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June 30, 2003

help wanted

Designer/Coder, who can turn Four Color Hell into a work of navigational art. Or something like that. Like part blog/part zine. Must be fluent in Moveable Type and be at least slightly familiar with the world of comics, so you can understand the feel we are going for.

Also, must be able to withstand my mood swings and fickleness.

Contact me if you are interested.

more blogathon news

blogsign.jpgOk, here's the deal. Meryl, Lair and I want to raise enough money to buy an ambulance for Magen David Adom.

Rather than write a few paragraphs on how you can help, I'll just steal Meryl's words:

We've also found a way to track your contributions so that if we raise $60,000, we can literally donate an ambulance to Israel. For another twenty grand, we can get a Mobile Intensive Care Unit.

It sounds like a lot of money, but I think we can do it. What we will need, however, is more than just a pledge and contribution from you. I'm going to ask my rabbi to announce the Magen David Adom pledge drive in synagogue, and send out a synagogue-wide email as well. I know members of two other Richmond synagogues, and will ask them to do the same. If only a few of our readers do the same, we can raise the money for an ambulance, easy. And you know, my non-Jewish readers can do the same in their churches. One thing you can say about Magen David Adom: It is an organization that does nothing but help, and it doesn't matter what your nationality is: If you're hurt, they help. There are no sides to take in this fund drive.

There's a way we can track your donations to the cause. If you use a credit card and the MDA online form, there's a comment box. Type "Blogathon" into the comment box, and MDA can track how much money we've raised. If you forget, your contribution won't be counted. I'll be pounding that into your brain over the next few weeks. We really would like to raise enough to contribute an ambulance. They'll inscribe the doors for us. Like Lair said last year when he blogged for the same cause: Give until it doesn't hurt any more.

I know between the three of us we can do this. We need your help. If this is a cause you feel comfortable getting behind, you can take Meryl's suggestions above. You can link to our Blogathon posts. You can ask your own readers (if you're not Blogathonning yourself) to support us. You can sponsor us.

Sponsor me over here. Make us proud. And perhaps the men and women of Magen David Adom will be saving lives with an ambulance that has your name printed on its door. MDA in Israel answers about 1,000 calls a day. That's 1,000. And with a real truce nowhere in site, you can only imagine those numbers will rise. MDA also participates worldwide relief efforts. Here's ten more reasons to sponsor this cause on July 26.

quiz time

First Words: A quiz on the first words of famous novels.

I got 10/13 and I am feeling quite proud of myself. I guess those Lit classes in college finally paid off.

site o' the day

globey.gifMy wonderful friend Nancy a/k/a Jill Matrix and my old East/West pal Philo have created the site QueerDay.com.

About Queer Day:

Here at Queer Day we have witnessed the mainstreaming of queer culture, finding it most amusing to watch the mainstream press begin reporting our stories in greater depth and with more accuracy than "our press" does. Comprehensive news coverage seemed to be an idea of the past in a sea of poorly designed sites with annoying pop-up advertising. While rainbow flag waving is metaphorically important, we were more interested in rainbows of literal diversity. And we'd grown weary of watching what passes today for community degenerating into mere arenas for sexual hookups, not that we see anything the least bit wrong with hooking up mind you....Except for our original content, we give you a slice of what to expect and a link for you to go get more if you're interested. We're here to untangle the web for you and invite you to join us in the process

The site just launched yesterday and already they have some very interesting links up with diverse topics such as infertility common in lesbians, gay rights in Israel and ex-baseball player Billy Bean.

Nancy and Philo have done a fabulous job with this site. Please go check it out and if it's something that interests you, then make it a daily stop.

Love you, Nancy!

i sing of fonts

By Dr. Frank.

The Trebuchet Set

I love you and I'll say
it using Trebuchet
I'll make my feelings clear
if they don't disappear

because with Trebuchet
that's what you're gonna get
and my style sheet
is replete
with Trebuchet

I'm not a big success
with CSS
I limp along
pronounce it wrong
and make a mess

but if you come with me
aboard my Trebucheee
we can sail away
to Trebuchet,
just you and me


Maybe if you all pen an ode to your favorite font, Dr. Frank will make a cd of font songs. Fontastic songs?

the manly man wants woman to bake pie!

Judging from some comments and most of my mail, it might be better if I decided to forego any posts about politics, news, baseball or anything controversial, and went instead with writing about bunny rabbits and rainbows and cooking and birthing babies because that's what us women know best.

As if.

If anything, the misogynist fools haven given me all the more reason to write on those "manly man" subjects even more.

I do have a question, though. If someone, especially a troll, doesn't like what a woman blogger has to say, he will invariably call her a hussy or a whore or the like. So what do trolls call guys they hate with just as much passion? Man-whore? That's just so clunky.

Anyhow, maybe I'll post about carpentry or football later just to piss them off.

Umm..right after I finish this post I'm writing about The Golden Girls.

Blogathon: blatant plea for sponsorship

Ok, everyone. The time is nigh.

Loosen up those purse strings and head over to this Blogathon page to sponsor me [see post here for details].

If Laurence, Meryl and I pool our pledges, we may raise enough money for Magen David Adom to buy a well-equipped ambulance.

You can pledge by the hour, or a flat rate for the 24 hours. You can pledge big or small. Every little bit counts. And anyone who sponsors me gets a post sometime during that 24 hours devoted to them on the subject of their choice. You will also be listed prominently in my sidebar as a person of distinguishing taste and amazing generosity.

I promise it will be a fun night of mayhem and madness, considering some of the people that will be doing the 24 hour thing along with me. I'm hoping to carry on with the tradition started last year of nearly incoherent instant messaging.

Let's hear those bills unfolding, change rattling and credit cards making whatever noise credit cards in action make. Sponsor me and I'll be your humble servant for 24 hours on July 26th. Make me proud, guys.

[I'm still taking suggestions on what to blog about that night. I think I will do whatever anyone asks of me in the comments here, within reason, taste and flexibility of my limbs, but sponsors get first dibs on bossing me around for that evening]

UPDATE Thanks so far to:
Anonymous #2
Anonymous #3
Anonymous #4

(If any of you want me to write about something particular that night, just email me.)

reading over your shoulder

Many years ago, I worked in a community college library as a ciruclation supervisor.

One day a mother of a student came in to speak to me. She explained that she was sure there was something wrong with her daughter, that the daughter was hiding something terrible from her. If she could just look at the books her child had taken out recently (as she knew her daughter spent a lot of time in the library), perhaps she could discern what the problem was.

I had no idea what the rules and regulations for this sort of thing were; I hadn't been prepared something like this. I had a feeling there would be some kind of privacy law regarding this thing, so I talked out of my ass for a few minutes, citing statutes and laws that prohibit the divulging of such personal information. Besides, I told the mother, we were not yet computerized like some of the bigger libraries. Everything was done by hand and it would be near impossible to figure out what her daughter had been reading.

The woman then went over my head to one of the directors of the library. He took pity on her and said he would see what he could do. As (the mother's) luck would have it, her daughter had several overdue books, so her name and the cards for those books were on file.

It seems she had been taking out books on both abortion and adoption. To further fuel the mother's suspicions, the director also discovered that the daughter had photocopied several articles on the emotional effects of abortion, and on giving up a child for adoption.

I don't know what happened between that mother and child after that. For all anyone knows, the girl was doing research for a project. Perhaps our director unwittingly started a family argument where none should have taken place. Perhaps he gave the mother reason to distrust her daughter.

That story is just part of the reason why I am strongly against Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

Section 215: Access to Records Under Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA)

Allows an FBI agent to obtain a search warrant for “any tangible thing,” which can include books, records, papers, floppy disks, data tapes, and computers with hard drives.

Permits the FBI to compel production of library circulation records, Internet use records, and registration information stored in any medium.

Does not require the agent to demonstrate “probable cause,” the existence of specific facts to support the belief that a crime has been committed or that the items sought are evidence of a crime. Instead, the agent only needs to claim that he believes that the records he wants may be related to an ongoing investigation related to terrorism or intelligence activities, a very low legal standard.

Libraries or librarians served with a search warrant issued under FISA rules may not disclose, under of penalty of law, the existence of the warrant or the fact that records were produced as a result of the warrant. A patron cannot be told that his or her records were given to the FBI or that he or she is the subject of an FBI investigation.

Overrides state library confidentiality laws protecting library records.

While at first glance it may seem that this part of the Patriot Act is used merely to combat terrorism, you can imagine that the powers-that-be can find loophole upon loophole to to use this act to extract information that has nothing to do with terrorism at all.

The thought that there is even the slightest chance that what we do is being watched by those above us is enough to make me wary about what books I check out or buy.

What would a government agency make of the list of reading material you have purchased or took out from the library lately? Granted, they should have a cause for caring about your reading habits but one never knows what might make the men in black decide that you need to be watched. Could be someone called 1-800-TIPS and told them about all of your anti-Bush rumblings on your website? Maybe your neighbor fears that mound of fertilizer in your back yard because she heard that it could be used to make bombs, so she dials 911 and says she has a potential terrorist living next door to her. Have you shown up at any kind of protest lately? Belong to an anarachist group? Condemned the Patriot Act on a message board? Sent a joking email to a friend who works in a government building that you wanted to kill your boss?

Don't kid yourself. You are being watched. If not by the government then by your neighbors, your teachers, the traffic light with a camera installed inside.

It will only take one instance of an expired registration on your car or a bumper sticker that says "Repeal the Patriot Act" or purchasing a book about terrorism that will give them cause to ask your library to turn over an entire printout of books you have read since the fifth grade.

Look, she took out "How to Eat Fried Worms" four times last year!
Isn't fried worms a delicacy in Pakistan?
You're right! Seize her!

The one thing we can do is not be afraid. Go ahead and take out that book on semi-automatic guns. Buy that Soldier of Fortune magazine. Look up articles on Hitler on the library's computer. We have nothing to fear but the fear police themselves. And when they come to get us, we can beat them down with the heavy weighted copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Of course, we'll be dragged away for practicing witchcraft then, and they'll claim you turned one of the agents into a newt while they tried to arrest you.

Celebrate your Freedom to Read. Really, if you can't check out Goodnight Moon without some spying fool going off on a wide tangent and assuming you are about to Nuke the Moon, then the terrorists have one.

random linkage on a monday morning

Culled, in no particular order and completely at random, from my blogrolls, links list and favorites. All guaranteed safe for work. No porn, no naked chicks, no evil monkeys. Go on, click a few.

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June 29, 2003

the world of winer

And you thought I was too sensitive and self-absorbed?

So I'm shutting down Scripting News now, to give me some time to think, and to give you all a demo of what it would be like if it weren't here.

Let me guess, Winer. The sun will still rise and set, the laws of gravity will still exist and I'll still have to go to work in the morning.

The world does not revolve around you, hon, despite what the evil monkey in your closet tells you.


It's that time of year, boys and girls. Time to torture myself with everlasting awakeness all in the name of charity and boobs.

Yes, the Blogathon is upon us once again on July 26th.

Last year, I raised a nice amount of money for the Daniel Pearl Foundation, thanks to blogging help from Melly. Yes, it turned into a boob-fest, but that's besides the point. And don't come looking for that this year, it ain't happening.

I've decided on my charity already. I will be, along with Laurence, blogging for Magen David Adom in the 2003 Blogathon.

What is Magen David Adom? Here's what Laurence posted:

Magen David Adom (MDA) was organized in 1930 in Tel Aviv as a volunteer "shoestring" operation by a group of seven Israeli doctors, as a one-room emergency medical service. A second MDA group formed in Haifa in 1931 and a third in Jerusalem in 1934. In 1935, a national organization was formed to provide medical services to the public and the Hagana. MDA Ambulance Its founding members were physicians, members of the Hagana and private citizens. During the 1936-39 Arab Riots, MDA gave first-aid training to the Hagana and the auxiliary police and medical aid to the wounded. During World War II, MDA worked within the general framework of Israel's Civil Defense Organization, as an arm of the Jewish Legion of the British Forces. In July of 1950, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) ratified the Magen David Adom Law, which charged MDA with responsibility for:
  • Providing auxiliary service to Israel's Army Medical Corps in wartime,
  • including providing emergency medical care for the wounded and war refugees.
  • Providing civilian emergency and medical and first-aid services and temporary shelter in emergency situations.
  • Maintaining a blood bank for civilian use. Subsequently, MDA has played a major role in providing vital lifesaving services during each of Israel's wars, skirmishes and terrorist attacks; as well as in times of peace.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out what to do for those 48 hours. I think I'd like a clearer definition of what I'm going to post about than I did last year.

So, music? Comics? Books? Fiction? Essays? Posts on my favorite things to do while drunk? Stories about my deranged family? Cute pictures of my kids? (kidding). Photos? Politics? Nah.

If you were going to read this blog for 24 hours straight (which I'm not really expecting anyone to do, but you'll go into the Small Victory Hall of Fame if you do) what would you want to see here?

The above button was made by Joni for the Blogathon folks. I'm thinking of asking her to make one with Lenore on it for me

a real truce

I'm calling an immediate truce with anyone and any life form I may have offended, fought with or pissed upon during my blogging career.

Unlike some terrorist organizations operating in the Middle East, I know how to keep a truce. I won't go and say nasty things about you two minutes after you've shaken my hand.

I'm just in one of those moods today where I'm realizing that I am mortal, time is fleeting, etc., etc., etc. Get it while it's good.

this post sent by owl

Sorry for the lack of posting today, I was busy finishing up the new Harry Potter.

Without giving anything away, I can say that it was part Star Wars, part Homeland Security and part [insert coming of age book here]. And I discovered that I really don't like Harry at all. He's the kind of kid I despised in school. Sure, he has a lot going on in that head of his, but he's still to self-absorbed and petulant for my taste. And I definitely liked the way Neville matured in this book.

Even though the foreshadowing was too obvious and even though I saw some of the plot twists coming a mile away and even though the dialogue was tedious at some points, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book in spite of these things. So much so that - like with any decent book - I was very sorry that it came to an end.

Now, onto the next part of Transmetropolitan, as well as The Language Police.

Well, not right away. I've got a day's worth of blogging to catch up on.

thou shall not annoy thy neighbors

It is quite rude to begin doing construction work on your house at 7am on a Sunday morning. It is even ruder than mowing your lawn at 8am on Saturday.

I have a good mind to go over there and rip out every single nail that was noisily hammered into boards today.

My sleep was already disrupted by dreams that kept me busy and breathless. Running to catch buses that had already come, trying to save small children from a fire, and dodging low flying planes.

Then the birds, always the birds, and my neighbor's car alarm singing its blaring siren song over and over until she finally came out and turned it off.

I fell back asleep near 6:30 and then the hammering started. Occasionally the pounding noise was joined by the buzz of one power tool or another.

Now it is my head that is pounding and I have the urge to make the offending neighbor pay for his sins.

I'll wait until he's lazing in his hammock this afternoon, beer and newspaper in hand. I'll sit and wait some more until he is comfortable enough that his eyelids start drooping and he lapses into what he believes is a well-deserved nap.

And then, I'll go outside and wash my car. I'll turn the radio on as I do so.

Slayer, turned to maximum volume.

That ought to do it.

June 28, 2003

sweet cherry pie

Ok, ok, here's your damn pie.

cherrypie.jpg redwine.jpg

Tastes so good, makes a grown man cry.

[the wine is for Andrea]

ACME: For all your sabotage needs

I have found a way to deal with my enemies. I have a master plan.

acme.gifFirst, I will hop on my jet-propelled pogo stick (my rocket-powered roller skates are in the shop) and I will head straight to the Wig Shop, and then to the Theaterical Hat Co., so I can disguise myself from those I am stalking.

I'll call the Building and Wrecking Company and have them produce a large structure, perhaps a shopping center, which I will use to lure my enemies into my trap.

Of course, in order to complete my plan, I will need plenty of anvils, some nitroglycerin, a detonator, and some blasting powder.

To lure them into the mall, I'll use a billboard to advertise a sale on high-speed tonic. Oh, and the girl. There's got to be a voluptuous girl standing at the door to the mall beckoning the "customers" to come in.

They will walk into the mall, unaware that the floor has been covered in grease. They'll slip and slide into my giant wall of glue and as they hang there, flailing and crying, I will pull back my giant rubber band, drop the indestructo steel ball in the end of it, and let loose.

As the steel ball knocks them all into a final, fatal slumber, I will don my super outfit, call up the paving company, and have them flatten and pave over the fake shopping center. My enemies will never be seen again.

No, I don't worry about the police or the government or anyone who might want to do harm to me. That's what my time-space gun is for.

[thank you, mefi]

a thought

Here's an interesting thought.

Remember Rachel Corrie? Remember how I "danced on her grave," so to speak?

Not one single person on the right who is villifying me now for saying good riddance to Strom Thurmond ever said one word about my speaking ill of the dead or being a nasty person when I wrote Rachel Corrie.

Interesting. Very interesting.

Also, if you are going to trudge through other people's comments making disparining remarks about me, have at it. However, by calling me a leftist you only prove that you are a fool who does not know of what you speak. Do your homework before you call people names, mmmkay?

the gentle art of making enemies

I always wanted super powers. However, the power to alienate those I like wasn't quite what I had hoped for.

[click for evil villian size - courtesy of hero maker]

I suppose that makes more of a villian, eh?

What makes me smile - unintentionally, I suppose - is wisecracks like this:

Alright, you're a stupid woman. Quit talking about things over your head, like politics and go make me some pie. [in the comments here]

You just wish you could have some of my pie, don't you, Daniel?

To those who have sent me emails with headers like "Your family should die next," please note that I have my Charlie Brown Filter set on high, so any emails from idiots like you come out as nothing but wah, wah, wah, wah, wah.

Thank you and have an enjoyable evening. I'll be over here making enemies out of everyone and anyone.

Ninja Monkeys: A preview

Thanks to the luscious Joe McNally, my hit movie Ninja Turtles from Space: The Musical, now has a trailer.

Another thing I'll spend my valuable time on.

raise your cup and let's propose a toast

It's delinking/drinking time again.

You can't please everyone. And sometimes, you can't please anyone.

Last November, I went through a battle with liberals who were horrified at my transformation into a slightly-to-the-right thinker. Much delinking and and controversy followed.

And now, I'm getting it from ...conservatives:

another self-professing conservative and blogger - A Small Victory - trashes Thurmond and in the process gets her link yanked from our list.

And then he says something about sawdust leaking from my brain.

Well, of course. If one doesn't agree with you, they must be stupid, right? And oh, the horror, Oliver Willis, a left-of-center blogger, came to my defense so surely that must mean I should be cut off from all conservative bloggers!

Firstly, I am not, nor have I ever professed to be, a conservative. As an atheist who supports gay rights and hates Ann Coulter, I hardly fit into the mold.

Then again, when the liberals hounded me for deserting them, I had to explain that I was never really a full-fledged liberal. I mean, what kind of liberal drives an SUV and denounces multi-culturalism?

So here I am, in the middle of two extremes and loathed by both of them. And I find myself being delinked once again.

Take a look at my blogroll.

I'd say a good portion of those people, if not all of them, have, at one time or another, written something I totally disagree with. Yet, there they are, still starring on my links list.

Why? Because opposing views and differences in opinions is what makes this world a fascinating place. Suppose everyone thought exactly like you did. What would become of debate and discussion? Every conversation you had with anyone would be like making love to yourself.

The world is not vanilla flavored and I, for one, am glad of that. Even if a large number of the population is thickheaded, closed-minded and prone to bouts of hysteria when people don't agree with them, that's ok. It makes the world all the more interesting.

Sure, I spoke ill of the dead. Hell, I do it all the time. Plenty of people do. I have a feeling that Mr. Quinton's anger at me has less to do with my speaking badly about a dead person than with speaking ill about someone he viewed as a hero. How dare I have an opinion in direct contrast with him? Off with my head, then!

This is what the two exteremes - on the right and the left- have in common. Dissent from your their own world view is akin to commiting a crime. They are self-centered, opinionated ignoramuses (ignorami?) who would sooner cut off their own ears than listen to someone who doesn't praise their own ideology.

I am not sad that you delinked me, Mr. Quinton, as I didn't even know you had me linked in the first place. I am, however, saddened by the fact that you decided to publicly deride me rather than take the time to send me an email and ask me where my views came from and why I felt the need to hang the spirit of Strom Thurmond in public view. Par for the course, I suppose.

Now, if any of you from either side of the fence are also planning on taking me off of your esteemed blogrolls because I offended your sensibilities with my mean posts about Strom, Savage, Coulter, Indymedia, Arafat, Al Gore, PETA, homophobia, racism, anti semitism, Michael Moore, etc., please let me know so I can come on over and watch the ass-kissing that takes place when one of you brain cell deprived narrow thinkers tosses a dissenter off the boat.

Bottom's up!

June 27, 2003

they sing. they dance. they fling feces and kick earthling ass.

It's official. Ninja Monkeys From Space: The Musical is a hit.

[click for ninja size image]

[via my new obsession, the box office oracle]

disavowing the freepers

And the new comment policy comes into play already. I does say in the comment box that I am free to rip you a new one if you leave an idiotic comment, and so I will.

On the Strom post:

I used to read you every day but ever since you said crap about Mike Savage I stopped. I know you probably don't care, but you're wrong. I even linked you at Free Republic you had fans from there going here.

Today I was looking up stuff about Mark Morford whom I hate, so I found you again. And you say unkindly things about Strom!

BTW, if you think I'm some Southern Trash you're wrong. I'm Jewish and live in San Francisco and have been through all the hip/boho crap you have (but you still hang onto it).

Maybe it's your "persona" to act mean even to our own side (Repub) but I don't appreciate it.

Posted by: Former Fan of Yours on June 27, 2003 01:35 PM

It's always the negative ones who refuse to leave a real name or email address.

Personally, FFoY, I don't really care if you are still reading or not. The thing is, I have this policy where I don't subjugate myself to the ideologies of my readers. If I offended you, well, so be it. It's not like I read your comment and thought, Oh my! Perhaps I shouldn't say bad things about the raging homophobe Michael Savage anymore! Or, Oh no! I should never, ever say bad things about a Republican again!

See, I don't believe in sides or labels. I am not "one of you," nor will I ever be. In fact, I would be downright appalled if I was ever thought to be a Freeper. Freepers are the equivalent of the people at Democratic Underground, people who refuse to see two sides of an issue, people whose main form of debating is to really not debate at all, but to call the opposition ugly names and make ad hominem attacks.

I may be a registerd Republican, and I may fall on the right side of the fence, but that does not make me a full-fledged wingnut. I am not one of you. So the fact that you're going to run to the message boards and tell your Freeper friends to abandon ship and never read me again because I dirtied the memory of your beloved, racist Strom Thurmond has about as much meaning to me as if Ted Rall said he hated me. That is to say, none.

If my "mean" persona insults you, then run away, fast. There's more where that came from. Did you see my post on Ann Coulter the other day? I'm sure that will make you break out in hives.

As for hanging on to my hippie/boho sensibilities, that's not entirely true. What I hang onto is my belief that racism and homophobia are ugly, vile things, as are the people who embrace those things.

That would be you, hon.

Now go put on your white hood and burn some crosses like a good wingnut.

survival of the elders

Here's the thing about getting a group of 13 year olds together: The age the kids will act is in direct inverse proportion to the number of kids in the group.

They played and swam with the reckless abandon and joyfullness of three year olds. And it was good.

I have to say, Natalie's friends are well-behaved and polite, even if they dress like street people and swear like, umm....me.

Some of the kids even sat down with me and we had real, live conversations! We discussed Harry Potter and the state of punk music and Roger Clemens. My own daughter didn't give me so much as a glance during the whole party, but her friends were a captive audience when I told them about the early days of punk rock.

I'm completely exhausted. Not just from watching the pool every ten minutes to make sure there wasn't an overlooked drowned person laying on the bottom, and not just because I had to keep running over to the outside television (playing a constant stream of digital music radio stations) and turning the station when some profanity-laden song came on, but damn was it hot out. My sister and I (thanks for all your help, Jo!) were like two servants, sweating and huffing and puffing and feeling very, very old in the face of all this youthful exuberance.

Not too tired to get a few more posts in before I pass out, however.

psa: where is my mind?

There will be no further posting until this evening. I have taken my sanity for granted by allowing Natalie to have 30 or so 13 year olds over for a very belated (as in, it was supposed to be in February) birthday/pool party. Should you never hear from me again, you know the reason why.

Look for some very drunken blogging later on tonight.

Oh, you have to read this: Whoops, I bought a Mustang!

Gaiman v. Rowling

It's an interesting juxtaposition reading both the new Harry Potter and The Kindly Ones at the same time.

gaiman_sandman_kindly.gifWhen I was younger I wrote many stories of other worlds; worlds we can't see but yet have an impact on our world. In some of my stories, characters flitted back and forth between both worlds, much like Harry Potter. In some stories, the other world consisted of beings that controlled part of our lives, as in The Kindly Ones.

I prefer the writing of Gaiman to the writing of Rowling. Gaiman writes with a flourish and with a style that bespeaks of the world in which his charaters live. Rowling, at least in the latest book, writes almost as if in a hurry - basic use of style that exists just to move the story on.

The quaintness of the first book has all but vanished; it slowly diminished with each successive title. That's not to say I'm not enjoying the book, I am. Not because it is a great literary read, no. My enjoyment has more to do with the expectations and anticipation that comes from reading the four books before this one, from just wanting to know where the characters end up.

With Gaiman's dream world, I am taken to a place that makes me feel the pull of the magic; I want to be there. I want to eavesdrop on Death or Destiny or visit that great library. With Potter, that feeling has diminished. I no longer feel the pull of the Great Hall or a Quidditch match. I am reading as a means to an end, to find out what happens. In the world of Gaiman v. Rowling, it's storytelling v. plot mechanisms.

They both deal with extraordinary powers and the supernatural and I suppose that's where the similarities end. Yet I find myself ultimately comparing the two, and I come up with the end result that Gaiman can, in just a few panels, tell a far more fascinating, complex and moving story than Rowling can in over 500 pages. Gaiman is story teller. Rowling is a story mover.

When all is said and done and I finally read the last word of Potter, I'm sure I will be satisfied that the hours I spent reading the book were hours well spent. After reading four books before it, you have the desire to plunge on through the new pages to find out what happens to your friends - and of course they are your friends if you've followed along this far. However, it's not re-readable. I'll put it on the shelf when I'm done, with the four that came before it, but I won't just pick it up again some day to start over again.

I'd read The Kindly Ones, and anything by Gaiman for that matter (and especially Stardust) again and again because so much lies underneath the words, as if there are stories buried under the stories. Gaiman's words are at once beautiful and frightening and that's what separates him from those who have not learned that the crafts of story telliing and writing are two entirely different things.

June 26, 2003

i demand an oscar for this zombie movie!

I am going to be doing this all night.

Thanks to the Box Office Oracle, I was finally able to create my film masterpiece, if only to see how it would do in real life.

Night of the Loving Dead, Starring Steve Buscemi and Fairuza Balk:

click for readable image

Now, to see how my musical extravaganza featuring midget ninjas would work out.

via MeFi

strom marks another milestone

Strom kicks the bucket. I bet even the worms in his coffin find him distasteful. Good riddance to 100 year old racist rubbish.

What? You expected a nice obituary from me?

grinding nemo

Kids are flushing their fish down the toilet in an attempt to set them free ala Finding Nemo.

Unfortunately, life does not imitate animation. I wonder how many of these parents will hire lawyers and sue Disney/Pixar for causing mental anguish by making kids believe that fish can survive a trip down the pipe.

My kids are just as gulllible. DJ thought if he climbed into the sewer could find the Ninja Turtles. I dared him to go. He didn't.

I am no stranger to flushing fish, either. I once had a 20 gallon fish tank. We had an assortment of goldfish that we won at a local fair; Darth, Skywalker, Greedo and Boba Fett. The first three bit the dust after a month or so, but Boba hung on, probably happy that he had this spacious home all to himself.

I got tired of having the tank take up valuable counter space. I waited for Boba to die. And waited. And waited. And then, I could wait no longer. One morning, before the kids woke, I scooped up Boba and sent him on his merry way into the sewer system of Long Island.

If only Finding Nemo had come out then instead of now, I could have blamed my fishocide on the movie and remained guilt free. But no, the image of Boba, eyes wide and frightened, traveling at high speed toward the Atlantic Ocean, haunts me to this day. I feel like I should pay penance for that deathly flush.

And now that I know what happens when something goes down the toilet - it gets grinded into bits - I feel even worse.

Probably not as bad as Justin felt the time he stepped on his mother's toy poodle, who was sleeping under a pile of clothes - and killed him.

But that's another story.

never call me again!

The government's National Do Not Call Registry goes into effect the end of July.

Do you hear that Jack of Jack Price Sports? DO. NOT. CALL. Ever again. I don't want to know what teams to bet on. I don't want your service. I hate your salesman's voice. I hate the way I can't disconnect from your message. I hate you, Jack Price. And starting the end of July, you CANNOT CALL ME because I don't want you to.

This also applies to Slomin's Home Security, Verizon, Century 21 Real Estate, Newsday, The New York Times and any company who thinks they can convince me I won a free trip to Florida for four when in fact I won a seat at a five hour seminar on buying land.

Thank you.

comment policy

Let it be known hereforth that I am not a squasher of dissent.

Here's the thing about having open comments: Don't have them if [and this applies only to people that have comments but complain about them, not those that have comments disabled] you are a) thin-skinned, b) have a problem with people disagreeing with you or c) have an ego the size of Bill O'Reilly's. It's just not going to work out for you. You're better off with an email form so we don't have to be witness to your deleting comments or throwing a hissy fit when someone doesn't think you're the best thing to happen to blogs since...since...whenever.

Regarding this phenomenon of people deleting comments and playing revisionist historian on their sites, I have changed the wording in my own comments to fit what I believe is the true spirit of having an open forum embedded on your personal wesbite.

Then again, my skin is pretty thick, so it works out for me.

i dream of ann coulter. it is not pretty.

Ann Coulter. Where do I begin?

Let's begin by saying that people should realize that just because I swing to the right, and just because I support Bush's war on Iraq does not mean I am part and parcel of the whole conservative cabal.

Which is to say that I hate Ann Coulter.

I have never heard anything come out of her mouth that isn't sarcastic, mean-spirited or venom-filled. She's a shrill voice in the conservative wilderness. And it's funny how most of her venom is directed at Hillary Clinton these days. After all, Hillary is Ann's counter-image.

I go way back with Ann, my refusal to accept her as the Goddess of the Right goes way back. And no love was lost between us when I had this dream:

The waves are lapping closer to us. The bombs are falling nearer to us. I tell Natalie that this is it, there's no stopping it now. She is not afraid. She stands on a log, arms outstretched, face tilted towards the fire in the sky, and starts belting out Skid Row songs. She turns her face towards me, hair flying in the firey wind, eyes lit by the glowing trails of bombs, and right before my eyes she turns into Ann Coulter.

Which then led to visions of Ann Coulter singing 18 and Life or, in Ann's world Right Wing for Life:

Annie is a young girl, She has a heart of stone.
Thinks she’s an author, writes her fingers to the bone.
Seems like a know-it-all, comes from the Right side of town.

So John Hawkins, the interviewer premiere of the blogosphere, landed a talk with Ms. Coulter. I read it, read it again and shook my head at the fact that the woman cannot come up with a vaguely serious answer to anything. Her words all reek of "I know you are but what am I," and her playground, cat-fight attitude is wearing very, very thin.

