Thursday, December 29, 2011

Link dump

Odds and ends I've linked to on Facebook lately, but not here:

I was pretty appalled at all the gullible news coverage of the death of the supposed Cheetah from the Tarzan movies. Of course, it's ridiculous.

You can buy Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 for your e-reader. At what temperature do Kindles burn?

Made a batch of fudge, but swapped in dried cherries for the chopped nuts. Oh my God!!

The Minnesota state senator who was leading an anti-same-sex amendment to the state constitution was, of course, having an affair with a staffer. Seems sort of inevitable, no?

If sock monkeys celebrated the nativity.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Postcard of the day

April 10, 1948

Dear Mother and Daddy:

We came out here for the week end to see if this desert air would cure our colds--or rather mine. I have another one.

It is sure pretty here--all the flowers, etc.

Will see you later.

Helen, Dan, Marilyn

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Quotation of the day

The two barely met [at Harvard], but if [Mitt] Romney had known where [George W.] Bush “was gonna go, I would have been on him like white on rice,” he later told The Atlantic. --The New York Times

Because if there's anything Mitt admires, it's white!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Velvet Poll

Gah! So, this stupid software doesn't list the questions in the order I wrote them. I thought I fixed it, but no. See below for intended order.

The Velvet Poll

1. Does "The Velvet Poll" sound dirty to you?

2. Did you ever notice The Velvet Blog's eyes are dreamy? Really, you could get lost in them, couldn't you?

3. Have you bought The Velvet Blog anything for Christmas yet?

4. If not, you do realize there are only a few shopping days left, right?

5. How many Republicans does it take to screw in a light bulb?

6. Wait--that isn't a yes-or-no question, is it?

7. Still, did you think, "None, because the Democrats are stealing our light bulbs"?

8. If so, and you're a member of my family, can you not sit next to me at Christmas?

9. Did you know you can add questions to this poll?

Just saw on Urtak site that there's no way to fix order--questions are in random order. WAY TO KILL A JOKE, URTAK!!! Also, that's pretty stupid. If you were doing a serious poll, you'd still want questions in a particular order, no?

Also, you have to sign up before you ask a question, and if you don't feel like doing that, leave it in comments, and I'll add.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This just in: Colbert Report staff now directing Ron Paul's campaign

Emerging as a real Republican contender in Iowa, Representative Ron Paul of Texas is receiving new focus for decades-old unbylined columns in his political newsletters that included racist, anti-gay and anti-Israel passages that he has since disavowed. ...

Mr. Paul, who is a physician, had said his political persuasion as a libertarian precluded him from harboring such biased views because “I don’t see people in collective groups.”
--The New York Times

"Now, I don't see color. People tell me I'm white and I believe them because police officers call me 'sir.'" --Stephen Colbert

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Smackdown!: El Santo vs. Santa Claus vs. Claus von Bulow

Woo-hoo! A rerun from 2006. It's my Christmas gift to you.

You're welcome.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting El Santo

WHO?: Beefy Mexican wrestler/crime fighter, and star of hundreds of very cheap movies.

PROS: Fights evildoers. Brings joy to Spanish-speaking children and wrestling fans. Gives hope to the full-figured that they, too, can fight crime. Impressively fills out a Speedo.

CONS: Poor fashion sense. His films are boring and poorly made. What is he hiding with that mask, anyway?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Santa Claus

WHO?: Jolly old elf and commercializer of Christmas. Subject of dozens of films, including Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

PROS: Delivers presents. Brings joy to children. Gives hope to the full-figured that they, too, can look good in bright colors.

CONS: Nagging rumors about those creepy elves. Presents often turn out to be underwear. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians marked film debut of Pia Zadora. What is he hiding with that beard, anyway?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingClaus von Bulow

WHO?: Husband of socialite Sunny von Bulow. Subject of film, Reversal of Fortune.

PROS: Generous in giving sweets to his wife. Role of von Bulow earned Jeremy Irons an Oscar. Gives hope to the psychopathologically social-climbing.

CONS: Wife was diabetic and went into a coma. Whatever happened to Jeremy Irons? Why did Irons believe starring in a film of Dungeons & Dragons was a good career move? Also, do you think Irons has had some work done? Last time I saw him, he looked a little weird. I mean, not Kenny Rogers weird or Burt Reynolds weird, but still.

WINNER: Claus von Bulow. I love getting candy.*

*I realize he was actually accused of giving his wife an overdose of insulin, but that's just not funny. Sickos.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Search term of the day

pride and prejudice socks

I can't decide if I want this to be an official Jane Austen product tie-in, or a great typo.

UPDATE: Concerned reader God Is My Codependent finds this is an actual thing.

