Thursday, March 31, 2005
At first, your heart goes out to the innocent daughter as her wide-brimmed sun hat floats off magically on a gust of wind into the hands of a dashing young Italian. You silently hiss at the mother's insistence on thwarting any connection with the locals, ready to cast her as the usual domineering mother for whom no boy -- no matter how cultured and friendly and honest -- can ever be good enough. But then we hear and see the cracks in the mother's marriage and learn of a detail in her daughter's past that colors your first impressions of young love and aged wisdom. Guettel's music is not meant to be very hummable, but it's accomplished and gently powerful. (He is, by the way, the grandson of Broadway legend Richard Rodgers.) He gives some of the best lines of melody and most fraught lyrics to the mother, and your sympathy for her grows and starts to form around her.
The second act opens with a song that B. dubbed more akin to Guettel's previous works but which stuck out slightly from the light but nonetheless earnest scenes of the first act. After hearing many of the Italian characters sing and speak in their native tongue (without 100% translation), one of the characters opens the fourth wall and sings directly to the audience in English about what's going on. This technique brings the audience sharply back into the play, but then the action returns more to its original tone. Along the way, there is tension and release as we compare and contrast the American mother's distant husband with the young Italian suitor's father. Not all feelings are illuminated, but we see enough to carry the play forward.
The sets are duly resplendent, and I really loved a moment where the daughter strides in silhouette across the bright backdrop, and another where nuns and friars in period habits seem to flutter across the stage. The overall mood is one of very small but very beautiful human events happening after the violence of war. A kind of innocent joy and promise has returned, but while we do not see it, there also is a sense that things are again on the brink of changing, that the innocence will ebb away once more. The sun will set, perhaps, and when it rises again, the memory of the light will not match its reality the next morning.
It's in that window of unabashed hope (with time inevitably advancing) that the mother sings the closing number at the fringes of the ensemble. I was enjoying it all so much I barely stopped to realize that here the story would end and the musical would close. It's not a short show or a very complicated one, but it took me in and I didn't want it to end.
Today, I wished the tunes of the show had been more memorable. But like the light, they're hard to capture in the brain after experiencing them just once, and instead, I'm left remembering how much I liked being there in the auditorium watching the story happen before us.
Case in point: "A Southerners' (sic) Guide to Visiting New York City." When you're writing a travel guide, it's usually a good idea to check your facts.
"A good place to eat is Tavern on the Green. It’s located on the west side of the park in the 70’s." Try 67th?
"There is a great bakery on Bleeker called the Magnolia Bakery. ... And it’s across from a little playground that has benches for you to sit on while you stuff your face with cupcakes. This is an area where you could spend many days. So much is going on. But it is not like FRIENDS." Um, don't you mean "Sex and the City"?
"Our last day was spent on the Upper West Side and way downtown in the Financial District. We pretty much covered the whole island that day." The whole island except of course for Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood, right?
"The Upper West Side was my other favorite. It’s very residential and clean. Julliard is located in this area, as well as ABC studios and Columbia University. You could walk into Regis or Pavarotti at any given time." This really makes it sound like people are strolling from 66th to 116th on a regular basis. And Columbia isn't really on the UWS!
"Also in the area is Pier 17. So cute. It’s like a shopping mall outside, but you feel like you’re in Maine." Isn't that what they call the South Street Seaport?
This is actually a matter of opinion, but I couldn't resist: "I didn’t go to China Town either. It just didn’t seem appealing. But, I hear they have some really good Green Tea ice cream." Because the whole neighborhood can basically be reduced to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.
"Union Square (over in the teens around Midtown)..." This writer just cannot get her geography together: Union Square is at least a mile from anywhere really known as Midtown.
And last but not least, Fosse for Beginners: "I got to sit on the front row of Chicago. A great show, very simplistic. They wear the same costume, and carry any props they use."
