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July 27, 2005

Waste my days [updated]

Taking some time off. I'll be headed to Roscoe, NY for a few days of rest, relaxation, family fun, fishing, lizard hunting, frog catching, picture taking, nature appreciating, star watching, hiking and peace in a no-internet zone. I've got five novels, two empty notebooks, my camera, some board games, a couple of bottles of wine, my husband, kids, parents, sisters, brothers in law and nephew to make the vacation complete. I can't even begin to tell you how much I need this.

Back around August 9th.

I've just added somefiction here and don't forget to check in/contribute to t 100 words every day.

Also, I will be missing the Blogathon this year, but Laurence will be participating again.
If you're feeling generous and altruistic, you can donate to Moody Mama's Light the Night Walk or Joelle's Rock Walk.

Vacation/random photos will be added here:


Update: Just to stave off the amount of email I've been getting on the subject, as I am leaving for vacation this evening and won't be answering mail until next week:

Yes, I received an offer from Pajamas Media, last week in fact. I turned it down for numerous reasons, the least of which being that the contract would call for me to be blogging much longer than I anticipate continuing to do so.

If I owe you an email, I will get back to you some time next week. I've been mostly away from the computer and, for the next five days or so, will be, blessedly, without an internet connection.

See you all next Tuesday or Wednesday, when I will bombard you with vacation pics.

It's The Bomb


This is why I will not bitch about anyone checking my bag when I get on the LIRR.

What is that? It's a nail bomb.

Shocking new images have emerged of unexploded bombs, some packed around with nails, which were found in a car left behind by the July 7 London bombers.


The presence of nailbombs graphically illustrates that the bombing cell wanted to inflict the maximum possible pain, injury and risk of death on innocent London commuters, security analysts say.

"You see what is bulging on the sides of the bottle are nails. Many, many nails," said Robert Ayers, a security expert who was shown the pictures by the American ABC News channel last night.

"And the nails are put there so that when the bomb goes off, the nails will tear tissue and kill people in the area. Bombs don't kill by concussion. Small bombs, they kill by the blast effects of fragments of glass or metal, and this is designed to kill people.

Anyone protesting the checking of bags can kiss my ass. Oh, there are prices I am not willing to pay to fight terrorism, but having my backpack looked through before I hop on the LIRR is not something I'm going to fight.

If you want to fight civil liberties battles, more power to you. There's a lot you can be doing. But keeping the police from making sure that no one getting on my train is carrying the item pictured above? I'm totally down with that.

Nostalgia v. Memory

The other day I mentioned the theme of nostalgia v. memory. I think I hit upon a perfect example of that yesterday.

It's amazing that, 42 years into this thing called life, I still haven't let myself give in to the fact that nothing stays the same forever. Not even forever. Nothing stays the same from year to year. Yet nostalgia makes me feel as if it should. Every November, I start longing for a White Christmas even though this means shoveling and driving in snow and just the extra burden of trying to prepare for the holidays in the middle of a winter storm, I still expect Christmas to be like it was when I was seven or ten or even twelve. Not just the weather, but the feelings and surroundings; that palpable excitement in the air, the anticipation of presents, the comradery of family, the smell of things baking and cooking all the time, the yards of wrapping paper and ribbon strewn from end to end of the house, the malls bustling with little kids wrapped in winter coats, waiting to see Santa.

Was Christmas ever like that? Or was it like that one year, or two and because I have such fond memories of it, that's the way I choose to believe Christmas really was? Nostalgia v. Memory. A bit of both, maybe, or just my mixed memories of the most perfect thing about each Christmas mixed together to make some Hallmark perfect holiday scene? And even if that's what I expect each year, I never really get it. And I'm ok with that. Each Christmas, each winter vacation has been wonderful on its own, and from each one, I take a memory here and a memory there and add it to my growing picture of what Christmas Perfect is like. Nostalgia, maybe, is a growing collage of everything wonderful.

And now, the same thing with summer. Every June I think: summer! Freedom! Bare feet Long nights chasing fireflies! But is it like that? I can't stand the heat. I don't even want to be outside to take the garbage out, let alone chase fireflies at night. We rarely stop the ice cream truck because we buy Good Humor assorted novelty ice cream in bulk at Costco. We just walk out to the freezer in the garage and take our pick. I don't swim. I hate getting wet, I hate the act of going into the pool, the water creeping up on me, my wet bathing suit clinging to me, kids splashing in my face and someone always trying to make me go underwater when I just don't want to. But the sound of someone jumping into a pool, the splash landing - if I close my eyes and listen to that, it's like someone is playing the feelgood hit of the summer in my head; maybe I'm in grade school and we're dancing to Sugar, Sugar on the front lawn, the grass tickling my bare feet as I twist and shout in my flower power bathing suit. Maybe it's later than that and Beach Baby is playing and I'm sunburned and hanging out with my friends on some random street corner, waiting for someone's older brother to show up with the firecrackers. Every June I anticipate reading in the backyard under the tree, the distant sound of kids chasing each other through yards, the smell of charcoal and hamburgers wafting through the neighborhood, the snap of a cold beer being opened, the smell right before a thunderstorm.

Again, it's nostalgia. My summer memories are not so idle, not so idyllic, but the nostalgic part of my memory has woven this tapestry of perfection, threads taken from every summer before, from our trips upstate, to the car rides to the beach, to the bells of the ice cream man, and I hang that tapestry in my head and think: that's what summer is, even though right now it's crying about the electric bill because the A/C is always running, and the lawn is brown from the heat and it's July and already my garage is filling up with back to school supplies.

Yesterday we were in Target, perusing the DVD section, when I spotted the box set for Wacky Races. A tingle of joy went through my as I grabbed for the box. I must have it! Penelope Pitstop! Dick Dastardly! And then I thought: Nostalgia v. Memory. Was this show really that good? Did I enjoy it enough to spend thirty dollars on it? Or was that tingle of joy more reminiscent of sitting in front of the tv on a Saturday morning, eating sugared cereal and watching cartoons for hours? I chastised myself. You can't replicate your childhood with a DVD box set, not even if you had a bowl of Quisp and superhero pajamas.

Nostalgia v. Memory is why so many bad movies appear on our list of favorites; who really thinks that Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is great stuff? Only someone who had a good time watching that movie. It's why I love Sister Christian and Don't Stop Believing, why I still read Archie comics, why I'll get giddy with excitement when I see an old school Asteroids coin-op in an arcade.

And as much as I try to replicate my perfect-in-my-mind childhood for my kids, I have to be reminded constantly my nostalgia is not their idea of a good time. They don't want to live through my personally woven tapestry of good times, and I can't say I blame them. Even though they will sit for an hour or so and play Atari games with me, I think they do it more for the laughs. They shrug at Flintstone reruns and their idea of building a great summertime memory is to spend the night at Dave and Buster's, inserting tokens into machines, killing zombies and whatnot. And that's fine. They have to build their own tapestries so, many years from now, they can be nostalgic for the things that made their childhood great, so they can make their own bit of idyllic perfection, creating a collage of best of, like a fading band putting together a greatest hits collection. Eventually, they'll sit in front of their own televisions in their own houses, watching DVDs of the early years of Power Rangers and realizing that nostalgia makes memories more colorful than they really might be, and there's nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all wrong with remembering all the good times in one package, even if that package cost me thirty dollars plus a box of Quisp.

I know what I'm doing Saturday morning.

July 26, 2005

leaving negativland

Ah yes, that's me. Miss Negativity. Miss I Hate Everything. Miss Bitch Bitch Bitch. Miss Blackened Aura.

Well this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. We're going to put on a happy face, surrender to the love that flows from the hearts of mankind, drink the milk of human kindness, buy the world a Coke and teach it to sing.

Put on your happy shoes kids, we're gonna dance.

Things that make me happy ("family, friends, laughter of small children, world peace and strolls on the beach at sunset notwithstanding):

  • Bugs Bunny in drag
  • the sound of a needle landing on a record
  • Mary Jane jokes
  • "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
  • "Cake or Death"
  • crushed ice
  • Guinness
  • Cassidy, Tulip and Preacher
  • a brand new black and white marble notebook
  • pictures of the northern lights
  • a shape shifting ball of meat
  • fairy tales
  • opening day
  • "Multipass"
  • "Angel Dust"
  • the strawberry shortcake sundae at Ruby Tuesday's
  • macro photographs
  • hockey
  • "burnination"
  • halloween
  • the smell of sharpies
  • rainy saturdays in summer
  • clouds
  • legend of zelda
  • movie trailers
  • Gary Oldman
  • Wikipedia on random
  • peanut butter sauce on ice cream
  • fart jokes
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • "the dude abides"
  • Matilda
  • Snapple apple pie
  • Penny Arcade
  • the opening crawl to any Star Wars movie
  • the color orange
  • sleep
  • the first snowfall of winter
  • Simpsons season 4

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

That should help with my black aura of death problem.

Marking the Calendar

November 1st.

link of the day

For parents of school age children, the most wonderful thing ever:


I just ordered two school "kits" for my kids - they contain all the basic supplies both my kids will need for the start of the school year. I'll have to spend very little time in Staples now, just getting teacher-specific supplies. Everything else will be delivered in two boxes to my house. All name brand stuff, at great prices, pre-packaged or you can make your own kit up.

There's no high school kit on the site, but I bought the 8th grade box for Nat because it has all the basics she would need, anyhow.

The little things in life make me happy. This is one of them. I just might avoid the angst and anger of back to school shopping this year.

Story time

The less sleep I get, the more I write. Weird how that works.

Today's theme over at 100 words is BAZAAR. I wrote several stories, each one ending up at way more than 100 words. So, back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, here's one of the stories I wrote that doesn't fit the word quota. Enjoy, or not. Keep in mind it's a first draft, unedited, written in twelve minutes story. Still, I think I'll keep it.

Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me

Henry passed the booth four, five, six times. He circled the bazaar, purchasing a glass bottle, pickled herring and anise seeds along the way. Each time he ended up in front of the red and white striped booth, staring at the wrinkly woman with the “Kisses, $1.00" sign around her neck.

There was nothing else in her booth. Just the chair she sat on and a bucket for dollars. The bucket was empty and Henry felt awful for the woman that no one wanted to kiss.

Something pulled Henry to the booth; something he could not resist. On his seventh time around, after purchasing a cap made of skunk fur and unable to hold any more purchases, he found himself back at the kissing booth, staring at the old woman and her crooked smile and sagging skin.

Henry fished a dollar coin from his pocket. He dropped it in the bucket and it clanked and clattered while Henry leaned down awkwardly to kiss the woman.

“No,” the woman whispered. “I kiss you.” She stood and Henry could hear her bones move against each other; her back cracked, her knees clicked, her body protested the movement, as if it had been years since the woman had used those muscles and bones. She moved her lips towards Henry’s cheek. The smell of rotting fruit and something long dead clung to her skin and Henry fought off the urge to twist his head; he must have this kiss, he thought. A dollar’s worth, anyhow.

He felt her cracked lips brush against his skin and he shuddered. She then grabbed Henry’s face, her hands pressed firm against his cheeks and ears, her grip surprisingly strong. As she moved in to kiss him full on the lips, Henry saw something small and white emerge from the woman’s mouth; the maggot crawled down her lip, stopping to suck on the flesh. Henry felt the day’s take of pickled herring churn in his stomach and rise up to his throat, he would surely throw up on the woman’s face if she didn’t move. He tried again to turn his head, but the woman’s hands were like steel. He couldn’t turn an inch either way.

Her lips met Henry’s and as he tried to scream, her tongue entered his mouth and Henry felt it slide across his own tongue, reaching down his throat, slithering its way through his body like a snake and then blackness as the bile and woman’s tongue met and made breathing difficult, if impossible.

If later that day you asked anyone who was searching the bazaar grounds for the missing young man named Henry about the old woman and the kissing booth, they would say no such thing existed.

And it doesn't. At least not for them.

The High Cost of LIving

I think the whole world's gone mad.
Uh-Uh. It's always been like this. You probably just don't get out enough.

Sexton and Death in Neil Gaiman's Death: High Cost of Living

Death is probably right. But in Sexton's defense, he has never seen the world before with Death as his guide.

Most of us go through life seeing the world only through our own eyes. This is what I see so this must be the way it is. Your only view of the world is your own interpretation of events and surroundings.

Sexton is one lucky guy. Sure, he's a despondent, black-souled, angst ridden teenager, just one crappy lyric short of being Kurt Cobain. But he gets the delicious treat of meeting Death, the perkiest otherwordly being this side of Katie Couric.

Death - spending her one day a year among the mortals - saves Sexton from a rather dubious exit from life and they make their way together through the city, going off on surreal adventures and playing out a modern, mystical version of It's a Wonderful Life.

So Sexton gets to see life through Death's eyes and it turns out that life is pretty magical. Pure irony there, being shown the wonders of life by Death herself, eh?

Imagine if you had a guide; someone who would spend a day walking through cities with you, showing you all the things you didn't know were there. It's not enough to take someone else's eyes and watch what they see, you have to have the mind behind those eyes as well.

Say there are two people laying on the grass, staring up at a cloud. One person sees a fish, another a castle in the same cloud. They can describe what they see so the other person recognizes it as well - see, there's the fish's eye, and the fin....oh, yes! I see it! - but the other person can't see what's behind the vision. Sure, it's just a fish, but in the other person's mind, the fish has already been given a name (Frida) and she's swimming towards something (sunlight) but the evil dark lord (the cloud behind it) is going to snatch up Frida and eat her for lunch before she can get anywhere near that sunlight.

You keep those things to yourself, mostly. Your friend who is laying on the grass with you won't get the real feeling of the story. He won't know why you chose the name Frida or why Frida will never make it to the sun and he certainly won't know that you will proably spend the rest of the day imaging scenarios between Frida and the dark lord.

Sexton, depressed, morose and suicidal as he is, is quite a lucky guy. He gets to see life through someone else's mind. He gets to experience the magic that Death experiences. And by doing that, he is able to see the world outside of his narrow view.

The problem is not that Sexton didn't get out enough; it's that he didn't get out of his own mind enough. Yes, the world has always been mad. It's always been crazy.

Perhaps we can say we do have these guides and they are books and music and all kinds of mass media that let us see into the minds of others, let us travel along their paths and experience their unique experiences.

Yes and no. It is not the same as actually running through the city with Death looking for an old woman's lost heart. Our guided tours are vicarious.

I assume that when Sexton realized he was hanging out with Death he had to figure they were perfectly matched companions. After all here he was, trying to kill himself. And there she was, Death personified.

Turns out they each had a little more life in them than Sexton realized.

Which all begs a question. Do we really want to see the world through the minds of others? It might be a very uncomfortable thing, to take a day's journey with someone quite unlike you. It might even be more uncomfortable to see the world through the mind of someone who thinks exactly like you do. And if we are our own guides, how many of us are really comfortable with that?

When I was a child, I had all kinds of daydreams where I would hang out with magical people and live within their magical lives. I'm a bit more grounded in reality now, but not much. I believe the one stark difference between then and now is I no longer wish to see the world laid bare as it really is. I thought, once upon a time, that it would be infinitely cool to have a magical companion who could show me everything that lies beneath the facade, every bit of myth and lore and fantasy that is hidden by the harsh realities of the world. I just knew that underneath all the dirt and grime and everday boringness of life, there were things happening that only those who possessed a certain magic could see. Things happening right underneath our feet, right in front of our eyes, but we are too wrapped up in the ordinary to see the extraordinary.

