitting around. Both parts were lovely. We went back to Gion, the geisha district, and walked on from there.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that children love pigeons.

Baji, this duck's for you. Unfortunately, the ducks were blurry that day.

Meet Romeo.

Meet Julio.

Meet the two fathers trying to separate them. Fie!

Julio was not going to let that happen.
Later we spotted Romeo sound asleep in his father's lap. Was that in Act III?

Giant Buddha.

Giant orange arch.

We had conveyor belt sushi for lunch and spent a good 20 minutes wishing and hoping for barbecued eel until I finally summoned up enough nerve to say "unagi" (eel) in no particular direction. We got our eel and were happy. Tip: Choose your seat carefully at conveyor belt sushi. Figure out where the sushi starts because if you're next to fellow eel eaters you're going to be very sad, watching the eel come toward you and then disappear right before it gets to you. Lamprey-loving bastards!

By the way, the hot water for your tea comes out of a faucet built into the sushi bar, giving each diner his own personal tea spout.

Caution: Groovy people crossing.

After lunch we went to a cafe and then discovered a new English-language bookstore behind it.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over pop culture--that our lives had become unmanageable.
My name is Amelie and I went to the launch party for this book. Then I went to Japan and took a picture of it.

Of course.

I finally indulged my curiosity and bought one of the mystery bags at the 300-yen shop (plus tax it's 315 yen).

Whatever could be in it?

Why, it's a paper shredder! I dragged it back from Japan and broke it yesterday.

The currency, seen from the front (or the back).

And the back (or the front).

A last look.

Coming up: odds and ends.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Now It's on the Pinnacle of Evolution!

Day 4: Wednesday morning my rail pass and I jetted off on yet another shinkansen, this time to Hiroshima. Feeling bold, I didn't bother to look at any maps and went madly off in all directions. Two hours of wandering in what may or may not have even been Hiroshima, I found my way back to the train station and took the tram to the Peace Park.

Twenty days and three google searches later, I just found out that I really wasn't in Hiroshima city anymore (although I was still in the Hiroshima prefecture).

Wherever I was, they had some frogs there.

At last! Incontrovertible proof that I was here. Photo courtesy of a guy from Westchester. Strange alienation of head from neck courtesy of me.

The A-Bomb Dome. Formerly a public works building, it has been preserved exactly as it was after the morning of August 6, 1945. Everyone in the building was killed instantly.

This tricycle belonged to a little boy who was hit by the blast of Little Boy while riding it. He died that night and was buried with his tricycle. Forty years later, his father dug up the tricycle and gave it to the Peace Museum. The museum is very informative and definitely worth the trip. It's also pretty gross (skin and nails on display), much to the delight of the bazillions of schoolchildren forced to do homework assignments there.

On the way back from Hiroshima to Kyoto, I almost missed my stop because I was in such a reverie about my railpass. Besides the bullet trains and select subway lines, it's also good for one of the ferries going to Miyajima, the island-god. Which I didn't visit. But I could have. For free.

Day 5: I woke up to discover that my watch was smashed:

Which is a little odd considering that the day before I had seen this picture of the watch that stopped at the exact moment of the detonation of the A-bomb.

And then I discovered this:

This is my leg and it is gross. I never felt a thing. For the two pictures to be related, I would have had to fold myself in half while sleeping, twist my arm so that my watch faced inward and then vigorously smash my watch against my leg.

For breakfast, I went to St Marc's coffeeshop.

I thought this was an interesting juxtaposition.

I got to thinking once again about the differences and similarities between Iceland and Japan, the second- and first-most-expensive countries in the world, respectively. I wondered for example, why, if Japan is the most expensive country, are a coffee and a chocolate croissant in Japan

a. $3.50 and
b. very good

whereas in Iceland a coffee and a bagel are

a. $7.50 and
b. also very good (the coffee and bagel were a bad example) BUT
all other foods in Iceland are disgusting and even more expensive?

This photo is a parenthetical--this is food in Iceland (and if you can't tell from the picture, let me assure you: It was really really bad). Now observe food in Japan:

In your face, Iceland! At least you have your looks to fall back on.

D returned and I got to speak to another human being. It was very exciting, not least because I got to stop using air freshener to wash my hands. We went strolling.

This is somewhere.

Pretty maids all in a row.

Coming up: paper shredders and Brad Pitt.