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Such is the case with Better Than Ezra. I can never remember buying any of their CDs. My sister might have had one or two, but not me. Yet they produced a lot of the songs I heard throughout high school and into early college and that I enjoyed without ever wanting to go out and buy them. I've rediscovered several of them with the band's Greatest Hits album just released this month. Among my favorites: "One More Murder" (which I think might've been on some X-Files companion compliation somewhere), "Good," "At the Stars," "Desperately Wanting" and "This Time of Year." They aren't masterpieces, but they're good, enjoyable tunes that take me back: in ways more vague than perhaps some other particular songs that I owned and cherished while still evoking a time worth remembering.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Well, if the forecasters are correct, it's just on the horizon! I saw the number 60 in association with the anticipated temperature next week. 60! After a bit of rain early in the week, Wednesday could just turn out to be "partly cloudy / highs around 60" in upper NYC. In Philly? "Mid 60s!" And what about Chicago? Tuesday should bring the spring temps.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Of course, while it claims to have this "NewsRank" technology that infuses some prioritization into the mix, Topix is still prone to odd choices of which stories to list higher. People whose job description it is to make judgments about stories and sources (aka "news editors") have at times criticized the poor judgments made by supposedly unbiased computer-run news aggregators, but then again, it's probably easier -- and cheaper(?) -- to rely on computers to do the lion's share of that work, especially when you have so many news sources to draw from on the web. Before Topix' partial sale to KR, Gannett and Tribune, it had an agreement with NYT that I assume had something to do with giving Times articles prominence (and their own box) on many of the news pages. My guess is you'll start seeing more of the same boxes when these other media companies start having some say.
Other recent tech headlines that caught my eye show the popularity and (lucrative) promise of digital photos:
Yahoo to buy Flickr & HP to buy Snapfish.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Such is the case with "Melinda and Melinda," Woody's latest film. It has a fun sort of dinner-table-intellectual premise (does life offer more fodder for comedians or tragedians?), some interesting and talented actors, and that wonderfully anachronistic but nonetheless enticing Manhattan-of-Woody's-mind with the spacious apartments to die for, owned by out-of-work actors who could likely never afford them at today's prices. Along the way, the divergent storylines mix and match motifs and locations, and because it's a Woody Allen movie, you end up laughing at the absurdities of the supposedly "tragic" Melinda's plot as much as you do at Will Ferrell's goofing as the Woody stand-in during the film's "comedic" half. (Both Melindas are played by Radha Mitchell, a promising Australian actress caught in a less-than-wonderful film.)
At times, I couldn't help asking whether the "tragedy" scenes with Melinda were meant to drag on so dully or whether Woody just got lazy with his premise (or didn't know how to pull off "sad") midway through. During a few scenes, I got that recurring notion: "Come on, people! Pull yourselves together. Your lives could be a hulluva lot worse; here you're hopping off to Belmont every other day, shopping for expensive Art Deco jewelry, listening to live Bartok ... Snap outta that woe-is-I misery."
And then those feelings pass, and I laugh some more, and the movie ends, and it's not great cinema, but it's still a Woody Allen movie, and heck, it was nice to come in out of the biting, stinging sleet on a Wednesday evening out in real-reality Manhattan. So there: I've been entertained and I have enough warm, funny Woody memories to get me through a few seasons until his next film comes out.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
This evening I happened upon a blog entirely devoted to track the phenomenon that is Starbucks. Being an online media-news junkie, I was surprised to discover that none other than Poynter's Jim Romenesko appears to be the author of this java blog. The tagline? "Somebody has to monitor America's favorite drug dealer."
Recent entries include a 95%-flattering (and not really all that groundbreaking) "day in the life of ..." piece from the NYDN and the write-up of an NPD Group survey on the rate of coffee shops (Starbucks and others) per capita. Apparently, those cold Alaskans in Anchorage have lots of opportunities to warm up with a cuppa joe: There are nearly 3 coffee shops per 10,000 people! In second place? Yep, you guessed it: Starbucks' home base, Seattle. New York doesn't rank very highly on the per-capita chart, but still boasts a whopping 525 coffee shops total. (I wonder how they classify "coffee shops" since I imagine many New Yorkers rely as heavily on neighborhood delis as they do on Starbucks and its ilk for daily shots of caffeine.)
In these days of e-signatures and e-filing, it just slipped my mind that you still need to flourish your pen even after the computer has done all the math for you and spit out the form to be mailed.
Let's just hope I don't get another letter from the state three weeks from now.
