open up and say aaaaaaaaahhhhh
That's freaking Deep Throat? And what's Skeletor doing with him?
Ah, what the hell. Captions welcome.
That's freaking Deep Throat? And what's Skeletor doing with him?
Ah, what the hell. Captions welcome.
Stephen King books I've read, in order of preference from best to worst, not including collections, short stories (that's another list), The Green Mile series or the Dark Tower series or screenplays. So..novels
I want to do an ordered list of Stephen King books made into movies, but I need a definitive list...anyone?
Favorite SK short stories that I can think of off the top of my head, but not in order
The Raft (I think that's the title)
Children of the Corn
I am the Doorway
Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face.
Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human, silly human race,
On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place,
If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace
First things first - a new day, a new theme over at Les Nessman. I'm not that happy with today's story, but there it is. And always be sure to read the comments. Some of our readers' stories are really spectacular.
I missed Monday is List Day at ASV yesterday due to the holiday, so I'll move it on over here to Tuesday. Which works out well, seeing as that a Tuesday morning after a three day weekend is a hellish time to come up with original content.
So I'm going to finally do the book list thing I promised. Except I'm swamped at work, so I'm only offering blank lists for you to fill in. I'll make my lists later on, though I included a few to start you off. I'll add more as soon as the monkey lets go of my chain.
We'll start with these:
Good Books that were made into good movies
Movies that are better than the books they were adapted from
Books that are better than the movies made from them
[I'll keep updating, time permitting]
So after sitting through my third viewing of Revenge of the Sith, I've come to the conclusion that the Jedi suck.
Really, they piss me the hell off.
A NATION'S STRENGTH
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What makes a nation's pillars high
And it's foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?
It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.
Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.
And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.
Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor's sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky
- In memory of all those who gave their life in service to this country -
Most of us will have parties and barbecues today after we attend parades and ceremonies and listen to speeches. We wil bow our heads in rememberance and some of us will pray and some of us will give silent thanks.
There's nothing wrong with going home afterwards to spend the day with family and friends, having a picnic or celebrating the coming summer.
Just remember what this day is for. When you raise that first cold one, give a toast to those who this holiday is for. Remember their families, as well.
You know what's really awkward? When you walk into 7-11 and see someone that looks really familiar, but you can't place him, and then you're both standing by the coffee machine, contemplating all the flavors and suddenly it hits you that you are standing next to the guy gave your first, sloppy handjob to in 7th grade in the closet at Becky's party, with Zeppelin's "No Quarter" on the stereo, and you run for the exit as it finally clicks why that song always makes you break out in hives.
Yea, that's awkward.
And tonight will go on forever while we
walk around this town like we own the streets
and stay awake through summer like we own the heat
---Brand New, Soco Amaretto Lime
I was having trouble sleeping - thanks to the bird convention taking place in my backyard - and started thinking about summer. Specifically, all the summers gone by.
I've got this mishmash of memories running through my head now, some of which will find their way into longer posts, and some which will work their way into the novel I've been writing for the past few weeks (which partly explains the decline of quality of original content here lately).
- The anticipation of summer, which was almost as good as summer itself. It would start getting hot in early June and the teachers would fling the windows open every morning. We couldn't concentrate because we knew what was out there. Not out there, right out the window, but out there in terms of the immediate future. The warm air brought with it a restlessness and every time a breeze came through the classroom, I'd think of the ice cream man and the church fair and the endless days and nights that lay ahead. Even the teachers would get antsy. They'd give up trying to teach us anything for the last week or so and we'd all just talk about what we were going to do over the summer. You could tell from the wistful look on the faces of the teachers that they were looking forward most to being away from the classroom and us.
Summer never held any kind of heavy promise for me, because I never expected anything out of it. It just had to be. As long as I could get up in the morning and walk outside barefoot, it was all good. I never wore shoes. Even in the late afternoon, when the street had been scorched by the sun all day and your skin could blister on contact, I would hop from car shadow to tree shadow or run on tip-toe, letting out little yelps of pain all across the street, because I refused to wear shoes in the summer. Shoes were a formality. Summer was casual.
- Al the ice cream man, a Holocaust survivor who used to tell us his stories and show us his numbers and I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I listened more, or understood more. But Al's heavy accent and rushed, yet kind, demeanor will forever be part of the summer photo album that sits in my head. After Al, there was a long line of ice cream men who came by in their trucks and that tinny ringing of the bells was the highlight of our day.
- Night swimming in high school, hopping fences and dropping into neighbors' pools uninvited, usually around midnight.
- The church fair with its zeppoles and goldfish games and Ferris wheels. The balloon/dart game, where I won the Lynyrd Skynyrd mirror that's still in my mother's attic. The tilt-a-whirl thing, where I met Doug while sitting underneath the machinery, smoking a Marlboro and listening to the Doobie Brothers blast through the neighborhood. And then walking home from the fair each night, clutching whatever stuffed animal I won, smelling like fried food and beer and from my house I could still hear Father M. on the microphone, exhorting the crowd to buy into the 50/50, as I crawled into bed.
- Kick the Can, which usually turned into something else entirely, groups of us hiding in bushes and trees and backyard sheds. Later on we'd play SWAT instead, peering around from corners, pretending to shoot each other as if we were five and playing cowboys and Indians, not 16 year olds holding invisible guns, pressed against the wall.
- Getting sunburned at the beach, before we knew how bad the sun could be for you. We slathered ourselves in baby oil and cocoa butter and made sun reflectors out of tin foil. My friends' faces and arms tanned a beautiful bronze while my arms withered, blistered, burned and peeled. I gave up on the sun after long and spent my beach time under an umbrella, reading Judy Blume's Wifey and listening to 99x on the little portable radio.
- Going upstate to Roscoe, NY for days or weeks at a time. Wearing sneakers into the lake because the bottom was a bed of mud and algae. Catching frogs and snakes and salamanders and then letting them go because my parents didn't want to drag the things home with us. Carving our initials on trees and making forts that served as a refuge, a place to go to get some shade and read Mad Magazines and Archie comics.
- Lost of concerts, especially the all day outdoor festivals that WLIR used to have at Belmont Park. There was one summer in the 80's when we went to ever single concert at the Pier (where we saw the Alarm in a torrential downpour). The Cars at Forest Hills tennis stadium. Echo and the Bunnymen at the Beacon. The Fixx at some roller rink. July 31, 1978, Genesis at the Garden (I don't know why I remember that specific date) - it was broiling hot that day and we walked through Central Park for hours, pretending to be adventurers and then we went to see Ralph Bashki's Lord of the Rings at the Ziegfeld before the Genesis concert.
- Baseball, so much baseball. Sitting in the backyard with my mother, listening to games and learning how to keep a scorecard. Going to Shea Stadium in the early 80's when the Braves came to town and the place was so empty, we had a section and a beer vendor all to ourselves. Dave Righetti's Fourth of July no hitter. The Fourth of July game between the Mets and the Braves that didn't end until four in the morning - we stayed out in the backyard, twenty of us at least, watching until it ended.
- Every July 4th when I was young, celebrating my grandfather's birthday. Huge, huge parties across the street in my aunt's yard, the whole neighborhood would show up. Going up on the roof to watch the fireworks from Eisenhower Park. Lighting off our own fireworks and running outside the next morning to pick through the debris for any firecrackers that didn't go off.
- Hanging out at the school yard night after night, the suffocating heat making us cranky. Lots of fights and dramatic break-ups. Being chased through yards and streets by Officer Godlberg. Hiding in the fort in D's garage or the shed/clubhouse in E's yard, drinking stolen beer and smoking cigarettes and wishing we were old enough to go to clubs.
- Italian ices, the kind you ate with a wooden spoon and that had all the sugary gook on the bottom, so you dug around enough to turn the ice over and eat the sticky part first. Hamburgers that tasted like charcoal. Early morning walks to the candy store, one dollar enough to bring home a fistful of candy, enough to last the day and that we'd eat in between games of Marco Polo in the pool or hopscotch on the hot sidewalk. Pop Rocks and Pixie Stix and those little wax candies that looked like soda bottles and were filled with a medicinal tasting liquid that, back in the day, tasted like the best thing ever.
- The smells of summer; lilacs and fresh mowed grass. Rain sizzling on the hot street. Overheated cars that smell like baking syrup. Chlorine and pool liners. Oh, the smell of Fleer baseball cards and the powdery gum inside the wrapper. The salty air at the beach, hot dogs on the grill, cotton candy at the street fair.
- The last days of August when you've had enough of the heat and what felt like freedom in June now turning into boredom. The lure of new spiral notebooks and a fresh pair of Keds and sharpened pencils, not to mention cooler air.
- (added)- The summer of '76 when the bicentennial was the hugest thing ever. Everything was red, white and blue. Fleet Week that year was an enormous thing. There was movie theater that for the whole summer charged just 76 cents to get in.
- Summer storms. There's nothing better than a wicked summer storm, when it gets night-time dark at 1 in the afternoon and the trees bend in the wind. Huge thunderclaps that shake the house and lightning that cuts through the black clouds like jagged flashlights. And then the downpour - sometimes the streets flood up instantly and when we were much younger we'd run outside and dance in the puddles until our mothers started freaking out about us getting hit by lightning.
- Blackouts and brownouts.
Yea, one of my most vivid memories of summers past is the thankfulness that it was finally ending. Too much of a good thing, I guess.
I'm sure there are a zillion more memories tucked away and I'll think of a different one each time a warm breeze blows through the window or when I mow the lawn and the cut grass smell unleashes things I thought I forgot.
Update: I've decided to include some of my favorite recent summer shots.
Eddie Albert movies I've seen, in order of preference, best to worst. (Because he's dead)
Let me say this in a way so you can understand it, clearly and without questions: I. DO. NOT. CARE.
I hate, hate, hate when people expect me to boycott/ignore/protest against an artist I like because of their political leanings. I like to be entertained. Trent Reznor entertains me. He could be a card carrying commie for all I care, I like his music, just like I like Johnn Depp's movies, just like I prefer Heinz ketchup to any other kind, just like I still bought all the LotR movies even though Viggo is my political opposite.
Between the people wanting to boycott Revenge of the Sith because they read anti-Bush statements into it (I have to find the link to that site) and now people emailing me to tell me how they're never going to listen to Nine Inch Nails again, I'm about to blow a gasket.
I don't do boycotts. Got it? I don't care how big of a raging asshole my favorite entertainers can be. As long as they keep making quality music/movies/books that are pleasing to me, I'll keep buying their stuff and ignoring whatever ranty tirades they want to go off on.
Not only that, but the new NIN album is really growing on me. I'm GLAD I spent the money on it.
And I think this all begs the real question: Who the hell watches MTV anymore?
Real Arcade/Real Player has the worst customer service EVER.
Really. EVER. Horrible. They suck. They suckitysucksuck.
Update: Just to clarify, I was using Real Arcade. Got a lot of good games from there. I don't use Real Player for my audio. Or anything else, for that matter.
[Not just songs ABOUT summer, but songs that remind you of certain summers or songs that are perfect for a fast drive to the beach]
And, yes -
There's so much more, but lunch hour calls and I'm sure you all will fill in the blanks with your favorites.
This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. Once Memorial Day is over, spring gets pushed off the calendar. You can officially wear white, or bitch about how you are too fat to wear white. Or bikinis. Or shorts, for that matter. Or, you can be like one of these people and not care about fashion class at all - if it feels like summer, dress like summer, no matter what you look like in summer clothes.
I'm feeling all wistful and full of summer nostalgia today (even though it's only like 40 degrees outside); I have a novel length, picture filled post about summer rolling around in my head, but I haven't had enough coffee yet to get it all down. Instead, I'm going to share an old summer story with you. I call this one:
The summer between my junior and senior years in high school, I dated a guy I'll call Dave.
I dated Dave for a few weeks and while I wasn't falling in love with the guy, we enjoyed each other's company enough and had some good times together.
We went to the beach a lot. I hated the beach, but sacrificed for Dave because he had this notion that he was a surfer dude and surfer dudes belonged with the sea and sand.
We drove to the beach each day in Dave's van. Now, this was the late 70's. Vans were all the rage. No, not Ford Econoline vans borrowed from your father's flooring business, but custom vans, the kind with beds and beaded curtains.
Dave loved his van as much as he loved the surf. Every Saturday he would go to the custom van shop and add something to his masterpiece; some new pinstriping, etchings on the windows, another mural.
One side of the van was dedicated to the Allman Brothers. The other side was dedicated to the beach. It was psychedelic, man. Like a car with tattoos.
The inside of the van was treated with even more reverence than the outside. The floor was carpeted and taken up mostly by a queen size mattress made pretty with a blanket crocheted in the twenty colors of the acid-trip rainbow. The beaded curtains separated the front of the van from the back, so whatever Dave's friends were doing to their girlfriends while Dave was driving them around remained private. There were velvet posters on the walls and a mirrors on the ceiling and pink champagne on ice. No, not really. But it was gaudily decorated in the sex-me-up theme so prevalent in that era.
So one day we arrive back home after a day at the beach and Dave turns around to me and says very nonchalantly:
I think we should stop seeing each other.
I can't really date anyone right now.
Ok, that's cool and all, but umm...kind of out of nowhere?
Sure, my ego was crushed, but not for the reason you think. See, I had never had a guy break up with me. I was always the breaker-upper. I considered dating someone while still in high school more of a social activity than anything else. While all my friends were falling deeply, passionately in love at the age of 16, I was just looking for someone to hang out with. The idea of being in a committed relationship while still basically a kid seemed like a joke.
Anyhow, crushed ego.
Dave: Well, I have my reasons. And it's not because you don't put out.
Me: Dude, that mattress is skanky. I wouldn't lay down on that thing even if you promised me the moon. Which you did, by the way, and never followed through.
Dave: Yea, well. I didn't have a long enough ladder.
Me: So what's the deal then? Why are you dumping me?
Dave: I just don't think it's fair to you. I'm really devoted to my van. That's what I want to spend my money on and my time with.
Insert stifled giggle here.
Me: Your van? You are dumping me for your van?
Dave: Yes, I wanted to be honest with you about it. And fair.
Me: My god, your nobility is bringing tears to my eyes.
Dave: Do you always have to be so sarcastic?
So Dave dumped me for his van. I still hung out with him, though. Every Saturday I would go to Dave's house to check on the progress he was making with his wife/van. One day I got to his house and the van was gone.
Me: Where's the van?
Dave:I sold it to Keith?
Me: WHAT? How could you? I thought you loved that thing?
Dave: Barbara (his new girlfriend) said it was either her or the van.
Me: I guess Barbara puts out.
Somewhere in there is a lesson.
We still haven't finished unpacking. There are boxes piled up in the garage, still swathed in packing tape, the magic marker scrawlings all faded.
We finally - this week - got the curtains we really like in the living room. We're still hanging with the mediocre crap in the kitchen and bedroom.
The bathroom is still unfinished.
The driveway still needs to be repaved and the walkway that goes to the back yard needs to be ripped up and redone.
The office windows are still sealed in plastic wrap, waiting to be replaced.
There's a box of junk in my bedroom that's been sitting there since we moved in. There are books that haven't been moved on to shelves and pictures that haven't been hung on the walls. There are crates filled with trinkets and mementos that have yet to be sorted, placed or stuffed in the attic.
What the hell have we done in the past year?
I'll tell you what I haven't done. I haven't killed the Japanese Maple. I haven't broken an appliance or set the kitchen on fire. I haven't spilled red wine on the wood floors or dropped something heavy enough to chip the tile floor in the kitchen.
I have kicked a hole in the bathroom door. Long story.
We've had several parties (most of them Nat's) and bought a year's worth of holiday decorations. We've paid nearly $20,000 in mortgage payments and a few thousand dollars to heat and electrify this thing.
And we still haven't finished unpacking yet.
[Did I mention that we are really, really happy here? That there is nothing like a home of your own, craptastic as it may seem at times? I probably should have mentioned that]
So I'm cruising along in my car, minding my own business and rocking out to the iPod.
Suddenly, my music changes. Some guy singing about his sombrero has taken over the station I transmit my iTrip through. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the guy in the car next to me bopping along in time to this sombrero song. Dude stole my pod station! Somehow, his iTrip or whatever he was using was more powerful than mine and usurped the supposedly empty station I was using.
I frantically waved my pod around in the air, as if that would help overcome my reception problems. Aha! The red light came on and my own music took over. I looked to the left and the sombrero guy was fiddling with his stereo and looking really horrified. Score! My iTrip overpowered his!
I hope he enjoyed loving you was like fucking the dead as much I enjoyed Ay, mi sombrero. Probably not, from the looks of it.