The fear is that mixed in with the angels and faeries and exciting, noble creatures of some other realm (where everyone eats chunks of cheese and hunks of bread and golden, crunchy apples, because that is what every hero in every fantasy book eats), there are creatures like devils and ogres and perhaps even grues, waiting to devour you.

I had a dream once, when I was about twelve, that I was being led through a dark passageway by a lighted, winged fairy. Along the walls of the passageway were drawings that would come to life as the fairy's light landed on them. At first, the passage was filled with the sound of my giddy laughter, as I watched all kinds of funny, mystical creatures take wing and fly around me. But as we rounded a corner, the light played upon a creature so hideous that the site of its face knocked the wind out of me. I fell to the ground and as I did so, I caught site of the creature. He was staring at me through hideous eyes. Now that you have seen me, I will never let you forget me, is what he said. And I didn't forget him, which is obvious as I repeat this dream to you now.

And that is my fear. That taking a ride through life through someone else's vision would reveal hideous ogres that should have been left unseen.

I suppose that one can't get to see the knights and good witches without seeing the trolls as well. What I would give to run through the city with Death as my companion, living Death's adventures. What I would give to be Sexton, to have someone shake me and say, look at all the things you didn't know existed.

Still, would I do that if a fleeting glance in a glass building revealed myself to be a monster?

Yes, you've seen this before. What can I say? The insomnia is KILLING me..

July 25, 2005

drinking the simpsons hatorade.

Revelation of the evening: Marge Simpson is a C U Next Tuesday. Seriously. She is a bitter, jealous, mean hag who belittles everything Homer does and then goes insane with jealousy when he does something right. The woman is never happy. All she does is bitch, bitch, bitch. She's a pretentious, righteous, holier-than-thou know-it-all.

No wonder Homer never really amounts to anything. What for? What's his incentive? So he can make more money and Marge will still bitch that it's not enough? So he can buy her nice things and she'll complain that they're not nice enough? Why would he try to improve himself when all his wife is going to is make fun of his efforts or ridicule him in the end?

It's not just Homer she's a bitch to. Why doesn't the whole town hate her? She's always preaching and carrying on about morals and what's right and wrong in the eyes of Marge, expecting everyone to live according to her standards and beliefs. Even when she tries to encourage her kids, she does little more than condescend to them or brush them off. She doesn't listen to their problems, their wants or nees, she just assumes that she knows exactly what they need or want without really hearing them out. And she's an awful parent to Maggie.

And my god, is that woman judgmental. And jealous. Did I mention jealous and petty? Good.

I hate Marge Simpson.


[the only thing I can say in defense of this post is that I clocked my sleep at one hour and forty three minutes last night. That's about average for the past three weeks. I am clearly not operating with full faculties here]

Update: I was watching an old episode, by the way. Not a new one.

Craziest Game Ever

I've got this thing for point and click games (one of the reasons I bought a C64 last year) - so when I found this game via Fark and I was midly pleased that I could point and click and fool around for a bit. Turns out it was much more complicated than I first realized. And weirder. And crazier.

You've got to click your way around. Experiment. Go back and forth. Choose options that seem crazy. And if all else fails, right click the flash and hit play.

[Note, there a few, split second NSFW scenes you may come upon]

There are a plethora of ways to "win" this game and even if you don't really win, you get to do some wild and wacky things:

  • I won by destroying the world AND finding a copy of Nintendo Castlevania, which is playable!
  • Became a shoe cobbler
  • Killed Shakespeare
  • Got eaten by a zombie
  • Had Hitler steal my time machine helmet
  • Destroyed capitalism
  • Won some corn bread
  • Was stalked through a good portion of the game by a hairy manticore
  • Erased earth
  • Went back in time to sleep with my mother (but didn't)
  • Joined the circus
  • Found the circus acrobat who shows me her boobies

Go and play, tell me what you find.

psas and links

1. Several people have asked where the photo on my new banner came from - it's mine.

2. There is a wonderful discussion about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and all the guesswork that goes with reading it here. Lots of spoilers plus things you won't know unless you've completed it.

3. Three blogs I've been reading a lot of:

News from me
Pop Culture Gadabout
Hooray for Captain Spaulding

4. Quote of the day: If anyone has doubts about my manliness, let them send me their wives and they will become convinced of my prowess for themselves

5. Generation Darwin

Feel free to add. I could certainly use some funny, light links today.

Oh yea, and I think Command Post has run its course. We might find some way to keep it alive, but for the most part, it's on the way out.

One Froggy, pantless evening

mjf.jpgThe WB has fired Michigan J. Frog as its spokes..thing.

I'm sure MJF will rebound quickly and find work elsewhere. I mean, a singing frog...they don't just turn up on your doorstep every day. Especially a singing frog in a top hat.

Which is what I really want to talk about, rather than Mr. Frog's employment problems.

See, I have a thing against cartoon animals that wear a piece of clothing (in this case, a hat) but no pants. It's got to be either all or nothing. Once you put one piece of clothing on, you become partially humanized, and that means your genitals should not be showing, or even hinted at showing. Or even showing the place where the genitals would go if non-adult cartoons had genitals. Not that you can see MJF's package, but you know it's there.

This is why I've always had a problem with both Donald Duck and Porky Pig, but not Bugs Bunny. Donald wears a ridiculous sailor suit, as if he's a five year old child getting ready for his annual photo shoot. Porky wears a jacket and tie, but no shirt or pants. Sometimes he even wears a cowboy getup - hat, bandana, vest - but still no pants. Mickey wears shorts. I appreciate the fact that Walt covered up the mouse's naughty bits. Yet Daisy the hobag walks around wearing a shirt and big ass bow, but no pants or skirt. Easy access for Donald, maybe? Wally Gator wears a freaking collar. A collar! WHY? (I understand Wally made an appearance on Harvey Birdman last night - don't tell me about, I won't watch it until later today). Magilla not only wore pants, but suspenders as well, so when he was chasing the little girl around like a crazy uncle, his shorts didn't fall down and reveal his monkey meat. I thank HB for that. Wile E. Coyote? Completely unclothed, like a good animal should be. And Bugs, too. He wears nothing, unless he dresses up during one of his escapades (baseball uniform, a skirt and high heels, etc.). Nothing is fine, because that says to me that he is a rabbit. Rabbits generally don't wear clothes. His nakedness is natural. But slap a hat or necktie on him and you've got to have pants.

Do you see what I'm saying here? If you give a cartoon animal a human trait, such as wearing chaps, YOU HAVE GOT TO COVER THEIR HOO-HAS AND WEENIES! Even if you can't see the private parts, you know they are there, hidden under the fur or reptile skin or whatever. Vest...hat....DICK! The cartoonists are stating the obvious by NOT stating the obvious. Why go halfway? Why dress a pig or a duck in half an outfit? It's only going to call attention the fact that the other half isn't dressed.

I'm giving way too much thought to cartoon animal genitals for a Monday morning.

Good luck with the job hunt, Michigan. I hope that when you do land on your webbed feet, it's at a place the demands proper attire. Like, pants.

More thoughts on the singing frog here.

July 24, 2005

Is it cool? is it cool?

Twas a family function day. Odd things, they are. You spend half your time laughing with people you hardly you see and the other half hiding from people you wish you didn't have to see. Or kiss.

Well, the wine was good. And free. Here's hoping I can stay awake until Family Guy goes on.

So, last week when I mentioned the Brothers Johnson's Strawberry Letter #22, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many of you are fellow lovers of that song. So here's a treat for you.

Download - Strawberry Letter.

And now, the Sunday evening "Here's what I'm listening to, what are YOU listening to right now?" thang.

random thought of the day

Am I the only person who loathes Desperate Housewives?

Maybe it's just me. I hated Sex and the City as well.

July 23, 2005

Short Review of "The Village"

Things I would have rather done with that 1:40:

  • Hit myself repeatedly on the head with a ball peen hammer
  • Watch 1:40 of Badger Badger Badger
  • Discussed foreign policy with the stray cats outside
  • Watched Gigli, Showgirls or Kazaam
  • Stabbed myself in the eyes with a spork until blind
  • Passed a kidney stone
  • Watch Fred Durst make his "O" face
  • Watched all five of R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet videos

M. Night Shyamalan is a hack. Sixth Sense wasn't even as good as people make it out to be. Unbreakable was almost good, but he fucked it up in the end. Signs was the biggest piece of crap ever (ooh the aliens can fly all the way the fuck to earth but they can't figure out how to open a door knob!). And now this. Explain to me why the word "genius" gets bandied about with his name, because I don't understand it. And you know, the movie would have been only twenty minutes long if the characters didn't all speak in slow fucking motion. Listening to the dialogue was like pulling friggin teeth.

Holy hell, this movie sucked ass. It was asscake with assfrosting eaten with an ass spoon. Ass. Ass. Ass.

Caption the Cute picture

This is the cutest picture I've seen in a long time. I love it.

Boy at Russian sand sculpture festival via fark]

Give it a caption.

what i learned this week

I spent a great portion of the week tracking news for Command Post. Here is what I learned:

  • FOX (the website) will often post the most alarming breaking news headlines, long before anyone else has them. Often times, the headline (and story that went with it, if any) will disappear with nary a mention of them again. FOX does not believe in erring on the side of caution. They'd rather get the sreeching, panicky news flash up and just make it disappear later if it proves wrong or false. However, I have to say that they have been first with the (real/true) breaking news most often.
  • CNN (again, website) doesn't seem to care. They are so slow with breaking news it's almost embarrassing. They had the Egypt story from last night as a breaking headline, with no link, about forty minutes after I had full details at Command Post (thanks to mostly foreign news sites). CNN is definitely more interested in celebrity love children and scandalous behavior in Aruba than real news.
  • What happened to Drudge? He blew it on ever breaking story this week. In the botched London attacks, he still had 200 point font headlines about the weather as his news flash a full HOUR after everyone else had the stories up. He was also slow with the initial London attacks. I suppose he's more of a sensationalist when it comes to breaking news. If it's got thousands of dead people, lots of blood, Hillary Clinton or Britney Spears, it will get the full Drudge treatment.
  • Sky News will find the most absurd quotes from witnesses to events and give them the full treatment. They are good with breaking news, but fall way behind when it comes to giving details. They'll have the same headline/story up for hours, while other sites have updated several times. Often times, the Sky stories are riddled with inaccuracies, hearsay and quotes from Sky personnel, which I think are probably made up.
  • My main source for finding quick, updated links and instant reports on breaking news has been, believe it or not - Fark. Not the front page, but Total Fark. I've seen news flashes on breaking events in there long before the main news sites have the stories, and the TFers themselves, spread out all over the world, have been an amazing source of information in the early stages of breaking events.
  • I learned that the blogosphere is more incestuous than I originally thought. Bloggers will link to each other saying "so and so is live blogging the event, tons of information" and there will be 15 trackbacks to 15 blogs that all have the SAME EXACT LINKS to Fox, CNN, BBC and each other. It's a circle jerk of news. I don't understand why someone would write about a breaking story, then tell you to go to another website for more info, when all that site has is the same links, including a link back to the blog you just came from. If you want to read the same paragraph about a breaking story twenty times, go right ahead. If not, you can come to Command Post.
  • I also learned that people care far less about 60 people dying in a terrorist attack in Egypt than a terrorist being shot in a subway in London. In fact, I learned that if it doesn't happen in the U.S. or England, it doesn't get much notice.
  • I should mention that MSNBC is a good source of breaking news. They may not get the four-alarm headlines up in the same amount of time as FOX, but their follow up coverage is always complete and detailed.

And that's what I learned this week, as far as covering news goes.

As for everything else, I didn't learn anything you didn't already know.

July 22, 2005

listomatic: And Where's Stile?

As I continue with the shoddy content (Headache From Hell, all freaking day), I give you: The Top Ten Web Fads of All Time

Their list (links at the link):

  • Hampsterdance
  • Mahir
  • All your base
  • Dancing Baby
  • Hot or Not
  • Friendster
  • Ellen Feiss
  • Star Wars Kid
  • Blogger
  • JibJab

I guess it depends on which part of the web you hang/hung out in if these fads mean anything to you. Of course, I have additions:

  • Stile Project (Oh come on, totally a FAD. Does anyone read him anymore?)
  • Fat Chicks in Party Hats
  • Tourist Guy
  • --- Ate My Balls
  • Flash Mobs
  • Bonsai Kitten
  • Tubgirl/goatse

I know you'll come up with your own.

QOD in lieu of content

Once again, the insomnia is kicking my ass and, as such, don't really expect much in the way of decent, thought provoking, illuminating, original content from me today. So, just like any other day, then.

Here's a QOD instead, one I've been discussing with others this morning.

Your biggest pet peeve(s). Discuss.

Choose The Blogging Adventure (a seemingly contuining series)

Another day, another morning busy over at Command Post, another cryptic dream about writing.

In this morning's dream I opened my Moveable Type and wrote in the title box:

Nostalgia v. Memory.

It's an interesting title for a blog post, no?

Ideas? Thoughts? Where would you go with that title?

July 21, 2005

random thought of the evening

The Venus Vibrance -


Do you think they meant it to double as a vibrator/dildo type thing? Was it a stroke of genius or the results of corporate people not realizing what kind of product they put out there (or what normal people think about when they see the words "soothing vibrations" in conjuction with a phallic shaped instrument?)

Just wondering.

QOD: Lame Ass Music

Kinda busy over at Command Post today, so I'm just gonna throw this one at you. I know we've done something similar before, but the time is always ripe for making fun of bad songs.

Limp Bizkit's "Nookie" named Lamest Song Ever.

Sounds good to me.

And your choice(s)?

Rockstar Games: Hot Coffee = Hot Water [UPDATED]

Someone emailed to ask my opinion on the whole Grand Theft Auto: SA thing (in which a hidden mini-game with explicit sexual content was found through a third party mod).

The "Hot Coffee" mod saw players taking their girlfriend home and then having sex with her in a mini-game that, while present on the game DVD, only came to light after a PC modification unlocked the code. The data was subsequently found to be resident on the PS2 and Xbox discs and could be unlocked on PS2 using Datel's Action Replay cheat-finder product.

Quick take; Rockstar Games is the worst thing to happen to the video game business. At first they denied they put the hidden content in, blaming it on hackers, but later it became apparent that wasn't the case.

This isn't just a matter of having to change a rating on a game - The ESRB wants the rating changed from M (mature, 17 and over) to A/O (Adults Only, meaning video game porn). And while you can argue until the cows come home that the ESRB, politicians and the media are overreacting because there are games with head-shot kills and incredible violence and they're worried about some characters in GTA humping, the long story short is, Rockstar Games fucked up. Not only does the rating have to be changed, meaning the game has to be pulled from shelves (Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and Best Buy are all pulling) and sent back, but a lot of stores aren't going to carry the newly rated version. I can see where some video game chains don't want to carry something labeled as porn (also, there are financial ramifications).

If the mod/mini game was a publicity stunt by RG, it's biting them in the ass BIG TIME. And it's giving a huge black eye to the gaming industry, which doesn't have a good eye to spare, really.

I do think politicians should stay out of the gaming business and let parents determine what their kids can and can't play. It's part and parcel of the nanny state of liberalism, coupled with the prurient state of conservatism, that leads to ratings and enforcement of those ratings via retailers. It shouldn't be up to Joe Lieberman or Gary the EB Games clerk what our children can purchase. That's a parenting decision that shouldn't be legislated.