Ok, so there was this one line:

Ann Coulter: Communism is like vegetarianism in that it's actually not very healthy for most people but leftists continue to defend it because it seems like the thing to do.

She might have been better off as a stand-up comedian.

Yea, yea, I know. She has thousands of fans and she's bitching up a storm all the way to the bank.

Kind of like Eminem, you know?

school's out

No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher's dirty looks
School's out for summer...

Yes, the day has finally arrived, the day I both loathe and love. The last day of school.

The kids both go in for an hour today. An hour. I suppose the state requires a certain amount of teaching days to fill the calendar year, but an hour isn't really a day, is it? They get their report cards, find out who their teachers are next year and run around like chimps let loose from the experiment lab.

Natalie is done with seventh grade. In a few short months, she'll be an eighth grader, the top dog in the middle school.

Eighth grade. It's hard for me to reconcile these two things. Natalie:Eighth Grade. One year shy of high school. Man, do I feel old today.

DJ moves on to fifth grade, also becoming the top dog in the elementary school. Then he'll move on to the middle school which Natalie will be evacuating a year from now.

But that's a year from now, let's not rush too far into the future.

For the here and now, I become the nervous parent of a teenage daughter. As if I wasn't that already. But eighth grade...I've seen those eighth grade girls. I watched them carefully, trying to discern what my daughter was on the cusp of becoming. It frightens me.

Some time between seventh and eighth grade, a metamorphis takes place. Gone are the newly adolescent girls who giggle at boys and swoon over American Idol stars. At some point during their last middle school year, they are replaced by surly teenagers, the ones with the punk rock fascination and little black books with the phone numbers of every hot boy in their grade. The posters of pop idols come down, replaced with pictures of tattooed and body-pierced men with sneers on their faces.

The obscenities creep into their language. I hear them. They curse more than me, and that's saying something. They use the lingo of crude pirates as if it were a second language.

Out come the cigarettes and at some of the parties a 40 oz of the finest lite beer on the market gets passed around. Holding hands was "yucky" in seventh grade; I've seen the eighth grade girls press their boyfriends up against the school wall and kiss them full on, tongue and all.

That's not saying every eighth grade girl is like that. But there are enough of them around to make an impression on the girls who are still clinging to 13 like a well-used teddy bear. Those of us who hope against hope that our daughters will be the goody-two-shoes we never were are faced with a formidable foe. Popularity is of utmost importance at this age. What will one do to be popular? Hike your skirt up a little more? Steal your dad's Marlboros and hand them out to friends behind the gym?

I know what I was doing in eighth grade. Let's just say I chose to run around with the wrong crowd. Well, that's not exactly right. They were the only crowd around here. Everyone belonged to it. You were either with them or you didn't exist. And hell, they were my next door neighbors and the kids across the street. I haven't forgotten what it's like to be an eighth grader and dying to gain a foothold in the upper echelon of the in crowd before we headed to high school, where having been at the bottom of the eighth grade ladder meant you started high school as nothing more than a fungus on someone's sneaker. Who wants to be a fungus? It was much more fun and daring to be the sneaker.

I think having that kind of background and experience has made it easier for me to help Natalie survive the pitfalls of the social games that exist in her world. Yes, she is Pitfall Harry, swinging over drugs and alcohol and landing safely in the arms of the photography club.

It's going to be an interesting summer, starting tomorrow when she has thirty of her best friends over for a pool party. I know, sounds like I love pain and torture. But I know what I'm doing. I'll be scouting out her classmates, figuring out which ones are headed toward the path that says "Sluts and Crack Dealers Enter Here" and which ones are headed toward the path of Mathletes and Debate Club.

And then I'll gently, almost subliminally turn her towards the right path. Why don't you call that nice Alison girl instead of Claire?

Oh, god no. That will steer her right into the arms of Claire.

Well, I really can't pick her friends for her. Nor can I keep her from making mistakes and choosing the wrong options. I can only hope that I've laid the right groundwork, that I've given her the right ammuntion she needs to make the right choices. I'll let her walk the path on her own. It's about time I let the cord go a little.

But at night, when she's sound asleep, I'll sneak into her room and whisper into her ear, Alison, Alison, Alison, Alison.

June 25, 2003

what? no night of the lepus?

I've got nothing (except a sinus headache) tonight, so I'll just leave you with this, and you work your magic in the comments.

Top 11 movies where animals eat people.

but they were just going to use it to heat the baby's bottles


The CIA has in its hands the critical parts of a key piece of Iraqi nuclear technology -- parts needed to develop a bomb program -- that were dug up in a back yard in Baghdad, CNN has learned.

The parts were unearthed by Iraqi scientist Mahdi Obeidi who had hidden them in his back yard under a rose bush 12 years ago under orders from Qusay Hussein and Saddam Hussein's then son-in-law, Hussein Kamel.

Lets see how the moonbats play this one out. My guess: They'll call it fake, say it was planted or dismiss it as a lie.

Obeidi told CNN the parts of a gas centrifuge system for enriching uranium were part of a highly sophisticated system he was ordered to hide so as to be ready to rebuild the bomb program at some time in the future. [emphasis mine]

That future will not exist, thanks to our invasion of Iraq. I won't hold my breath waiting for anyone left of center to say anything of the sort, though.

law books, semen and harry potter

Sorry for the dearth of posting today. I spent most of the day unpacking boxes and moving law books that weigh about 50 lbs. each because we got a new rug in our office.

Ok, so I spent part of the day finding links about semen and digging up James Lileks conspiracy theories. All in a day's work, I suppose.

Now, I am going to strip naked, set the fan on full blast (it's about 95 degrees out right now) and lock myself in the bedroom with Harry Potter.

The book. THE BOOK!

Meanwhile, we need your input over at Four Color Hell.

if only semen were a health aid

In keeping with the sperm theme today (well, there was a sperm theme this morning) I bring this health warning:

Kate doesn't have a NSFW warning on that link, but I'm nicer than her, so don't click the link on her site unless your boss likes monkey sex

In the event this warning has come too late, please take a teaspoon of syrup of ipepac to induce vomiting and see a veterenarian immediately, followed by a trip to the sex therapist.

Back away from the monkey, Frank!

cease fire? what cease fire?

Oh good, a truce!

Islamic militant terrorist groups signed an agreement to halt attacks on Israelis for three months, a senior official of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction said Wednesday -- a possible breakthrough for the U.S.-backed peace plan. An official with the Hamas militant group, however, said the deal was not final.

Should we start taking bets on when these militant terrorist groups will break the ceasefire? My spidey sense is tingling and it tells me...

Wait...hang on.....

Got it:

Shortly after word of the cease-fire, Israel sent helicopters to carry out an airstrike against what it said was a squad of Hamas militants terrorists preparing to carry out a rocket attack.

They didn't even give me enough time to offer a "Break the Truce" contest.


James Lileks is being cryptic.

Why yes, I am being oblique, and I will remain so until things shake out. Don’t worry - I’m not fired; we haven’t been evicted from Jasperwood. Everyone’s fine, but everything is different now, and how this will affect the Bleat I’ve no idea. If all turns out as I expect, nothing will change, but for a while you might expect shorter stuff and more throughout-the-day, posted-at-night quasi-blogging.

One can assume many things from today's Bleat. And, as I mentioned yesterday, you can read anything you want into a few words if you have your mind set on it.

So let's do the assuming, shall we? James is talking about:

A) Someone at, lets say the Star-Tribune, has their panties in a wad over the fact that James has a weblog in which he spouts metaphorically and literally about the scumbags of the world in no uncertain terms.

B) Someone named either James or Lileks or Mr. Bleat has taken umbrage with James over the naming of his weblog and sent an anonymous fax to his boss containing all kinds of sinister innuendos about Mr. Lileks.

C) Rumsfeld decided that James is a Threat to National Security because he makes us laugh and we all know that once we laugh, the terrorists have won.

D)It's all just ploy. See, James spent his life's savings on toys for his Mac and is now dead broke. In a few days he'll implore us all to donate to his paypal account at his new website, savelileks.com, so Gnat doesn't have to eat nothing but pre-packaged crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the rest of her young days. He'll then take the 80 grand he makes from this and escape to a faraway tropical island, where he will drink pina coladas and form a mariachi band with Andrew Sullivan and record it all on his Mac.

Come to think of it, that's probably what all that "Photoshop Lileks" nonsense was about. He was looking for clever disguises so he can hide out without being noticed.

You be the judge. Me, I'm going with a combination of all of the above. It's just easier that way, and no matter what, I'll be partially correct.

UPDATE: Lileks tells Treacher:

Thanks for asking. Most everything is fine, and what isn't will be soon. And this has nothing to do with my job vs. my website, as some are speculating. Nor is this Moxiesque in any way.

More tomorrow, I hope.

So obviously, it comes down to either C) Rumsfeld or D) sipping girly drinks with Sullivan. I knew he was up to no good!

wrestlemania: backyard edition

I watch the public access channels once in a while. It frightens me to see what my Long Island brethen are up to. But I say if you know your enemy, that makes him less dangerous. On public access my enemies are the little old lady with the flowered hat who has sued every municipality between Queens and Montauk, the cover band that uses 70's-era special effects and the backyard wrestling crew.

Surely you've heard of backyard wresting (not to be confused with Backyard Baseball)? It first came to light for me in May 2002 when a mother was angered that the town was going to make her take down her son's wrestling ring.

We're not talking high school wrestling here, with full and half nelsons and homoerotic grabbing of crotches. We're talking WWF style wrestling. Pile drivers and such. It wasn't so much the thuds and crashes that bothered the neighbors of the Minutillos of Babylon, Long Island. It wasn't even the applause and screams and shouts. Well, maybe it was a combination of both. But when you mutliply that by the sound system and add in the P.A. annoucements, the play-by-play, the electronically amplified obscenities and the hard rock entrance songs each wrestler was introduced to, well, you can see how the neighbors might have been a bit perturbed.

Me, I would have lit the damn thing on fire one night. Maybe even while there was a match going on. Minutillo was lucky that her neighbors aren't as mean-spirited as I. They went the legal route and tried to get the town to force Minutillo to take down the ring.

[A] neighbor, Patricia Rodriguez, comments, "All we hear is cursing and boom, bam, boom. Where's the quality of our life?"

A peeved Rodriguez videotaped some of the wrestling action, which in Gootman's account included "bash[ing]…with a folding chair," "crashing into wooden boards," and an "assault…with a metal garbage can." Rodriguez delivered the tape to the local government and the Babylon town board unanimously outlawed wrestling rings and boxing rings in residential areas.

Which, of course, made them dictators.

Ryan Perry, 18, told The New York Times: "The Taliban, they banned sports in the country of Afghanistan. If you want to ban this, you're similar to the Taliban regime."

Ah yes, moral relativism rears its ugly head again. According to Perry, if the town council wants to keep people from turning the neighborhood into an Extreme Wrestling venue, they must be facists!

I'm all for protecting the privacy of what you do in your own yard. However, when what you are doing infringes on your neighbor's right to a peaceful dinner or their right to not have to hear Metallica as background music to the cacaphony of folding chairs slamming over the backs of teenagers, a line has to be drawn.

Of course, this mother thinks she's doing a good thing for her kid. She's keeping him off the street, she's giving him a hobby, she's giving him a safe environment ot play. Now, keep in mind that these "kids" are all 17-20 years old. And they don't just wrestle. They dress up. They have capes and tights and glitter and ridiculous nicknames. They do interviews and talk in that Randy "Macho Man" Savage voice. It's like Dungeons and Dragons on testosterone.

Soon, poor Mrs. Rodriguez and her neighbors will be serenaded once again by the sounds of emotionally stunted boys beating the crap out of each other with props.

Neighbors thought the spat about Marie Minutillo's backyard wrestling ring ended after the Babylon Town Council unanimously voted in May 2002 to outlaw wrestling rings in residential neighborhoods.

But District Judge Patrick J. Barton ruled last week that the Town of Babylon's ban on wrestling rings does not apply to Minutillo's since hers existed before May 7, 2002.

It will be the bigger, louder, more abrasive version of the wrestling league John Minutillo formed. Instead of the old 16x16 ring, they've got a 20x20 ring ready to go.

I don't mean to trample on anyone's right to have a hobby or perform maniacal skits in tights in their backyard, but if these were my neighbors I'd be loading up the pellet gun.


Good morning.

I've got to run to work (well, drive - but you know what I mean) and I'm working on an interesting post for later, but it's not ready yet.

Far be it from me, however, to leave you with nothing to look at her. I'm sure you'll thank me for this later. Really.

The average blue whale produces over 400 gallons of sperm when he ejaculates, but only 10% of that actually makes it into his mate! So, 360 gallons are spilled into the ocean every time one "unloads."

and we wonder why the ocean is so salty........

Make your own whale joke!

Now couple that with this, and your day is complete (at least the guys):

Every wonder how many little swimmers you've killed? How many gallons you've released? Worry no more. This place does the math for you.

via Jonno

Which, when you think about it, also ties in nicely with Jeff's story about people who prefer unconscious partners. Something like that.

Real content later. Entertain yourselves with that for now.

June 24, 2003

let's call it a (carnivnal) night

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who linked to Four Color Hell. I'd say our first full day in business was quite successful.

If you haven't read through the comments on this post, I suggest you do. I realize now that my list of favorite sitcom episodes cannot be complete without the WKRP flying turkey episode.

And should you need a whole lot of reading material tonight, the Carnival of the Vanities is alive and kickin at Single Southern Guy, who did a beautiful job of gathering the stories this week.

Oh, and thanks to Solly, I found a new way to say "Hey, it's 11:00, I'm going to watch Adult Swim!"

Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law!

Hulk! Bush! Stone Throwing! Moral Relativsm!

Henry pointed me towards this stunning review of Hulk:

"When I lose control, I like it," ashamed scientist Bruce Banner confesses in one scene. Considering the military context of the film, it's hard not to hear this as an expression of the public's own collective excitement when the United States "Hulks out" at an undermatched foe, especially since the movie's major special-effects sequence could almost be a sci-fi reimagining of Operation Desert Storm or its sequel. As one general observes: "There's a lot of powerful people want in on this. There's money to be made - lots of it."

And yes, the desert scenes are set in the American West; but why does Danny Elfman's music score erupt with Arabic-sounding ululations if not to make us think of the Middle East?

Anyone can find the meaning they are looking for in just about any film, book or song. I'm only 100 pages into the new Harry Potter and I'm sure that I could twist and turn every passage in my mind until I discover the Rowling's hidden messages of abortion, murder, drunk driving and gay marriage. No, they're not there but, like the Bible, anyone can take a few simple words and morph them into something else. You see what you want to see.

I don't know anyone else who sat through Hulk and had thoughts about Iraq or Bush. But when you have an agenda and you need ways to get your point across, you find the oddest ways to do so. Either that, or the reviewer was eating some tasty shrooms before the show.

This reminds me of the anti-semites on Indymedia, who will decipher every single article about the Middle East that isn't pro-Pals to be Zionist conspiracy theories. They delve deep into every report out of the White House and come up with their hands filled with right-wing secret cabals and Murder ala 1600.

It's a symptom of moral equivalency, really, which is a disease that rots the brain of once rational human beings and causes them to experience hallucinations and delusions of righteousness that prove them to be morally superior to anyone who doesn't think like them.

Saying things like "I didn't throw a baby out a window, therefore I am a really good person" is just one side effect of the sickness, as is rationalizing blowing up babies at bus stops just because the leaders of the country those babies live in went after the head of a terrorist organization. It doesn't work unless your brain has been so clouded by propaganda and baseless accusations that you can't separate them from fact anymore.

How does this tie in with a political review of Hulk? They're both part of the larger picture; a world where people can justify their hatred and loathing by calling it editorializing, a world where one will go to any lengths to get their deluded points across.

If the agendas-within-movie-reviews and the moral relativism in the guise of editorial comics and the throwing stones from your own glass house don't work, just repeat the exercise ad infitum, like Ted Rall. If you do it long enough, some dreg will crawl out of the woodwork and agree with you. And then you can claim your moral victory.

this is my boomstick!

Thank you ever so much to the person (I don't know if he wants to be identified or not so until I hear otherwise, he won't be) who sent me both Army of Darkness (Boomstick Edition) and Evil Dead II (Special Edition). Our collection of all Evil Dead trilogy movies and every incarnation of the DVDs they put out is now complete.

We'll be forcing the kids to watch AOD once again tonight. Those kids are gonna learn to be cultured, damn it!

Thank you :)

what does a yellow light mean?

This morning, the local radio station had a great call-in segment. They wanted to know what everyone's favorite sitcom episode is. Not your favorite sitcom, but a specific episode from any sitcom ever.

My list, in no particular order and subject to grow as I think of more:

Taxi - when Jim takes his written driving test
Mary Tyler Moore - The funeral of Chuckles the Clown
Seinfeld - When George pretends to be a marine biologist

Don't just sit there. What's yours?

this two minute warning made possible with a grant from....

via Alan:

The Chicago Bears have sold out.

No longer will the old franchise, which was there at the NFL's creation, refer to itself exclusively as the Chicago Bears. From now on, whenever possible, it will be "Bears football presented by Bank One."

The bank, which is based in Chicago, paid an undisclosed amount to be the team's "presenting partner" for the next 12 years, the first such arrangement in NFL history.

I remember back in the early 80's, we had this running joke where we imagined that everything in sports was sponsored. This home run brought to you by Budweiser! This seventh inning stretch brought to you by Master Card! The joke was on us when advertising proliferated sports to the extent that tv time outs became part of the game and the sideboards in hockey looked more like billboards.

Then came the inevitable naming of stadiums. Gone were the homey sounding names and arenas dedicated to local heroes. Invesco Field, FedEx Field, Network Associates Coliseum, Qualcomm Stadium. Enron Stadium, anyone?

Now, - unless some player decides to chang his name to Cellular One - they are taking it as far as it can go.

By the Bears selling out like this, they have opened a Pandora's Box of naming rights and sponsorships.

The New York Mets presented by Pepto-Bismol. The Dallas Cowboys presented by Chico's Bail Bonds.

There's a good opportunity here for some inventive marketing. Sadly, it just makes it all too apparent that professional sports is nothing more than a collective of badly run businesses.


Hey, don't forget to stop by the semi-grand opening of Four Color Hell!

Thanks to everyone who has linked to the new blog.

hillary, thy name is.....

So, is Doug Marlette sending a message here or are some of us just reading too much into it?

Look closely. Closer. See what I mean? No? Here's a hint.

it's not the words, it's the image


June 23, 2003

parody or bitterness? you be the judge

Well, someone has a lot of time on their hands. And I think they have a secret crush on both me and Jim Treacher.

must have

This is third time I'm trying to win Street Fighter Ken Jr. on eBay. If anyone outbids me in the next hour I'm going to unleash my fists of fury.

Just saying.

UPDATE: I won! I won!

Now my little family will be complete.

On the ricochet - it's going to hit you

Jim blogs about the after effects of the whole Moxie v. Moxie debacle.

Next time anyone tells you "oh, it's just the internet, it's not real," see what happened to MoxiePop and tell me no one got hurt in this idiocy.

Jim has some wise words for the combatants in this case. They would do well to heed them.

There's a lesson to be learned here as well: When you let the trolls run rampant all over your site and you do nothing to stop them, havoc will ensue eventually. In fact, when you practically encourage the trolls and are more than happy to have them do your bidding, you better be ready to accept responsibility for what actions they may take in your name.

A clash of egos is never a fun thing to watch. It always turns out nasty. This one is no different.

Like a wise man once said, It's always funny until someone gets hurt...And then it's just hilarious!

And what I mean by that is this; these things come back at you eventually. They always do. That's when I'll do the laughing.

four color hell - yes, again.

It's getting there. And I'm doing it on my own. And I haven't broken the internet yet!

Now, go read Lt. Smash's brilliant Op Ed over at Command Post.

playing with moonbats again: moral equivalence edition

I hate to link to another piece of "art" by the notorious anti-semite Latuff, but I will, just to make a point.

[Click for the full picture. Image from Nazimedia, of course]How long can the pro-Palestinian contingent go on justifying the purposeful killing of innocent Israelis? In order to view a bus bombing as moral equivalence for killing a leader of a terrorist organization, you must have some deeply screwed morals.

Once again, I leave it up to you to detect all the things that are wrong with this picture.

Meanwhile, Meryl takes down a moonbat from the Zayed center, and the Pals are scared of Condi

and other misanthropic things, like how to be the worst girlfriend ever

Jim Treacher pointed me towards this rant: Twenty-six things a perfect guy would do, and other propaganda disseminated by misguided women. I think Treach was trying to point out that I'm not the only misanthrope around. In fact, I've got nothing on this Maddox guy. But he's funny and hateful at the same time which, to me, is the hallmark of a good read.

So I was reading his rant and decided that the 2614 things needed a female persepctive. Not a frilly, prissy female perspective, that's how it got started. Trust me, I've known frilly, prissy females and I am not one of them. In fact, I think I was supposed to be a guy. My mother reminds me (as often as yesterday) that I was supposed to be a Michael.

Anyhow, 2614 things a perfect guy would do and my take on them. Think of it as a companion piece to Maddox's.

1. Know how to make you smile when you are down!
Scratch this one. The last thing I want when I'm down is a guy in my face trying to make me smile. Generally, guys are misguided in this department and they think that tweaking your nipple or slapping your ass will do the trick. If you really want to make me smile when I'm down, pour me a glass of wine and then call on the Cunnilingus Fairy.

2. Try to secretly smell your hair, but you always notice.
What the hell does this mean? Why would you want a guy to secretly smell your hair? Frankly, after a hard day's work, my hair smells like a combination of exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke and copy machine toner. Unless my husband gets off on rancid fumes, he won't be smelling my hair. And trying to do it without me noticing borders on creepy.

3. Stick up for you, but still respects your independence.
Considering that most of your fights will be with your significant other, the guy would have to be a schizophrenic to have to stick up for you. Also, does the woman who wrote this mean that your guy should stick up for you no matter what? What if you're wrong? What if you are a heartless bitch with no feelings, or what if you did kill your elderly neighbor so you could steal her jewelry? A perfect guy would steal the jewelry back from you and then take off to Mexico, not stick around and be pussy whipped by his deranged lover. If you want independence, you can't have your guy backing you up all the time, too. Independence means taking the shitstorm on your own when it comes down.

4. Give you the remote control during the game.
I have a better idea. Why don't you stop bitching and moaning that your guy is interested in something besides you and go out and get a pedicure or or something while he's watching the game if it bothers you that much? There is nothing worse than a partner who thinks your interests should take a back seat to their non-interest of the same.

5. Come up behind you and put his arms around you.
Thanks, but no thanks. I don't know about you, but every time my husband comes up behind me and puts his arms around me, it usually ends up with him grinding my ass, and so on and so on and then the whole day is shot, you know?

6. Play with your hair.
What is it with women and hair? I find hair playing annoying. Unless you're gonna really get in there and massage my scalp until I fall asleep while you're at it, don't bother. You'll just get my hair all tangled anyhow.

7. His hands always find yours.
Finds them where? I hate when he finds my hands down my own pants, it's so embarassing. Anyhow, my husband is an artist. His hands are usually full of paint or charcoal or whatever those chalky crayons are called.

8. Be cute when he really wants something.
You know, if a guy said to a girl "be cute when you really want something," the girl would say that he's demeaning and sexist. I don't want my guy to give me puppy eyes or beg like a little doofus when he wants something. I'm all about the straight talk. You want a beer, just tell me. And then I'll tell you to get it yourself.

9. Offer you plenty of massages.
Honey, if a guy offfers you a massage, it's not relaxation and the art of zen he's looking to give you. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

10. Dance with you, even if he feels like a dork.
What if he looks like a dork when he dances? Is it worth it to get your jollies by making your partner do something he dreads and hates and looks bad doing just so you can pussywhip him a little more? I'm a notoriously bad dancer. My husband runs out the door when he hears certain songs come on and I can't say I blame him. And if I ever see a guy doing the Electric Slide or the Chicken Dance I say to myself "Self, there is one guy who has been totally subjugated by his wife."

11. React so cutely when you hit him and it actually hurts.
The proper reaction here would be to call her a bitch and hit her back. Sorry, girls. You dish it out, you take it.

12. Drive 5 hours just to see you for 1.
I hope whoever wrote this thing never dates a liberal. He'd break up with her for suggesting that he waste our valuable gas like that. And I have to ask, are you going to put out in that one hour? If not, you better at least offer him gas money.

13. Stare at you.
I hate being stared at, even by my husband. Every time he stares at me, I say "What? WHAT? Do I have a booger hanging out of my nose?" It unnerves me. Judging from this chick's lists of requirements, I'm thinking that when her boyfriend stares at her, he's not staring at all, but he's retreated to that happy place he goes to whenever she starts yapping.

14. Call for no reason.
What's up.
What are you doing?
So, ummm...I just called to say hi.

Save your quarter, ok? I have laundry I could be doing.

Well, he only got up to 14 and I don't think I could go any farther, either.

And that's one woman's perspective.

have fear! the threat is real!

Looks like I was a little premature by declaring myself fear-free this morning because I have seen the sign of armageddon and lo, it was ugly and frightening and almost caused me to run off the road.

As I drove past the Nassau Coliseum this morning, the sign came to me in yellow dot-matrix lighting, bigger than life and as evil as death. There, up on the giant electronic billboard, stood the seventh sign of the apocalypse:

Journey/Styx/Reo Speedwagon Wednesday, July 09, 2003 7:00pm

I slammed on my brakes. I panicked. Do I go pick up the children from school? Do I call 1-800-TIPS? God damn it, Rumsfeld never told me what to do in this situation. Why is the terror alert still at yellow if this kind of stuff is being advertised right in front of our eyes?

I decided to make my way to work, chain smoking and cursing the whole way here. I eyed every other car suspiciously, looking for people wearing parachute pants or Members Only jackets.

As soon as I got here, I decided to dig deeper into this terroristic threat. Surely, if this cell of Journey/Styx/Reo was operating right out in the open, there had to more sleeper cells around, ready to pounce on us at any second.

I hit the motherlode on the first try: The Rock Never Stops tour.

Warrant. Kip Winger. Slaughter.

My heart sank. Chills went down my spine. They say there is nothing to fear but fear is itself, but damn. This must come pretty close. I wondered if Cheney knew about this, if Powell was drawing up maps and readying a dossier to present to the U.N. These guys are so brazen, they put up a page showing where and when they will attack!

More research resulted in a phone call to my doctor asking him to double my Paxil dose before I had a nervous breakdown. These sleeper cells are everywhere, buying up the hairspray in your town, walking around in leather pants and knocking on the door of ever Mary Kay salesperson on your block. They're beckoning your girlfriends with their plaintive whines and shaking hips and loud guitars.

You know the names. They've been whispered in silent reverie by their legions since the dawn of the age of big hair. Def Leppard. Kiss. Iron Maiden. Loverboy. Sammy Hagar. Quiet Riot. Whitesnake.

Summer of Fear, indeed. And it's coming to a venue near you.

lisa lisa

My baby sister's birthday was Saturday. Normally, I dedicate birthday posts to people on their birthdays, but seeing as that she usually doesn't read on the weekend, I decided to wait until today.

Some of you know Lisa from this blog. She often comments, and she has made a post here and there. She is my idea editor during the day and she is my Photoshop guru during the day as well.

Let me tell you a little about Lisa.

She is the one who locked me in a closet when I was younger just to see if I was really claustrophobic.

She is the one who broke my Bay City Rollers record and blamed it on our other sister, Jo-Anne, and didn't confess this until two years ago.

She is the reason I hate hair metal because I had to spend quite a few years listening to the shrieking of Motley Crue and Poison coming from her bedroom day after day.

However, she is also the one who sang the Dead Milkmen's Watching Scotty Die with me to my parents, acting out the whole song.

She is the one who wrote several songs with me when we formed our fake band, Pond Scum. My favorite song was:

Save the whales
Save the whales
Send your money
Through the mail

She's the one I made my first website with, complete with flashing banners, under construction signs and animated flame gifs.

She's the one who always laughed at my sick jokes and shared my love of pop-culture.

True, I did stuff her in the toy chest when she was an infant. And I threw her a surprise party on her 13th birthday even though she had threatened me with bodily harm if I invited any of her friends over. Once, when I was seven and she was just a tiny little thing, I twisted her arm to make her cry, just so I can show my mother how I could comfort the screaming little baby.

She was spoiled when she was little, she's still spoiled now, and that's mainly my fault. I had fun spoiling her, and now she is her brand new husband's responsibility and he can deal with the after effects of my turning her into a brat.

She may be 34 years old now, but she'll always be my little sister. And I will always think of her whenever I hear Watching Scotty Die.

Happy Birthday, sis. Sorry I blew you off on Saturday morning. Hope this semi-embarassing post partly makes up for it.

no fear

One year ago tomorrow I wrote a post called Summer of Fear.

They're coming for us and they are coming by land, by sea, by air. They have packed guns and bombs and airborne diseases and it's only a matter of time before they release the dogs of hell upon us. If you believe everything you hear or see, that is. Do you? Even if you believe only half of it, or a quarter of it, it doesn't matter. The unease has already settled into the air like a virus. It's contagious.

Every low flying plane or helicopter is regarded with suspicion. A clap of thunder can make you jump. A siren. A special news bulletin.

Fourth of July is coming. Independence Day. Perhaps they will shroud their dirty bombs in the explosions of hundreds of fireworks exploding over New York. The scrolling news underneath the talking heads on CNN assures us that the Fourth of July would be a perfect time for them to strike. Symbolism.

Here, one year later, the fear has subsided. Even though I wake up to the news that sources say there could be a possible terror strike in Texas on the Fourth of July, I shrug.

I stopped living in fear. I stopped taking every raised terror level, every new threat as an imminent threat on my life. We have been lulled into a sense of complacency by the constant wave of alerts, chatter, threats and real bombings that we are going to be in for a shock if and when something really does happen.

I don't even know who wants to kick our ass anymore. Is it the EU? Do they want their turn to play bully and beat us into submission?

Is it al Qaida? Islamists? Muslims? The French? The Rebel Alliance?

At this point, if someone pointed into the sky and said "That's no moon, that's a space station," I would probably yawn and walk away.

It's hard to be ever-vigilant when you don't even know what you're being vigilant about. If we listened to every single piece of chatter that comes over the shortwave radio down in Cheney's bunker, we'd be a nation of Bernie Geotzes, gunning down anyone who dared to look in our direction.

I'm not naive. I don't have this Pollyana vision of the world coming together in peace. I know we have enemies. I know our enemies have enemies and those enemies have allies. I know that the threat of a terrorist attack is always imminent.

There are places where the fear is greater, where the reality of death grabs you by the hair every day. Iran. Israel. North Korea. The Congo. Is the world falling apart? No, not really. It's just in an upheaval. Progress takes it toll in many forms.

As long as we have enemies - and there are many enemies of freedom and democracy - there will be threats. I've learned to live with that. I've learned to accept that as a price for my freedom. I'm thankful I don't live in a country where I have to literally cower in fear, as opposed to figuratively cowering in fear, which is what we do.

Perhaps the greatest threat to our sanity is ourselves. If we keep sending out the message that our power lines, our water supply, our roadways are under threat; this state is under watch and that state is in direct danger and watch out for strange ships that pass in the night and make sure you neighbor isn't doing anything weird; perhaps if we just settled down and tried to live a little while the people who were hired to watch over us do their jobs, we could settle down and enjoy this Fourth of July and the rest of the summer without panicking every time CNN flashes a headline.