Police Academy 1
Leonard Part 6
From Justin to Kelly
Freddie Got Fingered
Any Uwe Boll movie
Cool as Ice
Batman and Robin
Manos, Hands of Fate
Police Academy 2
Police Academy 4
Police Academy 5
Police Academy 6
Police Academy 7
The answer to the most asked question in my inbox:
Subject to change: With further viewings 3 may surpass 4, and 2 - seen in the context of 3 - may move ahead of 6.
I should read all my email before I post in the morning. Apparently people need to know what I think of Carrie winning American Idol.
I'm a little disappointed, but not shocked. I think it was determined a long time ago that Carrie would win. You may be one of those people who believes in the integerity and honesty of the entertaiment industry, but I gave up that ghost before I even stopped belieiving in the tooth fairy.
While I think the viewers' votes count up to an extent, I do think that the producers of the show have a lot to say about who gets to wear the crown and Carrie was the perfect choice for this year. Let's face it - after a whole year of looking at Clay and Reuben as the ulitmate Idols (I know Reuben won, but I think of Clay as the co-winner in a way), the AI team must be creaming their pants in anticipation of the revenue Carrie will bring them from posters and glossy photos alone. They've got a beautiful woman with bodacious tatas to trot around for a full year in the name of their show.
Can she sing? I always found her to be nasally and pitchy, but I'm not a big fan of the country twang to begin with. She certianly doesn't have the stage presence or charisma of Bo, but she's got the wholesomeness and I'm sure the AI people would much rather a winner that doesn't have coke-snorting skeletons in their closet.
My predictions for some of the contestants: Carrie will be singing at state fairs within two years. Bo and Constantine will have a reality show on VH1. Vonzelle will prove to be the sleeper of the pack, and will become a star. Nadia will appear in Playboy in the near future and make a couple of B horror movies. Mikalah will get her own talk show, but no one will notice, much like Tony Danza's show. Scott will settle into a double-wide with a fan who sent him a pair of worn panties. Anwar will never be heard from again, which I think is just what he wants. Anthony will record a song with Clay Aiken and John Stevens and they'll have to wear name tags so people can tell them apart. Jessica and Lindsey will star as a tandem in Backdoor Sluts, Volume 10.
My semi-drunken live blog of the show can be found here.
Update: I should add that the absolute hightlight of the show was the Dirk and Hasselhoff moment.
You were destined to have a Red Lightsaber.
Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is
associated with energy, war, danger, strength,
power, and determination as well as passion and
desire. You have seen the Strength and Power of
the Dark Side of the Force and have you thirst
for more of it.
What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla
During the course of discussion at lunch today, I became aware that I've been harboring a grudge against the co-editor of my high school yearbook for the past 25 years. Not just a grudge, but a hateful, vindictive, nasty bitterness that I didn't even know existed until this person's name was brought up.
Now that this grudge has been let loose, I realize that the power of my animosity could probably set buildings on fire and cause tidal waves in small countries.
I might feel better if I look her up, call her and tell her she's a bitch, but she's probably running a crack house somewhere and those places usually don't have listed numbers.
I wonder what the statute of limitations is on high school slights. Not that this was just a slight, mind you. It was more than that. It was downright evil. But still. 25 years this has been in some hidden compartment in my soul and it's been unleashed and I'm not sure what to do with it except harness the force of my hatred and power the electricity for the house with it.
Alright. This is what happened.
We were co-editors of the yearbook. During our senior year, a very good friend of mine died in a car accident. The girl in quesiton was not friendly with him AT ALL. He was a popular guy that I knew from the neighborhood (we went to a private school, so we all came from different towns). It so happens that two other classmates died during our senior year, and we decided to dedicate pages to them, as had been done in the past in similar circumstances. The teacher in charge of the yearbook committee asked me to write a poem for Mike. I did.
T. took it upon herself to take my poem out and put in one that she wrote. For a guy she knew only well enough to nod at in the hallway. I was furious. She told me that her poem was far superior to mine (it was a gacky poem not even worthy of cheap greeting card) and deserved center stage (her words). She threw my poem out. I found it crumbled in the garbage can in the classroom. When I told her I was a little upset about that, she told me to get over it, that I would never be as good a writer as her. She THEN edited something I wrote on the "what happened in the news the year we graduated" page, where I called someone's death untimely. She insisted there was no such word and I was an idiot. I told her "at least I'm not the kind of IDIOT that thinks abortions are a form of birth control," and stormed out of the room. We never spoke again.
Oh god, that sounds so freaking petty. I know. To carry that around for 25 years is ridiculous.
It's not easy to tame an obsession when your best friend shares said obsession with you. She's been scurrying around to all the BKs on Long Island in an attempt to secure all 31 toys for each of us and dumped these on my lap when we met for lunch today. Bless her rebel alliance heart. She's also going to see EpIII with me (and our respective children) on Friday night (this will be my third showing) and we're going to go back to my house after and watch Ep4. If we weren't both female and married, I'd marry her. We always joke that we would have made good wives for each other. I bet she wouldn't laugh and point when I made the suggestion that we have our house built to look like the Death Star.
Anyhow, in other news, it's about 48 degrees, rainy and windy in this last week of May in New York. I feel like I should be putting up Halloween decorations.
And how could I almost forget? Les Nessman and his jolly band of 100 word authors awaits your perusal of/rating of/additions to today's stories.
So, what are you listening to? Anything on now or something in particular in heavy rotation on your music player of choice?
I just might do this every day. I really like knowing what you all are listening to, gives me ideas. Hopefully, my lists will give you some new music choices as well.
Also, gives me a chance to bitch about the crap that shows up on Launchcast.
11:40 Bauhaus - Bela Lagosi's Dead. Holy shit, this song never ends. How the hell did I dance (ok, move around drunkenly)to this entire song back in the day without falling dead from boredom or exhaustion? I thought this song was genius back then. Yea, maybe if you cut in half. It's like prog rock for goths.
1:37 and back from lunch: Scorpions - Still Loving You. I wish I wasn't sitting in my office right now because I want to belt this one out as if my heart depended on it.
2:07 Everclear - Santa Monica. The only Everclear song I can listen to without wanting to cock punch Art Alexis.
Imagine that someone starts telling you a story. It's a made up story, one you've never read in a book before. He tells you the tale in installments, a little at a time - maybe he starts in the middle and then later on fills you in on the beginning. Imagine that he takes 28 years to tell you the whole story. How do you feel when it finally ends, when he closes the book and says it's over?
I am suffering from PSWDD (Post Star Wars Depression Disorder). I realized this morning that it is really, finally over. Sure, there will be books and comics and possibly tv shows. But the movies, the big screen excitement, is all done.
In 1998 we had a fish named Boba Fett. Boba got sick and we flushed him down the toilet. I told the kids that it was just like Boba Fett going into the Sarlacc pit and that someday he, too, might find his way out.
Yes, my obsession runs deep (though not deep enough to be Level 3). But it's about more than naming fish after the characters or spending $120 on a lightsaber. It's about the story.
This fairy tale, this space opera, this swashbuckling adventure or whatever you want to call it has been slowly unraveled over the course of 28 years. In the time since I first laid my eyes on an imperial star destroyer until last week when the final credits to Revenge of the Sith rolled down the screen, the world has changed. My life has changed numerous times. I graduated high school, went to college, got married, had two kids, got divorce, got married again, bought a house. I grew up. And even with the long gaps in between chapters, I never forgot about it and never let it go. Sure, I put my Burger King Luke Skywalker glasses away and the Vader helmet collected dust in the attic, but the stories themselves never left my heart. Like I've done with the books I have loved over time, I kept the characters in my heart and mind because their stories were interwoven with my life. Yoda and Han were right in there with Kay from The Snow Queen or Lucy, Edmond and Peter. And just as I was saddened when I closed the last of the Narnia books, I am a bit sad now, that a story so long in the making and so glorious in its telling has come to an end.
It's like someone just walked into a room and said "Ok, time to put the toys away and grow up now!" No, I don't want to. You can't make me.
I'm having a serious case of PSWDD. I hate the sound (imagined or not) of a good book slamming closed.
An interesting segue of songs presented itself on the iPod during this morning's commute:
Brand New - Mix Tape
Bloodhound Gang - Your Only Friends Are Make Believe
Ben Folds Five - Battle of Who Could Care Less
Now, what do these songs have in common (despite the obvious 'all the bands begin with B' thing)?
They all mention other bands in their lyrics.
Brand New: I'm sick of your tattoos and they way you always criticize the Smiths, and Morrisey
BHG: Eat spam from the can, watch late night C-Span, rock out to old school Duran Duran
BFF: See I've got your old ID, and you're all dressed up like The Cure
Which got me thinking, what are some other songs like this, where the artists mentions other bands/musicians in the lyrics?
Update: I was thinking more along the lines of songs that insert a band/musician in an irreverent way, like above, and not as part of a shout-out (or a shout-down).
Burger King better not cave. And if they do, it better not be until I ge every last one of those toys. There will be wrath. There will be protests. There will be Star Wars rage.
I am so out of control. But don't be alarmed. The same thing happened in '99 and I came out of it ok.
Calvacade of Crap: Wal-Mart, East Meadow, NY
3 for $11. I couldn't find three worth that chump change. Who knew there were so many bad movies out there?
Yea, I feel another list coming on.
Ok, so I bought TWO MORE BOXES OF CEREAL. And I got two red light/spoon saber things. I am obsessed. I must have the green. MUST. HAVE. GREEN. SPOONSABER.
Cereal for dinner
Cereal for lunch
Cereal for breakfast
Ceral for brunch
Cereal at every single meal,
Why can't we have some guts?
OI! OI! OI!
They'll eat it and like it. I don't care if they start bleeding Apple Jacks and shitting Corn Pops, we will keep eating cereal until I get the green one.
So, what are you listening to? Right now or in general will do.
on the Ipod right now - Korn, BBK
1:24 Pink Floyd, Welcome to the Machine on my Yahoo Launchcast station. I forgot how this song puts me to sleep after the first three minutes.
1:36 Minor Threat, Think Again (which I rated down because there comes a point in your life when Minor Threat just doesn't do it for you anymore)
1:45: The Starting Line, The Best of Me. You know, I have to stop letting my daughter sign in to my Launch station if she's going to rate up this craptastic crappity crap.
1:56: Days of the New, Touch Peel and Stand: What ever happend to this band? I thought this album was kinda spiffy.
2:06 Thunderkiss '65, White Zombie: greatest fucking driving song EVER
3:05: Soul Asylum, Runaway Train. This band is ass cakes with ass frosting. Rated down to NEVER PLAY AGAIN
3:27: Bon Jovi - Blaze of Glory And I am SINGING. My son is slowly backing away.
3:35 Black Sabbath - Fairies Wear Boots - Woooo! Best BS song EVAR!
5:22: Question, Moody Blues - Oooohhh haven't heard this one in a while. I love this song. So...timely for a song from 1970.
I went to Payless yesterday to get a pair of sandals. They are having a promo to tie in to the Madagascar craze, and they gave out scratch-off game cards, prizes redeemable starting next month. I threw mine in the bottom of my bag. Bonnie, my co-worker, actually read her game piece, including the fine print.
I've attached a really bad photo of the card just to prove that I'm not lying. You can't see it that well, so I'll write here what it says.
Canadian residents only: To receive any prize or discount, you must first correctly answer, unaided in any way, the math skill-testing quesiton below.
Question: Add 22+16; then subtract 18; then multiply by 8; then divide by 2. Answer________________________________.
I shit you not. WTF? Someone please explain the necessity of this to me.
[This took me forever to do. Forever, I tell you. So you will click on each of the photo links and then you'll tell me how reading this post was the most riveting experience of your entire life. Or not. But just know that it took me forver.]
Long Island, Long Island, it's a hell of a town, where the prices are up but the crime rate's down...
Forbes Magazine has named Long Island as the safest place to live. Yet out of 150 cities/town, it ranked 142 out of 150 in cost of living, making it one of the most expensive places to live. [via Late Final]
Such is the give and take with this place, which I have come to have an intense love/hate relationship with, a place that I will never, ever leave.
So what keeps me here on Long Island, in a place where I can barely afford to live, where the house we bought one year ago this week cost nearly half a million dollars and sucks us dry with property and school taxes? What keeps me here despite the slow crawl to work - a 12 minute commute turned into a 40 minute nightmare on some days?
I'll tell you. In a photo essay.
First, there's my family. My parents, my sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins. I grew up with my cousins as my best friends, my kids now have the same. A short walk around the block and there are ten kids, all related, ready to play baseball or swimming or just hang out and play video games. It's a benefit that cannot be outweighed by anything, not even rural night skies or wide country lanes or peaceful nights without the honking of horns and the sounds of sirens disturbing the sleep.
It's the four distinct seasons with blizzard-like snowstorms and thunderous summer rains and autumn trees that light the sky on fire. It's the snow days when everyone in town gathers in the same spot and we watch our kidsslide down the same hill that we tumbled down as children. It's the familiar faces at school, the music teacher that has been there since time began, the way the cashier at Burger King remarks on how much your son has grown, the way your neighbors and the local deli clerk and the postman all show up at the funeral of your grandfather.
We are a pleasant drive from the tip of Long Island, where we can see beautiful sunsetsand wave to passing boats. We are ten minutes from the beach, where we can swim in the Atlantic ocean until sunset and watch as the sky turns a hundred shades of beautiful.
Long Island has its own museums, its own places of beauty and reverence, a whole history to explore and nature trails to walk. Aquariums, arboretums, bird sanctuaries and miles and miles of beaches, parks and wood all lay before us.
People stay here. My kids go to school with children of the people I went to school with. This is not a town that people pack up and leave in a hurry when they get married and start families. We are grounded here. We are settlers.
I love it here. I hate thetraffic, I hate the cost of living, I hate the way strip malls have permeated the highways and barely a tree standing. But I love it here.
One of those mornings.
Working on something semi-interesting, though. Meanwhile, I've got a smutty little piece up at today's 100 words.
[Holy hell, gmail is sucking the big hard one today. Is it just me?]
Ok, the SW searches are coming in hot and heavy. To the person searching for Jabba the Hut nudity: Lock yourself in a closet and never come out.
That's it, unless something else crosses the transom that appears interesting. If said transom (being gmail) actually works at all, that is.
Which is MY OPINION of overrated movies. MY OPINION. Not yours. So don't get your panties in a wad if your favorite movie is on this list. It's not MY READER'S LIST OF OVERRATED MOVIES. It's MINE.
I think I'll stop before I get carried away. Or maybe it's too late.
I started a "worst horror movies ever" list last week and never finished that. Maybe I'll just add that on to the pile today.
Original content? What's that?
In reference to the post below.
NOTE: IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
Also: Subject to change as I may delete some to make room for sudden, inspiring choices.
No one will ever accuse me of being high-brow or a film snob, that's for sure.
Coming up: Overrated movies. Because Monday is ALWAYS list day at ASV.
Update: I need to keep a running list of movies I have to find room for (or just make a longer list)
[Note: If you are looking for my review of RotS, which apparently people are, it's here]
So TIME Magazine, not to be outdone by every other list making magazine, came out with its own list of ALL-TIME 100 MOVIES as chosen by critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel. I'm thinking the list was originally just called Time's Greatest Movies, but they added on the author credit blurb after they saw the final list, so no one would think that this list somehow belonged to TIME as a whole. They were distancing themselves from the two Dicks.
First of all, any time you have the word "critics" in a list title, you know it's going to be pretentious. "Reader's list" or "listener's list," while they may include such titles as Debbie Does Dallas or Freebird, respectively, at least will have a certain feel to them, like the compilation of titles could be kindred spirits with your very own list. But when you add movie critics to the mix - not critics in the sense that you and I (or even the people at Rotten Tomatoes) are, but critics in the sense of sense of this is my nose and I'm looking down it at you - you end up with a list that rivals ROLLING STONE's Albums of the Year list for sheer pretensiousness, snobbery and, in some cases, utter head scratching. It's as if some of these titles were thrown onto the list in an effort to keep people like me from calling the critics unrepentant twits. Let's have a look, shall we?
First of all, I never heard of some of these movies. That doesn't, in and of itself, make the list good or bad. It just means that a) I don't get out enough or b) the critics thought the inclusion of obscure foreign films would make the list highbrow.
The usual suspects are present and accounted for: Godfather, Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, Some Like it Hot, E.T., Goodfellas...you know the drill.
No Seven Samurai. Star Wars, but not Empire Strikes Back. No Shawshank Redemption or even Fantasia.
Oh, I know. You make a list of 100 movies and see how hard it is to include all the great ones. That's what you're thinking. But let's see what IS included.
