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June 30, 2005

Suburbia: Tales of Affliction
Chapter V

Previous chapters here

V: Pissing in the Wind

Today marks day one of Exercise Plan V.75.2. I知 going to make this one work.

I知 supposed to start the day off with a long morning walk. Not one of those power walks, where a person walks so awkwardly they look like a crazed puppet. No, just a regular, albeit brisk, walk through the neighborhood. Two miles tops.

5:30 a.m. and I head outside. I'm surprised by both the warmth in the air and that it's not as dark as I anticipated at this hour. The birds are chattering, the squirrels are fighting over something dead in the road and there's a light rain falling, which is fine with me. I walk.

I知 thinking, this is so nice.. Peaceful. Relaxing. I知 excited at the thought of doing this ever morning. Getting in touch with nature and my thoughts and the world around me. I used to do this, many years ago. I try to remember why I stopped.

I知 a mile from home and I remember. I have to pee. My sister always says I should have a catheter inserted. I can't go more than half an hour without having to pee and I've already had two cups of coffee and a quart of water. I am a mile from home at six in the morning, and I have to take a piss. Badly.

I stand on the corner and resist doing the pee-pee dance. I go over my options. There are none. It's not like I can knock on someone's door and ask to use the bathroom. Maybe if I was on my block. But I知 on a foreign street that痴 splayed with splits three times the size of my own house, all with stone steps and iron rails and a very 電on稚 bother us air about them. Especially at six am. There are no stores open yet. I stand there cross-legged like a three year old and contemplate my fate. I think the birds are laughing at me.

It starts to pour. Out of nowhere, the sky opens up and drops a few buckets of liquid on me. The sound of the heavy drops hitting the pavement makes my bladder long to be emptied. Drip. Drip. Drip. Bladder water torture.

I start to walk east, even though my house is west, because I am stuck on one of those winding streets with no outlet and now I have to go the opposite way and all around before I can head back home. The downpour thins out to a steady drizzle. .Drip. Drip. I curse the skies. I look to up and I swear that one mocking cloud is shaped like a toilet bowl. I cringe. My bladder screams. I walk.

I find that if I walk fast, it exacerbates the situation and the urge to pee right there on the sidewalk, right in front of 242 Oakley with its concrete Virgin Mary, gets stronger. But if I slow down, I will never get home. I eye the huge hedges surrounding the house to my right. No. No. I cannot resort to that high school antic of peeing in someone's yard. I'm not a drunk teenager. I am a sane, sober adult. I. Will. Not. Pee. In. Someone's. Bush. Drip, drip, drip goes the rain. My resolve shrinks.

Ok, why am I doing this again? Why am I out here with the birds and the squirrels, while everyone I know is still snoring under covers? Because I want to lose weight, comes the pat answer. Because I want to be firm and trim. Really? I知 talking to myself now. Literally. Out loud. Maybe, just maybe, the only reason you池e standing out here wishing you had a cork for your crotch and thinking about peeing in your neighbor痴 topiary is because just yesterday Brenda and Carla were standing outside in their size two jeans and clingy shirts and Carla was laughing about how she had raided her teenage daughter痴 closet for clothes to take to Aruba? Hmmm? Could that be it? Yes, yes, I say and the birds scatter, and the squirrels roll their eyes at me and I think they致e probably heard it all before. I want to go home. I want to go home and eat a giant cranberry muffin slathered with butter and put on my size ten jeans, after I go to the bathroom.

The sun starts to break through. Bright pinks and reds make their way through the line of clouds and behind the shades of sunrise is a brilliant blue sky. Vanish blue. The kind of blue that the toilet water in your mother's house is. That kind of blue. I cross my legs.

I go north one block and then turn west and I am headed in the right direction at least. I try not to think about toilet bowls. The wind kicks up and an empty Poland Springs water bottle flies by and hits me in the shin. Water. Liquid. Pee. I step in a small puddle and the sound of my foot hitting the water is amplified in my head. Someone's automatic sprinkler goes on. Water, water everywhere and not a toilet in sight.

I can finally see the side street I have to turn down. I'm close to home. My teeth are floating at this point. I remember how my mother used to say "I have to piss like a race horse" and I start wondering just how much a race horse pisses. This makes me walk faster, almost break out into a winning trot and my bladder jiggles and wiggles and begs for mercy. My eyes are watering.

Finally, my house is in sight. I chant out loud "please don't let anyone be in the bathroom, please don't let anyone be in the bathroom" and I sprint the last few steps, over the porch, down the stairs, into the house where, thankfully, my bathroom door stands wide open, waiting for me. I don't bother closing the door. I just pee, sighing orgasmically.

I go to the safety of my living room, cross "morning walk" off of my exercise list and think about buying a treadmill. Or a dozen cranberry muffins and a pound of butter.

*by way of explanation, for the one or two reading the chapters: these stories are being posted without any kind of form and as I write them, which is not the order in which they will eventually appear, hence the fluctuation of time from chapter to chapter. Also, these are what I call cold chapters. Tense, voices, etc. may change later on.

Suburbia: Tales of Affliction
Chapter IV

Previous chapters here

IV: The Woodchipper Whines on Wysteria Lane*

I get up at 4:30 a.m. most days. The first thing I do is throw on a sweatshirt and go outside. It's bitter cold out these days, but I find the coldest days produce the greatest sights in the sky. 4:30 a.m. is a great time to be out. The stars are incredibly clear. It is quiet, so quiet that when the train blows by the station about eight miles away, I can hear the horn wail. I can hear squirrels rustling through the trees and someone's garbage can lid being scraped down the street by the wind.

There are very few lights on in the surrounding houses. Not many of my neighbors are up at this hour, and for a few moments, I feel like I own the world. I walk around the yard, and head into my aunt's garden next door. There are statues in her garden, angels and mermaids and odd shaped animals and sometimes, in that early morning fog of thought, I wonder if I am dreaming or really standing outside.

Today I look up and see a huge, full moon. White, thin clouds move behind it and the light of the moon causes the clouds to become luminescent. As the clouds move, they give the illusion that the moon is racing across the sky. I remember when I was young and thought this to be true, that the moon moved with the clouds, the stars chasing it an stellar game of tag. I watch this scene until my neck hurts from looking up. By now the sky is getting a little lighter and the birds are starting to wake.

The inner enclaves of our suburb are still lush with trees. On the perimeters of the blocks, on the main roads, the trees are mostly gone. But here, in the nest of houses clustered together, the trees still stand. They are huge and foreboding in this light, their bare branches reaching out to the sky. The shadows make them seem a bit frightening, and when the squirrels bounce on the branches and make the trees shake, it looks as if those limbs are admonishing the squirrels for waking the tree.

I am in awe of those trees and the regal way in which they watch over our land. How long must those trees have been here to be that tall, that thick? They were here before the houses, before the land shifted from woodland to homeland.


Across the street, five trees are being sacrificed for the O鱈eary痴 sun room extension. Carole O鱈eary stands out on the sidewalk, hands on hips, a look of pride on her face as if she chopped down and hauled off those trees with her own bare hands.

I致e been standing on my stoop for hours, watching the tree killers, watching Carole bark out orders, all the while pointing my camera at them. 鏑ook at Annie, always with the camera, I hear Carole say during a lull in the woodchipper whine. I want to record this, to capture the moment when a beautiful landscape turns into suburban blight. When it痴 all said and done, when the trees are dust to dust, I put the lens cap on the camera and walk across the street.

的 never thought I壇 get rid of those damn things, Carole says.
的 liked them, I counter.
添ou would.

Kaitlyn, the littlest O鱈eary, stands on the front steps, staring her mother down. Her cheeks are splashed with dirty sawdust tears, her hands scratched and raw from when they had to physically pull her from the tree she was hugging.

適aitlyn liked them, too.
適aitlyn痴 five. She doesn稚 know any better.

I cluck my tongue at Carole, the way my grandmother clucks her tongue at me when I致e said something utterly, wholly stupid. The woodchipper starts its whine again and I don稚 hear what Carole says to me in response.


I break from my moment of recall and look up at the trees again. I wonder if they are angry at what has become of their forest. Then again, they only look angry at this hour, in this season. On summer afternoons, with children climbing their branches and exploring the hidden forts the leaves make, the trees seem happier.

When it gets too cold to stay out anymore, when my breath makes long trails of steam in the air, I walk back through the garden, avoiding the stares of the angels and mermaids, and pause by my door. I point my camera at the sky, trying to capture 4:30 a.m. the way it looks in my mind. The moon, the clouds, the flickering stars, the statues and trees that seem to possess souls. I know it will never look on film the way it looks in my head. Nothing ever does.

*by way of explanation, for the one or two reading the chapters: these stories are being posted without any kind of form; my idea is to have the story take you from Annie's childhood and young adult years on Wysteria Lane right up to present day and her family home on Sycamore, though the present day stories will not be as many as the growing up stories. Anyhow, the chapters are being posted as I write them, which is not the order in which they will eventually appear, hence the fluctuation of time from chapter to chapter. Also, the voice telling each chapter won't always be Annie's but that will be made obvious. Work in progress, and all.

I've also changed my mind about how to present the story, which means I'll probably change the title and rework what's already been posted. I have an idea. A good idea, I think. If anyone out there is in the publishing industry and would just answer a question as to whether the idea is good or not (and I promise not to ask you to read a full manuscript or drop it on your boss's desk or anything like that) please email me. Thanks.

June 29, 2005

Don't Stop Believin'

I was just about to write a post/list when I realized I already did that list about a year ago.

And then it occurred to me that I have nothing left to say. I've been calling it in for at least a week. Sleepblogging, if you will.

Time out.

There will be fiction here daily and most likely photos and reminders to go visit 100 words. So if that's your kind of thing, you're welcome to stop by. Other than those things, I've got nothing. My lists have run dry. My desire to look up interesting links has waned. And today, as I was driving home from work with the sun roof open and all the windows down and my too-long hair whipping around my face and Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" on the radio, turned up to maximum volume, I knew that I was one "streetlight, people" away from losing my mind.

If and when I find something interesting to blog about, I will. I'm just not going to force myself to do it every day. Too much like work. Too much like making my brain do things it doesn't want to. Not enough like summer.

Journey on the car stereo, cranked up with no sense of shame? That's like summer.

name that game

Stemming from a discussion about coin-op games last week (or the week before), I made this Name That Coin-Op Game image.

Each image represents a a coin-op arcade game from the 80's. Some of the images are cropped from screen shots of the actual game, some from the title screen and some from the logo that appeared on the game cabinet. Some are easy and obvious, others a bit more obscure.

I've been working on this for a week. I lost the paper where I wrote down all the answers. You're on your own.

click for bigger.

One note: I really like making these games (I also did one for father's day) -if you want to suggest other categories for me to create games for, feel free.

Suburbia: Tales of Affliction
Chapter III

(Previous chapters here)

III: Ben Franklin and the Magic 8 Ball

Arleen is having a sleep-over tonight. I hate sleep-overs. I hate leaving the comfort of my own house, my own bed, my own stuffed animals that protect me all night. I know, I知 too old for that. But I have a feeling that when I知 old and decrepit, like twenty years from now, I値l still be sleeping with Bunny and FooFoo.

I can稚 take Bunny and FooFoo to Arleen痴 house, but I can bring my own pillow, which smells like the toasted English Muffins, which smells like home and that should get me through the night. I don稚 tell anyone I get homesick, even when I知 just two blocks from home and I can see my house from Arleen痴 bedroom window and if the light in the kitchen is on, I can see my parents moving about, pouring a drink or getting a snack. Somehow, seeing my house from the distance of someone else痴 house, seeing my parents or my sisters mill about the rooms when I知 not there makes me feel worse instead of better. It makes my family feel out of reach.

I go to Arleen痴 despite not really wanting to. I lug my pillow and a plastic bag with pajamas and clothes for the morning. Mrs. Green greets me with surprise. 鄭nnie! I didn稚 think you壇 be here. You never show up for sleep-overs! I manage a grin a I squeeze past her. I hate Mrs. Green. She痴 as wide as my father痴 Lincoln and smells like she痴 got bits of old food stuck between her fat rolls. She wears bright, floral printed house dresses that my mother calls mu-mus, but my sisters and I call moo-moos. The difference is all in the pronunciation, how you draw out the ooooos. The moo-moos make Mrs. Green look very tent-like and I imagine one of the Green kids crawling under the moo-moo with a canteen and sleeping bag.

The rest of the girls are already upstairs. I can hear the buzz of their whispers and giggles and as I round the stairs and head for Arleen痴 bedroom door and I can tell by the tone of the buzz that there痴 an argument brewing.

的 know there are such things as ghosts because my father saw the ghost of his father right after he died!
典hat is so stupid!
鄭re you calling my father stupid?

I step into the room, throw my pillow and bag on the bed and slip right into the fray.

溺y mother saw a pair of dancing shoes fly across her room.
展HAT? This is said both collectively and incredulously.
填h huh. She saw red ballet shoes fly across her bedroom when she was just nine years old and the next day she found out her aunt died during the night.
Lori snorts, 展hat does ballet shoes have to do with her aunt dying?
滴er aunt was a ballerina. I say this with an air of smugness. Lori, who is just about to say something stupid to rebut me, clamps her mouth shut. All the other girls sit there with their mouths hinged open. I do know how to make an entrance to a party.

的致e got goosebumps. Tammy rolls up her nightgown sleeve to show us the prickly rise of flesh on her arms. 鏑et痴 talk about something else.

Arleen jumps up. 徹oh, I forgot. Mom bought me a Magic 8 Ball today! She grabs the 8 Ball from her dresser and immediately everyone encircles her, touching the ball, wanting a turn with it. The next minute or so is a flurry of teenage hands, shaking, turning, grabbing.

展ill I marry Bobby Sherman?
泥oes Paul Carey really wet his bed?
泥oes my mother hide the Christmas presents in the attic?
泥oes Christie Sorrentino stuff her bra?

All the pat answers show up; Outlook not so good. It is decidedly so. Outlook good. Ask again later (which means ask two seconds later). My reply is no (which means try again). My older cousin has had one of these magic balls for months now and the cube of predictions circling in the blue goo holds no special interest form. What痴 more interesting is the questions my friends ask and their reactions to the answers. As if this stupid paperweight of a toy can really predict the future?

Oh, I know. Like two months from now I値l be standing in my cousin痴 room, shaking the ball when no one is looking and asking it if my tits will ever grow. Outlook not so good.

Arleen comes up with a grand idea: We値l ask the Magic 8 Ball if ghosts really exist. This lead to another discussion about all things supernatural. We talk about ghosts and vampires and shadows under the bed. This leads to a mini-fight, pitting those of us who believed in things that go bump in the night against those who are quite sure that the res of us were out of our minds. Or heathens. Arleen stands up and shakes Magic 8 ball.

的知 going to ask it. We値l settle this once and for all.

I want to say: How will this settle anything? If you don稚 believe in ghosts how likely are you to believe a toy? But I hold back. Once the 8 Ball told Lori she would get a kiss from Ray Cortland before the year was over, its power became undeniable, belief in ghosts and goblins or not.

Are there such things as ghosts?
Arleen shakes up that 8 ball with the same vigor that her father shakes martinis. Better not tell you now.

Well, that gives Tammy the heebie jeebies. She surmises that if the all powerful 8 ball does not want to tell us, its because....because.... ghosts are already in the room!

I grab the 8 ball from Arleen.
Are there spirits present here?

We hold our collective breath as I shake the toy, the blue goo forming foaming bubbles that obscure the words for a few seconds. And then the bubbles subside and the answer was revealed:

Yes - definitely.

Shrieks. High-pitched, teenage girl, glass-breaking shrieks.

Lori (whose mother hands out religious tracts to trick-or-treaters and tells Lori she will go to hell just for thinking about boys), grabs the 8 ball out of my hands and flings it across the room. Obviously, the thing is possessed because not only does it not break, but there isn稚 a scratch or dent on it when Arleen retrieves it from under the bed.

The noise of the heavy 8 ball rolling on the wooden floor, plus Lori痴 hysterical whimpering brings Arleen's older sister Cammie to the room, storming in, demanding to know what we池e up to. Lori痴 crying by this time, and she announces to Cammie that we池e playing games with the devil. Lori points to the Magic 8 ball.

This thing? Cammie laughs. You think you can call out the devil with this stupid toy? Hang on girls, I've got something better for you.

And so we spend the next few hours learning the proper way to read an Ouija board. Well, most of us. Lori goes downstairs to sleep on the couch, away from us devil worshipers.

The Ouija board doesn稚 hold the same mysterious aura for us as the 8 ball. It痴 too easy to manipulate and Arleen痴 a horrible speller, so we knew when the the triangle disc points to there being GOHSTS in the room, Arleen has something to do with it. Cammie senses our growing boredom and decides to go one better. We池e going to have a seance.

We decide to call upon on the ghost of Ben Franklin. Cammie figures we should start with someone benign and, besides, we were doing the Revolutionary War in school, so maybe he could help us with a few questions.

Lesson: Never call upon the ghost of Ben Franklin when the weather is ripe for a thunderstorm. No sooner does Cammie say (in a deep, spooky voice) Ben Franklin, if you are here, give us a sign, then a bolt of lightning lights up the night sky.

Wow. Five 13 year old girls screaming in unison can drown out thunder! I mean, Ben Franklin. Lighting. We all got it. It was a 都ign that made perfect sense.

I saw him, I saw him! Grace, a mousy wallflower of a girl who had remained quiet until now, is pointing towards the window, where the curtains are now billowing in the wind and the tree branches are scraping against the glass. He was there! I saw his glasses! He was smiling and it was evil! Ben Franklin is...THE DEVIL! Apparently, Lori痴 evil-lurks-everywhere disease is contagious.

It痴 chaos for a few moments as we all scramble to the window, looking for a sign of a bespectacled Satan. He痴 nowhere to be found.

We start arguing as to whether or not Ben Franklin actually appeared at our sleep-over, or whether Satan appeared disguised as Ben. No one questions Grace's sighting; she saw something. Afer all, she痴 the smartest among us and would never steer us wrong.

I decide to settle the argument the easy way. I grab the Magic 8 ball off the night stand and give it a shake.

展as Ben Franklin here?
Without a doubt the ball answers.

的s Ben Franklin the devil?
Don't count on it.

I have to say, that answer is a bit disappointing. The mere thought of Ben Franklin being an agent of Satan is too delicious to not believe.

[For the one or two of you following what I'm doing here: I've decided to put the chapters up as I write them. Later, everything will go on a separate page, in a more cohesive form, with more of a storytelling feel to it - rather than a set of short stories or vignettes, I will tie this all together as a full novel. For now, it's piecemeal]

June 28, 2005

an evening with dave and buster

We just spent about five hours and a wad of money in this place. Who knew fighting zombies, shooting AT-AT Walkers, bowling in Tokyo, invading space and dancing up a revolution could be so exhausting?

I took over 100 pictures. I uploaded a few to Flickr and I have to say, an arcade is a great place to shoot photos if you're feeling colorful and artsy and whatnot. This one's my favorite:

But you can see them all (and you know you want to) here:


asv's photos More of asv's photos

news items i really wish were satire, volume 1

'Brainstorming', the buzzword used by executives to generate ideas among their staff, has been deemed politically incorrect by civil servants because it is thought to be offensive to people with brain disorders.

Instead staff at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in Belfast will use the term 'thought-showers' when they get together to think creatively. A spokeswoman said: 'The DETI does not use the term brainstorming on its training courses on the grounds that it may be deemed pejorative.'

Sources inside the department said there was concern that the term would cause offence to people with epilepsy as well those with brain tumours or brain injuries.

Maybe "thought showers" is offensive to people who don't take showers. Maybe it's just offensive to people who aren't over-the-top politically correct jackasses. Seriously. How far can this be taken? Eventually everything will be deemed offensive to someone. We'll all be turned into mimes.

I'm practicing my offensive gestures just in case.

News Quote of the Day

Annie Cohen ran inside, yelling at her mother to call 911. "I said 'Why?'" recounted Julie Cohen. "She said, 'There's a baby in the yard.' I said, 'Whose is it?' She said, 'It's mine.'"

Dumbest. Family. Ever.

Random Thought

8am on a summer's morning during a rain storm looks exactly the same as 4pm on a winter's afternoon right before a snowstorm.

This is the kind of thing I think about while stuck in traffic.

Listomatic: Standing the Test of Time [Updated]

Over at Comedy Central, Joel Stein has two lists: Five '80s Stupid Guy Comedies That Hold Up and Five That Don't.

I'm not sure what Joel means by "stupid guy" comedies. Is he referring to the fact that stupid guys watch them, that there are stupid guys in them or that....ah, here:

The worst part is when guys force loved ones to watch their favorite old movies. And for our generation, that means '80s comedies. While that sounds tough, remember that our grandmothers had to sit through Gene Autry films....So which dumb guy comedies can you subject women and children to safely?

He never really defines what a "stupid guy" movie is, does he? He goes on later to say that John Hughes movies that don't star John Candy or Chevy Chase don't fit the bill and I'm beginning to think that Joel makes shit up as he goes along.

If Mr. Stein thinks that the movies he listed are guy movies, then he knows very, very little about women, especially women who did any part of their growing up in the 80's. Judging from this, Stein probably thinks that only guys laugh at fart jokes. I personally know this not to be true. But anyhow. The lists. We'll ignore Stein's need to bring gender into the mix, and we'll instead call our lists Five 80's movies that have held up over time and five that haven't. Because here at ASV, we ALL think Airplane! is funny.

The first list is hard, because there are so many, and I going to include Hughes movies, because I am not Joel Stein.

  • Better off Dead
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Airplane!
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  • This is Spinal Tap

Honorable mentions: Ghostbusters, Coming to America, Heathers, Fletch and the ubiquitous many, many more!

Update: How could I forget UHF and Johnny Dangerously (fargin iceholes!)?

Five 80's comedies that DID NOT hold up over time (you had to have liked these movies at one point in order to qualify - don't just list movies you hate or never found funny)

  • Stripes (the movied dies as soon as they get the camper)
  • Animal House (oops, came out in 1978)
  • Bachelor Party (I watched this movie several times just because one of the characters wears a jacket with my hometown high school on it)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Porky's

Honorable mention: National Lampoon's Vacation, Pretty in Pink, One Crazy Summer, Back to School, Valley Girl, any Police Academy movie.

Update: Keiran is going to make me admit it. I tried to keep it a secret. Yes, I still laugh at Revenge of the Nerds. There. I said it.

Bonus update! Today is John Cusack's birthday! Gee, I'm real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.

Suburbia: Tales of Affliction
Chapter II

Chapter 1 here.

II: "The Family" on Poppy Drive

People are under the impression that my father is in the mafia. I don't know what it is. So, we池e Italian. And he drives a huge and wide Lincoln Continental with spokes on the wheels and real leather seats. And he has a construction business. Yea, works with cement. People just assume that all those facts add up to I値l make him an offer.

This has been going on for years and I don稚 deny the rumors. I no longer confirm or embellish, but I don稚 deny. I just raise my eyebrows or whistle when anyone asks about it. It痴 too much fun to have people think that my dad could order a hit on them if they ever got on our wrong side.

Mom gives me a lecture on the whole thing. She doesn稚 like being associated with the Mafia. She thinks it makes our family look ugly and vulgar. I tell her it痴 just my friends. No one else believes it. Their parents don稚 believe it. The principal doesn稚 believe it....

典he principal? Mom wears a wide-eyed look of shock that turns her cobalt blue eyelids into crinkly frowns.
滴e mentioned it in passing.
添oung lady.... I drift off. I can稚 help it. It痴 like the words 土oung lady are the secret to turning off the part of my brain that hears adults speak and everything mom says is just a low buzz.
填h...mmhmm. Gotcha.

I am vaguely aware that she wants me to put a stop to the Mafia rumors. I reach back and poke my brain a bit to see if it can dislodge some of what she said and it functions as sort of a mental sausage maker; it packages everything mom just said to me and spits it out in one neat little package, which isn稚 hard because it痴 the only word-package mom ever makes in situations like this: 展hat will the neighbors think?

I always want to ask her why she cares so much what the neighbors think. Half of them are related to us anyhow and they know all of our secrets and bad habits and dysfunctions. The other neighbors - Spider Lady, the Carrs, the Masons, the people who always leave their sprinklers on and waste our natural resources, the couple with the hot nephew, the Bergs - why would anyone care what they thought? They were an odd collection of hermits and religious nuts and swingers and cult leaders and....