I'm a different person than a year ago, when I wrote:

I'm waiting for the comic book ending. For the superheroes to band together and form an alliance and kick the shit out their enemies. Or at least foil their evil plans and put us all back into our safe, comfortable place, where panic doesn't spark the air, where our lives don't exist in a constant state of elecricity, like we just collectively stepped on a third rail.

There is no comic book ending. There are no superheroes. I know that now. There will never be a safe, comfortable place again, or at least not for a long time. The panic and electricity are gone. I'm complacent about my own fate. I worry more now about the fate of others - the Iranian protesters, the children of Iraq.

It's interesting what a difference a year can make in one's view on things. A year ago, I was a left leaner with cynical attitude towards the government. It took only that one summer, that slowly growing idea that I was in the wrong place and the approaching anniversary of 9/11, to lead me towards where I am now.

I have faith in our leaders. You have a different sense of the world when you trust those who are in charge of your safety and you stop viewing them as the enemy. My own fear last year was borne of believing the propaganda set out before me by my ideologica peers. Once you let the hype of the lies and propganda go, once you realize you were suckered in to a web of deceit, it's easier to let go of all that. And when you do, you let go of the fear.

June 22, 2003

hi. my name is michele and i'm a misanthrope

I discovered something today. I mean, I've known it all along but I guess I'm just a bit late in admitting it.

I am a misanthrope.

If I could live the rest of my life without ever having to face another real live person (besides my immediate family, of course - and sometimes not even them) I would be a shiny, happy, well-adjust person.

I hate people. I hate people of all kinds. I hate the snooty clerk at Best Buy who sneered as I bought the Simple Plan cd for my son. I hate the lady with the ten inch fingernails in the supermarket who yapped on her cell phone the entire time she was shopping, making plans for her week long spa visit. I hate people who change their language so as not offend anyone within earshot; it's so phony and so obvious. I hate the posers on MTV and I hate baseball players who put their own bloated egos ahead of the team's needs. I hate the people who leave pamphlets on my car urging me to join them in their kingdom of whatever. I hate people who push religion down my throat because surely, as an atheist, I must be lacking something in my life. I hate teenagers who think the world owes them a living. I hate people who protest for one cause but try to sneak all their other little causes in at the same time and it becomes nothing but a hate fest. I hate people who claim to be pure of heart and spirit, because no one is. I hate the guy at the local comic book store who smells like stale cologne and has sweat stains on the armpits of every shirt he owns. I hate people who don't make their kids buckle up, drivers who don't use directionals, people who don't stop for school buses and anyone who drives a Hummer in the suburbs. I hate the moonbat liberals and their anti-semitism. I hate that chick from Trading Spaces, anyone associated with American Junior Idol and anyone who has been on a reality show where marrying a total stranger is the prize. I hate homophobes, racists and neonazis. I hate low talkers. I hate the guy at the gas station who tries every time to give me two or three more dollars worth of gas than I asked for. I hate the school adminstrators who feel the need to whitewash every single textbook so no one gets their feelings hurt. I hate the gym teachers who will only let the kids play non-competitive games. I hate everyone in Price Club. I hate people who answer questions with questions. I hate bloggers who have egos bigger than their bandwidth, bloggers who rip another blogger apart and close of the comments for that post, and bloggers who feel it is their job to make everyone in the world smile, smile, smile, whether they want to or not. I hate people who say "cheer up, it can't be all that bad," and people who try to make you smile even though you don't feel like it. I hate people who think the world shoud be a place filled with rainbows and fuzzy bunnies and flowers. I hate people who do not accept responsibility for their own actions, people who sue a company even thought it was their own stupidty that caused their problems, people who blame every single person but themselves for their kid's attitude problem.

I hate being in a bad mood, but these things happen.

Like I said, this weather better change soon before I start packing heat and I suddenly go crazy and climb a bell tower and try to shoot up the clouds. I'm pretty damn close to that.

Anyhow, I feel better for getting that all out now. Your turn. I'm headed over to the cofee and doughnuts.


For some reason, I am not receiving any mail that goes to the retrovertigo address I gave earlier. So please, if you sent the required email for the comics blog, please send it again to michele@asmallvictory.net.

this has gone on long enough

If I don't see the sun within 24 hours I'm going to go on a six-state murder spree.

You've been warned. And no, I won't tell you which states.

comics blog news

It's coming along, just not as fast as I planned.

Will everyone who expressed interest in participating, and anyone who hasn't yet but still wants to, please send an email to fourcolorhell@retrovertigo.net. Please include:

-A short comic bio (i.e., what comics you read, if you are involved in the business, etc.)
-The username and password you would like to use to login
-The URL of your site, if you have one
-Anything else you think I should know

Also let me know if you want to help with the design or coding of the site.

let's play a game with the moonbats!

We are about to play a game of words.

To begin our game, open up the image below to a bigger size. Read it carefully.

[picture from - where else? - Indymedia]

Now, let's play a game. Remember Highlights Magazine? Remember the "Name all the wrong things in this picture" page? That's what we are going to play. Use both the words and the images to figure out how many ways of wrong the whole thing is.

Ready? Go.

in dreams: sunday edition

I dreamed last night that I was a child. I was running through a field, my arms outstretched, my small legs clumsily taking me over rocks and mounds of dirt. An airplane passed over me and I looked up, amused that the plane made no sound. It disappeared as if it were going through a cloud, yet there was not a cloud in the sky.

I stopped running and looked up expectantly, waiting for the airplane to reappear. I craned my neck until it was stiff and hot, waiting, waiting.

The airplane did not reappear but a crow flew out of the sky in its place, an enormous crow with the wingspan of a jet. It had something in its beak and as the crow swooped down closer and closer I could see that thing was an animal of sorts; an animal I had never seen in waking life.

The crow landed at my feet and dropped the lifeless animal before me as if he were offering me a gift. I looked at the carcass; it was brown and gold and orange, furry and smooth at the same time. Its eyes were bluer than the cloudless sky and perfectly round like marbles. The eyes stared up at me as if pleading, yet I knew the animal was dead and could not plead even if it had the desire to do so. I reached down to touch the animal, whose head was small and shrunken and was not symmetrical to its body at all, and the crow began to speak to me.

If you touch the animal, you must keep him.

The crow's voice was magical and lilting, as if it were playing an instrument rather than talking.

Seagulls flew above us, circling and diving until the crow gave them just one stare and they took off with a loud beating of their wings.

Go ahead, touch it if you must. But you must take it from me if you do.

I was mesmerized by the sound of its voice. He spoke in cursive writing, his words all flourish and curly letters. His voice was calligraphy done in rainbows.

I knelt down and stared at the animal, my tiny hands tentative and unsure. Did I want this dead animal as my own? Should I just get up and run?

Like any child, my curiousity won the battle with reasoning and I touched the fur. My hand sunk into it, first the fingertips and then down to my knuckles and by the time my I was wrist deep in the animal fur, the crow was smiling - smiling! I had never seen a crow smile before.

My hand reached something warm and soft and yielding. I clasped my fingers around it and pulled it up and out of the fur, a dangling line of sticky fluid trailing my hand.

Open your hand. Open it. Look at what I've given you.

I slowly opened my hand to reveal my prize and laid my eyes upon the smallest heart I had ever seen. It was the shape of a valentine heart, not the heart of anatomy books, and it was the brightest shade of red.

I was still kneeling, perfectly still, hypnotized by the very alive beating of a heart I had taken from a dead animal.

In one quick motion the crow's beak came down on my hand, grabbed the heart, and gulped it down. I could see the tiny heart moving down its throat, the throbbing of of its pumping blood evident in the way the crow's throat beat in and out as the heart slid down.

The carcass is yours to do with what you will.

And then he flew off.

I carried the carcass with me as I once more made my way across the rocks and stones and clumps of almost-dead grass and soon it became nighttime and a cold wind began to blow at my back.

I wrapped the carcass around my shoulder to ward off the chill the wind was leaving on my neck. The head of the animal lay across my chest and bounced as I half walked, half ran through the dark field. Its dead eyes looked at me and try as I would not to look back at those eyes, I kept doing so, until I realized I was lost.

A panic gripped me and I shook myself awake.

June 21, 2003

make your own photo essay: a short story contest with no prize

I found a bunch of photo disks in my computer desk tonight and figured I would go through them and start deleting and/or saving the good pictures.

One disk was from Halloween of last year. The three pictures below are of this guy that was walking around our neighborhood that day. No one knew who he really was. All I know is that he freaked me out. He purposefully walked just like Michael Meyers. He didn't talk. He was creepy.

Sometimes I like to take old photos and make up short stories about them. Really short stories, like short-short stories. The word short looks funny if you type it a bunch of times. Sort of like boobies. You should try it.

Anyhow, I thought it would be cool if you all wrote a short description of what's going on in the pictures. Or a short short short (see, it's really funny) story.

And where the hell did everyone go tonight? Am I the only one inside?


there's funny ha ha, and then there's funny in that laughing at you kind of sense

We watched some Eddie Izzard this afternoon. Now we're watching the Metallica special on MTV2.

Still not sure which is funnier.

girls, girls, girls

My buddy the Nasty Bastard likes lists as much as I do. He's compiled a list of the top 10 women celebrities that he personally finds irresistable. He wants us to do the same.

Ok, I'll bite. But I'm only doing five. They are in no particular order and subject to change depending on my mood.

1. Milla Jovovich [photo]

2. Natalie Portman [photo]

3. Drew Barrymore [photo]

4. Jennifer Garner [photo]

5. Queen Latifah [photo]

So there's my Saturday night mindless posting. But man, was that fun to do.

this nuke the moon thing just ain't working

I should have known.

I should have known things would go horribly wrong as soon as my Nuke The Moon shirt came in the mail.

Frank promised it would change my life. He said my food would taste better, my paycheck would be larger and I'd become a rock star within 24 hours.

Instead, my site went down, I screwed up the comic blog I'm working on, a flood is forming on my front lawn and my dinner plans with Faith got put on hold. I also stepped in dog shit, lost ten dollars and realized the inspection on my car is overdue.

I'm blaming it all on Frank. I used to blame the evil monkey that lives in my closet, but I shipped him off to Frank's house yesterday, so that's taken care of.

Oh, Frank....he likes to eat live birds. If he's not fed at least three times a day, he'll piss in your bed. And thanks for the shirt. My husband says it makes me look 15 years younger. Considering he thought I looked ten years younger than my age to begin with, that makes me twenty five years younger, which makes me...ummm....counting on fingers....15.

Cool. I mean, kEwL.

steak, spies and self-linking

While I'm watching Spy Kids 2 and having a decadent lunch of steak and wine, it wouldn't kill you to go look at my new Retrovertigo piece - Neon Rain.


do you have any grey poupon?

(I had posted this at my temp site this morning. Sorry for those who left comments there, because I don't feel like copying and pasting them all over here)

Today is (in addition to being the first day of summer and my sister Lisa's birthday) National Ask Day.

The ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Campaign, created by PAX/Real Solutions to Gun Violence in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics, urges parents to ASK if there are guns in the homes where their children play. ASK Day has been created to help parents and others spread this important message in neighborhoods and communities across America

Hey, why stop at guns?

Gather your kiddies around, give them an ASK sticker to wear, and then turn them on your neighbors with a list of questions:

Do you have any old copies of Penthouse Letters hidden under your mattress?
Do you have any steaks in the freezer?
Do you have own any movies that feature naked women in exotic positions on the cover?
Is there a stash of pot hidden anywhere in your home office?
Do you have Wu Tang CDs?

If your neighbor has answered yes to any of the above questions that your kids ask, do the right thing. Invite them to your next party.

Then send your kids off to the shooting range with Rachel Lucas, where she will school them in how to handle a gun properly, rather than just telling them not to touch it.

I mean, streets are busy, right? Cars, trucks, motorcyles and what have you. Do you teach your kids how to properly cross the street safely or do you just keep them fenced in your yard until they are in high school?

the man can't keep me down!

Thanks to Stacy, I am back in business. She truly and honestly rocks my world.

Thanks also to Alan for graciously letting me shack up with him while my site was down.

As I stated over at Alan's:

The problem seems to be a combination of drunken blogging, full disk space, a corrupt database and the dumb inclination I had to upload three different Tool songs, knowing full well that Tool has never made a song that would be under six trillion gigabytes. So to speak.

Or it was aliens. Or the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. Or poison apples. Or Hamas. Take your pick.


Are we pinging yet?

June 20, 2003

that will teach you

Alan just sent me an mp3 of Abba's Take a Chance on Me. Except he was singing. I think his wife was doing back-up. And there was a link to his cam, where I saw him and Kate dancing and they were wearing gold lame pants.

I swear.

more morford musings: it must be a cold day in hell

This Mark Morford column was....

wait for it...


I laughed until I almost peed my pants. Good thing I wasn't wearing any.

Hey, I'm not the only Morford basher who thought it was funny. Arthur says, and this is a direct quote, VERY GODDAMNED FUNNY!

Shut up and buy my new record

I hate the term sell-out. I overheard two kids talking today about how some of their favorite punk bands have sold out. In the venacular of teeanagers, to sell-out means to become successful.

I don't understand why a fan would deny their favorite musicians the right to be successful, to make money, to not have to eat ramen noodles and drink Miller Lite for the rest of their lives.

The term sell-out can apply in some cases; for example, when a band changes their sound completely, to a sound that fits in with the radio playlists of the day, in an effort to get top 40 hits (see, Incubus).

From what I hear, the bands these kids were talking about (Good Charlotte, Blink 182, Ataris, Sum 41) sound pretty much the same as they always have. It's just been the right time for the new school of punk sound and they happened to be in the right musical place at the right time.

You can't keep a good band down. Ok, in some cases you can't keep a band with a good promoter down. Either way, cheer their success. They've made it out of their garage, off of a shitty label and into the big time. So what if they're on the radio all the time? Hey, at least you can tell your little brother, I was listening to them back when they were selling their sperm for food money!

Music is a tough business. For every band that makes it to MTV, there are thousands that don't. Just buy their album, enjoy the music and stop bitching about them getting laid more than you do.

That's what this is all about it, isn't it? These ugly ass guys get the chicks and you don't.

An appropriate song for you:

Tool, Hooker with a Penis. Lyrics below. Enjoy.

I met a boy wearing Vans, 501s, and a
Dope Beastie t, nipple rings, and
New tattoos that claimed that he
Was OGT,
From '92,
The first EP.

And in between
Sips of Coke
He told me that
He thought
We were sellin' out,
Layin' down,
Suckin' up
To the man.

Well now I've got some
A-dvice for you, little buddy.
Before you point the finger
You should know that
I'm the man,

And if I'm the man,

Then you're the man, and
He's the man as well so you can
Point that fuckin' finger up your ass.

All you know about me is what I've sold you,
Dumb fuck.
I sold out long before you ever heard my name.

I sold my soul to make a record,
Dip shit,
And you bought one.

So I've got some
Advice for you, little buddy.
Before you point your finger
You should know that
I'm the man,

If I'm the fuckin' man
Then you're the fuckin' man as well
So you can
Point that fuckin' finger up your ass.

All you know about me is what I've sold you,
Dumb fuck.
I sold out long before you ever heard my name.

I sold my soul to make a record,
Dip shit,
And you bought one.

All you read and
Wear or see and
Hear on TV
Is a product
Begging for your
Fatass dirty

So...Shut up and

Buy my new record
Send more money
Fuck you, buddy.

alcohol makes everything better. even pop punk.

Ok, now I get the White Stripes! You have to be drunk to like them!

Seven Nation Army sounds good under the influence.

That's not saying much, because Good Charlotte is sounding ok, too.

I may kill myself when I read this in the morning.

on the interent, nobody can hear you scream on a friday night

I'm all about trying to do things myself rather than bugging Stacy and Robyn as always.

There's probably a reason I always bug them. My motto is If you want something done right, don't do it yourself.

I'm working on the comics blog, but I think I broke the internet. Sorry.

Hey, it's not like anyone is around on a Friday night anyhow.

regular reading

Peat reads this site every morning on his PDA while he's taking a dump.

bang your head with concerto karaoke

Let's start the evening off right.

Apocalyptica doing Sepultura's Refuse/Resist.

Download. Listen. Enjoy.

Sing along:

Chaos A.D.
Tanks On The Streets
Confronting Police
Bleeding The Plebs
Raging Crowd
Burning Cars
Bloodshed Starts
Who'll Be Alive?!

Chaos A.D.
Army In Siege
Total Alarm
I'm Sick Of This
Inside The State
War Is Created
No Man's Land
What Is This Shit?!


Chaos A.D.
Disorder Unleashed
Starting To Burn
Starting To Lynch
Silence Means Death
Stand On Your Feet
Inner Fear
Your Worst Enemy


finally friday!

It's Friday and you know what that means. Friday night drinkin', bloggin' and music. I've got some special requests to take care of in the music department. If you have any kind of musical request, let me know now.

I've decided to go against the grain and not have any mixed drinks tonight. I'm going to wuss out with a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Don't worry, it will get me sufficiently drunk, I'll just be a different kind of drunk. No hair metal tonight!

Hey, I'm working on getting my old photo essays up at retrovertigo, so if you've never seen them, go check them out. Awww come on, it will take five minutes, tops.

Oh, and just because:


navel gazing

Every piece of hate mail I have ever received in regards to the things I write here have just been negated by one word. That word is: Nice.

Remember the post I wrote yesterday comparing myself with Warren Ellis's Spider Jerusalem?

I received this email this morning:

Subject: June 19th entry, smallvictory.net
From: (Warren Ellis)


And that was it. I'm going to live off of that for the rest of my life. It even beats Neil Gaiman linking to my review of Coraline.

Nice. Yeah.

four color hell

Seeing as that I finally have a weekend with no plans (except for dinner with Faith and Lambchop on Saturday night), I am going to get started on that comics blog that I've been talking about. Jason came up with a great name - Four Color Hell - and I'm going to put it as a subdomain on Retrovertigo.net, because it sort of fits, don't you think?

Basically, I am thinking it will be a free-form sort of blog, where you can post anything at all to do with comics; reviews, essays, rants, raves, discussions, etc.

I've already got a few people willing to be contributors, but I'll take as many as want to join. There will be no standards, no limit on posting or minimum posting guidelines and no real rules. Just lots of comic talk.

If you're interested in joining, let me know. I'll start creating the blog this weekend, using the great graphic Jason came up with and working from there. Any artistic types out there want to help design the blog, or anyone with good coding skills who wants to help set up the format, I'll be glad to turn the reigns over in those departments because I've been known to break the internet when I do things like that.

Four Color Hell beckons you, comic geeks.

UPDATE: If you're coming here from TCJ (and I thank you if you are), Four Color Hell is now up and running. It's sort of bare bones, but we'll get there. If you're interested in contributing, please email me.

ain't no sunshine: the rain has taken my sanity

It's raining. Again. There's a flood watch on for this weekend. It's rained 12 out of the last 14 weekends. This Little League season had more games rained out than games played.

It now smells like a swamp outside. I'm waiting to find an alligator crawling through my now overgrown lawn or fish jumping out of the sewer. Hell, the seagulls already think they are the beach - they're out in full force, shitting on my car and poking through my garbage.

Perhaps there is more significance to the rain than most people think. Maybe that ark is coming after all. And what if the ark is captained by Jerry Falwell? I let myself drown, that's what.

So where the hell did the sun go? Why do I constantly feel like I'm wilting? Where are the people who can control weather when you need them? What the northeast needs right now is a superhero in yellow tights and a white cape who can scare away these clouds, or at least pay the ransom to whoever has kidnapped the sun. Doesn't anyone have any gamma rays or laser beams that can change the weather? Jesus in a freaking canoe, what good are you people?

Tales from the courthouse: Little interns have big ears

This trial has been going on for a week. Yesterday, they break for lunch. Before the jurors leave, the judge instructs them to not discuss the case, as their opinion should not be formed before all testimony is heard.

A judge's intern, who has been sitting in on the trial to observe, goes to the deli across the street from the courthouse for lunch. There, she observes several jurors discussing the case, some of them mentioning that they already have their verdict in mind.

The intern goes back and tells her judge, who proceeds to tell the sitting judge on the case. When the jury comes back from lunch, the judge asks if anyone on the jury has formed an opinion already. One guy raises his hand and claims that he's sure the defendant is guilty.

Mistrial declared.

And the lesson here is, be careful what you talk about in public. You never know who's listening.

diets, lasagna and social disorders: why has garfield been around this long?

[Update: I found the perfect companion piece to this post: Modern Romance at Steve Hogan's Acid Keg]

Garfield turns 25 this week. That's 25 years of comic strips that I, for one, found rather stultifying and hardly ever funny. Like Hagar and Beetle Bailey, Garfield is just old, tired jokes in a new setting. Whether you're on a Viking ship, at an army camp or hanging out with your idiot owner by the telephone, that joke about being fat is not going to get any funnier just because the scenery has changed.

dondi.jpgI don't even read the comic section of the paper anymore. Not like when I was little and practically waited at the front door for the newspaper kid in the morning so I could be the first to see what new adventures awaited Dondi. You don't remember Dondi, do you? He was a big-headed orphan kid who got into all kinds of adventures. I was a kid when I read Dondi, so I related to his stories. Of course, being a kid didn't stop me from reading Apartment 3G, most of which I didn't understand but followed like a soap opera anyhow. I half-heartedly followed the Peanuts gang, but my image of that whole crowd was ruined forever by an hysterical parody of the strip in Mad Magazine sometime in the 70's, with the gang as hippies. I used to read Broom Hilda and Gasoline Alley and, yes, I followed the trials and tribulations of Brenda Starr right up until the moment Brooke Shields ruined the glamour for me.

I read my comic strips online now. I don't even get a paper edition of the news delivered to my house these days. I used to, just for the comics, but I got tired of spending a few dollars a week just for more jokes about Garfield and his lasagna or Cathy's diet or that god-awful Family Circus and its treacly messages. I read Boondocks once upon a time, but that got tired fast. Doonesbury, Ziggy, For Better or Worse; their jokes are on perpetual repeat, an endless loop of the same one-liners over and over, just different characters saying the punchline.

Perhaps it's my sense of humor. I'd rather read repeats of Calvin and Hobbes than new Garfield strips. I prefer Captain Ribman to Dick Tracy. I'd much rather read Achewood than any humorless, gimmicky, product-heavy strip in today's paper.

If you've enjoyed 25 years of Jon's bad social disease and Garfield's eating disorder, more power to you. Have a lasagna in Garfield's honor today. But try something different, too.

Scott Brodeur has a post about this subject as well.

These are some of my favorites. Unfortunately, if I don't hit the road in the next 1 minute, 32 seconds, I'll hit every red light and be stopped by every school bus between here and work. If you have a favorite online comic, drop a link in the comments.

Day by Day
Get Fuzzy
Penny Arcade
Homestar Runner

June 19, 2003

porn, my parents and linda lovelace

Lovelace, the Musical, starring Tina Yothers as Linda Lovelace.

Ah, another childhood icon shot to hell. No, I'm not talking about Tina Yothers.

I was about ten years old when Deep Throat came out. I remember hearing my neighbor talk about the movie in general terms and it made me curious exactly what Deep Throat meant.

It didn't take me long to find out. My parents had a party one night and some of the men were talking about the film. They were referring to various women at the party as "Linda Lovelace" types. The longer I sat in the shadows and eavesdropped, the more I found out. The more I found out, the more horrified I was.

Unaware that I was getting the jokes, my parents and their friends frequently made references to Deep Throat and Lovelace. Depending on the joke, I would either snicker under my breath or run out of the room with my stomach churning.

It may be strange to have a porn icon as a catalyst for good childhood memories, but the mention of Lovelace brings flashbacks of the days when my parents were young and the house was filled with laughter night and day.

And now, Tina Yothers has ruined it all for me. Not that I will ever see the Linda Lovelace musical extravaganza, but I now have the image of Tina Yothers's face where Linda's is supposed to be in my memories and that's just wrong.

finding nemo: one minute review

findingnemo50b.jpgChild loses mother. Child still has dad. Child decides to assert his independence by showing off his mad braveness skillz. Child gets into deep shit by doing that. Dad has to face nature, predators and life-threatening situations to get Child back. Dad finds buddy to help him. Child finds friendly characters to help him. Dad and Child, against all natural odds, reunite thanks to teamwork. Lessons are learned, lifetime friendships are forged and we all live happily ever after. The end.

Basically, it's any other Disney movie you've ever seen, but with fish.

On the plus side, there were no musical numbers. And there were a few laughs.

However shallow and predictable and redundant the movie itself was, the animation was breathtaking. Which means I didn't fall asleep.

UPDATE:Yes, it was funny. There were many funny parts. I'm just tired of the same old plots in children's movies.

Leapin' Lileks!

The Farkers have put my little Photoshopping of James Lileks to shame.

Check out this rogue's gallery of Lileks.

We're off to see Finding Nemo. Review later.

And don't be trollin' around here while I'm gone. Remember the horse's head!

i hate it here

Sean Kirby had a very interesting post the other day on why he stays in Toronto:

Those of you who've read Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan know what I'm talking about. Spider Jerusalem hates the city and everyone in it. But at the same time, it's the only place he can write. Without the spiritual effect of that place on him, spider becomes impotent and uncaring, which is a lot worse than righteous anger - at least for a writer.

I have to stay in Toronto. If I were to be anywhere else, London, Guelph, Hamilton, I know I would be bored to death. I may hate it here, but it's the only place fucked up enough to keep me interested.

spider.jpgI've been knee deep in Trasmet collected issues for the past few weeks
and I do understand Sean's statement.

My writing - most of which you've never seen - comes from a place deep within. In that place is everything I loathe. It sits there like a magic elixer made of the necessary ingredients to keep me writing.

Hate, fear, loathing, disgust; they are all very powerful emotions. And while love and beauty are powerful in and of themselves, they do not give me the quite the muse that negative emotions do. When I write, I feed on anger. I drink the blood of indignation. I call upon past incidents, in much the same way an actor will recall significant moments in his life, to bring out the emotions I felt at that time and feel them as if they were raw and new. Sometimes a simple song can do that. Sometimes, all I have to do is dream about it.

Much of what comes out of those lingering feelings, you never see. They are pieces I write with an old fashioned pen and paper and they get folded and stuffed into a box with the rest of my scrawlings.

I do, however, use the same tactic here. It's why I troll the sewers of Indymedia, why I read Morford and Rall, why I dig for stories that make me want to scream in anger. It gets me going. It's what interests me. It's what makes me part Spider Jersusalem, unable to write a decent screed unless I am full of rage or righteous indignation.

Sure, Spider has a plethora of futuristic drugs to help him along. I have the blogging equivalent, I suppose. An endless supply of emails - people who send me links to things they know will outrage me. Like feeding heroin to a starving junkie.

I hate it here, sometimes. I hate the internet, I hate the my town, I hate Long Island, I hate New York. But I love them all as well. I'm just more passionate about the things I hate.

Beauty and love and all things happy, I'd rather just sit and admire, take it all in and keep it there. But hate, vitriol and fear - those are meant to be purged and it's when purging them that I come alive as a writer, when the ink is flowing like blood and the words are flying out of my head faster than I can write them.

From issue #4:

Spider: The point is, the only real tools we have are our eyes and our heads. It's not the act of seeing with our own eyes alone; it's correctly comprehending what we see.

Channon: Treating life as an autopsy.

Spider: Got it. Laying open the guts of the world and sniffing the entrails, that's what we do.

open letter to Marc W., troll of the year nominee

I've reached my limit with Marc W.

Below is an open letter to him, in case you are interested.

Dear Marc,

In my post this morning about asking people to not play tag games in my comments (and I do have a good reason for that), you left the following comments:

You know, at first I was drawn to reading your blog--fascinated by how prolific you are, and even amused on occasion. But what's with the sudden imperious policing attitude? Not to sound like a creepy troll, but how desperate are you for attention, really? Why not focus on controlling things in your real life, rather than trying to establish supremacy over a society of semi-imaginary webfriends?

Yes, I know, I don't have to read your stuff if I don't want to. But given how much time you spend picking apart the viewpoints of others that *you* don't ever agree with, doesn't it cut both ways?


Well, apologies for not fully comprehending the context of the post I'm responding to, but maybe that's a good reminder to be a little less obtuse, and don't assume that a reader is following every little twist and turn in these online melodramas. Of everyone involved, it's certainly not me who needs to take this blogging thing less seriously.

Wow. I don't know where that all came from, Mark, but I think you need to get your meds under control.

I was making a snarky post to my friends about their silly little tag game. None of them were offended. And here you come on your high horse leaving comments as if I had asked people to behead the pope in my name. Melodrama? Hardly. My friends (not imaginary, not semi-imaginary, but real), know how to take those things. You did not know how to take it because, well, you're not my friend. Hell, you're not even someone I would have as imaginary friend, even if it was just to imagine beating your head in with a clue bat.

Speaking of melodrama, Marc, isn't that your name I saw all over the great Moxie debate, in every comment on every blog that talked about it? I think you even dropped in here a couple of times in relation to that melodrama.

Marc, may I suggest you look at my post once again, read your comments and play a game of How Out of Place Were My Comments?

I could really sit here and pick apart your trollish words bit by bit, but seeing as that you are obviously somewhat challenged in the making friends and influencing people department, I wouldn't want to make you look like more of an ass than you already did yourself. Great job, by the way.

Come back anytime, Marc. I wont squash your dissent, I promise.

Learn how to be a socialst in just ten minutes! Or: Fry The Spy Day

Open your textbooks to this page please.

The entire world honors the memory of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg on June 19, 2003, 50 years after the fascist US government, aided by their Zionist collaborators, murdered these two outstanding socialists and defenders of the workingclass to perpetrate fascism at home and war abroad. By defending their innocence and resisting fascism, the Rosenbergs literally broke the back of the Cold War. In these terrible times, with fascists attempting to make the USA as reactionary as Nazi Germany, their example is a lesson to us all.

Here we have a classic example of socialist thinking. It compiles all the standard applications of Socialism 101. To wit:

  • The entire world honors the memory of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg - This applies the socialist/far left tenet that the world revolves around them and their ideals.

  • aided by their Zionist collaborators - Another standard operating procedure of theirs. It's all about the J-E-W-S.

  • murdered these two outstanding socialists - Oxymoron alert!

  • perpetrate fascism at home - No socialist gang bang is complete with some perceived notion that facism has reared its ugly head.

  • In these terrible times, with fascists attempting to make the USA as reactionary as Nazi Germany - and for the ten point landing, every socialist worth his weight will connect the issue they are writing about with today's terrible climate of Nazism.

Obviously, the author of the above paragraph studied his copy of Idiots Guide to Writing for Socialist Causes.

Of course, no rally against America would be complete without a star-studded leftist party. With Susan Sarandon and Harry Belafonte!

Don't forget to read the rest of the Indymedia article, where you can find how the Rosenbergs being fried to death for their crimes can be related to such subjects as The Patriot Act, Homeland Security, Bush Made 9/11 Happen and, of course, Zionism.

Now, go celebrate Fry The Spy Day with Chuck.

meet james lileks

James really should have known better than to ask people to deface his picture.

Meet James Lileks, hair metal freak. I wonder if he ever lived in Jersey?

[click for biggie size]

As with all things Photshop, my execution is never as good as the idea itself. So just imagine what it was supposed to look like.


The first person to Anyone who leaves any kind of "tag, you're it" note (that applies to snowball fights, tag games, heckling day banners or what have you) in my comments will a) have their IP banned and b) find a horse's head in their bed.

I'm dead serious. About the IP, not the horse's head.

June 18, 2003

round and round

No, not the Ratt song. Please.

Round the world we go, in links.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Doctor Grosz style.