And does anyone else think this is like changing the rating of a movie after everyone's already seen it? "Oh, I'm sorry. That movie should have been rated NC 17. Wipe your mind and come see it again!" The rating change is probably a futile answer to a complex problem.

Hilary Clinton: "There is no doubting the fact that the widespread availability of sexually explicit and graphically violent video games makes the challenge of parenting much harder.."

How? How does it make it harder? Don't give me that "takes a village" crap, either. The challenge of parenting includes boundaries, guidelines and oh, not buying things for your kids that you don't want them to have, not letting play those games in your house and monitoring what they do/watch/listen to at their friend's houses if that kind of thing worries you so much. It also involves teaching your kids that just people who die on tv or in video games...wait for it...don't die in real life! It's fake! And here's a challengve: Instead of being so shocked that your kid is robbing pixelated taxi drivers and humping cartoon hos that you run to Congress to enact a law to forbid it, you TAKE THE GAME AWAY FROM HIM. How hard is that? And if it offends you so much that he's playing at someone else's house, don't let him go there. It's as simple as saying NO, something a lot of parents these days have forgotten how to do.

But back to Rockstar Games: The fact that they denied this easter egg of a treat was their doing is wrong on their part. Maybe they thought that when the content was discovered (which they knew it would be) it would bring publicity (no such thing as bad publicity!) to their product, thus boosting any lagging sales. But what they didn't think about was how this would affect the stores that carry their products and the gaming industry as a whole.

I think the problem lies with the fact that the general consensus among the non-game playing public is still that video games are for kids, are something only children play. They see a game with violence or nudity and they gasp in unison as they imagine nine year old kids killing soldiers and watching Lara Croft's jiggling breasts. The people who are horrified over M rated games need to look at some stats and see who the biggest game players are. (see, also: Think of the Childrens)

And if Hilary is so upset that violent and sexual video games have "fallen into the hands of young people across the country" maybe she and her cronies should be addressing the parents of those young kids. Someone is buying the games, and they are being played in someone's house. Don't blame the industry, blame a lack of supervision, blame lenient parents, blame lazy parents who don't take the time to see what's entertaining their children.

Or, perhaps we can look at some of the parents and congratulate them for teaching their kids the difference between reality and some pixels on a screen.

Either way, Rockstar Games has fucked over their own industry with this fiasco.

Rockstar CEO Paul Eibeler: "We are deeply concerned that the publicity surrounding these unauthorized modifications has caused the game to be misrepresented to the public and has detracted from the creative merits of this award winning product."

Bullshit. You're sorry that it's going to cost you. Like this person says: They should have released two versions or deleted the mod - and NEVER called it a hack. And honestly, as much as I love video games and play my share of violent titles, I think GTA is BORING. With or without adult situations.

[Wrote this in a real hurry, will probably edit, clarify, proofread later. I meant for this to run about four sentences, tops.]

Update: I should mention that I don't think the rating system itself should be abandoned - it pretty much protects retailers against litigious parents who send their children off by themselves to the store with a wad of cash and then act horrified when they come home with something violent.

Also, Penny Arcade had something on this yesterday I wanted to link to, but their site is wonky this morning.

Much more at Somebody Bitchslap Rockstar


A Harry Potter Question/Discussion For Those Who Read


[And don't comment if you don't care, k?]

Do you think Harry's scar could be a horcrux?

Also, what do you make of Snape? Evil? Misguided? A good guy underneath it all?

(Feel free to discuss any other plot points, future plots, etc.)

July 20, 2005

random link of the day

I've linked to stuff on this site before, but I just want to say that YTMND is the greatest site EVAR!1!!

This is what the internet is all about kids.

No, that's not sarcasm. I truly love this site.

Update: Warning: THe front page contains Harry Potter spoilers, which I did not realize when I linked it, because I did so blindly. I apologize.

random camera phone picture: monkeying around

DJ and his friend Corey, Friendlys, Levittown, NY

he's dead and other stuff

First of all, stop with the emails asking why I'm not saying anything about Scotty dying. News flash: I LOATHE Star Trek. Have you EVER seen me write ANYTHING about Star Trek? No. So why would I go on about Scotty's death when I'm not even a fan of the show? I'm sure all the Trekkie bloggers are covering it just fine without my two cents. (And I'm actually more sad over this death)

Also, apropos of nothing, my daughter spent the day with Rachel Hunter yesterday.

Also, the theme for today's 100 words is JUDGE. I think I was kind of clever with my story. Add your own.

And I leave you with this (headed out until later this evening):

106 Ways To Tell If You Should Start Looking Into Retirement Funds and Cemetery Plots

[I might have made that title up, but I didn't make up the list, which came via email today]

1. You remember when Jordache jeans were cool.

2. In your fifth grade class picture you were wearing an Izod shirt with the collar up.

3. "The Brady Bunch Movie" brought back cool memories.

4. You ever rang someone's doorbell and said, "Landshark".

5. Three words: "Atari", "IntelliVision" and "Coleco". Sound familiar?

6. You remember the days when "safe sex" meant that your parents were gone for the weekend.

7. You took family trips BEFORE the invention of the mini van. You rode in the back of the station wagon and faced the cars behind you.

8. You've ever conversationally used the phrase "Jane, you ignorant slut."

9. You can place each one of the following names Bowser, Chachi, Horshak, Rerun, JJ, and Squiggy.

10. You watched HR Puffenstuff as a child but now that you're older, you really understand that it would have been much better had you known about drugs at the time.

11. You've recently horrified yourself by using any one of the following phrases: "When I was younger..."or "When I was your age..."or "You know, back when...".

12. "Schoolhouse Rock" played a HUGE part in how you actually learned the English language.

13. You're starting to view getting carded to buy alcohol as a GOOD thing.

14. You ever dressed to emulate a person you saw in either a Duran Duran, Madonna or Cyndi Lauper video.

15. The phrase "Where's the Beef?" still doubles you over with laughter.

16. You honestly remember when film critics raved that no movie could ever possibly get better special effects than those in the movie "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER".

17. Girls thought Sean Cassidy was dreamy and lusted after Ted, the ship's photographer, on "The Love Boat".

18. You freaked out when you found that you now fall into the "26 - 50" age category on most questionnaires.

19. Your hair, at some point in time in the 80's, became something which can only be described by the phrase "I was experimenting".

20. You've ever shopped at a Banana Republic or Benetton, but not in the last 5 years, okay?

21. You're doing absolutely nothing pertaining to your major.

22. You're starting to believe (now that it wouldn't affect YOU) that maybe having the kids go to school year-round wouldn't be such a bad idea after all.

23. U2 is too "popular" and "mainstream" for you now.

24. You ever used the phrase "kiss my grits" in conversation.

25. You ever remember trying to guess the episode of the Brady Bunch from the first scene.

26. You spent endless nights dreaming about being the Bionic Woman or Wonder Woman or the Six Million Dollar Man.

27. You had ringside seats for Luke and Laura's wedding on “General Hospital".

28. You know who shot J.R.

29. Your parents wanted you to attend medical school but you decided it was pointless since Quincy got all the babes anyway.

30. This rings a bell "...and my name is Charlie. They work for me."

31. You ever wanted to learn to play "Stairway To Heaven" on the guitar.

32. You were unsure if Diet Coke would ever catch on, after all, look at Tab.

33. You know all the words to the double album set of Grease.

34. You ever had a Dorothy Hamill haircut.

35. You sat with your friends on a Friday night and dialed 867-5309 just to see if Jenny would answer.

36. You owned a pair of rainbow suspenders just like Mork used to wear.

37. You bought a pair of Vaans and wanted to order a pizza in history class so you could be just like Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".

38. You owned a preppy handbook.

39. You were too young to go see the "Blue Lagoon" so you just had to settle for second hand reports.

40. You remember when there was only PG and R....none of this PG 13 crap.

41. You learned to swim about the same time "Jaws" came out and still carry the emotional scars to this day.

42. You remember when your cable TV box had the three rows of numbers and you had to move the selector switch accordingly.

43. You actually believed everything Leonard Nimoy told you on "In Search Of...".

44. The "ABC After School Special", "My Mom's Having A Baby", actually taught you stuff you didn't know.

45. Your jaw would ache by the time you finished those 'brick-size' packages of Bazooka gum.

46. There was nothing strange about Bert and Ernie living together.

47. Rotary dial telephones.

48. You actually believed that Mikey, famed for his Life Cereal commercials, died after eating a packet of "Pop Rocks" and drinking a Coke.

49. You searched all over for the jeans with glittery designs on the pockets.

50. Gloria Vanderbilt stretch jeans were the height of fashion.

51. You ever had the poster of Farrah Fawcet-Majors in the one piece swimsuit. Or had the Farrah Fawcet lunchbox or the Farrah binder or spiral notebook.

52. If the phrases "Na-nu Na-nu" or "Shazbatt!" mean anything to you.

53. If you ever secretly practiced your moon-walk.

54. You remember when MTV was new and they played "Video Killed The Radio Star" about a jillion times.

55. You ever thought Bonnie Tyler was a good singer.

56. You tried "Billy Beer".

57. You ever wanted a Ronco product or ever bought a K-Tel record.

58. You had to chew a red tablet after brushing your teeth to see how well you did.

59. If you know the words to Steve Martin's song "King Tut" or ever say......"Well, excuuuuuuuuussse ME!"....or "I'm a WILD and CRAZY GUY!"

60. If you ever "feathered" your hair and walked around with a big comb in your back pocket.

61. If you ever even considered owning "Mood Rings" or "Pet Rocks".

62. "Pacman", "Frogger" and "Centipede,” friendship pins, colored hairspray, Martian head bands and you can't get the word "like" out of your vocabulary.

63. This timeline appropriately describes actual events in your life:

A. "Star Wars" opens, you are just hitting the double digit ages and you think the creatures are WAY cool.

B. "The Empire Strikes Back" opens, you are now in early double digit ages and you are convinced that the special effects are much better, the characters are WAY cooler and you want one of every collectible out there.

C. "Return Of The Jedi" hits the theatres.....you are now a full-blown teenager and you cannot take your eyes off Princess Leia's breasts or Han Solo's butt.

64. The theme song to the "Greatest American Hero" still comes back to you on occasion...."Believe it or not I am walking on air, I never thought I could be so freeeee, Flying away on a wing and a prayer, Who could it be? Believe it or not, it's just me.”

65. You know what a "burnout" is.

66. You owned/operated a 'Trapper Keeper'

67. You know what "Psych" means.

68. Once, while spending hours in the arcade, you actually lined up quarters on the top panel of the game-to "reserve" your spot.

69. You know the profound meaning of "Wax on, Wax off".

70. You know that another name for a keyboard is a "Synthesizer."

71. You can name at least half of the members of the elite "Brat Pack."

72. You know who Tina Yothers is.

73. You wanted to be a Goonie.

74. You felt ashamed when Rob Lowe got in trouble for sex with minors and videotaping it, because you liked him.

75. You had top-of-the-line Commodore 64s in your junior high computer lab

76. You know who Max Headroom is.

77. You ever wore fluorescent or neon clothing.

78. You could breakdance, or wish you could.

79. You wanted to be The Hulk for Halloween.

80. Partying "like it's 1999" seemed SO far away.

81. You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye.

82. You wanted to be on Star Search.

83. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off.

84. You wore a banana clip at some point during your youth, or knew someone who did.

85. You owned a doll with 'Xavier Roberts' signed on its butt.

86. You knew what Willis was "talkin' 'bout".

87. You HAD to have your MTV

88. You hold a special place in your heart for "Back to the Future."

89. You know where to go if you "wanna go where everybody knows your name."

90. You thought Molly Ringwald was REALLY cool.

91. You actually thought "Dirty Dancing" was a REALLY good movie.

92. You heard of Garbage Pail Kids.

93. You knew "The Artist" when he was humbly called "Prince."

94. You actually saw Ted Danson as the MacDaddy he played "Sam" to be.

95. You remember when ATARI was a state of the art video game system.

96. You own(ed) any 'cassette singles.'

97. You were led to believe that in the year 2000 we'd all be living on the moon.

98. You remember and/or own any of the Care Bear Glass collection from Pizza Hut. Or any other stupid collection they came out with.

99. Poltergeist freaked you out.

100. You carried you lunch to school in a Gremlins or an ET lunchbox.

101. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the ONLY female Smurf.

102. You wore bike shorts underneath a short skirt and felt stylish.

103. You ever had a Swatch Watch.

104. You remember when Saturday Night Live was funny.

105. You had WonderWoman or Superman underoos.

106. You know what a "Whammee" is.

QOD: Inventive

Gerry Thomas, inventor of the TV dinner, dies at 83

Mmmmmm....baked apples.

In his honor, a QOD: What's the greatest UNSUNG invention of the past 50 years?

So I don't mean the internet or your Xbox. Something, much like the oft-lambasted and quit unheralded tv dinner, that doesn't get as much recognition as it should for it's worth to our lives.

[survey idea shamelessly stolen from Fark]

Listomatic: Role Models Gone Bad

Via Stacy, EW counts down the ten worst movie role models. Here's the full list:

10. Willy Wonka
9. Dewey Finn (School of Rock)
8. Fagin (Oliver!)
7. Gloria Swenson (Gloria)
6. Moses Pray (Paper Moon)
5. Coach Buttermaker (Bad News Bears)
4. Leon (Leon/The Professional)
3. Roger Swanson (Roger Dodger)
2. Hattie (Pretty Baby)
1. Willie (Bad Santa)

First of all - What the hell is Roger Dodger? Not only have I never seen it, I never even heard of it.

Anyhow, I can't complain too much about the list (especially the top choice), though there are some noteable absences.

But I'm going to leave that up to you.

An open letter to the youth of today
[CC'd to the entertainment industry and marketing geniuses everywhere]

Dear kids,

You know how every generation has a catchy name? Gen X, The Me Generation, The Pepsi Generation, whatever. You know what yours is going to be? Generation Repeat. Why, you ask? Because everything about your culture, with the exception of some emo songs, is stolen from us. And by "us" I mean people old enough to be your parents. People who actually are your parents (and it is with creative liberty that I refer to "generation" here as "anyone coming of age in the 80's, 90's or 00's.).

I know it's not your fault. You can't help it if the marketers and PR guys and TV heads put out entertainment and fashions that act as the call of the siren for you. You can't buy or like what's not out there and I'm sorry your choices are so limited, but I think it's up to you, the kids who are being spoon fed this regurgitated crap, to come up with your brand of cool.

We never stole from other decades. You didn't see us suddenly showing up for prom in flapper outfits or hanging out at the arcade with a pack of cigarettes rolled up our t-shirt sleeve. You even stole swing. Who the hell would think to repeat something like that? Blame Brian Setzer all you want, but you bought the records, you danced the dances.

Since the 80's ended, it's been nothing but pop culture on repeat. You had your bellbottoms and tie-dye shirts. A million tv shows dedicated to going down on the past like an old boyfriend you're trying to win back. That 70's Show. That 80's Show. We Love the 70's. We Love the 80's. We Love the 90s? Are we going to be nostalgic for the future next?

I take a walk through the local mall and it's like I've reverted back to 1976. I went through this once, why are you forcing me to do it again? The haircuts are straight out of my high school year book. The t-shirts are all Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. The girls are wearing Hukapoo shirts and tube tops, the boys constantly flitting the hair out of their eyes, looking for all the world like Matt Dillon in Over the Edge. Even your emo music and punk fashion isn't new. Hello? Is this Dashboard Confessional? Morrisey called, he wants his act back. And if you see Good Charlotte tell them Black Flag wants to kick their asses.