Drunken Master. The Fly (1986). Finding Nemo. FINDING NEMO? Yea, it was a good movie, but one of the best ever made? If they wanted to throw in some animation to appease the lovers of that genre, Toy Story, Spirited Away, The Incredibles...all better than Finding Nemo. And they count The Lord of the Rings (2001-03) as ONE movie! That's cheating.
I'm not saying these movies are bad. But how can you take seriously any list that has DRUNKEN MASTER as one of the 100 best films ever made? And am I the only person alive who hated Raging Bull? (OH, and remind me to tell you of the nightmare I had about a remake of Taxi Driver, starring Adam Sandler)
Ok, you know what this means. What happened when Rolling Stone came out with their list of 500 greatest songs ever and I took issue with the whole damn thing? That's right, I made my own.
Get ready for the ASV 100 Greatest Movies of All Time, coming soon to a blog post near you.
Meanwhile, I fully expect you to start picking apart TIME's list. Bonus: How many of the 100 movies on this list have you actually seen?
Update: Ok, there is a reason.
It is hypnotizing me, obviously. It is saying "You will not engage in discussions about the continuity problems in EpIII. You will not write a ten paragraph post on Anakin's transformation to Vader. You will never again say to someone well, I can see where Luke gets his whininess from, as if he were he were real. You will not buy another box of Apple Jacks just to get the green lightsaber spoon. You will not write the academy to implore them to nominate Yoda for an Oscar. You will not pay to see this movie for the third time this week just so you can play Spot the Millennium Falcon."
All glory to the
Sith Toad hypnotoad.
[And as I'm watching Attack of the Clones on Fox, I'm thinking, that damn Padme had it coming to her. She deserved to have her heart broken when Anakin went bad. Once a child killer, always a child killer!]
June 7th, man.
Just 16 days until I can finally hear Paul Anka's interpretation of The Cure's Lovecats and Van Halen's Jump!.
Oh, look I can hear it now, they have samples! Let's go listen....
You know, when Pat Boone covered Enter Sandman, it was cool. This is not. This is bad. Very, very bad. Paula Anka must die. Painfully.
What songs do you always, always leave playing (whether they're on .mp3, CD, or the radio)? What songs always sound good?
That's a tougher question than you think. Very often I'll make a mix CD of what I think are my favorite songs and I'll end up skipping quite a few of them because they don't sound right at the moment. I can't tell you how many times I skip over a Faith No More song on the iPod or turn a Nine Inch Nails song off the radio because it's not what I want to hear at that particular time, even though they are my favorite artists. So are there any songs that have such power, that I have such a strong reaction to that I can't turn it off no matter what my mood at the moment? Of course. But you'll be surprised at what they are.
Which makes me think - why do I tend to gravitate towards all the songs that remind me of being depressed or at least make me feel depressed upon hearing them? I always go back to those tunes that remind me of the worst times of my life. Sometimes singing those tunes now makes me feel appreciative towards what I have now. And sometimes I just like to remember being a sad, black-wearing, poetry writing drama queen. I was emo before there was emo, baby. Anyhow, back to the list.
Passenger: WTF? REO Speedwagon?
Me: You shouldíve seen by the look in my eyes, baby
Passenger: You've lost your mind, haven't you?
Me: Cause it was us baby, way before then
Passenger: Let me out of the car, man. I don't want to be seen with you.
Passenger: When I said that I love you, I meant that I love you forever
Both: And Iím gonna keep on lovin you
I know there's a ton more, I'll probably add to them as the day goes on (in my attempt to stop blogging about you-know-what for even just one day).
Twas the perfect day to be outdoors. Lots of sun, warm temps, amazing clouds, ran into an old friend on the Little League field...just perfect.
And now, we head indoors. As in movie theater. As in, yes we are seeing EpIII again.
obsessed? check the file name of the photo
I swear, I'll stop eventually.
Putting in nearly a full day at the Little League field today. Debating whether or not to go see EpIII again immediately after the game.
Just a few links to throw at you until later:
New theme up at 100 Words or Les Nessman (as well as my story for the day).
Check out Val all day today, he's blogging from the Cuba Nostalgia convention and there's so much good stuff on his blog (since yesterday) I can't even pick a post, so just scroll around.
(Look, that was TWO non-SW related links!)
My review of Revenge of the Sith is below, if you haven't seen it yet. There's still so much more I have to say. The more I think about the movie, the more I have to say. I think it's going to be a few days before I shut up about it, especially if I see it again.
And today's song of the day: Weird Al - Y-O-D-A
So. Where to begin. I'm kind of giddy right now and waaay overtired and I'm just going to ramble on, hit save and go to bed without editing or proofreading anything.
First, this: I am not going to sit here and pick out the flaws and bitch about continuity. And yea, the dialogue was mostly horrid, but I knew that going in. I expected no less. The acting? I don't think Hayden Christensen is going to win any Academy Awards in his lifetime. But that Yoda? What an actor!
Spoilers and embarassing geekiness below.
I went into this movie expecting several things. Mostly, though, I wanted a line to be drawn from A to B, A being Anakin Skywalker and B being Darth Vader. And I got it.
I'm trying to not fangirl gush here. I'm holding it in.
Oh, what the hell. I loved it. Absolutely loved it. It was everything I expected and more important, everything I wanted. It was exciting and dramatic and emotional and dark.
Do you want to know how much of a geek I am? I can't believe I am going to admit this here. When the opening scroll started and the music began I actually teared up. I swear to you, there were tears in my eyes and I almost, nearly started crying. And I'm not the only one. There was a palpable sense of relief in the theater when the scroll came up. Like everyone sighed at once. Finally, our questions answered. The closure. The scroll and the music is the beginning of the end, and it's very bittersweet because you know that once the movie starts, you're on your way to it being over. Not just the movie being over, but the whole Star Wars saga that you spent 28 years of your life thinking about and talking about is over.
I thought they did an excellent job of explaining the transformation of Anakin to Vader. It made perfect sense to me. Palpatine played on Anakin's sense of love; his love for Padme and his love for power and Palpatine knew that the love of power would grow and eventually dwarf the love for Padme once Anakin got a taste of it. He knew that Anakin was afraid of Padme dying so he fed him all that bullshit about bringing people back to life to get him interested in what the dark side could do, and when he had his interest, he went for the kill by making him angry with the Jedi Council. Because what feeds the dark side? Anger. That's why Palpatine told Anakin it was he who killed Padme- he would be consumed with losing the thing he loved the most (a recurring statement of sorts in the movie) and that anger and rage would make him even more powerful and fearsome.
When Anakin finally, really becomes Vader - not in that cheesy naming scene, but in the scene where he's being fitted with the Vader parts and helmet - when he takes that first breath and you hear James Earl Jones's voice for the first time, and he takes that stiff step (pure homage to Frankenstein there) - goosebumps. I mean, the whole theater just sucked in their breath and waited for it and when he did the Vader breathing and then the voice, you could just feel it, like tension being let out. A bunch of people even applauded and I know why they did. Because there it was - the culimination of the wait. Go back to what I said in this post:
I know what's going to happen in this movie, I know how things are going to turn, how they are going to go bad, and while I can't wait for that clank sound in my head, when it will be like two train cars hooking together, when everything makes sense and one film flows into the other, it will be both satisfying and sad.
Exactly. Just like I imagined it. Everything came together. I don't know how else to describe it and for anyone who is not a huge Star Wars fan, the moment won't mean nearly as much. But for those of you who, like me, invested 28 years in waiting to have the connection made on film, it's an amazing, spine tingling moment. But yea, it was sad, too.
The whole movie was beautifully played out - the lightsaber battles (Yoda ROCKS) and the emotional tug of war, and that one scene where the rebellion happens - it was so reminiscent of the Godfather (if you've seen both movies you'll know exactly what I mean) and I thought that whole scenario was very powerful and sad, in many ways. And seeing how Anakin gets so defeated in the lava scene, and Obi-Wan just standing there, watching him suffer like that, that was a really sad and powerful scene, too.
Other little bits: It was good to see Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen on Tatooine. And Chewie of course. When Count Dooku appeared, some kid in the theater said, "Hey, it's Saruman!" and we got a good giggle out of that. The whole lava scene was amazing, gorgeously filmed.
Yea, there were a lot of hokey parts. When she names the babies as they come out, that seemed just weird, and Vader's cry of NOOOOOO, and "hold me like you held me on Naboo." Ugh. But those moments were fleeting. And Grievous's cough was really annoying. What the hell was that about?
And on that now infamous NOOOOOO scene, I think people are kind of overplaying the gack effect of it, because you have to think - it's not that he's just pissed that Padme is dead or even that he killed her, I think the cry is one of anger at himself, at knowing the transformation is really complete and he is now a monster. Which we all realized when he killed the kids in the Jedi temple. My son gasped when that happened. A lot of people did. Sure, he's Vader, but kids? Younglings, rather. That's what they called them. Cheesy, I know. Anyhow, I guess it that "noooo" yell was some kind of catharsis, because we all know that after that (in subsequent movies) he seems to rather enjoy being Vader.
I love this movie. I can't decide if it's going before or after Episode IV in my rankings of SW films. I'm going to see it again Sunday night and I'll decide after that. But it definitely goes before Jedi.
I love this movie.
Some day, when this one comes out on DVD, I am going to watch all of them in one sitting, in the proper order. I think a lot of people will. Viewing the story as a a whole piece instead of parts of a whole will be novel. George Lucas may be a lot of things, but he is best at being a storyteller.
Thank you, George Lucas. I hate you, I still do. But thank you.
I love this movie.
In just four hours I'll be sitting in a darkened movie theater, awaiting the start of the culmination of 28 years worth of slavish devotion to fictional characters and settings.
Please check out the Carnival of the Force (as seen on CNN!) for more SW related links as well as new links to blogger reviews. I bet it's been updated ten times since you last looked.
I don't know if I'll do my review when I get home or wait until morning, but you can bet I'll at least log on to say something like "Yea, it was as awesome, cheesy and breathtaking as I expected it to be!"
Oh - there's a whole new crop of stories over at 100 Words or Les Nessman. Go read and then write your own for today's theme.
Aaaaaand....it's Friday! The day I put on a wig, get drunk and pretend to be Brett Somers.
Another Star Wars toy camera phone picture below.
Shit like this is just ruining everything.
I'm going to go lock myself in a room for six days and do nothing but play Legend of Zelda and reminisce about the good old days when you had to work to get the information you needed and when the retarded antics of every person in the free world wasn't on display for everyone to see and for Nick Denton to make a buck off of. Or even the days before the word "blog" made me break out in itchy hives and before the word "blogosphere" made me have this Pavlovian response of wretching.
Remember, kids. This isn't a blog. It's an electronic bag of fun! Or....I need another word to call this thing besides blaaaaaaaahg.
First person to say "craphole" gets a pat on the back and sarcastic smile.
Though "weclome to my craphole" sounds very early 90's-ish. All I'd need is some animated gifs and an spinning "under construction" sign.
Update: Now this. This is what the internet is all about. NSFW. (Thank you, Carol!)
Oh, I scored 12/16 on the man milk/moo milk quiz.
Underrated Movie Bad Guys
Running really late today. But I thought I'd just throw this out there, just to get the party started.
Been a busy day at work and now we're headed out to baseball (where DJ will be testing the limits of reality and see if he can get The Force to help him with his swing). I don't want to slack in my Star Wars geek duty, though.
First, a special treat for you:
Bill Murray: Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars....(download)
And one of my favorites: Supernova doing Chewbacca (What a Wookiee) from Clerks (download)
Don't forget the vintage SW radio ads here, and all the SW posts gathered in one place here, especially the Carnival of the Force which may or may not be featured on CNN at some point today, so I hear.
And, I can't believe that in nearly five years of this site and all the lists I've made and movie quote posts I've written that I never did this:
Favorite Star Wars quotes, any of the movies. The floor is yours.
My son is reliving my youth.
I need to thank him for making me rediscover the wonders of Van Halen. I'm listening to Women and Children First and I forgot just how amazing this album is. Could This Be Magic still makes me grin like crazy. David Lee Roth is one of the greatest things to happen to rock and roll.
Yes, I just typed those words. My 17 year old self is pointing and laughing at me from across the time dimensions.
[Also, the day's theme -and my story - are up at 100 words. Come play along!]
Between blogs and Fark, I've read about 100 mini reviews of RotS, and the opinions seem overwhelmingly favorable.
The Carnival of the Force will now include reviews.
Here's the rule for today: Do not tell me how much the movie sucked, how much you hated it, what a travesty it was. Do not suck the life out of my anticipation a full day before I get to see the film. Oh, you can come in here and drop comments about how much you loved it, how it rocked, how it made you fee like a kid again or want to make love to Yoda or how this makes up for the past two films. Because that all fuels my enthusiasm, and that's a much better thing to do for someone than to gleefully tell them that they are getting coal for Christmas. Follow?
Once I actually see the movie (7:15 tomorrow night), then we can discuss your opinion vs. mine.
Another thing: Save your rants about the dialogue and acting. This is Star Wars. We're all pretty sure the dialogue and acting are going to suck. It's inevitable and it's something most of us have come to expect and tolerate. I'm in it for the story. Because despite everything I feel about George Lucas, despite my histrionics about how much I hate him and how he's a greedy bastard and a bit of a loon, he sure knows how to weave a gorgeous story. He may not do it with stellar dialogue, but a story like this does not need beautifully written words. The plot speaks for itself. The characters, the settings, the scenery, the emotions, they all speak for themselves and Lucas knows how to play that out on the screen (for the most part) and how to make the audience feel as if they are part of that story. I don't care if sometimes the actors look or sound wooden because I'm not watching the movie to scout out Oscar winning performances. I'm watching a story unfold. A story 28 years in the waiting.
If you saw the movie and wrote a review, leave a link in the comments. Please, for the love of Yoda, make it known if you have spoilers in your review.
I swear, I will come up with some non-SW content today. Really.
[Has been updated many times, new links added this morning, just scroll to the bottom. And please, nobody leave any spoilers, reviews or opinions about how much the movie sucked in the comments!]
Aside from my own geek blogging, there are a TON of bloggers out there joining me in having a raging Star Wars hard on this week. To put it bluntly.
I'm going to try to track down all the posts I can find. If you have written on SW in the past week or so (or know someone who did), leave a link in the comments and then I'll add it to the post as soon as I can. My only rule is that I won't post links to anyone discussing Star Wars and today's politics, anyone comparing the movie to the war in Iraq or anyone who thinks we should boycott the movie because Lucas doesn't like Bush. I don't care.
Also note that I will be collecting blogger reviews of RotS as soon as they start coming in. Please email any review links to me as soon as you read them!
This list will keep growing, so keep checking back.
Riddle me this Batman, How much dirt is in a hole 3 acres square and 200 feet deep?
Riddle me this Batman, How do you stop a dog from barking in July?
Riddle me this Batman, What are the chilliest 12 inches in the world?
Riddle me this Batman, What has yellow skin and writes?
Riddle me this Batman, What is it that no man wants to have but no man wants to lose?
Riddle me this, Batman, When does a painter use a trigger instead of a brush?
Riddles from actual episodes. Answers later, if you don't get them.
DJ has been listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin lately. The rumor around middle school is that Jimmy Page is the greatest guitarist that ever lived. Apparently, Zep is big again with the 12 year olds.
I tell DJ I'll buy him one of those vintage Led Zeppelin t shirts (just bought him a Pink Floyd [DSOTM] shirt that he wears nearly every day). He says "I don't want that black and white shirt from '78 because they sucked then. I want the shirt from '76. That's when they rocked."
Ok then. I'm being schooled on LZ from my 12 year old kid?
Up until this point we had kept him away from Stairyway to Heaven. Just a thing I have against that song. We finally relented the other night when he begged to listen to it because all the other guys in his school who play guitar were learning the solo. I handed him the CD and sent him to his room. Twelve minutes later he comes into the living room with a bewildered look on his face.
"What the hell was that?"
"That was Stairway to Heaven?? That was the song that everyone thinks is the greatest thing ever written?"
"I could play that solo without even trying. And the rest of the song sucks. What the heck is a bustled hedgerow (he looked up the words because he had no idea what Plant was saying)?"
"Page isn't that great. Give me five minutes and I'll be playing 'Heartbreaker' better than him."
Thirty minutes later I walk into his room.
"Hey, how's the Heartbreaker thing going?"
"Man, I totally underestimated Page."
"But I did learn something."
"Never judge a band by their most famous song. Oh, and don't listen to your stupid friends who learn everything about bands from dumb message boards. Oh, oh...and my stepfather is always right when it comes to stuff like this!" He says that loud enough to be overheard and for brownie points scored.
"Oh, yea. My mom is always mostly right, too."