Monday, March 21, 2005
An interesting tidbit about Mayne's S.F. federal building: Most of its elevators don't stop on every floor, but instead on every third floor -- to save energy while encouraging interaction and walking.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Unfortunately we have many leaders today who are acting upon the swim-alone-or-sink mentality when it comes to trains and buses. Now, I'm all for fiscal responsibility, but we shouldn't treat the groups that run these operations like disposable widget makers. We have to work together to keep these systems intact because they're a vital part of our country.
What can you do to support public transit? Vote with your feet. Choose trains, buses and the like whenever the option is available and reasonable. The more we use them, the higher chance there is that the people running the show will realize how much of a hurt they'd cause if they withdraw their support from transit systems. It's not a guarantee, but by avoiding the systems, we only give public-transit opponents more fodder to complain about them being a drain on public coffers. I'd love to see a day when we could start weening transit systems more off public money, but in the meantime, let's not kill the engine while the train is midway across the bridge.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Fans of Whole Foods Market (such as B.) can rejoice (as B. is currently doing): Their new location on Union Square has opened, complete with those new-fangled cart escalators which have allowed big-box-type stores typically at home in the suburbs to make their way into the city (see also: the Bed, Bath and Beyond near Lincoln Center). I haven't yet visited, but I'm sure we'll be there soon enough. Is there any chance it will remain less crowded than the one at Columbus Circle? Nope, didn't think so. On the upside, now there is another big indoor cafe area at Union Square for people with small budgets to hang out in for extended periods of time (the other one being the B&N facing it across the square). Ah, so, the suburbanization of the city continues.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
When will the construction work at Columbus Circle be done? I can't seem to find a solid answer, although it's clear that the work has taken longer than expected, since one DOT website says it was to be completed in late 2004. I could not come up with a more updated target. The final product (midway down the page) with its walkways, fountain and landscaping looks nice enough, but when can we expect to enjoy that? Come on! This is the city that built the EBS in 410 days.
(I'd link to the article, but the Journal is one of the relatively small number of news outlets that charges for its online site. I have a hard-copy subscription, but didn't have to pay for it directly, having traded in some frequent-flier miles to get it.)
So I was intrigued by the article -- which runs down a whole column and fills an entire inside broadsheet page -- and I managed to read the entire thing throughout the day. It was a great read, the kind of gripping narrative that the Journal's known for, the kind of narrative it (and this reporter, Clare Ansberry) won awards for, post-9/11. But it didn't seem very timely to me, just more of a general feature/profile.
Now: I can be an easily beguiled reader. I let down my guard if I'm reading for pleasure, often, and don't parse the text with much of a critic's eye. So here I enjoyed the tale, but then I hit up Technorati to see what other people were saying about it, and discover that the only other person out there I could find at the time was a freelance New York writer named Rob Horning, who's written a very persuasive critique of the article, drawing out what he sees as its inherent metastory: the idea that such narratives, while offering a bit of armchair adventure, in the end prove that New Age-y liberals who seek enlightenment outside the capitalist mainstream are really rather selfish and likely to cause irreparable harm to their kids by, say, dropping them off as toddlers in a Buddhist monastery and then failing to follow through on the whole parenting thing. He argues that this article thus exists as a comforting agent to the Journal's regular (affluent and conservative) target audience.
Normally, I'd be open to such read-between-the-lines interpretations, but here I was taking the article at face value, so once again, I felt disappointed about being supposedly taken in.
But setting all that aside, before I read Rod's entry, the article spoke to me because it seemed a worthy rhapsody on differing worldviews. It reminded me of sitting in World Religions class and learning of Buddhism's view that: All of life is tinged with suffering; therefore, emancipate yourself from the attachments that will add to that suffering. And how Buddha's early life was also one of wealth and privilege, before he looked at the outside world and saw much impetus to seek truth elsewhere.
I thought about how Daja's life might have been different if he'd lived longer in the East, before being exposed to the wealthy life of his mother's family, so that maybe he never would have desired to live again in his parents' birth country.
I was touched by the feeling that -- no matter the circumstances -- parents make choices for their children; parents choose to love their children in one way or another, or not at all. This is true whether you're sending your kid to a monastery or to a prestigious boarding school in New England, whether you bring up your child to be a devout fundamentalist Protestant or as an atheist focused only on the things of this life. I guess I was touched overall by the fascinating twists and turns traced in the article and how each person got through. But just as I don't think we're supposed to take from the movie Mary Full of Grace the idea that the drug trade is ultimately a means of upward mobility for poor Colombian women, likewise, I don't think we are meant to take from this WSJ article the idea that seeking fulfillment outside the norm is a selfish and futile journey.