You're even stealing our movies. You tried out Rollerball and Planet of the Apes and when they failed, you went for the jugular. Bad News Bears. Longest Yard. Amityville Horror. That's our stuff. And your predilections for eating up anything that came from a culture 20 years ahead of yours is what's feeding the entertainment and marketing industries, it's what's making them hungry for more, more, more and that's why they are remaking Poseidon Adventure and that's why REO Speedwagon has reunited. That's right folks. It's your fault Poison is still touring. Stop buying into the whole "retro is cool" thing and they'll stop throwing our leftovers at you. But, no. I think you're content to listen to The Song Remains the Same as if you're the first one to hear it. I think you're content to wear those ridiculous handkerchief skirts as if it's a blazing new fashion. Oh, and while I have your attention: Jessica Simpson in Dukes of Hazzard? My god, what an abomination that is, and I've only seen the video.

To be fair, I can see why you want to rip us off. I mean, what do you have? Does your generation really want to be known for R. Kelly's five part Trapped in the Closet? Are you going to spend your 20 year reunion looking at pictures of a pregnant Britney Spears or reminiscing about Paris Hilton's sexcapades or cracking up at pictures of your old boyfriend sporting a Gotti Brothers headband? If this is all you've got, then it's no wonder those Def Leppard CDs are still flying off the shelf. It's no wonder you are buying Transformers toys and wearing vintage Journey t-shirts and playing vector-based Atari games on a $2,000 computer.

Maybe I should be happy. Perhaps I should even be proud that my son is obsessed with Zeppelin or my daughter has an affinity for John Hughes movies. Maybe her Hukapoo shirt and his Outsiders style hair cut are a testament to the fact that their parents' entertainment reigns far superior over what new products are available to them today.

Still, it's kind of sad. Years from now all of your pop culture memories will consist of either crappy horror movies and faux punk bands, or remakes of old movies, remasters of old CDs, re-issues of old video games and re-stylings of old fashions. We’ll be watching a marathon of I Love the 00's and at some point, we’ll realize that it’s just I Love the 70's, with some news footage edited in.

I’m afraid it’s too late to save your generation. But that doesn’t worry me as much as you think. After all, you’re doing us a favor. We can borrow your music. Save money by giving our kids old clothes we have stuffed in the attic. Kick your asses in video games. Laugh at your punk rock. Recite more lines from Airplane! than you. And make you insanely jealous by saying things like “Yea, I was at the first Lollapalooza.” Or “Oh geez, saw Zeppelin live six or seven times.” Or “I have an original Burger King Jedi glass. No, I didn’t buy it on eBay. I got it a Burger King the day it came out, babe. I was THERE.” What will you have to tell your kids? “That’s right, we were there for the Reunion of the Eagles Concert to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of the Farewell Eagles Concert!”

Go ahead, be Generation Repeat. It’s kind of working out for us, after all.

July 19, 2005

listomatic: SCOTUS rumors [updated]

We're down to this:

* Edith Bunker
* Weird Al
* Dick Cheney
* Bjork
* Eugene Volokh in a write-in vote

Place your bets.

Well, that's over. He went with Eric Roberts. Shitty actor, but probably doesn't want to steal your uterus.

/painkillers, as way of explanation

weather or not

I'm going to complain about the weather. I know, there's nothing I can do about it. But I can complain because complaining makes me feel a little better. And I do not want to hear from people saying "Oh, it's so much worse here, you don't know about crappy weather." This is MY complaint department, it's my turn in line and I'm going to take my time without listening to you interrupt my bitching about something I have no control over.

So it's hot. Ok, I can stand the heat. I have A/C in my house, in my car and at work. But the humidity. Oy. I can't take it. It's been like living in the middle of a tropical depression for a week now. You walk outside in the morning and you're immediately wearing a layer of swamp. You breathe in and your lungs fill with a murky mist that threatens to choke the life right out of you. Your clothes are damp. Everything is hot to the touch. The plants are wilting. No, they're dying. Wilting takes too much work. They just want to die. And bad enough that it's 96 degrees, but the suffocation index makes it feel like 106. You can't think, you can't function, you don't want to do anything but sit in the house, watch Christmas movies and pretend it's December.

Rain? We got that. Like seven inches of it in one hour. I could have swam home from work today. Had to stop twice because I couldn't see where I was going. And it can't just be rain, nope. We have cloud to ground lightning; bright, sparkly and damn scary. We've got thunderheads that could make the deaf go deaf all over again. And then the sun comes out. Everything dries up. Still hot, still sticky, but I haven't seen the sun in fucking days and I'm feeling glorious. I go to the dentist - have some painful work done that is going to wreak havoc on my sleep tonight - come out an hour later and the sky is like that suckass Vin Diesel movie. Pitch Black, that's it. I think I even see a monster cloud that looks like Vin. I try to make it home before the downpour starts again but everyone is driving like an asshole so I'm still a mile from my door/dock when the gods turn on the faucets full blast. These drops are HUGE. I have never seen raindrops that big. It's like Paul Bunyan is pissing on my car. Finally, I turn down my street/canal and I think yea, this would be a good time to be amphibious. But Aquaman, I'm not. I finally pull into my driveway, slosh across the front lawn, get in the house just in time to avoid the crack of lighting that I'm pretty sure landed two feet behind me. I think my hair frizzed. Or that could be the humidity. Oh look. It's that sun thing again.

Anyhow, weather's here. Wish you were beautiful.

Listomatic: Guilty Smiles


It just came up on the LaunchCast and made me smile, wide. It's not a great song by any stretch of the imagination. It just makes me smile for reasons that have nothing to do with the music or lyrics. That, and some people have begun to associate me with the song, which is cool. In a lame but cool way.

Other not-so-great songs that make me smile, sing, dance, whatnot for various reasons:

  • The Archies - Sugar, Sugar
  • Journey - Don't Stop Believing
  • Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead or Alive
  • Poison - Talk Dirty to Me
  • Ring ring ring ring BANANAPHONE!
  • Eddie Murphy - Party All the Time
  • Brothers Johnson - Strawberry Letter 23*
  • Air Supply - All Out of Love
  • Everclear - Santa Monica

*Lots of people think this is a terrible song. Personally, I think it's one of the greatest songs ever recorded.

on telling others how to live

Blogger Aaron took offense to my calling him a dick (rightfully so, I guess) because I took offense to his dropping in my comments just to tell me the score of the Sox/Yankees game. Though my "dick" comment is rooted in other things, we'll bypass that for now. Instead, I'd like to open a discussion on something Aaron said. First, a brief recollection of the exchange. Aaaron said:

It's a reasonable premise that there is some age after which it's pathetic to keep up with pop culture and today's sporting event. It'd be damned funny if headstones had hours of pop culture engraved on them so people could assess "what a waste of human potential".

To which I quickly replied: Everybody over 40, stop watching sports. Aaron says it's not cool!

Aaron followed with this:

It's about spending an irreplacable and untransferrable resource, one's time on earth, on something worthwhile.

Once you start considering seriously reading AARP literature in preparation for Social Security benefits, sports fanship should be limited to one's grandkids' Little and Pee Wee Leagues. Time taken for pro sports after then is at the expense of more deserving family and/or community. Observing pro sports absent the company of someone who shares your DNA after one reaches the age of 40 or so is hard to defend.

Yeah, you're free to do it, but if you knew your life was being videotaped and could be played for posterity, could you really make an argument that others follow your example of thousands of hours of remote-clicking couch time?

Such sanctimony!

First, let me say this to Aaron and anyone else who may feel this way:

Sports is a family affair. It's part of what we do together, part of what we enjoy as a family. From my 96 year old grandfather right down to my four year old nephew, we all love watching pro sports. We go to games together, as a family. We watch games together, as a family. We enjoy this time together, as a family.

Aaron assumes that all my pop-culture worshiping and sports watching is done alone, on the couch. That's a rather large - and erroneous - assumption.

...but if you knew your life was being videotaped and could be played for posterity

The videotape would show hours upon hours of family time. It would show us yes, watching tv together and going to movies and sporting events together. It would also show us at the beach, at family dinners, just hanging out in the backyard enjoying the weather, taking walks, at amusement parks, at school events and community events and having friends and family at the house. I'm proud of my life. I'm proud of what I have contributed to my community. I'm proud of who my children are and what my family represents. Just because you choose to raise your family outside the walls of television or sports doesn't mean that people who don't do it your way are any less worthy than you. To imply that someone is 'pathetic' because they don't subscribe to your lifestyle is vain, you get the picture.

Anyhow, I'd like to hear what you all think about Aaron's declaration that: Time taken for pro sports after then is at the expense of more deserving family and/or community. Observing pro sports absent the company of someone who shares your DNA after one reaches the age of 40 or so is hard to defend.


At long last. Oh, it probably won't be this way long. I'm hopeful, but not delusional. I just want to use the image while I can.

July 18, 2005

random camera phone picture

Shop and Stop walk-in beer fridge, East Meadow, NY

I had no idea they still made the stuff. Everything bad that happened to me between the years of 1976 and 1980 - whether I have recollections of it or not - had something to do with Boones Farm wine.

Liny linky linky

Jim Treacher landed himself a nice gig blogging for the movie Blowing Smoke. You can read his first entry here.

As usual, we invite you to contribute to the day's theme at 100 Words.

Bitter, bitchy and envious is no way to go through life. Especially if you decide to wear those badges of dishon0r in your NYT article. See rebuttal here. [via MeFi]

New blog discovery: Scott-O-Rama

New and interesting reading over at The VN/VO. Don't miss this one.

Thor rolls a joint.

More if I think of them. Link 'em if you got 'em.

random thought of the day

Why has no one yet invented a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet?

If I weren't an atheist, this would be my nightly prayer:


Questions for Assholes

Just what the hell is your damage with grownups reading Harry Potter anyhow? Just because you are so stuck in the mud of adulthood that you have no desire to visit the wonders of magic, childhood and fantasy again doesn't mean you have to be a jackass about it to those of us who aren't as stone faced as you.

And you, the one who thinks NO ONE should read Potter books because they're rubbish or whatnot, why do you feel the need to try and crush someone's enjoyment just because it's not something you like? Oh, excuuuuuse meeeeeeee, Mr. Superior Intellect, Judgment, Taste and Culture. I forgot how much better a person you are than I. I bow to your refined nature. Jackass.

I started to write a novel lenght thing on why some adults like to read these books and why some adults like to behave like children and sneer at anyone who reads the books, but decided to just go with this instead, because it eats up less of my valuable time that could be spent READING HARRY POTTER.

And what is with people going into internet forums and blurting out the key plot twists in the book? Holy hell. You people deserve to be beaten severely, not for spoiling the ending, but just for being really shitty human beings.

Tolerance level for people in general is at DEFCON 1.


Inspired by a website devoted to people's favorite words.

I was surprised to find that my own personal word preference - cacophony - was already entered.

Other favorites of mine:


What's your favorite word? Why?

i had a dream last night

And in the dream, I was writing a novel, the first line of which was this:

The noise of my air conditioner going at full blast all evening completely drowned out the sounds of the world falling apart, so I was caught completely unaware this morning.

During the dream, it was gloomy and rainy outside and planes were flying very low over my house. That was the extent of the entire dream. Me, at a typewriter (yes, a real typewriter!), pouding out that sentence, with one-fingered typing.

I wrote it down as soon as I woke up.

Hmmmm. Should I go with it? Follow my dream, so to speak?

July 17, 2005

very quick (and gushy) review of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

Tim Burton = GENIUS
Danny Elfman = Brilliant
Johnny Depp = Weirdly fascinating

I loved this movie. LOVED it. Burton's touch on this story is nothing short of amazing. The scenery - unbelievable. Wow. The music, the dialogue, eerything is just great. Depp's Michael Jackson affectations are little creepy at some points, but overall, I love the job he did with Wonka.

And I can't help it, but no matter what movie Helena Bonham Carter is in, I see her as Marla Singer. Which was weird here, to say the least.

My favorite scene is when the oompa loompas come out after the squirrel incident. Reminded me of Tommy (the movie).
Anyhow, amazing movie. I truly loved it. The script is perfect. Everything is perfect. Will see again.

Saw the preview for Corpse Bride. I must see this movie. I want to have Tim Burton's babies.

I almost forgot. Deep Roy, who plays all the oompa loompas, deserves some kind of award for his performance. He was brilliant.

halfway point meanderings on harry potter

The book, thus far, has only served to further my insistence that the character of Harry Potter is, as they say, a prig. Or a wanker. Or a jerk. Whichever pleases you. I just don't like him. Never have.

Also, the quality of writing has seriously diminished. Granted, it wasn't high literature to begin with, but I think this book is missing some of the breathless descrpitions that made the earlier books so delightful.

And the Young Wizards in Love sublot is dreadful. Some of the passages read like Degrassi Junior High, with wands.

There is plenty to like about the book, but I don't want to give anything away, so we'll leave that for a full review later on.

That said, I'm thoroughly enjoying the read. Escapism is a wonderful thing. I'll have more on that tomorrow when I post something I'll call In Defense of Adults Reading Harry Potter (and other children's books).

Speaking of adults acting like children, we're off to see Willy Wonka.

Today's Special: Weeners

July is National Hot Dog Month.

You learn something new every day at ASV.

In honor of the plump, juicy weeners, some links:

Hot Dog Soup
Hot Dog Fondue
The Octodog
Hot Dog on a stick
Nordic Hot Dog guide
Watch me eat a hot dog! (no, not me)
What are hot dogs made from?

Not only is it Hot Dog month, but today happens to mark the third anniversary of my hot dog poem. Which I shall recite for you now, hand over heart, smell of mustard in the air.

ode to a hotdog

i think that i shall never eat
a substance more devoid of meat
than the hot dog i ate last night
but damn, i did eat every bite.
and when i was done i ate another
so did my sister and my mother
i would have gone for three or four
if there had been any more.

hot dogs are the food of gods
despite the arteries they clog
in the oven, on the grill
floating in a watery swill
mustard (yellow), saurkraut
that's what summer's all about
pile them high upon the plates
don't talk to me about nitrates

no turkey, tofu, chicken filler
real meat hot dogs are what's killer
so please don't call me a big ol' meanie
when i won't share my all-beef weenie.

One of my finer moments.

Happy Weenies!

July 16, 2005

the mystery that is the yankees season

WHY?? JesusHmaryandjoseph WHY??

I give up. Really, I just give up.

Update: Apologies to Al Leiter.

For now.


Like millions of other people, I am reading the new Harry Potter book.

Wanna make something of it?

I'll return when I'm done.

I just bet Allah that I can finish the book by 8pm tonight.

Suburbia: Tales of Affliction
Chapter VIII
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

[Previous chapters here: as noted before, these are non-sequential chapters which will tie together eventually with a story line. I'm sure a lot of you recognize some of these stories. I guess I'm fictionalizing parts of my glory days for the book.]