It occurs to me - I have an almost grown up like thought here for the first time in my life - that maybe that痴 all rumors, too. Maybe the Carrs aren稚 Moonies. Maybe the Masons don稚 see Jesus in their coffee cups, maybe Spider Lady isn稚 really a witch. The hot nephew is real. I can attest to that myself. But who knows about the rest of the stuff? Maybe Spider Lady had a daughter like me once and she started the rumor herself that her mother was a witch and the rumor carried through the years and by the time the girl was in high school everyone in the world thought her mother was a witch so they came and took the girl away from her mother and tried to burn Spider Lady at the stake but she bolted the doors and shut the windows and spent the rest of her days mourning the loss of her only child and yelling at people to get off her lawn. Maybe. Is that how I want my parents to turn out? What if the real Mafia got wind of this rumor? What if some 吐amily thinks my father belongs to a rival family and they try to kill him?

I start to panic, the way I always do when my thoughts get ahead of my actions. I slow down the brain process by holding my breath and doing the nine times tables. When I知 done - I have trouble once I get past nine times five - the runaway thought train has come to a halt. But I know what I must do now.

I grab the first person I see, which is Nick, at the bus stop.

添ou know, just so you know, ummm...my dad isn稚 really in the Mafia. I知 staring at a clump of dried November grass while I say this. I don稚 look Nick in the eye, because it was Nick I told the most outlandish pretend Mafia stories to. Like the one about having to scrub blood and bits of flesh out of the trunk of the Lincoln one Saturday and how I did such a good job that some guy named Uncle Carmine gave me twenty dollars and let me see his gun.
迭ight. Did he kill someone last night, so you池e trying to cover for him?
展hat? My father, kill someone? Nick, you know my father would never hurt anyone!
展hat about Evan Cameron? He threw him on the ground and then stomped on his hand!
展ell, Evan knocked down my snowman on purpose. And that was like ten years ago!
Billy Campbell shows up at the stop and Nick dismisses me.

This goes on all day. No matter who I try to confess to, they laugh and say 添ea, right. Whatever. No one believes me. My father has become this larger than life figure, a godfather or at least sidekick to godfather who makes cement shoes for a living and sends enemies to sleep with the fishies.

I come up with this plan to have a bunch of people over after school to watch tv and hang out. I知 convinced that if they spend some time in my nice, normal, non-Mafia home, and see my parents do nice, normal non-Mafia things like watch the news and play Yahtzee!, they値l be convinced that I知 a liar, my sisters are liars and my parents are just nice suburban folk who eat tuna casserole on Fridays and play cards on Saturdays and wash the car on Sundays. Boring. Normal. Routine.

I tell my father my plan. He doesn稚 really care about the Mafia stuff. He thinks it痴 a big joke and says my mother has no sense of humor when it comes to her maintaining our reputation as Norman Rockwell family. A reputation we never had, I might add. My mom suffers from delusions of Rockwell.

I get my sisters in on the plan. I convince them to tell their friends to come over, too, because the rumors have trickled downward from tenth grade to eight grade to third grade. Lenore, my youngest sister, hasn稚 helped matters any by telling her teacher that our father wears pointy shoes and puts us in the kitchen corner and kicks us when we池e bad. She痴 going to be trouble, Lenore. I feel sorry for my mom. Mafia rumors are going to be the least of her worries if Lenore doesn稚 reign in her storytelling.

We ask dad to please explain to our friends that he is a law-abiding citizen. I think that痴 the only way they値l get it, if dad actually speaks up about it.

徹f course, my father says. 徹f course I値l help put an end to that disgusting rumor. My reputation is on the line! He pats us all on the head. I think he痴 proud of us.

We all meet at 7-11, where I buy soda and several bags of chips, and then we march back to my house, a crowd of about ten kids all together. I知 nervous. I want so much to end this charade, to put a rest to the jokes about horse痴 heads and bodies in trunks, to make my mother stop worrying about what the neighbor think. I feel like I知 doing the right thing, a grown-up thing and this gives me a sense of instant maturity. I may start wearing high heels and reading the business section soon!

We get to my house and I suck in my breath. Our friends have only an inkling of what痴 going on. I致e spent the last two days trying to undo all my lies, so they know I知 up to something, but there痴 chips and soda with the 4:00 movie in it for them, so they値l suffer through my lecture. My father is going to be so proud of me, I think. I am singlehandedly saving my family from the ruination of their good name and social status as perfect suburbanites.

The door is locked. Odd. I ring my own doorbell.

My father answers the door. He痴 wearing a pinstripe suit and guido hat, looking like a cross between Al Pacino and Al from Happy Days. My friends giggle, some actually snort as we clamor into the kitchen. My father says, in an affected accent that痴 half Brooklyn and half caricature, "I can't stay. Gotta go make some cement..., wink, wink...的f ya know what I mean.

Everyone, stares at him with wide eyes and slack jaws. Dad grabs his car keys off the counter, puts a scowl on his face and said "I catch anyone drinking anything but soda in this house, I take ya for a ride, capisce?" He struts out of the house, obviously confusing John Travolta with Al Pacino.

I feel a surging hatred for my father and I want to run after him, scream a million curse words, kick him in the shins for what he just did, for ruining everything I set out - so maturely - to do.

Everyone痴 laughing. My friends, my sister痴 friends, even my mother. Nick is doubled over, holding his stomach, heaving out great gulps of hysterical air. His laughter sounds like horses dying and normally I find that funny but now, now I was too mad, I was....

典hat was the worst Mafia impression ever!
添ea, that was so LAME!
滴ey, the movie痴 starting and it痴 Vincent Price week!
Everyone runs into the den.

I grab a handful of chips and lose myself in The Fly.

[For the one or two of you following what I'm doing here: I've decided to put the chapters up as I write them. Later, everything will go on a separate page, in a more cohesive form, with more of a storytelling feel to it - rather than a set of short stories or vignettes, I will tie this all together as a full novel. For now, it's piecemeal]

June 27, 2005

game over.

Apparently some time in between my last open mic night and this one, I gained a couple of assholes as readers. Or maybe they were here all along and just decided to make themselves known. Or maybe I'm just too trusting of this interwebbie thing.

The longer I blog, the more things happen that make me not want to blog anymore.

Open Mic night has been cancelled. Thanks to the those who posted before this.

Open Mic Night/Hubris

[To particpate in open mic night, go here]

My mother revealed to me that she was a lesbian when I was eleven years old.

That was kinda weird. It was done during a quiet conversation conducted on a boulder overlooking a pond, which made the conversation seem cliched even during the apex of the emotional impact [Mommy, you're shocking me--and you're making me feel like the lead in a bad afterschool special--the double whammy].

Unsurprisingly, this conversation followed a lengthy period of, uh, intense conversations between my still-married parents, all of which bloomed from some mysterious seed of conflict that had remained hidden from me until that moment of disclosure.

I know what you're probably thinking--who cares who your mother was sleeping with? That's a valid statement; it wasn't the nature of the long-held secret so much as the extent of the long-held secret. It wasn't that it was a bad thing, it was that it was a big thing that was a secret, fundamental part of her. I would say that the long-term implication was not the creation of any hostility issues with respect to sexuality or gender, just the submerged fear that no matter how much I think I know someone, I might not know them at all. There is always the chance that they are going to rip off their Mission Impossible mask with a "ha HA!" and simply surprise the shit out of me.

Other than that, I am completely psychologically healthy, natch. And there's your Open Mic therapy session of the evening.

Anyway, the important lesson of the story is: If you want to tell your kid something important, don't focus on choosing proper aesthetics for the setting. Otherwise, it just seems a little forced.

Did anyone else ever have an awkward hand-on-the-shoulder-well-I've-got-some-news-for-you-Jimmy talk?

Open Mic Night:
Log piles and baby teeth - by: Shumpy

I don't know what made me think of this story when you said talk about your childhood.


I am going to show my age here but that is ok. When I was a kid about 6ish - not sure which summer it was... anyway

On Sunday's after church services one of the families would have the other church people with kids over and we would all do dinner/snacks whatnot and the adults would chat and get caught up with one another while the kids played outside.

This was a nice Texas summer and wasn't too hot. This particular night it was being held at the Whitehouse. So it was the Whiteboys (me & my brother) and several other kids running in the backyard.

We were playing tag. I wasn't it but I was being chased pretty hard. I jumped up on our log rack - my father used to keep several chords of wood stacked against the back fence.

Now this was something that I had done many times before. 'It' was chasing me. Right now I can't remember who it was. No matter. They jumped up on the logs hot on my tail.

Now this log pile stretched a good five to ten yards (depending on the year). While in mid-stride somehow my foot got caught between two logs and immediately wedged in there.

This threw me - face first - into the pile. With all my speed (yes, I was fast back then) I took a chunk out of the faceplant log with my front couple of teeth.

I hit so hard I bit through my lower lip and one of my teeth became wedged in the log. Not kidding. It was a bloody mess. Scared all the kids, myself included.

I can't remember seeing that much blood come from my own body ever before. Yeah I was freaked out. Also I still had to extract my foot from being wedged in between the logs.

The kids all came to help. When I was pulled free, my top right front tooth was hanging THROUGH my bottom lip by the root. Nasty.

We went inside to find my mother and father. Now remember this is Sunday evening/night. They freaked out. Mom cried. Who was going to fix me? I was broken. Well luckily there was a church lady who piped up and said she had a new dentist for her kids and happened to have his card in her pocket.

This was a young new dentist but he had his home number on the business cards. She called him. He was home! and he agreed to fix me up.

We went in to his office and he clipped the root sowed up my lip - with anesthetic. And basically made it all right, best he could at the time.

When my mouth had healed up after a week or so I had to go back to see him and get what they called a "spacer". This was basically a retainer with a fake tooth wired on it so I wouldn't have a gap in my grill all the way until my adult teeth came in. It looked pretty darn real.

The retainer/tooth was cemented into place but I would chew or pick at the cement until I could pull the thing out. It was pretty cool. I'd freak all the little girls in school out at lunch by taking out my tooth. It was a source of fun for several years. Of course, I would get in trouble taking it out if an adult saw me but it was worth it to see the looks on people's faces.

I still have the scar on my bottom lip twenty five years later. And that nice young dentist that opened up shop on a weekend night, what happened to him you ask? I still go to him. Also, somewhere in a box at my folks house that fake tooth still sits to this day.

The Dead Will walk the Earth

Anyone else see this over at Drudge (second best sight behind fark)


They were able to bring two dogs back from the dead. First Canines then People. Look out Yankee Fans Billy Martin will be back in no time.

Open Mic Night at ASV!

All my free time at the moment is being spent reading or writing. When I'm not doing one, I'm doing the other. I'm reading seven books at once because seven different voices, narrative styles and genres make for seven times the inspiration. I write every day, I always have; but I haven't had the drive to write like this, the passion for it, the love of and belief in what I'm writing since the early 80's. I must go with the flow.

Because I probably won't be back at the blog tonight, I though you all might like to fill in for the evening. Yes, the open mic night is back. And there's a theme: Childhood. Nothing specific, it's pretty wide open. Just write something. Think about your first kiss, your favorite song in fifth grade, the street games you used to play, your funny uncle, being scared at your first horror movie, getting stuck in the clothes dryer, summer vacation - whatever!

Update: I changed my mind.

something I can never have - maybe

I've been trying to track down a copy of one of my favorite childhood books, The Night They Stole The Alphabet by S. Joslin.

It seems to be out of print, though I can buy a copy from Amazon marketplace for $75 - more than that if I want a copy in decent condition. How much are childhood memories worth? More than I can afford, apparently.

If any of you ever run across this title at a garage sale, used book store, library sale, whatever, I will be forever indebted to you if you pick up the book for me (if it's a reasonable, garage-sale type price).

Can't hurt to ask people to keep their eyes open for me.

random camera phone picture: real smooth, cliff

Courtesy of my buddy Todd.


Slaughter in Hundred Acre Woods!

First, they came for Tigger.

Then they came for Piglet.

I bet John Hurt is really regretting his stint as Narrator right now.

Suburbia: Tales of Affliction
Part I

[a work in progress that has yet to be edited, chopped, rewritten seven times and tossed in the recycle bin. ].

Part I: Introduction

The Sycamore block starts at Cypress with the Pumpkin Man痴 house and wends its way north for a slightly twisted quarter mile, ending at Alder with the House of Honda. There痴 a small, enclosed world in this one little block, the nuances of which are visible only to those who live on it.

Unlike so many suburban blocks where the homes are all duplicates of each other, set apart only by the gilded numbers hammered onto the garages, Sycamore is a hodge-podge of houses. Perhaps 50 or 60 years ago it was one of those cookie cutter enclaves, a street of one story cottages seemingly made for small, nuclear families, cramped for even 1.5 children. As the years went on, the look of the block changed. People may not have had much larger families than before, but they had more things and wanted more space for their things. So they blew out walls and added on to fronts and backs and when they had no more room to push out, they pushed up and added on dormers with vaulted ceilings and spiral staircases and windows large enough for everyone to see in without meaning to.

Over time, Sycamore has become a tapestry of styles. Cathedrals are buttressed by make-shift splits, which are flanked by lengthy ranches, all interspersed with clumps of original cottages, untouched, un-pushed, unadorned with additions. There痴 brick and siding and stone, enclosed porches and high, cement steps that are insurmountable in winter, circular driveways and blacktop mini-lots stuffed with three or more cars, full-on topiaries with sheared rabbits and unicorns and lawns that grow nothing but browned out fluffs of crabgrass. It痴 the suburban version of a melting pot.

When we moved to Sycamore the real estate agent, as well as several acquaintances, led us to believe we'd be living on a quarter mile strip of PTA paradise. Block parties, get-togethers, families gathered on porches on summer nights, drinking home-brewed ice tea while their kids chased fireflies - you can have it all on Sycamore!

It took only a week or so before we figured out the dynamics of the block and realized that there were no barbecues or late night porch talks in their future. Was it us? Did we somehow exude an odor of 渡ot yet ready for manicured lawns? Was it our kids? Our lack of pets? What? What was it that was keeping the welcome wagon of Sycamore away from our house? Where was my fresh baked pie and invitation to sit on someone痴 porch? I started to develop a complex. I spent hours standing in my front yard watching the gatherings down the block, trying to figure out why we weren稚 fitting in.


I am - yet again - staring wistfully at the cluster of women gathered on the lawn of 412.

鏑ooks pleasant, doesn稚 it?

It's my next door neighbor, a nice woman with a nice husband and three nice, strapping young lads, none of whom are ever home long enough to make friends with. Their lives consist of constant trips to sports games, their house only a pit-stop. Their black SUV races into the driveway, spits out one son and his baseball equipment, swallows up another son and his hockey equipment, and disappears again. Today, Karen is home, taking a break from being a one-woman cheering section. She smiles knowingly at me. 的t always looks better than it is, you know.

的 thought it would be different, I say. 的 thought they壇 welcome us with open arms and we壇 join their clan. I mean, I knew most of these women already. I致e lived in this town 40 years. I move on their block and they stop saying hello to me? What痴 that all about?

的t痴 not you. No one on this end of the block has ever penetrated the invisible walls of The Seven.


Start at the Cypress end of Sycamore, on the east side of the street. Walk four houses north. Count of the houses from there - 1, 2, 3, 4. Stop, cross the street and walk back south, counting off again. 5, 6, 7. Stop. And there you have it, The Seven. Seven houses that make up the gut of Sycamore. Not the heart; that belongs to Hyde across the street, who is teaching me how to prune my Japanese Maple. And not the soul; that belongs to the Pumpkin Man, whose yard bursts with orange every fall, who opens up his gates for anyone and everyone to have their pick of the pumpkin patch. No, those seven houses are the gut, the place where things churn and roll and turn to acid. Well, maybe it痴 not the gut, but the Digestive Tract of Sycamore doesn稚 flow as well.

They have a tribe of children between them, all over-fed and under-mannered. They are hulking, brooding brats, always hopped up on the steroid known as privilege, which their parents feed to them in large doses. As in, you are privileged. You are special. You don稚 have to follow the rules of social decorum or the niceties of society because you are privileged. We RULE!

The tribe hangs out in the street, playing basketball, kickball or this odd game in which they just stand there in the middle of the road while you try to pass in your car. They take turns glaring menacingly at you, or waving to you in a mocking, sneering way until you maneuver around them and make your way home. The mothers stand around and watch this, gathered around the hydrangea bush at 413 like cackling witches at a coven. Either they don稚 see their tribe engaged in the game of Bully the Neighbor, or they don稚 care.

I stopped driving down that end of the block. I had enough of pebbles being kicked up at my car, of balls purposely thrown at my windshield, of gargantuan sized twelve year olds banging on my trunk. I had enough of driving past the parties in progress, watching the witchy women turn their heads as my car rolled past and turn back again without so much as a wave or a nod. They池e holding Margaritas and Pina Coladas and standing around in their short shorts and halter tops, their 40 year old bodies stuffed into their teenage daughter痴 fashions, and when they laugh, I imagine they are laughing at me and my jeans/sweatshirt combo, me and my brownish lawn and children who aren稚 hulking androids, me and my lack of margarita making friends to share my non-existent porch with. A barrier has been erected starting at 412, an invisible electric fence that shocks me every time. I finally figured out, a year later, to go a different way and avoid the shock. I知 a slow learner.

I pull out of the driveway facing the other way now, and Karen waves to me, her husband waves as he packs the car with football equipment, Hyde waves as he shuffles around his yard, the Asian kids with the souped-up cars and thumping beats wave. I may never have Margaritas on a front porch with these people, but at least they have the courtesy to acknowledge my existence.

When I talk to my friend about this, my friend who lives in another town on a tree lined street where they all take turns with the snow blower in the winter, she laughs.

泥o you think your street is unique? We have four houses at the end of our block that I want to dynamite. They refused to join our block party last year and had one of their own the day before ours! Their kids have made a conscious effort to ignore mine since they were little. It痴 like there are two different worlds on the same block and we池e not allowed to enter theirs.

I give this more thought. I ask a few more friends about their block dynamics and get the same answers from almost everyone. This is suburbia, one woman tells me. What did you expect?


I spent most of my life living on a street that was crowded with relatives. Our yards were connected, our lives intertwined. But we opened those yards up to everyone. Every kid on that block became part of our family. I thought it was like this everywhere. I suppose I grew up insulated, cocooned from the rest of the world. To me, suburbia meant running barefoot through the grass with your cousins, huge pasta dinners on Sunday afternoons, parents who would never let their children be rude to neighbors. Social stratification was reserved for the school playgrounds; at home, on your block, you treated everyone the way you wanted to be treated. You pretended to like that jackass who pulled your hair in the hallway because how else would we have enough kids to get a basketball game together? You tolerated the bitchy girl, the smelly boy, the kid who picked his nose and ate it because these were the people you lived with, the people who made up your kickball team, who told the best jokes, who always had firecrackers in July, who ran barefoot through the grass with you in a race to get to the sprinkler first. On school days, you went back to hating each other. At home, on the block, you were one. I spent my whole life thinking this is how it worked, this is how suburbia was defined.

I was wrong. Not only wrong, but deluded. I let the cotton-candy visions of my childhood block out all the horror and terror of growing up suburban. My mental battle with the Sycamore Seven has stripped away the fluff and sunshine of my childhood and, in many ways, has made me question the dynamics of all the groups I致e belonged to in my adult life, from PTA to Mommy and Me to the book clubs and workplace committees.

Suburbia isn稚 a place. It痴 an affliction.

[The stories that follow are all fictionalized accounts of my life in the suburbs. All names and streets have been changed to protect myself.]

June 25, 2005

random camera phone picture: awol

Just go back from Borders. If you don't hear from me for a while, this is why.

What are you all reading?

and the dead will walk the bases

In the past, when the Yanks lost to the Mets I would get pissed. The fan rivalry (as well as the rivarly within my mixed NY baseball team family) made it that way.

In the past, if the Sox reached first place with the Yanks trailing this many games behind, I'd be pissed. Or at least upset.

I just don't care anymore.

It's not like I'm a fair weather fan whose team is losing so she gives up. Not like that at all. It's the team that's given up.

How can I put my heart into rooting for a team that has no heart themselves? How can I get passionate about a team with no passion of their own? The Yanks are dishwater. Mediocrity. Watching them reminds me of going to a concert only to discover your favorite band is just going through the motions. You walk out displeased and every time you put their CDs on, you realize that your intense love for them has weakened, simply because they have weakened.

They haven't weakened in talent - look at that lineup. So what is it? Why are they playing as if nothing matters? Why does watching a Yankee game make me reach for the remote more often than not? Why can't I stir up any of the Yankee passion I've had since I was a little girl - passion that I had even in the worst years of the modern Yanks?

I care less and less that they are drowning in the standings and it's almost the All-Star break. I care less and less that the Sox are ahead of them. Normally on a summer day like this one, when they Yanks and Mets are playing, I'd have the tv hooked up in the backyard, beer on ice and the family coming over for some good natured fighting. At some point during today's game, I'll be in a movie theater watching zombies.

Same difference, no?

Saturday Survey: Sad, Sad Man

If Mondays are list days, then Saturdays are now survey days. I should come up with a daily theme schedule. Would be a hell of a lot easier than thinking up topics every morning.

Anyhow, I'm putting together a CD for a friend who wants to wallow in his misery. The stipulations are: no country songs, no disco, no novelty ballads, no overtly manipulative sad songs (like the christmas shoes garbage). Just some rock and roll/metal/goth/teased-hair power ballad/emo songs that will make him curl up in a fetal position and cry like a bitchy little girl before he heads out to find a cross to nail himself to.

science, weather, money and shit

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Yea. That's about all I've done this morning. We're gearing up for a hot and humid one today. You know it's going to be bad when two minute after stepping out of the shower you already feel like you need another. Heat, I can deal with (though don't like). Humidity? Sucks donkey balls. Big, honking donkey balls.

It's going to be an A/C kind of day. Which means that no matter what I do today, I'll be hearing the sound of money being sucked into the bottomless pit of my electric bill. It's funny what happens when you become a home owner. You start hallucinating that dollar signs have wings and they fly overhead, out of the house and into someone else's bank account every time you turn on an appliance or turn up the heat.

I need to move somewhere where it's 73 degrees every single day of the year.

Oh, I did do something else! I wrote a story. I have to say I kind of like this one. I haven't been all that happy with my efforts lately.

June 24, 2005

Cruise Control

Have you seen the Cruise/Lauer interview? Don't just read the transcript - watch it.

And then come back here and tell me what kind of crazy Tom Cruise is. I'm thinking somewhere around...batshit.

The Match Game Celebrities Speak!

Well, kind of. Here are their answers. No go find your answers in this thread (in case you are senile like me and can't remember what you wrote a couple of hours ago) and count up how many matches you made on each question.

If you would be so kind, please write in the comments which ones you matched and which blog panelist you matched, so I can make a final tally of which blogger had the most matches. Why? Why not?


The questions were:

  1. The cave man said, "I just went to a very unusual wedding. A dinosaur ______(ed) the bride."
  2. Lex Luthor is so evil... (How evil is he?) He's so evil he lowers the moral standing at a ____________convention!
  3. Urban Legends sure have changed from when I was kid. Yesterday, I was told that Lindsay Lohan died when she mixed Pop Rocks with ______________.
  4. "I just had to take out the appendix of the Jolly Green Giant. It wasn't easy. I had to use ____________.
  5. Dick Cheney has been asked to join the SuperFriends. He will now be known as Captain__________.

Bonus _________Balls

Panelist answers:


  1. gave away
  2. Michael Jackson convention!
  3. ipecac.
  4. a forklift
  5. Gigantor

Bonus: Blue


  1. did the Electric Slide with
  2. truthout.org
  3. spermicidal jelly
  4. Sprout as the anesthesiologist
  5. Dockers Bulge

Bonus: Undescended XXY Jamie Lee Curtis


  1. gave away
  3. Ipecac
  4. a salad fork
  5. Coronary

Bonus: Blue


  1. ate
  2. Republican
  3. heroin
  4. can opener
  5. Chickenhawk (the political kind; not the gay kind)

Bonus: Ben wa


  1. ate
  2. sports agent
  3. Caffeine-Free Diet Coke with Lime.
  4. lightsaber.
  5. Himmel.

Bonus: Blue


  1. was the ringbearer for
  2. Illinois Nazi
  3. diet pills
  4. melon baller
  5. Coronary

Bonus: blue

Thanks so much to Mikey for letting me host this week. We'll be back at his place next Friday. Hope you all had as much fun participating as I did playing Gene Rayburn. I think I'll keep in character and go sexually harass some young, big breasted woman wearing a mini-skirt and go-go boots. Or maybe I'll just go drink a bottle of gin with Bret Somer and stick a paper bag over her head while I drill her.

[I guess the porn affect hasn't worn off yet.]

It's getting hot in here

Speaking of horny, I think all that porn talk last night had an affect on my writing.