A personal Christmas wish for you, from Phil Spector

This will have to reign as creepiest Christmas track until that long-suppressed "A Very Charlie Manson Christmas" album finally sees the light of day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Loneliness makes us do strange things

Return of a favorite typo, this time from Mediaite, which is kind of like Gawker with a lobotomy:
During a recent holiday season, Master Sgt. Robert Allen was stationed in Iraq, far away from his wife back home. So, he wrote a song about how much he missed her and sent it to her on Christmas Eve. According to Allen, his wife Carla “balled her eyes out when she heard it.”

Note that a) the typo was not in the original material being quoted and b) it's been up since Dec. 5.

Satan ... Santa ... oh, whatever

Another repurposed post. Woo-hoo!

This excerpt from a 1959 Mexican documentary reveals that Satan and his imps really know how to cut a rug:

It may be true, as the saying goes, that the devil has all the best tunes. Now we know that he's also a Bob Fosse wannabe. (Jazz hands!)

There's a Mystery Science Theater 3000 version--part 1 is here--that's much more bearable than the original version.

TCM ran the un-MST3K'd version last year, and, let me tell you, it is virtually impossible to get through with sanity (and wakefulness) intact. There's a scene early on in which the children of the world greet Santa in sort of pageant of ethnic and racist cliches (here's the first 10 minutes of the original Spanish-language "Santa Claus"--check out the African children's presentation about 3 minutes in), and it's just endless. Truly, it hurts.

And, yes, I saw this at a matinee when I was small. The mouth on Santa's Magic Teletalker--2 minutes and 15 seconds into this English-dubbed clip--was nightmare fuel:

Friday, December 09, 2011

Things I learned from the SkyMall catalog on my flight home

--There's nothing more frustrating than having your best bra ruined by a washing machine or dryer!
--Protein Ketchup is the world's first protein-fortified condiment.
--The patented menorahmentTM design of the Hanukkah Tree TopperTM makes a great gift for Hanukkah or Christmas traditions.
--With his characteristically big feet, our more than two-foot-tall Garden Yeti will have your guests doing a double take.
--The Porch Potty* includes plush synthetic grass, scented fire hydrant, and indoor/outdoor self drainage.

*Yes, if you're too lazy to let your dog out, he can pee in your house. The Premium Porch Potty offers an automated rinse and drain system that utilizes embedded sprinklers and an optional water timer to assure the cleanest environment possible.

Note: All copy verbatim from SkyMall catalog except for the sentence, "Yes, if you're too lazy to let your dog out, he can pee in your house."

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Just slightly passive-aggressive Christmas-themed postcard of the day

Dec. 15, 194[?]

Dear folks:

Look for a card or letter from you tomorrow?

Tonite Prescott has a blackout from 8 to 9. We sort of look for you folks next Sunday or Monday.

I want to wrap a few gifts this afternoon. Hope you don't go to a lot of work for us.

Ray has some tiny colored light on our Christmas trees outside. They are so pretty.

Much love,

Might as well face it--you're addicted to plagiarism

As noted a few posts ago, first-time novelist Quentin Rowan was caught plagiarizing 15-ish (the number keeps growing every time I read about what happened) spy novels to concoct a cut-and-paste novel of his own (or, as I guess I should put it, his "own"). His explanation of what happened has changed from that he "didn't feel capable" of handling requested revisions (scroll down to comments) to, now, his addiction made him do it. It's one of the weirdest nonapology apologies I've ever read.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Magic helicopter, my ass

It's December, meaning we're in for rerun season here at Casa Velvet. If the major TV networks can get away with it, why can't I? (Oh, I'll try to chime in with something new if I can, but busy, busy, busy.)

Expect lots of truly horrible Christmas-themed videos. Like a personal favorite, "A Trip to Santa":

When I was four or five-ish, my parents brought me to the parking lot of Billy Blake's department store (a now-long-defunct '60s discount chain) for the arrival of Santa -- in his decidedly unmagic helicopter. He began climbing down the rope ladder when ... the pillow under his coat fell out.

Cries of bafflement were heard from the wilds of suburban Long Island to the North Pole. Mom, thinking quickly, explained that it was not actually Santa, but one of his many helpers.

Confused, I went on believing until the year* I noticed the remnants of a price tag on the box of a board game. Santa, if he existed--I reasoned--would have his elf indentured servants make toys. He would not buy retail.

*2005, give or take.

PARENTHETICAL ADDENDUM: I'm not kidding about the price tag on the board game--that's really how I figured out I'd been the object of what amounts to a years-long practical joke (somewhat before 2005).

Flying reindeer? Fine! Fat man comes down the chimney? No problem!

Remnant of a price tag on supposedly elf-made game? Now hold on one darn minute there, mister!!