It’s 1978, beginning of junior year. That’s when we start to feel frisky. We’re not seniors, but we’re not “the kids” either. Seniors treat us a different attitude. Instead of making us their slaves or ridiculing our fashion sense, they take us under their wings. It gives us all a sense of power, a feeling of righteous smugness, like the world is ours and all we have to do is make a grab for it. Very often, our idea of “grabbing for it” consists of hanging out. That’s it. Just...hanging out. The school lawn. The abandoned house next to the school. The sump. The park. The mall. Oh yes, there is nothing that smacks of suburbia as much as hanging out at the mall does. Roaming the aisles in packs, we have no money to spend and no specific place to be. We are the mall security’s worst nightmare; kids pumped up on a combination of sugared cereal, 7-11 coffee and Saturday afternoon adrenaline. The rent-a-cops keep a close eye on us as we parade up and down the promenade, giggling in front of Frederick’s of Hollywood, drooling in front of Record World. The security guys react to us like we’re there to wreck the place. We’re teenagers, not marauding zombies. But you would never know it from the look of those chubby men in uniform. I think they’re scared of us. The funny thing is, we never caused any trouble. No fights, no shoplifting, no vandalism. We just...hang.

Today, there's me, Kevin, Paul and Tim, as always. We go nowhere without each other, we make no convoluted plots to take over the world without all of us present. We move like stealth bombers in the night, all army jackets and dirty jeans and Genesis t shirts. We are the cutting edge of a white-bred community, which really isn't saying much, but we think we are the coolest people on the face of the earth. We listen to prog rock and punk rock and never pop rock or disco or, rock gods forbid, Journey or Bruce Springsteen. We think guitar solos are passe but drum solos rock the house. We think Peter Gabriel is a genius and bands like Styx and Fleetwood Mac need to be silenced. We secretly listen to Van Halen but no one tells the other until years later, when we can admire David Lee Roth from the safe distance of many years.

When we’re not marauding through the mall like zombies, we hang out in Kevin's room with the black lights and Emerson Lake & Palmer posters, or we hang out in Paul's garage, with the drum set and the Ramones "Road to Ruin" playing over and over. But every Saturday, we get on a bus to the mall. We are drawn there, because Record World owns us. It is the only reason to get on public transportation. It is the only reason to beg someone's older brother for a ride: to buy records and look through the stacks of vinyl and pray that you will find some obscure punk rock album in the cut-out bin for 99 cents, and all you can find is Heart and Blue Oyster Cult, and a 45 of Nazareth's "Love Hurts" that you play 50 times in the next three days.

We decide to that today we’ll pool our money together to buy an album, and we’ll still have enough left over to ask Kevin's brother to buy us quarts of beer when we get home. Perfect day.

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

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

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

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

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

We must do this. In the name of good music. In the name of Robert Plant and Joey Ramone.

Five minutes til Leo.

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

Leo is escorted on to the wooden plank stage by his manager and two mall security guards. The women swoon. The music cues, ready for Leo’s lyp-synching machinations. We run in four opposite directions. Within thirty seconds we have done it. We have unplugged all of Leo's speakers. The music stops. Leo is just about to "sing" the first words into the mic and everything goes dead. He's mouthing words to dead air. Silence.

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

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

We get home, tell Kevin's brother about our exploits and he buys us beer and let's us drink it in his room. This is the big time. The older brother's secret sanctuary. He holds up his quart of piss warm Miller and toasts to us. "To rock and roll!"

July 15, 2005


Yes, I know the score of the game, thank you for inquiring.


friday ramblings

So that "check it out, I'm like a buzzbomb" thing has been in place for longer than any other tagline I've had, ever.

Suggest a new one.

Also, I'll be on vacation from August 3rd through August 8th. I'm looking for someone famous to take over the blog for those days. Are any of you famous? Semi-famous? Know someone famous who wants to blog? Should I ask Pauly Shore?

Ok, nevermind.

Suburbia: Tales of Affliction, Chapter VII
You Would Even Say it Glows

[Previous chapters here: as noted before, these are non-sequential chapters which will tie together eventually with a story line. Also, I'm looking for a new name for the book. Suggestions welcome.]
In my mother’s attic, I find a battered box; strands of Christmas bulbs snake from its opening. The flashlight beam bounces against the box and the lights glitter like new snow under moonlight. I feel wintery all of a sudden, that magical kind of wintery, where the whole season exists in snow globe of Christmas and snow.

I pull a few lights from the box. They are at least thirty years old and some of the bulbs are cracked and faded. The bulbs are huge, by today’s standards. My mother’s street is already alight for the season, each house strung with carefully placed, tiny white lights that hang like strings of icicles from eaves and gutters. It’s supposed to pretty. Charming. Quaint. But Christmas is none of those things. Christmas is merry, joyous, loud and fun. Christmas is colorful. I think back thirty years or so and I remember stomping through snow as we walked the neighborhood, the red, green and blue lights that adorned the homes on our street giving off a glow of excitement. The neighborhood was lit up like a Lite-Brite board and just being part of that, just walking around and bathing in the color made you feel it in your heart, in your stomach even, the whole anxiousness of waiting for Christmas morning, the butterflies in your stomach as you wondered if this would be the year you got the stereo system, the glorious feeling of being free from school and homework and how we owned those winter streets, filling them with the sounds of snowball fights and skitching and off-key Christmas carols. And it was all because of the colored lights; they gave the night the right atmosphere, the one where winter and Christmas held such possibility. Now? I look out the small attic window and see those white lights from one end of the street to the other and it looks like an airport runway. I want to go from house to house handing out colored bulbs, shouting like some deranged elf hell-bent on making the proper arrangements for Santa or...or what? I imagine a child answering the door and there I am in a Santa cap, holding a basket of colored, huge bulbs and I’m untangling wires, spitting my words out at the poor kid who just wants to slam the door in my face, but I stick my foot in the door and scream: Santa’s not going to come down your chimney, little boy. You know why? BECAUSE YOU HAVE WHITE LIGHTS ON YOUR HOUSE!

In my perfect Christmas world, everyone would have oversized, electricity-sucking colored bulbs on their houses. Red, blue, green and yellow. It would be snowing all the time; fluffy, soft snow that piles on the lawn and fences, creating a picturesque scene that is worthy of a Norman Rockwell painting. The glow of the colored bulbs would reflect off the snow, giving the entire street the effect of being bathed in wide swatches of color. We would all don our rubber boots and hooded parkas and trudge through the streets, our feet making crunching sounds as they packed down the foot or more of snow with each step. And that would be the only sound you hear for a while - no trucks or cars or snowblowers, just the crunch, crunch, crunching of snow underfoot and the occasional giggle of a small child who captures a snowflake on his tongue. Later, you would be able to hear the soft, off key voices of those children as they went door to door, serenading the neighbors with Christmas carols in exchange for mugs of hot chocolate, held in hands covered with snow crusted woolen mittens.

And then all the kids would go home to their respective houses and put on their feetie pajamas and sit around the fireplace while their parents read Christmas stories to them.

I’ve watched too many movies. Or Leave it to Beaver episodes. But I can’t say we didn’t try to have that picture-perfect Christmas season.


We intend our forays into Christmas caroling to be idyllic, in an innocent, 1950's kind of way. We have good intentions. We have the parkas and the rubber boots and the off key voices. We just don’t have the right amount of Wally and the Beaver in us to pull it off correctly.

Our trudge through the neighborhood is not quiet at all. We’re like a pack of rabid dogs who turned on each other. Lori wants to stand in front all the time because she thinks - mistakenly - that she has a beautiful singing voice. She’s the only one who can’t hear that her whispery vocal stylings sound more like helium escaping from a balloon than Roberta Flack (Lori's rendition of Killing Me Softly is to die for. Literally). So Lori runs up ahead of us, trying to gain the coveted spot of bell-ringer and first soprano. The boys pelt her with snowballs and Lori ends up face down in a foot of snow, crying that we’re just jealous of her. And thus another night of our bizzaro world Norman Rockwell Christmas portrait begins.

Our intention is to hit at least five houses tonight. We know our neighbors aren’t that keen on carolers and instead of making us hot chocolate, they’re just going to hand each of us a quarter - probably mid song - and give us a faint smile as they close the door on our efforts. Which is all we want. A few quarters a night, pooled together, means a trip to Murray's and candy for everyone.

Murray’s an old man who runs a small candy/cigarette/expired milk store on the corner. We prefer 7-11, but none of us are allowed to cross the big, bad street to get there. So we settle for Murray's, where the Bazooka gum often has teeth marks courtesy of Murray's snarling, vicious, child hating dog.

Brian comes up with the brilliant idea of singing Christmas carols to Murray. We’re excited at the prospect, thinking it would soften his heart, as if life is nothing but a sappy tv movie and we’re writing the script. So we march down to the corner and burst into Murray’s store singing Silent Night. Murray doesn’t applaud, his heart doesn’t grow three times it size, he doesn’t offer us free hot chocolate in the holiday spirit. No, Murray shrinks back in horror. I have this vision of Murray as the wicked witch, melting under Dorothy's thrown water, but instead of screaming “I’m melting!” Murray is yelling:

"I'm a Jew, you idiots! A Jew!"

Gloria steps forward, staring him down.

"Yea, well, Ricki and Larry and Jews and they're singing!" She points to the siblings, who stare at the floor.

"Well, they should be ashamed of themselves. Get out of my store, now!" He’s waving a limp loaf of Italian bread at us as he yells. Crumbs fly out of the bag and land in the dog’s fur.

Gloria stares at Murray defiantly. She’s the oldest of all of us and moved here straight from some crime-ridden pocket of Queens. Leader of the Pack, complete with black leather jacket. It falls on her to defend us all the time. She sneers at the old man. "Face it, Murray. You just don't like us singing because we're happy and you're not." Murray stares silently at us. I immediately begin forming this scenario in mind in which Murray says that Gloria’s right, he’s lonely and unhappy and maybe the beautiful children of the neighborhood who have voices like golden angels and hearts filled with love and charity will look kindly upon this old man and forgive him all his transgressions, including rancid milk and dog-chewed gum. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, everyone! And we all hug and do a rousing rendition of Dreidel, Dreidel for Murray while the neighbors pour out of their houses to join us.

Apparently that scenario is not going to happen.

Murray spits at Gloria. Spits! The wad misses her by a few inches and lands on the counter. The dog immediately licks it up. We hightail it out of there and as we gather in the parking lot everyone is laughing at Murray's lame attempt at spitting. Except me. I’m dejected. I want Murray's heart to grow three times its size. Unfortunately, it’s my cynicism that grows.

So we trudge on, making our way through the gray, slushy snow which no longer crunches under our feet, thanks to a light drizzle and heavy local traffic. Our rubber boots go squish on the way down and sound something like a plunger being removed from a toilet bowl on the way up. Squish. Pop. Squish. Pop. Almost in unison, a marching band of wet, freezing kids who just want to spread some holiday cheer and maybe make a buck or two in the process.

Lori insists on going to Scott's house. Scott is the grade school equivalent of the high school quarterback. King of the playground, center of the lunchroom, best looking kid in any K-6 school for miles around. Lori, who fancies herself the female version of Scott, has been trying to convince Scott that they would make a lovely couple. Scott, all of eleven years old, still hasn’t made the transition from swapping baseball cards to swapping spit. Lori, meanwhile, has been queen of Spin the Bottle since third grade. It’s her contention that she will make Scott her boyfriend and teach him a thing or two about what it means to be a man. Lori’s a girl ahead of her time, mature in ways that are dangerous. She grew tits before any of the girls in school. Even the sixth grade girls are jealous of her bulging shirt. Lori has this habit of wearing her coat open wide even when it’s freezing out, showing off her ample bosom. She wears shirts that accentuate her womanhood and there are whispers around the fourth grade were that Lori has gotten her period already. She’s a woman. A woman! And it’s only right that a woman has a man and Scott, who has the faintest hint of facial hair and whose voice is already changing, is the prime candidate.

So we head over towards Scott's house. On the way there, Lori lectures us about the caroling protocol. She’s to ring the bell. She’s to stand in front. She’s to sing all the key verses to Rudolph, while we do the background vocals. We’re about to fight her on all issues, but Gloria silences us with a glare. Whatever. We'll just let Lori have her way, collect a few quarters and make the mad dash across the forbidden street to 7-11, now that we’re no longer welcome at Murray's.

What happens next is really Lori's fault. She won’t shut up. She’s going on about how she deserves to be Scott's girlfriend, that she’s the prettiest and most mature girl in school, that her voice is so much better than all of ours and we’re just kids, after all (Lori had been left back in first grade, so she’s a whole. year. older. than all of us, except Gloria). We’re tired of Lori’s yapping mouth and boastful monologues. We’re tired of trudging in slush that has now formed into some sort of icy glue that won't let go of our boots. We’re cold and hungry and I could swear I hear my mother calling me. But we walk on. We’ll just get Scott’s house over with, collect our coins and go home. I don’t even want to go to 7-11 anymore. I just want home, fireplace, pajamas, hot chocolate. But to leave now would be to earn the wrath of Lori and Gloria and that’s not a thing I needed to deal with once back at school. I like to eat my cafeteria food, not wear it.

So we get to Scott's house and, according to plan, Lori - her coat unbuttoned to reveal a tight, pale green, fake cashmere sweater - rings the bell. Scott's mother answers the door and we immediately burst into the first chorus of Rudolph. Lori whirls around, throws a look of burning rage our way and whispers through clenched teeth, "I told you not to sing except for the background. And we are supposed to be singing for Scott. Not his stupid mother." We back off. Lori turns on her sweet voice and asks Scott's mom to fetch her son. I hear the boys behind me giggling and whispering and when I turn to see what they’re up to, Steve just holds a finger to his lips. Something’s up. Judging from the laughter coming from the back of our group, it’s going to be good.

Finally, Scott comes to the door. Lori's eyes meet his and she gives him a sultry smile, something she’s learned from toothpaste commercials and soap operas. It’s not the same on a twelve year old. Oblivious to looking like she swallowed something sour, Lori launches right into her solo effort.

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer...

Each word, each syllable is sung in a throaty whisper and I just know that Lori'simagining herself in a slinky white dress, singing birthday wishes to the president. It’s Christmas carol porn.

We’re meant to sing the backing vocals; words that have been made up and inserted over the ages to give the song a funny (to a kid, anyhow) edge.

Lori: Had a very shiny nose
Us: Like a lightbulb!
Lori: And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows
Us: Like Pepsodent!

I have no idea what that means. Does Pepsodent glow? No matter, the lore of the added verses had been passed down from grade to grade and we have to do our part to carry on the tradition, even if it makes no sense to us.

And on the song goes; Lori’s doing her best Marilyn Monroe, the rest of us are shouting the added lyrics in unison in a terrible cacophony of missed notes and Lori turns to glare at us every time. Finally, the last verse is here. Lori puffs her chest out a bit more, making sure that Scott notices the fine, shapely lumps emerging from her sweater. She has her right hand on her hip and she uses her left hand to keep flipping her hair. Her hips sway as she sings. The combination of the tits, the hair, the hips and the swaying are, I suppose, supposed to be sexy in a twelve year old way, but make her look like more like a spazz who has to pee really bad.

Rudolph the red nose reindeer, you'll. Go. Down. In. Hist-or-y. All breathy and teasing. This is where we’re supposed to chime in with LIKE COLUMBUS! and get a nice round of applause. But during the "reindeer games" verse, the instructions came from the back to the front. No one was supposed to say the Columbus line. Everyone just stay silent. I shrugged and went along with the game.

Lori: Rudolph the red nose reindeer, you'll. Go. Down. In. Hist-or-y.....