I've since gone back to Technorati and found another reference to the piece: "I'm pissed at his parents and the damn buddhist system he grew up in," this author writes.
Perhaps this is the kind of response the author of Marginal Utility worried about. But there are more than merely two opposing ways to view the actions depicted in this article as well as this article itself. I concede that the reporter might have consciously or unconsciously chosen certain words that shape readers' views, but I do believe it's possible to look beyond that to see a great piece of reportage.
Grrr, Ticketmaster! Who is getting these tickets?
Monday, March 14, 2005
First, on NPR the other day, Scott Simon had one of those interviews where he has to restain himself from being entirely sarcastic with his well-meaning guest, encouraging -- for instance -- listeners to gather their dogs around the radio to listen to cuts from Skip Haynes' CD Ask the Animals: Songs to Make Dogs Happy!. It's an album of songs perfectly calibrated to send your pooches off to doggie heaven on a raft of easy-going synth riffs without any of the hard percussion (which would remind them too much of gunshots, we were told).
Meanwhile, if you're in the mood for lots of percussion, there is the new children's picture book and accompanying website called Punk Farm, by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. The book doesn't blaze the shelves for another 42 days, but the book's "single" is free for the listening. For ironic young parents who want to ease their youngsters into the joys of post-punk and indie. (You can even start them on the road to obsessing over band-related "merch," such as the stickers you can download and print out.)
Thank you, Wisconsin!
Sunday, March 13, 2005
So here's a (very) rough estimate of the time and money I'd spend getting from my house to each of these four ports, considering the fact that I don't have a car:
To JFK: $7 and 1:30 hours via subway and AirTrain. OR $45+ via taxi in about an hour (depending on traffic).
To LGA: $2 and 1:10 hours via subway and bus. OR around $35 via taxi in about 45 minutes.
To EWR: about $8 and an hour via subway and train. (Not sure about taxi fare, but probably about 45 minutes.)
To PHL: about $28 and 3:15 hours via subway and train. (Taxi would be through the roof and still about 2:30 hours.)
At this point in my life, with less vacation time and the promise of more income down the road, I just don't see planning in another 2 hours into my vacation schedule just to save some $75. If I were retired, though, or not willing to spend as much on vacation, I can see I might have the leisure to go the Philly route. But still, wouldn't it feel like you were lugging your bags everywhere and traveling all day?
Saturday, March 12, 2005
My favorite works were this Whistler, this Vermeer (why does it seem like all the famous Vermeers were painted in the same room with the same window on the left?) and this Bellini. I also appreciated that it wasn't as crowded as the Met is usually and the personal audio guides were free with admission.
Friday, March 11, 2005
The second place I visited was a little bit harder to find because it's in a neighborhood I'm less familiar with: the Hamilton Heights section of Harlem. This house at 339 Convent Avenue (just up the street from City College) was the family home in "The Royal Tenenbaums." The film itself is set in a sort of mythical Manhattan, and includes scenes at one of my all-time-favorite fictional locations: "the 375th St. Y." (Someone else apparently liked the name so much they used it for their blog.)
You've got Cheese and Antiques? ... After flipping through a movie lover's guide to NYC today, I decided to go off in search of two locations from films that I've enjoyed. The first one was the little neighborhood book shop ("Shop Around the Corner") that Meg Ryan's character runs in "You've Got Mail" (1998). As it is with movie shooting locations once in a while, the real thing just isn't as impressive. Still, the owners have a poster from the movie posted proudly next to the cash register inside. Maya Schaper Cheese & Antiques is located at 106 West 69th Street.
After lingering much longer than the officially declared end (they took a while to dismantle), "The Gates" are gone, returning Central Park to its regularly scheduled winter hibernation. Seeing the park again like it used to be reminds me of a line from Wallace Stevens' poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: "I do not know which to prefer, / The beauty of inflections / Or the beauty of innuendoes, / The blackbird whistling / Or just after."
