Hamburger Helper Wins April Fools

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, you think April Fools Day on the internet sucks. I get it, most attempts at authentic humor by major brands fall flat, are completely annoying, or even potentially harmful. And Paul Ford is right when he says, “As the number of users (of a service or product) increases, humor opportunities approach zero.” It’s true, laughter does not scale. And most attempts by major brands to appear to be authentically funny on funny day, just end up not being that funny.

However, that doesn’t mean all attempts aren’t funny, or at least enjoyable, even by the most jaded of internet denizens. Comedy is hard. Very hard. But if it’s good it doesn’t matter the size of the audience. This year, General Mill’s Hamburger Helper bucked the trend by dropping a surprisingly great mix on SoundCloud. I love this. Yo Glove, turn up!!

Faithful Friends Who Were Dear To Us, Will Be Near To Us No More

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is probably my favorite Christmas song simply because of its emotional ambivalence. It resonates closely with so many of the feelings I have around the Christmas season. The lyrics open up that uneasy longing for that unattainable ideal of Christmas that so many of us want. The holidays can be hard.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It may be your last
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Pop that champagne cork
Next year we may all be living in New York
No good times like the olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows
From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

My emotions during the holidays weigh heavily. Christmastime brings a contemplative melancholia that I actually revel in, and there is a wistful type of comfort in accepting this. In knowing that the season is steeped in nostalgia and want for a better time and place. In accepting that my memories will grow a little dimmer with the passing of the year. In acknowledging that our world can be unraveled, changed, and built back up with little of our own control. In understanding that friends, family, or loved ones are gone from our lives – for good. I feel akin with the folks who recognize that Christmas can be complicated, emotionally irresolute, and inherently blue.

One Novel, One Day (Novels In Which The Action Takes Place Within 24 Hours)

While in drama the Classical Unity of Time prescribes that the action of a play is to take place during a single day, the novel more-often-than-not covers a much longer period of time. There are, however, some notable examples where the time narrated is only one day. The most prominent example is James Joyce’s Ulysses, a novel which in one way or another has influenced the genesis of other novels whose action takes place within 24 hours. Seeing as this is Bloomsday, I thought it was the perfect time to celebrate by publishing this list:

A special category can be established for novels told in retrospect (Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Graves’s Claudius novels, for instance), though such an exercise eventually comes to include so many first-person novels as to become too cumbersome to be of much use.

If you can think of any that I’m missing please let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure they get added

The Act of Roger Murgatroyd, Gilbert Adair
The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years, Chinghiz Aitmatov
Un día en la vida, Manlio Argueta
The Mezzanine, Nicholson Baker
Vox, Nicholson Baker
Windows on the World, Frédéric Beigbeder
Seize the Day, Saul Bellow
One Night @ the Call Centre, Chetan Bhagat
Children of the Day, Sandra Birdsell
Billiards at Half-Past Nine, Heinrich Böll
Twenty-four Hours, Louis Bromfield
The Da Vinci Code (excluding the epilogue), Dan Brown
Angels and Demons (excluding the epilogue), Dan Brown
Deception Point, Dan Brown
Digital Fortress, Dan Brown
The Art of the Engine Driver,Steven Carroll
Wise Children (excluding the narrator’s memories), Angela Carter
The Hours (three plots each taking one day), Michael Cunningham
Arlington Park, Rachel Cusk
Cosmopolis, Don DeLillo
Cold Dog Soup, Stephen Dobyns
Grado. Süße Nacht, Gustav Ernst
Death of a River Guide, Richard Flanagan
Party Going, Henry Green
Concluding, Henry Green
The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid
No Directions, James Hanley
That He’d Remember the Same, Elina Hirvonen
A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood:
Ulysses, James Joyce
The Colorado Kid, Stephen King
Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz
Intimacy, Hanif Kureishi
Mr. Phillips, John Lanchester
Eleven, David Llewellyn
The British Museum Is Falling Down, David Lodge
Days, James Lovegrove
Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry
Saturday, Ian McEwan
This Town Will Never Let Us Go, Lawrence Miles
Bunny Lake Is Missing, Merriam Modell (writing as Evelyn Piper)
I Am Mary Dunne, Brian Moore
After Dark, Haruki Murakami
Several books in The Keys to the Kingdom series, Garth Nix
The Farmers Hotel, John O’Hara
From Nine to Nine, Leo Perutz
Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
Scarecrow (excluding the prologue and the epilogue), Matthew Reilly
Eleven Hours, Paullina Simons
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Light of Day, Graham Swift
Loaded, Christos Tsiolkas
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf
The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold
Breathing Lessons, Anne Taylor
If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, Jon McGregor
Injury Time, Catherine Aird
The Pigeon, Wendell M. Levi
The Poorhouse Fair, John Updike
Popcorn, Ben Elton
A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood
Snuff, Chuck Palahniuk
Tomorrow, Graham Swift
Travels in the Scriptorium, Paul Auster
Man in the Dark, Paul Auster
On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan
Run, Ann Patchett
Dear American Airlines, Jonathan Miles
The Floating Opera, John Barth
Room Temperature, Nicholson Baker
Embers, Sandor Marai
Restlessness, Aritha Van Herk
253, Geoff Ryman
The Rider, Tim Krabbe
The Following Story, Cees Nooteboom
Rapture, Susan Minot
Vertical Run, Joseph Garber

I’m Dreaming Of A Chiptune Christmas

If you are anything like me (which you aren’t), you easily tire of the same old department store Christmas music. To kick myself out of a Nat King Cole induced coma I decided to put together the most complete collection of all 8-bit Christmas music the internets has to offer. This one goes out to you gamers, nostalgia lovers, gimmick freaks, and good old-fashioned Nat King Cole haters.

8-Bit Christmas – $3 at Bandcamp
The 8 Bits Of Christmas – Free (download)
Holy 8bit Night – 2,000 Yen on Japanese Amazon
8-Bit Jesus – Can be purchased for $9.99 on itunes
8 Bit Collective Advent Calendar 2008 – Free, at the 8bit collective
8 Bit Collective Advent Calendar 2009 – Free, at the 8bit collective.
Merry Pixmas – Free (download)
Kasio Kristmas – $8.99 from Amazon
A C64 Christmas – Free (download)
A Very 8-Bit Christmas – Free (download)
Another Very 8-Bit Christmas – Free (download)
A Very 8-Bit Christmas 3 – Free (download)
A Very 8-Bit Christmas 4 – Free (download)
The 8 Bit Christmas Album – Free (Download)

These may not be a strictly “8-bit” albums but they have enough chiptune on them I thought they were close enough to include:
Christmasasaurus Vol 1 – Free (download)
Christmasasaurus Vol 2 – Free (download)
Christmasasaurus Vol 3 – Free (download)
Christmasasaurus Vol 4 – Free (download).
Christmasasaurus Vol 5 – Free (download)

12/16/09 UPDATE: Her are a few new other compilations I’ve found since originally publishing:
It’s A Chiptune Holiday – $8.99 from 8 Bit Weapon
Happy Holidays from Foundation 9 – Not sure how to get a hold of this one yet.
Holiday EP – By Animal Style, I’m not sure where to find this one either.

12/1/11 UPDATE:More 8bit Xmas tune have been found
XMAS Compilation 2010 – Free (download)
Hard Turron: Xmas 2006 Chiptune Collection – Free (download)
A Very Chiptune Christmas – Available for download on Amazon “>Amazon for $5.99 and iTunes for $9.90
N4V1D4D 2010 – Free (download)

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