Sunday, February 15, 2009

V-Day Roundup

Fosco and Oz had some elaborate Valentine's plans, but got doubly ambushed by the icky "winter" storm plowing through the Bay Area and Fosco coming down with a head cold on Friday night. Fosco's cold is something of the CDC equivalent of a traditional locked room mystery, considering that Fosco literally had not left his apartment for seventy-two hours before he started getting sick on Friday evening. Very weird stuff.

However, we still celebrated a bit yesterday by exchanging gifts. More accurately, Oz lavished elaborate gifts on Fosco, while Fosco reciprocated with uninspired gifts that he felt too sick to wrap.

Oz always knows the perfect gift for Fosco: books, books, books.

I can't wait to read about this guy called "Barack Obama." I've heard he's a good author. I wonder if he's written anything else...

But Oz is much too creative to stop there. After opening the books (each of which was individually-wrapped, natch), Fosco was sent on a scavenger hunt to find the next gift that Oz had hidden (under the bed, it turned out) the night before.

When Fosco unwrapped the hidden gift he was puzzled. It was a thick hardcover trash novel by one of those "popular" authors who write using a text generator. Think Tom Clancy with less writing skill and no movie contracts. Now imagine a completely laughable cover and a snicker-worthy title. This is what went through Fosco's mind, in order:

  1. Does Oz think that I would read this?
  2. If he does think that, whither our relationship?
  3. It must be a joke. But why?
  4. [seeing the price tag] Oh God, did he really pay full price for this?
Oz's card offered only a little help: "read the Prologue for a hint as to your next gift." Fosco dutifully read the prologue (which was terrible--all about hunting for German U-boats), not quite knowing what he was looking for. (And let me tell you that Fosco was unrealistically hopeful for a second or two after reading the words "Lufthansa" and "BMW.")

Finally, after ten long pages, Fosco turned the page to discover the secret:

It's a hollow book! Oz made it himself with a book he found in his office's lost and found ( and yay, he didn't pay full price). Fosco has always wanted a hollow book, even though he doesn't really have anything he needs to keep inside one. Except his blow.

But wait, there's more! Inside the hollow was a ring box. And in the ring box was a nice solid tungsten carbide band with a celtic design. Fosco loves big, thick, chunky, nearly indestructible rings and this one is gorgeous. (Sadly, the ring has resisted our efforts to photograph it. We'll keep trying.) Need I add that it fits perfectly? Oz had done his homework.

Compared with this giftapalooza, Fosco doesn't really want to say what he got for Oz. Regular readers probably can guess (hint: it's eight inches tall and made from plastic... And no, it's not that. Don't be a filthy gorgon.)


m said...

That book is amazing! All I got were roses and dirty looks from my co-workers about those roses.

The ring sounds lovely as well, you can never go wrong w/jewelry ;)

Jeremy said...

Hey, let me know if Blindness is any good. I didn't like the movie so much, but for the last decade I've been thinking about maybe someday peeking inside a Saramago novel.

Today's word from Google is bighe: he sure big! or else some kind of Irish ghost.

Jill said...

Oz is a gem! Happy Valentine's day and I'm sorry you feel unwell. Oh, and I have no idea what a text generator is. I think it's going to jade me a bit when I find out.

And I have an incredibly dirty mind, so I can't come up with anything else you may have given such a thoughtful, romantic man!

Anonymous said...

@lboom (and Fosco): Blindness is very good. It took me a little bit to really fall into it (I thought the beginning felt a bit... schematic), but ultimately I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.


FOSCO said...

@Mere: dirty looks from coworkers are like five presents combined!

@lboom: Sadly, the only Saramago novel I've read wasn't really a thrill. It's that "Siege of Lisbon" one.

@Jill: Oz is a gem! I plan to lock this one down.

As for "text generator," I messed up. I was thinking of a random sentence generator--a program that can write grammatical sentences on its own. A random text generator creates total gibberish. Either way, I was exaggerating a bit--neither of them could write a novel, even a bad one (at least not in English).

Oz is thoughtful and romantic, which is why I buy him a nonsexual plastic toys.

@AEJ: I am glad for your recommendation. I was a bit wary of "Blindness" because the movie looked so upsetting. But now, I am psyched.

Jill said...

Damn! I was hoping I would finally be able to write the next great American novel.

Anonymous said...

@Fosco: Well, I'm not going to tell you Blindness isn't upsetting; it does not have what I would call a rosy view of our species. But I thought that it was, while imperfect, very interesting. And went from being what felt a little cardboard-allegory-y to being a rather more human(e) story. Also, at first I thought the end was wrong, but then I decided it was the only ending that made sense. Make of that what you will...