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Sort of reminds me of the Ali G bit where he's asking some dignitary (I think) whether it isn't a bit dangerous to have Iran and Iraq start with the same three letters. What if some general is talking on the phone -- he postulates (speaking in his faux rapper slang) -- and the connection cuts out just as he's telling the guy next to the button, "Let's bomb Ira-," and then we bomb the wrong country?
Except that -- somehow -- Ali-G's scenario is just a little less funny.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
But not all dot-com stories had a sad ending. The former Pets.com sock puppet has proudly re-emerged as the spokes-puppet for 1-800-BAR NONE, a car-loan company that targets people with bad credit. Its slogan? "Everyone Deserves A Second Chance, BarNone." (Including -- apparently -- dot-com puppets.)
Monday, March 07, 2005
But seriously, you can't buy this kind of publicity. Sometimes the best strategy, especially when crime is involved, is to just put on a happy face and feed the gaping maw that is the media's desire for photogenic entertain-me-news. What do you get? A perfect trifecta of coverage: entertainment outlets cover her because she's a lifestyle icon and likes to smile for the camera and is rich and owns a pretty estate, news outlets cover her because she is a famous person who just got out of jail, and business outlets get in the action because she's the queen of a publicly traded company. At least two of the major NYC networks did a variation on "Martha: In Her Own Words." (President Bush would be proud of this end-around-the-"filter.")
It hasn't been this good since the governor of Cal-ee-forn-ya cruised his way to victory by dodging the "real" (read: boring) political press and mugging for the showbiz media shows. Programs like "Inside Edition," which -- in its hard-nosed quest to get to the truth of matters -- is currently subjecting its host to a bit of participatory journalism to see what it's like to wear that cute ankle bracelet Martha's got. As she informed viewers in today's episode, even Fox News interviewed her about her daring, personal foray into the world of "house arrest." (George Plimpton can now officially roll over in his grave.) So you're telling us a network that's already steeped in propaganda is reporting on a parallel dramatization of a event that was being hyped up for maximum benefit to begin with? Riiight.
Where's the news in all this? Oh, we've got news. A sampling of real headlines: "Martha Stewart Enjoys Comforts of Home" ... "Martha Stewart Catches Up On Housework" ... "Martha Stewart Going Back to Work at NY Office" ... "Martha Praises Her Employees."
Well, in case you missed recent news from my corner of the world, here's a digest: "Jeremy Brings Home Fresh Food from Local Supermarket" ... "Jeremy Appreciates Conversation With Friend While Doing Dishes" ... "Jeremy Expected to Make Appearance at NY Office Tomorrow" ... "Jeremy Anticipates Imminent Night's Rest."
Is it great to NOT be in jail, or what?
On the phone front, I'm stuck with my old one for the moment, because I guess there was some sort of misunderstanding and I don't get my free upgrade for ANOTHER month. So in the meantime, I have to use my earbud headset for each call, since the speak-into-it microphone is broken/on-its-way-out. When I asked why they can't just replace my phone now -- it being half-broken and all -- they tsk-tsked me for not getting the stupid monthly-premium insurance policy back when I first got it. Grrr, Verizon.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Many big-budget movies have become just another brand/franchise these days: Star Wars, LOTR, Son of the Mask. All the sequels (some good, some embarrassing) that flood theaters.
And then there are the movies that try to be very similar to other successes without actually using the same brand. Case in point: two new flicks that seem like they're trying to ride the coattails of "Meet the Parents" and its inevitable and surprisingly successful authorized sequel. The new films are "Monster-in-Law" and "Guess Who." (Both trailers were shown ahead of "Hitch" the other night.)
In both of these, you have a giddy-in-love couple come home for a "meeting the parents" moment. Opposition (and supposed hilarity) ensues. These summaries, of course, are according to my understanding of the trailers alone, but that's key to how many people decide whether to see certain movies.
We'll have to see if these movies do well, and if so, what is it about this story that appeals to people? Is it that these tales take the feared consequences to the extreme, thereby lessening whatever real-life embarrassments/obstacles young couples normally face?
P.S. It appears that "Guess Who" is actually sort of a remake of "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" (1967, starring Sidney Poitier), with (it seems) the race of the roles reversed. (Remakes: yet another version of branding/franchising.) Still, the choice to remake and sell this picture now seems pretty coincidental without the influence of Ben Stiller's recent hits.