Mac wants to know what gets people to read your blog. I told him fart stories are always good.

The best invitations I get are always the ones I can't accept. Doesn't anyone party on the weekend anymore?

Orrin Spare that C:/: a poem.

The 20 dollar Lou Ferrigno Experience. In two (or possibly three) parts.

The Trouble With Marvel: Long and worth reading every word.

Insult of the day: crap-ass emopop vagina-magnet band. Hey Geoff, isn't it your turn to get off of Blogspot yet?

Asshat is out. Fecal fez is in.

And then the obligatory self linkage. Did I mention that I have new one up at Retrovertigo?

Yes, it's Adult Swim time again. May tonight's dreams not be like last night's. Ok, maybe like the one about Andrea but not the other one.


I like to make clever little banners for the birthdays of fellow bloggers, but my Photoshop keeps freezing up on me, so I'll just have to do with this:


he's doing it just to spite me

Keep your eyes on this one.

Clemens is pitching a no hitter.


Zambrano, 3-4 on the season thus far, isn't pitching too shabby a game himself.

Now this is baseball. Give me a good pitcher's duel over a home run derby any day.

UPDATE: Well, there goes another excuse people would have used to make Roger wear the Yankee cap.

jump around

That's the title of my new one over at Retrovertigo.

Also, for interested parties, Command Post is now covering Iran as well as other hot spots around the world.

the angels and butterflies make everything ok!

Oh. My. God.

I don't know what else to say about Remembering Laci, a musical tribute to Laci Peterson.

Bad enough that the poor woman came to such a tragic end, but to live on in the guise of a treacly, gag reflex-inducing song lends little credence to the idea that there is, indeed, a meaning to life.

I don't mean to be disrespectful to the dead, but....just go listen to it. You'll see what I mean.

(I'm trying to get the lyrics down, but the forced repeated listening is killing me).

[Thanks, I think, to Randi for the link]

down the hatch

Oh, that wacky Orrin Hatch:

He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."

"If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their actions, he said.

I have a better idea. Let's invent something that would blow up a government official's head when he comes up with an idea so glaringly idiotic that it lowers your brain cell count just by hearing it.

Of course, we'd warn him twice and then blow him up.

a quick one

Can somebody please explain the popularity of the White Stripes to me? I just don't get it.

land of the free press, home of the brave idiots

Eliot Weinberger asks, What is Happening in America?

The screed is several paragraphs long, but here is the most telling line:

Most of all, America doesn't feel like America any more. The climate of militarism and fear, similar to any totalitarian state, permeates everything.

And you know, he's right. Don't you see how protesters are being rounded up and shot? How all the people with Impeach Bush bumper stickers on their cars are being pulled over, dragged out their vehicles and beaten to death?

It's a shame how Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon were exiled to Siberia for speaking out on national television against the president. And poor Sean Penn, executed in a very public hanging at Yankee Stadium.

The writers for liberal papers like the San Fransisco Chronicle have been silenced, their offices trashed and burned, the reporters missing in action.

The National Guard stands on every corner on every street in America, making sure you walk in a straight line and salute every single flag you see and they will shoot you for so much as littering.

The women of our country have become downtrodden, forced to wear veils and quit their jobs so they can stay home and subjugate to their husbands. Their kids are sent off to the service at only 15, whether they want to go or not.

Yes, this country is quite the police state. The fear is palpable. I mean, you don't even see protesters anymore. Indymedia has been shut down out of fear. Bloggers are closing up shop. We are like frightened, scared little children who look to our lord and savior, George W. Bush, for the answers to everything because we can't come up with any on our own. Our minds have been brainwashed, our lives have been taken over and totalitarianism wreaks havoc on all of our lives.

What is happening in America? This, I see:

Perhaps it cannot be stopped, but the first step toward slowing it down is the recognition that this is an American government unlike any other in this country's history, and one for whom democracy is an obstacle.

Perhaps the author has never heard of this little country called Iran?

These running-at-the-mouth anti-Bush revelers are clueless when it comes to freedom and democracy. They think this country sucks? Have they ever stepped foot inside of a country where thoughts like theirs would get them killed? I doubt it. To them, America is evil, Bush is the devil and freedom and democracy is only worth fighting for if it's for your own country.

What's happening in America? I can tell you this - it's not the squashing of dissent. It's quite ironic that a person should pen such a diatribe against a country that allows him to write such garbage and not have to face any death threats for it. It takes very little bravery to write a few anti-Bush paragraphs in this country.

Try talking shit abour your leader somewhere else and you'll feel the blade of the sword upon your neck within minutes. That, my friend, is a climate of militarism and fear. Not making faces at the president from behind the protective glass of something called the First Amendment.

Of course, that same freedom of speech allows me to not only read this garbage, but to spread it around as if I were showing off an ugly boil on the author's ass.

See, on the internet, everyone knows you're a jerk. Just ask Bill O'Reilly.

andrea loves chachi

I just remembered my other dream, the one that came earlier in the night.

I was in a production of Bye Bye, Birdie and I wouldn't let Conrad kiss me because he had cooties. Andrea tried to give me a cootie shot but I told her she was already infected from letting Scott Baio kiss her. She blushed and ran away, but there was a sign taped to her back that said "I kissed Scott Baio!"

And then Conrad died from the cooties.

news and views

In lieu of the Church of the Blogosphere bulletin, which several people told me was sacreligous, and even though I'm atheist and I shouldn't care about those things, I'll just post some stuff here because in the long run, it's just easier.

Silflay Hrakaka has moved - kicking and screaming, I think - to greener, non-blogspot pastures.

Frank at IMAO has the finalists rounded up in his subtitle contest. They're all almost as funny as him. He's got a poll up so his readers can decide the winner.

Carnival of the Vanities is live over at Real Women on Line. Hey Shanti, you got me with that little joke of yours. I was about to give you the Bill O'Reilly treatment!

Damn, I should have left for work already. If you've got something to add here, drop it in the comments.

in dreams

Lately I've been dreaming of funerals. Last night of dreamed of death itself.

I was death.

In the dream, I was walking alongside a would-be suicide bomber. We kept pace for about five minutes, me floating silently next to him as if I were riding an invisible hoverboard, and him walking swiflty, his long robes swishing against the desert floor.

Finally, he asked me why I was following him. We had reached a marketplace that was bustling with people; women with covered heads and faces, turbanned men carrying swords in sheaths.

I answered him without looking at him. Any minute now, I said.

Any minute, what?

Any minute that you find the truth.

He lowered his head and quickened his pace until he was almost running. I effortlessly kept up with him. As the marketplace thinned out until we were once again in the quiet of the desert, the man stopped at what appeared to be an oasis. Out of the oasis rose a bus, filled to capacity with women and children. The man boarded the bus when it stopped.

I stayed back, watching him pay his fare. He turned and looked at me.

Well, he said. Are you not my death shadow? Shouldn't you be boarding the bus with me?

I am not your death shasow, I said. I belong to them. And there I pointed to all the swaddled infants stacked high on the seats of the bus, all of them crying. Among them was a young girl in a wedding gown.

I could see through the window that the man had opened up his robes to reveal explosives that had been tied to his chest with a frayed rope. I ran to the front of the bus and lay down in front of it, hoping that the driver would stop.

He didn't. I felt the tread of the tires as they rolled over my head, I could feel the imprints they left on my face. The rubber of the tire seemed to melt into my skin. Yet I felt no pain, just the sensations.

I was under the bus now, I could smell oil and exhaust. I could hear the babies crying, I could hear the young bride shouting herself hoarse.

Unable to face what came next, I woke myself up.

On Iran

The radical left is another matter entirely. This is the crowd that says America is a fascist police state. The last thing they want to discover is that a real fascist police state exists in Iran.

And there Michael Totten sums up in one sentence what I was going to use 82 paragraphs to write.

Meryl Yourish also does a fine job of expressing the same sentinment.

If you want to check out some of the many Iranian blogs to get a first hand account of what is going on in that country, Jeff Jarvis has an extensive list.

June 17, 2003

the blog factor

Before I retire for the evening to curl up with Adult Swim, I'll have you know that the Bill O'Reilly Links Compendium has reached HUGE status.

all the cool kids do it

Joining the punk rock blogger revolution (which consisted entirely of Dr. Frank) is Ben of Screeching Weasel fame, who writes about baseball among other things at Weasel Manor.

[the new policy on mp3s is they only stay up a few hours. sorry you missed this one]

question of the night: here, kitty kitty...

Dean Esmay has a burning question and he thinks my readers may have some interesting answers.

Is calling someone a "pussy" sexist? Or is it just a rational description of someone who is soft, warm, wet, and yielding?


repeat after me

And thus ends another Little League season. We shall now repeat the mantra of Red Sox and Cubs fans.

Maybe next year.

use the force!

No time for blogging. Home from work and now off to Round 2 of the Little League playoffs.

We now all know the power of the blogosphere. So use that power for good. Wish DJ and his team good luck in their game against Coach CutThroat and the Not Yet Ready for Sportsmanship players.

Back later.

a compendium of links: bill o'reilly

"When you bite the internet it bites back. Hard"

So says Wunderkind in a post about Bill O'Reilly's now infamous tirade against the swilling sewer of the internet.

It's almost an understatement to say that the internet has bitten Bill.

Following is a list of blogger who have taken O'Reilly to task today. It looks like the left and right sides of the blogosphere have finally found something to agree on - Bill O'Reilly is a jerk. The only thing left to see is whether or not this backlash has any impact. (My own entry is here)

I haven't been able to collate all the links out there. If I miss any, please add them in the comments.

Glenn Reynolds
Matt Welch
Eugene Volokh
James Lileks
Cam Edwards
Oliver Willis
Stephen Green (back from hiatus!)
Matt Yglesias
Cal Pundit
Glenn Reynolds on MSNBC
Mean Mr. Mustard
Ryan Rhodes
Rand Simberg
Ken Layne
Kim du Toit
Rick's Miscellany
Facts on the Ground
Laurence Simon
Mind of Mog
Dead Parrots
Backcountry Conservative
Bozzy's World
Inscrutable American
Alisa in Wonderland
CD Thornton
Jim Treacher
Bit Banger
Robin Goodfellow
A Voyage to Arcturus

[NOTE] Please check the comments for even more links.

yankee hat, red sox hat, asshat

Perhaps the Baseball Hall of Fame should listen to the Voice of America. That is, if the Voice of America was represented by a bunch of poll-taking, monkey-loving bloggers and blog readers.

Results of the Great Roger Clemens Hat Debate poll:

[click for green monster-sized image]

So the consensus is: No Yankee hat, no Red Sox hat, just Roger as the asshat that he is.

Equal time party, brought to you by the Council of Europe

Samizdata reports that the Council of Europe is proposing to regulate content on the internet - including the content of blogs.

The all-but-final proposal draft says that Internet news organizations, individual Web sites, moderated mailing lists and even Web logs (or "blogs"), must offer a "right of reply" to those who have been criticized by a person or organization.

An excerpt: "The reply should be made publicly available in a prominent place for a period of time (that) is at least equal to the period of time during which the contested information was publicly available, but, in any case, no less than for 24 hours."

In the spirit of unity with the squenched voices of Europe, and in keeping with Samizdata's suggestion that those who feel slighted by them go open up their own blog and rant about it, I hereby offer those I have offended or critcized to come forth and reply in kind.

Ted Rall, Mark Morford, Susan Sarandon, Bill O'Reilly, Hillary Clinton, anyone from Indymedia, ANSWER, PETA or ELF, Mark Savage, Roger Clemens, and a slew of other people, famous and not and any bloggers I may have criticized, made death threats to or otherwise insulted, I invite you to come on by to my "Equal Time Party" today and throw your best right back at me.

Of course, I don't expect to hear from anyone except perhaps the few anonymous trolls that I may have verbally insulted, but it's the thought that counts. Either way, we can either show the Council of Europe how silly their idea is and how it will never work, or we can show that yes, the people did want equal time and came by to state their case, but it ended up in volley of curse words and mail bombs and hacked websites and they should have let well enough alone.

You've got 24 hours to reply to anything I may have said about you. That doesn't go for you, Bill, because you've had your equal time already.

bloggin' bill o'reilly

Bill O'Reilly would make a fine blogger. Imagine this whole thing as a delinking episode.

June 17, 2003



So last night I find out that another blogger is spreading rumors that someone delinked me. It's not true. He said he's just going to put my link in a different section of his list. I mean, if anyone emailed him or checked his comments they would have seen the truth. And the truth is, that I think this whole blogging thing is out of control.

Some people post the most disgusting things. They take free speech to a new level. They say bad things about me and honestly readers, if you say bad things about me it's only a short hop to the day you start a kiddie porn blog.

Don't you see? Everything comes back to me. If you delink me, the terrorists win. If you delink me, NAMBLA will take over the internet.

What did I do to deserve this? Why does anyone want to delink me? I stand for truth and justice and the American way and all you people in the blogosphere writing rants about me are blinded by your jealousy of my intellect and morality. I GET A MILLION HITS A DAY, DAMN IT! You people wish you had as many hits as me! Just wait until I get off this damn Blogspot, I'll have more hits than Hannity! Anyone who writes mean things about me is clearly not speaking the truth and is probably a pedophile or even worse, a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Fine, delink me. See if I care. I have millions of other people who will still come to this blog every day to see what I'm writing about. So bite me, you naysayers. I don't really care if someone takes me off their blogroll, I just care that other bloggers are lying about the reason why. I'm waiting for those bloggers to make a retraction, but I guess monkeys will fly out of my butt before that happens!

Oh yea, I've shut down the comments so you can't debate me on the merits of my argument, defend yourself or say anything worthwhile, because I don't want my fans to think that you may have a point.

Posted by: Bill O'Reilly
6:21 a.m.

What a pompous ass.

Others making the case against Bill:

(I moved the list and made a bigger one. See here)

June 16, 2003

minimalist photo essay

A new entry at Retrovertigo. A one picture essay.

giving, getting and dirty american capitalsts

American RealPolitik delivers the best political comics out there on a daily basis, all in one place. I read them every day.

They got into a bit of a mess over this, which you can read about here. Now, they are trying to do the right thing and Cagle comics is trying to help them do it. For $500 a year, Cagle will license their fine political comics to American RealPolitik for them to post on their site.

They are asking for donations to help defray this cost and I gladly gave. I know you can get the comics elsewhere, by digging through several sites a day, but the two guys at RealPolitik have taken time every day to gather them together for our enjoyment and I have no problem giving them monetary thanks for that.

Which leads me to another thing.

Last week when I posted that bit about Andrew Sullivan and his begathon, I made reference to my own tip jars and wishlist.

Of course, I received a few emails in response. Because people who have negative things to say about me rarely do so in my comments, for fear of the rest of you, I guess. Honestly, I wish they would do it in the comments so you can say that I do not make this shit up.

Two of the emails went something like this (and here I sort of combine both and loosely paraphrase):

You are a cyber whore. You have some nerve to trash Andrew Sullivan and then ask for money. What do you do to deserve that money? Why should people give it to you when there are starving kids in Africa? Why should anyone buy you something? You are a filthy, greedy capitalist, typical American swine pig dog wolf, etc. You take and take and take and laugh at all the other bloggers out there who give to you. Hahhaha laugh at them you pigdog!

Well, that was the gist of the emails anyhow.

Not that it's really any of their business, but I just don't stand here with my hands in my pockets clutching my goody bag while my bank account fills up (if only it would - and by that I mean by some swipe of luck as I play megamillions Lotto). I have given to other bloggers, I have bought them stuff from wishlists, and I have made every effort to to throw some of my traffic the way of others by making a habit of linking heavily to other blogs. It's all one can do from the other side of a computer, no?

So basically, I'm not a whore because a whore doesn't reciprocate and pay you when the sex was really good.

As for being a capitalst American pig, thank you. Yes, I am. But I promise to send some money to Sally Struthers to take care of those kids in Africa if it makes you feel any better. I'll tuck a little note in the envelope telling the kids that their leader is starving them to death because he won't accept genetically modified food - food that would fill their bellies and maybe put a smile on their face and really, really won't give them strange diseases or make their skin fall off or harm them in the way that slowly starving to death is.
Feel better now? I know I do.

been holding this in

Hamas has refused to end attacks on Israel.

Well, what did you expect? It's deeply disturbing that a terrorist group is being negotiated with. There should be no talking, no attempts at a ceasefire, no negotiations.

There's talk of American troops going in and dealing with Hamas. I say do it. Better yet, do it immediately. Don't wait for another suicide bomber hopped up on pipe dreams of martydom to blow apart more innocent victims.

This is the only way the crimes committed upon the innocents of Israel will end. Go to the root source of the terrorism and take away its toys. If Hamas continues to exist, violence in the mideast continues to exist.

These are not men. They are monsters. They are demons with bombs and guns and a giant, virgin-encrusted death wish. Give them their deaths. Give them their martydom. I'd rather see 20 Palestinian mothers wailing over the death of their inhuman sons than see 20 Palestinian mothers rejoicing because their sons have just died and taken out a busload of Israeli women and children with them.

These people are not to be bargained with. They are not to be negotiated with. They are liars and false prophets to those who worship them, to those who believe their religious lies about the life hereafter and how Jews should be gone from the face of the earth. If they lie like that to people who praise them, they will lie to those who hate them.

There will be no ceasefire. There will be no truce. There will be only death and carnage and charred bodies scattered in Israel until we make sure the only deaths are those of the members of Hamas. Yes, and their supporters.

Kill or be killed, as the saying goes. Preventive medicine.

Cap Capers

Obviously I stirred up some deep-rooted feelings in many people over the Roger Clemens Cap Controversy. What better way to decide things than with a nonsensical poll?

I disabled commenting on the poll itself. You may comment here instead so everyone can see what a whiner you are.

Margin of error is 99%. Results are unscientific and may result in hurt feelings, eye injuries or disturbing bowel movements. See your doctor if any of these conditions persist

hulkamania! part 2

Thanks to the Cracker Barrel Philosopher for pointing out that X-Entertainment has the best review of the Hulk Hands mentioned (and seen) in this post.

I want to be Matt of X-E when I grow up. Err, down? Hey, did you know that there's an X-E blog? Yes, there is.

Speaking of Hulk toys, loyal reader, friend and fellow Rammstein worshiper Carol sent this picture of her kids having a Hulk-ish Father's Day, too.

[click for hulk-size image]

Got Hulk? Send me pictures!

making the pitch for clemens

So Roger Clemens is thinking about boycotting his inevitable Hall of Fame induction if they don't put him in as a Yankee.

He played 13 seasons with the Red Sox, two with Toronto and is finishing up his career in his fifth season as a Yankee. That's 192 of his career 300 career wins with Boston.

And this is Clemens in a nutshell. His reasons for not wanting to go in as a Red Sox player is his anger at the way GM Dan Duquette treated him.

What about the fans, Roger? What about the people who spent 13 seasons cheering for you, watching you, paying your salary?

Of his six Cy Young Awards, three were won in Boston, two in Toronto and one with the Yankees.

His MVP award ('86) was won in Boston.

When he led the league in strikeouts twice, it was with Boston both times.When he led the league with the low ERA of 1.93, he was a Red Sox player.

His two 20 strikeout games? Boston.

The bulk of the achievements that make Clemens a Hall of Fame candidate were made while he was wearing a Red Sox cap. He should pay homage to that by being enshrined in the hall wearing that cap. His vendetta against Duquette is a personal one, and he shouldn't let that stand in the way of his doing the right thing by Red Sox fans.

Yes, my vendetta against Clemens himself is a personal one. I hate the fact that he wears the Yankee pinstripes at all and I certainly don't want to see him in the Hall as a member of the Yankees. But that's an aside, a petty one at that. It's a serious slap in the face to the people of Boston to do anything but accept his entrance into the Hall in the cap with a B on it.

Bill's state mottos and open mic day

Bill at Bloviating Inanities is asking people to come up with alternative state mottos. Someone already did Long Island, but I'll add my two cents:

Long Island: We are too part of New York!
Long Island: Our crimes are more high-profile than yours!
Long Island: You can smell Jersey from here!
Long Island: Hey, the Baldwin brothers moved to California! Come back!
Long Island: Come have some cawfee at our mawls!

Make your own but submit them at Bill's, not here.

This is today's open mic post. Got anything of your own you want to link to, want to give a shout out to another blogger's post, drop the link in the comments.

they don't call them comic books for nothing

It's the end of the school year around here and that means it's time for the library reading program to kick off.

Every summer, our library (and most others, I'm sure) run a program that entices children to read during the summer in exchange for prizes. Some people have a problem with this; bribing children to read is evil, they say. Some people, like myself, don't care how you get a child to read, as long as the end result is the child has read when you might not otherwise done so.

There's a theme every year, with a clever title and accompanying decorations and themed prizes; Blast off with Reading, Read around the Seasons, etc. That stuff is great when the kids are young and easily swayed by a plastic ruler or some fuzzy stickers and the chance to scrawl your name on a star that will hang from the ceiling of the children's room.

I think (and this is just from my experience working in the children's room at the local library) that fourth grade is the telling year - it separates the bribed readers from the natural readers. The kids who are bored with superfifcial prizes wander off, never to darken the insides of the library again that summer. The kids who read for pleasure, who find treasures within the words of a good book, will still sign their stars every week, prize or no prize.

So how do you get the children that think reading is a chore to change their minds? How do you entice them to open a book? It's a tough challenge, getting a a child like that to find enjoyment in reading. I know, I have one.

The American Library Association has a series of Read posters, using celebrities or famous fictional characters to open kids to the idea that reading can be a wonderful thing. I saw this poster, featuring DC Comics superheroes and realized that solution was here all along. Here, meaning the bookshelves in my own house, which are crammed full with graphic novels and comic books amongst the classic literature.

I started DJ with the book Strange Stories for Strange Kids by Art Spiegelman. After he finished that he started asking for comic books. He likes the superhero stuff; Justice League, Spiderman. He's reading. What difference does it make that he's reading his words on pages of color and ink, the dialogue in word balloons? To some, it makes all the difference in the world; there are people who will never accept comic books as actual reading material. To me, it makes no difference at all. He's reading. He's interested in something that doesn't have a controller. He's discovering characters and other worlds and he's enjoying it.

There are a million ways to get kids to read. Using comic books is just one of them. Using their heroes as reading role models is another. If fuzzy stickers and plastic rulers work for your kid, then more power to trinkets. You could read aloud and make the funny faces and silly noises necessary to convey the fun of making a story come alive.

Comic books and bribes are what works for my kid. This gets me stares, looks of horror and the shame, shame wagging of fingers in my face from library purists, who think 10 year old boys should spend their summer reading Huckelberry Finn because they want to. I get parents who sit around at Little League games bragging that their daughter, at nine, has already finished the entire Harry Potter collection or mothers who claim their ten year old sons spend every waking minute reading biographies of great Americans and when I tell them that my son is clamoring for the next issue of Young Justice, or that I'm reading Neil Gaiman's Sandman aloud to my daughter, they roll their eyes and shake their heads and I'm sure they are thinking about calling the Library Police to come and confiscate my card and my right to choose my son's reading material.

He's reading. He's going to finish the summer reading program this year. And frankly, Mrs. PerfectScholaryDaughter, I'd rather have my kid whiling away the summer with characters fighting for truth and justice than reading MaryKate and Ashley's Adventures in Using Cuteness to Get Away With Causing Trouble.

[addendum: I should have clarified that the trouble lies not with DJ's reading skills - he reads and comprehends on a 6th grade level and he's in 4th grade - the problem is that he just has no desire to read anything but what is required of him in school]

June 15, 2003


Natalie and DJ gave Justin talking Hulk hands for Father's Day. Everyone fought over them.

[click for biggie size/mouseover for description]

Stepfathers need Father's Day loving, too!

retrovertigo: not yet ready for prime time, but sort of ready

I'm still trying to come up with a design and look for retrovertigo.net, but meanwhile I'll be posting some of my older photo essays, which will be the mainstay of that site.

So, it's an opening of the site, but not yet a grand opening.

psa: call your father today

This is my third Father's Day as a blogger, so I've done all the tributes already, to my father, Grandpa Joe (my mother's father) and Grandpa Al (my dad's father).

So I'll just say Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there and give you a few words of parenting wisdom from the ultimate in television fathers, Homer Simpson:

homer21.jpgThe code of the schoolyard, Marge! The rules that teach a boy to be a man. Let's see. Don't tattle. Always make fun of those different from you. Never say anything, unless you're sure everyone feels exactly the same way you do.

Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose: it's how drunk you get.

Kids, you tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.

Lisa, if you don't like your job, you don't strike: you just go in every day and do it really half assed. That's the American way.

Kids, just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening!

When I look at the smiles on all the children's faces, I just know they're about to jab me with something.

I never apologize Lisa, I'm sorry but that's just the way I am.

Marge, don’t discourage the boy. Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals … except the weasel.

I won't lie to you, fatherhood isn't easy like motherhood.

June 14, 2003

just a random photo

Going through old disks tonight, I found this photo of my nephew David, taken when he was about 9 months old (he's 2 1/2 now).

I just love this picture. We didn't call him Buddah Baby for nothing.

[click for biggie size]

burn, baby, burn


In better, more refreshing news, I discoverd that mixing Peach Snapple Iced Tea with Bacardi Gold makes one hell of a drink.

media moments

So DJ's second game was - suprise - rained out. We had ourselves quite a summer storm for an hour or so. They would have had to swim around the bases in order to play.

So instead, I dropped DJ back off at his dad's and came home to do that watching tv in our underwear thing. We watched The Big Lebowski, again. Best line from that movie:

The Dude: And, you know, he's got emotional problems, man.
Walter Sobchak: You mean... beyond pacifism?

Then we watched Last Comic Standing. They tried to give it that American Idol feel, with guest judges and personal glimpses of the contestants. Note to producers: When people tune in for a comedy show, they want to laugh. They don't want to hear about one woman's dead husband and her quest to turn her wedding bands into a necklace, another woman's divorce or the tale of the immigrant who grew up in poverty. The dude cried!

Plus, I never liked Buddy Hacket, who was one of the judges. And that Joe Rogan dude (from News Radio) is an asshat.

During commercials we tortured ourselves by watching Attack of the Clones. Now that was funny, in a "I'm laughing at you, George Lucas, because if I didn't just laugh at the horror of this movie, I would be raking razor blades over your testicles" way.

There's a reason I'm number one on Google for George Lucas is a fuckwad. And, as I said in that particular entry on Google,:

Damn you, George Lucas. Damn you for that and damn you for the ewoks and damn you for not letting it rest after Jedi.

always wear sunscreen

They won. They actually won a playoff game.

Final score: Sir Speedy 11, Prescription Headquarters 7, Me - one mean sunburn.

I have to head back to the field in an hour for their second playoff game today.

DJ will be pitching part of the game. By cramming two playoff games into one day, not only did they piss off a lot of parents, but they screwed up the pitching rotation. So my son will come to the rescue even though he hasn't pitched in over a year.

I hate watching him pitch. Hate it. It's nervewracking.

Anyhow, I'll be back at some point tonight, suburn and all.

break in the action

You know what they say about the best laid plans...they get shot to hell with one phone call.

Today was going to be that hanging around, watching movies in our underwear, sitting happily at the keyboard sort of day. Too bad the Little League playoff game from last night was rescheduled for 1pm today. And if DJ's team wins, they play again at 5pm. Not a likely scenario, considering they were 3-9 on the season and their play got more lackluster as the season grew on and rainouts outnumbered actual played games.

I guess I won't be beating myself up over trying to get this site looking good. At least it's not raining for a change. I really thought I was going to see an ark float by soon.

I totally would have saved the unicorn, you know.

Hey, while I'm gone, go to the post below and make up a limerick/haiku for Treacher's birthday.

a treacher feature

There are very few people in the blogosphere who have made me laugh as much as Jim Treacher has.

Jim is a good guy with a big heart and I don't think he would mind me telling you that. He's also a good guy to have as a friend and sometimes people abuse that good quality in a person.

Enough of the sappy stuff. There's a reason I'm telling you this. Today is Jim's birthday. He's had a pretty rough week. Hell he's had a pretty rough month, maybe even year. He's put up with a lot of bullshit and he still had enough good humor left in him to make me laugh out loud every single day.

Go over and say happy birthday to him. Give him a few whacks on the ass if you must, or tell him he looks like a monkey and smells like one too, but just give him good wishes when you're done with all that.

Or you can sign this card and we'll give it to him at the office party at Blogosphere headquarters. I'll bring the gin.

[his comments seem to be fritzy at the moment, so you can leave your birthday wishes for him here, and I'll see that he sees them]


Hey, it was the best I could come up with on short notice.

Have a good one, Jim.

daydreams of a wannabe trillionaire

Well, I didn't win 110 million dollars in the mega-million drawing last night.

Too bad for you, because I was going to fly every one of you to my private island for a whole summer of hedonism. Maybe next time.

Justin and I were talking last night about what we would do with all that money (yes, minus taxes and such).

Most people would dream of vacations and new cars and college tuitions paid in full.

Not us. Instead, we dreamed up our mansion. Not really the whole mansion, just a wing of it.

The wing would consist of two rooms. The home theater/enertainment portion, which would be complete with an actual movie theater and a game room filled with all kinds of arcade games plus every gaming system known to man, each with its own large screen plasma television screen and, of course, an air hockey table.

The other portion would be under lock, key and armed guard at all time. There would be our sanctuary. Walls of bookshelves lined with comic books and graphic novels. Trophy cases filled with action figures (none of them in their original packaging, all of them available to be played with, like they were meant to be). A drawing table for Justin, a writing desk for me. Not suprisingly, it would be called our Fortress of Solitude.

None of this silly tax shelters and investments and buying land and stocks with my millions. I want to live while I'm still alive, thank you.

Daydreaming sure is nice.

to sum up my view on the roadmap to peace

Some things are changeless.

People love, and die, they dream, destroy, despair, go mad.

They fulfill their destinies, live out the course of their lives.

We fulfill our function, as they fulfill theirs.

That will not change.

.........................~Despair, in Neil Gaiman's Brief Lives

June 13, 2003


I decided to take my hex off of Roger Clemens because the race is so tight and I'd rather see my Yankees win then see Clemens suffer the fate he deserves. I love the Yankees more than I despise him. So Clemens finally got his 300th win and that albatross is no longer hanging around.

Clemens also got his 4,000th strikeout tonight after striking out the side - all three Cardinals going down swinging - in the first inning.

Clemens is, no doubt, a great, hall-of-fame pitcher. My feelings for him, personality wise, do not take away from my admiration of his pitching skills. I'm watching the celebration taking place on the field at Yankee Stadium right now and I can't help but smile.

Congratulations on your 300th win, Roger.

I still hate you.


No matter how much you're drinking, Mambo Number 5 never sounds good.

Though Dio's Holy Diver holds up pretty good.

So does Bye-Bye-Bye. I swear, I'm waving my hands in the air like I just don't care.

I think Justin just disowned me.

part 4: the stand

Oh, wow. The radio is good tonight.

Does anyone remember The Alarm's The Stand?

I thought it was the coolest song because 1)It was about the Stephen King book of the same name and 2)Mike Peters had the spiffiest hair ever.

I saw the Alarm live three times. The last time was at the Pier in NYC. There were bleacher seats - literally bleachers - and my friend fell through them when he stood up during the encore. Smash, right to the bottom. He got up, bloodied and battered and enjoyed the rest of the show. Then we walked all the way to Penn Station in the pouring rain with him hobbling on one good leg.

Man, those were good times, when a little pain and a lot of rain were no deterrents to having fun.

