When RTFM isn't enough

I'm assuming everyone here knows what RTFM means. If not, well, SNAFU, which, as you most likely know, means Situation Normal (or Nominal, in some cases), All Fouled (or a similar adjective, stemming from another four letter word beginning with f) Up. Likewise, RTFM means Read The Friendly (and, again, F can stand for other adjectives...) Manual. If you already knew this, then SUSFU. Onwards.SUSFU, by the way, means Situation Unchanged, Still Fucked Up.
The word of the day is Hoodwinked. Archaicaly, this meant blindfolded. An obsolete meaning of the word is that of concealed. Currently, it means decieved. Also, it's the title of a movie.

Before you profile it as a "kiddie movie", just because it's approved for all audiences and it's CG animation and it tells the ancient story of Little Red Riding Hood (with many a twist, mind you), I'd just like to say screw you, it's a bundle of laughs and if you can't find it in you to laugh at the many funnies in it, your loss. If, however, you weren't planning on profiling it in any way, then don't screw you. Be merry, read on.

I had had the pleasure of seeing this film before, although through the veil of a dubbing. Sure enough, in some countries, dubbings are of very high quality indeed (I'm told that in Germany, for example, the most renowed actors are dubbed by the same voice actor in every movie, so that his/her voice may be easily recognised in any dubbing), but over here someone even managed to translate a word processor cursor as if it were the word "I" (in Superman Returns. By the way, not impressive). This time I got to see it in it's untranslated glory. But that's not what this entry is about.

The young lady at the ticket counter must have misinterpreted my very odd accent (which, to this day, I didn't know I had) and was probably not sure if I had asked for a seat "in the centre of the room" or "way back and in a corner", so she gave me something in between. A waste of good seats, I say, the room was just about empty, except for myself, a couple or two and a very odd group, the very focus of this entry.

They were four, and four they were. Not three, not five, not six, but four. Four girls, two pre-teen girls, a very young child and (probably) her mother, nearly all with extra bright (hmm, not very catchy... how about Xtra-Brite?) cellphones, very crunchy popcorn and pretty slurpy drinks. Perfect...

At this point, I'd like to toss this little tidbit of meat to the beasts: what is it with popcorn at the movies? Bevrages i can understand, since even with air conditioning it gets pretty stuffy and dry in a theater, but popcorn? They always look and smell better than they taste, with artificial colorant and artificial butter-ish flavour, but in the end, they're just sugary, bland noisemakers, aren't they? Why do people still buy them? Why, o, why...

Onwards, then. Just as they find their seats they take their time to settle. Mathematics (Combinatory Calculus, to be more precise) tells us that four people can occupy four seats in a row in 4! (that's factorial, not "four!" as in "Oh my God, four!") different manners, that is, 4x3x2x1=24 manners. They tried nearly all of them until they found themselves comfortable. Then comes the crunching of popcorn, and the slurping of drinks and the beeping of cellphones and the lighting up half the room with them and we're not even done with the trailers yet. Also, they're talkers. I know... bliss, isn't it?

And then the movie starts. Just as the narrator begins his tale, the white subtitles sprinkle the bottom of the screen (you wouldn't believe the effort I've put into training myself not to get distracted by those things. I really don't need them, but I find myself rushing to read them out of reflex...) and the oldest (sounds a bit mean... let's say "least young" instead) of them says "It's in English?". Well, congratualtions, madam, you sure know your languages. I was hoping they'd be able to slip some five, maybe ten minutes of film before you noticed. What was it that tipped you off? Was it the "VO" (Stands for original version, in case you're wondering) next to the movie title above the room door? Was it the "VO" in the fliers outside? or was it the colossal sticker reading "Original Version" on the poster?
Innevitably, pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark Sits idly by, grasping, to the best of his ability, the few remaining days of his vacation, yet ever aware that with each day gone by, he's one day closer to his dreams.