(Blogger) Match Game '05!

Every Friday (or most Fridays) I play a blog version of Match Game over at Mikey's. This week, I'm giving Mikey a little break and I'll be hosting the game here. I have a stellar panel all lined up and their answers are already tucked away in a secret location, guarded by two pit bulls and a Gary Coleman.

MG-Spin.gifFor you youngsters who may be unfamiliar with how the game works, Match Game was a tv game show that aired (the best version, anyhow) back in the 70's. There was a panel of six celebrities that were given a fill-in-the-blank sentence, and their job was to try to match what the contestants put in the blank. It was a very simple concept and sounds a bit boring. But, when nearly all the questions had possible suggestive answers and that alcohol was served to the celebrities during taping, boredom rarely came into play. The frank sexual jokes, the constant flirting, the obviousl drunkeness of the panelists, the way they smoked right on camera, the innuendos of host Gene Rayburn - Match Game was one of the highlights of my childhood. I would rush home from school every day to make sure I was in front of that tv when the show started. And while I did get most of the jokes back then, they are so much more enjoyable - and shocking - now (in repeats on the Game Show Network). What they got away back in the day would give half this prudish nation heart attacks today.

The questions I came up with aren't that great (honestly, I found three of them in a Google search). If I had more time (read: If I remembered sooner that I promised to cover this week) they might have been better. But what really matters is what the contestants and the panel make out of the questions, right? And YOU are the contestants, so it falls on you to make something good out of this.

Let me introduce you to the panel:

Update: by popular demand, the theme song!


Ah, no. Wrong panel. Here we go:

As far as I know, none of them are washed-up, alcoholic, chain smoking, horny celebrities. Well, I can't vouch for the horny part. Or can I?

I'll put the questions up now, and your job is to fill in the blanks. If you want to be outrageous/funny/offensive as possible, go ahead, but keep in mind that the true spirit of the show is to try to match as many panelists as you can. Or at least hope the panelists didn't try to be outrageous/funny/offensive.

Ah, what the hell. Do what you want. But I will crown a winner - the person who gets the most matches - at the end of the day. There's no prize, but you get all that adulation and shit. What? Sure you do.

Are you ready for Match Game '05?

  1. The cave man said, "I just went to a very unusual wedding. A dinosaur ______(ed) the bride."
  2. Lex Luthor is so evil... (How evil is he?) He's so evil he lowers the moral standing at a ____________convention!
  3. Urban Legends sure have changed from when I was kid. Yesterday, I was told that Lindsay Lohan died when she mixed Pop Rocks with ______________.
  4. "I just had to take out the appendix of the Jolly Green Giant. It wasn't easy. I had to use ____________.
  5. Dick Cheney has been asked to join the SuperFriends. He will now be known as Captain__________.

Bonus Round:


There's liquor in the green room. Help yourselves, lose your inhibitions and leave your answers in the comments.

The panelist answers will be posted this afternoon.

And feel free to link. More traffic equals more funny answers for you to enjoy!

June 23, 2005

Lifetime TV: Spanking Your Monkey [Updated]

Just a reminder that I won't be live blogging Hit Me Baby tonight due to the asscrapitty level of the acts this evening.

Also, I will be glued to the television, watching this, which just may shape up to be this generation's Reefer Madness.

In just a few mouse clicks, good-natured student and athlete Justin Peterson (Jeremy Sumpter) went from your average hormonally charged teen to an Internet porn addict. He puts his future and family into total turmoil by letting curiosity turn into obsession.

OHMYGOD, Justin's got the PORN! He..he...touched himself!

And if they think they are going to hammer home the "Masturbation is an evil epidemic" point with their viewers, one only needs to read the Lifetime message boards to see 5,000 "The guy playing Justin is SOOOO HOT!!!1!!OMGWTFILOVEHIMHEMAKESMEWET!!" comments to see that Lifetime is unwittingly adding to the crime wave of masturbation and porn surfing that they are trying to stop. Oh, the irony, Lifetime. The irony!

Yea, this is going to be good.

[this is not to say that porn addiction isn't a problem for some people, but cliched, badly acted made-for-cable-tv movies are always ripe for the picking. Hey..you...with the hair palms....I see what you're doing....bad monkey!

Update: You have to read this. Now. Ohmylord, the movie uses the phrase virgin vaginas. I told you this is going to be good. (link via Allah)

Ok, apparently part of this movie deals with how much the kid puts on his parents' credit cards for porn. HELLO?? FREE PORN? It's everywhere you want to be!


This movie is horrible. HORRIBLE. I think it's about to break into some weird incest sub-plot. He's going to do his mom, I know it!

I mean, he has a hot mom, a girl that won't put out and a whore sending him porn. No wonder the guy is diddling himself to anonymous naked chicks!

AHA! We have discovered the real issue of this movie. It's not pornography. It's not masturbating. It's that the mother is a driven, overbearing, frustrated bitch who is pissed that her son is not living up to her expectations. Also, if you masturbate, you have to wait two hours before swimming.

Oh my god, this fantasy sequence in the pool - nothing will beat this. NOTHING.


I just can't torture myself anymore. I turned it off. That whole gym shower scene was too retarded for words. Yea, high school guys are gonna beat up on another guy for being into porn. They would be asking him for passwords, high fiving him and maybe giving him a little something on the side.

Really, the only thing this movie needs is "I learned it from watching you, dad. I LEARNED IT FROM YOU!'

Alright, they've got twenty minutes to wrap this up.

And I bet it's not going to end with hot mom/son/girlfriend action.

After all this, he doesn't know how to do it. Either that or he feels bad for cheating on his right hand. And look what he did to the poor whoresluthobag. She banged her head, dude.

Now the mother is freaking out at the computer.



(Ok, this Fruit of the Loom commercial ROCKS)

Mom, I do have a problem. And you're right I can't handle it alone.

Here comes the incest!


That's pretty radical.
Yea, I need to get radical.

Man, I haven't laughed this hard since Backdoor Sluts 3: In Breaking Training.

Wow. Gayest. Ending. Ever.

And as they cut to the "an important announcement from Lifetime" part, I'm signing off. I am now afeared of porn, computers and boys in locker rooms. Thanks a LOT, Lifetime!

Great Scott!

Ach! We've got to get out of this trap
Before this decadence saps our wills
I've got to be strong and try to hang on
Or else my mind, may well snap
And my life will be lived
For the thrills

RIP, Dr. Scott


among other things*

They can get their own damn brains to eat!

What pisses you off?

Created by ptocheia

One more day until Land of the Dead.

*like, oh, humanity

Homer Simpson, Smiling Politely/Survey

"Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins"
"Homer Simpson, smiling politely

So Crazy Billy wants to get the Smashing Pumpkins back together. Yea, great idea there, Mr. Brightlight. Get the band back together, go into the studio, throw some tantrums, have a being-a-genius-is-hard-work meltdown, blame James for everything, drive the rest of the band towards a drug habit and then quit. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Please, Billy. Stop the insanity. Just live off of what you've accomplished. Sell your belongings, move to a nice, peaceful commune and spend the rest of your life meditating under an olive tree and basking in the glow of your legacy. PLEASE.

This reminds me of a story - When Sharon Osbourne announced she would no longer represent the Smashing Pumpkins, she cited medical reasons. She clarified, "Billy Corgan makes me sick."

So, time for a survey. Which band do you wish would get back together just for one album/tour. Nevermind if the lead singer is dead or the guitarist is 85 or the bassist is in permanent rehab or the entire band hates each other to the point of potential suicide/murder. Let's pretend everyone is alive and healthy and filled with admiring love for each other. Your dream band reunion is.........

[And I think you can all guess what mine is]


BANDS! I said BANDS! I'm not talking about bringing solo artists back from the dead. REUNION implies MORE THAN ONE.

useless as that yellow lemon-shaped rock :
A sort-of book review

Received in the mail this week: Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed! by Katharine DeBrecht.

What's the protocol for when you receive a review copy of a book in the mail? Am I under any obligation to like it? Do I have to write nice things about it? What if, say, I think the book I receive in the mail is a waste of pulp, a detriment to society and is frightening in the way that indoctrination literature always is? Should I actually say that or should I just ignore the whole thing and, when the publishing company asks where my review is, just tell them the book must have gotten lost in the mail?

You want to know more about this book, don't you? Ok.

This full-color illustrated book is a fun way for parents to teach young children the valuable lessons of conservatism. Written in simple text, readers can follow along with Tommy and Lou as they open a lemonade stand to earn money for a swing set. But when liberals start demanding that Tommy and Lou pay half their money in taxes, take down their picture of Jesus, and serve broccoli with every glass of lemonade, the young brothers experience the downside to living in Liberaland.

That's the official blurb.

Now, I'm not a liberal. Nor am I a conservative. So it would appear I don't have a dog in this fiction-fight. But I do, and my dog is named Indoctrination. I find it not only wrong, but bizarre that people would think this book is appropriate for young children.

I'm not saying I'm for taxing kids with lemonade stands. That's a ridiculous notion. And I know the whole lemonade stand thing is just an easy metaphor for parents to use something the kids can relate to in order to make them afraid of liberals. But the whole book smacks of self righteous mockery and I hardly think this is the way a responsible, caring parent would wish to raise their children. I don't know what kind of parent reads this lesson in fear and loathing to their children at bedtime, but whoever they are, I don't want my kids hanging out with theirs.

Oh, I know. I've engaged in the mockery and name calling myself. But I certainly would never, ever, ever, put anything like this book in front of my young, impressionable children. My god. This is like a primer for Conservative Camp. Can you imagine the uproar if liberals came out with a book called Help, There's Conservatives Under My Bed, picturing two sweet little children besieged by caricatures of Reagan and Bush, holding up John 3:16 signs and wearing I LOVE GITMO shirts?

You want to a peek inside the book, don't you? Fine, I'll indulge you.

lib1.jpg lib1.jpg lib1.jpg lib1.jpg lib1.jpg lib1.jpg

As you can see, in Conservative Land, lemons fall freely from trees. Also, the kids can't spell. And wholesome conservatives have life size pictures of Ronald Reagan on their walls, and also leer at perky breasted, dress-wearing housewives. Ted Kennedy shows up to spike the lemonade (giving parents the opportunity for a little lecture on alcoholism), right before the scary clown makes the kid cry tears over Jesus (tears make lemonade of the righteous!) and Hilary Clinton stops by to kick the dog and wave some weird dildo around in the air like she just don't care.

The weirdest thing about the book is that it is all premised on the fact that Tommy and Lou had the same exact dream at the same time. That's right. The whole "Liberals are coming to get me" scenario was just a dreamed that two little boys shared. How do you explain that one to kids without getting into a metaphysical discussion about the psyche and Freud and the phallic appearance of Hillary's broccoli?

Why am I being so hard on this little children's book? Because it's a children's book, that's why. I would be just as hard on a book called "Help, There Are Republicans In My Closet!" or "Help, There's a Libertarian Hiding in My Bathroom!" if said books tried to indoctrinate children to a specific, condescending, closed-minded way of thinking. We're supposed to be teaching our kids to think for themselves, to form their own opinions and to work towards a more peaceful, cooperative America, not to further the divide between political persuasions. Right? Or am I on the wrong track here? Am I erring somehow in letting my kids be who they are and form their own ideas without giving them fodder for calling their political opposition names? Despite everything I've written here in the past, I have never brought that attitude to my kids. Any political discussions I've had with them have been open, honest and without vitriol. In fact, turns out my 15 year old is a liberal!

Anyhow, the last line - and the most disturbing line - in the book says this:

And off they went to start squeezing lemons, like the good little conservatives they were.

I'll let you disseminate that one.


"The town of Springfield was born on that day. And to mark that sweet moment, our people planted this lemon tree. Lemons being the sweetest fruit available at the time".

[I have a feeling that's the last review copy of anything I'll receive from World Ahead Publishing]

Update: For those thinking this is a parody or a put-on, please note that it is published by World Ahead Publishing. Other titles from this publisher include:

  • Their Lives - The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine
  • Thank You, President Bush - Reflections on the War on Terror, Defense of the Family, and Revival of the Economy

Some rave reviews of the book:

Highly recommended for children 6 years to adult.
Highly recommended as a start for your child's political education

June 22, 2005

51-100 (in progress)

See here for explanation and 1-50.

51. San Dimas High School football rules
52. Alone, we can only move buckets. But if we work together, we can drain rivers.
53. I said, please don't kill me, freaky Jason.
54. Are you a Mexican or a Mexican't?
55. And Leon is getting laaaaarrrrrger!
56. I'm the ghost with the most, babe.
57. Do you have the Beatles White Album? Never mind, just bring me a cup of hot fat. And the head of Alfredo Garcia.
58. Take that dress off. I can see your dirty pillows.
59. I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.
60. Smile you son of a bitch!
61. Groovy.
62. Killer clowns, from outer space. Holy shit!
63. For those of you just joining us, today we're teaching poodles how to fly

naked links: NOOOOOOOOOOO edition

Yea, I'm just going to make the naked links a nightly thing.

First, you should know that I will not be live blogging "Hit me Baby, One More Time" this week because the acts all suck sucksoup with a suckstraw. Not worth my time.

You should also know that I'm not really naked, though I may be partially undressed.

Also, I will be doing the other half of my movie quotes this evening, probably putting them in separate post. I know, you were all holding your breath waiting for that news. Breathe, damn it, breathe!

Oh yea, if any of you are using Audioscrobbler, I've joined up. Username is diver down.

Ok, tonight's links all have something in common. See if you can guess what it is:







I must have drank some retard juice because I can't stop laughing.

Oh, hey. Don't forget to read my dirty 100 word story. And the stories of my cohorts, who all rocked the house today.

i'm hot, sticky sweet

"What was unsettling was that the fluid just kept coming...It was quite a lot of fluid."

caption this: Yankee Edition

(Yahoo) Go wild, I promise not to get mad.

(Hell, I'm STILL getting search hits every day for "Chuck Knoblauch gay")

Listomatic: Working Towards 100 Quotes [Updated]

See the rules and updates on the end of this post. I'm going to get to 100 today if it kills me. Which it may.

The question has arisen at to what makes a quote great. I would say that ....I don't know. If it's something you repeat over and over, if you laugh/cry every time you hear/say it, if you use it in everyday life, if it had some kind of huge impact in the way the plot played out, if people remember the movie specifically by that line....I don't know! It's all so personal and subjective. Just have fun, k?

This is my PERSONAL list of 100, in progress, and just for shits and giggles, I'm leaving off the movie so y'all can guess, but I'm guessing the guessing will be easy. I'm going to be adding/deleting/adding continuously all day until I get to 100. How long do you think it will take me? An hour? Seven hours? 22 minutes?

/caffeine overdose

Update: This picking ONE from each movie nonsense is hard. Who made these rules? Kill her!

  1. Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.
  2. Lighten up, Francis
  3. Gee, I'm real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.
  4. Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It's just not really widely reported.
  5. Janet, you rock my world.
  6. Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?
  7. I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.
  8. Always some white boy gotta invoke the holy trilogy
  9. Yeah, and maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot.
  11. Hi. How are you? My name's Elliot, and I'm with the Cub Scouts of America. We're... we're selling uncut cocaine to get to the jamboree.
  12. Death is... whimsical... today
  13. You know what I'm going to get you next Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it.
  14. Sorry about the mess
  15. Someone is either a smoker or a non-smoker, there's no in-between. The trick is to find out which one you are and be that.
  16. ...Now go away before I taunt you a second time
  17. We're going to Federal POUND ME IN THE ASS prison!
  18. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die
  19. Don't be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the Nazi Party!
  20. They're coming to get you, Barbara
  21. Excuse me while I whip this out
  22. I said good day.
  23. Do the chickens have large talons?
  24. Oh yeah, baby, you won't be able to shit right for a week!
  25. All we got on this team are a buncha Jews, spics, niggers, pansies, and a booger-eatin' moron!
  26. put ... the candle ... back
  27. Oh my God, the quarterback is toast
  28. And that's all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.
  29. I hope it feels so good to be right. There's nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others, is there?
  30. Breakfasts come and go, Rene, but Hartford, "the Whale," they only beat Vancouver once, maybe twice in a lifetime
  31. Shall we play a game?
  32. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria.
  33. Spandex: it's a privilege, not a right.
  34. Fuck is the worst word that you
  35. Even the smallest person can change the course of the future
  36. Laugh it up, fuzzball.
  37. Oh, he's very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude.
  38. The price is wrong, bitch
  39. So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social.
  40. They brought their fuckin' TOYS with 'em
  41. You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity. Farewell.
  42. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever
  43. I'm a god. I'm not the God... I don't think.
  44. I gotta be crazy! I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy Shit!
  45. All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
  46. Who died and made you fucking king of the zombies?
  47. I'm George, George McFly. I'm your density. I mean... your destiny.
  48. Mul-ti-pass
  49. ...I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is. Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where's the Tylenol?
  50. ..But the worst thing I ever done - I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.

(I screwed up the numbering on the Christmas Vacation quote, so I tacked it on the bottom so as not to screw up the rest of the numbering)

And I'm done for now, will pick up this evening.


new car


Thank you all for your interesting suggestions and your taking part in the Name My Car poll.

The winning entry is fitting in so many words. Obviously, the car is white. I have an obsession with zombies. And I have recurring, intense, deviant fantasies about Rob Zombie at least once a week. So it works all around.

I'm very, very happy with the results. So happy that I'm going to get a license plate holder that says White Zombie and perhaps I'll try for some vanity plates. And every morning, I will play Thunderkiss '65 on my way to work.

Oh, and I've got a dirty little story up at 100 words today.




(Thanks to Fred's comment)

AFI Movie Quote Tally/A Poll of Our Own

I didn't get to watch the show last night, but AFI has put up on their site the 100 movie quotes that made it their list of fame.

Here are the quotes you DIDN'T get (make sure you scroll down for the poll if you don't feel like readin through this list)

  • Here's looking at you, kid. CASABLANCA
  • Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night. ALL ABOUT EVE
  • Love means never having to say you're sorry. LOVE STORY
  • Made it, Ma! Top of the world! WHITE HEAT
  • Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. CASABLANCA
  • I am big! It's the pictures that got small. SUNSET BLVD.
  • I'm walking here! I'm walking here! MIDNIGHT COWBOY
  • After all, tomorrow is another day! GONE WITH THE WIND
  • I'll have what she's having. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY
  • Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.
  • If you build it, he will come. FIELD OF DREAMS
  • We rob banks. BONNIE AND CLYDE
  • Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars. NOW, VOYAGER
  • Shane. Shane. Come back! SHANE
  • Well, nobody's perfect. SOME LIKE IT HOT
  • It's alive! It's alive! FRANKENSTEIN
  • You had me at "hello." JERRY MAGUIRE
  • One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know. ANIMAL CRACKERS
  • La-dee-da, la-dee-da. ANNIE HALL
  • A boy's best friend is his mother. PSYCHO
  • Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. WALL STREET
  • Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. THE GODFATHER II
  • Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into! SONS OF THE DESERT
  • What a dump. BEYOND THE FOREST
  • Elementary, my dear Watson. THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
  • Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape. PLANET OF THE APES
  • Is it safe? MARATHON MAN
  • Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet! THE JAZZ SINGER
  • No wire hangers, ever! MOMMIE DEAREST
  • Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico? LITTLE CAESAR
  • I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
  • ...I am seriousand don't call me Shirley. AIRPLANE!
  • Hello, gorgeous. FUNNY GIRL
  • Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make. DRACULA
  • Attica! Attica! DOG DAY AFTERNOON
  • Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star! 42ND STREET
  • ...I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go! ON GOLDEN POND
  • Tell 'em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper. KNUTE ROCKNE ALL AMERICAN
  • A martini. Shaken, not stirred. GOLDFINGER
  • Who's on first. THE NAUGHTY NINETIES
  • ...It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole! CADDYSHACK
  • Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death! AUNTIE MAME
  • I feel the need - the need for speed! TOP GUN
  • Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.
  • Snap out of it! MOONSTRUCK
  • ..... And I thank you. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY

People! What happened? You got LESS THAN HALF!

Ok, I blame that on AFI. I never like their lists, anyhow.

And you know what happens when people make lists I don't agree with. Yep, I make my own. So while I come up with my 100 greatest movie quotes of all time, you can leave your suggestions here, much the same way I did with the 20 albums, the 500 songs, the best comedies, etc., etc. In fact, I'm going to do this differently: this will be a joint list. They have the AFI movie quotes, we'll have the ASV movie quotes (though I'll still try to come up with my own separate list). I'll take the top 100 and put them up on a separate page to save for posterity. Because some day, maybe 400 years from now, someone will find the list and use it to study the psychology of ancient human beings. Or not.

So, even though we've done this before, this time is for real because I'm keeping a tally. BEST movie quotes. Memorable, repeatable and recognizable. And, unlike the AFI list, naughty words are allowed.

Update: I would really, really like to try to limit movies to one quote per. That's not to say you can't nominate 132 quotes from the same movie, but I would prefe that only one of them eventually makes this list, meaning that 100 truly quotable movies will be represented.

June 21, 2005

naked links

Shit, I was supposed to be blogging naked today! FRIDAY (I've been corrected)

Everybody, off with the clothes! (On Friday)

Uhh...anyhow, I found two blogging carnivals that I'm going to have to get in on.

There's a Carnival of Music! So many carnivals, so little blogging time...

There's a Carnival of Gamers, too - which I just may have to hook up with.

And Stacy hooked me up with some rad wallpaper today.

And there's a cool midsummer's theme over at 100 words today.

We need a fourth law of robotics: Stop fingering my wife.

Ok, someone kill the internet. Please. It's time. [via Melly]

And.......I'm closing the poll in the morning, though I'm hoping White Zombie wins. Make it happen, people!
Let's get naked! (On Friday. Or now, if you prefer. I'm game)

Car poll ending soon.....

And White Zombie takes the lead!

Get your vote in before I close it out - soon.

Susan Torres [updated 8/3]

I'm sure that by now, most of you have heard about Susan M. Torres:

On May 7th, 2005, the day before Mothers' Day, Susan M. (Rollins) Torres -- a 26-year-old vaccine researcher at NIH; mother of a two-year-old son, Peter; graduate of the University of Dallas; and parishioner at St. Rita's Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia collapsed. She was rushed to the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, where she has been diagnosed with stage four melanoma and is brain dead with no hope of recovery. Susan was 17 weeks pregnant at the time and although the doctors have given her no hope of survival, they are fighting to keep her unborn child alive until at least July 11 where he or she will have a viable chance at life.

I dropped a few dollars in their Paypal account to help defray the medical costs. I hope you can do the same.

I've been meaning to post about this for a few days and was just reminded when I discovered that I "know" Susan's brother from hanging out on Fark. If you can give a bit, great. If not, please keep Susan's family in your thoughts.

Updated - August 2, 2005

Susan Torres gave birth to Susan Anne Catherine Torres at 8:18 a.m. on Tuesday, Justin Torres wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

There were no complications during delivery and the baby "is doing well," Torres wrote. The baby weighs one pound 13 ounces and is 13 1/2 inches long, he said.

The infant is being monitored in the Neonatal Intensive Care at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, about 100 miles north of Richmond.

Update August 3rd:

Susan Torres has passed away.

Our thoughts are with the Torres family.

Predict the AFI 100 Movies Quotes!

The American Film Institute will announce their 100 Greatest Movie Quotes tonight on CBS.

Your mission? To guess what quotes will be on their list.

Suffice it to say, "Shut the fuck up, Donny" will not be there. Which is why this movie quote post is different. Keep in mind that AFI's movie lists are a bit more highbrow than mine usually are. Also, keep in mind how the quotes were chosen:

Some 1,500 people in the entertainment industry voted on a list of 400 quotes. Plus, they got to write-in any quotes not on the list.....Chronologically, the ballot spans from 1927 to 2002.

Read the rest of the article to get a better idea of what may or may not make a showing on the list.

And let's see how many of the 100 we can predict correctly.

matilda takes a shit

All 2,258 songs are gone from my Matilda, my iPod.

I was having a problem with it (skipping through songs, freezing up) and I followed the instructions on the Apple site that said if I RESET my iPod (not RESTORE), I would not lose my data.

But they are gone. The songs are gone. I may throw up. I want to cry. Deep, heaving, sobbing cries of agony and grief and frustration.

I think I will.

Curse you, Apple. Curse you and your funky, twitchy, hateful programs.

[Don't forget to take the car name poll]

Lisa, It's Your Birthday

It's not only the first day of summer, but it is the 36th birthday of my little sister, Lisa.

