December 30, 2004

The Car Alarm Problem

I had some time last night to consider the Car Alarm Problem as I lay awake listening to one go off for about five minutes, and then a pause, and then for another two. Seven minutes is not a long time - unless they're the seven minutes between 1:32 and 1:39 in the morning and you'd just drifted off. At 1:32 in the morning seven minutes is a good long stretch of time to spend brainstorming alternate means of alerting the neighborhood to the possible theft of one of its cars.

If you live anywhere with roads you are familiar with this Problem: a butterfly flaps its wings in Argentina, which trips a car alarm on your street. This then alerts everyone but the owner, the car thief, and probably the police.

But it occurs to me that the solution to people who don't turn their alarms off is pretty simple:

Let's say that you get three minutes of the regular alarm sound on your car. Then, after the three minutes, the alarm can still go off, but now instead of the electronic wail, it broadcasts the owner's name and phone number at top volume.

After seven minutes let's say the alarm begins broadcasting the owner's address as well.

How about that? It's still loud enough to ward off thieves, but now there's that added incentive for the car owner, having installed an automatic noisemaker, to never be more than three minutes away from it.

Posted by Chris on 12/30/04

I'd be interested in a brief survey of say, 10,000 folks to see if they ever ONCE reacted in a preventive manner towards a car alarm. Has ANYONE ever called the police? Or even looked to see if the car is being stolen? ANYONE? EVER?

Posted by: friend jessica at December 30, 2004 9:08 AM



Posted by: friend jessica at December 30, 2004 12:58 PM

I would comment. If I knew what in the hell you were talking about. Time for your meds.

Posted by: klugula at December 30, 2004 1:24 PM

go on, remain young in your naivete

Posted by: friend jessica at December 30, 2004 1:31 PM

I for one welcome the self-feeding robots. And I'd like to remind them as a living object that is clearly not robot-food, I'll be uniquely positioned to point out living things that are.

Posted by: Chris at January 2, 2005 11:10 AM

December 29, 2004

Another industry that can't do their one thing

Simply astounding:

Flight cancellations stranded thousands of Christmas weekend airline passengers in the United States again Sunday as two airlines wrestled with computer and staffing headaches.

Financially troubled US Airways scratched 29 flights systemwide after a continued "unusually high level of sick calls" from baggage handlers and flight attendants, said Amy Kudwa, a spokeswoman.

Separately, Comair, a Delta Air Lines Inc. unit, resumed a "limited" flight schedule after grounding all of its 1,100 flights to 119 cities on Christmas because of a computer system crash, said Tracey Bowden, a Delta spokeswoman.

From CNN. It's amazing. You don't even think to blame the weather. It's STAFFING and COMPUTER PROBLEMS. Listen, if I was stranded in an airport with my family for Christmas, unable to get food or rest because I had to guard my luggage, hot, tired, stressed, and I thought it was because of the weather, I'd be extremely pissed - but at least there'd be that Act of God factor.

But if one of you people let me know that it was your COMPUTERS and STAFFING causing me to spend my holiday in some impromptu luggage-fort and basically eat probably a thousand dollars in tickets, I swear it would be worth spending the rest of my life in prison to kill someone on the spot.

Again: it's your ONE THING. It's aviation, so I'm not going to say you should be impervious to the weather, but STAFFING? COMPUTERS GOING DOWN? During the holiday travel week? What does it take to get a license from the FAA, anyway? Is it like owning a U-Haul franchise, where you just answer an ad in the back of Rolling Stone and they send you one?

Under my administration, you'd not only have your license revoked, but you'd also be compelled to send hand-written apology notes to every passenger affected - AND their families. Included in the apology note would be vouchers for another flight anywhere in the U.S. On another airline.

Whenever I see a company that so obviously fails at its primary task I just assume that it must be a front for laundering mob money. Is THAT what you're doing? Are you at least good at THAT?

This year family flew to see us on both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and you and your counterparts made the process so horrible, we're pretty sure that we'll only be able to travel off-holiday from now on. NOW who's killing Christmas?

Posted by Chris on 12/29/04

My sister had to take the train home to rochester on Christmas night. Her train was scheduled for 7:30 and left at 1:30 AM <--- read it again.

The reason? They needed a well rested crew. WHAT? WHAT? i'm sorry what? So I make a reservation for a ride at 7:30 and the guy driving is sleepy, so I don't get to go home??? There is no back up? There is no way of preplanning for fatigue? Is there only one train crew in the whole world?


Posted by: friend jessica at December 29, 2004 11:21 AM

Note to Post Offices

You getting the package there on time for Christmas is pretty much the ONLY thing we ask you to do. Yes, I realize the winter storms were CRAZY this year, but... again. It's your ONE thing. You even have that thing about foul weather not being a problem in your little tag line.

If it were me? And I worked at the USPS while the other shippers were out having to fight for it in the private sector? I'd make sure I had the queen mother of all supreme kick-ass fleet of snow plows and de-icers. It would get to be sort of a thing with us, where they'd actually send for the postal trucks of all things to help people out when they got snowed in - THAT'S how good I'd be at it. I mean, if that were my one thing and I actually made a point to say "neither rain nor snow" and all that.

Because if you can't do it, what's left? It's another government building where I can wait in line and have people who get every frickin' holiday ever invented be rude to me for not much result.

Work on it.

Posted by Chris on 12/29/04

You could just go to UPS Store, or a competitor, and wait in line and have people be rude to you. and, AND, you could pay more in the process. Hmm?

Posted by: klugula at December 29, 2004 9:47 AM

Day 1 of Project Eatright

As I mention below, things have gotten a little out of hand in the Girth Department, and not just because of the holiday feasting. So to start with I figure, let's cut out the sodas, make sure to get to the gym every day, and I'll add more steps as I go along.

Although I made the resolution yesterday morning, I didn't actually do anything different to my diet until the evening, when I skipped the diet Coke and just had water. And this morning I have a splitting headache, and my hands are shaking. From that one small thing being taken away.

Caffeine is my master, and her whip-hand is heavy.

Posted by Chris on 12/29/04

Omigod! It'll be ok. I had all sun the past week or so, no dingy, cloudy, sunless, freezing, nasty, slushy days. And I am not shaking with withdrawal. I love being back here! Away from the beach, the snorkeling, the fun. I completely sympathize.

Posted by: klugula at December 29, 2004 9:45 AM

December 28, 2004

I'm not saying I'm a fatty...

... but when the dancing girl didn't move closer after I jerked her neck-chain a moment ago, I QUICKLY dispatched her to the Rancor. Stupid dancing girl! NEXT time you'll move faster! Now someone fetch me a slimy frog, I'm famished.

Posted by Chris on 12/28/04

No dissing Jabba. No speaking as if you are him. He would never talk the way you do. You're using an old Jedi mind trick to fool us all in to believing that you are him. I have powerful friends, you're going to regret this.

Posted by: klugula at December 28, 2004 2:33 PM

Hey look! Gay mike is back from vacation!

Posted by: friend jessica at December 29, 2004 8:38 AM

C'mon. Surely my comments of Jabba and quotes from the film, would lend themselves to a nerd jab, rather than a gay one. Get with the times. Sheesh.

Posted by: klugula at December 29, 2004 9:32 AM

Nothing is sadder than a gay nerd. I saw one on Sunday night. He was wearing a paisley vest and had a piano keyboard scarf on. 1984 called, they need their gay trend back.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 29, 2004 11:17 AM

Well. I guess I won't be wearing that outfit to your party next week. Better find something else, but quick!

Posted by: klugula at December 29, 2004 12:03 PM

Right, also: no bolo ties and no piano keyboard ties.

Let's continue to rub it in that Chris is missing the ninth annual twelfth night party. The food and drink and fellowship will be plentiful.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 29, 2004 12:27 PM

It is a party...right? What else could I possibly wear. You are really putting me in a bind here.

Posted by: klugula at December 29, 2004 12:31 PM

Oh, I'll be there - in Pog form.

Alternate answer: Why do I need to be there? When I have my own Twelfth Night in a Box RIGHT HERE?!?!?

Posted by: Chris at December 29, 2004 3:11 PM

Scandals in Alternate Universes, Pt. 2

Over at Daily Kos we have some statements from Great Leader - one from 2001, and for comparison another from 2002:

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." - G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." - G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

Now of course there's nothing wrong with this in our world, but as a point of interest, in that parallel universe where a Dem was in office on 9/11, the principal architect of the attacks remaining at large for years became quite a scandal and dogged the President every day.

Their Rush Limbaugh began each and every program with a reminder that the Democratic president had still failed to capture the killer of more than 3000 Americans, for instance.

The Republicans of that universe erected giant bulletin boards with electronic counters keeping track of the days that their parallel bin Laden remained at large, a stark reminder of their president's failure to capture him. (Today, there as here, will be day 1202, for instance.)

And when the Democratic president tried to turn that parallel America's attention to another middle eastern despot, who, while awful in his own right, could not be linked to the attacks, the papers and pundits quickly dubbed it Osamagate.

Posted by Chris on 12/28/04

Kerry brought up these quotes during (I believe) the second of the three debates he won. The president responded by saying something like "I guess that's one of those 'exaggerations'".

In that brief moment Bush was able to indicate another word he doesn't know the meaning of, sink to sarcasm and distance himself from truth, reality and responsibility. That's multi-tasking. That's why he deserved our votes!

Posted by: isaac at December 30, 2004 8:42 AM

Hey Isaac! happy holidays fellow reader.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 30, 2004 9:01 AM

December 27, 2004

Scandals in Alternate Universes, Pt. 1

Bob Novak, Star Journalist! From Washington Monthly:

On July 6, 2003, a retired American ambassador named Joseph Wilson published an op-ed in The New York Times disputing the administration's claim that Iraq had attempted to purchase concentrated uranium oxide, or “yellowcake,” from Niger—a crucial piece of evidence in the president's case that Iraq represented an urgent threat to U.S. security. Wilson had previously traveled to Niger at the behest of the CIA to investigate the allegations and he reported back that it was highly unlikely that any such sale had taken place. Nonetheless, President Bush's State of the Union address one year later cited the alleged uranium purchase as proof of Iraq's capability to produce “weapons of mass destruction.” Wilson's disclosure, then, was a major embarrassment to the White House—and someone there decided to do something about it.