Liebe schmeckt wie Kaviar

Some of you might recall this line from one of the (not quite) recommended titles from this post. It means "love tastes like caviar" (or at least I think it does). But then again, "Love is only any good when it hurts" (For 200 points, which misician was that from?), and caviar... I suppose something is very wrong when caviar hurts. And just what is all this talk about caviar all about? Patience! I'm getting to it! Since when do I tolerate you to be so pushy!?
I had never really enjoied caviar before, but then again, I don't think I had ever had propper caviar before. At any rate, it's not my fault. Do you know what kind of stuff gets peddled around as caviar? Ever had some very fine, pitch black roe from a tin labeled "Caviar"? In all probability, that wasn't caviar at all. Actual caviar, I'll have you know, doesn't need to be pitch black or very small eggs. Caviar can be grey, brownish and even reddish in colour and each individual egg can be anywhere from as small as one millimeter in diameter to as large as a pea. And don't you go buying Beluga caviar (unless you're in Russia, in which case I envy you), because you're lucky if that's even caviar at all. And I'm nowhere closer to making a point, but you know what, that's the beauty of being the blogger around here. My blog, my rules.
Me, I've just had some real osetra caviar, brouhgt by a beloved relative from a vacation in Russia, and, my, I can't believe I've waited this long to get my hands (and my taste buds) on the stuff. I've just split a tiny jar of it with... erm... never you mind who I split it with... and I'm almost glad it was such a tiny portion, otherwise I'd be hooked on it by now. Whoosh!

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark is very seriously considering a trip to the Caspian Sea to look for some Russian sturgeon. Not to eat it, mind you, but the roe...


Do remind me to get cable TV next time I go on vacation. Public Television (actually, Independent Television... a station that shall remain unnamed) would sooner make a silk purse out of a sow's ear than get their own programming right. My staying up until quite unhealthy hours in hopes of catching House M.D. was rewarded with a very generous delay, a first (they come in pairs. I guess the humble people of this network view themselves as Noah) episode that was defenitely not the one scheduled and a non-existing second episode. Thanks a bunch. But that's a rant for another day. Meanwhile, the pox on you, filthy scum who cannot find your own arse with both hands, and your kind!
Public Television (Government owned and all) sometimes has a brilliant idea. About once every thirty years or so. Last time it was colour picture, this time it was Discovery Moment. Little tidbiths of civilization in the form of Discovery Channel documentaries, ever so often, free of charge. These, believe it or not, are actually quite alright, if you're into the sort. I suppose I like it. Most of it, that is. The documentary explainig (or rather attempting to explain, with various degrees of success) the myth behind werewolves and the truth in the French werewolf trials was pretty good. The Australian zoologist whose aspiration in life was to touch a King Cobra was alright, although fellows who aren't really fond of snakes might have taken a rain check on that. Most docuentaries on Sharks are good as well (surprise surprise). Now, this Aussie the other day really takes the cake. And I'm not sure I mean it in a good way... you be the judge of that.

This fellow would like to give us an in-depth view of insects and the like in our own homes and ackyards in a segment he called "Bugs in the Burbs". I only caught the second half of it, but it was plenty. He told us how quickly aphids reproduce. He taught us that aphid females can even reproduce on their own, effectively cloning themselves. He even showed us that aphid clones are often born pregnant with their own clones (I gues being a copy of a copy of a copy works for them...). Then he reminded us that, although one could just kill them with an insecticide spray, we'd be wiser to introduce the aphid's natural predator to the scene, that is, the lady bug. Now things get strange. Sure, lady bugs love aphind in the way I love porterhouse stake grilled rare, that's hardly wierd, but seing this caring insectologist have a bunch (and a very large bunch at that) of lady bugs crawl over his arms, his face and into his clothes is... unnusual. Then come bigger fish, or should I say, bugs, as he finds his way into an africanised killer bees nest. Sure, he wears his protective gear and his bee net over his face he even locks off his cuffs and his pants with duct tape. you wouldn't think he'd go on and provoke the bees, now, would you? Yet he did, he went on and blew into the bees nest. sure enough, he got stung a couple of dozen times through his socks and, reportedly, couldn't walk for a few days. You'd think he's learn his lesson by now, but no, he goes on to mess with yet another type of bug: cockroaches. He seeks to demistify the myth that cockroaches byte, and so he sticks his bare leg and foot into a conrolled environment acrylic box and pours some roaches on himself. If you're not wierd out yet by now, perhaps you'd like to know that cockroaches do bite. not only that but also they can digest ceratonin, which means they can even ear your hair (appearently, very few animals can).

So... crickey, mate!

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark is cooking up another update for very very soon... but he'll reveal nothing at this point, leaving you to marinate in the atecipation. What do you mean, there's no sarcasm tag in html!?