- Labelscar: The retail history blog. It's mostly for chronicling in words and pictures the decay of malls, not for kitsch value, and not to gloat about it either. The two guys who write for it just remember how enjoyable public spaces used to be, including retail places. They rarely get sentimental, although expect lots of wistful comments. The pictures alone are worth it, bringing back lots of pleasant memories. Even in their decrepit state, you can see how much more exciting and soothing mall architecture was, compared to the now ubiquitous strip centers, lifestyle centers, and big box centers. No dodging traffic through an oceanic parking lot, for instance. Not to mention plants, flowers, wood, water, colored tile, benches that you didn't need to buy anything for to rest on...
There's a state directory on the right, which also has a "Dead Malls" category in case you want to look through all of them that are now gone. The search bar is fun, too -- annoying kiosk, lifestyle center, Wal-Mart, planters, fountains, and so on all bring up interesting, often funny posts and discussions. The current entry is about a thriving mall, but they tend to focus on treading-water or dead ones. Between the post and the comments, there's a pretty good history of the particular mall. Lots of familiar themes from this blog pop up for sure.
- What a small world. Awhile ago I broke down and bought Martika's self-titled album, for the guilty pleasure song "Toy Soldiers". Recently after looking to see if the song "Cross My Heart" had a video, I stumbled upon the fact that it's actually a cover song. And as it turns out, the original by Eighth Wonder does have a video -- recognize the singer? It's totally that South African chick from Lethal Weapon 2 who Riggs gets it on with. Small fuckin' world sometimes, man. Great energy she's got, by the way. Back when girls were still boy-crazy.
- The Baconator. Dang, it's about time I tried this thing out. I used to be happy getting several of the single stackers at the BK Lounge, but lately I've noticed the quality slip. (Yes, there are standards even for fast food -- I'll never eat that slop from Taco Bell). After the stackers I felt sleepier, maybe from too much oxidized fat during the cooking process. I have a feeling it's some change introduced by the new corporate owners, who are also responsible for putting up a bunch of dopey posters and offering new items to draw in the yuppie crowd.
No such worries with Wendy's, though, which still has "Old fashioned hamburgers" on its logo. They never felt like expanding internationally either, which may have kept their finite business talent more concentrated on what Americans like. Well, it shows. Take a simple thing like bacon -- why don't hardly any McDonalds items have it? I looked at the Angus burgers, and they've all got sugary junk in the patties themselves, so no sale there. Aside from those burgers, zippo. Wendy's is the only place where they might just manufacture their silverware from bacon.
I get a double baconator with no bun, no ketchup, no mayo, but with pickles, onions, and salt and pepper (since it's unseasoned). Really puts some pep in your step. You can taste the difference that Wendy's fresh ground beef makes, instead of frozen patties. It is a little more expensive, but not by that much since Burger King just raised the price on those stackers.
- Most wrist-slitting man-baby movie of the year looks like it'll be Wreck-It Ralph. It has both CGI and 3D visuals, a plot based seriously on video games, and Sarah Silverman voicing one of the characters. Nerds are already straining hard to compare it to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, all because a bunch of video game characters from different series are brought together in a single movie. BFD.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a made-for-kids film noir that has an enjoyable, non-gimmicky mix of live-action and hand-drawn animation. That's what drew the audiences to it -- not nerdy "fan service" like getting to see Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny in the same scene.