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July 31, 2003

a terrorist in my kitchen?

lookout.jpgThis is Abderraouf Jdey. He is a terrorist. The FBI would like you to be on the lookout for him. He is a Tunisian native and citizen of Canada, who used to hang out with Mohamed Atef. He is also known as Farouq Al-Tunisi.

Apparently, he has also stolen my dish towel.

In other news, the FBI has added ferries to its list of potential ways terrorist might get around. The ferries now join the list of planes, trains, automobiles, subways, trams, buses, cable cars, submarines, Segways, mini-bikes, stilts and skateboards of things to be vigilant about.

I want my dish towel back.

just saying

I'm busy sorting my photos for 26 Things, which I really should have done by now. Ever the procrastinator, I am.

Anyhow, I came across a prescient photo. Remember the cannibal hamster we had, who fornicated his wife to death? Remember his name was Kobe?


[click for giant rodent size]

hail to the king, baby

bubbaho.jpgWhen John does his bloggers favorite movies list again next year, I know what I'll be adding to my own: Bubba Ho-Tep.

I just watched the trailer. Again. I've been following the making of this film forever.

Elvis (Bruce Campbell) teams up with Jack(Ossie Davis), a fellow nursing home resident who thinks that he is actually President John F. Kennedy, and the two valiant old codgers sally forth to battle an evil Egyptian entity who has chosen their long-term care facility as his happy hunting grounds.

Do I sense an instant classic in the making? Yes, I do.

So, who's going to meet me September 26th at the Angelika to watch it? I'll buy the popcorn.


There is nothing better than coming home from work and ripping your bra off.

Better than even crack, I tell you.

Speaking of things as good as crack: Lee was always one of my favorite bloggers; a wonderful writer with a great sense of humor. She disappeared into the blog void and she's thinking of coming back. She says if we can get 100 people to leave a comment on this post, she will come back and we will all be better for it, I swear. She's a beautiful woman with a heart of gold and her blog will always be worth reading. So come on minions, even if you don't plan on reading her, go leave a comment on my behalf so she comes back.

movies, movies: my choices and i'm sticking by them

UPDATE: Pay attention, people. Apropos some of your comments, I point out the now bolded phrase in this post:

Here's the list of movies you've all been hanging on to the edge of your seat just waiting for (see Movies, Movies and Bloggers pick the best movies ever).

Now, keep in mind these are in no particular order with the exception of Empire Strikes Back which is, and will always be (although some days LOTR briefly takes over) the best movie of all time, according to me. Those of you who rank Star Wars: A New Hope above ESB are just plain old crazy.

1. Empire Strikes Back
2. Star Wars
3. The Big Lebowski
4. Amelie
5. Legends of the Fall
6. Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring
7. The Godfather
8. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
9. Princess Bride
10. Leon (The Professional)
11. Jaws
12. A Christmas Story
13. Toy Story
14. Army of Darkness
15. 12 Monkeys
16. This is Spinal Tap
17. Night of the Living Dead
18. Spirited Away
19. Ghostbusters
20. West Side Story
21. Fantasia
22. Slapshot
23 Nightmare Before Christmas
24. Donnie Darko
25. Any movie with zombies

Sure, you will chastise me for some of those choices. Honestly, my list changes weekly, sometimes daily. It depends on my mood and what I've recently watched and sometimes I am influenced by the commentary on a DVD. Just looking at it now, I see that I forgot True Romance, and I'm sure there are many others I wish I could have included.

Go ahead, pick on my choices. I dare you. I triple dog dare you.

hockey, liquor and passing out on the lawn

Shot.jpeMac wrote yesterday about the new minor league hockey team in Birmingham. Yes, hockey.

The Alabama team will be part of the WHA2:

The WHA2, which begins its inaugural season this fall, will be the principal minor league for a rebirth of the old WHA, which begins play in 2004.

Now, I don't get where the people who came up with the "rebirth" of the WHA got the idea that there was room for another hockey league in the world. Last I checked, the NHL wasn't exactly getting fans breaking down the doors to get into their games.

Anyhow, the Alabama team has finally chosen a name: The Alabama Slammers.

And now, I will never be able to cheer for, watch or have anything to do with that team. See, the words Alabama and Slammer put together cause a stream of bile to force its way up into my throat. In fact, my stomach is clenching right now.

August, 1980. My 18th birthday. This is when the drinking age was still 18. We went to a bar in Syosset to celebrate. The Upper Deck, affectionately known to us as The Upper Wreck.

We sat in a corner booth and the festivities began. Our 18th birthday ritual was as such: 18 shots each of two different drinks. Not just shots of liquor, but shots of drinks meant to be sweet and cloying. 18th birthdays weren't really a celebration for us, they were an excuse to torture each other.

First up, 18 shots of Kamikazes. Vodka, Triple Sec and lime juice. That stuff makes your teeth hurt. I took my shots like a man, downing them all in 30 seconds flat. I smiled for the Polaroid camera shots. For a person whose nickname was "One Drink Michele," I was handling my liquor just fine.

Next up, 18 shots of Alabama Slammers. Southern Comfort, Amaretto, Sloe Gin and lemon juice. Took me a little longer to get these drinks down, but I managed just fine.

We talked, we laughed, we sat there for what seemed like hours while I enjoyed a nice, light buzz.

Wow, I'm not even drunk, I remember saying. So I had a few beers and a couple of shots of 151 rum.

And then I stood up. And the world went away.

I don't remember much after that point except laying on the grass next to the parking lot remarking on how much the moon looked like my ex-boyfriend's ass.

I woke up the next morning in my own bed, still in my clothes from the night before. There were grass stains on my knees and my shirt smelled like vomit. My hair was sticky and stringy.

How the hell did I get home? What did I do before I got here?

I quickly called my friend Mary who was with me the night before.

She assured me that the grass stains on my knees should not trouble me. They were just from the hour I spent leaning over the grass throwign up. We were driven home by one of the bartenders. Mary's car was still in Syosset.

I spent that entire day walking between my bed and the bathroom. And I swore off drinking, at least Alabama Slammers.

So, unfortunatley, I won't be joining the Slammers fan club. Not that hockey in Birmingham is worth taking seriously, anyhow.

the anti-american left strikes again

From Front Page Mag [via Brent]

An organization calling itself the “International Occupation Watch Center” has set up shop in Baghdad with the express purpose of inciting U.S. troops to seek discharges and be sent home as conscientious objectors. It is inciting defection of troops at war by (technically) other means.

The organization is founded by none other than Medea Benjamin, Code Pink founder, supporter of Catro, and organizer of human shields. Her partner in crime is Leslie Cagan:

Cagan maintained her membership in the Communist Party even after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

So these anti-American activists are taking their show on the road, where they will physically approach soldiers and try to talk them into deserting, basically undermining the operations in Iraq.

In order to pursue their goal of beating down everything George Bush does, Medea and company have no problem engaging in tactics that will put the freedom-seeking Iraqi people at risk as they fight the opposing forces that still do exist.

The left has become the enemy of the Iraqi people, not just of America and the Bush administration.

Is that not an act of treason to go into a combat-heavy country and entice soldiers into leaving their posts? And who will take care of these soldiers when they get a discharge and suddenly find themselves without a career? Conscietous Objecters, my ass. Occupation Watch workers will find the most vulnerable, homesick soldiers and ply them with leftist propaganda and visions of being home in their own beds. The soldiers who do fall into Medea's trap will be left to fend for themselves once they agree to leave and become another notch in the left's belt.

They don't care. They just don't care about anything except tearing Bush to shreds and undermining anything America does. They are so entrenched in their deep hatred for America that they don't care about the bodies and souls they leave lying in their wake, just as long as their point is made.

The people of Iraq, most of them anyhow, want freedom. They want this to work. Trying to take that away from them in the name of your angry movement is the heigh of selfishness. And, I believe, a crime against your country.

Read the whole thing.

movies, movies

As usual, running late, no time to delve into today's topics (cameras in the classroom; Bush and gay marriage), but I do have this light topic:

Right Wing News:Bloggers Select the 15 Greatest Movies of All Time.

39 bloggers, including myself, participated. I sent in a list of 25 films. Only five of my choices made the top 15; three made the honorable mentions list.

I guess I'm just not into the classics. I never saw Gone With The Wind. Wizard of Oz gives me nightmares. And I hated, hated Forrest Gump.

So, which of my selections made it and which didn't? That's for me to know and you to find out.

That is, let's see how well you know me. Any idea what movies were in my top 25 (you don't have to guess them all, one or two would suffice), or care to take a guess which of the 15 that made the list or which of the honorable mentions were mine?

July 30, 2003

in the batting circle...

Next Tuesday, August 5th, I will have a column up at FoxSports New England.

I'll be subbing that day for Edward Cossette, formerly of Bambino's Curse.

Edward's substitutle line-up that week also includes Isaac Taylor, Dave Pinto, Alex Belth and Tony Pierce. Good company I'm in.

So, what does a Yankee fan write about when she is invited to write on a Red-Sox-centric site? The Yankees, of course. Stay tuned for the hate mail.

Thanks, Edward.

got milk?

So, let's get this straight. A guy goes to a titty bar, gets a lap dance from a woman who was apparently lactating. The women squirts some breast milk on him. The guy runs screaming as if he was hit with a bucketful of acid. He files a police report and presses charges against her for assault.

I hope he remembers this next time he thinks it would be really hot to pump a load of his jizz in his girlfriend's eye. I'm betting breast milk doesn't sting nearly as bad.

Suck it up, guy. There are some people who would have paid good money to be in your place.

movie time with ben and j-lo

After reading the reviews of the new J-Lo/Affleck fiasco, Gigli, I couldn't help myself.


Doesn't the star of this movie look just like Chris Pirillo?

UPDATE: This post has has been the cause of great concern byDavid.

It is apparent that although she is brilliant, Michele is very disturbed. Terrifying warning signals reverberate through this post. There are references to bestiality, cannibalism, and homophobic slurs against Jennifer Lopez. It is apparent to me after her open references to drugs and alcohol on her blog that she is an aloholic and a drug addict and I am deeply concerned. I hope for her and her childrens' sake she seeks help soon.

God, I feel for those kids.

David, perhaps I should try Zoloft? Get a grip on myself? Take the chip off of my shoulder? Stop whining? Pray tell, guide me oh special one before I do something drastic, like eat more kittens for their bloooood!

heard it through the grapevine

Another day, another scam.

I first heard of Word-of-Mouth this morning, at Laurence’s place. Then I started receiving emails from the same URL as Laurence, emails telling me that someone was looking to spread gossip or search for information about me and I can find out just what that gossip is for only $19.97!. Then Kevin over at Wizbang wrote about it, and explained the scam.

Now, I’m not going to fall for this and pay someone to find out what people are saying about me. I get that for free by going to certain blogs. But it does leave me quite curious. Just what are people looking for and, more importantly, what kind of gossip are they spreading about me?

Well, don’t go dropping good money that can otherwise be spent on Nigerian consulates who offer you fortunes or a bigger penis in ten days. I’m sure you heard all the rumors as it is, and you don’t need some scam website to confirm them for you for cash. I’ll confirm every rumor for you, and then you can put your wallet away and get the added benefit of not having to rummage through certain blogs and the ensuing comments to get to know the real me. It’s like free beer - free foamy, watery, tap beer. In a dirty glass.

I am really a 250 lb midget who moonlights at a circus, doing double duty as both the bearded lady and the one who steps in lion shit so the clowns can point at me and laugh. Makes the kids laugh like crazy. I spend my days offering sex to strangers in order to combat my deep-seated need to feel loved, even if that love is only physical. Once in a while you can find me in a seedy neighborhood bar, throwing darts and playing Tammy Wynette on the jukebox. I drink Tanqueray, straight out of the bottle. I don’t really have any kids. Sometimes I’ll go to an orphanage to see if there’s a kid I can take out for the day, then we’ll go stand in front of Penn Station and panhandle. People can’t resist a begging kid, especially a five-year old orphan in a wheelchair, holding a sign that says “My daddy is Carson Daily and he won’t give me any money, but he bought that Tara Reid whore her tits.” On Saturdays I drink the blood of the small kittens I sacrifice. Sundays are a day of rest, so you’ll find me on my back, making some extra money, usually behind the 7-11, where the drunk old men hang out. I roll them for money when I’m done with them, then blow it all on Mountain Dew Slurpees, topped off with whatever leftover liquor I can find in my mother’s garbage. I used to run guns for Castro, I slept with Noriega and Imelda Marcos (but not at the same time), I have ties to a militant group on the Island of Misfit Toys and I voted for Nader in the last election.

There, now put the ten bucks back in your wallet and back away from those other comment sections. The truth has set me free.

panic button

You ever wake up with that feeling of impending doom, like something is about to happen - something bad - and you just don't know what?

That's how I woke up this morning. I've been looking over my shoulder all day, constantly refreshing the CNN page waiting to see that red-bannered breaking news headline announcing armageddon.

I was exchanging emails with Faith this morning about September 11 and how days with a beautiful blue sky and pleasant temperatures always make us think of that day.

And then I had my first panic attack in over a year. The last one was in March 2002 and shortly after that (that day I had a series of panic attacks lasting almost the entire afternoon), I started taking anti-anxiety medication and life has been panic-free since [I've had panic attacks since 9th grade, so we can't blame that on 9/11].

And then today. I was attempting to cross Main street in order to get a salad from McDonald's. My feet froze. I broke out in a cold sweat and headed into that void where everything feels like a dream and I knew the closed throat and short breaths were not far away. I walked back into the building, composed myself and walked back out again. I wasn't going to give in to this one.

I eventually made it to McDonald's and back into my office, but I write this with shaky hands and a light head.

As Faith said: I know I ask this over and over, and that there's no answer, but when does it stop?

What I want to know is why does it keep suprising me? Why does that day and the panic sneak up on me in my sleep and wake me like a sinister alarm clock sometimes? Why do I carry that feeling throughout the day and let it hang over me like a storm?

And yes, when will it stop?

cut it out! - a guide to shortened cartoons (and a fun request)

[via Ultimate Insult]

Poor Bugs Bunny. We'll never know for sure how many of his lines, and those of his buddies, have fallen to the cutting room floor in the name of political correctness, but we get a good idea of the cuts from Censored Looney Tunes.

Granted, some of the cut scenes were completely offensive, albeit a product of their time. But some of them reek of the culture of non-responsibility, wherein behaviors seen on television might cause a viewer to repeat those behaviors, thus engaging in something they shouldn't, causing havoc, and then turning around and suing the creators of the program and/or the television station that aired it for putting those nasty ideas in their head in the first place.

The following are all scenes that have actually been cut from cartoons. The reasons given are made up by me, of course, but that doesn't mean they don't have a basis in reality.

"Apes of Wrath" (Freleng; 1959): ABC: The entire beginning sequence wherein the drunken stork clubs Bugs on the head to substitute him for the real baby ape was gone. Also edited was the mother gorilla running after her husband and bashing his head with a rolling pin. Further, scenes of Bugs "playfully" hitting Elvis with a stick were shortened.

Reason: May cause children to believe that storks bring babies, thus making the whole concept of pre-k sex education confusing.

"Baby Buggy Bunny" (Jones; 1954): ABC: The scene wherein Bugs puts Baby Face Finster in the washing machine after Finster has played with the "dirty money" was removed from this cartoon. Also gone was Bugs throwing Finster up in the air, saying, "Oh dear, I do believe I have forgotten my fudge," walking away, and letting Finster land flat on his face; the cut was done so that it appeared that Finster fell from atop a bookshelf. Deleted too was Bugs learning painfully the truth about Finster's "toy" gun. "Yeesh, some toy!"

Reason: The censors did not have the sense of humor required to understand that this was one of the best episodes ever. May cause adults to abuse children or launder money.

"Beep, Beep!" (Jones; 1952): Nickelodeon: In the original version of this cartoon, Wile E. Coyote falls off of a cliff and before he hits gorge bottom, he swallows two Aspirin. Nickelodeon removed the Aspirin.

Falling off of a cliff is all fine and dandy, kids. But whatever you do, DO NOT TAKE THE ASPIRIN! Good thing we realized in time that aspirin is a gateway drug.

"One Froggy Evening" (Jones; 1955): ABC: The sign that reads, "Free Beer," that is placed outside of the theatre in the man's attempt to attract customers was excised. WB: Same edit as on ABC.

Reason: The beer industry issued a cease and desist letter to Warner Brothers.

"Fright Before Christmas" (Freleng; 1979): ABC: Missing was the Tasmanian Devil eating Christmas tree bulbs and chain lights and electrifying himself as Bugs reads Clyde's "brief" Christmas want list that includes a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde chemical set.

Reason: The ACLU was concerned that this clip would suggest that only Catholics and Christians could electrocute themselves during the holiday season.

And now, for the interactive fun portion of the blog!

There's more, more, more where these came from. There's also another site with a list of cuts. Go find one of the deleted scenes and come up with your own reason for the cut. Come on, make me laugh so I can forget that Friday is so far away.

Oh, and go watch Wakkiki Wabbit, one of the best episodes ever. W're gonna have woast wabbit!

UPDATE: Phil has the good news that they will be releasing the uncut, uncensored versions of the MM and LT cartoons on DVD in October.

wheels of tragedy!!

I stumbled onto the site for the Highway Safety Films Project. Mechanized Death!

Ah, Driver's Ed. Gore films, scare tactics and thinking the care was in drive when it was really in reverse. But that's another story.

I'm using the finding of this site to repeat my driver's ed post from March of 2002, because I really need to get some work done right now. Enjoy.

I took driver's ed in 1979, the beginning of my senior year in high school. The class met two days a week after school, one day for driving and one day for classroom lecture.

The classroom lecture consisted mostly of us watching films while the instructor, Mr D. (who was also our history teacher) used his pointer to draw attention to the finer points of the film. He banged the screen with that wooden stick enough that he there were several holes in it by the end of the semester. He took his driving seriously. Mr. D was all about the dangers that lurked on the roadways. Apparently, death and mayhem were waiting to greet us at every turn.

The first film we saw that year would later be referred to as "The Box of Death." It was animated, as most of the gore-fest driver's ed films were, and starred a crudely drawn teenager driving a sports car. The teen is speeding down a residential street when he approaches a box in the middle of the road. Just a big, white cardboard box sitting in the middle of a side street. A bubble pops up above the teen's head, cartoon style, and in it we see the teen is thinking of his two choices in the situation: drive around the box (good choice) or drive over the box (bad choice). Cheesy music plays. Tension abounds. The teen guns the engine and goes for it.

At this point Mr. D. stops the film.
"What do you think is going to happen here, class?"
"Uhh...hes going to hit the box..."
"YES!" Pointer smacks screen. "He is going to hit the box! Because he has MADE THE WRONG CHOICE!" Each word brings a smack of the pointer. The flimsly screen sways. "Would you like to see what happens? Are you ready to see where a bad choice can lead you?" We begin to think he is reading from the same script as the police officer who came to warn us, a bit late, about drugs.
Those of us who aren't already asleep encourage him to play the rest of the film.

Our speeding teenager who made the wrong choice continues down the road, hell bent on running down that mysterious box. He hits it with a loud thud, and the box goes flying in the air. It lands on the sidewalk. The teen gets out of the car and stand there with a Home Alone look of surprise on his face. He walks to the box, where it rests upside down and battered, and carefully lifts it up. I don't know what we expected to see. Garbage or soda cans or even homeless kitties. But, no...we see an arm. A small child's cartoon arm sticking out of the box, looking somewhat bruised and bloody.

Instead of recoiling in horror and shame, we burst out laughing.

"Is there something funny about a dead child?" Mr. D is not happy with us.
We giggle uncontrollably. A kid was the last thing we expected to be in the box. Why? Because it's incredibly absurd. Someone comments that if a kid was hiding in a cardboard box in the middle of the road, he sort of deserves to be hit by a car. Mr. D. threatens us all with driver's ed failure. Then he lectures on The Box.

"That box could be filled with anything. Leaves, children, bricks!" We are rolling on the floor now. We have no idea what box he is talking about. For as long as all of us have lived on this earth, none of us have ever come across a cardboard box, empty or filled with small children, in the middle of the road. We make jokes about brick-filled boxes. We make bad puns revolving around kids named Jack (jack-in-the-box...get it?). Mr. D. realizes lecturing on The Box is useless. He warns us that the films we will see in the coming weeks will make The Box look like a comic book.

We spend the subsequent lecture days in a dark classroom, projector rolling and Mr. D. banging the pointer around. We see school buses imploding. Cars going off cliffs. Rag doll bodies being thrown through car windshields. Corpses, brains, body parts and crying teenagers, all ketchup and fake goo and Jamie Lee Curtis caliber screaming, set to a 70's soundtrack that sounds as if it were ripped from a porn film. They had titles like "Death Never Takes a Holiday" and "Mechanized Death" and "Blood on the Highway" and we began to look forward to these films the way we looked forward to watching horror movies at Mike's house on Friday nights.

These films became the Reefer Madness of driving culture. Instead of scaring us as they were intended to do, they served as pure entertainment. There were kids who weren't even taking driver's ed and would sneak into our classroom just to see "When Death Comes Driving."

We were sad when the semester ended and our car crash gorefest was over. We all passed Mr. D.'s class with flying colors, most likely because didn't want to see us in his classroom again the next semester. We were the kids who laughed at death.

I'm sure Mr. D. would be happy to know that all these years later, I still think of him every time I run down a box in the road.

this one time, at blogger camp...

I usually remember every detail of my dreams, in great clarity. However, this morning I've been frustrated at not being able to recall my dream, but able to recall just the sense that it was something I may not want to remember.

And then I'm on an early morning phone call with an attorney and, bam! Mid-sentence I remember the dream. My mouth hangs open.

The attorney is yelling into his cell "Hello? You still there? Hello?"

Oh yea, sorry, just remembered that I dreamed last night of being in a three-way with some bloggers who will remain unnamed and my parents walked into the bedroom and caught us in the act and I couldn't find my panties and there I am scrambling around, naked and embarassed and finally the police pull up, sirens blaring and hustle us off in our birthday suits because we had some nerve having sex together when there were other bloggers who weren't getting any at all, and there were reporters at the station house and Mickey Kaus had a whole column about it the next day and my god, my parents were mortified but, hey, my blog made number one in the ecosystem because everyone wanted to see if I was going to post pictures of my sexual liason with the two unnamed bloggers.

"Sorry," I say to the attorney, "must have lost the connection for a second."

If only there were a recycle bin for dreams.

one for the road

I'm almost done with my 26things.

Short poll - which picture should I use for the "food" category?

[click for big appetite size]


Late start today, so I'll just leave you with some Very Special Links until I can get settled in at work and begin blogging and not working.

Dean Esmay interviews Cox & Forkum

Carnival of the Vanities is over at Lies, Damn Lies, and Statstics.

Thank you, Yankee management.

Happy Birthday Gnat and Buzz.

The saddest thing I've read this week.

Traffic awaits.

July 29, 2003

fact and fiction, part 2

I mentioned the other day that I am re-reading Nelson DeMille's The Lion's Game.

I picked up the book tonight and hit this passage, whrere the fugitive-on-a-jihad Kahlil is in a taxi cab with a compatriot:

"If you look that way, sir, to your right, you will see lower Manhattan, what they call the Financial District. You will notice the two very tall and identical towers."

Kahlil lookeed at the massive buildings of lower Manhattan, which seemed to rise out of the water. He saw the two towers of the World Trade Cener and appreciated Jabbar pointing them out. Kahlil said, "Maybe next time."

Jabbar smiled and replied, "God willing."

That was written in 2000.

I put the book down and looked for something else to read.

want some cawfee?

I've been thinking about my accent.

For years, I would swear to anyone who asked that I do not have a Long Island accent. Deny, Deny, Deny.

Statia mentioned accents today. Lileks mentioned accents - Madonna does not have a Long Island accent James. It's more like wannabe Bronx.

So here it is. I do have an accent.

I say mawl instead of mall. I say cawfee instead of coffee.

Yea, I go to the mawl with my dawter to have some cawfee and tawk. You should hear my when I'm on a cursing streak. I sound like something that crawled out of a South Shore sewer.

There are a number of people who can attest to this infliction I have. Meryl, Melly, Alan, Travis, just to name a few.

Go ahead guys, my threat to kill you if you told is cancelled.

It's a curse to sound like MaryJo Buttafuco. At least I don't act like her. Yet.

Don't come near my husband, bitch.

a short film

For Tim Blair:


[You really need to read the Blair link to get it. Film made with Dfilm]

open discussion

I love open, honest discussion. Of course, that only happens when you have two open, honest people who are willing to listen to someone else's point of view. Which is why I love emaling with . Rossi She makes some very good, personal points in response to my take on the gay high school issue.

Go read. I mean, you should be reading Rossi anyhow.

i smell a rat

I deleted this post for various reasons. Mostly, because it was petty. I should have taken my concerns directly to Cat instead of going out in the open here.

Also, many of the commenters are right on the money: The point was to raise money for MDA, which we did, with great results. Nothing else should matter.

imminent danger, stay vigilant, be alert, etc., etc., etc.

More Hijacks on the Way?

Huh? Did you say something? Sorry, I stopped paying attention.

Just tell me if I need to put away the yellow Chucks and take out the orange..


Did I or did I not ask you to come up with a title for my story?

I'm thinking of cleaning it up and enterting in two short story contests this month. (Trail of the Slug was apparently too long to be considered a short story).

Go. Name my story, because that, to me, is the hardest part of the writing process - giving my babies names.

bad sponsor ideas

Seen on my way to work today, on the Nassau Coliseum billboard:

Pop Tarts presents American Idol Live!

the new segregation

Yes, everyone and their blog-brother is commenting on New York's gay public high school, but that won't stop me from adding my two cents.

I've always been a big advocate of gay rights, but this decision does not sit right with me.

This is a typical liberal suggestion: stigmatize the victim, reward the victimizer. While I do believe these kids will benefit from a fear-free environment in which to learn, I see too many ways this is a bad, bad idea.

Basically, the public school system in New York is saying "we can't handle the problem of gay bashing in our schools, so we'll just make the mess go away by making the gay students go away."

What a boon the public school administrators. They don't have to deal with support groups, weeping students, harassment lawsuits and the whole sticky mess that erupts when gay students want to go to the prom together. They are, in effect, kowtowing to the anti-gay crowd by doing this, while trying to come off as champions of gay rights.

What kind of precedent do they set when they feel the best way to deal with bullying and harrasment in schools is to remove the victims from the schools? Why isn't the administration taking care of the people who are actually doing the victimizing? Where is the reform school for bullies?

Remember that problem I had with DJ and his bully this past school year? Remember how I was angered that the administration wanted to find out what made the bully tick, and whether or not my son had been sending out signals that he should be picked on? Now, imagine if they had suggested my son go to a special school for kids who are picked on. Remove him from the situation and it goes away, right? Wrong. I wouldn't have stood for it.

By removing the gay kids from the situation, they are giving the bullies and gay-bashers a clear win. Those strong-armed kids will now be thinking "Hey, if there's a group of people I don't like, I can just pick on them until the school gets rid of them for me."

This is not sound thinking on the part of NYC schools. They have done nothing to reduce the harassment, nothing to teach the bullies about proper behavior and respecting fellow human beings, nothing to punish the kids who reduce others to tears because they are different.

This is where our society has gone wrong and it's completely a liberal thing. All this nonsense about feelings, and all the touchy-feely handling of victimizers has gotten out of hand. Columbine was a result of that. Columbine was not a gun issue. It was an issue of kids getting to the breaking point because no one would hear them, no one would dare blame the bullies and instead blamed the kids for looking or acting different than your normal, run-of-the-mill jock or class president.

So what happens when the gay students are shuttled off to another school? I know what it does not do. It does not make the situation any better, it only sweeps a portion of the situation under the rug. You're still left with bigoted, small minded kids in the other school. You have not taught them anything good. The only lesson learned here is that if you act brutish enough, people will remove your enemies out of your way. What a fabulous lesson to take out into the world after high school, eh?

I also imagine that the high school will become a focal point for anti-gay activists, now that they know where to find a whole bunch of gay kids in one place. It's like sticking a target on their head and yelling "Ready, Aim, Fire!" to their opponents.

S.W.A.T: making the moonbats even more batty

[Warning: Someone posted a really nasty picture at the Indymedia link below. Be careful as you scroll down that page.]

[via analog kid] Seems the upcoming movie S.W.A.T. is not sitting so well with the left-coast moonbats.

Do you remember the tv show S.W.A.T.? It was a favorite of ours, and we spent many a night running around the neighborhood, pretending to be S.W.A.T team members, lurking around corners with our "guns" at the ready. How cool were these guys, dressed in black and armed to the teeth? It was revved up violence at its finest and the show was blasted by concerned adults everywhere who thought the violence was over the top. Of course it was. That's what made the show so great. That and the theme song.

Now, in this age of everything-retro and reliving the 70's and 80's the S.W.A.T movie comes along. Looks to be good fun, great nostalgia moment.

Not so for the oh-so-sensitive folks over in the far corners of the left. They want to take subversive action to deface the movie posters for S.W.A.T. Their delicate sensibilities have been hurt, their feelings have been injured and their blood pressure has been raised by a poster for a movie. By a piece of fiction.

I definitely think that the movie-going public will need to be informed that movies glorifying the militarization of law enforcement are not entertainment.

Sure they are. Then again, we're talking about a group of people here who hate cops and would take pleasure in seeing a poster for a movie called Kill All The Pigs.

Case in point:

Some of the billboards are at ground level. So, how about, on white paper, big black letters on a white background, saying, "For free tickets, dial 1-800 kilpigs...or something like that.

I see. So a poster depicting a fictional account of a fictional police team doing fictional things is horrifying and a blight on society, but glorifying the murder of police officers is ok.

Now, scroll down that page to see the modifications made to the original S.W.A.T. poster.

Ah, Samuel L. Jackson is a sellout. I mean, he's black and he's making money in Hollywood. How dare he!

Then there's the one glorifying cop-killing. Lest you think that one is too sublte, check out the name of the jpg.

And what would be a loony left action without calling for the death of Bush and Cheney? I just wouldn't have felt complete if this call to action against a movie poster didn't somehow invoke the war criminal mantra.

Perhaps I would be more inclined to listen to the opinions and views of these people if they didn't engage in double standards on a constant basis. They claim to be about racial equality, yet they piss and moan about Jackson making this movie. I don't remember any cries about violence when he made Pulp Fiction. I guess playing a hitman is ok, but playing a police officer is a no-no.

They claim to be about peaceful solutions to problems, but here they are using the tired phrase "kill pigs" to make their point. Remember, kids, police using force - bad. Using force against police - good. That will be on your Moonbats 101 test tomorrow.

I'm tired of their narrow thinking, that the world should submit to their idols or face the consequences. They will burn down your house, set your cars on fire, splatter your store with paint, break windows, destroy public property, physicallly attack those who oppose them (see, PETA), all in the name of their cause. They will hold up signs telling you to kill cops, kill the president, destroy your neighbor's SUV, yet they say they are about peace. Peace on whose terms? Peace according to whom?

These idiots think living in an anarchist world without cops or leaders would be a utopian dream. This is a testament to the fact that they never think things through. They see the here and now and what they want, what they think is right. They are the most selfish lot of people I have ever been witness to.

When are they going to get it? Will there ever come a time when one of them will take a step back and see what they have become? In their attempts to make the world this vanilla flavored drink, they have poisoned the waters.

They are ruining society. They are wringing the joy out of every act of living.

I think I'll round up the neighborhood kids for a good game of S.W.A.T. tonight. Bring back the joy of rounding up the bad guys, of making fake machine gun sounds, of acting out a slow, agonizing death while you writhe around on the ground and your friends get a good laugh.

It's time to take back childhood from the moonbats, before they make everything other than breathing politically incorrect.

July 28, 2003

dvorak does carrottop

Is anyone suprised that John Dvorak behaved like a complete tool at Gnomedex?

I paid $100 to come to Gnomedex. I paid that money to see people like Tim O'Reilly talk about emergent technology and such. I came to see Dan Gillmor talk about emergent journalism and Chris talk about RSS. I didn't come to have John C. Dvorak behave like Carrottop with powerpoint jokes and bag on a signficant part of the audience

Dvorak is probably the only person in his field who just doesn't get blogs.


my goals are lofty, indeed

This has been a very quiet commenting day. Usually on Mondays, I can't keep up with my comments? Is it me? I swear a took a shower and put deodorant on today. It's my breath, isn't it?

Well I noticed that I am slowly but surely making my way up the ladder of the Ecosystem. In fact, I am sneaking up on the creator of the system himself. Sure, I'm still a mortal human, but if just 121 people link me, I can surpass Charles and and become a higher being! I wonder if that comes with the power to smite my enemies? I mean, why would you want to claw your way to the top and become a higher being if it didn't come with certain perks?

Anyhow, where the hell are you people today? Sunning? Sleeping? Out buying me some Scope?

every day is halloween

jacklights.gifIt's never too early to start thinking about Halloween. Even Neil Gaiman has his Halloween plans in motion. When asked by a representativ from a movie channel if he would host their Halloween special he said:

"As a responsible and serious-minded author," I asked myself, "what kind of message would you be sending to the world by appearing as a cheesy horror host at Hallowe'en and introducing scary movies?"

I said yes immediately. I hope I get to climb out of a coffin at some point. I've always wanted to climb out of a coffin.

Is it any wonder I love that guy?

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. What more could expect from someone who thinks all good things in life involve zombies? It's more than just the scary costumes and candy and creepy stories that abound on that day; it's the seasonas well. There is nothing like a cool, crisp autumn day, the trees blazing with color, the breeze blowing sweet chills on the back of your neck, and me with a closet full of hoodies that are just begging to be worn.

My mother is the Halloween decorator. This works for me, as she lives across the street from me so I can live vicariously through her decorations as I am the world's greatest procrastinator and if I decorated, the ghosts and goblins would go up around Thanksgiving. So I help my mother out every year; we usually start in August, coming up with various themes and ways to implement them (see, Kurt Cobain's ghost)

When I was in that headshop/trend-o-rama Utopia that I wrote about the other day, I came upon an idea when I was browsing the movie merchandise in the upstairs gallery. We had talked about this idea before, but never got off of our butts and actually used it.

Nightmare Before Christmas. It ranks up their in both of our favorite movies list. My kids love the movie. My two year old nephew loves the movie (as soon as he walks in my house he says "Jack! Put on Jack!).

Imagine - a whole yard devoted to NBC. You can't imagine the things they have available. I'll even force my kids to dress as characters for the movie. Yes, this is going to work. It will be especially sweet to do this year as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of this great film.

Yep, it's July and I'm ready to get started on Halloween.

militant activists in montreal

Anti-WTO "activists" take to the streets of Montreal and...now don't be suprised here...vandalize public property.

[AN] organizer, Stefan Christoff, defended the violence against the stores, saying the Gap is a multinational corporation that runs sweatshops.

Fortunately for us (but not for her) this all happened with 60 feet of Bill's workplace. And man is she pissed. Watch her tear into them.

great moments in yankee history. sort of.

Who says Yankee fans don't have a sense of humor? I found this so funny I actually snorted while laughing.

June 6, 1990: Six months after the death of Billy Martin, Steinbrenner orders the body dug up and hires him as manager for the sixth time. There is no apparent difference between the dead Martin and the manager he replaces, Stump Merrill.

Feb. 18, 1999: The Yankees acquire five-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens. Boston responds by changing the greeting on the club's phone lines from "Home of the 1918 World Series champions" to "Yankees Suck!"


i guess this is what i was thinking

Remember that half finished story I found about the woman looking for superhero love? I took your advice and finished it. Sort of. I guess it's a work in progress and can use some cleaning up and fresher dialogue, but you can at least see how the story ends before I edit it to pieces.

It's untitled and will remain so until one of you comes up with a good name. Suggestions also taken on the story line.

Think of it as interactive fiction writing.

[I just wrote this during my lunch hour, so be kind to the typos and grammatical errors, this is unedited work at its freshest]

The lady says to her:
“So, let’s get this profile of yours started. What exactly are you looking for in a man?
“A cape and a sword.
“Come again?”
“A cape and a sword. And he should look good in tights.”
The lady nods her head politely, but her eyes are saying “this one’s out of her fucking mind.”
“Right. Cape. Sword. Tights.” She puckers her lips tightly. “Seems like you’re looking for a superhero.” She chuckles as she says this.
“Yes. I am.”
“Aren’t we all, sweetie? Except mine would be wearing a silk robe and boxers.”
Anna nods absently.
“Anyhow,” puckered-lip lady continues, “Any specific traits you’re looking for?”
“Some kind of superpower. But not stretching. Been there, done that.”
“Superpower? You mean like breathe underwater or something of the sorts?”
Anna throws back her head and laughs, loud and hearty.
“Has he been by here? You would think after all this time he would just come clean and hit the gay circuit on the internet.”
Lip lady drums her pen on the desk. She puckers again. Anna thinks it could be a nervous habit..
“I’m not sure I’m following you here,” she says. “Are you some kind of reporter for a satire magazine?”
Anna exhales loudly.
“I am,” she says slowly just in case lip lady is not quite the bright light she makes herself out to be. “Looking for a man.”
“Right. Man with cape, sword, tights, and flying ability.”
“Did I say flying? No, I didn’t.”
“So, you’re open to other umm...superpowers?” Her lips get even tighter and they form a small, red-stained “o” and Anna thinks that lip lady looks like a balloon that’s about to pop.
“I’m open to anything that’s not stretching or flying.”
“You’re serious, aren't you.”
“You know what the odds are, lady?”
“I’m quite aware.”
“Tell you what. Let’s skip over this part for now and get to you.” The lips unpucker and Anna can see red lipstick on the lady’s otherwise gleaming teeth. She says nothing. The lady stifles a yawn and continues.
“Do you have any hobbies?”
“I like scaling walls in my spare time.”
“Mmmhmm. So....you’re an athlete?”
“You could say that.”
“I will.” Lip lady taps, taps, taps the pen. She puckers and unpuckers and Anna thinks of fish.
“Would you prefer an athletic man?”

“If you mean leaping tall buildings athletic, yes.”
“Lady, every woman who comes in here is looking for Superman in one way or another.”
What? You think Superman is the only one who can leap tall buildings? I’ll have you know that he does not own a patent on that superpower.”
Lip lady is getting frustrated. She’s doing the fish thing with her mouth constantly now and tapping her pen on the desk.
“Can you not be so obtuse, miss? I’ve got a bunch of other women out there who will most likely cut the chase and ask for a SM/NS/DF and be done with it.”
“Well then, they will just be settling. There are million SM/NS/DFs in this city. And I bet hardly a one of them has a sword and a cape.”
“Let me guess, you’re looking for that specific one that does.”
Anna smiles. “Obviously.”
Lip lady thumbs through the papers on her desk, looking harried and impatient the whole time.
“I’ve got a D&D player uptown.”
“I’ve got a stage actor on Long Island. He does Shakespeare so there’s sure to be tights and a sword invovled.”
Lip lady is puckering fast and furious now and is just about to give up when a yellowed, wrinkled paper falls out from the pile she is holding.
“Hmm..what’s this?”
Anna leans forward and tries to read along with Lip lady.
“If you are looking for a super man with super power, that’s me. Don’t be afraid of a man in a cape, ladies. You never know what’s underneath that cape until you try.”Anna notices a big “C” marked in red ink across the top of the paper.
Anna smiles.
“We keep the Cs around just for shits and giggles.”
“Well that shit and giggle is mine.”
Lip lady rolls here eyes. “This paper has been around here since 1991. I don’t even know if he’s still at this number or is even still looking for a woman. For all I know, he’s at a science-fiction convention right now dressed as Luke Skywalker.”
“You know so little, ma’am, it’s scary.”
Lip lady looks like she’s about to say something but instead tucks the paper into Anna’s file and makes the fishy face.

“I’ll try to get in touch with him and give him your fact sheet. You can take it from there.”
Anna stands up and walks out. Not a handshake or thank you. Just walks on out the door, and doesn’t see Lip lady taking out a red marker and scrawling a big “C” across Anna’s paper.

Anna’s phone rings two days later.

“Hello, is this Single Girl looking for Superhero?”
“Coffee at 5 today?”
“Meet me in front of the candy shop by Penn. I’ll be the one wearing...”
“A cape,” Anna finishes.

5pm, right on time, Anna sees him standing in front of the candy shop. His cape is black, lined with purple silk. He sword is hidden under the cape, but she knows it’s there. His hair is slicked back in that obnoxious, macho way. She looks for the scar above his eyebrow, just to make sure. It’s there, bright and ugly. She gets a flash of anger when she sees the scar and remembers how he got away the last time. She will not disappoint her crew again.

Cape guy stands there, waiting, expecting a beautiful single women who will fall madly in love with upon first sight, and he doesn’t even give a thought to explaining to a mere mortal why he lives underground and why he can crush a two ton SUV with his bare hands. He just wants a warm body in bed next to him when he comes home from a hard day trying to save the world.