Silence, save for a few stifled giggles from the rear of the chorus. Lori pulls the flaps of her jacket tight, turns on her heels and goes running down the steps. Scott looks rather amused, while his mother looks a bit horrified. The rest of us just stand there, feeling rather awkward. As Lori maneuvers her way around us trying to flee Scott's yard, she trips over a cord that’s haphazardly strung around a hedge at the end of Scott's walk. She falls to the ground, pulling some of the lights from the bush down with her. And there she lays face down in the snow, silhouetted by a dozen or so big, colored lights, looking very much like a forlorn toy from Misfit Island. She stays down until Gloria helps her to her feet.

I know right away that this is the end of many things - our caroling for candy scheme; our otherwise tight knit group of misfits; Lori's plans to be queen to Scott's playground king. It also means the end of the lumps under Lori's sweater, as everyone within five miles of our school will find out in no less than 24 hours that Lori's tits are no more than artistically folded socks.

We don’t see Lori for many days after that, as she chooses to sequester herself in her bedroom, with only visits from a revenge-plotting Gloria to cheer her up. I hears from Lori's brother - who was part of the "Lori stuffs" chorus - that his sister burst into tears when their grandmother gave her socks for Christmas.


Running late today, so we'll just start out the day with a QOD:

Topic: Bad movies.

Have you ever walked out of a movie? Ever demanded your money back. Ever sit through a really horrible movie just waiting for it to get better but it never did? Ever watch a movie that everyone in the universe said was super amazing and you just loathed it and felt like you're the only one who didn't get it?

Yea, like that. Run with it.



Walked out of Chariots of Fire.
Hated Forrest Gump and Ghost World, though everyone I know thinks they are works of genius.
Sat through 3,000 Miles to Graceland and cried that I wasted all that time.
Sat through House of Sand and Fog which I thought sucked in ways that haven't even been invented yet, it's that ahead of it's time in ways of sucking. And Jennifer Connelly is a terrible actress with all the range of a badger.

*[This post brought to you by Team America, which I found umm...lacking].

July 14, 2005

one of those thingies

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Stalking out of the freeway, attacking with a mighty sword, cometh Michele! And she gives a mighty cry:

"This one's for you, mom! I desecrate until Satan himself emerges from the pit to thank me!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

I'm going to adopt this as my mantra. Mom will be so proud.

Listomatic: Cancellations

I'm off for a riveting afternoon of root canal. Yay.

Meanwhile, some Listomatic goodness, courtesy of Alex Knapp.

Top Five Cancelled TV Shows Ever:

  • Futurama
  • Duckman
  • Erie, Indiana
  • Freaks and Geeks
  • Clone High

Honestly, that's just what I thought of off the top of my head. Three animated shows. Go figure.

Just remember in compiling your list that "run its course" isn't the same as cancelled.

Suburbia: Tales of Affliction
Chapter VI
A Jug of Wine and Thou

[I'm changing both the title and the format of the book, which is really of small consquence to you. Just thought I'd share. Here's another chapter and thanks to those who read]

My grandfather was big wine drinker. A wine connoisseur, he was not. Just a drinker. He kept his wine in jugs; glass, gallon sized jugs that he hid all over the house. My grandmother would snoop around each day, opening cabinets and moving books to see if she could spot the hidden wine. I think almost every fight they had - and we are talking daily - was over the wine. Grandpa drank it morning, noon and night. Before lunch, with dinner, sitting in the yard, watching Lawrence Welk - any occasion called for a glass of hearty red wine.

Grandma hated the drinking. She hated the singing that came with the drinking. At about seven o’clock every night, you could stand on the corner of Kingston and Ramona and hear Grandpa sing “When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie.....” followed quickly by grandma screaming something in Italian, words that I didn't understand but my mother told me to never repeat.

Grandpa shared his love of wine with his grandchildren. He’d pour a bit into our glasses during dinner, mix it with Coke, and then whisper in our ears to never ever tell our grandmother. We drank the whole glass down each time ("whole glass" being about one ounce), and even though there was barely enough to get us the least bit tipsy, we would run around for the rest of the evening like we were drunk.


We’re sitting at Grandma’s table; there’s me, my sister and six or seven cousins. Grandpa has his jug out and, per usual, pours us each a small glass of wine. Grandma walks into the kitchen and sees us sitting there, in Alla Salute! pose, ready to drink. She glares at grandpa, a long, evil stare, and you know that she’s silently damning him to hell or conjuring up evil curses.

Grandpa snickers, doesn’t even give Grandma the satisfaction of acknowleding her evil stare. He just picks up a peach and pairing knife and starts slicing. He drops one slice into each of our glasses and then looks at grandma, smiling.

"It's just fruit. They're just having a treat," he says.

He gives us a nod and we all follow his lead; we dip our fingers into the glasses, pull out the wine-soaked peach slices, and slide them into our mouths as if they were the greatest treat on earth. Which they just might have been at the time.

Grandma goes ballistic.

“You dumb bastard!” And now it’s not even a matter of Grandpa giving wine to us kids, it’s that he defied her with the wine drinking at all. She lets loose with a string of unintelligible Italian curses (though I do recognize one that was loosely translated as “go fuck yourself”) and for some reason I notice that it's 6:50 and Grandma is ten minutes ahead of her screaming schedule. Grandpa hasn't even started singing yet! This is both shocking and unnerving. The routine of the 7:00 Sing and Yell Show is shot to hell and we all - me, my cousins and my sisters as well as two aunts who come running into the kitchen - know that this isn't going to be an ordinary five minute tirade.

Grandma reaches across the table and grabs the jug of wine before Grandpa can react. We watch in horror-movie vision, with our hands over our eyes, peeking through the web of our fingers, not wanting to see, but having to see, just so we can tell the story to all the other cousins later.

In one deft, practiced move, Grandma swipes the jug away from the table, towards the sink and pours the wine down the sink drain. It's like watching blood being poured from a wound and one of my aunts screams, as if it's the blood of Jesus Christ himself being spilt, which is when I have the absurd vision of my grandfather as a martyr, hanging on a cross, sacrificing himself for Italian grandfathers everywhere who aren't allowed to drink their wine in peace. It's not even the loss of the wine that's so horrifying; there are a hundred more jugs just like it hidden away in the garage. It's the act of draining the wine from the bottle, the balls of my grandmother to take that one thing, that one joy my grandfather has and discard it like that, right in front of him, while muttering “Va fa 'nculo!” in a voice that's a close imitation of a snake hiss. We're freaked out and Patty whispers that maybe we should make a run for it, but then Grandma stalks back to the table and turned on us.

She waves her hands at us and I focus on her skin, the way it dangles from her fingers in fleshy folds. I tune out the tirade and instead wonder if Grandma’s bones are shrinking or if her skin is growing. I tune back in just in time to hear her say:

"Now you will drink every bit of that wine in your glasses!”

Huh? Was she talking to us? After all her bitching and screaming about Grandpa giving us wine, now she's forcing us to drink it? From the sound of Grandma’s voice, it's supposed to be some sort of punishment and I wonder if it's directed towards us kids or towards Grandpa, whose empty wine glass has zero chance of a refill and he’s now being forced to watch all of us drink what was left of the jug. I look to my aunts for help, but they've already scuttled back to the living room, away from the maddening scene.

“Now! Drink it!”

We all lift our glasses and drink the wine down, afraid of what grandma will do if we don't follow through. You might think thisis a good thing, but none of us had ever drank a full glass of wine before, with or without peaches. After three sips the wine burns my throat. One of my sisters gags and my cousin George sobs instead of drinking.

“You can’t leave the table until you are all done.” Again with the wagging skin and bones. She points a floppy finger at my grandfather.”And you, you can’t get up until they are done, either.”

I get it now. She's punishing us for being on Grandpa’s side, for playing his little wine games and winking conspiratorially at him when he showed us how to dunk the peaches and feign nutritional content. If only I had lurched from my chair and proclaimed “Grandma’s right, wine is bad for you!” at the outset, I would be in the living room with my aunts, watching Wheel of Fortune. Instead, I swirl the wine around in my Bugs Bunny glass (formerly a Bugs Bunny jelly jar) and contemplate which grandparent should really have my loyalty in this fight. Grandma, with her loose skin and torrent of curse words and spilled blood, or Grandpa with his hanging jowls and five o’clock shadow and desire to turn his grandkids into alcoholics.

Just then, Grandpa starts singing.

When the moon hits your eye like a big-a pizza pie, that's amore!
Patty quietly chimes in with the follow-up That’s amore!

Grandpa grins. Grandma scowls I sing:

When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine, that's amore!

We sing, sip our wine and watch Grandma turn a angry shade of purple. When we drain the glasses, we slam then down like cowboys in a saloon and head into the living room, feeling a little bit drunk for real this time. We leave Grandma and Grandpa alone in the kitchen, waging their wine duel.

A couple of months later, the whole fiasco is forgotten amid new family scandals and holidays. One night, my parents ask Grandpa to come over and babysit while they go see Chuck Berry at the Westbury Music Fair. Grandpa shows up at 6:00 sporting a jug of wine. What kind of parents let a man carrying a jug of wine babysit for their kids, grandfather or not?

Ten minutes after my parents leave, Grandpa and my youngest sister are sound asleep in front of the tv.

“Let’s taste the wine,” my sister says.

Not having learned my lesson from the previous wine incident - which ended with me needing five St. Joseph’s Aspirin for Children to get rid of the wine headache - I agree.

Afraid that Grandpa or Lisa will wake up and spot us stealing the wine, we haul the gallon jug into the bathroom. We attempt to pour the drink into the little Dixie riddle cups (“What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?” is a lot funnier after a few sips of homemade wine) missing often, and soon the bathroom floor is littered with used riddles and magenta puddles.

I really don’t know what happened after the fourth round of “Time to get a new fence, hahahhahh!” I’m pretty sure it involved my parents coming home to find Grandpa and Lisa still sleeping in the living room, and Jo and myself sound asleep on the bathroom floor, our pajamas stained with red spots, cups everywhere, the toilet spotted with splattered vomit.

Of all the lessons learned through Grandpa’s drinking habit the only one that has stayed with me is that red wine will give me a headache.

Oh, and don’t let a man carrying a jug of homemade wine babysit your kids. Grandfather or not.

July 13, 2005

on the turning away


Sometimes I take a photo that seems ordinary or mundane to most everyone. Like this one, for instance. There's nothing striking about it, nothing emotional; it's just a run of the mill photo. Yet, there's something about it that makes it one of my favorites. Dunno. Just one of those things.

Maybe it's because she's leaving Saturday for a two week trip to California with her father, stepmother and stepsister.

Maybe I just figured out what's been up my ass for the past week or so.

Anyhow, I just like the photo.




My wishlist for the NHL:

  • Go back to the 16 team league
  • Get rid of icing
  • Lay off the checking and roughing penalties
  • No tie games
  • Stop instigating rules that make the game offense friendly. Defensive games make for better hockey.
  • Old time hockey!

Let's play already.


linkdump [updated]

It's raining like a mofo here. Thunder, lightning, darkened skies of the apocalypse, etc. Which always makes me introspective and morose, which isn't really a good time to write for an audience that likes laughter and cynicism and movies and music. Oh, speaking of music: about the underrated songs thing....yea. I have blog meme ADD. Something else caught my attention and I got stuck at number nine and who knows if I'll ever get back to it. Meh.

Time to clear up the "interesting links" folder.

Language is a virus
Shut up, Tim McCarver
I don't know why I saved this link to Robert Altman subtley molesting Lindsay Lohan. I just did.
47 ways the world could end
The Glory Hole
The Cartoonist
Cover Heaven
Thrilling Adventures

And, of course, words and pictures.

Got anything interesting? And I don't mean blog posts you wrote or links to your own blog. I just mean....interesting links. Things to peruse. Ideas to catch. Pictures to awe. People to emulate. Things to make you blink. Words to astound. Art to inspire. Flash to have fun with. Stories to make you feel surreal. I don't know. Just...stuff.

You know what's good for a day like this, a day when you're hallucinating due to sleep deprivation and the weather is making you feel like the endtimes are near? A liquid lunch. And nothing says liquid lunch like a Presidente Margarita. Chili's, here I come. someone else will drive, yes.

Oh, hey: Guess what I am?

You are Heroin (aka: smack, dope, brown sugar...).
You are the most dangerous drug between all
other kinds. You are bold, deep, dark,
mysterious, have your own world. You are
classified as class (A) illegal drugs.

What kind of Drugs are you? and how that reflect your personality?
brought to you by Quizilla

[link stolen from some author guy]

Update: Read this. Ok, I mean - Gaiman fans, read this.

Woo Woo called, wants you to know he's ok. Whew. Whew.

favorite news item of the day

From IMDB:

Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas has rubbished reports he had sex with Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise - and is even more mortified he's been labeled a fellow Scientologist. The singer is horrified by claims he was caught in bed with the War Of The Worlds star and has finally spoken out to end the rumors. But he's even more offended by reports he's joined Cruise and other followers of L. Ron Hubbard's Church Of Scientology, which has been labeled a "cult" by some critics. He says, "If I were gay, Tom wouldn't be on the top of my list...It would be Brad Pitt. I'm more offended by the rumors saying I'm Scientologist.

That just might for him being in Matchbox 20.



What's the dumbest thing you've ever done?

random thought of the day

I wonder why I'm so hard pressed to find any news about this in the big media or on news blogs.

You'd think that 22 school children being slaughtered would be spark some outrage or something.

It did in Beslan, no?

Insomnia Blogging: Shut Up, Brain

This insomnia is killing me.

It's not the kind of insomnia where you never fall asleep and you just stay awake all the time, struggling to shut your brain down. Been there, done that. It's great weight loss program, by the way. Downside: Also a mind loss program.

What I'm going through now is a different sort of insomnia. I have no problem getting into bed and passing out. This usually happens at about 10:30, when my eyes roll in back of my head as I'm trying to focus on whatever book I'm reading. My husband will come in at about 11:00 to shut the light and pry the book out of my dead hands.

And then midnight comes. I bolt awake. WIDE awake. Laying there-staring at the clock-hearing every sound awake. I count, I sing to myself, I do some meditative breathing. Nothing. I. Am. Awake. I don't get up out of bed, because that would be giving in to it. I toss and turn struggle to get back to sleep. And maybe I do, for twenty minutes or so. And then I'm awake again and now my brain is on full speed and here comes the thinking, and a conversation with myself:

Brain: Do we have enough money to pay the bills this month?
Me: Yes, yes we do, so go back to sleep.
Brain: Did you turn the sprinklers off?
Me: Yes, you did.
Brain: Front door locked?
Me: Yep.
Brain: OH! Do you have something ready to wear to work tomorrow?
Me: YES, god damn it. Now go back to sleep.

Here, my brain becomes my enemy. Because just as I'm about to drift off into sleep again it decides to tap me on the shoulder, softly, like a child waking a parent up in the middle of the night to announce he's peed the bed.

Brain: Ummm....Michele?
Me: WHAT? What do you want NOW?
Brain: Just want to remind you your birthday is next month. 43.
Me: Yea, ok. Whatever.
Brain: 43. How's that writing career coming?

Did you see that Family Guy episode where Stewie asks Brian about his novel?

Stewie: How you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh? Gotta a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Gotta, gotta nice litte story you're working on there? Your big novel you've been working on for 3 years? Huh?

It goes on like that for a bit. That's what my brain does to me at night. It is the Stewie to my Brian.

Anyhow, 3am comes and my brain is still talking to me.