Several phone conversations later, Novak wrote the following sentences for his syndicated column for July 14: “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me his wife suggested sending Wilson to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.” This would have been little more than your standard-issue leak but for one small fact: It's a federal crime for a government official (say, Novak's source) to knowingly disclose to the public the name of an undercover CIA agent. And while it was not illegal for Novak to publish Plame's name, it was ethically questionable.

Alternate Reality Note: In the parallel universe where the identity of an active undercover CIA agent was leaked by a Democratic White House, this is referred to as "Plamegate." Oh, and by the way, it cost the guy the re-election.

Posted by Chris on 12/27/04

A human marvel

The lengths people will go to just to escape their relatives on Christmas. Hey, the holidays make me want to climb the walls too, but this is ridiculous! HA! HA! HA! HA! Ha. Ha? Ha. Ahem. From ChannelNewsAsia:

Frenchman Alain Robert defied bad weather to set a personal record by climbing the world's tallest building, Taipei 101, in four hours.

Robert, dubbed the "French Spiderman" for climbing skyscrapers, set off for Taipei 101 around 10:00 am (0200 GMT) as light rain fell and strong winds lashed the building.

Is someone from Marvel gritting their teeth every time one of these guys tries this? All it takes is one "Spiderman" splattered on the sidewalk to undo years of positive product spin.

Isn't there some OTHER superhero that climbed walls? What about the Blue Beetle? Isn't there a Fly? No, not the horror movie guy, a SUPERHERO!

Posted by Chris on 12/27/04

December 23, 2004

Christmas comes early for me...

... in the form of Mr. Black & White himself, Lileks, getting a nice slap from Vanity Fair contributor James Wolcott. Three guesses what Lileks has decided to be mad about lately. Here's a clue: what is the greatest threat America faces right now? Al Qaida? Don't be so naive!

Lileks has detected that a sales clerk somewhere did not respond appropriately to his "Merry Christmas," and based on that and his online cherry-pickings, has deduced the Liberal Plan to Kill Santa. CURSES! FOILED AGAIN, by that troublemaker Lileks! But you haven't seen the last of US, Lileks! We'll destroy Freedom yet! Quickly, my legion of Stem-Cell Clones! Back to our underground lair, WHERE WE SHALL STOP SANTA!

And you can tell Lileks is REALLY mad when he responds line for line:

I've always felt that what he really needed was for more people to actually read what's he's saying.

Posted by Chris on 12/23/04

Behold my mighty Soul Stealer

From the CNN story about the "Friends" writer suing for sexual harassment:

Writer Janis Hirsch faced a painful ritual at one sitcom: She'd get a tap on the shoulder from one or another male colleague, turn around and find them exposing themselves.

"You learn to laugh with it even if it steals your soul," she says.

Wow, what exactly did this guy expose to you? Because men brag about their dicks all the time, but one that can steal souls? That WOULD be pretty impressive!

Posted by Chris on 12/23/04

I just got a spam like that the other day:

A DIcK so Huuge It'll STEAL! you!r SOUL!!!

Posted by: friend jessica at December 23, 2004 12:18 PM

Are you having problems stealing peoples' souls? Maybe you need generic V|AgRA, or C|AL|S.

Posted by: Chris at December 23, 2004 12:40 PM

My favorite ever in that regard was:

Knock down walls with your monster cock.

Who really wants that sort of apparatus. Seriously.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 23, 2004 12:42 PM

Well, there's a fetish for everyone.

And what about this group: MWSILTS (Mothers Whose Souls I'd Like to Steal)

Posted by: Chris at December 23, 2004 1:19 PM

I'm glad it didn't work out to spell SLITS

That's all.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 23, 2004 1:36 PM

December 22, 2004

Dear Sprint

Your TV ads, the ones where the Lone Man In Black rides into different towns and saves them all from bad wireless service? Please stop.

Posted by Chris on 12/22/04

My friend, I fear the Holiday Doll-Drums have you tight in their grip. You miss the sub zero Chicago wind chill, don't you. Just doesn't feel like a Traditional Holiday Time sitting in the office with your Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals now, does it.

Here, on your day of WOE, where in you are forced to *gasp* help users... a ray of sunshine. You get your chicken HOWEVER you like... any way you want. Order that bad boy around, make him do funny, crazy, silly things. I recommend "Kick like a rockette biache!" or "Stand on your head, your dirty dirty bird". :-)

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at December 23, 2004 8:43 AM

however, if you ask that chicken to masturbate, it refuses.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 23, 2004 9:20 AM

Leave Your AC Adaptor At Home Day

It's "Leave Your AC Adaptor At Home Day" here in the Santa Monica office, because of course its the year 2035 and we're all using the inexhaustable fusion cells built-in to our laptops. Who would need an AC adaptor in this day and age?

Around four people so far, which is amazing. Yes, I'm doing Local Support today, could you tell?

Posted by Chris on 12/22/04

why are you so pissy?

Posted by: friend jessica at December 23, 2004 6:06 AM

December 21, 2004

A poll in the field

From Eric Alterman:

...George W. Bush stands poised to be inaugurated as the most unpopular incumbent in eighty years. Unfortunately, I don’t see how this is going to matter, since the media will ignore it and the Democratic leadership does not know how to take advantage of it.

Amen. Who cares what his approval rating is. For a second-term president, there's only one approval rating that mattered, and it was THE PREVIOUS ELECTION. And in that contest, 51 percent worked out just fine for him.

Posted by Chris on 12/21/04

Review: The United States of Leland

"The United States of Leland?" Wasn't that, like, months and months ago? Yes, but I saw it, it irritated me, so it becomes a current review. It was one of those films, like "Dopamine," that was accepted into Sundance, so I had high expectations. Then I saw it, and don't get what all the fuss was.

This movie is proof that being accepted into this or any festival doesn't automatically mean higher quality. What it sometimes seems to mean is a movie reverse-engineered out of available / willing festival-friendly elements: hot indy stars matched with a young director, and an edgy script written to hold it all together. What it sometimes means is just a "relationship" movie - not relationships in the story but relationships between the high-profile producers and the film festival.

(Although maybe you were not star-struck by the festival event itself and didn't require more proof like me. Of course the idea that any "independent" festival - let alone the top one - would be a totally level playing field, immune from business and insider relationships, is silly.)

OK - "a script written to hold it all together" is over-simplifying, but say it this way: between Kevin Spacey's "Trigger Street" production company and Sundance, "Leland" got the chance to be developed in a safe and comfortable harbor that it had not earned. Yes, it has good performances, and no surprise, considering: Don Cheadle, Jena Malone (who has seemed destined for great things since she was a little girl), Ryan Gosling, and Kevin Spacey round out the cast and do their best with the material (although I am now officially ready for Spacey to find something else to portray besides smug superiority).

The story: Leland (Gosling) stabs his ex-girlfriend's autistic kid brother to death. In juvenile prison, his teacher (Cheadle) takes an interest in Leland's musings on morality, and wants to write a book about him. Cheadle also has a brief fling with co-worker Kerry Washington. Meanwhile, the ex-girlfriend (Malone) is hooked on heroin, her sister (Michelle Williams) wants to break up with her boyfriend (Chris Klein), Leland's neglectful father (Spacey) comes back to town, and after while it just feels like a part was written for everyone who wanted to work for Spacey, and the plot becomes secondary.

Unlike, say, "Primer" or "Supersize Me," Sundance films that truly deserve all their accolades, (and who knows where they could have gone if they were given their own Trigger Street treatment) "Leland" feels more like it was festival-groomed from the start, and still didn't manage to earn its indy Lotto win.

Posted by Chris on 12/21/04

December 17, 2004

Girl Gone Wild spotted

The company that puts out the "Girls Gone Wild" series is in the same building as the office here, and on the way up to work today I shared the elevator with what I feel certain was one of the Girls.

Hard to tell for sure, as she was in a post-Wild, becalmed state, but when she got out on four and looked around, the other guy in the elevator said "It's just to your right," as if he had the same guess I did.

My God - what if she's down there Going Wild right now?

Posted by Chris on 12/17/04

Well, do they go WILD in offices? It seems like they have to be on a beach or at a spring break event. Girls Gone Wild IN THE IT DEPARTMENT just doesn't sound like it'll sell a million dollars.

She's probably just there to serve them with a lawsuit.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 17, 2004 12:53 PM

Well, when I was part of "Hunks Gone Wild"...

Posted by: klugula at December 17, 2004 1:45 PM

wow "Girl" (uppercase G), at the level of God. what is this world coming to?

was she hot?!?

Posted by: kjk at December 19, 2004 6:11 PM

Bring Out Frosty or Face the Consequences

It's no accident that because 1) Rumsfeld didn't provide adequate armor for the troops everyone fervently supports, because 2) the White House pick for Homeland Security director had to be withdrawn due to mafia ties, nanny troubles, and extra-marital activities, and because 3) the Republicans, now running the entire government by the way, changed the law prohibiting representatives indicted for crimes from holding office so that Majority Leader Tom DeLay could keep his job (Any one of which, let's face it, had a Democrat done, would now be referred to with a -GATE suffix in 50-point type for the next full year), what THEY are finding the time to talk about now... is how Liberals Want to Kill Christmas.