Anyhow, this song is still damn cool.

Oh I have been out searching with the black book in my hand
And I've looked between the lines that lie on the pages that I tread
I met the walking dude,religious, in his wom down cowboy boots
He walked liked no man on earth
I swear he had no name (had no name)
I swear he had no name

Come on down & meet your maker
Come on down & make the stand
Come on down, come on down,
Come on down & make the stand.

As I crawled beneath the searchlights
Looking through the floorboards of this life
I met Doctor Strangeloves cousin
He bore the marks of time
"Hey! Trashcan where you going boy
Your eyes are feet apart
Is that the end you're carrying Shall I play the funeral march" (play the march)
"Play the funeral march"

Come on down & meet your maker
Come on down & make the stand
Come on down, come on down,
Come on down & we'll make the stand.

Come on down & meet your maker
Come on down & make the stand
Come on down, come on down,
Come on down, we'll make the stand.

When I looked out the window
On the hardship that had struck I saw the seven phials open
The plague claimed man and son
Four men at a grave in silence With hats bowed down in grace
A simple wooden cross,
It had no epitaph engraved (it had no)
It had no epitaph engraved.

Come on down & meet your maker
Come on down & make the stand
Come on down, come on down,
Come on and make the stand

Come on down & meet your maker
Come on down & make the stand
Come on down, come on down,
Come on down, & we'll make the stand

part 3: Andy Gibb gave me blisters

I guess I've gone from buzzed to drunk, because I just sang Andy Gibb's I Just Want to be Your Everything to my husband.

He blushed. Heh.

This song was huge when I was in junior high. One day we were at the beach, listening to the radio. Some deranged DJ was hellbent on getting fired and played nothing but that Andy Gibb song for his entire shift. Of course, I was in heaven. Ohhh, Andy Gibb! Over and Over!

I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I had sun poisoning. That was back in the day when we actually slathered ourselves in baby oil before laying in the sun. Who knew that one day our vain quest for a sunburn would come back to haunt us in the form of panicking every time we see an unfamiliar blotch on our skin? I'm still waiting for that day - the day of my only bad sunburn ever - to take its toll on me.

Anyhow, that's how Andy Gibb gave me blisters on my skin.

my taste has become cumbersome

Everything is different when you've got a good buzz going. There's no such thing as a bad song. I'll sing to anything, basically.

Right now, Everclear's Santa Monica is on. I always hated Everclear and that freaky looking Art guy. But with a few Swirlspice drinks under my belt, and the giddiness of it being the Friday of a very free weekend, I catch myself singing along, happily.

I wonder if I'll still want to sing it when I'm not half in the bag.

See, the thing about Friday night blogging is, no one is listening, so I can just sit here and talk to myself while my husband shoots rubberbands at me.

I'm livin' large, I tell ya.

Ohh, here's a song I like even when I'm sober.

She calls me Goliath [corrected] then I wear the David mask
I guess the stones are coming too fast for her now
You know, I'd like to believe this nervousness will pass
All the stones that are thrown are building up a wall

I have become, cumbersome to this world
I have become, cumbersome to my girl

I'd like to believe we could reconcile the past
Resurrect those bridges with an ancient glance
But my old stone face can't seem to break her down
She remembers bridges and burns them to the ground

I have become, cumbersome to this world
I have become, cumbersome to my girl

Too heavy, too light, too black or too white
Too wrong or too right, damn tonight
Too rich or too poor, she's wanting me less
And I'm wanting her more
The bitter taste is cumbersome
No, yeah, no no no, yeah...

There is a balance between two worlds
One with an arrow and a cross
Regardless of the balance, life has become cumbersome

Too heavy, too light, too black or too white
Too wrong or too right, damn tonight
Too rich or too poor, she's wanting me less
And I'm wanting her more
The bitter taste is cumbersome
No, yeah, no no no, no no no, yeah, no no no, yeah...

Your life has become cumbersome

fashion statement

What will the stylish, sexy blogger be wearing this summer?

No idea, but I'll be wearing this:


Because Frank told me to.

part 2: what song is you want to hear?

The Netscape Radio station I'm listening to is playing Freebird.

There was a time when Freebird was an anthem of sorts. Back when I had no taste in music. Not that I do now.

When I was in high school, back in the dark ages, country-rock was a big thing. You know, Charlie Daniels, Outlaws, Marshall Tucker, that type of music. And the everpresent Lynyrd Skynyrd, which all posers spelled Leonard Skinnard.

Man, I knew that whole guitar masterpiece at the end by heart. Too bad I only played air guitar.

Lord knows I cant cha-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ange....

So there was the inevitable time that I was standing on a picnic table during one of our cut-out days, fingers flying, teeth gritted, real guitar action, except I had no guitar. Yea, I fell off the table. I sort of flew, I think my arms actually tried to flap. I landed with a thud on the dirt and stayed there for the rest of the day.

At least my guitar didn't break.

memories of my hallucinogenic youth, part 1

Apparently the Swirlspice drink has the same effect as pot, because I'm listening to Pink Floyd.

I once listened to Shine on you Crazy Diamond for three hours straight. I sat on a beanbag chair - no, melted into the beanbag chair - at Mary Anne's house and stared into space that whole time. I think I had an out of body experience.

Perhaps my spirit was just sick of the song and decided to take off in search of a better music selection.

I wonder if it ever came back.

so, what do you want to do tonight?

I've decided to go with the Swirlspice (rum, vodka, milk, coke). I don't imagine I'll be drinking too many of these. But they are good.

I've had a run of trackback pings from lefties today, for various different posts - some of them quite old. Were asmallvictory.net links on sale at the moonbat gift shop?
Oh, and note to specific person: Flocci non facio. Either Caput tuum in ano est or Podex perfectus est. Same thing, really.

Refill time.

screw you guys, i'm going home

You people are killing me. I want to get a nice buzz on, not burn a hole in my stomach.

I'll go home first and then run to the liquor store later. Come up with something that won't taste like ass (Unless it tastes like Andy's ass, which is really sweeeeet).

friday fun: the blogger drink menu

Ok, so it's finally Friday. Which means I ignore the Middle East and Iraq and whatever else is going to get my blood pressure going and I concentrate on fun.

This is the first weekend in ages that I don't have a gazillion things to do, people to see and places to go. The kids are off to their dad's at 5. DJ's playoff game tonight has been cancelled. Justin promised that I could have the night to myself before we spend the rest of the weekend in our jammies, watching movies and reading comic books and not leaving the house once.

So now the dilemma. I'm done with tequila. For real, this time. I want something interesting to drink. We were thinking of white russians, in honor of Lee from Hawaii who sent me The Big Lebowski DVD. Thank you Lee! And no, white russians have nothing to do with Hawaii, it's just what Jeff Bridges drank in the movie.

Here's where you come in. Create an alcoholic drink in your name. It's the Blogger Drink Menu! Make the drink say something about you, your personality or your blog. The name of the drink should be your blog's name or, if you don't have a blog, your name.

I'll make a drink menu/recipe poster of all the drinks created and I'll pick one to drink tonight.

All entries should be in before 4pm EST - at least to be eligible to be tonight's drink of choice - so I can stop at the liquor store on my home for the necessary ingredients.

Bottom's up!

a great day in blogdom

At long last, Dr. Frank has a new home. Don't know when the grand opening is, but go take a peek and feast your eyes on yet another Blogspot migrator.

Another fine blog, Tightly Wound, has left the confines of Blogspot also. You can now find her at Bigarmwoman.com.

Oh, and another. Kymberliey Swygert's Number 2 Pencil has joined the Blogpsot jihad and can now be found here.

Friday Freaks roundup #1: What's the matter with kids today?

I'll tell you what's the matter with kids today: adults. I've got a rogue's gallery of bad parents, bad pastors, and bad school systems as evidence.

  • Babysitter found dead, but kids thought she was just "passed out" because they've seen their mommy passed out before. The babysitter overdosed on the mom's liquid methadone.

  • Investigators have closed a group home for troubled boys while they check reports that residents dumped a housemate into a septic tank and forced him to sit without pants on a fire ant mound. The victim was 13. [link fixed]

  • Police department allows a sex-offender to host a McGruff Safe House for children.

  • Mom uses stun gun to punish 13 year old daughter for using computer.

  • Young girl is terrorized by church members in the name of religion.

  • Mom arrested after throwing hotel liquor party for 8th graders.

  • Mom's shoplifting spree goes bad, leaves seven year old daughter behind to face cops.

And there's issue one of the Friday Freaks roundup.

day by day

click for bigger image

If you're not reading Chris Muir's Day by Day, you're missing out on the opportunity to say "I was reading him back in the day," when he becomes world famous.

Today's strip resembles many conversations I've been involved in regarding video games.

Yes, I was around back in the age of Oddysey and Atari and Vic20, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Strom Thurmond was just a little tike.

last word

To whom it may concern,

Thanks for the apology, but I can think of at least one person who deserves that apology more than I. In fact, I can think of two.

Let me know when you take care of that, ok? Thanks.

home made superstitions

I saw Friday the 13th when it opened in the movies theaters on, yes, a Friday the 13th. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was in June. You know, just in time for camp season.

f13.gifSo here it is, another Friday, June 13th and every morning show on television and radio will be talking about superstitions and bad luck and all the things that can befall you on this most unfortunate of dates.

I was never one for superstitions, except for the "step on a crack, break your mother's back," and that was more about fear of my mother's wrath than anything else.

I'm not afraid of black cats crossing my path and walking under a ladder doesn't bother me. Superstitions are all about cause and effect; if you do this, that will happen, and I could never see the causal relationship between breaking a mirror and having crappy things happen to you for x number of years.

Perhaps if superstitions were based more on reality I might be inclined to believe them. Toss a baby in the air a few times and he will eventually puke on you, so remember, it's bad luck to toss a baby in the air! No, I guess that doesn't hold the same power as if a bird flies into your house, it's a sign of impending death.

Ok, so I do have a couple of superstitions, but they are of the home-made variety, borne of some ridiculous, deep-rooted fear of my own making.

I used to close my eyes when driving over a bridge. This worked well when I was a passenger. As a driver, it causes all sorts of problems. The only reason I close my eyes is because I'm afraid of the water and if I look at the water, then it will know I'm afraid and it will use it's mystical magnetic pull to drag my car towards its great, gaping mouth, swallowing the bridge, the cars and all the people whole. So, as you can see, it's easier to just not look at the water and closing your eyes tight is really the best way to do that.

Another one of my home-grown superstitions is don't look in the bathroom mirror after you've already been asleep and you've gotten up to pee. See, I watched this show once when I was younger. It must have been Night Gallery or another anthology horror/sci-fi show like that. In one episode, a woman gets up during the night to go to the bathroom. When she looks in the mirror, it's not her image she sees, but that of a woman from the Revolutionary War. Or it might have been the Civil War, I really don't remember. Either way, this chick was seeing ghosts in her mirror instead of her own haggard 3am reflection, and while that may actually be a good thing for some people (wow, I never looked so *hic* good in the middle of the *hic* night!), it was a terrifying thought for me.

So, of course the next night I got up to go to the bathroom and not only did I see a war taking place in the background of my mirror image, where the towel rack should have been, but I saw myself, dressed in the garb of whatever century I was hallucinating, and I was talking to me! I clearly remember running into my parent's room shouting "My reflection is doing something different than me!" And I clearly remember my mother telling me to shut up and go back to bed.

I started carrying a flashlight to the bathroom with me at night, so I didn't have to turn on the lights and see myself looking like Scarlet O'Hara. So that was another home made superstition; Don't look in the bathroom mirror at 3am.

It's only a date, right? It's just the way the dice rolls on this calendar of our that this Friday happens to be the 13th day of the month.

Except I woke up late today, the alarm clock having fallen between the cushions of the love seat in my bedroom, its beep-beep-beep muffled. And then there was no coffee. Clean out of coffee, the horror! And I've got these mind-numbing cramps. And it's pouring, yet again and I left my car window slightly open last night. Chalk this stuff up to stupidity and nature.

Or, perhaps, the onus of Friday the 13th?

June 12, 2003

a pox on Lileks! (but not a monkeypox)

I'm pissed at James Lileks.

When I asked for suggestions for driving cds the other day, he suggested Kraftwerk's Autobahn.

That made me think of Kraftwerk's Tour de France.

And now, that song has been stuck in my head since then, the needle stuck on the same thing over and over, that thick, barely legible voice singing, Tour de France, Tour de France.

I Curse you (yes, curse with a capital C, which makes it a really big curse), James Lileks. May you get stuck in huge traffic jam next to a guy with big hair and spandex who is playing Sister Christian at full volume on his massive speaker system. On repeat.

one last link before i go dream about dead birds

Kevin Parrott has the last word on all things catfight related.

morford moments

From now on I will just give you the readers's digest version of Morford's column instead of wasting my time and yours by reprinting his juvenile prose.

Today's column, in two sentences:

Bush would be a better president if Monica Lewinsky was going down on him.
Clinton was a great president because he's a sex addict.

See, now you don't even have to read it or try to decipher it. It only took a short recap to reiterate the well known fact that Mark Morford is living in an alternate reality.

the octodog: how did I ever live without it?

I swear, I do not make this stuff up. This one, I just stole from Ron.

May I introduce to you, the Octodog.

What, may you ask, is the Octodog? Well, I'll tell you.

The Octodog is a device that slices a hot dog up so it comes out looking like a....go ahead, guess....an octupus! Get it..octodog?

it's porn - it's a sexual aid - it's octodog!The hotdog is among the top ten items found in many lists concerning choking occurrences in young children. Pediatricians recommend slicing a hotdog linearly. The method of slicing a hotdog linearly can reduce the chances of choking during consumption. A sliced hotdog is a safer way to serve hotdogs to children. Octodogs are not only fun, but may be a safer way to serve hotdogs. Use Octodog’s Frankfurter converter and create Octodogs to add fun to any blah blah blah.

So folks, remember this: It's not a dildo. It's not a vibrator. It's not a really kinky way of acting on your animated hot dog character fantasies.

It's just a marketing tool to make parents feel guilty about using a regular old knife and fork to cut up their hot dogs.

Bad mom! What do you mean your children aren't using the Octodog? You cut your hot dogs into tiny pieces like that instead of in a linear fashion? I'm calling social services!

Seriously, if you buy one of these things I am going to come to your house and smack you upside your head.

I bet you own a bread de-cruster, too.

dinner conversation

Nat: Mom, what's for dinner?

Me: It's too hot and humid to cook.

DJ: Ok, I'll just have ice cream.

Nat: I'll have a Pop-Tart.

They both look at me expectantly.

Me: Fine.

Their eyes widen. They run before I can change my mind and grab their selected dinners.

Two minutes later I feel guilty.

Me: Hey guys? Make sure you have a glass of OJ or milk with that dinner, ok?

There, much better.

he does not stand alone

Scott stands with Israel.

I stand with Scott.

Go, read. Now.

big pimpin' in the middle school parkin' lot

Last week, I picked Natalie up from school when she had to stay late for extra help. As I sat in my car in front of the school waiting, I couldn't help but stare at the young girls hanging out on the school lawn.

No, no, not like that. I was staring in horror. Thongs sticking out of their low cut pants, shirts that were cut off just below their newly formed boobs, ass cracks peeking out from too-tight jeans and t-shirts emblazoned with the Porn Star logo.

My mother often chastises me for letting Natalie go to school in baggy pants and sweatshirts. If mom only knew what the other girls were wearing, she probably wouldn't mind Natalie's outfits at all. I'd prefer she dress down then dress like a ho.

So imagine my surprise when I spotted this article over at Nancy's:

County Commissioner Curtis Adams said a county school principal was wrong in barring several students from taking part in an eighth grade graduation because they were "overdressed."

Like Nancy said, shouldn't we be rewarding the kids who are fully dressed these days? Especially in this age of pop idols who practically bare it all on stage and screen, I hardly think overdressed is something to punish kids for.

Look at the kids in question:


See the one on the right? The principal told him he looked like a pimp. A pimp. That's an eight grader, an honor student, getting that attitude from his principal.

What the hell is wrong with our school system that we hear stories like this everyday, principals and teachers who haven't a clue as to what a good education really involves.

It certainly doesn't involve punishing kids for being dressed up nice. Personally, I'd rather have a son who dressed like a pimp than a daughter who dressed like a ho.

spreading out, spreading thin

Once in a while I actually do the things I say I'm going to do.

Retrovertigo.net is all mine and ready to go. I just need to come up with a design and I'll start posting my stories/essays/photo essays there, hopefully this weekend.

Next up is that comic blog I was talking about recently. I know Jason is in, he already made a super logo. Anyone else wants in on a very casual group comic blog, with no real guidelines and no minimum posting requirements, just let me know.

Also, I will NOT be doing the Banned Books Project this September, as I have for the past two years. If anyone wants to take it on, please say so, I have everything saved from two years worth of postings.

Two friends of mine got really good news today. I like good news days. They make me happy.

bring out your dead!

After a six month drought in the ATS Dead Pool, two people finally relented and died.

Of course, neither of them were my picks, but at least the action has picked up now and I don't have to go out and kill Ted Rall just to get the contest going.




There's a reason so many people outside of the blogosphere think that bloggers are narcissistic. I mean, take a look around the place. It's a vanity world filled with mirrors.

For some, blogging is nothing more than a way to get pats on the back, to get egos stroked, to build up some kind of mystical power field strengthened by a large following who slobber you with virtual ass kissing all of your living days.

It's a shame that some people are so hell bent on notoriety that they seek it out the wrong ways.

Courting controversy is unbecoming. It's painfully obvious when someone is engaging in controversry-baiting, especially if the person is not very good when it comes to be subtle, ironic, satirical or tongue-in-cheek.

I've been doing this for over two years. I've seen hoaxes come and go. I've seen frauds exposed. I've seen bloggers rise to the top and disappear and I've seen people who are excellent writers and thinkers struggle to get the readers they deserve.

So it pains me when someone uses their blog to expose their bitterness and lack of maturity at the expense of someone they once called a friend. It's only blogging, is always the refrain and No, it's not, is always mine. Somewhere out there is a real person typing at the keyboard. Some people would do well to remember that when trying to strike while the stats iron is hot. Think before you type. Whoever made up that saying sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me is an idiot. Words hurt more than anything, especially when the come from someone you once admired and and when those words are spread in a very public place.

A lot of people need to get over themselves. The blogosphere is only big enough for so many swollen egos. I'll just keep reading the narcissistic bloggers as long as they're funny or interesting. When you start using your site to overcome whatever shortcomings you have in your personal life by being mean-spirited and ugly, you're nothing more than an haggard bore.

caption contest/driving cd

I decided to just go ahead and pick the winners of the caption contest myself.

And the winners are....(drum roll)

1. its'sa vas rightcon wingspiracy.... Mike

2. Helen Thomas, 2001 - Collins


3. "Shortly after Dorothy broke into the Senate with a bucket of water..." - Xkot

Now, being that they all win a copy of my Be Quiet and Drive CD, I should list the contest I chose for that mix, all (with the exception of the first song) culled from your suggestions:

Deftones - Be Quiet and Drive
Breeders - Cannonball
Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod
Weezer - Surf Wax America
RATM - Sleep Now in the Fire
Pantera - Cowboys From Hell
Stereo MC - Connected
Sublime - Summertime
Spacehog - In the Meantime
LL Cool J - Goin' Back to Cali
Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down
The Clash - Train in Vain
Allman Brothers - Jessica
Dixie Chicken - Little Feat
Highway Star - (Johhny9k suggested this, but I'm going with the Faith No More version)

Thanks for all your suggestions, and please drop a note in the comments if you want a copy. I'll ask for your addresses when I actually get the cd made this weekend.

And then I'll stalk you like the crazed mofo I am.

for the birds part 2: Isn't it ironic?

No less than ten minutes after I posted that entry about killing all the birds in my yard, I walked outside the courthouse for some fresh air.

And there was a pigeon. With a broken wing. He was hobbling around, tilting his head quizzically at me. Why can't I fly anymore? Can you please help me? Yes, that's what he was saying, I know it.

Now I feel guilty about wanting to kill the birds because here before me is this sad, dying creature who wants nothing more than to be able to fly again and possibly attend bird bachelor parties.

So Bonnie and spot a court officer in the parking lot.

Hey, can you help out this bird?
Sure, I'll go find a cat.

Ha ha. So we go inside and tell the court officers at the desk about the bird. I implore them to shoot the pigeon and put it out of its misery. The one officer gives me a speech, reciting from the court rules and regulation about using a firearm to harm an animal, which you can't do unless said animal (that includes birds) is putting a human being in imminent danger.

He tried to peck me, I swear.
A bird with a broken wing trying to peck you while you're standing ten feet away from him does not count as imminent danger.

We ask the other officer to go save the bird.
He says he will just kick it a few times and it will be dead soon enough.

He goes out and shoves his foot toward the pigeon. The bird takes off, broken wing and all, but falls down almost immediately, on top of a clerk who was sitting on the bench having a cigarette.

Imminent danger! I cry.
Not quite.

So now I'll be sitting here all day thinking of that poor bird just waiting for the hands of death via a stray cat or errant car tire to end it all.

Karma is a bitch.

for the birds

bird-mailbox.gifMaybe it's because I dreamed about the world being on fire last night, or maybe it's because when I wasn't dreaming about armageddon, I was being awakened by 53 different species of birds who decided to throw a raucous party outside my window last night, but I am in one hell of a crappy mood today.

Maybe it's the cloud of death that is hanging over the world right now. Maybe it's the unsettling feeling of impending doom that smacks me in the face every time I find something to be happy about.

No, it's the birds.

I officially hate birds. We've got them all; crows, seagulls, owls, pigeons, whatever those brown birds are and whatever those othe brown birds are. We have the occasional sighting of a bluejay or a cardinal, but that doesn't make up for the lower class of birds who hang out in my yard. It's like bird ghetto.

So last night they had a party. I'm assuming it was a bachelor party. I could tell because eventually wolf whistles replaced bird calls. These birds hooted and howled all night long, letting up only when the odd squirrel would jump down from the telephone wire and scare the crap out of them. And then there would be a hundred flapping wings all at once, like a thunderclap of feathers.

As soon as the rogue squirrel left, the birds would come back to their party, dragging even more strays in with them.

At one point there was a fight. From what I could tell, the wife of one of the birds showed up just as the stripper bird was about to give him a beak dance. There was a lot of screeching, feathers flying and I'm sure I heard a crow laughing. Probably as he was eating the remains of that poor husband.

The thing is, I wouldn't mind if they only threw parties once in a while. But this is a hearty bunch. Day and night, night and day, never a dull moment in the great oak tree by my bedroom window.

Maybe it's a frat house?

Well, things are about to get ugly. No, I'm not going to call the cops. Something tells me they would laugh. But I am going to get myself a BB gun. And I am going to break up that flock of seagulls and friends like Rambo in an aviary.

Tomorrow, the squirrels will feast on fratboy wings and breast of sparrow-slut. Maybe I'll invite the raccoons over as well.

Go ahead, call me a murderer, call PETA on me, I don't care. I am sick to death of these selfish birds disturbing my sleep. I'm tired of dreaming that crows with ten foot wingspans are pecking at my head. I'm tired of their whistles and hoots and tweets. And you know what? Birds don't even say tweet. Who made that shit up? They just scream in a shrill, high voice until another bird finally pays attention to them, and then the other birds screams back.

Maybe they're just doing a bird karaoke duet.

this post brought to you by sleep deprivation

more grant money being wasted

Oh boy, another incredible study!

Carrying a heavy load of textbooks in a poorly fitting backpack can teach a child lessons in bad posture, one study says..

The posture study found that kids counter the weight of knowledge by looking like they are staggering under it -- walking with their bodies bent forward and heads down.

You think?

In other research news, stabbing yourself repeatedly with a knife will result in blood loss and pain.


Caption contest choices, please. I'd like to announce the winner today.

I'm going to be late for work, again so just make yourselves at home until I get in. Coffee is ready.

Hey, Cam's got a contest, too!

Maybe Lair is onto something.

so who gets the game ball?

Q: How many Astros pitchers does it take to throw a no=hitter?
A: Six!

No, there's no real punchline and it's not even a joke.

scoreboard.gifNormally, when you are watching a no-hitter unfold, you watch in awe. You marvel at the pitcher's skill, no matter which team you are rooting for. It's a thrilling, dramatic thing to watch a no-hitter unfold before your eyes.

Except for last night. I would venture to say it was more a case of the Yankees having absolutely nothing at the plate than any of the Astros pitchers being masterful. It was sort of like watching a really bad movie just because you need to see the ending, no matter how ridiculous it will be.

And ridiculous it was. Six pitchers combine to keep the Yankees hitless. At Yankee Stadium.

It was an ugly night in baseball. (Except for the part where the Yankees management left a bottle of champagne in front of the lockers of each of the six pitchers.)

June 11, 2003

who you are says a lot about you!

Another one of those inane studies:

The music you listen to may say more about you than you think, according to new research findings that suggest that our choice in music reflects our personalities.

Do you enjoy blues, jazz, classical and folk music? You may be intelligent, tolerant and politically liberal, researchers report.

Meanwhile, country and religious music fans tend to be cheerful, outgoing, reliable and conventional, while alternative and heavy metal music lovers tend to be physically active, curious risk-takers.[empahsis mine]

Yep. Here I am, sitting at the computer, all slouched and comfortable. Maybe tapping my foot in time to the music counts as physicall active?

And hell yes, I take risks. Why just now I tucked my leg under my ass, knowing full well that if I stay that way too long, my foot will fall asleep.

I could do these studies with my brain turned off.

Hey, if you like the color black, you are probably moody and write poetry.
If you prefer coffee to water, you are probably full of energy and talk real fast.
If your favorite cartoon is Powerpuff Girls, you probably collect Hello Kitty paraphenalia and giggle a lot.
If your favorite website is drbizzaro.com, you probably don't have much of a social life and you use a lot of tissues.

See how easy that was? I didn't even need a government grant to do it.

via pejman

toren mad. you will not like toren mad.

Toren is still officially on hiatus, but he broke his fast for this one post, and it's a killer.

..the claim that because we haven't yet found vast quantities of WMDs does NOT "prove Bush was lying." If he was, then what about these people:

And then he lists quotes by Madeline Albright, Robert Byrd, Gore, The Clintons and much, much more. Hypocrites, one and all.

Read the whole thing, as they say.


I've got a secret.

Bookmark this page.

There's nothing there yet, but it will be there soon.

And you will rejoice.

Democracy. Whisky. Sexy. Moveable Type.

Those, my friends, are your inalienable rights.

Yes, that mp3 link is a hint. And he doesn't even know yet. It's a gift from Dean and myself..

Happy, Emily?

my laugh of the day

If any of you read Command Post often enough to be familiar with the regular commenters, you will find this hysterically funny.

Even if you don't know the people involved, you'll laugh because it can apply to just about any political weblog with comments.

there is no try

Well, I can't decide all by myself. The winner of the caption contest, I mean.

Make your votes.

But, before you do, witness this spectacular piece of artwork by The Nasty Bastard:


When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not. Hmm?

the buy nothing left: back in black

The anti-everything brigade has come up with some stupid ideas in their time (see, naked protests, Buy Nothing Day, primal screaming), but this new one has to be the king of all idiotic ideas:

Beware the black spot.

poster01.gifThis is the mark of the people who don't approve of Bush's plan to control the world, who don't want countries "liberated" without UN backing, who can't stand anymore neo-con bravado shoved down their throats.

Yes, a black spot.

It's like 666 for politics. Quick, check her back! Ewww she's got a black spot on her, throw the holy water of the rainforest on her!

On July 4th, you will see big black spots everywhere - covering bus stop ads and billboards, in the New York Times, on MTV and most likely defacing store windows and your car.

It stains the logos and smears the nerve centers of the world's biggest corporations.

Yea, sure it does. Because Sony and Universal and GM are all going to quake in fear at the sight of a bunch of greasy-haired kids in anarchist symbol t-shirts sticking black dots on walls.

Wait. Before you clamor for your big black spots, you have to take the secret oath:

Because my country has sold its soul to corporate power, Because consumerism has become our national religion, Because we've forgotten the true meaning of freedom, And because patriotism now means agreeing with the president, I pledge to do my duty . . . and take my country back.

And you will do this by putting stickers everywhere as far as the eye can see.

So, let me get this straight. The very people who complain that the economy is tanking are the ones who don't want you to buy anything.

Logic is not their strong suit, I guess.

Beware the black dot. Don't say I didn't warn you.

[Oh, and anyone who sticks a black dot on a piece of property that I own will have said black dot crammed so far down their throat they will shit out ink blots for the next ten years]

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take my Nike-wearing children to Friday's for a dinner of corporate-owned food.

and now for something completely different

The Monty Python-esque Carnival of the Vanities is now available over at Overtaken By Events..

Now take a silly walk over there.

caption/photoshop time

Have at it.

I had to hide the photo in the extended entry because I didn't want to frighten small children who may stumble upon this site.

So, caption, photoshop, do you whatever you want to the photo. Winner - to be judge by myself at whim - gets a copy of the Summer Driving CD I am on the process of completing (with your help of course)


[Thanks to Ken Summers for the photo]

and, as usual, if no one responds, the post will magically disappear as if it never existed.

someone doesn't know how to read a roadmap

The road map was doomed before it started. How can a map lead you anywhere when all the marked roads are piled high with bodies of innocent people?

Let's spot the flawed logic here. Israel guns for the leader of a terrorist organization that targets innocent civilians and Israel is reprimanded.

The terrorist organization guns for innocents and it's called retaliation.

Now, when Israel goes into Gaza and starts bulldozing the homes of Hamas leaders and members, they will be called murderers.

Hopes for the peace process faltered Tuesday after an Israel helicopter strike aimed at Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantissi, a move which drew criticism from the United States and the Palestinian Authority, and prompted threats of revenge from the militant Islamic group.

No, not really. Hopes for the peace process are faltering because Hamas has no hope for peace. Bargaining with an organization that prides itself on suicide bombings is never going to get you too far on the road map.

So Bush yells at Israel and the Palestinian Authority yells at Israel and here's yet another 16 innocent people killed and we'll just get the usual "Peace good. Suicide bombing bad," speech from world leaders denouncing the attack.

The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist. I'm cheering on Israel as they make every attempt to decimate the leadership of Hamas.

How many more bombings like this do we have to see before a light bulb goes on over someone's head and they say "Gee, I don't think Hamas really wants peace. Gee, I think maybe the Palestinians won't be happy until Israel no longer exists."

I reminded Natalie again last night as she studied for her history exam.

Q. Who is the leader of Palestine?
A. Ariel Sharon.

100 songs. 25 years. Lots of bad choices - part II

To continue...

I'd still like to know what you would pick as the number one song on your own list. As I was thinkign about that, it occurred to me that no "best of" list would be complete without Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart Again. And after thinking about it some more, I feel I can safely say that particular song would, indeed, be number one for me.

Of course, any "best of" list is subjective. Best is in the eye of the reader - or the ear of the listener as the case may be - and often a best of list of one person will be the worst of list of another and never the twain shall meet.

Well, not never. There are some things we can all agree on, right? I hardly think there is anyone who could argue the point for Madonna's ode to her religion-of-the-week, the pointless Ray of Light, for being on the list.

Even if it is number 100, surely in the last 25 years there were at least a hundred songs better than that techno train wreck.