As if it wasn't already apparent that I've gone overboard, my contribution for today to 100 Words has a decidedly familiar theme.
Don't forget that we have opened up 100 Words to all of you - if you want to join in and write a story on today's theme, just put your story in the comments on the theme post. 100 words, people. No more. No Les(s Nessman).
I'd say there's three levels of Star Wars fans. There's Level 1: the person who really enjoys the movies and can name all the main characters, but stops short of engaging in a discussion of whether or not Han shot first. A Level 2 fan (of which I would be one) has a more in-depth knowledge of the movie series; recognizes the Star Wars world as one of fantasy but often discusses aspects of it as if it were real; owns action figures, but realizes that Peter Mayhew is not really a Wookiee and wouldn't ask him to do a Wookiee yell if they ever met him. Then there's Level 3. That's the guy who will wait on line months in advance of the premeire of a new SW movie. At the wrong theater. And demand that Lucas show the film in the theater he's on line at. A Level 3 lives in a world inhabited by people who are one light saber duel away from never coming back to this side of reality. He or she is the person who dresses their dog in a Vader costume or names their son Luke Skywalker.
I admit that I have at some points I have flaunted my Level 2 credentials with reckless abandon and come very, very close to a beginner stage Level 3. Yes, I stood outside Toys R Us waiting for a new shipment of figures to come in. Yes, I had a life size cut-out of Boba Fett in my house for way too long. Yes, I've had discussions that make me seem a bit out there. And so what if tasted Yoda cereal or sent away for a glow-in-the-dark Kenobi or cried tears of joy when, in 1997, I found a Darth Vader action figure carrying case at a garage sale for two dollars? I'll tell you what I've never done. I never ate Lava Berry Explosion Pop Tarts just because they have Vader's face on the box. Ok, I bought them. And I opened them. And I was actually going to take a bite until I realized they look like they are filled with the blood of rebel peasants and coated with actual lava. So while I purchased them and looked at them and even smelled them, I never actually ate them, which I think saves me from crossing over into Level 3-dom. Because that's the difference between a 2 and 3. A Level 3 fan would eat the Pop Tarts anyhow, no matter how bad they looked or smelled or tasted, because they are compelled by the voices in their heads (most of which sound just like James Earl Jones) to do such things.
I have no such voices. I draw the line at certain places. I will not subject myself to ridicule in the name of a movie franchise. I will not (even though I said I would) make a stormtrooper costume for myself. I will not attempt to try a Darth Dew Slurpee (I leave that to the experts). And I will stop having those dreams about Boba Fett. I don't know the dimensions of Tatooine or how much fuel it takes to fly an X-Wing and sometimes the entire Star Wars family tree confuses me so, even if I aspired to be one, I could never be a Level 3. My mind automatically rejects any further knowledge of the Star Wars universe because it knows. It has a warning system that tries to keep me in check. That's the difference between a 2 and 3 - a working mind. Sanity!
Ok, maybe I'll get these Dark Side checks. When my Batman checks run out, that is. And this would look nice in my living room. Did someone say they had a link to a Leia slave girl costume? I could probably get something together in a few days, if I.......
Danger! Danger! Approaching Level 3! Step away from the $120 lightsaber!
We also picked up Team America (uncensored version, of course), but that's staying hidden away until the kids aren't home. They're not seeing this one until they're at least 21. And still, not with me. Will not watch puppet sex with my kids.
Also, I freaking hate Best Buy. I keep going there, but I hate the store, hate the aloof workers, hate that they try to hard sell me a subscription to EW every damn time I buy something, hate the fact that they don't care when you're looking for a popular title and they haven't had it in stock for three weeks, so when you say you're going to EB World instead, they just shrug.
Favorite Sega Genesis games:
The console market is just about saturated. Is this a good thing or bad thing?
I think what's going to happen is we'll see more and more brand loyalty surface as new consoles are hand helds are introduced.
I used to be more loyal to Sega than anything else (I still heart my Dreamcast), but I find myself defending Nintendo a lot these days. That's probabpy because I still think 2D side scrollers are the greatest games and too much "artsy" innovation in video games doesn't always translate to better game play. For my money, Nintendo comes out with games that have the best play value.
The best thing about the Nintendo Revolution is the backwards compatability - eventually you will be able to download almost every Nintendo game for play, from Mario Bros. on up. The only thing that worries me about the Rev is they don't show the controllers. I need to see what they look like first before I make a commitment.
Look at the controllers for the PS3. What the hell are they thinking? How do you hold that for any length of time without getting carpal tunnel syndrome?
The 360 is everything I hate about the new age of video games. I want a console that plays video games. I already have everything I need to listen to music and upload camera images. I don't want another computer. I want a video game system. I want simplicity. I want to put in a game, press play and go. Why would I spend money a gaming console that does everything my computer does? Sometimes less is more. Which is why, I suppose, I always turn towards Nintendo.
So are any of you looking to buy one of these new consoles? Which one makes your hands twitch with anticipation?
As an update, I have to say that while I will defend Nintendo and it's "kid friendly" games to the death, I am not without my need for blood and gore. If I had to choose between the two other platforms, I'd go with the PS3 - and it's most likely that we would end up getting the PS3 as well to satisfy both my husband and son, who aren't big Nintendo fans like myself. I'd have to see a list for planned titles for the PS3 before I made a real choice - if it's all just rehashes of PS1 and 2 titles, then, for me, it's not worth it.
We never did buy an Xbox and it's not likely we'd ever get the 360.
I know we just introduced 100 Words or Les Nessman last week, but I need to re-introduce it because we moved it over here. Please check it out - we have a new theme each day and each of us posts a 100 word story to go with the them. My co-bloggers on this one are incredibly creative and fun to read. You can view the entries by issue (date) or individual person. And if you feel the urge, you can join in by leaving your own story in the comments of the theme post. Read it, link it, love it!
Also, new stuff up at Inappopriately Dressed. Kind of frightening and maybe not safe for small children.
And do you know what today is? It's Pete and Pete day!
Speaking of my sites, I'm trying to figure out what to do with this one. I've already mentioned that at the end of this year, I'll probably switch to photoblogging with some fiction, and that's about it.
I'm almost bored with blogging, mainly because I think I've run out of original things to say. After four and half years, what's left? I've made every pop culture reference there is to make, I've bitched about every tv show, ranted about every album, made lists of every movie - I don't know what's left. And when I do find something interesting (to me, at least) to write about it, I'm left wondering if anyone even reads the longer stuff anymore. I always said I write here for me, but when you spend a couple of hours putting something together, it's almost disheartening to see just one or two comments on it (and I think most bloggers will tell you the same, no matter what their topic).
It's not that I want to stop - I do enjoy this for the most part and most of what I enjoy is the interactiveness of it - I like making lists and whatnot and having people add their own stuff to the list. Maybe where I've gone wrong is the wide focus of this blog. The photos, the stories, the quizzes and lists, the sports blogging and movie blogging and all of that makes it unfocused (much like myself right now).
I'm feeling both directionless and the need to do something creatively at the same time. So I'll ask YOU - what do you like best here? What brings you back? What turns you away? What can I do to keep interesting (to both myself and you) for the next seven months or so? Have you had enough of the lists? Do the long posts turn you away? Etc.
Update: Thanks so much for the feedback. I appreciate it and I'll use it to figure out how to proceed from here, which may involve not changing anything at all.
Best new wave songs (a very incomplete list):
[by best, I mean the songs that made me get off my ass and dance instead of sitting there in the club looking all glum and goth and apathetic]
I can tell you, from memory, that when I danced to these songs I was mostly likely wearing a black/cobalt blue miniskirt with some kind of shiny, pleather belt; torn, black stockings; a punk rock band t-shirt, nearly ripped to shreds; spiked up hair. Shoes had been kicked off much earlier in the night. Let's just say I'm glad no one ever thought of bringing a camera to Spit!, our new wave club of choice on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays (the other days it was a disco, Uncle Sam's). Huge dance floor, enormous bar - they also had a lot of shows there. I remember seeing Men at Work and Madness there. I'm sure there were others, maybe APB. Around this time I also saw U2 at a small night club on the island, and The Fixx at a roller rink!
first, I promise it will not be all Star Wars, all day today.
Here's how I know I have a problem. I hate Burger King. Loathe the food, despise the creepy King commercials, want to throw a broken bottle at Hootie's head. Yet there I was last night, idling at the drive-thru while I tried to get the person who apparently didn't speak/understand English to tell me what toys they had in stock. Finally, I just asked for all of them. All. Of. Them. I annunciated loudly, the way you do when you think someone can't understand you and somehow saying it louder will help. And, of course, he didn't understand me because when I got home and looked in the bags, the order was all messed up. I ended up eating ice cream for dinner. Which was fine, because I had my little toys to play with.
Anyhow, I'd like to apologize for the general suckiness of this blog lately. It's hard to be creative when your head is full of snot and you're being attacked by an angry mob of pollen. This morning seems to be no different, so I'm just going to offer up a timely repeat, which happens to be my most requested repeat/link ever (yes, I take requests). I don't think there's a person who reads this blog today that hasn't seen this one already, but filler is filler and on-topic filler is better.
Every family has those special sayings. The ones that only the people in their family know the meaning of, usually related to some inside joke or a story that is the family's version of an urban legend.
Yes, we have them. We have several, actually, but this is my most often used saying and my favorite just for the looks I get from other people when I say it.
When DJ turned four (you just knew this would have something to do with DJ, didn't you?) he was a Star Wars freak of the highest order. Ok, we all were. For his birthday that year, he got a whole batch of Star Wars toys, including this humongous replica of the Millennium Falcon, complete with flashing lights and sound effects. He enjoyed this present immensely, often playing with it for hours at a time. He would sometimes take his figures from other toy sets - knights and pirates and cowboys - and put them in the Millennium Falcon. He would then have Han Solo boss them around. It was fun to watch.
So one day I go in his bedroom and I notice a strange odor. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, and I start looking around the room for moldy food or drink cups or small, dead animals. Finally, I pinpoint where the smell is coming from. The Millennium Falcon. I look into it, and see that a small flood has invaded its interior. Han Solo and Pocahantas are floating together in a stream of.....of....what's that? Piss?? Piss in the Millennium Falcon? I went ballistic. I screamed and yelled and acted sufficiently horrified, all the while fighting the urge to let out this maniacal laugh. The laughter that comes from witnessing the absurd.
DJ stood there watching me, a small grin playing around the corners of his mouth. He wanted to smile. He wanted to laugh. Hell, he wanted to do a jiggy dance right there because his little antic served its purpose. He wanted a reaction. He got it. I didn't really know what else to say at the point. So I put my hand on my hip and pointed sternly at him. "Young man," I said. "You do not pee in the Millennium Falcon!" He nodded his head in agreement, still stifling that laugh. I made him take the offending toy outside, hose it down and the throw it in the garbage can. Which, of course, made him cry and realize the gravity of his action.
A couple of days later, we are in Chucky Cheeseís. They have one of those big, winding tunnels that the kids can crawl through and torment each other. It's suspended about 8 feet above the rest of the play area and it's basically impossible to get to the kids when you want to leave. The kids know this. I read my kids the riot act before they go to play. Coming here is a privilege, I explain. When I say it's time to go, we go. So an hour later it's time to go and they look down at me from the opaque orange tube of kiddie hell and stick their tongues out at me. I go to the end of the tube and yell at them. They laugh. I say something about taking good things for granted. They laugh. I then yell "Do not pee in the Millennium Falcon!" Heads turn, the place goes quiet. Everyone is staring. Two seconds later, the kids are down the slide and in their coats. They knew what I meant.
The phrase has found its place in the twisted lingo of our family. We use it at opportune moments, in our home and in public, and it always makes its point and gets the job done.
Do not pee in the Millennium Falcon. Our family's golden rule.
Through the power of Total Fark (thank you, Jay) you can listen to five vintage Star Wars radio ads.
These are awesome. Cheesy, yet awesome.
Don't be startled...it's only the sand people.
All the radio spots have been moved to one page - here.
Stop emailing me the stories about the politics of Revenge of the Sith. Just. Stop. I don't care. Not one damn iota.
Also, stop sending emails with links to poor reviews, especially if your mail contains something like "Hahahah told you it was the sux0rz!" Don't be such a dick all your life, k?
Seriously, people. What is it about non-Star Wars fans that make them want to ride the fans so hard? Do you really think you are superior to us because you don't care? Is Star Wars aloofness the new hip?
I've got my tickets and I am psyched. And if you don't want to read a whole bunch of content about the Star Wars universe and the movies and everything that comes with it, I suggest you don't hang around here for the rest of the week. Especially if you're just going to litter the place with comments like "It's going to SUCK!" or "If you give Lucas your money, you hate America!"
Talk about getting a life. I just don't understand people - and this has to do with Star Wars as much as sports or music or something as simple as knitting - who feel the need to spend their time ridiculing not so much the things other people like (because we all do that) but ridiculing the people who like them. There is a difference.
Now, to go find the proper materials to make this.
Sure, I may be a little short for a Stormtrooper. But I make up for it with other assetts!
And, as I was writing this, I noticed that Will Collier is clearly on the same page.
Hey, if you've written something about Star Wars, let me know. Maybe I'll do up a Carnival of the Force.
Just so you know, today is apparently Drive Like An Asshole Day.
I don't know if this is just specific to my little area of residence or if it's celebrated the world over. I wish I had known, as I would have not held the coin flip ceremony over staying home and nursing my deathly illness or going to work. I would have just stayed in bed (work won the coin toss).
Anyhow, just keep in mind there's no need to participate in this rogue holiday. Remember, driving like an asshole makes you a whole ass.
Sometimes thoughts just...converge. It's most compelling when they do and they leave me no choice but to write about them. It's like a gaggle of ideas has ganged up on me and said, write about us or we shall pummel you!
It started when, quite by accident, I came across one of my favorite childhood books on Amazon, The Witch Family. I must have read it a dozen times at least while in elementary school, and I've read it nearly every summer since, as recent as last year. I read it for the memories, mostly. Not so much the memories of being curled up under a table in the children's room at the library, reading as fast as I could to get to the part with the spelling bee, or the memories of being sick, clutching tissues in one hand, the book in the other, once again feeling sorry for the witch. It's the memories of where the book - and all books for that matter - took me, that wondrous place between here and there, where maybe witches and aliens and talking frogs do exist.
Interestingly enough, the Booklist blurb for Witch Family reads:
To those children who move unhesitatingly between the real and unreal and are equally at home in both worlds...
I think a lot of people who lived the sort of childhood I did - nearly friendless and filled with a solitude that I was comfortable with - books of fantasy and science fiction and magic offered other worlds for us to live in, however briefly. And not even necessarily just those genres; the world of Little Women or Encyclopedia Brown or The Boxcar Children were just as enticing, because they weren't my world. They offered something different, and if even the book contained no magic, just being transported to the world inside the pages was magic enough.
Immediately, Britt's art harpooned that spot in my brain where I was still thinking about books and the library and childhood. His art speaks of simplicity, innocence, fun. The style is reminiscent of the illustrations found in my old textbooks or the joke books that lined my shelf (you'll have to click on portfolio and look around, you can't link to specific pieces of art). I was not surprised to see he notes as his inspirations Ed Emberley and Ezra Jack Keats; I spied the connection right away.
The one particular piece that made me wistful to the point of melancholy is Underneath The Sockberry Tree. Three children, stretched out under a tree, one of them reading. The tree is brimming with berries and, yes socks. There was a time, I'm certain, when I would have believed that socks could grow on trees. There was a time when whimsy and nonsense were part of my everyday life.
Oddly enough, right as I was looking at the art, I was having an online conversation with a friend about earliest memories (this is where the convergence comes in, if you're still looking for it). The drawing brought back a previously lost memory - I suppose it had been laying dormant for all these years in one of those dusty corners of my mind where the stuff I don't need to know or remember lays. I think our brains have a sort of recycle bin, or a holding cell, where it sticks memories and facts and figures that are unnecessary for us to know to get through daily life and would only clog up the works if left out in the open with the important stuff. Occasionally, one of those memories or facts will be called for and the little monkeys that work inside our head open up the bin and release the it into the front of our lobe. This comes in handy when one is playing Trivial Pursuit or when trying to make a family member feel guilty for some past transgressions.
Anyhow, upon seeing the drawing, I was immediately overwhelmed by a vision of my mother and I laying underneath a tree, reading. A memory had come unloosed, one where I was in my backyard - maybe six years old - reading through a tome on fairy tales (I had started reading books at four) underneath the shade of an enormous maple tree. I had a terrible cold and my mother insisted that the warm spring air was good for me. So I laid on a blanket and read about magical things and then, for a time, I crossed that line between the here and there. I went inside, took my mother's good silver spoons and started digging around the maple tree, sure that there were magic coins buried there; coins that would take me on all kinds of fantastical trips. Alas, there were no coins, of course. But I did find several odd shaped rocks that I imagined were magic in some way. I cleaned them, stuffed them in my pocket and waited.