Peggy Noonan says:

Stop the war on religious expression in America. Have Terry McAuliffe come forward and announce that the Democratic Party knows that a small group of radicals continue to try to "scrub" such holidays as Christmas from the public square. They do this while citing the Constitution, but the Constitution does not say it is wrong or impolite to say "Merry Christmas" or illegal to have a crèche in the public square. The Constitution says we have freedom of religion, not from religion. Have Terry McAuliffe announce that from here on in the Democratic Party is on the side of those who want religion in the public square, and the Ten Commandments on the courthouse wall for that matter. Then he should put up a big sign that says "Merry Christmas" on the sidewalk in front of the Democratic National Committee Headquarters on South Capitol Street. The Democratic Party should put itself on the side of Christmas, and Hanukkah, and the fact of transcendent faith.

And in case you thought there was any response to this other than just DOING EXACTLY WHAT SHE SAYS, then forget about it. Because whether or not she means it as irony, this is very much a list of demands from the victor to a vanquished foe. Get used to it!

The only thing a person that hopes to be politically relevant can do now is make sure the tree has enough lights, that Frosty is up on the roof, that you show up to church*, and that you KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.

Because they will fight the Liberal Menace here and abroad.

You think we have more important things to talk about right now? Real discussions to be had? Well that sounds like the talk of someone who hates Santa! Where's your Frosty, Citizen? The rest of us noticed you weren't very quick in getting it up there this year.

I can't believe it, but of all things, we're going to be looking back at Christmas With The Kranks and see it as deeply symbolic of today's mood.

I can't say it better than Alicublog.

*Yes, Peggy included Hanukkah, but let's get real. Do you really think she'd write a word about a menorah being removed? CHURCH. Not Temple.

Posted by Chris on 12/17/04

I have followed my life according to Tim Allen's films so far, why would I stop now?

Posted by: klugula at December 17, 2004 9:57 AM

if I may just take this moment, however to express my sadness at how Christmas has been blanded and sanitized so as to not ever offend or make ANYONE in the WORLD feel out or different.

I, in no way, agree with this idiotic statement and the demands to love christmas or else. But when I'm in a job where I actually am REPRIMANDED for saying "merry christmas" in an email instead of "happy holidays"...I think the world is topsy turvy.

Everyone should celebrate or not celebrate their respective holidays as they wish, and while I should not be offended that joe schmo hates Christmas, and joe blow is a jew, and joe flow is a kwanzaa celebrator, nor should they be offended when i sing silent night or put a manger scene on my desk?

What the F is the harm in celebratign a holiday? What am I doing to OFFEND you by saying Merry Christmas?

Sorry. Now I'm all riled up.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 17, 2004 10:03 AM

But I agree with you, and that's the whole point:

Now you're riled up - and so am I! - over "the attack on Christmas." CHRISTMAS? Who's attacking Christmas? NO ONE. And is that really what the national debate should be right now? Aren't there more important things going on?

Is religion really "under attack" in the U.S.? It seems like it's doing fine to me. They've bamboozled us! We've been hoodwinked! They'd rather us argue about manger displays at your desk than the other stuff!

Posted by: Chris at December 17, 2004 10:11 AM

I guess I am lucky in my office. We have a staff of about 15 people. My boss is Jewish and a witch (literally), but she celebrates the season, not offended or upset with any of the things we have to show our faith or beliefs. My other boss puts up Christmas trees in the office (when he is not at his home in Phoenix). We all get along, and celebrate and decorate however we wish. We have to be the most politically incorrect office around. We play sexual harassment games, make off color remarks on race, religion, anything. Holidays, regular days, it doesn't matter. Our boss even brings in her personal psychic every three months, for free readings to all who want it. And everyone takes it. We've got it all, baby. No pressure, no bitching. Lovely. (funny, this has been an eye opener for me, guess I should not gripe as much as I do about the work, I have it pretty good).

Posted by: klugula at December 17, 2004 10:13 AM

I am also lucky in my office. Because it's California, there is so much to do! When I am not meeting with my local Science Group (where I do volunteer work for the "Kill God" project), I am a part of a really cool "Desecration Squad" where my coworkers and I go around stealing the Baby Jesus out of Nativity scenes, painting lewd slogans on it, then throwing it through church windows on Sunday morning. But I don't have time to talk now, I have to go and destroy the institution of marriage.

Posted by: Chris at December 17, 2004 10:37 AM

Well, I think there IS a subtle attack on Christmas, and for that matter all religious holidays. In an effort to be the great melting pot and to include everything and everybody, the world and its fun ONE TIME A YEAR holidays are being dumbed down and made 'safe' to the point that they're no fun. Look how far Trick or Treat has fallen since we were kids. Look how the media made Hannukah a big blow out Holiday when in the Jewish calendar it's really the equivalent of say...President's Day. All of our decorations at our building have to be blue and gold so as not to offend anyone. No pine trees, no stars, no red and green, no santas, no candy canes, NOTHING that could be construed as 'forcing christmas' on anyone.

My prediction for the future? America will have four completely secular "Seasonal Fun Days" and that's it.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 17, 2004 11:34 AM

I'll drop a few late cents in here because I'm taken with the holiday spirit.

I have to agree with Chris on this. It seems the media is stoking the embers of something pretty insignificant instead of dealing with something that matters. Religion is under attack? Sure, all ideas are "under attack" from some opposition, but so what? At least it doesn't cost as many lives as it used to when religious groups were attacking each other. Reframing the argument to cast religion in the role of the persecuted victim is shameful, undignified strategy (even though it works).

This is not newsworthy. It's local news on steroids. What next? Cow-tipping and mailbox baseball attacking our values? How about: The Environment is Under Attack! Climate Change, the greatest threat to mankind as agreed by most scientists and the Pentagon, is dismissed by our current leader as an uncertainty because it goes against his "if it feels good, just do it" attitude toward corporate greed and privatization of everything.

Faith in gods, angels, unicorns and prophets, etc., we can live without. Air we can breath, water we can drink, soil we can grow crops in, etc. are far more important to us and all the other organisms inhabiting this little planet.

I'd rather we celebrate today's Solstice - the real reason for the season, long before it was co-opted many times over. It reminds me we're not so high and mighty even though we've written some theological tracts that say we are. I'm sure if I go outside to wish folks a Happy Solstice there would be some who would thank me, others would think I'm crazy for believing in something provable, and a few that wish I would keep my offensive beliefs to myself.

Posted by: isaac at December 21, 2004 11:12 AM

I was with you until the end. I can get behind every religion except those Solstice bastards. Those busybodies have been at my door every day with their literature and their cookbooks and their grubby hands out for donations. Get a job, freak! The day I give one of those Utah bigamists money is the day I eat my hat!

Posted by: Chris at December 21, 2004 11:21 AM

You're thinking about the Mormons.

Posted by: Straight Man at December 21, 2004 11:22 AM

WHOEVER they are, they're not down with the holidays. THROW 'EM IN GUANTANAMO, I say! LET'S SEE YOU WORSHIP YOUR SUN-GOD FROM A DARK CELL, MORMON!

Posted by: Chris at December 21, 2004 11:23 AM

Why do all of you hate Christmas? And America?

I just long for the wholesome, peaceful seventies where you could sing O Come All Ye Faithful in public.

God the seventies were awesome.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 21, 2004 12:40 PM

You know what I've always said about mormons? They've got a superfluous m in the middle there.


Posted by: friend jessica at December 21, 2004 12:41 PM

I'm starting to view this flexing of religious muscles as part of a pledge drive.

Christianity grew rapidly in the Roman, then Holy Roman, Empires because of the slaves. With three fifths of the population living in chains they were easily drawn to the vision of salvation, something better in the next world. Death was deliverance.

Who here now looks forward to death (beside the Belmont Goth chicks)? Who honestly believes heaven is preferable to their cushy, comfy much-entertained existance? Faith and the afterlife can't compete in a capital market that promises heaven on earth. Faith is on the wane because it is no longer so necessary to existance.

The Republican Party, which has co-opted the causes of religion ever since Jerry Falwell and company started waving their massive mailing lists under the GOP nose and recommending a stronger pull to the right, cannot exist without an opponent. Look at the Clinton years, they were powerless because their strength (on commies) was no longer relevant. Listen to right-wing radio, it's all Democrat-bashing without any other Republican agenda.

With the merger of the two, faith and the GOP, so merges their strategy: establish oneself as the victim (religion under attack) and go on the offensive in the name of defense. It's a whipping up of religious patriotism. Is religion under attack more than gay rights are?

I feel bad for people like jessica who want to keep religion but have to endure the political football it's been turned into.

Posted by: isaac at December 22, 2004 7:44 AM

It's my understanding that in heaven I'll have a healthy spine and a perfectly flat stomach.

Heaven isn't something I sit waiting around for, the blessed release of death as it were. God put me here to a) enjoy the world and the people he created and b) hopefully do some good for others. I hear a lot of Christians say how they're just 'waiting to be called home' or some such crap. I doubt that's what God wants for us. He gave me a really active mind, imagination, energy, a working body, a family, friends, pets...the desire to fight for certain issues and I'm going to squeeze every ounce out of this crazy roller coaster ride we call life.


Not you Mike, you're gay.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 22, 2004 8:20 AM

December 16, 2004

The Left Hand of Hollywood

Ursula K. LeGuin, renowned sci-fi author and presumably the owner of multiple cats, has expressed displeasure at the Sci-Fi Channel's adaptation of her "Earthsea" novels "A Wizard of Earthsea" and "The Tombs of Atuan." Apparently the producers of the mini-series changed scenes, moved them around, did not cast actors according to the author's wishes, and in general did not include her in decisions about the production.

This is all the more heinous since nothing in entertainment history could possibly have alerted Ms. LeGuin to the notion that movie producers often take adaptations far astray from the writer's intentions once the contract is signed.

I'm anticipating this will be a major headline in all the trades since it's such an atypical situation. Watch this space for updates!

Posted by Chris on 12/16/04

I can only imagine who she wanted cast in various roles.

"My friend Carl from the bookstore always wanted to be a wizard, and my sister Janine wants to be in movies all her life!"