As a matter of fact, I can come up with one for each year that was better than Ray of Light, Like a Virgin, Don't Speak, MMMBop, My Heat Will go On, Baby One More Time, I Don't Want to Miss a Thing, Don't Stop Believing, Are You Gonna Go My Way, Faith, Start Me Up, Iris, All I Wanna Do, I Want to Do, Hot in Here, Jack and Diane, I Can't Go For That, Enter Sandman and Come to my Window, all of which made the list. And these are only fairly popular songs, taken from singles charts for the given years - I didn't even dig into my personal collection. (These are not necessarily the best songs of that year, just songs that are better than any of the tunes listed above and should have had a place on the list instead).

1978: We Will Rock You/We are the Champions

1979: Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)

1980: You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)

1981: Say Goodbye to Hollywood (Billy Joel)

1982: Rock this Town (Stray Cats)

1983: Pride and Joy - (Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble)

1984: Sister Christian (Night Ranger) [Ok, not really, but you know my ugly fascination with that song]

1985: In Between Days (The Cure)

1986: West End Girls (The Pet Shop Boys)

1987: Dear God (XTC)

1988: Forever Young (Alphaville)

1989: Paradise City - (Guns N' Roses) [I was thisclose to saying Funky Cold Medina]

1990: Enjoy the Silence - (Depeche Mode)

1991: Wicked Game - (Chris Isaak)

1992: Would - (Alice in Chains)

1993: I Aint Goin Out Like That - (Cypress Hill)

1994: Fell on Black Days (Soundgarden)

1995: Possum Kingdom (Toadies)

1996: In the Meantime (Spacehog)

1997: Touch, Peel and Stand (Days of the New)

1998: Du Hast (Rammstein)

1999: I Am the Bullgod (Kid Rock)

2000: Bye Bye Bye, 'N Sync

2001: Drive (Incubus)

2002: The Whole World (Outkast)

You know, this took me so long to do (in between doing actual work) that I forgot what I was going to say after I compiled the list except that the quality of music on the charts has taken a steep nosedive into an empty swimming pool. That sound you hear is creativity dying a slow, painful death.

The Wachowski Brothers killed the spotted owls!

[Thanks to reader Carey for sending this along and spiking my morning blood pressure]

Meet Jennifer Horton. Jennifer is an idealist and college student in Georgia. Jennifer would like us all to stop going to movies and feed the world's hungry instead.

Rather than going to see "The Matrix Reloaded," "Daddy Day Care," "Down with Love" or one of the other many movies playing, people could instead donate their money to charity and make a huge impact.

See, Jennifer is upset that movies cost so much to make. She thinks the money could be better spent by feeding starving children in Africa or saving the rainforests or keeping the spotted horny owl from extinction.

While I feel bad about the trees and the kids and the owls and the homeless, I don't feel bad enough to forego entertainment in order to save the world.

I work hard for my money. Unlike that guy who sits in front of 7-11 every day, bumming cigarettes and asking for handouts, I go to work. I earn my living. I pay my taxes and contribute to society. I'll be damned if I am going to give up a night of escape in a movie theater so that guy can eat his next meal.

My eight bucks is not going to save the rainforest. I'm sorry for the butterflies that flap their wings and make the world go round, but rather than give my money to the Exotic Species of South America foundation, I am saving it for Terminator 3 and its special effects that probably cost millions of dollars to create. I will thank the makers of the movie for their fine product that enabled me to sit in a darkened theater for a while and not think about the Middle East.

Now, I'm not some anti-entertainment prude; I enjoy watching a well-made movie as much as the next person, but it does disturb me to see so much money invested in crashing a few cars just right when there are children all over the world who go to bed hungry, impoverished Africans without clean water and a multitude of people in Third-World countries suffering from disease.

Jen's idealism, charming in an "I'm so naive" kind of way, is also shortsighted. The hungry and impoverished in third world countries are that way because they have corrupt leaders. No matter how many movies you give up, no matter how many dollar bills you crumble into a ball and throw at those countries, those people will still be impoverished because their leaders will eat the money before they let it get to hands that will feed the poor.

See, it's not really Jen's idea to bring the world to greener pastures that bothers me. It's the fact that, like a true socialist, she wants to take away from those who have and spend it on those who don't.

Here is the most revealing passage, the way you can tell Jen is on the road to true moonbat stardom:

So the next time you head out to the movies, donate a few dollars to an important cause. That way, when you're sitting in the theater, hand in a bucket of buttered popcorn, eyes glued to the screen, you can rest easy and lose yourself in the state-of-the-art surround sound because you know you've done your small part to offset all the useless two-mile-loop freeways in the world.

Oh, I get it now! It's all about appeasing your own sense of guilt for having more than other people. In stunning leftish fashion, Jen gets to the heart of what her kind are all about: Self. They don't care about anyone's freedom or a country's food shortage. They just care about making themselves feel good.

Stage a protest and you can go home and rest in peace.
Stage a sit-in and you can read that book without your guilt haunting you.
Make a protest sign and you can go to bed with a smile on your face.

Nevermind if all your protests and idealism and petty donations don't amount to a hill of beans in the long run. As long as you did your part, no matter how small, you have appeased the flames of guilt in your soul with the sacrifice of your virgin humanitarianism.

I think I'll go see two movies this weeknd. Just to spite her.

June 10, 2003

100 songs. 25 years. Lots of bad choices.

[First in a series of three]

I just don't have the stamina to take on news blogging tonight. That train wreck of a Road Map to Peace makes my head hurt, anyhow. And I'm still catching up on the driving songs suggestions.

Good thing for me (and you) that I always feel like bitching about music.

VH1 has listed the 100 greatest songs from the past 25 years [link via that other blogger named Michelle who also has kids and thinks Michael Moore is an ass]. I think I'll grab a nice cold Killian's and sit myself down and jot down my thoughts about this. I think I feel another survey coming on, too.

Here's the full list.(Text file - opens on a new page)

UPDATE: Here's an MP3 treat for you, from the list. Radiohead- Creep (acoustic version)

Ok, down below, here we go.

25 years. We're talking a quarter of a century. In all that time, I would venture to say that there are a lot of songs recorded that were far better than a good portion of these tunes.

I don't know the criteria for what makes a great song, according to this list. Sales? Influence on a genre? Generational anthems? Well, I know what I like, and that's what I'm going by. Sort of.

I'm not going to cover them all - I'll leave that up to you if you wish. Feel free to debate in the comments about songs that should have been there but aren't and songs that are there but leave you pondering why.

Songs that I agree on:

1. Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit: The song made grunge. Regardless of whether you think the leaders of grunge were other, lesser known Seattle bands, Nirvana was the band that made the genre mainstream. And it is a damn good song, even if you don't know what the hell Kurt Cobain was going on about.

6. Run D.M.C., Walk This Way: No list covering the past 25 years would be complete without the song that brough rap to the forefront of the MTV generation.

19. Public Enemy - Fight the Power: It was an anthem for some, a shock to others and either way you saw it, you had to admit the song had people talking. Everyone, even old ladies, knew who Public Enemy was once this song hit the airwaves.

27. Grandmaster Flash - The Message: For months after I bought this record (12" vinyl), I went around repeating the verse don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge," and everyone sang along with me. It was catchy, it was lyrically tight and almost everyone knew the words.

38. The Clash - London Calling: Not my favorite Clash song, but the one song, besides Rock the Casbah, that made The Clash a household name. Great lyrics, great bass riff.

44. Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive: Is there anyone who has not gotten up on the dance floor at a wedding or in a bar and belted this one out? Is there anyone who has not cried this song out to themselves after a nasty breakup? You can't hear this song without relieiving all that turmoil all over again.

43. Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing: If you don't see this as one of the best of the last 25 years, you haven't gotten laid much.

66. Squeeze - Tempted: Damn, I used to love this band. Saw them three times. Played that one album to death. This is a great song, in every way. Lyrics that make you perform karaoke in the shower. A chorus that will make you cry if you're heart has ever been broken. A melody that lingers in your head for hours, and you don't even mind. By the way, this song comes from East Side Story but, in my humble opinion, Argy Bargy was a much better album.

75. The Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated: Many will argue that there are better Ramones songs, but aren't all Ramones songs basically the same anyhow? I mean that in the best possible way. Of all their tunes, Sedated is the one that will get everyone in the vicinity jumping around like lunatics when it comes on the radio.

83. Band-Aid: Do They Know It's Christmas?: You know, when you look at the lyrics to this song, you realize that they are pretty damn stupid. Even so, I dare you not sing when you hear this in the mall at Christmastime.

84. Radiohead - Creep: Yes, there are better, crisper, more complex Radiohead songs. But Creep is the anthem for all of us who have been shunned, stepped on, pushed aside and made fun of. It's also has a subtle, stalkerish vibe to it, some clinging desperation that's just right for a moody moment.

Let me explain that while I think Smells Like Teen Spirit should be in the top 100, I certainly don't think it's the greatest song to come out since 1978. That's something I have to put a lot of thought into.

So, I could only come up with 11 out of 100? No, I'm sure if I glanced again, there would be more I would be inclined to agree on, but these are the tunes I feel strongly about.

Part Two tomorrow, when I cover the worst of the list.

Now, what do you think the greatest song of the past 25 years is?

the parting of the red sea

To all the ladies:

There is a reason you don't wear tight sweatpants in public. Especially at school functions where young, impressionable children may be scarred for life by your cameltoe.

Let this be a lesson to you. You never know when some horrified person is standing by with a camera.

[click for bigger pictures, but don't say I didn't warn you]

The fashion police are always near.

die puny boobies!

The post you are looking for cannot be displayed.

Sorry, you missed it. The boobs were a one-time thing only, barring any future drunken blogging.

Meanwhile here's some other boobies for you.


TO: Hate mail senders, some commenters, some bloggers
FROM: The person who does not hate Andrew Sullivan (that's me, dorkass)
RE: The whole Andrew Sullivan thing and especially the email that stated "just because you have to shake your skanky ass on my dad's lap to make money,"

Yes, this is about Andrew Sullivan again. Sorry to bore you but it is necessary to review a few things here for the IQ-impaired.

1. My post was meant to be tongue-in-cheek and slightly humurous.
2. I harbor no ill will against Andrew. In fact, I stated that I like him.
3. I think he is a very talented writer and deserves to paid however salaries he is getting for his writing.
4. I actually donated to his last pledge week.
5. I never said anything about Andrew being a tax evader. People brought that up in the comments; I am not responsible for what they say.
6. In fact, I deleted several comments that were hateful towards Andrew. You can say whatever you want about me in the comments and I'll deal with it; don't start spreading hateful lies about someone else on my space. If you are all bitter and twisted, start your own site and use your own bandwidth to be an ass.
7. I do not begrudge Andrew his succes, not at all. I just want a taste of the pie.
8. Yes, I am jealous of him. Who isn't jealous of someone who can raise 80k like that?
9. I am not using my boobs to gain hits, readers or money. I already have two of the three with or without the gratuitous cleavage shots. The money, I make at my job, which does not require me to be naked or to sit on someone's lap and shake it, thankyouverymuch.
10. Nothing, I just prefer even numbers.

By the way, if anyone does donate to my tip jar, I promise to use the money to pay for lobotomies and/or shock therapy for several people.

be quiet and drive

Light blogging for today, it's the Fourth Grade Field Day. I get to sit outside all day watching kids participate in non-competitive games designed to inflict the least amount of self-esteem. At least they got a nice day to be outside - our first really beautiful weather day in ages.

So, summer is approaching and it's time for a new CD. I'm still enjoying the Spring CD so much, I made a copy for work and I thank you for all the wonderful suggestion.

I'm going to take a different route with the summer CD.

drive1.jpgThe one thing I love to do in the summer (besides sit in my air-conditioned house) is drive. There is nothing like the feel of the windows rolled down, zooming down the parkway with the south shore of Long Island - water, sand and sunset - forming the perfect scenery.

For a drive like that you need driving songs. Not necessarily songs about driving, though those are fine, but songs that pick up the feel of a good, long drive down a long stretch of scenic roadway.

Let's burn a cd for summer! (This time I will mail copies to anyone who wants).

these are the michel(l)es that blog

[see post here for reference]

Michele's Thoughts [she links to some of the same people as me!]
Minutiae [she blogs about dreams, she blogs about kids and she works on Long Island!]
Michelle Miles [she likes the Foo Fighters and she thinks Michael Moore is an ass!]
Michele Tepper [One L and she lives in New York!]
Michele and Andy [Hey, my secret lover is named Andy!]

I'm calling all of you out, posers!

Armageddon It

SOME say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

---Robert Frost

I had to memorize that poem in grammar school and I've never forgotten it. It wasn't until high school, however, that I got it. And really, no matter what you take from that little verse, you still end up with the same thing; thinking about the end of the world.

Martin Rees, Britain's honorary astronomer royal, has put the odds of the apocalypse at 50/50. It's almost laughable to read anything into that - isn't life or death a 50/50 chance every day, anyhow?

Does it really matter which way the world will end? Whether we go out with a bang - say, a bomb big enough to kill all of us, set off by some deranged Dr. Evil wannabe - or with a whimper - slowly dying off one by one via a mutant virus run amok - in the end we still die.

What's the use of speculating how or when the world will end? After all, people have been doing that for centuries anyhow.

When I was in high school, we were told the world would end in May of 1980. Something about the alignment of the planets causing massive tidal waves and earthquakes and mass destruction. I was pissed because graduation would be a month away at that point. Imagine going through your whole primary school career, only to have your final reward taken away by some stupid armaggedon?

Various End Days groups have announced the end of the world hundreds of times. The days would pass without incident, and a new date would be announced. Some of them said the earth would just blow up. Others claimed there would be a rapture, and just the good hearted souls would float up to nirvana, to live their second life in glory, while the rest of us stayed down here and turn the world into a Hell's Angel's festival, maiming and killing until we all just offed each other and there was nothing left but the charred remains of civilization.

Really, there's no good way for the world to end. I've seen enough armageddon movies to know that meteors and nuclear explosions would be painful and messy. Same with an ice age. I'd rather not freeze to death, thank you.

I envision the end to be not an end, but a new beginning, somewhat like The Stand, where survivors of whatever disaster befalls us split into factions and begin the divided earth all over again. Religious zealots here, heathens there.

Fire, ice, monkeypox, West Nile Virus, SARS, nuclear weapons, global warming, colliding planets, mad scientists accidently eliminating the gravity field, an army of clones run amok, Darth Vader blowing us up to prove a point to Ben Affleck as he tries to keep the moon from flying out of orbit - there's a million ways for our species to be silenced. None of them sound very promising.

Personally, I'd rather die at the hands of science than at the hands of hate.

June 09, 2003

spiders in my sleep

I have several different gaming systems in my house. I have a zillion games between the two computers.

Yet, what have I been playing obsessively for the past week? Spider solitaire. You know, the one that comes with Windows.

I can't win. I won't stop playing until I do.

I think there is a real live monkey living in my computer and he messes with my head by dealing me hands that cannot be won. He laughs at me as he deals all Aces in the first hand. I hear him. I hope he doesn't have the monkeypox.

(See, I can do the mundane things about me blogging, too! I'm so diverse!)


Ok, one more thing on Andrew Sullivan.

Several people have emailed me to defend Andrew, saying that his HIV medicine must cost a lot and he needs the money for that.

If he blogged about that and asked for money to help with his medication, I would have reached for my wallet immediately.

But it's not about that. He makes references to bandwidth, assistants, being paid to blog, etc.

And that's that about that. Now, I have to go run around the blogosphere to make sure that there are no other slightly Republican warmonger Yankee fans using the name Michele. Because that would be like, identity theft or something. Even if the person didn't know I existed until I sued their ass for ripping me off.

NOTE: Comments have been turned off on this particular post. Take your fighting elsewhere.

a little something for everyone

I realized that I have a fairly large gay male readership who may not be interested in boobies, and would not be swayed to contribute toward my goal of an Andrew Sullivan-ish $80,000 just to see some titties that would do nothing for them. And for those of you wondering where mine are, you'll just have to do a little scavenger hunt.

So, for both my gay male readers and my straight female readers (though most of the latter seem to like boobs, anyhow), I give you tonights gift of two cabana boys to dream about.

cabboy1.jpg cabboy2.jpg
Both images from Cabanaboyrum.com

Let's call them Jake and Jack. Which one would you like to nuzzle with?

Oh fine, here's something for the rest of you. And me.


self lovin' in the archives

It came to me that if I am going to link to other people's posts on a daily basis, there is no reason I can't engage in a little self-linkage.

Sometimes I spend a lot of time on a post, especially if it's a story and then I post a million other things and my story gets lost in the scroll zone.

So, I posted a decent (I think) story this morning, part of my Tales of my Wasted Youth genre.

And then I got to thinking, hey why not put all those tales in one place? So I am.

[I stopped halfway through doing this. I realized I have a whole year's worth of posts that aren't even in my archives. I have journal entries no longer online that I need to go through. And I'm doing this more for me, than for you, in my preparations for possibly making a book of all this stuff and also because my PMS "organize everything" mode has kicked in. I do not expect you to read all of them, especially if you already have.]

How I Brought Down Leo Sayer
Pinball Wizard
Red, Red Wine
Here's How to Order
Catholic Guilt - The Easter Version
The Embarassing Music of your Life
Blood, Guts and Driver's Ed
Skeletons in my Closet
Sucky Summer Jobs, #22 in a Series
Family of Fools
Hitler's Weenie
A Bird Named Keith
When I Grow Up

the vast left wing conspiracy

By now you know that All Along, Most Iraqi Relics Were Safe and Sound.

By now you know that there will be no retractions or apologies from the people who wanted Bush impaled on a stick for all the "looting" that took place.

Museum staff members had taken some of the more valuable items home and are now returning them.

The confusion arose, in part, because many of the museum's best pieces had been removed long before U.S. troops entered Baghdad, George said.

Come on guys, you can do it. Just three little words is all I need.

I. Was. Wrong.

Is that so hard?

it's a linkorama

I've got another backlog of stuff to link to. Enjoy.

L.T. Smash has a great OpEd on Command Post today: Living With America.

Today is the first day of the Biggest Losers in the Blogosphere. Although I forgot to send my stats in, I am playing along. I hope to lose 25 lbs by the end date.

Bryan's Lyric-a-Day is a rollin' with a fine first song courtesty of Fred. Note to Fred, we are breaking out the 'scopes this week.

Dean declared a jihad on BlogSpot and it's working. He got 18 bloggers to move off of that dreaded blight on mankind. Dean, I may need some help setting up Dr. Frank over here.

Speaking of which, by the end of this week, Dr. Frank will no longer be a Blogspot victim. Any day now, he will be tucked in safely with me.

Matt at Blogmosis is hosting this weeks Carnival. Get your submissions in before he publicly flogs you.

Deb of Insomnoniac informs me that her friend Diane is writing a book on mother-in-laws:

We're looking for stories where your MIL drives you a little crazy, aggravates/annoys you a bit (nothing mean). The book pokes fun and lends support to others suffering from "the mother-in-law syndrome."

We use pseudonyms to protect the guilty. In you're interested, PLEASE iNCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION (name & address) with any submissions so that we can send you a release allowing us to use your story.

All contact information will be held in the strictest confidence. Send your stories to mildew@mymildew.com. Thank you!

Happy Belated Venemous Birthday to Kate, who received a very special gift that I can only hope for some day.

If you have anything to add, feel free to drop a link in the comments.

cash cow

Andrew Sullivan is having a pledge drive again.

Six months ago, he raised $80,000 with his pledge drive.

Claiming he needs to make a salary of sorts if he intends to keep up the blogging, he is at it again.

So, let me get this straight. In six months, he blew $80,000?

I like Sullivan's blog. I like him, or what I know of him. But I think it's kind of strange that he is asking for money (paid subscriptions, kind of) to keep his blog up, meaning you are paying for the content you receive. Yet, by donating and allowing him to do this full time, you are also paying his salary. So not only are you a subscriber if you give, you are his boss in a way. Or at least a shareholder in AndrewSullivan.com.

I don't begrudge anyone having a tip jar; I have one. I don't begrudge anyone trying to make a living off of blogging; wouldn't that be nice? But I can't see holding a pledge week a mere six months after you pulled in that kind of loot.

I could entertain you as much as Sullivan can and for a far lot less in the wallet department. I have boobs, Andrew doesn't. I have personal stories about love, lust and drugs. Andrew doesn't. Andrew gets linked all the time by major media, so his blog is nice and professional. I never get linked by major media so I can be dirty and nasty and downright rude, making for much more fun content-wise.

I have kids who do stupid, bloggable things. I cover the major news in the tampon industry, I hex Roger Clemens right before your eyes and I give you songs to download and lyrics to sing. I also give you contests to win and games to play. Andrew doesn't do any of that.

Sure, his content is more intellectual than mine. Sure, his writing is clearer, his politics are more defined and his subject matter tends to be of world importance.

But I have boobs and mp3s. And really, what would you rather pay for - debates about the war and Hillary Clinton or games, music, sports, dirty limericks, sexual innuendos, stories of a very colorful life, boobs and mp3 and debates about the war and Hilary Clinton? Seriously folks, you're not getting your money's worth by throwing it at Sullivan again.

My tip jar is over to the right. I have two tip jars actually. And a wish list. I'll gladly quit my job and blog full time and take down the tip jars once and for all if, by some miracle, I end up with $80,000 by week's end.

Ok, so I have no illusion that blogging can become a full-time job with a decent salary. But I sure can hope for some extra cash to stock up on the tequila that allows me to get drunk enough to blog about boobs and Hillary Clinton in the same breath.

No, this isn't shameless begging. It's just my way of saying that I think Andrew Sullivan has a lot of nerve to ask for money again so soon after receiving more cash than some people make in a year at a labor-intensive job. And they still come home and blog some good shit every day.

I'm trying for righteous indignation today, but it's just not surfacing.

monday moonbat morford musings

Mark Morford, moonbat supreme, wonders why Muslim countries hate or mistrust Bush, as show in recent polls. He wonders why polls in France and Germany show Bush having about as many fans as smallpox.

Let me explain this to you slowly, Mark. It's not that these nations are more astute than others. It's not that they know something we don't or they are just so well-rounded on their scholarly views on world news that they are qualified to determine these poll results without prejudice or tainted views of the news. No, it's because they fear Bush. And with good reason.

"Dislike of the United States has really deepened and spread throughout the Muslim world," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center that oversaw polling.

It's not hard to figure out why. The participants in the Religion of Peace(tm) have come a long way in showing just how much they hate anyone who does not subscribe to their religion and culture. And those who don't take their Muslim religion to the extremes that a large portion of their brethen do have done little to stand up and denounce everything that is done in the name of Allah.

Every day, some radical Muslim group claims responsibility for an attack, a bombing, a threat. We have all but declared war on these heartless, soulless bastards. Of course they hate us. Of course they fear us. As well they should.

From the article Morford cites:

...majorities in seven of the eight predominantly Muslim countries surveyed said they think their nation will be attacked by the United States. In Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan, more than 70 percent of those questioned had this concern.

Well, how about a big old DUH!, Mark? Do you really think the people of Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan are getting unadulterated, uncensored, whole truth news, unfiltered with lies and propaganda? Sure, if I lived in a country where I was told every day that Bush hates us and will probably attack us, and if I had no other outlet for news besides the lies and suggestions that are thrown at me every day, then I would hate Bush as well.

Tainted polls is what they are. But I don't expect Morford to understand such a concept. When you write like you are in kindergarten, you must think along that level also.

Hey, I wonder who chaired that poll? Oh look, it's said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Charmed, I'm sure.

Back to Morford:

Seems no one can trust us as far as we can throw them over. Seems the vast majority of those polled think we're violent and dangerous and roguish and heartless and dishonest, so much so that a great many Muslim (read: gul-dang furriner evildoer) nations -- not to mention the Palestinians -- actually have a higher level of trust and respect for Osama bin Laden than our fair Shrub.

Morford really isn't the sharpest pencil in the box, eh? Let's spell this out very carefully for Markie, because, unlike the rest of the class, he can't seem to keep up with the lesson.

The Palestinians and most Muslim nations trust and respect bin Laden because they are just like him. They want to eradicate anyone who is not a Muslim. They want the world to convert to their religion. They want the United States to cease to exist, and that is not something new, it is not something only this administration has been subject to. See, it's not that they hate Bush, Markie. It's that they love and honor terrorism and suicide bombers hell bent on destruction and 72 virgins.

What I fear is people like Morford, who think we should just leave well enough alone and let the other countries in the world run their own affairs, untouched by U.S. hands. Markie Mark doesn't see that the end result of that will be annihilation for many countries. He doesn't see that letting sleeping dogs lie will only make those dogs stronger and bigger and that, eventually, they would leash upon us an act so hideous it would make 9/11 look like a garbage can fire.

Like a typical moonbat leftie, Mark doesn't care that other, smaller countries would be forced to subjugate to the Muslim factions that will become all too powerful if left alone to do their own thing. Mark only cares about his agenda, which is to make sure that Bush is hated the world over, to gloat about tainted polls and to say "I told you so," when WMDs are not yet found in Iraq.

Nevermind the freed people. Nevermind the freedoms popping up all over the place, like a myriad of newspapers and internet cafes and clothing choices and...life.

Oh, forget it. Morford will never get it, not until he puts his tinfoil hat on, enabling him to keep out the conspiracy theory lasers that the rest of the moonbat alliance is sending him.

I hereforeto promise to never, ever read one of Morford's columns again.


For those who so kindly asked, scroll down for wedding pictures. There will be more tonight.

topiary nightmares: another story from my wasted youth

I have a fear of topiary. I don't know if there's a name for it and no, it didn't come from reading The Shining, though that did make the fear worse.

Topiary, for those who don't know, is the art of shaping your hedges into creatures or other recognizable shapes.

One hedge on someone's lawn that is cut to look like Mickey Mouse may not bother me as much as a whole garden of bushes acting out a scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Let's put the wavy lines flashback special effect thing in here.

ssgorilla18037m.jpgIt was some time in the late 70's. Our weekend adventures as high school kids with nothing better to do often included trespassing on people's property. We would head out to the North Shore of Long Island and hop fences or duck under wires until we were in the massive yard of some great estate. There, we would drink beer and tell ghost stories until we passed out, one by one, on this rich person's lawn or tennis court and eventually we would be woken up by a security guard or the barking of a rottweiler.

One night a newcomer to our crowd, familiar with the lush landscape of the Gold Coast (as he was a Gold Coast resident himself), led us on an adventure. Through deep woods and over barely visible trails we hiked, passing the pipe and the beers and probably some Boonsfarm wine along the way, until we came to a small clearing. At the end of the clearing was a chain link fence. Climb it, he implored us. Eager to please this rich kid who had a pool large enough to accomodate all of us, and whose father bought us beer, we climbed the fence. As soon as the last of us had landed on the other side, we heard the barking. Not just one dog. Not just two. No, that was the ferocious, low growling of a pack of wild wolves who just smelled dinner.

We ran, with rich boy leading the way, around a winding path that surrounded the house. The dogs came ever closer and, trailing the dogs' yelping, was the sound of Mad Security Guy, who had been awaken from his drunken slumber to chase a bunch of punk teenage kids from the other side of the tracks.

The path ended at yet another fence. This fence protected us from a drop in the landscape. About tweny feet down or so were some bushes. Faced with the prospect of either being torn up by hungry dogs or being scratched up by some benign bushes, we scaled the fence and jumped. There was a hollow carved out underneath the bushes and we huddled there, shaking with fear and excitment.

We stayed there for what seemed like eternity, hushing each other and stifling nervous giggles. Eventually the dogs stopped barking and retreated, Mad Security Guy in tow. We waited ten more minutes and emerged from the hollow through a small, leaf covered tunnel that emerged in another world.

It was dark out, but the moon was full and we could see through its glow the outlines of what appeared to be hundreds of animals and people staring down at us.

A topiary, one of us whispered.

The rich kid smiled. He had led us here on purpose, knowing that drunk and stoned as we were, this would be the ultimate trip for our drug-addled heads.

Rich boy wanted to make an impression with his knowledge of local lore.

This garden belongs to Agatha Christie, he told us, in a hushed, secretive tone.

Agatha Christie is dead, someone said.

It still belongs to her. It's said that her ghost roams around these gardens at night, talking to the topiary.

We all shivered a little.

Rich kid made us get up and follow him. He had something spectacular to show us.

We walked in silence for several minutes, holding onto each other and imagining that the giraffes and elephants were moving toward us. Or were we imagining it?

We came to a small path surrounded by overgrown wildflowers. Someone mentioned that scene from Alice in Wonderland where the flowers talked and sang. I looked into the faces of the flowers, waiting for one of them to admonish me for trampling through their space.

At the end of the path, we entered a vast circle. In the middle of the circle stood an enourmous bush. Rich Kid led us towards the bush. When he arrived at it's base, he got down on all fours and crawled underneath. We followed.

The entire inside of the bush had been hollowed out. It was a secret fort made of greenery. On the ground were bottle caps and chip wrappers, evidence that other thrill-seekers had been here before us.

We all sat around the inside of the bush while Rich Kid told us stories of Agatha Christie's ghost, how it had chased so many kids out of her yard before, how one kid died of a heart attack when the ghost toppled a bear topiary on top of him. We shuddered. We shivered. We decided it was time to leave.

Not yet, said Rich Kid. There's still one more thing.

He led us out the other side of the hollow bush, through a small tunnel that we had to crawl through. When we came out, we each sucked in our breath and stared wide-eyed.

Before us was a small cottage. No, it was not small, it was tiny. A miniature version of the mansion that rose to our east. The door was about three feet high. The roof was covered in ivy. I suddenly did feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland. I was drunk and high enough to think that perhaps Rich Kid had slipped us a potion and we all shrunk. Then he explained.

This, he said, is where the help stays. You see, Agatha Christie had a thing for dwarves. So she would only hire midgets to work for her. She made them dress like the dwarves from Snow White. They did all this topiary work in the yard. And now they live here, waiting for Agatha's ghost to tell them what to do. The people who live in this mansion now don't want dwarves hanging around, so they keep them locked up in this cottage.

That's how the story went, mostly. It's what I can remember. And then Rich Kid dared one of us to knock on the door to see if the dwarves would answer. No one moved. We stood in frightened silence.

Finally, Kevin came forward. I'm not scared, he said. I'll knock. But as he moved forward, the sound of barking dogs was upon us again. We heard voices; Mad Security Guy followed by two other angry yells. The dogs moved closer.

We finally broke our collective trance and moved. We ran back, through the tunnel, through the hollow bush and out the other side to the trail. We ran like our lives depended on it, and we thought that was really the case.

Finally, winded and scared out of our minds, we had put some distance between us and the guard dogs. We looked to Rich Kid to help us find our way out, but he was nowhere to be found. He had disappeared on us.

And there we were, stuck in the topiary.

I was laying on the ground, staring up at a parade of green-leafed animals ready to attack me. I swear Agatha Christie's ghost was behind them, yelling at them to get me and tear me to shreds. Lions and tiger and bears, oh my! I think I screamed for my mother. I closed my eyes and wished for a swift, painless death.

And then Mad Security Guy was pulling me up by my hair. He had three dogs on his leash, all snarling and growling at me. He pointed to my friends, who were being shown the way out of the estate. I stood up on shaky legs and ran to them, following them out. Our nightmare was over.

Of course, Agatha Christie never lived in that mansion. Some other rich guy who made his money off of the Russians during the cold war did, so I hear. And the mini-house that was home to the dwarves was just a playhouse for his kids.

I still believe that the topiary came alive, though. You will never convince me otherwise.

And I never spoke to Rich Kid again.

June 08, 2003

bully for you

One of the most basic rules of my life is, you don't pick on Baz.