Happy Birthday, Lisa (download - Happy Birthday, Lisa - Simpsons)

And now, a song I wrote for Lisa last year, modified a bit and sung to the tune of the greatest damn power ballad ever recorded in the history of all time, Night Ranger's Sister Christian.

lisa10.jpgSister Lisa oh the time's has come
Your youthful days are officially done, oh yea
Sell your WASP albums and your concert tee's
Get your head out of the 80's, conform...to the norm

head bangin'
with your hair sprayed up so high
blue make-up on your eyes
blasting bon jovi's cries

babe you know you grew up so fast
it was just yesterday when i kicked your ass - ok - its the other way
Sister Lisa you brought me so many joys
locked me in a closet and broke my toys
It's' true, I knew

Sister Lisa now the time has come
to admit you were the favorite one of mom...and dad
Times have changed and you're a grown up now
But you kept your teenage ways somehow, somehow

head bangin'
with your hair sprayed up so high
blue make-up on your eyes
blasting dio's cries

but you're still rockin
yea you're still rockin


/holds lighter up in air

Happy Birthday, little sis.

[And thank you to the EIGHT of you who sent me the Simpsons clip. Rock on]

Name the Car Update/Poll

Well, you guys outdid yourselves (see two posts below). I was better off trying to come up with a name on my own because I would have far less creative choices to pick from.

If you still want to nominate a new name, there's a space for it, or leave a comment. I am going to bestow the new name on the car in a naming ceremony this evening, so hit the poll and help me make my choice before 5pm today.

June 20, 2005

the lunatic is in my head

dark forebodings too
Full moon over Long Island

Explains a lot....

So I've narrowed the "name the car" finalists down to four:

Millennium Falcon
White Shadow
A third, suggested by a friend: Frylock
A fourth, suggested by same friend: Mr. Bungle

I'm not leaning any specific way yet.


Almost forgot, 100 words! Not only was I really happy with my entry today, but I think all the contributors had a stellar day.

And, this. One of my favorite blog posts of the past few days.

NOTE: This does not mean the nominations are closed! Still accepting suggestions.

Name my new car!

new car

2000 Mazda Millennium Millennia, mine all mine. It's a lovely car, but quite different from driving an SUV. It's going to take getting used to.

So..all my cars have had names. All male names. Little known fact: The Explorer was named Disco Stu.

Name my car! If I use your name, you get some kind of prize.

20 for 20 [updated]

I thought I'd do my albums list (see below) as a work in progress so you can see all the mind-numbing changes my list goes through. Kind of like seeing how sausage is made, though decidely less riveting and/or nauseating.

List will be updated and probably change considerably as the day goes on. I'm hoping to have my 20 completed before I leave work today.

  1. Radiohead - The Bends (1995)
    I chose this over Ok Computer for the simple reason that it has has much more depth, musically and lyrically. Ok Computer is fantastic, no doubt, but the songs on The Bends have more character, more soul. Best song: Fake Plastic Trees
  2. Faith No More - Angel Dust (1992)
    Sure, I could easily add two other FNM albums if I was going on pure favorites, but this is one, in my eyes, that really deserves to be on the list - musically it's all over the map, lyrically it's pure genius. Best song: A Small Victory, of course.
  3. Guns n Roses - Appetite for Destruction (1987)
    Rock and roll orgasm, from start to finish. Best song: Mr. Brownstone
  4. Fear Factory - Obsolete (1998)
    Yes, this would only be on my list. This concept album (man v. machine) is not only a story, but a work of aural art. Best song: Ressurection
  5. Soundgarden - Superunkown (1994)
    Almost put Badmotorfinger, but I think that Superuknown carries so much more weight as a whole and shows off Cornell's voice in a way that the screechings (sexy as hell, still) on Badmotorfinger didn't. Best song: Limo Wreck
  6. Nine Inch Nails - Downward Spiral (1994)
    I love Pretty Hate Machine to death, but musically, DS blows it away. There is so much woven into this album that you may hear or understand things about years after first listening to it. Best song: Reptile
  7. Nick Cave - Boatman痴 Call (1997)
    Every damn song is great. Never have I listened to an album with such a range of emotions on top of such stirring music. It's gorgeous, it's morose, it's beautiful, it's hope and despair and a thousand tales of love wrapped together. Best song: (Are You) The One I've Been Waiting For?
  8. Weezer - Blue Album (1994)
    If I had to take only two albums to a desert island with me, this would be the one I choose without even giving it a second thought. I could not live without this album. Best song: Only in Dreams
  9. Hole - Live Through This
    I don't care what you think about Courtney, this album is brilliantly exectuted. Best song: Violet
  10. Brand New - Deja Entendu (2003)
    So you never heard of them. I have, and this album makes me believe that rock bands can still write beautiful, poetic songs. Best song: Play Crack the Sky
  11. Mr. Bungle - California (1999)
    A beautiful, harrowing trip through dozens of musical genres, lyrics that will make your brain ache and a voice to die for. What more could you want? Best song: Retrovertigo.
  12. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (1993)
    Cherub Rock, Disarm, Silverfuck, and one of the greatest songs ever written, Mayonaise. A heartbreaking work of staggering genius, so to speak, before Billy Corgan lost his shit.
  13. Pearl Jam - Ten (1991)
    What an incredible debut album. I had such high hopes for them. But they started with a "ten" and went progressively downhill since. This album, however, is nothing short of amazing. For the rest of my life, every time I sing that line in Black (you know which one I mean), I will have to choke back tears. That, my friends, is great music.
  14. Tool - Aenima (1996)
    I was having a debate with myself about whether I would put this album or Undertow on the list. Eventually I decided on Aenima because Undertow's Prison Sex creeps the hell out of me. Actually, I went with this one because it's more complex - meatier, if you will. best song: Jimmy
  15. Sublime - 40 oz. to Freedom (1996)
    Holy shit, this album is amazing. It's something different every time you put it on. From the opening bass on Waiting for My Ruca right on through, with the exception of Date Rape, which I LOATHE, it's like going to a bunch of parties in one day, all of them in different cities, different eras, with different people. This album makes me feel good. It makes me feel like it's always summer and I don't have a care in the world. Best song: Don't Push
  16. Korn - Self titled (1994)
    That's right. I said Korn. This album takes all your anger issues and lets you release them in a semi-healthy way. It's driven, it's pounding, it's dark and raging and breathes life into long dead skeletons. It's powerful, which is something all music should strive to be. Best song: Clown
  17. The Smiths - The Queen is Dead (1986)
    Ah, Morrisey. Tortured, withered, empty, desperate souls make such wonderful, poetic, touching, wallow-with-me music. Best song: Bigmouth Strikes Again
  18. Jane's Addiction - Ritual De Lo Habitual (1990)
    Most people prefer Nothing's Shocking. I like the sparse feel of RdlH. I like that on the surface it seems like catchy rock tunes, but underneath it's so much more. And I love Three Days. There is no song that makes me feel so...trippy, for lack of a better way. Best song: Three Days
  19. Def Leppard - Hysteria (1986)
    What? Stop looking at me like that. This album rocks, man. Best song: Love Bites
  20. Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss (1990)
    To maintain that kind of pummeling sound for a whole album in a way that the listener never tires of it is an accomplishment. Not enough credit is given to Slayer lyrics - too many people dismiss them without even giving a read through. If you're not a metal fan, you will think the album sucks. If you like metal, then you know that Seasons is an achievement. King and Lombardo especially give this so much power, so much testosterone that you think you can lift trucks with your bare hands after listening to it. Best song: Dead Skin Mask.

That's 20, but it's subject to change at whim. I may drop some and include some titles below, instead.

Honorable mentions:

Deftones, Around the Fur; Propagandhi, How to Clean Everything; MTX: Revenge is Sweet and So Are You; Dead Milkmen, Bucky Fellini; Slipknot, self titled; Godflesh, Songs of Love and Hate; Skinlab, Bound, Gagged and Blindfolded; Ultraspank, self titled; Type O Negative, Bloody Kisses; NOFX, Heavy Petting Zoo; Green Day, Dookie; Alice in Chains, Dirt; Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Deaf; AFI, The Art of Drowing, Bloodhound Gang, One Fierce Beer Coaster; Clutch, self titled; Danzig, Danzig 4; Hayden, Everything I Long For; Life of Agony, River Runs Red; Marilyn Manson, Portrait of an American Family; Portishead, Dummy

20 Years, 20 Albums, No Trendsetting Bullshit

Spin Magazine has announced their 20 Best Albums of the Last 20 Years. The top ten shapes up like so:

1 Radiohead - OK Computer
2 Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back
3 Nirvana - Nevermind
4 Pavement - Slanted And Enchanted
5 The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
6 Pixies - Surfer Rosa
7 De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising
8 Prince - Sign O' The Times
9 PJ Harvey - Rid Of Me
10 NWA - Straight Outta Compton

Now, we've done the "best albums" thing before, but never in such a defined (or should I say confined) manner. Limiting the choices to the past twenty years lets out the usual suspects like the Sex Pistols, Dylan, Stones, Beatles and all those other bands I like so much to scoff at just so you can all call me a heretic.

I think when these lists are made, a distinction should be made between best and most important. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Nevermind may be one of the most important albums since 1985, but I certainly don't think it's one of the 20 best. When one uses a word like "best" in describing music, I think it should be used to denote musical and lyrical superiority, not the impact it had on the music scene.

Editor-in-chief Sia Michel said releases from 1985 were chosen for their "basic brilliance, innovation and overall relevance".
See, that's not best. That's important, relevant, etc., but not best. Like the old Rolling Stone Most Important Albums The Critics All Masturbated To lists, the criteria is lacking in one fundamnental quality important to music lists: whether or not it's, you know, good music. Innovation is great. But just because someone discovers a new way to hit the cowbell or a new recording technique does not make their music good. Relevance?
[Ok Computer] was chosen because it "uncannily predicted our global culture of communal distress".

Excuse me but, what the fuck, mate? That's how you judge a best album?

Anyhow, I don't know what the rest of the list looks like because Spin doesn't put their content online and I'm not shelling out any money for that "We are so much cooler and hipper and punk rock than you could ever hope to be" rag.

What do I always do when a list like this comes out? Make my own, similar-but-with-better-criteria list. Which I will do soon, but not before asking, as always, for your suggestions.

The ASV criteria for including an album on the 20 Best Albums of the Last 20 Years list:

  • Obviously, had to be released in 1985 or after
  • Has to be judged musically. I don't care if the album you pick ushered in a new generation of a new kind of music, if it started the greatest trend in the world or effectively killed a terrible trend or if the lead singer offed himself or the drummer is hot or you masturbated furiously to the lyrics in tenth grade or if it sold eleventybillion records. We're talking MUSIC. Was the album(s), to you, a good album musically, lyrically, emotionally?
  • State your case. Why is the album so great?
  • I'll make up more rules as I go along, depending on the suggestions that come forth.

I'll be working on my list, which I'll post later. Remember, 1985 and ON. Best music.

*[it should be noted, to avoid confusion and angry emails, that I am not objecting to Ok Computer topping the list]

Update: I started my list, see here.

today's random observance

Deja vu is really creepy.

June 19, 2005

handbasket, one seat

There's this vague sense of guilt I feel each Sunday night for laughing at so many of the jokes on Family Guy. Not so guilty that I stop watching it, though. And it doesn't stop me from laughing at the next over-the-top offensive-to-nearly-everyone joke. In fact, I sometimes cry when the show ends because I don't want it to be over yet.

If there's a hell, Family Guy is what's going to push that handbasket I'm in downward.

photo ops

I took some photos at my sister's today of two little birdies waiting to be fed. I am really, really happy with the way these photos came out and it would warm the cockles of my heart if you went and perused them. View large size on all.


asv's photos More of asv's photos

There's also a few flower pics, but I'm particularly proud of this one (view on largest size).


song of the day: fatherhood edition

Faith No More - RV (download)

I think it's time I had a talk with my kids
I'll just tell 'em what my daddy told me

Are there any good songs about fathers? And don't say Cat's in the Cradle because that's not a good song. And don't say Butterfly Kisses or I'll have to kill you. Twice.

Father's Day

click for bigger

Updated from yesterday - there's a slew of new dads on there. Some aren't exactly role model fathers, I thought it would be nice to give the evil/bad dads a shout out as well. Some of them are instantly recognizable, some of them only a few of you might get. But they're all (fictional) dads, and today is their day.

A few quotes about fatherhood from Homer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marge, don稚 discourage the boy. Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It痴 what separates us from the animals except the weasel.

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

And Peter Griffin, being a wonderful father and role model:

Peter: I want the father-son relationship that the Gumbles have.
Lois: The Gumbles are brothers.


Peter: Ok, here's another riddle. A woman has two children. A homicidal murderer tells her she can only keep one. Which one does she let him kill?
Brian: That's not a riddle. That's ... that's just terrible.
Peter: Wrong, the ugly one!


Chris: Dad, what's the blow-hole for?
Peter: I'll tell you what it's not for, son. And when I do, you'll understand why I can never go back to Sea World.

"See, Meg, things always work out if you just do whatever you want without thinking about the consequences."


Peter: Our children our greatest treasure. They deserve a school board president who doesn't leave her feminine ointments in the fridge next to the mustard. That was the worst sandwich I ever ate! She flosses in bed. She snores like a wildebeest. She freed Willie Horton. She nailed Donna Rice.
Lois: Peter, that's enough.
Peter: Eats babies.

Lastly, some amazing insights from the best fictional father ever, Calvin's dad:

Q. Where does the sun go when it sets?
A. The sun sets in the west. In Arizona actually, near Flagstaff. That's why the rocks there are so red.

Q. How come old photographs are always black and white? Didn't they have color film back then?
A. Sure they did. In fact, those old photographs are in color. It's just that the world was black and white then. The world didn't turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too.

Q. Why do my eyes shut when I sneeze?
A. If your lids weren't closed, the force of the explosion would blow your eyeballs out and stretch the optic nerve, so your eyes would flop around and you'd have to point them with your hands to see anything.

Q. What causes the wind?
A. Trees sneezing.

C: Were there dinosaurs when you were a kid dad?
D: Oh sure, your grandfather and I used to put on leopard skins and hunt brontosaurus for all the rituals.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, step-dads, like-a-dads and dad to be's out there.

June 18, 2005

random camera phone picture

cc pick up that guitar
Guitar Center, Carle Place, NY

father of mine


They're all fictional.

I'll make it bigger and better if anyone can come up with some more (more obscure, at least) dads to make it harder. As it is, this should be pretty easy.

June 17, 2005

partly cloudy

I was bored. I took some cloud pictures.

That's all.


asv's photos More of asv's photos

I'm still counting to ten, by the way.

You suck.

How freaking hard is it to RESET the damn copy machine after you use it so the next person doesn't have to undo your settings before they can make one god damn copy? Is it that hard to be courteous? I know it's only the push of a button but come on, it's common courtesy to put the machine back the way you found it before you leave it. There's an AUTO RESET button for christ sake. All you have to do is put your selfish little finger on it and push. But no. You're too self centered to think that anyone besides you and your bizarre settings wants to use the copy machine. Maybe if you stop enlarging pictures of Jessica Alba just to see her nipples, we wouldn't have this problem.

And I move another day closer to eccentric recluse status.


I am a raging Rino. You can check out all the Rinos here, thanks to der commisar.

Mr. Truth Laid Bear has completely revamped his site as well as the Ecosystem pages.

I have written what is probably my dumbest story to date at 100 words, but I sure made myself giggle while writing it.

I have a new favorite blog
. Just scroll past the catblogging to to all the geek/gaming stuff.

More links as I find stuff worth linking to. I'm still counting to ten over here.

Stay(ing) Gold

Earlier this week, I made a list of books I read as a child that I want to (and will, this summer) read again. Today, I'm looking to compile a list of my favorite books from my teen years that I'll try to get to reading again.

Topping the list (which won't be up until this afternoon) would be The Outsiders. And in the general interest of saving my sanity and to keep from posting something on a completely different subject that would only cause controversy, fan flames and further my anger over a particular subject, I'm going to repeat this post from my Best Of collection about The Outsiders. And count to ten. Slowly. One hundred times.


(From December, 2003)

If there's one way the daughter does not take after me, it's that she does not like to read. She says that reading just isn't "her thing" and that she should not be forced to pick up a book for pleasure when she has to read so much "junk" for school. She loves to write, though, so I let the reading thing go sometimes.

So imagine my suprise and delight when one day she comes home from school all excited about a book she's reading for English class. She's so excited, in fact, that she wants me to buy her the book because she is sure that she will want to read it over and over.

I ask her what novel has her so excited to read and she pulls a well-worn paperback out of her bag. My jaw drops.

"The Outsiders!?!"
"Oh, you've heard of it?"
"Heard of it? That was my favorite book in eighth grade! I did a spectacular report on it."
"Oh.My.God.Mom. I'm in eighth grade. And I'm going to do a report on it, too! I had no idea the book was so old."

She pronounces the word old as if what she really means is so ancient as to be from the time of dinosaurs.

She's already read half the book in school, so we reminisce over some of the scenes and characters. I tell her about the movie version. Another Oh.My.God. moment.

I pull up the IMDB page for The Outsiders.

"Who are these people?"
"That was an amazing cast for that time. They were all the hottest stars of the day."
"Who is Francis Ford Coppola?"

I explain the legacy of Mr. Coppola. She is not impressed.

"So who are these actors? Oh.My.God!" (she says that a lot)
"That's Tom Cruise! He was in that stupid movie."
"He sure was. Uhh..which one are you talking about?"

She gives a convoluted, lengthy description and I realize after a few minutes she's talking about Legend.

"So who are these other people? What were they in? Are they still famous?"

I explain about C. Thomas Howell and how he ended up in one of the worst movies of all time. I tell her about Ralph Macchio, fellow Long Islander. She gets him confused with Scott Baio of Joanie Loves Chachi fame (too much Nick at Nite, I guess), and the recognizes him from Karate Kid, which she deems the dumbest movie ever and does a sarcastic wax on, wax off thing. She sort of recognizes Patrick Swayze and Emilio Estevez. She thinks Rob Lowe is cute in a girly kind of way, whatever that means. Then I pull up a photo of Matt Dillon from his Outsider days.

Her eyes light up. She's got this dreamy look on her face that I haven't seen since the first time she fell in love , with this guy.

"Who does he play in the movie?"
"Oh! Dally is my favorite! What else was he in?"

I have to think about my answer because I'm certainly not going to tell her about Drugstore Cowboy or Wild Things. I think about forcing her to watch Singles. Wait, what about.....

"Over the Edge. One of the greatest movies about teenage rebellion ever made."
"About what?"
"Nevermind. I'll just rent it for you someday. Matt Dillon looked really good in that movie."
"He is sooo cute."
"Hon, he's like 40 years old now. You can't have a crush on this guy. It's just not right."
"Eeww, like I would like a guy that old! I just like the young him."
"So, you have a retroactive crush on Matt Dillon?"

A couple of days later, she has finished the book - twice - and watched the movie seven times. She aced the book test. And now we have a little inside thing between us. Instead of saying goodnight to her, I say, in a wry sort of way, Stay gold, Ponyboy. She laughs. And I go sit on the couch and and think about Ponyboy and SodaPop and feel like I'm in eighth grade again, until I recall the above conversation and feel so, so old.

Not even drudge gave this a headline

This is what's on the FOX news page right now.

For some reason I cannot fathom, it has pissed me off beyond reason.

No, I'm not pissed off that Tom Cruise is getting married.
I'm not pissed off that Katie Holmes is now unavailable.
I'm not pissed off that they are going to indirectly spawn the evil seed of L. Ron Hubbard.

I am seething with this uncontrollable anger (not really, but kind of) that this is the kind of news that warrants a bright yellow breaking news space.

That bright yellow space is usually where things like "train derailment kills 20" or "Feds lower interest rates" or "Dick Clark dies, proves he's not a cyborg" go. Sure, I've seen pretty unimportant things in that space, but nothing as unimportant or irrelevant as this.

Another earthquake has just hit California. Some guy was arrested who allegedly has abused 36,000 kids. Millions of Ford vehicles may spontaneously combust. That's news.

I'm not mad at FOX for putting it up there. After all, I'm sure their market research shows that's what their viewers/readers are interested in. They are just pandering to the "We thrive on news about spoiled, rich, beautiful people who don't give a fuck if we even exist" crowd. The people who read Star magazine like it's The Economist, the people for whom Entertainment Tonight is their sole news source, the people who can tell you the names of Nicole Kidman's children and what color dress Cher wore to the Oscars in 1987.

Those are the people I'm mad at right now. The people who are so damn vacuous that their lives hinge on what's going on in the personal lives of the Hollywood elite. Those who could not hold a thirty second conversation with you about world news without saying "I don't know" three times but who think that Tom Cruise's publicity stunt proposal to Katie Holmes is earth shattering news. I'm mad at them because it's their fualt the news sites put this crap in a breaking news banners.

I know I talk about celebrities. I sometimes engage in idle star-studded gossip. I was once fascinated with the boobs of Lindsay Lohan. I watch awards shows and maybe I have furthered a celebrity rumor or two. But it's a small, small, part of my world, because in my world, the news of two overpriced, overrated, plastered-on-smile actors getting engaged would never warrant a breaking news alert. That it does to some people and that FOX news thinks there are enough of those people out there who care, well, I find that just fucking appalling.

And good morning to you!

June 16, 2005

hit me baby...week 3

Why yes, thanks for asking. I will be making an attempt to live blog Hit Me Baby One More Time again.

Tonight's guests are:

Cameo (Word Up)
Howard Jones (No One is to Blame)
Irene Cara (What a Feeling)
Sophie B. Hawkins (I Wish I Was Your Lover)
Wang Chung (Everybody Wang Chung Tonight)

While I was a very big fan of Howard Jones back in the day, I'm going to have to pull for Cameo tonight. Howard's wishy-washy, blanched musical style just hasn't held up well over the years. He rarely makes an appearance on my iPod (What is Love and New Song would be the faves), Cameo's Word Up never, ever goes out of style.

Stay tuned.

Ok, Wang Chung sounded crisp and clean. But come on, how hard is it to reproduce a simplistic song like that?

I don't know this Sophie chick. Heard of her, but never heard the song she's singing tonight.

I'm sorry, but those dance moves? Is she trying to shit out a hit?

She's spastic, her voice is irritating and that twirling shirt thing was just goofy. No wonder she's a has been. And if she was really singing that I'll eat my hat. Even though I don't have a hat. I'll eat Matt Drudge's hat. But only if he washes it first. He's got cooties.

Woooohoo, it's CAMEO time!

Ok, totally not singing live, either. But I don't care.

WAVE YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR LIKE YOU JUST DON'T CARE!!1!! This song will NEVER DIE. I'm back in the local bar, drinking some shitty beer and dancing on a really teeny tiny dance floor that someone just puked on. WORD UP.

Howard Jones up - this is the most cliched freaking song EVER. He's still bland. Still whiter than white. Jesus, he looks like John Lithgow.

Did Cameo say they were going to do Bowling for Soup?

Ok. So I saw Fame in the movie theater when it came out. People actually got up and danced in the aisles. My friend (a guy who always wore a scarf, no matter what the season, and Capezio dance shoes) was dancing. I said "can you please not do that?" "Do what?" "Be a freaking dork?" "Is there nothing more special in this world than a gay dork, baby?" Yea....special. So special.

Anyhow, like two weeks later I was in my room when What a Feeling came on the radio and I found myself doing this dorky dance. So special....

She still looks the same. Well, a little round in the face, but the same. And she can still shake that ass. But the song is still craptastic. And those back up singers move like droids.


I feel the need to repeat this every week for those who may not have tuned into this show before - the second half generally sucks. Though it should be interesting to see Wang Chung doing Nelly. Not nearly as interesting as Tommy Tutone totally fucking over Blink 182 last week and not nearly as entertaining as Vanilla Ice doing Destiny's Child...

Wang Chung/Nelly: Ok, watching this old, balding white guy sing this song like he means is is really, really disturbing. EEEEK I feel like I'm being molested by someone's grandfather!

Sophie Hawkins: She's playing this like she's singing for a Grammy instead of some lame ass, summer scheduled reality show.

Did anyone see that chick with her tits hanging out of her shirt? No?

That was....different.

Cameo/Bowling for Soup: I hate, hate hatehatehatehate this song. So they better make good with it.

Aye, they're funkifying it. Nice. This is pretty nifty.

Howard Jones: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Irene Cara: This needs cowbell. This is just freaking awful.

I need to find out next week's guest. I heard that both Night Ranger and Air Supply were going to be on this show and I'd like to plan my calendar around that.

What the hell? Irene Cara?? Bah. Give it up for Cameo, people, the real winners in my heart and mind.