Brain: Uhh.. I know you have to get up in two hours, but I just wanted to know: When can we expect something great of you? When do you think we'll live up to people's expectations?
Me: Oh..how about...NEVER? Now please, I have to get some sleep.
Brain: Ok, I was just wondering. Because I was thinking that, you know, you're in the second half of your life now and, well, here's a thought: What if this is what you were meant to do with what you have?
Me: What? Meant to do what?
Brain: What if if this is it? Writing on a weblog. Putting your thoughts down on the internet every day. What if this IS it, if this is as far as your writing career ever goes, this being a BLOGGER?

I hate my brain.

The clock blinks to 4:59. I click the button before the alarm can go off. I get up, make coffee, turn on the computer and figure out what to write in the blog.

Maybe if I just accept it, I'll finally get some sleep.

July 12, 2005

photo ops

Some beach photos. More tomorrow.

Riveting, ain't it?


July 11, 2005

one last random thought

If I (under threat of bodily harm with gun held to my head) was forced to do karaoke in a bar I would probably choose Tom Waits' Ol' 55.

Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Night Random Ten Playlist

[continued/extended from last night - and the night before]

I've run headfirst into a bout of insomnia, the likes of which I have not seen since 1999. As such, brain is fried. More overrated song blogging tomorrow. For those looking for further installments of the suburbia stories, perhaps tomorrow as well.

And now, day four of the random playlist/whatcha listenin' to thing.

This is very easy to do now. Not only will this display my last ten winamp songs for me, but it changes as I listen, so you can keep up with my sometimes cool, sometimes embarassing playlist. I've moved all the Air Supply and Broadway tunes to another folder so as not to give witness to my dorkiness.

If you use audiscrobbler, you can get this for your blog as well. Just go here.

What are you listening to now? I mean right now. This very second.

notes, stuff and whatnot

  • Did you see Family Guy last night? Best. Episode. Ever. Have you seen the Family Guy blog?
  • On the overrated songs thing:

a) Chill the fuck out, people. It's songs. I'm not attacking your children.
b) Can't do the Billy Joel. While I'm not a big fan of either Italian Restaurant or Captain Jack, they're not really BAD songs. In fact, I always thought they contained Joel's best lyrics. Or maybe my Long Island ties are just tied on too tight. Also, not doing Comfortably Numb. I really love that song. To each his own, right. However - the next song I do is going to really suprise the shit out of all of you. Something you would never, ever expect to come out of this keyboard.

So, yea. It's about 100 degrees out there. Remember when I complained about winter? Didn't mean it.

(9 of the) 13 most overrated songs

Songs 1-8 here.

9. The Doors - The End

Most people -including the originator of this list - would pick Light My Fire as the most overrated Doors song. Not me. Do you know how many people think The End is the greatest piece of poetry ever written? Well, I don’t have an exact number for you, but suffice it to say it’s a lot.

Again, confession time.

See, I was a Morrisonaholic. One of those people who thought Jim was the voice of a generation, a genius, a scholar, a poet, an icon to burn candles for and masturbate to thoughts of. Jim spoke to me. From beyond the grave. From the poster on my wall. You can see how I was easily swayed into believing this, right? There he was, in glorious black and white, shirtless, arms outstretched like a scarecrow martyr[Yes! That's the one!]. His eyes followed me around the room. He used to tell me things, whisper to me in the dead of night when the only light in the room was from the red-tinted bulb that pointed towards my Morrison shrine. When Jim whispered, he said things like You cannot petition the lord with prayer! Perhaps, like many other things I believed in my misspent youth, Boones Farm wine and Columbian Gold and purple microdot had something to do with my deranged ideas.

Anyhow, The End is probably the most quoted Doors song of all time. It’s quoted by pretentious potheads who think they are being deep and meaningful; by retro beatnik poets who carry tattered paperback copies of On the Road in the back pocket of their faded jeans; by psuedo-intellectuals who claim that Adlous Huxley’s Doors of Perception is the single greatest thing ever written by man; and by despondent, razor-weilding, confused, emotional teenagers who think they have this connection with Morrison, a connection with the sixties, man and hey, the blue bus is calling us.

Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby

The snake is long, seven miles

Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold

Do you know that otherwise intelligent people have spent entire weekends drinking vodka and deciphering those very lyrics? Here’s a news flash: It’s nonsense. No matter what you want to believe, no matter how allegorical and deep you think those words are, no matter how much Freud you studied or Smirnoffs you drank, those words are the magnetic poetry of the Age of Aquarius.

So, yea. The killer awoke before dawn and put his boots on and killed his mother. Or did he fuck her? Ohhh, the mystery! Fistfights have broken out over whether he fucked or killed her. Will we ever know? Of course not, because Morrison, realizing that he was nothing more than a sham, a bad poet and a bloated parody of his own idols, killed himself before he could tell us that, well, he had no fucking clue what he was saying there. He ad libbed it. Winged it. Made shit up as he was going along.

I’m not saying the Doors sucked in general. I was a big fan and I still dust off the albums once in a while. But if you’re over 18 and not hindered by drug addiction or alcoholism that may cloud your thinking and you still believe these words are the most powerful thing you ever heard, you might want to find the nearest bathtub and emulate your idol.

[4 more to go and still taking suggestions - I'm leaning towards a Billy Joel moment right now]


I'll be getting to 9-13 of the overrated songs later this morning. Meanwhile, here's a question that was posed to me last night. I thought it would make for an interesting discussion.

If you could erase the memory of a movie for the sheer joy of seeing it again for the first time, what movie would it be?

Of course, my first reaction was Star Wars. To see that again, fresh and unknown, would be like seeing it through the eyes of a child. The whole opening sequence with the Star Destroyer coming into view - I'd love to relive that as a new experience. And in the same vein, I'd like to choose Revenge of the Sith simply because it was one of the best movie going experiences of my life, and that moment when the music started and the opening crawl appeared on the screen and yea, I had tears in my eyes - that's not something that happens to often in a movie theater - I'd love to experience that again.

And then I thought..no, what about Airplane! - to laugh at all those jokes as if it were the first time I heard them; to practically wet my pants at "The tower, the tower, Rapunzel!" - that would be sweet.

OR Army of Darkness, to experience the sheer joy of seeing comedy mixed with horror to such satisfaction, to hear all the cheesy lines for the first time, to see the movie without quoting the thing in its entirety as it plays out.

OR Jaws. To be frightened in all the right spots again, without knowing what's coming, to feel the nervousness as the music plays, to hold my breath as the girl goes under for the last time, to feel the panic rise as the beach is cleared out and the gut-wrenching horror as the torn raft comes back to shore; to not know what comes next.

OR Friday the 13th, just to once again feel that stunned surprise that horror movies these days fail to give you, to experience a good slasher flick before slasher flicks became cliche and boring, to freak the hell out again when Jason pops out of the water at the end - I haven't been literally frightened out of my seat like that since, it would be great to be actually scared by a movie again.

I'd probably go with Star Wars in the end. Maybe.


July 10, 2005


I can't be the only person who has the hots for Jim Cantore.


[Dennis coverage at TCP]

Speaking of weather people.

(8 of the) 13 most overrated songs [Updated]

One of those music memes I just can't resist. As you know, overrated is a topic near and dear to my heart. I think the guy who wrote the article wants you to comment on his list, but pfft on that. I'm making my own. Thing is, this is gonna take all day. So I'll start off with the easy ones and then you can make suggestions as to which sacred cows of popular songs I should rip apart. Here's three for starters.

1. Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven.
Obvious choice, one which I've discussed here many times:
It was only years later that I realized the words probably mean nothing except that Robert Plant read a lot of books. He strung some thoughts and words from his favorite novels together, mixed them in a blender and called it Stairway to Heaven.

The problem here is also that Zep inadvertently invented a formula for overrated songs: The plaintive singing of cryptic lyrics about five stanzas too long, followed by a guitar solo that makes one envision the guitarist standing on top of a mountain, wind blowing through his hair while his screeching riffs conjure up all kinds of inclement weather because it's that good. And don't get me wrong. I love Zep. But Stairway makes me cringe. Maybe I'm just embarassed that I used to believe this was the greatest song ever written. I also used to believe that you could see the Statue of Liberty in the reflection of a lake on Bear Mountain, but both those beliefs were born of the same drug.

2. Don McLean - American Pie
It's long. It gets tedious after a while. And most of it makes no sense to anyone but Don McLean. Yes, I get the whole "the day the music died" thing and I think it's really nice that he was so touched he wrote a song about it, and I get the allusions to other bands of the time within the song. But maybe he could have cut about ten verses or so. I mean, it's great when you're 17 and stoned and sitting around a campfire at the beach and your friend has an out of tune acoustic guitar and starts strumming and you all start singing "bye, bye, miss American pie...." but come on. Didn't you ever giggle while singing So come on: jack be nimble, jack be quick! Jack flash sat on a candlestick? Is this the stuff greatness is made of? It's just too god damn long. By the time the last verse came around, I was always halfway down the other end of the beach, looking for a private place to pee.

3. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird
So I spent a good portion of my high school years yelling "FREEEBIRD!" and playing air guitar to this song. Most people my age did. It's just what we did. You drank beer, hung out in arena parking lots before concerts and talked about what a fucking fantastic song Freebird is, man. With a straight face. And you had to listen to the live version, so you can hear the "What song is it you want to hear?" and also the part where he says "How 'bout you?" because man, he was talking to ME.

I'll let my 12 year old son give you the review of Freebird from the point of view of today: "Yea, the guitar solo is ok, kinda cool, but the rest of the song blows. It's like he's masturbating with his guitar." I think he probably picked that up from the Guitar World message boards, but I'll let it stand on record.

4. Eagles - Hotel California
Do you see a trend here? Maybe I just don't like long songs. This is another one of those "rock musicians gone poetically awry" songs, in which a lyricist believes he is not just a writer of catchy rock songs, but a poet as well. An allegorical poet, if you will. Ooohhh, dark, mysterious, cryptic lyrics that will, thirty years down the road, still be the subject of "what do you think it means" conversations. Who cares? This song is BORING. It's like watching a horrible movie with false endings, where you keep shifting in your seat thinking, ok, credits are going to roll right.........now! But no, they cut to yet another drawn out, badly acted scene, maybe one in which there are mirrors on the ceiling and pink champagne on ice. Oh, yes, how Hollywood people live in excess, that must be the theme of this song! No, wait, it's about being stuck in a place you can't get out of...no, it's...hey, a guitar solo! Another long, drawn out, masturbatory guitar experience! Pass the bong!

5. Meatloaf - Paradise by the Dashboard Light.

The suckiest suck of the sucky songs that are constantly played on classic rock radio stations. Asscake with assfrosting eaten with an ass-spoon. My aversion to this song has become physical, I literally dry heave when I hear the opening notes.

Excuse me while I copy and paste here (this is going to end up being the longest post on ASV ever).

It was at my sister's wedding ten years ago when I realized that Paradise By the Dashboard Light was my kryptonite. As soon as the first note emitted from the speakers, the dance floor was flooded with revelers. All the people who sat on their asses for the great dance songs of the night (oh, like you don't want to dance every time you hear Funkytown) were suddenly lined up on the floor, males forming a line down one side, females doing the same on the other side. It was reminiscent of a movie musical, where somehow everyone knows the words to the song and all the lines to sing. Maybe I hadn't been to enough weddings or bars lately, but I had no idea that Paradise had become a line dance/interactive favorite. It was the new Hokey Pokey!

Let me tell you, even with a couple of shots of tequila under my belt, and even with the giddiness that comes with complete exhaustion, there was no way I was loopy enough to join that crowd on the dance floor. No, I just stood back and watched as grown men and women - including town councilmen and judges and the president of the local Kiwanis - took turns singing the boy/girl parts and totally acting the part of lust filled teenagers in a steamy car. One couple actually stood in the center of the two lines during the whole baseball announcer verse and acted the whole thing out. I kid you not. When my jaw dropped and a cousin realized I was stunned, she told me that this went on at every wedding, in every bar, every night of the week and I needed to get out more. No, no, I told her. I need to never leave the sanctity of my house again.

When my kid's religious ed teacher did a sliding split into the middle of the dance floor, holding up her hand and singing "STOP RIGHT THERE!" and my uncle twirled his way beside her and responded with the "let me sleep on it" verse and then all of them did the whole back and forth thing and this went on until the very end, where they all did some bizarre dance as they whispered glowing like a metal on the edge of a knife, I thought I had been transported to the ninth level of hell and Satan himself was going to rise out of the dance floor.

Yes, that was ten years ago and I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday (sorry, couldn't resist). It was such a horrid experience that not only is it etched in my memory forever, but it has made me loathe the whole Bat Out of Hell album and even Meatloaf himself.

No, that doesn't make the song suck in and of itself. But it does make me say WHAT. THE. FUCK. everytime someone says how much they love Paradise because for the life of me I cannot figure out anything redeeming about this song.

6. Guns N Roses - November Rain

I know what happens when you dis GnR. But I'm going to do it anyhow, kilted trolls be damned.

November Rain (and here I'm going to include the video with the song) is a Harlequin romance novel when all you want is Hunter Thompson. It's GnR's Beth. Remember Kiss's Beth? How much did you want to puke every time that song came on the radio? Sex! Drugs! Rock and Roll! Love Ballads! Err...NO. Many people call this song the greatest love song of the 90's, but holy schmaltz, Batman. Is an 8 minute, 53 second heartbreaking love song accompanied by an equally heartbreaking video really what you want out of your depraved metal band? What happened to "I used to love her, but now I have to kill her?" Man up, Nancy! Kill the bitch, don't croon to her! Oh, I am going to get raked over the coals for this one, I know. November Rain is the sacred cow of all hair metal power ballads. MOOOOOOOOO! That's the sound of your sacred cow being stabbed repeatedly with a fork. November Rain should be retired from airplay along with Every Rose Has Its Thorn and More Than Words.

7. The Beatles - Hey Jude

You just knew there would be a Beatles song on this list, didn't you? And out of all the Beatles songs I could choose from (Love me Do, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Lucy in the Sky...), this one (suggested by Lesely in the comments) was a no brainer. And listen, I'm not saying it's a bad song, musically. The thing is, the song is seven minutes and seven seconds long and I think seven full minutes of it is the Beatles singing "Na na na na na ,na na na, hey jude.." (or la, or da, whichever nonsense dialect you choose to sing in), which makes me thing that Paul and John got together and said "Hey, let's make one of those arena songs, you know, the kind where the audience stands up and flics their Bics and sings along with you and we can keep it going for half an hour at least and then turn the house lights on at the end and no one will bitch about the show ending because they had a moment with us, you know wut I'm saying, luv?" Ok, so it was 1968 and the cigarette lighter arena show hadn't been invented yet, but everyone knows that McCarteny and Lennon were ahead of their time.

8. Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run in the USA in his Glory Days

Yea, all of them. All of him. And I'll be honest and tell you right off the bat that I have a personal, visceral hatred for Springsteen that goes beyond the usual "oh he sucks" kind of hate and delves into a dark, seedy pathos in which the sound of Springsteen's voice takes on the tone of my ex-husband and instead of hearing "Born to Run" I hear "We're broke and I hate you." We all have those things that remind us of exes. Ugly sweaters, torn letters, raggy stuffed animals...I have the memory of a singer who looks like he is eternally constipated and sings like the shit his on its way out the hole. So there's that. But there's also that other kind of hatred where you listen to a band/artist and think to yourself "Why? Why, god, why?" And then you remember you don't believe in god and people like Springsteen becoming world class heros is part of the reason why.

