December 15th, 2004

Wedding day

Commerce, artistic integrity, and erotic tangerines

First things first: do not buy me gifts because you're not getting any. Burn me CDs if you must, because I'd rather you spend $0.50 and be disappointed than $26.77 and be disappointed. I considered buying Big Lots' entire stock of harmonicas so that I'd have them in case people start giving me gifts, but I picked one up for myself and, well, let's just say that there's a reason they're priced at $1.99.

That said, Christmas is that magical time of year when you get crap you'll never use from people you never see. My sister and I went shopping for our relatives last night. We've been doing this for a couple of years now because it's cheaper, it's easier to come up with gift ideas, and our relatives end up receiving smaller piles of nicer crap than if we'd been shopping individually.

Last year we spent most of the evening on State Street before giving up and heading to the mall. This year we forewent State Street in favor of East Towne Mall. We both loathe the mall, but these days it's the indoor State Street. Most of State Street's non-franchise businesses are bars, expensive convenience stores or are specialized to the point that it's not worth going in unless I want something specific. On top of that, the mall has fewer panhandlers and idiot drivers, and it's not as cold. We got our shopping done in record time, made a side-trip to Borders, and supped at Fazoli's where we got to listen to some high school students loudly speculating on whether married couples still enjoy looking at each other naked after they hit forty.

At Borders I picked up a copy of the much-maligned Mr. Show movie Run Ronnie Run!, which I watched last night. I've seen it before and I like it, though it probably deserves a good deal of the criticism it's received. Parts of the movie (Patrick Warburton as the head of the International Gay Conspiracy, musical numbers by Mandy Patinkin and Jack Black, and Bob Odenkirk as the world's worst inventor ("The Fish Magician! It hides fish! Nobody bought it.") are brilliant, but it gets bogged down by having a plot. Monty Python and the Holy Grail circumvented this problem by molding a five-minute story arc around 85 minutes of sketch comedy. RRR! drags what could have been a mildly amusing five-minute sketch into a grueling 50, and peppers it with unrelated comedy sketches. These sketches work. The whole doesn't. David Cross and Bob Odenkirk who wrote and starred in the film have disowned it, blaming their loss of creative control over the final cut.

Still, $6 for a DVD that's going to get a lot of repeat viewings (probably alone, because my sister already has a copy, and I don't know who I could con into sitting through it with me), i's not a bad investment. Actually, I have a low-quality VHS bootleg of the film from back when it didn't look like RRR! was ever going to be released, and the DVD cut of the film is substantially (and detrimentally) shorter, but everything cut is included in the deleted scenes on the disc.

Just so you know.
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