Then she adjusted her glasses, brushed her hip length hair out of her face and rybbed some of the mustard off of her kitty sweater.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 16, 2004 12:58 PM

Also: Word to the Wise - when you're at work at a major corporation with firewalls, don't try a google image search of "tiny kitty"

Posted by: friend jessica at December 16, 2004 1:47 PM

Craziness! Up next in Hollywood, remakes of
previous films. This is some kind of new madness! I can't believe what I am lip reading here today!

Posted by: klugula at December 16, 2004 2:39 PM

Dammit! I've been going crazy all night. Was is that line from? "I can't believe what I am lip reading here today!"

Posted by: friend jessica at December 17, 2004 6:59 AM

never mind. It's kids in the hall.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 17, 2004 8:10 AM

I got that line from an episode of "The Kids in the Hall". It is an Oscar show, and they are playing the clips for best actor. All of the clips are some sort of handicapped man, and one man who did Hamlet. They show the man taking a stand against injustice toward the handicapped. One guy is deaf, and this crowd of people are trying to instate some sort of law that would hurt the deaf. So he says "I can't believe what I am lip reading here today.", as he shoves his way through the crowd to the microphone. Classic.

Posted by: klugula at December 17, 2004 8:11 AM

I remembered I loved that skit. Scott Thompson was the Hamlet and I thought he looked so sexy. I've always had a crush on him and Dave Foley.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 17, 2004 8:23 AM

Scott is one of the only flamy queens that I find appealing. Besides Elwood. :)

Posted by: klugula at December 17, 2004 8:32 AM

But I never said that about Elwood. Are we clear?

Posted by: klugula at December 17, 2004 8:33 AM

:: calling elwood ::

:: also calling battered gays shelter ::

Posted by: friend jessica at December 17, 2004 8:35 AM

mmmmmm battered gays....

Posted by: friend jessica at December 17, 2004 8:36 AM

That's the only way to eat 'em. Beer battered.

Posted by: klugula at December 17, 2004 8:38 AM

dipped in ranch

Posted by: friend jessica at December 17, 2004 8:51 AM

I prefer blue cheese.

Posted by: klugula at December 17, 2004 9:02 AM

December 15, 2004

Presidential Monkey-Portrait

I'm no expert on the rise and fall of nations. I've not read a lot about fascism. As much as I go on about it I'm no First Amendment scholar.

But I would think that even some conservative elements might be alarmed that now our sacred right to display a picture of the president formed out of monkeys is being threatened.

Isn't that like #3 on the Downwards Slide of Nations list? #1, consolidate power through demogoguery, #2, form emergency police state, #3, outlaw all presidential monkey portraits. What freedom do I have if I cannot use monkeys to express my political beliefs?

Posted by Chris on 12/15/04

How can I get my hands on that artwork? Money is no object!

Posted by: klugula at December 15, 2004 11:35 AM

I've thought of a LOT of art mediums..never monkeys though.

Kudos, and Brava

Posted by: friend jessica at December 15, 2004 11:46 AM

"To see that something like this can happen, especially in a place like New York City is mind boggling and scary."

They've already forgotten Guliani? He was notorious for going after art galleries in his cleanup of New York. Remember "Yo Mama's Last Supper" featuring Jesus as a black woman?

There's no accounting for taste and not everything called art is art, etc., but when will these bozos - I can't use twat again too soon, it'd be like wearing yesterday's lovely sweater tomorrow - learn that if you are offended by art you keep it to yourself, you don't try to ban it.

Censoring art is like Oprah-ing a book.

Posted by: isaac at December 15, 2004 1:51 PM

Ocean's 12

"Ocean's 12" makes it official: Julia Roberts is now such an enormous movie star that even the movies she's in cannot suspend their disbelief about it. Like rays of light bent by gravity, her celebrity is so massive in reality that it warps fiction.

We saw it begin with "Notting Hill," in which she portrayed... a superstar actress. And although Steven Soderberg bravely managed to stare directly into the blinding light of her star for "Erin Brokovich," thereafter he was forced to avert his gaze: in "Ocean's 12" as in his "Full Frontal," she literally plays herself.

Well, it was inevitable. And let's face it - in a movie as star-studded as "Ocean's 12," the behind-the-scenes facts are just as much a part of the entertainment as the movie. One of the trailers boasted "Yes, they're all back!" Because part of the drama of this movie would be the tension over whether or not the producers could corral this many famous people into one project a second time.

Anyway, I enjoyed this movie because it amuses me to view beautiful, rich, well-dressed people solving conflicts that take place in gorgeous European suites. I derive pleasure from "caper" films wherein the heroes turn out to have had the thing wrapped up the whole time. That pleasure fades upon reflection, but no matter. I don't need every movie I watch to change everything I knew or thought I knew.

I also wish I had a job that involved shooting cables attached to crossbow bolts into buildings.

Posted by Chris on 12/15/04

does she do the big horsey surprise laugh followed by big surprise horsey smile?

Hey julia, why the long teeth?

Posted by: friend jessica at December 15, 2004 8:04 AM

Here we go again with the Julia bashing. Tut tut.

Posted by: klugula at December 15, 2004 9:29 AM

I hate the f-ing whore. AND SO DOES THE LORD

Posted by: friend jessica at December 15, 2004 9:35 AM

But George Bush likes her. I have made my choice. Shouldn't you make the right one?

Posted by: klugula at December 15, 2004 10:49 AM

My God - they were right

As I sit here listening to this story about how cell phones may soon be allowed on planes, my first reaction is AHA! I've always known that thing about them "interfering with communications" was crap.

But now it occurs to me - people talking on their cell phones in the plane? All at once? God - how could I have been so stupid? And here I was thinking it couldn't possibly be more miserable.

Posted by Chris on 12/15/04

Exactly my thoughts this morning. Oh, and I am sure the reception will be stellar. So all of the people talking @ once will be saying, very loudly, "What?! Can you repeat that?!", over and over again.

Posted by: klugula at December 15, 2004 9:28 AM

THat's why I take 3000 mgs of barbituates before I board a plane.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 15, 2004 9:38 AM

We can add one more to the cliched cell-talk phrases:

"I'm on the plane!"

We already have "I'm on the bus!" and "I'm on the train!". Less common, I once overheard one of my old neighbors coming home up the steps: "I'm on the porch!". Twat.

Posted by: isaac at December 15, 2004 10:07 AM

awesome use of "twat".

Posted by: friend jessica at December 15, 2004 10:13 AM

Very good word for any occasion.

Posted by: klugula at December 15, 2004 10:48 AM

I like to perform the word with a long, hard a, rhyming with cat.


Posted by: friend jessica at December 15, 2004 12:27 PM, that pronunciation makes it a bit, shall we say...unChristian. Otherwise it is ok. You just crossed the line.

Posted by: klugula at December 15, 2004 12:50 PM

December 14, 2004

Note to the next guy who kills his pregnant wife

From CNN:

"Jurors who decided that Scott Peterson deserves to die say his lack of emotion played a large role in their decision. "No emotion, no anything. That spoke a thousand words," juror Richelle Nice said of Peterson, convicted earlier of killing wife Laci and unborn son Conner."

Other things that spoke a thousand words, and presumably more: the attorneys trying the case. But all their gum-flappin' didn't persuade the way Peterson's less-than-brilliant performance did!

It certainly doesn't feel like some miscarriage of justice has occurred, thank Jebus. But the disturbing inverse of this comment is that if Peterson had been a better actor, it might have saved him.

This will be a real lesson to the next spouse-killer and his attorneys. Let's get those tears flowing, guys!

Posted by Chris on 12/14/04

Thanks Chris. Now I know what to do next week when I am arrested for just such a charge. You have saved me.

Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 8:11 AM

Well, my suggestion to you if you're thinking about homicide is the following: Check out Exodus 20:13. (KJV)

But if that doesn't work, really ham it up in the courtroom. My understanding from actors is that if they want to work up some tears for a scene, they think back to something that was "sad" to them.

Putting some irritant near your eyes couldn't hurt, either.

Posted by: Chris at December 14, 2004 8:17 AM


I'm so torn on this case, if I can get serious for a moment. While 90% of my mind and indeed the world believes that OF COURSE he did it, there's still the bothersome lack of eye witnesses, a murder weapon or any substantial evidence. So there's a CHANCE (albeit ridiculously slim) this guy is being railroaded, a horrible nightmare Chris and I discussed yesterday.

And who are we, as fallible, emotional, possibly mentally unstable human beings to decide WHO LIVES AND DIES? I just can't get into this death penalty. It serves nothing but revenge and bloodlust. Lacie is not brought back to life, ADDITIONAL lives are lost and ruined, and there were people outside the courtroom LAUGHING AND CHEERING AND SMILING as if they'd won a football game?


Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 8:22 AM

Memories? Glycerin? I, sir, am an actor, and need no such tools. How dare you. Now, if you will excuse me. REALLY!

Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 8:26 AM

I am on the fence. I think eye for an eye makes sense. On the other hand, I agree w/ you. It doesn't bring the people back. Does it deter future criminal behavior? I doubt it. So how to sway on this? I don't know.

Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 8:28 AM

Well if you'd bothered to look up the Biblical reference, you would have seen that it says "Thou shalt not kill," by which of course God clearly meant "Individuals shalt not kill, but governments and other authorities, OK. Also, individuals sanctioned by those governments or authorities."

I mean, duh.

I know these grieving parents have been through hell, but I agree with you. I hope I am never in the frame of mind where I am holding up a newspaper that says DEATH and smiling broadly.

And every time you're in the position of saying the death penalty is wrong, it's right after the trial of some heinous inhuman monster, so those cheering throngs outside the courthouse gladly assume you sanction the brutal murder of pregnant women. Nice!

Posted by: Chris at December 14, 2004 8:28 AM

If I had bothered to look up the Biblical reference? Yes, I have my bible right here at work, next to my monitor, where it can be of great use as I talk to all of the deadbeats I have to call each day.

Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 8:34 AM

If I may quote a wise little indian fellow: "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind".

I don't think it deters future crimes because to be in a frame of mind to murder someone requires a complete disconnection from the world of right/wrong and consequence, I think.