Anna approaches him, her finger steady on the laser gun in the deep pocket of her fur coat. She can tell by the smarmy look on Captain Crusher’s face that he is still the shallow, egocentric man she once worked for, still the guy who thinks he can get by on just his looks and his bone-crushing abilities.

She gets within two feet of Crusher, slips her hand out of her pocket and aims the laser gun at him.

In an instant it’s over. The invisible laser has struck Crusher in his groin, the one place he doesn’t shield with laser-resistant lead. He always had this fear that the lead would make him impotent. Some super beings have an Achille’s heel. Crusher had an Achille’s dick.

As the rush-hour crowd hovers over Crusher, assuming that the crazy guy with the cape had some sort of stroke, Anna makes her way back down the stairs, into the deep of Penn Station.

Her crew will be pleased, indeed. But not as pleased as she.

another in the "lesser-known but dead as well" category

Maybe you've never heard of Jane Barbe, but chances are, you've heard her voice.

"We're sorry, but the number you have reached...."

it's only rock and roll

mick.jpeWhile I was busy going crazy from lack of sleep over the weekend, I missed the opportunity to celebrate Mick Jagger's 60th birthday.

So how is that the icons of my youth are all almost as old as my father (62)? Funny, they never seemed the same age as dad back when I was buying their records and going to their concerts. They were supposed to be ageless and immortal. Rock stars don't become grandfathers. Rock stars don't end up in rocking chairs out on the veranda of some nursing home, talking back to people only they can see.

Well, of course none of that is true. You find out at some point in your youth that rock stars are human and they overdose on drugs or crash their cars into walls or expose themselves to young girls.

When you're young, you tend to see those musicians as they are on their posters and album covers. They are pretty and healthy and perfect. You eventually regret the day when you finally get up close to one of your idols and see that they have scars and zits and they scowl and curse at the roadies.

That's just the way the mind of a teenager works. Now, at almost 41, I look back on how simple my thinking was as a teen. How naive I was. Taken in by all the advertising and fan club newsletters and make up artists, I really believed on some level that rock stars were beyond human. There was something magical and mystical about them that afforded them the ability to look like they had been drinking from the fountain of youth.

I don't remember thinking that Mick Jagger was so close in age to my dad. Maybe I knew, but I pushed the thought away because that would make him old. Hey, when you're thirteen, anything over 25 is old.

And now I know better, I think. Sixty isn't old. Well, maybe it's too old to still have young girls, young enough to be your grandaughter, throwing their undies at you. But I still can't reconcile the fact that my dad and Mick Jagger are almost the same age.

I know now that rock stars aren't ageless and that they really don't want to be your hero. Nor should they be. You should appreciate them for their talents and buy their records and go to their shows, but you should remember that they are human. They get old, they retire, they turn grey and become grandparents. And yes, some of them end up in that rocking chair talking to themselves. Just like us.

So it shouldn't have taken me by surprise that Jagger is sixty. Yet, it did. Maybe I just don't want to believe it because then I have to tie that in to the fact that I am 40 and all of my youthful crushes and idols are old enough to be my parents.

in the "lesser-known but dead as well" department:

Erik Braunn, the lead guitarist of Iron Butterfly, has died.

Those of you in the over 40 or so department will remember Iron Butterfly as the band who did the classic 1968 song, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

And the rest of you might recognize that song as a church hymn.

Bob Hope Dead at 100

While I never really enjoyed Bob Hope, the entertainer, I was always in awe of Bob Hope, the person. There is no doubt that he was a generous, giving man and a great American.

Peace to you, Mr. Hope and thanks for all you've done for others.

fact and fiction

Every once in a while, especially during the summer, I like to pull a book down off my "already read" shelf and read it again.

dlg.gifThis weekend I chose Nelson DeMille's The Lion's Game. I like the way DeMille writes. I like that Long Island is recurring location in his novels and I read certain passages in his books with familiarity. Yes, I know that location! DeMille once had a character being chased through the Cradle of Aviation museum, of which my father is a board member and which I visited often during its building stages. That kind of familiarity in a novel doesn't happen too often. Besides, like I said, I like the way he writes. The loose banter of the narrative and the way his stories unwind effortlessly make for perfect summer reading.

I read Lion's Game for the first time several years ago, when the book first appeared on my father's desk shortly after it was released. I went on a DeMille binge after that, reading through his whole catalog over one summer.

That was in 2000, I believe, when the ideas of militant Muslims and terrorist attacks didn't weigh heavily on my mind.

After 9/11, I glanced through Lion's Game again, this time reading much more into it. It had it all; the Middle East, hijacked airliners and a telling, detailed account of what makes a man so distorted by hatred turn his life into one long, all-consuming jihad. Like I said, I just glanced then. I put it down, unable to get myself back into a piece of fiction that was tied so closely to the dreadful reality of the times.

Yesterday I started the book over from scratch. Almost immediately, the words jumped off the page. World Trade Center. Of course, DeMille was referring to the WTC bombing of 1993. But as I read on, it became apparent that the novel was so prescient it became unnerving. Talk of Mossad agents, racial profiling, militant Islamists, the ridiculous political correctness of government agencies.

Reading a book for a second time, you read it differently. You know what's coming ahead, but you look for things that might have gone over your head the first time around because you were reading so fast in order to move the story along, that your brain skipped some underlying themes. With Lion's Game, I'm re-reading with a whole different perspective this time. I nod my head at certain points - yes, it happened just like that - and pause at certain moments, like in DeMille's description of the bravado of the Port Authority police.

So here we are, just two months away from the second anniversary and I wonder if and when these anniversaries will stop meaning so much and stop hitting so hard. Probably never, which is just as well. I think we'll always need that emotional reminder to either keep us on our toes, or to keep us feeling thankful for what we still have.

Are we winning the war against domestic terror? Many of you will say no, we are not. We have not learned the appropriate lessons of 9/11, we have not curtailed the danger of a terrorist attack at all.

I ask those of you who answer that way this: Has there been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001? For all the fears we had about hidden cells and bio-terror and imminent attacks, there were none. Not in almost two years since that day. By what do you measure success then?

While Lion's Game is work of fiction, it's basis is not. The hatred that the antagonist feels for America is all too prevelant in certain societies today. In fact, it's prevelant right here in the U.S. and felt by actual Americans. Hate by our own, we are. Now imagine that hatred that a citizen of a country has for their own homeland and magnify that - imagine that hatred living deep inside of someone raised elsewhere; someone raised on a steady diet of anger and rigtheousness and martydom, who has been taught that America is the evil empire and evil empires should be made to pay.

It's a wonder there haven't been more days like 9/11, don't you think? Perhaps the war on terror is going better than you imagine it to be.

In just a few weeks, the anniverary editorials will star in earnest. The television specials will crop up on Sunday nights during family hour, the best time to bring out your tears. The memorials will be announced, the flags will be lowered and we will mourn as a nation again.

Except, the number of mourners will be less. I expect that as each anniversary comes and goes, the next one will bring less and less people to the altar of rememberance. People forget. They move on. They get tired of candlelight vigils and flags on car antennas.

It's a dangerous thing to forget, to let those feelings slide out of you to such a degree that they cease to exist. It's too easy to slip back into your ways of trusting everyone, of letting open that door for the total stranger, of going lax on security. It's hard work to be wary. Unfortunately, it is necessary work.

If anyone doubts that if anyone thinks that we should loosen the stranglehold of national security or ease up on airline regulations, they should read Lion's Game and learn about hatred, and how that hatred is not just an emotion, but a burning mission to destroy for some people.

Never forget.

RELATED: John Hawkins interviews Congressman Tom Tancredo (R - CO), who talks candidly about open borders and terrorism.

July 27, 2003

the best stuff wasn't even mine

Looks like I'll be heading to bed early - I know you can't really catch up on your sleep, but I'm sure as hell going to try.

If you don't feel like scrolling through all of the Blogathon posts, here's a list of some of the highlights:

Acme Challenge
So the Other One Says...

Guest Post: Roger Simon
Guest Post: Ben Weasel
Guest Post: It's the 80's in Iraq
Guest Post: Bill Quick
Guest Post: Jeff Jarvis
Guest Post: Kevin Parrott
Guest Post: Alan E. Brain
Guest Post: Warren Ellis

Yep, almost all the highlights are guest posts. Good stuff, and thanks to all those who obliged my request.

I am officially retiring my Blogathon jersey. May it hang in the rafters of the Blogosphere forever, never be taken down and put into use again.

I certainly am too old for this shit.

headline of the day

Girl attacked by rabid beaver

"We were getting ready for a pig roast, and she was down there playing,'' Hays told The Journal in Martinsburg. "Suddenly, I heard a blood-curdling scream.

Yes, I'm still very overtired. Which is why I am finding things like this amusing. I apologize to any offended girls and/or beavers.

the road map to hell is paved with good intentions

Israel's government approved a proposal by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday to free 100 Islamic militants, a step intended to boost a U.S.-backed peace plan and help the Palestinian premier, political sources said.

U.S. backed peace plan? Sorry, but I don't see the ensuing peace coming from reaching 100 "militants" who will most likely end up killing again.

There will be blood on the tracks of this plan.

korey stringer's widow to sue god

Kelci Stringer, widow of NFL player and heat-stroke victim Korey Stringer, plans to sue the NFL and helmet manufacturer Riddell on Monday.

Stringer died in July, 2001 after passing out in the heat during training camp. A bottle of the herbal stimulant ephedra was found in his locker after his death. Ironically no bottle of any type of liquid refreshment was found anywhere near Stringer's body.

There are rumors that Kelci Stringer also plans to sue the Viking fan club, for pressuring her husband to perform up to NFL standards; the parking lot attendant who asked Stringer for his autograph that fateful day, thus making Stringer stay out in the sweltering heat for an extra ten seconds; God, for excessive use of the sun, and Stringer's parents, for giving birth to him and making him endure this pain all those years later.

No word on whether she will posthumously sue Stringer for stupidity, carelessness and excessive machismo on the football field, leading to his death and her eventual loss of marital relations and what surely could have been the millions Stringer would have made in endorsements if he was only smart enough to drink some damn water.

you still here?

Still sort of groggy and out of it. I notice how I completely lost my mind in the waning hours of the Blogathon. We'll talk more about that - and other 'thon related stuff - later.

Between Laurence, Meryl and myself, we raised almost $15,000 for Magen David Adom (that's including $5400 in donations made directly to the MDA for the Blogathon). As of right now, I have 99 sponsors, so feel free to make yourself the special 100th sponsor. You can donate unitl Monday morning, did I mention that? In fact, you can donate after the Blogathon is over, by giving directly to MDA in our name.

Before I pass out once again, I would like to thank all of these people for their incredible, selfless generosity. Together, we have done a wonderful thing and I thank you all for being a part of it. Please, click on the link, look at that list and then go visit those people (at least the ones who have links, I don't mean go visit them at home, because that's stalking and I found out the hard stalking is illegal - go figure!) and tell them they are wonderful.

I think I'm still a bit punch drunk.

[You can find the entire collection of Blogathon posts here and some more thank yous over here.]

I think my two favorite posts of the evening were the Acme challenge and this one, where I clearly had lost the battle with sanity.

Actually, the posts at the beginning, when the theme was in full swing, wern't so bad. But those two gave me the giggles to write.

so long and thanks for all the fish


i am the living dead

Want to know what I feel like right now?

I'll give you a hint:



And that's about it. You get one more post from me and it won't say much.

All thank yous to be given out graciously this evening.


70 posts
24 hours
Over $14,000
3 pots of coffee
two packs of cigarettes

One more hour to go.

My vision is blurred.

Did you have fun? I did.

90 minutes


On the day I went away
Was all I had to say
Now I
I want to come again and stay
Oh my
Smile, and that will mean I may
'Cause I've seen blue skies
Through the tears in my eyes
And I realize I'm going home

I'm going home

Everywhere, it's been the same
Like I'm outside in the rain
Free to try and find a game
Chorus Dealing
Cards for sorrow
Cards for pain
'Cause I've seen blue skies
Through the tears in my eyes
And I realize I'm going home

I'm going home
I'm going home
I'm going home

you look radishing, darling!

Dean Esmay says:

"You know the thing about radishes is, they look kind of weird and red.
They are also sort of spicy, only sort of not. Yet for some odd reason,
I've always thought of them as a weird form of turnip.

Strange how that happens, no?"


weird words

George Junior says his favorite weird word is:


The eighth power of a number.

This word is long obsolete, so much so that the Oxford English Dictionary only has one citation for it, from a famous work by the Welsh-born mathematician Robert Recorde, The Whetstone of Wit, published in 1557. It turns up from time to time as one of those weird words which is best known for being held up as an example of a weird word.

Go here to find one.


It's getting towards that time. Almost there.

I'd like to thank everyone that sponsored or donated. Your generous donations amounted to over $14,000 raised for Magen David Adom, between the three of us. I am truly, truly thankful for your efforts.

Thank you to everyone who hung around and gave me ideas, sent me links and kept me awake. I'll name names tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone in the chat room - Meryl, Lair, Windy, Kevin, Chris, Kate, Matt, Adam, Dean - it made the night much more tolerable and the last few hours specifically quite enjoyable.

To all my guest posters, you have upped the readbility of this Blogathon effort ten fold. Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and read and/or commented or sent encouraging emails.

This is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech. If I had a brother, I'd kiss him.

Same time, next year. Same bat channel.

guest post #something: Warren Ellis

I've hit the wall, folks. I'm trying here.

Warren Ellis was kind enough to send me a guest post and even though he realized later it wasn't exactly what I was looking for (and that's my fault for not being exactly clear in my email) I'm going to post it anyhow cause, hey - it's Warren Ellis and he went through the trouble of writing it.

So, here it is and thank you, Warren.

There's a bit in Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's FROM HELL where the fake psychic, Lees, says: "I made it all up, and it all came true anyway." That's how I'm starting to feel about TRANSMETROPOLITAN. "Feedsite listeners" are multimedia bloggers. Girls with necrotising fasciitis scars from the streets
of the City turn up in Marilyn Manson videos. Two-headed cats. Smiling politicians throwing advisors to the wolves following suspicious deaths. Glasses that take photos. We're living in the future.

And God help you all, it's my future we're living in.

-- Warren Ellis

[Warren Ellis, comic book genius, also has a blog]

oh yea

Another crappy concert: Primus

Man, that crowd sucked. I had to fight for my life that night.

But Buckethead as opening act was good.

We left three songs into Primus's set.

so the other one says....


If you touch me there again, I'll fucking kill you.

all apologies

I really need to apologize to all the people who sent me links and pictures and guests posts and pictures that I didn't use.

I got punch drunk a bit after 1am. And now, I've just lost my mind.

I'm sorry.

I promise I won't do anything untoward with your pictures.

it's time

I'm busting out the alcohol.

not for nothing

But I never liked Bon Jovi.

Just saying.


I'm serious lagging now. I keep looking at the clock but it doesn't seem to be moving.

My back hurts, my neck hurts and I'm torturing myself by being too lazy to change the Netscape radio station, so I'm listening to Good Charlotte.

I just want to sleep. For days and days.

I think they action figures on top of my computer are mocking me.

these posts are getting lame

Ok. Let's see how many of you are still here.

You are in a thrash metal band. You are going to remake a song from the 70's, speed metal style.

What song will you do?

second wind coming

I just remembered this: When watching an Islanders game on tv back in the 80's, Eddie Westfall was doing a promo for a concert coming up at the Coliseum.

Reo Speedway.


Well it really doesn't matter what I post now, as most of you are sleeping.

I'm talking to myself, aren't I?


What was it with the disaster films in the 70's?

Towering Inferno
The Swarm
Poseidon Adventure
Earthquake (In Sensaround!)
The Hindenburg
Airport and all of it's sequels

Just asking.

another guest post!

Straight from the land down under, it's Alan E. Brain and his 60's memories:

My older sister getting a Transistorised Record Player about the size of a small suitcase, and listening to "The March of the Mods",
"Telstar", "Journey cross the Mersey", and of course "She Loves You, Yeah Yeah Yeah"

James Hanratty.

Mods and Rockers

Turning on the TV, and waiting the three minutes for it to warm up, so I could watch the first episode of a new series called
"Doctor Who". Then finding out the show had been postponed, as a bloke called Kennedy had got himself shot.

Reading a "Look And Learn" book called "You will go to the Moon" and believing that I'd do just that.

Reading "The Hobbit" and being told that some people in California were making a big todo of this rattling good children's tale.

Holidaying with relatives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and being shown the ancient bullet-holes, but all of that was a long time
ago, and "The Troubles" couldn't recur, could they?

1966 World Cup - ENGLAND WINNERS

Singing in the local High Anglican church chir in Ruff and Surplice. 6d for a practice, 1s for a Service, a half-crown ( 2s 6d ) for
weddings, and the Bonanza, the one we always dreamed of but never got, 5s for a funeral.

The Cancellation of the TSR-2, and later, the F-111K.

Anglo-Bubbly chewing gum, the Eagle and Dan Dare

Coming home from boarding school - and finding the Israelis had fought and won a war since I last saw a newspaper.

Watching "The Monkees"

Listening to Radio Free Prague, as the Warsaw Pact crushed the Prague Spring.

Paris Peace Talks, and the shape of the table.

Seeing Colour Television for the first time, and wondering how it was done.

Going past Carnaby Street, and looking in wonder at the colourful wildlife.

Watching "The Prisoner"

Seeing one of the first public showings of "2001 : A Space Odyssey", and vowing that in 2001, I'd be working on a space project.

Taking the Qantas Boeing 707-320 "City of Parramatta" from Heathrow, saying goodbye to England.

Buying and eating two weird American candy bars - a "Babe Ruth" and a "Powerhouse" at about midnight in San Francisco, on the second
of the four refuelling stops along the way. Wondering who was Ruth, and why was she a babe?

Eating Pawpaw (papaya), a fruit I'd never even heard of, in the air on the final leg between Nandi and Sydney.

Arriving at Charles Kingsford-Smith airport, which seemed to be an overgrown tin shed with corrugated iron sides, and watching the
queues of Soldiers flying off to Vietnam. Realising at that very moment that maybe emigrating to Australia might end up with me
getting shot in a conflict I'd only barely heard about.

Surfing for the first time.

"One Small Step for (a) Man...."

Rowan and Martin's "Laugh In".

Appearing with some of teh School Choir on the "Tommy Leonetti" show (same guy appeared in "Gomer Pyle USMC"), and meeting Tiny Tim.

Backing "Peter Paul and Mary" at the (still unfinished) Opera House.


Feel free to share your memories of any decade.

time of my life

Looks like I'm taking requests.

M wants to know my concert experiences.

Well, I've seen over 300 bands, but I can narrow down some of the high/low lights for you.

First concert: David Cassidy, Nassau Coliseum
First real concert: Kiss, Nassau Coliseum

Worst concert: Oh, so many. So, so many. Saw Bachman Turner Overdrive and fell asleep. Saw the "new" Clash about half an hour after I slammed my finger in a glass cassete case sliding door at Record World. Still can't decide if the pain of the smashed finger or the pain of the "new" Clash was worse. Coal Chamber - just a horrible live band.

Best: Hands down, Nick Cave last year. Billy Bragg opening for INXS was spectacular. Incubus, first time I saw them. Lou Reed. The Alarm in the pouring rain. Little Feat. Ice Cube. Blue Oyster Cult. Emerson Lake & Palmer. Type O Negative.

Any more post requests?

fashion victims

The men in this picture are:


1. Showing off the finest fashions of their era
2. Getting ready for a circle jerk
3. All members of The White Stripes
4. ____________________________

the theme may be slowly dying...but i'm still alive and kicking

I've got a bitchin'...


Hey Jack, what's happenin'?
- I don't know.
- Well uh, rumour around town says you mighht be thinkin' 'bout goin' down to
the shore.
- Uh, yeah, I think I'm gonna go down to thhe shore.
- Whadda ya gonna do down there?
- Uh, I don't know, p-play some video gamess, buy some Def Leppard t-shirts.
- Don't forget your Motley Crue t-shirt; y''know all proceeds go to get their
lead singer out a' jail.
- Uh huh.
- Can't wait to go down. Hey uh, were ya goonna check out the sand bar while
you're down there?
- Uh, what's the Sand Bar?
- Ah, it's a place that lets sixteen year-oold kids drink.
- Ah, cool.
- Ya hey, guess who's gonna be there?
- Uh, who?
- My favourite cover band, Crystal Ship.
- Wow.
- Yeah, they do a Doors show, you'd be reallly impressed, in fact, it goes a
little like this:

Love me two times baby
Love me twice today
Love me two times girl
Cause I got AIDS
Love me two times baby,
once for tomorrow,
once cause I got AIDS

- Uh...
- Pretty good Jim Morrison impersonation thhere. I hope those guys have a
good sense a' humour and don't take us into court.
- Uh, what's the court?
- Never mind that, the important thing heree...
- You mean the People's Court.
- The... Now, that's another story. The impportant thing here is that we get
to the part where you ask me how I'm gonna get down to the shore.
- Oh, how you gettin' down to the shore?
- Funny you should ask, I've got a car now..
- Ah wow, how'd ya get a car?
- Oh, my folks drove it up here from the Baahamas.
- You're kidding!
- I must be, the Bahamas are islands. Okay,, the important thing here is
that, uh, you ask me what kinda car it is.
- Uh uh, what kinda car do ya' got?
- I've got a bitchin' Camaro...

Bitchin' Camaro, Bitchin' Camaro!
I ran over my neighbors
Bitchin' Camaro, Bitchin' Camaro!
Now I'm in all the papers

My folks bought me a bitchin' Camaro
With no insurance to match
So if I happen to run you down
Please don't leave a scratch

I ran over some old lady
One night at the county fair
And I didn't get arrested
Because my dad's the mayor

Bitchin' Camaro, Bitchin' Camaro!
Donuts on your lawn
Bitchin' Camaro, Bitchin' Camaro!
Tony Orlando and Dawn

When I drive past the kids
They all spit and cuss
Cause I've got a bitchin' Camaro
And they have to ride the bus

So you'd better get out of my way
When I come through your yard
Cause I've got a bitchin' Camaro
And an Exxon credit card

Bitchin' Camaro, Bitchin' Camaro!
Hey man where ya headed?
Bitchin' Camaro, Bitchin' Camaro!
I'm drunk on unleaded!

you spin me right round

Starhawk wants to know the first CD I bought.

I was working at Record World when CDs first made their appearance. The first batch that came in - at about $25 a pop - were remastered versions of classic rock albums. I didn't have a cd player yet, but the first one I shelled out money for was a Pink Floyd disc, I don't remember which one.

And then it was all downhill from there in the music world. CDs started replacing vinyl on the walls of the store. Prices came down. More people were buying CDs than records. By the time I left Record World, a lot of bands started producing only on CD.

So I was in Utopia the other day, a former head shop turned trendy pop culture store/piericing emporium/seller of goth clothing for suburban teens (with the head shop still in the back) and I noticed they had a whole rack of vinyl. Not old vinyl. New. Seems some bands still adhere to the old school way and release their stuff on albums as well as discs.

I don't have a turntable anymore, but I just might buy one of those albums anyhow.


Who's still with me? Anyone? Bueller?

This theme thing is killing me.

Next year's theme is: "one sentence stories."

Acme products to the rescue: how i captured saddam

[Meryl doesn't have to particpate because she issued the challenge]

instagirl.jpgThe air-drop arrived just as I expected. I had been briefed on the situation and I knew that the only way they could get me necessary equipment was through an Acme air-drop.

I opened the crate carefully. You never know when a rabbit is going to stow away in one of those things. Inside, was just the thing I needed to set off on my mission to find and capture Saddam: Instant Girl. I checked the quanity. Yep, just the specified amount.

I was a long way from where I needed to be. An informant tipped me off as to where Saddam was seen last, and I was sure that he would still be there. I whipped out my hitchiker's thumb and stood by the side of Route 666.

A few cars passed by without so much as a second glance my way. Can't say I blame them. How often do you see a man in a three piece suit and shades standing on the highway, hitching a ride? Not often, I bet. I must have looked like Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black. I guess the drivers thought if they picked me up, they would run the risk of getting eaten by aliens. If they only knew that the secrets I carried lent themselves to a fate far, far worse than slimy green monsters.

Finally, a run down pick-up truck on it's last breath stopped. I hopped into the cab and told the fellow where I wanted to go. He balked. He just wouldn't go to that part of town, he told me. I flashed my badge at him and he stammered an apology, saying he would take me as far as the edge of the town I needed to get to. Fair enough.

We got to the edge of town, I thanked Mr. Hillbilly and whipped out my roller skis. If I wanted to make this capture, I needed to get there before 5pm. It was already 4:50. I swished my way through the center of town, knocking people down and upturning garbage cans. I didn't care. My chase was almost over.

Finally, at 4:59, I was standing in front of the Parker Avenue Deli and Lotto Parlor. I hastily scrambled around to the back door and waited. My patience paid off. At 5:01, I heard the sound of a time clock being punched. The back door swung open. And there before me stood Saddam Hussein - once proud leader of a rogue nation, now fugitive deli clerk. What a sad, sad sight to see him there in his white apron, stinking from the smell of salami.

I leaped out from behind the door and jumped on the unsuspecting murderer. I landed two karate chops to his head and one to his neck. He fought valiantly, but he was weak from slicing cold cuts all day and could not put up enough fight to overcome my strength. In just two minutes, he was passed out cold on the ground.

I whistled loudly and a moving van obediently heeded my call and pulled up right next to me. I opened the back door and entered the cargo portion of the van. There, I took out my bottle of Instant Girl and squirted exactly 72 doses onto the floor.

Lo and behold, 72 beautiful women appeared in the space before me.

I heard Saddam stirring and ran out to him.

Where am I? What's happened? He was clearly confused, thanks to my knock-out blow to his head.

Saddam Hussein, you are dead. You have passed over into the great beyond and it is time for your just award!

Saddam looked around quizically.

This is the afterlife?

Yes, just look over there. Your 72 virgins await.

I pointed to the back of the moving van and Saddam's eyes widened. A grin spread across his face.

It is true! It is true! Praise Allah!

With that, Saddam ran into the van to great his girls. As soon as he entered I slammed the door shut, locked it from the outside and motioned for the driver to take him away to the state penetentiary, where one Mr. Ashcroft was waiting for him.

break from nostalgia for a blogathon challengge

Our little group has been presented with a challenge to post about. Kevin, Lair, and Meryl have all been given these instructions:

You have to find and capture Saddam Hussein using the following five items from the ACME catalog:

hitchhiker's thumb
hi-speed tonic
instant girl
roller skis

[You can substitute ONE item if you wish]

The posts will be up at the various blogs at 2:30.

guest post #6: Kevin Parrott

Kevin Parrott is currently on the disbaled list, go wish him well, would ya? He's an extraordinary writer who will be famous for that fact some day.


I'm told that when I was a little chilluns, my folks couldn't keep me in diapers. I mean that quite literally - my Mother says that I would wear them for about fifteen seconds, then strip them off and carry them around while I frolicked buckass naked. I guess I'd discovered the proper method of removal, because she could turn her back on me for a second, glance back, and I'd be tottering around with the white bundle under my arm. She'd have to run me down, holding me still while she tried to wrangle them back on to my squirming ass. I must have hated those things.

In 1971 the 'Pampers' brand of disposable diaper was celebrating their Tenth Anniversary. From 1947 until 1961, disposable diapers were a wad of tissue paper sandwiched between two pieces of plastic film. The new, 'Mod' disposables had a cellulose core, with a rayon inner liner. They could take a lot more crap, in other words. These became the norm, and were a godsend for parents everywhere. Unless you were my Mom.

I think that would have made a terrific advertisement - "And so easy to remove!" with a picture of me naked and grinning as I held them out for display. "Just look at that load, Pop!" the word balloon over my head would say.

One fall day that year I was outside with the folks, playing in the yard as they watched. It would be silly of me to say I remember any of this; I'm just relaying the tale as it was told to me, with some embellishment of course. It's a safe bet that whatever activity I was occupying my time with involved mud and bugs. The CP&L Meter Reader pulled into the yard, stepping over to the post to take the reading after exchanging pleasantries with my parents (these were the days when you might actually know the name of your friendly meter reader). Being naturally curious, I staggered over (babies stagger) and stood behind him, tugging at the waist of my diapers as I watched him write. When he was finished, he stooped down and patted me on the head

"Whatcha got there, boy?"

"Caspah", I said, holding out my stuffed Casper The Friendly Ghost doll. Casper was HUGE back in the day. I pulled uncomfortably at my drawers.

"Whatcha wearin got you so itchy?"

"Pampas," I replied, making a disgusted face.

My Mom says she looked up from what she was doing just in time to see me stripping off the diapers in one fluid, lightning motion, and then placing them into his still-outstretched hand. Inside first. Even from where she was sitting on the porch she could see I'd had a large breakfast. I then ran around the corner of the house, laughing and scratching my besmeared butt with Casper's head.

He didn't really talk to them much after that.

And, even though she washed it several times before she finally let me have it back, my Casper had a full head of brown/green hair throughout the rest of his lifespan.

porcupine slayer

I'm listening to Slayer and it reminds me. I had a dream the other night. You know that damn thing Kerry King always wore around his wrist? I call it the porcupine.

Well in the dream, it really was a porcupine and it was eating King from the wrist up.

That's all.

I was a teenage music activist: How I brought down Leo Sayer

Hope you don't mind if I play a repeat episode for you right now. I need to go for a walk and get some air.

This keeps with the them though - one of those stories of my misspent youth and my efforts to keep our pop culture Leo Sayer free.

I heard a song in the supermarket yesterday and it reminded me of this incident.

The year is 1978. I'm in high school, beginning of junior year. There's me and three guys and we are best of friends. We go nowhere without each other, we make no convoluted plots to take over the world without all of us present. We move like stealth bombers in the night, all army jackets and dirty jeans and Genesis t shirts (before Phil Collins ruined the band, ok?) We are the cutting edge of a white-bred community, which really isn't saying much, but we think we are the coolest people on the face of the earth. We listen to prog rock and punk rock and never pop rock or disco or, god forbid, Journey or Bruce Springsteen. We think guitar solos are passe but drum solos rock the house. We think Peter Gabriel is a genius and bands like Styx and Fleetwood Mac need to be silenced. We secretly listen to Van Halen but no one tells the other until years later, when we can laugh at David Lee Roth from the safe distance of many years.

We don't hang out at the mall like the other kids. No, we hang out in Kevin's room with the black lights and Emerson Lake & Palmer posters, or we hang out in Paul's garage, with the drum set and the Ramones "Road to Ruin" playing over and over. Every once in a while though, we are drawn to the mall, because Record World owns us. It is the only reason to get on public transportation. It is the only reason to beg someone's older brother for a ride. To buy records and look through the stacks of vinyl and pray that you will find some obscure punk rock album in the cut out bin for 99 cents, but all you can find is Heart and Blue Oyster Cult, and a 45 of Nazareth's "Love Hurts" that you play 50 times in the next three days.

One of those weekends arrives when there's nothing to do because Kevin's mom won't let us hang out in the house and Paul's mother is having a garage sale so we can't hang out there. We decide to hop the bus and go to the mall, where we will pool our money together to buy an album, and have enough left over to ask Kevin's brother to buy us quarts of beer when we get home. Perfect day.

We get to the mall and the first thing we notice is there's more security guards than usual. This is suburbia. There's not much trouble at the mall. We figure there's some kind of protest going on. You know how those college kids are, always protesting the fur or the man or whatever gets them out of the dorms. So we make our way through the mall, wanting to just get to the record store and get the hell out of there without encountering any cheerleaders or football players or giddy junior high girls that always try to pick up Tim. We are about two feet from the record store when we are stopped by a short, fat security guard and a velvet rope going across the length of the mall.

"You cannot get through this way. You must go around the other entrance to the mall and wait on line." The guard stands with his hand in his pocket, as if he is believing his own lie that he's a real cop and there's a gun hidden away there.
"Wait for what?" I ask him. "What's the line for?" He rolls his eyes at me.
"The show. The concert." I can almost here the "Duh!" coming out of his mouth.
We look beyond the velvet ropes, past the throng of the most hideous looking group of middle aged women and giggling teenagers forming what looked like a huge conga line of patheticness. There's an amplifier set up on each corner of the square the ropes have formed. There's a makeshift stage in the middle, really just a few planks of wood. A concert. A show.
"So, who's playing?" Kevin asks the guard. He rolls his eyes again.
"Only Leo Sayer!" He says this with pride and arrogance. As if we should have known that the most untalented white boy to ever grace pop music was playing in our very mall today.
"Leo Sayer," I say.
"Leo Sayer," The other three say.

We look at each other in the way that only friends who have performed sinister acts of rebellion together in the past can do. The look. The glance. The unspoken words that pass between us. The guard senses something going on. He looks us up and down, sees the clothes and the hair and the patches on the jackets and you can just about see the light bulb go on over his head.

"Hey! You're not here to see Leo!"
"Duh," I say. "We're here to buy some records. Can we go in?"
"No. Come back tomorrow. And don't make any trouble. I know your kind."
"Sure," Tim says. "Sure. We'll be on our way now. You take care, ok?" His words were the equivalent of patting the guy on the head.

We walk around the other side of the mall. We stake the place out, eyeing the set up of the amps and the positioning of the security guards. We synchronize our watches and hatch our plan and wait. We wait patiently. Fifteen minutes until Leo Sayer bounces on to the stage, white boy afro and squeaky voice, ready to rock the world with "You Make me Feel Like Dancing." Wanna dance the night away? Nope. Not with you, Leo.

We must do this. In the name of good music. In the name of Peter Gabriel and Joey Ramone.

Five minutes til Leo.

Finally, we hear a squeal rise out from the crowd. The sound of 200 or more tone-deaf women swooning at the site of a guy who looks like the poster child for geeks. We assume our positions. We wish each other luck in our mission. It's time.

Leo is escorted on to the wooden plank stage by his manager and two mall security guards. The women swoon. The music cues (this is the 70's - he's going to lip sync) - and we run in four opposite directions. Within thirty seconds we have done it. We have unplugged all of Leo's speakers. The music stops. Leo is just about to "sing" the first words into the mic and everything goes dead. He's mouthing words to dead air. Silence.

The security guard who spoke to us earlier spies me as I am walking swiftly away from the northeast amp. "IT"S THEM!," he shouts, pointing in my direction, and then swinging around to see Kevin running the other way. He points at him, at me, yelling at the other security guards, his face red and sweaty and alarmed. I'm having fits of laughter while I'm running, thinking that the guard is acting as if we just killed the president. I keep thinking about book depositories and grassy knolls and this too fat mall cop running after me because some disco pop boy had his amp unplugged.

The four of us meet outside, at the bus shelter and we decide it's too risky to wait another ten minutes for the bus to come so we start the long walk home, stopping every once in a while to roll around on the sidewalks in fits of laughter.

We get home, tell Kevin's brother about our exploits and he buys us beer and let's us drink it in his room. This is the big time. The older brother's secret sanctuary. He holds up his quart of piss warm Miller and toasts to us. "To good music!" We toast back, drink our beer and it doesn't dawn on me until now, 20 something years later, that Genesis wasn't really good music, and that Leo never had a hit after that day.

then and now, again


Then and now. The one thing that gets sexier as it gets older.


Then and now.



Then and now. What happened to that sweet little girl?

saved again

Thanks to M, Rosemary and Adam, you have once again been rescued from having to listen to me sing Sister Christian.

You have all been incredibly generous, either with your money or with your efforts to find me things to post about. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Oh, did you want answers to those seventies questions? Here you go.

July 26, 2003

80's trivia!

Just what you've been waiting for, right?

Name six members of the Brat Back
What was the original name of Duran Duran?
Who was the leader of the Transformers?
Where did the Super friends congregate and watch the latest happenings on a big screen TV?
What group did New Order evolve from?
What were the names of Kevin's best friend and girl friend on "The Wonder Years?"
What was the name of the mechanical bear on Battlestar Galactica?
What, according to GI Joe, was "Half the battle"?
Name all five New Kids On The Block
Name 5 Muppets from "The Muppet Show"
What craft toy involved cutting plastic figures, coloring them in, and then baking them in the oven?
What planet was Spock brought back to life on?
Name 3 of the actors from "The Goonies"
Name the four ghosts from Pac-Man
What was the name of the funky van Scooby Doo and friends rode in?
Which band had members Robert palmer, Andy and John Taylor, and Tony
What were the names of all five Huxtable kids on "The Cosby Show?"
What were the names of the four Golden Girls?0. What was the name of Ripley's ship in Aliens? (not Alien or Alien3)
Name 5 movies made by John Hughes in the 1980's
What was the name of the singer who died in Robotech's first generation?
Name the four original 4 MTV VeeJays
Name the two mega-popular bands which got their start on college-radio in Athens, Georgia?
What was the name of He-Man's magician sidekick?
Name the 4 girls from the "Facts of Life" and their chaperone
Who played Ming of Mongo in "Flash Gordon"?


I need a four dollar sponsorship to reach $3,000.00.

Don't make me sing.

guest post #5: Jeff Jarvis

Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine is a former TV critic for TV Guide and People, creator of Entertainment Weekly, Sunday Editor of the NY Daily News, and a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner.

I saw a poster in the grocery story today announcing that Richie Havens would be coming to give a free concert in a park near me next month. Richie Havens. Damn. I owned every one of his albums in the '60s, sang along with most all of his songs (I never was too sure what "Run, Shaker Life," meant, but I sang it with verve and gravity, nonetheless), and I went to his concerts. A Richie Havens show was my first real concert, at Westbury Music Fair. It was bad enough that my parents had to drive me there. But I decided that this being a special occasion, I should wear my coolest jacket -- a gold, double-breasted monstrosity (my parents having refused to allow me to get a Nehru jacket) with a black-and-gold tie. Of course, I was the only person in the place, ushers included, in a jacket and tie. Oh, how I regretted that. But nobody made fun of me, for these were the charitable '60s; ages before the age of geeks, a geek was welcome. I went to many more Havens concerts, never again in a jacket and tie. I think I'll go to one more concert next month.

the needle and the damage done

Over at Mikey's place, he was talking about the song Blinded By the Light and wondering what the real lyrics are.

In his comments, I told the tale of the time my best friend and I decided we could figure out the words to that song, as recorded by Manfred Mann in 1976, covering a Springsteen song.

I had the 45 (for you younguns, 45s were small vinyl records with one song on the front and one on the back) and we figured if we slowed it down, we would understand what good old Manfred was going on about. Well sure, our main purpose was to see if he really said the word douche, which was giggle-worthy back then, before the proliferation of Summer Fresh commercials.

So we played the record at 33rpm, which did nothing but make the song sound like an old man yawning. We deduced that we had to play it somewhere between 33 and 45 in order to understand the words.

We had the bright idea of taping two quarters down on the needle, adding to the weight so it would play slower. That didn't work, so we just did it by hand, manually slowing down the record so it would play at a slower speed.

Wrecked up like a douche
You know I blow her in the light


Red up like a douche
Another mower in the night

And we alternated between singing those two lyrics, breaking into fits of laughter at some points, until my mother came home and had a cow at the way we treated her turntable/needle. She kicked us out of the house after we explained to her that we just wanted to hear Manfred Mann and his Earth Band extollt he virtues of douching.

Of course, the real lyrics are revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night, which were not nearly as entertaining as our lyrics.

We had done the same thing previously with the Reunion song "Life is a Rock," but gave up after we broke the needle. You would think we would have learned our lesson after that one, but our need to know the real lyrics to a song outweighed our need to not be grounded.

B.B. Bumble and the Stingers, Mott the Hoople, Ray Charles Singers
Lonnie Mack and twangin' Eddy, here's my ring we're goin' steady
Take it easy, take me higher, liar liar, house on fire
Locomotion, Poco, Passion, Deeper Purple, Satisfaction
Baby baby gotta gotta gimme gimme gettin' hotter
Sammy's cookin', Lesley Gore and Ritchie Valens, end of story
Mahavishnu, fujiyama, kama-sutra, rama-lama
Richard Perry, Spector, Barry, Archies, Righteous, Nilsson, Harry
Shimmy shimmy ko-ko bop and Fats is back and Finger Poppin'

Yes, those are really the lyrics. Read the rest.

Someone should update that song.

Anyhow, gone are the days when you had to struggle to figure out lyrics. Now, you just pop in a CD, head to any lyrics site and the words are yours. I almost miss the mystery of mumbled lyrics, trying to figure out what a singer is singing before any of your friends did.

Sometimes knowing the lyrics just don't help at all. Most Nirvana songs make less sense after you realize what he was singing. Aqua seafoam shame? Huh?

Just going through some vinyl memories in prepartion for my Blogathon theme.
I miss my turntable.

french insults, again

I have to bring a French insult every hour, in keeping with Marduk's pledge

She's still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it.