Update: Well, damn. Looks like Night Ranger backed out at the last minute.

detachable penis

Remember how I was saying I needed a new car? Well, the brakes on the Explorer went and I decided I don't want to put any more money into that craphole right now. But I can't afford my dream car just yet. So I went out and leased me a 2000 Mazda Millenia. I pick it up Tuesday.

It's going to be mighty strange to not be driving an SUV. I'm going to feel like someone cut my dick off.

Open Discussion: Bring Your Quarters

pmf.jpgI know I've done this before, but I'm doing it again. Why? Because this month marks Pac-Man's birthday and I'm in a celebrating mood.

If I come across a Pac-Man game coin-op, I have to stop and play, just to keep fresh the pattern that has been seared into mind for 25 years - the chomping pattern that earned me many a high score in various arcades around Long Island.

I miss going to arcades. I miss the thrill of stuffing an paycheck's woth of quarters into a slot. I miss spending almost entire days controlling joysticks and trackballs, mashing buttons and shooting missiles and riding ostriches in joust tournaments.

Let's talk coin-op games again. Give me your favorites. Share your memories. I'm feeling nostalgic for the good old days of Centipide, Q-Bert and Tron.

And happy birthday, Pac-Man. I never liked your wife or kids, but you? You fucking ROCK.

My personal history of VHS movies: Snuff films and monkey brains and porn, oh my!

Wal-Mart has joined Target, Best Buy and Circuit City in the Kill VHS campaign. By the end of this year, you will no longer be able to buy VHS movies at Wally world.

Oh, I know. Hardly anyone buys VHS tapes anymore. But that's not the point. Once again, old age and mortality get together to mock me as another part of my youth gets thrown into oblivion.

topload.GIFHome VCRs were introduced in the U.S. in the late 1970's. They were big, cumbersome, heavy and quickly became all the rage. They were also - like most new technology - deemed to be dangerous. Our old friend Jack Valenti had this to say about VCRs:

The VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman home alone.

So his hyperbolic idiocy is nothing new, then.

Anyhow, I don't remember exactly when we got our first VCR. My father, always with the need to be on the cutting edge of technology (whether he knows how to use that technology or not is a whole other matter), came home one day with this ginormous mechanical beast that, he claimed, could play movies. It had to be about 1979 - I distinctly remember buying Slap Shot for $75.99 at the local electronics store.

Soon after the VCR became a household item, smart entrepreneurs realized that the price of movies was prohibitive to most people and perhaps they would like to borrow these movies - for a small fee. And so, the video store was born.

One of the first video stores to pop up on Long Island was the Video Vault, which operated out of Modell's department store, turning the lobby into a makeshift retail outlet. And I was there. I stumbled into the job, through a friend of a friend who knew this guy Bruce who was opening the place. Knowing that I was into the current VHS movie craze, she gave Bruce my number and a couple of days later, I was helping him set up the store.

Membership was $99 a year. For that, you got two free rentals a month - everything after those freebies was something like five dollars per night. The stock wasn't huge at first. We carried more VHS titles than Beta (and that caused quite a few arguments with customers) and more porn than regular movie titles.

At first, the movies were kept in glass counter cases. Eventually, the stock grew and Bruce put shelves on the wall (behind the counter) to display the movies. The horror section nearly equaled the porn section after a few months.

Sure, we had a healthy selection of mainstream movies; after all, we were catering to a middle-class, family oriented community. But it just seemed like Bruce was more interested in getting the seamier side of VHS movies into the store.

My co-worker Lydia and I picked out a movie to take home each night. We'd go to one of our houses and watch - or sometimes we would stay in the store after closing and view a couple of flicks. Mostly we picked out horror movies - Bruce seemed to specialize in finding the most bizarre cult films available. He was the first to bring <Faces of Death to our little piece of suburbia. He was the first to offer what he claimed to be real snuff films for rental. Yes, snuff films. There was one movie where supposedly a girl was murdered and served for Thanksgiving dinner. We watched it a dozen times at least, studying the girl's face, her screams, the movement of the killers to figure out if it was real or not. We watched I Spit on Your Grave endlessly, rewinding and pausing key scenes. We carried dozens of slasher movies (how I wish I could remember the titles now) and often stayed up late at night - throngs of our friends would show up for the screenings - filling up on gore and beer.

I had already been a connoisseur of horror movies when I began working at Video Vault; giving me access to all these bloody, scary movies was like giving a junkie free crack. And if those movies were my crack, then the discovery of porn was my pure cocaine.

At first we didn't touch the porn movies except to rent them out to greendoor.jpgmiddle-class husbands who came in the store with their heads bowed, hands in pocket, whispering titles into our ears as if we weren't going to run home and tell our parents that the Little League coach was into bondage. We giggled a lot, made some rude jokes and then, inevitably, became curious.

We started with Debbie Does Dallas because it was the most familiar title. Lydia snuck it out of the store - we didn't want Bruce to think we were pervs because he was a perv and we didn't want to give him any perverted ideas about perverts being pervy together - and took it back to Lydia's house, whose parents were away on vacation.

I fell asleep 30 minutes in. Lydia was so bored, she read over her Literature of Western Civ notes instead. This was porn? Bad acting, horrible dialogue and totally unbelievable, corny sex scenes. Booooring. We figured that if people kept coming in for the porn titles, risking their reputations as pillars of the community, there had to be more to it. So we made careful notes of what the most popular porn titles were.

The next Friday we took home Behind the Green Door, starring Marilyn Chambers. The night after that, we watched Insatiable, also starring the lovely Marilyn. We discovered that porn is not teasing, jiggly cheerleaders. No, we found the good stuff. The next weekend I stuffed a copy of Bad Girls into my bag and headed over to my boyfriend's house. Lydia did the same. Bruce had unwittingly introduced us to worlds we didn't know existed. Working at Video Vault had been quite an education.

Eventually I watched every single movie in the store and I found a job elsewhere (not because I ran out of titles, but because I needed more money and Bruce was more stingy than he was pervy). More and more video stores were opening, anyhow and I feared that Video Vault would go the way of the Betamax soon. Our membership numbers were sagging. Business was so slow that I spent most of my days in the Modell's lobby playing Zaxxon and cursing Dirk of Dragon's Lair. Bruce refused to lower his prices, even though Lydia and I tried to knock some business sense into him, and he lost half his clients to stores that were now offering memberships for free. I fled the sinking ship.

Bruce was smarter than we gave him credit for, however. He knew what he was doing. A year later, Bruce had dumped all the movies and bought into the Super Mario craze. Video Vault had become a video game store and I was right there, standing in line for an NES as soon as they were available. As I handed my old boss the cash for the console, I realized that Bruce was my dealer and Video Vault was my crack den. The double addiction of horror and porn had given way to the pure heroin-like abuse of video games and Bruce was my supplier for all of them.

If I could remember his last name, I'd look him up and see what kind of technological crack he's dealing out now.

June 15, 2005

song of the night:: get ready to die edition

First, the daily self-linking thing: Words. Pictures. Thank you.

Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine covering Disturbed's Down With Sickness. [download]

Some of you may recognize this from the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. In my humble opinion, that scene was the greatest juxtaposition of music and film ever recorded. It was perfect, and using this cover version rather than the original was an absolute stroke of genius.

Though I have to say that someday, someone will use the idea Allah passed on to me - having Scarborough Fair played in a zombie movie - Picture them all milling about outside the house in Night of the Living Dead. "Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyyyyme..." - and that will become the greatest movie/music moment ever.

Also, this just might be the greatest cover song EVER. Check out much more by Mr. Cheese right here.

Paging Dr. Frist

Because I wrote about the whole Terry Schiavo thing previously, I figure I'll add my two cents in on today's story.

This is how it goes:

Them: We will not rest until the autopsy results come out. Then we will know EVERYTHING! It will all come out!

[Autopsy results are released]

Them: The autopsy is meaningless! It means NOTHING!
Parents: We don't believe the results


Conspiracy! Bribery! Money! Lies! Look, over there, it's Bill Frist!

I'll start taking wagers now on when Bill Frist apologizes.

I've got NEVER for 200, Alex.

More at Balloon Juice, WWR and Smijer

Update: Below is my further commentary (which is also posted in the comments, but not everyone reads all the comments and I thought I'd clarify a few things for the self absorbed people who assume that by "Sen. Frist" I meant THEM.

Hey, Dean? I didn't mention you, did I? I'm talking about a Senator who did an armchair analysis of Teri Schiavo, called it a professional medical opinion, then turned into a political cause, grandstanding his way through the whole circus. He is a United States Senator who made an absolute fool of the Senate with his antics. Yes, political antics.

How does this have anything to do with you, Dean? You post on your blog that I'm demanding an apology of YOU? No, I'm not. Stop seeing yourself in everything, Dean. This has nothing to do with you and it may come as a huge shock that I didn't even think about you when I wrote this post. I was thinking about Senator Frist. I never asked Teri's family and friends to apologize. Just Frist. So take your sanctimony and shove it.

Clark, here's why: When I blogged about this and explained in a very emotional and personal way why I felt the way I did, I was accused of being part of a culture of death. I was accused of wanting to murder someone just for political gain (with no explanation as to what that political gain was). I was accused of using Teri's plight to further my views on abortion (even though no one really knows what my views on abortion are) and I was accused of wanting to KILL a woman whose brain was working, who knew what was going on, who was cognizant of the world around her, who could follow a ball with her eyes. But she couldn't do any of those things, could she? My beliefs surrounding what should happen to Teri were born out of pure personal feeling and emotions and I made that very, very clear from the start. Yet I was called the most vile, vicous names. I was accused of horrible things because I wanted an aware, functional person (in their eyes) to die.

There were many, many people on both sides who used this to push a political or religious agenda. I'm not one of them.

I am not grandstanding or doing a victory dance over the autopsy. I am pointing out the sad fact that after all the waiting and all the talk about how the autopsy would prove everything once and for all, it has only furthered the ugliness with cries of bribery, conspiracy, etc. I didn't mention once in my post anything like "Yay, Teri's brain wasn't working, I was RIGHT!" I am angry at Frist for making such a remarkable jerk of himself while representing my country. That's it.

Book Tag

I've been tagged by John Cole for a book meme, and when you're tagged, you play. Besides, it's a subject I love.

So, what fiction did you read as a teen/young adult that you have re-read as an adult (or would like to)? What pieces of fiction meant something to you? Put up your list, and pass it on to 2-3 people.

witchfamily.jpgThis is easy for me because (as I've blogged before) I take the time every summer to re-read the stories I loved as a child. It's been a ritual for me since I worked one summer in the children's room of our town library and pulled this book (pictured at left) off the shelf during a lull in the day. It was my favorite book as a child and to find it again - and this was most likely the same exact copy I held in my hands as an eight year old - literally took my breath away. I held onto to the book like I had found a lost friend, then devoured it one sitting when I got home. I've re-read it, and others, every summer since.

Here's what I'll be reading in the next two months (in addition to The Witch Family):

And those are just the children's books. I'll do the teen books tomorrow.

I think I'm supposed to tag other bloggers now, but I'll just invite you all to take part (and if you don't have a blog or don't feel like posting it, you can leave your choices in the comments)

another blog rule

You people need to stop dissing David Lee Roth and/or Van Halen.

I will henceforth ban anyone who disparages the name of either on this blog.

disclaimer: Hagar and Cherone are fair game. Any albums containing work by Hagar and/or Cherone are fair game, though I will give more consideration to the Hagar work. Cherone does NOT exist.

Don't you people remember my son's haiku>>

David Lee Roth rocks
Gary Cherone doesn't count
Sammy Hagar whines

nice manners, babe

[Inside blogging stuff follows. Ignore at will, skip to the rock star post if you don't care. Of course, the people this is aimed at will skip right by it now]

I don't really care what YOUR etiquette/rules for trackbacks are. I know what MY rule is: Don't trackback to my posts unless you've linked/referenced them. I see no reason for someone to go through the trouble of sending a trackback which basically says "hey, I've written about the same thing as you, but I didn't reference your post on it at all. However, I'm going to use this nifty automated feature to leave a URL to MY post on your blog!" That's just god damn RUDE.

I also HATE when trackback is used as a feature to say "I wrote about a subject that you seem to care about and instead of emailing you a note to say hey, check out this post, I think you'll be interested in it, I'll just lazily send off a trackback to a completely UNRELATED post of yours, most likely your most recent post, thereby informing you that I've said something I consider important and leaving a URL to my very important post in your completey UNRELATED post!"

See where I'm going with this? Stop doing it. It's arrogant. Take two freaking minutes to send an email. Or don't trackback at all.

I will delete any trackbacks that don't reference the post they track. Don't be an such a self-absorbed ass all your life, ok? Show some manners.

Update: Update has been deleted because I can be a real dick sometimes and I have the ability to erase my dickishness from the annals of blog history.

so you wanna be a rock superstar...

Content later. I've got a quickie poll for now (which had the potential to get heated and ugly), stemming from a Fark discussion.

Who is the greatest rock and roll star of this generation.

Let's assume that for generation we mean current, say 1990 to now. Post-David Lee Roth (whom I consider the last great rock and roll star). And to further define rock STAR - I'd have to say someone who has a recognized name and face, so - famous, at least in the world of rock and roll (I'm not saying your grandmother has to recognize him). Basically, a Mick Jagger or Robert Plant. Drug addiction not requisite.

Some names tossed about: Dave Grohl, Scott Weiland, Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Billy Corgan.

So, is there anyone who is a great rock star today?

June 14, 2005

n-o-s-m-o-k-i-n-g noooooooo smoking*

So this weeks marks FIVE MONTHS since I quit smoking. Yeeha! And I've yet to become a militant non-smoker!

So uh...go r and look at my pictures in some random kind of virtual celebration.


asv's photos More of asv's photos

Have I told you lately that I love you?

*yet another movie quote

Listomatic: Make your own list (movie quote edition)

Because so many of you just had to disagree with me on Airplane! being the most often quoted movie, I offer you this space to say what YOUR most quoted movie is, and your favorite line.

I'll get to mine later.

Update: I obviously didn't have time to do mine. But that's ok, because I'll save them for a quiz tomorrow.

listomatic: loud cheese

One thing I hate about summer is you drive with your windows open. And so does everyone else. Which means everyone can hear me singing (unlike winter, most of fall and parts of spring, where the window is closed and I can belt one out like a motherfucker without feeling chagrined about it).

Songs that should be too cheesy to sing out loud, in traffic, with your windows wide open, but I decided I don't give a rat's ass and all of freaking Nassau County is going to hear me sing whether they like it or not and the parts that I sing louder than the rest, for emphasis and extra embarassment:

  • Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me (do you take sugar? one lump or two?)
  • Bon Jovi (I've seen a million faces an I've rocked them all!)
  • Journey - Don't Stop Believin' (It goes on and on and on and on)
  • Europe - The Final Countdown (the whole chorus)
  • House of Pain - Jump Around (word to your moms I came to drop bombs)
  • Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear the Reaper (just do all the background versers)
  • Poison - Talk Dirty to Me (CC, Pick up that guitar, and talk to me!)
  • Van Halen - Hot For Teacher (Class dismissed!)
  • Anything by Kiss - (pick a lyric, any lyric)
  • Judas Priest - Breakin' the Law (only because it's a Pavolovian reaction for me to do the Beavis and Butthead metal-sign-head-banging thing while saying breakinthelawbreakinthelaw)

I'll probably add more as I work my way through the iPod.

This Week on the Year That Was:
1980: Have you ever been to a Turkish prison?

25 years ago this week, I graduated from high school. That's TWENTY-FIVE. A classmate had a baby right after graduation. That "baby" is an adult now, and a mother. That's how long it's been. I have a classmate who is a grandmother.

1980. Stamps were 15 cents. Gas was a $1.25. Jimmy Carter was president. I was rocking out to Van Halen and Pink Floyd (how weird is it that 25 years later, my own kid is rocking out to those very bands?), having near death experiences and wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life.

Ah, but I'm not going to muse about how old I feel or how life moves pretty fast, or what graduation means. No, I'm here to discuss another significant, historical, life-altering thing that happened in 1980:

Airplane! was released.

ariplaneguy.jpgThat's right. The most significant event to occur in 1980 was not my high school graduation, the Iran hostage crisis, the Miracle on Ice, the death of John Bonham, the invention of the 7-11 Big Gulp™, the bulky, cumbersome home video recorders hitting the market. The earth shattering moment in 1980 came when Jim Abrams and the Zucker Brothers released the most quoted movie of my life. And, quite possibly, the funniest.

While gas prices rise and fall and Olympic hockey teams come and go, Airplane! has remained a constant, a stalwart fixture that has become an intrinsic part of my world from my vocabulary to my dance moves.

There is no other movie, not Star Wars, not Caddyshack, not Big Lebowski, that has offered the world so many repeatable lines; lines that aren't just thrown out there in conversation for comedy sake, but phrases that fit into the tapestry of every day life.

How many times have you pulled up at an airport and said Look Betty, don't start up with your white zone shit again?

I can't tell you the number of times someone in my family has reached for a second cup of coffee and we race to be the first to say "He never has a second cup of coffee at home," which leads to "I take it black, like my men."

And: "I've got to concentrate...concentrate...concentrate..."

You know what I'm talking about, because you're always saying things like "Have you ever seen a grown man naked?" or "Do you like movies about gladiators?" And I KNOW you have said at least once in the last 25 years "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines/smoking/sniffing glue."

What do you say when someone mentions the word hospital?

What is it?
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.

On the occasion when someone says to me "Are you ready to go?" and I respond "We have clearance, Clarence," I know I have a soulmate in that person when they answer with "Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?"

And this one is so handy, I've used it (or a variation) about twenty times on this blog alone: They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.

I don't know about you, but if any member of my family is at a party where the DJ plays "Stayin' Alive," we're up on the dance floor doing the knife-in-the-back thing.

On the occasion of having a shitty day: Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked... in the head... with an iron boot?

My favorite character in the movie: Johnny. He's the one I definitely imitate the most. The tower, the tower, Rapunzel.

Airplane! will live forever because its comedy is timeless (and it was the start of a long-running genre of parody movies). Bad puns (ham on five, hold the mayo), cheap shots and campy one-liners never go out of style. Millions of parents will pass the love of this movie down to their children. I know that one day in the future I will be lying on my death bed, my children and grandchildren gathered around me, waiting to pull the plug and a doctor will say "She's alive, but unconscious," and someone in my family will respond "Just like Gerald Ford." There will be big laughs right as I die. Thank you, Zucker brothers!

Surely, Airplane! must be the most quoted movie of all time.

And don't call me Shirley.

(You saw that coming, didn't you?)

Update: I meant to add - aside from the quotes, what's your favorite moment in the movie? (Which someone in the comments answered before I even asked!)

June 13, 2005

One and one and one makes three* (And a POLL!)

In twelve minutes, I'll know how many of you to cull out of the "Predict the verdict and aftermath" pool.

Can you stand the drama? This is more riveting than watching an entire nation expend all of its resources to look for a missing, beautiful, rich white girl!

You can still get a quick prediction speculation in if you ACT NOW! Operators standing by!

*If anyone gets what the title refers to, I'll kiss you. Hard.

Update: This is what we have come to as a nation, folks. The TV stations are actually showing footage of the vehicle entourage headed towards the courthouse. MJ IS 28 MILES FROM THE PARKING LOT!!!

CNN has a handy dandy child molestation scorecard for you!

They're reading the verdict now, but it's going to be anticlimatic. Nothing can beat the thrill of the car approaching the court room.


And another "where were you" moment in the annals of world history has come and gone. Years from now when they ask "where were you when Michael Jackson was found not guilty?" I'll be able to say "I was picking a wedgie out of my ass, yelling FREEE AT LAST!"

Honestly, I'm a little shocked. Not one GUILTY?

So, quickie poll:

A) Travesty of justice?
B) God has shined his light down upon the righteous and true. Bless you, Michael Jackson!
C) I saw a turtle.
D) _______________ (insert your Michael Jackson pun/joke here)

You may also commence casting the soon-to-be-made movie of the week.


This has been bothering me since about 5am and I need to get it off my chest.

Yesterday, I linked to this awesome Star Wars/Journey flash thing.

The first thing I see in my mailbox this morning is this comment (go ahead, I'll wait while you read it). The second thing I see is three - yes, THREE - emails admonishing me for linking to the site.

Why? Because the main part of the site is something called Murdoch Watch. There's not even a site there yet. Just a main page. And the Star Wars thing is just hosted there - there's not even a link to the main page on it.

Yet there are people who think this is some grand conspiracy by a liberal Star Wars freak to get bloggers to link to the Murdoch site, that the whole thing is a set up in some grand scheme geared towards bloggers to subliminally or coercively guide them towards linking to and publicizing a site that is run by a gasp liberal. And then what? They win a prize? They get to run the country? Buildings collapse? MY GOD, THE BLOGGERS ARE LINKING TO THAT STAR WARS THING AND IT'S HOSTED BY A PERSON WHO DOESN'T LIKE RUPERT MURDOCH!!11!!! DEFCON 1!!

There are a couple of things I'd like to point out here:

1. Stop thinking the world revolves around blogs. Not everything that happens on the internet is connected to blogs.

2. Who cares if there's a Murdoch watch? It's ok for there to be a Moore watch and a Rather watch and whatever else you people are watching but the minute someone wants to watch the guy who owns some crappy papers and a biased tv station (that's right, I said biased, and if you are a conservative/Republican and refuse to acknowledge that FOX is biased, you're a jackass) there is evil afoot at Circle K! Dish it out? Great, then take it.

3. IT IS A FUCKING FLASH FILM ABOUT SOME FICTIONAL CHARACTERS SET TO A CHEESY 80'S POWER BALLAD FEATURING STEVE FUCKING PERRY! Oh god, I can see the conspiracy in it now! Oh wait, I can't. Because there is NO CONSPIRACY. Dou you know how to have fun? Do you know how to laugh, smile or enjoy yourself without seeing "LIBERALS ARE TAKING OVER MY BRAIN!" written in your alphabet soup?

4. I am really beginning to hate the lot of you. No, not you. YOU. You know who I'm talking about. You humorless group of people who are always and forever outraged at everything that doesn't conform to your tight, knotted circle of what's appropriate. You are so entwined in your bombastic outrage and clingy, righteous rules and regulations for an upright, moral, perfect, conservative, honorable, praise to jesus above life that you don't see anything BUT things that outrage you. Haven't you had enough? When do you stop seeing signs in everything? When will you put down your "WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA AND GOD" pamphlets long enough to fucking ENJOY your god damn life instead of spending your days thinking up new ways to suck the ever loving joy out of anything that's remotely pleasant to experience?

God DAMN. I'll be back after the coffee leaves my system. I am fucking OUTRAGED about your outrage.

Music to Evade Zombies By

[First, I'm again going to direct you to 100 words. I really like my story today]

One of my missions as a Zombie Army member is to make a CD collection - a desert island disc list for people who are waiting for zombies to attack. Easy enough.

  • White Zombie - La Sexorcisto-Devil Music Vol. 1
  • Misfits - Walk Among Us
  • Coal Chamber - Coal Chamber
  • Type O Negative - Life is Killing Me
  • Cannibal Corpse - Eaten Back to Life
  • The Cure - Boys Don't Cry (I just threw that in there for the hell of it)

Ok, I need some help on this one. I get 250 "bones" if I fulfill this mission. I want to collect enough to get some neat zombie stuff. And not too much on the death metal, k? Be creative.

Update: I'll accept single songs, just because.

Listomatic: Zombie Movies

Favorite zombie movies, in no specific order:

  • Night of the Living Dead
  • Dawn of the Dead
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004) - yea, I liked it.
  • Day of the Dead
  • Return of the Living Dead
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Dead Alive
  • Cemetery Man
  • Evil Dead Trilogy (some people question their zombie-ness, I don't)
  • Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
  • Night of the Comet
  • Re-animator
  • Zombie
  • The Serpent and the Rainbow
  • Pet Sematary
  • White Zombie (a pioneer of zombie movies)
  • Chopper Chicks in Zombietown

obsessive-compulsive zombie disorder strikes again

Remember how I obsessed about Star Wars in anticipation of Revenge of the Sith?

Well my other movie obsession takes over today. That's right, ASV will be Zombie Central until June 24th, when Romero's Land of the Dead opens. I haven't been this excited about a movie since, well, Sith. Ok, so that's only a few weeks ago, but still. You know how I feel about zombies.

I'm probably going to repeat a couple of my favorite zombie posts, as well as do some zombie polls and talk about zombie movies and zombie survival and, well, you get the general idea.

Because it's Monday (and my first day back at work after a week off), I'm going to start the morning with a repeat, which will give any new readers an idea of the zombie obsession that rules the ASV household.

