HausuLast night I watched Hausu with George and Dan. All three of us are battle-scarred veterans of bad and weird movies: The Baby, Enter Zombie King!, Shriek of the Mutilated, Manos: The Hands of Fate, Sasquatch Mountain. But we’ve never seen ANYTHING like this before. The director had never done a film before, but was a veteran of 1970s TV commercials. And that’s just what it feels like: a bog-standard vengeful ghost plot taking place in a 90-minute Mentos commercial with overtones of H.R. Pufnstuff and Scooby Doo. Oh, and people are occasionally killed in a surrealistically gory fashion. And there’s a bear that cooks ramen in a street stall. Seriously, you should probably just watch it.

Hey, howzabout some good college radio

The radio station at University of Vermont just redesigned their website this week. keeps the same great functionality the old site had: they don’t just stream live, they keep shows available to stream for seven days after they air. What’s more, there are playlists posted at, usually very soon after a show is done. (The playlists are actually a more reliable source of what was actually on the air–if one DJ fills in for another, the station’s schedule page still shows whatever was originally supposed to air in that slot.) So if you need a quick fix of a certain style of music, head over. The shows I’m particularly fond of include “Making Out in the Art Room” (twee pop, indie, and punk), “Fowl Hour” (indie pop and electronica), “not4prophet” (freeform), “LJ’s Dream” (jazz), and “Mind Over Metal” (sludge, doom, thrash, prog, and other good metal subgenres).

MMO bug

I’m really, really missing playing an MMORPG all of a sudden. I enjoyed WoW for years, but ran into a big wall when my main character hit the level cap. The most active, challenging part of World of Warcraft is the endgame raids–and those are REALLY challenging. To prepare for raiding I’d have to do all the level 80 dungeons several times to gear up and get practice, then do the heroic versions of those same dungeons. Given my schedule, it just got too difficult to organize a regular dungeon run with players who were already busy raiding for their own stuff.

What of other games? Champions Online is a great idea marred by crippling bugs and incompetent testing. Pirates of the Burning Sea was probably the best possible setting for an MMO, with inbuilt factions, frequent combat, and an economic aspect, but they provided next to no tutorials and couldn’t fix borked economy and land combat systems. Age of Conan is getting better, but still has ridiculous graphic bugs a year and a half on and hasn’t built up its player base enough to make me want to invest my time.

Sigh. I wish there was a solution for this, but I’m really not seeing one. The game I’ve enjoyed the most is WoW, but I’ve gotten to the point where there’s no enjoyable solo material left and I’m crippled by needing to devote several hours at a time AND plan a week in advance to do anything in a group.

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Adventures in exotic flavor

Well, they can’t all be home runs. I experimented with a couple of new products from Gagan Indian grocery store in South Burlington. I’d never heard of Rooh Afza, a sweet beverage concentrate designed to be mixed with water, milk, soda, etc. I’m at work so I just mixed it with cold water. The floral overtones are a little strong for me and there’s quite a bit of  the stuff; I couldn’t stand to just waste it. I’m hoping that I’ll find it more enjoyable either in a lassi or mixed with soda, lime, and vodka.

Haldiram’s “nut crackers” (spiced, fried peanuts) are better, but awfully spicy. I’m thinking these are almost all going to be for Suri. Her taste buds can handle more fire than mine, and they’re a really low-carb snack anyway.