Friday, March 04, 2005
So this little Samsung is going to be retired. But how much use have I gotten out of it? Luckily for my obsession with numbers, there is a "LifeTime" air-time log, so I know exactly how many calls I've made/received and how long I've been on the phone.
The totals? 4,408 calls amounting to 276 hours, 18 minutes and 16 seconds. Now, considering I bought it in early June 2003 (say June 4), what does that come out to, average-wise?
About six to seven calls a day. Three minutes and 45 seconds per call. Nearly 26 minutes per day, or about 1.8% of each day spent on the phone. The funny thing is, I don't remember spending so much time on the phone each day.
To see more of those anti-NYC-Olympics spoofs, see this page of images. And this page encourages you to print and post them yourselves.
I'm not really sure how I feel about the proposal: On the one hand, it would be an exciting reason to transform a lot of the city and a great thing to look forward to and be proud of; on the other hand, it'll siphon off a lot of money in preparation, take up valuable space for sports venues, could end up costing the city more than it brings in and could distract from other basic quality of life issues, which the mayor has tried to focus on during his tenure. So far, the city has mostly benefited (although not everyone would agree) from hosting two recent short-term events: the RNC last summer and The Gates this winter. But the Summer Games are on a scale that dwarfs both of these combined. And in terms of getting decision makers and stake holders to champion the cause, this one is international.
The final say is up to the IOC at their "117th Session" in early July in Singapore. Bottom line: My bet is on Paris.
Meanwhile, only "343 giorni" until Torino 2006.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Guerilla counter-ad campaigns are everywhere these days, opposing everything from President Bush to New York's long-shot 2012 Olympics bid. Here, someone's used a similar font and voice to mock the official slogans and assert: "there will be steroids and vote fixing," "every host city loses money" and "every taxpayer will get screwed." Found on a subway ad, Thursday evening.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
The first one tonight was probably my favorite: file it under writing about writing (a perennial topic). From 1985, it was Lorrie Moore's "How to Become a Writer Or, Have You Earned This Cliche?" (They only introduced it with the first half of the title at the show tonight, but I discovered its full name after I found the full text available in the NYT's archives.)
It's written in the second person -- that weird middle-ground voice that can be hard to pull off and make believable as it wavers at times between first-person narrative and omniscience. But it works well in Moore's story, especially since the title introduces it as a sort of how-to.
Those who've taken anything like Fiction 101 or Intro to Poetry might appreciate this passage:
In creative writing seminars over the next two years, everyone continues to smoke cigarettes and ask the same things: ''But does it work?'' ''Why should we care about this character?'' ''Have you earned this cliche?'' These seem like important questions.The story has a lot of laugh lines, but it felt a bit off-kilter to me, because I was expecting to laugh a few more times, but then the narrative took a turn for the serious and not-so-hilarious. Only after it was all finished did I start to think back to how the author dropped in allusions and hints to what was going on in her family and her head beneath the veneer of "deciding to become ..." and then "becoming a writer."
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Everybody knows what the best part is: the cartoons! And there is a rule: You have to read them first before you read anything else in depth. B. and I seem to agree on this. The new issue of The New Yorker arrives in the mail (usually Monday or Tuesday), and you start flipping through and you look at all the cartoons. They're not the only good part, but they're the quick, fun part, like eating the cherry and licking the whipped cream off the top of the sundae. After you've got them out of the way, you can feel free to indulge in the rest of the magazine-y goodness.
Why can't you read them as you go through? B. says it's because you might be reading an article and then see a cartoon out of the corner of your eye (it sort of sneaks up on you) and then you have to read it. You might laugh upon reading it and if you laugh, you have to look at all of them. Even if you just quietly smirk to yourself, you still might want another. And another -- the ice cream analogy applies here as well. And then you might not finish your article and that's bad.
There is of course a new anthology of most of the New Yorker cartoons from the past 80 years, but a) it's too expensive, b) it's too big and c) it would be like eating a whole Serendipity full of ice cream and that would just make you sick of cartoons.
(Acknowledgements: Much thanks for the use of B.'s new laptop, Raul. It came as a surprise to me that consumer electronics need names, but apparently they do in some circles.)