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August 31, 2002

up in the hot tub, bubbly

up in the hot tub, bubbly

So there's a big party going on in Florida right now for Todd's birthday at Todd and Robyn's place. Unfortunately, I couldn't be there, but this cam shot makes me wish I was:

for_michelle2.jpg

I'd do you all if I were there. Really. Now go do those tequila shots for me, Annessa!

*update* Here's Annessa doing that shot for me. I just did a shot of NyQuil for you! (not gratuitously - for my allergies)

glitter: a review via webster's

Glitter: A review via Webster's


aw·ful (ôfl)
adj.
Extremely bad or unpleasant; terrible

Yet, as with Showgirls, I sat through the whole thing.

special guest

special guest

davidpjs.jpg Hi! My name is David. Tonight, Aunt Michele and Uncle Justin are babysitting for me. My daddy reads this weblog every night and I want him to see what I do when he is not around.

First, we had ice cream for dinner. And oreos! And gummy bears! It was the BEST dinner I EVER had!

Then we went outside and Aunt Michele let me touch the grass and dirt and stuff! It was so cool! Daddy never lets me get dirty. You should have seen me, daddy. I was a MESS! Not only that, I had no shoes or jacket on!!

Oh, and Uncle Justin let me touch the hamsters. They did not bite me and give me a nasty disease like you said they would, daddy. See, I'm still ok!

Then they wanted to watch tv. But we didn't watch Shrek because they said that once I can act out the whole movie it's time to move on. They were going to make me watch Glitter but as soon as I saw Mariah Carey I started screaming so they put on Follow That Bird. That Big Bird sure reminds me a lot of you, daddy. Oh, wait. I mean Oscar. That's who you remind me of!

You know I love you, daddy and I'm just kidding around. Besides, Aunt Michele and Uncle Justin are making me type this. They have me tied up and they threatened to decapitate Bob The Builder if I didn't do what they said.

Ok, me and Uncle Justin are gonna have a farting contest now. And then we're gonna burp a lot. And I'm gonnna poop my pants soon, but I don't think Uncle Justin will do that, too.

And then we're gonna jump on the bed and watch anime cartoons with pretty ladies wearing really short skirts.

I'm kidding, daddy, I'm kidding! But I am going to play Streetfighter.

Bye!!

why spiderman isn't allowed to come over and play anymore

why spiderman isn't allowed to come over and play anymore

I let him hang out just once, and not only does he teach the hamsters how to climb....

akumahangth.jpg

...he brings an evil friend along.

jangoth.jpg


I suppose tomorrow they will be making clones.

late summer sunset

late summer sunset

ss12th.jpgss10th.jpgss8th.jpgss5th.jpgss4th.jpgss2th.jpgss1th.jpgglow1th.jpg

i had a dream last night

i had a dream last night

I had my most vivid September 11 dream last night.

I've had quite a few of these; glancing through my dream journal I see at least twenty. They usually involve the same things - planes falling from the sky, loud noises, skies on fire. They don't always appear to be about September 11 but I know they are.

Last night, in my dreams, buildings crumbled. I felt every rumble, heard every roar, cried and despaired. It wasn't the twin towers that fell in this nightmare, but buildings that are even more familiar to me. The building where I work. The local hospital. The library, which, in the dream, was about fifty stories high instead of one.

I saw the buildings from a very low perspective, as if I were laying on the ground. They all went in the same way. First, the sidewalk would rumble. People would start screaming and running, looking for friends and family while fleeing. Then, the building would start to fall apart, piece by piece, block by block, each block crumbling into smaller pieces on its way down. From my perspective it looked like the sky was raining huge chunks of cement.

I heard hard thuds as bricks and mortar fell to the ground. I heard soft thuds as the pieces landed on a person. I heard groans and screams and panic.

The buildings went one by one. Amidst all this, I was trying to find my kids. Justin had taken them and a host of their cousins to a neary dock to fish and swim. In my panic and fear, I could not remember where the dock was. Meanwhile it was right there, right next to where the world was collapsing.

Planes came and helicopters hovered and sirens shrieked. People ran. Children cried. Large chunks of steel broke off structures and pounded into the ground.

And then it was quiet. The planes and helicopters had gone. The world stopped shaking. And we were left, a handful of us, to fend for ourselves in a city that had gone to ruin.

The weather turned from a scorching hot day to a fall freeze within seconds. My friend Barbara and I ran from empty store to empty store, gathering up food and clothes for the coming cold. We were alone in the world, just our kids and some family members and a few straggling strangers who begged to stay with us.

I remember rummaging through the remains of a shoe store, looking for boots and winter shoes for the kids. I had a pile of winter jackets in my arms and I was taking everything I could, stocking up for the cold, lonely months ahead of us.

We had assumed it was the end of the world. It wasn't.

Soon, the helicopters came back to rescue us, and the pilots explained that it was only that which was familiar to us which had been destroyed. I asked if that was true for everyone and he said yes.

Wouldn't the whole world be destroyed, then? Isn't every place familiar to at least one person?

You have no idea of the places that have gone unnoticed, he said. Even that which we see every day can still be unfamiliar to us.

The helicopter swooped down on and shifted sideways as it did.

And that's when I fell out of bed and woke up.

August 30, 2002

called out swinging

called out swinging

Yawn.

In other news, the Jets signed Wayne Chrebet to a 7-year deal.

Islanders training camp opens September 13.

Remember that game with the ball and the bat and the bases? That used to be fun. What was that called? I forget.

You want baseball, pure and unadulterated? This is baseball:

fun with stars

fun with hookers stars

Caption/Photoshop Contest #3

Captions below, mail photoshopped pictures to me. You can do one or all. Contest ends whenever I say it does.

Best photoshop picture wins a copy of one of our kick-ass wedding cds. (No Macarena included)

one two three

stick a fork in it

stick a fork in it

Just about nine hours until another baseball strike.

I'm thinking, maybe it's time for baseball to take a much needed hiatus, anyhow. I think, like any large corporation in the midst of a crisis, they need to sit back and regroup. And think about what this year has wrought.

First, there was the YES Network fiasco which, if you are not a Yankee fan, means nothing to you. But it should, because it just underscores the ruling prinicple of baseball; it's the money, stupid. Not the fans, not the game, not the love of the sport or even the entertainment value. It's the money. Sure, baseball is just a big business and dollars are the bottom line, but then the powers that be shouldn't make such a big deal out of claiming they have respect for the fans.

Then there were steroids. Who was on them, who wasn't on them, were the home runs of certain players chemically induced? Denials, accusations, admissions, more denials. Another off-field affair that overshadowed anything the players were doing on the field.

Mike Piazza with his totally unecessary "I swear I'm not gay" announcment. Bud Selig calling a halt the All-Star game.

Speaking of Piazza, I wonder if the Mets are actually hoping for a strike, putting an end to their season of misery. Maybe the Red Sox don't care about a strike either, so they don't have to watch another chance at a pennant go to hell.

The Expos, on the other hand, are staring the death of their team in the face. A strike today could mean that perhaps they have played their last game as the Montreal Expos. The same holds true for the Minnesota Twins.

Of course there will be winners and losers, even with a strike. The winners are the teams who had a rough schedule coming up this week. The winners are the teams who were just going through the motions, anyhow.

The losers, obviously, are the fans. They lose in a big way.

Witness my son, DJ, who has already cried over this. His daily schedule is set by what time the Yankees are playing. Often, we will head out to a restaurant that has the Yes Network and sit there for hours, nursing chicken fingers and buffalo wings, just so he can see part of the game. He doesn't even get out of bed in the morning until he has seen a full episode of Sportscenter. He will watch any baseball game on tv, even if it is two last place teams playing.

DJ is just one of thousands. Do you know how many kids - even adults - for whom baseball is their true joy in life? I know it's silly of me to even suggest that the players and owners should take the devotion of the fans into consideration. Or is it?

How many fans are going to stick around this time? How many of them are just going to throw their hands in the air and say the hell with it? Watch the attendance of minor league teams rise. Watch how many people do not come back when and if the season resumes. Most of us, even the insanely devoted fans, have lost their taste for what used to be a great game.

When I really think about it, I realize that I don't even enjoy baseball as much as I used to. Not like I did in the days of Bucky Dent and Thurman Munson. Not even like I did in the days of Dale Murphy and Bob Horner.

Something has tainted the game. Money, drugs, fighting, Bud Selig, selfishness, egos - they have all gone a long way towards making baseball about as appetizing as a piece of moldy bread.

I hope they do strike. And I hope that the fans are angry enough this time around to really mean it when they say they won't go back. I think fans should go to the stadiums and picket against the strikers. Not that the pampered baseball players will actually be standing out their with placards, pacing by the front office. They'll be on the golf course and on vacation, waiting for someone else to do their negotiating for them. No union rallies, no chanting strikers, no days in the hot sun carrying signs for your cause.

If you really miss baseball, watch a good baseball movie. Bad News Bears comes to mind. Play All-Star Baseball2002 for the PS2 and finish the season yourself. Gather the neighborhood kids for a pick-up game. Go to a minor league ball game.

Or you can just ignore baseball all together. Walk away. Walk away from your team, your favorite players, your pennants and banners and team jackets. Walk away and don't look back. It's not like they care about you, anyhow. I'm going to drive to Yankee Stadium, deposit all my Yankee paraphenalia in the front concourse and set them on fire.

Even if they decide not to strike, I'm walking away anyhow.

August 29, 2002

(un)fan mail

(un)fan mail

Hey kids! Let's open today's mailbag!

I have this thing about people who email me comments instead of putting them right there in the open where everyone else can see them. I'm not talking about personal asides or inside jokes. I'm talking about angry, bitter rants complete with incorrect syntax. Today's mail is brough to us by the pleasant and grammatically challenged "Keebs", in whic he references the "countdown" post below. Hi Keebs! (It should be noted that Keebs's mail was in a big pink font)

Where have you been that you think they haven't "struck at us first?" What was 9/11? What was the bombing of the Pentagon? Acts of Friendship? You are one fucked up person man. You need to watch what you say and how you say it, you're site can give ideas and opportunities to people that really don't need them. Before you TRY to comment on something or give your opinion on something you really don't know about, think. My dad was in that building when it when down, and I don't appreciate your comments or opinions as many people I know and have spoken to don't. Please have some compassion in the future before you just type, because frankly, your opinion isn't shit.

My problems with The Keebs's little letter are as follows:

First, I never heard Bush claim that he wanted to bomb Iraq in retaliation for September 11. There has never been any definitive proof that Saddam indeed had anything to do with it. You don't bomb a country based on conjecture.

If dear old Keebs really thought that was a good enough reason to bomb Iraq, perhaps our letter writer should be spending time instead writing letters to the White House, asking why they haven't bombed Afghanistan yet.

However, that is not the main problem I have with his email.

You need to watch what you say and how you say it, you're site can give ideas and opportunities to people that really don't need them.

It's not even the part where he/she thinks that I shouldn't speak my mind lest other people start thinking, too. Next thing you know, we'll all be coloring outside the lines! It will be anarchy! Also, I really don't think that my words here on this site will ever have any big impact on a social revolution.

No, no, that's not the real problem at all. The problem is you're. That would be YOUR not YOU'RE in that particular sentence. You have broken one of my cardinal rules of being my friend, dear Keebs. You wrote the wrong your.

And one last thing, when you say your opinion isn't shit, then what you mean is my opinion is something other than shit. So what is it? Did you mean to say my opinion isn't worth shit, or my opinion is shit? Please clarify.

Thank you.

On a completely different tangent, I'm watching the MTV awards and Britney looks like the missing Village Person. Kylie, on the other hand.........let's just say it must be cold in that place.

Mary Kate and Ashley? That porn video may be closer than originally thought.

me me me

me me me

I've got my first piece up over at blogcritics (it's a repeat, but go read it anyhow, or at least check out the site).

And while I'm whoring myself, The Banned Books Project has been updated today, and I am still taking submissions for anyone interested in participating or supporting.

the final countdown

the final countdown

ESPN had a clock running on the bottom of the screen last night, a clock counting down to the very second the start of the almost inevitable baseball strike.

Like I need another thing to count down until.

This is the time of year for marking off calendars. End of summer, end of the year, almost. Really, by the time August 31 rolls around, the year may as well be gone.

First, I had the countdown to my wedding/birthday. That page has been marked off and discarded.

There's the countdown until school starts (6 days) and the countdown until September 11 (13 days), and then we start thinking about Halloween and then Thanksgiving and then Christmas and New Year's and 2003. Super Bowl Sunday is almost here and the season hasn't even started yet!

Calendars are a great way to instill a sense of panic and make your life flash before your very eyes. It's like a cartoon, where the pages of a daily calendar tear off one by one, going faster and faster and all the pages flying away, taking off to the skies, just like in real life. Where those days go, nobody knows. But they are gone, and things lie ahead, things that will be duly marked on the proper date in Sharpies, color coded for easy reading.

There should be a countdown clock for the bombing of Iraq. Come on, you know it's going to happen. Bush says he doesn't need congress and Ashcroft says we don't need our allies, and I guess all we need are to power-crazy leaders in office to wipe out a country that hasn't struck at us first. Pre-emptive striking is interesting. What if Saddam thinks - hey, the U.S. is preparing to bomb us, so why don't we bomb them first? - and isn't that along the same lines of thinking as W. and Company? Would they be wrong?

I know there are some people counting down the days until the Bush administration is gone (795 days...maybe). And some people are counting down the days until Ann Coulter gains a bit of perspective, which could be never or until Limp Bizkit breaks up, which can't be soon enough, or until the Red Sox win a World Series, which will be......well, I'll let you guys dream on that one.

Of course, there's always this countdown, which always freaks me out because those girls do not look 16. I'm sure they are aging at twice the speed of light and it won't be long until someone makes a countdown clock for the day they join AARP.

Anyone want to count down the days until Britney appears in Playboy? Tastefully photographed, of course.

Countdown for Spider-Man 2, 615 days. Two Towers? Only 110 days! Countdown to Armageddon? Who knows? Looks like they stopped counting. Only 9,554 days left until an asteroid smashes into earth.

You can even buy your own countdown clock for any occasion you are patiently waiting for - or personally dreading.

13 hours and 25 minutes until baseball screws the fans yet again. It figures, the Yankees have trounced the Sox the last two days and they are 9 games ahead. I wish I could stop caring.

6 days and 13 hours until the start of the NFL season.

40 days, 13 hours until the start of the NHL season.

Woosh, woosh.

That was the sound of the calendar pages flying away. That was the sound of my daughter suddenly being in 7th grade and my being on the other side of the hill marked "40" and...oh,yes...

Todd being 30 years old.

Happy Birthday, Todd. Countdown until your gift is ready for shipping:

63 days, 13 hours.

Suffer with me.

August 28, 2002

wedgies

wedgies

You think I bought that Captain Underpants book for DJ, didn't you. Hah.

My favorite jokes from The All New Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book O' Fun 2:

Q: Why did the cookie cry?
A: Because his mom had been a wafer so long.

George: Excuse me, mister, I'd like to buy some toilet paper.
Grocery Store Clerk: What color would you like?
George: Just give me white. I'll color it myself!

Q: Why was the mushroom always invited to parties?
A: Because he was a fungi!

Q: What's green, cold and topped with whipped cream?
A: A snot-fudge sundae

Q: What's invisible and smells like bananas?
A: monkey burps!

Tommy: Mommy, can I lick the bowl?
Mommy: No, Tommy, you have to flush like everybody else!

how to spend money you don't have

how to spend money you don't have

Our shopping extravaganza tally for the past few days:

DVDs:

Dusk Till Dawn Collector's Edition
Pulp Fiction Collector's Edition
PI
Follow That Bird (the darkest children's movie ever)
The Rookie (for the kids)
Schoolhouse Rock

Other stuff:

Too Much Coffee Man magazine (great article about enemas)
First three copies of The Filth
Stikfas toys
Steering wheel for the Dreamcast
Exercise ball for the hamsters (by the way, DJ changed the name of his hamster from Giambi to Akuma. Akuma would never go on strike, he said)
Mr. Softee bobble head
Captain Underpants Extra Crunchy Book o' Fun 2

Not to mention the 200 dollars worth of school clothes for the kids.

After a long overdue nap today, I woke craving coffee, only to find that we were out of coffee. We did, however, have a bag of coffee beans in the freezer. But we were sans coffee grinder. Not two minutes later, the UPS man delivered a package from Christine. Inside: a coffee grinder. Thank you, Christine, for saving the day!

And now, I must go stare at my empty wallet.

wedding tale, part 3

A wedding tale, part 3: Hang the DJ

(when I say "DJ" in this post I am referring not to my son, but to the tacky man who played some really horrid music at my wedding)

We had gone through the trouble of making a playlist. We burned three cds. We talked to him on the phone and told him what we wanted and what we didn't want. Little did I know that in the end, it doesn't even matter.

I assume he was being condescending when he said "yes, mmhmm" to all my requests. Meanwhile he was probably doodling the lyrics to YMCA in his notebook.

I understand that we had to entertain the guests. I know what a party is. And I would have been ok with the occasional disco song and the 50's doo-wop and the 70's novelty songs.

I also understand that the guests did not like our choice of music. The over-50 crowd was none too pleased by Faith No More and Butthole Surfers. Which leads me to believe that people just fear the unknown and automatically dismiss wha they don't understand. Because those over-50 people were sure smiling and grooving in their seats when AC/DC came on. I guess it has to be popular to be entertaining.

I could have lived with all that, honestly. He did manage to get a Jay-Z song on for me, which raised a few eyebrows, and some Radiohead, which raised Chris's eyebrows. But there were moments of utter disbelief.

The Electric Slide was one of them. I specfically said no line dancing songs. But the DJ pointed out to me how much the whole crowd (read: 5 dancing aunts and some cousins) was enjoying it so much.

The Macarena was unforgivable. I noticably cringed when I heard the opening strains to the song. I almost cried when about twenty people got up on the deck and danced, proving that the DJ knew what was best for the crowd.

I started playing a little game with myself. Do a shot of tequila every time the DJ plays something I asked him not to. Do a shot of tequila every time Chris and Nancy looked at each other with that "I am so blogging this" look. Now you know why I was completely shitfaced. Blame the DJ.

At one point we were sitting at a table, enjoying pleasant conversation among our guests when we (and all the neighbors) heard blaring from the speakers:

OH.MY.GOD.BECKY, LOOK AT HER BUTT!

I was mortified. Horribly, completely mortified. This deserved a double shot. Chris and Nancy looked at Justin and then looked at me and I in turn looked at the DJ as if to say "You think this is ok, Biz Markie isn't??" So a couple of people got up on the deck and shook their butts and I said out loud that perhaps Spinal Tap's Big Bottom would be next. And there was Natalie next to me, giggling that she requested Sir-Mix-A-Lot. I chased her around for about one minute before I remembered that drinking and running don't mix.

Believe it or not, that was not the lowlight of the afternoon. Not by a longshot. The ultimate moment of despair came in the middle of the party, when the first few notes of God Bless the USA. Not even the Shania Twain or J-Lo selections could have caused me more distress than the refrain of that song did.

The drunker I got, the more I enjoyed the 80's brand of disco and rock the DJ started spinning after Justin threatened him with castration. We grooved to Kiss and The Vapors and Devo some other things that are a bit fuzzy in my mind right now. I think, and I can't be sure but I bet one of my sisters or Bonnie will be happy to tell you if I'm right - that I did dance to the YMCA. I blame the tequila, I blame the DJ, I blame Justin for making me so damn happy that I could dance to anything.

We still have our 3 burned cds - one slow, one medium and one a bit heavier. I'll post the track listings later and if anyone would like a copy of one of them as a sort of wedding favor, just let me know. My thanks for not laughing at me.

Because you're not laughing. Right?

wedding tale, part 2

A Wedding Tale Part 2: Bruno and Francesca spy on the locals

It's hard to be inconspicuous when you are drivng a car that advertises your recent nuptials. Courtesy of my brother-in-law, the car was painted on all sides, on all windows. I think he did a great job in refraining from writing "sucker" instead of "his" on the right side of the car.