This one starts off not so much about zombies, but leads into it, and I've tacked on a later, but connected post, to the end.

Stick around through the repeat. I've got some fun zombie things coming up later. BRAAAAAAIIIINS!

At some point, every child learns the valuable lesson of patience. Patience is a virtue, we tell them. Good things come to those who wait. Patience and fortitude conquer all things. (use of which always hammers home the point that Emerson is not quotable to the under 14 set).
they're coming to get you, barbara Most kids learn the value of having patience through the anticipation the arrival of Santa Claus or the countdown to a long awaited family vacation. Not my son. He met his patience challenge with zombies.

The Dawn of the Dead DVD finally arrived on the shelves of our local Best Buy yesterday. I, like any good mother would, used my lunch hour yesterday to go buy my eleven year old son the unedited, unrated version of a zombie movie.

But oh, the look on his face when I got home. It looked something like this. As I pulled up in front of the house, he came lumbering out of the front door, approaching the car with arms extended, legs all awkward and moaning like he hadn't had a good brain to eat in days. He grabbed the DVD from my hand, mumbled something about brains and sped off to his room.

Hours later (those hours interrupted by a bout of homework and a trip to religious ed) he emerged from his room, wild-eyed and grinning.

So, was it worth the wait?
Well, you know how sometimes you think something is the greatest thing ever, that nothing can ever beat it?
So, I though all this time that Dawn of the Dead was the greatest movie ever, but now that I'm watching it again, it's not. But that's good.
Good, how?

'Cause if I saw the best movie ever when I'm 11, then there would be nothing to look forward to.

Ah, the mind of a young boy.

It was interesting to watch him wait for the arrival of this DVD. He had a countdown going on his computer. Every day, he would announce how many days left until the release. Every Friday, he would go to the movie site, where they would show a different clip each week. While he was waiting, he took the time to become an expert on all things zombie. He read through my copy of The Zombie Survival Guide. He watched other zombie movies like the original Night of the Living Dead (review: awesome for an old flick!) and 28 Days Later (review: that wasn't a zombie movie! HUGE rip-off!) and then we went to see Shaun of the Dead (review: can we sit through it again? Please?!). (I tell you, it was a very proud moment for this mother when he got the "We're coming to get you Barbara" reference in Shaun.) He scoured the internet for stories about zombies, learned how to kill them, how to summon them and how to dress like one for Halloween.

To say he obsesses about things is an understatement. Once DJ takes a liking to something, he goes all out with it. Not content to just watch a zombie movie, he has to completely submerge himself in the zombie lore and culture. His world becomes a focused, intent place in which he will take his given obsession of the moment and relate it to anything that is happening around him.

This obsessive sort of behavior started very early. When he was about two years old, he had a collection of little Disney movie figures that he kept in a plastic bin. These figures were collected via many trips to McDonald's or Toys R Us and, let me tell you, it was a very complete collection. Because you couldn't have just one Little Mermaid figure. You had to have them all. Once I bought Ariel, it was a slippery slope right down to Eric, King Trident and that sea hag that looked like a fat, wet Malificent. Yes, I was enabling his addiction. Make no mistake about where DJ got his obsessive compulsive trait from.

Anyhow, one day we were putting his toys away for the evening. As usual, he had them all lined up around the living room in the straightest line possible, one little Disney character after another. I'd say there was about 80 figures in his collection at that time. I gathered them all up and threw them in the bin, which I then placed in his room, right next to his bed, per the usual routine. Five minutes after I left him in his room I heard a scream. I went running back in and found DJ staring in horror at the jumble of plastic figures in the bin.

Ho-hant-as? Ho-hant-as? He was pointing at the figures. I looked at my son, looked at the bin and though, no way. Sure enough, I went into the living room, got on my hands and knees, and found Pocohantas under the radiator. That, my friends, is what you call obsessive. A two year old looking into a tub filled to the brim with little plastic princes and animals and widowers knew immediately that his Ho-hant-as was missing.

And that was just the first of all the obsessive phases DJ went through. Power Rangers. Star Wars. Oh god, the Star Wars phase. He was three and knew every single character, vehicle and weapon. And the sports. He didn't just watch baseball or hockey or football. He lived, ate and breathed those sports. He knew Don Mattingly's batting average on days when it was below 75 degrees. He knew the number of every player on every NHL team. He picked my football teams for the office pool every week when he was five. With point spreads. I came in first place that year.

The phases would go as fast as they would arrive, and I'd be left with boxes of paraphenelia associated with the various obsessions. This is what happens when a woman with an addictive personality has a son with obsessive traits. I fed his action figure/trading card/video game hunger with reckless abandon. Pokemon? We caught them all.

At some point, I learned to stop feeding his obsessive needs. Probably when I sat down and figured out how much money I spent on all that Pokemon crap. But something went wrong when DJ started his horror movie phase. I couldn't help it. All those years of restraint had built up against the wall I created and the dam burst. Can you blame me? What better way for mother and son to bond than over a love of horror movies? What says quality time more than a shared viewing of George Romero classics? What better dinner conversation starter is there than:

Mom, if I got bit by a zombie would you kill me before or after I turned into one?

I gave him a blank stare. He turned to his stepfather.

Ok, Justin. What about you?

Justin didn't even blink. "I'd shoot you as soon as you got bit. Right between the eyes."

I blanched in horror. "You would not do any such thing. How could you kill my son while he was still....him?" I imagined the scenario in my mind. DJ writhing on the floor, blood pouring from his zombie infected wound, the undead hovering around him, waiting for dinner. My motherly instincts kicked in. "I would wait. I would wait until I saw that you were no longer my son, but some hideous creature. Then I would kill you. Maybe."

I looked expectantly at him. He stared hard at me.

"Bzzzz. Wrong answer! Justin is right!" DJ shook his head disapprovingly and Justin sat there all smug, laughing.

"I would expect you to kill me, mom. You don't take chances with the undead. Duh."

Duh. Well, at least we were actually conversing over dinner instead of watching the Simpsons and that's always something to be happy about. Even if the conversation did revolve around zombies.

And so, everything is zombies today and will be until this new DVD wears out its welcome, which probably won't be anytime soon given all the extras on it*. DJ will pop out from under the couch at odd times pretending to bite us and he'll quiz us on various aspects of zombie survival. And he'll critique the movie to no end.

Modern zombies suck, he says. They're too fast and they think too much. He thinks the movie would have been better if the zombies were more like those in Night of the Living Dead.

Of course, he still thinks it was worth the wait and all the countdowns. I'm just glad that part of it is over, as he can now concentrate on things like, oh, how many days until his book report ('Salem's Lot) is due.

I was about to mention this to him last night when he said "How many days until Land of the Dead?"

Well, at least this particular obsession doesn't cost me much money. And I'm really glad he's keeping his obsession with Lindsay Lohan's boobs mostly to himself.

You know how some families make emergency plans for, say, a fire in the house? Well, we made an Emergency Zombie Plan yesterday. At least we tried to (see Obsessive Compulsive Zombie Disorder for background on our history with the living dead).

Me: We should all agree to meet in one place, then.
Justin: Yea, some island that we can surround with barbed wire.
Me: This is an island.
Justin: Well, let's just find some open land and surround it with barbed wire.
DJ: Uh..guys? You're on your own. I'm going hunting when the zombies come.
Me: WHAT? You're going to leave your mother at the height of armageddon?
DJ: I've got things to do, mom. First I'm going to kill a whole bunch of people from my class.

See, DJ figures if the zombies are taking over, then law and order goes right out the window. He can finally seek revenge upon the kids from school who have slighted him in any way. Then, when his enemies lay bleeding and dying slow, painful deaths, he can get to the business of zombie hunting.

I convinced my son that it would be best to come back to the house after he takes care of his business. Justin and I will stock up on the basic supplies and gather some makeshift weapons.

That's when I commit the apparent sin of all things zombie.

Me: I'm going to give up.

Horrified glances from my husband and son. I try to explain. Why fight off the zombies? Why spend days running from them, trying to fend them off, beating them, shooting them, cowering in fear in the basement (shit, we don't even have a basement)when eventually, they are going to win? Once the zombie infestation starts, that's it. It's assimilate or die. You can shoot as many brains as you want, but in the end, the undead will outnumber the living and you may as well just let them bite you early on rather than attempting to put up some brave and noble fight for survival.

I start singing the doom song, then.

Justin and DJ are mortified. They can't believe I would just give up so easily. What can I say? I'm a joiner. I follow trends, I don't set them. And it's not like I don't have experience when it comes to hooking up with a mindless army of droning, single-minded people who want to swallow you whole. It's just so much easier to hold out your arms and accept what fate hands you than to fight it. It's easier to convince yourself that being a zombie wouldn't be so bad after all - no work, no taxes to pay, abundant food supply and, best of all, I could go on the hunt for people I hate and zombiefy them. How cool would it be to sink my undead teeth into Roger Clemens's fleshy neck?

Well Justin and DJ are having none of that.

DJ: You can't just let them take you. You have to fight!
Justin: You don't even want to try to save the world? Or yourself?
DJ: It's just wrong, mom. If I stay, will you fight?
Me: Maybe...I'm just lazy, I guess. I can't see expending all that effort if we're just going to lose eventually.
DJ: But we won't lose.
Justin: What if they are super zombies, though? Like the remade Dawn of the Dead zombies?
Me: That's what I'm saying..
DJ: Oh. My. God. Hello? Let's talk a little reality here? You know, REAL LIFE?
Me: Yea, we were getting a little carried away there....
DJ: I mean, everyone knows that zombies can't run.

At this point we decided that, should zombies attack, Justin would start building a fortress around the house, including a moat (because everyone knows that zombies can't swim), DJ would take advantage of the lawlessness and go kill some 12 year old bullies, Natalie would remain, as always, oblivious to the situation and continue to post quizzes in her LiveJournal, and I would hunker down in the living room with the Zombie Survival Kit, which consists of nothing more than a bottle of Jack Daniel's and a shot glass.

And then we started thinking like the capitalist pigs we are. We would take advantage of the situation. We'd learn how to tame the hordes of zombies roaming the countryside. Then we'd use them to remake classic movies. We cracked ourselves up imagining an undead Tom Hanks, all bloodied face and flesh wounds.... Ruuuuuuuuuuuun....Fooorrrr....essssst.....Ruuuuuunnnnnn.

June 12, 2005


I don't think anyone gets my 100 words today. I know at least a few of YOU will. Please.

oh yea, i put a few new pics up at flickr. are you tired of these links yet?

Ohh, did you know that you can add "notes" to my pictures? Try it, tis cool.

too stupid to exist

You need to read this whole thing about the poor boy who was killed by his family's pit bull, but I'm just going to pull some quotes from the article for you:

"I used to say to Ella, just go ahead and let him do it," Faibish said. "Get it over with.'

But she insists, "I have no regrets about that day.."

"Even after the whole thing,' she said, "I'm not mad at my dogs. I just love them to death.' then..

"I told them I wanted him put down. I think of Rex as someone who molested my child, murdered my child.' [...] "He's the most loving and giving dog in the world,' she insisted. "There were no violent tendencies in him at all.'

12-year- old Nicholas Faibish had been told to stay in the basement separated from the dogs..."I put him down there, with a shovel on the door,'' said Faibish, who had left the boy alone with the dogs on June 3 to run some errands.

Faibish sent her 9-year-old son to the store to buy Nicholas a soda, bagel and chips. He also had video games to keep him busy. "Nicky was happy down there," she said.

"It's Nicky's time to go," she said. "When you're born you're destined to go and this was his time."

Ah, no. It wasn't his time. You stupid, crazy, batshit, selfish, brain dead, idiotic woman. You made it his time. It's not his fault for opening the basement door. It's not fate's fault for making this his "time" to go. It's not even the damn dog's fault. It's your fault. YOURS. And you are a freaking lunatic who should have your other children taken away from you. You do not know how to be a mother. Your son is DEAD because you are an IDIOT. You killed your child. Do you understand that, because I'll say it niiiiice and slooooow - YOU. KILLED. YOUR. CHILD.

Yea, yea. I know she can't hear me. But I feel a bit better now.

God damn, some people just don't deserve the life they get.

Don't Stop Believin'

A musical tribute to Star Wars.

The most awesome thing ever. (Warning, music by Journey)

via Allah.

I Dream of Phil Collins (and Raffi and Hash Browns)

Dream, early this moring:

The theater-in-the-round was bustling with noise. The people were coming in groups, so pockets of seats were filling up at a time.

I paced backstage. I was wearing pink and gray striped flannel pajama pants and white tank tap. I was freaking out.

"I can't do this."
"Yes you can. You did it once before." My sister was combing her out, Marcia Brady style, in front of a long dressing mirror.
"And I was awful. I can't sing. Get mommy on the phone."

I called my mother. "I'm not going on. Tell them to skip over me."
"OH yes you are. You are going on."
"Mom, how many times do I have to tell you? I can't sing!"

To drive home this point, I break out into song, it was a combination of God Bless America and Manfred Mann's Doo Wah Diddy. My voice cracked and pitched and faltered. "I told you, mom!"
"Hang on, let me get dad."

My father showed up two minutes later, holding out a cell phone.

"It's Phil Collins, he wants to talk to you."

I get on the phone with Phil. He says, "I know they told you that you can do it, but we both know you can't sing. Just walk away now."

I walked down the long hallway towards the concert hall. Raffi was on stage, singing his heart out about Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea. The half-filled audience was clapping in time to the music. I whisper into the cell phone, "Now, Raffi. He can sing!" Phil Collins laughed and I blurted out to him, "Oh my god I saw you in July of 1978 with Genesis that kicked ass!" It all came out like one long word. I wanted to ask him what happened between him and Peter Gabriel, but my father was there, grabbing the phone from me.

"Go on," he said. "It's your turn."
"I am NOT going on stage. I can't."

I looked out onto the stage, which was rotating slowly. When the stage front turned to me, I could see that the singing group was compromised of my family members. They were all in pajamas, singing "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" by Steely Dan. They were pointing at me, beckoning me to join them on stage. I ran back down the hallway and didn't stop until I went out the door of the theater, into the parking lot. Outside, there were stoners selling t-shirts and bumper stickers and nickel bags of pot. They all spoke like they were looking for a starring role in Dude, Where's My Car 2.

Phil Collins, Raffi and Russel Crowe joined me in the parking lot and we walked arm in arm towards the street, in search of a Waffle House and a huge order of hash browns.

I woke up to the sound of my stomach rumbling.

June 11, 2005

i have the power

who has the power?

What do you get when you mix boredom, a found box of action figures and a camera? You get this:

asv's photos More of asv's photos

music to have invasive procedures by

Researchers have discovered that listening to your favorite music during a colonoscopy can make it less, err, unnerving.

So what would you choose to listen to while having a scope inserted into your colon by way of your anus?

listomatic: ATTACK!

Best movies about killer mutant animals/insects:

  • Food of the Gods
  • Night of the Lepus
  • Squirm
  • Empire of the Ants
  • Parasite in 3-D (with Demi Moore!)
  • Aracnophobia
  • Them!
  • Starship Troopers
  • Tremors
  • The Swarm
  • The Birds
  • Willard (the original)
  • Cujo
  • Mimic

It's Saturday. It's hot and muggy. I've got nothing else for ya.

June 10, 2005

listomatic: sporty movies

Best baseball movies:

  • Bad News Bears
  • Bad News Bears in Breaking Training
  • Bang the Drum Slowly (original)
  • The Natural
  • Bingo Long and the Traveling All Stars
  • Field of Dreams
  • Major League
  • The Sandlot
  • Long Gone (does anyone else remember this movie? This is when I discovered the sexiness that is Virginia Madsen)
  • Damn Yankees
  • Fear Strikes Out

And yes, Bull Durham is purposefully left off the list. I loathe that movie with an undescribable passion. And I thought Eight Men Out was boring.

Best Hockey Movies

  • Slapshot (best SPORTS movie ever)
  • Mighty Ducks (first only)
  • Mystery, Alaska
  • Miracle on Ice (the 1981 made for tv movie)

No, not Youngblood. And not that movie where the hockey player becomes a figure skater.

Best Football Movies

  • The Longest Yard (original)
  • North Dallas 40
  • Rudy
  • Lucas
  • Little Giants
  • Brian's Song (original only)
  • Jerry Maguire (Yea, I liked this movie)
  • Paper Lion
  • Jim Thorpe, All American (I watched this by accident one day and found it to be a really excellent movie)
  • Two Minute Warning (not about football, per se, but contains football)
  • Black Sunday (see note above)
  • Last Boy Scout (ditto)
  • All the Right Moves

Note: I didn't see Remember the Titans, and I didn't like Any Given Sunday or The Replacements.

Best Basketball Movies

  • Hoosiers
  • Basketball Diaries
  • The Air Up There
  • Fast Break (dude, it's got GABE KAPLAN!)
  • Teen Wolf
  • Finding Forrester
  • Air Bud (yea, that's right. Air Fucking Bud)
  • One on One (two words: Robby. Benson.)
  • Baseketball. Of course.

Ok, I haven't seen a lot of basketball movies.

Best Soccer movies:

  • The Big Green
  • That one with Stallone and the jail
  • Shaolin Soccer
  • Bend it like Beckham

I'm not going to do a list for arm-wrestling, but if I did, you know what the only movie on that list would be. I don't want to embarass myself by mentioning how much I love that piece of crap.

Ok, that's it. Add your own.

A bottle of red, a capsule of white:
A senior trip story

Newsday features an article today about senior trips. It's not good enough to give full coverage to the missing girl in Aruba, you've got to have the scare-mongering, extraneous articles to go along with it. According to the piece, schools around here are pretty rigid about rules and regulations regarding senior trips.

It wasn't always that way. Let me tell you a little story.

In 1980 our senior class trip took a trip to Disneyworld. Looking back, I still can't believe my parents let me go, given my reputation for causing or getting into trouble. I'm sure they thought the chaperones - teachers from my Catholic high school - were of high moral fiber and integrity and would never let me get into trouble.

Right. On the first night of the trip, we caught the typing teacher making out with one of the students. A history teacher spent the night in the motel lounge. Another one disappeared for a few hours, but he was spotted in a rent-a-car making out with what looked to be either a really big girl or a guy with a blonde wig. High moral fiber, indeed.

No chaperones, no problems. The drinking age at the time was 18 and because several of my classmates had already turned the magic age, we were set to party. A bunch of us left the motel in search of a convenience store. We found one right down the block and bought more beer and Boones Farm wine than could be carried. Luckily, Tommy found an abandoned shopping cart outside the store. We dumped the beer and wine into the cart, then bought enough bags of ice to cover up the goods.

We carted everything back to the motel and didn't even have to sneak around, as no teachers were in sight.

Back in my room, the bathtub was turned into an impromptu cooler, filled with ice and enough alcohol to get all of Kissimmee drunk.

And then it started. I had some ridiculous flavor of wine in my hand - not a glass but the whole bottle. The pot was free flowing; joints were being passed around the room at a pace I could barely keep up with. I was doing shots of something that one of my friends had stolen from motel bar.

Earlier in my high school career, I earned the nickname "One Drink Michele," due to the fact that all it took to get me wasted was one drink. Boones Farm wine to me was what a bottle of tequila would be to a hardened drinker. Mix the wine with alcohol and pot, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

So there I was, stoned and drunk and starting to feel the effects of the combination of chemicals and alcohol running through my bloodstream. It wasn't long before the room was spinning around me. Voices went in and out of my head; I could comprehend none of what my friends were saying. I swayed and slurred and stood on my feet only to fall down again. Who needed the rides at Disney when you had all this?

I developed an intense headache. It was part because of the cheap wine, and partly from the tension I was feeling at the prospect of a) getting caught; b) getting sick in front of everyone and c) getting homesick. I was never very good at traveling without my family. Oh yea, I had this cool exterior and a reputation to match, but inside I was just a run-of-the-mill nerd. The pot paranoia and alcohol melancholy had combined to make me a complete emotional wreck.

I guess looking as bad as I felt, because suddenly Tina was there, taking care of me, putting a cold towel on my head and rubbing my back. Tina was my best friend at the time, even though I was really starting to hate her slutty ways, her giant breasts and her penchant for getting me into trouble.

Tina pulled a little tin full of white pills out of her purse.

"Take these," she said.
"What are they?"
"Just Tylenol. You'll be better in a few minutes."

In my half-stupor, I trusted Tina and took two of the little pills she handed me. She smiled and patted me on my head like you would a two year old.

Within minutes - or maybe it was hours, I couldn't tell - my headache was gone. Unfortunately, it was replaced with other ailments.

For starters, I was having trouble breathing. My chest was tightening up and I felt like my lungs were going to collapse.

My senses were dulled. I could barely hear anything. I couldn't feel my hands. Everything was a blur, a haze, a slow motion movie of my friends laughing and throwing their clothes around while I was sinking into oblivion.

I felt my eyes roll in back of my head, the way it happens when you are falling asleep while watching tv. I kept trying to snap myself out of it. I was terrified. I was going to die. Right there and then, in some skanky motel room in Kissimmee, Florida, in a room full of half dressed Catholic high school students while my chaperones fucked each other and several classmates in the rooms next door.

I think the last word that went through my mind before I fell on the floor was scandal.

Tina was there first, panic written on her face. I started to say something, but she put her fingers over my mouth to shut me up. She leaned in close and whispered harshly in my ear, "don't tell anyone I gave you any pills."

That bitch. I should have known better than to trust her. Those pill she gave me were not Tylenol.

"What the hell did you give me?" I asked her. At least I think I asked her. Maybe I said it in my head but thought I said it out loud. Everything was so unreal. She didn't answer me, anyhow.

I felt some hands on me and suddenly I was being lifted up and then thrown on the bed. They would make me better, I thought. My friends would make it all better.

They left me laying there. They continued partying and undressing and drinking and smoking. I laid there on one of the twin beds, with that itchy motel comforter scratching my skin like a thousand needles.

And then the scariest moment of my young life happened. I thought I had died. Tina came over to say something to me and I tried to answer her. I couldn't. I could form the thoughts in my head; I could see and hear everything that was going on, yet I couldn't respond to it. My limbs were stiff. My entire body was frozen in a semi-concious state. I struggled to reach my hand up, to scream at Tina to call an ambulance or get one of the teachers, to make them know I was dying. But I was paralzyed.

I heard Tina scream "OH MY GOD, SHE'S DEAD!"

Shit. They thought I was dead! I tried again to talk, but it was like one of those nightmares where you want to scream, and nothing comes out. A million thoughts ran through my head at once, none of them good. They would bury me alive. They would throw me on the side of the highway and claim that I had just gone missing. My parents were going to be so pissed that I died in such a stupid way.

They were shaking me and poking me, but I couldn't respond. I think my muscles had just gone slack and were rendered useless from the wine and liquor and pot. And whatever that was Tina had....

"What the hell did you give her, Tina?" Some voice. A male voice. A panicked voice.

"Tylenol, I swear!" Tina's voice was shaky. Fucking liar, liar pants on fire. That's what was going through my head.

They had propped my head up on a pillow.

"You have to keep her head up so she doesn't choke on her own vomit."
"Ohh, like Jimi Hendrix!"
"Totally. Die like a rock star! How fucking cool!"

I was watching. Listening. Just not responding.

"Tina, you have to tell us what you gave her."
"Fucking Tylenol, I told you."

Kerry dove for Tina's purse. Tina tackled her. Tina's little tin fell out of the purse. Kerry grabbed it, opened it, looked at the pills and hauled off and smacked Tina clear across the room.

"What. The. FUCK?" Kerry screamed. "What the fuck is wrong with you? These are Quaaludes!"

"I just wanted to see what would happen!" Her exact words. My best friend risked my life for some kind of bizarre science experiment.

Oh shit. I was going to die, die, die. Overdose. My poor parents.

The rest happened on super speed. Tina ran from the room. I was lifted off the bed, stripped down to my bra and panties (oh jesus I think they have a hole in them, I should have listened to grandma), and thrown on top of the ice in the bathtub. They turned the shower on. I had hot water streaming down on my face and frigid ice up my ass.

Finally, a scream escaped. It came from the bottom of my soul, traveled through my heart and gathered momentum all the way up my throat and out of my mouth and I bellowed:

"Tina, you fucking cunt!"

And then the typing teacher whore was there, telling everyone there was no need to call the police, no ambulance needed. Our room cleared out, all the drunken senior stumbling back to their own rooms. Cups were cleared, beers taken away, wine dumped down the toilet. The teacher took me back to her room where she and the music teacher watched over me through the night. I felt like such an ass.