- John McCain, comparing France to an aging actress of the 1940s

things we did for fun

ouija.jpg You ever play with one of these things? We spent a lot of time beckoning the devil when we were young. We started out innocently enough. Will Bobby ask me out? Will I pass gym? Who stole my Bay City Rollers album? We eventually progressed to the things the board was made for. Who is going to die first? Will I die a gruesome death? Did Janie really eat boogers for lunch? Always the pointer, guided by Satan himself, would direct our fingers to the answer we were hoping for.

There was a tale told that Ouija boards held the souls of the dead within them. If you had one in your house, those souls would eventually escape and take over first your home and then your body.

My mother made throw our Ouija board away. For nights after that, I was afraid to go to sleep because I figured the souls of the damned were mighty pissed that they were sitting in a garbage dump and they were going to come looking for me.

We also fooled around with seances and levitation. We were bored surbanites.

my ass is numb

I am not a night person. I work best in the early hours of the morning, which is why I get up before 6 every day.

I think I'm going to wing it from here, posting as often as I want, instead of waiting the half hour and doing longer posts. Mind is getting fuzzy. Ass has fallen asleep. Legs have atrophied.

I'll still do the then and now pictures and all the guest posts. But from now on it's going to be a bit more interesting. I hope.

gratuitious picture of me 2

1977. Check out the full denim outfit. And the boots.


Was I cool, or what?

Don't answer that.

checking up on others

Bitter Bitch is making a real sacrifice today for the Blogathon. She's cutting off 16 inches of her hair to donate to Locks of Love.

Go check out her blogathon doings - she's got pictures of the hair cutting process as well as guns, sex and the usual Bitch Girls stuff.

Way to go, BB.

then and now 2


Then: Clackers. Huge, rock solid marble balls on strings that you clacked together, eventually nailing yourself in the head and hiding in the bushes afterwards because your mother warned you those things were dangerous.

Now: Made of rubber. Non-toxic. Won't cause injuries. Makes no noise. Your mother approves.

Teen Idols:

Then: Leif Garrett. Teen hearthrob, actor, singer and postery boy. Rumored at the time to be possibly gay.

Now: Justin Timberlake. Teen hearthrob, actor, singer and poster boy. Possibly gay.



Then: Pat, I had the same shirt. Is that a Hukapoo?

Now. Lost the Hukapoo shirt, but didn't lose the smile.

Guest post #4: Bill Quick

Bill Quick, known to most of you as the Daily Pundit, is also a prolific and respected author. And yes, he coined the term blogosphere.

I sat through several segments of a VH-1 (VH-1: MTV for Fogies) show yesterday, something called The Greatest 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons. The principal reason I did so was to see where they ranked my book partner, Bill Shatner, with whom I one sat in a Sunset Ave. coffee shop and discussed American iconhood (he is one and he knows it) while fending off slavering Trekkies who wanted him to autograph their private parts -or parts that looked as if they'd arrived on the Enterprise only that morning.

Bill ended up ranked at 117 (a surprise: I thought Captain Kirk would at least crack the top 100), while Leonard Nimoy (Spock) trailed in the 162 slot - take that, you pointy-eared ham. What struck me most about the list, though, was how it, like damned near everything else in our lives, is still disproportionately influenced by the vast wad of indigestible baby boomers still working its slow way through the snake gut of our popular culture. I'd make a horseback estimate that at least three quarters of the VH-1 icons found their genesis in the fifties, sixties, and seventies, the heyday of boomer childhood and youth. Here's the Top Twenty:

20. Britney Spears
19. The Brady Bunch
18. Bill Clinton
17. Mickey Mouse
16. Muhammad Ali
15. Jennifer Lopez
14. Steven Spielberg
13. Jerry Seinfeld
12. The Beatles
11. Friends Cast
10. Michael Jackson
9. Princess Diana
8. Michael Jordan
7. Madonna
6. Marilyn Monroe
5. Tom Cruise
4. Lucille Ball
3. Elvis Presley
2. Superman
1. Oprah Winfrey

I expect that if you do this same list fifty years from now (immortality will have been discovered and the Boomers will still be horribly alive and vigorous - and stuck forever in the belly of the Worm Oroborous) that Britney Spears's stock may have fallen a bit. But then it may have risen, too. I mean, look at who is atop this list.

Oprah Winfrey?

you are saved

You all better go thank Mike and David. Thanks to their quick response to my threat, you do not have to hear me sing. Trust me, it was not something you wanted to hear, anyhow.

Milestones: We are over the 14k mark now, and we are at the halfway point of 24 hours.

I'm just getting revved up.

Hair metal heaven coming up soon.

don't make me do it

I'm heading into deep 80's territory here.

Got the 80's stations all hooked up on Netscape Radio. Quiet Riot playing right now.

We need just ten dollars to reach 14k in donations between the three of us.

If we don't get the ten dollars in the next ten minutes I will torture you all by posting audio blogs of me singing Sister Christian.

I swear. That is a threat.

Go sponsor either me or Lair or Meryl. Doesn't matter which.

then and now

I'll be doing a bunch of these during the night/morning. Feel free to send along suggestions/pictures.

Prom dresses:

Then (that's me and my sister) and now

Spiderman costumes:

Then (that's Halloween 1972) and now.


Then and now. Still beautiful after all those years.

70's music quiz

Quiz inside:

1. "The night is young, and full of possibilities…well, come on, and let yourself be free"

2. "Before I go insane, I hold my pillow to my head, and spring up in my bed, screaming out the words I dread…"

3. "He was born on a summer's day, 1951"

4. "I can see all obstacles in my way"

5. "Suddenly, the day turns into night…far away from the city"

6. "Like walkin' in the rain and the snow, when there's nowhere to go, and you're feeling like a part of you is dying"

7. "I was captured by your style, but I could not catch your eyes"

8. "Ocean Lady…child of nature, friend of man"

9. "I remember all my life, raining down as cold as ice"

10. "Hey, mister, can you tell me…where a man might find a bed"

11. "My mother, God rest her soul, couldn't understand why the only man she had ever loved had been taken"

12. "Cause you're the joke of the neighborhood…why should you care, if you're feeling good ?"

13. "One floor below me, you don't even know me, I love you"

14. "Lordy, mama…light my fuse"

15. "If you give a little more than you're asking for, your love will turn the key"

16. "And though you want to last forever, you know you never will…and the goodbye makes the journey harder still"

17. "Nobody else could ever know…the part of me that can't let go"

18. "Did you know I'd go to sleep and leave the lights on, hoping you'd come by and know that I was home and still awake"

19. "And when I'm gone, there'll be one child born in this world to carry on"

20. "You know, my dear mother left me when I was quite young…she said, "Lord, have mercy on my wicked son"…"

Answers later.

Guest post #3: An anonymous source in Iraq

Thanks to the sender, who is a Sgt. over in Iraq and wishes to remain anonymous.

The 80's in Iraq

People are naturally curious, though it varies in degrees based upon the
size of the event in question. When a new neighbor moves in on your street,
you're pretty curious - who is he? What's he do for a living? How's he at
barbecue? Does he molest children? Standard stuff.

The curiosity is intensified, but in the same vein, when an occupying army
moves into your neighborhood. First off, there's the not-so-small matter of
hoards of folks in their late teens and early 20s running around the area
with guns. That's a matter of interest.

Also of interest is the fact that they've just kicked the ass of almost
everybody that's ever caused pain in your life. I'm sure you'd consider that

But they're also just foreigners, from a strange land, that you've heard so
little about, excepting lies the local demons have spread. They've been
places you've never been, barely heard of. That's interesting, too.

All of which is to explain how I ended up discussing 80s pop music with a
bunch of Iraqis a few months ago.

"Madonna! You know Madonna? Very good, yes?"

Boys, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Madonna hasn't exactly
covered herself in glory recently. If it were up to her, y'all'd've never
gotten out of the hurt locker.

But I didn't tell them that.

They certainly dress like it's the 80s around here. (By that, I mean like
they raided the costume department for Weird Science, etc.) I actually saw
an Iraqi child walking around in one of my favorite t-shirts from childhood,
something from the gift shop of a Chicago planetarium. What a trip, uh?

Now that the embargo's over, and there's a large infusion of Americans on,
uh, "work visas" (the blessed green ID card), it's possible that Iraqis will
receive an infusion of pop culture, old and new. Evidence of this is already
cropping up - Britney Spears is as popular on posters over here as in the
States, if harder to find.

But there's too much "pop" and not enough "culture," if you want my opinion.
Let's go back to the Material Girl, for example.

Her message of loose sexual morals may not be the best thing in the world,
but I think it beats the burkaburkaburka! policy.

Well, they could steal worse from us than Madonna and Britney. (I'm thinking
of Jerry Lewis.) Here's to the future.

gratuitious picture of me

Christmas night, 1971. Nine years old and I'm wearing Winnie the Pooh feeties?
And I have no idea what that gold lamè thing hanging behind me is.


Notice the yellow yarn in my hair. That was my mother's big thing. Tying our hair with yarn.

the year that was: 1967

Year chosen by Faith.

Top 10 songs:

1. To Sir With Love, Lulu
2. The Letter, Box Tops
3. Ode To Billie Joe, Bobby Gentry
4. Windy, Association
5. I'm A Believer, Monkees
6. Light My Fire, Doors
7. Somethin' Stupid, Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra
8. Happy Together, Turtles
9. Groovin', Young Rascals
10. Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Frankie Valli

The pizza place near my house (Joe's pizza, where you could get a slice and a coke for 50 cents and Joe always gave us handfulls of shredded mozzarella cheese to eat while we waited for the pizza) had The Letter on the jukebox, though I think it was the Joe Cocker version. This one guy used to come in and play that song (three songs for a quarter) over and over again.

Ode To Billy Joe was just one in a series of really maudlin songs that came out at that time. You know, Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahachee bridge. Poor guy.

Also, The Graduate came out in 1967. Little did I know that all these years later.....


psa #23439084 in an infinite series

You can donate up until 48 hours after the Blogathon ends. Don't care if you donate to me or Meryl or Lair, it all goes to the same place. Go here to sponsor me.

Thanks to the slew of people who donated today. You've all been added to the list on the right. If you don't wish to be anonymous on the sidebar, just let me know.

Don't forget, I'll be on AIM the rest of the night and day: CoffeeSavesLives. Stop and say hi.

Blogathon cruising: Check out Faith and her Pug-a-thon. Nice break from all those feline lovers doing cat-a-thons.

If you're behind on the Blogathon posts, you can find them all here.

All I Need to Know I Learned From Mad Magazine

mad2.jpgBack in my day, kids honed their reading skills on Archie comics or Encyclopedia Brown books. Not me. I was in my room, door locked, stealthily reading Mad Magazine as if it were pornography. I actually hid the mags under my mattress at night.

I was nine or ten when I first started reading Mad. I didn't get a lot of the humor, but what I did get was funny. In a way, Mad Magazine taught me my first lessons in the politics of America. It's where I got my information on Watergate and gas shortages and nuclear power, which probably explains why I didn't fair so well in current events in school.

What I remember most about Mad is how it got me through our vacations to Roscoe, NY. Our aunt and uncle had a house up there, right on a lake. Beautiful woods and trails and streams; lots of fishing and outdoor activities. Unfortunately, my cousins were all there too, and the fishing turned into a game of who could keep away from the boys' out of control fish lines, and the outdoor activities included running away from cousins with bb guns.

One summer I found a stack of Mad magazines in the corner of the upstate house. While all the other kids were outside being healthy and productive, in the words of my mother, I was curled up in a corner of a tiny room, reading The Lighter Side Of... and laughing even though sometimes I had no idea what I was laughing at.

I spent hours folding the back pages just right so I could see the punchline to a joke that always poked fun at our society. I studied the movie parodies, I played Spy v. Spy in my head and swore I would be Don Martin when I grew up.

I laughed out lead at the "we'd like to see" pieces. Spray Cans We'd Like to See....Movie Ads We'd Like to See... My parents thought I was nuts. My cousins thought I was weird. Eventually, everyone began to ignore me and they stopped trying to force me outdoors. They left me alone with Alfred E. Nueman.

Mad taught me many things besides world affairs and the ills of society. It's where I learned satire and sarcasm, skills I think I have employed rather admirably in my life.

I stopped reading Mad at some point, probably when I got to junior high and became a stupid teenage girl. But hey, I had my sarcasm intact.

Mad also lead me on the trail to comics, something that is still an obession in my life.

Hey...wait a minute. Let's take stock here. What exactly did Mad Magazine do for me?

It give me verbal skills that get me into trouble. It gave me writing skills that my teachers couldn't understand. It kept me from becoming physically active, therefore ensuring that I would never have the desire to try out for a team sport in high school, causing me to become an outcast. It turned me onto comic books, a hobby that has kept me from saving any real amount of money because all my free cash goes towards pricey graphic novels and accompanying action figures. And honestly, satirical skills only come in handy if you are a writer.

On the other hand, I only got shot with a bb gun once, I never got a fish hook stuck in my head like one of my cousins did, and I totally avoided the jocks in high school. And I still know more about Watergate than my parents do.

things better left forgotten: the 8-track

8track.jpgAh, the Eight Track player. No more unweildy albums cluttering up your room! Now, you just needed ten or so shelves to stack your 8 track tapes on. No more skipping and scratching vinyl! No, you just had songs that cut off in the middle to switch tracks, so More Than a Feeling was interupted by a chu-chunk sound right at the good part. No rewinding. No fast forwarding. Just playing the four sections over and over, with all clunky track changes.

The 8 track tapes themselves were prone to melting faster than a marshamallow at a bonfire. Leave one by your sunlit window for just an hour or so, and you would end up with 8 track goo.

They weren't even cool to look at. No liner notes, no lyrics, and the cover art was reduced to a sticky label.

It was hard to be cool while lugging 8-tracks around. Not even the modern-art inspired yellow tape player I had (see above photo) could make it any less cumbersome.

Odd memory: Everyone I know who had an 8-track player owned this. It was like you had to have it, whether you liked the band or not.

meanwhile in the blogathon

Head over to Jett's Blogathon and guess which body part is mine!

And then go sponsor Keith - if he doesn't get more sponsors you'll never see the panties I sent him!

Oh, all of my Blogathon entries can be found here. Thanks to Faith and Kevin for helping me out with that.

either or: a pop culture preference quiz

Mad props to Tanya for this one.

Bellbottoms or purple acid washed jeans?
Starsky or Hutch?
Ponch or Jon?
Sabrina, Jill, or Kelly?
John Taylor, Simon LeBon, or Nick Rhodes?
Parker Stevenson or Shaun Cassidy?
David Coverdale or Sebastian Bach?
David Coverdale or Tawny Kitaen?
Roger Maris or Mickey Mantle?
Evita or Imelda Marcos?
Saturday Night Live or Friday Night Videos?
Black Flag or Simply Red?
London Calling or Call Me?
Bitchin Camaro or custom van?
Who Shot J.R. or Who Shot Mr. Burns?
All in the Family or Family Ties?
Travolta the sweathog or Travolta the dancer?
Celine Dion or Patsy Cline?
Ben or Jerry?
Breakfast Club or Breakfast at Tiffany's?
Flashdance, Footloose or Dirty Dancing?

I think I'll do more of these later. Any suggestions, email me.

good news

70 %

There's a 70 % chance that I'll survive the 'thon.
Will you survive the Blogathon?

musical moments: fire in the sky

Smoke on the Water. 1972.

Every teenage boy with a guitar practiced those opening chords day and night. No matter what block you walked down, you could hear it coming from one garage or another.

The phenomen lasted for years, as Deep Purple put that song out on just about every compilation album to come out in the subsequent years. I think it's the first song I played on air guitar.

Meaning of Smoke on the WaterSo, what's the song about?

The lyrics actually tell the story of the recording of Machine Head . Deep Purple were originally all set to record the album at the Casino in Montreux, Switzerland. They were just awaiting a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention concert to be held before the recording could begin. But the Casino burnt down during the concert, after some stupid had fired a flare gun into the Casino's ceiling. (Purple were in the audience. The actual Zappa concert has turned up on one of the Beat the Boots discs, I think.) They ended up at the Grand Hotel, closed for the winter season, where the recording eventually commenced during December 1971. They recorded the album with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, also mentioned in the lyrics. Who's "Funky Claude" ? Funky Claude in the lyrics is Claude Nobs, who helped them out. He's still involved in the Montreux Jazz Festival, and seems to be a very important man in the music business in the Swiss town. As stated in the lyrics, he helped saving some kids during the fire at the Casino. He was also the man who found the Grand Hotel for them. There's a picture on him on the gatefold sleeve on the original LP release of the album. "Break a leg , Frank!" Actually, these were troubled times for Frank Zappa, who first lost all of his gear in the fire in Montreux. A couple of days later, when he played in London, a fan tore him off stage, and Zappa broke his leg as he fell into the orchestra pit. This, again, led to Ian Gillan dropping the comment "Break a leg, Frank!" near the ending of Smoke on the Water at a March 1972 concert recorded for the BBC, available on the excellent EMI 2CD set Deep Purple in Concert. The song itself was created more or less spontaneously; Roger Glover had the picture of the smoke spreading over the Lake Geneva in his head, and the line Smoke on the Water eventually stuck. He suggested to Ian Gillan that they should use it as a song title, but Ian shrugged it off, saying people would believe it was a drug song. Then Ritchie suddenly came up with the later hierostratically famous (and notorious!) riff, and things fell into place.

Answers to Quiz

Here's the answers (below). How did you do?

Okay, you get two points for each correct answer, for a possible high score of 100.

1. The album was entitled Sun City: Artists Against Apartheid.
2. Paula Abdul was a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers.
3. Gordon Shumway was the name of ALF (which stands for Alien Life Form, by the way.)
4. Robert Mapplethorpe was the artist, and since he got funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, a lot of people began to question whether the NEA had any idea what qualified as art.
5. Pong was the very first video game.
6. Jane Wyman starred in Falcon Crest.
7. John W. Hinckley, Jr. was obsessed with Jodie Foster. She was matriculating at Yale at the time.
8. Bright Lights, Big City
9. Kharma Chameleon
10. Spuds MacKenzie was the name . . . and the pit bull was actually female.
11. Bob Dylan, who wrote the song.
12. Angel Heart was the flick; Bonet co-starred with Mickey Rourke.
13. Bush admitted he had a real problem with the "vision thing."
14. Waylon Jennings did the voice-overs on The Dukes of Hazzard.
15. The ghosts were named Pinky, Blinky, Inky and Clyde.
16. Jessica Hahn
17. "I Want Your Sex." (At least George was being honest.)
18. Gilly's was the famous Houston honky tonk.
19. Malcolm Baldrige.
20. The U.S. boycotted the Moscow Games in protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The USSR returned the favor by boycotting the 1984 games in L.A.
21. Vanessa Williams
22. Bobby McFerrin
23. Ratt
24. Columbia was the first space shuttle launched into the void.
25. "Jack and Diane" was the song, off the American Fool album. In 1982, Mellencamp became the only male artist to have two Top 10 hits and a #1 album simultaneously.
26. The Last Temptation of Christ really bedeviled the fundamentalists.
27. Richard Simmons. (Remember when Dave Letterman made him cry?)
28. Bartles & Jaymes
29. The Twilight Zone: The Movie
30. The Pentagon paid $604.09 for a toilet seat. (They also paid $748 for a pair of pliers and $9,606 for an Allen wrench.)
31. Jackson referred to the Big Apple as "Hymietown," setting off a firestorm in the Jewish community.
32. Michael Spinks
33. Natalie Wood drowned in 1981 while yachting off Catalina with husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken and for a while there were rumors of foul play.
34. Live Aid, just one of many benefit concerts during the 80s -- remember Farm Aid? The Prince's Trust?
35. Appropriately enough, the charter boat had been christened Monkey Business.
36. Ron took a break from ballet lessons to appear in the American Express commercials.
37. Baby Fae
38. Amy was the president's national security adviser that particular day.
39. Claus Von Bulow
40. 508 points, the biggest one-day plunge in history. Estimated total loss: over $500 billion. Poof. Vanished.
41. Say Anything was the name of the film. (And who wouldn't, if it was Ione Skye?)
42. Dudley Moore
43. Martina Navratilova
44. Nike is the correct answer. And we all remember what ADIDAS stands for, right? (All Day I Dream About Sex.)
45. It was Korean Airlines Flight 007.
46. Mr. T, and FYI the TV series was The A-Team.
47. The article, "The Education of David Stockman" by William Greider, appeared in The Atlantic Monthly.
48. The father was Ted Danson's character. Billy Crystal was not in Three Men And A Baby.
49. Donald Trump
50. Swatch


We've reached the six hour mark, so I'll celebrate with the top 6 songs of 1984 (a year randomly picked by David):

1. When Doves Cry - Prince
2. What's Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner
3. Jump - Van Halen
4. Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
5. Like A Virgin - Madonna
6. Hello - Lionel Ritchie

That's according to the charts.

My top six songs of 1984:

Nena - 99 Luft Ballons
Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes
Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane
Icicle Works - Whisper To A Scream
Thomas Dolby - Hyperactive!
Prince - Purple Rain

The worst song of 1984: Jack Wagner - All I Need

And of course, the song that is the bane of my existence was released in 1984: Night Ranger's Sister Christian.

David's music of 1984:

"Sexcrime (1984)" by Eurythmics
"Upstairs at Eric's" by Yazoo
"Japanese Whispers" by The Cure
"Forever Now" by the Psychedelic Furs
"Life's Rich Pageant" by R.E.M.
"The Dreaming" by Kate Bush
"Security" by Peter Gabriel
"Hyaena" by Siouxsie and the Banshees, featuring Robert Smith
"Talk Talk" by Talk Talk
"The Hurting" by Tears for Fears
"I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow
"Friend of Foe" by Adam Ant, bless 'im.

Guest post #2: Ben Weasel

Our second guest post of the day is from Ben Weasel. Ben has been making music for at least fifteen years, most notably with Screeching Weasel and The Riverdales. He is also the author of two books and is a huge baseball fan. You can read Ben's thoughts on music, politics and baseball at his blog, Weasel Manor.

Entry Below:

The Last Thirty-Five Or So Years, Condensed.
©2003 Ben Weasel

I was born in the late 60's so I don't remember anything about that decade. I'm told that a lot of people fought The Man for a few seconds until they realized that Talking About Fighting The Man was a lot easier and safer than actually Fighting The Man, and it helped to get them laid, too. The Sixties seemed to start out good, with clever, funny comedy, and good fashion and music, but by the end of the decade the hippies had taken over and ruined everything. As far as I can tell, the Good Sixties were New York, Coltrane, cocktails, skinny ties, capri pants and Lenny Bruce. The Bad Sixties were San Francisco, The Beatles, acid, bare feet, dashikis and Abbie Hoffman. People who were teenagers and young adults back then still talk about The Sixties in romantic terms, which makes the rest of us feel embarrassed for them.

The 1970's sucked. People were very hairy and listened to terrible music. You had three choices of music on the radio in the 70’s; pretentious concept albums by bands like Yes and Genesis, sickly sweet wimpy pop made by Leo Sayer and Olivia Newton John, or soft-rock played by guys with beards and names like England Dan. People wore really ugly, garish clothes and smoked a lot of pot out of bongs with wizards and skulls stenciled on them. A giraffe-like lady named Carol Burnett made millions of dollars staging sketches on television which consisted of lame Z-grade comedians in costumes pretending to try not to laugh at each other's decidedly unfunny antics. Nixon lost his job as President for too many Dirty Tricks and said we wouldn’t have him to kick around anymore, but everybody kept on kicking ‘cause it was fun. Gerald Ford bumped into a lot of things and asked everybody to please wear buttons to help save energy. Jimmy Carter told Playboy he got wood when his brother Billy brought whores to the peanut farm and when people got mad about it he tried to punch a bunny rabbit. About the only good thing about the 70's were the movies; you could still go see a decent film in the average theater. Well, and the breakfast cereals were pretty good, too.

The 1980's sucked, too, but the music was better and people stopped letting their body hair grow so much. The clothes were just as dumb; nobody wore t-shirts. Instead, men shopped at places like Chess King for shirts with a lot of snaps and vertical stripes on them. Girls wore hats and either had really big hair or really short hair. The nation fell in love with Cajun food, then everybody suddenly stopped caring at the same time. Sex became potentially lethal about three days after I hit puberty. MTV showed these things called "music videos" for a brief time in the 1980's but they quickly went out of fashion and the network opted for original programming. A lady named Tipper Gore heard her daughter say "masturbation" and got so mad about it that she tried to beat up Frank Zappa. Reagan literally let the loonies out of the asylums creating a major homeless problem, but he did stop the commies, and he provided great source material for punk rock bands. Sex-positive little cupcakes with dreadlocks and nose rings corrected everybody’s pronunciation of the names of countries like Nicaragua and Guatemala with an exaggerated Latino accent but couldn’t seem to spell “women” properly. Yuppies shot cocaine into their dicks and drove Beamers, Gallagher made vaguely populist remarks about the government while hitting watermelons with a sledgehammer and pop bands cut their hair with razors and played keyboards shaped like guitars.

In the 90's many people thought music got better but they were wrong. Fashion took a step backwards as people developed nostalgia for the 70's and started wearing bell-bottomed pants and lots of flannel. A lot of people threw their backs out trying too hard to be ironic. The President got head from a big-boned girl in the Oval Office but he got caught and then he had to ask somebody what “is” is so he could explain how his cum got on her dress. A guy named Jim invented this thing called "The Internet" which helped people get porn without having to suffer the embarrassment of lurking around video stores in raincoats and receiving bulky packages in plain brown wrappers at their homes. People drove around calling their friends on their cell phones to tell him how mad they were that so many people were talking on their cell phones while driving around. Crack became popular and, perhaps not coincidentally, kids started getting the crazy idea that soccer wasn’t just a pussy European sport. At a party in Hollywood one night in the early 90’s, a bunch of studio execs got really high and made a bet concerning which one of them could take the most talentless buckethead in town and convince film directors and reviewers that he was a serious dramatic actor. Thus, Tom Hanks’ career was re-born. Hip-hop became huge as middle-class white kids from the suburbs finally found artists like Chuck D. and N.W.A. who could really speak to their experience. Susan Faludi wrote “Backlash” and everybody laughed and pointed and said she was ugly and she felt just like the girl in Janis Ian’s song about being seventeen. Punk rock became popular for about 12 minutes and so for the first and probably last time in my life I made very good money playing music.

I like the Zeroes much better. There's never a better time to be alive than right now. After all, we have digital cable.


Just a reminder: You can pledge up until 48 hours after the Blogathon ends.

See here for details on how to pledge.

all the news

I suppose news is part of our pop culture in that it's generally news that makes the culture. Right?

I'll spend some time during the day/night going over news of the three decades I'm covering.


1962: Prayer in school ruled as unconstitutional; Timothy Leary encourages the use of LSD for recreational purposes.

1963: JFK assasinated

1968: MLK assasinated

1969: Woodstock; man walks on the moon

Also in the 60's: Skateboard made their first appearance; people realize smoking is bad for you; Johnny Carson begins a 30 year stint on The Tonight Show; Roger Maris hits 61 home runs and....

The Green Bay Packers won the first Super Bowl.

Yes, there's more. Why don't you add some?

french insult #4 anda request

[I have to bring you a French insult every hour, in keeping with Marduk's pledge]

France is a country where the money falls apart in your hands and you can't tear the toilet paper.

- Billy Wilder

I'm working on a that was then/this is now post. A few people have sent me then/now pictures of themselves. It would be really kind of you to do the same. After all, I've been sitting here embarassing myself all morning by posting pictures of me in the stupid outfits my mother made me wear.

Come on, let us see that big hair, the purple jeans, the bellbottoms....send it along with a recent pic and you can be in the then/now gallery as well. (sent to michele@asmallvictory.net)

(The gallery will also include things like electronic equipment, toys, games, etc.)

Quiz Time: Know the 80's?

I'm not going to credit the site I got this quiz from until all the questions are answered. Otherwise some of you may - gasp! - cheat.

Quiz is below. Try not to look at anyone else's comments before you post your answers. You really don't have to answer all fifty. I'm just buying some time while I get the next post ready.

More ridiculous pictures of me coming up soon.

1. Steven Van Zandt's 1985 protest album was entitled Sun City: Artists Against __________.

2. Singer/dancer Paula Abdul was a cheerleader for which professional basketball team?

3. Gordon Shumway was the name of a wisecracking alien nicknamed ______ in an 80's TV sitcom.

4. In 1989, the city of Cincinnati tried to shut down the homoerotic art show of photographer _________________.

5. What was the name of the first video game, which was produced by Atari? Was it Tron, Centipede, Pong, or Dragon's Lair?

6. Ronald Reagan's first wife, Jane Wyman, was a regular cast member of what primetime television series?

7. _____________ was the young man whose obsession with actress ____________ led him to attempt the assassination of President Reagan in March 1981.

8. Eighties pop-lit sensation Jay McInerney penned the novel _______________, which was made into a film starring Michael J. Fox in 1988.

9. "I'm a man without conviction," warbled Boy George of Culture Club in the hit song ________________.

10. What was the name of Budweiser's "Original Party Animal," a pit bull mascot that debuted in a 1987 commercial?

11. On U2's Rattle and Hum (1988), Bono sang a duet with ________ entitled "Love Rescue Me."

12. Lisa Bonet, who played Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show, shocked a lot of people in the 1987 film ____________, which featured her in a torrid sex scene that nearly earned the flick an X rating.

13. When George Bush was trailing Michael Dukakis during the 1988 presidential campaign, he blamed his woes on the "_______ thing."

14. What country singer did the voice-overs on the television series The Dukes of Hazzard?

15. The ghosts in the original Pac-Man game were named Pinky, Blinky, Inky and _______. (Choices: Kinky, Clyde, Koosh, Caspar.)

16. Playboy paid former PTL church secretary ____________ $1 million for an interview and a nude pictorial in 1987.

17. George Michael's steamy 1987 hit single ______________ was banned by 75 radio stations across the U.S.

18. Name the famous Houston honky tonk featured in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy. (Remember Debra Winger riding the mechanical bull?)

19. Secretary of Commerce _________________ died during a 1987 rodeo competition when a horse fell on him.

20. The ____________ boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980, and the ______________ boycotted the Los Angeles games in 1984.

21. The first black Miss America, _______________, was stripped of her crown when Penthouse published nude pictures of her in 1984.

22. "Don't worry, be happy," was the good advice jazz singer ____________ gave us in 1988.

23. Milton Berle appeared in drag in the music video for "Round and Round," a hit song by the heavy metal band _______.

24. Name the first space shuttle, launched in 1981. (Choices: Columbia, Discovery, America, Challenger.)

25. "Suckin' on chili dogs outside the Tastee Freeze," are lyrics from the song ___________ by John Cougar Mellencamp.

26. Fundamentalist Christians wanted a film entitled _________ ______________ boycotted because they thought its representation of Jesus was sacrilegious.

27. Exercise guru ____________ had a New York bestseller with his/her Never-Say-Diet Book.

28. The line "Thank you for your support" always closed the commercials for what wine cooler manufacturer?

29. In 1982, a helicopter crash during the filming of ____________ killed actor Vic Morrow and two children.

30. During the 1980s the Pentagon paid $604.09 for a _________.
(Choices: Allen wrench, doorknob, toilet seat, coffee maker.)

31. During a 1984 off-the-record meeting with a Washington Post reporter, Jesse Jackson referred to New York City as __________, causing something of a stir.

32. In 1988, Mike Tyson earned $20 million after knocking out __________ in 91 seconds during a championship fight in Atlantic City.

33. Referring to the drowning of actress ___________, Geraldo Rivera tells his audience, "If you think it was an accident, applaud." (Tacky, Geraldo, very tacky.)

34. _________ (two words) was a huge 1985 hunger-relief benefit organized by Bob Geldof (of Boomtown Rats fame), with concerts held simultaneously in London and Philadelphia.

35. What was the name of the charter boat aboard which presidential contender Gary Hart apparently had an ill-advised dalliance with would-be model Donna Rice in 1987?

36. Which of Ronald Reagan's children appeared in an American Express commercial? (You only have 4 choices: Maureen, Michael, Ron, Patti.)

37. The heart of a seven-month old baboon was transplanted into an infant known as _________, who survived for 20 days. (Choices: Baby M, Baby Jessica, Baby Fae, Baby X)

38. During his 1980 presidential debate with Reagan, Jimmy Carter asked his daughter ______ what she thought was the most important issue of the day. (She said nuclear weaponry -- and probably enunciated it more distinctly than Carter did during the debate.)

39. In 1982, a jury convicted _____________ of twice trying to kill his wife Sunny with insulin injections. (He was later acquitted in a retrial.)

40. On "Black Monday," 19 October 1987, the stock market plunged _____ points. (Choices: 58, 508, 1580, 5800)

41. John Cusack played Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" on his boom box outside Ione Skye's bedroom window in what 1989 movie?

42. 1981 was a great year for ___________, who not only got to date Susan Anton but who also had a smash hit with the film Arthur.

43. In 1985, ________________ beat Chris Evert to become the first woman to win four straight Wimbledon tennis titles.

44. ______ made sports superstar Bo Jackson its poster boy with a series of "Bo Knows" ads. (Choices: Adidas, Reebok, Converse, Nike.)

45. In 1983 the Soviet fighters shot down Korean Airlines Flight _____, a civilian jetliner that had gone off course and blundered into Soviet airspace.

46. "I pity the fool" was a phrase we associated with _______, a former bar bouncer who starred in Rocky III and, later, in a hit action series on TV.

47. David Stockman, Reagan's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, got into hot water with his boss after an article in which he criticized Reaganomics appeared in the December 1981 issue of ___________. (Choices: The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, Harpers.)

48. Which actor played the father of an infant who put a major crimp in the lifestyles of three confirmed bachelors in the film Three Men And A Baby? (Choices: Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, Billy Crystal, Tom Selleck.)

49. In his bestselling book The Art of the Deal, __________ talked about the techniques that resulted in his owning about half of Manhatten and Atlantic City. (Or at least it seemed he owned that much.)

50. The ______ was a a colorful analog watch that sometimes came with scented bands, and became all the rage, at least for a while.

pinball wizard

pinball.jpgI was about 13 years old when I first entered the Palace. I was a tag-a-long to an older friend who was going there just to score a nickel bag.

Pinball Palace was a small, almost hidden place, tucked between the Jerry Lewis Movie theater and a specialty bra shop. From the outside, it looked forbidden and dangerous, two things that combined to point a beckoning finger at me.

Gina opened the door and I followed, knowing that this was exactly the kind of place my parents warned me about.

As soon as we stepped inside my brain went into sensory overload. The smell hit me first; cigarettes and pot and teenage sweat swirling together in the dank heat of the Palace.

The noises. The clacking of pool bools as someone yelled break!; the dings and and whistles of the twenty or so pinball machines that lined the walls; the cursing of the bikers at the pool table; the jangling of quarters in the pockets of Levis; the fist banging on the glass as a machine cried out TILT! It was all underscored by Led Zeppelin's Trampled Under Foot shouting from the jukebox, and the combination of those sounds became my own Pied Piper, begging me to follow.

I was hesitant that first day and just hung in back of Gina while she made a deal with guy at the change counter. When she was done, we went behind the movie theater, smoked a joint, and then snuck in the back door of the theater. They were showing Shampoo. We watched Warren Beatty, naked on the floor and humping the daylights out the poor girl underneath him and all I remember is a person was watching them through a window and said something like "Now that's what I call fucking!" Gina sat gaping at the screen, taking in every word, every movement, probably taking notes in her head, and all I could think about was going back to Pinball Palace.

The next Saturday, Gina took me with her for another buy. This time, I brought quarters. While Gina flirted with her dealer, I made the walk towards the machine in the far corner. The Bally Wizard.

I slowly put the quarter in, knowing full well that I would become addicted to the flashing lights and turning numbers. The quarter dropped. I hit the reset button. The silver ball popped into place and I slowly pulled back the lever, feeling the resistance of the coiled spring. I let go. The tip of the lever and the metal ball connected and as that ball went around the curve on its journey towards the playing field, it took with it my grades, my social life, my allowance. From the first loud ding when the ball rang up my first score, I was obsessed.

My fingers worked the flippers as deftly as the lady in the school office worked the typewriter. I moved this way and that, swinging my hips and nudging the machine a little to the left, a little to the right, careful not to piss it off enough to make it tilt. My eyes darted between the ball and the scoreboard and my heart skipped a beat as I saw the paper taped to the top of the glass with the high scores for the week listed. My name would be up there one day. Yes, it would.

Gina had to drag me out of the Palace. Even when my quarters ran out, I wanted to stay and watch the masters play, the guys who turned over the numbers on the scoreboard, the guys who could smoke and drink and play at the same time.

And then it wasn't just Saturdays anymore. I started walking there after school. If Gina wouldn't go there was always someone else willing to hang out and watch me play pinball with me instead of going home. We would throw a few quarters into the jukebox (three plays for twenty five cents!), and play the same line up each time. Led Zeppelin. Todd Rundgren. Deep Purple.

Sometimes I would ask my mother for a ride to the library and when she pulled away after dropping me off, I would run across Front Street and duck into the Pinball Palace. I rationalized my lying. I wasn't out doing drugs - no respectable 13 year old considered pot a real drug, not when the bad kids were doing angel dust - and I wasn't out getting pregnant like Mrs. Winslow's daughter. I was just playing pinball.

The frequency of my trips to the Palace waned when winter dug its heels in and no one wanted to walk that far. Occasionally, we would get a ride to the movie theater and slip inside the Palace instead. Each time I walked through those doors was like the first; the smell, the sounds, the pumping of my adrenaline would all be new again.

They closed Pinball Palace before the good walking weather came back. Neighbors were complaining. Community action groups were picketing. Churches were praying for the souls of the kids caught up in the glare of those flashing lights. They claimed Pinball Palace was a haven for dirty, unkempt teenagers who cursed and drank and smoked. It was stealing the life and soul of the community's young adults.

And then, it was gone. I cried, I mourned, I laid in bed at night, my fingers twitching to imaginary flippers, the game playing out in my mind. We had to find another place.

That summer, my parents sprung the news on me that they were taking me out of the "terrible" public school system. They didn't like my friends. They didn't like my attitude. Catholic high school would surely lead me on the path to a righteous life. I would make new friends, they said, friends that wouldn't drag me to those filthy pinball places, friends who wore skirts and ties and gave their quarters to the collection basket instead of machines.

By the end of the second week at the new school, I had made a few new friends just like my parents wanted me to. Momlet me stay after school each day and take the late bus home, assured that I was sitting quietly in the cafeteria with my new virtuous friends studying and doing homework.

Not quite. See, the 7-11 across the street from school held a deep dark secret in its back corner. A Bally Wizard pinball machine. My new friends, who hated ties and skirts and hoarded their quarters like gold, would watch me play for hours each day, taking bets on whether I would break the high score or not. I had a following. I was the Pinball Wizard. Catholic school was working out just fine.

Sure, 7-11 wasn't quite the same as the smoke-filled palace. But Kevin did bring along a portable cassette player each day and we listened to Genesis and Todd Rundgren while I swished and swayed and occassionally tilted.

Pinball eventually gave way to other video games; Asteroids and Galaga and Space Invaders. Arcades started popping up everywhere. My pinball skills were no longer celebrated, I was a has-been, a thing of the ancient past.

I never regret all those hours and quarters spent feeding my pinball frenzy. I never regret the time spent learning the exact angles of each machine, or feeling the excitement when my name went up on the high score chart.

My mother always told me that I was wasting away my life playing those games, that I would never get anything useful out of it. Hah. What does she know? If it wasn't for those quick relfexes and incredible hand-eye coordination I developed at Pinball Palace, I would have never kicked my son's ass at House of Dead 2 the other day.

Guest post #1: Roger Simon

Our first guest of the day is esteemed author Roger Simon. Roger latest book is Director's Cut, just one in a series of tomes about former hippie detective Moses Wine. I highly recommend you read that, as well as Roger's blog.

Thank you for participating, Roger. I will add my thoughts on the subject next.

One of the funny things about Pop Culture is that every generation thinks they own the thing—especially mine (Boomers!). Oh, sure, people like me say “Oh, yeah, Eminem’s cool… except for his sexism.” But what we’re really thinking is: I was there when the Airplane and the Who were going down, shortstop. What the Hell do you know?

Okay, okay, but I still think today’s Pop Culture wreaks, even the movies (especially the movies!) where I’ve been known to perpetrate a few (special exception for Pixar—they’re great) and the Pop of my youth rocks—because, quite literally, that’s when it all started… and when things start is usually when they’re best. The rest is corruption.

So now that you all hate me as a geezer, let me tell that I saw the following live: Fats Domino, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Little Richard (when young enough to jump on the piano), Chuck Berry (just starting the duck walk), Stevie Wonder (as a child prodigy doing “Fingertips”), Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers, the Platters (man am I old!)—all of these at the Apollo Theatre where I was a white kid in a black audience (the thing to do then). I also saw some of the early white folks like Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis (speaking of jumping on pianos) but they were never as interesting to me. Even cooler than the rockers, of course, were Miles and ‘Trane and Monk, all of whom I snuck in under age to see at the Five Spot (ditto Lenny Bruce at the Village Vanguard, turning his back and peeing on stage). Bebop ruled for me.