I was still waiting when my mother came outside with lunch. Grilled cheese with tomato and a glass of chocolate milk. She stayed out there with me while I ate and when I was done, we laid down on the blanket and looked at clouds. Because I had been reading tales of knights and such, I saw castles and queens and a few dragons. As I pointed out each cloud, my mother strung together a story about them. That was - and is - the greatest thing about my mother, in that she always encouraged my imagination. She fueled it, even, by buying me books upon books about mystical, unbelievable creatures and characters. And she joined me so often in crossing from the here to the there. I'm realizing now that it was probably that day, underneath the maple tree, making up stories about clouds, that I learned it was not just okay to walk into other worlds, it was a good thing. I learned then how to suspend my disbelief so that books and movies would always hold amazing adventures for me - the world of make believe, whether it be on print or screen - is the one place where I can keep my cynicism in check.
That's not my earliest memory, however. That would be when I was three years old, dancing to the Moody Blues' Go Now in the basement apartment in my grandmother's house.
And now I'm looking through the rest of Britt's art and becoming increasingly nostalgic for the simple days of my childhood, for the un-complex world of purple smudged ditto sheets and Richard Scarry stories and one cent gum and my Close 'N' Play record player.
In some ways I've held onto the thing that makes childhood so special:
To those children who move unhesitatingly between the real and unreal and are equally at home in both worlds...
If you never lose your ability to do that, to walk between both worlds and be at home in each, then you never lose your ability to imagine, to wonder, to be a child, even as an adult.
I think it's time to read The Witch Family again. Or maybe Half-Magic.
I love Family Guy.
The rematch with the chicken was great.
Get the Escalade, we're getting out of here!
The Star Wars ending was sweet.
And that Burger King guy? Creepiest thing ever. He even weirds Vader out.
Again, the chicken rematch owned. And both Simpons episodes were just average.
We now return to our Robitussin/NyQuil cocktail party.
It's fitting that I started <a href="http://www.amazothis weekend- there's a whole chapter in the beginning on one of the most fascinating characters every to wear a Yankee uniform - and tomorrow is his birthday.
Happy birthday, Billy Martin.
Whether you loved him or hated him, there's no denying he certainly made things interesting. He was a complex guy that few people understood, or even attempted to understand. But he was, for the most part, one hell of a manager. He was a guy who lived for baseball, almost to the exclusion of everything else.
Earl Weaver on Martin: Billy understands baseball, he just doesn't understand life.
"Some people have a chip on their shoulder. Billy has a whole lumberyard."
"We used to tease each other about whose liver was going to go first. I never thought it would end for him this way."
--Mickey Mantle on the death of Martin, quoted in USA Today, December 29, 1989
I'll raise a glass of Scotch to him, anyhow. I know a lot of people hated him, but you gotta love the way he loved the game.
It's unlikely I'll be posting until much later this evening, as I am suffering from the Worst. Head cold. Ever.
I'll be spending my day on the couch, reading The Bronx is Burning, watching Empire Strikes, whining and crying so everyone knows I am really sick, sick, sick, yet- look! - look how I get up off the couch to make you Sunday dinner, look how I got the laundry done even though I am dying, look how I will go outside and plow the fields with mules even though I am on my death bed! Look, there's Ben Franklin, he's talking to me on the tv and he's saying that I should..what? Go on a killing spree? Praise liberty? Jumping Jiminy? He's mumbling, I wish these spirtual visits from dead political figures were more... coherent.
Anyhow, have I mentioned that Robitussin DM makes me hallucinate? It does, indeed. But it really takes the pain away, so I'll deal with Abraham Lincoln exhorting me to kill my family if it means my throat will stop burning for a few hours. Sigh. The mules are calling again.
Have you ever been so sick you just wish your head would explode like that one guy in Scanners?
Man, that would be sweet relief.
"Have you tried one of these Ewoks, m'lord?" asked Admiral Piett, offering me a crisp kebab. "Delectable!" Veers himself was surrounded by a cadre of identical troopers holding their helmets in one hand and their drinks in the other. "Lord Vader!" Veers greeted me. "I'm so glad you could join us. Did somebody get you an Ewok?"
It's not just satire or parody. It's so well written you wish it were real. Good stuff.
And this further diminishes my increasingly blurred line between reality and Lucas-fueled fantasy.
I may need intervention soon.
In 7-11, by the coffee machine
Girl: What are we going to do tonight?
Guy: (shrugs) we could fuck for three hours or so...
Girl: Uh..I have my period.
Guy: (leeringly) not in your mouth, you don't.
(Girl slaps guy in the head)
surprise party, my house
Did I mention that Nat was throwing a surprise party for two of her friends today? Right now there are 12 fifteen year old girls in my house.
The decibel level is frightening. The Amityville Horror house has nothing on what's going on here right now. I think my neighbors (who moved in only last week) just put a "for sale" sign up.
Kill me. Now. Or come rescue me, at least.
Friday, May 20, 7:15
Two. One for me, one for DJ - the only other person in this family with good sense.
It's like waiting for Christmas.
For a few years, I've been mulling over the idea of writing a story loosely based on the summer of 1977. Yesterday, on a recommendation,
I ordered this book: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City by Jonathan Mahler. Just reading the synopsis got me thinking about '77 all over again.
New York City in 1977 was in the middle of wild upheaval on all fronts, from the hunt for the Son of Sam killer and the citywide blackout to a brutal mayor's race and the rise of punk rock and the zenith of disco. In Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning, journalist Jonathan Mahler revisits all those storylines through another drama, which grabbed tabloid headlines all summer long: the outrageous--and pennant-winning--New York Yankees.
[and what follows is a really loosely written interpretation of what that summer was like for me, almost an outline of what I would use as the basis for a work of fiction based on that time in my life. It's not edited, it's written on the fly and it's posted here for posterity and to maybe get me to finally start writing the story. It's about 2400 words, which is kind of unwieldy for a blog post, but I've written it more as an exercise for me than anything else. That's not to say I don't want you to read it - it just may seem very disjointed and rambling to you]
Of all the years of my life - and that's nearly 43 of them - 1977 is the year I could tell you the most about. Actually it's the year I would want to tell you the most about. It was a time so jam packed with intensity and emotion and drama - I don't recall any other year of my life being quite like that one. Of course, I was barely 15 at the time and there's enough emotion and insanity inherent in that alone to make the year worth telling about. But there was something so different about 1977, especially the late spring and summer. Especially in New York.
I was in the midst of my first year in the local Catholic high school. I had a new set of friends, a new way of life, a new outlook on the world. I would be 15 in a few months. Life was good. Life was mine.
Though we lived on Long Island, we weren't that far removed from the glamour and excitement of New York City. Even at our young ages (and I doubt there is a Long Island parent today that would be as permissive as our parents were back then) we would sometimes take the train to the city on weekends and just walk around, using our allowance money to buy records and eat burgers at the Steak and Brew, where we tried to pass ourselves off as 18 year olds to get the free pitchers of beer that came with the burgers. No matter how good it was to be 14 or 15, it seemed there was always something better on the horizon. We wanted to be 18 or 19. We wanted to cruise around in cars and go to bars. We were jealous of the permissive lifestyle that was so prevalent in NY at the time - Studio 54 opened in 1977, punk rock was on the rise and bands like The Dead Boys were playing at CBGB's - it seemed there was so much turmoil, yet so much excitement - it was all so glamorous in a decadent way, you couldn't help but want to be caught up in it.
New York City was just coming out of terrible times - there had been a huge financial crisis (I'll never forget the Daily News headline from when the president was asked to help bail NYC out: Ford to City: Drop Dead) and there had been a stretch when the South Bronx was literally on fire for the longest time - I remember this because my father was a fireman at the time and he was always talking about, how there would be no fires left to fight in the area eventually because it was all going to burn down and Bushwick (Brooklyn) where my father worked was no better. My parents discussed all this at the dinner table with us, and we watched the nightly news and together we watched New York City (meaning all five boroughs) almost die before our eyes.
So there we were in 1977 and the city was alive. There was so much happening. And we would sit on our suburban porches and be wistful about it because at our ages we may have been able to get to the city on a weekend day, but even in the summer there was no way we would be able to take part in the nightlife that was going on there. As much as we wanted to stick safety pins in our faces or some of us wanted to wear glittering dresses and platform shoes and dance the night away, it wasn't going to happen. And we knew that by the time we were old enough to enjoy this stuff, it would all be gone and there would be new scenes, so we lived vicariously through newspaper accounts and tales from older friends' siblings.
And then David Berkowitz came along and the aura of NYC seemed to dive headlong into a dark time that would abate only when the New York Yankees would win the World Series that year - and even then the drama of the Yankees' season with Reggie Jackson and George and Billy Martin was somehow fitting with the climate of the times.
When parents realized there was a serial killer on the loose, it was like life outside of school and home shut down. It didn't matter that it seemed this killer only wanted to hurt a specific type of person - most notably young brunette women in the Bronx and Brooklyn and Queens - we were in close proximity to these killings and who knew where this guy was going to end up? So doors were shut and curfews were made and this layer of fear settled over us that spring and lasted well into summer. People talked about Son of Sam everywhere, in stores and at the pool in the dentist office, but they talked in whispers, as if saying his name out loud would be to call him into our suburban haven. I remember one friend's mother - a holy roller who would make trays of cookies for us and serve them with religious tracts - moaning about how we deserved this, this day and age was so decadent what with it's disco and punk rock and women dressing like whores. She pronounced whores so it rhymed with sewers. Dressed like hooo-ers. She was afraid the end times were coming and Son of Sam was just the harbinger of certain death and destruction and God's wrath upon us.
Which it may very well have seemed to a lot of people that summer. I know I had my share of fear. While the summer of '77 and all of its intensity and scariness played out on the front page of the Daily News every day, there were other, smaller things going on in my little world that just added to the thickness that was beginning to choke the life out of summer. A young woman who lived five houses down was murdered; thrown off the roof of an apartment building in Brooklyn by a jealous boyfriend. My friend Lori had taken to visiting her relatives in Queens that summer - she came home with stories that made me wonder if Mrs. Holy Roller wasn't on to something - a girl who had been raped with a broomstick right in her own bedroom, by relatives. A shopkeeper gunned down by a 14 year old. And Lori's 13 year old cousin, nine months pregnant and shooting up heroin. Now, I think about all those stories and I know that Lori was exaggerating some and making some up and maybe she liked to see the horrified look on my face. But then, in the midst of New York on the brink, in the midst of this general feeling of an uprising of evil and animosity towards anyone who didn't walk the walk of the norm - animosity that bordered on hatred - I believed it all and it made me feel sick. Between the oppressive heat and humidity and all that was going on around me, I felt a sick sense of dread that summer, but it was a dread tinged with a curious excitement. There was so much electricity in the air you could almost hear the crackling of static when you woke in the morning. And it was so damn hot, it was the first time I felt the cliche that the heat could make people crazy wasn't a cliche at all, but true. The relentless sweltering had gotten to all of us, kids and adults alike; we were short tempered and cranky and prone to starting fights over nothing. It was like living on the edge and we all knew it. I think we aged five years that summer, all 14 and 15 but cynical and hardened in a lot of ways, just from having so much death and tension and raw energy shoved in our faces every day, from the shell shocked parents harping on us and hammering us with statistics and warnings. And we were living all this out with a soundtrack, huddled in the abandoned house next to the high school or in the sump or in someone's basement or fort every night, listening to this bizarre mix of the Ramones and Sex Pistols, Kiss and Foghat, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Queen. We were all revved up with no place to go, just some green grass and white picket fence kids both fearing the world we were living in and wanting so much to be an intrinsic part of all that fear, to be in there, at CBGB's or on the quiet streets fo Brooklyn, looking for a serial killer. We settled for drinking cheap beer and smoking stolen cigarettes and alternating our disaffected youth rock music with the sounds of baseballs being hit out of Yankee Stadium.
July 13, 1977 found us sitting in front of my house. Nature was offering us a freaky show of heat lightning and we stared at the sky for a while, entertained by nothing more than streaks of electricity bolting through the air. And then a weird thing happened. It was subtle, almost imperceptible from where we were sitting, but I noticed it and so did Lori. The night sky got darker. Something changed. It was about 9pm. By 9:30 or so, news of the New York City blackout had spread and we realized we had witnessed it in a way.
I remember my mother having this sense of panic about her. I remember her saying "this won't be like 1965" and it was only later on that I knew what she meant - the blackout of 1965 was calm and peaceful. The blackout of 1977 was anything but, and we could almost anticipate it, sitting in my mother's kitchen listening to the radio for breaking news. I thought again of my friend's mother. It was all coming to a head - Son of Sam, disco, punk rock, Abe Beame and money woes and rapes and murders and pregnant 13 year old girls on smack. Somewhere in Levittown, Mrs. Holy Roller was probably under her kitchen table with some candles and her rosary beads and the bible, waiting for Satan himself to bang down her door.
I was scared. Out there on Long Island, where we had lights and television and safety, I was scared. The news of the riots and looting and mayhem came in and my mother remarked that New York City was a sinking ship, a disaster of Titanic proportions. My father was at work in Bushwick and that panicked me, it even panicked my friends. This was the climax of everything, of all the turbulence and fear and the explosion we had been waiting for - or predicting - was happening.
I thought this would be the end of all it, in a way. I thought of the graphic my English teach had drawn on the blackboard just a few months ago, showing the movement of a story, with the climax as the peak of a mountain and then everything slowly rolling down the hill after that, towards the inevitable resolution. I expected that everything after the black out would be anti-climatic as the conclusion of this summer drew near. Although it was only mid-July, it was if summer was ending right then and there. I never wanted so badly to get back to school and normalcy and routine. I hated that there was more than another month of this floating feeling left, that time and all the empty space between July and September was pulling us towards something worse, something even darker. Maybe the blackout and the subsequent mess of arrests and broken glass was it. Maybe from here on, we could get back to the business of being kids who don;'t think about things like men who stalk and kill. And we tried. We hung out, we listened to records, we went to the movies and started and ended teenage romances and some of us went to summer school during the day because we didn't pay attention in 9th grade biology.
On July 31, Son of Sam struck again and broke us out of our complacent reverie. It's not like we had forgotten about him - he was on the front page nearly every day and we were devouring every word from Jimmy Breslin, who had become this cult figure demigod, an agent to Satan to some people, who thought Breslin was giving the killer too much publicity, a hero to others who praised Breslin's caustic, raw writing and his willingness to be a pawn in order to bring this killer into the open where he could be caught.
And finally, he was caught. August 10, 1977, with summer almost over, with back to school banners already hung in the windows of May's department store with all the hot, open days of freedom already taken from us, a killer was moved off the streets and into jail and the sigh of relief everyone breathed nearly cooled the air.
Somehow it fell to the Yankees to salvage 1977 for us. Ron Guidry, Mike Torrez, Sparky Lyle, Mr. October with his five home runs in the series, three in one game. Watching those games against the Dodgers, listening to the sounds of the cheers, New York seemed good again. It seemed whole. And then there was Howard Cosell on ABC during game 2 of the series, as another one of those Bronx fires burned out of control behind the Stadium and he intoned "There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning." And that seemed to epitomize it right there, to encapsulate everything about that summer.
The Yanks won the series, Ed Koch replaced Abe Beame that November and New York, as always, recovered. But not without leaving its mark on some of us, even 14 year old kids out in suburbia who vicariously lived through the whole sordid summer, but felt every bit as if it belonged to them too. It makes quite a story, anyhow.
[and if anyone dares mentions that horrid, horrid movie Summer of Sam, I'll knock you the hell out. That had to be one of the worst movies I've ever seen]
Yes, another group blog, starring Andy of World Wide Rant, Sekimori of, well, Sekimori fame and the anonymous Eschatologist. This one is different from anything I've done before. It's a fiction blog, with a twist: Each day has a theme and each story must clock in at 100 words or less (though I strive for exactly 100).
In which your humble hosts, each day, post fiction vignettes of exactly 100 words... or, failing that, something to do with Les Nessman. Rock on, superstar..
Anyhow, the first issue is in progress, so stop over and give it a look, leave a comment and, if you so desire, tell your friends, give us a link, etc.
I wonder who the first will be to pull a Les Nessman?
(And now back to work on my 10,000+ word post)
I'm working on something really long and detailed, which no one will probably read but which I feel the need to write, anyhow, which has to do with New York in 1977. It's going to take me a while to get it up here.