And while Scott Peterson did commit a heinous, disgusting crime the likes of which we'll not see for another week at least, i doubt that if he were allowed to live in prison his life would be a joyride. First off: he'd be someone's ass bitch inside of six minutes, Second: I don't think he's a cold, heartless monster. He would suffer his whole life regretting what he did.

But at least his parents would know their son was alive.

I don't know. Can't we stop killing each other? Why didn't this freakin guy just pack up and leave???? WHY?

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 8:37 AM

To Klugula: You should have known the reference BY HEART, like me.

To Friend Jessica: That is the great mystery to me to - why the bastard didn't just leave. And if we're speaking seriously, I wouldn't want to spare his life just to send him to a living hell of prison rape, either. What about hard labor, no cable TV? Big picture of his wife on the wall?

Posted by: Chris at December 14, 2004 8:40 AM

That's what I asked myself last night, after Elwood turned up missing. Who could have done such a thing?
I agree, I think it is much worse for someone to live the rest of their days, wallowing in their own self pity, asking themselves so many questions. Much worse than instant death. But the American people want instant gratification, and life sentences don't provide that. Execution, gastric bypass surgeries and candy bars. That is what Americans want. Can't we live with that?

Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 8:41 AM

Well, I am absolutely no advocate for prison rape, and have been flamed out of existence for suggesting that we should prevent it somehow, or work towards stopping it. Why would you wish rape on anyone? EVEN A RAPIST? Why do you want to continue the barbaric practice? Is anyone but me seeing these vicious cycles?


Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 8:54 AM

For me the most confusing/disturbing aspect of this is why this case is being given preferential treatment in the media (above the costly occupation, the abandoned hunt for Osama bin Missing and what's Paulie Shore doing now? stories).

I'm admittedly pop-culturally illiterate. Why are Scott and Lacie famous? Is it just for being a (pretty, white) victim and (handsome, white) murderer? Is that all there is? I can understand the media attention given to OJ Simpson and other celebrity murderers but this one baffles me. Aren't murders happening every day? Aren't some of them good-looking/white/preggers?

The conspiracy-theorist in me (and I tend to keep the bugger under lock and key for fear it will lead me down the dark path to blinking my eyes at different speeds and beginning sentences with "they don't want you to know this...") suggests it has to do with the need to establish a precedent and fetuses having rights to a birth. We'll soon forget about Lacie and talk about that guy who got executed for causing the death of his "unborn child". Then we can shift focus to doctors who perform operations that also result in the deaths of "unborn children". Then we can write off a freedom - control of their bodies and destinies - exercised by some women and available to all.

I can respect the pro-life viewpoint as valid and growing from a system of beliefs and morals. I can't accept it when it grows from pro-life "I'LL never have an abortion" to anti-choice "YOU'LL never have an abortion". It seems an unacceptable position in a society that values democracy, individuality and personal choice and responsibility.

It's the thin edge of the wedge, I'm afraid. We're being softened up for a little more regress. But I've learned the slogans well: They hate our freedoms. They want to take away our liberties because they can't see the value in them.

Posted by: isaac at December 14, 2004 9:44 AM

Well, I'm not sure how this became a pro life issue, but I think that there's a difference in the fact that this baby was all but DUE to be born, and certainly viable outside the womb. I really DON'T think it would be such a big deal if it were a six week embryo.

I think that it's DEFINITELY the looks that got the media attention. He's not my type, but I know plenty of women who think Scott Peterson is "HAWT" and Lacie was a real cutie. Add in the blond bombshell lover and Scott PEterson's elaborate "I'm in paris" lies and you've got a great TBS movie starring dean cain.

If this guy looked like Steve Buscemi and his wife weighed three spins, it would be a backpage story.

How quickly we forgot about Lori Hacking. Pregnant, murdered, and her husband did it.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 10:04 AM

But it IS an advancement of the pro-life agenda, because if it's a separate crime for Petersen to have killed his unborn child then by that logic it's also a crime for a pregnant woman to smoke, to drink alcohol, to use any over the counter remedies that may affect the child, to fly on an airplane in her third trimester, etc. Anything that is known to be adverse to a fetus would be criminal negligence.

Is it not reasonable to expect the police to stop a woman from forcing her infant to smoke? Would we be interested if a woman injected her two-week old baby with valium? Yes. And now that a fetus is legally the same, we can expect no less policing of pregnant women.

And by the way - as far as the pro-life people go, there's no difference between the six-week embryo and the nine-month fetus.

Posted by: Chris at December 14, 2004 10:12 AM

I'm sorry, I'm confused, honestly. Was he actually charged with the murder of the baby? I don't remember. If so, then it IS an issue, definitely.

I was just speaking of the media/emotional impact. People feel worse, I think instinctually, for the death of a baby that actually looks like a baby rather than a little blood clot.

Does that make more sense?

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 11:18 AM

From the story:

"On November 12, the... six-man, six-woman jury convicted Peterson of first-degree murder with special circumstances in the death of Laci and of second-degree murder in the death of the fetus."

Two murder counts!

Here's a bit about "The Unborn Victims of Violence Act," also known as "Lacy & Conner's Law," signed by Bush in April:,2933,115825,00.html

"The law makes it possible to charge attackers with the murder of an unborn child when the pregnant mother is also attacked."

Before I come across sounding like a complete pig that doesn't care about babies, let me say that it WOULD be heartless to ignore the fact that this woman was just about to have a child! And that SHOULD be weighted when sentencing this guy. But when you start treating the unborn officially like individuals, you are walking down a long, absurd road.

Posted by: Chris at December 14, 2004 11:50 AM

I agree with that. My statement was a) an honest question because I couldn't remember and the original statement was b)in regards to isaac's question of why this gets more airtime than any other murder.

However, I believe that a fetus that is fully viable outside the body is an individual. Doesn't mean I'm not pro-choice, just a little theory of mine. Perhaps it's due to my infertility, and cringing at the thought of an eight month old fetus being a) aborted b) murdered when they could just hand it over to me, you know?

I DON'T WANT TO OUTLAW ABORTION THOUGH. i can't make that clear enough.

Thank you.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 12:15 PM

Sorry, I should have mentioned that bit in my ramblings. I haven't been keeping up with the story but I do remember hearing when the trial started that the prosecution wanted to push for the double-homicide.

Trying to outlaw abortion by linking it to the idea that some guy who killed his wife also killed (therfore aborted) their unborn child is a specious argument. But those who want it outlawed will grab whatever argument they can; reasoning and intellectual honesty are absent from their strategy. Remember, the same folk don't want gays getting married to protect existing straight marriages. Next we'll ban smoking because someone died inhaling carbon monoxide in a closed garage.

Maybe I'm completely wrong and this has nothing to do with the anti-choice movement. It might just be the testing ground for the next phase of reality shows.

Posted by: isaac at December 14, 2004 12:22 PM

Agreed, and agreed. I guess the only thing left in this case is to get Katie Couric to ask the parents how they felt when the verdict was read.

THEN I can have that which I seek above all else: closure. Ah, precious closure.

Posted by: Chris at December 14, 2004 12:53 PM

WHERE can I find some good texas hold 'em links????? FOR GOD'S SAKE!

here are some knitting links:

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 2:17 PM

SPATIALKITTY.COM! The website for people turned on by kitties that exist in space and time!

Posted by: Chris at December 14, 2004 2:45 PM

you can knit a sweater for your spatial kitty!

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 2:57 PM

December 13, 2004

Citibank billboards


This is what the Citibank billboard at the intersection says, and like many Citibank billboard slogans, I have to do a triple, quadruple, quintuple take to decode it. What the hell does that mean? Are they giving away money? Reality? What?

"It means not everyone can be on a reality show and win a million dollars," Wife Ami says testily, as if I have wondered aloud and at length about the meaning of this slogan every time we pass it, as if I have turned it into some regular, unfunny and unwanted comedy routine. (I suppose I have.)

OK, I understand now. It still seems like a long walk for their message, but I get it. In fact ALL the Citibank slogans are a long walk to an unintentionally ironic message to me. "Your debt to us is crushing you, but try to enjoy life anyway," is how I read their slogans. "Don't let your lack of disposable income caused in part by our ridiculous interest rates keep you from purchasing something you might enjoy."

It makes me realize once more how very different the world of the ad exec must be from the regular, logical, oxygen-breathing world. It's a world where slogans like this for the company that charges me more than 19% interest on two separate credit seemed like a great idea:






Posted by Chris on 12/13/04

Citibank advertising works best when you do as much cocaine as its creators. You can cut your lines with the new Citi-Platinum Card.

Posted by: isaac at December 14, 2004 6:47 AM

I, for one, welcome our citibank overlords. They care about us, not our money. You're not just a number with citibank, you're a FRIEND.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 6:57 AM

Is that why they denied me a simple checking account, cuz I was their friend? It was in my best interest? Is that it?

Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 7:30 AM


Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 7:35 AM

They knew that you'd use that money for boring, grown up things like bills and rent. Dude, life is short...have FUN with your money. Buy a boat, buy a purebred dog...LIVE THIS FREAKY TRAIN RIDE.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 7:38 AM

Do you even know me? I use my money for online "services", and trips to Steamworks. I use my money for giving...well...what I give cannot be mentioned here. I use my money for my own sick, twisted pleasures. As you can tell, I use my money for the good of mankind. But mostly I use it for me. Shouldn't that give me the green light for a Citibank account? ANSWER ME!

Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 7:46 AM

oooOOoo, here's the thing. Did you check the box that said "homo tendencies"?

Big mistake.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 8:25 AM

I just want to be loved, is that so wrong?

Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 9:24 AM

If you're harvey firestein it is.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 10:05 AM

Orient Thyself

When I am participating in some new activity, and there's some sort of orientation, my thought is always the same: "This seems really simple. Do I really need instructions on how to do it?"