Later I saw most of the hippie gang—Big Brother, Moby Grape, Acid Jerry himself, the whole SF trip, not to mention Mr. Twentieth Fox (now buried in Paris) down here on the Whiskey way back in the early Paleolithic Age when stoned freaks were still blocking traffic on the Sunset Strip. Was I jealous of him! (What guy wouldn’t have been? But he’s dead and I’m alive—so there!)

But here’s the embarrassment: despite being the creator of Moses Wine, the so-called “People’s Detective,” I never got to Woodstock (not even Altamont).


french insult #3

I have to bring a French insult every hour, in keeping with Marduk's pledge

How can one conceive of a one party system in a country that has over 200 varieties of cheeses?

- Charles de Gaulle

before we knew cholesterol could be bad

Now, what would be a trip through nostalgia land without mentioning Jame Lileks, the master of all nostalgia best left forgotten?

See this regretable weiner dish James writes about? That's got nothing on my mother's culinary delights of the 60's and 70's (I think she gave up her attempts at fancy cooking in the 80's).

jello.jpgEverything was a casserole or cooked in one pot. Betty Crocker's book sat on the counter and my mother consulted it daily for recipes for meals that combined things that no one ever thought to combine before. And for a good reason.

Mom - who has never tried to pass herself off as good cook - would take a roasting pan, line it with pork-n-beans, and throw a couple of hot dogs wrapped in bacon on top of the beans. She'd bake it and then toss some saurekraut on top for good measure. She called this dinner. My dad called it shit. My sisters and still laugh about it.

Unfortunately, bad food was a staple of the times and 90% of those horrid recipes had something to do with hot dogs or tuna.

Mackerel Pudding, anyone?


[click for bigger image] Yep, that's me on Christmas morning with my Vic 20 personal computer. Specs:ROM 16Kb. RAM 5Kb (3.5Kb user memory) expandable to 32Kb. Screen: 22 columns by 23 rows. Screen dot matrix: 176 by 184 with up to 16 colours. Sound: 3 voices plus white noise. Media Tape drive (controlled by VIC), Disk Drive, Printer.

Yet I felt like I had all the power in the world at my fingertips. 16 colors! I played Clowns and Pac-Man to my heart's content until I discovered the world of adventure games.

Pirate's Cove. The Count. Adventureland. Voodoo Castle.

Hours, days, weeks passed where I would do nothing but go on adventures.

I learned to program BASIC and set to work making my own very simple adventure games, word processing programs and arcade games. None of them were very well done, but the thrill of being able to make programs myself was unbeatable.

Eventually, I stuck the Vic20 in the closet when it's sexier, sleeker update, the Commodore 64, came out.

And here I am, all these years later with a computer to die for and what do I do with it? I play text adventure games all day.


Yes, that was me in the blue dress/white stripe.

You got all the commercials right.

Yes, that was Kelly LeBrock of Weird Science fame in the Pantene commercial.

Statia, I think Crazy Eddie was just a NY Metro area/Long Island thing. But at least I got it.

french insult #2

I have to bring a French insult every hour, in keeping with Marduk's pledge

Why are english people so depressed?

Because the light at the end of the tunnel is France.

Thank you, John.

80's commercials game

Let's play a game while I eat some breakfast. Guess the 80's commercials:

"Where's The Beef?"
"I'm not gonna pay a lot for this muffler."
"Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese - pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun"
"Why 1984 won't be like 1984"
"Thank you Easter Bunny!" "Bwok, Bwok!"
"I Heard It Through The Grapevine..."
"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful"
"Move over bacon, here comes something leaner!"
"Where's Herb?"
"I've fallen... and I can't get up!"
"Thank you for your support"
"Just kiss a little longer.."
"The quicker picker upper"
"Avoid the Noid"

french insult 1

And for my first French bashing post of the day (see here for details):

France has neither winter nor summer nor morals--apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country.
- Mark Twain's Notebook

the year was: 1968

I won't be following any kind of order here - I'll post whatever comes to mind from which decade as I go along.

[click for bigger image] That's my first grade class picture, 1968. Notice how all the girls are wearing cute jumpers. You don't see that much anymore, do you?
1968. The Record of the Year was Simon and Garfunke's Mrs. Robinson. The Best Picture Oscar went to Oliver!

I grew up on show tunes. My mother played them so much that to this day I know every word to every musical ever recorded. Not only that, but the lyrics to those tunes have been so embedded in our brains, so entwined in our daily lives, that every time someone would ask for seconds at dinner, they would invariably say "Please, sir. Can I have some more?" At which point we would all burst out into song.

We still do that. It's a sickness.

And they certainly don't make musicals like they used to.

So, do you know which one is me in that class picture?

and we're off....

60s.gif 70s.gif 80s.gif
[thanks to everyone who made buttons - I'll be using them all during the day. The buttons above were made by Robyn]

Ah, 24 hours of craziness, brought to you by myself, Lair and Meryl as we try to buy and amubulance for Magen David Adom. Hey, you can sponsor right up until the last minute, so if you have been putting off, head over there now!

Welcome to Blogathon 2003. For the next 24 hours, I will be using all my energy to entertain you with blasts from the past. It's a pop culture extravaganza, all in the name of charity (see sidebar for more info). You can also view of list of other participants in the Blogathon here and find out what other 'thoners are up to here. A big thank you to Cat and the Blogathon crew for putting this together for another year. It gets better each time out.

I would like to thank everyone (that long, long list on the side there) who sponsored me for this event. I promise to go the full 24 hours, even though I slept like shit last night and woke up two hours too early with a raging headache. A little coffee, a little Excedrin, I'll be fine. Make that a lot of coffee.

I'll have some guests posters along the way to break up the monotony of me, me, me every half hour (probably more than that). Feel free to add your thoughts and memories in the comments, or if you want to expand on a certain ascpect of pop culture, just write something, email it to me and I'll post it. Pictures of you participating in bad fads and ugly fashion choices would be appropriate to send as well. Don't make me go this alone. I'm outing myself as a pop culture disaster here.

zepshirt.jpgThat's me on the left, in the Led Zeppelin t-shirt and Dorothy Hamill haircut, circa 1977. Notice the very fashionable two-piece denim ensemble on my sister Jo-Anne. We were the height of coolness, I tell you.

For the purpose of this Blogathon, we'll define Pop Culture as the wide array of entertainment/mass media properties that dictated what we bought, watched, ate, wore, listened to, etc.

We'll spend the next 24 hours talking about the pop culture of the 60's, 70's and 80's - probably arguing at some point over the best line from Breakfast Club or debating the merits of Led Zeppelin lyrics.

I intend this to be an interactive, audience participation tour of the 30 years worth of my youth and money that is now sitting in a box in my parents' attic.

Because I will be posting at the very least twice every hour, most of the posts from today will scroll off the page at some point. If you missed something and want to go back to the beginning, you can view all posts here, by title, in reverse order of which they appear.

So, it's 9:00 and we are off. Hope you enjoy hanging around as much as I enjoy doing this. I also hope you are here in the wee hours when I need someone to keep me awake.

I'll be on AIM for most of the day on the screename CoffeeSavesLives.

July 25, 2003

until tomorrow

This is it. After I post this, I'll have dinner, watch a movie and then get to bed early.

The Blogathon starts in earnest at 9am EST tomorrow morning (that's 6am PST and I don't know what it is across the ocean).

Here are some of the fine folks who will be blogging for 24 hours in the name of charity. Visit them and lend some moral support.

Faith * Mike * BigRedGiant * Joni * Rannie * Keith * Leen * The Bitch Girls * Greg * Mary * Bozzy * Wampum * Kevin * Stupid Evil Bastard * Dave * Emily * Erika * Tom Hall

You can view the whole list of bloggers here.

See you in the morning!

still preparing

I'm going to stop blogging for the day soon. One last post to go.

First, I have a request: If anyone would like to make me three small buttons - one each for the 60's, 70's and 80's - that I can put on each post to denote the decade of the subject, it would be greatly appreciated and you will give the little dead kittens wings when they get to heaven.

Or something like that.

Sure, I could do it myself. But that would stop me from carefully researching my theme and digging through old pictures. You wouldn't want me to be unprepared, would you?


The Blogathon is TOMORROW. Not today. TOMORROW. I will commence at 9am EST.

So stop harassing me.

Thank you.

be my guest

I'm knee deep in research here and I'm getting lost in the memories. Also, I am feeling mighty regretful that I said I would post photos of myself from my past.

I am soliciting guest posts for the Blogathon. Hey, I have to eat at some point! They will all keep to the theme and I hope to have some interesting people sending me their own pop culture stories. I've already roped in world-famous Roger Simon and the on-the-brink-of-fame Jim Treacher, with a possible story from rock star Dr. Frank if he can tear himself away from the studio long enough.

Got a story? Want to rant about those awful clothes you had to wear? Want to guest post? Email me.

UPDATE: Chris Muir of Day by Day will be submitting a strip to go along with the theme! And on that note, don't forget that Day by Day returns on Monday.

Bill Quick of Daily Pundit will be sending along a post as well.

New! Ben Weasel - blogger, baseball fan and punk rock star - will do a guest shot.

Makes that a stellar line-up if I do say so myself.

[Note: The guest posts will be put up in between my own posts, so it's not like I'll be doing less blogging because I have guests coming over]

memories: some of them you can live without

As part of my research for my Blogathon theme, I decided to take out my high school yearbook (Class of 1980), which dedicated a few pages to all the pop culture and news of our lives. I flipped through all the pages of the book, read all the notes from friends.

I'm going to stick my head in a bucket of chlorine now.

folding up the road map

I was over at Honest Reporting, looking for an article that Ara writes about today (more on that in a second) when I came across this - Study Reuters Headlines [A one-month study of Reuters headlines reveals clear bias in Reuters' Mideast coverage.]

Some damning evidence there, the conclusion of which is: Reuters' obvious message? Israel is the aggressor, and Palestinians are the victims. Go read.

So, Ara writes about another Honest Reporting article, which "presents a comprehensive review of 4 major diplomatic/security concerns, and the media's treatment of these issues."

He then lists the concerns and explanations and sums up:

So...let's summarize:

Abbas is paying the terrorists not to attack; Arafat is paying them to attack. Either way, terrorists are making a lot of money.

The road map obligates the Palestinians to crack down on terrorists; instead, the Palestinians are demanding their release.

As the prime ministers travel to Washington, we wonder: Is something wrong here?

I don't wonder, I know.

Just some food for thought for your day.

let me entertain you - with your help

As you know, my theme for the Blogathon is Pop Culture of My Youth (which spans the 60's, 70's and 80's).

This will include movies, music, books, products, fads, toys, food, television, commercials, celebrities, etc.

I need links. I need stories. I need personal anecdotes of those times. Also, if you are a brave soul, I would love to have a picture of you from any of those years. I'll also be posting pictures of myself in the various ridiculous clothing fads of those times, so I won't be making fun of you alone. Really.

So get cracking. Start compiling those best of/worst of lists. Start going through your photo albums and vinyl collection. The more you help me out, the more likely I am to entertain you for 24 hours straight.

Also, I will be needing (im)moral support to stay awake for that whole time, as I've recently discovered the joys of sleeping (having been an insomniac for most of my life, this joy is newly found and deeply loved).

I will be on AIM for the whole evening, using the screen name CoffeeSavesLives. Feel free to IM me at anytime to chat, or give suggestions, or to kick me to make sure I'm awake.

24 hours from now....

It's going to be lots of Blogathon talk from here on. It's just about 24 hours away and I've got a lot to talk about.

First, Misha announces an outstanding surprise regarding the efforts of Lair, Meryl and myself on behalf of Magen David Adom:

URGENT UPDATE: One Loyal Citizen (who has asked for anonymity which, of course, will be respected) has emailed us and pledged to match any and all donations from the Loyal Citizenry, dollar for dollar, up to $1,000.

We're astounded by the generosity of this pledge, to say the very least.

As am I. You can sponsor, if you haven't already, right up until the closing bell of the blogathon.

If you have sponsored me due to Misha's generous reader's offer, please email me and let me know so I can keep a tally.

In addition to the amounts the three of us have been pledged separately, generous, wonderful people have already donated $2,910 directly to MDA in the name of the blogathon, bringing our grand total to $9114.00 thus far. We are very pleased.

You can find more information on MDA, the blogathon itself, and how to sponsor on top of this page and in my sidebar.

I'd also like you to take a look at that long, long list of supporters in my sidebar. They all have pledged their hard-earned dollars towards this cause and intend to give them the best blogathon experience ever. Thank you one and all.

Some people have emailed saying they just can't afford to pledge right now (trust me, I understand that), but they would like to help me in some way.

Stay tuned for that. There are many ways in which you can help me out which will not cost you a dime, but which I will be incredibly thankful for. More on that later.

July 24, 2003

Vous sucez de tant de différentes manières qu'il fait m'à rire

Marduk has proposed a challenge to Lair, Meryl and myself for our blogathon stint.

During your 24 hours of blogging, you each have to each come up with one really good insulting thing to say about the French (Belgians too). For each one, I'll pledge another $25. If all three of you do it, that's another $1800 (3 x 24 x
25). Hopefully others will match it.

Can't possibly resist that.

But Marduk didn't list any real rules, so I am taking liberties and asking you to help me out ahead of time. French insults. The more, the merrier, the nastier, the better.

It's all in good fun and for a good cause. Help me out.

fromage mangeant des singes de reddition!

No, it doesn't have to be in French, it has to be about the French.

as luck would have it

In a stroke of wonderful luck, the kids are gone and off to Boston with their father for the weekend.

Lucky, I say, because I cannot imagine trying to blog for 24 hours straight with the kids home.

Mom, is your butt stuck to the computer chair? Mom? Moommmmmm? We haven't eaten all day!

So it's just me and the man until late Sunday evening. Ahhh, bliss. I mean, I love my children, but summer wreaks havoc on our relationship. It's good to send them out the door once in a while.

Oh, they'll be at Fenway this weekend. If any of you Boston people are going to the games, you best not mess with two kids in Yankees gear.

Wow. The house is clean and quiet. Just me and my husband. It's time to do what was meant to do at 10:30 on a Thursday night when there is no one begging you for food or drink or just ten more minutes on the computer or another game of Yankee Monopoly.

I'm going to sleep. Because I can. Hah! Who's the boss now?

she's a...

So when someone says you're a brick house, is that supposed to be taken as a compliment?

blogging news

I've been remiss in mentioning a lot of things while I wallowed in the Kobe mess.

I'll add to this post as the night goes on.

  • Notorious Blog is holding a short story contest, with a real cash prize! I'll entering and I hope none of you do because I don't want any competition.


  • Taking a break from shilling for my own blogathon charity: There are many people participating in the blogathon who don't have any sponsors yet. If you are looking to sponsor someone other than me please go here and take a look at the list of bloggers who could use a couple of donations.

  • I know there are some media type people reading this blog, specifically some people in the field of publishing. One of you ought to scoop up this story by Bigwig while it's still up for the scooping. A prominent place in a magazine, that's what it deserves.

this day in baseball

Great moments in Yankees history:

July 24, 1983

George Brett. Billy Martin. Too much pine tar.

Hard to believe that was 20 years ago. There hasn't been an incident quite like that one since. Not Dave Winfield killing a bird, not Sammy Sosa's corked bat, not Bill Buckner's moment in history.

Of course, it's not my favorite anniversary of a baseball moment. Just wait until October 2 when I dedicate a whole day to Bucky Dent.

Yes, I used the anniversary of Brett's tarred bat to take a gratuitous swipe at the Sox. Just getting ready for the weekend

what the hell was i thinking?

I've been digging through my old writing, dated from high school (not even saying how many years ago that was) until just a few months ago. Boxes upon boxes.

I can't believe how many stories I started and never finished. Could be lack of time or lack of substance, but either way I've got more stories unfinished than completed.

This one in particular has me scratching my head. Where was I going with this and was I drunk when I wrote it? It appears to be about three years old and I don't even remember writing it.

Any ideas what my thought process was here? And what was I thinking?

The lady says to her:

“So, let’s get this profile of yours started. What exactly are you looking for in a man?
“A cape and a sword.
“Come again?”
“A cape and a sword. And he should look good in tights.”
The lady nods her head politely, but her eyes are saying “this one’s out of her fucking mind.”
“Right. Cape. Sword. Tights.” She puckers her lips tightly. “Seems like you’re looking for a superhero.” She chuckles as she says this.
“Yes. I am.”
“Aren’t we all, sweetie? Expect mine would be wearing a silk robe and boxers.”
Anna nods absently.
“Anyhow,” puckered-lip lady continues, “Any specific traits you’re looking for?”
“Some kind of superpower. But not stretching. Been there, done that.”
Superpower? You mean like breathe underwater or something of the sorts?”
Anna throws back her head and laughs, loud and hearty.
“Has he been by here? You would think after all this time he would just come clean and hit the gay circuit on the internet.”
Lip lady drums her pen on the desk. She puckers again. Anna thinks it could be a nervous habit..
“I’m not sure I’m following you here,” she says. “Are you some kind of reporter for a satire magazine?”
Anna exhales loudly.
“I am,” she says slowly just in case lip lady is not quite the bright light she makes herself out to be. “Looking for a man.”
“Right. Man with cape, sword, tights, and flying ability.”
“Did I say flying? No, I didn’t.”
“So, you’re open to other umm...superpowers?” Her lips get even tighter and they form a small, red-stained “o” and Anna thinks that lip lady looks like a balloon that’s about to pop.
“I’m open to anything that’s not stretching or flying.”
“You’re serious, aren't you.”
“You know what the odds are, lady?”
“I’m quite aware.”
“Tell you what. Let’s skip over this part for now and get to you.” The lips unpucker and Anna can see red lipstick on the lady’s otherwise gleaming teeth. She says nothing. The lady stifles a yawn and continues.
“Do you have any hobbies?”
“I like scaling walls in my spare time.”
“So....you’re an athlete?”
“You could say that.”
“I will.” Lip lady taps, taps, taps the pen. She puckers and unpuckers and Anna thinks of fish.
“Would you prefer an athletic man?”
“If by leaping tall buildings

And it cuts short there. Either I realized this was incredibly stupid or I got distracted by something better.

So. Set it or forget it?

to hell and back

Apparently, the Power Twins are very, very much dead. Here, you can see for yourself.

That was appetizing, wasn't it?

In a way, I believe it was necessary to show those photos. There are too many people out there who need substantial, signifcant proof in order to believe anything that comes out of the White House. Well, that looks like proof to me.

Of course, there will always be those moonbats who will cry PHOTOSHOP! Because nothing is ever enough for them.

Perhaps we should put their heads on spikes and have a cross-country caravan tour the country, and a DNA Lab-On-Wheels will follow closely behind the spiked heads, spitting out proof of death the whole time. Then a Winnebago modded out to look like a small movie theater inside can show a constant film on the brothers' exploits: Q & U: The Decadent Years.

Nah, that wouldn't be enough, either. The moonbats would just be asking where the all the ancient urns and statues have gone to.

Pardon the caustic mood. I just spent 40 minutes in DMV Red Tape Hell, which, as everyone knows, is the unamed circle of hell in Dante's Inferno: The Lost Episodes. At least the good Dr. will be happy to know I am no longer driving around with an expired registration.

Hmm...I'd be happy to take the dripping, oozy, bloody heads of the brothers myself and tie them to my bumper. Then I can drive around with expired platelets! Hah!

Excuse me while I go engage in some sugar therapy.

naming names: why the Bryant case is different

There seems to be some confusion over the issue of whether I think the identity of Kobe Bryant's accuser - or anyone who accuses someone of rape - should be made public.

I never stated an opinion either way. People just assumed that because I was not posting the pictures or the URL to any sites that have the pictures, address or name of the accuser that I was taking a stand against it. The only stand I took was that you would not be able to find those items here.

For example, Lemondust states:

This blog [A Small Victory] is run by a right wing feminist. I think. Anyway, I found her while looking for commentary on Kobe Bryant. She is against publishing the pictures of the accuser.

I replied (after stating that I am in no way, shape or form a feminist):

It's not that I'm against whatever the people coming to my site were looking for; I was just making the point that they weren't going to find it there. Judging from my comments and email on the matter, most of the searchers wanted the pictures for nefarious reasons: they wanted to find her and humiliate her. Just as Kobe is innocent until proven guilty, the accuser is to be believed until proven a liar. I make no stand on the case. I just make a stand on who so admire a sports star that they are willing to stalk a woman accusing that sports star of rape.

Over at So Cal Law, there's a discussion on the subject which states, in part:

A Small Victory is having trouble with Kobe trolls visiting her site looking for pictures, names and other details associated with Kobe's accuser. Based on some of the comments I have received on this site, I can understand her frustration. On the other hand, re-posting the very offensive terms that drove people to her site is the surest way to increase web traffic of people looking for those terms.

Once again, I don't care if they come here, I just wanted them to know that they would not find what they are looking for.

So Cal Lawyer feels this way about announcing an accuser's identity:

Rape is not comprable to other crimes. It is vastly under reported compared to other crimes. Moreover, other crimes do not entail as much "victim blaming." For example, nobody tells a carjacking victim who drives a nice looking car that he/she was asking for trouble. Finally, the adverse consequences to any victim who falsely or truthfully reports a rape (via having a defense attorney question every aspect of the victim's life before, during and after the rape), is likely a big deterrence to not bring false accusations.

There's also a previous post here.

I agree that making it a policy to name the identity of one who accuses someone of rape will only serve to make less rape victims come forward. Rape is a degrading crime. To have your name splattered in the newspaper as a victim of such a crime would be adding insult to injury, making the victim feel even worse about a crime that so often is compounded by unecessary guilt.

However, until the rape claim is substantiated, you can also say the same for the accused. But I hardly think that saving face for the narrow amount of fake rape claims reported will somehow outweigh the humiliation and degradation suffered by real rape victims.

The fact is, this case is different. Here, you have a celebrity with a huge, loyal, rabid following. The reasons for many of these people wanting to know the name of the accuser is so they can harass her. Just look at my comments on any of these posts. Go do a search and find any website that defends Kobe and you'll see what I mean. There are people looking for address so they can stalk her, wait for her to come out of her house and hurl insults at her. There are people who want to physically harm her. They want her email address to send her threatening letters and the only reason they want to see photos of her is so they can post the photos themselves while captioning them with insults.

Bryant's fans - at least this portion of his fans - have already determined that he is innocent. They would rather see this woman dead then see their team play without their hero. Now, that's a sad statement. And that is why I believe this woman's name should not be made public. Of course, it's too late for that, but you will not find that information here, ever.

Kaiju Haiku

I am a giant spider:

You hang out in dark places, listening to The Smiths, waiting for someone to drop in. For kicks, you sneak up to naive young ladies and jump on their tuffets. Passive-aggressive is the word for it. But you're not just a spineless sucker -- you'll spend days doggedly climbling up that water spout, raindrops be damned.

Yes, I am the goth kid of giant monster movies.

It's no secret that my taste in movies runs towards the low-budget kind. I can thank my mother for this; I was raised on a steady diet of cheesy monster flicks. So imagine my joy when I discovered this website, the proprietors of which will be releasing a PC game called They Came From Hollywood.

You play the game as a customized giant monster that terrorizes and destroys big cities. Also comes with "utterly ridiculous backstory," a must for any monster scenario.

The site is also holding a fantastic poetry contest: Kaiju Haiku (kaiju meaning giant monster). The usual haiku rules apply, but the haiku:

must be about a giant monster movie (or reasonably large monster, heck, any movie that has a decent monster in it...I am not counting the horrifically cute and perky Meg Ryan).

They give a list of monster movies you may want to review on the page. My haikus, so far:


Look! Up in the sky!
It's a bird! It's a plane! No...
It's just a damn moth


Once he was so fierce
If only Godzilla knew
Broderick ruined him

Night of the Lepus

Killer rabbits lurk!
Wait - that's Bill in a bunny suit!
great FX, my ass.

Eight Legged Freaks

Almost as bad as
Jeepers Creepers, but not quite
David Arquette sucks.

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Hey, did you ever
See Johnny Depp in Ed Wood?
Then you'd understand.

I'm done. For now.

Your turn (you do not have to stick to the movies listed on the site).

July 23, 2003

Hey! (blogathon news)

I need 75$ in sponsorships to reach the $2000 mark! Come on, it's for a great cause!

UPDATE: Whoa! Thanks a million to the three people who just sponsored me. You guys all rock.

your search cannot be completed

Look at this crap. Just look at it.

[click for larger image]

To everyone coming here looking for the above items.

You will not find the name of Bryant's alleged victim.
You will not find a picture of her.
You will not find the URLs to the disgusting sites that do have those items.
Do not leave your vile comments and views about rape and women in general here.
Leave and don't come back because - judging by the comments and emails - most of you are just looking for a) a cheap thrill; b) to defend Bryant with all the clarity and grammatical skills of a hamster; c) to get the photo so you can put on your Bryant jersey and engage is some sick fantasy jack-off session pretending you are Kobe or d) you want to chastise me for saying Bryant is a fuckwad for cheating on his wife because, well, everyone does it!

Now take your box of tissues and go elsewhere for you perverted enjoyment.

UPDATE: John, Mike and A, all of whom are the same person and, unfortunate to say, hail from right here on Long Island, have been banned. So long, guy(s)!

in lighter news

Mr. T Experience is in the studio and Dr. Frank is blogging it live. A behind the scenes, freshly updated (with photos) look at the making of an album - this is why blogging is great.

NY City Hall shooting update

They are now announcing that the gunman died in the shootout. There are claims that the gunman was a rival of the deceased victim, Councilman James Davis.

Davis, a retired NYC Policeman, "headed "LOVE YOURSELF" Stop the Violence, a non-profit organization he founded in 1990. Among other efforts, the group in 1994 convinced Toys 'R' Us to stop selling realistic-looking toy guns. Davis was elected to the New York City Council in November 2001."

There is speculation that he entered the building with Davis himself, and they did not have to pass through the metal detectors.

So Davis, an anti-gun advocate, unkowingly allowed the armed man who was about to kill him walk into the building with him, bypassing the usual security procedures.


I'm watching the news conference now, and, as I suspected, some people are turning this into a news-op to trot out the "guns kill people" argument.

Someone's dead here. Even if the death is a result of Davis's anti-gun stance, the politicians sticking their face in the news camera's should not view this as an opportunity to start ranting about the need for more stringent anti-gun laws.

new york news: shooting at city hall

Looks like someone was fed up with Bloomberg:

A man opened fire with a gun inside City Hall this afternoon, and sources tell NY1 three police officers have been injured. There are also reports a City Councilman was shot, but those reports have not yet been confirmed.

According to NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, who was in City Hall’s Blue Room at the time of the shooting, up to 12 shots were heard coming from the second floor of the building shortly after 2 pm.

They've shut down traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge, the northbound FDR Drive, parts of Chambers Street and Broadway have been closed while they look for "a man in a blue suit."

Good luck with that.

blogathon preparations

I'm getting ready. Only two full days of stocking up on supplies left.

First, if you are participating in the blogathon, please leave your name, URL and the charity you are blogging for in the comments. I'd like to make a list of other bloggers to visit during that evening, especially all of you who are on my blogroll.

Second, I'm still looking for specific topics for the theme of Pop Culture of the 60's, 70's and 80's. Also, I would very much like some bloggers to scan and send me pictures of themselves from any of those eras, preferably a picture showing some sort of pop culture of the day, especially horrid fashion fads.

Now, a word from the wise to those who are 'thonning and have never done it before. With my vast one-time experience, I will tell you to start stocking up on supplies now. My supplies so far include: coffee, granola bars, mini snickers bars, Peach Snapple, cigarettes, sour candy, Basic 4 cereal and fruit.

I also have dark rum, as I've rediscovered the joys of rum and coke (ok, it's rum and cherry/vanilla coke now, and I no longer will drink clear alcoholic liquids thanks to the doctorly advice of a reader who, it appears, knows what he's talking about as I was recently reminded that vodka is nasty stuff).

Last word of advice: If you are drinking alcohol during the 'thon, wait until the wee hours to start drinking. I probably won't touch the stuff until about 1am (EST) and I suggest you wait also, or the 12th hour will find you passed out on the couch and you will awake with not only a hangover, but with the shame that comes from disappointing everyone that had faith in you that you could be stupid enough to blog for 24 hours straight. Also, alternate alcoholic drinks with water and coffee. Drunk, wired and running to the bathroom every ten minutes: it adds a flavor of excitement to your posts, I swear.

The Happy liberal scavenger hunt

Brought to you by Winds of Change

If any of our readers can find posts by Liberal bloggers who are celebrating the demise of Saddam's sons, and show genuine happiness about it - regardless of what else is in their post - please drop me an email (joe. I'm at windofchange.net) or leave a note in the Comments section. It's important to a future post. Thanks!

He clarifies: I mean Liberal, of any shade. If they're actually anti-war but genuinely happy, then that's worthy of special note and please so indicate.

Go scavenge!

...but the name of the wicked will rot

[Via Instapundit] Tacitus has an email from a marine stationed in Bagdhad regarding the demise of Q and U:

Then, suddenly, about 9 PM, it sounds like the early days of American troops pouring in here, i.e. real-live combat: gunfire everywhere, tracer rounds visible, even illumination (a.k.a. fireworks). The people of Baghdad weren't awaiting confirmation. It was nonstop celebratory fire. The war's critics warned constantly about the uprising of the "Arab street." Well, here it was: celebrating the end of 2/3 of the triumvirate.

He concludes by saying For us, it was the best news here since April 9 and perhaps a turning point.

Ok lefties: ready, set, SPIN!

and more from the bleeding hearts

Consider your country, Americans: a nation that commits political assassinations to get a better hand from a deck of playing cards. No matter how despicable these brothers were, think of what you become if you rejoice at their deaths. And what the detestable leadership of our country has become, to conduct regime change by smart bomb, with no scruples, and with lie after lie to have their way, the ends justifying the means, with no hesitation about the cost to our souls.

My soul is much lighter today, thank you, knowing that two evil bastards are no longer breathing. I rejoice because they have killed hundreds - maybe thousands - before they were snuffed out themselves. I would worry about the souls of those who are upset that the two bloodthirsty brothers are dead.

What have I become? I'll tell you. I've become tired of people who think we should treat our enemies as friends. I've become tired of the moaning from the left that we are not humane in our efforts to root out terrorism and tyranny. I've become a a cheerleader for death and I have no problem admitting that, because I cheer for the death of people who do not care about the lives of others, people who perform horrid tasks upon other human beings. I am tired of the people who defend those tyrants, and, mostly I am tired of people complaining that this country and its leaders are so depraved and horrible, and give no consideration to the people who are living in countries far much worse off than this one, and try to stop us from giving those people a better life.

That's what I've become and that's why I am not the least bit worried about the state of my soul when I smile with glee at the news of the death of those subhumans.

choose your own adventure: finish the vegan zombie storyline for me

I’m stuck at this one part of the zombie story. See, there are these straight edge/vegan type undead people. What do vegan zombies eat? I can’t imagine that they would be comfortable eating brains and flesh.

Zombie 1: Braaaaaaaains! Breakfast! Braaaaaaaaains!
Vegan Zombie: What?!? We have to eat brains?
Zombie 1: Duh. We’re the undead. Don’t you watch horror movies?
Vegan Zombie: No, horror movies are demeaning.
Zombie. Right. Well, I don’t know how you are planning on replenishing your energy, but I’m about to get me some brains. I happen to know there are plenty of living humans hiding over in that school down the block.
Vegan Zombie: I can’t....
Zombie: You’re a zombie, damn it! Act like one!
Vegan Zombie: Please, stop calling me that. I prefer life-challenged.
Zombie. Whatever. It’s your unlife.

Vegan Zombie eyes some wildflowers in a field.

VZ: I’ll eat those.

The group of zombies she’s with all begin to point and laugh at her.

VZ: You laugh at me because I’m different than you. But I am obviously morally superior.
Zombie 2: Zombies don’t have morals, you idiot.
Zombie 1: Hey, let’s go get those brains while they’re fresh. I’m starving. Are you coming, miss PETA?
VZ: I should think not. I’d rather die a million deaths than succumb to the cannibalistic culinary taste of you neanderthals.
Zombie 2: Hey, do zombies eat zombies?
Zombie 1: I don’t see why not? I bet she tastes like chicken.

So, where should I take this vegan zombie storyline? At some point she falls in love with a live-human PETA representative. Think of this as a choose your own adventure, where you’re either the vegan zombie or zombie 1 or 2. I promise you part of the royalties when I make this star-studded box office smash, using a hand-held cam and action figures.

Rangel: we broke the law

Charles Rangel (D-NY) is outraged that the United States "illegaly" murdered "two bums."

"We tried to assassinate Castro and we paid dearly for it," Rangel contended. "And when you personalize the war and you say you're killing someone's kids, then they, in turn, think they can kill somebody."

When an incredulous Sean Hannity expressed dismay at Rangel's comments, the Harlem Democrat shot back, "How can you get so much satisfaction that two bums have been killed? We got bums all over the world and some in the United States."

So he sees this as killing someone's kids.

Sure did. We killed the kids of a brutal bastard, whose kids were raised to be as brutal and bastardly as the father. We killed two rapists, torturers and murderers. Please tell me how this is a bad thing?

If the harshest words Rangel can find for U and Q are bums and someone's kids, I hate to see what he would say when we bludgeon Saddam himself. Oh, we killed someone's daddy! He was just a wayward man!

What if we killed bin Laden? Would Rangel cry foul and dismiss the killing as illegal?

I take issue with the people who refuse to see any good coming out of this. I think the leaders in Iran and Libya and North Korea might get the message that we are not fooling around - terrorism is our enemy, and we our hunting our enemies down.

I see it as a boon to mankind no matter what. Two less villians, two less scum-of-the-earth cretins, two less people to worry about. Now, let's work on the rest. Rangel and the rest of the left who are finding any way possible to pick this mission apart can all meet at the tin-foil hat factory and try a few on for size.

dead, undead, she said

I fell asleep last night as I was thinking about the final chapter for Night of the Loving Dead (a/k/a Loving You is Like Loving the Undead), which will be the basis for the (comedy/horror/romance/sci-fi/musical/drama)movie of the same name some day (even if I have to make the movie myself with a crappy camcorder and action figures as the stars), so it was understanding that I dreamed about zombies.

I don't mind dreaming about zombies because it is my firm belief that all good things in life point to zombies eventually. What I do mind is waking up from an exhaustive dream feeling quite like a zombie myself. It's not like I'm going to go out and eat some brains for breakfast; I'm just slow moving and dim-witted at the moment. Thus, you'll have to wait until I get to work for anything worthwile to read here.

However, I will leave you with something to ponder, and perhaps you could compose a response to the drooling nitwit who left this comment on my post making fun of PETA-philes, Chrissie Hynde and the struggle to save the chickens:

It is brainless arguments like this that promoted all sorts of excellent human behavior. There only black people, they’re not human, they are only Jews, and they are just like rats. Really, you figured out how to get online certainly you can do better than this

Or, if you are feeling really brave, you can check out some of the comments on my original post about Kobe (scroll down to a bit). Have they let loose the asylum again?

Now, where are those brains I was saving?

July 22, 2003

last thought of the evening

Can someone please tell Courtney Love her time is up and she should just crawl back into her hole (no pun intended), where she can shrivel up into a wretched old woman without subjecting the public to her rapid decomposition (mentally and physically)?

Thank you.

song for the dead

I think we should pick a theme song for the death of Q and U. And yea, I thought about this before The Corner did, I just didn't blog it yet.

(Poll below)

Or, you can choose your own. I'm going with the Cannibal Corpse lyrics (click that link) - they seem pretty appropriate.

Answering Steve's burning question: why do I root for the packers?

packhelmet.gif jethelmet.gif

Took me long enough. Steve of Norway has asked me only about a billion times why, if I live in New York, am I a Green Bay Packers fan? I knew I wrote an entry about it at some point - it just took my forever to track it down (for some reason, none of the appropriate keywords were coming up in a search of my site).

First, let it be stated that I root for the Jets as well as the Packers, basically because this is their home (meaning Long Island, where they train and practice), and it gets me on my father's good side.

So, from September 9, 2001: Why I am a Green Bay Packers Fan


The question of the week in my mailbox is this: Why am I a Packers fan when I live in New York? People seem to be very interested in the more mundane aspects of my life, and that suits me just fine. So, for the inquisitive; the poignant, touching history of why I love the Green Bay Packers:

I have always been a football fan. My father was a Jets fan since the beginning, and we grew up watching them. Joe Namath was an early hero of mine, and when my father met him and got his autograph, we lived in this heady state of euphoria for days. We loved football. We loved the Jets.

Eventually the Jets ripped my heart out and moved to New Jersey. I was pissed. I was hurt. I felt as if a long time lover had abandoned me for a sexier, prettier girl. I, in turn, abandoned the Jets. No longer was I one of their biggest fans. I couldn't look them in they eye. I couldn't stand the pain.

I lost interest in football for the most part, and didn't come back to it until I joined a football pool at the local deli a few years later. I came back to the game full force, back to spending my Sundays in front of the tv, cursing and muttering and cheering.

I had no team, though. I was like a man without a country. I had no banner to wave, no colors to wear, no allegiance to pledge. This went on for a few years, with me just rooting for the point spread and some extra cash.

Enter Xavier. I met Xavier several years ago, when I was in the waning stages of my marraige and about to end it. Xavier became a great friend, my one man group therapy and confidant. He was spiritual without being religious, generous to a fault and dying of cancer. He was in the last stages of a hard fought battle, and he gave up on hospitals and chemo and doctors in general. He just wanted to fade away peacefully.

We spent a lot of time together that fall, examining life and talking football. Xavier was a Packers fan through and through. He was from Green Bay. His blood was green and gold. His mood was determined by the accuracy of Bret Favre's arm on any given Sunday.

Towards the end of November that year, Xavier told me he wouldn't make it to Christmas. He was ready to let go of whatever rope he was clinging to. He had enough. He wrote me a letter shortly after Thanksgiving, after he lost the use of his voice, and asked me to honor a few favors he had of me. He asked me to take care of myself, to be good to myself. He asked me not to settle for just anyone just because I didn't want to be alone.

He asked me to always remember him. And he asked me to pledge to him that I would always and forever remain a Packers fan, so I could root for them in his place. I readily agreed to all. I told him I would try to keep most of the promises, and the last one was certainly the easiest.

Xavier died the first week in December. The Packers made it to the Super Bowl and lost to Denver. Of course, I have never forgotten him. I have been mostly good to myself and no, I didn't settle. And I am still, and always will be, a Packers fan.

So here's to the Packers, Xavier and keeping promises to friends.


And that's the story.

reaction from the left: predictable

I could have called this, practically word for word.

Hesiod thinks it's a bit fishy that U and Q were killed just as Bush was facing poll problems.

Here's what I believe.

I believe we have been tracking the two brothers for some time, and were waiting for an opportune moment to take them out.

You know...like when Bush's approval ratings started to get uncomfortably close to the South side of 50%.

The comments on that post amount to the same hysterical shouts of "It doesn't matter! Bush is a moron!" that comes after every annoucment of this sort. It's getting oh, so very predictable.

I think at this point the U.S. could eliminate poverty, stop AIDS and discover a way to make chocolate healthy for you and some people will still find a way to bitch about it or suggest a conspiracy.

let the joyous news be spread

Uday and Qusay at last are dead!

They are....
morally, ethically
Spiritually, physically
Positively, absolutely
Undeniably and reliably dead.

And they're not only merely dead
They're really, most sincerely dead

"Then this is a day of independence! For all the Iraqis, and their descendants!"
"Yes, let the joyous news be spread! The wicked old witches at last are dead!"


If you are coming here from various other sites looking for Blogathon information, just look in my sidebar or on top of this page.

Thanks to everyone who linked.

the days are just packed II

I'm gone for the rest of the day. I took a vacation day from work because my best friend's kids (and hence, my kids' best friends) are leaving for sleepaway camp tomorrow, so we decided to get in a last fling at a fun-filled day listening to our kids whine about how we aren't doing anything they really wanted to do (i.e., go to a toy store).

We're going to try our hand at bowling again and possibly head over to the Cradle of Aviation museum (and catch the Extreme Sports IMAX movie while we are there).

Or we'll just end up sitting around the yard, watching them play how-many-ways-can-you-cheat baseball.

Back tonight with the internet version of home movies.

bugs meany, internet pirate

In the comments on the post below, Alex refers to Bugs Meany who, as some of you may recall, is Encyclopedia Brown's arch nemesis.

I went looking for a link to throw in the comments so people who didn't get the joke could reference it.