So, what's your work out music? And if you don't work out (like me), what's your power cleaning music (because power cleaning is my alternative to working out) or yardwork music?
On this day in 1989 I married my first husband.
On this day in 1999 our divorce was made final.
Liquid lunch: Friday's, Westbury, NY
The occasion? Happy birthday, number 8.
I had to laugh at myself last night as I was yelling at DJ to turn his music down. He was listening to a mix CD of Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and early Black Sabbath. I laughed because my mother used to tell me to turn down the exact same music.
Which got me wondering. Does today's music have any staying power? Will my kids be telling their kids to turn down that damn Limp Bizkit 25 years from now? It seems like the rock bands from the 70's/80's have such staying power - I see middle school and high school kids wearing Pink Floyd, Ramones and AC/DC shirts all the time. While I listen to a lot of current rock music, I just can't imagine these bands having the same generational impact that Van Halen, Zep or the other "classic rock" bands have. Hell, K-Rock (NY radio station) just changed their format to play more of the classic rock.
I imagine that by the time my children are old enough to have teens of their own, old Pink Floyd albums will still be outselling the current rock scene and Linkin Park will be a footnote in music history.
Just some food for thought. Discuss at will.
Just yesterday I was aboslutely geeking out at the news that the Adventures of Pete & Pete is finally being released on DVD. Season One will be available next week. May 17. NEXT WEEK!! I was actually running around the house screaming like a little girl when I found out.
But look! Look in the right sidebar! My newest ad is for....PETE & PETE! I'm about to wet my pants in excitement.
Ok, I'll stop now.
Best guest stars on Pete & Pete:
A few enemies of Pete & Pete
The Strongest Man in the World:
I need to scroll that previous post down and wash those thoughts out of my head for now.
I see that this year marks Pac-Man's 25th birthday. Of course, I'll be celebrating with a post later on today.
For now, to lighten my mood up a little, tell me your favorite acrade games (not arcade games transferred to consoles, but real coin-op games, including pinball).
The girls were found dead Monday in a park in Zion, the day after they never came back from a bike ride. They had more than 30 stab wounds between them, and Laura was stabbed in each eye, prosecutors said.
Some days you wake up full of hope and eagerness. And then you read something like that and life slaps you hard in the back of the head.
and Laura was stabbed in each eye
By her father. Her father.
What do you do with a man like that? Is death good enough for him? Is being sent to death row to wait and wait for his appointed day of execution enough? Is sitting alone and naked on a cement floor in solitary confinement enough?
and Laura was stabbed in each eye
Both girls were beaten by Laura's father. They had 30 stab wounds between them. Yet I focus on that one line because above everything else done to them, more than any blow Laura's father struck, that act stands out. It speaks of a rage so deep, a monster so uncontrollable, it turns this from a sad, tragic crime into something more. It strengthens my belief that monsters and evil exist in this world. It makes me cry and it makes me angry and it turns me barbaric in some sense because the only way I can see justice meted out to this brutal man is for him to be stabbed in the eyes, to be swiped at repeatedly with a sharp knife and pummeled by strong fists - fists four or five times the size of his - until he collapses in a heap of death.
and Laura was stabbed in each eye
Even then it won't be enough because Laura's blows came at the hands of her father. An eight year old girl who looked up and saw her father, her daddy, standing over her with a knife and he brought that knife down and pushed it through each of her eyes. Not even once, like it was a wild stab. Each eye. Do you understand the barbarity of that? Do you understand the thinking, intellectual evilness behind the act of stabbing her in each eye, how it is different on a darker level than just wildly swinging the knife at his daughter's face?
and Laura was stabbed in each eye
That fragment of a sentence has awakened in me some primal need to see justice meted out; a justice that the criminal system is not capable of providing. An eye for an eye has never seemed more appropriate. And even though this man is evil and not worthy of breathing fresh air, it somehow makes me feel less than human for wishing him a violent, justified death.
I suppose that is what separates us from the monsters among us.
A child killer will be executed tomorrow in Connecticut. Think of his victims.
Lists are fun.
Ten most frequently played songs on my iPod in the last ten days, aka songs I've been obsessed with.
1. Via l'Viaquez - The Mars Volta
2. New American Classic - Taking Back Sunday
3. Helena - My Chemical Romance
4. Ainít Talkiní íBout Love - Van Halen
5. Pour Some Sugar on Me - Def Leppard
6. Simon Says - Drain STH
7. 5446 That's My Number/Ball And Chain - Sublime
8. I Hate Jimmy Page - Mindless Self Indulgence
9. Pattycake - Self
10. Love Dump - Static X
And one bonus song:
The Wizard - Black Sabbath
Today just so happens to be Eat What You Want Day.
Presuming they mean Eat What You Want And Not Gain Any Weight Or Fat From It Or Have To Pay For It (just humor me here), then I'll have:
That's it. For starters.
Things to do when you have writer's block
How Stuff Works: Lightsabers. Gosh, I love the internet.
Yes, that's right. I asked for a lightsaber for my birthday.
Family? You hear that? You could all chip in. Just look what you can do with it! It..it...glows! Yea, I know it would be more fitting for me to have the Vader edition, but I just like the blueness of Luke's. Besides, when it's late at night and I'm practicing my mad lightsaber skills in the living room, it would be far better for my neighbors to see the soft blue glow in the window rather than the harsh red light, which might make some of them think I'm changing my name to Roxanne.
I got my tax return check this week. I put aside some of the money to spend on myself. I was thinking a PSP. Maybe some nifty patio furniture. Or a new grill. Or perhaps I would be really nice and buy my kids tickets to Warped Tour. Or buy my husband a super special birthday present, like his own PSP or a new light box. But wouldn't my hard earned tax money be better spent on...me? Will this lightsaber make me happy? Bring me hours of joy? Make me feel special? Can I cuddle it after I use it?
I mean...yea. It's a nice toy. And I want it.
Oh god. How many days away am I from buying a costume?
The following is from the "best of ASV" archives, though it wasn't printed here originally
There have always been divides in the country. It's just that some of them get more coverage than others. Sure, protests and riots will always get the front page, but it's the little wars that have waged within that people tend to forget about. Yet these wars are part of our history and, to this day, the animosity and acrimony exist between the participants in these great battles.
One of the most bitter wars fought between Americans took place in the late 1970's. It pitted brother against brother, husband against wife, neighbor against neighbor. It threatened to tear the very fabric of our nation until the war finally ended in a great wave of flames on July 12, 1979. However, the embers of that battle between countrymen still exist today and threaten to flare up again every time a radio station plays Donna Summers's Last Dance.
Yes, I'm talking about the great war between Disco and Rock (alternately known as the Disco/Punk war).
Some say it was more than a war over music. Historians have written treatises on the subject, some claiming that it was a battle over masculinity; disco was turning our men into effeminate butt-shakers. Others claim it was a battle of bigotry; the rockers represented "the man" and were looking to quash a rebellious movement by minorities and gays to grab the culture limelight.
As one who stood in the midst of the battlefields of that war, I can tell you that our battle cry had nothing to do with race or sexuality; no, it was about the music.
While disco had been around in one form or another since the early 70's, the genre took hold of our country some time around 1976, the year when the bass-rhythm heavy music consumed radio playlists. Vicki Sue Robinson, the Andrea True Connection and Thelma Houston all had huge hits that year. Discotheques starting popping up on every city corner. In fact, Newsweek printed an article at the time that said there were 10,000 discos in America in 1976.
Meanwhile, rock and roll was taking a huge tumble in the Billboard charts. Kiss, Blue Oyster Cult and Peter Frampton all had hits in 1976, but they were overshadowed by the influx of disco tunes.
One could argue that the disco culture was born out of the free love movement of the late 60's and early 70's. That, too, was a culture of sex and drugs and those things were imported into the discos, where cocaine flowed free and the music and dancing played out like orgasmic sexual rituals.
What was a rocker to do? How could we battle the biggest trend to hit the nation since flower power when we didn't have the power of hit music to back it up? Oh, rock wasn't about the hits at all, but we were in desperate need of some firepower, some heavy hitting power chords to knock the dancing fools off the cover of weekly magazines. Who would save us? The state of rock music was abysmal. Prog rock and arena rock were not good weapons to be holding in this war because they were nothing more than different forms of the pretentiousness that was disco.
Little known to us suburban rock neophytes, A 1976 counter movement had already begun. Sure, we already knew of bands like The Ramones and The Sex Pistols, but we never thought they would form the soundtrack to our fight against the polyester dancers. Apparently, my little group of three or four disco haters were not the only ones who wanted to wage war against the Donna Summers of the world. Punk music would help us rise above.
It got worse in 1977. Saturday Night Fever hit the theaters and John Travolta's Tony Romero became the boilerplate for every guy who wanted to score with the babes. Polyester leisure suits became the norm and all we could do was stand and watch with our mouths agape, horrified that this plastic, narcissistic culture was taking over not only our airwaves, but our country.
And thus, the disco sucks movement was born. No matter what anyone tells you, this was all about the music and the clothes. We hated those wide lapels. We despised the simplistic beats and the cheesy lyrics. We loathed the repetition of the 12" versions of every song to hit the charts. Disco, we decided, must die.
And so war was declared. We armed ourselves with Disco Sucks buttons and wore them proudly. We laughed and pointed at our fellow classmates who sported the look of the the disco age. We spiked our hair up, wore black leather jackets and thought about putting safety pins in our cheeks and opted instead for putting them in our ears in place of earrings. Hey, we were in high school. We still had our parents to answer to.
We fought the battle for almost three years. I'll never forget the Battle of Holy Trinity, which I proudly took part in. Our school cafeteria had a stereo. We were allowed to bring in albums to play, provided we all took turns and all the music was school appropriate. Everything was going smooth until the day the disco kids decided to take over. They formed a ring around the record player and stood guard while one of them, a tall, lanky boy bearing a Saturday Night Fever iron-on on his t-shirt, spun record after record, all dance beats and push-push-in-the-bush lyrics. School appropriate? I think not. But nobody was taking notice. Not the principal, a priest who was spending the lunch period chatting it up with the nerds, nor the cafeteria monitors, who were seen tapping their feet and fingers to the strains of Chic's Le Freak.
We had no punk records with us. They had all been banned from school property. We had Zeppelin, The Who and Boston, but we couldn't get near the record player. So we started chanting. Disco Sucks! Disco Sucks! We banged our fists on the table in time to the chant and, much to our surprise, most of the cafeteria joined in. The geeks, the nerds, the jocks, the freaks, even the tight-knit Springsteen community gathered in the dark corner over by the kitchen started banging and chanting along with us. The principal finally took notice of what was going on and, thinking he had a near riot on his hands, took the record player out of the cafeteria for good. We had won!
On Friday nights, we would have Marianne's older brother drive us around town so we could speed past the long lines of overdressed, overdrugged dancing queens and kings waiting to get into the local discos. We would shout "disco sucks!" as we passed by and one or two of them would come running after the car, impotently shaking their fists at us. Good times, good times.
Eventually we tired of taunting them. We were happy to sit in Marianne's basement, alternately reveling in our punk badness by listening to the Clash or getting high and tripping out to Pink Floyd. We were as unsure of who we were as the throngs of people crowding Studio 54.
Years later, we would recognize that we weren't much different than our disco brothers. While they spent hours making themselves up in order to be accepted by the beautiful people inside the velvet ropes of the discos, we struggled to become outsiders, to make people's heads turn when they saw us with our spiked hair and ripped army jackets. We both wanted to be noticed in different ways. But the culture wars of the time forbade us from every forming a therapy group aimed at figuring out why we cared so much what everyone thought about us. Enemies until the bitter end.
And the end did come, in July of 1979 at Comiskey Park, in a blaze of glory. Well, not so glorious, really. The night was somewhat of a disaster. And it did not really mark the end of disco, but the end of our war against it.
A few years later, I got swept up in the new wave craze. I recall one night while drunkenly doing some spastic, new wavish dance to the extended mix version of Blue Monday, dressed to kill in torn fishnet stockings and the requisite black and pink mini skirt, that I had become this era's version of the disco queen.
It's a war that wages on, I suppose, in various forms. Whether it's rap v. rock or prog rock v. hair metal, the battle remains even if the battlefield and weapons change hands every once in a while. But it's a passionate war. I'd rather spend my emotions fighting you to the death in a steel cage match to determine whether Dream Theater is really a better band than Queensryche than get dragged into another "let's secede from the nation!" argument.
And disco still sucks.
[addendum: That's not to say I never . And, all these years later, I appreciate the value of a good disco song when doing drunken family karaoke night, or when I have the urge to embarass my children. Ok, so I listen to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack sometimes. And I know how to do the Hustle. And...I've said too much]
For your disco listening pleasure - The Empire Strikes Back, (download)
I was just having a conversation in which I realized that I crossed that invisible line that distinguishes reality from fantasy in regards to the Star Wars universe.
Hey, it took nearly 28 years for that to happen. I'm far better off than some people in that way. And I haven't bought a costume.
I did, eight years ago, have a life size cardboard cut-out of Boba Fett. I had to get rid of it before it was used against me in divorce proceedings.
Further stretching the topic here - the funniest moments on sitcoms that I can think of off the top of my head. I'm not saying what shows they are from. You know. Or do you?
I'll think of more as I watch this comedy show. Or you can think of more.
So I'm having this argument with a friend today. He insists the Honeymooners is the greatest non-animated sitcom ever. His wife says All in the Family is. I say they are both (very very) wrong and that, while I think Seinfeld certainly made a name for itself, there was never a sitcom as good as The Odd Couple.
Other shows mentioned were MASH, Cheers, Newhart, Roseanne, Soap, KRP in Cincinatti, Mary Tyler Moore, Golden Girls and (ick) Everybody Loves Raymond.
I wish I had time to go into this in more detail - perhaps later. But for now I'll ask for your two cents. Or five. Or ten.
How could I forget the greatest show EVER??
Dentist office, Bellmore, NY
Listened to "With Teeth" on the iPod while I was waiting. Just because it seemed arpopos. And because it drowned out the screech of Kelly Ripa coming from the television.
1954 - Rock Around the Clock was released
Other songs from 1954 I know all the words to
1960 - Bono was born
My favorite U2 songs:
In 1775, the Americans captured Fort Ticonderoga
Amazingly enough, previous mentions of Ticonderoga on this site:
1983, the last episode of Laverne & Shirley aired
My favorite L&S moments
Happy May 10th.
[Need I say that almost all of today's links are NSFW?]
May is National Masturbation Month.
|Your Star Wars Masturbation Method Is:|
Thumping Chewbacca on the Head
Of course, there are some of you who believe that masturbation is evil. Even then, you cannot keep your filthy, hair palms off of yourself. Perhaps this will distract you from thoughts of self-loving:
Fred Durst's "O" Face. The cure for all horniness.
Oh, and if the mere thought of Jessica "Daisy Dukes" Simpson has you running for the lotion and the tissues, this might stave off another rubbing session: Jessica and Fred Durst doing it all for the nookie!
The best masturbation related link EVER: Masturbating to Skid Row
Obviously, someone has not been participating in masturbatory exercises.
And a song for you, from Nerf Herder: Doing Laundry Lyrics below.
I was thinking of you while I jerked off into my sock last night
I was thinking of you while I jerked off into my sock
I was thinking of you
I wish I had more than two
Cuz I didn't have anything else to do
I was thinking of you while I jerked off into my sock
OHMYGOD, a rock band said a bad, bad word on a television show! On a Saturday night - after midnight! On a show that barely anyone watches to begin with!
WE'RE ALL GONNA DIEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Ohhhh I can tell my System of a Down story again! Because no one read it over here.
In November of 98, my sister and I went to see System of a Down at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Or maybe it was Roseland. One of those places that is 99% mosh pit and 1% girls bathroom line. They were opening up for Incubus (insert promo for upcoming Incubus is dead to me rant here) and doing a good job of it. Lots of energy, lots of screaming and head banging and the mosh pit was aggressive yet friendly - when two slightly overaged women can mosh without getting hurt yet have enough fun to wipe out their energy level for the next two weeks - that's a good pit.
So, it just happens to be Columbus Day. As the band launches into Sugar, Serj - who is a little nuts but only about half as nuts as Shavo, who looks at the audience like a serial killer sizing up prey - goes off on a political rant. The crowd is kind of impatient. The band is playing the opening notes over and over while Serj carries on and these kids just want to get down to the part where they can shout the kombucha mushroom people! while jumping up and down, pumping their fists and wondering what the fuck a kombucha mushroom person is. Me, I always thought of this. But I don't think that's what they were going for.