Usually not, but still, I usually end up attending all orientations. The reason is twofold: 1) My fear is that they will slip some vital procedural thing in amongst the pedantic minutia that you actually need to know. Usually orientations cover things like This Is How You Read a Map, or English Will Be The Language We Use in this Activity. But often they include things just to punish people for not attending, like We Do Not Accept Visa Even Though We Said We Would, or If You Do Not Sign This List You Cannot Participate.

The other reason I compulsively attend is that 2) no matter how fundamental the task, I still fear I lack some basic understanding of how it is performed. For instance: I went on a hike this weekend at Vasquez Rocks Park*, and it was the sort of hike where they give you a topographical map and you have to find certain hidden flags in the smallest amount of time. And speaking of This Is How You Read A Map, that was exactly what they were covering in the orientation.

This sort of thing is called "orienteering," (Which makes it sound like we should be wearing pith helmets, and even though you don't this is of course so geeky that it will earn you no points whatsoever to make fun of me for it. I did not join the Boy Scouts and therefore never got this kind of thing out of my system.) and you are encouraged to use a compass and pay attention to natural features to figure out where the flags are.

So I attend the Orienteering Orientation, even though we were taking about maps and compasses, which seems fairly straightforward. Again - I suppose my fear was that there would be some hidden use for that dial around the compass that I didn't realize, or some fundamental property of the Earth's magnetic field that I had never heard about. There are, after all, many basic bits of knowledge other people seem to know that I don't, so I can never be sure.

But no - because the fellow targeted the orientation at people who not only couldn't read a map, but had never seen a map, and also couldn't grasp the metaphor of scale, he spent fifteen minutes giving us the Five Steps of Using the Map and Compass. And another fifteen on what all the lines on a topographical map mean. I don't lay blame, because there certainly are people who seem to start each day by falling off the turnip truck. (See 2004 Election, Results of.)

And there always seems to be an Unofficial Interpreter at these orientations, the one that sighs and steps forward to clear up the confusion the speaker has unintentionally caused. "He's saying you should first align the map with north before figuring out which direction to go," this guy says, taking two seconds to cut through the past thirty minutes.

Maybe one day I'll stop attending these things, or at least stop attending the ones that don't involve life or death. Skydiving orientation? Glad I went. Orienteering orientation? I read the website - I'm good.

As for the event itself - cool. I said you are encouraged to pay attention to landmarks, but in fact you HAVE to - because that's all you have. And that was harder than I thought. I walked off with my map, my little plastic compass, and a smirk. But the minute I left the trail, my first thought was, "Wait a minute."

I did the course alone, which I think must be the best way. Otherwise I think in addition to map skills you end up measuring your group dynamic skills. Most people did the course in groups, and each group I passed seemed to be in major debate over how high that cliff was, if the map's scale was correct, and why didn't they just backtrack? It's interesting - how many times have you been driving somewhere with someone and you're "lost," not because you don't know where you are but because the person in the passenger seat doesn't feel good about it? And I'm not someone that feels backtracking or stopping for directions is a personal failing.

Also interesting is how you inevitably run into people looking for the same hidden flag you are. You don't want to cheat, but what those folks are doing in your peripheral vision certainly influences you. And it IS a race, although not the kind I felt compelled to run. You are given a little electronic keychain to "check in" at each flag, so at the end you know your results.

*A park thirty minutes north of L.A. with lots of cliffs and crazy prehistoric rock formations. They've shot such things as old Star Trek episodes, The Flintstones, and probably hundreds of westerns here.
Posted by Chris on 12/13/04

Was this perhaps not so much "orienteering" as "location scouting"?

(for The Intervention II?)

Posted by: isaac at December 13, 2004 1:51 PM

Chris -
If you enjoyed orienteering, you might get a kick out of geocaching too. It's actually kind of fun to do with your kids...eerrr... well... *ahem*...

I suppose you could tote along a VHS copy of "The Plant" or "The Intervention" with you. And show it the cache site once you get there. Maybe leave a copy behind too... THAT could be an interesting thing to find in a cache!

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at December 13, 2004 2:18 PM

It WAS location scouting - for "Intervention: Outback."

Posted by: Chris at December 13, 2004 2:27 PM

I looked up Geocaching and it does look cool. Since I am childless and my life is without joy (AHEM), I am going to try it.

What if you set up someone's apartment as a geocache without them knowing about it? That sounds like the beginnings of a funny movie. Maybe the first thing I leave in a geocache will be that screenplay.

Posted by: Chris at December 13, 2004 2:30 PM

You might also enjoy collecting stamps! Or reading about dinosaurs!

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 2:56 PM

You're mean.

Posted by: Chris at December 13, 2004 3:00 PM

no YOU

Posted by: friend jessica at December 14, 2004 6:18 AM

And won't YOU be surprised when you check out the Tracking Bug that you put on that script and see...

"Last seen in: "


Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at December 14, 2004 10:25 AM

Your comments thing ate my comment!

That was SUPPOSED to say:

"Last seen in: Stephen Spielberg's office"

Bother. So much for witty reparte. And now my baby has horked up on me yet again. Bleargh.

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at December 14, 2004 10:35 AM

I WONDERED what that was. Now it makes more sense. I would include some programming in the tracking bug that if it came near Dreamworks' offices, to dislodge and affix itself to Sir Steven.

Posted by: Chris at December 14, 2004 10:51 AM

My one wish

This is the time of year when all I want in my life, all I crave, all I NEED... is for some pop artist to re-interpret "Silent Night" or Jingle Bells." I'm not asking for much. Maybe an R&B version? Something a little "hip?" A "new spin" on a classic?

Won't somebody do it? Please?

And not to be greedy, but would it be too much to ask for someone to make a film that remounts Dicken's timeless classic "A Christmas Carol?" Don't roll your eyes! Yes, you've seen it before, but what new twists will THIS YEAR'S artists bring to it?


Posted by Chris on 12/13/04

I just told Brian yesterday that if I see one more "fascinating twist" on "A Christmas Carol" I'm going to throw myself out a 1st floor window into a soft shrub.

Now Scrooge is a....wait for it....WOMAN

Now Scrooge is a....wait for it...SHOCK JOCK

Now he's a muppet, a cartoon, Frasier, yer mom, David Beckham!

Brian says it's proof that it's a timeless story. I's JUST FUCKING DO THE ORIGINAL STORY AND STOP THIS NONSENSE FOR GOD'S SAKE.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 8:14 AM

I once played Scrooge on high school. And my version was the really bad, high school acting, lifeless, monotone, painfully slow version. It had a lot in common with the much later Patrick Stewart version. Except mine was tolerable.

Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 11:05 AM



Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 12:24 PM

Is Christmas the only holiday that has its own ghosts? Halloween I suppose goes without saying, but is there a Ghost of Easter Past? The Ghost of Saint Patrick's Day Future? Do they only haunt holy days? Is there a Ghost of Independence Day Present? Thanksgiving Future?

And is it okay to masturbate with a ghost present?

Posted by: isaac at December 13, 2004 1:47 PM

George Washington's Birthday also has ghosts, but since it is not the actual birthdate of the founding father, they are only Observed Ghosts.

Posted by: Chris at December 13, 2004 2:22 PM


Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 2:44 PM


Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 6:45 AM

Blessed be! My desk was visited by friendly elves last night and they left a (part of a) poem with accompanying storybook illustration (of working elves). It made me laugh so now I must share:

These are elves.
They are making snow.
They are very good at it, although on
some days the snow comes out better
than others.
They are fed twice a week and do not
get to see their families.
One elf tried to escape this morning
but he was shot in the head.
They shot him in the fucking head.

Posted by: isaac at December 14, 2004 6:55 AM

That was "my one wish".

Posted by: klugula at December 14, 2004 7:32 AM

If Justice exists...

... then one day all of us will witness one Mr. Joe Rogan breaking down and crying a little bit in a tub of worms. Nearby there will be a model yelling at him: "Just one? You can't even eat just one?"

Posted by Chris on 12/13/04

I would bang Joe Rogan inside out.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 8:12 AM

Sadly, I think I would too.

Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 11:01 AM

I don't watch Fear Factor however. I just remember him from Newsradio and of course the ads for Fear Factor. Fear Factor is not on my list of tasteful programming. Especially with all the spiders and other creepy crawlies. Plus, I heard somewhere that Dick Cheney doesn't like it, and that was enough for me.

Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 11:17 AM

I like him because he's muscular and crabby.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 11:24 AM

Sure, you can want him and all that, but let's at least agree that apart from that "Zoom zoom" kid that does the Mazda TV commercials, he has had the easiest show biz career ever.

Did this guy win his career in a contest or something? Is it a part of some sort of community service NBC has to do from a lawsuit?

Posted by: Chris at December 13, 2004 11:43 AM


Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 12:19 PM

Well, I don't want to get into a Joe Rogan pissing contest, but he's a pretty hilarious stand up comedian. YOU write stand up comedy Chris. YOU make thousands laugh with your observational wit. I F-ing DARE YOU.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 12:20 PM

Needless almost cursing and requests for violence. No no.

Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 12:42 PM

Plus, Joe Rogan: good smoker

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 12:48 PM

My interest is piqued. Mmmmm, smoker. There is one movie with smoking that always makes me want to have a cigarette. Something Wild. Ray Liotta and Margaret Colin. Good smokers.

Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 1:16 PM

Bad smoker. Margot Kidder, in anything. But doesn't she really smoke? Hmm.

Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 1:20 PM

Muscular? Great stand-up comedian? Good smoker? Are we talking about the same "Joe Rogan" here? I'm talking about the guy who gets paid to make girls feel bad that they couldn't hold their breath longer in the garbage pit of maggots. THAT Joe Rogan.

The Joe Rogan I mean would wet his pants if he saw Ray Liotta crossing the street.

Posted by: Chris at December 13, 2004 1:21 PM

dude. He used to be a boxer. I am in a highly regulated business that monitors my internet usage, but if you do a quick google image search of joe rogan, the first five results show you a chiseled torso the likes of which would be worshipped in athens.