It's not so much that this bitter, shriveled up dick named Tim Hall broke that rule, it's that he wrote a scathing article on blogging - which would be fine in and of itself - but this so-called writer resorted to name calling and personal attacks in his story.

It is my understanding that people who don't get blogs and blogging and who feel the need to deride the owners of weblogs in ugly articles probably hate themselves, hate their lives, their careers and their flab, and they know that anything they could come up with for a weblog would be boring, trite and an ode to masochistic self-loathing and masturbation stories.

Words/phrases used in this article:

chickenshit world of tattletale bloggers
online monsters
sneering, horse-faced (his description of one blogger)
[note to editor: no links to any of these fuckwads' sites, please; they deserve scorn and derision, not promotion]
hateful Bazima
the typical blogger's self-absorption
You have to be a really, really stupid fuck to think there's a single redeeming quality or scrap of originality or freshness to any of this crap

And then he calls another blogger a bloghole and the C-word. In a fit of what I can only describe as jealousy, he says nasty, nasty things about Gawker's Elizabeth Spiers (This testosterone-fueled rag he writes for is not nearly as witty, astute or interesting as Gawker. In fact, they resort to "I fucked your mom" idiocy).

One can draw several conclusions from Tim Hall's article:

He was rejected by a blogger.
He was rejected by the New York Times.
He was rejected by Baz.
He was rejected by every girl he ever hit on in his entire life.
He started a blog and nobody came.
He has the hots for Spiers and he knows that he will never get within ten feet of her.
He is jealous of Gawker.
He is a misogyinst of the highest order.
He sits home at night wanking off to photoblogs. He gets off on the pet pictures.

What was the point to this story besides Tim's obvious hidden message of "I hate people who get more attention than I do?" Oh yes, the point was, Tim wrote an article on blogging and so did the New York Times, and they had the same basic story to them. Except people read the NYT's article and no one read Tim's.

Poor Tim Hall. Poor, lonely Tim Hall.

Don't miss Tim's other articles, like his hate-filled ode to Andrew Sullivan.


If you don't see me for a while, it's because I'll be spending 50.5 years in some dank English prison.

via Tim Blair

like watching home movies, but not

At least you're not a captive audience. Anyhow,what's the point of taking 600 pictures if you're not going to share them?

The flower girl
DJ the Piano Man
"If you smash that cake in my face, it's over"
The blushing bride at home
David as the sullen ring bearer
Lisa and mom
The little ones
Lisa and dad
Obligatory mirror shot (from limo)

LL Cool DJ

Yea, yea. You all want to see the bride. Or me making a fool of myself on the dance floor.

The life of the party was not I, was not any of my drunken relatives. It was DJ. I have no idea where he learned to get his groove on like that, but he chewed up the scenery on that dance floor like he was Lil' Johnny Travolta.


Catching up on some stuff I missed over the weekend before I boreregale you with more wedding pictures.

Alan, my Command-Post partner had brand new digs, and a very disturbing picture for a caption contest.

I did not put a hex on Roger Clemens. Even if I did, which I didn't, I would be taking the hex (which I did not put on him) off, because the Yankees need wins more than I need to destroy Clemens (though I did not hex him).

If I could hex something, it would be the Roadmap to Peace, which is nothing more than a sham. I was going to write in depth about this, but you should just go read Meryl instead.

On subject with that, I was helping Natalie study for her history finals on Friday, testing her on world leaders. She gave me a list with the countries she needs to know the rulers of. France. Germany. Great Britian. Canada. Israel. Palestine. Palestine? What I started to tell her was that there is no such country as Palestine. Laurence said I should tell her to give the answer as Ariel Sharon.

Speaking of Meryl, I also wanted to write - again - why Dave Sims is a racist, ignorant, blowhard asshat. But she took care of that, too.

I need to thank Carol, my Trooptrax partner as well as Friday night drunken music blogging partner, for sending me the Rammstein DVD. We have rocked out many times to it already.

Thank you also to a wonderful reader who sent some Operation Enduring Freedom t-shirts.

Keith, formerly of GI Party and the brave soul who took over Trooptrax, has set up his own blog.

Jack's away, and I'm going to play. He invited a few of us over to hang out at his blog while he is on vacation.

I haven't answered email since Wednesday. Getting to it, I promise.

So, do you really want to see pictures from the wedding?

my protest against uppity assholes

This is Jim Treacher's subscription box.

This is a person who has taken Jim Treacher's paypal button way too seriously.

Jim, you are going to make baby jesus cry if you keep begging like that.

who is that girl?

Ok, one picture for now.

This is my daughter. You know, Natalie. The one who wears baggy jeans and sweatshirts everyday, the one who always looks like she just woke up, the one who slouches, pouts and drags her feet when she walks.

She looked like a princess last night. Everyone was commenting to me how old she looked, how beautiful she is.

I can't wait for her to get back into her baggy pants and sweatshirt today. I'm not ready for my daughter to seem so old and...mature.

[click for biggie size photo]


Never trust a tequila named Montezuma.

There is nothing else to learn after that.

I'm going to put up pictures and stories on another portion of this site for anyone who in interested. As soon as I can focus, that is.

Thanks to everyone who sent good wishes. It rained like hell, but the wedding ceremony and party were fabulous.

Now, I've got a backlog of blogging to tend to and a bottle of Excedrin to eat.

June 07, 2003

going to the chapel

lisa and robbie

They met 14 years ago at a Metallica concert and they are still rockin' it old school.

They've been through hell and back together and sometimes they dragged us with them.

I've seen them grow in so many ways. I've seen them smile while they were struggling with life and death situations. I've seen them at their worst and now, 14 years on, I see them at their best.

Love does conquer all.

Today, they will finally walk down the aisle to be joined as husband and wife.

I wish them all the love, success, good health and good luck they deserve.

Here's to staying young while growing old together. I love you, baby sister. Welcome to the family, Rob.

[click below for lyrics to the song that describe their relationship perfectly, which I will sing to them today, given enough alcohol at the reception]

I'll see you all Sunday, hangover permitting.

Nerfherder - Pantera Fans in Love

I bleached my hair just like Vince Neil
Then you made me cut it like James Hetfield
We're gonna put an end to alternative rock
We'll find a way to make the Cranberries stop
We went to Sears for pictures at Christmastime
But they wouldn't let us make the metal sign
No they wouldn't let us make the metal sign

I'll bring the wine you bring the bread and cheese
It's hard to eat when you're headbanging
Makin' out in the middle of the pit
How come Slayer doesn't sing about this
If anything comes between you and me
Then heavy metal heaven, that's where we'll meet
We are Pantera fans in love

What's with these punk rock nerds, they can't even sing
I wish we'd never heard of The Offspring
A candlelit dinner, now we're holding hands
I taught you how to draw your first pentagram
We went miniature golfing but we didn't get far
Because we used the clubs to play air guitar
Oh we used the clubs to play air guitar now

I'll bring the wine you bring the bread and cheese
It's hard to eat when you're headbanging
Makin' out in the middle of the pit
How come Slayer doesn't sing about this
If anything comes between you and me
Then heavy metal heaven, that's where we'll meet
We are Pantera fans in love
We are we are Pantera fans in love

We saw Ozzy on our first date
Our special song is Crazy Train
Makin' out in the middle of the pit
How come Slayer doesn't sing about this
If anything comes between you and me
Then heavy metal heaven, that's where we'll meet
We are Metallica fans
We are Megadeth fans
We are Manowar fans in love
We are Pantera fans in love

June 06, 2003


Thanks to Robyn for upgrading the site to MT 2.64.

If it weren't for Robyn and Stacy, I'd be programming this site in BASIC on blogspot.


Anyhow, I forgot until a few minutes ago that Rannie and Jay are stopping here on their way from Canada to NYC. I guess I should finallly go take that shower.


when comments become a forum

There are 275 comments on this post made on January 5 of this year.

The subject was Laci Peterson, but not. It was more about suspected wife killers playing victim.

The comments are mostly by the same group of people, though or two new ones will drop in from time to time. There's been a flurry of activity there today.

I'm thinking of deleting the post. I don't have the new version of MT where you can just close the comments without taking all the comments that are already there down.

It's become a forum for speculation, theories and conspiracy talk. Some of the things that are said frighten me in the aspect that some people can take so much of their lives obsessing over a killing that had nothing to do with them. I feel as if I'm hosting a private forum for "Lynch Scott Peterson" club.

I'm not saying I don't think he's guilty, though those shadows of doubt are beginning to form in my head. I just don't want to be a part of the conjecture and rumors that are part of this case.

But am I a part of it because it lies on my site? Am I personally resonsible for any libel or defamation of character?

I'm not so egotistical to think that would ever be the case, but it is any interesting scenario for weblogs in general.

conversation with a cable modem

It started with a Page Not Found error when I went to Google..

I tried a different page. Same message. That could only mean one thing.

I looked hesitantly toward the cable modem. Sure enough, there was that sinister green light winking at me like an evil eye.

Please, I admonished it. Please work.

It just winked and winked. I think it laughed. In fact, I know it laughed.

Just a few more minutes, please, I begged.

Hey, it said, I'm just trying to help you.

Help me? By denying me the very blood that surges through my veins?

Man, you need some serious help.

Five more minutes.

You have things to do today. Get off your ass.

Hey, you're not my mother!

You've got to pick up dresses, go to the bank, get your son a haircut. And for crying out loud, take a freaking shower already!

Bite me.

You may want to watch how you talk to me.

I'll make you a deal. If I go out and do all those things, will you work again when I get home?


The wink became lecherous.

What do you want from me?

Maybe you could just flash me or something?

Excuse me?

Hey, modems have needs, too. Come on, show me your tits.

I look longingly at the 401 error on moveably type page. I look at my notes in front of me, all the things I wanted to write about today. I realize how far behind I'll be on my blog reading. And I need to read Achewood.


I stand up and lift my shirt up. The modem is appeased.

I'll be working when you get back.

And it was.

promises to keep

I'm finally getting around to linking to all the things I promised people I would link to and/or blog about.

First up is Bryan's Lyric-A-Day contest.

My choice for today is Kilgore's Providence.

Download here. I suggest listening to it, it's a great song.

Lyrics below.

Stop embracing all yesterdays for in the end
Creatures of habit dwell there
When you turn around to face your fate
All those regrets black the path before you
Weighed down by your neglect
And you'll drown in your own evil
It can never be the same
You must embrace the change
Stop laboring for a single goal
You can't depend on what the
future holds for you
Not physically where you are on your journey
It's only what you make of it
The fruits of emphasis on tomorrow
Yield a life filled with much sorrow
It doesn't mean you'll star the same
You cannot force the change
If you seek the wild horses
Bound for uncharted courses
You would never grab the reins
For a chance to learn from your mistakes
Stand up and deliver yourself
From all that you know
All you know...

what is that thing??

I walked outside today and there was this huge yellow thing in the sky. I think it's called the sun. I had forgotten all about it.

ban everything!

Via Joanne Jacobs:

According to educational-issues researcher Diane Ravitch, the USA branch of the educational-publishing conglomerate Harcourt/Steck-Vaughn now has a "publishing guideline" forbidding their illustrators to draw/photograph anybody writing left-handed. (Harcourt/Steck-Vaughn publishes a wide range of books for school use: including, ironically, handwriting books.)


Muslims traditionally regard the left hand (and left-handers too) as seriously unclean and disgusting; they forbid using the left hand except for, uh, personal-hygiene purposes ... and they DEFINITELY forbid it for such important daily tasks as writing, eating, etc.

This opens up a whole can of politically-correct worms. Will they now ban illustrations of pork and bacon so as not to offend Jewish students? If not, will Catholic students be excused from reading that textbook on Fridays during lent?

Actually, the real question here is this: If a mere illustration offends a Muslim student, what will seeing an actual, live left-handed person do to their cultural sensibilities?

Will left-handed students who are in a classroom with Muslim students be forced to use their right hand instead so as not to freak out the Muslim?

Of course, schools could always go with illustration-free textbooks, so as not to cross anyone with art that could be deemed offensive. Perhaps the child of the KKK leader in town would be horrified to see a person of color staring at him from his English Lit textbook. Maybe a hardcore PETA member will cry upon seeing the steak dinner illustration in their Home Economics text.

Even if you leave out illustrations, you run the risk of offending someone anyhow.

From Opinion Journal (April 22, 2003):

To begin with, anything even remotely sexist is verboten. Banished from respectable texts are such troublemakers as "babe," "chick" and "co-ed," but so too are solid citizens like "actress," "brotherhood" and "cattleman." Women are not to be portrayed as frightened, indecisive or vain; men as too assertive, analytical or violent. As for race and ethnicity, perish the stereotypical thought that Asians are studious and hardworking, that blacks excel in sports and music, or that Jews ever lived in tenements. Subjects to avoid range from divorce and junk food to Easter, Malcolm X and old people with canes and walkers. Nor should innocent minds be exposed to such retrograde expressions as barbarian, egghead, geezer, gimp, heathen, mulatto, Oriental, sissy, spastic, squaw, swarthy, Third World or tribe.

That is in reference to Diane Ravitch's book, The Language Police.

Ravitch's book is an exposé of the politcal correctness that is running rampant through this nation's school districts, how censors with their senses set on fine-tune scour textbooks to make sure offending phrases are eliminated. Some of those offenses?

  • Women cannot be depicted as caregivers or doing household chores.
  • Men cannot be lawyers or doctors or plumbers. They must be nurturing helpmates.
  • Old people cannot be feeble or dependent; they must jog or repair the roof.
  • A story that is set in the mountains discriminates against students from flatlands.
  • Children cannot be shown as disobedient or in conflict with adults.
  • Cake cannot appear in a story because it is not nutritious.

What watered down version of reality do these censors want our children to live in? If the world around them is not homogenized, why should their textbooks be? And wouldn't it suffice to say that if someone is taken aback that an elderly person in a book is shown to be feeble, that someone with a feeble grandparent would feel bad when she sees that most old people are out jogging and working?

No wonder so many of our kids can't read or write on a high school level when they graduate, no wonder so many of them come out of the school system so unprepared for the real world. They're given stripped down versions of life, minus words and concepts that are important if one wants to actually live in reality.

Wait until these Muslim kids get out of school and try to make their way in the world only to find that no one outside of their high school language patrol cares if they are offended by left-handed people; if your boss is left-handed, he's not going to learn to be ambidextrous just for you. No one cares if you are a vegetarian; your co-workers will still stuff their face full of burgers right in front of you. People will call women wenches and bitches, they will use the word retarded to describe the idiot in the cubicle next to you, they will not care if you've never seen a moutain or are allergic to peanuts or belong to some subculture religion where it is against the laws of your church to sit next to someone who wears red on Tuesdays.

Real life is not politically correct. Why set these kids up for a world that doesn't exist? How many passages can you take out of textbooks before you are left with just a set of numbers on the bottom of the pages?

Educators should be concentrating on teaching our kids skills that will enable them to do what is important in America after school is over; make money so you can feed your family, pay your bills and not rely on the government to get you through life.

Nurturing self-esteem and coddling to religious and special interests groups will only keep this country from competing with others in the future. And, it will only turn our kids into wimps.

Let them eat see cake.

June 05, 2003

"it is believed that the babies were buried alive"

You know that mass grave of 200 children found in Iraq the other day? I wonder if you heard the full story.

From Command-Post (via Meryl)

"Citizens were discovered on May 30, 2003, in a communal grave close to Debs, in Kirkuk. However, this mass grave was different from other mass graves discovered since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s terrorist regime since it contained the remains of 200 babies, victims of the repression of the Kurdish uprising in 1991," Al-Taakhi noted. "Even the dolls were buried with the children," it added.

It is believed that the babies were buried alive. It was also reported in the local media that an adult female person had also been found in the mass grave. It was suggested that she could have been their minder.

Read that again.

It is believed that the babies were buried alive.

So, who's still angry that we went to war with Iraq and its despicable regime?

I don't care if they never find a WoMD within the confines of that country. This is evidence enough that Saddam was the biggest Weapon of Mass Destruction of all.

How can people keep griping about this war? What matters more to you, proving that Bush misled the American people or freeing the Iraqi people from more instances like the above?

It is believed that the babies were buried alive.

I bet if it were ancient urns and scrolls found in that grave, there would be an uproar from moonbat land. But hey, it's just kids. And we all know that the moonbats value artifacts over kids.

This was a just war. You will never convince me otherwise.

they don't rain out weddings

Light blogging today, lots of wedding-related things going on. We're headed out now to pick up our dresses and we have the rehearsal dinner tonight.

Basically, I just wanted to stop in to send out a message to my sister Lisa, the bride-to-be (Saturday), who most of you know from here.



See, it says afternoon. It will be fine. Really. Besides - rain, snow, sleet or hail, you'll still be married when it's all said and done.

villainy, part 3: making the case for Gary Oldman

You've all made some very fine suggestions for the best villain ever.

However, I was going by my definition of villain, to wit:

My perfect villain is quiet. Mysterious. He has to be dastardly and underhanded, yet with a certain charm and sexiness about him that makes you want to take him home and ride him until morning (this does work for female villains as well). He should be sinister, but always with a method to his madness. None of this running around town hacking up hookers because he has a small penis. No, my villain fights for guts and glory. He doesn't want to conquer the world, he is much happier bringing the head of his boss's enemy back to him on a gilded stick, preferably on fire. His prize is usually money, but for him, every win against an enemy is a personal victory. He does not need scantily clad girls sent to him by his boss, because victory and the death of his opponent is enough for him. He is driven by demons of his past, several broken hearts and the memory of his beloved dog who was killed by his neighbor when he was young. And speaking of driving, his vehicle of choice is just as sleek, sexy and powerful as he is.

While Michael Meyers is indeed a great villain, I certainly do not want to ride him until morning.

I have written here many times that Gary Oldman is my favorite actor in the history of film. I've had debates over which role of his is the best. Even his small parts, like that in True Romance, resonate with any villain-loving film fan.

So, obviously, my new choice for best villain of old time is:

Gary Oldman.

True, Gary is a person, not a character. But if you were to combine all of the parts he's every played you would come up with the exact thing I was looking for in the above description. Let's take a little stroll the world of villains as seen through the career of Gary Oldman.

[all pop-up images below are courtesy of the fabulous website The Dark Side of Gary Oldman]

Let's start with Lost in Space because it is clearly the worst of all movies he made. Look at that face. Look at the eyes.

Next, we have Air Force One. Another semi-ok movie, but here, Oldman threatens Harrison Ford as the president. A villain holding a gun to Harrison Ford's head and making him squirm like a baby totally turns me on.

In Fifth Element, Oldman as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg played the over-the-top bad guy with panache. Look at my fingers: four stones, four crates. Zero stones? ZERO CRATES!

oldman4.jpgOldman's best role and one of the best villains ever created was as Agent Norman Stansfield in Léon aka The Professional. I fell in love with this character despite his obvious faults. I like these calm little moments before the storm. It reminds me of Beethoven. Can you hear it? It's like when you put your head to the grass and you can hear the growin' and you can hear the insects. Do you like Beethoven? That's not even the best part. I get shivers down my spine every time I hear him say Death is....whimsical today.

Ahh, True Romance. This movie, which stands well enough on its own even without Oldman (it's in my list of top ten favorite movies of all time, and one of those I can pretty much recite), Oldman's bit part as Drexl Spivey ranks among the greatest pieces of cinema ever. If you've seen the movie, you know his now famous line: He must have thought it was white boy day. It ain't white boy day, is it?

Ok, you get the picture now. Gary Oldman's film career defines villainy. So, rather than pick and choose from Spivey or Stansfield or even his role as the ultimate backstabber, Pontius Pilate, I'll just go ahead and call Gary Oldman the greatest villain ever.

at last

Howell Raines has resigned. So has managing editor Gerald Boyd.

I shall commence playing my teeny tiny violin now.

Jose Canseco: still controversial after all these years

So they checked all of Sammy's bats and none of them were corked. Whether or not this proves his innocence in the whole matter is up in the air; I suppose that's something that the fan decided for him or herself.

Jose Canseco, however, is convinced of guilt. No, not Sosa's guilt, but the media's. After all, says Canseco, this is all about race.

jose_canseco.jpg"I definitely am very disappointed in the media, the way they're attacking Sammy Sosa," Canseco said. "The way they're portraying him because he's a Latin, black athlete is completely wrong. I guarantee you if this were Mark McGwire or Cal Ripken Jr., a so-called 'protected athlete', an 'All-American' name, this would have never happen because I've seen things that some players have done, and they are white players and they're completely covered up ... if he were a white superstar player, this would never, never happen."

I guess Canseco forgot all about McGwire being hounded by the press about steroids. Wait a minute, let me check something.....yep, McGwire is white.

Pete Rose was run out of baseball after he was accused of gambling on the game. Hang on while a check something out.....yep, Rose is white.

Gaylord Perry, George Brett, Joe Niekro...just some other players who have been taken to task by the media for suspected cheating. All white.

And while we are on the subject of the media taking people to task, let's talk about John Rocker. I do believe it was the media who came out against Rocker for being a dimwitted racist.

I don't think Roger Clemens has too many friends in the media and last time I checked, he was white too. Yep, he's white.

Says Canseco: "...this is an attack on his character. This is an attack on minorities in general, and I'm really disgusted with it. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I know that the media is a part of this."

I am failing to understand how he draws the conclusion that this is an attack on minorities in general.

I looked through all the major papers from yesterday, but I can't seem to find anything that says "Sammy Sosa corked his bat, which means all Latin and black players cork their bats also," or "Sammy Sosa corked his bat because he is black."

If it were say, Andy Pettite throwing a spitball instead of Sosa and his cork, would anyone step up and claim that the media is biased against white players because they were all over Pettite? Don't think so.

Perhaps Canseco just wants a shot at stardom again and this is all just so much bluster in prepartion for his campaign to make people think that he slid into baseball oblivion because he is a minority. Nevermind the arrests, the speeding tickets, the fights, the decline in stats.

"The media is what's destroying the game," Canseco said.

The media only reports the idiocy going on in baseball. From a crappy commissioner to bloated egos and salaries, corking a bat is the least of baseball's problems. And making headlines out of a player's suspected cheating just because he is black is a non-existent problem.

Then again, Canseco never had much of a relationship with reality anyhow.

[Thanks to JimmyZ for sending me the link to the ESPN article. Now go read Jimmy's take on the issue]

June 04, 2003

villains part 2: back to the drawing board

Fine. You win. Boba Fett does not count as a true villain.

I'll come up with my list tomorrow but for now I challenge you to come up with some interesting villains that are not on the AFI list (listed below for easy reference).

1. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins (news)), "The Silence of the Lambs."

2. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins (news)), "Psycho."

3. Darth Vader (David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones (news)), "The Empire Strikes Back."

4. The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), "The Wizard of Oz."

5. Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher (news)), "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

6. Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore (news)), "It's a Wonderful Life."

7. Alex Forrest (Glenn Close (news)), "Fatal Attraction."

8. Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck (news)), "Double Indemnity."

9. Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair (news)), "The Exorcist."

10. The Queen (voiced by Lucille LaVerne), "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

11. Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), "The Godfather Part II."

12. Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell (news)), "A Clockwork Orange."

13. HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain), "2001: A Space Odyssey."

14. The Alien (Bolaji Badejo), "Alien." 15. Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes (news)), "Schindler's List."

16. Noah Cross (John Huston (news)), "Chinatown."

17. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates (news)), "Misery."

18. The Shark, "Jaws."

19. Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton (news)), "Mutiny on the Bounty."

20. Man, "Bambi."

21. Mrs. John Iselin (Angela Lansbury (news)), "The Manchurian Candidate."

22. The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), "The Terminator."

23. Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter (news)), "All About Eve."

24. Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas (news)), "Wall Street."

25. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson (news)), "The Shining."

26. Cody Jarrett (James Cagney (news)), "White Heat."

27. The Martians, "War of the Worlds."

28. Max Cady (Robert Mitchum (news)), "Cape Fear."

29. Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), "The Night of the Hunter."

30. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro (news)), "Taxi Driver."

31. Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), "Rebecca."

32. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker (Warren Beatty (news) and Faye Dunaway), "Bonnie and Clyde."

33. Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi (news)), "Dracula."

34. Dr. Szell (Laurence Olivier (news)), "Marathon Man."

35. J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster (news)), "Sweet Smell of Success."

36. Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper (news)), "Blue Velvet."

37. Harry Lime (Orson Welles (news)), "The Third Man."

38. Rico Bandello (Edward G. Robinson (news)), "Little Caesar."

39. Cruella De Vil (voiced by Betty Lou Gerson), "One Hundred and One Dalmatians."

40. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund (news)), "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

41. Joan Crawford (news) (Faye Dunaway), "Mommie Dearest."

42. Tom Powers (James Cagney), "The Public Enemy."

43. Regina Giddens (Bette Davis (news)), "The Little Foxes."

44. Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis), "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

45. The Joker (Jack Nicholson), "Batman."

46. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman (news)), "Die Hard."

47. Tony Camonte (Paul Muni), "Scarface."

48. Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey (news)), "The Usual Suspects."

49. Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), "Goldfinger."

50. Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington (news)), "Training Day."

What becomes a villain most?

The American Film Institute and I never agree on lists. The heroes and villains list included.

See, I'm a villain kind of girl. I like my guys dark and dangerous. The bad guys in films and books always seem to have more depth. The heroes are mostly whitewashed and predictable.

My perfect villain is quiet. Mysterious. He has to be dastardly and underhanded, yet with a certain charm and sexiness about him that makes you want to take him home and ride him until morning (this does work for female villains as well). He should be sinister, but always with a method to his madness. None of this running around town hacking up hookers because he has a small penis. No, my villain fights for guts and glory. He doesn't want to conquer the world, he is much happier bringing the head of his boss's enemy back to him on a gilded stick, preferably on fire. His prize is usually money, but for him, every win against an enemy is a personal victory. He does not need scantily clad girls sent to him by his boss, because victory and the death of his opponent is enough for him. He is driven by demons of his past, several broken hearts and the memory of his beloved dog who was killed by his neighbor when he was young. And speaking of driving, his vehicle of choice is just as sleek, sexy and powerful as he is.

So who fits this bill? Who do you think my ultimate villain is? Well, they have not yet invented the character who has all these traits, but there is still one movie villain that, for me, reigns above all other dark and nasty characters.

Take a guess before you click below.

when looking for images of boba fett on google, one will invariably find ten thousand pictures of geeks all dressed up like boba fett

Boba Fett, the greatest villain there ever was.

i smite you with my bloated ego!

[As seen at Treacher's]

Photo from the New York Post (Page Six)

Nope, none of the above. It's filmmaker Vincent Gallo and boy is he pissed.

Quoth the ball of sleaze:

You tell that hamhock Roger Ebert he could lose 30 pounds a day for the next four years and still be fat. As for the curse on his colon, what I actually said was that I put an unremovable black magic curse on his prostate, which will enlarge into a large cancerous ball by the fall. . . . I want to challenge that fat cow to an IQ test. I bet him $1 million dollars to take a public IQ test against me. By the way, tell him I also put a curse on Siskel.

So, what did Ebert to to deserve such wrath? Did he put Gallo's puppy in a blender? Did he steal Gallo's girlfriend? Kick his mother?

No, Ebert just gave him a bad review for his movie "The Brown Bunny," which Gallo wrote, produced edited and directed and starred in and which is getting a serious round of boos from critics worldwide. Gallo also served as director of photography, production designer, and camera operator for the movie. Apparently no one wanted to help him out with this thing. Or maybe it was the stench coming from his unwashed face and hair that kept the help at bay.

Anyhow, Eberts review said that Brown Bunny "was the worst movie in the history of the Cannes Film Festival." It's obvious from reading about this fiasco that Ebert was hardly alone in his thoughts. In fact, I could not find even one review where the words could be twisted around enough by a PR flack to make it sound like the critic might have liked a few seconds of it.

That the movie has Chloe Sevigny actually going down on Vince during the film seems to be the only interesting moment anyone who has seen the movie can attest to.

So, what's with the wrath directed at Ebert? Has Gallo put a pox on the health of every critic who called Brown Bunny empty, vapid, an ego-trip, horrible or a disaster? Or does he just have it in for Roger?

And Ebert's answer to Gallo?

I am not too worried. I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than "The Brown Bunny."

Ebert also said "I wish Mr. Gallo a speedy recovery."

Well, that's mighty admirable of you, Mr. Ebert. But I, for one, wish that Mr. Gallo's dick would fall off. Preferably while it's in some startlet's mouth.

death, destiny and vertigo comics

[also posted at blogcritics]

Vertigo Comics is celebrating their tenth anniversary.

Whenever I go to comic shows (not conventions, I mean the small ones at your local K of C ), I immediately head for the vendor who has the boxes sitting on the floor, labeled in black Sharpie "Back Issues, 50 cents each," because he will invariably have a ton of Vertigo titles stashed away in those boxes.

The thing that originally drew me to Vertigo (besides Neil Gaiman) was the covers of their comics. The art was always dark, mysterious and sometimes frightening. You could tell a Vertigo title a mile away. My favorites are the Dave McKean covers, and that's usually what I would be rummaging through the boxes for.

Some of the titles were just mediocre. I would still buy them for the art, using the covers to inspire me when I was hitting a writer's block.

I've read a bit of just about everything Vertigo has put out, and the whole series of quite a few titles.

I started with Sandman, quite a few years ago, reading the few issues I found at a comic show one day. I now own the whole collection and became a bona fide Neil Gaiman addict.

I collected Preacher by single issues and the collected editions, reading all of them from front to back and then again. I miss Jesse and his exploits.

I've read 100 Bullets, Hellblazer and The Invisbles.

I just bought the Transmetropolitan collecteds and am in the midst of reading them. I've developed a deep, disturbing crush on Spider Jerusalem.

I've spent a good portion of the past few years submerging myself in the world of dreams, staring wide-eyed at the subculture of politics and media and riding out to the Alamo wtih a vampire.

Through Vertigo, I have met Delerium, Destiny and Death. I hung out with Jesse and Tulip and learned to despise Cassidy. I've seen what's in Spider's bag of tricks.

I also discovered the art of Dave McKean, which has inspired me more than anything I've come across artistically in my life.

Happy anniversary, Vertigo. Here's to many more.

1 + 1 is always 2

Hilary Clinton on Bill's sexcapades:

She concludes that what her husband did was morally wrong but not a betrayal of the public.


To lead astray; deceive

Bill Clinton: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

You do the math.

the stepford neighbors


Will all the people who want perfect communities with perfectly manicured lawns and regulation-height shrubs and houses painted in only five different shades of yellow and no kids, pets or Christmas decorations, please pack up your shit and leave. Go form your own country with your own damn rules and have fun living in a sterile, perfect environment where your lives are one endless drone.

What is going on with the adults of America? Has someone slipped a Stepford Adult potion into their Metamucil?

In the past few years there has been a surge of people who draw up petitions at the blink of an eye. They don't want the ice cream man in their neighborhood because the music he plays wakes up their kid. They don't want you to skateboard or rollerblade or be able to play on the school playground when school is not in session. They want to regulate how loud you can play your stereo, what color you can paint your house, where you can park your car and how many wildflowers you can grow in your own garden.

Now, they want to take away the basketball hoops.

Citing safety concerns, communities in Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania have banned portable hoops in or around streets. Others are shooting to do the same.

"We all want to be Mayberry, but no government official can look a parent in the eye and say, 'It's OK for your children to play in the street,"' said Paulsboro Police Chief Kenneth Ridinger.

Mayberry? Not me, thanks. I always thought Andy was bit on the weird side.