As we drove along the Northern State Parkway, most people waved to us or honked or yelled their congratulations. It was charming at first, then it got annoying as we were conducting an experiment in whether having sex while driving is any less dangerous than talking on a cell phone. Hey, someone has to do this research.

I kid you. Really, I do.

We pulled into Danford's in Port Jefferson at 3pm. A little too early to check in. So we left our bags with them and went into super secret spy mode. Bruno and Francesca had taken over the North Shore. I spit on the North Shore! We light cigarettes and stroll along the cobbled sidewalks, always on the lookout for double secret spies or international double crossers.

Yes. So. We ate. I had a seafood bisque served in a bowl made of bread. It was quite delicious.

We walked around the quaint little village for a while, looking in all the quaint shops and watching all the quaint village folk and learning about quaint village lore. It's a very artsy little town, with plenty of shops selling portraits of sea scapes and burly looking fishermen, shops with knick knacks and home made crafts, shops with freshly made chocolates and hand made jewelry. And, of course, the requisite Starbucks. Bruno and Francesca ordered frozen frappacinos, in our horribly fake accents, and we were not at all intimidated by the Starbucks-issue tweaked, snarly girl behind the counter.

We finally were able to check in to the hotel room and the first thing we did was look for hidden cameras. The second thing we did, I will leave to your imagination.

We had a beautiful room, with a balcony overlooking the Long Island sound. Boats and a ferry and small yachts came in and out of the harbor and seagulls and pigeons darted up and down, depositing their special brand of white poo everywhere. I swore it was a game to the birds, and they laughed every time they managed to hit an unsuspecting person with their goop. Yes, seagulls do laugh. They sound like The Joker.

We did the whole romantic thing, sitting outside and watching the sunset, holding hands as the ferry horn sounded and scared the crap out of us, comparing the endless water to our endless love, and clicking our rings together, Power Twins that we are.

We went to dinner at the hotel restaurant, a fine upper class establishment with appetizers that cost more than Martha Stewart's legal fees. We indulged. Shrimp served on a bed of polenta, drowning in a spicy barbecue glaze, and jumbo shrimp served on a bed of crushed ice drowning in a spicy cocktail sauce was our first course. Succulent, I believe, is the word I'm looking for.

We then had a main course of lobster tails and filet mignon covered in a brown roquefort sauce. Again, succulent. Incredible. I love food. For dessert I had a white chocolate pecan bread pudding in Southern Comfort sauce. We stared out the window next to our table for a while, holding hands and making up stories about where all the boats were headed.

We rolled ourselves out of there about an hour later, full and tired and twenty pounds heavier. We walked down to the shoreline, intending to maybe roll around on the beach for a while and get sand down our pants, but it was too rocky and we were disuaded by the teenage gang of rebels hanging around. Francesca and Bruno chided the teenagers for being jerks. They are brave, are they not? It was, however, Michele and Justin who ran back up to the hotel room when the teenage gang started to look menacing.

It's always odd for me to be away from home. I'm a homebody. I like my own bed, my own pillows, my own little world. We flipped channels for a while, realized they were showing Spiderman, then were put off by the twelve dollar price tag for the movie. So we went to into the bedroom, did another search for hidden cameras, waved at the ceiling just in case, and enjoyed our first honeymoon night. I was asleep by ten. Getting married is exhausting work. Pretending to be bumbling spies is even more tiring.

I woke early the next morning to catch the sunrise. It was beautiful, sitting on the balcony, sipping my weak hotel room coffee and watching the hills and early morning workers appear out of the darkness. Eventually, the shoreline of Connecticut made itself known off to the north and the sun made its magic display to my right, lighting up the trees and water and boats and the lone man making a mad getaway for shores unknown.

By 8am I had enough. I wanted to go home rather than stay the extra night. I woke Justin and he was totally agreeable to going home. We checked out (not before devouring the free breakfast) and decided to hit all the stores in the area that we could before heading home.

We ended up at a Target. There we are, on our honeymoon, shopping for the kids' back-to-school clothes at a Target. While we were shopping, the kids called on the cell from their hotel room in Virginia, where they are doing an historical vacation trip with my mother. I hope they like war reenactments as much as my mom does. It was good to hear from them. I missed them. Don't shake your head like that, I really did miss them.

We stopped off at a crappy little mall on the way and found a fantastic comic book/toy store, where we spent an hour just going through the graphic novels. we spent money, too. Lots of money.

On our way home, we made one more stop at a pet store to get some treats for the hamsters. Did I mention we put the frogs down the sewer before we left? No? That's another story.

Finally, home. We fell into our own bed, with our own pillows, beyond exhausted and totally spent. But happy. Oh, so happy.

And remember, next time you are strolling around a seemingly innocent tourist town, Franesca is watching you.

Next up, the tale of the Disc Jockey who must die, and the two bloggers who got tons of laughs out of my musical distress. And that will be it. I have political things that are itching to be ranted about.

August 27, 2002

a wedding tale, part 1

A Wedding Tale: Part 1 (pictures not scanned yet)

The day was beautiful. Sunny, warm, not a cloud in the sky.

My aunt later said to me that the greatest moment was when I walked into the backyard for the ceremony and Justin, who was already standing at the trellis/arch had the sweetest look on his face. All together now - awwww.

My judges wrote a little script that stunned me in its beauty and eloquence. I really thought they would go for the funny stuff. But they didn't, and I think many people came away from the ceremony with a better understanding of how Justin and I fit together so well.

My eyes watered and my lips trembled as we got to the "I Do" part. My hand shook as I put the ring on his finger. My legs almost gave way as he kissed me for the first time as my husband. I was completely overwhelmed at the happiness and love and warmth that enveloped me at that moment. It is still with me now.

When we finallly kissed all our relatives and sat down for the first time that day, we put our left fists together, clicking our brand new wedding bands and said "Power Twins!"

Now, the party.

I got drunk. Really drunk. Not dance-naked-on-the-table-in-front-of-your-family drunk, but pass-out-at-9pm-on-your-wedding-night drunk. Which is probably just as bad.

The tequila binge did pay off, though. I wasn't nearly coherent enough to care what the DJ did. He kind of passed over the cds we gave him, explaining that most of the people at the party were holding their hands over their ears whenever he played one of our songs.

However, he found it perfectly fine to play Baby Got Back. Which was requested by Natalie. Which I pointed out to everyone.

I forgave him for the Nelly, and the Kylie made Chris happy and the Linkin Park made DJ happy, as he did his little metal rap motions for everyone. No one seemed to mind the Biz Markie or Grandmaster Flash, but everyone did look at Bonnie and I a bit weird when we dirty danced to some early 80's disco.

Then the DJ did the unthinkable. He played the Macarena. And the Electric Slide. And YMCA. All I can say is he is very, very lucky that he didn't put on the chicken dance or he would have walked out of the party with two less balls than he came in with.

The hits of the party were clearly Nancy and Chris. Every one of my guest remarked to me how nice and sweet and funny they were. The bartender was a little more interested in Nancy than he should have been and the little girls were a lot more interested in Chris than they should have been.

The food was good, the guests were happy and we are married. And isn't that all that matters.

Oh, and it will be a long time before I drink tequila again.

I'm sure I left a lot out, but we are tired and cranky and we cut our stay at the hotel short by one night because we missed our pillows and we missed our 120 channels and we missed the hamsters. Really, I kid you not. We just felt like coming home and honeymooning in our jammies, watching American Idol and playing Streetfighter. I guess when you live together for three years before you're married, a honeymoon seems redundant.

Justin is going to write his side of the wedding tale, and I'll put that up tommorow, along with the story of how we walked around Port Jefferson pretending we were Bruno Puntz Jones and Francesca Fiori, European spies with incredibly bad accents.

August 26, 2002

sampling

sampling

I found a disc with a couple of pictures on it. There's only one of us, and it's from the back, so you'll just have to wait.

In order of appearance:

1. Chris. 2. Nancy. 3. Bouquet. 4. DJ (don't ask, I have no idea what he was doing). 5. Balloon. 6. The good stuff. 7. Haley looking for a drink. 7. The moment (DJ took that picture, so pardon the haziness)

Ok, now we are really leaving.

i deny it all

i deny it all

I'm a bit hungover, totally wiped out, and incredibly, deliriously happy. And married.

I left the digital camera discs at my parents' house, so you will have to wait for pictures. As a matter of fact, you're going to have to wait for the whole blogged adventure of our wedding because we need to pack up, clean up and get out the door for our stay here.

Just keep in mind that no matter what Nancy and Chris tell you, it's all lies, lies, lies.

I did not dance to Nelly.

The DJ did not play all the songs I asked him not to.

I did not drink an entire bottle of tequila.

However, I did have a blast, as did our guests. And when they were all leaving - eight hours later! - each and every one of them said to me "what a fantastic wedding, and your friends Nancy and Chris are so great!" That much is true.

My judges did a fabulous job on the ceremony - it was heartwarming and sweet and made me cry. When they pronounced Justin and I husband and wife and we kissed, it was as if the world stopped turning just for us and for that one moment, we were the only people that existed. And then we realized where we were and we resisted the urge to strip and have wild honeymoon sex right there.

The DJ did play Baby Got Back. Everyone looked duly horrified except for the people dancing to it and the caterers, who seemed to enjoy it very much.

Everything else they tell you is a lie. Remember that.

We will be back on Wednesday and I'll have details and pictures if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Just one question - do people really have sex on their wedding night? Everyone I know who ever got married have always spoken of being too drunk or tired to even find their way into their partner's pants.

Anyhow, thank you to each and every one of you who left a nice comment or sent me an email. All your good wishes and good vibes helped make the day sunny and warm and fun and just perfect.

I'll be back Wednesday with full disclosure.

August 25, 2002

killing time

killing time

What kind of person blogs on their wedding day?

I'm up from 4am. I couldn't sleep. Everything's done except for the shower/hair/makeup stuff and I'll wait til the last minute for that. I only have to walk across the street to my parents' house about fifteen minutes before the ceremony.

I have no idea what to expect. My sister planned this whole thing with very little input from me. She wants me to be surprised at how the yard is decorated and all.

I've been pacing. I don't know what to do with myself. So I did what any bride to be would do on her wedding morning - I cleaned the hamster cage.

I'm suddenly nervous. I haven't eaten a thing and I don't think I will, which is probably not a great idea.

I know everything will run smooth. Right now my biggest concern is getting someone to tape Adult Swim for me tonight. Girl's gotta have her priorities.

I think I'm going to throw up. Two hours.

I think I'll go clean the frog tank now.

If I am at all coherent and awake late tonight, I will post pictures.

The next time you hear from me I will be married to the greatest guy in the world.

i'm getting married in the morning

i'm getting married in the morning

I am officially 40 years old. It feels great. (I just found out I share a birthday with Tim Burton!)


Image courtesy of the wonderful Robyn

August 24, 2002

closer

closer

My sisters called me old last night because I was ready to go home and crash by 9pm.

I had two bathtub sized margaritas. This place that we frequent has a tendency to make their margaritas strong enough to kill a small animal.

I'm not a big drinker, I've never been. I have zero tolerance for alchohol. One Drink Michele is what they used to call me, and that nickname still holds.

Two margaritas and I was wobbly on my feet. And ready for bed. It has nothing to do with turning 40 tomorrow, really. It has more to do with the fact that Paxil enhances the effect of alcohol, that I took two Claritin before dinner and that I was utterly exhausted to begin with.

It always looks so bad when someone goes to greath lengths to defend themselves, no?

So, I realize that I've been doing an awful lot of navel-gazing here and that this has sort of become A Small Victory - The Wedding Blog. I was going to change course today and write something about a theory that West Nile Virus is really a plague, set in motion by bio-terrorists years ago and only coming to fruition now. Well, I dreamed about it and it sounded good in the dream. Also in my dream, Glenn Reynolds was chasing Laurence Simon around with a bloody butcher knife. And Laurence was laughing.

And I you know what popped into my head at 3am when I woke up from that dream? Work. I realized that I was supposed to set a trial date for a case. I'm going to have some pissed attorneys waiting for me when I get back. I have to figure out a way to block work from my mind for the next few days.

Anyhow, I'm getting married tomorrow (as well as turning the big 4-0) and what did you really expect me to write about today? Deranged mosquitoes? Deranged bloggers? Seriously.

I'm at the excited stage now. Most of my nervousness about the wedding and reception are gone. It may have something to do with the wedding present my parents gave me yesterday - they have decided to foot the bill for the whole shindig. Very generous of them, considering they did this once already.

I do have the greatest parents in the world, and not just because they have allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief in relation to my empty bank account, but just because they love me so unconditionallly and so fully and even though they (mom especially) can be really annoying sometimes, they have always stood by me no matter what I did, no matter which choices I made, no matter what.

My sister Jo-Anne and her husband have been the driving force behind this wedding. They have done all the planning and plotting and scheduling. Not only do I have no control over what is going on tomorrow, I don't even know the half of it. They have coordinated the decorations and entertainment and whatever else this wedding will entail, all without my input or knowledge, for which I am eternally grateful. I love my family.

Because my family is so supportive of all I do, perhaps they won't mind if we really do use these vows tommorow. You think?

Today will be spent setting up my parents' yard for the ceremony and party, and doing last minute running around. I pick up Nancy from the airport at 5, where we will have a quick dinner before I deposit her on a train (she is staying at Choire's), and then I will go home and battle insomnia. I will not be able to sleep tonight. Bill is heading down from Canada and she will hook up with Nancy and I am every so grateful to the both of them for traveling beyond the call of friendship to attend our special day. (Oh, Nancy...Bill...perhaps you both can hook up with Chris and come in from the city together).

So, as I was trying to say before all my thoughts got in the way, I am one lucky gal. Tomorrow I will marry my best friend. You have no idea how fortunate I consider myself to be marrying Justin. There's just no possible way I can put it into the right words, especiall at 6am with a slight headache. Or maybe I did put it into the right words once before.

Before I head off for the business of getting hitched (oh please, like I'm not going to blog tonight or tomorrow morning), I just want to say thank you.

Thank you for all the wonderful emails of support and good wishes, thank you for everyone who left a comment wishing us luck, thank you to Mike for this hysterical post and Robyn and Todd for this lovely post, to everyone who sent us gifts - (real thank yous are forthcoming, I'm not a social moron, really) - we both appreciate all the love and friendship and your warmth and good vibes will be with us throughout the day tomorrow.

So, go spread the love

(love spreading via Jhames and Frankie)

Now, about that West Nile theory....

August 23, 2002

love fest

love fest

kissbaz.jpg

Kisses for Baz and Melly and Choire and Ian and Tracy and Robyn and Todd and Jill and Stacy and Jessica and Aaron and James and.....and.....so many other people who I wish could be at our wedding on Sunday.

I'm going out with the girls now for dinner and a "few" drinks. Tequila for everyone! Oh man, if I have a shot for each one of you I may never recover.

I seriously love you guys.

Oh yea, that's my wedding hair cut. My first hair cut in over a year. It hurt.

my favorite rock star

my favorite rock star

Happy Birthday, Ian.

I can't say everything I want to say to you cause people would think that I'm really weird. And they would think that you are really weird, too. And, well.....yea.

Happy birthday you vegan bastard.

photoshop was calling me

photoshop was calling me

Obviously, I had better things to do than go back to bed or check off my to-do list.

huh?

huh?

Sometimes I plan the night before what I will write here in the morning. It depends what my pressing issue of the day was. Politics, religion, parenting issues, action figure meetings.

Sometimes I don't know what I'm going to write about and I cruise around the news sites and other blogs until something catches my eye or makes me angry enough to want to spew here.

And sometimes, I just write, in a journal sort of way. I just type the first sentence and the rest flows out and before I know it I've written an unplanned monologue about everything and nothing at all.

Today was one of those days where whatever I had on my mind last night disappeared in between the dreams about Vin Diesel abducting my kids and a courthouse drama where I was maintaining my innoncence in cheating on a driver's test.

An hour ago, I sat in the computer chair, fingers poised over the keyboard and waited. I may have fallen asleep. I had nothing. Well, I had a lot of things, but my thoughts were so jumbled and wreckless that they would have made sense to not a single soul, not even me. I would have had to decipher my own writing at some point.

I went outside and had a cigarette. Cigarettes taste really good at 4:30 in the morning. There's something just wrong about having a smoke that early, when the entire neighborhood is still snoring. It makes me think of the old days, when 4:30 was the same as 8:00 which was the same as midnight because when you have insomnia, time is irrelevant.

I don't know how I functioned back then, not eating, not sleeping, chain smoking and listening to Stabbing Westward on an endless repeating loop. Maybe I didn't function at all.

I seem to be not functioning today. As I sit here it is still dark out. This time just two weeks ago, daylight was already trickling in the windows. Now, with August almost at a close, the moon stares at me through the slit in the blinds and the shortness of the days makes my chest tight.

I'm frozen in a state of panic and delerium. My mind races with all the things I need to do before Sunday and the ideas and lists spin in my head like sneakers in a dryer, thumping and bumping and distracting me. I stare wild-eyed at the computer and instead of jumping up and starting in on those lists and to-dos, I stare some more. I am frozen. Non-functioning.

Sure, it's only 5:30 in the morning. I have the whole day ahead of me. But time has a way of escaping with a hiss like air leaking out of your car tire and before you know it, all my tires are flat and I'm on the couch, taking a nap because it's useless to even try to move the vehicle that is my mind without being reminded that I'm out of air. I don't even have a spare.

The solution, of course, is going back to bed. Stop staring at the clock and thinking how early it is and how I should have never gotten up at 4:30 and just go. Just crawl under the cool covers and bury my head in the pillow and sleep like normal people do at this hour. Then I will wake up refreshed and confident and ready to conquer all of life's mysteries and to do lists.

I sound like a douche commercial.

I'm going back to bed. I need to go kick Vin Diesel's ass, anyhow. I'll deal with the wedding and birthday stuff later. Maybe.

August 22, 2002

the music never stopped

the music never stopped

We finally made a partial playlist for the wedding. The rest we will leave up to the DJ. I'll just tune him out when he plays whatever pop crap the kids request. Though some of my little cousins have already requested Ja Rule. I don't think so. Jay-Z, yes. Ja-Rule, no.

So, for interested parties, the partial playlist (in no particular order, yet):

Portishead - Glory Box
Mr. Bungle - Retrovertigo
Nick Cave - Ship Song
Radiohead - No Suprises
Lovage- Everyone Has A Summer
Bad Religion - Infected
Incubus - Anti-Gravity Love Song
Screaming Trees - I Nearly Lost You
Sade - Smooth Operator
Specials - Message To You, Rudy
Nick Cave - Lime Tree Arbor
Faith No More - Stripsearch
Beck - Soul Suckin' Jerk
Squirrel Nut Zippers - Hell
Dead Milkmen - If You Love Somebody Set Them On Fire
Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise
Pist*On - Grey Flap
Ultraspank - Five
Roy Orbison - Running Scared
Stroke 9 - Kick Some Ass
Linkin Park - With You
Faith No More - Evidence
War - Cisco Kid
Sublime - 40 oz To Freedom
Toadies - Tyler
Barry White - You're The First, The Last, My Everything
Jay Z - H.O.V.A.
Jay Z - Big Pimpin'
Nine Inch Nails - Terrible Lie
Pixies - Where Is My Mind
Ramones - Blitzkreig Bop
Smiths - This Charming Man
Duran Duran - Planet Earth
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
Ministry - Every Day Is Halloween
Foo Fighters - Hey, Johnny Park
Prong - Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck
MC 900Ft Jesus - If I Only Had A Brain
Hum - Stars
Gravity Kills - Enough
Butthole Surfers - I Had A Dream Last Night
Type O Negative - Love You To Death
Failure - Stuck on You

And that's as far as we got. That doesn't count the Sinatra and Elvis and everything the DJ has planned already. We are working on an new wave/metal list for later on in the night, when most of the easily-offended adults and children are long gone. I'm still taking suggestions, which may be easier now that you know where our musical sensibilities lie.