That was the end of my friendship with Tina and her giant breasts. I spent the rest of the Disney trip with the drama club, ignoring those who would rather have watched me fall into a coma than ruin their party by calling for help.

Last I heard, Tina was living on the east end of the island, making her living as a crack ho. No, that's not true. But it could be.

That was twenty five years ago this month. I still can't look at a bottle of Boones Farm wine without feeling sick. Then again, most people can't. I just have a whole story to go along with it.

[And for those of you who remember the grudge post from a few weeks ago, Tina and that person are one and the same]

June 09, 2005

can you picture that?

I went the whole day without whoring my flickr page!

asv's photos More of asv's photos

There. Much better.

hit me

Alas, the baseball season has ended for DJ and his team. They lost tonight by a walloping score of 14-8, to the team with the nastiest, most obnoxious coach EVER. How did the kids take it? Two seconds after the game ended, they were on the field chasing each other with bottles of water.

Sure, I was a little dejected. But I have Hit Me Baby One More Time to cheer my up. The Knack, baby. Hit me.

Update: They still sound FRESH!

This Halloway band or whatever they are still sound the same. But I only know this one song of theirs and it sounds boring, repetitive and reminds me of those idiots from SNL.

Sooo...am I the only person who hates the 867 song?

Tommy Tutone was never really handsome to begin with. Now? He looks like the bastard child of Paul Schaffer and an alien. Ok, looking forward to seeing him do Blink 182.

Ahh the Motels (and how did I end up live blogging this show?). I used to love this band. And her. Martha? I always get her confused with Martha and the Muffins.

She looks like my ninth grade Spanish Teacher. Miss Liberatos. RIP. She looks matronly in that "I am so scared of you" way.

Ice Ice Baby up next!

Ok, Ice is playing this fro all it's worth. I wish he would have come out doing the metal version, though. WORD TO YOUR MOTHER!!!111!11! Hahahha. He's going to do Destiny's Child.

Warning to those who are new to the show: The second half totally blew last week. I'm hoping it's better this time.

I heard Night Ranger is going to be on next week. I swear, I will wet my pants if they are. SISTER CHRISTIAN!

The Knack is doing Jet. It's pretty damn awful. Someone get me some earplugs.

That Halloween guy, or Hallway or whatever just bored me so much I watched an ant crawl up the wall instead. Then I killed it.

WHAT THE HELL? Please tell me you are watching Tommy Tutone attempt All the Small Things. Some people should just stay has-beens, you know? You're in the cut-out bin for a reason. Oh man, I hope the guys from Blink 182 meet him one day and kick the shit out of him, just on principle. Hell, he should kick the shit out of himself for doing this in public.

Once again, the second half sucks, though I'm kind of digging the Ice man's interpretation of Destiny's Child.


I can take my codeine and pass out knowing all is right with the world.

all's well...

I'm as good as can be expected, perhaps even a bit better than I thought I'd be. The novacaine is fully wearing off now and I'm starting to feel the afte-pain a bit, but I'm not laying on the couch moaning that I'm dying like the last time.

In fact, I'm off to DJ's playoff game now. I hope to be back to more normal (meaning actual content) blogging tomorrow. And, I hope to finally be free of the mouth pain that has plauged me all these weeks. That would be sweet.

with(out) teeth: D-day

In about two hours I'll be sitting in the dentist office, getting ready to finally have this problem taken care of once and for all. I hope. Pulling the teeth won't cure the TMJ, but it will take away one component that was making the TMJ flare up. I never thought I would look forward to having teeth pulled, but the pain I have been for TWO STRAIGHT WEEKS has taken care of that. I'm hoping that I recover in time to get to DJ's playoff game tonight, and then by tomorrow I will finally be pain free. Oh, glorious day.

I'll most likely have nothing for you today, so I'll throw a few links and things at you now.

First, I'm just now getting a bunch of gmail from days and days ago. So if you sent me something and I haven't replied yet, that's probably why. Either that, or I hate you.

I've got a rather disturbing story up at 100 words, which I should probably apologize for.

And, I'm quoted in the Christian Science Monitor today, in a story about the state of radio (they called me in reference to this post).

And that's it. I'm off to see the denist.

June 08, 2005

shall we play a game?

First, daily reminder of 100 words.

Now onto the flickr reminder. But this one is different. It's a game, of sorts!

I made a set called A to Z. Your job is to go through the pictures, which are in order, and figure out what each picture represents, alphabetically.

asv's photos tagged with &quot;a to z&quot; More of asv's photos tagged with "a to z"

click and go play! (you have to use this link to get the whole set). Some are hard (me being obtuse, I guess), and some are obvious.

listomatic: little drummer boy

Happy birthday to Alex Van Halen.

In his honor, great rock drummers, in no particular order:

  • Keith Moon
  • Dave Grohl
  • Neil Peart
  • John Bonham
  • Bill Bruford
  • Mike Portnoy
  • Bill Ward
  • Ginger Baker
  • Dave Lombardo
  • And duh, yea. Mike Bordin

Add on, per usual.

Also, I'm not a big fan of drum solos (whenever I think drum solo, I think "Moby Dick....dick...dick..." and I promptly fall asleep) but I wouldn't be opposed to you listing your favorite solos in the comments.

quacking up

One more day until the teeth pulling commences, which means one more day of intermittent pain coupled with extended periods of foggy loopiness. Which means that by Friday, I should be back to giving you more content than than links to my pictures and random lists.

I'm offering up a repeat today, but it's not just a random repeat. Donald Duck's birthday has come around again and I thought you'd all like to be reminded about how much I hate cartoon animals who don't wear pants.

Happy Birthday Donald Duck, You Dirty Old Man

Yesterday marked Donald Duck's 70th birthday. How did I ever miss this incredible cultural milestone? How did I let the day go by without commemorating this stupendous event?

Oh, that's right. I hate Donald Duck.

I look at Donald in the same way some people look at Crispin Glover. There's just a wrongness about him that makes my skin crawl. I suppose, to be fair, I shouldn't blame it entirely on Donald himself. I feel the same way about any animated animal that doesn't wear pants.

Why bother wearing a shirt if you aren't going to put a decent pair of trousers on? Even shorts or a bathing suit would be better than letting your genital-less nether regions hang out like that. It's just wrong, I tell you. The fact that Daisy refuses to wear a skirt or pants either just makes it all the more horrible to look at.

Do you let your kids watch Donald Duck cartoons? You shouldn't. No one should have to stand for Disney's veiled attempt to pass partial cartoon nudity onto our children. Where are the warnings? Where is the PG rating?

It's not just the no pants thing that bothers me. Donald's whole personality, in a word, sucks. He's selfish, obnoxious and a really bad role model for his nephews. He's got a worse temper than Tommy Lasorda. I wonder just what goes on that we don't see with those nephews. Ten to one he's hit them more than once. Probably with a belt buckle or a shoe. He's also a stingy miser (much like his Uncle). This stuff is documented, people. I'm not making it up.

He is continually jealous of Mickey's good looks and luck with women. But no, nothing is ever Donald's fault. He just sits around and bitches about Mickey and Goofy and how easy they have it. Not once does he try to better himself or his life. Instead, he chooses to complain about how life isn't fair. The dude has a chip on his shoulder larger than, well, Chip. And that Daisy, she's just an enabler who continues to try to soothe Donald's frail ego every time he does something wrong. Hmm..I wonder what goes on with them behind closed doors? I'm willing to be the sex includes a lot of "I said turn over, bitch!" and such. She takes whatever he gives her, and what he doesn't give her, which is respect and proper attention. Dumb bitch. Eh, what can you expect from a chick that doesn't even have the decency to wear at least a thong in public? No wonder the girls today dress like they do! They've been raised watching pantless animals!

And what's wrong with Disney, expecting us to be entertained by Donald's long line of failures and defeat? I may not like the duck, but I would certainly back him up if he were to go to Eisner and claim exploitation.

It is my contention that Donald Duck is in serious need of some medication. Perhaps Zoloft or Prozac, something to help those mood swings and control his passive aggressiveness.

But what Donald really needs is a pair of pants. I keep looking for his duck dong; not because I want to see it but because it's pretty damn obvious that if Donald is wearing no pants, his thing is going to be swaying around. I suppose this is one for that scary group of folks known as furries to answer for me. Too bad I won't let myself get within ten feet of one of those folk. Do the folks at Disney think we're that stupid, that we are supposed to believe that ducks have no dicks? Then again, maybe that's why Donald is so angry all the time.

Well, happy birthday anyhow, Donald. You're 70 71 now. Calm the hell down, put on a pair of slacks and give Daisy some lovin'.

June 07, 2005

random camera phone picture: The pants command me!/one eyed willie

Thank you a million times to Fred for the Invader Zim house and DVD. It came with a GIR!!!

Zim: GIR, I have your tacos!
Gir: Gimme!
Zim: No, GIR.
Gir: But I neeeeeeed tacos! I need them or I will explode! That happens to me sometimes.

Most underrated cartoon EVER. I will save this DVD for when I get home from the tooth pulling on Thursday.

Right now we are watching Goonies. This is absolutely one of the greatest movies ever made and I almost forgot about it - the DVD was just gathering dust next in between G-Men from Hell and Highlander.

And then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.

Gotta love the classics.


"...PETA, member...adjusts the cellophane covering on the costume of demonstrator...The protest, in which three people placed themselves in containers resembling supermarket meat trays, was meant to compare eating meat with cannibalism. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Make your own caption. Or just ridicule them.

they're coming to take me away

First. My obligatory 100 words reminder. Interesting theme today, varied stories, click the ratings thing, roll your own. Also, my obligatory "look at my flickr pictures and maybe add me to your contacts and shit" reminder:

asv's photos More of asv's photos

Between the codeine, the anti inflammatory shit and the antibiotics, I'm loopier than Jessica Simpson after a bottle of vodka. Time to put the keyboard down.

But i just wanted to share this with you first:

Drawings by kids who have been abducted by aliens

Ok, show of hands. Who here has been abducted by aliens before?

When I was telling my mother about my sleep paralysis, I told her there was a website that said I was experiencing alien abduction. My mother said, "Oh, they're not abducting you. They're finally coming to take you back!" Haha. Funny lady.

Do you believe in aliens? If so, humanoid type aliens or little green men who talk funny and want to cook us for dinner kind of aliens?

Just curious.

listomatic: where all the women at?

I don't know if he was trying to prove a point or start an argument, but my husband opened up a whole can of nasty worms when he posed these questions to me yesterday:

Who is your favorite actress? Female comedian? Female singer?

Uhhh...I stammered a bit, thought about it and said I'd get back to him.

I think I'm a misogynist. Or sexist at the very least.

I came up with a blank on actresses. And every actress I did come up with came to mind solely because she's hot. There's just not a female actor that lights my fire - in a talent way - that some males do. For instance, I love Gary Oldman. I like his acting so much that I collect his movies, even the crappy ones. There is no female equivalent of that, no one I would make a collection for.

Don't even get me started on female comedians. I wrote about this once already and I'm not picking that argument up again.

Singers? Perhaps I can come up with a list for that category.

Female Singers I've Known and Loved (not intimately, of coursem though in some cases the thought crossed my mind)

  • Beth Gibbons (Portishead)
  • Ani DiFranco
  • PJ Harvey
  • Janis Joplin
  • Exene Cervenka (X)
  • Karyn Crisis
  • Sade
  • Petula Clark
  • Sarah McLachlan (Just on Surfacing and Fumbling Towards Ecstasy)
  • Kim Deal
  • Dusty Springfield
  • Niko Case
  • Lita Ford
  • Chrissie Hynde
  • Cherrie Currie
  • Debbie Harry
  • Joan Jett
  • Glady Knight
  • Billie Holiday
  • Pat Benatar
  • Theo (Lunachicks)
  • Patti Smith

Ok, I knew I could do it! I know I missed some, feel free to add.

I'm going to next try to make a list of actresses who may not be my favorite actors ever, but whose work I enjoyed in one film or another.

June 06, 2005

something wicked this way came

Well, it was just a storm that looked and sounded more ominous than it was. It was, however, enough to cancel tonight's playoff game.

I put myself in harm's way and stood amidst the lightning strikes to snap some photos.

You can see them at Flickr!

the vision of your happiness

On my way to Round 2 of DJ's baseball playoffs in a few (despite ominous thunderstorm/tornado warnings).

Something for you to read: Darth Vader, the Yourish interview.

And then there was that insufferable Yoda. The creature never learned how to speak Galactic properly; always mangling his sentences. You have no idea how boring it was to sit in a Jedi council meeting and listen to him drone on and on.

Just read the whole thing.

Something for you to listen to:

Two songs mentioned in my post yesterday mouring the loss of WCBS-FM:

The Penguins - Earth Angel

Five Satins - In the Still of the Night

I really implore you to download and listen to these songs. They're beautiful music. Thanks to the lovely and gracious Charles for the mp3s.

Now, send DJ and his team some mojojuju.

new additions

Today's recruits:

And the class of 2005, thus far:



I am my own worst enemy.

Satisfied that all my pain was related to the TMJ and I would get that taken care of by the dentist, I didn't go for my cat scan. Had I gone for the cat scan, I might have realized the the EXRUCIATING pain and general malaise I've been feeling for the last two days is because I have a raging infection on the right side of my head.

My dentist was none too pleased with me today. In fact, I think I heard her mutter "Darwin" under her breath after she told me if I let it go any longer I would have been in the hospital.

So we've got TMJ, an infected tooth that spread to other areas, including the area where an impacted wisdom tooth sits, which is now infected. I originally thought the TMJ was giving me a tootache. Au contraire - it was the tooth problems that caused the TMJ to flare up like it did.

Coincidentally, I had an appointment this week to have root canal done on the offending tooth. Instead, I'll be having that tooth yanked as well as the wisdom tooth. They're not doing it until Thursday, so I'm on a heavy course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory stuff and painkillers until then.

The best part is, I am now taking an unscheduled week of vacation from work. Yes. My vacation is going to be spent half in pain and half getting dental work done. And it's all my own fault.

I told my husband he should just put me in one of those senior centers now. They'll take care of me medically, even cut my hair and fix my eyeglasses and help me through the obvious loss of my mental faculties. I can get into a Friday night routine of knitting and Lawrence Welk if it means I won't cause any more harm to myself by being totally and completely negligent about my medical care. Hell, I'm 42 and I never even had a mammogram. I'm just not a doctor kind of person.

Anyhow, that's the latest medical update and more than you'll ever need to know about me. I apologize in advance for anything I write here while under the influence of codeine.

You may now get on with your lives which you put on hold while waiting for me to regale you with tales of dentistry.

and lo...

There was 100 words today, on the beginning of the world. Before you go over and read, an explanation (which I also left in the comments there):

I am strictly an evolutionist, but when someone sent me a link to the photo that is today's theme, I was immediately struck by how much it looked like what I imagined the creation of the world to look like when I was very young.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. God said, "Let there be light." And there was light!

That very specific moment, to be precise.

So today's story and photo is my eight year old view of what the start of humanity was like.

When I told this story to a friend, he said "so God ripped the sky a new asshole and it shit out two humans?"

Something like that.

[And don't forget while you are over there, to contribute your own 100 words]

Oh, and I have a new set up at Flickr.

The Official* Michael Jackson Speculation Survey/Poll

Why not engage in some celebrity speculation on a Monday morning?

And don't pretend like you don't care - you know you'll be in front of that tv like dumb bugs to insect zappers when the verdict is announced. Yea, I'm a dumb bug, too.

Questions to ponder/answer:

  • Guilty or not guilty?
  • If guilty, what's the likely scenario - He kills himself? He drops dead of a heart attack? Corey Feldman goes into seclusion? His fans riot, pillage and loot?
  • If not guilty, what's the likely scenario - he flees to Europe to start EuroNeverland? He shows up on the next installment of Surreal Life? OJ vows to look for the real molester? His fans invite him over for a pajama party?
  • How soon after the verdict is announced do all of MJ's recordings appear on the charts? Who will stage the first MJ Benefit Fund concert? How soon before the morning zoo parody songs start?

Anything else you can think of is fine. No limits on bad taste, low class, humor at the expense of others, etc.

I love the smell of wild speculation in the morning. Have at it. Make it serious if you want, or make Batboy proud.

Added: Who will play Michael and his cast of characters in the inevitable movie of the week?

*[by official, I mean official only in my eyes. this speculation survey is not endorsed by nor approved by the michael jackson camp. void in neverland]

June 05, 2005

Alphabet Tunes

Another day, another music meme.

I stole this one from Timmer. Put your iPod list or whatever music thing you use in alphabetical order, and list the first song for each letter.

A lot of my songs aren't tagged right and I certainly wasn't going to sit here and correctly tag 2,998 songs for this. So what came up, came up.

I also included numbers 0-9 and symbols.

  • #2121313 - Corrosion of Conformity
  • (-) Ions - Tool
  • 0-0 Where Evil Dwells - Fear Factory
  • 1,000 Year Internal War - Crowbar
  • 2-4-6-8- Motorway - Tom Robinson Band
  • 30 Seconds Til the End of the World - Pennywise
  • 4ー - Tool
  • 5 - Ultraspank
  • 6 to 8 - AFI
  • 7 Jam - Clutch
  • 867-5309- Tommy Tutone
  • 99 Luftballons - Nena
  • A Bit of Finger/Sleeping - Black Sabbath
  • B.B.K. - Korn
  • C.R.E.A.M. - Wu Tang Clan
  • D'Yer Maker - Led Zeppelin
  • Earth A.D. - Misfits
  • F - Mindless Self Indulgence
  • Galapogos - Smashing Pumpkins
  • H-K (Hunter Killer) - Fear Factory
  • I- Taproot
  • J - Mindless Self Indulgence
  • Kashmir - Led Zeppelin
  • L'Via L'Viaquez - The Mars Volta
  • M - Mindless Self Indulgence
  • N.F.B. (Dallabnikufesin) - Anthrax
  • O'Malley's Bar - Nick Cave
  • P.L.U.C.K. - System of a Down
  • Quadret Im Kreis - WIZO
  • Radio Cambodia - Glassjaw
  • Sackcloth and Ashes - Mr. T. Experience
  • T.V. Casualty - Misfits
  • Ugly in the Morning - Faith No More
  • Vacuum - Crowbar
  • Waiting for my Ruca - Sublime
  • X-99 - Limp
  • You'll Rebel to Anything - Mindless Self Indulgence
  • Z - Mindless Self Indulgence

Looks like MSI wins this thing.

one down

the handshake

Round 1 is done and DJ's team emerged victorious. It was definitely their best played game all season - for once their fielding, pitching and batting skills all showed up on the same day.

Back to the field tomorrow night for round 2, which will be a bit harder as the team they are facing crushed them twice this season.

Either way, I think this was the most enjoyable spring so far in all the years he's been playing. The coaches were great and the boys had fun. Even when they lost, they had fun. Even when the coach was riding them hard in practices (most of these boys, DJ included, will be trying out for the school team next year), they had fun. That's what I like to see.

And holy hell was it hot out today. Last week I was complaining that it felt like September, and today I'm complaining that it feels like June.


I've added a new set to my Flickr account. I'm telling you, this is addicting. And fun. And practical. Stop by, leave a comment. Though I'm sure you've seen most of these pictures before.

Headed out to the Little League field for Game 1 of DJ's playoffs. All forms of good luck are accepted.

an obituary for a radio station

I've "lost" radio stations before. WNEW moved away from the album cut format. WLIR stopped playing new wave. Q104 went from heavy metal to adult oriented rock. I've always bemoaned these losses, but never exactly mourned the loss of a station. Until now.

When I heard that WCBS FM had changed their format, I felt like someone had slapped me in the face. I hadn't listened to the station in a long time, but knowing it existed was like knowing there was a friendly face from the past still out there, smiling at you.

I grew up listening to CBS. I know the words to every doo-wop song. I remember the intro songs - Those oldies but goodies remind me of....WCBS FM. Don K. Reed. Norm N. Nite. The way it always sounded as if they were broadcasting from an echo chamber. My childhood memories are so intrinsically tied to music because there was always music playing in our house. And it was always CBS. Hearing the news of its demise, I felt like a small piece of my soul had been ripped from me. Dramatic, I know. But you have to understand what part this station played in my life.

When I hear the old doo-wop song "In the Still of the Night," I am in my parents backyard, about eight years old, wearing a yellow tank top and tan cotton shorts. It's early evening and my parents have company over. They are scattered around the yard, sipping exotic drinks with fancy stirrers and smoking long cigarettes. I can smell the sweetness of the drinks, the smoke from someone's cigar, the chlorine in the pool. There are fireflies flitting around the yard, and I'm running after them with another girl, the daughter of one of my parent's guests. She smells of coconut suntan lotion and the beach. The radio, a little am/fm portable with a bent antenna is tuned to WCBS. The DJ announces the next song. "And now, here's The Five Satins with In The Still of The Night."

shoo do- shooby doo shoo do- shooby doo

The girl and I stop chasing fireflies. We stare at the grownups. They are all singing along, the women and the men with their funny drinks and half-drunk voices and some men are singing louder than the others and some of the women are giggling.

In the still, still of the night I held you, held you tight

They are swaying and crooning and it's almost embarassing, yet something about it is giving me goosebumps. My mom and dad are holding each other and dancing, and a lot of the other couples have started dancing and the men are all singing to their wives. They sing off key, their voices full of beer. But it's oddly sweet and I stare at them for a minute before the girl I am playing with pokes me in the side and starts giggling.

It was always like this, and it was always CBS. The Sunday night doo-wop countdown was a ritual. Earth Angel would always be towards the top and I could count on my father walking into the room at the moment the song started, singing his heart out, knowing damn well that his voice sounded like that of a wounded animal's. My sisters and I would cover our ears, pretending to be offended, but we'd all start singing eventually.

As I got older and had my own radio tuned to the rock and roll of WNEW, I never tired of hearing CBS emanating from the kitchen or the backyard. I prided myself on knowing all those doo wop lyrics, all those early rock artists. Even now, walking into a store that had CBS on the stereo, to hear the call letters was the equivalent of comfort food; the warm, cozy feeling of your past reaching out to give you a squeeze. It made my heart and soul feel good and now it's gone. I never thought I'd be saddened over the loss of a radio station, especially one I rarely listened to anymore - I've been angry and pissed off and cynical every time a station I like changed formats, but I've never been so sad to see something go.

There was no warning. Nothing was said about imminent change. They just went straight into the Beastie Boys "Fight for Your Right" and like that, an historical place on the New York radio dial was gone. Dead. Murdered by corporate radio.

The new format is something called Jack (which I believe is owned by Infinity). They tout it as "playing what we want" but that's just so much bullshit. No one plays what they want on commercial radio anymore. It may sound like they're playing what they want because Beastie Boys will be followed by Pink and Def Leppard and Derek and the Dominoes, but it's all just a computerized playlist.

K-Rock switched to the same type of format, playing what they call an eclectic collection of rock, but what I call formulated pandering.

I understand that commercial radio stations are in deep shit, trying to compete with satellite and iPods. Every move like the CBS move is a business decision. When I lost WNEW, K-Rock, Q104 and WLIR, I was sad for each of them. But not like this.

An old friend has died. I may not have visited this friend as often I used to, but it was nice knowing it was out there if I ever needed to feel the comforting warmth of my childhood.

It's time to load some doo-wop and 50's rock and roll onto the iPod. Too bad I can't recreate that echoing DJ voice to play in between songs.

[Thanks to Al for the heads up email last night. You broke my heart, AL!]

June 04, 2005

well believe it now, motherfucker!

clickyclicky for biggie

I am not responsible for this. The husband is.

By the way, that's not a Photoshop. He drew that on an actual box of cereal. I nearly pissed my pants when I opened the closet today and saw that.

saturday game II: what is this? [updated with answer]

Answer to last game:

Melting marshmallows with red and orange food coloring. I guess you could say some of you got it.


I think I enjoy the purposefully wrong answers as much as correct guesses.

Answer below:


saturday game: what is this?


Guess what it is. Be specific.

[Answer is on the following post]

Flickr Fun

So I finally joined Flckr. I even got a pro account.

Now, tell me all the wonderful things I can do with it because I'm a bit overwhelmed. All you Flickr affficianados, I call on you to give me some tips on navigating around, organization, groups, etc.

Click below to get to my Flickr page.


This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from asv. Make you own badge here.

Scared into Submission: PSAs and School Safety Films

Crank directed me to this bizarre PSA called "And One Got Fat."

I remember a lot of those "educational" videos of the era; they all had the Leave it to Beaver type music and some ominous, yet giggle-inducing message (with the exception of this "stranger danger" film, which was shown in our school - the ending left us all horrified).

