December 25, 2007

And the crisped rice in this Nestle Crunch represents the crown of thorns, which would also be crunchy if you bit it

Recently some friends of mine performed in a Christmas cabaret at a local church; Lorinne came back from it with some candy canes, which were handed out to everyone, and which were each accompanied by a card containing these little-known facts about candy canes:

The Christmas Tradition of the Candy Cane

Did you know that the Christian candy cane was created to honor Jesus? If the candy is held upright, it is the shape of a shepherd's staff, which the shepherd uses as he watches over his sheep. Jesus is our shepherd. If the candy is turned upside down, it becomes the letter J for Jesus. The Bible tells us that by Jesus' stripes we are healed. Jesus was beaten and stripes were put on His back when He was crucified in payment for our sins. So the candy cane was made of red and white stripes to represent the blood of Jesus, which washed away our sins and makes us pure and white as snow. One bold stripe represents one God who is Father of us all. The three fine stripes represent the Trinity: one God, who has revealed Himself to us in three ways: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

So steer clear of any candy canes that don't have three thin stripes. Leave those for the Unitarians.

The card also refers the reader to Luke 2:8-11, which reads:

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And his soul is as one that is minty and refreshing."

Anyway, I hope that helps you enjoy your Christian candy canes. The rest of us will just have to make do with our secular candy canes.

Posted by Francis at 11:09 PM | Comments (9)

December 18, 2007

I experimented with crosswords once or twice, but I didn't use a pen

It's my turn at the Onion again this week. Right-click here and open in Across Lite to solve, or go here to download it as a Word document (it's the "AV Club" one).

Posted by Francis at 06:47 PM | Comments (1)

December 13, 2007

Because there's no other time of year in which I spend so much time thinking about summer

There's one week left of the production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" that Lorinne is in. This version sets the play at Athens High, so the play-within-a-play is performed as if by the student drama club (of which Lorinne plays the director). I thought it would be amusing to have the fairies be represented by stoners hanging around outside the school grounds, but no, they're really fairies. It's kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the high school is right next to the Hellmouth, except in this case the school is right next to the Fairymouth. Anyway, I went to see the show last week and can honestly say it's a really fucking funny rendition of the play, with lots of standout performances. I'm going again on Friday with Rose, if any of you would like to do what the cool kids are doing. Info and link to buy tickets online here.

Posted by Francis at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2007

I went to a restaurant and ordered chicken and they charged me ten dollars for it! Why, I can get the same thing at McDonalds for two bucks, and they don't make me use a fork

Oh, look, I just got my first bad review on Amazon. Hopefully people will consider the source when they read it.

Posted by Francis at 04:52 PM | Comments (6)

Look at all these edible-panda-come-latelies

Red panda pop tarts? WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED OF THIS???

Oh, right, because it's to do with Barbie and I am not a preadolescent girl. Still, my friend Mary was totally the pioneer of icing-based red panda art.

Speaking of Barbie, Lorinne was passing a store window today and noticed that Rose and I are not the only ones who own an agile cat named Twyla. Barbie's character in Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses (yes, Barbie is an "actress" appearing in an animated film), Genevieve, has a dancing cat, also named Twyla. See them together here, or see toon Twyla by herself here. (Note that the two versions of the cat look nothing like each other.)

While looking up these items on Amazon, I suffered the culture shock of seeing a zillion other Barbie toys. The one I found most memorable was this one, and not merely because that outfit is probably purchasable from your finer sex shops, but because the name is such a delightful melange of made-up words: Barbie Fairytopia Mermaidia Glitter-Swirl Fairy Doll.

But the modern Barbie franchise does not merely cater to cosplayers. There are dolls both for foot fetishists and for people who prefer women with no feet whatsoever.

Posted by Francis at 12:01 AM | Comments (5)

December 09, 2007

The Tie Project, days 202-210

I thought I'd take time out of my busy schedule of playing video games all day to share some more of my outfits with you all.

Day 202. Only the second time out for this shirt; I'm much happier with this combination than the first one.


Day 203. This shirt has a tie that's basically perfect for it (see day 20), but today I was looking for something to match a tie I'd never worn, and this shirt was the one that fit the bill.


Day 204. This shirt is from Daffy's, and it was sort of a challenge to myself to buy it, because even I looked at it and thought, "Damn, I have nothing that matches that and am not sure I ever will." But after some explorations of my tie racks, I came up with this, which I like pretty well.


Day 205. Not much to say about this one. I've had the shirt for ages. (It previously appeared on day 169.)


Day 206. Triangles and squares and browns, oh my.


Day 207. I know what you're thinking: "Whoa, what the hell, a plain yellow shirt, and it's not even solid shirt week!" Well, you see, here's what happened. Erin got me this lovely tie as a gift, and sadly it doesn't match any of the patterned shirts I currently own. Hopefully someday the perfect shirt will come along, but I liked the tie and wanted to wear it, so I did what needed to be done and broke out a solid shirt. Think of it as a refreshing sorbet course between the other offerings.


Day 208. Pretty sure this tie was from bought on some Boston trip or other. So if it triggers a migraine, blame Boston.


Day 209. Oh, this shirt. I keep trying to find a tie that works with this shirt, and I'm always unsatisfied. I wasn't crazy about this one, I'm not crazy about the one pictured below, and I wasn't crazy about any of the other ties I tried out with the shirt on either occasion. I may just need to set this shirt aside indefinitely.


Day 210. Ah, now this is more like it. This is a recombination of two previously seen (and beloved) items -- the shirt from day 19 and the tie from day 17. (I really need to take a new photograph of day 17's outfit; there's way too much glare.)


Next time: More than one of the shirts from today's installment reappear, revealing at last how many of my garment choices involve the thought, "Is that shirt I wore last week clean enough to wear again? I'm going to say yes."

Posted by Francis at 02:41 AM in Ties | Comments (1)

December 06, 2007

Con artist

I think all my regular readers know I'm a fan of cultural appropriation in general -- mash-ups, sampling, satires, pastiches, that sort of thing -- but this really does seem like intellectual property theft to me. If there's some recontextualization involved in the artwork, I don't see it. "I, as an artist, viewed this advertisement and decided it had artistic merit, so I photographed it" does not seem like sufficient reason to claim ownership of an image. If he thought the image deserved to be in a museum, then he should have sent the advertisement to a curator. I guarantee you that if you do the equivalent thing with a piece of music -- record it off the radio, then offer it as a download on your blog, claiming that by recording it you have made it your own -- the record company, if they find out, will be cease-and-desisting you so fast your head will spin.

Posted by Francis at 05:48 PM | Comments (18)

December 04, 2007


Can you believe it's not butter? Neither can they.

Some other suggestions for the product names of butter substitutes:

I Knew It! I Knew It Wasn't Butter!

It Certainly Comes as a Surprise to Me to Learn That This, Which I Was Thoroughly Convinced (Both by Its Flavor and Texture) to Be Butter, Is in Fact Some Ingenious Sort of Butter Simulacrum. Truly, We Live in an Age of Wonders

This Isn't Butter? Fuck You, This Is Butter. It's Not? Seriously? Get the Fuck Out of Here

We Met the Butter on the Road and Killed It

I Know What You're Thinking. "Is This Butter, or Isn't It?" Well, to Tell You The Truth, in the Excitement of the Manufacturing Process, I Kind of Lost Track Myself. So You've Got to Ask Yourself a Question: Do I Feel Lucky? Well, Do You, Vegan?

Gee, Your Hair Smells Like Butter

Posted by Francis at 12:45 AM | Comments (10)