Encyclopedia Brown Fanfic. That's what I found. I saw the words "sodomize" and "power drill" in the same sentence and there went my childhood.

See, also: Encyclopedia Brown, Lars Ulrich and Dr. Dre
Bugs Mean and Scully
Starring Tobey Maguire as Encylopedia Brown and Robert Downey, Jr. as Bugs Meany
Encyclopedia Brown spoofs at Modern Humorist

the kobe bryant case: everyone's a loser

The New York Post - as well as hundreds of other media outlets - reports that a web site has divulged the name and address, as well as photos, of the woman who has accused Kobe Bryant of rape.

Though none of those outlets gave the URL of the site, it wasn't that hard to track down.

I have no deep thoughts on whether Bryant is innocent or guilty. The only people right now who know the answer to that are Kobe and the woman.

However, the circus that has evolved out of this case is beyond disgusting. From Bryant's fans on the website in question, who all but cheer the alleged rape in the comments, to the accuser's "friends" who have been flashing their smiles all over television, everything about this case just serves to highlight what is wrong with sports, the media and the way we treat professional athletes.

I've seen the friends, and I'm sure you have as well. You can't miss them. They've been on every major news channel talking up the accuser and one can't help but feel that this is all one big photo-op for them and their friend's plight has become second string to the publicity they are garnering. It creeps me out to see these young girls smiling for the cameras and throwing out sound bites like they've been coached by a Hollywood agent. I get the distinct feeling that these young women, when the cameras are turned off, are giggling and plotting and planning their way onto a casting couch or, at the very least, a paid guest shot on some MTV tell-all documentary.

On the other side, we have Bryant's rabid fans, eager to spread the name and address of an alleged rape victim around, all but throwing her to the wolves. They have gone above and beyond in digging up any fraction of "dirt" they could find on the woman, from drug overdoses to past relationships, to claiming that she deserved to be raped and, in fact, enjoyed it.

It's become a case of not only he said/she said, but of they said.

This is an unfortunate by product of putting athletes on pedestals and making them role models. You want to believe they can do no wrong. They are young and rich and handsome and famous and all of that becomes a Superman costume, where bullets bounce of them and they can leap tall accusations in a single bound. How desperate are we to want our heroes and role models and celebrities to be perfect that we refuse to accept they can do wrong?

How deranged is our society when a woman accuses someone of rape and thousands of people get out their Encylopedia Brown, Boy Detective kits and scour the internet for dirt on the accuser?

No matter what the outcome of this case - whether Bryant is guilty of rape or the woman is guilty of manufacturing the whole thing as some warped way of becoming famous - the jury is in on one aspect already; the media is guilty of aiding and abetting the degradation of society.

If every single reporter available wasn't running after the friends of the accusers with microphones and exclusive interview contracts, if Bryant wasn't made out to be some kind of superhero, if the accuser didn't have her entire past dragged out before her in black and white, we wouldn't have this three-ring circus that's playing out like a disgusting, depraved version of American Idol, where the interviews on local news are the auditions and the spot on Larry King is the prize.

While the outcome of this case will be decided by a judge and jury, it's pretty evident that everyone has already lost.

July 21, 2003

one more thing

The New York Jets opened training camp today.

Football. Is. Here.

petafiles 2: asshats in action

[PETA terrorists dump blood on KFC CEO David Novak; click for bigass size]

“KFC stands for cruelty in our book,” says PETA Director of Vegan Outreach Bruce Friedrich. “There is so much blood on this chicken-killer’s hands, a little more on his business suit won’t hurt.”

And who is going to clean up that blood on the sidewalk, I ask you? WHO? What is that blood made of anyhow? Is it water soluble? Is it washable? Does it have toxins? Lead? Or, perhaps, it is real blood, taken from the heart of the Colonel himself, right after he mysteriously died and some PETA-phile posing as a florist snuck into the morgue and took his heart? Huh?

And oooh....Chrissie Hynde was there. Stop your cryin', Chrissie, they're only chickens! CHICKENS! I don't see you over in Iraq trying to save the blood of the children, or in Iran saving the lives of dissidents. Chickens, for crying out loud. They barely even have brains!

Yes, I'm done for the night. I do believe I'm overtired.

Link from Brent.

dire warning of the day

A two word message to anyone who has a daughter that has yet to approach the teenage years:


Send her when she approaches eleven. Take her back at eighteen, just in time to send her away to college.

Either that, or I suggest earplugs and vodka.

the essay portion of the test

What I entered in the PETA essay contest:

What I am Going to Say to Mom and Dad to Get Them to Cut Up Their Credit Cards so the Baby Elephants Don't Cry.

[see post below this for reference]

First, I would ask my mom and dad to come in my room cause I want to talk to them. Then I would clean up my room a little (cause it's always really messy and that pisses mom off and sometimes dad will get out the belt, but don't worry it's not a real leather belt, it's like plastic or something) and I would turn down my stereo and they would come and sit on my bed.

And then I'd say to them: Mom and Dad, your Master Card is killing elephants. That's right, killing elephants. I mean, for god's sake mom, you might as well be a poacher.

And then they would look at me and my dad would say, Watchoo talkin' bout Willis? (cause our last name is Willis) and I would tell them about the circus. And my mom would say, is this really important? because I have to go to a G8 protest in a few minutes and I have, like, nothing to wear and no rocks or spray paint left. And I would say, uh..like, yes mom. And she would say, whatEVER and she would roll her eyes and meanwhile my dad would be picking through my dirty laundry to make sure I wasn't wearing thongs like he told me not to cause it makes me look like a dirty little slut.

Anyhow, I would tell them some more about the cirucs and Master Card and how everytime they use the card baby jesus cries and mom would say, honey, we are Unitarians, so it doesn't matter if baby jesus cries. His tears will just water all the flowers anyhow. And dad will be like, is this gonna take all day, because my probation officer is expecting me, and I'd be like, well dad, just leave me your credit card and I'll take care of the problem, ok? And dad would look at me like i'm crazy and then I'd flash him my prettiest smile and maybe let him look down my shirt and he'd give me his card right away, but he would stop off in the bathroom before he went to his probation meeting (he was arrested for breaking into Wal-Mart to protest the horrible way they treat their employees, but I don't know why he was taking all the Olsen Twins action figure dolls, like, what do they have to do with employment standards?)

So anyhow, mom would sit there and pretend like she's listening to me and she would say "jesus, girl. if you would just shut up, I'll give you the fucking card." So I would shut up and she would give me the card and I would go to my desk and get the scissors, which are still stained with the blood from the last time I tried to kill myself. Or maybe that's the cat's blood, I'm not sure.

So then mom and dad would both leave the house and I'd have their credit cards. So I'd call up all my friends and we'd meet at Starbucks and order the Venti size of everything, plus some scones and then we'd go out for burgers and find out of there's anyone in this neighborhood that takes credit cards for crack.

If I win the essay contest, that would be really cool cause then maybe I could sell the stuff on eBay so I can get enough money for those leather boots I want.

Missy Willis
Long Island, New York

from the peta-files

I just love when a militant activist group makes an appeal to the kiddies.

nastymed.gifUntil MasterCard stops helping Ringling abuse animals, ask Mom and Dad to cut up their MasterCards and use other credit cards instead. PETA wants to hear from you, in your own words, what you'll say to your parents to convince them that MasterCard is a "NastyCard." We'll send the best essay entries a fun kit that includes a NastyCard spoof credit card, PETA elephant T-shirt, bumper sticker, pin, comic book, poster, and coloring book. Please submit your entries before August 15, 2003.

I imagine this converstation:

Mom! Dad! Cut up your credit cards before you make the elephants cry!

But honey, if I cut up my credit card, how will we get you those Abercrombie & Fitch shirts you love so much?

Oh, nevermind.

That logo up there gives one the impression that PETA is imploring the kids to go cut up the credit cards without even asking the parents.

No amount of oppressed elephants can make a child go from consumer whore to animal activist in just one essay.

I think I'm going to send in a fake essay. In fact, I think we should all send in fake essays. You know you want that pack of PETA goodies.

Speaking of PETA, a die-hard vegan changed her name to GoVeg.com

The-vegan-formerly-known-as Karin Robertson changed her name to the same as that of a vegetarian information website to encourage meat-eaters to become vegetarians.23-year-old GoVeg.com, a Youth Project Specialist for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says her new name is a great conversation starter.

I suppose most of those conversations start out with "Are you an idiot?"

..GoVeg.com says she couldn't imagine changing her name back saying, "To be named after the number one website for vegetarian information -- what could be better?"

I could think of about six million things.

In fact, I'm going to change my name to Redmeat.com and challenge her to a steel-cage match.

PETA-philes. Can't live with 'em, can't eat 'em.

he's not dead yet

Contrary to other reports, Idi Amin is not quite dead, just in a coma as I reported (with somewhat of a sneer on my face) last night.

I have to say, i'm just glad to see that no one came out last night to defend Amin. I guess there are some people who are undefendable*
indefensible. Good to know.

*stop picking on me now, Meryl. Oh, by the way: Meryl Yourish

let's get nostalgic

I finally decided what my “gimmick” will be for the Blogathon.

See, last year I went into the Blogathon without a clue as to what I was going to do. I winged it and somehow ended up soliciting boob shots from women (and some men) around the world, thus starting the Boobie Blog, which no longer exists for various reasons, chief among them being Fark users and Google perverts.

In order to steer clear of that kind of cheesecake and semi-porn this year, I am sticking to a topic, albeit a very broad topic: Pop Culture of My Youth, my youth being defined as the 60's, 70's and 80's, as my daughter was born in 1990 and my youth was pretty much done with at that point.

I’ll be focusing on a wide range of subjects; music, television, movies, commercials, toys, games, comics, books, fads, current events of the time, etc., all peppered with personal anecdotes, links, games, surveys and the like.

I figure this is an interesting enough subject to write about that it will keep me awake for 24 hours, as well as keep people interested.

So what do I need from you? Easy. I need your input. Send me links. Send me a list of your favorite things from any of those decades. Most importantly, send me any little stories you have from those times that have something to do with pop culture and I will give it its own entry during the 24 hours.

Use the comments on this post to remind me of all the good, goofy, tasteless, stupid, wonderful things that were part of the pop culture of those eras. Leave me your stories. Give me links to sites that might be of interest.

We’ve got six days to go before the Blogathon begins. We are still a ways from our goal of buying the ambulance but I do not doubt that we can get there. Please use the links on my sidebar or up top of this page to see how you can help.

Now let’s get nostalgic.

UPDATE: As a special bonus, I will be scanning embarassing pictures of myself from my younger days when I engaged in fashion trends and had bair haircuts.
If you have any pictures of yourself from those days, I'd love to use them. I'll be nice, I promise.

i love the smell of moonbats in the morning

[See update(s) at the bottom for more info on the subject]

Someone thinks I am an admirer of fascism just because I think John Gilmore was an idiot for wearing his "Suspected Terrorist" button on an airplane.

fas·cism n. often Fascism 1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

2. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
Oppressive, dictatorial control.

In his two comments on the post in question, the writer summons the words of Norman Mailer to dispute my thoughts (scroll down to Prototype), tells me to read 1984 and invokes 1930's Germany.

Oh, how I love when the moonbats come crawling out of the woodwork and profess to know everything about you from one single entry on your website.

In much the same way he accuses right-wingers of blind loyalism, the moonbats subscribe to the same blind loyalty to the stalwarts of their movement. They repeat ad naseum the same mantras heard over and over, they quote the same tired passages from the likes of Mailer, Moore and Chomsky, and they never, ever look beyond what's right in front of their faces.

Gilmore's wearing of that button was nothing more than him stating "Hey, look at me, I'm here to cause controversy!" That was most likely his only statement. I do understand the sentiment behind the words "suspected terrorist," in a way everyone is suspect these days. But I have better sense than to disprupt everyone around me in order to make my views known.

And that is the problem inherent to the far left these days. They care about no one but themselves and their message which, when it boils down to the bottom, is nothing but I Hate George Bush. They will firebomb houses (see, ELF), yell epitaphs at little children in parades (see, Israel parade in NYC), destroy public property (see, G8 protests), support suicide bombers (see, Adam Shapiro), and now, after chastising the Republican party for holding their convention in New York so close to September 11, they are planning on staging "massive" protests in New York on that day.

They do not care about anyone but themselves and their "this makes me feel good, so why not?" attitude. When the counter-culture hippies of the 60's said If it feels good, do it, this is not what they had in mind.

Speak your mind all you want, I have no problem with that. Protest, chant, yell, shout your dissent from the rooftops. You are allowed to do that in this country. But when your activism and grandstanding is only a front for your penchant for pushing buttons, and when those pushed buttons cause all kinds of havoc for many people, the point of the action becomes moot and you become just another blatant example of the selfishness of the far left.

I am not a fascist. I am just someone with a sense of common decency.

UPDATE: Jim sent me a link to this message board which is dealing with the same topic. There's some good debate there by Charles of Six Different Ways, who pretty much sums it up with the line that Gilmore should have been given the opportunity to "weigh his right of expression against the rights of the other passengers."

I did say the airline went overboard. But Gilmore did not care about the rights of the other passengers.

For more insight, scroll down to the 3:37 a.m. post on that link where Charles (who is a liberal, I believe, as well as an attorney), posts on the legal aspects of the case.

UPDATE 2: For some background info, Gilmore is a multimillionaire and one of the people behind Electronic Frontier Foundation.

See this Reason article for more info.

July 20, 2003

"Suspected Idiot"

[See, I was ejected from an airplane today for wearing a "Suspected Terrorist" button]

Dear John Gilmore,

You are an ass. That's why you were taken off the plane.

Thank you and good night.

UPDATE: As I clarified in the comments below, the reason I think Gilmore is an idiot is because he wore that button knowing full well the kind of reaction it would get. He was looking to cause a ruckus. What kind of idiot in this day and age wears a button like that on an airplane? Easy answer: the kind of idiot who thinks he has something to prove.

Sure, the airline overreacted, but that wasn't the point of my little letter to John. His rebel act is old. If you have a point to make, make it when it's not going to involve 300 other people being inconvenienced by your need show how big your balls are.

death awaits

I was taken to task (several times) last month over my dimissive post on the death of Strom Thurmond.

However, I don't think many people will take issue with my unforgiving, uncaring, see-you-in-hell thoughts as I read that Idi Amin has lapsed into a coma.

Interesting life he lived. Six wives, 43 children, 400,000 murders on his hand, not to mention the aid he gave to Palestinian terrorists who hijacked an Air France plane in 1976.

In a nutshell: Dictator, murderer, torturer, executor, praticer of genocide.

Note of interest: Yasser Arafat was the best man at Amin's fifth wedding.

Sordid side note: Other dictators might find their enemies to be targets, threats, or terror: Amin found them tasty: "After his coup of his predecessor, Apolo Milton Obote, Amin rounded up the military leaders that did not support his coup, murdered them, decapitated them and sat their disembodied heads around the presidential dining table, scolding them for not supporting him, and taking bites of their flesh."

The coma clock ticks.

swimming lessons

gogth.jpg[click pictures for supersize] I suppose the rest of the summer will be like this - not much blogging during the day on weekends.

We spent today by the pool with the family, partying at my parents house even though my parents were in Buffalo for the weekend.

It was gorgeous out today. Blue sky, fluffy white clouds, no humidity and a wonderful, crisp breeze. We barbecued, went out for Italian ices (I had FDNY Cherry, which has tiny little bits of chopped maraschinos in it) and just enjoyed the company of each other.

Milestone reached today: DJ finally got up the courage to swim underwater. He has been "learning" to swim for several years. Like his mother, he has an unnatural fear of water. However, unlike his mother, he has worked to overcome that fear.

See, when I was about six, my father decided that the best way to teach me how to swim was to just throw me in the pool. Not only did that not teach me how to swim, it made me vow to never go near the pool again as long as my father was in the backyard. It took me several years after that to teach myself how to swim and to this day, I don't particularly enjoy it.

underth.jpgSo DJ spend the past few summers watching cousins much younger than him jump fearlessly off the diving board into the deep end of the pool. I decided to let him go at his own pace rather than pushing the issue (we took a stab at swimming lessons when he was two, but his constant screaming frightened the other toddlers and we were all but banned from the place).

This summer, he has finally met the challenge he set for himself. He began to swim towards the center of the pool, rather than just hanging on to the edge. As he gained confidence with that, he slowly but surely began to submerge himself under the water, learning how to hold his breath and blow out his nose.

And today, finally, he swam like the proverbial fish under water. He claims it was all because of the goggles.

So that's where I was all day. And it was a good one.

aol blogging: it's not the end of the world, folks

As AOL opens the world of weblogs to its users, the blogosphere suddenly behaves like a town that has heard a treacherous weather report and starts boarding up for impending calamity.

Once the AOLers learn about blogs, look for comment sections to attract even more trolls than we already have.

Personally, I plan to use IP banning to block all AOL customers. If I lose regulars, fine. That should be another incentive to switch to a real ISP.

The comments on that post are interesting, to say the least. Class warfare, indeed.

When I started using the internet in 1997 (yes, I was a latecomer), I used AOL. In fact, I used AOL right up until the summer of 2000, when I could finally afford to pay the king's ransom my cable provider charges for their internet services.

So I can speak from experience when I say sure, AOL is filled with trolls and miscreants and losers.

However, I also speak from experience when I say that the blogging world as it stands now is filled with trolls, miscreants and losers.

Case in point: When I hung around the bowels of AOL, I often spent time in one of two chat rooms - one where we played movie quote trivia and one where we played song lyrics trivia. Both rooms were often filled with people who knew each other. The chat extended to things beyond what the room was made for. Friendships were forged, couples created, many a political discussion was had.

And yes, there were the trolls. Evil, hideous creatures that would enter a room with the sole intention of baiting everyone into an argument. They would throw out ad hominen attacks, stray from the subject at hand in order to hurl insults at everyone within typing distance, shout you down if you dared disagreed with them and tell you that you were engaging in oppression and crushing dissent if you tried to weed them out of the room. They would be kicked out or banned or just ignored, yet they would come back again and again, sometimes under different names (but their M.O. made them always recognizable), just to engage you in the same ridiculous antics they started the day before.

Sound familiar? It should. Blogs suffer pretty much the same version of trolls. Perhaps the people who are claiming that AOL would bring in an army of these comment creatures like we have never seen before didn't have problems with trolls to begin with. Trust me, I've had my share and most of them make the AOL chat room idiots look like geniuses.

So what's the harm in letting AOL bloggers into this world? Sure, we might get a few more gene pool victims clogging up our comments, but think what we may also get. Perhaps there is someone as funny as Bill, as charming as Rossi, as prolific and informative as Ian waiting for a chance to start their own weblog.

We've seen what the collective voice of weblogs can do. Witness Trent Lott, Harold Raines and Iran. We've seen what blogs can do for the world at large - witness the Blogathon and many other charitable efforts that have come and gone.

What's wrong with adding thousands of voices to the already existing ones? Wouldn't it be a good thing to have more people blogging about the things you are passionate about, more people to speak out on issues, to lend a voice to your cause, or - heavens forbid - to disagree with you and open debate? How can you be sure you won't find a witty writer, an intelligent thinker, a poet or fellow book lover among them? By shutting out and dismissing all AOL blogs prematurely as insignificant, you are not only engaging in a stunning display of elitism, you are going to close yourself out to new reading experiences.

The trolls are already here, people. They have cable modems and DSL. Just check my comments any day of the week and you'll see they have already landed among and infest the blogosphere like multiplying roaches. It's part and parcel of having open forums. To think that you can keep away trolls by blocking AOL users from your blog is closing the comment door when the bugs have already nested in your domain.

I, for one, welcome AOL users to blogging. I'm looking forward to finding new reads, getting new readers and yes, even discovering new trolls amidst my comments. Hey, maybe I'll even find some of my old chat room buddies among the new bloggers.

July 19, 2003

seen on film

Yesterday, I watched The Hot Rock on AMC. Not a classic movie by any means. Basically, it's Robert Redford in a spectacular display of wooden acting that would make Keanu Reeves look like Oscar material.

Yet I watch it every time it's on.

See, part of the movie was filmed right in my hometown of East Meadow. You see the jail and a little strip mall and the movie theater, which at the time was a Jerry Lewis Cinema and is now an office building tucked into the corner of another strip mall.

I was ten when the movie came out (1972), and my mother took us to see it just for the local cultural aspect. There's something very odd about sitting in a movie theater, watching a movie in which the movie theater you are watching the movie in appears on the screen.

No point to this really, just wanted to mention that.

my mom would be so proud

I just discovered that I am number one on Google for Girl With Hot Dog Up Ass.

I'm also number on on Yahoo for Making Someone Love You.

And again, on Google, for I Fart In Your General Direction.

Of course, I still am, and hope to always be, the top spot for George Lucas Is A Fuckwad.

Something to be proud of, indeed.

streetlight people

We were just hanging out with my sister and brother in law. That's always a mistake on a Saturday night.

We lined up the liquor bottles. Amaretto, Tequila, Captain Morgan's rum, Jagermeister, some other sickly sweet stuff and some illicit material that I don't normally partake of but I did tonight.

Hence the run on sentences and breathless commentary yet to come.

Anyhow, I sent a present to Alan tonight, which I got from Bunsen through that really wicked (and I mean that in a good way) blogger Anna.

Don't. Stop. Believing.

You can thank me later.

Oh, Justin went with my sister and her beau to see Pirates. Again. So I'm all yours for a while.

Don't worry, my alcohol/drug free B-I-L is the designated driver.

the days are just packed

I decided my reading repertoire needed a dose of the classics today.

ch.gifSo I took out my stack of Calvin and Hobbes books.

Do you think that Hobbes really did come alive for Calvin and his parents just didn't know it - kind of like how no one knew Samantha on Bewitched was a witch - or did Calvin just have a great imagination?

Remember that one strip where Calvin and Hobbes had a magic carpet and they flew past the dad's office? That got me thinking that maybe Hobbes really was alive but Calvin's parents just didn't have the magical child-like capacity to see it.

Or maybe Calvin was schizophrenic and Hobbes was just a part of his personality.

Or perhaps Calvin was so incredibly bright for a six year old (check out his vocabulary) that he had to manifest his intelligence and creativity in the form of Hobbes because he wasn't being challenged enough in the first grade.

Or perhaps his parents spent so little quality time with him that he cooked up this invisble friend to make up for the lack of attention he was getting.

Or perhaps I think too much.

Pirates of the carribean: fear and loathing on the seven seas

I heard a story that Billy Murray once told Johnny Depp "if you play the part of Hunter S. Thompson, the part will never leave you."

depp.gifWatching Pirates of the Carribean one can say that in Depp's case, Murray was right.

This is a good thing, however. Depp plays Captain Jack Sparrow as if Thompson himself was on a magical, pirate-infested acid trip.

If this review seems like it is more about Depp than the movie itself, that's because Depp is the movie. He's a puppetmaster to the actors around him (not to take away from Geoffrey Rush's stellar performance as Barbossa), as all the characters spend the movie reacting to Depp's Sparrow.

Pirates is a true action/adventure in that the requisite background love story pales in comparison to the true tale at hand, it becomes almost an afterthought to the main adventure.

And what an adventure it is. Swashbuckling (what would a review of a pirate movie be without that word?), cursed treasure, sword fights, a nasty monkey, the undead (quite resemebling the deadites from Army of Darkness) and a main character that is not quite good, yet not quite bad. Think Bruce Willis's John McCLane - sure, he can be a bit of an ass, but he's funny and honorable in all the right places. You find yourself rooting for him, even though the romantic part of the story dictates that you root for Orlando Bloom (pretty as always), there's a part of you (ok, maybe it's just me) that wishes the fair Elizabeth would have run off with Sparrow instead.

In comparing the movie with its namesake ride, I would have to say the fun factor of the film is much like an amusement park ride itself. I almost wanted to say Wheeeeeeee! at the end, the movie was so much fun. I got the same creepy yet awe-struck feeling at the scenes in Pirates that resembled the best parts of the park ride - when the village is being pillaged and the scruffy-looking pirates are laughing and singing and grinning those black-toothed grins as you stare, somewhat bemused and somewhat disgusted.

Anyhow, back to Depp. He is one of those rare child/teenage actors whose face is no longer synonymous with the character he started out as. While you look at some of those stars who started out young in goofy tv series and you forever see them as nothing more than an extension of that character, Depp has gone well past that "The guy from 21 Jump Street" stage. He is an incredible actor, who takes every single character he plays and melds with that part until he becomes it. He is Edward Scissorhands, he is Ed Wood, He is Captain Jack Sparrow.

I don't know if Pirates would have been half the fun ride it is if someone else played Depp's part. No one else could fuse Hunter S. Thompson and John McClane and come up with such a loveable scoundrel.

avast there ye scalliwags!

We're off to see some Pirates in a bit.

I'll leave you with some pirate related stuff.

ahoy.gifPirate Blog
Angry Pirate
Ahoy Ye Bastards!
McSweeney's Pirate Riddles for Sophisticates
What's your pirate name?
Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates and the Mouse
Terry and the Pirates
Tori Amos - Pirates
Pirates Gold
The Not so Jolly Roger
Pirate King

You know what this movie is rated, right?


license to drive: the living dead move among us

I very rarely start the day off with a quiz but this one is about zombies and I'm sure I can make it tie in nicely to whatever it was I was going to write about today.

Sigh. I always have to refigure the quiz result code from Quizilla. Why do people use such huge images?

You are an Evil Dead Zombie. The spirits of the
dead took over your body in a lonely cabin, and
now it's your job to kick some Ash ass. Sadly,
while you'll succeed in beating the bejeezus
out of Ash repeatedly, he will ultimately wipe
you from existence. You can only be killed by
bodily dismemberment.

What kind of Zombie are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Of course, I knew when I started the quiz that this would be an available answer - no self respecting zombie quiz would omit Evil Dead - so I skewed my answers in a fashion that would allow this result. And there you have it, I am an Evil Dead zombie.

Which is interesting because I was thinking of zombies last night. I often think of zombies as they are fascinating creatures who have a whole genre of superb horror movies to themselves, but this instance had nothing to do with movies.

I was driving. Just cruising along in the left lane of one of the four-lane main streets around here, headed to 7-11 for various sundries. I need to get over to the right, so I turn on my directional (blinker for some of you) and wait for the little yellow car on my right to move ahead so I can scoot over.

But the little yellow car isn't going very fast. And there's a car ahead of me that's not going very fast. When I say not very fast, I mean that the speed limit on the road is 40 and both cars were barely approaching half of that.

So now I'm boxed in and 7-11 is fast approaching on the right. There's a cell-phone blabbing idiot behind the little yellow car who is oblivious to my blinking directional and my dire need to switch lanes, so unless I want to hang back and risk being rear-ended by the Coca-Cola truck barreling up behind me, I am going to crawl right by the 7-11 without being able to gain entrance to the parking lot.

I look to my right, my stoney glare and middle finger all set to go. I just want to get the attention of the person in the yellow car who has aggravated me so. Sensing my deathly gaze, she turns and looks at me. A small, whimpering scream makes it way from my soul to my throat.

It's a zombie! The person driving that yellow car is among the living dead! I can recognize a zombie immediately. The grayish skin, the hollowed out eyes, the vacant stare, the way what's left of the former living skin hangs off of the bones by very thin threads. Its gnarled fingers are clasping the steering wheel in a fierce in embrace of white knuckles and leathery hands.

The zombie glares at me. I'm sure it's thinking mmmmmm....brains. I slip my foot off the gas so I can hang back and not have to look into those dead eyes again, but the creature is riding its brake, stopping and going in jerking motions, as if its afraid of the car in front of it.

We come to a red light, well past the 7-11 now, and I am next to the yellow car. It has all the telltale signs of the driving, living dead. The box of tissues in the back window. The front seat adorned with one of those beaded back massagers.

I avert my gaze and glance at the car ahead of me at the light. Oh lord, tissues in the back window! And I can't even see the driver's head, all I can see is those same kind of gnarled fingers gripping the wheel, as if the driver is headless. I am surrounded by the living dead, the worst kind of living dead - the ones who still drive.

The light turns green and I have to tap on my horn to startle the zombie ahead of me into motion. The one on the right is also hesitating, and she swerves a little to the left, coming very, very close to me and then overcompensates with the steering wheel and swerves back into her lane looking very much like a drunk driver.

But I know better. She's not drunk. She's just old, much like the little man ahead of me, who is topping out at a fiesty 15 miles per hour. I make a left at the next corner, going well out of my way to avoid driving next to these creatures any longer.

The living dead are among us. And they have licenses.


July 18, 2003

there were no glory days

Bruce Springsteen is in the midst of some shows in the area.

I hate Bruce Springsteen.

Now, let it be said here and now that there was a time I liked him. I've seen him several times, had all the albums, knew all the words, etc. Mr. Working Man, Mr. Here's To The Little People, Mr. New Jersey.

There are several things that can turn your opinion on an artist you like. One could be just a simple change in taste. You grow up, you move on, you enter a different phase of your life and suddenly you are craving double bass and curse words.

Then there's the change in attitude on the part of the artist. Maybe he discovered that he's really not meant for rock and roll and he runs for Senate, or his lyrics change to the point of being unrecognizable to his former self or he shaves his beard and head and decides he'd rather hand out Hare Krishna pamphlets in the desert than sing into a microphone again and you throw out all his records because the past is gone, baby.

And then there's the relationship factor. Songs are invasive that way. They creep into your heart and soul and stick there like crunchy peanut butter so when you hear them again, some years into the future, all that crunch and peanuts loosens itself from your insides and you regurgitate your past until the bitter taste in your throat has you reaching for the tequila.

My ex-husband was a bit obsessed with Bruce. Still is. In fact, he's over in Jersey tonight or wherever The Boss is playing, and I'm sure he's in his own little heaven right now, being in the same space as his idol.

I can't hear a Springsteen song without cringing. Somehow, between all the years, all the collected CDs and vinyl and concert stubs, I forgot where Springsteen ends and my ex begins. They've become synonymous with each other.

It actually started before I was separated. The entwining of the two entities started a year or two before, when I was contemplating the end of my marriage and in my effort to bring myself out of funk, I took out all the CDs I never listened to because he forbade me to play them in the house and I rocked out and banged my head and all that, and none of it was Bruce.

I can't stand his strained voice. I can't stand his underbite and the way he grimaces when he sings. I realize now that all his songs were the same thing with different chords. And with every note and lyric that emits from any stereo playing Springsteen within hearing distance, all I can hear now is my ex husband's voice, his words overriding whatever the boss guy is going on about.

It's not Bruce singing about Rosalita, it's the ex yelling how much he hates my family. The bleak, funeral chords of Nebraska become a depressing dirge to which seven plus years march by, led by the ex's unsmiling face.

Oh, there's more reasons I can't stand Springsteen and his working man posturing. But isn't the reminder of all the failures, the depressing moments and the mistakes enough?

I broke and burned the records he didn't take with him. All that bland crap he liked - all the Springsteen and Billy Joel and jesushchrist, he had Huey Lewis records - they all went in a pile and became melted, twisted chars of hate and regret, along with some wedding pictures.

I hope he's having a grand old time at the concert tonight. And I hope that when Springsteen breaks out Glory Days, as he most certainly will at some point, the ex remembers that one specific moment like I do, so his stomach lurches like he has some god awful flu and he has that twinge of regret and sadness that comes with the once-in-a-while realization that he blew it.

Pass the tequila, please.

my two cents on kobe

Whether he raped the girl or not, one fact remains. He was screwing around on his wife. Gee, what a shock. A rich, young sports star fooling around. I am simply stunned.

Now, if I were his wife, you can bet your championship ring that I would not be standing up there with Kobe, holding his hand and supporting him.

"Because I know him to be innocent, I will stand by him and we will face this together. … I know Kobe better than anyone. The great person you see on the court and in the public is a far greater person off the court."

Yes. A far greater person who sleeps with women besides his wife. Call me cynical, but do you really think this is the first time it's happened?

I'd be smacking him upside his head with a size 22 Nike right about now. I'll tolerate a lot of things in a marriage. Adultery is not one of them. It's the ultimate betrayal.

Wait, I need to make a phone call.

Hello, Mrs. Bryant? I'm going to patch you through to Hillary now.

[note: I have no judgment on whether Kobe is guilty of rape or not. Not enough evidence to go either way. I'll leave that one to the detectives]

those damn grues

I had planned on doing plenty of blogging, tonight, but I got sidetracked.

See, I was on Google looking for something and suddenly I found myself in the kitchen of a white house, holding a sack that contained a clove of garlic.

There was a passage to the west and a dark staircase to the east. I was daring and tried the staircase.


I've got to fight my way out of a chasm now. Back later.

If I don't get eaten by a grue, that is.

Update for Alex: [Sorry, here's the link to the game]

if i had a friend like ben

It's become a Friday night tradition for Alan and I to fight over really bad and/or cheesy music.

He sent me some Jackson 5 (go here to listen). I'm upping the ante.

benmichael.gifDid you know that Michael Jackson sang an ode to a rat? That's right, Ben was a rat. For those of you too young to remember, Ben was the sequel to Willard, that box office smash about rats. In the first movie, the name in the title refers to the creepy boy. In the sequel, Ben is the leader of a pack of vicious rodents. He is befriended by a lonely boy. Mayhem ensues.

I think I may start casting movies with bloggers. Leader of a pack of vicious rodents. Who could play that? Hmmm..

Anyhow, Michael Jackson sings the title tune for Ben. Can't you picture him all cuddly with the demented, snarling rat?

The song is very poignant. Almost brings a tear to your eye. Really.

Lyrics below, song here.

Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I'll never be alone
And you my friend will see
You've got a friend in me

Ben, you're always running here and there
You feel you're not wanted anywhere
If you ever look behind
And don't like what you find
There's something you should know
You've got a place to go

I used to say
I and me
Now it's us
Now it's we
I used to say
I and me
Now it's us
Now it's we

Ben, most people would turn you away
I don't listen to a word they say
They don't see you as I do
I wish they would try to
I'm sure they'd think again
If they had a friend like Ben
Like Ben
Like Ben

if you blog and no one reads it, does it still count?

It's Friday evening. Close your newspapers, turn off CNN and stop looking at Drudge. All that depressing crap will still be around in the morning.

Well yea, maybe you're going out, but I'm stuck right here.

It's Let's Drink and Post Nonsensical Stuff Because Noone is Sitting Home Reading Blogs on A Friday Night Anyhow time.

"Kids, you've tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." You used to have a goal, a dream. But somewhere along the way, you failed at acheiving this. Now, you don't even try anymore. You've most likely given up on things you once loved. While this attitude can prevent failure from occuring, it doesn't help you acheive your dreams either. Realize that all dreams aren't impossible, and that life is what you make of it.

Which Advice Quote said by Homer Simpson are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

[stolen from Rob in NYC]

mark it 8, dude.

bowlth.jpg[click for full picture] I managed to bowl 16 points above my average (sans bumpers), including a very accidental spare, in which the ball just went flying out of my hand (ok, ok, the spare was on the lane with the bumpers). I also beat Jane's average, thus giving me an advantage in blogging bowling bragging rights. Our day was cut short when my nephew became a victim of that oft-told but seldom seen bowling calamity - his hand was in the way when a ball came shooting out of the return thing, slamming his tiny little finger between two bowling balls. Ouch.

So now I can add bowling to my list of things I do for recreation, like driving around and acid flashbacks.

And now I'll stop with the Big Lebowski quotes.

this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.

I took a half day today so I can take the kids bowling.

I suck at bowling. My lifetime average must hover around 40, and that's including all the times I played with bumpers. My wrist does this weird twisty thing that I can't control and I end up playing gutter ball for ten frames.

Still, I enjoy it because I like to pretend that the pins are my chosen enemies and when I - once in a great while - knock a few down, it feels good. It's not like pulling out a firearm during league play, but it's close.

They also have really good, greasy fries at the bowling alley.

So my goal today is to bowl higher than a 40 and to possibly get a better score than my two year old nephew.

Then I'll come home and watch The Big Lebowski.

around and about

Bill has me all figured out.

He's just not happy with the poem I wrote for his wife's birthday, so he has to attack me. Well, he attacks me every Friday. It's sort of a tradition.

New father (and master of yours truly) Andy has been downsized. I think the entertainment value factor of his wit and wisdom has earned him the right to have his tip jar filled.

Henry's Crow Blog has a new nest.

Here's your daily reminder of the Blogathon, for which you can find all relevant links on my sidebar and on top of this page. Still looking for blogging ideas. Still welcoming sponsors with open arms.

I really, really wish I was here. If I were there, my schedule would be as thus (because I know you are just so interested).

10:30–12:00 Comic Books in the Movies
11:00–12:00 Attack of the Killer Tomatoes 25th Anniversary: The No-Budget Epic That Ate San Diego (yea, the overlap. I can do that because I'm not there, am i?)
12:00–1:00 Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses
12:00–1:30 25 Years of Graphic Novels (pretending gives me the power to be in two places at once)
12:00–1:30 From the Cradle to the Keyboard, Part 2
12:30-1:30 Trailer Park
1:30-2:30 Disney: The Haunted Mansion
1:30–3:00 Archie: Still Relevant After All These Years
2:30–4:00 Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother: An Animated Premiere
3:30–4:30 The Extraordinary Work of Alan Moore
4:30-5:30 Miramax: Kill Bill
4:30–6:00 Henson Presents: Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s MirrorMask
4:30–5:30 So You Want to Run a Comics Shop?

By that time I would pass out from sheer joy and exhaustion. I am so going next year, even if I have to walk.

the bush lied(tm) juggernaut claims a victim?

David Kelley, Ministry of Defense adviser suspected as the source of allegations that the government doctored a report about Iraq's nuclear program*, has gone missing. A body found in the woods five miles from Kelley's house matches the description of Kelley.

Police say a body found in Britain matches the description of a missing Ministry of Defense adviser who was named by the government as the possible source for a disputed news report that claimed intelligence on Iraqi weapons was doctored to strengthen the case for war.

The body, found about 5 miles from David Kelly's (search) home in Oxfordshire, central England, matches the description of the 59-year-old former weapons inspector, police said, although an official identification has not yet been made.

Interesting, disturbing report.

*[edited from this morning after different versions of the story appeared elsewhere]]

great cover songs that weren't

All Music Guide (AMG) is one of those indespensible sites. I check it often for details on bands, artists, songs, etc., in order to maintain the accuracy of my blog posts regarding music.

Accuracy seems to have gotten by AMG on their track listing for Jukebox Hits of the 80's. Obviously, it's some kind of data entry error, rather than a error of truth but, nonetheless, it inadvertently makes for a track listing of the best cover songs album ever (They will probably get around to fixing it eventually, which is why I took screen shots [1 2]).

Imagine Earth, Wind and Fire performing The Romantics' What I Like About You(#1). Can't you just hear that song with some funk/jazz thrown into that hand-clapping break in the middle?

Quiet Riot performing Toni Basil's Mickey(#9), oh what a delightful mess that would be. The cheerleader cries of Hey Mickey! would mean something entirely different.

Oh, what I would give to hear Aretha Franklin crooning J. Geils' Centerfold(#19), or Glenn Frey turning Funkytown (#61)into a watered down synth pop study in blandness.

I bet Culture Club could pull off Only The Lonely quite nicely, and Toni Basil wouldn't have to change Safety Dance at all.

If only these songs were real. As you know, I am obsessed with cover songs and nothing makes a cover better than a band remaking a tune that is completely out of character for their genre of music, and then making it their own.

There's no point in covering a song if you are going to make an exact replica of it. I love to see what bands/artists can do with other people's music. It's all about interpretation; no one is going to hear the words in their head the way the artist heard when he first came up with the lyrics.

The best cover songs - the imaginary version of Quiet Riot's Mickey notwithstanding - are the ones where the tune is almost unrecongnizable, where the newer artist has taken the song and interpreted it their own way, rather than just making a carbon copy of the original artist's tune.

Vanilla Fudge doing You Keep Me Hanging On comes to mind and I imagine that Vanessa Williams singing Bang a Gong(#21) would have quite a similar effect.

I still have dreams of starting a band that does death metal versions of Broadway show tunes.

July 17, 2003

dinner is served

It was a veritable smoragasbord out by the garage tonight. Three different kinds of beetles - I suppose they were the appetizer, main course and dessert.

I wonder if they taste like chicken.

[click for big bug size]

The ants attacked the poor guys while they were still alive. They marched over and under the bodies, taking the beetles apart limb by limb, carrying the body parts one at a time over the rocks and to their hideout, where I assume the guts and glory of the once impressive beetles were presented as gifts to the queen.

Then they all sat down at long tables with steins of lager while the jester ant told jokes and did somersaults while wearing the carcass of the biggest beetle, all to the tune of the ant minstrel band.

I swear.

you may ask yourself

You ever have one of those days when you get to work and you say hey, how the hell did i get here? Because I certainly don't remember driving here.

And then later you look at the clock and it's 2pm and you have no idea what you've done the whole day, only that clock moved while you were doing it.

