Friday, February 27, 2009
Hey people. Thanks for the nice response to the blog yesterday, except some of you, and you know who you are. Anyway, this image ran in The New York Times last week. It was all about how hard Disney is trying to get visitors to their theme parks. That's all I've got. Have a great weekend.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Strad died yesterday of unknown causes. He was probably two years old. He had been standing quite still for a day or two. I had hoped he was molting, but yesterday around 7:00 p.m., he laid his eyestalks down for the last time.
My wife Jena brought Strad home last April to keep me company while I was laid up with the shingles. He was a fascinating and strange pet. He spent most of his time scuttling around and waving his big claw. I learned that this was a mating display and eventually got Strad two tankmates named Claudia and Wendy. Claudia gave birth on two occasions, but her crablings were eaten by the adults in the first instance and died in an experimental nursery jar in the second.
I tried to give Strad a happy life in a clean habitat with healthy food and companionship. I hope he enjoyed his time in my care. Jena and I feel his absence deeply. Goodbye, Strad.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Welcome to the Down In Front™ Oscar Roundup™! Who won? Why? Should they have? Was that curtain supposed to be open? When does the montage start? Was that music cue in the right place? Does Wolverine think he's hosting the Tonys? All those questions will be posed right here in the lines above! Let's look at the big winners!
Slumdog Millionaire! What a winner! Best Picture! Best Director! Best Adapted Screenplay! Best Original Screenplay! Best Cinematography! Best Gaffing! Best Film Editing! Best Original Score! Best Adapted Score! Best Original Song (Jai Ho(?)), Best Sound Mixing! Whatta run!
Did Slumdog deserve all these accolades? Didn't see it! I turned it off after the first few minutes of it were in some other language! I wonder how it missed getting Best Foreign Language Film? Robbery! Congrats, Indian Subcontinent!
Milk sure did a body good last night! The body of Sean Penn, discovered in Encino early this morning! This biopic of microbiologist Louis Pasteur squeezed out Oscars for Best Actor and something else. Did Milk deserve both the accolades? Didn't see it!
Of course, some movies are tailor-made for Oscars! Like whatever costume drama won for Best Costume this year! Also, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, found its desperate bid for accolades answered with Oscars for Best Art Direction, Makeup, and Visual Effects! Token awards, to be sure, but earned? Didn't see it!
But Down In Front™, you ask, what about documentaries, foreign language, and shorts? Just kidding! I'm perfectly aware no one cares about these awards! Do those things even ever get shown anywhere? Beats me!
Always a bridesmaid? Not anymore for illiterate Nazi Kate Winslet, who finally won Best Actress for everything she has been in previous to The Reader! Didn't see it!
Despite Marisa Tomei's nomination, she was not accidentally awarded an Oscar last night! Good luck in 2024, Marisa! The actual winner was Penelope Cruz, for putting up with Woody Allen's overwhelming creepiness! Didn't see it!
How about animated feature? Those effects are amazing these days! I saw two out of the three nominees, but did WALL-E deserve to win? It was better than Bolt!
Finally, Sound Editing, which is somehow different from Sound Mixing went to explodorama The Dark Knight! Also Best Supporting Actor was awarded posthumously to Heath Ledger for his portrayal of the fiendish Joker! Luckily, the pall that settled over the festivities due to the sad loss of this talented performer was lifted by the comedy stylings of self-absorbed, semifunnyman Bill Maher! But did Ledger deserve it? You'd think no, right? You'd think it was given to him because he's dead. But no! Having seen only two live-action movies in the past year, one being the Dark Knight, and the other being Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (bizarrely overlooked!) I have to say, based on what I have seen, that Ledger had his Oscar coming!
So that rounds-up™ another glittering, glitzy, glammy night of Hollywood self-congratulation! What does the coming year promise for tinsel town? Who knows! Perhaps legible captions on the "In Memoriam" reel! Dreams come true in Hollywood! Until then I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places, like Down In Front!™
Friday, February 20, 2009
I've heard people say that everyone dreams in black and white, and that it is impossible to read anything in a dream. This is not the case. At least, it isn't the case for me. I dreamed last night that I was holding a box with a design like the one above. I'm not sure what the product was supposed to be. I also wouldn't swear to the hyphenated words in the bursts. I know they were rather short words and made more confusing by the hyphenation. I am positive, though, that Jane Pounce was the name at the top. Dream analysts, go to it.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Hello everybody. Well, Strad was driving me nuts with his constant mating display (which Claudia appeared to be completely ignoring) so I got him another tankmate. Her name is Wendy, and she is very very camera-shy. She is much smaller than the other two and darker as well. When I first saw her, she was about to escape from the tank at Petco, which I thought was a very good sign. She is settling in nicely. As it turns out, Claudia was not ignoring Strad, but rather eating for 1001. Yep, Claudia has several hundred buns in the oven. Actually, her carapace is ajar in a way which makes her very much resemble an oven. Hmmm. Anytime now, she will walk over to the shallow water and release her swarming brood. If you want to see what that looked like last time, click on this link. The crablings are called Zoea, and they don't look at all like adult crabs.
Check out that crazy dorsal spike! These guys are smaller than this period. In the wild, they would be pulled out to sea by an ebbing tide. Needless to say, that didn't happen last time. So instead, Claudia and Strad started eating these guys as fast as they could go. Horrifying, right? But this time, the part of the ebbing tide will be portrayed by a turkey baster. I have a sea-water nursery jar set up for the blessed event.
This image shows the second stage of crab development, called Megalopa. These guys swim around eating plankton. Unfortunately, I don't have access to plankton, so I'm going to try my best to feed them with pulverized algae disks (what the adults eat), flake food, and if necessary, sashimi. I honestly don't have high hopes. Everyone on the internet says raising fiddlers from infancy in captivity is a lost cause. But people said that about flying to the moon and face transplants. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And nothing lost, except a psychologically disturbing meal for Strad and Claudia. And Wendy.
Here is an adorable image of an immature crab. This is what I'm shooting for. One of these. ONE of these. I'm hoping baby crabs start life like baby praying mantises do: eating their siblings as fast as they can go. That way, I end up with one well-fed crab. And if it doesn't work (it won't) I'll just try again the next time Strad knocks up Claudia or Wendy. Incidentally, he hasn't slowed down his mating display one bit. That's all for Crab Report. Good night and good luck.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Hey everybody! This is in the New York Times right now. It's an article comparing the strategy of pick-up basketball with running a country. At the last minute, the art director told me that I had depicted the president performing a right-handed jump shot, when he is in fact a lefty. So I had to flop the image and deflop the presidential seal on the backboard. Incidentally, 6 of the last 12 presidents have been left-handed. Truman, Ford, Reagan, Bush (41), Clinton, and now Obama. That's a little weird.