So: I'm a geek. Many of you know this. To confirm that fact, let me say that I love both Infocom-style text adventure games and Mystery Science Theater 3000. MST3K is, in fact, the only TV show for which I have ever written a fanfic. (But it's not online anymore; sorry to get your hopes up.)
Lots of people write MST3K fanfics, including my friend Tarl Roger Kudrick; generally, they involve making fun of other people's fanfics (which can get very meta if the person doing the mockery isn't very skilled at it), although they can feature bad writing of all sorts. They're called MiSTings for short. Yes, yes, I know this terminology off the top of my head, but it has already been established that I'm a geek.
Well, anyway, I have just run across my first MiSTing of a piece of amateur interactive fiction. Holy crap, but it is hysterical. The game being mocked is "Detective", by Matt Barringer, and the mockery is extremely well executed by C.E. Forman. You can download it here. You'll need a text adventure interpreter to play it; I recommend Winfrotz for PC users; it will work with any of the "Z-Code 5 executable" files.
You Mac people can probably figure out the Apple version of all that on your own, right? Cool.
Man, this OutKast CD has been gold as far as coming up with subjects for blog posts goes. So I was playing the OutKast CD on the DVD player, since the stereo was not in the room in which I was reading, but the DVD player was. So this meant I needed to have the TV on to hear any sound.
However -- when the TV is set to receive the DVD signal, but it's only receiving audio and no video, it shows a big static image that says "Sony DVD Player", accompanied by a picture of a big shiny DVD. And it shows that picture for a long, long time, until such time as a blinky screen saver appears.
This is all kind of distracting. Perhaps we've reached the point where TV remotes need to come with a "blind" button as well as a mute button, so one could turn off the picture, but not the sound. I mean, my cable package comes with all these digital radio streams; it's honestly a little distracting to have the accompanying slideshow playing if I want to listen to one of them while doing something else.
I could also go for a button that automatically eliminated laugh tracks from TV shows. Let's get on this shit, science.
So I bought the new OutKast album the other day. That's right, in between Belle & Sebastian and the Pet Shop Boys, I can actually go for a little funkiness now and then. But my enjoyment of the album was diminished before I ever heard it because the packaging sucked so bad.
Check it: you know those irritating stickers that go along the tops of CDs? The ones that have the name of the CD on them, so that you can read the title of the CD in the rack without having to spend the half a calorie of energy it would take to flip through the rack? Well, this CD had two of those. Because, you know, it's a double CD, and it's got pictures on both sides, so god only knows what direction Joe CD Retailer is going to decide to place it.
So that's irritating enough, because those things never come off as easy as they should, and they always make me feel like someone thought putting a freshness seal on my CDs would make me feel better about my purchase, but there is worse to come. There were also big promotional-type stickers on both sides of the case, blaring the title of the album, which is a fine thing to do, to slap a sticker on the cover of your CD touting its fine qualities and many radio-ready hits -- except could we put those stickers on the outside of the wrapper? Is that so hard?
So there are these two stickers on the CD, and of course they are attached with the stickiest adhesive known to man. So once I saw that they weren't going to come off easily, I might just have decided to leave them there. Except that decision was not mine to make, because while those huge extra-clingy stickers had been put on before the shrink-wrap, they had been put on after the top-and-bottom-of-the-CD stickers. And so peeling those off (which you kind of have to do if you want to listen to the CD) ripped the bottoms of the big-ass Adhesotron 3000 stickers, and so then there's this problem of aesthetics, having these half-ripped off stickers, so what else is one supposed to do but just try to rip off the rest of the stickers?
Well, that didn't work out very well, either, because now I have this massive sticky residue on both sides of the CD case that will not come up. My usual technique of rubbing that sort of thing off with my thumb (a tried-and-true technique born of many years of shopping at the used CD store that puts very big price stickers on their used CDs) just earned me a blister and failed to remove any adhesive. So now I've got this CD that I don't want to put next to any other CDs because I'm afraid it will stick to them, and, I mean, arrrrrgh.
How's the CD? Rocks. They really really need to stop doing spoken-word interludes, though.