One more job finished. Got shoes and a new bra today. Haircut tomorrow. I feel like I can breathe. These tequila sno-cones sure are helping.

timber!

Timber!


I imagine the meeting went something like this:

Advisor #1: Now, about those forest fires...
Bush: Boy, I bet my approval rating would go sky high if I could put out all those fires.
Advisor #1: Well, it's not like you could really put the fires out. Literally, at least.

Bush proceeds to unzip his fly and laugh like a little school boy.

Advisor #2: Mr. President, you couldn't put out a match with that thing.
Advisor #1: We thought perhaps if we tackled this from an economic point of view, we could find a solution.
Bush: Looks like that Smokey fella didn't do a very good job, did he? Can we fire him? Can't we make him a scapegoat?
Advisor #2: Smokey?
Bush: Smokey the bear!!!
Advisor#1: Umm...Mr. President, Smokey the bear is just a.....
Advisor#2: (kicks advisor #1 under the table and whispers) Shhhh....he thinks Smokey is r-e-a-l.
Bush: Hey! I have a great idea!
Advisor #1 (groaning to himself): Great, Mr. President. What's your idea?
Bush: Oh, you're gonna love this! It's brilliant! See, if there were no trees, there wouldn't be any fires!!!
Advisor #2: No trees?
Bush: No trees! Remember that logger fella we met with once? He could do it. Him and all his friends!
Advisor #1 (to advisor #2) Actually, he might have a plan there.
Bush: (pumping his fists in the air) Take that, Smokey! Who can prevent forest fires? I can prevent forest fires!! I'm smarter than Smokey! Whoooo!

action figures alive, part 2

Action Figures Alive! Part 2

(note, there were supposed to be pictures to go along with this post, but my A drive has suddenly decided it doesn't want to be recognized. Use your imagination)

Part 1 here.

Spiderman: The general meeting of the Action Figures Coalition is now called to order. First, we would like to welcome the newest members of our Coalition, He-Man, Skeletor and Battle Cat.

All: Welcome!

He-Man: It's a pleasure to be here.

Skeletor: Yea, whatever. Where's the coffee and donuts I was promised?

Boba Fett: Ugh. I hate you guys that come here just for the refreshments. This is a serious group.

Edward Scissorhands: I have a question, Spidey.

Spiderman: Edward has the floor. Everyone, please remember the rules. Be respectful of the person that is talking. That means you, Wolverine. Keep your chatter down.

Edward: Well, I don't want to come off as accusatory, but He-Man looks as if he's been taking steroids.

He-Man: Idiot! I'm He-Man! I'm supposed to be muscular!

Luke Skywalker: Well, there's muscular and then there's freak of nature. You're the latter.

He-Man: You're just jealous because you were made to look like such a wimp!

Luke: I am not a wimp! I'm a hero!

Skeletor: Hero, my ass. Hey everyone, Luke is sleeping with Aquaman! Hahahaha!

(much laughter from crowd. Aquaman gets up and runs out the door, crying)

Spiderman: Awww, geez. Must you guys do this every time? Crow, go get him.

Edward: Anyhow, back to He-Man's steroids...

He-Man: I am NOT on steroids!

Mark McGwire: Test him! Test him!

Batman: How are you going to test him? If he's not anatomically correct, he can't exactly pee in a cup for you.

Skeletor: Cut him open! Let me do it!

He-Man: Man, I hate being the new guy. Why is everyone picking on me already?

Ash: Maybe because you look like you swallowed Arnold Schwarzenegger ?

Spiderman: Hey! Hey! Battle Cat! Get away from Leonardo!

Sandman: Oh my god. He ate him.

Iceman: That is just gross.

He-Man: Well, you said there would be refreshments....

Raphael: Shut up, you steroid freak! Your cat just ate my best friend!

Spiderman: Order! Order! Can we have some order here?

Batman: Oh, this is just ridiculous. Every time we have a meeting, someone gets eaten and Aquaman cries.

Spiderman: I still say we should separate the evil figures from the good figures. It would solve a lot of problems.

Skeletor: Oh, you want to put us in camps or something, is that it? Should we just start calling you General Ashcroft now?

Spiderman: Hey, that's not what I meant, I just mean....some of you are more inherently evil than others. You can usually tell by the eyes.

Green Goblin: Profiling! He's Profiling! Someone call the ACLU! Call the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

Spiderman: This is bullshit. Half of you guys just come to these meetings to argue and call names. And then you think you can get away with everything you do because of free speech. Well, I got news for you, I'm the leader of this coalition and if I want to ship you all off somewhere else for being insubordinate, I can! You damn liberal figures!

Skeletor: Hey, if you put a wig on him, he could be Ann Coulter!

Edward: All I wanted was to address the He-Man steroid thing and look what happens.

Iceman: Well there's no way we could tell if he's on steroids if he can't pee.

Edward. Oh, yes there is!

(Edward lunges at He-Man and tries to rip open He-Man's chest with his scissor hands. As he is about to cut into him, Optimus Prime, always the latecomer, walks through the door)

Optimus: Hey, everyone, I brought donuts!

Everyone crowds around Optimus, forgetting all about their fights and arguments.

Optimus: So why is Aquaman out in the hall crying again? Don't tell me Luke broke up with him?

Everyone burst out in good-natured laughter (except Luke) and they consume donuts and coffee until it's time to go back to their frozen stances on the shelves.

The end.

*note* I would like to believe that Justin is the only person who ever received He-Man actions figures as a wedding gift from his fiance.

August 21, 2002

elephant parade

elephant parade

I read an elephant joke tonight.

My father told me this one when I was small:

Q: How do you catch an elephant?

A: First, you dig a really big hole. Then you put peanuts all around the edge of the hole. Then, when the elephant comes over to eat one of the peanuts, you kick him in the ash hole.

Funny guy, my father.

Tell me some elephant jokes. I need to giggle.

and then they found her....

and then they found her under the table, passed out for the night

For anyone who wants to come to my wedding but can't, fear not. Mike has blogged the whole thing before it has even happened.

Mike is one swell guy.

Oh, I just noticed the number of that blog entry.

I happened to catch "The Omen" on Bravo today.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

i've always wanted to join a sinister cabal

I've always wanted to join a sinister cabal

Please don't kick my ass. I'm just taking a short break to tell you that I am officially part of blogcritics (A sinister cabal of the web's best writers on music, books and popular culture miscellanea - updated continuously ) now, and while I have yet to post anything there, you should really go read every single story and article that is up. Really.

Wayne Robins is part of blogcritics, also. Waybe Robins, who I grew up reading and being envious of. I'm telling you, it takes so little to make me grin like an idiot.

Break over. I'm going to watch the Yankee game take care of some more wedding stuff.

how many people want to kick some ass?

how many people want to kick some ass?

Today (four days before the wedding) is the day I really get everything done.

If you see that I've made a post here any time before at least 6pm, please come over here and kick my ass. Seriously. Hard.

(Bill, G and Matt: I owe you all emails and apologies. All forthcoming)

summer of rock

summer of rock

For Philo:

Long Island, New York, 1973:

creem.jpg
My cousin had this huge album collection. The albums lined his walls on wooden shelves that sagged under their weight. Each album was tucked in a plastic sleeve, and each sleeve was inscribed in indelible marker the artist, title and year of purchase.

1973, the summer I became interested in music beyond AM Top 40 radio, I snuck into my cousin's bedroom and went through his albums one at a time.

Led Zeppelin. Frank Zappa. New York Dolls. Genesis. Not all of the names stuck with me at that moment, but I would come across them again later, when I became a true slave to rock and roll.

One day, I'm pretty sure it was around the Fourth of July, I was in the room again, staring at the vinyl and the artwork on the covers. I wanted to listen. I wanted to hear. Something about those rock and roll records drew me towards them. I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and hurredly picked an album from the wall. Led Zeppelin 4. I ran out of the room, down the hallway and hid in the bathroom until I was sure my cousin had gone out again. When he left I went back in his room and lifted the lid to the record player.

I pulled LZ4 out of its cover and placed it gently - using just the edges of my fingers the way I was told - on the turntable. I lifted the arm, positioned it over the very first groove. I put the needle down.

Scratch. Crackle.

Hey hey mama said the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove.

The lone, strong voice coming from the speakers made my heart skip a beat.

Then that guitar. The voice again. The guitar again. I was mesmerized.

The song ended. More scratches and crackles, those sounds of well-loved use that cds do not let you hear.

It's been a long time since I rock and rolled

Yea, yea! I've heard that song before!

I skipped over The Battle of Nevermore, skipped over Going to California, although later I would come to love that particular song for sentimental reasons. I listened to When the Levee Breaks five times before I gently lifted the vinyl from the turntable and placed it back in its sleeve. I held the album against me. My love affair had begun.

I tried Led Zeppelin 2. Oh, my. Heartbreaker. Ramble On. Living Loving Maid.

I sat in that room for hours, pulling albums off of the shelf, sampling them and putting them back, committing the names and lyrics to memory.

Black Sabbath. The Who. Alice Cooper. T Rex. David Bowie. MC5. I was in a frenzy, sampling everything that looked like it wasn't your typical AM radio fodder. Iggy Pop. The Doors. Velvet Underground.

I stopped reading teen crush magazines that summer and started reading Creem. I spent hours examining every word, every story, every feature article. When I was done with the magazine, I would cut out the pictures and hang them on the bulletin board in my room. I wrote letters to the editor, usually berating them for one thing or another. Creem pissed me off but, for a while, it was the only rock and roll magazine that mattered.

I spent most of that summer in my room with stealthily borrowed albums. Sometimes, the music would shake the walls. Sometimes, it would shake my very soul. Always, I would be creating my own American dream of becoming a rock star or at least a rock critic.

Through the years my tastes changed. Bands came and went. I did the whole punk thing, and the underground thing and the heavy metal thing. While the genres have changed, the rock and roll underlying it all has stayed constant.

Still, on hot, humid summer days when I escape to the dark of my air-conditioned bedroom to beat the heat, I can close my eyes and be back there. The scratch of the vinyl. The feel of the needle under your finger as you gently wipe dust from it. I think about that summer and how rock and roll changed my life. It took me down a different path, a different excursion than I thought I would travel. I never did become that rock critic (although I did a stint once for a local music paper, but they fired me after my first review was a scathing indictment of Mark McGrath), although I do spend a lot of time criticizing the current state of rock.

1973, my summer of rock and roll, the summer that shaped the rest of my days.

August 20, 2002

mystery maus

mystery maus

We received two more wedding presents in the mail today.

Thank you Robyn and Todd for the lovely gifts. I don't know why, but I just had to have that oil sprayer. And Justin loves the pepper mill. You guys are incredibly sweet.

We received another gift off of our wishlist; a copy of Maus, something I have wanted for a long time. There was a really nice note with the gift, but unfortunately, Amazon failed to print the name of the giver on the sheet. So will the person who purchased this for us please come forward to claim your thanks?

*update*
Mystery solved. Thank you, Chris for a wonderful gift. The funny thing is, I said to Justin "this seems like something Chris would send." You made my day!

stream of unconciousness

stream of unconciousness

So much to do, so much to do.

So why am I sitting here in a daze, doing nothing?

I keep feeling like I'm losing my footing, as if I the world is slipping away beneath my feet and I will fall on my face any moment.

That's literally, not figuratively. I walked through the wet parking lot today in tippy toe baby steps because I had this crazy idea that I was going to trip and fall if I didn't.

On the list of things to do: Buy underthings. Shoes. Chain smoke. Haircut. Have panic attack. Pick Nancy up at airport. Shoes, damn it. DJ can't wear sneakers and he has no shoes. Shoes for me, shoes for DJ. Worry that my outfit doesn't stand up well next to Justin's $400 suit. Fuck that, I'm going to look great. And if I don't, you will all pretend I do. Cry. Chain smoke. Sacrifice a virgin to the weather gods. Drink. Drink. Smoke. Drink. Smoke. Pace. Take Excedrin. Take the Hello Kitty vibrator off the wedding registry list. Explain vibrator concept to relatives. Or not. Empty bank account. Empty wallet. Empty piggy bank. Write overdrawn checks. Execdrin, NyQuil, Marlboro Menthol Lights, Tequila. Check, check, check, check. Pick up Paxil from pharamcist. Oh christ, could you imagine if I ran out of Paxil now? Stop writing stream of concious thoughts. Vows. Write vows instead. Plan ceremony with comedian/judge. Turn 40. Get married.

And after that whole checklist is done there is this. A luxurious room with a king-sized bed and a balcony overlooking the Long Island Sound.

Until then, just keep giving me cigarettes, porn and filled shotglasses. I'll make it until Sunday somehow.

bobble rivalry

bobble rivalry


rogerstein.jpg

The baseball wars in my family continue.

DJ bought this Roger Clemens bobbin head for my mother (and I did have to refrain from making any obvious bobbin' Roger's head jokes to her) at McDonald's. He used five dollars of his own hard earned money to purchase this gift for his grandma.

When we went to my parent's house on Monday, it was obvious my father had taken Roger hostage. After adding the scars and necessary adornments, my father placed the doll at his computer desk, where he would take the time to punch it in the face every time he sat down. I also heard he was using it in an attempt to sabotage Clemens' performance during a game, using Bobble Head Voodoo.

Let it be known that we have purchased a McDonald's Mike Piazza Bobble Head.

Revenge shall be ours, served with a side of french fries.

misguided guidance

misguided guidance


I was reading comments - and posting some of my own - over at Little Green Footballs yesterday in regards to the NEA's suggested curriculum for September 11th. (See here and here)

It is the plan for "Tolerance in Times of Trial" that bothered me, as well as over one hundred people who left comments on LGF.

You know if you read my site on any kind of regular basis that I am a proponent of racial and ethnic tolerance. I am not a conservative by any means and I embrace multi-culturalism as a way to make this country a sum of its parts rather than a fragmented society.

But there is a time and a place for everything, as well as a correct way to approach ideas.

September 11th should not be a day to examine blame for a tragedy that killed thousands of people.

From "Teaching Tolerance":

To explore the problems inherent in assigning blame to populations or nations of people by looking at contemporary examples of ethnic conflict, discrimination, and stereotyping at home and abroad"

The page then links to a PBS: America Responds, which is a part of the Teaching Tolerance lesson.

From that page:

8. Examine how the media portrays people of Arab descent, through an analysis of movies like The Seige, True Lies, and the upcoming Tom Clancy thriller, The Sum of All Fears

Has anyone thought of how this would make any Arab children in the classroom feel? Many of the suggested lesson plans examine stereotypes. I know in my school district, there is a pretty fair percentage of children of Middle Eastern descent; they might feel just a bit uncomfortable with the day's agenda.

It is my belief that September 11th should be a day to remember those whose lives were lost. Nothing more. Reading through both the NEA lesson plan and the PBS plan, it seems to me like they would like to turn the day into a lesson about placing blame - and part of that blame lies with America, it would seem.

This is an agenda, not a lesson plan. It does not belong in a classroom on a such somber day. This trivializes the death of thousands of innocent victims. Regardless of the hows and the whys of of the attack, regardless of accepting or placing blame, this does not belong in a classroom on this day.

The NEA certainly is not the only group of people who will be using September 11th to push their own viewpoints. Some people want to make it a day of flag-waving and patriotism. That's what the Fourth of July is for. This is not a day to celebrate our freedoms. This is a day to grieve and mourn and memorialize. It is not an appropriate time to stand on the ground where a travesty took place and read the Gettysburg Address. It is not a political rally, a lesson in ethnic profiling, a day to eschew your values and views.

I would be loathe to send my children off to school that day only to have them come home and tell me how their day was spent learning all the ways in which America brought this on themselves, or how many different stereotypes there are for terrorists.

What is wrong with a simple vigil or memorial service? What is wrong with just saying "Let's remember those who died. Does anyone have anything they want to share about how they felt that day?" And maybe my son or daughter would get up and talk about Pete Ganci, a family friend. Perhaps my daughter's classmate would get up and talk about the loss of his father. Maybe my son's teacher from last year - whose husband worked in the World Trade Center - would relate how she felt when she heard the news. They could discuss their ideas for replacing the towers. They could discuss ways to deal with all the emotions that come with anniversary of that date. They could read a little bit about some of the people who died that day. Or they could just have a moment of silence and proceed with their school day.

It's not just the schools or the NEA I'm concerned with. Anyone who turns September 11th into a day to push political or social agendas or a chance to wave their flag in a show of misplaced patriotism has got it all wrong.

August 19, 2002

book whore

book whore

Pardon me while I whore myself.
book-burning.jpg



The Banned Books Project is looking for submissions.

No, I said submissions, not submissives.

Basically the rules are as follows:

You write something. I post it. Simple as that.

It doesn't have to be a full blown, researched piece like on the essays page.

It could be a link to a story relating to book banning or censorship and a small comment about it.

It could be about a book you read and how you are horrified to hear that book has been banned.

It could be an opinion, an idea, an rant or a curse filled diatribe. Maybe.

So, what are you waiting for?

I'm done whoring myself now.

Was it good for you? Cigarette?

(bannedbooksproject-AT-hotmail-DOT-com)

canadians don't eat fast food?

canadians don't eat fast food?

Dear Canadian Friend,

Thank you for your lovely letter. It really makes my heart swell to see how neighbors can exchange ideas and feelings so freely.

But people who live in glass igloos should not throw snowballs. Or something like that.

While America may be the evil oppressor of all things good and environmentally sound, while we may be dark and sinister and subversive and living a toxic lifestyle, Canada is really to blame for the downfall of Western Civilization.

The evidence:
Celine Dion
The Moffats
Corey Hart
Bryan Adams
Crash Test Dummies
Margot Kidder
Rich Little
Tom Green
Jim Carrey
Alan Thicke
Alanis Morissette
Sum 41
Paul Shaffer
Bret Hart
Patrick Roy
Peter Jennings
Alex Trebeck
James Cameron

Seriously, all the poisoned rivers and secret government agencies in the world could not make up for the damage that Celine Dion alone has done to my delicate senses. And while Kids In The Hall may make up for some of Canada’s less stellar contributions to the world at large, it is all wiped out by the massive shadow formed by Wayne Gretzky’s ego.

Oh, and how many burgers and fries does your 5 dollars buy?

disclaimer: this is in no way meant as a swipe at my Canadian friends, but just a tongue-in-cheek commentary to something that really doesn't deserve a reply. While I would never defend the *cough* integrity *cough* of George Bush or the War on Drugs or toxic food, I will defend to the death the integrity of my ass when someone calls it fat.

what, me worry?

what, me worry?

weather.jpg

Should any of you out there be considering an outdoor wedding, don't do it. It's not worth the anxiety.

waking life

Dave writes on comic book censorship at the Banned Books Project


waking life

I dreamed last night that I was escorted through the ages by a robotic arm; it had swooped down from the sky, grabbed my elbow and off we went on a trip through time.

Nothing much has changed. Man is still an inherently violent beast. That is what the arm said to me in its mechanical voice. I nodded my head in agreement and my hair whipped around my face as we flew faster and faster, speeding over the dark ages and the middle ages and Victorian times. We were not going in order. I saw a ship from the Spanish Armada minutes before a dinosaur appeared in my peripheral vision. I mentioned this to the arm.

Time is static. Everything exists together. Your mind can only see what is real in your present time, though. Tonight. Tonight, you see it all.

Eventually we landed upon the modern day world and my host began to weep. So sad, so sad, he kept sobbing. I didn't know that mechanical arms could feel emotions, let alone sob like a hurt child. Then again, I thought to myself, this whole thing is sort of odd. I mean, a flying arm?

As always, I was aware that I was dreaming but I thought perhaps there was more to this dream than just random images from the crap-heap in the back of my mind. I prodded the arm to keep going, before I could wake up and not find out the meaning of all this.

The arm let go of me. Dropped me, just like that.

I fell through a cyclone of time, whirled around and around with cavemen and explorers and Confederate soldiers and Charles Lindbergh. As I got closer to the bottom of my fall, I came upon present times and present people and a dank, rancid smell overpowered my senses. My eyes began to water. My skin broke out in ugly, red hives. Smoke filled the cyclone, smoke that smelled like those stink bombs we used to light off as children, and I was instantly reminded of the day that Joey Manning punched me in the jaw for no reason. The stench became harder to take; I saw tanks and planes and shells of bombed out buildings as I sunk faster and faster. The cyclone became tighter, I could barely fit in its center anymore and I struggled to wake myself up.