Anyhow, Serj is just about winding up his rant. He pauses towards the end - the band stops. The crowd waits. And then Serj, full of passion, and most likely some heavy duty drugs, throws his head back and screams "CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS WAS A COCK SUCKER!"
Was he expecting a rousing round of applause? I'm not saying that everyone in the crowd worshiped at the altar of Columbus, but no one really expected Serj to say that. So between the stunned silence of the crowd, the impatient look on Serj's face and Shavo's menacing glare, I came down with a case of the giggles. The song eventually started up, the mosh pit went into high gear and my sister and I backed out of the pit and towards the bar, giggling uncontrollably as the kids up front did their kombucha mushroom thing.
February rolls around and we decide to go see System of a Down again, this time with Fear Factory and Puya. We miss Puya, thanks to a downpour and a stalled car, but we get there in time for System. As the familiar opening notes to Sugar waft through the air and Serj opens his mouth for another political rant (something about fucking the system), my sister remarks that it just so happens to be President's Day. We were sure that at any moment, Serj was going to pump his arm the air, throw his head back and scream "Abraham Lincoln was a cocksucker!" But he didn't. He just growled about fucking the system and complained about the evil, tyrannical overlords that America has created.
Which, I suppose, could be construed in the same way.
Made possible through the power of blogging.
It's just temporary, until this SW fever goes away.
So DJ had this assignment last week where he had to write five haikus. It wasn't an easy task as a)DJ is not exactly poetic in his thinking and b) two haikus had to be about Rome and two about Greece.
Fortunately for the boy, the last haiku could be about anything. When asked for help choosing a subject, I gave my son the old adage "write what you know." And so fifteen minutes later he came into the living room with his fresh haiku, entitled The Stages of Van Halen.
David Lee Roth rocks
Gary Cherone doesn't count
Sammy Hagar whines
Tha was beautiful, man. He really gets the nuances of the whole Van Halen saga.
And so I open the floor once again for a haiku contest (no prizes, I don't have anything worth giving out and I still haven't sent Hubris his Twinkies) except for the adoration of people who dig things like haiku and rock and roll.
Your mission: write a haiku about your favorite rock band. Come on, I need some entertainment on a Monday!
Harry Knowles explains why I am so eagerly awaiting Revenge of the Sith:
The imagery in REVENGE OF THE SITH -- The turning of Anakin, the annihilation of the Jedi, the expulsion of Yoda, Obi-Wan vs Anakin, Palpatine revealed, the birth of the twins, Alderran, the adoption of Luke, what became of the droidsÖ These are all near religious iconography in the minds of children raised in the ways of the Force. Iíve spent a quarter of a century discussing these things, speculating on what itíd look like, how itíd play outÖ Iíve seen it in countless dreams, but never with my eyes open. Never Georgeís dream of what it was. Till now.
Like Knowles mentions later on, it's about closure. It's about making the connection between III and IV, about tying everything together, about making the stories complete. To some people, the worlds and characters of Star Wars are just fiction but, to some of us, they have become more - they've become part of our lives. In the same way Narnia or the world of Lyra Belacqua really do exist in my mind, so do Hoth and Tatooine.
When I finish a wonderful book, I find myself thinking days and weeks and sometimes even months later what happens to the characters after the last page is turned. I think about their lives after the book, after the author has put the pen down and closed the chapter on those people, so to speak.
With the Star Wars world, I alway wanted to know what happened before the stories I knew. Not so much the stories of episodes I and II, but this new one in particular; the final actions that led us to the opening scene of Episode IV, where the title scroll ends and that huge ship enters the screen and then gets bigger and bigger and the first time you see it you think, geez that thing is awesome, and by the time the last scene of Jedi plays out, and it's all over, well, I didn't want to know what became of them after that. I wanted to know what happened previously. I wanted to see all the things Knowles mentions above.
And now, I finally get my chance. It's like putting the last piece in a puzzle twenty-eight years after you started it. (just a note - I wrote that before I read through the whole Knowles review, not knowing he made the same analogy)
The most shocking or surprising emotion I felt during this film experience is thatÖ I donít want Anakin to become Darth Vader.
Knowing what happens next, after RotS, I imagine there will be so many moments when I'll do the equivalent of the horror movie thing - don't open that door! - but unlike a simple horror movie, I know what's going to happen. I know Anakin will "open that door" because I know what comes after, yet I imagine I'll still be upset to see it played out.
I always take every Knowles review with a grain of salt. He's the Drudge of movie reviews, with his supersized font and grandiose way of presenting things that are otherwise mundane. Of course he's going to gush over RotS, I expected nothing less. But it's not the review itself that is making me anticipate this movie more than ever; it's that Knowles knows what I know, feels what I feel, is experiencing something that every Star Wars geek - from the guy who stands on line for 40 days in a Vader costume to someone like my son, who discovered the films later on and can't name all the planets and creatures but still has this passion for the story - is going to experience; the closure we have been waiting for, the final piece of the puzzle, and then, probably, a very melancholy sort of sadness, the same that happens when you turn the last page on a book you didn't want to end, when summer ends, when friends move away and you realize you're never going to see them again.
Yes, it's only movies. It's only make believe. But these are stories and characters that have been part of my life, part of my vernacular for 28 years. This is going to be so bittersweet in a way, not just because of the ending of the Star Wars movies but because I know what's going to happen in this movie, I know how things are going to turn, how they are going to go bad, and while I can't wait for that clank sound in my head, when it will be like two train cars hooking together, when everything makes sense and one film flows into the other, it will be both satisfying and sad.
[Thanks to Sol for the link]
Two weeks in a row makes it either a trend or a tradition. Today's theme is Childhood, aka Man, I'm feeling nostalgic today - or am I just so downtrodden with the aspect of everyday adult life that I'm feeling wistful? Inspired by Beth.
Best toys from my childhood:
Toys from my childhood that would cause caniptions today
Toy I'm suprised you can still get:
[If you have other toy topics you'd like added on to this list, just say the word - my brain is on auto pilot today and I could use all the help I can get. ]
Yep, I had a banana seat bike. It was pink with a white sparkly seat.
I got the bike on my Communion day. I wanted so badly to take it for a ride, but my mother said that I couldn't because I was still wearing my Communion dress and not only would I ruin the dress, but the neighbors would say "just look at that girl riding around on a bicycle in her dress, the horror!" Right, mom. Like anyone would care.
So when she wasn't looking, I took the bike for a spin. Sure enough, I came upon Mr. Bontempi, who shook a finger at me and said "look at you, riding around on a bicycle in your dress, you should be ashamed!"
Update again: Let me add Trouble, because someone brought it up in the comments. We had so much fun playing that game as a family - I can hear the plastic popping noise in my head right now - we used to do all kinds of weird good luck dances to try to get a 6. The best was landing on someone and sending them back home right when they had their fourth guy in front of home base.
I bought it for my own kids when they were much younger, but I hid it when they used the popper just to annoy each other.
Mother's Day, 2005
Yes, that's my present. We'll be banging on the drums all day.
I am listening to the entire Weezer album here, and reviewing it as I listen to it for the first time.
So, I like about half the album. Itís no Blue Album, but nothing in the history of rock, past or present, will be. Itís just ok, on first listen. I think Make Believe is going to be one of those discs that grows on me after several listens, but itís also going to be skippable, meaning there will be several songs that will get the NEXT button treatment.
As an aside, I think Rivers should give it up. It feels like he doesnít want to do it anymore and rather than be the Rickey Henderson of the music world, he should just go into seclusion now. Itís only a matter of time before he becomes an eccentric recluse, anyhow. Why not get an early start?
Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, mothers-in-law, motherfu....eh, you get the meaning.
Also, a word to the wise, below.
From the April 18th Family Circus.
I bet Billy's "neighborhood" blog is the Wonkette of the Keane world. You just know there's some major ass-fucking going on behind closed doors in that town. And boy, won't Billy be suprised when he tries his hand at Citizen Journalist! and finds out his mother has been whoring herself downtown just to put some excitement in her mundane life. Will he sell out his mom and report it? Will he post instead about blogging ethics and personal responsibility? Will he go home, lock himself in the bathroom with a copy of MILF Weekly and eventually go blind and grow hairy palms?
No, he'll just blog it as a blind item, garner 100,000 hits when Gawker throws him a link thinking the item is about Blondie turning tricks to supplement Dagwood's income and Nick Denton will offer little Billy 20k a year to blog about who has the biggest dick in comic town. Eventually Billy is visited by the ghost of Gramps, who looks down in shame at his media whore grandson and Billy, finally sick and tired of Gramps watching over him, calls a priest to have the house exorcised when Grandpa doesn't believe that the little imp known as NOT ME has really been authoring the blog. The family in upheaval, Billy's mother leaves them to start her own escort service. The younger kids are sent to live with a foster family when Dad has a nervous breakdown. They're all sold into a child slavery ring operating out of San Diego and perish together in a factory fire.
See? Blogging is a slippery slope, kids. Even wholesome Billy can't escape its evilness. It's only a matter of time before Jack Chick writes a tract on how blogging makes the baby Jesus cry.
Or perhaps we can all just look at each other, nod knowingly and say, yes, when Billy of Family Circus has a blog, it's time to stick a fork in it.
Best air guitar songs.
The floor is yours.
1. Yea, I dumped Hubris. Nothing personal, just working on some changes. I still see him in my dreams, so it's not like I'll miss him.
2. Forgot to link Match Game Friday yesterday. It's not too late to play!
4. It's May. You know - short sleeves, barbecue, gardening, sun. Oh no. Not here. Here we get October in May. I'm having to dig the winter coats and gloves - not to mention umbrellas for the third freaking Saturday in a row - out of the closet to go to DJ's game today. Global warming, my ass.
The only thing that's going to cheer me up today is free comic books.
It is my sworn duty as a full fledged comic geek to inform you that today is Free Comic Book Day.
Of the comics being offered, these are the titles that look interesting to me:
Superior Showcase #0 FCBD Edition
Alternative Comics Presents FCBD Edition
Comics Festival! FCBD Edition
The Adventures of Paul
Funny Book FCBD Edition
Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards
Betty & Veronica
And while you're there, look into some of my favorite comics!
Everyone's talking about this poor woman who had to fly home from an overseas trip to breast feed her year old baby because the father couldn't get the kid to take a bottle. She expected the airline to pay for her flight (even though her ticket required a Saturday night stay in New York, which she didn't do) because it was an emergency.
A British mother flew from New York to London to breastfeed her daughter when the baby refused to take a bottle - and insisted the flight be free because it was a medical emergency.
Rosie Stamp, 32, a freelance video producer, made the journey hours after arriving in New York when she phoned home and heard year-old Betsy crying in hunger.
"I had no choice. She just wouldn't take the bottle," explained Stamp, who had expressed breast milk before leaving on the planned five-day trip for a crucial business appointment.
She said Betsy was in the habit of drinking water from bottles, so she and her partner, therapist Nicholas Bolton, 49, assumed the baby would take the expressed milk.But "she of course knew breast was best," said Stamp, a strong believer in breastfeeding until babies are 2. The trip was the first time she had left her baby, who is now 16 months old.
The kid was a year old. Both my kids were eating solids at that point. Give the baby some infant oatmeal and water. That will keep her from starving and/or dehydrating.
I guess if the woman was passionate about breast feeding and wanted to come home, that's her prerogative, but it takes a certain amount of hubris to ask for your flight to be paid for.
Regardless of whether or not her ticket should be paid for, there's another story here. And that is this kid is going to grow up to be yet another in a growing number of children who have no idea how to fend for themselves, who have no coping skills or any idea how to make it on their own because mommy hovers over them like they're a fragile piece of glass ready to break at any moment, who obsesses about every little move their child makes - oh my god, he's going to go outdoors without a breathing mask and helmet on, STOP HIM!
And the husband is no better. What a useless man. He's the baby's father. What would he do if the mother died in a plane crash or something? Let the kid starve to death because there was no tit to feed on? Call your damn pediatrician and say "what the hell do I do?" and he'll tell you what to do - and it won't be "make your wife come home from her trip immediately."
Damn, I woke up on the wrong side of life today.
[*disclaimer in the interest of fending off the LaLeche league. Yes, I breastfed, so I know what it's like to hear your baby crying and have the urge to go home and feed her. But I also know that at a year old, I would have told my kid to man up, nancy and eat some damn oatmeal].
Just one song for you tonight, but it's a winner.'
Henry Rollins, Adrien Belew and William Shatner: I Can't Get Behind That
She knew the woods were magical; it was just a matter of time before she could prove it to herself. And now, finally, the chance had come. An open window. A sleeping aunt. One silent chance to sneak into the lingering purple twilight that beckoned her nearly every evening.
She slid across the wooden floor on stocking feet, making no sound save for the low wooosh that only the creatures hiding in the floorboards could hear. Once at the window, she quickly stepped up on the chair and the hauled herself through the opening before she could lose her nerve.
And there she was, just where she wasn't supposed to be. It was both dangerous and disobedient to be out during the purple time, but those were things that appealed to Bettina and she sucked in her breath as the spongy ground gave way beneath her feet.
She bounced as if on springs and with each bounce the ground creaked and moaned and dust fell from the Whiteleaf trees like a million dancing pixies. Blue mist rose and surrounded her like water and she half-walked, half-swam towards the edge of the property, where the purple stopped and the black took over.
Consider this a preview of just part of what will be happening at scriberoptics.com, which is now mine, but will not be open for business for some time. Thanks to Stacy and Hosting Matters for super duper service, as always.]
I bought them.
It's official. George Lucas has swallowed my soul.
Victory is his.
* "I mean, what's your encore? Do you, like, anally rape my mother while pouring sugar in my gas tank?"
* Mamma always told me not to stare into the eyes of the sun
* Mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go
* Whoa, mamma!
* Yo mamma
* Throw Momma From the Train
Added, from comments:
There are some in the comments that aren't conducive to list making (too long, too many, etc.).
[Italics are song lyrics, quotations are movie quotes. Feel free to guess]
Ok, gave up trying to keep up with the comments. I'm working, here.
I forgot the best one of all.
So what I'd like you all to do tonight - either here or on your blog - is answer the ten questions. I'll put my answers up in a bit.
1. What is your favorite word?
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
4. What turns you off?
5. What is your favorite curse word?
6. What sound or noise do you love?
7. What sound or noise do you hate?
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
9. What profession would you not like to do?
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Finally, my answers.
1. cacaphony, calliope
2. moot, cunt
3. music, music, music
4. attention whoring, excuses, lack of personal responsibility
6. Bob Sheppard's voice, soft rain, thunder, breaking glass, guitar solos
7. Squealing tires and brakes. The anticipation of metal on metal is unnerving. Someone singing off key. Fork scraping plate. Whining children.
8. Writer. Crazy recluse.
10. I forgive you for mistaking me for a work of fiction. Happens all the time, no biggie.
So I'm looking for a creative, evocative domain name for a photoblog.
I think all the creative, evocative names are gone.
Suggestions? You can use this to see if a domain is available.
Update: Thank you all for your suggestions. Weird and erotic as they were. And thanks to Hubris, scriberoptics.com is now mine. It makes sense, as you will see some day.
Giant beer: Cozy Mels, Westbury, NY
Happy American version of Cinco de Mayo.
I've had a couple of requests for a Randy Jackson photoshop contest. This follows the news (to some of us) that Randy was once a member of Journey.
The idea is to Photoshop Randy into other famous (or not so famous bands). You can use these so-so pictures if you want, or find a wealth of Randy pictures here.
If you don't have Photoshop, but have an idea, email me and I'll see what I can do (though I'm headed out for a Cinco de Mayo [bastardized Americana version] lunch at Chili's right now, so give me time).
Either email me your entries or leave the image in the comments.
There WILL be voting and a prize! That's right, the winner gets a copy of whatever American Idol video (that's VHS, folks) Nat has laying around her room that she no longer watches.
So spread the word and get busy.
I reserve the right to discontinue the contest if there's only one or two entries by the time I get back.
Good, if bizarre, pictures in the comments.
This entry is from ASV special PS correspondent Keiran:
Randy joins the Bangles
Click for dawg pound size.
[Three songs for the price of one]
84. Green Day - Hitchiní a Ride
Can I just say how incredibly sick I am of Green Day? I loved American Idiot as much as the next fan - and I've been a fan since Kerplunk but they have become ubiquitous and they're starting to irritate me, like a scratcy tag on a t-shirt.