And then you think jesus, how many hours left until I can go to bed?

And all you want to do is rip off your clothes, not because you're horny or a naturalist, but because you feel like everything you are wearing is strangling you, and then your skin starts crawling and feeling tight and you are grinding your teeth and damn, that floor looks comfortable enough to lay down on and pass out.

Yea, that kind of day.

sixteen words

No, not those.

But it's the theme to this trip around the blogs.

What's your sixteen words for today?

let's talk about sex (again)

I discussed teenage sex and revealing clothing and the whole nine yards of that subject in this post the other day.

It appears that Lilli thinks I am frightened of the thought of my children some day having sex.

To me it seems, [Michele] has a huge problem with the thought of her children having sex, such a huge problem, she has problems or flatly refuses to tell them things they IMO have to know, at that age. I remember when once she told a story of being with her dauhter at a shop and her daughtr finding the condoms. I don't recall the complete story, but I still remember how I thought about that afterwards, I thought for myself "poor girl, she must be some weird kind of shy, because - who posts boobie-pictures but isn't able to explaina 13 year old about condoms?"

Lilli is going on some posts I wrote here and on Raising Hell, but either she hasn't read the entire posts - she just read the parts I excerpted - or she doesn't understand that I only write about the humorous side of discussing these things with your children. The whole condom post is here and as you can see, Natalie did indeed know what a condom was, she was just suprised that they came in something called "ribbed" and I didn't think it was the appropriate time and place (in the drugstore) to explain those things to her.

Nevertheless, Lilli is right about one thing. I am afraid of my kids having sex.

Before I had children, I would brag how I was going to be the Coolest Mother Ever. I would give my kids the freedoms I never had. They would be allowed to do all the things I was forbidden to do. And when the day came that they would come up to me and say "I'm ready for sex" I would hand them a condom and tell them to have at it, just be safe.

And then I grew up, and I became a mother. To a girl, no less. All the thoughts of sexual freedom and being a "cool" parent shriveled up and died the death of a thousand pre-conceived notions before them. I became one of those parents.

You can teach your kids all you want about sexual responsibility, but if you remember teenage passion at all, then you know that all it takes is one time for that passion and some raging hormones to take over and result in a very spontaneous and very dangerous liason. All thoughts of lectures and condoms fly out the window when your libido is doing your thinking for you.

I teach my children to respect themselves and others. This goes for my son as well as my daughter. They know all about sex, they know what sex is, what a blowjob is, what it means to let someone use you or to use someone. Respect for yourself and for the feelings of others is the single most important aspect of sexual education.

Of course the though of my kids having sex frightens me, on many levels. There's pregnancy, AIDS, other STDs, broken hearts, and emotional issues to deal with. Most of us see sex as something wonderful and beautiful shared between to caring, loving people. I can't imagine a teenager seeing it that way. I can't imagine my daughter, at 13 or even at 17, making that conscious decision that she loves someone so much she would share her body with them.

I have armed my children with knowledge and information and that's the most I can do. I have an open door policy when it comes to talking about sex, or any other issues they want to bring up, and they are not afraid to ask hard questions, nor are they embarassed to ask very private questions. I can control some aspects of their lives, but not all. I may be here every time they want to talk about it, but I won't be there that night when a guy slips his arm around Natalie's waist and pulls her into the bedroom. I won't be popping up from under the bed yelling "Don't forget the condoms!" I have to trust my kids to know the right thing to do and follow up on that, but I can't control how much the other party influences their decision.

I'm not ashamed that I've become that kind of parent. The one who doesn't let their kids watch South Park even though all the other kids are watching it, the one who won't let her ten year old purchase Parental Advisory CDs, the one who logs all their AIM conversations so I can be sure they aren't being suckered in by some deranged guy posing as a 12 year old girl. I keep a close watch on them while giving them the freedoms they deserve at thier ages, and that's a hard thing to do, especially when all the other kids are doing things and going places they aren't allowed.

I have an absolute mistrust of a society that panders to the idea of teens as sex objects and if you don't think that's true, just look in any clothing store, watch MTV for a while or skim through any fashion magazine.

I don't have a lack of faith in them, I have a lack of faith in the rest of the world. Sad, but true.

today's link


July 16, 2003

closer - c = benitez

Bad move. Bad move. Bad move. Bad move. Bad move. Bad move. Bad move.

time waster

I've made my first custom 404 page. Crude, but effective, no?

&*%$#%^ linguistics lessons

Never let it be said that this is not an educational and informative blog.

Tonight, we will improve your swearing vocabulary, thanks to The Guardian.

First lesson comes from the Insultmonger. This evening we will swearin the language of Catalan, because it is so close to my last name.

Our whipping boy tonight will be Ted Rall.

Ted Rall is a capoll who likes to cascar-se-la with his nino inflable. He also is a ximple, beneit, creti. As well as a pandero.

Now, repeat that back a few times. Translate on your own.

Now, I've done my job in educating you. It's your turn. Use the 1811 Dictionary of Vulgar Tongue or Roger's Profanisaurus to come up with your own insults, not necessarily directed at Ted Rall. Or me.

custom made shirts!

So my freehand isn't the best, but I try.

I made this shirt for my judge's intern, with whom I - and the other intern - had a very long conversation about politics today. He mentioned he was looking for a shirt like this, so here it is.


I probably should have made it a bit larger, but it's the thought that counts, right?


Just a note - I am really, really incredibly behind on my email. I get a ton of it and I like to answer every single one - even the hate mail -, but sometimes it takes me a while, so please know that if you are expecting a return email from me and you haven't heard from me yet, I'm getting there.

If there's something you need me to respond to right away, or you are sending me a link to a story that's timely and needs to be blogged about soon, just put a little "read asap" in the header. And if it turns out your email wasn't really important and you just put the "asap" in there anyhow, I'll put a hex on you and you will receive nothing but Nigerian scam letters and penis enlargement spam from now on.

invest in human kindness

LT Smash, who has been so kind as to mention our efforts for the Blogathon twice (and from whom I have received more hits than an Instalanche usually brings), who sends his essay to me to print on the Command Post OpEd page, who has been "roasting" in Iraq, putting his ass on the line for freedom and democracy and safety, received an email from a woman who seems to have a problem with Israel:

Asking for donations for an ambulance in a country founded and controlled by terrorists.

To which LT replied: They say that one man's terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter—but all of us bleed.

Would she prefer that we raise money for an ambulance for the Palestinians? Oh, that's right, they don't need one. Because when a suicide bomber blows up his own people by accident, or when the young martyrs-by-proxy human shields they use to try to claim that Israelis kill innocents are laying bleeding on the street, Magen David Adom picks them up and takes care of them. They don't discriminate on the basis of religion or ethnicity. When someone needs saving, MDA does not see a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim, they see a human being, to paraphrase LT.

Perhaps the woman who wrote the letter to LT should have done some research first. Then she would know who the real terrorists are. It's not hard to spot them - they are usually the ones with the dynamite strapped to their bodies, the ones who are teaching their children to shed the blood of Jews, the ones who dance and cry with joy when an Israeli bus is blown to smithereens with civilians on board.

She then asks LT the same question many people have emailed to ask me: Are you Jewish? And you'll get the same answer from me. No, I am not. I was raised Roman Catholic and I am now an atheist. That does not stop me from supporting Israel 100% because it's not so much a religious issue as it is a human issue.

You do not have to be Jewish to support Israel. You just have to care about human rights, especially the right to live without fear of your school exploding while you are sitting in your classroom. You have the right to bring your children up to believe that all people have some kind of goodness inside of them, even while others are preparing to blow you sky high. Every day, in some way, Hamas and its supporters and allies threaten the idea of human kindness, of seeing people as individuals, as people with hearts and souls, and not as some faceless representative of the J-E-W-S, whom they would love to wipe off the face of the earth. It must be hard to have faith in humanity when you are living in fear, living amongst people who want to practice the ancient art of genocide on you and your family.

MDA doesn't care who you are. If you are hurt, they will help you. They will give you the care you need. They will bandage your wounds and tend to you even though your soul is infested with hatred for the very people that are treating you. Too bad there is no cure for bigotry, hatred and an inherent indifference to murder.

How do we deal with our anger at those like the LT's letter-writer? How do we show them that we support Israel, that we think human lives are worth saving?

One thing you can do is donate to MDA. Sponsor either Meryl, Lair or myself for the Blogathon, it doesn't matter which of us. Or give directly to the MDA, telling them it will go towards the Blogathan, and maybe, just maybe, we can raise enough money to buy an ambulance for MDA, and they can go on saving lives of Jews, Christians, Muslims and whoever else needs their services. We can invest in humanity.

[You can find all the information you need to know - how to sponsor, what the blogathon is, what MDA does, etc. - on top of this page and also on my sidebar.]

survey says: would you buy this book?

The Cafe Press printing press is open for business, and I am going to take advantage of it. I think.

First, I must conduct a marketing survey.

If I were to put a book together of my ASV stuff (which would include my Blogcritics stuff as well), would you be interested in purchasing it?

Do you have any favorite posts you would like to see included? Favorite topics?

Please note that I am probably going to put together a book with Mig as well, of our Raising Hell stuff and other parenting essays and while I may cross-publish some of the stories, I would like to keep most of the parenting stuff for that book.

Is there anyone who would like to give me a hand editing the stories I decided to use?

And really, would you buy it? You can be honest and say something like "Why would I buy it if I can just go in your archives and read your stuff for free? Do you think I am a sucker with money to throw away?" That's what surveys are all about, giving honest answers.

Hah. That was a joke.

Also, is The Gentle Art of Making Enemies a good working title? I was also thinking of Sex, Sex, Sex! It's all about the deceptive marketing, you know.

dreams, harvey birdman, pop culture, scott baio and weezer, all rolled into one blog sandwich

I realized that all my dreams lately have two things in common; a wedding and armageddon. Armageddon is nothing new, I've been dreaming about that since I was seven and figured out that we are mortal and so is the earth. But the wedding thing, that's recent. It started some time last month, and every night I am either trying on dresses for a wedding that's starting in five minutes, or I'm attending a wedding of a person I don't know (last night it was a lavish medeival affair, complete with the bride's damsel-in-distress pointed hat with tulle veil flowing from the point) or sometimes I am the wedding planner and everything that could go wrong is going wrong and it would just be so easy to say the hell with your wedding bitch, I'm going to marry Matthew McConaughey and live happily ever after. Never, never am I the bride in my dreams. I'm usually just ruining it for someone else by eating the dessert before I've been told to.

So last night there was the wedding (the medeival thing) and armageddon (as always, the sky was on fire) and to add to the mix there were bugs; big, hard-shelled, ghastly, blue bugs that seemed almost like crabs but were more like a cross-breed of crabs and millipedes and Blue from Blues Clues. And they hurt like a bitch when they pinched you.

So why am I telling you this? I don't know. Maybe someone with a great inner-psychic out there can tell me what it means to have these dreams. Oh, I know. Don't eat Taco Bell before you go to bed. That's what it means. And don't fall asleep watching Adult Swim because you never know when Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, will creep into your dreams and serve an Order to Show Cause against you.

What I started out to write, before I got distracted by leftover remnants of my dreams flashing in my brain (they're like trails you see when you've done too much acid and...oh, nevermind. Different story) was this: VH1's obsession with list making rivals my own and possibly Solonor's, who is no sloucher when it comes to list making.

The latest installment of numbered memories is the 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons. The show doesn't air until July 21, but I'm going to be very prescient and say that Michael Jackson is number one. I think I have VH1 and their lists all figured out by now.

Somewhere on that list is going to be The Fonz. Now, I've been thinking about The Fonz every since Alan posted this picture on his site, where he was trying to illustrate that perhaps blogs have jumped the shark, but instead illustrated that any of us who thought Fonz was the ultimate in coolness had a lot to learn about cool. Fonz looked like a middle-aged guy trying to fit in with some not-quite-hip teenagers. Homer Simpson pulled that off with much more ensuing hilarity, and that was only in one or two episodes; they didn't build a series around the premise. What a bunch of geeks and nerds and hopeless twits those Happy Days kids were. What seemed funny then is just cheesy now, and to add insult to injury, Happy Days spawned Joanie Loves Chachi, which spawned the movie Zapped, which in turn lead to Charles in Charge which, all these years later, is culminating in the sequel that proves that anything gets a Sequel, Baby Geniuses 2. Sorry, kids. Scott Baio, Teen Idol, is not dead yet.

My pop culture list would not include Scott Baio. Or the Fonz. But it would include Weezer which, all things considered, is fair and square.

July 15, 2003

tiny bubbles

let there be thanks

I was all set to write this post when I decided to hit the blogroll first. And there, at Rita's site, was a nice little thank-you post that warmed my heart because it was so sweet and thoughtful.

I can't beat her heartwarming phrasing, but here's what I was planning on writing anyhow.

First, I want to take this moment to thank anyone and everyone who has every dropped coinage in my tip jar or bought something from my wishlist - going back to our wedding last August (margarita glasses, coffee pot, can opener, cheese grater, toaster, books, cds, videos..just to name a few items) right up until today, when I received (thanks, Daniel) the Meet the Feebles DVD in the mail.

I'm a big believer in the whole pay it forward idea. So every time someone buys me something or donates to me, I turn around and do the same for another blogger. Spreading the shared wealth, I call it.

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me for the Blogathon this year - you can see the whole list in the sidebar - and everyone who donated last year as well for the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Pizza for the IDF charity drive, and to everyone who donated to Trooptrax and helped me out with that site, especially Keith.

While I hated - no, loathed - the movie Pay it Forward, I still believe in the heart of the idea. Spread the shared wealth. Spread the thanks. Give a little of yourself. It feels really good for you, but it feels even better for the person who you are giving to.

The blogosphere can be a total cesspool sometimes. Hell, the whole internet can. But it doesn't have to always be that way. So thanks to everyone who makes this incredibly wide and diverse community something worth participating in.

Hey, my Dr. Frank cd came in the mail today. I'm going to get my headphones, enjoy the music and then buy a copy for someone else and share the joy. You cannot download happiness and serenity on Kazaa, kids. You have to work for it.

[No, I'm not drunk. I'm just in a very good mood today]

talkin' baseball

This time it means something.

Yea, right.

voodooclemens.gifSo, home field advantage is at stake. Is that going to make this annual bore-fest any better? If karma really does indeed exist, the game will go 146 inning and Bud Selig will be squirming in his seat the entire time, knowing that he can't call the game a tie or he'll be burned in effigy. He'll have a heart attack at inning 100 and his stooges will still be afraid to call the game for fear of public backlash and they'll just keep playing ball while Selig yells for nitroglycerin.

And then, if karma is really having a good night, Roger Clemens will bean someone with a fast ball and Mike Piazza will come running onto the field and beat the crap out of Clemens with Sammy Sosa's corked bat.

Now, that would be an interesting game.

And welcome back, Rickey Henderson. Oh, how we missed you. Not. There's never been a more egotistcal, selfish, self-centered, crybaby, injury faking, hamstring pulling, locker room cancer, pussy of a player. Even if he is hung like....Sammy Sosa's corked bat.

Speaking of Roger, I wonder how many people are sticking pins in their Clemens Voodoo Bobbleheads, pissed off about how he snuck onto the team at the last minute? Go ahead, Barry Zito, stick away. Don't let me stop you.

Just a gentle reminder: Don't go stealing anyone's Yankee cap.

That last link brought to you by Hi, I'm Black!, who seems to have a hard time linking Yankee fans. Fine, be that way. Freaking sore loser Met A's fan. At least he knows what's wrong with baseball. So I'll be nice and link him, even if ignores me.

Someday I'm going to make one of those audblog posts, and it will be nothing but a replay of Bucky Dent hitting that home run. Yea, that one.

I'm in a good mood, so I feel like pissing people off tonight. It's how I get my jollies.

that's no moon, that's my ego!

I'm really, really going to get some work done now. But lest you think that my delusions of grandeur are not based in reality, you should know that this site is now the New Yorker of weblogs (read the comments). Or something similar to that.

There goes that delusion thing again.

Hey, did you know that Mean Mr. Mustard is leaving us? Go wish him well in his endeavors.

poetry (toe) jam

The pile of work on my desk doesn't seem to be getting any smaller, but today's archives are sure getting longer. [And Leon's getting LARGER!]

I just wanted to let you know that there are now about eight pages of poems by guys named Freemont who wrote stanzas about dogs eating mother's toes.

Just go here and do a search for first nameFreemont.

The Led Zeppelin poems are hilarious. I just wish I knew who was really each Freemont.

Pat Robertson: you are about to enter another dimension

Submitted for your approval - one Pat Robertson, religious icon, evangelist and would-be politician who is headed down the road towards that legendary purgatory known as self-parody.

We come upon Mr. Robertson as he defends one Charles Taylor (not to be confused with Chuck Taylor), leader of Liberia and foe of most normal people. Pat sits at his broad desk on the set of 700 Club, chiding President Bush for asking Taylor to step down.

Robertson has motives other than the political well-being of a tyranical leader. Besides the motive of wanting every country in the world to be a Christian one, Robertson also has business ties to Liberia.

Such haughty motives for a man who deems himself to be a paragon of moral virtue. Guided by money? For shame.

But our protaganist of this story does not stop at mere dictator-loving. He has rounded that corner of sanity and has walked straight into the arms of Satan himself.

Now, struck by greed not only for money but for the world to be consumed by his own morals and religious beliefs, he has taken hold of the hand of overseer of Hell, who has guided him - for it could not be the opponent of Satan who has done such a thing as this - to write a letter wishing death upon citizens of this country, the very citizens who wear the robes of justice and make decisions that cause Robertson's head to ache with the pain of the righteous.

In short, by its distorted reading of the religion clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and its "discovery" of emanations from the 14th Amendment called "penumbras," the Supreme Court is bringing upon this nation the wrath of God when the precious liberties that we love so much may be taken away from all of us.

Would you join with me and many others in crying out to our Lord to change the Court? If we fast and pray and earnestly seek God's face, then He will hear our prayer and give us relief.

One justice is 83 years old, another has cancer, and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire? With their retirement and the appointment of conservative judges, a massive change in federal jurisprudence can take place.

In the twilight zone of Pat Robertson's world, we are free to take liberty and look into the mind of Mr. Robertson as he sits at his desk penning this letter. We see him chewing on the fact that the three justices he wants to be rid of are either old or infirmed. What exactly does Robertson wish for these people? Your narrator assumes death. You may assume otherwise. Either way, we still have a man who thinks the world should be ruled through his vision, through his beliefs and ideas.

He walks the road of the right, but finds himself at a fork in the road. Does he choose the path of being true to the word he preaches, or does he choose the path where his dreams of religious dictatorship and dollars tainted with the blood of the enslaved lie?

Stay tuned, as we watch Pat Robertson enter the morally obtuse Twilight Zone.

[inspiration via my master]

Review of Roger Simon's Director's Cut and some commiserating

Roger Simon is going through an identity crisis. I should tell Roger that he is not alone.

See, Roger, like many others including yours truly, has crossed the border from the far left. I'm not saying Roger is part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, but - well, I'll let him tell you:

Some old friends of mine, not that many but a few, didn't show up at the Moses Wine Tasting Party in L.A… and I know why—politics. They think I have deserted la causa. I am not the radical-liberal I used to be. Perhaps they are right to some extent. I could make my explanations, but they are entitled to their opinion. Still, it hurts.

I've lost quite a few friends in most public fashion since I abandoned the cause of the left. Funny that, because I never was quite sure what the exact cause was. Were we trying to save the world or were we just a big old Let's Hate George Bush club?

Anyhow, Roger's newest book, Director's Cut, received a not-so-nice review in the San Francisco Chronicle. Who cares about the Chron? Who cares about anything from the city that brings you Mark Morford?

DC did get a rather nice write up at Weekly Standard, which would sooth anyone's feelings. But honestly, you have not made it in literature until you have received a rousing review from A Small Victory. Sure, I made that up, but you all know by now that I am prone to bouts of delusion.

I just happened to finish Director's Cut this weekend. Thus, a review.

Ok, I'm not really good at writing reviews, especially when I know the person whose book I'm reviewing will be reading it. So let me say this: Every time I thought I had the story figured out, it turned out I didn't, which is a testament to Roger's skills as a storyteller. Nothing was telegraphed. In fact, the turn of events left me quite suprised. So often, stories like this - with twists and turns and the unexpected - often go limp at some point because the twists and turns ring false. Not so in Director's Cut.

I can see where some of Roger's radical ex-friends got the idea that he abandoned their cause, whatever it was. Moses Wine, our detective hero, is a former radical hippie himself, now changed as much as the world has changed post 9/11. The novel manages to get in some decent swipes at the idealism of the far left and the cause celebre of that other radical sect out there, Hating America.

But Moses is a grounded kind of guy, just as Roger's writing is very grounded, and the swipes at both the left and beauracratic bungling of terrorist threats are made by someone who knows of what he speaks - I'll let you decide if is Roger Simon or Moses Wine doing the talking.

Besides all the politcs involved, we get a nice glimpse of what it's like to direct a film and like I said after reviewing Lost in La Mancha the other day, I have given up that dream because it just seems to damn hard and aggravating.

Director's Cut can be considered historical fiction, what with it's time frame of post 9/11 anxiety and fear, and its inclusion of everything from the Holocaust to the new wave of airport security.

Screw the Chron and the tree huggers. I loved the book. That's all that matters.


This wasn't really a very good book review. It was more of a go-buy-the-book-and-read-it-yourself review and also a go-to-Roger's-weblog urging.

Anyhow, all of us leftie expats should form a club. We can sit around and laugh out our naivete former selves.

i shall win the poetry contest

I've got another Toe Poem.

UPDATE: Hello? Do you see the author's name there? This is a joke, an attempt to joine a meme, a farce! Stop yelling at me for writing such drivel. As if.

Oh, and I'll never know if they choose my poem because I gave my home address as that of the Green Party of New York headquarters.

Dogging The Earth

By Free(mont) Mumia

President Bush is a dog
munching on mother earth
Rumsfeld is a hungry wolf
eating earth’s afterbirth

My mother (the earth) is dying
amid wars begat of oil
My mother (the earth) is dying
I no longer want to toil

The hegemony of America
Imperialist mother (earth) fuckers
are part of an ugly trend
like big-hatted trendy truckers

My mother (the earth) is injured
She limps along as she goes
It will never be the same again
For the dog ate my mother’s toes

I feel dirty now.

By the way, you can't link directly to poems, so you just have to do a search for the "author's" name.

I have work to do. Curse you, Dave Barry!

the dog ate my mother's toes: a dave barry meme

Oy. So much I want to write about today and the pile of work atop my desk has not cooperated by just disappearing like I asked it to.

Let's start with a little time waster that's making its way around the blogs, via Dave Barry.

Dave wants us all to send poems to Poetry.com. There's a reason and, as is always with Barry, it's a goofy little scheme of a reason.

But first, a poetry anecdote.

I was an aspiring poet when I was young. Weren't we all? When I was in ninth grade I came across the National Anthology of Poetry or something similar to that. Very distinguished sounding. Very prestigous. Right? Well, no.

I entered one of my bleeding heart poems about the Vietnam War or nuclear power or saving the whales, I don't remember which. It was accepted! I received a very official looking letter on very official looking letterhead with a very official embedded watermark on it and I rejoiced. Until I saw the official forms that came with that acceptance letter. You had to officially purchase the book that your poem was in, with official money.

Even in my ninth grade frame of mind, I knew this was fishy. Basically, they would accept any poem as long as you sent the "entry" fee and bought a hard covered, bound volume of the Anthology. I knew without even thinking about it twice that the book would contain enough bad poetry to make even a Hallmark card writer cringe. And I was paying them to publish my poem! No deal. I was disheartened, disillusioned and disgusted. A lot of disses there. I gave up on idealistic poetry and began writing dark, brooding free verse. I was goth before there was goth.

Anyhow, Poetry.com looks to be more of the same official looking contest, with an official looking prize given by an official looking site:

So anyway, this blog was just thinking how interesting it would be if a whole bunch of people submitted poems that contained a certain key poetic phrase. To see how it might work, this blog submitted a poem under the pen name of "Freemont A. Harkins," entitled: "A Sad Day." Here's how it goes:

A Sad Day

i am sad, so very sad
the tears run down my nose
it was a happy day until
the dog ate mother's toes

Then he says:

Wouldn't it be fun if a lot of people submitted poems using a Pen Name that began with "Freemont" and incorporating the phrase, "the dog ate mother's toes"? Then we all could search for poems written under the first name of "Freemont" -- currently, this blog is the only one -- and see how creative everybody was!

So of course, I'm game. For this one, I used a goth poetry generator and just inserted the appropriate line.


the night falls as if slain by the sun, cold and alone are we.
the god for which you sacrifice yourself
flares once, then dies,
crushed by a velvet ebon nothingness.
all hope must surely perish

your soul thrives no more.
how could you cause such hurt, you damn, dog?
demons surround us, crying out
the dog ate my mother's toes!
the dog ate my mother's toes!
we are fallen

Penned in blood by Freemont Gahan

Now, go submit yours, and come back here with the title and your pen name so I can go look it up later.

UPDATE: That was fast. You can find my poem here.

dude, where's my milf?

All the tongues are wagging about Demi and Ashton. I mean, even ESPN had to throw it in there. Oh, my! Demi is dating a younger man!

But where's the outrage? Where's the ridicule? Where's the accusations of being a cradle robber or out of her mind?

There are none, and you want to know why? Because I am a trendsetter. I have paved the way for older women who date younger men and everyone took their digust out on me until they got used to the idea, and now Demi doesn't have to worry about looks of disapproval because I have cleared the path for her.

Well, not really. But you get the idea.

While Demi gets all the "you go, girl!" applause, I got awkward conversation and stony silence when I announced I was dating a much younger man. Like Demi, I was divorced with children when I met Justin. Unlike Demi, I am not a Hollywood star with a major motion picture in the theaters and a finely sculpted body and an ex-husband who still kicks ass at the box office.

There are clearly double standards at work here: 1) If you are rich and famous and most of all an actress with a fine set of boobs, you can do whatever the hell you want and people will cheer it and write about it as if you invented dating a younger guy, and 2) No one even blink an eye or writes a word about it when a grey haired old geezer dates a young bunny.

That's not the point, though. The point is, I do not want Demi Moore and Ashton Kutchner to be the standard bearers of Older Woman/Younger Men (OWYM) relationships. I do not want everyone to point to that plastic couple when I mention that I my marriage is a OWYM union and say, Oh, just like Demi and Ashton, how cute!

Demi has never been one of my favorite actresses. Sure, I loved her as Jackie on General Hospital. That deep, raspy voice was addicting. And then she embarked on a movie career that included - come on now, who remembers this movie - Parasite in 3D! I saw this movie in the theater. I paid money so I could see Jackie Templeton grace the big screen and wow, was I disappointed. I mean, my standards weren't set too high as I knew her acting ability was probably limited to playing a brazen hussy with a deep voice, but still. This was bottom-of-the-barrell type acting, writing and directing. Sure, I shouldn't have expected much from a title like Parasite in 3D. That is probably when I learned to lower my expectations in life.

Then there's Ashton, whose shaggy locks are probably a big middle finger to Bruce's shining head. Sure, he's a star, he's rich, he's got two hit tv shows and a sequel (tentativley titled Dude, Where's My Dignity?) coming out soon. But I can't see him as anything more than a surfer punk with a gold card.
Couldn't those of us in OWYM relationships have a better spokescouple? Come on Tobey, find yourself a older woman to run around with.

Just remember this, naysayers to my marriage. When you are dissing me, you are dissing Hollywood's new star couple. You wouldn't want to be accused of that, would you?

It's obvious what I have to do here if I want people to stop scoffing at my OWYM marriage. I need a few million dollars, a boob job, some liposuction and a starring role in a cheesy movie. Justin already has the shaggy locks.

July 14, 2003

football season: the shirt


I am closing that site now. I am not going to spend the rest of the evening making silly shirts and bemoaning my lack of artistic talent.

now selling

I found this great site, PixelTees, where you can design your own (pixelated) shirts and sell them - or just make them for fun.

Here's my first, very simple design.


You can find it here.

Which gives me an idea. Sponsor me for blogathon and I'll make a shirt especially for you. I'll be making them and showing them off for all the people who sponsored me already. There will be a different saying and/or picture for each sponsor, chosen at my discretion.

Ah, another great time waster.

Speaking of Meryl

She has this gem today:

In a study to be released next month by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and provided exclusively to The Jerusalem Post, Palestinian sources confirm that at least 34 Palestinian armed terrorists were killed fighting in the battle for the Jenin Refugee Camp.

The total number of Palestinian causalities in the battle was 52, a sharp contrast from the claims of Palestinian propaganda professionals who have openly stated that thousands had died. [emphasis mine]

[login required: excedrin/sharpie]

So now, let's play a little game of telephone.

The "Jenin massacre" Arafat goes on and on about Did.Not.Happen. Pass it on.

By the time it gets to the moonbats, it will come out as "Zionist Conspiracy!"

Blogathon News

Just as I've crossed the $1,000 mark in donations, Meryl has crossed the $2,000 mark. Good for her, we are all in this together anyhow. Lair's got $555 and we have $1900 that was donated straight to MDA, in the name of the Blogathon.

We still have hopes of raising $60,000 for an ambulance. There's 12 days left. If you can't donate - and we totally understand if you can't - just a link on your website mentioning our efforts will go a long way.

You can see the list of my donors in the sidebar.

I would particularly like to thank Chuck, MB and Kathy, NZ Bear, Ara and LT Smash for doing their best to send people over here (or Mery's or Lair's).

For those who said they are having a hard time figuring out which of the three of us to sponsor, it doesn't matter. It is all going towards the same goal, just put the names in a hat and pick one!

For more information, just look up at top of the page. All the links you need are there. 12 MORE DAYS! Help us get that ambulance!

Now, for the fun part of the blogathon: coming up with something to write about for 24 hours. I'm still taking suggestions. In fact, just give me a topic and I will write a post about it.

For my sponsors, give me a subject and I will take a photo of it and write a post about said subject for you, dedicated to you.

Yes, if you sponsor me you can get a dedication as well.

Thanks to everyone who has donated and/or spread the word so far.

more on song lyrics: oblivious and obscure

Dean had a great entry last week on obscure songs - the songs you love that you think no one else has heard. His readers shared quite a few and of course I added mine.

My favorite obscure song:

Aztec Camera, Back on Board (Though generally anything from their album High Land, Hard Rain would qualify). Lyrics below.

The whole album falls into that category of music I wrote about the other night - when the lyrics and the music just come together so beautifully, it's art.

Everything I own by this band is on vinyl, including the 12" of Oblivious which is backed with an amusing acoustic version of Van Halen's Jump. Now I'm left without a turntable and I suppose it's time to get this stuff on CD so I can enjoy it once again.

You can never get your youth back but you can sure relive it through the lyrics and chords of its time.

Faces of Strummer that fell from you wall
And nothing was left where they hung

Ah, yes. You can read so much into that.

Unlike other songs.

Of course, what works for me will not necessarily work for you.

Back On Board

Heard it said it's a stupid thing,
Everything that I follow through
Never got to our god, you see.
Abandoned with a taste of the new, new, new
And everytime that whistle blows I'm stranded in my shoes.

Get me back on board, pull me up with grace
Get me back on board, let me be embraced

'Cos even after all those words I want you for my own
Touch me when the sun comes up and tell me that we're home

We'll take a train to the graves again
That we can learn the value of life
Kick the snow with our shoe heels,
Shivers give a smile in the night.
Hey, honest to goodness girl
I'd kiss you with the lips of the lord
But to be honest to goodness,
I feel I have to wait for the work, work, work
And everytime that whistle blows I'm stranded in my shoes.


'Cos I'm always, always trying to be the archetypal free
The strangest something went to sleep, I buckled at the knees
So here we go, digging through those dustbins, giving things new names


understanding Led Zeppelin

A while back, I wrote about Led Zeppelin, Genesis and my teenage struggle to find meaning within their lyrics.

There was a time when I considered Led Zeppelin to be gods. Most people my age went through that phase. We quoted lyrics left and right and debated the meaning behind each song. Plant and Page were geniuses, deep thinkers, philosophers.

Yea, right. What passes for deep thinking to a 14 year old mesmerized by heavy guitars and pounding rythms and Robert Plant's hair turns into foolishness and pretension when you take away the haze of few joints and flights of teenage fancy.

Yes, I just blockquoted myself. Had to give you the context.

Anyhow, it seems that I am not the only who searched for meaning within those words. Nor am I the only one who received flame upon flame for daring to take the name of the lord god Robert Plant in vain (see what happened when I posted the Zeppelin article on Blogcritics).

Michael Klassen interpreted the lyrics to that "greatest song every created in history bar none and if you say it's not true I'll stab you with a fork," Stairway to Heaven.

Klassen decided that Stairway is an ode to shoddy construction work on Jimmy Page's castle and I must say, he makes a convincing argument.

I can't believe that Zeppelin's fans are still so numerous and so rabid in their loyalty that they write hate letters to people who disagree with their taste. I mean, they were a good band - I loved them once upon a time, and yes I had teenage girl dreams about Robert Plant. But all these years later my passion has diminished as I realize I was being had by the greatest lyrical con-artists in history.

A letter sent to Kassen:

i find your interpretation of stairway to heaven absolutely sickening. i did not bother to read the entire thing, because i was so disgusted by it. can you not appreciate anything? it is people like you that destroyed this song. it is the most powerful message ever sent in a song, and you have reduced it to nothing.

You really need to read the rest of these letters. I'm sure some of the writers are the same people who berated me on Blogcritics.

Well, that was my enjoyment for the day. Laughing at people who take something like that so seriously.

It's not as if they were talking about Mike Patton, you know.

sex sells, are your kids buying?

Much ado about sex and the young ones these days.

Over at the Guardian, we have this:

Compulsory sex education for five-year-olds will be demanded today by government advisers on teenage pregnancy, as an essential step towards halving the under-18 concep tion rate by 2010.

The advisory group will ask ministers to give statutory force to sex education guidelines prepared by Ofsted. They say pupils by the age of seven should be able to compare the external parts of the human body, share their feelings and use simple rules for resisting pressure from strangers.

By 11 they should be able to express opinions about relationships and bullying, recognise their changing emotions, discuss moral questions and know how to resist unwanted physical contact.

They should understand the physical changes that take place in puberty, the need for love in stable relationships and the safe routines needed to avoid the spread of viruses including HIV.

It's one thing to teach kids the whole "stranger danger" deal, an unfortunate necessity. However, sex education and discussion of relationships, body parts, safe sex and the like should not be taught to kids who are not yet ready to even understand the concept of sex.

Witness the conversations I've had with my own kids about sex. This conversation with DJ took place when he was nine:

DJ: "So, how does the stuff a guy has down there get into the woman?"

Me: "Ummm, the guy puts it in there."

DJ contemplates my answer for a minute. Then his face scrunches up in a look of horror and appallment.

"IN HER MOUTH?? HE PUTS IT IN HER MOUTH??" The color has drained from his face.

And the one with Natalie, when she was 12:

What does it mean when they say that two people are umm....you know.....
No, I don't know. Spell it.
(sound of brakes squealing as the sound of that word coming out of my daughter's mouth makes me almost miss a red a light)
I said spell it!!!
Whatever. What does it mean?
It means they are having sex, but not in a nice, loving sex way.
Ok, so when one of the girls today said "I want to fuck him..."
(I swerve into other lane while I choke on Gatorade)
Do you really need to know this stuff, Natalie?
You said I could talk to you about anything, anytime, Mom. Remember?
Yea, you're right. So when she says that, that means she ummm..wants to have sex with him. But she might not really mean it, what she probably means is she has the hots for him.
Oh. She also said she wants to paddle his buttocks.

This is after she had the requisite sex education/health classes in fifth grade.

See, I don't think my children need to be schooled in things that aren't appropriate to their age and lifestyle at the moment. I also think that discussing blowjobs and the emotions of sex and love are best left to parents.

A five year old is not ready to learn about the feelings involved in relationships. They barely know how to share toys yet at that age without a fight breaking out.

When Natalie took the sex ed class in school (which has continued into junior high school) she was left with more questions than answers. To the school's credit, they did not delve into the morality issues involved with sex - that also is something that should be left to the parents. But their curriculum was not as complete as it could have been. Teaching a child to "just say no" is all well and good, and that experiment where they carry a sack of flour around to get the feel of having a baby is lame at best. It becomes more of a joke to see who can do the most damage to someone else's baby.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where sex is prevelant and advertisers and clothing manufacterers of the world do nothing but push sex on young children, even if subliminally.

Have you seen the clothing out there for young girls? My daughter is constantly wearing sweat pants and t-shirts from Old Navy because I can't find anything appropriate for her to wear. The shorts are all way too short, the t-shirts are too cut-off and have rude and bold sayings on them, the pants are too low-slung. When the look of sex is pushed on them, and the videos and magazines are all showing young girls looking like hookers, they accept it as the norm.

Which leads me to my favorite whipping-boy, Mark Morford.

As usual, it's hard to get a grasp on just what Mark is saying but if I read this correctly, he thinks selling sex to kids is ok. They need it for future reference:

What we do have, however, is a BushCo that actually has the appalling gall to set aside $135 mil to force kids to learn all about the joys of repressing all sexual desire and bliss and bodily exploration and sensual spiritual power in favor of abstinence until they get married and then half of them get divorced because they were so goddamn lousy in bed.

So, teens should have sex so they don't get divorced later. Genius! It's all so very clear now. Forget the other aspects of marriage and relationships in general. Forget learning about love and trust and mutual respect. You have to have pre-marital sex in order to make your future marriage(s) work. Doh! What the hell was I thinking all this time?

We are terrified of our sexuality and horrified and/or weirdly shocked when presidents do it or teenagers do it or anyone at all does it unless it's us and then it's a fun little dirty secret but we don't talk about it shhh.

Why yes, I am horrified when teeangers do it. They don't have the mental capacity or ability to see the consequences of their actions when the engage in sexual relations. They are all about the here and now, the feeling good and being able to say they did it.

That is why I am for sex ed, but certainly not before the kids can grasp the concept of sex itself.

Morford also thinks the world needs another sex idol now that Britney has become nothing but a has-been whore.

Does he not see the lesson therein? Dress like a tramp, tease like a slut, show your stuff and strut it around all day and night long in front of millions and just a few years later you'll be nothing but a trivia question or a Hustler centerfold. That's the real lesson.

It's a hormonally charged atmosphere out there. The least we can do is arm our children with some morality, not send them off into the wilderness of puberty armed with nothing more than a condom and the idea that dressing like a mini version of Christina Aguilera makes you popular. Popular, in the jargon of junior high school, means you put out. And these days, putting out is ok as long as it's just a blow job because that isn't really sex. Wonder where they got that idea from?

Let the schools teach the basics of sex education, from the physical, health and scientific point of views. But don't start it until fifth grade, when the basic concepts of sex and relationships can be understood.

Leave the morality issues to the parents. And for heaven's sake people, put some decent clothes on your daughter.

July 13, 2003


Banzai. You won't believe it unless you see it.

Chickens floating away on balloons. Guess which geisha is wearing the red panties. And now, a soccer match between a one-legged kicker and a one-armed goalie. And you can bet on all these events on line.

Oh geez, there are old ladies in those motorized carts crashing into each other now. It's like geriatric Jackass.

And now here's a priest, a rabbi and Lou Ferrigno. No, it's not the beginning of a joke. It's the Soul Speed contest. The winner gets the soul of some baby.

Yes, it's horrifying, demoralizing, disgusting, depraved, sick, contributing to the decline of moral civilization and tasteless.

And I'm watching it.

psa: the spoonman cometh

Before I write a post about the crazed show on tv right now, I must announce that the second coming (in his own words) of the formidable Spoons is upon the blogging world. Hide your children, change the sheets, make sure you've gone to confession. Then, and only then, may you proceed to enjoy that delicacy known as the Spoons Experience.

those puzzling palestinians

Not only do most Palestinians not want to return to Israel if allowed, they don't want anyone to know they don't want to return.

A mob of about 100 Palestinian refugees stormed the office of a Ramallah polling organisation yesterday to stop it publishing a survey showing that five times as many refugees would prefer to settle permanently in a Palestinian state than return to their old homes in what is now Israel.

Of course, if everyone knew that they didn't want to go back, that would make their terroristic murders of innocent Israelis look like less of a jihad meant to get "their land" back and more like just your everyday attempts at genocide.

Even more telling is what 13% of those polled preferred: the absence of Israel all together.

Only 10 per cent of the refugees chose Israel, even if they were allowed to live there with Palestinian citizenship; 54 per cent opted for the Palestinian state; 17 per cent for Jordan or Lebanon, and 2 per cent for other countries. Another 13 per cent rejected all these options, preferring to sit it out and wait for Israel to disappear, while 2 per cent didn't know.