The cyclone changed. No longer a lethal combination of time and space and all that existed in the world, it took on a shape. A face. A large, looming face with an open mouth and wild eyes. In those eyes I saw everything. The World Trade Center and Arafat and Saddam and lost children, begging for their lives. I didn't see those things exactly, but they were there. I knew they were there. I screamed, a scream so loud I'm sure that it woke every other person who was dreaming at the same time - a scream they heard in their own nightmare worlds that forced them to wake in a cold sweat - and I sat up in my own bed, my own world, breathing heavily and grabbing blindly for the bottle of water on my nightstand.

I didn't feel sad. I didn't feel scared. I was just left with the thought that no matter how ugly and fearful the world has become, no matter how many wars this earth has seen, how many tortures and killings and plane crashes, there was one thing that remained consistently beautiful during my trip through the cyclone of the ages.

I got up out of bed and walked outside. The stars, the moon, the trees. The gardenias and sunflowers. I walked through the yard, my mind still in a dream state, unsure of whether this was part of a dream or real.


The crickets and cicadas. The birds. Squirrels. Clouds and green grass and water trickling from a sprinkler.

None of these things know. The world could fall apart around them and they would just keep on being beautiful and unaware.

No matter what I read in the news every morning, no matter what is happening in my own city or a city an ocean away, no matter how much I am constantly barraged by images of despair and hopelessness, I can still walk outside and steal a few moments of pleasure and beauty. I am somewhere else when I am staring at the night sky. I am lost in a place that knows no sadness.

August 18, 2002

all points bulletin

all points bulletin

Hey, if any you guys see a fat, brown hamster running around, could you send him back this way please? He's an evil looking guy who answers to either FatBastard or BullyBoy (but not by his real name, Kobe).

Three days and we lost one already. If you were hamster, where would you hide?

*UPDATE* At 1:30 a.m., as we were getting ready to give up the chase, the little thing appeared in the kitchen, looking up at us as i to say "I told you not to wait up for me. Geeeez!"

pardon the schmaltz

pardon the schmaltz

I was engaged once, a long time ago, to a psychotic egomaniac. My father offered me a Corvette to call off the wedding, but I was a stubborn idiot and turned him down. I eventually called it off, but too late for the grand prize. I settled for escaping with my sanity as the second place parting gift.

On the day I married my ex, my father and I pulled up to the church in a limo and I sat there, frozen solid. My father said that it wasn't too late, I should just say the word and he would have the limo driver take off. I didn't have to go in. But I did.

Father does always know best. It just takes a long time to learn that. Sometimes the lessons are very hard.

Next week, one week from this very day, I will be getting married again. My father has not offered me cash or a quick getaway in a limo this time. He has, on the other hand, told Justin there is still time for him to run like the wind. He's kidding, of course. Really.

I've been asked, what makes this wedding day different than the last? What makes me so sure this time when I wasn't sure last time? What makes me think that I can do this all over again and do it right, so that I don't have make people give me gifts for an occassion which will be committed to memory by a divorce decree?

Sometimes it takes making mistakes to learn the truth. Somtimes it takes mistaking need for love and control for concern to help you learn.

When I stood on the altar in May of 1989, it was in the mistaken belief that I was marrying someone who loved me. I realize only now, so many years later, that a person who is so selfish and self-obsessed can never truly love anyone else.

I used to look at couples, even my parents, and see them hold hands and whisper sweet things to each other and giggle and just enjoy the comfort of the presence of one another. I heard couples talk about how they slept cuddled up or spooned, how they sat in their living rooms at night and just talked to each other, how they surprised one another with little gifts that cost pennies but meant a whole lot.

I wondered why we didn't have that. I thought perhaps it would come in time, that a comfortable level of love like that comes with age and wisdom and experience.

But we never held hands. We barely slept in the same room. We never, ever sat around and talked because nothing I had to say was important enough to listen to. At least not as important as his hobby, the hobby that took over his life and our bank accounts.

I didn't think marraige meant being sad all the time. I didn't know it meant being alone. I realized at some point I had it all wrong. Not when I made the concious decision to leave him, not when I signed the divorce papers. I didn't realize how wrong I had it until I met Justin.

I know now about holding hands and giggling and secret words and long talks. I know about shared passions and sleeping as one and getting lost in each other's eyes. I know now what it means to give of oneself, to support and cheer on and have those things done for you, also. I know what it's like to be loved.

So when I am standing there next Sunday, holding Justin's hands in mine and pronouncing my love and devotion to him, it will be without worry, without question, without that tinge of fear that colored my last wedding.

Next week I will marry the only person who has every truly loved me for who and what I am, complete with all my flaws and imperfections. I will marry the only person who has ever made me feel as if forever really means something.

Today, and for all my tomorrows, I consider myself the luckiest person on the face of the earth. I finally got that grand prize.

August 17, 2002

I am the power!

I am the power!

Yea, so I watched the new He-Man show last night. And I enjoyed it.

Got a problem with that?

Didn't think so.

I mean, I watched Adam turn into He-Man. That's like watching the episode of Little House on the Prarie when Mary goes blind.

I don't know why, it just is. Trust me.

I've had too much coffee today. And I think that now, at this moment, is the most content I have ever been in my life.

I was driving today and spaced out waiting for one of those big-intersection- fourteen-different-turn-lanes-red-lights to turn green. Still with me?

I had a daydream while I waited.

It was my wedding. The Judge got to that part where he says "does anyone here object..." (yea I know they don't say that anymore, but it's my daydream, damn it) and suddenly my ex husband runs into the back yard yelling I Object! I object! And then he falls to the floor and everyone stomps him and we skewer him and roast him on a spit and feed him to my uncle's dog.

That's where the light turns green and some guy behind me in a Gran Torino straight out of the 70's leans on his horn and I wave to him like he's my best friend. Maybe his name is Starsky. Or Hutch.

Thump, thump, thump goes his bass. House music. How can you drive to dance music and enjoy it? Unless he was on ecstacy and wearing a day-glo necklace he should have been listening to something else. He pulls up next to me at the next light and I turn up my stereo. Some shit is on the radio, Papa Roach or something. How embarassing. So I hit play on the cd as the Torino rave boy turns his bassthumping music up louder and I pray that I didn't leave Portishead cd in there because that's just not right for the moment. Ok, good, it was Sublime. You know that bass at the beginning of Waiting for My Ruca? It shakes, rattles and rolls your rear view mirror. But nevermind the bass. There's the barking dog at the start of the cd. And I had it so loud. And the dog on the cd starts barking. Scared the living shit out of the Torino guy. He was turning his head eight different ways to see where the dog was at.

It was almost as good as roasting your ex-husband over an open fire.

I need less coffee in my diet.

amelie: a one sentence review

Amelie: a one sentence review

Like a beautiful tapestry; you stare at all the individual threads and marvel at their precise meaning and significance and then you stand back and view the whole thing all at once and marvel at its incricate beauty.

spankings

I'm such a dork. I never know what date it is.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESSICA!

Go give her kisses and spankings. She could really use them this week. The kisses, that is.

evil hamster tales, part I

Evil Hamster Tales, Part I

I'm going to tell you a story. It's a sordid, frightening story, one that may seem on the surface to be a children's story about cute little animals, but is really about the sad fate of a sumbissive hamster.

Our story begins....

Once there were two kids who, for the sake of the story, we shall call Natalie and DJ. Natalie and DJ wanted so very much to have a little pet they could hold and cuddle and play with and neglect, not like the ugly underwater frogs they already had that did nothing but stare bug-eyed at you all day.

So their mommy, who was the greatest mommy who ever lived and thought she was doing a wonderful things for her children who really didn't deserve to have wonderful things done for them at this particular juncture, took them to the pet store.

"We want something to cuddle and play with and lose interest in within two months!" the children shouted to Mr. Pet Store Worker.

"We'll take two hamsters," the mommy said, before Mr. Pet Store Worker could suggest bunnies or monitor lizards.

Natalie and DJ walked over to the hamster cage and began tapping on the glass to wake up all the half dead sleeping animals. Their eyes immediately fell on the top cage, where two polar bear hamsters were getting it on playing. The polar bear hamsters, having a better name than all the other little rodents, were $19.99 each.

The mommy eyed the bottom cage, with the cute little teddy bear hamsters rolling around in it. The cute little teddy bear hamsters were $5.99 each.

"We'll take two of those," the mommy said.

Natalie and DJ had a hard time picking out their pets from the overcrowded busy little cage. Natalie, being the dominant and more bossy child of the two, picked the largest hamster from the litter. DJ picked the smallest. Natalie laughed at DJ's choice. DJ stuck his tongue out.

After the mommy broke up the fight that frightened all the dinner food mice in the nearby cages, they picked out a cage and accessories and, one hundred dollars poorer, but plus two filthy rodents, went on their way home, secure in the knowledge that Mr. Pet Store Worker guaranteed the mommy that the hamsters were healthy, happy little creatures.


Mommy chained-smoked the whole ride back as Natalie and DJ fought over names. By the time they got in the driveway of their home and mommy was coughing up a lung and trying to calm down her nervous twitch, they had settled on the names Giambi and Kobe. But I think from now on we will refer to them as Bullyboy and Emokid. Just like high school, but with an exercise wheel.

At first the little rodents seemed very happy in their habitrail home. Natalie and DJ spent a lot of time just staring at their pets, or taking them out of the cage and frightening them into squeals of terror.

The mommy took the cage out of the kids' room and put it in the kitchen.

And then the mommy and her fiance watched the hamsters. And they saw. They saw pure, true evil.

Emokid was spending all his time cowering in the upstairs apartment, probably composing sad, heartbreaking songs in his head. He wasn't drinking, he wasn't eating. At first the mommy thought that Emokid was sick and they would have to return him to Mr. Pet Store Worker, who would then have to figure out how to remove the sick rodent from his butt.

But he wasn't sick at all. He was scared out of his mind! After two solid hours of hamster watching, the grown-ups figured out that Emokid was Bullyboy's bitch! Bullyboy was pure evil. Look at that face. I said LOOK!

Emokid couldn't get near his food. Every time he wanted to eat, Bullyboy would sneak up behind him and sniff his butt push him out of the way.

Bullyboy would sometimes park himself in the tube that led up to the water bottle, blocking the way of Emokid for hours at a time. Everytime Emokid tried to get past the fat bastard, Bullyboy would glare at him with his beady eyes. Then he would scoot down the tube, crushing Emokid on the way, and sit on top of the food dish so poor little Emokid couldn't eat.

The mommy didn't know what to do. She figured she would just call the pet store in the morning and have them explain why they gave her the instrument of the devil instead of cuddly little hamster.

Mommy and the fiance went to bed. At 3am, they heard noises coming from the kitchen. Scuffling, squealing and yelps of fright made them jump out of bed and run to the habitrail of horror. They must save Emokid!

But, alas, it was too late. Bullyboy had done what he set out to do. There are no pictures, because the mommy is not that crude, but the site they came upon was one of Bullyboy furiously pumping away at Emokid. From behind. You do know what I mean by pumping away, don't you? And we can't really be sure, but as legend has it, those were not squeals of fright they heard, but hamster talk for "YES! I am your BITCH!"

The next day, what had transpired during the night had taken full effect. Emokid was running up the tube to the treat level, getting a few treats at a time, and dropping them at Bullyboy's feet. Slave and master. The evil hamster had conquered his lesser counterpart.

In just 48 hours they have learned to co-exist. Sure, Emokid has a life of slavery, butt humping and groveling to look forward to, but I think he likes it.

Meanwhile, the mommy had to explain to the fiance that the sort of lifestyle the hamsters were living was not really an appropriate choice for humans. At least not those two specific humans.

Natalie and DJ only think that their two male hamsters are in love. And perhaps they are.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the evil hamster series, the frequently banned My Hamster's New Roomate.

August 16, 2002

blowing roger clemens

blowing roger clemens

For the masses, who all want to know what the remark about Roger Clemens, my mother and blowjobs in the comments in the post below meant, a repeat of the March 25 post which it refers to:

special moments from my family album

scene: Palm Sunday, parent's living room, whole family present.

Baseball season has not yet begun and the in-fighting between the Yankee and Met fans in my family has already gotten down and dirty.

Dad is a Met fan. Mom is a Yankee fan. Dad has been goading mom all day, making cutting remarks here and there about the Yankees. They trade Gooden and Strawberry jokes, good naturedly ribbing each other about past team transgressions.

After dinner we sit in the living room and the jokes continue. Dad mentions something about the Yankee lockeroom incident. I don't remember exactly what it was, but mom ends up having to defend the integrity of the entire Yankee team. Shouting ensues.

"You're always defending them, no matter what they do!"
"I am NOT!"
"You're a whore! You're a Yankee whore!"
"Did you just call me a whore?"
"Yes! You might as well be giving blow jobs to Roger Clemens!"
Silence. Everyone stares at my father. We stifle giggles while my mother looks absolutely enraged.
"You have the nerve to say that in front of our children?"
Dad looks sheepishly at my mom.
"I'm sorry."
"Ok"
"I meant to say Derek Jeter."
We roll on the floor laughing while my mom chases dad around the living room with the fireplace poker.

Just another Kodak moment.

It all makes sense now, doesn't it?

avoidance

avoidance

Obviously I am spending the whole day at the computer rather than doing all the things I took a vacation day to do.

The UPS man has been very good to me lately. Gifts arrive almost daily, and today brought another Amazon package.

Thank you, John, for the wonderful gift, the lovely note and for being a blogging inspiration to me.

don't let the clubhouse door hit your ass on the way out

don't let the clubhouse door hit your ass on the way out

Major League have set August 30th as the strike date.

Go ahead. Strike. See if I care. I'll find a way to fill my September without constantly watching the scoreboard to see if Boston is creeping up on the Yankees. I'll find something else to do in October when I would normally be watching the World Series.

Honestly, I don't even care anymore. Bud Selig and his cronies have taken any passion I had for the game and flushed it away for good. Not to mention many of the players, who have become selfish and greedy and play the game only for their own stats and bonus clauses.

I'm sick of the twenty commercial in between innings and pitches brought to you by this beer or that soda and crybaby wimps like Roger Clemens who make 10 year old little leaguers look mature.

I'm not going to miss five hour games. I'm not going to miss endless arguments over strike zones. I'm not going to miss players barely running out fly balls and sitting out games over hangnails.

I'll miss Barry Bonds. I'll miss Jason Giambi. I'll miss the sound of the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd.

But I won't miss Major League baseball.

Football season is breathing down my neck. Hockey isn't far behind.

Go ahead, strike. You already lost me.

blaming of the shrew

blaming of the shrew

Richard Cohen speaks:

May I say something about Ann Coulter? She is a half-wit, a termagant, a dimwit, a blowhard, a worthless silicone nothing, physically ugly and could be likened to Eva Braun, who was Hitler's mistress. As it happens, these are all descriptions or characterizations Coulter uses for others in her book, "Slander." It ought to be called "Mirror."

Read the rest. via xoverboard

water, bridge, etc.

water, bridge, etc.

Just so you know, my mom read my Elvis entry and cried. In a good way.

I think we have finally let this one go.

But she did say that, for the record, she also hated "In the Ghetto."

Download: Nick Cave covering "In the Ghetto." Even Nick can't make it sound like a good song.

by the numbers

by the numbers

bride_groom.jpgWith all the wedding preparation and paranoia, I keep forgetting that I will be turning 40 on the day of my wedding.

Let's forget I mentioned that. I just got depressed.



Amy was kind enough to send me the playlist for her and Jima's wedding. With a list that includes The Pixies, The Ramones, Dead Milkmen and The Jam, it made me realize that a DJ is not required to play Billy Ocean and the chicken dance at a wedding reception.

As a matter of fact, if he plays either that chicken song or asks the party goers to stand up and to the Macarena, I will throw him, and his equipment, into the pool.

Would it be ok to have a mosh pit?

We are not conventional people by any means. Besides the fact that he's 22 and I'll be 40 on the wedding day, we just aren't your standard wedding couple. This isn't your standard wedding. Yesterday we found these bride and groom cake toppers. They were skulls. Cute little skulls decked out in wedding headgear. I'm going back today to purchase them.

We did buy normal rings - white gold bands, pretty plain - but not before looking at rings embossed with daggers and swords and seriously contemplating purchasing them.

We went back and forth on the ideas of wedding favors (Ron, I apologize for being a huge procrastinator and not getting back to you about the candles in time) and we discarded all the ideas for the usual trinkets and almonds that are given at weddings. We are having Pez dispensers. A nice glass bowl on each table, filled with packets of Pez, and Pez dispensers of all kinds at each seat, decorated with a ribbon announcing the nuptials of Michele and Justin.

Back to the playlist - we figure that Slayer is out. We do have to draw the line somewhere and I think that playing Type O Negative's Love You To Death as our theme song is that line.

We'll include a little Motown, a little soul, a little punk, a lot of metal and of course the standard Sinatra and Elvis. And plenty of Nick Cave. We reallly wanted to use The Misfit's Angelfuck as our first dance, but we aren't even having a first dance, and the though of one of my aunts ruining the wedding by having a heart attack as the words "Little Angelfuck, I see you going down on a fireplug, little Angelfuck, size for everyone" come out of the speakers sort of put a damper on the fun of it all.

Enough about the wedding. I'm sure you are all sick of hearing about my nervousness and panic-driven nightmares of the caterer forgetting to show up.

Let's talk about my birthday. I'm turning 40.

No, no I'm not. I'm turning 25, right? RIGHT? Eh, fuck y'all who think I'm supposed to be wearing polyester pants and listening to Barry Manilow while I knit a nice blankie for my toy poodle.

Immaturity runs in my family. In a good way. My dad is still the world's oldest teenager. My mom is obsessed with Pink Floyd. Stay young.

Forever young, I want to be forever young.

Yea, that's the song I was looking for.

August 15, 2002

meet the hamsters

meet the hamsters

What idiot would spend $100 on hamsters and hamster supplies a week before her wedding that she can barely pay for as it is? This idiot.

Please welcome Giambi and Kobe.

The kids rejected our suggestion at naming them Ryu and Akuma, which would have been more fitting seeing as that they are already trying to fight to the death.

Speaking of fighting to the death, we watched the most bizarre movie today: Battle Royale, a Japanese subtitled movie in which a 42 students are whisked away to a deserted island where they must kill each other off until one is left standing. Highly recommended, if you like that sort of stuff.

The hamsters are squealing. Or maybe that's one of the seven kids who decided to park themselves in my house tonight to play video games. Looks like I'm not getting near the Dreamcast tonight.

Oh yea, for those keeping track, we got our wedding bands today. One less area in which I need to panic.

consider yourself

consider yourself

See, here's the thing about linking other blogs. One of the general rules (at least in my mind) is you don't go around posting the same exact sentence in the comments of every blog in the blogosphere, especially when some of the places you leave that comment are under sad, heartfelt posts and your words feel like an intrusive advertisement, one bellowing "I don't really care what the hell you are going on about, I just want to be notices in the fastest way possible!" It sort of loses its flavor when you see the same thing posted over and over again on every site on your blogroll.

You know what I'm talking about, right?

mirror mirror

mirror, mirror

My first mirror project entry.

elvis

elvis


elvis.jpg

It was one of those moments when you say something you know you shouldn't. But I couldn't help myself. I was fourteen and still in the throes of teenage-girl-smart-ass disease.

25 years ago tomorrow, I was sitting in the backyard listening to the radio when I heard the news. I went inside and found my mother in her room, making her bed.

"Hey, mom. Guess you won't be going to that Elvis concert next week."
"What?"
"He's dead."

I may have snickered, I don't know.

Mom ran into the bathroom and turned on the little radio she kept in there. I remember the voice. I remember the exact sound of the tinny, staticy voice that relayed the news to my mother in a much softer way than I did.