However, this does not keep me from enjoying some of the older stuff. Though Dookie holds a special place in my heart, mostly thanks to a warm summer day in 1994 when my daughter, all of four years old, threw a tantrum at the outdoor flea market and insisted she wouldn't leave until I bought her the Dookie cassette and I spent the next six weeks or so listening to her sing When I Come Around- it's Hitchin' a Ride from Nimrod (an otherwise mediocre album) that gets Green Day on my list of 500. It's fun to sing a song about alcoholism, especially when you get to sing lines like Cold turkey's getting stale/tonight I'm eating crow/Fermented salmonella poison oak no, and I'm always a sucker for a 1-2-3-4 count in a song. Sure, Billy Joe sounds like he has a perpetual sinus infection, but on Hitchin' A Ride, you can almost imagine that the nasal affectation is born of inebriation. Come on, lift your bottle and sing along!
59. Dead Milkmen - Watching Scotty Die
1987. I was 25. 25! You would think I'd have matured by then. You'd be wrong.
I had gone to Uncle Phil's record store with my sister to buy Big Lizard in My Backyard. (There really was an Uncle Phil. He was fat and dirty and reminded me a bit of Lou Albano, but he was very nice and we really did walk into the store and greet him with "Hey, Uncle Phil!") Anyhow, that day I not only grabbed Big Lizard, but decided to pick up Bucky Fellini while I was there.
Sister and I get home, give the album a listen and come across Watching Scotty Die. Which, of course, is a parody of Watching Scotty Grow.
There is the field
Where Scotty used to play
Until Ortho Orange Number 42
Was dumped in it one day
We decided to do something we hadn't done in ages. Not since the days of Billy Don't Be a Hero and Run, Joey, Run had we acted out a song. Especially for an audience. But Lisa and I - 25 and 18 years old respectively, could not resist. And so, we put on some surreal pantomime to Watching Scotty Die. And performed it for our parents.
One day my dog went out to play
Instead of grey he came back coloured yellow
The chemical men said stay mellow
It happens all the time
Now Scotty's skin is lime
I'm sure the lock on the liquor cabinet appeared shortly after that incident.
512: Static X - Love Dump
Even if I didn't love Static X and even if I didn't think Wisconsin Death Trip is a bombardment of energy from start to finish, I would still have Love Dump on my list because it is my earnest belief that everyone, at least once in their lives, needs to loudly sing the lyrics your shit's like chocolate cake, your ass smells like a rose.
I had a dream about Sherilynn Fenn and Sinn Fein last night. That must mean something, no?
Update: Today is the anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands. Now that's weird. I haven't given much thought to Sands or Sinn Fein since college.
You know, I'm not a big fan of Paula Abdul. I think she's batshit crazy and needs to spend at least a year away from any kind of public function or television camera.
That said, Corey Clark is a skank ho. Sorry, dude, but when you write a song about your supposed relationship with a celebrity, complete with snippets of conversations, and you call the thing Paula-tics, you need to be kicked in the nuts and shoved in front of a city bus. Get off my news page, you opportunistic media whore. I hate you. I hate that I listened to parts of your song on that stupid special last night. And I hate, hate, hate that because of your stupid ABC stint, I had to see pictures of Randy Jackson when he was in...Journey?
I don't believe this. It's got to be a hoax. Allmusic doesn't list Jackson as ever being a member of that band. And, the only Randy Jackson listed on Allmusic that I know is the lead singer of local ageless prog-rock bar band Zebra
I don't care about your photographic proof.
I refuse to believe it. Because the idea of Steve Perry and Randy Jackson on the same stage is enough to make my head explode.
[From what I understand, he was just part of the road tour. Thank jeebus, because I may have had to take Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' off my list if it were true. Aight?]
Paula? Don't stop believin', dawg.
Too early for tequila?
By the way, DJ has chosen the myth of Daedalus & Icarus
Yes, today is 5/5/05. And it is Cinco De Mayo. I have no idea if those two things happening together mean anything for the world at large, like a great meeting of tequila and numerology and the defeat of the French army; a convergence of such power and mysticism fronted by the ghost of the executed Maximilian becoming too much for the force field of the universe to handle and we'll all die in a galacic explosion of burritos, chimichangas and lotto machines blinking "555" over and over.
I'm too busy preparing for next year's 6/6/06 to care.
Scene: picking up daughter from high school, after hours. Several young girls mill around the front door, one of them dressed as if it's 90 degrees and she's at the beach.
Me: That girl is dressed like a hobag.
Nat: Eh, a lot of girls dress like that.
Me: It's against school regulations.
Nat: No, it's Tank Top Tuesday.
Me: 'Scuse me?
Nat: Tank Top Tuesday. Girls are allowed to wear tanks today.
Me: Doesn't say that in the papers we were sent home last week about warm weather dress code.
Nat: I think they just changed it.
Me: She's not supposed to be wearing spaghetti straps. And she's certainly not supposed to be wearing a shirt that lets her boobs hang out all over the place.
Nat: Seriously mom. The school says it's ok to dress like that.
Me: It's ok to dress like a ho?
Nat: On Tuesdays.
Happy Star Wars Day!
It's May 4th.
[I had to get that sandwich picture off the top of the page. For some reason, it reminds me of a gaping vagina]
All list suggestions taken from here.
movies that seemingly everybody in the world has seen, except me
Best Instrumental rock/pop song
Kiss and Gwar get passes.
I appreciate that the deli (my uncle's deli, in fact) likes to make sure their customers are satisfied, but who the hell can wrap their mouth around that thing, let alone finish it? A sandwich like this would kill someone like Ling Bai.
I just took half the ham off the roll. I'm going to send it to the hungry kids in China. Maybe I can finally get rid of the guilt that's been weighing on me since 1966, when I fed my spinach to the dog and got the "starving kids" lecture.
414. Zager & Evans - In The Year 2525
Yea, most people loathe this song with an angry passion usually reserved for serial killers and people who bring 11 items on the 10 and under line. Not me.
Let me take you back to 1969. I'm seven years old. It's late summer and I'm in Roscoe, New York, a.k.a. "upstate" at my aunt and uncle's summer home. It's a rickety old house that's set on a lake in the middle of the woods in the middle of a town where people sit on their front porches and chew toothpicks and play the banjo. I'm sitting on the deck next to the kitchen, reading an Archie comic and listening to the sounds of joy coming from the lake, where my cousins are swimming and fishing. For some reason they don't mind swimming in a dark, murky lake with a bottom so muddy that you have to wear sneakers in the water, where you have to swim with snakes and newts and mosquitoes and where you might get entwined in a crop of lily pads, which, as everyone knows, are really evil, living things and will wrap their vines around your legs so you can't move or swim and you'll find yourself pulled under the swampy water where some evil beaver will hold you down until you drown and then bury you in the mud to save you for winter dining.
Anyhow. So I'm sitting at the plastic table with the plastic tablecloth reading my comic book and my mother comes outside to keep me company. She brings the radio. They get one station up in boonie land and so far, it's been a continuous airing of Good Morning Starshine and Wichita Lineman. But what's this? A different song! And what the hell is he singing about? My mother looks quizzically at the radio, cocking her head like a confused cat and I think even the bugs and lizards and woodland creatures stand still as if to say "what is this horrid sound emanating throughout our home? Is that....mariachi music?"
Ah, it was just Zager and Evans singing about the future. And what a bright, wonderful place the future seemed to be!
In the year 2525
if man is still alive
if woman can survive they may find
in the year 3535
ain't gonna need to tell the truth
tell no lies
Whoa. That had my interest. Sure, many years later I would realize that the song was nothing but a paean to tree-hugging; a musical, Orwellian trip into a vast dystopian future. No matter. It piqued my interest. It made me really think about the future. It made me wonder, imagine and, to an extent, fear. I started to think about man v. machine scenarios and robots and an unthinking, unfeeling human race. When we got home from Roscoe that August, I headed straight for the library and took out a pile of books on predictions for the future and scoured the children's section for the books with the yellow and red sci-fi label.
And so, 2525 is on my list because it was the gateway drug, if you will, to my fascination with all things science fiction.
I really hope that justifies its listing.
[cross posted at I Have This on Vinyl, which is the compendium for these posts]
In preparation for Revenge of the Sith, I watched the first three (meaning first three released) Star Wars movie over the past week. It's almost unnerving how I've come back full circle to immersing myself in my Star Wars geekiness - something that left me years ago. I thought it had gone from my system, really. But I can see now that it never really leaves you. It may lie dormant, but it never leaves.
I'm not one of those full fledged Star Wars geeks that will dress in costume to go to a premiere or memorize the genealogy chart of every major - and minor- character to appear in the movies, books and comics. I am, however, enough of a geek to have long, drawn out conversations about the Star Wars world which, to outsiders listening in, would sound as if we were talking about, you know, reality. Think Randal and Dante.
One such conversation I had yesterday is one I've had a thousand times at least since I first saw Episode IV. It's something that has bothered me all these years and will continue to bother me each time I watch the movie.
Tell me something: how would you react if you watched your home planet blown to smithereeens right in front of you? Would you collapse in grief? Break down in uncontrollable sobs? Faint? Go deaf, dumb and blind from the horror of watching everyone you have ever known or loved be wiped out in milliseconds? Or would you gasp, let out a stifled cry and then, a short time later, engage in flirtatious banter with a rogue space captain?
I don't know why that has remained a sticking point with me, but it has. Oh, there are other things. I could go on and on about continuity and such, but I've learned it's better to keep those things to myself, lest I be told, once again, that I need to get a life.
Which brings me to today's lists.
Favorite Star Wars quotes (original trilogy edition, some of which are favorites because of the context)
Favorite Star Wars references from TV
Favorite pictures from the day I did the limbo with Darth Vader
Favorite lyrics involving Star Wars
Star Wars character I've had sexual fantasies about:
It's really not going to help lower my geekiness any when I do a video game list later.
Another Tuesday, another set of baseball game shots. Except there weren't that many field shots tonight as you've seen one play at third, you've seen them all. And it was freaking cold. I had to keep myself busy looking for things to take photos of so I didn't think about how I was getting frostbite in MAY.
All photos pop to laaaaaarge size. Taken with Nikon Coolpix.
Eventually, we're going to run out of room here. There will be more cars than space on the roads available.
I'm thinking of moving to Montana soon. Gonna raise me a crop of dental floss.
Onto the Little League Field. Five minutes on the map. Fifteen minutes of horn honking, brake squealing and cursing.
make up your own title
I'll get around to those songs later. I'd like to offer some downloads to go along with the annotations, so I'll have to do that post from home.
Taking suggestions. List titles can involve music, movies, tv, books. No "favorite movies ever" or anything as simple/boring as that. Be creative.
I anticipated this album with fangirl glee, I tell you. I wanted to love it, cherish it, make love to it, breathe in its glorious air....I wanted to embrace it.
I was teased with one song back in February. I was expecting brilliance. Genius. Aural orgasms.
Now, after fifteen or so listens, and fully understanding that it took me months to fall in love with The Fragile, I am ready to make my judgment.
The album is cold and unfeeling and has no soul, much like my ex husband.
That's it. My entire review. Subject to change in a month or so when I, feeling like I owe Reznor something for the hours and hours of self-pity he has afforded me with his music, will give it a few more listens and decide it has grown on me.
And of course, I'll be at Best Buy during my lunch hour buying the damn thing (the DualDisc format), because my obsessive compulsive nature forces me to complete CD collections even though some of that collection may be crap on a disc. 19 halos, man. That's more than Mother Theresa, I bet.
Bonus: The Ghost that Feeds: NIN meets Ray Parker, Jr.
Extra bonus: Dave Grohl appears on the album, which is like having gold in your pocket.
Hey, Fred Durst likes it! Warning: clicking on that site will load up some sound that's supposed to be Limp Bizkit channeling Rage Against the Machine, but is more like fifteen dying cats and a sputtering retard falling down a canyon.
Update: My husband brought up a good point in that he thinks I may not even want to like it, and I am subconciously distancing myself from NIN because I have come to the realization that this album is going to be the one that makes people go from "Oh, NIN? Aren't they, like, a goth band or something?" to "OhmyGOD! Like, Trent is gonna be on the OC tonight! OMGWTFLOL Trent is teh hottiez 4eva!! LMAO haha fuck me like an animal, Trent!"
"'Cause we haven't walked down the aisle, just because we haven't stood in front of 500 people and said our I dos, you know, my commitment before God to her was the day I bought that ring and put it on her finger and I'm not backing down from that now," Mason told Hannity.
[..]Mason also offered a broad message of forgiveness. "Ain't we all messed up? Ain't we all made mistakes?" he asked.
Dude. Her mistake had people pointing the finger at you for her murder. She didn't just flake out on you, she took off and left the equivalent of a flaming bag of poo on your wedding bed.
He's going to marry her, knock her up, and she'll go all Susan Smith on him some day. Wait for it.
Quickie poll: Take her back or kick her to the curb?
"Guy" movies that I, a woman, love:
"Chick flicks" that I, a chick, do not like
Movies that I, as a hardened, cynical, unfeeling, soulless person tend to break down in tears while watching:
I hate snobs. Is that snobby of me?
What I mean is I hate culture snobs. Yes, I've already written about this before, but sometimes something irks me enough to dredge it up again.
I get it that you don't like Family Guy. You think it's stupid. Immoral. Politically wrong. Idiotic. Whatever. But that does not make the people who like the show less intelligent than you. It doesn't make you somehow smarter to say things like "Oh, my. Your taste in television sure is stupid. Pardon me while I go watch Everybody Loves Raymond." Are you really so smug in your superiority that you judge a person's intellect or worth by their sense of humor?
I never liked I Love Lucy or The Three Stooges. But I don't look down my nose at the people who do, because I realize that humor is a subjective thing. Unlike, say, music, where your taste in such can come about because of life instances (you know, that music speaks to me!) or other genres of entertainment, where a taste for something is acquired rather than just..there. I believe (and of course, your mileage may vary) that your particular sense of humor - what you find funny - is something you are born with, like a distaste for spinach or an ability to draw. Sure, it can be nurtured - my father loved puns and one liners and peppered us with them when we were little, which made our enthusiasm for such jokes grow. But a person who doesn't like puns (like my mother, for instance) would never find them funny. No amount of cajoling can tickle someone's funny bone if the inherent sense of humor needed for that type of joke just isn't there.
Mocking people for their sense of humor - or looking down at them as if they were a species below you - is nothing more than cultural elitism. It's snobbery. It's like people who think that owning all the records on the High Fidelity soundtrack make them somehow hipper, cooler, more beautiful and smarter than you, or who think that devouring everything Dave Eggers writes make them a better all around person.
Stephen King? How pedestrian Oh my god, there's an Adam Sandler movie on your shelf, we must break up immediately! Oh, if only she had loved Bright Eyes the way I do, I wouldn't have had to kill her. Etcetera.
I mean, I'm not coming after you with a searing email because you didn't once laugh at the same show I did. And while I may have posted that I didn't find last night's Simpsons funny, I don't think you're an idiot if you did. In fact, I envy you. I wanted to laugh. Why must you attempt to suck the joy out of other people's lives by telling them that things that bring them joy suck?
You're not a better person for having not laughed at Family Guy and you're not smarter or healthier or prettier because you make fun of those who do laugh at such shows. In fact, it kind of makes you a jackass.
As an aside, I have to say that since I stopped political blogging, the quantity of negative emails have done down, but the quality has not change one bit, in much the same way some people think the quality of things have gone downhill here since that magical moment in my blogging timeline.
On that note, and keeping with the topic at hand (and because I love making lists), my all time favorite comedy movies, a list which may or may not prove me to be stupid, shallow, inane, juvenile, a cretin, a jerk or a LOSER (make "L" with fingers placed on forehead here) or may explain why I think an unexpected, yet playful, string of profanities on talk radio and a silly little prank type thing is funny but some people don't, to the extent that they act like someone pissed in their bath water. But that's just me. I think pissing in bathwater is hysterical.
Ok, that's all off the top of my head. I'm sure I left quite a few out, but the absence of any Woody Allen movies is not by accident, I assure you. Not my cup of tea. Neither is Adam Sandler, though I might update the list to include Happy Gilmore.
[Note, there are some movies which, although they are comedies by nature, would go on my "most enjoyable movies" list, though not on the funniest list, i.e, Clerks, Sixteen Candles, Trading Places, Groundhog Day]
Word of the day: SUBJECTIVE.
which came at the expense of Stephen Hawking.
which came at the expense of Jimmy Kimmel.
Time for Family Guy! Woohoo!
Update: Now that was freaking awesome. It was so good to see Greased Up Naked Guy again.
[Note, I know that there are more popular bizarre/disturbing movies, i.e., anything Lynch, but this list is confined to those movies that most people I know have not seen, or even heard of in some cases]
One movie I hesitate to recommend but you may want to see in a "what the hell did I just watch?" kind of way:
Ichi the Killer
Got nothing today.
But Family Guy returns to Fox tonight. So I've got that going for me.
(rain, rain go away)