We should start treating Palestine as what it is: a terrorist cell. Nothing more, nothing less. If only 10% of those polled want to return to Israel, then we can pretty much assume that the other 90%, including those who want to live in Jordon or Lebanon or even Swahililand just want Israel to fall off the face of the earth, preferably by use of a ton of C-4 and lots of martyred cries of suicide bombers.

Yes, that's pretty much conjecture on my part, but I haven't seen anything to disuade me from that view.

Oh, note the little addendum at the end of the mob story:

• The Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad warned yesterday they would end a truce announced last month if the Palestinian Authority continued to try to disarm them.

Ummm guys? Why do you need arms if you're in the midst of a truce? Oh, that's right. Because truce in Hamas-speak means keep shooting.

the wolves are coming

August 5th cannot come soon enough.

witw_cover.jpgThat is the day that Wolves in the Wall by Neil Gaiman (illustrated by the artistic genius Dave McKean) will be released.

It's being marketed - as far as I can see - as a graphic novel for children. As with Coraline, which was marketed as a children's book also, there seems to be plenty of Gaiman's darkness to go around for adults as well.

I do like the fact that it's being called a graphic novel. Perhaps this will open the door for parents and teachers alike to embrace the genre of graphic novels as real literature.

There is nothing more satisfying than thanNeil Gaiman, and Dave McKean together.

Speaking of reading, I just finished Roger Simon's Director's Cut, which I will review tomorrow (preview: it was GOOD) and I'm currently reading The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies (Thank you to Jacki for sending the book to me) and Shiloh, which I'm reading for a mother/son book group at the library which starts tomorrow night and we probably won't be going because I cannot get DJ interested in the book. I'm sure I'll have no problem getting him to read Wolves in the Wall, however.

about the Garbage Pail Kids, they never lie*

harrypotty.gif "After being off the market for 15 years, a new series of the hugely successful stickers that entertained children in the mid-1980s with depictions of bodily functions will be released in August by The Topps Co. "

Of course, you remember the Garbage Pail kids. You either loved them or hated them, depending on your age and your sense of gross-out humor. Yea, I was already out of high school when they came out, but I still loved them. How could you not find a place in your heart for Up Chuck, New Wave Dave or my sister's favorite, Phony Lisa? Yes, there was a Michelle Muck, but it had two L's so that doesn't count.

I think this is a great idea, consumer wise. Kids like to laugh, they love fart and bathroom humor and collecting cards is all the rage. Somewhere between the Pokemon and Magic stage, lies the heart of the Garbage Pail Kids demographic. And who are the parents of those kids, the ones who will be shelling out money so their kids can gross each other out? The parents who bought the cards themselves the first time.

Of course, not everyone is convinced.

"I'm kind of surprised they're releasing it, because I think kids may be beyond this," said Mark Long, author of "Bad Fads" and operator of the Bad Fads Museum Web site.

I guess that's why Mark is in charge of the Bad Fads museum and not the Fads that Still Exist Because People Do Not Let Pop Culture of their Youth Die Museum.

One only has to look at the sales for Captain Underpants books (complete with whoopie cushion!) or hear how the kids howl with laughter during the three second fart scene in Finding Nemo to realize how wrong Mark Long is. Wrong Long. There's a GPK card for you!

Anyhow, I'm anxiously awaiting the August arrival/revival of the Garbage Pail kids. I just hope they come out with a Natalie card (Noxious Natalie, perhaps?) so I can bestow an embarassing nickname on her for those times she decided to announce that she hates me in public.

[And I'm wondering if I shouldn't come up with some blogger GPK cards. No, no..don't try to stop me]

* You do know that song, right?

Q & A

The lovely, pleasant and accomodating David Strain of Sketches of Strain interviewed me this week for his Sunday Seven.

terry gilliam: tilting at windmills

Viewed last night: Lost in La Mancha.

It's one of those movies about making movies. Usually, that type of film will come off as pretentious and devoid of any real emotion.

image from imdb.comThis one, however, was an exception. La Mancha is more than a documentary. It is the tale of Terry Gilliam and his burning ambition to some day bring his refurbished tale of Don Quixote to the screen. It plays out like a love story, with theThe Man who Killed Don Quixote as the love interest and Gilliam as the pursuer who is foiled again and again in his attempts to make the girl his.

Gilliam is an amazing, if emotionally driven, director. Brazil, 12 Monkeys and The Fisher King all have Gilliam's stamp of manic, surreal vision on them, and they were all box office winners. Even The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which was deemed a failure, is still enjoyable to watch just for the amount of pure blood, sweat and tears that Gilliam poured into it.

His vision of The Man who Killed Don Quixote started many years ago. The take you see in this documentary is not the first time the film had been attempted by Gilliam. Watching Lost, you get the feeling that it has a MacBeth quality to it; doomed encounter bad luck and misfortune forever.

We watch as Gilliam goes through an incredible range of emotions. At times, when a scene plays out right, he squeals with delight and seems almost childlike in his happiness.

Unfortunately, it was very rare that things went Gilliam's way during the shoot. Forces of nature, the lead actor's prostate/bad back, money and a myriad of seemingly insurmountable problems kept piling on top of each other until Gilliam was again forced to close down production of the film.

While he is trying once again to get the film off the ground (buying back the rights from the insurance company that now owns them), I think any further productions should have a motto of Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here. [Gilliam is currently working on Brothers Grimm and has, unforunately, dropped Good Omens]

I saw much of Quixote himself in Gilliam during this film. Not so much that he was tilting at windmills, but that he dared to take the windmills on to begin with, and how he kept at it depsite the negativity and bad fortune that followed The Man who Killed Don Quixote (which, from the frames of it we did get to see during La Mancha , looks like a fabulous, freaky movie) from year to year.

[On an interesting aside, I am currently reading Roger Simon's Director's Cut, which also deals with directing a film.

From both reading Simon's novel and watching Lost in La Mancha, you can be sure any daydreams I had about some day directing a movie have been washed away. ]

also posted at blogcritics

July 12, 2003

about that sluggish story...

I got quite a few emails today from people who read my short story and felt like they didn't want to comment on it publicly.

I have the comments on that story open for a reason. I can never be a professional writer if I don't know how to take criticism. I prefer constructive criticism, but any other comments will be appreciated as well.

I put the story up here for a reason. In all my years of writing - and we're talking about almost 30 years worth - I've never put out my fiction publicly for anyone to see. Creative writing classes in college don't count.

It took all of my strength to do that, so the feedback you give me will mean a lot.

Whether you want to comment on the site itself or send me an email, it's ok to tell me if for some reason you don't like the story or if there's something about it you thought I could do differently.

Of course, it's ok to write and tell me you liked it, as well.


soysage man to the rescue!

The sausage story just won't die. And everyone knew it would be just a matter of time before PETA became involved.

They once before wrote a letter to the Brewers requesting that a vegan "soysage" be added to the sausage race.

"Violence is violence, whether it’s toward ‘sausages’ or living animals," says PETA’s Sports Campaign coordinator, Dan Shannon. "Putting a veggie dog in the Sausage Race would help stop the violence and make animals ‘safe’ in the baseball world."

That was then. This is now. Now they have penned another letter to the Brewers, regarding the Saugage Beating Incident.

By rejecting the castration, dehorning, debeaking, wing-breaking, and throat-slitting that are part and parcel of the meat industry, you can send a powerful message that violence will not be tolerated in baseball—on the field or in the slaughterhouse.

Perhaps Randall Simon was simply expressing his frustration at the fact that the vegetarian hot dog was not allowed to compete. By allowing the peaceful "soysage" in the race, you could possibly avoid future player-meat confrontations.

I kid you not. This is real. Go look.

Nevermind the connotations of a player-meat confrontation. Don't even want to go there.

I say this whole idea is an affront to Soybeans everywhere, anyhow.

Honestly, I have no idea what to do with these people anymore. I have run out of snarky comments and sarcastic quips for PETA. They are just out of their fucking minds.

I wish I had seen this sooner, then I would have known that PETA was staging a protest not too far from my home today. I would have picked up a couple of hunks of salami and drove down there, where I would have my kids throw the salami out of the car window and at the protesters, screaming IF MEAT IS MURDER THAN MURDER SURE TASTES GOOD WITH MUSTARD!

Or maybe I just would have given them the finger and silently wished I was braver.

Long distance dedication: From me to robyn

For Robyn

Reachin' into da dog pound. Fo shizzle.

[comments are closed on this post as it was meant for one person and one person only. sort of like a card.]

Nate Dogg feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg, Warren G


Friends, how many of us have them
Friends, how many of us have them
Friends, how many of us have them
Friends, how many of us have them

[Snoop Doggy Dogg]
Every since I could remember
I had friends I could depend on
Clothes to lend 'em
But as time went by
My life got a little strange
And the rules of the game seem to change
Trust, honesty and devotion
And money, money, money is the poison potion
There's no way that I can even say
That this game has been good to me
Or even bad to me it had to be
Cause tragically the way this shit
Cracked off for Doggy Dogg was magically
And now I'm gettin' everything I'm supposed to get
But my friendship with niggaz always ends up as bulshit
I listen to my momma though
She always tried to prepare me
Byt how could she do what I
I mean I'm do or die
But my life on the streets
That shit is suicide
So to cope I got a dogg and a locc
And keep my heat close in case these jokes go for broke
I'm mashin' with the click 2-1-3 that is
They my homeboys ever since kids-
Real friends to the end

[Chorus (Nate Dogg):]

Hangin' out with my homies and I'm feelin' just fine
I've been ponderin' lately
A lot of different things on my mind
It seems lately my friends list
Done took a slight decline
And if you wanna know the trith man, man
Them wasn't no friends of mine

[Warren G]
You jackin' me up, you takin' my cash
All my life L-B-C, for my city I mash
All those OGs and BGs and wannabies and L-O-Cs
The only friends I got is my 2-1-3s
That's my nigga Snoop D Woop and my nigga N-A-T-E
I can't forget about my nigga H to the Deezy
Pressure and strikes
Don't wann take no lives
But these jaws, cracks and hood cracks
Will make you break bizacks
"Whussup homie, can I borrow some cash?"
Last week I agve you 500, so kiss my ass
I got a baby to feed
A familly to see through
And shake busta snitches tweekin' like you
Homies and friends that's what they for
Stayin' tight and money right
And bustin' with a 44.

it's a beautiful day in my neighborhood

Posting will be non-existent until later tonight.

It's a beautiful day, DJ as a friend over and I'm going to put my camera to use. Later on we are going to a fire department parade and carnival.

Enjoy your Saturday. See you tonight.

Hey, go read some Iranian blogs. Just because July 9 has come and gone does not mean the uprising has stopped.

And thanks to LT Smash and MB for plugging our Blogathon efforts. If you're headed to NY on your vacation, LT, stop over here. My kids would like to thank you for your service to this country.


I finished Trail of the Slug. You can find the last chapter here.

I don't know that I'm happy with it.

Constructive criticism is always welcome.

July 11, 2003

kisses goodnight

I'm done.

I leave you with another shot for the 26things project.

[click for the big fish size]

Maybe I could file this one under love?

(Note, that's not a reflection, that's the kissing fish doing what kissing fish are supposed to do)

nuke the moon, dude

Frank gets a makeover, too.

[Don't be afraid, click it!]

He's ready for his guest shot on Beavis and Butthead now.

Jane, you ignorant slut intelligent canadian

Dear Jane,

What do you have against Star Wars jammies? Should I take them off?

I think Vader looks really good on me.

Also, the answer to your question is NO. Can I be Canadian now?

one of those inside jokes that may or may not seem funny to you

I think only Treacher or Kevin will get this, but it has to do with this thread over at Comicon.

I was playing with the Heavy Metal Makeover machine (thanks, Carol) and realized that you could upload your own pictures.

So, Ronan the anti-semite; known by few, loathed by them all.


Time to see who else I can morph into a heavy metal moron.

short posts for short people: 4

I am a Mortal Human, just one place below the highly regarded Steven Denbeste (the only person who writes longer entries than me).

What will it take to make me a higher being? Bribes? Rewards? Offers of illicit sex?

short posts for short people: 3

The odds of my becoming a Canadian citizen have been greatly diminished by more score on this test. 8 out of 20.

What kind of test about Canada doesn't asks questions about hockey? They should at least make you write an essay on Guy Lafleur!

via the ass slapper

short posts for short people: 2

I did something today I haven't done since the early 80's. I bought a copy of The Village Voice. Why, you ask? Because Noah Shachtman of Defense Tech has the cover story. As a bonus, there was a story on Fantagraphics inside as well. So it was worth the price, even though the Voice pays Ted Rall for his crap which in essence means I paid Ted Rall for his crap. Noah's article makes it worth it, I swear.

Well, woke up this morning with a wine glass in my hand

Alan must be drinking because he's sending me music wavs again. Last time he did this, I crashed my site by trying to post songs that would annoy him. I still think he did it.

Anyhow, he just sent me Peter Frampton's Do You Feel Like I Do? and now I feel really, really old, knowing that I got that album (that's vinyl, you punks) for my 13th birthday. When it came out.

I even wrote about it once: More Summer Stories - 1976

So Alan says that Blogging + Drinking = Blinking.

But I think it should be Drinking + Blogging = Drogging.

Or, Being Drunk + Blogging = Drogging. Blunking?

the usual friday night music stuff, Dr. Frank, an mp3 and wow this drink is strong

[a semi-drunken post that started out as one thing, got to be something else entirely and ended up as an ode to Dr. Frank]

Your CD collection may reveal more about you than you think.

If you really want to get to know someone, try rummaging through their CD collection. An study has proved that when it comes to judging a person's character, their favourite music is one of the most valuable clues....People who favour Madonna's Material Girl, for example, are likely to be cheerful, outgoing and reliable. They will probably consider themselves physically attractive as well. If on the other hand, someone prefers the Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar, they are likely to possess more of an inquiring mind, enjoy taking risks, and consider themselves to be pretty intelligent.

It took a bunch of psychologist from the University of Texas and 3500 people to get the same results that a Quizilla test would probably get you.

So, what would my collection say about me? That I'm schizophrenic, perhaps. Just a glance at my wall of CDs shows Aphex Twin, Brujeria, Tori Amos, Slayer, Propagandhi, KFMDM, Def Leppard, Flock of Seagulls, Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, Bill Nelson, etc. etc. No one specific genre. What I listen to, like many people, depends on my mood.

When you own as many CDs as I do (and I'm betting quite a few of you have just as many if not more), you would think that it would be hard to get tired of your selection. Fact is, I don't listen to more of the CDs than I do listen to. Things from old collections, past embarassments of taste, bands I gave up on - not to mention the zillion or so CDs we got for free when Justin worked in the music business.

Sure, once in a while I'll pull out something old, something that used to turn me on and I forgot all about (case in point, the God Lives Underwater CD I started listening to again), but generally, there's a basic set of CDs that stay in heavy rotation day in and day out, the ones I never get tired of, now matter how many times I slip them in the player.

Faith No More recordings notwithstanding (because you know by now they would all be included, maybe with the exception of Introduce Yourself, which is missing the all important ingredient of Mike Patton, but the Patton-less We Care a Lot would be included for songs like the title entry as well as Why Do You Bother and As the Worm Turns), a few of my choice CDs include discs by Smashing Pumpkins, Fear Factory, Stabbing Westward, Clutch, Danzig, Glassjaw, Incubus, Nick Cave, Radiohead, AFI...oh hell, I'll make the whole list later. That wasn't the point of this.

The point is this: all of my favorite, most playable albums, the ones that will always be on my playlist, have one thing in common: great songwriting. You might be saying, well, DUH! But that is not always the case with good songs. I mean, some Slayer and Anthrax songs have pretty sucky lyrics, but combined with the music, the songs come out pretty damn good. Conversely, of course, there are bands like Lagwagon that have pretty good lyrics, but the music just doesn't grab me. And then there's bands like Propagandhi where I like the music and I think they write pretty good songs, but they're for the most part pretty political and their politics run opposite to mine (though not all their songs have to deal with being a socialist liberal).

Anyhow, tonight I present to you the master of songwriting. You may know him and he may be blushing a bit when he reads this post, but his name is Dr. Frank. He has a great post up today about making music, and it's funny because when I read that post, I had taken out one of my all-time favorite CDs, one of those treasured always-playable discs, the kind that never grates on your nerves, the kind that makes you feel good all over. It was MTX's Revenge Is Sweet And So Are You. (The good Dr.'s band is MTX, if you din't already know from my mentioning that 600 times here).

If you've never heard MTX (which stands for Mr. T Experience) you are missing out, but don't fret because you will get a chance in just a few minutes. Honestly, such a sweet combination of lyrics and wonderful music is very hard to find. This particular CD alone (Revenge is Sweet, that is), is at once so sad and so happy that you don't exactly know what you feel when you hear the songs, all you know is that you do laugh or grin and you realize afterwards that you were actually laughing or grinning at yourself and the angst and tremor with which you pursued love.

If I'm not making much sense, that's because it's Friday and the night's first two drinks are already under the belt. So I'll stop talking/writing now and introduce you to my very favorite MTX song (which I'm pretty sure Dr. Frank won't mind me putting here, because after you hear it you're going to buy all the MTX and Dr. Frank records you can find and order Dr. Frank's Eight Little Songs as well) and that song is:

I Don't Need You Now (MP3)

Please check out the lyrics below. Read them along with the song. Money back guarantee.

[Oh, I bought Ken Layne's CD today and I picked up Dr. Frank's 8 Songs the other day and after reading this entry both of them may forbid me from reviewing their music. Ever.]

Yes, the lyrics:

There was a time when I thought I would die
everytime I thought of you. I'd cry
and think myself into a state
and drink myself to sleep too late.

But what was pulling us and me apart
was only breaking in my broken heart:
now it's controlled again, on hold again,
and more broken in than it's ever been.

So I don't need you now. I can't believe how I ever wondered how
I'd ever make it without you-- thinking about you, but I don't need you now.

There was a time when I thought I should try
to make myself hate you to get by.
It wasn't hard to do, to think of you
and all the things you put me through.
But now I've had some time to contemplate,
and I've discovered other things to hate.
There's still bitterness I can't resist,
but you're moving to the bottom of a pretty long list.

So I don't hate you now, and I don't even want to checkmate you now. I still don't like how much you don't want me to touch you, but I don't hate you now.

And if I'm crying, well what did you expect? I've been trying, but I still don't know how not to be a wreck.

And though I'm still aware you're still out there, still busy breaking someone's heart somewhere, and though to you it's nothing new, for once I've got no explaining to do.

Cause I don't know you now,
and I don't have anything to show you now,
except for all of these apologies
that I don't owe you now

[I once, when I was first divorced, sent the lyrics of this song to my ex-husband. I put these words:

But now I've had some time to contemplate,
and I've discovered other things to hate.
There's still bitterness I can't resist,
but you're moving to the bottom of a pretty long list.

In a very large font]

friday fun: all filler, no killer

Ok, it's Friday and I'm done with the introspective stuff. No news, no politics for the rest of the evening. All filler, no killer.

Let's start off with a challenge. Take some of the quizzes I took and see how your scores stack up against mine (which are undoubtledly horrible in some of the cases).

These are all movie related quizzes and they all come from this site, which I am addicted to.

My score recorded next to quiz title.

Animated movies visual quiz: 20/24

Sandy Claws (visual quiz): 9/12

The F Word (text quiz): 10/16

Movie Limericks (text quiz) 12/12

Of Corpse 2 (visual quiz) 9/12

You take those, I'm off to find more quizzes. If you know any good quiz sites, drop a URL in the comments. I'm up for anything - pop culture tests, what X are you, literary tests, IQ, trivia, what tree would you be if a dog was pissing on you...whatever. It's Friday, anything goes.

answering my own questions: lessons from Septmber, 2001

[warning: lengthy, navel-gazing post inside]

I hit this wall sometimes. I stop and pull up and stare at this black, brick wall called September 11, 2001.

I try not to dwell on that day, as it’s not very good for my mental health. But sometimes events occur that force you to drive into that wall again.

Last night it was two things.

First, it was reading several stories about the upcoming release of the explosive report on what the administration knew prior to September 11.

Then, David Strain emailed and asked to interview me for his Sunday Seven this week. We emailed back and forth a bit and he asked to see my archives for September 11 and the following weeks [they are not listed in the sidebar, but you can see them here and here].

So, with that date and the events of that date in my mind, I did something I haven’t done in almost a year; I read those archives.

The interesting thing about having a blog is that you have a recorded history of nearly every day of your life, right down to the exact emotions you were feeling at the time. It’s a bit different than keeping a daily written diary that you write in before you go to bed at night. Here, the emotions are very clear and very raw when you write about things like 9/11.

I don’t read those archives for the very reason that I shouldn’t have read them last night - they bring it all back, right down to the tears and the ugly feeling in the pit of your stomach. Even more unnerving is reading what I wrote in the beginning of that day, before the planes hit, and what I was doing the day before, when the world was a different place.

On September 10 I was concerned with Meet the Teachers night at Natalie’s school. I had also just switched from handcoding my site to using Blogger and I was giddy with delight.

The morning of September 11, I got to work and was thrilled with the ease at which I could post from work using Blogger, and the discovery of Simpsons cereal.

5:46 a.m. DOH! Simpsons cereals! Ok, I just wanted to use that to point you to a very cool Simpson blog.

8:58 a.m. Blogging from work has just become easier. This is not a good thing. And note to self: Wu-Tang is not appropriate office music.

And then the post after that:

I was just told that a plane has crashed into the World Trade Center. Must find television.

And then the next post, when the world went to hell:

9:11 a.m. There were two planes. Within 18 minutes of each other. Don't think this is an accident. Jesus fucking Christ.

The rest is recorded history for me. Every new bit of news (including some exaggerations or outright false information), every moment waiting for news of people that I knew were there, every fear and tear and nervous moment waiting for something else to happen.

12:20 p.m. This is really eerie. The silence outside. Living so close to Kennedy Airport, the sound of planes getting ready to land is a constant drone throughout the day. And now the skies are empty except for the thin veil of smoke drifting slowly this way. I am in the twilight zone.

8:09 p.m. About a half hour ago, they found the body of my dad's friend, Pete. I've known Pete for as long as I can remember. He owned a restaurant in East Meadow. He was a very nice man who always had a wide smile on his face. He was a great fireman, dedicated to his profession.
The only other time I've seen my dad cry was at my grandfather's funeral.

The next day, I wrote this:

I went outside to get some air and ended up talking to neighbors for a while. There is a feeling outside, a palpable fear that you can almost taste. Everyone has the same blank look on their faces. Everyone keeps shaking their heads in disbelief. And everyone wonders, what's next? Do we go to war? Do we wait for something else to happen? Is it really over? We have, overnight, become a nation brim with paranoia.

And yet, life goes on. People are working, shopping, driving. Pets are being walked and I hear a baby crying and I look at the pile of laundry and know that I must get to it sometime today. We keep walking, keep moving, but we do it differently. We do it with a sense of dread and awe and wonder. We have become part of something bigger than any of us have ever experienced. We have watched the world change in a matter of minutes. We have watched the face of New York undergo major surgery. We have lost friends, husbands, wives, children, neighbors. We are mourning strangers. We are staring in horror at videos of people jumping from buildings, a plane shearing a seemingly unpenetrable structure, a familiar site being obliterated. We see heaps of rubble, a city covered in smoke and ash, the walking wounded and the dead. So many dead.

Where do we go from here? How do we live our lives every day, at least for the near future, without looking over our shoulder. What will we think the next time we see a plane overhead? The next time the ground rumbles or the lights go out or a siren calls from somewhere in the night? How much are we changed and is it forever? How much has our psyche changed? When is the next time you will be able to watch a comedy and laugh without feeling the remorse mix with it? When will you next be able to enjoy a baseball game, a video
game, a movie, a concert, a day in the park? When will our minds heal? When will our hearts heal? Will they ever?

I still haven’t answered some of those questions, and some have taken almost two years to answer. How much are we changed and is it forever? How much of our psyche has changed?

I’ve changed, I know that. That day changed the way I think, the way I perceive things, my politics in general. I moved on a path that I did not even know I was on until the following fall. It took exactly one year for me to see that road and embrace it, one year for me to let myself move forward, and over.

Yes, we have changed forever. You can’t honestly believe that we haven’t. The events of that day, the events that for a few weeks after brought so many of us together, divided us after a while. We gathered on sides and fought with each other instead of for each other. We are still there, at that chasm, and it’s not going to change.

9/11 changed so many things. It changed the climate of America. It changed national security, it changed the playing field of politics, it changed who we are as a Nation and for some of us, who we are as people.

If one good thing can be said of all this, it’s that I have found a place where I am comfortable. 9/11 made me thing, made me analyze and forced me to confront some of my own personal views and how uncomfortable I was with them. It forced me to be honest with myself and accept that the world I wanted to live in would never, ever exist.

I sat outside for a while last night, on a summer’s night that felt like fall, and watched the planes fly overhead for a while. I sat in silence and thought about all that has transpired since that day and I wondered what the world would be like if the events that happened that day were prevented.

We would never know. We would never be aware of how evil, how depraved our enemies really are. If it wasn’t that day, those planes, it would have been another day with a different method. We are smarter and wiser, I think.
Several days after 9/11 I wrote this:

Times like these tend to bring people together. I am not a flag-waving patriotic kind of person. If you are a regular reader here, you know I have my problems with this country, with our leader. Yes, I know I am lucky to live in a free country. But living in a free country also provides me with the freedom to criticize it. I have railed against George W. Bush here many times, almost on a daily basis. But now I have to place my trust in him, and the people he chose to surround himself with during his term. I have to put aside whatever came before this and trust him to do the right thing. And I have no idea what that right thing is. I can't imagine being the people in the unenviable position of having to choose what that is. We have to trust. We have to have faith in our leaders. We cannot become divisive. We cannot take our anger out on the wrong people.

Maybe that’s the day something clicked inside of me, but it just took a year for me to pay attention to it.

The anniversary of that day came and it was a flashpoint for me. I took me a full year to mourn, a full year to give rise to the emotions that I kept bottled up. It took this and the 99 comments here and this epiphany to wake me up to the road I had been walking on the whole year before.

I’m glad I read those archives last night. It’s not like I ever forget 9/11, but it’s good to go back and remember why I am where I am today, and, more importantly, who I am.

September 12, 2002:

Is it weird that I feel some closure now? I think the spirits of September 11 stayed with me so long because while I was reliving the events of that day, I was also dreading the anniversary of it.

I watched a lot of tv yesterday, I read a lot of weblogs, I cried a whole bunch. And when I woke up today, I found a lot of the despair and anguish I had been feeling lately had left me. Perhaps it was reading all of the stories, perhaps it was just getting another September 11 out of the way. I'd like to say I'm looking towards the future now instead of the past, but I do believe our future includes some bombs over Bagdhad and then, a war. We do what we must to ensure that another day like September 11, 2001 never happens again.
I feel lighter today, I feel less distressed. I still feel angry, but that's just me. I think I live with a subtle anger always brewing inside of me. And that's ok; it's what keeps me thinking, writing, questioning and debating.

Thanks for reading all the way through. This post was a bit self indulgent, but then again, so is a weblog in general, no?

rumors of my demise, etc.

Geez, go a morning without posting and everyone thinks your're lying in a gutter somewhere, drunk and babbling incoherently.

I'm writing something long and depressing. Maybe just morose, not depressing. Or maybe just thoughtful.

I'm not dead and I'm not drunk. Yet. It is Friday however.

So stop sending me emails asking if I need bail money. I'll be right with you.

July 10, 2003

swf, likes long romantic walks on death row, rainbows and child homicide

Hey fellas, looking for that special someone? Take a look at this ad:


So if you are a non-judgmental kind of guy (maybe you've murdered a few people yourself) and you just love rainbows and Mickey Mouse (and what self-respecting man doesn't?) and you enjoy church (hopefully you go to a church that forgives heinous acts of human depravity) then this is your girl. Go get her.

She's sitting in her cozy little jail cell right now, all fixed up with a nice hairdo and a new sweatsuit, typing away on her computer with internet access, and spending her time reading, writing, doing puzzles and thinking about waterfalls and daisies.

Who knew that strapping your young children into their car seats and driving them to their deaths into a lake could be so rewarding?

Don't worry guys, if she's your type but it doesn't work out, there's always this woman.

see my cosmos!

I'm not much for implementing new blogging toys, just because I usually mess up the code when doing so. But this one is so easy to put in and I really like being able to see my Technorati Cosmos.

Thanks, Kevin!

Beat on the Brat(wurst) with a baseball bat


By now I'm sure you've all heard about the Pirates Randall Simon whacking the sausage in front of everyone in Milwaulkee.

Hey, David Cone was once accused of beating his own sausage in the Mets bullpen, so this isn't really so bad in comparison.

I'm going out for a little while, so I thought I would leave you with a contest of sorts. The media has been going batty with headlines for this incident, but I don't think they've taken it quite as far it can go. So, your job is to come up with either 1) a headline, 2) a caption for above picture 3) a fake quote relating to the incident or 4) if you are Photoshop inclined, a re-working of this picture or any other photo you can find on this subject in the news.

ESPN is blaming PETA, by the way.

Have fun and don't disappoint me. I know you are just dying to sink your teeth into this juicy story.

To concerned emailers: Part 3 (the final part) of this story will be published this evening

celebrate your idiocy

Complete Idiot
You are a Complete Idiot. No matter what you do,
you just can't be anything but an idiot. Your
celebrity icon is Carrot Top.

What Kind Of Idiot Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I really resent the Carrot Top reference.

Yes, I'm the one you curse at on the road, and I'm maybe I've taken seven items into the six or less lane.

Let's face it. Bloggers spend a good portion of their time bitching and moaning about things; politics, religion, music, food, clothing, whatever rocks our boats. We complain mainly in the hopes that we can change whatever is irking us at the moment.

Rarely do we complain about ourselves. We should all take the time to celebrate our own idiocy, like Buzz did when he admitted to being an asshole on the road. Go ahead, stand up and say your name and tell us what you did wrong today.

You cut someone off, or you took two papers out of the newspaper box or you took your frustration out on your co-workers.

Or, like me, you used that banned word, idiot. I think we should all step back and take a moment to bitch about ourselves before someone beats us to it. Maybe that person's blog post is about you, after all. Wouldn't it feel good to own up to the fact that you're not perfect, but you can be a perfect asshole?

I'm driving with an expired registration.

Perhaps that does make me a Complete Idiot.

But I still hate Carrot Top.

and still, the silence

Chris Muir's Day by Day:

[click for larger version]

I have to wonder why freedom only good for some - like Tibet - but not for others. I bet if Bush was opposed to democracy in Iran, the moonbats would be all over this, claiming the student protesters as their own.

the shrinking language

Once upon a time there was a woman womyn. She was a short, plump perfectly average looking womyn who lived in a small farm town a big city the mountains a town in America. She had a daughter named Molly who liked to play with dolls play Career Choice Barbie and a son named Michael, a strong, athletic an emotionally open boy.

And so would begin a benign little story about a family if the people who control our textbooks had their way.

I’ve finished reading The Language Police. I don’t think a book has ever left me feeling so horrified. By trying to make our children pleasant little creatures living in a homogenized world, far left liberals are, in effect, dumbing our youth down and stripping away the English Language.

Steven Denbeste wrote a bit about this sort of thing yesterday and I emailed him with my thoughts on The Language Police (mistakenly thinking that I would be on blog vacation for the rest of the week and wouldn’t be writing about it).

It's a tenet of some leftists that "free speech is censorship." For instance, criticism is censorship. Permitting all viewpoints equal time is censorship. And it's actually a principle espoused by some on the left that active censorship is a good thing in order to prevent censorship. (Yup! This was originally proposed by Herbert Marcuse in a book titled Repressive Toleration.)

Steven then says at the end of his post:

Orwell wrote his dystopian book [1984] as a warning. America's leftists are using it as a training manual.

It's interesting to note that the quote that opens the second chapter of TLP is this:

Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year? -- George Orwell, 1984

The irony here is that it's normally the mantra of the left to complain that America has become an Orwellian society, and here they are making Orwell's words so very prescient.

Yes, our language is getting smaller, and we have the left to thank for that. Every year new lists crop up from the boiler rooms of liberal universities, where language cops hunker down and go through textbooks and pamphlets and tests, making sure that there is not a single word on any piece of paper that would make anyone feel slighted, confused, left out, insulted or put upon. And every year the list grows longer and our language - whether in our school systems or in the media - grows smaller.

In the back of TLP, there is a glossary of banned words, usages, stereotypes and topics. The reviewing committees that control what goes into our schools have deemed over 25 pages worth of words and phrases to be stricken from our vocabulary, "collated from various bias guidelines that editors, writers and illustrators use when preparing textbooks and tests." Lest you think this list is used just for schools, try reading through some newspapers and magazines to see how the shrinking of our language has crept into other facets of our lives as well.

Let's peruse the glossary, shall we? I'm just going to throw out a bunch of lists and phrases. With some of them, it will be apparent why they are banned. With others, it won't be so obvious. In fact, it will be beyond all reason.

Adam and Eve (replace with the phrase Eve and Adam to demonstrate that males do not take priority over females.) Backward country,Barbarian, Birth defect, Black (banned as adjective meaning evil), Bookworm, Coed, Courageous (banned as patronizing when referring to a person with disabilities), Crotchety, Dark Continent, Devil, Dissenter, Elderly, Fellowship (Friendship of the Ring, anyone?), Hell, Huts, Jungle, Man-made, Overcoming a disability, Sissy, Soda (regional bias), Snowman, Stickball (regional bias).

Do not compare humans to animals (e.g., swift as a deer)

Avoid stereotyped images and illustrations, such as females wearing aprons, mother vaccuming, women finding acheivement in motherhood, women as teachers, women in jobs with less power than men, men as capable leaders, men playing sports, men as lawyers, boys playing sports, mother comforting children, boys as curious, people of color as athletic, people of color sharing a common heritage such as dance or music, older people with gray hair, older people who are retired.

Avoid topics such as anthropomorphism in non-fiction, bodily functions, brand names, conflict with authority, crime, drugs, controversial people such as Malcom X, guns, fighting, winter holidays, bacon, butter, cake, coffee, pretzels, tea, whipped cream, blizzards, aspirin, cancer, natural catastrophes, fossils, divorce, Christmas, junk bonds, pregnancy, masks, magic, typhoons, sports, rats, mice, rap music.

And that was just a tiny sampling.

So what have we left? What possible story could you put on a test for reading comprehension that would avoid all of the above? What could you talk about in history or science textbooks?

When the language police get their way, we lose our history and language. We lose, as a whole, part of our culture. We revise history and make our world bland and one dimensional.

The left is supposed to be all about tolerance and accepting each other as humanhumyn beings, yet by stripping away everything that makes us unique, we are doing just the opposite. The only way our children learn to accept people who are different from them - whether it be a religious, cultural or physical difference - is to learn about them. Now, thanks to liberals who think they know what's best for everyone, that won't happen. Because in their world, everyone is the same height and weight and lives in the same region in identical houses. There is no rich or poor, no fat or skinny, no black and white, no mountains or oceans. There's just a flat existence where descriptive words and phrases are silenced.

Orwellian, indeed. Welcome to our version of Newspeak.

[addendum: I know that the Religious Right is responsible for a good portion of banning words and whole books as well, and that will be a whole different essay when Banned Books Week approaches]

get your damn dirty swoosh off of my sneakers!

We went shopping for sneakers last weekend. I wanted a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star hi-tops. In yellow. They had every color but. They even had black leather Chucks.

My fascinations with Chucks go back to my youth, when they were all the rage and everyone had a pair, in black, and the kids who wore the knockoffs were made fun of to the point of tears. I mean, the whole point of wearing the All-Stars was the cool Converse circle on them.

Nike is in the process of buying Converse. This breaks my heart. I don't want my Chuck Taylors with the flames to have a Nike swoosh across them.

Now I have to take a boatload of money out of the bank and go buy up all the Chucks I need to have before they are emblazoned with that evil Nike logo.

July 09, 2003

more on iran

[There are more posts and links here and here]

I mentioned that I was discouraged with the lack of media coverage regarding what is going on in Iran. Jeff Jarvis writes:

News judgment : The blogosphere's news judgment is evident on Blogdex and it's not the news judgment you'll see on major news sites. On Blogdex right now, the top two stories are about Iran. Elsewhere (on the BBC or on Google News, for example), you won't find Iran on the front page. Blogdex reflects the news judgment of the audience. It reflects the news the audience cares about. The two should not disagree. But they do.

Ain't that the truth.

Four of the top five stories at Memeufacture (on Politics -Right) are about Iran. Notice not one of the top five stories on Politics - Left has to do with Iran.

Brooke was at the Democracy for Iran demonstration in NYC today - she's got words and pictures.

Go read all the links here.

special post for anwar the trollish commenter

You know, Stacy was right. The whole post I made for Anwar was a waste of my bandwidth.

Instead, I offer this to you, dear Anwar.

Thanks, Toren.

im addic...im addicted to this

For those who took bets that I wouldn't last until Friday, you win.

Here's the thing about making the effort to spend more quality time with your kids: They don't want to. That, and their version of quality time is much different than yours.

Natalie, being a 13 year old, doesn't want to acknowledge me let alone do something with me. Unless that something is taking her shopping for ugly goth-looking handbags.

DJ's idea of a good time is playing Yankees Monopoly for five hours straight and gloating when he gets to buy Thurman Munson before I can. He wants to go shopping as well, for shirts with ugly looking punk bands on them.

We've had someone sleep here every night this week. I've had my fill of playing "Guess the American Idol" song with 13 year old girls.

Besides, I have too much to bitch about to not write. Justin is getting tired of my verbal tirades.

But hey, I wrote I wrote two of three parts of a short story this week, which you can read (and comment constructively on) here.

So I'm back at the keyboard again. Someone get me a beer.

for want of democracy

Yes, I'm supposed to be on hiatus, but I'm so discouraged and outraged at what is going on in Iran that I couldn't help but post.

As mentioned below, the students had called off their organized protests for today, fearing a violent backlash from the mullahs.

However, that has not stopped the mullahs from cracking down on dissidents:

Three leading Iranian student activists have been detained in Tehran, minutes after canceling protests called to mark the anniversary of student unrest in the capital four years ago. Other members of the pro-reform student umbrella group Office to Consolidate Unity say the three activists were taken away by plainclothes men.

Reuters news agency quotes witnesses as saying about 15 people armed with handguns pushed aside uniformed police and forced the three activists into waiting cars. The report says other activists barricaded themselves in OCU offices and refused to come out until reformists lawmakers arrived to guarantee their safety.

Moments before being detained, the three activists said they were canceling a campus protest and demonstrations in front of the United Nations offices in the capital. They said they feared a backlash from government security forces.

If I hear anyone bitch about how this country (America) squashes dissent and crushes the spirit of rebellion and how our liberties and rights are being diminished, I will point them towards this day in Iranian history, so they can see what "the squashing of dissent" really means.

I do hope when we hear news of those arrested today, they have not been killed for their desire for democracy. I'm not holding my breath.

[This is also being covered on Command Post]

Why is there such a lack of coverage in the media on this story? Why aren't lefty sites such as Indymedia - aren't they the people who usually scream about human rights and freedoms? - covering this at all. The silence from mainstream media as well is very strange.

July 9 - Support democracy in Iran

[I'll be adding to this page all day, so keep checking back for news/updates and links]

Blogger report from the NYC Rally for Freedom for Iran.

Sky News is reporting on street fights in Tehran:

Police have faught running battles in Iran's capital between hardline Islamic vigilantes and pro-democracy youths.
The three-sided running street fights took place near the capital's Tehran University.
A witness said police had fired tear gas at groups of youths near the campus and also fought fist fights with plainclothes Islamic militiamen to prevent them from engaging in further running battles.

From Tehran Online: Two loud explosions were heard afew minutes ago in Amir abbad near the Tehran university Campus.

Carnival of the Liberties

Michael Totten: An Open Letter to the People of Iran

Students stage hunger strikes

Iranian students cancel protests in fear of a "Tiananmen-like massacre.":

"We received information that the other side wanted to heavily confront it and we didn't want to harm the movement and pay this heavy price."

[Today] is July 9...the day that Iranians will show what they really want, & will prove that they're not a kind of people who leave alone the students & the young guys who are spending they life in prisons, just because they wanted freedom for all Iranians. I really hope that they do it well & I myself will try my best to do whatever I can as a young girl, we must also encourage each other; that's very important… --Iranian Girl

irand.gifDeath to Theocracy
Independence Day in Iran
Iran Press Service
Blogging for Revolution
Judgment Day
The Iranian
Buzz Machine
Cox and Forkum
Blog for Democracy
Site Essential
Meet Iran's Future Leaders
Chris Muir's Day by Day
Winds of Change
Blogs of War

Attention Mullahs

This is the day Iranian dissidents, following nearly two weeks in June of embattled pro-democracy protests in every major Iranian city, have called for a general strike.