Elvis was dead.

My mother's eyes filled with tears and despair while her face registered only that small "o" one's mouth makes when they hear shocking news. That "o" stayed there for a while, but the despair in her eyes had become hard and angry. She was pissed at me.

How could I have told her like that, knowing that she idolized Elvis in a pure, passionate way? How could I do that? What kind of daughter was i?

Well, I was fourteen. That's my only excuse.

I was a fourteen year old whose mother made fun of her own idolization of another self-obsessed, overly dramatic singer who similarly became a bloated replica of himself. And later, dead and bloated. Maybe it was my way of evening up the score.

My mother had this friend Noreen. Noreen was the largest woman I ever knew. Not just heavy large, but tall and wide and her hair was piled up on her head so she looked even taller. Her voice roared even when she whispered and her sneezes were legend in the neighborhood, said to be heard from at least three blocks away. She wore mumus and housecoats and tons of hairspray and sometimes she wore an ugly fur coat that made her look like a small woodland creature was nesting on her shouler.

Noreen and my mom were the Elvis duo. They worshiped him. They loved him. They knew everything about him and owned everything to do with him including Elvis commemorative plates and I think one of them had an Elvis wristwatch.

I grew up with Elvis's hips grinding in my face and his voice grinding in my ears and I have to admit that at some point, I realized what the attraction was. When I would lay in bed on summer nights, trying to sleep while my mother and Noreen and the rest of their crew played Pinochle in the kitchen and had Elvis on the stereo, I knew. His voice would come drifting into my room and I could feel the sensuality, the danger, the passion that lied within his words.

I would never tell anyone this, of course. I went about my daily business of bowing before Jim Morrison and Robert Plant and never let on that I thought Elvis was cool. Especially to my mother. That would just ruin the taut, tenous relationship that we both thrived on. Who was I to break the rite of passage of mother-teenage daughter bitterness and anger?

Noreen and my mother were going to see Elvis in August, 1977 at the Nassau Coliseum. They had seen him many times before but this one was special. They had a feeling this would be his last tour ever.

They were like little giddy school girls in the weeks leading up to the show. Sometimes my mother would take out her ticket and look at it. As I write this I realize that my mother was 39 at the time. The same age I am now. When I was fourteen, 39 was old and withered and wrinkled. 39 was too old to be getting worked up over a hip-shaking idol. Yet, here I am at 39 and I'm not old or withered or wrinkled and I would certainly get worked up over my hip-gyrating idol.

She was so happy. And I crushed her world. It would have been a much softer blow if it came from Cousin Brucie or Uncle somebody on whichever oldies station she was listening to. It would have been a bit easier to take if her teenage bag of hormones didn't make some smarmy remark about dying like a fat, beached whale.

When Noreen found out we heard her from two blocks away, bellowing and carrying on. Her booming voice sounded through the neighborhood like a siren, a mourning call for all Elvis fans in East Meadow to gather on her lawn and weep.

Not really. But it was something like that. I don't think my mother ever told Noreen the way in which she found out about the death of their hero. I probably wouldn't have lived to tell this tale if she knew. She would have kicked my ass all over town.

When Noreen died, my first thought was that she would finally get to see Elvis again. My second was that I was now safe from my mother ever spilling the beans to Noreen about my youthful indiscretion.

25 years later,my mother still has not forgiven me. Maybe that's what drives every argument we have, every nit-picky little fight we endure. Maybe she's still mad at me. I know she still resents it, still thinks about because yesterday she told my daughter that I laughed at her when Elvis died.

I didn't laugh. I may have snickered a little. Maybe.

I sent an email to my mother this morning:

I'm sorry, mom. I'm sorry I told you like that. But in a way it's your fault for making me sit through Viva Las Vegas and Jailhouse Rock, for forcing that horrid "In the Ghetto" on my ears, for making me tried fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

It's been 25 years, mom. I promise to play Elvis at my wedding next week if you promise to get over it already. Deal?

Maybe I should reword that.

August 14, 2002

mommy, what's a blowjob?

mommy, what's a blowjob?

Natalie has been mingling with the older kids at basketball camp. I picked her up today and the following conversation took place on the way home:

Mom, the older girls say a lot of curses when they talk.
Mmhhmm.
Well, I don't know what some of them mean.
You don't have to know. Mostly curses are just a way of venting, they don't mean anything at all.
No, not that kind of cursing. I mean, cursing that means stuff.
I'm not following you.
Ok, if you let me say the curses, just this once, then I can explain what I mean.
No.
But...but....you can help me so I don't look like such a dork during lunch tomorrow!
Fine. Just this once.
Ok, so, like, they were talking about this show on tv, and one girl says 'everyone on that show is either gay or a lesbian or bi." I mean, I know what gay and lesbian are, but what's bi?
Ok, first of all, that's not a curse.
I didn't get to the curses yet.
Oh.
So what does it mean?
It means you go both ways. You date either guys or girls.
Ok. Bi. Like in two. I get it. Ok, so. What does it mean when they say that two people are umm....you know.....
No, I don't know. Spell it.
Fucking.
(sound of brakes squealing as the sound of that word coming out of my daughter's mouth makes me almost miss a red a light)
I said spell it!!!
Whatever. What does it mean?
It means they are having sex, but not in a nice, loving sex way.
Ok, so when one of the girls today said "I want to fuck him..."
(I swerve into other lane while I choke on Gatorade)
Do you really need to know this stuff, Natalie?
You said I could talk to you about anything, anytime, Mom. Remember?
Yea, you're right. So when she says that, that means she ummm..wants to have sex with him. But she might not really mean it, what she probably means is she has the hots for him.
Oh. She also said she wants to paddle his buttocks.
(stifle laughter)
Seriously?
Yea and then she said something really weird. She said she wants to blow him.
(stunned silence)
Mom?
Yea?
What does that mean?
What does what mean?
Blow. That she wants to blow him.
I think we need to finish this conversation some other time. Like when I'm not driving in traffic.
But mom! I know what that means, that means we will never get to finish this! I'm starting 7th grade next month! What if I'm in a situation where I need to know this stuff???

I pull off to the shoulder, stop the car, and turn and look her right in the eyes.

Natalie, if you ever, at any point in 7th grade, are in a "situation" where you need to know what blow or fucking means, I swear to every freaking god in the land that you will be in a convent the next day!
What? The nuns are going to teach me what blowing a guy means?

I'm really not any good at this at all.

showers and beavers

showers and beavers

So much for world domination through cartoons.

Lunch out with Bonnie and Jo-Anne was not the lunch of tequila and a quick nap that I so desired, but a wedding shower.

SUPPLIES!! (anyone get that?)

It was a lovely shower, at my favorite restaurant, and it did include a very strong margarita and enertainment by my own son and some nice gifts. I hate being social, I really do. But I think I managed to pull this one off.

Thank you, Joe-Anne and Bonnie for setting the whole thing up.

Ok, now I can go home and watch cartoons. I'm off until Monday. That's a whole lot of Beavers and Zim. Yippee!

it's the beavers who are angry, not me

It's the beavers who are angry, not me

Yea. So I think I'm going to go have a couple of shots of tequila for lunch, have someone drive me home, and spend the rest of the day curled up on the couch watching Angry Beavers and Invader Zim until my eyeballs explode.

And then all will be well.

This pink crap is making me sick. What am I doing with pink links on my website? And purple. What was I thinking, anyhow?

Tequila. Mas tequila.

Oh, and don't listen to Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" while you are in already in a melancholy mood.

butterflies and ballads

butterflies and ballads

I woke up in a weird mood this morning. I had strange, bothersome dreams last night that are still playing in my head.

I've worked myself into a frenzy over the wedding. I've got constant butterflies and a dull throbbing above my eye.

I'm nervous.

I'm not in the least worried about being married. The gods of love have already smiled upon us enough to last a lifetime.

It's still the food. The weather. The everything. Will the guests be happy? Will they have a good time? Will my blogging friends mingle with my family? Will my father throw anyone in the pool? Will my bosses freak out when they see me drunk and under the table, screaming for some hot lovin'?

Oh, we have to make a list for the DJ. He said he will play whatever we want, regardless of it being tasteless, crude or just plain bad, as long as we supply him with whaterver discs he doesn't already own. Trust me, he doesn't own any Front Line Assembly discs.

So we want to make a playlist that equally entertains children, teenagers, adults, drunk adults, illegaly drunk teenagers, the rock and roll crowd, the moshing crowd, the hair metal crowd and the over-60 Frank Sinatra crowd (we don't really care about the sappy Air Supply ballad crowd). And us. The bride and groom need to be entertained too, no?

Uh, help. Please.

sticky floors and milk duds

meter_eh.jpg

sticky floors and milk duds

I rarely go to the movie theater. The expense is prohibitive; tickets plus food equals the national debt of a small country. Most theaters don't allow you to bring your own food in, and what's a movie without munchies? Add in the fact that I generally have to pee every eight minutes, rude people who won't shut the hell up, uncomfortable seats and sticky floors and you have plenty of reasons to not see a movie in the theater. Oh, and paying eight bucks for a movie that completely sucks. It's depressing.

I used to love to go to the movies in the summer, during the day. Give me a nice air-conditioned theater and a couple of entertaining hours and it was a little slice of heaven. I would come out of the theater when the movie was over and it be blinded by the sunlight and the heat and get that two surreal minutes of displacement.

I saw Purple Rain in the summer. I don't know why I remember that; the movie itself was laughingly forgetable. I saw Friday the 13th - on Friday the 13th - and screamed myself hoarse at the end and even though it was daylight when we came out of the theater and into the parking lot, I was as frightened as if it were midnight in a graveyard. I saw Batman in the summer and stayed in the theater for a second showing of it. Yes, I sat through it twice in one day, eating enough junk food to make me sick that night.

We used to go to the drive-in when I was little, the whole family crowded into dad's brown station wagon, the back piled high with blankets and pillows and snacks. We dressed in our jammies because mom and dad knew we would fall asleep at some point. Except when we went to see Planet of the Apes (that's the original, folks - remember, I'm old). I sat riveted through that movie, unable to take my eyes off those damn dirty apes. I can still remember the dreams I had the few nights after, Charlton Heston and apes and monkeys chasing me through cityscapes.

My mom had a thing for taking us to see horror movies, even when we were probably too young to see such flicks. I blame her for my current DVD collection which includes such gems as Tromeo and Juliet and Meet the Feebles. And it's funny because those horror movies never scared me the way Fantasia did, and Fantasia never opened my imagination the way Phantom Tollbooth did.

So now the only time I go to the movies is when the kids beg me. I have spent hours of my life sitting through insipid dreck like Kazaam and Pokemon 2000 all in the name of parental love. There are places where you have to draw a line, though. When they ask to see movies such as Like Mike or Master of Disguise, I first wonder where they got their taste in entertainment from, and then when I realize it came from their father I tell them to go ask him to take them to the movies.

I tried to get them to watch Lord of the Rings. Natalie wasn't interested and DJ got bored three minutes into it. Where have I gone wrong? Yet DJ will sit in the living room with Justin and stare bug eyed at the tv while they watch some cheesy kung-fu movie or something about Shaolin soccer. I try to get them to watch classics like Goonies or Princess Bride, but no, Natalie would rather see Crossroads and DJ asks about martial arts monkeys. He is his stepfather's kid. Natalie, I don't know where her tastes come from. Maybe Teen People magazine.

Anyhow, I'm seriously digressing here. What I was getting at was movie stealing. Not the kind of movie stealing I did as a teenager when we would sneak in the backdoor of the theater to watch The Song Remains the Same five times in a row, but the kind of stealing done with a computer.

I don't feel bad about this at all. Let's face it, it's not like I was going to pay to see Eight Legged Freaks anyhow, so David Arquette didn't get gipped out of any royalty money by my watching the movie on DiVX. And movies that are really good - Lord of the Rings, for instance - I will not only make the attempt to see in the theater but I will buy evey incarnation of the DVD they ever put out. So everyone wins. I'm doing my part for the good name of entertainment by not paying for David Arquette movies and watching a good stolen movie on my computer only serves to make me want to purchase the movie tie-in products. It's a win-win situation. Plus, I can pause the movie when I have to pee and I don't have to spend half the show telling blue-haired women to shut the fuck up, please.

So it's a bit odd that I woke up today with a desire to spend the afternoon in a movie theater. Just sitting there, eating overpriced nachos and drinking Mountain Dew and pretending that the world outside the doors doesn't exist. Too bad that a) there's nothing I want to see and b) that pesky job of mine keeps getting in the way of my need to enjoy a summer's afternoon. I'm just in the mood for some escapism. Even if I can't find a movie to enjoy, I could do something silly like run through a sprinkler or ride a bike to the beach or play Marco Polo in the pool with a bunch of kids.

I miss that stuff. I miss seeing the ice cream man as a huge treat rather than a huge burden on my wallet. I miss seeing the pool as an escape from the heat rather than a danger to every small child in the yard. I miss the yells of "tag, you're it!" and the days we would spend on our bicycles making lefts and rights and rights and lefts, trying hard to see if we could get lost in our own neighborhood.

I want to regress, just for one day. I want to be a kid again, a kid whose greatest worry has nothing to do with weddings or wars or paying for sports camp, but whose main concern is whether to get the popcorn or the Milk Duds before the movie starts.

August 13, 2002

hello, dolly!

Hello, Dolly!

This interview with the couple who are going to attempt to have a baby cloned for them is scaring the shit out of me. (Laurence did a good post on it)

This couple comes off as self-obsessed lunatics. Their divine destiny? God wants them to do this? What religion do they belong to where God is ok with cloning. Isn't that copyright infringement?

They dismiss adoption as an option, saying "You can adopt a baby overseas, and then in a lot of countries, what happens is by the time you get the baby, they've been so messed up in the orphanage where they are that you are taking on a health hazard. " Besides the fact that there are plenty of adoptable babies who are not "messed up," do they not think that cloning a child will be taking on even greater health hazards.

This woman is going to have an identical version of herself. That's just wrong. "And God willing, if this works, maybe two years from now, we'll clone me," says the husband. Great, they are going to raise themselves.

They don't plan on telling the child she is a clone until she's an adult. Won't it be just a bit obvious before then? Is it me? Is anyone else feeling shivery chills about this?

BlogMoodMeter (tm)

BlogMoodMeter(tm)

My sister Lisa is the only living person who has more bad mood days than I do. Today is one of them, for both of us. So instead of doing whatever it is she is supposed to be doing (making fun of her boss?) she made this.

meter.jpg


Kind of like mood rings, but not. I think I'll use this above the first post of each day so you can know what to expect. This way, if you don't feel like listening to the ranting vitriol of a misogynistic would-be sniper, you can skip right over this page when the mood is pointing to black.

On the other hand, if you aren't all about the fluffy bunnies and rainbows and stars, you can skip the blog on days the mood is Yippee blue.

Don't worry, I don't get many of those.

So today would be:

meterbad.jpg

I'm hoping to get it down to "decent" at some point.

Feel free to use the image. I've convinced Lisa to make a graphic with each mood checked off so I'll put them up somewhere later if you are so inclined to use a BlogMoodMeter(tm) on your page. It's better than those silly face icons, don't you think?

update: she changed the size and made a zip of all the different variations. If you want them, email me.

number nine

support the banned books project


number nine

I really shouldn't be reading Ann Coulter rants in the morning. Starting the day off with aggravation is not a good thing.

In her latest piece of work she writes:

"HOW IS IT that the New York Times managed to locate the only eight people in America opposed to attacking Iraq"

Hmm. Let's see. The only eight people? Well they didn't ask me, so that would make me number nine. If I started counting the people I know that are opposed to bombing Iraq, surely they number would pass by a landslide the number of brain cells Ann Coulter possesses. But of course, Ann only sees what's in her little world and, like most people on her end of the political spectrum (read, extremist right wing wackos*), skews numbers and words to fit her agenda.

In doing a little research for this morning's post, I just came across Charles Kuffner, who is saying the same thing I am. So if I'm number nine, then Charles is ten and that's already two more than the eight people Ann is talking about. That's right, Ann. 8+2=10. Follow me?

Oliver Willis posts about a poll in the Washington Post regarding carpet bombing Iraq. Is Ann taking into account just the people who oppose bombing, or those people who may or may not be opposed to it but sure as hell don't think that Bush has the right to make that decision on his own? And even if the opposers only amount to 36% of those polled, that's still more than eight people, Ann.

Yes, I know she was being sarcastic or facetious or what have you. Or maybe not. In Ann's mind, she is always right.

Do I think Saddam is evil? Yes. Would I care if he were to be taken out and sent back to his maker? No. Do I think we have the right to just go in there and oust him because we don't like him? No. That takes care of your questions, right?

We are not the leaders of the universe. We are not He-man and She-Ra out to save the world from the forces of evil (When I say we, I mean the United States of America). Suppose the tables were turned? Suppose some other country decided that they don't like our regime, that we are a threat to their way of life and their people and they think we are harboring nuclear weapons that we will use against them some day. They decide that Bush should no longer rule, that a war is necessary. What would America do? America would shake its collective head and call that country crazy. Lot's of How Dare Yous and Who Do You Think You Ares would ensue.

So what gives us that right? How can we justify going in and bombing a country that has yet to strike at us? Smite your enemies before they smite you? Pre-empive bombing?

It's interesting to note that Saddam wasn't even a blip on the Bush radar before September 11th. Now, with bin Laden neither certainly dead nor certanly alive and obviously not captured, with the war on terrorism dragging and with corporate scandals slowly creeping their way into the White House, Saddam has become the dog that Bush needs to wag.

He is wagging this dog so hard the poor thing's eyeballs have fallen out.

So, back to Ann. I am standing here saying that I oppose bombing Iraq. That makes me number nine to you. Anyone else want to join my line? Do I hear a ten? Eleven?

updated: Jima just pointed out Tom Tomorrow's post on the subject where he takes Ann to task for this great quote:

"How is it that the New York Times managed to locate the only eight people in America opposed to attacking Iraq? (By "America," I obviously mean to exclude newsrooms, college campuses, Manhattan and Los Angeles)."

Tom takes her down better than I could have.

*addendum: The post is up one hour and already there's email. I apologize for the use of the word wacko in reference to right wing extremists. I am sorry that I have defiled the good name of Wakko Warner in that manner. Also, I do understand that there are extremists on either side of the spectrum, whether that spectrum be political, religious or the Dunkin Donuts v. Krispy Kreme warmongers. And...Just because I oppose the war on Iraq does not mean I am a card carrying liberal. I have not in any way affiliated myself or my beliefs with the likes of Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore. As if.

August 12, 2002

i've got a new complaint

I've got a new complaint

When I got home there were three wedding presents waiting for me. A nice restaurant gift certificate from my mother's friends at work and two Amazon packages. Thank you Steven and Aaron and Robert for the wonderful gifts. Your thoughtfulness and generosity turned my day around.

Natalie and I tried to stop over at the Jets training camp (she goes to basketball camp at the same college they practice at) but it was way too humid. We did, however get a glimpse of the hugest Jet ever. We'll try again tomorrow.

And the best part of the day: I found something to wear to our wedding. Not a great picture, but it will do until you see pictures of me actually wearing it.

By the way, those are pants, not a skirt or dress. I'm just not a dress person. But it's pretty dressy as far as backyard casual weddings go. I'd like to thank my favorite Corgi for the very sweet offer of the use of her wedding dress, and Nancy, who offered a dress also. With friends like bloggers, who needs to ever leave the house?

Here's the Betsey Johnson number Natalie is wearing for the wedding.

Now I can stop worrying about clothes and commence with worrying about weather and food. The funny thing is, I'm not in any way worried about the marraige ceremony or the marraige itself. That's the easy part. Can I tell you that I am one lucky woman to be marrying Justin?

