Random Post: Holiday Greetings From Omaha


Step Right Up, Get Your Bentolite Here

Craigslist, home of the world's most unusual classified advertisements, features a Montrealer rich in flaky diet aids and suppliments, but deeply in need of an economics textbook:

"I've been on this detox diet for less than 24 hours and it sucks. I'm STARVING!!! Problem is that I bought all the stuff last night and I want to get rid of it."

If you've got access to a printing press, a plate of brownies or an economics text ("... any edition!"), her supply of lemons, flaxseeds and "liquified edible clay" are yours for the tradin'. Also on offer from the wayward dieter:

"Plain rice cakes - oh god, please, just take them."


When Your Life Becomes A Parody Of Your Life, Case Studies: William Shatner, Ol' Dirty

One part unlistenable train-wreck, one part genius reinterpretation, a shake of unexpected juxtaposition ... tonight's featured nightcaps are unlikely cover tunes:

1. William Shatner -- Common People (Pulp)
2. Macy Grey & Ol' Dirty Bastard -- Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Elton John)
3. Ben Gibbard -- Complicated (Avril Lavigne)
4. H20 -- Today Was A Good Day (Ice Cube)

Also: Optimuscrime Hatred For The Postal Service (NYSE: OHPS) closed up three points today, trading strong on rumours of Kirsten Dunst being a Postal Service fan. "The fundamentals are still strong," one analyst commented, "but with that harpie she-skeleton as a fan, the cachet has completely eroded."


Because Montreal Drivers Really Need To Be Distracted Further From Their Driving

Oh, from Wooster, via Zeke, some killercute Roadsworth street art here in Montreal.

More here.


Before Sunset: The Drudgery Report

According to Rottentomatoes, 96% of critics considered the newish (okay, nearly a month old, but we don't get out to the multiplex much) Richard Linklater picture Before Sunset 'Fresh'. Among the duped is the Globe and Mail's Rick Groen, who gushes:

"You sense that, in contributing to the script, Hawke and Delpy have drawn on their own experiences, and the result is a rarity -- a fictional romance with a factual feel, a near-documentary quality that makes it difficult to distinguish the actor from the role."

What Groen's calls "near-documentary", I call "Hollywooders flitting vacantly between earnest idealism, jaded cynicism and smug self-satisfaction". The eighty minutes of chatter are captured on a hand-held camera in excruciatingly lengthy tracking shots. It's pretty, and thankfully the lush scenery occasionally distracts from the characters' staggeringly boring missives about their malaise in their married lives. In Before Sunrise, Linklater managed to capture the voice of hopeful, confused, earnest twentysomethingdom in the overheard conversation of his characters. In Before Sunset, he's clearly trying so damned hard to do the same thing for the essence of adrift, dissatisfied, wistful thirtysomethingdom. The (minor) charm of the first movie came from the fact that it didn't feel like it was careening towards a conclusion. The second movie doesn't offer that same grace; its agenda and self-awareness is evident throughout.

Tell us a story, Richard. Give us a movie, for chrissakes, not another damned conversation. Or, a la Waking Life, at least offer us some cute cartoons to distract us from the monotony. If we want to listen to Ethan Hawke muse and wax reflective for eighty minutes, we can just watch Inside the Actors Studio over and over and over.

But for those who do go see this anyway, when you're trying to distract yourself from the mundanity, check out the goodness of Ethan's new haircut. Dude's come a long way; now, if he'd just Bic off the goatee.


A Poorly Photoshopped Photo-Essay Is Worth A Thousand Words

Dear Optimuscrime Readers (Yes, All Three Of You):

Your patience with the long period of nonpostage on the present blog was greatly appreciated, and in commemoration of the Optimuscrime Wicked Awesome Dunchurch Cottage Extravaganza, and in appreciation of your long wait for new content, we hereby present the following Optimuscrime Roadtrip Photoessay!

First, the saga starts with the Great Tragedy of the Babygirl. The annual trip for an Ontario Driveclean test usually ends well, as Babygirl has traditionally been a steadfast friend of the environment, limiting her noxious fumes as much as could reasonably be expected. But alas! This year, her tailpipe was belching forth no end of ozone-eating exhaust, exceeding the prescribed limits by an order of magnitude. Was it old age? A decreasing respect for the state of our fragile earth? Something she ate?

Well, in any case, the trustworthy and cost-effective staff at Canadian Tire had her in for a major rethink. Out with the old, in with the new! A saucy new oxygen sensor, a day at the spa for her filter. Spare no expense!

Once the Cantire crew had their way with her, there was no doubt that she would be a shining beacon of automotive environmentalism. Or, well, perhaps not: She failed again, but considering we had thrown $500 at her, the DriveClean programme felt we had done our duty as citizens, and allowed Babygirl back on the streets, free to spew forth carcinogens and greenhouse gasses with a fancy new Conditional Pass. Huzzah!

In our newly tricked-out ride, we grabbed Friend of Optimuscrime Shannon and proceeded forth to scenic Oshawa (see illustration, below) to pick up Kristen, longtime comrade of Optimuscrime Kingston, who would be driving us to the cottage in the air-conditioned comfort of her late-model Buick Somethingorother. Ah, the joy of the open road!

Once arrived at the cabin, just outside of Dunchurch, we engaged in all the traditional rites of Canadian cottaging: Games of skill and chance...

Cooking elaborate, healthful gourmet meals...

Observing the local fauna...

Immersing ourselves in the Great Works of western literature...

And achieving perfect, even tanlines!

But relaxin' and sunnin' doesn't pay so well, so it's back to the fun and excitment of paid work this week. I suppose it means more drudgery and deadlines for me, but for you, dear readers, it means more Tales of Excitement from the Illustrious Circle Road Manor -- cause for celebration, if ever I saw it!