Never believe anyone when they sayit's For the Children(tm). That's just a coverup for othe subversive activities. In this case, aesthetics. Basketball hoops ruin the look of the neighborhood. They kill the continuity of the sidewalk. They attract kids. They will keep your block from being a perfectly coiffed version of suburbia, with no distractions or ugly accessories.

If these Stepford citizens have their way, soon your life will be a vast, sterile emptiness.

From basketball hoops it's a slippery slope down to the bottom level of this suburban dictatorship.

Your car has a dent in it. Your flower garden has weeds. Your dinner makes the block smell of garlic. Your music sucks.

You and your wife come home from the hospital, beaming with pride at the arrival of your new son. But man, is he ugly. He looks like a cross between ET and Winston Churchill. The neighbors gasp. The kids cry. And before you know it, you are run out of town, torches burning, former friends chanting your name with some ugly epitaph after it while Iron Maiden's Run to the Hills plays in your head and your wife screams "We are not animals, we are humans beings!"

There's a place for people like the ones who want to wring every single drop of joy out of suburban living. No, not hell. It's called Stepford. Just look it up under"gated communities" in the phone book.

June 03, 2003

put a cork in it, sosa!

I never liked Sammy Sosa.

And now, I like him even less.

Not only is an egotistical hot dog, he is also a cheater.

Reminds me of something we used to sing as kids.

Ink-a Dink
A bottle of ink
The cork fell out
and you STINK!

I don't know what that really meant, but I just remembered it when I heard about SAMMY SOSA USING A CORKED BAT!! (Picture me laughing while I say that out loud. Maniacally).

At least it wasn't pine tar. I don't think I could go through that again.

And I don't want to hear any of his excuses. Oh, it was really a practice bat. Whatever, Sammy.

ping ping

[Yes, I know my trackback pings aren't working. No, I don't know why. And yes, it's just too late for me to even begin to understand why this is happening]

I am now the proud owner of retrovertigo.net, the future home of my writing, photography and collaborations. Look for the grand opening next week.

church of the blogosphere bulletin, issue #2: some things just need the explodo

Good evening readers, commenters and trolls. Oh, and to the person who came here looking for "my girl makes me strip for her friends," you are welcome as well. Now, strip.

While you are all staring at the funny-looking naked guy, I will go through this week's bulletin.

First, I would like to make a special announcement thank Meryl of meryl.net for not only answering Natalie's question this morning, but generously allowing Natalie to email her with any future questions she has as she learns more about ASL and working with the deaf.

[please note that all members of the congregation who are on blogspot are not linked by their permas, so to speak]

Frank would like to announce that he is the funniest person in the blogosphere. Perhaps Frank would like to come up here and deliver the sermon today, then? We'll see how funny he is when he is standing in front of a bunch of people with no sense of humor. I'm looking at you, trolls.

Kevin has taken on one of our own, Mr. Acidman. Yours truly will not comment on this, as it would violate one of my golden rules. However, you can discuss this with Kevin as you wish when he is interviewing you, should you be into being interviewed by him. His new idea is all about having people whore a particular post of theirs. Hey, sounds familiar.....

Ginger the Crispy Duck has reminded me of a word I would like to use more often while I am at the pulpit (Am I close to being sacreligious yet?): douche bag. Even better, she uses it to describe the Third-Eye Blind assbag.

We'd like to welcome Ben Carl back to the fold at Heretical Ideas. He issues some valid complaints about another well known church.

We have a new member among us. Please welcome Morpheus (no, not that Morpheus) who writes about "guns, politics, religion, crime, economics and games." And he thinks Frank is witty.

Rossi, in a bit of self-discovery, would like everyone to know that she is "overwhelmingly scintillating in an odd self-deprecating but still illuminating way," but anyone who reads her knew that already. Especially if you read her memoirs.

Jane Finch (not Caruso), one half of the morphed prom king/queen, is coming to America. She is going to spend her hard earned Canadian dollars here, so please don't arrest her as an ememy of the state. We don't have many Canadians in this congregation and we like to appear multicultural so we can get government grants.

The other half of the duo, Jay Caruso, did not ask to be mentioned in the bulletin but, as editor, I took the liberty of doing so. Why? Because he talks about the Yankees, the Official Baseball Team of the Church of the Blogosphere.

Windrider...well, Windrider makes my head hurt. Please help brother Windy answer his burning question.

Natalie is just one among many in our fold who has moved recently. Please adjust your links. Tracy has also moved, but in the physical, not virtual sense. And she's tired, damn it. Daria is another mover and shaker, dropping her raspberry beret for a bitchy new title.

Speaking of moving, it is with great pleasure I bring you the news that I have convinced Dr. Frank to move in with me. Here. His blog, I mean. Look for news on this front early next week.

A Gaggle of Girls and One Guy will become a Gaggle of Guys while the Girls vacation. Feel free to drop by on Friday night. I hear there is going to be an open house party, with strippers and a keg. Which are the staples of a good party around here.

Claire wants us to get our neurons dancin'. But nevermind that. Claire is my favorite new member because she found a site devoted to the word .

It seems two of our brothers are at complete odds. MT wants to make the blogosphere smaller, one pound at a time, but Doggerel Pundit wants to make us eat! In verse!Which road will you choose, oh bloggers?

One of our members has the ability to channel others! Hallelujah! Watch as Bill speaks in the tongue of Mike Barnacle!

Mike, this church's resident porn expert, is experiencing technical difficulties with his blog, but he would like us all to go visit some dirty whores. Field trip!

Today's first basket collection will be for Chuck Pierce's ring.

And in other news, Andy is still an ass. I say that with love. Tough love.

I would also like you to welcome a new member to my blogroll, Collinazation. Sample: So here I am, 22 years old with the house to myself for 10 days, and a huge bag of frozen peas covering my face. Everyone say welcome to John and his bag o' peas!

Bryan has gone straight for my heart and mind with a lyric-a-day meme. I command you all to go play along!

Please note that Mean Mr. Mustard is NOT a monkey that craps on the keyboard. Not by a longshot.

A special bulletin link for Mike of Nasty Bastard, who had the funniest line ever for a caption on yesterday's Hilary picture (You need to be familiar with Seinfeld to get it, though).

Roscoe has come into the good graces of the church by sending in a Warren Ellis quote for the bulletin:

"Some things just need the explodo." And that, my friends, is now the new motto of our lovely church.

You may now kneel and face the photo of Lileks (not the one where he is dressed as John Wayne Gacy, though) and recite the blogger's prayer:

may your links be plentiful
may your trolls fall silent
and may you one day know the glory
of the instalanche

Bottom's up!

psa 2

Sorry for the delay in the Church of the Blogosphere Bulletin. As soon as dinner is done, I will be at your service.

Meanwhile, it gives you an extra hour or so to drop a link in the comments if you feel like whoring yourself today.

Oh come on, you're a blogger. Of course you feel like whoring yourself.

Oh, does anyone know anything about the Cafepress publishing thingie?

dear john

Over at The Corner, John Derbyshire has a message for Long Island taxpayers on this school budget vote day:

STARVE THE BEAST [John Derbyshire] I urge all my fellow Long Islanders who read The Corner to go out and vote down the school budgets being presented to us today. In my town, the budget proposal asks for an increase of 5.52 percent over last year. Did your family's income increase 5.52 percent last year? If not, you can't afford this budget. The only way to kill socialism is to starve the beast--cut off its food supply. Vote down the budget and keep voting it down, till the school boards get the message that in tough times, the public sector has to tighten its belt with the rest of us. Similarly, when you vote for school board members, vote for the ones who are NOT shills for the public-sector unions. It's not hard to figure out who they are from their mission statements.

I was actually going to rant about this today. Instead I'll just reprint the email I sent to John.


I used to be one of those people who urged everyone to vote for the school budget, no matter what. I believed that if you wanted to get the best possible education and school activities for your child, you needed the give up the extra dollars and make the budget pass.

No more. Ever since I had some inside dealings with my school district (East Meadow) and saw how things were really run, how board members got to be where they were, and how we are all being taken for a ride, I became determined to vote down the budget this year.

Just like lefties, the rallying cry of the school board and district is Do It For The Children! They send out mass mailings basically threatening that your kids will go without library books, sports and purple crayons if you do not vote the budget in.

I'll live with austerity. I'll go to work late so I can drive my kids to school if they cut the buses. I'll give them music lessons at home if band is cut from the curriculum. I'll do whatever it takes to make sure that my money is not going to bloated administration salaries, Aeron chairs for the district staff and junkets to Albany to protest the teacher's union cause of the day.

They want to put the blame on the taxpayers if teachers have to be cut because the budget fails when, in reality, it is there fault for not spending their money wisely in the first place. Do we really need all these touchy-feely self-esteem programs in our schools when kids don't even have updated text books? Half of our "cutural arts" program involves multicultural teachings and some of our kids are getting out of junior high without being able to structure a sentence.

I'm voting no this year.

So, there's my rant.


I think I found the domain name I will use.

Stay with me here, my thinking goes off track sometimes.

Seeing as that this site is named after a Faith No More song and Mr. Bungle is an offshoot of FNM just as the new site will be an offshoot of A Small Victory, I thought it would be appropriate to go with a Mr. Bungle song title.

So, what do you think of retrovertigo.net?

master of my domain

I'm going to be starting a new website in a few days, just for my writing and photography. A creative outlet, if you will.

I'm taking suggestions for a domain name.

Church of the Blogosphere Bulletin will commence as soon as I finish my chicken with cashews.

who wants to be an asv whore?


That should have read Official Canadian Whore.

UPDATE: I morphed Jane (Finch) and Jay (Caruso). I shall make a proper shirt with her real name soon. But I kinda like this. It's like making Jane and Jay the King and Queen of the prom, but having them squeeze into one gown.

Or something like that.

breathe in, breathe out

Chuck Simmins sent me the link to this piece by Jane Galt - Inert(?) from the WTC

Microscopic analysis of WTC dust by Nicholas Petraco, BS, MS, DABC, FAAFS, FNYMS at The New York Microscopic Society lecture held at AMNH 28 May 2003

45.1% Fiberglass, rock wool (insulation, fireproofing) 31.8% Plaster (gypsum), concrete products (calcium sulfate, selenite, muscodite) 7.1% Charred wood and debris 2.1% Paper fibers 2.1% Mica flakes 2.0% Ceiling tiles (fiberglass component) 2.0% Synthetic fibers 1.4% Glass fragments 1.3% Human remains 1.4% Natural fibers trace asbestos (it became illegal to use during the construction of the WTC)

Other trace elements: aluminum, paint pigments, blood, hair, glass wool with resin, and prescription drugs were found.

1.3% human remains.

That thought disturbs me more than anything else in the report, on a whole different level.

There's something to make you lose sleep at night.

i hate when my kids make me think

Natalie has found her calling in life.

She has been taking ASL (American Sign Language) for two years now and yesterday she announced that she will be continuing those studies for the rest of her school career and would like to eventually secure a job working with deaf children.

I'm taking her seriously this time, as opposed to her other dreams of playing in the WNBA or being the shopping cart attendant at Target.

Natalie asks a million question about the hearing impaired, all of which her ASL teacher gladly answers. Today, however, she had a question for me .

Mom, can a deaf person hear the voices in his head?

She was serious. She doesn't mean voices as in "the dog is telling you to kill your neighbor," she means your inner narrator, the voice that comes when you are reading to yourself or making choices in your head or cursing your boss silently.

I had no answer, but I have to tell you, it's been bugging me all day.


Today is officially Whore Yourself at A Small Victory day.

I you've got something for the Church of the Blogosphere bulletin, drop it in the comments here. Bulletin goes up around noon.

run away, run away!

The LEIU (Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit) Conference got underway yesterday in Seattle.

Of course, there were protests.

And of course, there was the requisite flag-burning.

And, of course, there was the rallying cry of the moonbat left. Help, we are being repressed!

They burn flags, destroy property, disturb the peace and then act surprised and horrified when they are confronted and arrested.

One protester climbed atop a nearby awning and attempted to burn a flag there; as he descended, other demonstrators huddled around him to protect him against identification and arrest.

Last time I checked, hindering police from doing their job was a crime.

It's interesting that, as you read stories of socialist protests, it is always the fault of the police when things go wrong. No one on the socialist side ever does anything wrong, the arrests are always unprovoked.

A couple of big, rich, Republican-looking guys came by and started arguing that if we didn’t like it here in the U.S., there are plenty of countries we could go live in instead.

Republican-looking guys? Isn't that profiling?

There will plenty of fun stories from the front, tales of flag-burning and Bush-bashing and property destruction as the conference continues today.

Random Nuclear Strikes will try to cover the events live, so keep checking over there for more.

riddle me this

Why hasn't someone thought of this yet?

Television has the opportunity to solve the two greatest mysteries of recent times - who killed Laci Peterson and is John Edward for real?

Think of the ratings. Think of the altruistic outcome of such a show.

Edward invites Laci's family, as well as Scott Peterson and his little sidekick Amber to a sitting with him, to be viewed live on tv.

Surely, with all those people there, Laci's spirit will want to contact at least one of them, right? To either comfort her mother or tell her sister what really happened or to possess Scott's soul until he beats himself to death with his own fists.

Laci could use Edward to tell what happened. He could do it in his usual fashion, using symbols and codes to tell the real story of what happened that fateful day in Modesto.

The killer is revealed, Edward is given the key to the city and proves that he is no fake! The ratings go through the roof. A book is written about it. The mini-series gets underway. Everyone is a winner!

As I mulled this scenario over in my head, I realized my one fatal flaw with this idea.

Edward is full of shit. If his talents were true, if he really did convey the words of spirits to the living world, then why hasn't he solved all the unsolved murders in America? Surely, of all those ghostly spirits of people who are not resting in peace because their murder has yet to be solved, a few of them would want to use John to talk to family members, don't you think?

I only thought of this because I dreamed last night that my family was on the John Edward show and he was talking to them through me, except I wasn't dead, I was at a rave, dancing with John Kerry and Al Franken.

Now that's what I call a nightmare.

June 02, 2003

whining about winer again

[this first paragraph went missing somehow]

I received an email tonight from someone who said, in regards to my previous musings on Winer today, that I should "not bite the hand that feeds me." Dave Winer feeds me? Since when? I owe him nothing. And if for one minute you think that I care if some A-lister who at this moment doesn't even know I exist is going to have pissy hissy fit because I dared to besmeech Dave Winer, then you obviously don't know me well enough to know that I really don't care. The emailer also went on to say that "all bloggers owe a debt of gratitude to Winer." I started blogging without knowing he was and I'll probably finish blogging without giving a crap who he thinks he is.

From Mr. Self-Important:

Amazingly, Glenn Reynolds is still covering the war. Seems like an exercise in futility. In its aftermath, of what use were the warbloggers. A lot of punditry, a lot of furor and outrage, quite a few flames, but what did they actually do other than act important. They got no stories, no new data, they didn't balance the press, which reported the war as if the US was a petty Third World dictatorship. They didn't even out the press. Pheh.

Hey, all you people still writing about the D.C. snipers or Monica Lewinsky or Les Miserables, stop! They're over! I mean, what's to write about when something is over and done? Why still talk about those darn Beatles or reminisce about the Colorado Rockies? Once something is done, you just stop talking about, silly!

swiner.gifNews flash to Dave Winer: There is still a lot to talk about. There's a nation being rebuilt. Our soldiers still run the risk of being attacked. Saddam's henchmen are still being captured. But hey, why discuss it if the fighting is all done, right? Once that statue of Saddam tipped over, we should have packed up our warblogging hats and backed off until the inevitable invasion of Iran, I guess.

Hey, I know plenty of people who are still talking about the 2000 election and that's been over for quite a while. What gives?

As for the "what did they actually do" line, I'm not sure what Winer means by this. We're talking weblogs, Dave. Not Time Magazine or Newsweek. We weren't supposed to do anything other than write on what we were witnessing and how we felt about it.

Which, come to think of it, is pretty much what any other blogger does on a variety of subjects. We gave out information, most of it in real-time. We were able to keep people who were away from a tv updated on a second-by-second basis on how the war was going. I think we did a damn good job at blogging the war and I don't think anyone was trying to change the world with their words.

They got no stories, no new data...

My turn to be self-important. Command-Post broke quite a few stories. Sure, we had insiders who helped leak upcoming stories to us, but we got those stories and data out on the web before CNN, before Fox, before any other news website.

I think the warbloggers - those for and against the war - did a bang-up job of getting the news out there, disseminating the information and giving it all a personal feel.

Why would covering the war at this date be an exercise in futility? Not every person who has a weblog is out to make a name for themselves. We are not all Winer wannabes who strive to become the be-all and end-all of blogging. Some of us cover stories because they interest us and our readers. We're not out there balancing our blog with just the right amount of this and that, all sprinkled with validation and RSS buttons so we can go to some Ivy League law school and talk about...blogging.

Lest anyone forget, a blog is a personal wesbite. It's not the Daily News, it's not even the downtrodden New York Times. It's not Page Six or People Magazine. Hell, you can't even line a birdcage with a blog.

Sure, bloggers can make a difference. Witness Trent Lott. But to decry them when they don't make a difference in the media during a major war is akin to decrying Mom & Pop Hardware for not running Home Depot out of town.

..but what did they actually do other than act important..

You're confusing us with you, Dave. I'm sure if all the major warbloggers used Winer's blogging tools, and we all validated in every single browser available and we all had RSS feeds and were XTL compliant and used the proper color-coded buttons on our site to announce all that to the world, Dave would take us in his arms and call us his own.

Winer may have "invented" weblogging, according to internet lore, but the only part of this fad he perfected was the part drawn from online diaries, where people stand on their soapboxes and cry "Look at me! I'm important!"

Here's lookin' at ya, kid.

Please note that I am not taking away from Dave anything that he has done as far as technological advances. This is about blogging and ego, nothing more, nothing less. I have no beef with the man's technical skills or intelligence in that field, so you can save yourself the ten minutes it would have taken for you to write a defensive email detailing Winer's illustrious credentials in the field.

programming notes [or, you're not a weblog winner until you say winer!]

I'm trying to cram all the posting I can into the daytime hours [waves to boss] because this week is jam packed with after-work activity. My sister's wedding is fast approaching - she is getting married on Saturday - and this week will be a flurry of fittings and rehearsals and fussing with hair and nails and all that girly stuff. In between those things, Natalie has her spring concert at school and DJ has two baseball games.

I wish it was already Saturday at 5pm and we were at the reception on our way to being drunk and making fools of ourselves. Isn't that what everyone does at weddings?

I could use a short break in the evenings from this blog anyhow. Apparently, I'm not doing it right and I guess I need to study up on what a weblog really is. After all, Dave Winer teaches about weblogs at Harvard University, so I'm sure he must really really know exactly what a weblog is supposed to look like and how, if you do not meet up those standards, you really don't have a weblog at all.

The way around this? Why, use Dave Winer's weblogging tools, of course! Got that? You are not fully assimilated into the culture of weblogs unless you have an "edit this page" button and a calendar on your site!

What a egotistical windbag.

[Thanks, I think, to reader Andre for sending the link to Winer's self-referencing manifesto]

I'm not done with Winer yet. Must write about this entry. He makes me grind my teeth at night, I swear.

hilary redux

My sister fixed that picture up, but good.


school's out, reading is in

Aaron wants to know what you are reading this summer.

I've started my "summer" reading already. Generally, during the winter months, I read non-fiction and, of course, graphic novels. Once spring comes, I catch up on whatever fiction I put aside during the previous months.

On Saturday, I started - and finished - The Jester. I enjoyed it enough that I've been speaking the language of the book without realizing it. That is, I'm talking like some ren faire geek. It's not a Pulitzer novel by any means, there are enough holes in the story to make even a second grader wince. But the storytelling itself is good. It's got knights and love and blood and guts and it reads like a tale that you would hear sitting around a tavern.

So what's on my list? Some books that are in the summer line-up:

wanderboy.jpgGilligan’s Wake

Great Neck

Lucky Wander Boy: a novel about video game obsession.


I have a summer tradition of re-reading books from my childhood, as well as some newer children's books.

I'll flip my way through From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Half Magic once more before hitting the library for more current fare.

If you have an adolescent who needs books to read over the summer, I highly recommend the following:

Bud, Not Buddy
Because of Winn-Dixie
The Wanderer
Love That Dog (I truly loved this book).

I'll take suggestions of what to add to my summer list (I generally like to read one novel and one children's book a week). Criteria is important: Must be fiction (unless it's about baseball, then I'll read non-fiction) and it must be more entertaining than education. School's out in summer, you know.

Feel free to persuade me to pick up a non-fiction book this summer.

murder by any other name

Nathan Chandler Powell produced an Academy Award nominated film, Fire Dancer. The film “dramatizes the struggles of Afghan immigrants living in New York City.

Jawed Wassel wrote the screenplay on which the film was based.

Now, Jawed Wassel is dead, murdered by Powell.

Powell’s defense? September 11 post traumatic stress.

Powell claims he feared that Wassel intended to funnel money made off the film to the Taliban. The events of September 11 made Powell suspicious of Wassel, he claims.

After Powell murdered Wassel on October 3, 2002 after fighting over profits, Powell “cut up the body, packed the parts in boxes but kept the head in his refrigerator.” He made an attempt to bury the body, but abandoned his efforts and was apprehended by the police after leaving the scene where he dug a small hole meant to hide Wassel’s remains.

Powell and his attorney are using September 11 to their benefit, co-opting a tragedy to try to get a cold-blooded, greedy killer off the hook.

It’s a shame that so many people see 9/11 as an excuse to behave badly, to dream up reasons for committing crimes. From everything I have heard and read about the above case, Powell seems to be nothing more than a greedy, selfish man who killed for cash.

That's why Liotti is using the post-traumatic card; perhaps Powell's vision was blurred by the sight of the Word Trade Center crumbling and now he sees every middle eastenr person as a potential Taliban supporter, Liotti will say, and he will expect the jury to see that, to think that Powell was crazed with grief and fear and he thought was beating down al Qaida while he sliced off Wassel's head. Liotti most likely believes that juries are prone to accept stress and mental disease as a defense than "I thought he was taking my money."

While the post-9/11 America may think differently about people from Middle Eastern countries than it did before that day, Liotti has, in my mind, discounted the one thing that will keep his jury, who he probably hopes to all be biased against people from Afghanistan, from finding in Powell's favor.

There is hardly anyone on Long Island who wasn’t in some way personally affected by the events of 9/11. Liotti will be hard pressed to fill out a jury where a large percentage of the jurors will not feel outrage as someone using September 11 as an excuse for taking someone’s life. The people who lost friends and loved ones will feel outrage, not sympathy, for a man who is using a very tragic day for them as defense for murder.

I will be keeping a close eye on this case, which opened today in Mineola. Here’s hoping the jury does what’s right and they do not find this cretin “found not guilty by reason of mental disease and defect.”

things that make you go blind

Want to see something really scary?


If I had Photoshop at work, I'd stick a word balloon in there, but I don't. So pretend there is and fill it in.

rockets red glare

It's June. Which means any day now, I will start hearing the popping and booming of fireworks, both big and small, around the neighborhood.

image from fireworks.comThey start early around here, amassing their motherload of pyrotechnics weeks in advance of the Fourth of July. It's kids, mostly, but plenty of them are grown kids, 30 year old men who still get off on lighting mats of firecrackers two or three at a time until the neighbors think they are under seige.

I never understood the appeal of plain old firecrackers. You light it, you throw it, it goes boom. How thrilling. There's not much to do with a small firecracker unless you are like the kids I grew up with, who used them to frighten frogs or to stick down my shorts, fuse lite and sparkling.

And there are those inventive folks who will put M80's in garbage cans, rocking everyone on the block out of their sleep, fearing for their lives. This was pre-9/11. Can you imagine what the sound of an explosion echoing in a metal garbage can will do to a person's nerves now?

Firework shows, on the other hand, are a different story. I know I can have my breath taken away by a shower of color falling from the sky. It's what brings people out on their lawns on the Fourth of July, what brings them to parks and beaches, willing to stretch their necks for hours just to be awestruck by the beauty of the fireworks, the swelling of the patriotic music, and the pride that comes from being an American on Independence Day.

Too bad people may have to find another way to celebrate this year. In our post-9/11 world, everything is a danger, everything is a potential weapon, including fireworks meant only to grace the sky with colors. We have regulated ourselves into boredom in an effort to keep terrorists at bay. I don't know any terrorists, but it doesn't take knowing one to realize that they aren't going to use Roman Candles and Bottlerockets to take out America.

Even if the larger, professional displays are smothered by needless regulations, there will always be the neighborhood displays, that guy from around the corner who drove down to Georgia to get a trunkful of whatever they were selling at the fireworks flea market; the cop around the corner who mysteriously comes home with a box of fireworks of Fourth of July. The skies above my home are never dull on that holiday. We pull chairs up on the lawn and ooh and ahhh our way through night, until the streets are covered with spent shells and torn paper and the beer is gone.

That's what fireworks are about. The displays, the colors, the ability to make you suck in your breath in awe. It's not about noise making or scaring the dog next door. It's not setting your lawn on fire or tearing your cousin's garbage can to pieces. If that's what you have in mind, and you live in my neighborhood, let it be known I will not put up with it this year. First person to set off a mat of firecrackers in my hearing distance will end up with a lit bottle rocket down his pants.

June 01, 2003

about the weather


The rain keeps coming
and even when it goes
it leaves a trail of clouds,
wet leaves,
pools of puddles in the road.

I've gone days without the sun
feels like a lifetime in darkness
misty, drizzly, drenching rains
dampness clinging to your clothes
like leeches sucking the joy
from your skin and your soul

May was lifeless
June begins the same
cold like October
drenched like April

we stand in the rain
our umbrellas held high
our heads under hoods
we wait for the sun

if only a peek.

17 innings later, they're still ugly

It works for me. Sort of. Clemens fails in another bid to get his 300th win, and the Yankees pull a win out of their asses against the lowly Tigers.

This was the ugliest game of the year, by far. The fifth inning alone was enough to give me baseball nightmares. Unearned runs are are the baseball equivalent of having a booger hanging out of your nose.

The back-to-back home runs were nice, but damn, they were up 7-1 at one point. A win is a win, but an ugly win is like kissing your sister. If your sister was Cameron Diaz with zits.

'the yeasty girls' v. 'accidental goat sodomy': another fun moment in blogging

Once again, a reader comes up with a good idea.

Mike Messina writes that he and his drunken friends (is their any other kind?) were sitting around, talking about the worst band name ever. He thought this would make a good post, and he's right.

The ones he came up with - and they have to be real bands - were "Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band" and "Polka Joe and the Stereo Sounds."

I need proof. A link on All Music Guide, their own website, an album listing on Amazon, anything that proves the band really does exist. So get started, worst band name ever.
I'll come up with my own later and I will also have a poll to determine the top three films in the cult movie post from this week.

Have fun - I'm going to watch the rest of the ugliest Yankee game of the year.

Thanks, Mike!

freedom like a shopping cart

It's been two weeks since I've gone food shopping. You would think I had twenty people living in this house at the rate we consume food and goods. I think it's time for a little warehouse shopping.

Laurence has a cool question for you: What movie scenes have horribly warped and scarred your psyche?

My answer to him was:

The movie The Believers (I think that was the name, it was about voodoo or something like that) had a scene where the wife went to make coffee in the morning and the voodoo guru somehow made water pile up on the floor where she stood and when she plugged the coffee pot in, she sort of fried to death.

Since then, I always check for water on the floor when I plug appliances in.


Go answer. There, not here.

Now, I've got some economy-size shopping to do, with an ecomony size shopping cart that you could fit a dead horse in. Hopefully, no one will ram me with theirs, causing me to lash out in anger and kill the queen.

Those two thoughts were totally non sequiter, I know.

bonus points to anyone who knows where that title line comes from.

i am yankee fan, see me roar!

Planearium is back.

I made myself a new South Park self-portrait and modified it accordingly in Photoshop.


The scowl on my face is, of course, for Red Sox and Mets fans. No hard feelings, though. Right?


I am not going to take place in any blogger popularity contests. Please do not: email me and ask me to link you and not link someone else; ask me to remove someone from my blogroll so you can achieve a higher ranking than them in any of the blogging ranking systems; send me emails detailing some slight another blogger has affronted you with, asking me to publicly flog that blogger; try to get me involved in blogging cat fights over hits and stats.

Blogging - as well as reading blogs - is a joy to me. Don't make it into something it's not. Being at the top of the blogging food chain will not put food on your table or get you into Spago. It will not get you laid or make you prettier or make your dick bigger.

It will, if you let it, connect you to people you might otherwise never have met. It will, if you let it, give you knowledge about the world around you and tell you stories you might have never heard otherwise. It will, if you let it, turn you into a teacher of sorts or a student or a friend.

Thousands of people read and write blogs every day. You have the chance to entertain, to teach, to learn, to write, to help others. You have the ability to laugh or make others laugh, to cry along with someone, to feel outrage and write about that outrage, to make a difference, no matter how small, to someone who has read your blog and was touched by something you wrote.

You can play games with others, listen to their music, laugh at their jokes, click on their links and talk about inane subjects such as tampons or action figures or movies.

You can read what life is like in a city, state or country other than yours. You can seek out information or relay information or just find another person who shares your love of zydeco music.

Blogging and reading blogs can be a wonderful thing. Don't drag it down into a grade school level schoolyard contest. Well, do it if you must, but don't ask me to step in.

I just want to write and read and connect. I don't want to play your stupid reindeer games.

ode to a supersonic plane

[The Concorde's last flight]

concorde.jpgWatching the Concorde was a ritual for Natalie and I, when she was younger and impressed by such things. We would wait every morning for the tell-tale rumble, the slight shaking of the ground. We always felt and heard the jet minutes before it would appear in the sky like a futuristic bird.

As the rumble grew louder and nearer, Natalie would yell excitedly "It's coming mommy! It's coming!" Outside we would go, necks craned, eyes upward, waiting for our glimpse at the wonders of modern aviation.

Natalie fancied the Concorde to be the ultimate in travel. She would save any money she got for birthdays or holidays, put it away in a coffee can and tell anyone who would listen that she was saving up so she could take a trip on the Concorde.

The awe was not just my child's; it was mine as well. The sleek shape of the jet, the way in which it cut through the sky like a rocket, the noise and tremors it caused all took my breath away. How far techonolgy had come, I thought, to create something so beautiful, so powerful. Not many people can see beauty in a plane, I know. But there was something about the Concorde that made me view it as if it were art. The downward nose and the outstretched wings and yes, the idea that there were rich, important people flying in that piece of modern art certainly gave it part of its appeal.

Until 9/11, I considered it a privilege to live so close to an airport, to be able to see the beauty and grace of air flight up close every day. I didn't mind the noise levels or the occasional rattle of my dishes; I was lucky to be able to lay on my lawn and look skyward, watching the landing gear emerge from the belly of the plane. Sometimes the planes would fly so low that I imagined the people on board could see me; when I was a child I often waved to the passengers.

That joy of watching airplanes is slowly coming back. The fear of them has dissipated a bit in the 19 months since 9/11. Sometimes, when the flight pattern changes due to bad weather and the jets scream so low over my roof that the kids playing football on the lawn stop in mid-play, worried looks on their faces, I still get nervous. But mostly, I am back to feeling privileged at my ability to step outside and see the glory of air travel every day, almost up close.

I will miss the approach of the Concorde and that starstruck feeling that surged through me every time it graced my presence. But I'll always have those moments to remember, when Natalie held tight to my arm as the jet neared, giddy with anticipation.

So long, Concorde. Thanks for the memories.