Speaking of which, two major magazines had articles about older women/younger men and how all the stars are doing it now. Suddenly I'm trendy? New York did a nice little piece on the subject and that was alright. But then my mother shows me this month's Good Housekeeping with their cover story about it and I cringed. Here I thought I was being different and daring. Now not only am I a Hollywood trend, but I've got the fucking Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. My alternative lifestyle choice has been mainstreamed. I may as well be listening to Blink 182 and wearing Britney brand roller skates.

for dicks only

for dicks only

If I ever come across anyone driving with one of these decorations hanging from the bottom of their truck I swear to all that is powerful in this world that I will castrate them with nothing but a rusty razor and my own two hands. And then I will hang their real nuts from their truck and make them drive it cross-country with a sign that says "I am a nutless dick" hanging from their rear-view mirror.

I am in a bad, bad mood today. Don't make me come over there and slap you. Because I will.

this is a call

this is a call

Today marks the official launch of the 2002 edition of my Banned Books Project.

Please grab this button, put it on your site and link to the project.

Promote the freedom to read what you want. Promote a world free from censorship or other people making your decisions for you.



Contribute. Submit. Link. Read the essays. Act.

Banned Books Week - September 21-28, 2002

you wear it so well

you wear it so well

The wedding is now less than two weeks away. Still nothing to wear. We hit upon an idea the other day where we would have some kind of theme to the reception, allowing us to dress accordingly. We figured we still had time to call or email people and let them know it would be a costume party sort of thing. We were half kidding. Half kidding.

My father, the traditionalist that he is (and host of the party) blew a gasket. He said he doesn't care how the guests are dressed - it is a barbecue party after all - but that the bride and groom should look like, well, a bride and groom.

Aunt: It's your wedding, you should do it your way.
Me: No, he's letting us have it here, I'll do this part of it his way.
Aunt: Didn't you do it his way at your first wedding?
Me: If I did that one his way, the groom would have died in a hail of bullets before I got to say "I Do."

Well, we kept talking about themes anyhow. It kept us from thinking about the real issues at hand. We are both very good at avoidance.

    70's theme: What fun. Everyone would dress like it was 1978. We discarded the idea when we realized there would be 25 John Travolta look-alikes who dragged their white polyster leisure suits out of the closet.

    Rock -n- Roll Wedding: Everyone come dressed as your favorite rock star. Or your least favorite. Lots of beer drinking straight from the keg, fistfights, big hair and naked women. Justin would find one of those silly little schoolboy outfits and dress like Angus Young. Idea discarded out of fear that someone would impersonate Brian Jones and end up at the bottom of the pool.

    Comic/Cartoon Theme: Come dressed as your favorite cartoon or comic book character. Sounded like fun until we fought over which one of us gets to dress like Optimus Prime.

    Samurai wedding: We really liked this idea. We would end up looking something like this during the ceremony. We would have someone video tape the whole party and edit it with bad dubbing and goofy subtitles. The amount of children attending made us leary of having a party that involves sword fighting. But still, it would be cool to dress like that.

    S&M wedding: I'd dress like a dominatrix. Justin would wear leather bondage. My family would disown me and the only people left at the party would be the few bloggers I invited, Bonnie and my brother-in-law. The rest would be home wishing they had the guts to admit they like that sort of stuff.

We came up with a few more things, most of them invovling Baz jumping out of a cake or Bonnie performing lap dances. I keep having to remind myself that a) this is a wedding, not an excuse to act like a heathen, and b) there will be children present.

So what now? Dear old dad is taking Justin out for a suit today (even though he already owns a smashing suit and looks like Mike Patton when he wears it) and knowing my Dad they will end up at Brooks Brothers and there goes the cash we were going to spend on the tequila fountain, and I...well I am still dressless and just a bit hopeless. Who's taking me shopping to complete my wedding ensemble? No one. I'm going to end up at Target the day before the wedding buying some $22 rag that's made out of terry cloth and clings in all the wrong places.

Avoidance, avoidance, thy power is mine. After work today, instead of going on a panic-induced dress buying spree, I'll be watching the Jets practice and then taking the kids to purchase hamsters. Has anyone seen that Hamtero show? Odd, very odd. It's like Pokemon for hamsters. I'm oddly drawn to it. Check out Penelope. She looks like Pikachu in drag.

Drag. Drag. YES! That's it! We'll have a "come in drag" wedding!

Ok, I'll stop. I'll get a dress. A real dress. It won't even be black. But I'm warning you. Ten minutes after that ceremony is finished and I'm officially the wife of the guy who's now dressed like a different incarnation of Mike Patton, I will be wearing exactly what I am wearing right now - boxers and a Rammstein t-shirt - until the final moments of the party, after all the kids are sleeping and everyone else is too drunk to care, and I'm dancing on the table in very little clothing. Or sleeping under said table.

Either way, I'll be married.

August 11, 2002

picture day

picture day

I finally went to see Grandpa Joe. He fell asleep while we were talking to him. At least he seemed cognizant of his surroundings today, and he knew who we all were.

Random shots of Grandpa Joe:

gj1th.jpggjshadowsth.jpghands2th.jpg

The kids around the garden at Grandpa Joe's home:

devpeekth.jpgdjsmileth.jpgnatgardenth.jpgnatgarden2th.jpgrayfreakth.jpg

Sorry for the overload of pictures today. When you can't write, shoot.

That's my motto, anyhow.

P.S.A.

P.S.A.

Recognize Banned Books Week: Participate in the Banned Books Project.

Now, go read Linkmeister's brilliant essay - the first one for the 2002 Banned Books Project.

I am looking for someone who would like to write something on censorship in the comic book industry. If interested, please email me at bannedbooksproject@hotmail.com

i'm king of the world

"i'm king of the world!"

I am so having this at my wedding reception.

titanic.gif

How wrong is that?

via edgar

there used to be an oak tree here

there used to be an oak tree here

Someone once said to me that Long Island is a place that, no matter where you want to go, it's ten minutes away in any direction. Movies, food, chain stores, drive-thru fast food all within a quick drive no matter which way you turn your car.

That was a long time ago. Before the suburban population explosion, before highways and even side streets became nothing more than slow moving parking lots. Ten minute drives have turned into half hour crawls filled with exhaust fumes and thumping sub-woofers.

The sprawling expanse of the suburbs is gone. Every open space I remember from my childhood is filled to the brim with strip malls and office buildings and houses too huge to look anything but gaudy.

There was a nice strip of land on one main road, filled with giant trees and flowers. It was the place where I had my first experience with a flasher while walking home from junior high school.

In the subsequent years, that main road has gone from two lanes to four and the wooded area is now crammed with split-level homes, all with the same stone face. I don't know what happened to the flasher. Maybe he moved to a less crowded place.

Even on Hempstead Turnpike, which is sort of the main drag of of Nassau County, running from Queens into Suffolk County, there used to be wide open spaces.

There was one spot that was nothing but tall green grass, back when it still looked like the suburbs around here. Now it's a string of yogurt shops and pizza parlors and video stores. I can barely remember what it looked like before the mall mentality took over.

The buildings are getting taller and wider. Huge glass structures stand where fields of flowers once thrived. Trees give way to Home Depots and mega supermarkets where you can buy 40 different flavors of cream cheese. I would give up my cream cheese with chives or or strawberries just to have one space that isn't filled with cement.

The quiet I remember as a kid is gone. Summer days used to pass by with a soundtrack of air conditioners humming, the shrill bell of the ice-cream truck and kids splashing and yelling in their backyard pools. All I hear now is the roar of traffic on the neighboring main roads. Screeching tires and angry car horns and huge semis that make the ground rumble.

Driving is a nightmare. A quick run to 7-11 means a five minute wait to try to make the left turn into traffic. Going to the post office is an exercise in frustration as I manuever around the double-parkers and the line of cars waiting at the light.

The buildings are larger. The bookstores and grocery stores more expansive. The houses are getting bigger and bigger, people buying up little ranch homes, tearing them down, and building houses that belong in some other neighborhood where all the driveways are filled with BMWs, not 10 year old pick up trucks. There are no yards, just lots packed with as much brick and cement and aluminum siding as it can handle, and the bedroom window of one breathes down the neck of the kitchen window of the next.

Doesn't anyone want a yard anymore? Do people spend all their time in their houses - or out of their houses and clogging the roadways - so that there is no need for the nice grassy backyard with a swingset and a barbecue and maybe a basketball hoop?

The homes all look the same now. Gone are the days when the neighborhood was a mixture of different facades and you could tell one friend's house from another. Whole communities pop up where fields used to be. Every house looks the same except for the number on the mailbox. Even the cars look the same, giant SUVs that are large enough to hold another small car inside of them.

My junior high school was torn down and turned into one of those Stepford towns. My father's grade school was torn down and turned into an apartment complex. The huge field where they used to set up a Christmas tree sale every November is now a Target and a coming-soon Mega Stop -n-Shop. There is a drug store on every corner, a diner every half mile, a Starbucks every ten feet. We are the land of excess.

Where did my neighborhood go? Where did all the flowers go? I miss the days of leisurely drives to the beach or the park. There is no such thing as a leisurely drive anymore. I dread turning onto the main road because I know what awaits me.

I miss the surburbs. I'm still here, but the whole idea of the suburbs is gone. This is a min-city now, and no matter where you are standing you are an hour's wait in traffic away from anything you need. Even if that place you need to get to is only a half mile away.

August 10, 2002

you make the call

you make the call

Which one?

1th.jpg 2th.jpg


(none of the above is a legitimate option)

open discussion

open discussion

I just realized that I always have writer's block the first day of my period.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

give til it makes you say yea

give til it makes you say yea!

The best things in life are free. The best things in blog life, anyhow.

But just because they are free, doesn't mean you can't show your appreciation to the people who put in incredible amounts of hard work to make your life easier for you.

I don't know where I would be without moveable type and blogrolling.

I had already donated to MT a while ago. Today, I dropped Jason a few bucks to support blogrolling.

If you use these programs and love them as much as I do, it will make you feel like a swell person to donate a few bucks.

saturday silence

saturday silence


Sparse posting today. Both the kids are home, after deciding they didn't want to go to their dad's this weekend. Hampster buying ensues today. Also, I still have nothing to wear to my wedding, which is two weeks from tomorrow. And tons of work to do on the Banned Books Project.

The winner of the Photoshop contest is Frankie of Hoecake Project fame.

August 09, 2002

tether go snap!

weekend photoshop/caption contest in full swing


tether go snap!

The Cainer horoscope for Virgo (via Melly)

How will you know when you have reached the end of your tether? That is no easy question to answer. Your tether appears to be made of Lycra. You can pull it a long way before it suddenly snaps back. And then, there is the issue of what your tether is tied to. The anchorage point itself has a degree of flexibility in it. Thus, sometimes, you can cope with a surprisingly large amount of unnecessary aggravation. You have done pretty well this week. You do not have to put up with any more.

You see that? I don't have to put up with any more. I don't have to.

The tether has snapped, baby. It has snapped so hard and so loud they heard it in Ohio.

Yea, I did pretty well this week. I put up with all the unecessary aggravation.

I didn't kill anyone.

I didn't bang my head against the wall enough to do any real damage.

I didn't curse more than usual.

But the tether has snapped. It's coming hard and fast at me, ready to snap back at my face but I'm holding out my clenched fist. And when what's at the other end comes headed this way, staying in motion in accordance with that law that says it must, and it comes up against my fist, it will hurt. It will hurt like a bastard. Break my tether, I break your face, ok?

Someone picked the wrong time to be messing with me. I am one angry motherfucker right now. Emotional terrorism of children should be punishable by death.

You are the Arafat of my world. You are beyond reason, beyond hope, beyond seeing anything but what's in that dark abyss between your ears. I've tried the peace talks. You can't talk peace with a person who lives his life only according to his needs and wants, and damn anyone who tells him that his ways are harmful and mean.

You do not have to put up with any more. That's what this Cainer person just told me. And it must be true because I read it on the internet. I have his permission.

I'm trying to find a way to bang someone's head on the ground until it splits open and spills out all the pebbles that formed his cranium and get away with it.

I'm trying to calm down.

Eventually (after 14 cigarettes and two of those carbonated malt beverage type things) the hatred simmers down and turns into pity.

I've won this round. I have. But what was lost in the battle was just not worth it.

Small victories, indeed.

free people read freely

free people read freely

Thanks to Candi, the all-new, improved Banned Books Project is up and running and looking great.

Unfortunately, we've had to change the URL. So for those of you already linking ot the project, please re-adjust the URL to read http://asmallvictory.net/bbp/.

185

185...

185 socks walk into a bar...

The lengths people go through to amuse you.

I am amused.

two contests in one

Two, two, two contests in one!

The brain's capacity to think of interesting and/or humorous stories to write is in direct correlation with the brain's set of stressors for the previous days.

I got nothing.

Don't say I didn't warn you about the likelihood of this site becoming Fark-lite until after the wedding.

Today, I offer you a double contest (because some of you complained that the Photoshop contest was discriminatory against people who did not own any photo-editing software. I think it was also discriminatory against those who do not own a sense of humor, but what are they doing here anyhow?)

So, this is a Photoshop and Caption contest rolled into one and sliced in half. You can do either/or. Both or one. Combined or separate. Will that be white or wheat?

Or you can completely ignore this and do none of the above.

Today's picture:

(click for big scary size)

Captions below, Photoshop entries to me at afireinsideblog AT yahoo.com. Hurry. I need laughter.

August 08, 2002

jedi mind trick: banned books version

jedi mind trick: banned books version

Here I go again. And you can't stop me. Expect lots of blathering about the banned books project in the coming weeks.

Candi is amazing. She already has a design ready to go and she's working hard at the behind the scenes stuff. I hope to have at least part of the site up and running this weekend.

And this is where you come in. Last year's project was a huge success because I had zillions of contributors and supporters. You know you want to help. Yes you do. You want to help. These are not the droids you're looking for.

Basically, the help needed runs from small to large. From putting a button on your site (or making new buttons as some of last year's have '2001' on them) to writing a full blown essay on the subject; from linking the project and/or the ALA official page on your site to make others aware of Banned Books Week to researching a specific banned book, any and all efforts are appreciated and duly noted with a link to your site, if you have one, at the project. (Don't be afraid to link to the message page I have up there now, at least it will get people to go to the ALA site and learn about the event).

Last year's images are located here for now.

I am also going to branch out a bit this year to include passages on censorship in general, if that interests you.

If you are interested, please either leave your email address in the comments below or email bannedbooksproject AT hotmail.com and I will either send you information specific to what you want to do to participate, or a general statement of me begging for your contributions.

You want to do this. You want to contribute. You want to take part. These are not....eh, nevermind. That crap only works on stormtroopers.

Thank you and have a pleasant tomorrow.

(ed note: If you are using Moveable Type and have not upgraded to the latest version, I highly recommend it)

head in the clouds

head in the clouds

I love clouds. I spent a good portion of my childhood laying in the backyard staring at the sky and examining the clouds. When I was about ten, I took out some books on meteorology from the library and learned what all the different types of clouds were and what they meant in relation to the weather.

Clouds make me happy. The fluffier, the better. Sometimes, when the sky is that perfect blue and the fluffiness is just right, I feel like I'm in the opening credits of The Simpsons.

Like most people (I think) I like to make pictures out of the clouds. Fuzzy bunnies and dragons and kitties and castles appear in the sky when you play the cloud game. It puts me in another place. A good place.

So today, the clouds were amazing. The sky was perfect. We sat outside and stared above, making pictures out of the white puffs of mist.

Oh, that one looks like.....Saddam.
Look over there, it's Arafat!
Doesn't that look like a mushroom cloud?
Oh! There's a small army of terrorists and they are headed for that other cloud that looks just like a small American city!
Umm...that one looks just like your ex-husband.

It's been that kind of week, I guess.

rush to idiocy

rush to idiocy

Rush Limbaugh:

Hey, I have a great idea! Let's bomb Iraq on September 11th! What better way to commemorate the senseless killings of thousands of innoncent people, the suffering of millions and our disdain of terrorism by bombing the hell out of another country that we aren't even at war with yet! (paraphrased, of course, but a damn near likeness to what he said).

I can think of so many reasons why this idea is idiotic at best, but then again it's Rush. Nuff said.

via fark

the mind of a bitter man

the mind of a bitter man

Excuse me while I get personal here. I need to rant and this seems like as good a place as any.

Apparently the ex has not been taking the news of my impending nutpials so well. This despite the fact that it's been four years since we've been together (nine years since we last slept in the same room) and despite the fact that he has a girlfriend with two kids that he is rather serious about.

Natalie called him today to see how we would split the driving when she starts basketball camp next week.

Mom said she can pick me up every day if you can drop me off.
I'm not helping your mother. She's on her own.
You wouldn't be helping mom, you would be helping your daugther.
I'm not doing crap for her.
It's for me, dad. I have to get there and back.
You have a stepfather now. Tell him to do it.
But dad....

Click.

Natalie comes out of the room crying. She says "when is he going to learn to start thinking of somebody besides himself? Doesn't he realize he's hurting me instead of you?"

She's figuring it all out now.

I have never bad-mouthed my ex to his children. I always knew someday they would find out on their own what kind of person he is. I didn't want their view of him to come from my biased opinions.

I have tried everything. I am so incredibly civil to him that people often take me to task for it. I accomodate him and do favors for him all in the name of trying to make our kids' lives a bit easier. Most of the time, he wants none of it. He is rude to me, rude to my family and says unecessarily nasty things about my family and friend to the kids. I have given up trying. I don't even know what to do at this point.

Natalie does not want to go to his house this weekend. And who could blame her? I told her it's her choice to make but she has to talk to her father about it and tell him why she doesn't want to come.

I don't think there is anything in this world that could make someone like him see the destructive force of his ways. He is going to end up a lonely old man whose kids only call him on holidays because they feel like they have to. It's a shame, really. He has the potential to be a really good father if only he would stop insisting that the world revolves around his feelings.

I'm more sad than angry. I hate to see the kids hurt time and time again by their father's selfish, immature behavior. I hate the fact that he still cares so much about my personal life and what I do with it. I hate that this roller coaster shows no signs of stopping.

not fark, but close

not fark, but close

The boobieblog is closed.

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to post anything of substance here. I have the banned books project going on, Raising Hell is relaunching with a new design, there's back-to-school shit to do and oh yea, I'm getting married in about two weeks.

So please excuse me if this space if full of photoshop and caption contests and silly links and the incoherent ramblings of a stressed out woman for the next two weeks.

at war with peace

at war with peace

There should be a World Leader branch of the patent office. Every world leader, peaceful or tyrant, should have to register their catch phrases with the office.

Doesn't Axis of Evil sound very similar to Forces of Evil? Who came first, Bush or Saddam? And isn't that whole evil/evildoer thing overused, anyhow? Someone needs to come up with a new way to describe their enemies. Axis of Badness? Axis of Malevolence? Forces of Sinister Like Beings? Ok, maybe not.

How close are we to a war with Iraq, anyhow? I need a translator for every speech I hear.

Iraq is our enemy. Saddam is a terrorist. We must wipe out terrorism. We will take down anyone who stands in the way of us winning the war on terrorism.

We are not making any plans to attack Iraq.

Bullshit. Just ask Photodude. He is better at presenting evidence than I am.

This election year is winding down already. Yes, I know it's only August. But once the airwaves are full of "vote for me not because I deserve it but because my opponent had sex with his probation officer" ads, you know it's in the home stretch. We have 3 full months of this pollution left. Then it's on to the real deal. The campaign for 2004. I wonder if Bush's campaign will be fought with the help of the U.S. armed forces? I wonder if his campaign to prove that he is a world leader who should not be messed with will have a casualty list as long as his donor list?

Anyhow, suppose we go to war. Suppose that sometime this fall/winter Bush decides that it's time to die for Saddam. What do you think it will be like? In Bush War I: The War My Daddy Fought, we watched the whole thing (or what they would show us) on CNN, and I never really felt threatened in any way.

But BWII will probably be different. Saddam may be a bit off of his rocker, but I feel a real sense of urgency to his threats to the United States. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have opened a new door for terrorists. It can be done. It has been done. All you need are a few psychotic martyrs and a bankroll. Don't think Saddam doesn't have both. Now that the world has seen America attacked and America broken and America in a panic, it's as if a line has been crossed. And you know that once that first person crosses over the line, the rest will follow. All it takes is one for the floodgates to open.