Maybe not modern athens, but the gay, ancient athens.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 1:24 PM

and friend, I KNOW you're not breaking bad on Ray "Every character I play is a potential rapist" Liotta.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 1:25 PM

Dude! I don't care if he's sporting the family six pack under there, my point still stands. Whence comest the cushy acting gigs?

Posted by: Chris at December 13, 2004 1:25 PM

I can see why you would think I'd be breaking bad on Ray Liotta back there. Wait - no I can't.

Posted by: Chris at December 13, 2004 1:32 PM

December 10, 2004

Utopian Parking Meters

How many times have you looked all over for street parking, found it, but then you don't have money for the meter? And not because you don't have $2, but because you don't have it in quarters?

The parking meters in Santa Monica - not only do they take quarters, dimes AND nickels, unlike the meters of some cities I could name..

::pausing to look meaningfully at Chicago, then resuming my statement::

... but you can also buy a little electronic card that can be used with the meters. It's about the size of those little supermarket discount cards that fit on your keychain. You just insert the card, have the 50 cents or whatever deducted from your account, and you're on your way.

It's not exactly the automated monorail pod-car I ordered. But it will do.

Posted by Chris on 12/10/04

But did you ever catch a bus in the city of angels? Either bus?

Posted by: isaac at December 10, 2004 3:38 PM

Hey guess what was announced this morning, in Chicago, the city of real men and strong women?



Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 7:21 AM

You beat me to the punch, missy. I was going to throw that back in his face as well, but I couldn't get to the computer fast enough. My face was buried in Vin Diesel's ass crack @ the time. Take that!

Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 11:07 AM

mmmmm ass crack

*I just threw up a little bit in my mouth

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 11:25 AM


Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 11:40 AM

December 9, 2004

Books: Who's In, Who's Out

Recently fired in the first 50 pages: "The Eye in the Pyramid," first book of the Illuminatus! trilogy. Life's too short. Also to remove: the rest of that trilogy from its long-standing position on my To Read list.

Immediately hired for that vacant Book I'm Reading Now position: "Black Dahlia" by James Ellroy. Halfway through and going strong.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 9/04


I know it daunting, but I also think you'll like it.

Posted by: Brian at December 10, 2004 6:15 AM


Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 6:17 AM

I am looking forward to reading "London" but I think I need a running start for it! I'm using Ellroy to get momentum.

Posted by: Chris at December 10, 2004 8:47 AM

I'm not going to read London unless there's a lot of nude sex in it.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 8:50 AM

You might like Dance, Dance, Dance. I'd say it was a good page-turner, but it was me that turned those pages. It's Phildickean and metaphysically mysterious, but not daunting unless you read by the light of your fridge.

To help you finish Ellroy quickly: it was the gunman that did it.

Posted by: isaac at December 10, 2004 9:01 AM


Posted by: Brian at December 10, 2004 11:34 AM

Brian! Please! You don't even know isaac.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 11:36 AM

That's Fag-Pussy. The order is so important. I mean you'd be confused if I called you Stain-Ass, wouldn't you?

Posted by: isaac at December 10, 2004 12:09 PM

isaac! please! That's my husband you're insulting!

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 12:15 PM

Actually.... CHRIS is the Pussy-Fag!

Posted by: Brian at December 10, 2004 12:35 PM

oh. well, that goes without saying.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 12:57 PM


Posted by: Chris at December 10, 2004 1:21 PM

To what? A satin finish eggshell white?

:: cough :: gay ::cough::

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 1:42 PM

May I remind you that the Lord is reading these...ok?

Posted by: klugula at December 10, 2004 1:43 PM

My entire home is satin finish eggshell white. What does this mean? Will I now have to leave my wife and children? I chose that color. My wife hesitated. I was never quite sure why. What is going on? All of these new questions swirling in my head. Barbra, Madonna, Cher, Will and Grace, Queer Eye! It all makes sense now. Oh thank you Jessica, thank you! May God bless you! Now I can run for public office!

Posted by: klugula at December 10, 2004 1:51 PM

I can hardly believe that two gay men, hellbent on rehabbing a condo in Chicago painted the whole thing eggshell white.

Present proof or admit your lie.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 2:04 PM

You are right. We have some teals, mauves, some beige. All of these colors coordinate with our leather sex swing, hung in our living room.

Posted by: klugula at December 10, 2004 2:09 PM

So you can watch football while you do a little bit of 'chugachugachuga', if you know what i mean.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 2:23 PM

Yeah, I wasn't calling Brian names (except Love Dripper). I was calling Chris the Stain-Ass because he did that "Lady in Red" song in a tremulous voice back in the 80s. A crime against music. Merely changing his surname and age won't hide him.

"two gay men, hellbent" oh my. Oh tee hee hee. Titter.

Posted by: isaac at December 10, 2004 3:36 PM

The Rule of Boxes

All boxes that come into the home must remain there for a period not less than one month, until I deem that they cannot be used for something. Only then will they be thrown away, and then with some regret.

Only then will the perfect use for that box reveal itself.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 9/04

You could store those smaller boxes in it.

Posted by: isaac at December 10, 2004 9:03 AM

paint faces on said boxes and make them into a set of boxy nesting dolls. Maybe "nested robots"

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 9:47 AM

Line them with aluminum foil and hide inside them when the government tries to control my mind, with their evil mind-controlling rays, which they do with some regularity by the way?

Posted by: Chris at December 10, 2004 9:56 AM

Only Lutherans believe that sort of crap.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 11:26 AM

I used to be Lutheran. Elwood and I just got a box of meat from my uncle from Omaha Steaks; for Christmas. We discussed keeping the styro cooler for something else. I understand the box dilemma. But not for the idiotic, crazed ideas that Chris does. I keep them for that possible zombie attack, in which the boxes can be used as armor against infectious bites. The styro may not work as well, but once a zombie is decapitated, we could keep the head in the cooler, until we reach a safe haven, where the scientists can congratulate us on our prize, and use it to find a cure for the zombie plague, thus I will have saved earth's human population from extinction. Want a reason to keep the boxes? Now you know. Now you know.

Posted by: klugula at December 10, 2004 11:34 AM

I bet Martha would know what to do with these boxes. Martha always knows.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 11:37 AM

Martha doesn't know anything. She is in prison. Am I to trust someone who has served hard time? C'mon.

Posted by: klugula at December 10, 2004 11:44 AM

If you ever get leprosy, you can keep yourself stored and organized with those boxes.

Posted by: isaac at December 10, 2004 12:05 PM

Haven't you seen "The Fly"? That is what your medicine cabinet is for.

Posted by: klugula at December 10, 2004 12:11 PM

Working From Home

In my current job I can usually work from home. Most of what I do is online to remote offices anyway, so why not. I enjoy the convenience of working from the apartment but it's a bit like wearing the One Ring: really cool at first but then you notice the dark spirits starting to gather around you.

Without much contact, I begin to slowly spiral down into madness and not moving much. This is how Gollum got his start.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 9/04

Plus, you know... the whold only wearing a loin cloth thing. You can tell that Gollum never had to deal with telecommuting at a company with desktop video conferencing in the works, eh.

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at December 11, 2004 5:26 PM

December 8, 2004

Something I'm not proud of

As if all the Nativity talk of late hasn't ensured me a seat on the Special Express Hand Basket to Hell, this morning I am afraid I may have lost my manners with someone who was currently laying in a hospital bed.

I have a friend who just went into the hospital, and when I called to check on him at the room number he gave me, here's what happened.

ME: Hi, may I speak to Michael-


ME: (After the slightest moment of stunned silence, during which I wish I had just hung up) WOW! Are you in the hospital for being an asshole? Good luck with that! Wow!


(I hang up on him.)

The End.

I'm sorry. I'm not proud of it. Not the fact that I spoke a bit harshly to some ailing man, and frankly not the fact that my response could have been more clever.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 8/04

oh no. You didn't really say that did you? I mean, KUDOS if you did. REALLY. But wow. That's smartassery to the umpth degree.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 8, 2004 12:21 PM

I did, and I'm not pleased. What if the guy tipped over into a full coronary because of that? Please let him have been holding the button to page the nurse.

Posted by: Chris at December 8, 2004 12:24 PM

you hung up on a sick man saying "please"

he's probably dead now. Well played.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 8, 2004 12:39 PM

Nasty! But if you were given the incorrect room information, then there is no need for the man to be an ass. So I want to wish you well for your harsh words. Way to go! Those are the special kind of comebacks that don't happen all that often. Cherish the moment.

Posted by: klugula at December 8, 2004 1:34 PM

But you feel a bit like Meg [Ryan] in "You've Got Mail" now, don't you. FINALLY come up with the perfect zinger at exactly the right time, and boy did he deserve it. But a tiny part of you, the part with soft blonde curls, cute dimples and a desire to act in lots of "romantic comedies" opposite Tom [Hanks], can't help but wonder if maybe you were just a little bit *TOO* mean. Or if you couldn't have found a way to get an extra half to 3/4 twist on that knife.

Two words: Well played.

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at December 8, 2004 1:48 PM

"QUESTION": What is Michael in for? If it's Alzheimer's then...

Sorry. That's two diseases in two days I've mocked. "READ": I'm coming to heck with you Chris.

"TWO WORDS": Merry Christmas Chris

Posted by: isaac at December 9, 2004 10:05 AM

Improper Celebrity Usage in Nativity Foul: Real Madrid

Sometimes with an absurd news item, the task we have is teasing out what actually is the funniest part. When an item is so completely laquered with humor, it's hard to find that shining nugat center of hilarity. But with this story on CNN...

Church shock at 'Beckham nativity'

...I'd like to nominate the fact that the Vatican has said some celebrity usage in nativities is OK:

(The Vatican spokesman) said it was sometimes acceptable to use modern figures in the supporting roles because it can help make Christmas contemporary -- but not the central characters.

In Naples, for example, famous figures like Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona have been depicted as shepherds in creche scenes.