July 08, 2003

i'll be back

That's Brendon Small from Home Movies on top of the tv (adultswim.com) and my beloved Lenore inside the tv (spookyland.com). Images used without express written consent.   I'll be back soon.

You can still find me at Command Post and Four Color Hell. I've also posted the first of three parts of my short story at Retrovertigo.

This doesn't mean you can't sponsor me for the Blogathon. I'll be back before then. (Info in sidebar, where there are also a lot of other good weblogs you could be reading).

July 07, 2003

I'm sorry, I need to see your ID first

See, I'm not as bad as you all think I am.

What rating is your journal?

brought to you by Quizilla

I wonder what I need to bring it up to an R rating?

via Ian, via Kelley

Tales from the courthouse: the blame game

I love a person who owns up to their actions. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find one lately.

The pre-sentencing memorandum argues that at the time of [the DWI incident in which the defendant killed a pedestrian and fled the scene], the defendant was victimized by (1) his then-girlfriend, who dissuaded him from turning himself in, thus leaving him to be arrested only after a two-week search by detectives resulted in his apprehension; and (2) his then-attorney, who refused to allow him to apologize for the incident.

And the moral of this story is, people who don't learn to take responsibility for their own actions often end up in prison.

Well no, not really. But he should form some kind of social club with the parents who are suing McDonalds. They can compare sleazy attorney notes.

monday memo

First, let me remind you once again about the Blogathon. As you most likely know already, Meryl, Laurence and I are pooling our donations together in the hopes that we will raise $60,000 to buy and ambulance for Magen David Adom.

Meryl has put up a fine Guide to Donating, which tells you how to donate directly to MDA, bypassing the Blogathon sign-up, but still letting the MDA know that your donation is to be earmarked for the Blogathon tally.

The only thing I will add to Meryl's directions (which I copied and pasted below with my information) is that you email me and let me know if donated directly to MDA so I can add you to the list of supporters.

The why, when, how and all other pertinent information can be found at the top of the right hand sidebar. Over there. No, that right. You got it.

Ok, the next thing I wanted to remind you of is that the Command Post is now covering the 2004 Election. So go there for all your election-related news.

July 9 - that's Wednesday - I will be showing my solidarity with the movement for Democracy in Iran. You can find out more by going here. here, here or read Jeff Jarvis, Pejman or Hoder every day.

In relation to the post before this one, Carla emailed to say that I should write about the jobs I did have at one time, so I think I'll do that if I can remember all of them.

And that's today's memos unless you have something you want to add.

Pledging explained

If you want to follow the Blogathon way of donating, simply click on my Blogathon pledge page and follow the instructions. This will tally your pledge via their database, but you're not donating any money yet—just pledging. I will receive an email with your name and the pledge amount (you can choose anonymous if you don't want me to know who you are), but still, no money is changing hands here.

On the day after the Blogathon, an email will be sent to you with the amount you pledged, and instructions to donate to Magen David Adom that I supply to Cat. Still no money changing hands. It is then up to you to fulfill your pledge and send in the money.

Now. If you want to ignore Blogathon procedure—and I (we) have no problem with that—then you can click right here to the link on the Magen David Adom contribution page, and ignore the email at the end of the month. The director I spoke with suggested that I send you to the page where you can choose your method of donation. But no matter which way you donate, it is crucial that you let them know you are part of the Blogathon. If you use a credit card to donate online, you must put "Blogathon" in the comments field of the form. The comments field shows up when you click on the "checkout" portion of their form. It may seem a little confusing at first, as it's a shopping cart program. Here's a quick how-to:

Click on "Secure Online Donations"
Enter the amount
Click on "Submit donation"
If the amount is correct, click on "Continue shopping"
Click on "Checkout"
Fill in the required fields. (Note: Magen David Adom does not keep your credit card information. They dump it from their database after a short amount of time. That's why they're using a shopping cart program.)
Uncheck the box putting you on the MDA mailing list unless you want to be on it. If you're curious about their privacy policy, here it is.
Click on "Continue"
If your amount is correct, click on "Order now"
Enter your credit card information and click on the bar that says "Click once to process secure credit card."
When you click on the "finish" button, you'll get a thank you page that shows the fields you typed. "Blogathon" comes up at the bottom.

Notes: If you put in a bogus email address, you won't get your receipt emailed to you. And if you forgot to PUT "BLOGATHON" IN THE COMMENT FIELD, I shall never forgive you. No trees were slaughtered to bring you these instructions.

If this is too confusing, you can mail or fax this contribution form to MDA. I don't think they'll be able to track checks as easily as they can pull a field out of their database, but write "Blogathon" in the memo field of your check, and put "Blogathon" somewhere on that form (there is no place for it that I can see). You can also call them and charge over the phone, but again, somehow, you have to mention the Blogathon and get them to note that in your donation.

The why of "Blogathon" in the comment field: It's a simple matter to write a SQL command that will cull all records with the word "blogathon" in the field named "comment" and total up the donations. We want to raise $60,000 so we can donate an entire ambulance to Magen David Adom. If you forget "Blogathon," although MDA gets the money, it won't be tallied with our donations and earmarked for an ambulance

So you wanna be a.....

Statia writes about a guy who makes his living diving for golf balls (she saw it on this show). He sells them after giving a percentage back to the golf course, and Statia seems to think that this guy makes about 200k a year doing this; he does retrieve over a million balls a year.

Obviously, this guy didn't have to pass an interview to get this job. He didn't need a high school/college/trade school diploma. He doesn't have to join a union, attend meetings and rallies, undergo a performance evaluation or clock in and out. He just throws on his flippers and goes ball-diving.

Imagine if you could have any job if you want. If you could just get out of bed one day and be greeted by the career fairy who will grant you one job-related wish. She waves her wand, utters a few incantations and poof! You now have your dream job.

I always wanted to be one of those people who comes up with new ice cream flavors for Baskin Robbins or Ben and Jerry's. I want to sit around a table that's loaded down with toppings and confections and fruit and shout Eureka! Chocolate Bubble Gum Cashew is our next big hit! We'll call it.....BrownBubbleNuts!

zamboni.jpgI wanted to be a million outrageous things. A Zamboni driver. A professional video game tester. The person who sits down in a celebrity's seat at the Oscars when someone like Tom Cruise has to take a leak.

One time I had this idea that I would make fake travel albums for people who hate to travel, like me. Say you have a fear of planes, trains or automobiles, or you just hate leaving your house. You just tell me where you would go if you weren't so agraphobic and I would make a scrapbook as if you had been there, with all the relevant brochure material that one would acquire upon such a trip. It seemed like a good idea at the time (I was twelve) but my mother decided I would be better off spending my time doing fractions and decimals and get your head out of your ass, Michele, and into reality.

For a time I thought I could be the GM of a hockey team (after all, I wouldn't have made those stupid trades) or the manager of the Yankees (I would know better than to leave a pitcher in that long) or even the person who sits in that little booth at the end of the ice and turns on the red light and the sirens and whistles when a team scores.

It would be very cool to be a magician, I suppose, but I lack the magic skills to pull that off and I don't look very good in a cape. It would be even twice as cool to be a Fun and Games Director for a cruise line, but that fear of water I have could be a detriment. It would be even three times as cool to be syndicated columnist, where I could write whatever I want, make it as long or short as I want, on any topic I feel like taking on. But, alas, I do that for free every day.

Of course, the one dream job I always wanted was the one you probably wanted as well. Rock Star.

Is there anything so glamorous, so thrilling and so self-indulgent as being an icon adored by people the world over? Groupies knocking at your hotel room door, flowers thrown at your feet, underwear strewn about the stage, the pulsing rythmn of your band ringing in your ears, the scream from the crowd as they chant your name over and over, the kids rushing the stage, holding out the latest Spin magazine with you on the cover and reporters asking if you are really dating that superstar and....

Oh, sorry. Got a bit carried away there.

Anyhow, I'll stick to my day job, which really isn't such a bad one, but I'll go on trying to invent new ice cream flavors just for the hell of it.

Vodka Tonic Sherbert, anyone?

July 06, 2003

ghost bloggers in the sky

I was going to apologize for the light posting this weekend, but judging from my traffic and the rate that other blogs have been updated, it's like a ghost town around here anyhow. I think I can hear the wind blowing through all the empty templates and there's tumbleweed bouncing around my blogroll.

I've been hanging with the kids, enjoying the sun (but not the heat), reading Director's Cut (as well as A Wrinkle in Time and The Language Police) and I've been up late transferring some of my old pen-and-paper writing onto the computer so I can enter the fiction part of this contest (annoying Flash content warning). I'm thinking of putting a few of my short stories over at Retrovertigo and using you guys as a sounding board. Perhaps I'll post three stories and ask you to vote on which one I should enter.

No, I cannot make decisions on my own, thank you.

Normal blogging resumes at nightfall. After we chase a few lightning bugs.

know your enemies

Call this one what you will. Our Friends the Saudis. Religion of Peace. It's all the same, anyhow.

I found this Flash video over at LGF. I've put it my own server because Charles may take it down today. I can't say I blame him, as it's making me feel quite creepy to have it stored here. However, I think it's important that people view this vile piece of hatred, so you know what we are up against. Don't fool yourself into thinking that these jihad-lovers are the minority in Saudi. They aren't.

Speaking of our friends, have you seen this?

A SAUDI Arabian with close connections to Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the desert kingdom’s defence minister, was among five people who were arrested in Malawi on suspicion of channelling money to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Now, our "friends" have produced this video that calls for death to those who are not like them. The reverent wailing, the almost celebratory cries for murder, with photos of the burning World Trade Center as a backdrop is just one of the lowlights of this disgusting creation of the Religion of Peace(tm).

Wake up, America. These people are not our friends. They want you one of two ways; radical Muslim or dead. They will kill themselves to see their plans in action. They will martyr their children and put guns in the hands of babies and use old women as human shields all in the name of their peaceful religion. Convert or die, is their mantra.

Charles says this about the video:

The number one Flash animation on the Radical Islam Hit Parade these days is this vile piece of work based on a sermon given by a sobbing, shrieking Sheikh in—where else—Saudi Arabia, with subtitles in English:

Look at this. Watch it carefully. We need to be fully aware of the way their minds work. Know your enemies.

I don't know how long I will leave this here for. If you want to blog about and I've already taken it down, you can save it to your own hard drive by right clicking the link and choosing the save as option.

July 05, 2003

stupidity + explosives = darwin award

And we have our first two Explosives for Dummies award winners.

efd1.gif24 year old Willie Golden III apparantly had trouble lighting a canister filled with fireworks at a party late Friday night, as he looked in the canister, the fireworks went off, Golden was pronounced dead at the scene.

48 year old Larry Nagle of Amity lost part of his arm as he was attempting to kill a groundhog with a stick of dynamite. Police say Nagle lost his thumb and two fingers when he tried to kill the groundhog with the explosive.

Perhaps Ewin's sign would have come in handy in both cases.

Mr. Golden will be eligible for this year's Darwin Awards. I'm sure, given the circumstances of his injuries, that Mr. Nagle will join him eventually.

I am quite pleased at the slim pickings for Explosives for Dummies award winners this year. There may be hope yet.

rage against the machines: short review of T3 with spoilers

We sat through eight commercials and eight previews before T3 even started. The previews, I don't mind; sometimes they are better than the movie. But commercials? Since when did movie theaters resemble basic television?

I thought I would get to see the Punisher preview, but no. I got to see instead Viggo whatshisname riding a horse and Angelina Jolie riding, err...raiding, tombs. One bright spot was the preview for Bad Boys 2, only because Henry Rollins was in the clip they showed. He's looking not so bad these days.

So, T3. It's just like you pictured it would be, really. Lots of booms and bangs and crashes and cool special effects and Arnold's attempts at wry humor. The story was almost predictable, the acting was just good enough to not be bad and the chick playing the evil machine person was so robotic, it became unnerving at one point. She certainly has a future ahead of her playing sexy droids.

Basically, I did not mind spending the money for two hours of escapism in an air-conditioned theater on a very hot and humid Saturday afternoon. Which means I enjoyed the movie.

Oh, and unlike some critics, I found no metaphorical allusions to George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld or America as Evil Empire.


I though it took balls to have that kind of ending. In most movies like this, judgment day is always averted by the heroes, who are usually shown in the last scene sweat but smiling, as the world goes on behind them.

One of the things we discussed afterwards was the possible scenario in which John Connor himself or Arnold would go back in time and just prevent SkyNet from ever being made. Of course, there wouldn't be a movie, then.

Ok, then they could come back and prevent Clare Danes' father from pressing the button to make the system kick into drive, but that wouldn't work because SkyNet had become so self-aware that it would just turn itself on.

We did see the door open for a T4, where we would finally get to see the future world in which John Connor is saving humanity.

saturday stuff

I'll be out of the house most of the day, doing business related things (Justin's business, that is) and seeing T3. I'll have my camera with me so I can particpate in this and when the pictures are ready to be presented I will use this new tool to do so.

I'm keeping a watch on the comments over here and when I get back I'll apologize to Bryan for my snippiness over here and then I will start posting some news over here, at the new Command Post page dedicated to Election 2004.

Meanwhile, if you have read about any dumbasses blowing off body parts with fireworks, drop a link in the comments so I can make fun of them.

A small preview of my 26things pictures: I think I might use this one for water. Or maybe this one.

Oh, have you sponsored anyone for Blogathon yet? Why not me, then? You can find all the pertinent information up top in my sidebar.

July 04, 2003

hope yours was safe and fun

[click for big bang size]

You would never know that possessing fireworks is illegal. The sky above my block was painted with gorgeous colors all night. They're still at it, in fact, but I've had my fill.

The first picture was taken with the time exposure multi format on my camera that I had never used before. Pretty neat feature.

The second is just a glimpse of the professional-type displays that entertained us most of the night.

Now, I must turn on the air conditioner full blast so I don't have to listen to the kiddies down the block lighting off mats of firecrackers in recycling bins while I try to sleep.

baseball, hot dogs and beer: Happy Fourth of July

[With apologies to my non-USA readers for the very America-centric posting today]


[Author of quote has been corrected. Thank you.]

Freedom. It's what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

[Please look for interesting links below and vistit all the links in the comments. Note to self-linkers: Links in comments should be working now]

Celebrate your freedoms today. Enjoy your daily newspaper, knowing that even if the editorials make you angry, at least you live in a country where people have complete freedom of the press.

Stop at your place of worship, if you have one. Celebrate the fact that you live in a country where are you are free to practice - or not practice - the religion of your choosing.

Write a letter to your local government complaining about something? Why? Because you have the freedom to do that without fear of being killed for doing so.

Wear your Speedo in public. Turn your radio up. Eat some red meat. Drive your SUV. Go to the shooting range. Smoke in your own backyard. Participate in some consensual, adult sodomy. Pursue life, liberty and happiness.

Celebrate the past. The Fourth of July - 20 years ago - when Dave Righetti pitched his brilliant no-hitter agains the Red Sox. The Fourth of July when the Mets and Braves played 19 innings and six hours. The Fourth of July when some idiot threw a bottle rocket into my car and nearly killed me.

Celebrate my grandfather's birthday, who would have been 90something today. Send George Steinbrenner a birthday email. Don't forget to ask him why he traded Jay Buhner.

Raise a tall, cold one to American Beer Month.

Watch 1776. Read the Declaration of Independence. Listen to the soundtrack of Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Bill Whittle. Need I say more?

Take pictures of fireworks.
Learn why America is not an empire.
Recite my Ode to a Hot Dog
Tell everyone what's to like about America, especially your home state.
Take an American Revolution quiz.
Support the troops.
Most of all, practice fireworks safety.
Andy and Tom get drunk and make up a song called Patriot Act Woo
Liberty (sent by reader Debbie)
Download Dr. Frank's Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy.
Give some thought to your rights.

If you've written something about this holiday, drop a link in the comments.

July 03, 2003

today is the greatest

We just got the hook up. We're watching the Anime Network.

It's the little things that make me happy.

Thank you, Cablevision and IO. Your prices may be a bit like a king's ransom, but at least you keep me forever entertained.

dissenting opinions: a thought on september 11 and people who want me to get over it

I came across this site today: September 11 Photoblog: Photograph your Life

The man behind this project writes:

I've been thinking about September 11th. I've been thinking about the United States response - The Patriot Act. Invading Afganastan & Iraq. Death. Fear. Oppression.

It seems to me that this is NOT the America I want the world to know. So I propose a blogwide Photoblog your Life day on September 11th. Take your camera with you. Take pictures. Show the world your life. Show the world your daily delights. Show the world that we choose life, happiness and freedom.

On September 11th, I'll be carrying my camera with me. I'll snap pictures of my day - the good, the bad, the mundane. And I'm gonna post them here for the world to see. Let's make September 11th a day of affirmation and life.

I first saw this in the afternoon (linked here) and I've been contemplating - and discussing with Faith - exactly what it is that bothers me so much about this project.

I suppose the first thing that irritated me was, well, the first sentence. I'm not sure what the author thinks the response should have been. Death and fear? The most death and fear I've seen was right there and then, in New York, on September 11, 2001. The fear came not from the White House, but from the image of two planes gliding into the World Trade Center.

Oppression? The country that has played host to thousands of anti-war and anti-Bush protests is oppressing people? You don't know oppression, buddy. Try Iran.

And it's not only that the author takes such a hard line against Bush's reaction to 9/11, it's that he's using his anti-Bush sentiments and 9/11 together to, what? Why, to show the world that we choose life, happiness and freedom. Most of us do this almost every day. And some of us mourn on the days we don't. Be it the anniversary of your great grandmother's death, or a year to the day since your beloved dog died, we all take those days and mourn and remember in the way that is most comfortable to us.

September 11 is more than a personal tragedy. It's a day that will forever be a reminder of the worst thing that has happened to America. Why choose this date for a project like this? You can affirm life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness every day if you choose to do so.

Back up a little to the original post I saw the project linked at and I think I can figure out what really got my blood pressure up about this. In the comments:

I'm so sick of hearing about September 11. Yes, it was horrible, but our lives are going on. I think that photoblog is going to be a good way to show that. Very positive. :)

:: Crankydragon :: July 3, 2003 09:25 AM ::

Sick of hearing about it? As if it were an annoying fad or bad pop culture moment that can just be waved off? Never get sick of hearing about. Never. Because we can never afford to forget.

The project author then chimed in the same comments:

I tried to think of how the US must look to the rest of the world. And I wanted to do something about it. To show that we are people - the same as them.

So I'm **NOT** trying to disrespect those who lost. I just trying - in my simple way - to show others that the outcome of the Sept 11th tragedy DOES NOT have to be more death & hate. That somewhere in that horrific day could be the seed of a little understanding. And maybe a way to leave the world a bit better then we left it.

I don't understand how everyone taking pictures of their mundane lives is going to sow the seeds of understanding. And you know what? For the most part, we are not like them. Not by a long shot. We are not like the people of Iran who can't speak ill of their leaders. We are not like the people of Liberia. We are not like socialists or communists or the people who live in fear of the very people who are supposed to protect them. We are not like them at all, because we have freedom. We can dissent without fear, regardless of what you may believe.

The outcome of 9/11 was not death and hate. The cause of 9/11 was hate. Hatred for the United States and hatred for our freedoms. As someone who was personally effected by the events of that day, I reserve my right to hate those who carried out those cowardly acts. I don't want to understand them. I don't want to understand their followers who danced with joy at the death of thousands of Americans. I don't want to understand those who raise their children to be martyrs for a religion of hate. I don't want to be like them. Not at all.

On September 11, I will be at the cemetery with my father, visiting the burial spots of some of his long-time friends, the ones who gave their lives in the tumbling towers on that autumn day, as that is one of the things I'll be doing in my quest to never forget. And then I'll go home and tie a brand new yellow ribbon around my tree right over the old, worn one and send my thanks to the troops for protecting the freedoms that I have and mourn those who lost their lives doing so. The freedoms which some people seem to think don't exist in the post 9/11 world.

I'll take pictures of my day and post in on my photoblog. I'll call it September 11 Photoblog: Photograph Your Thanks. You can all join me if you want.

Addendum: Thanks to Laughing Wolf for reminding about this site

my day thus far, in haiku

Oh, Sprint PCS
your customer service sucks
please terminate now

(click the picture, doh!)

Image blatantly stolen from Poofle, who obviously had some problems with Sprint. Oddly, I found the picture through Google Images, and Poofle happens to be on my blogroll.

ad of the day

[click for super size]

From Consumer Freedom, via MT Politics via BlogChatter via Silent Running

have you or a family member been injured by your own idiocy?

If you happen to be one of Darwin's idiots and you blow up a body part with fireworks, help is on the way.

Personal Injury Attorney Finder, which website says:

A 19-year-old was holding a large firecracker that exploded when it was lit. The man lost the tips of his left index and middle fingers and broke his thumb. He has had many visits to the doctor and will have further surgeries for his injuries.

A 43-year-old male was struck in the eye when a bottle rocket went under his glasses and into his eye. After surgery for lacerations to the eyelid, the man reported that his vision is still blurry and he may require further operations.

The federal government, under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, prohibits the sale of certain types of fireworks. These banned fireworks include large reloadable mortar shells, cherry bombs, aerial bombs, M-80 salutes and larger firecrackers containing more than two grains of powder. Also banned are mail-order kits designed to build these fireworks.

Sure, the sale of fireworks is prohibited. But people buy them and light them off. And if they do so while their brain isn't engaged or after several shots of Jack Daniels, the responsibility lies with them, not the seller.

Suing someone for your stupidity is just wrong. Adversting your business to idiots is, well, good business sense I suppose, but just as wrong.

Remember, kids:

[click for bomb-sized graphic]


Yes, I will remind you daily about the Blogathon. All info is over in the sidebar to the right. Sponsor me, damn you!

Speaking of, I got my first company sponsorship and I think the product is very apropos: DoubleChaser - Freedom from Hangovers!

Everyone is still playing along in the guess song by lyrics game here.

Don't forget to make your Fourth of July Safety for Idiots sign!

HTML links are working in the comments again, but no other HTML is. Dunno.

Revolutionary Blogging: I was Martha Washington

[The first in a series of posts with a July 4th theme]

In third grade, I was tapped for the role of Martha Washington in the school play. I have no idea what the play was; I believe it was something one of the teachers wrote herself and it had something to do with Washington crossing the Delaware.

george.gifMy role as Martha was limited to my sitting on a chair and imploring my dear George to be safe and beware of the cold, harsh elements out there.

I wore a long blue skirt and a white frilly shirt. My mother put baby powder in my hair so it had the appearance of being whitish-gray, and I smelled like a fresh diaper.

It amazes me how I can remember the scene so vividly; waiting on the side of the stage for my cue, I held onto the railing that led to the stairs and exit until my knuckles turned white. As I looked out at all those faces in the audience I had a moment of sheer panic. I kept looking at the exit, then the audience, then back to the exit.

Finally, my cue came. I took a deep breath, flubbed my first line as I walked across the kitchen set, and then took my place in the chair where I did my "Oh, George you are my hero for loving your country this much" speech.

And that was it. It did not give me a great love for the stage; in fact, I never participated in another play again. However, it did make me want to know more about George Washington and his war.

My mother drove me to the library the very next day, where I discovered a book called George Washington's Breakfast.

A succession of books followed, mostly easy readers that told tales of the Revolutionary War through colorful pictures and monosyllabic words. Which, when you're in third grade, is just enough. Come to think of it, sometimes it's just enough when you're an adult as well.

I've listed some Fourth of July reading below and while they are all kids/young adult books, they do make for interesting reading or perhaps they would make a nice gift for your favorite young history buff.

No, I don't have an Amazon merchant's account, I don't get any money if you buy these books, this is not a paid advertisement.

The Story of America's Birthday
Shh! We're Writing the Constitution
The Fourth of July Story
Victory or Death! : Stories of the American Revolution
My Brother Sam Is Dead
The Fighting Ground
Red, White and Blue: The Story of the American Flag

July 02, 2003

sign of the times: have a safe fourth

As the Fourth of July approaches, I'd like your help in spreading the word about fireworks safety. We all have that person in our neighborhood that was Most Lkely to Kill Self in Stupid Accident

Perhaps you can help save a life or even a limb this year by making a sign that can be distributed throughout your block so that the children of a lesser brain can safely celebrate the fourth.

That's right, it's time to take out the old Sign Builder again and come up with some safety warnings for those poor souls who end up as the punchline on Fark News every year.

I started you off:

[click for bomb-sized graphic]

See, you have to make it in a language they understand. And yes, this is a contest. No prize, just glory as I always say.

You can use the Safety Sign Builder, or the "I beg you to Photoshop me" pictures at Ready.gov. Or hell, just make your own.

Hurry, time's a wasting. Your mullet-headed neighbor may already be holding an M80 up to his face!

UPDATE: Faith is the first to contribute: Contact Lenses

Russell thinks we should let the idiots kill themselves, but he made a sign anyhow.

One from Anna, who is the next person I aim to shoo off of Blogspot.

Jack got his family into the spirit of things.

let's play a game: one hit wonders

I'm tired and feeling sort of brainless, so in lieu of real content tonight I'll resort to a game, which we all seem to be fond of anyhow.

Tonight, it's a guess song by lyrics game, with a theme. All of the songs are considered one hit wonders. You're on the honor system here, I'm asking you kindly to not Google(tm) your answers. You know the Little Dead Girl up there? Well think of her as a sinister Santa. She knows when you are sleeping, she knows when you're awake, she knows if you've been Googling(tm), and she'll smack you with a rake.

No prizes, just glory. Lyrics below. Answer in comments. Feel free to add your own lyrics for us to guess while you're down there. Oh, artist and song title, please.

Yea, I went a little heavy on the 80's songs.

1. Think I would die, If you were to ignore me. A fool could see just how much I adore you.

2. They sat on the stony ground and he took a cigarette out and everyone else came down to listen

3. Modern medicine falls short of your complaints

4. And the judge said "Guilty" in a make-believe trial and slapped the sheriff on the back with a smile

5. 'Cause the spirit of Jah, you know he leads you on.

6. she blocked her eyes and drew the curtainswith knots I've got yet to untie

7. She said, "I'm worryin' outta mind" (Bam-ba-Lam) the damn thing gone blind

8. So much for all your highbrow Marxist ways, just use me up and then you walk away.

9. But every dark tunnel has a lighter hopeSo don't hang yourself with a celibate rope

10. Everything you think, do, and say is in the pill you took today.

11. I'm a model, you know what I mean and I do my little turn on the catwalk

12. All across the nation, such a strange vibration

13. Pull up your head off the floor—come up screaming

14. I'm floating in a beam of light with you

15. then one day he was cracking off a marleyalong came the wolf on his big bad harley

look! a debate without cursing and name calling!

If you just can't get enough of the comments over in the Your God's Law post, I'm having a heated debate in the same general area over at Jane and Jay's. Considering the strong feelings on both sides of the argument, it's a pretty civil and interesting debate.

i didn't do it, i swear

No, I do not know why links aren't working in my comments. I haven't changed anything in the MT config recently.

No, I don't know why my archives are all messed up or, in some cases, gone.

So, thanks, I am aware of the problems and I shall find out about fixing them.

Oh, Canada

I was remiss in not mentioning Canada Day yesterday.

I love Canada, despite my grumblings about it here once in a while. However, Canada for me means hockey. It doesn't mean bacon or Rush or foul tasting beer or beautiful scenery. It's hockey.

I've been to Canada three times; twice to Toronto and once to Montreal. All three times were trips made specifically to attend hockey games. The people were incredibly nice, for the most part. The cities were clean. Toronto city life is a blast.

My fond rememberances of all things Candada:

My love affair with the Maple Leafs and Rick Vaive in particular.
NHL Expansion and the Winnepeg Jets having the saddest record ever.
The butt-ugly uniforms of the Vancouver Canucks.
My outright hatred of the Edmonton Oilers, particularly Dave "Cement Head" Semenko.

Oh, there's a baseball memory as well - Dave Winfield. Seagull. Death.

Instead of going on about Celine Dion and Bryan Adams and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, I'll just ask you all to join me in a rousing chorus of the Canadian National Anthem. You can find the lyrics below.

Remember the royal anthem of the kilted yaksmen!

Our country reeks of trees
Our yaks are really large
And they smell like rotting beef carcasses
And we have to clean-up after them
And our saddle sores are the best
We proudly wear women's clothing
And searing sand blows up our skirts

And buzzards, they soar overhead
And poisonous snakes devour us whole
Our bones will bleach in the sun.

And we will probably go to hell
And that is our great reward
For being the-uh-roy-yal
Canadian kilted yaksmen

Our country reeks of trees
Our yaks are really large
And they smell like rotting beef carcasses
And we have to clean-up after them
And out saddle sores are the best
We proudly wear women's clothing
And searing sand blows up our skirts
And buzzards, they soar overhead
And poisonous snakes devour us whole
Our bones will bleach in the sun
And we will probably go to hell
And that is our great reward
For being the-uh-roy-yal
Candian kilted yaksmen

Yaksmen, we stand on guard for thee.

the two faces of mtv

The hypocrisy of MTV:

MTV won't be airing the Foo Fighters' new video for their song "Low" because it is apparently too risque. The video features actor Jack Black and lead singer Dave Grohl prancing around in women's clothes, according to the website Launch.com.

In one scene, Black dons a curly black wig, pink bikini top and shorts, while Grohl is seen wearing a blonde wig and putting on lipstick.

"The video is not being played by MTV because of two controversial scenes," Launch.com reported yesterday, "one depicting the two dressed in drag spanking each other, and one in which Grohl and Black's legs are horizontal on the floor, intermingling with each other, implying a sex scene."

So, bitches, hos and Snoop smoking weed are all ok. Mariah Carey writhing around with herself is ok. Ass shaking, barely clothed females on spring break are ok. Jackass stunts and Tom Green's gross-out humor are ok. Videos by the underage sex fiend R. Kelly are ok. Britney getting down with reptiles is ok. Beavis and Butthead, Pearl Jam's Jeremy getting violent in a classroom, Marilyn Manson, ex-cons like Suge Knight, videos with guns, videos about war, songs about poppin' a cap in somebody's ass, Fred Durst talking up the nookie - these things are all ok.

Dave Grohl and Jack Black in drag, however, are not. Implied sex scenes and spanking?

Hasn't that all been done- and shown - by Madonna before?

psa,self-linking day and open forum

Laurence has compiled this week's Carnival of the Vanities.

Don't forget about Blogathon. I'm counting on you.

I haven't done a self-linking post in a while, so have at it. Drop your self-links, with commentary if necessary, in the comments, or just get on your soapbox. Consider this an open forum.

Behave or the little dead girl will have her way with you.

i knew they were reading my website

Remember Natalie's Ashcroft-like idea about vehicle survelliance back in March? It read, in part, like this:

First, you issue a new license plates to everyone in America who has one. All the license plates have a barcode on them, and all this information about you is on the barcode and it's all in the big database in some huge room in Washington, D.C.

And then there would be a security device, like a radar or scanner, on almost every main street in America, that reads these barcodes as they drive by.

Those were Natalie's words.

Now, look at this:

The Pentagon is developing an urban surveillance system (search) that would use computers and thousands of cameras to track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a foreign city.

Natalie said: So, if you kidnap someone, we just have to input the barcode information into the computer and it will tell us where your car is right away! And if you owe money for traffic tickets, we could track you down.

The article says:

According to interviews and contracting documents, the software may also provide instant alerts after detecting a vehicle with a license plate on a watchlist.

Of course, if I were the tin-foil hat type prone to outbursts of litigious insanity, I would immediately take the Pentagon to court claiming that they were monitoring my weblog and stole my daughter's idea. And then I would put Natalie in hiding, sure that the government was after her in order to extract all other spying ideas from her mind and we'd have to live underground like moles for the rest of our lives or else risk having Nat's locked up in some X-File type facility where they would drain her brain for all the rest of her days.

Good thing I still have some shred of sanit left, eh?

Now, I'm going to go delete that entry so the evil monkey in my closet won't have proof that Natalie is really a robot programmed by Homeland Security.

July 01, 2003

your god's law is not everyone's law

Let's see what the people of Louisiana have to say about that recent Supreme Court ruling:

Jessie Alexander of Jonesville: "Why would they do that?" she asked. "I don't think heterosexuals have oral or anal sex. Only homosexuals do it."..Alexander said no one should practice sodomy, regardless of sexual orientation..."It should be illegal for everybody...Basically, it's the homosexuals that do that, and that's why the law reads that way, but it should not be for anybody."

The Rev. Jake Palmer: "You can vote these laws into effect and you can say that it's all right, but the bottom line is God has never accepted homosexuality." Palmer advocated removing the judges who ruled in favor of removing the ban.[The Good Rev. might think about forcibly removing the person who decided to use this photo of him]

Milton Welch: "God's going to do something to this country. They better wake up."

Robert Britt: "It's time to pray, and I mean that with all my heart."

Sherman Wilson: "That type of activity is totally against the natural law of God. I feel that the participants and those judges are going to be held accountable."

Good old religion-based family values. The kind where they teach you how to be disgusted by someone who isn't like you. I wonder why some people care what others do in their own homes. Is it really going to effect your life if someone in your neighborhood is having consexual gay sex in their own bedroom? No, it's not.

What offends me is people who think that morality should be legislated. Morality is a vague notion; it's different to everyone. How can you legislate something that everyone defines differently?

If someone's lifestyle bothers you that much, shutter your door, sit yourself on the couch and don't go outside again, because you're only going to give yourself a stroke by getting all flustered about the people who aren't exactly like you.

Someone needs to alert these folks that not everyone follows the laws of their specific god, or any god at all for that matter.

Also, Jessie Alexander needs to get out more.

[via Jonno, who lives in LA., which he says isn't as bad as the above quoted neanderthals might lead you to believe]

Ed note: I don't mean to imply that everyone from the great state of Louisiana thinks like this. I really was just astounded at some of these views. And I couldn't read a quote like Jessie Alexander's and not blog about it, could I?

another book on the nightstand

I've added to my summer reading list by purchasing Roger L. Simon's Director's Cut.

The book has been praised by the New York Times, to which Roger responds:

I hereby declare all my previous posts about The New York Times null and void. They are and should remain the font of wisdom for all humanity. Believe everything they say. They never lie!

What? You haven't been reading Roger Simon's weblog? What are you waiting for?

a poignant conversation with a child about hockey and body parts

DJ comes running up to greet me as I pull in the driveway after work. He's screaming:

Mom! Mom! Mooooooooooom!

I jump out of the car, thinking the house in on fire or he's finally killed his sister.

What is it? What's the matter??

He's huffing and puffing.

The...Rangers.....they....got rid of....

He stops to catch a breath. There is fury in his eyes.

They got rid of Messier and Leetch!

I kind of understand his panic and frustration.

Where?, I ask.


The disappointment sets in. He sits down on the front steps and puts his head in his hands. He sighs deeply. The old guard of the Rangers is gone.

That's it, he says. I am now officially an Islander fan. I will not, not, not be a Ranger fan anymore!

This had been simmering a long time. His grandparents are Islander fans. He goes to Islander games. He has an Islander jersey. I knew all it would take was one upsetting trade.

Hey, DJ. I sit down next to him. You don't just give up on a team like that. They have to do what's best for them, not for the fans. Now, would you desert the Yankees if they traded Jeter?

Get real, mom. He looks at me like I lost my head. No one deserts the Yankees. They're like...your liver or something. You know, like... a body part?

So the Rangers are disposable?

The Rangers are like that body part, what's it called? That thing you can live without. A pendix?


Right. A pendix. And the Yankees are like...

Your liver?

No, like, a penis. Like, really important.

You have too much testosterone.


Nevermind. Let's go call grandma and tell her you're an Islander fan now.

Maybe they'll put me back in the will, now.

Tales from the courthouse: God speaks

Never so fast has an ex parte letter been one-upped. Received just minutes ago:

Dear Judge:

One of the stipulation of God is St. Mark, 2:10: But forgive that ye may know that the son of man hath power upon the earth to forgive mans’ sins.

God has ordained me to let you know that he has forgiven me of my sins. So that means we are looking for my immediate release from Nassau County jail.

His faith just may be shattered.

Afternoon storytime: The Foolish Frenchmen

In lieu of the post that was here, I'd like you to go here instead and read the follow-up to Dissendent Frogman's original post on the subject.

face the blame

Due to rising concerns about obesity lawsuits, Kraft Foods will be cutting portions in some of its packaging, including Oreos and Mac n Cheese.

Kraft said the changes it will make will include advertising and marketing to children to encourage appropriate eating behaviors and active lifestyles.

Rather than conform to the idea that food companies are responsible for a person's obesity, they should just change the labeling on their products.



Even better, rather than changing the marketing that now exists towards children, the companies should gear the marketing towards the parents who actually buy the product, or just change tactics with the kids:


Or, a public service announcement aired during cartoons:

circle.gifHey, kids! Does your mom and dad let you eat 20 Oreos at a time? Do you have Whoppers for dinner every night? Have you moved from in front of the tv in the past three days? Do your thighs rub together when you walk? If so, you may want to ask mom and dad why they want you to get FAT! Remember kids, it's not our fault that you're a size 22 in the third grade. We just make the products, your parents are the one who don't control your portion size or make you exercise. Blame them, not us!

They could call it the Face the Blame campaign.

Tales from the courthouse: What not to say in ex parte letters

In case you're thinking about writing to a judge who has some control over the outcome of your case in court, let me give you a few pointers (based on a letter received today):

1. Do not type the letter with your caplock key on.
2. Do not increase the size of the font tenfold when you get all riled up.
3. Do not go off on tangents about Donald Rumsfeld, Bill O'Reilly and the French.
4. Don't ask if the judge is an orphan, thinking that would explain the reasons why he "hates you" so much. And there is no need to relate the story of how you met "Sunshine" the hooker, whose pimp is an orphan and often yells at her because he feels bad about his childhood.
5. The words "Go Fuck Yourself" probably won't do much for your case.
6. Don't send articles stating that your country (Denmark) appears to be a far better, and less corrupt place than the USA.
7. Don't refer to the Assistant D.A., a male, as looking like Twiggy. In the same vein, there is no need to tell the judge that you yelled at the ADA in a very manly voice.
8. Don't compare the judge to Hitler or Mad Max.
9. Racial and ethnic slurs are best left in the draft copy of your letter.

The more I get letters like this, the more I realize that angry, bitter plaintiffs and defendants are quite like weblog trolls.

As with all ex parte letters, this one gets marked return to sender. I should start the same policy with trolls. I'll just email their comments back to them.

Run rabbit run: 30 Years of Dark Side of the Moon

A friend just alerted me to one of those facts that make you feel oh, so old.
Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon turned 30 this year.

floyd2.gifI was only eleven when it was released, so I didn't pick up on it until a couple of years later when rummaging through an older cousin's albums. Even then, I just listened to Money because I liked the cash register sounds. Oh yes, I also liked to say the bullshit line real loud because I was under the impression that if you were singing a song, cursing didn't count and God couldn't smite you.

I picked the album up again in high school and it immediately became the soundtrack to our smoke-filled, hazy nights. We sat around debating the whole concept of the record. We had theories and guesses and every lyric was a metaphor for life and death and all the crap that comes in between.

Mary (whose car, a big white boat of a vehicle, was named Floyd) had an egg-shaped chair in her basement that had speakers built into it. Sort of a pre-cursor to today's surround sound, but with an embryonic feel to it. So I would sit there in this womb of a chair, Dark Side playing over and over, the tightly rolled joints and whatever other illicit substances we came up with for the night being passed around and I drifted off into other worlds, worlds where - in the folly of my youth - only Pink Floyd and some nice Panama Red could take me.

I miss listening to music on vinyl because I miss those anticipatory scratches and pops that emitted from the speakers when you first put the needle down.

Crackle. Hiss. Scratch.

Breathe, breathe in the air...

And thus began my journey. Every song held the secret key to life. Every lyric was profound.

Speak to me/Breathe was sort of a desolate song. The words that seemed so deep and meaningful under the cloud of smoke were rather succintly summed up better by the Godfathers many years later: Birth, School, Work, Death.

In fact, the whole album could be summed up in those four words. But unlike my obsession with other bands of the time, Pink Floyd was more than the sum of their poetry. It was the music. My fling with the Doors was based on the words of Jim Morrison; I really didn't care for the music at all. Waters and company changed that. It was the sheer art of the music that lifted me out of that egg chair and into other planes.

The brooding melody of Us and Them often made me feel as if I were drowning in sorrow, as if it were a funeral dirge.

The slow, haunting tune of Brain Damage, the eventual build up of sounds in Eclipse and the feeling as if you had been dropped off of a cliff when the album ended and the pops and scratches faded to black as the needle picked itself up off of the vinyl.

Again, one of us would whisper, and the needle would drop once more and all would be quiet while we each took our own personal musical journeys through the Dark Side of the Moon.

30 years later and the album still holds up well, better than some 30 year old people I know. The lyrics are still relevant, the music is still at once disquieting and soothing, alternating in waves of musical madness that could certainly form the soundtrack to anyone's journey through birth, school, work and death.