Will Iraq take the war to our own soil if we attack them? The chill up my spine when I think about it tells me yes. Terrorists are funny that way.

I'm starting to not really like this world we live in. It's a scary time and a scary place. I worry for my children's future. I worry that they will have a future at all. In a world where women and their kids celebrate death and destruction of innoncent people, in a world where kids are brought up to hate and destroy and separate, all I can do is instill some values and a sense of fairness and empathy in my children, send them out into the world and hope they use the good inside them to try and save it someday.

August 07, 2002

sue you, sue me

sue you, sue me

On the afternoon of March 3, 2000, Beatrice Booth, 83, was attempting to leave a Target store after shopping there. According to the $2-million lawsuit filed in Nassau State Supreme Court, she headed toward an entrance door that swung open as another shopper was entering. The grandmother of four was taken to Brunswick Hospital Center in Amityville where she died seven days later of a blunt force injury to the head

I think you know what happened next. The family has filed a wrongful death suit against Target, charging that - among other things - the doors swing in too fast and should be equipped with sensors so they don't hit people in the head.

So let me get this straight. They want the entrance door have a safety system in check so it doesn't hit the heads of people going out in the door?

The family also claims the doors aren't marked clearly and are confusing.

I have been in just about every Target on Long Island. I know these doors well. What more could a person want besides the words EXIT and ENTER labeled on the doors?

-STOP WRONG WAY!
-PAY ATTENTION, LADY! THIS IS THE EXIT!
-DOH! GO BACK THREE STEPS AND MOVE TO THE LEFT!
-OUT. RHYMES WITH GOUT.

I'm really sorry for the loss the family has suffered. But let's just call it what it is. Beatrice was not paying attention and went out the wrong way.

And if they did put sensors on the doors to prevent them from hitting some head-in-the-clouds poor soul, what happens to the person who is entering the door at the time and the door suddenly stops in its tracks so as not to hit another Beatrice and the person entering cannot stop their brisk paced momentum and smacks into the door?

Target ends up with a lawsuit anyhow.

The nonsense that ties up our legal system is ridiculous. I see it at work every day. Half of these "victims" belong on Judge Judy, not in the U.S. Court system.

Ladies and gentlemen, please take responsibility for yourself and your own actions. Your coffee is hot. Your knives are sharp. Take the Pop-Tart out of the wrapper before you toast it. Keep out of reach of small children. Hands and arms inside the car at all times. And for crying out loud, go in the in door and out the out door.

And keep your 1-800-LAWYERS buddies out of our courts.

(You can find a plethora of frivolous lawsuits at overlawyered.com)

fo' shizzle my nizzle

Fo' shizzle my nizzle

We have a marriage license. About damn time.

We got to Town Hall this afternoon and were afforded the red carpet treatment based on the fact that we know the right people. No waiting, no hassles, no 765 forms of identification needed.

After we signed the proper forms, we were escorted into the Town Clerk's office who made a big deal out everything and had the town photographer take a picture of us, pen poised over document, making goofy smiles, celebrating our impending marriage. The picture is for the local town paper. I worried aloud that my ex would see it and have a caniption.

Not to worry. He didn't need to see the paper to have his monkey fit.

Word must have leaked out in the office that his ex-wife was downstairs getting a marriage license. No sooner did I get home than my mother said Mr. HissyFit called.

Idiot: 22? She's marrying a 22 year old? 22??
Mom: Yes.
Idiot: You know he's 22? (insert manic laughter here). Did you...
Mom: Yes, he's 22. And don't you think it's about time she found someone to make her smile like that?

End of conversation.

You do realize that this means he went downstairs and looked at the forms we just filled out?

Think it would be a public service if I informed his current girlfriend that he's insane?

On the way home we stopped at the comic book store to celebrate. There was a kid working there, in tandem with his boss, who was trying to hard-sell us every Grant Morrison title ever just because I asked for The Filth. Which they were out of. I have no interest in JLA or Animal Man. But I did pick up Arkham Asylum just to make the kid happy. And I ordered the first two collected of Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan, part of my effort to have the collected version of everthing there is. Just something like iex more to go and by that time I get those, there will be others.

So, I get to the counter to pay the old man and there's a pile of copied video tapes there for sale. A seedy looking copy of Dead Alive, some wrestling videos and....and......I nearly faint. I see what I have spent the last year looking for. A copy of the BBC miniseries of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. I practically drooled on the counter. Twenty bucks later, the two tapes (six parts) were mine.

The icing on the cake was the email from Candi waiting for me when I got home. It took her about one hour from time I vaguely and non descriptly told her what I want in the design for the banned books project (basically I said, I don't know...you design it) there was a beautiful work of art sitting in my inbox. I can really get started on this project in earnest now.

DJ is at the Yankee game, Natalie is out with her aunt. Justin is busy with Rival Schools 2 and I'm getting my groove on with Jay-Z and Wu-Tang shuffling on the winamp.

Yea, I do have good days once in a while. But damn am I exhausted.

18 days. I think I'm gonna make it after all.

whore unto others

whoring other people besides myself

In the tradition of the boobieblog.....e-mail me a picture (.JPG format, preferably) of you wearing something really personal: your favorite pair of headphones, listening to your favorite music/DVD/radio station/whatever....throw in fifty words about yourself, the headphones and the music.

In the tradition of the boobieblog. Never thought I would see those words.

Anyhow, go visit George and send him a picture.

all the news you can eat, $5.99!

all the news you can eat, $5.99!

TV Coverage Linked To Stress Disorder.

In a survey regarding PTSD in relation to September 11th, researchers found that "The more television coverage people watched, the higher the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD...."

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include a re-experiencing of the event through intrusive memories, dreams and flashbacks. People with PTSD go to great lengths to avoid anything that would remind them of the experience and describe a feeling of emotional numbing. They will also complain of difficulty sleeping and trouble concentrating.

I think it also depends on what news you watch. If you spent enough time waching Geraldo cover the war, I'm sure your stress level is that much higher. Also, you need to learn what the remote is for.

Quite a few people have hinted to me that they think I may be suffering from PTSD. While I do exhibit some of the symptoms, they don't apply because I have been experiencing these things most of my life, not just post-9/11. Also, instead of going to great lengths to avoid reminders, I actively seek them out.

Yesterday, I did say something about avoiding the anniversary date all together and spending the day in an arcade. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that sticking your head in the sand does not make something go away. It just makes it darker. And I'm afraid of the dark. Which is probably why I watch so much news. It's good out here in the light. It's scary as hell, but I'd rather be scared and armed with knowledge than be scared and not know where the hell I am or what I'm doing there.

My father is running a firefighter's memorial service that day. It's going to be at the Long Island Cradle of Aviation Museum (which will eventually be adjacent to the Nassau County Firefighter's Museum) and we may or may not attend that. (Hey! I just found a picture of my dad while searching for a link - second picture down, he's on the left...OH! And i found something he wrote! This internet contraption is making the world a really, really small place)

We may watch the planned New York City service on tv. I like some of what they are doing. But I'm not so sure about the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address. This is a memorial service, not a political rally.

Anyhow. I am not suffering from PTSD, but thank you for caring enough to suggest I get help. I'm suffering from the same thing I have been afflicted with my entire life: a quest to know more. I cannot fight the good fight if I don't know what I'm up against. I cannot speak my mind coherently or debate the issues or suggest alternative solutions if I don't make the effort to know every side of the issue.

I could not do this or this effectively if I didn't take the time to read and watch and listen. To both sides - all sides - of a subject.

It's my job to saturate myself with news. I've made it so. Sometimes it does become too much and that's when I gather the kids and we spend a few hours playing Crash Team Racing or watching Invader Zim or just being mindless idiots.

And then it's back to work.

August 06, 2002

banned books and hot dog steaks

banned books and hot dog steaks

Well, I'm going into this Banned Books project full steam ahead.

I received an email today directing me to this site, which lists books that "should" be banned and their offending passages. (Thank you, Heather)

For instance, Robert Cormier's I am the Cheese, one of my favorite books ever should be banned because (among other things) it contains references to farts and a government plot.

I have always felt it should be the parent's choice (up until a certain age) what kids read. No one else should determine what is appropriate or not for my children.

I've only just begun.

Now, I have business to attend to. Gordon (of the defunct Spacheese) gave me the impetus to invent a hot dog steak. And that's what I'm going to do.

one problem solved

One problem solved

It pays to know the right people. In this case, my father.

I was so upset about the marriage license thing. I told dad.

An hour later I got a call at work from the Town Clerk. She said to be at Town Hall at 2:30 tomorrow and we will get the red carpet treatment. Whatever that is.

Thanks, dad. I owe you one. Or a million, if you're keeping count.

banned books week

September 21-28, 2002 is Banned Books Week.

Last year, I launched an ambitious, if amateur, website for the purpose of making people aware of book banning and presenting an outlet to talk about censorship, etc. It's still there, but it looks like crap because I never updated it when I moved to Dreamhost last September. And there were other things going on in that month that took a back seat to the project.

Well, I am relaunching the project yet again. Candi is going to redesign the site and I will be putting into Moveable Type so I can easily update it.

And this is where you come in. This year, as last year, the project will be a participatory one. Feel free to send me your views on book banning, anything you may want to write about specific books that have been banned, specific instances of banning, etc. The rules and regs are over on the old site.

Last year there were also ambitious people who took a specific book and wrote about it. Why it was banned, where it was banned, a short synopsis of the book and personal details of why that book is important to them. See here for an example.

I've set up a new email account specifically for the project.

If you would like to participate in any way, please email and let me know. I also need (hint, hint) new buttons made, as some of the older ones have last year's dates on them.

There were over 100 supporters of the site in 2001. I'd like to repeat that amount, as this is a subject I am very passionate about. I'm sure most of you are, too.

Thanks in advance for your support.

365

365

I've been putting off writing about this even though it is so much on my mind. I even wrote and deleted and wrote and saved several times over but never got to the end, nor to the point, of what I wanted to say.

And now, with last night's dream, I think it's better to purge it.

In a month it will be here, that dreaded anniversary. Sure, it's just another day. There will be school and work and probably grocery shopping and I think there is a PTA meeting that night. Life goes on.

I'm not afraid. It's not fear that is circling like a vulture in my brain. It's dread. I do not want to relive that feeling.

There is no way to avoid the anniversary. It will be on your tv, your radio, in your newspapers, on your blogs, written in indelible ink on the huge calendar page that seems to be hovering over us.

It's not even the feeling of that specific day, because most of those hours were spent in a state of disbelief. It's everything that followed.

I dreamed last night of the funeral service I attended for a bomb squad member killed that day. Of all the moments revolving around September 11th, even the first realization of what was happening, even the news of Pete Ganci's death, even watching the towers crumble, the service for Dan Richards will always be the most surreal moment of my life.

The combination of the bomb-sniffing dogs making sure the church was safe, the ever present helicopters, the bagpipes and the secret-service type people standing on my neighbor's porch with rifles poised on their shoulders made the day almost like a dream.

Last night I dreamed that the guns went off. The dogs were barking. The helicopters were droning in my ears and I couldn't hear a thing anyone was saying. People were running from the church, screaming and waving their hands in the air. I couldn't find my kids. I rushed into the church, into flames and rubble and body parts strewn about like candy wrappers in a movie theater. There were fingers under a pew and spilled blood on the seats and the floor was sticky with bodily fluids and tears. I thought I saw my kids at the altar, so I crawled through the wreckage to get there but when I approached I saw that it was effigies of my children, hanging from the ceiling fan of the church. A man playing Danny Boy on the bagpipes stood his ground, clouds of dust swirling around him, and then the ceiling collapsed and sunlight came through that one spot. I dropped to my knees and starting crying. The bagpipe player came and lifted me off my feet and carried me outside, where ambulances and black limousines waited to take the dead and injured away. And then I woke up.

It's all very much on my mind. How fast has this year gone? A year that has been filled with the war on terror and all of its rhetoric, a year of memorial services and digging for dead, a year of flag waving and bin Laden hunting and the stripping down of our rights, and now months of waiting for another war to be declared.

Are we worse off or better off because of the war on terror?

Are we any closer to winning this war, one year later?

Has the world really changed or have we, as people, changed?

How are you going to spend that day?

Me, I think I'll take the kids out of school on September 11th and spend the entire day in an arcade, away from television and radio and school assemblies.

August 05, 2002

last wedding related rant ever. promise.

last wedding related rant ever. promise.

Perhaps I should take today as an omen.

We get to the DMV. Rather, where the DMV used to be. I called my brother in law and asked him if I had lost my mind. The DMV moved, he said. I call my sister at work, who kindly interrupts the game she was playing to look up the DMV address for me. Ok, wrong town. U-Turn. Drive back a few miles the other way.

We get to the DMV and it looks good. Not much of a wait. I fill out my papers, Justin fills out his, I get a new picture taken even though I have this stupid scrape on my chin. I sort of move my hair in front of it and look down. The nice, elderly, robotic-like DMV clerk tells me to smile. I grimace. Flash.

Justin is having a problem. He needs four points worth of current ID. He has two. He looks down the list. Nope. Nope. Nope. He says to the lady, oh look, if I go buy myself a gun I can come back with the gun license and get my ID. The lady says, or shoot me. She smiles. A little too wide.

So he's not getting what he needs today at the DMV. I, however, get my license renewed. I finally take my married name off of it and go back to my maiden name (I'm not taking Justin's name, for various reasons, one of them being that no one ever knows how to pronounce it). I turn in my old license and away we go. Next stop, Town Hall.

Oh, dear! Says the condesending snobby bitch at Town Hall. You need to have a photo ID or you can't get a marriage license. I explain that my new driver's license won't come in the mail for another two weeks. She asks me why I don't have my work ID with me. Because I'm not at work. I don't usually carry around a laminated fascimile of myself that's hanging on a 20 inch chain unless I'm really going to need it. Like, to get into work. Which Town Hall is not.

So, no marriage license. I could have gone home and retreived my work photo ID, but that would mean leaving Hempstead and coming back within a space of one hour, and being that I drive to Hemsptead (aka Downtown Beruit) every day for work, I am not doing it again.

There we are in the parking lot of Town Hall, sitting in the car and talking about where to go to lunch. A head appears in the window. Hi! The head is saying. Hi! How are you?!? I look to the cheery head and see it's my ex husband's girfriend. Guess what her name is? Yep, Michele. One L, too. Just like me.

She chats it up with me, introduces herself to Justin and says the kids are really excited about the big day, you know! Yea, I know. Because they are my kids. I don't need their future stepmother telling me that they are excited about my wedding.

Ok, it was nice of her to stop and talk like that. I'm happy that we could be cordial to each other. Especially because if my ex knew that she was being friendly to me, he would have a fit. And she knows I know that, so this was like our little secret kind of thing. You know damn well he would kill me for talking to you, but I'm doing it anyhow, maybe just to spite him. Wink, wink.

And then there was the overly long wait for lunch and the waitress who lives the phrase ignorance is bliss and the three hour shopping trip with Natalie in which I found nothing to wear but found a Betsey Johnson dress for Natalie and it was on sale. And I forced her to buy it. First she tried on this thing with fringes and then she tried on this thing that made her look like Natalie Portman in The Professional, as I predicted, and then she tried on the Betsey Johnson and I said. Stop. Collaborate. Listen.

No, I didn't. I said, we are buying that. You look adorable. You look twelve, not eighteen and you are twelve so that's the dress. Shut up. Shut...I said shut...stop...no...that will be cash...stop crying, Natalie....cooperation...you look great in the dress.....thank you, have a nice evening.....if you wear this dress I'll get you those shoes you wanted.....yes, cooperation.....no, that's not bribery it's compromising....look it up.

And somehow, I don't know how, we ended up in the pet store looking at hamsters.

If today was any kind of omen about the wedding or the subsequent years after the wedding, I am frightened. Or maybe the whole day is just a microcosm of our relationship anyhow, where we have had to overcome all kinds of things to get where we are but we keep perservering until........whatever.

I need a drink. Or a lobotomy.

celebrity true stories part 2: moments of idiocy

celebrity true story part 2: moments of idiocy

I missed the boat. I could have made a lot of money selling my ANS stories to the tabloids. (please avoid using her name in the comments, as I don't want to end up with google searches for her, thank you).

It's too late. Now that everyone knows she is a full-fledged nut and an idiot to boot, the stories wouldn't play as well.

Not even the story about how she made me walk to the supermarket with her so she could ride the children's merry-go-round.

Not even the story about how she broke the folding chair when she sat in it.

Or how she drove us all crazy the day her geezer husband kicked the bucket, trying to get faxes to the hospital and fielding phone calls and generally babysitting her while she played the part of distraught gold digging wife.

Or how she made us all sit around, kids and all (even her young son) and watch her pitiful performance in some b-grade action movie, her proudest moment being when she makes porn-star love to the shower head.

You probably already read the story about the dog at the funeral.

I really should have went to The Star before the whole world realized that this woman has all the brain power of a dead battery and all the acting skills of David Arquette.

I'm out at least a thousand bucks, thanks to E!

20 days

20 days

I have this thing where I wait and wait and wait to accomplish tasks that need to be done and then I do them all at the last minute, in a flurry of anxiety and haste. It works out ok though. I do my best stuff under pressure.

We're getting married in 20 days. Today, we will cram everything we were supposed to be doing the past few weeks into a couple of hours.

First, we'll head to Town Hall to get our marraige license. This will be fun because the place where we have to stand on line to get the license looks into my ex-husbands office. Can you feel the tension?

While we are in that area, we'll make a stop at Motor Vehicle and renew my driver's license, which expired almost a year ago. How's that for procrastination? I have twenty days left before they make me take the road test again. I've been driving for over twenty years and let me tell you, I would fail that test in a minute.

Oh, I can't drive with one hand while I fiddle with the CD player with the other?

What do you mean it's not legal to stick my head out the window and yell death threats to other drivers?

Well, I thought you could make a left on red if you were already within ten feet of the intersection when the light changed.

But, hey...I don't talk on the phone while I drive and I always use my turn signals. That has to count for something, right?

After that, we'll go get our rings (no, we are not getting the Spider-man rings or the decoder rings) and then go shopping for something to wear for the ceremony. The ceremony that will last all of ten minutes. I hope.

Two of the Judges I work for are performing the ceremony. One of them thinks he's a comedian. The other one talks in legalese 24 hours a day. I warned Judge Comedian that this is a wedding, not a roast. That making fun of the bride on her wedding day is not in good taste. I gave him warnings:

He is not to mention the time I gave him a tampon when he wanted candy.

He is not to talk about my two hour lunches. Hey, I'm a civil servant. Aren't I entitled to take more lunch time than is afforded me in the rules?

He is not to talk about the time I came back to work drunk after Bonnie's birthday lunch.

The other Judge will keep him in check. I hope. Maybe if they combine the legal words with subtle humor it will work out ok and I won't have to push either of them into the pool.

So, when all that stuff is done, I have to come home and get Natalie and take her shopping for something to wear. Keep in mind this is a very casual wedding. (For those of you attending and have asked what casual means, it means wear something that you won't mind wearing when you are inevitbaly thrown into the pool).

The shopping will go something like this:

No, Natalie, casual does not mean a Linkin Park t-shirt and shorts. At least not for the ceremony.

No, Natalie, that dress will make you look like a 12 year old hooker.
What's a hooker?
It will make you look like Natalie Portman in The Professional.
Oh. Ok.

Here, Nat, this is cute!
Mom, it's made by Mary Kate and Ashley. Puhleaaaaase!

No, Natalie, you cannot wear a dress that makes you look like a refuge from the 60's.

Listen, Nat. Pick out a dress in the next five minutes or you'll be standing up there in your pajamas.

WhatEVER, mom.

20 days. 20 days. 20 days. I sent the caterer the check and the list of food we want. We ordered the tables and chairs to be rented. I have to get a haircut, which I haven't done in about a year. I fell the other day and I have a nasty looking scrape on my chin. I have to convince Justin to get rid of those sideburns but keep the goatee.