Anyhow. I can't stand his strained voice. I can't stand his underbite and the way he grimaces when he sings. I can't stand the oh so meaningful lyrics about life as a down and out Jersey cowboy (wait, I think that's Bon Jovi). Every song reads like the same Joyce Carol Oats short story. Me and Janie went down to the boardwalk to talk about our lives and well, the boardwalk was kinda empty because this town is just dyin', man and me and Janie said like, yea, we gotta get out of here. This town is just gonna kill us man. We can't spend all our lives drag racin' and fuckin' and takin' long walks on the beach contemplatin' shit. And Janie's pregnant, man and her old man is gonna kick her out of the house for not lovin' Jesus enough and her momma done spent all the milk money gamblin' in Atlantic City and we just work hard, you know? We work hard, man. We put on our blue jeans and work boots and go to the factories and mills and we work our fingers to the bone and we got nuthin' to show for it 'cept teenage pregnancy and drug overdoses and depressed kids with nothin' to do and the streets are on fire baby. Let's make out.

Ok, that's eight. Five more to go. Suggestions welcomed. I may even go further than 13.

[To be continued later this evening or in the morning]

technorati tag: overrated songs

July 09, 2005

and babies grow in the garden........

When I look back at the things I used to believe when I was a child, I realize why I am such a cynic and a skeptic. Everything I once thought was the truth was either a lie or some ridiculous notion made up in my head.

When I was a wee, wee child, I thought that there were tiny musicians who lived inside the stereo speakers and played songs for us. As I got a little older, I realized how silly this was. So I then convinced myself that the bands that were playing on the radio were actually at the radio station, playing the songs live. It boggled my mind when I tried to figure out how they could get from one radio station to another so fast. Shortly after that, I received my first record player and figured out that David Cassidy had somehow stuck his voice on that piece of black vinyl and he was not, to my dissapointment, inside my speakers or in my house.

I believed that God had nothing to do all day but sit up on a cloud with a notebook and pen, recording every single one of my misdeeds. At night, he would read the list off to my mother so she could punish me accordingly. How else would my mother have known that it was me who spilled her bingo chips down the toilet bowl?

I believed that if I got a cold sore or bit my tongue, was a punishment for lying or saying a bad word.

I believed if I stepped on a crack I would indeed break my mother's back.

I believed that if I stepped on an ant, it would rain.

I believed that somewhere, in some strange country, it really did rain cats and dogs. Then I took that one step further and figured that's where cats and dogs came from and there was someone at the pet adoption place that would watch the weather in that strange country and when it rained there, he would go and collect the cats and dogs in a big bucket and bring them back here to sell to kids.

I believed that thunder was the angels bowling and lightning happened when one of the angels got a strike. I never believed that rain was God crying, but I did believe my neighbor Frankie when he told me that rain was God peeing.

I believed that when a woman wanted a baby, all she had to do was fill out an application at the hospital and they would give her a pill that made a baby grow in her belly. I believed that Frankie was lying when he told me that babies came out of a woman's vagina. I even laughed at him. I believed that if you swallowed a watermelon seed and some dirt, you could grow watermelons in your stomach.

I believed that if I got a splinter and didn't take it out right away, it would travel in my blood right to my heart and pierce it.

I would never say that "now I lay me down to sleep" prayer because I believed it was like asking for death.

I believed that when you drove past a cemetery, you had to hold your breath or the living dead would come and get you.

I used to believe that a person was alloted only so many words they could speak out loud in their lifetime and I would probably run out of words before I died. That's when I began writing my thoughts down instead of speaking them.

I used to believe my action figures and stuffed animals came alive at night.

I used to believe that 40 was old.

What did you believe?

July 08, 2005

sad balls


So I took that picture when we took the kids bowling last night (click for bigger size).

It makes me really sad and I don't know. It's freaking bowling balls against a dirty wall. Yet, I find it so depressing.


Songs for a Rainy Friday Night

It's been a while since I offered you up some quality music. Here's a few tunes for a a gray, wet weekend. Which it is here. Your mileage may vary.

Brand New - Sacco Amaretto Lime (download)

Taking Back Sunday - Slow Dance on the Inside (download)
By request.

Hayden - Bad as They Seem (download)

Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song (download)

Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine - She Hates Me

If you download and listen, give a little thumbs up/down in the comments.

With Sympathy

There are rumbles in some parts of the blogosphere: Where's the outrage? Where's the coverage?

The coverage is there. I know because I spent 14 hours covering the story yesterday for Command Post and part of that coverage was reading and linking bloggers. That is by no means a full list; it's probably about 1/8 of the bloggers who were doing live coverage, updates or just talking about the attacks in general. In fact, check those links and you'll see hundreds of links within.

As for the outrage - I suppose some people want to see the 9/11 outrage again. They want to see that kind of massive reaction from bloggers. They want to see the anger and fear and hatred, in addition to the tears and sorrow.

The thing is, the blogosphere was a lot smaller on 9/11. If it seemed like every single blogger was writing about it, that's probably because it was damn close to that. There are literally millions more blogs now; you can't expect everyone to write about the same story, even if that story is horrific and has world implications.

That's just part of it. How many times can someone express their outrage in the same manner? 9/11, Bali, Madrid, Beslan. It's been said and said again. That's part of the problem with the political/news side of the blogosphere and part of the reason I don't do that type of blogging anymore. How many times can you say the same thing? How many times are you required to say the same thing? Why must one copy and paste the sadness and outrage in their heart onto their blog? Is our outrage not good enough because it's not laid out in bits and bytes for everyone to see? If you can't see it, does that mean it's not there?

There are several kinds of outrage. The people with the worst kind - misplaced - seem to have no problem expressing their feelings the instant something like this happens. You have the "Blame America" side which instantaneously dropped frothing blog posts hinting at conspiracies and riddled with blame. And you have the "Bombs away" side that reflexively called for heads to be chopped, countries to be wiped away, a religion to be demolished, before anyone even took blame for the bombings.

Maybe that's a good enough reason for the people in between to express their feelings, just so the extremes on either side don't have all the say. But I don't think it's necessary. I think the people of Britain know we sympathize, even empathize with them. Perhaps we sent condolences to the British Embassy. Maybe we contacted some friends in London to make sure they were ok and sent our good thoughts and sympathy to them. Maybe we went to church and lit a candle for the victims or we donated blood to the Red Cross or we asked "what can we do to help?" Just because we didn't open a browser and say what we did doesn't mean we did nothing.

Of course I'm outraged. Of course I'm angry and distressed and sad and just a bit fearful. But what am I going to say? What is anyone going to say that won't be a carbon copy of what we wrote after 9/11, after Bali, after Beslan, after Madrid? It seems useless to repeat the words again and again when they are already out there. Is it going to make a difference to some commuter from London who emerged from the Undeground bloody and battered that I, some insignificant woman in New York, is outraged at what happened to them? They will still be injured, their fellow riders still dead, their country still reeling, their sense of safety still shaken.

So why spend an hour virtually shaking my fist at terrorists and clenching my teeth and pounding my anger out on the keyboard? Let me ask you, who isn't outraged? Who doesn't feel anger mixed with sadness right now? Why do you care that a million bloggers aren't calling for a fatwa against all Muslims when you just threw the Union Jack up on your blog and didn't express your outrage at all?

This is the blogosphere, people. It's a stupid name for a group of people who put their thoughts and opinions on the internet for other people to read. They are not required to put every thought and opinion down. They do not have a quota of outrage they must commit to when they open their blog. They do not have to answer to you as to why they didn't express their feelings about terrorism on their blog. We empathize, sympathize and have compassion without having to let you know about it.

Just because I didn't have the Union Jack flying here yesterday doesn't mean I'm desensitized. Just because a blogger didn't post a picture of the attacks with a caption like "we are with you England" underneath doesn't mean they are desensitized. How does one ever get desensitized to terrorism or murder or death? If you're human, you don't. But, apparently, if you're a blogger who doesn't name your outrage and sadness every time it rises up in your throat, you must be callous and unfeeling and yawning in the face of London.

A blog is not a person's whole being. The blogosphere is just a small, microcosmic part of your world. There's a whole lot happening in people's lives that you aren't privy to and that we aren't required to show you. To judge a person's reaction to a world event by what is or isn't on their blog says a lot more about you than the people you are trying to shame.

[Update: Please note that the complaints were not addressed at me personally, but to bloggers in general, and the complaints were issued at more than one blog, in several comment sections and in a couple of forums and no, I am not going to link to them. They know who they are and if they see this, great, if not, oh well. I'm not going to lose sleep over their blog pissiness]

July 07, 2005

the more you know...

Terror Alert Level

High shake alert, with a possible chance of fries.

As long as we don't go to Meatwad....


Ongoing coverage at TCP

Update: Terrorism has been confirmed. TCP coverage moved to GWoT page.

July 06, 2005


1. For those who have inquired: No, I will not be participating in the Blogathon this year. On the date of the event (Aug. 6) I will be tucked away in an internet-free, lakefront house in Roscoe, NY, far from civilization, shoved deep into the woods, surrounded by fish and newts and majestic trees and bats and my family, the same vacatation I've taken almost every summer since 1969 or so and the only kind of vacation I ever long to take.

2. A question of the day for Yankee fans.

3. Yes, I am still working on the suburbia story. I haven't been posting it because I didn't think anyone was interested. Also, I've been reading David Sedaris books and it's making feel lame, incompetent and inferior. But I can't stop reading because his books are so damn good.

4. Bush

And the attempt to completely hiatus rather than semi hiatus continues. It's a slow process.

July 05, 2005

life is random

I wasn't going to blog at all today, but I've got something on my mind. Something that won't leave, no matter what else I try to think about. Maybe writing it out and engaging in some kind of discussion about it will help. Or not.

This weekend, something tragic happened just a few short miles from my house. Tragic things happen every day, in every city, in every country. Stories just like this one. But there's something about the story being local news that makes it feel personal. More intense.

What happened was this: a family had just left a wedding celebration. They were riding home in a limo (they were all either in the wedding party or immediate relations of the bride and groom). They were met head on by a drunk driver, who was going the wrong way on the Meadowbrook Parkway. The limo driver was killed. The seven year old flower girl was killed.

What they don't tell you in the paper or on tv is that the mother of the seven year old sat on the side of the road holding her seven year old daughter's head. Cradling her head. For almost an hour, while police and firemen cut the rest of her family out of the vehicle.

My boss (the judge) arraigned the drunk driver yesterday, in the hospital. The guy has minor injuries. I can't get into the details of what a stupid, selfish, fucking moron this person is, but suffice it to say, I hope he dies a brutal prolonged death soon.

So here's this guy who killed two people including a seven year old girl, severely injured three others and destroyed a family and he's n the hospital with a broken ankle. Meanwhile, this mother is going to spend the rest of her life reliving the moments when she held her daughter's head in her lap. Can you imagine? No, you can't possibly imagine. Not one of us can come close to imagining hte depth of sorrow this woman and her family is feeling today.

So how do people of faith continue to proclaim the virtues of god? How do you exist every day saying god is just and god is good? How can you believe in god when things like this happen? Why do people constantly say things like "God saved my little one from dying in that accident" or "God told me to feed the homeless" or "God led me to not get on that plane today, he saved me from being in that crash" when it can't possibly be? Because if God is going to save one little girl from dying, why can't he save the rest? And I know people have to die, that's the way of the world, but what kind of god would let a mother sit on the side of the road at 2am after her sister's wedding, cradling the remains of her little girl in her arms while the child's killer lives to tell the tale? Don't even tell me that god gives you what you can handle. Because that makes it sound like a gift and losing a child is certainly not a gift, nor should it be seen as a test of faith or a testament to god's mysterious ways. It's just proof on top of more proof for me that the world is so god damn random and there is no great being looking out for us, hearing our prayers, seeing to miracles, or helping us help ourselves. There is just randomness. No fate, no destiny, no pre-written paths or intervention from above. Just randomness.

[file under "things to be deleted after I get it out of my systerm"]

fourth photos

Great day yesterday - perfect weather, family and friends, a little karaoke, excellent food (lobster!) and a fabulous illegal fireworks show thanks to many neighbors.


I'm partial to this one:


Or this:


Some fireworks (not very good shots, but I didn't try that hard after too many margaritas), some garden shots that are going in my "best of" folder and my nephew, at his hammy best. My favorite:


Rock and roll will never die, folks. Not as long as we teach our children well.

July 04, 2005

May the Fourth Be With You

Learn: Taking photos of fireworks with a digital camera

Watch: Twilight Zone marathon on SciFi. (Walking Distance, the episode pictured in my header, is on at 6pmEST - Time Enough at Last is on at noon)

Write: Theres a bit of a holiday them over at 100 words. If you have 100 words to spare, give it a whirl.

Listen: Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy

the works

Be: Safe, cautious, happy.

July 03, 2005

comfortably numb

Yesterday's amazing, stupendous, heart-warming, hopeful* performance by Pink Floyd, from a feed uniterrupted by MTV assholes.

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb (download)

[courtesy of a TFark buddy, thank you]

*hopeful as in a tour? new album? maybe? please?

July 02, 2005

One More Live 8 Thought

Pink Floyd sounds fucking AMAZING. Holy shit. This is awesome.

That is all.

Ok, they look like they live in my grandfather's nursing home. But they sound like twenty years ago. My son is freaking out. He's getting to see Pink Floyd play live (on tv, yea, but you know what I mean).

yea, i came close to tears during wish you were here. you can't understand.

P.S. MTV SUCKS. They TALKED over Comfortably Numb. Idiots.

I just have to say it so it's abundantly clear: MTV's coverage of Live 8 SUCKED. And they topped off the suckfest of stupid hosts and shoddy coverage of the music by TALKING OVER COMFORTABLY NUMB.

/shakes fists at MTV.

Update: A few hours later and I'm still livid. Go figure. A MUSIC station which seems to know nothing about MUSIC. Who cuts away from Gilmour solo? Who cuts away from Pink Floyd at all during their freaking reunion? Who cuts away from Pete Townsend as he's doing his windmills? I'll tell you who. A station that has fallen so far from what it started as that it is unrecognizable. A station that thinks Little John is rock star. They are the laughing stock of the world right now, I'll tell you that. Check blogs, message boards, listen to radio stations - no one is talking about Live Aid, per se - they are talking about what a buttfucking MTV gave to Pink Floyd and how godawful their coverage of this major music event was. Tools.

Yea, I'm supposed to be on this semi-hiatus. But I'm all kinds of pissed off.

Live 8

today's link

Perfomers at Live 8 - the Concert to Stop Poverty and Hunger and whatnot - will be receiving gift bags worth 12,000 dollars. They will also dine on char-grilled dry aged beef, tea-smoked spare ribs and chicken and ginger dumplings.

Feed the world.


Madonna shows the true altruistic, benevolent, peaceful, world-inspiring spirit of Live 8.


Feed the world.

quick review

Hey, Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland


You know how Dave Eggers wrote a book called A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius? Well, Eggers should call up Coupland and say, "Hey, here's my book title, I think you should have it."

Because it is.

Also by Coupland, and recommended by me:

Girlfriend in a Coma
Life After God
Generation X

July 01, 2005


Write: Volume 3 of 100 words begins today. Read, rate, write something.

Read: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Rated (by me): ***

Surf: Bedazzled

Look: So cool.

link for today

"He grabbed girl's arm, now he's a sex offender."

The sex offender registry is useless.