We saw a variety of PSAs and safety films back in the 70's, some on tv and some in the classroom. They ranged from hemophilia awareness (I'll never forget that kid with the kitchen knife), to drugs (the marijuana danger PSAs were unintentionally hilarious (I learned it from YOU, ok??, to stay in school messages, from instructions on using fallout shelters to the perils of driving.

Ah, yes. The driver's ed films. Gore, blood, scare tactics. Highway Safety Films Project/Mechanized Death! commemorates all of that and more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Do you remember any of the PSAs or safety films of your youth? No one but me seems to remember the hemophilia PSA, but there probably isn't a soul alive who doesn't have the "this is your brain" ad etched in their head forever.

June 03, 2005

TMJ = Thoroughly Mangled Jaw?

I barely had a chance to spit out all my symptoms before she pronounced "TMJ." She did check my ears to make sure there was no infection, and did the batter of things docs usually do, but she's satisfied that TMJ it is. As most of you know (given the amount of you that correctly diagnosed me), it's a chronic thing that doesn't really go away, but sometimes - like I have this week - you'll have intense flare ups. This coincides with the allergy season and times of stress, both of which make me grind/clench my teeth at night.

I have to go for some blood work and a cat scan next week just to play it safe and I'll have to go to my dentist to get fitted for a guard to wear at night to keep my from clenching (definitely more of a clencher than grinder).

The best news is she gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory/pain relief magical elixer pill. However, before I picked up the scrip, I stopped at the bank. While there, I had the most intense experience with pain I ever had in my life and that is no exaggeration. It was like someone was sending a million volts of electric shocks through my teeth and jaw. I saw stars and nearly puked from the pain. I've had terrible back pain before, I've had head injury pain, I've had labor pain, for crying out loud and nothing, none of it, compared to what I felt in the bank. And I couldn't exactly scream EPIDURAL NOW! at the teller window.

Anyhow, made it home, took the pill (which I was told not to cut up, but I did because I can't swallow pills - no swallowing jokes, please) and I swear, within fifteen minutes, the pain was gone. I just feel a dull pressure now that I can handle well enough.

So that's the update. Thanks to all who gave me a clue as to what was going on and/or wished me well. I'm confident the cat scan/blood work will come back normal (yea, yea as normal as possible for someone with my brain - see, I'm taking all your potential jokes away from you).

I'm happy I'm feeling better because we are going to a celebration of the 50th anniversary of my grammar school tonight and I'm really hoping my fifth grade teacher is there so I can finally, after all the years of harboring a smoldering rage toward him, kick him in the balls.

Bless you, super strength Naproxen, my new best friend.

[I had that damn wisdom tooth pulled for NOTHING!}

house of pain

I've been in pain for two days now and I'm starting to worry.

It's the same pain I had two months ago, which was first diagnosed as a sinus infection. After a round of antiobiotics didn't help, I saw my dentist, who said I had an impacted wisdom tooth that needed to be pulled and that would alleviate the pain. So I had the tooth pulled.

I felt the same general pain for a week or two after the extraction but thought that was normal.

Two days ago, the pain came back, in the same area. It extends from my ear down to my neck, though it varies as to where it's concentrated. Sometimes it feels like a toothache, but the pain moves from area to area so it can't be just a tooth causing it. I feel it inside my ear, in my neck muscles, in my gums and sometimes under my eye.

It is constant. I have been consuming massive quantities of Excedrin, Motrin, Clarinex, etc. Last night I took NyQuil just to try and get some sleep, but if I slept a full hour, that's a lot. It's starting to affect me mentally now. Do you have any idea what it is like to be in constant, unalleviated pain?

I'm going to the doctor today and I hope he doesn't blow me off and tell me to go see my dentist because I really don't think this is dental. I thought it was allergy/sinus related but I'm not sure. Also, my jaw makes this weird noise when I open and close my mouth - it sounds like crinkling paper, if that makes any sense.

Anyhow, I'm incredibly frustrated, irritated and entertaining thoughts of slitting my wrists because I can't take it any more. There has been NO relief from this pain for over 48 hours now.

Who knows, maybe one of you will read this and say "yes, that happened to me too, and you are NOT dying and you don't have some weird disease, it's just blah blah blah." I want a miracle cure. I want to pop a pill and have this gone because it is becoming debillitating.

So unless my doctor hands over that miracle today, I don't expect I'll be around much.

June 02, 2005

hit me baby...

one more time.

Are you watching this? Is it true that Air Supply is going to be on?? And the Knack??

This is AWESOME.


Wow, Arrested Development sounds good.


Thanks to Robyn for the pic of a very bloated Loverboy dude.

Ok, this show delved into suckitude real quick.

choose your own adventure

Pick a topic for me to write about tomorrow.

If not that, what's your favorite song right now?

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

Kidding. Sort of.

I think my allergies have rotted my brain.

Oh, and here's the daily mention of 100 words or Les Nessman. Go. Read. Write.

What's you favorite zombie movie?

Do you think Encylopedia Brown ever shagged Sally?

Apropos of Crank's comment, look at what I can do, from pure memory!

We've got a gorilla for sale
Magilla Gorilla for sale
Won't you try him
take him home and buy him
gorilla for sale
Don't you want a little gorilla you can call your own,
A gorilla who'll be with you when you're all alone?

[magilla: it's the magilla gorilla show. starring me and mr. peebles, and mushmouth and pumpkin puss]

take our advice
at any price
a gorilla like magilla
is mighty nice

magilla gorilla for saaaaaaaaaale

how much is that gorilla in the window?


i wasn't born with enough middle fingers

After driving to work with Marilyn Manson's Irresponsible Hate Anthem on repeat, I realize I need to find my happy place if I'm going to make it through this day.

Now where the FUCK is my happy place?

Update: I think I found it. I clocked out early, went home, put on my pjs and curled up on the couch with a blanket, a pillow and a fistful of Claritan.

Listomatic: apocalypse then

The best post-apocalyptic movies, in no specific order (and this is one where I am looking for good additions, I've been meaning to build this list for a while):

  • Mad Max
  • Escape from New York
  • 12 Monkeys
  • Road Warrior
  • Six String Samurai
  • Logan's Run
  • Dawn of the Dead
  • Akira
  • City of Lost Children
  • Soylent Green
  • Red Dawn
  • Death Race 2000
  • A Boy and His Dog
  • Night of the Comet


  • The Matrix
  • Maximum Overdrive (WE MADE YOU!!)
  • Fist of the North Star (as noted in the comments, the anime)
  • Planet of the Apes (duh, can't believe that wasn't first out of my brain)

Listed, but not recommended:

  • The Postman
  • Waterworld
  • Tank Girl
  • 28 Days Later
  • Reign of Fire

listomatic: Spacy!

Best space related movies that aren't Star Wars or Star Trek, in no particular order:

  • Event Horizon (It's an evil, evil movie but it's good)
  • Alien
  • October Sky
  • Fifth Element
  • Men in Black
  • Galaxy Quest
  • Armageddon (shut UP)
  • Forbidden Planet
  • Apollo 13
  • Enemy Mine
  • Starship Troopers
  • Independence Day
  • Close Encounters
  • ET
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
  • Brother From Another Planet
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Hangar 18
  • The Last Starfighter
  • Space Truckers
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  • Total Recall
  • Transformers, The Movie
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, The Movie
  • 2001
  • Killer Klowns From Outer Space (yes, really. I own the DVD and watch it often)

* Planet of the Apes (original only!)
* Blade Runner

I know I left some out and I'm sure you'll let me know which ones.

Update: We've already had the Starship Troopers discussion on this blog. I stand steadfast in my defense of the movie. No, it's not comparable to the book, but I loved it as a cheesy sci-fi flick.

June 01, 2005

quizzical: 70's

It's been a while since I've done a music quiz here and since this one appeared in my inbox today. I'll post it here and we can all answer together.

Topic: the 70's. This is good for some of you errr..older people who complain when I do too much 80's stuff. No artist appears twice. I do have a link to the answers, but I'm not looking. Please copy and paste the lyric/number when answering so we don't have to scroll up all the time. Also, try to take a look at which ones have been answered.

[Update: I screwed it up, but it's all better now]

Quiz below.

  1. "Think of me, babe whenever... some sweet talkin' girl comes along, singing a song."
  2. "I need a drink and a quick decision."
  3. "When I look back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all."
  4. "Some people choose the city, some others choose the good ol' family home"
  5. "My buddy's Jim Bass he's a working pumping gas and he makes $2.50 for an hour."
  6. "Something happened along the way and yesterday was all we had."
  7. "My woman takes me higher. My woman keeps me warm."
  8. "All of your brothers over in Africa tell all the folks in Egypt and Israel too."
  9. "I laughed at all of your jokes. My love you didn't need to coax."
  10. "If I could, baby I'd give you my world. How can I, when you won't take it from me?"
  11. "Underneath the covers, the answer lies."
  12. "Then my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toy."
  13. "I never knew there was so much love keeping me warm night and day."
  14. "My motto's always been 'When it's right, it's right', why wait until the middle of a cold, dark night?"
  15. "Now how could I ever refuse? I feel like I win when I lose!!"
  16. "Darling, you'll always be the only one for me -- heaven made you specially."
  17. "I'd rather be a fool with a broken heart than someone who's never had a part of you."
  18. "All that pressure got you down. Has your head spinning all around."
  19. "I want to make you understand I'm talking about a lifetime plan."
  20. "We got a thing goin' on."
  21. "I need you, by me, beside me to guide me."
  22. "I saw your face and that's the last I've seen of my heart."
  23. "Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear."
  24. "Baby, baby, I'll meet you -- same place, same time."
  25. "The cities and towns I've been in -- from Boston to Denver and every town in between."
  26. "The clothes she wears, her sexy ways, makes an old man wish for younger days."
  27. "Life ain't nothing but a funny, funny riddle!!!"
  28. "One floor below me, you don't even know me -- I love you."
  29. "Well, I guess it must be the woman in you who brings out the man in me."
  30. "I feel a change, something movin', I scream your name -- look what you've got me doin'!"
  31. "Then the door burst open wide, and my daddy stepped inside, and he kissed my mama's face�"
  32. "Well, I don't know why I came here tonight. I got the feeling that something ain't right."
  33. "Boy, oh boy have I got news for you!!"
  34. "My lover, my lady is the sea."
  35. "They want you as a new recruit!!!"
  36. "Too many broken hearts have fallen in the river. Too many lonely hearts have drifted off to sea."
  37. "I'd rather live in his world, than live without him in my world."
  38. "How's your life been going on? I've got a wife now, for years we've been going strong."
  39. "Conventionality belongs to yesterday."
  40. "Satisfaction came in a chain reaction."
  41. "�and you know what I mean, it's the season."
  42. "You knew there'd come a day when we would have to say 'Good Bye'."
  43. "Can it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time re-written every line?"
  44. "So I set my sights on Monday, and I got myself undressed."
  45. "Ain't no doubt, we are here to party!"
  46. "And what could ever lead you -- back here where we need you?"
  47. "Oh, baby! -- gimme one more chance -- to show you that I love you."
  48. "We've been together since way back when."
  49. "What does it matter to you? When you've got a job to do you've got to do it well."
  50. "The night is young -- and full of possibilities."
  51. "Oh, I'm not bragging on myself, baby -- but I know somehow, someday, someway�."
  52. "Try to take away my worries of today, and leave tomorrow behind."
  53. "You watch your friends, you better watch your friends, you better look out!!!"
  54. "And if one night, you hear crying from above -- it's 'cause�.."
  55. "I see my Mary Anne walking away."
  56. "It's not in the way you look or the things that you say that you do."
  57. "All of a sudden I began to change�I was on the dance floor acting strange."
  58. "When I first found out, I hurt all over. I felt so left out 'til I got to know her."
  59. "If you hear any noise, it ain't the boys."
  60. "I'm riding in your car�.you turn on the radio."
  61. "I think it was the 4th. Of July."
  62. "It turned cold and that's where it ends. So I told her, 'We'd still be friends.' "
  63. "They got little cars that go 'Beep!' 'Beep!' 'Beep'!"
  64. "You don't have to call nobody else. Send it off in a letter to yourself."
  65. "No pill's gonna cure my ill."
  66. "See her shake on the movie screen with Jimmy Dean�JAMES Dean."
  67. "You left me here on your way to paradise. You pulled the rug right out from under my life."
  68. "Who can make a sunrise? Sprinkle it with dew."
  69. "Well, I know it's kind of late. I hope I didn't wake you."
  70. "Everybody here is out of sight. They don't bark and they don't bite."
  71. "You might not ever get rich. But let me tell you it's better than digging a ditch!"
  72. "I really want to see you. I really want to be with you."
  73. "You don't know me, but I'm your brother. I was raised here in this living hell."
  74. "I close my eyes. Only for the moment�then the moment's gone."
  75. "And they were dancin' and singin' and movin' to the groovin'."
  76. "I tried hard to forget it�but I know my mind won't let it."
  77. "I love the way it makes me feel about you, baby. For the whole wide world to see."
  78. "I want to go where the people dance. I want some�action�I want to live!!!"
  79. "I kept on looking for a sign in the middle of the night."
  80. "All of the bad feelings have disappeared. Here is that rainbow I've been praying for."
  81. "I play the radio on southern stations 'cause southern belles are here at night."
  82. "This song is for you�filled with gratitude and love. God bless you!"
  83. "When I wanted you to share my life, I had no doubt in my mind."
  84. "So please believe me, my heart is in your hands. And I'll be missing you."
  85. "All you gotta do is smile and smile, and there go all my defenses."
  86. "I believe in miracles�since you came along."
  87. "Either way, it's OK, you wake up with yourself."
  88. "Only you can see me through�I leave it up to you."
  89. "I used to think that life was sweet. Used to think we were so complete."
  90. "I'll tell you once more, before I get off the floor."
  91. "You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it�I thank you all."
  92. "Shake it up, shake it down, move it in, move it around�"
  93. "Well, I heard Mr. Young sing about us. Well, I heard ol' Neil put her down."
  94. "You better take care if I find you've been creeping 'round my back stairs."
  95. "You gotta have something, if you want to be with me."
  96. "Feeling better, now that we're through. Feeling better 'cause I'm over you."
  97. "I hear you went up to Saratoga, and your horse naturally won."
  98. "When the sun goes down, I get that empty feeling again. How I wish to God that you were here!!!"
  99. "Am I strong enough to see it through? Go crazy is what I will do."
  100. "And I don't know if I'm being foolish. I don't know if I'm being wise."
  101. "So I'd like to know where you got the notion."
  102. "If you ever get annoyed, look at me, I'm self-employed. I love to work on nothing all day."
  103. "If there's a cure for this, I don't want it, I don't want it. If there's a remedy, I'll run from it, from it."
  104. "I feel the warmth of her hand in mine."
  105. "We could go walking through a windy park, take a drive along the beach�"
  106. "My father was a gambler down in Georgia. He wound up on the wrong end of a gun."
  107. "If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong. I am invincible."
  108. "It's alright, once you get past the pain, you'll learn to find love again."
  109. "I fix broken hearts, I know, but I truly can."
  110. "And when he died, all he left us was alone."
  111. "You put me high, upon a pedestal. So high that I could almost see eternity."
  112. "You know you've got to go through hell before you get to heaven."
  113. "Take my heart, my soul, my money. But don't leave me here drowning in my tears."
  114. "When I was young, I never needed anyone. Making love was just for fun, those days are gone."
  115. "Your friends with their fancy persuasions don't admit that it's part of the scene."
  116. "My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim�.I had to stop for the night."
  117. "All right now, go!! Walk out the door!!"
  118. "Take it easy, don't you know, that I have never been loved like this before."
  119. "There's one perfect fit and, sugar, this one is it."
  120. "Those kicks were fast as lightning. In fact, it was a little bit frightening."
  121. "If only you believe like I believe, baby�we'd get by."
  122. "If I fear I'm losing you, it's just no good."
  123. "I wanna hold you 'til I die, 'til we both break down and cry."
  124. "We'd hear it from the people of the town, they'd call us�"
  125. "Here's what we call our Golden Rule: 'Have faith in you and the things you do'."
  126. "Well if you want to know how I really feel: Keep the cameras rolling, get the action going."
  127. "Whatever will be, will be. The future is ours to see."
  128. "Darling, if you want me to love, love only you, then love only me."
  129. "Lord Almighty, I feel my temperature rising."
  130. "You're everything I've hoped for. You're everything I need."
  131. "Your love is my love and my love is your love. Our love is here to stay."
  132. "Oh, dear Lord!!! Three things I pray."
  133. "I'm afraid that I'm not sure of... a love there is no cure for."
  134. "But I swear it was in self-defense."
  135. "Letters I've written�never meaning to send."
  136. "I wonder how you're feeling. There's ringing in my ears."
  137. "It's been so long since I've seen her. I'm tired and so all alone."
  138. "And if you're wondering what this song is leading to�"
  139. "My Mazerotti does 185. I lost my license, now I don't drive."
  140. "I must've been through about a million girls. I love 'em and I leave 'em alone."
  141. "I never understood a single word he said, but I helped him drink his wine."
  142. "Love to hear percussion!!"
  143. "We're coming to your town, we'll help you party down."
  144. "Loving both of you is breaking all the rules."
  145. "If you're down and confused, and you don't remember who you're talking to."
  146. "I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who�taught her how to talk like that."
  147. "Now, teacher, don't you fill me up with your rules."
  148. "Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore."
  149. "Who's the cat that won't cop out when there's danger all about?"
  150. "Some silicone sister with a manager mister told me I got what it takes."
  151. "�there on the sand from July to the end of September."
  152. "Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words."
  153. "I always get it up for the touch of the younger kind."
  154. "You gotta love her�tease her�but most of all you've got to please her."
  155. "It's a fool's game�nothing but a fool's game. Standing in the cold rain."
  156. "Need you by my side, girl, to be my bride."
  157. "I know it's late. I know you're weary. I know your plans don't include me."
  158. "To make her happy doesn't take a lot. She don't ask for things - no diamond rings."
  159. "I can read your thoughts right now. Everyone from A to Z."
  160. "I think I could stay with you, for awhile, maybe longer if I do."
  161. "I don't mind you coming here�and wasting all my time."
  162. "My girl is Cindy, when we get married, we're gonna have a baby or two."
  163. "Never believe it's not so!!!"
  164. "Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow."
  165. "I will never�no, no, never�love again."
  166. "February made me shiver - with every paper I delivered."
  167. "Didn't I�didn't I�didn't I see you crying."
  168. "You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one."
  169. "There's nothing to it - just say you want to do it. Open up your arms - and let the loving start!!"
  170. "�.runnin' wild and lookin' pretty."
  171. "You can change your telephone number, and you can change your address, too."
  172. "I saw her head on to the table - with a tall, walking, big, black cat."
  173. "Just keep it inside, and learn how to hide your feelings."
  174. "If you're out on a date and you bring her home late, it's a sin."
  175. "You give me hope - to carry on."
  176. "What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys. See ya later can I have them, please?"
  177. "Wrapped in your arms is where I want to be."
  178. "�grow apple trees and honey bees and snow-white turtle doves."
  179. "I want you. I need you. But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you."
  180. "Aye, aye, aye, aye, I just can't wait. Aye, aye, aye, aye, I got a date!!!"
  181. "These little town blues�are melting away."
  182. "When you hold me in your arms so tight, you let me know everything's alright."
  183. "�again and again and when I ask you to explain, you say, you gotta be�"
  184. "You come on like a dream, peaches and cream, lips like strawberry wine."
  185. "On a morning from a Bogart movie, in a country where they turned back time."
  186. "Oh, they say, she died one winter - when there came a killing frost."
  187. "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby - stop beating 'round the bush."
  188. "Stay with me while we grow old and we will live each day in the springtime."
  189. "He takes a ladder, steals the stars from the sky, puts on Sinatra and starts to cry."
  190. "You are the sun, I am the moon, you are the words, I am the tune."
  191. "I got a color TV so I can see the Knicks play basketball."
  192. "Give me the beat, boy and free my soul."
  193. "Tonight I'm gonna break away, just you wait and see."
  194. "You left in the rain without closing the door. I didn't stand in your way."
  195. "And one thin dime won't even shine your shoes."
  196. "Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo."
  197. "They don't give a damn about any trumpet-playing band."
  198. "There ain't no good guy. There ain't no bad guy."
  199. "I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul 'cause I think I'm better than you."
  200. "When they said he was an only son, he thought he was the only one."
  201. "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi."
  202. "But, girl, don't they warn you. It pours -- MAN, it pours!!!
  203. "And I don't need no superstar, 'cause I'll accept you as you are."
  204. "How much does it cost? -- I'll buy it."
  205. "There's no exception to the rule."
  206. "They say you can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself."
  207. "When the lights go down, I'm holding you so tight. Gotcha in my arms and its paradise�"
  208. "So you think you're a romeo. Play a part in a picture show."
  209. "So play, play for me�a sad melody. So sad, that it makes everybody cry."
  210. "Good morning, America, how are you? Said 'Don't you know me, I'm your native son.'"
  211. "Are we in love? Or just friends? Is this my beginning�or is this the end?!"

random camera phone picture

I dug this baby out of the garage.


A plastic cup (in very bad condition) from 1980. Boba Fett, Bounty Hunter. There's a circle with a picture of Vader next to Fett that just says Darth Vader, but he doesn't get a title caption. Darth Vader, Bad Ass MoFo would have worked.

It's Officially Summer

Despite what the calendar says, summer has officially begun: the dueling stereo battle with my neighbors is now in full swing.

I'm starting off easy - I just countered their Kenny Loggins with Van Halen.

As soon as they break out the Loverboy, I'm bringing out the Imperial March. That will let them know I mean business.

Danger Zone

Books are not harmful. (Human Events Online list of the most harmful books written)

What's more harmful or dangerous is people who are afraid to let others read ideas that are opposed to theirs.

The list is full of the usual suspects. Everything you think will be there, is.

I'm not at all surprised that the Kinsey Report made the list. Everyone knows that sex, when not used for procreation and performed between a man and woman in the missionary position, is DANGEROUS! Sex leads to pleasure! Pleasure leads to the dark side!

Look at the runner ups. Silent Spring. Coming of Age in Samoa. Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Unsafe at Any Speed. I'm starting to understand Human Events Online's meaning of DANGEROUS.

But my favorite honorable mention is Origin of Species. Science is DANGEROUS! Evolution is scary!

Do not attempt to think for yourselves. Do not attempt to learn about views apart from your own. Do not attempt to see two sides of a story. Do not attempt understand how other people think. These things are EVIL. And any books about them are HARMFUL.

Books are not dangerous. People with narrow views who fear people learning about things outside that view are incredibly harmful.

/via Rox

scary monsters and super creeps

After all the talk about Stephen King yesterday, I decided to spend my summer catching up on the horror genre, which I abandoned a while ago.

There was a time when I read nothing but horror books - King started me on that path. I also wrote nothing but horror at the time. I have quite a few boxes of dusty piles of paper filled with gore, blood, monsters, otherwordly things and creepy humans. I may transcribe to the computer one day.

I'm looking for some good horror - scary, spine-tingling, don't-read-when-you're-alone books to get me through this season that I always save for cheap-thrill reading. It doesn't have to be great literature. And it doesn't have to be gore horror, Twilight Zone type stories will do as well. Creepy stories.

[Just keep in mind I am not a huge fan of Koontz.]

Cadillacs, Lincolns too, Mercurys and Subarus

First, as always, a reminder that a new day brings a new theme at 100 words. I'm mostly happy with my story today.

So, the time has come to say farewell to an old friend - my '92 Ford Explorer. While her engine is still in pretty good shape, she's falling apart on me in other ways. Both passenger doors are broken and can't be opened. The paint, for some odd reason, has peeled right off the hood of the car. There's something wrong with the ignition and I'm thisclose to getting my key stuck in there, I know it. The brakes started squealing again. As much as I love the old lug, I just can't justify putting any more money into her (hey, I think my father said that about my mother recently!). And now I'm in need of a new car. This is where you come in.

I won't be buying brand new - the budget barely allows me to squeeze in a payment for a used car. I'll be getting something fairly recent, though. The question is, do I want to remain an SUV owner or do I want to go back to driving a regular car? The idea of nifty gas mileage is mighty tempting, but I also love driving an SUV, and I love having so much room for our stuff.

So your job today is to convince me either way - staying with the SUV or getting a car. I'll take recommendations as to specific makes and models. Two things: I have no problem with buying a foreign car and I am seriously tempted to buy another Ford just to give a big fuck you to these guys.

Ok, do your best to convince me that what I want to drive is what you think I should drive.

Update: No offense to some of you, but I don't want anything that is, resembles, can be misconstrued of or looks like a mini-van or a station wagon.