The ceremony will be over in ten minutes. Then we can party and mingle and drink tequila until I'm so drunk I fall into the pool and nobody notices because Bonnie is standing on the table doing a striptease with Baz, and Choire and Nancy and Chris are fighting over who will get to blog about if first.

But I'll be married. And my kids will have a stepdad instead of a mommy's boyfriend.

And we will all live happily ever after, even if I have to hold a grudge against my Judges for the rest of my career.

August 04, 2002

movies that suck

movies that suck

Following Laurence's lead (ok, ripping him off paying him homage), I went through Metacritic's list of best and worst rated films. Laurence owns a lot more of the bad films than I do.

26. Rollerball. No, I don't own it. I just want to say that this movie is reason enough why remakes should be outlawed. Go see the original. Even the credits in that one are better than this piece of crap. I can't believe Jean Reno was in it.

29. Master of Disguise. Even the commercials make me want to stab Dana Carvey with a plastic knife until he's writhing on the floor.

31. Glitter. Come on, don't you want to see this just for the laughs?

70. Pokemon 3. Yea, we own it. What can I say, we own two Power Rangers movies, too. You know, the first Power Ranger movie sort of kicked ass. Really.

87. 3000 Miles to Graceland. How bad was this movie? We deny that we even watched it. We have tried to delete it from our memories.

104. Left Behind. Kirk Cameron. The Rapture. No thank you.

108. Hollow Man. This movie had more plot holes than Planet of the Apes. Besides, Kevin Bacon is really annoying.

133. Dude, Where's My Car? 5 minutes. That's how long I lasted before my brain cells melted.

159. I am Sam. Well, I liked it. A lot. What do metacritics know, anyhow?

160. Pokemon 2000. Nowhere as good as the first. I took several naps in the movie theater during this one.

Where was Jeepers Creepers? By far one of the worst movies I have ever seen. And Pearl Harbor?

Note that I have seen almost every movie on this list. I am going to add up the hours I wasted watching the crap that is supposed entertain the masses but only serves to give us something to complain about afterwards.

Watched 20 minutes of Eight Legged Freaks the other night before we realized it was going nowhere. Movies like that are why internet piracy is a good thing. Save your bucks, folks.

Tomorrow I tackle the best rated movies. Casino? I think not.

ultimate linkage

ultimate linkage

Neil Gaiman linked to my review of Coraline at Banshee Studios!!!! (August 2 entry).

Yea, I'll be walking on air all day. I'm a geek like that.

no end in sight

no end in sight

This was the first thing I read this morning as I was going through my news rounds: 10 more people dead in Israel. Two minutes later, I read about another attack.

For the second time this week, I wrote a long rant about the situation and then decided not to post it.

I'm at a loss. And I am more at a loss as to why Bush still thinks that they are people who can be reasoned with or talked to.

I'm still at a loss as to why people are so quick to condemn Israel for accidently killing two children in an attack, and then call suicide bombings an act of defense.

I'm at a loss as to why we accept as genuine leaders people who request their followers to kill themselves in the name of religion. Kill others in the name of religion.

Is it the job of the U.S. to step in and do something about it? Perhaps not, but it's too late for that. We have already set ourselves up as the policemen of the world. We have already sent our people over for chit chats with the world's most vile man and we have already put our foot in the door and we cannot take it out.

Unfortunately, I don't think there really is any solution. When you are dealing with a man like Arafat, and people who have no problems strapping dynamite to their bodies and dying along with their victims, there is little room left for diplomacy or mediation.

I used to think that there would be a very bad ending to this situation. Now I think there's just no ending.

I'm still at a loss as to how the world got this way.

winner

winner

I think it's pretty obvious who the winner of the Photoshop contest is.

Congratulations, Stacy. And thanks for the horrible images of Arafat and Jackson having wild monkey sex.

Stay tuned for the next contest, which in no way will give anyone an opportunity to make fun of world leaders. Maybe.

August 03, 2002

scott

scott

Scott, also known as Skattieboy, died last week.

What I did know of him, through his blog and mutual friends, was that he was a genuinely nice, giving, considerate person.

Scott was my Blogger Insider partner at one time. We exchanged pleasant emails, going back and forth about comic books and toys, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Coupland.

So I just felt it right to re-post the interview I did with him. Rest well, Scott.

his answers to my questions
my answers to his questions

signs

vote for the photoshop contest here. boobie of the week announced here.


signs

I have visions.

No, I don't see dead people. Or maybe I do. But I found out, through a little research, that my visions aren't uncommon.

I have these visions at night, when I lay down to go to sleep. I'm not sleeping when they happen, I am wide awake. I hear everything around me, I am fully aware of my surroundings. But as soon as I close my eyes, these visions start dancing in front of me.

They are completely random and appear at a fast clip. Sometimes there are people, and they are doing things like walking in the woods or baking cookies. Sometimes the visions are scary and bizarre faces and images appear and then disappear quickly. I've seen skulls and decapitated bodies and monsters.

Often, it's like I am traveling. There is a road, usually a dirt path, and it blurs as I move fast down the trail. Most of those visions end up with me walking through piles of leaves, as if I am looking for something. I can hear the crackling of the dry leaves, the snapping of branches, and in those visions there is always a fear, as if I may find something I don't like.

Voices accompany the sites once in a while, people calling out names or just yelling or saying odd phrases that mean nothing to me.

These happenings have a name. It's called a hypnagogic state.

The hypnagogic state is that state between being awake and falling sleep. For some people, this is a time of visual and auditory hallucination.

Good to know I'm not losing my mind. It's always better when something strange happens to you that there is an actual name for it. Makes you feel less alone.

Some people attribute this state to alien mind control. Don't worry, I don't. Although I used to think that I was psychic and that these visions were meant to tell me where to find dead bodies or kidnapped children.

I don't mind this, not even when it's scary. Having these visions is like going on an adventure every night. I wonder where they come from, though. Experts on dreams say that your dreams and visions are your mind's way of cleaning out the clutter in your brain. Maybe that skull I saw last night was embedded in my thoughts somewhere from an image I saw during the day, but didn't register with my consciousness. Maybe it stands for something, and my mind is just trying to purge itself of unecessary thoughts.

And maybe, just maybe, it's the aliens.

I saw the movie Signs last night. It's one of those movies where you watch it and think, eh this isn't so creepy, it could have been better. But then the movie is over and your house is dark and you are looking over your shoulder and seeing strange shadows.

I'm not so egostical to think that earth dwellers are the only living creatures in the entire solar system. There has to be other life out there. The universe is so vast, so deep and wide, that we may never know what does exist beyond where we are capable of traveling.

What if there are aliens and they can control your mind, or seep into your thoughts? What if the visions I see are supposed to be messages? What if I was singled out and I'm supposed to take the images I see and connect them like a puzzle and solve the world's problems with them?

Ok, maybe not. Still, I'd like to think there are more to the things I see when I close my eyes than random pictures my brain cells are shooting at me. Beings from outer space controlling my mind would be kind of cool, because then I could blame all the goofy things I do on them. Sorry, officer, the aliens told me to do 70 in a 40. I couldn't control myself.

These are just two separate things that have been running through my mind since last night. Sleep hallucinations and aliens. Combinging the two is just a result of too much coffee and not enough sleep.

But, still....don't you wonder?

What do you think? Are we alone or do we have company out there somewhere?

hail to the king, baby

hail to the king, baby


Finally. After power outages and power surges and Photoshop being a bastard this morning, I present to you the finalists for the Photoshop Contest.

Thanks to everyone who played along. Sorry if I had to disqualify your entry for lack of taste or offensiveness in general. Actually, I'm not sorry.

Vote in comments. Voting ends at 5pm today. Winner gets a 10 dollar Amazon gift certificate.

lisaentryth.jpg Lisa (my sister, not that that should sway your vote)
sekientryth.jpg Sekimori
shelbyentryth.jpg shelby
shelby2entryth.jpg shelby again
mikeentryth.jpg mike

Vote away. Have fun. If you have any pictures you would like me to use for the next contest, send them along.

August 02, 2002

intermission

intermission

Big storm here, cable modem keeps going on and off. Damn that flashing green light, it's like the sign of the devil.

Photoshop judging will take place tomorrow instead. I'll put up the four finalists and you can vote.

Turning off the computer now before another power surge hits.

courtney love finally becomes useful

courtney love finally becomes useful


k, I kicked Panic-Man in the ass, poured Vodka and Tequila all over his henchmen and told him to get the fuck out because I had work to do.

Oh, nothing to do with the wedding.

The Nirvana message board has been linking to the boobieblog. Direct linking. Direct linking bad. Very bad.

After two emails went unreplied to, I took action.

I renamed the images that they were linking to, and in their place, I put a picture of Courtney Love, nipple hanging out and all.

There is nothing a Nirvana fan hates more than Courtney Love.

Sure, they're still stealing my bandwidth, but I'm getting a good giggle out of it.

my villainous powers are comic book worthy, damn it!

my villainous powers are comic book worthy, damn it!

Hi, Super-Duper PanicMan here again, with my trusty sidekick Wedding Panic-Man.

Michele ate a dozen Krispy Kremes today. That was all me. I hired on Mr. EatAwayYourAnxiety Man and he did one hell of a job.

She's in a sugar/caffeine coma at the moment. After all the donuts, the three bottles of Peach Snapple (aka high fructose corn syrup in a bottle), 6 cups of coffee and two packs of Skittles, she hunkered down under her desk, shaking and crying and screaming "THE WEDDING IS OFF, YOU FUCKERS!" That was after a futile search for inexpensive but charming wedding bands, trying to book a hotel out east on the water but realizing this is high tourist season out there, and the dawning knowledge that her ex husband's looks out into the hallway where she has to stand in line to get her marraige license.

Ah, the work of a villain is never done. I still have so much more in me. And she's a bit disappointed that no one could come up with an anti-villain or appropriate superhero to help save her sanity.

She has been meaning to scrawl a little note to Stephen and his fiance, who are getting married this weekend, asking how they did it without being struck down by my powers. Easy enough for them. Stephen is known as the VodkaPundit. Vodka is one of the sworn enemies of Panic-Man.

I noticed that Michele has a plan of going home and having Vodka SnoCones for dinner. Looks like a job for Super Clumsy-Boy. If the vodka is all over the kitchen floor, she can't drink it, can she? Yea, I'm evil. It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it.

posted by: Panic-Man

p.p.s

p.p.s. (addendum to below post)

Michele has no idea what happened to her comments pages. She does not know why they are not obeying the CSS.

Man, hiring that Blog Panic-Boy really paid off.

posted by: Super Panic-Man.

update: Damn that Bill! Damn him to hell for helping her fix her templates! I shall inflict the wrath of ALifeWithoutShowTunes Boy on him!

the adventures of Panic-Man and his evil sidekicks

the adventures of Panic-Man and his evil sidekicks


Michele cannot come to the blog right now. I have incapacitated her.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a villian the likes of which you have never seen before. Forget the Green Goblin and those other comic book poofs. I am the villain you should all fear.

I am Panic-Man.

I have the most amazing super powers you will ever witness. I rely on my minions - err, sidekicks - to help me overpower my victims. In the case of Michele, I called upon one of my most faithful sidekicks, Wedding Panic-Man. Together, we use our patented PanicPower(tm) to create a SwirlOfAnxiety(tm) that overtakes any calm state or complacency the victim may have previously been experiencing. We then use our tractor beams to flood the victim with the four basic panic groups: Fear, Nervousness, Worry and Nausea. And then we sit back and enjoy the show, laughing in our manic villainous ways as hilarity ensues. Well, it's hilarity for us. Probably not for the victim.

The part where we are really, really evil, I mean more evil than those other villians that get much more publicity than me (I'm not bitter, I swear), is the way we lie in wait until the victim thinks they are safe from our clutches.

Didn't Michele seem laid back about the wedding? Apathetic, almost. Sure, it's her second wedding. It's a backyard barbecue, casual and fun. So she had nothing to worry about, right? Mwahahahaha! That's what she thinks!

Boy, was she in for surprise when she woke up yesterday morning and our SwirlOfAnxiety(tm) had surrounded her to the point of absolute mania. We are so bad. So, so bad my minions and I. We waited until she was happy and bubbly and happily awaiting her approaching nuptials. And then - BAM! - in the dead of night we came, Wedding Panic-Man and I, wreacking havoc on Michele's bright-eyed attitude.

I gathered my henchmen and swooped in quickly, before she doubled her dose of Paxil to combat us. (Paxil, in large doses, is like Kryptonite to the Panic Patrol(tm). As is tequila. Maybe I shouldn't have told you that).

Weather Panic-Boy took over first. We put the ideas of rain and humidity and even a rare August cold spell into her head. Then came Fashion Panic-Man, who made sure Michele started having heart palpitations over what she should wear, what her kids should wear, what the groom to be would wear. She worried about the groom's goatee and if it was appropriate or not, and -this is the best part - Fashion Panic-Man used my new invention, the DoILookFatInThis Laser(tm), which switches all the tags on the clothes in a store, so the victim is trying on dresses that are really two sizes too small, but she thinks are her size! How beautiful is that? She thinks she's fat, 24 days before her wedding! Oh, I slay myself.

There's other work to be done. There's Catering Panic-Woman and my favorite sidekick, Financial Panic-Boy. They should strike some time today.

I have to tell you, it''s a lot of fun being a villain. Just sitting back and watching my victim chain smoke and bang her head against the wall repeatedly makes all the hard work worthwile.

They really have not come up with a super-hero yet who can overtake me or my legion of sidekicks. Such a shame, because I would love a good fight. Maybe then I will get my own comic book. But until such a time that Professor X or whoever it is that invents super heroes comes up with someone who can withstand my powers, evilness and genius, I will rule the world.

Poor Michele. Poor, poor Michele. When I last left her she was talking to herself about the nasty color green that her father painted the deck that she is getting married on. Way to go, Inconsequential Panic-Boy!

p.s. michele wants you to know that the she will put up the three finalists from the photoshop contest tonight, so you can vote on them, and that there is still time to send your entries in, and that she has fresh boobs on the boobieblog and you can vote for boobie of the week.

Oh, I am going to hire a new sidekick: Blog Panic-Man!!

posted by: Super Incredible Panic-Man

August 01, 2002

exhaust fumes

exhaust fumes

I'm suffering from exhaustion. There are several forms of exhaustion, did you know that? I've self-diagnosed and figured out that I have the following:

Heat exhaustion
Work exhaustion
Pre-teen daughter exhaustion
Wedding exhaustion
Driving in traffic exhaustion
News exhaustion

It's 8:00. I'm going to take a double dose of NyQuil, add some Claritan, turn up the A/C full blast and hibernate under the covers.

I just wanted to remind you. Photoshop Contest ends tomorrow, and go vote for the boobies of the week, the winner of which will win the coveted and much sought after Stiff Nipples Award.

real genius

real genius

I am now qualified to join the High IQ Society of America.

Of course, I have to give them 60 bucks to join.

What are the benefits of membership?

As a member, you will have access to our chat rooms, discussion forums (both general and subject-specific), online game tournaments, puzzles, and the Society's publication, IQ Magazine. You will also have the opportunity to become a member of the International Research Institute, an online think tank which assists corporate, government, and non-profit entities in the search for solutions to complex problems.

Well, I can basically get puzzles for free, I don't do chat rooms or forums and myh online game tournament time is devoted to Word Racer over at Yahoo Games.

As for the Research Institute, I already know the way in which to the help the government and corporations solve their complex problems. It's called accountability.

I just saved myself 60 bucks. See, I am smart.

(link via booge, who scored one measly point higher than me on the 5 minute test)

what's he doing in that cave, anyhow?

what's he doing in that cave, anyhow?

Rumsfeld on Bin laden:

"He may be dead, he may be seriously wounded, he may be in Afghanistan, he may be somewhere else. Wherever he is -- if he is -- you can be certain he is having one dickens of a time operating his apparatus."

Nah.

Not even gonna go there.

And then we get this: "Al Qaeda's senior leadership is in disarray. Many of their planners, travel facilitators, and [low-level decision makers] are now dead or have been captured," said General Tommy Franks. "Their training facilities in Afghanistan have been destroyed, command and control capabilities have been disrupted and their remaining leaders are -- as the secretary said -- on the run."

But Rumsfeld is quoted as saying: "For every terrorist plot we discover and every terrorist cell we disrupt, there are dozens of others in the works." Rumsfeld says they don't know if Bin laden is dead or alive but that there are plenty of high ranking Al Qaeda officials who can fill his place.

As Senator Max Cleland (D-Georgia), a Vietnam vet, said to Rumsfeld: Operation Enduring Freedom has become Operation Enduring Frustration.

In September, they swore to everyone that their main goal was to find Bin laden and bring him to justice - whatever brand of justice that would be. Now, almost a year later, they have no idea where he is - if he's alive - and they are dismissing the need to find him. It's not even a priority anymore. What happened to that whole dispensing justice on his ass thing?

Now I am going to spend the rest of the day trying to wash from my brain the image of Bin laden "operating his apparatus." I'm going to have one dickens of a time doing that.

let's party

let's party

fresh boobies, including the cleavage of the lovely jillmatrix.

24 hours to submit your entry for the photoshop contest.

I just realized it's August 1st. I'm getting married in 24 days. I have done basically nothing to get ready for this wedding. Oh yes, we have written our vows:

Him: You rock
Me: You rock harder
Together: Let's party.

No, we are not using these vows.

shopforkids.usa

shopforkids.com


It's nice that George is touting adoption. It really is.

It's odd that Bruce Willis is the spokesperson for the new adoption iniative. Really.

It's bizarre that Bush took the time out of his adoption speech to recognize that Willis's daughter - Tallulah Belle - helped raise money to send over 36,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the kids of Afghanistan. Cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. Altruistic? Yes. Sensible? No. Cheese, I could see. Maybe power bars. Or baby formula. But cookies?

Back to the adoption thing.

Bush: And so, today, I'm pleased to announce the first federal adoption website. It's called AdoptUSKids.org. In its first year of operation, the website will feature pictures and profiles of more than 6,500 children who are available for adoption, as well as maintain a database of prospective adoptive parents who have been approved by the states.

Approved by the states. Wouldn't it be nice if all prospective parents had to be approved? Only if you want to adopt are you held to strict standards.

Aaron and his parnter are in adoption classes now. They have to take parenting classes, go through a criminal background check and do a home study. Imagine if birth parents were held to the same standards before having a child.

The states have some interesting standards. There are age requirements. Why? Because people over 35 don't make good parents? And there is the whole gay adoption issue. If more states (i.e., Florida) would be open to the idea of gay adoption, there would be more children finding loving homes.

Bush points the federal adoption website. It promotes kid shopping. I kid you not.

Hmm, I'm looking for an caucasion female from Alabama between the ages of 3-7 with a slight learning disability. Search......jackpot!

I wonder if you can bid on a child? Oh look dear, here's a nice Asian baby from California. And she only has a moderate physical disability. Hurry, the auction ends at midnight!

Yes, I understand that the site is performing a service. It just seems creepy to me that you can shop for a child like that. No less creepy than going to a sperm bank and asking for the sperm most likely to produce a blond haired, blue eyed football player.

I am all for adoption. I think it's a wonderful thing. My nephew is adopted. But it took my sister and her husband a long time to find a child to adopt. They were turned down because of my brother-in-laws age, because he is divorced, because of religous issues. Adoption should be offered to more people, in better ways, than it is now. It's all well and good to be selective about certain things when placing a child - is the home loving, is there a stable environment, is there enough money to support a child - but there are certain criteria now in place by many agencies that should be done away with. If you take down certain barriers - sexual preference, religion, race, single parenting - you can place a lot more children in loving homes.

Oh, and the agencies should check with the prospective parents of infants what they plan on naming the child. Tallulah Belle? That's just wrong.

banshee

banshee

The new issue of Banshee Studio's writing e-zine is online. You can see a poem, an essay and a book review from yours truly. Or you can skip by those and go directly to Doyce's winning short story piece, or Stacy's sudden fiction or Todd's poetry. Hell, just read the whole issue, ok?

I'd like to take a moment to thank Shel for spending some time with my CSS last night and working on the boobieblog. Now, go visit Shel because his new design rocks.