So the problem really seems to be not so much that celebrities were used, but that the ones they chose played for the wrong team.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 8/04

Well, it seems to me that ALL soccer players are probably ok, but they can't be in a lead role. It's like the christmas pageant at school where only sixth graders can have the leads. Shepherds and such are alright. Maybe Beckham could dress up as a small sheep or something.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 8, 2004 7:13 AM

You're right - but note in the story that Real Madrid is going against AS Roma in the European Champions League game soon, so at least let my little joke resonate for a second. JUST A SECOND, IS ALL I'M ASKING.

Let's also keep in mind that it's not David Beckham personally - it's his (and his wife's) wax likeness at Tussaud's. Which is a whole, other level of funny.

Posted by: Chris at December 8, 2004 7:22 AM

Oh i'm sorry. I hate when I steamroll someone's joke. You Are Funny.

Does it mention if the baby jesus is being played by Emannuel Lewis?

SHPLADAM! THAT'S COMEDY. You know why? Emmanuel: GOD WITH he's a small guy? Plus he's a celebrity!

Posted by: friend jessica at December 8, 2004 7:25 AM

OK, we're back on track. Now work something about the Olsen Twins into it and we're gold.

Posted by: Chris at December 8, 2004 7:36 AM

I've always thought the Olsen Twins look a bit strange. When they were on that sitcom I thought they resembeled Kuato from Total Recall. The Kuato Twins.

Now they are grown up and "beautiful" - to other people, in that Julia Roberts way - I can only see them as miniature Tammy Faye Bakers, with slightly less makeup. They could be ittle bitty Kuato lambkins in the nativity, one having the colic.

Posted by: isaac at December 8, 2004 9:54 AM

So easy to joke, isn't it? About something so horrific.

Posted by: klugula at December 8, 2004 10:59 AM

Just one year ago, as a sort of creative exercise, a friend and I were discussing what could possibly enable the Olsen Twins to go on to "legitimate" acting careers, after having been a Pre-Teen cottage industry. My theory was that in order for them to leave the mantle of Adorable Twins behind, one of them would have to "go bad," and reveal something dark, like a drug problem or something similar.

I maintain that this is precisely their strategy.

Posted by: Chris at December 8, 2004 11:09 AM

Only a Pre-Teen Cottage Industry? Oh, no, no, no. They are an Entertainment Empire! They have a video game about driving (probably involving avoidance of evil drive-thru restaurants).

As far as the "don't wanna eat" horrific disease goes, couldn't that one have come up with something more original to be a bad girl? Shagging Dita Von Teese or Dick Van Patten on video (stolen, then ending up on the internet)would at least provide some entertainment value to go along with the self-indulgence. Or is it self-denial?

Posted by: isaac at December 8, 2004 11:35 AM

The brilliant part is that they could take turns being the Bad One.

Posted by: Chris at December 8, 2004 11:48 AM

What is the appeal of Dita Von Teese? She looks like every other goth chick on belmont avenue and she sits in a big champagne glass.

Am I missing something?

Posted by: friend jessica at December 8, 2004 12:23 PM

Regarding Dita Von Teese: I'm not sure. Unlike the kids on Broadway she is legal age, lacks multiple facial piercings and takes her clothes off for the camera. Oh, and she doesn't slouch in Belmont doorways offering to read Moby Dick to you for money. She might do it from that champagne glass though.

I noticed you didn't ask about Dick Van Patten...

Posted by: isaac at December 9, 2004 10:12 AM

I meant Belmont. I'm thick.

Posted by: isaac at December 9, 2004 12:27 PM

Broadway is where the...(homosexuals) hang out.

Dick Van Patten? Who's to question his appeal? Come on!

Posted by: friend jessica at December 9, 2004 1:01 PM

I got Dick Van Patten's autograph. Yep.

Posted by: klugula at December 9, 2004 1:41 PM

(michael's a homosexual)

klugula: if this goodhearted teasing ever gets to be too much, just let me know. If there's one thing us McCartney's are known for, it's restraint.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 9, 2004 1:51 PM

I will answer that shortly, after I have finished drying my eyes with my pink checkered hanky. Excuse me.

Posted by: klugula at December 9, 2004 2:06 PM

This article features Alabama for Chris
Homosinuality for klugula
and Shakespeare for jessica,11710,1369643,00.html

Posted by: isaac at December 9, 2004 2:22 PM

HomoSINuality? Subtle.

Posted by: klugula at December 9, 2004 2:43 PM

I prefer HomoHELLsuality

Posted by: friend jessica at December 9, 2004 2:50 PM

How about "homo'you will go to hell for the perverse sins you have committed against the Lord and your country and your neighbors and your mother and her friends and your 3rd grade teacher and her college roomate' uality"?

Posted by: klugula at December 9, 2004 2:55 PM

I think from now on, instead of saying the ol' phrase "lord love a duck", I'm goin to say "lord love a homo"

Posted by: friend jessica at December 9, 2004 2:56 PM

There is more truth in that anyway, don't you agree?

Posted by: klugula at December 9, 2004 2:58 PM

Thank God someone finally has the fortitude to suggest what we all secretly believe. That all the Shakespeare be "toned down."

Posted by: Chris at December 9, 2004 3:31 PM

I've always hated the play "hammet"

Posted by: friend jessica at December 10, 2004 6:06 AM

Comment Spam Roundup

If you missed the 46 instances of the same comment left here overnight, according to Fleshlight, "What is possible would never have been achieved if, in this world, people had not repeatedly reached for the impossible." URL removed - but not the inspiring message.

And as always, you may find it interesting to check some relevant pages dedicated to Texas Holdem.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 8/04

Remember how we discussed using the term "read:" as in "I'm happy (read: drunk)"?

I've discovered a new hatred.

When people start a conversation with QUESTION.

"Question! What is the temperature out side?"

Do we have to do the prologue? "ANSWER: COLD!"

Posted by: friend jessica at December 8, 2004 6:42 AM

I agree that the QUESTION! prelude is a deeply unfortunate conversational habit. I'd put it above the "Can I ask you a question" prelude in annoyance.

But not as high as READ:!

You MUST always respond using "ANSWER!" YOU MUST!

Why do you not update your LiveJournal with some of your work orders? Please do not let the latest bathroom episode disappear from memory.

Posted by: Chris at December 8, 2004 7:08 AM

I DID put it in my journal, but it's locked because people like to come in at random and tell my I'm fat and untalented.

Believe me, I write down all my work order adventures. They will be...something. Someday.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 8, 2004 7:11 AM

Here's an annoyance similar in pedigree:

Beginning some witty response by informing the listener how many words are involved, i.e.: "TWO WORDS...cleft palette"

Did the communists start this?

Posted by: isaac at December 8, 2004 9:43 AM

Five Words: Yes.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 8, 2004 11:10 AM

December 7, 2004

Recurring Zhang Ziyi Fantasy

House of Flying Daggers is another welcome kick to the face in the recurring Zhang Ziyi fantasy series. This makes two for Zhang Yimou, one for Ang Lee, and I didn't see Rush Hour 2 or any of her other films, but let's assume there's plenty of flying, kicking goodness there too, so thanks to everyone involved.

If you're someone that's not interested or hesitant to see foreign films, even celebrated action / fantasy foreign films, I'd say don't start with this one. In my personal discovery of the Chinese Super Martial Arts Hero genre, this is the third in both ranking and chronology. You don't need me to tell you to start with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and then Hero.

"Daggers" does not thrill quite so much as the other two, but part of that must be because Yimou successfully raised the bar in "Hero." It still has amazing sequences - just not quite up to the spectacle of it's earlier, better equipped predecessor. But coming in third against "Crouching Tiger" and "Hero" is still high up indeed. I'd still say this is a good bet for anyone looking for something good at the multiplex. At this moment there's nothing else out there like it.

And now, some random comic ideas I can't figure out how to work into the review:

House of Flying Chairs - Jerry Springer version
House of Flying Insults - Congressional version
House of Flying Insects - Unkempt household version
House of Flying Circus - Another name for my junior and senior college residence, and why most girls avoided it.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 7/04

Fine actor Takeshi Kaneshiro (the mute from Fallen Angels) is in that, isn't he? Does he throw a dagger?

Posted by: isaac at December 7, 2004 1:29 PM

In other news:

two words that are funny in regards to bathrooms and bathroom habits

"soiled" as in "I've just soiled myself."

and "feces". Feces is funnier than fecal.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 2:10 PM

They're funny unless you're the janitor where you work.

Whoever that dude is, he's earned his Christmas bonus.

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 3:02 PM

Kaneshiro has a lot more talking to do in this movie, but sadly he does not get to throw daggers since he is not in that House. He does get to shoot arrows a lot, and also watch Zhang Ziyi bathe.

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 3:06 PM

if you lived in Cambridge like the cool IT kids, you could come w/ us to see Blade:Trinity tomorrow. While you may have seen it once already, you'd be to tell all of your friends on thursday you had seen it twice.

Posted by: jeff at December 7, 2004 6:49 PM

I suggest you all see House of Flying Daggers afterwards to make it a Girls Who Kick double feature!

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 8:14 PM

Let me ask you this. In all honesty, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to:

WHERE can I get some great deals online?

Posted by: friend jessica at December 8, 2004 6:39 AM

Posted by Chris on 12/ 7/04

I sort of want to own this contraption. I always wanted to live in a tee pee.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 10:11 AM

You know, life would really be better if we all sort of... lived in teepees. And stuff. Thanks.

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 10:16 AM

Is that a deep-sea diving helmet on top?

And what's the difference, if any, between a tee-pee and wig-wam?

Posted by: isaac at December 7, 2004 10:32 AM

December 6, 2004


Now that TiVo and DirecTV are gone, we are forced to seek our video addictions from whatever comes over the airwaves for free. These days I am pretty hooked on ABC's "Lost." And not just because of the high proportion of models that were on that doomed flight. I like the characters, the way each episode goes into the backstory of one of them, and the suggestion of something ominous and perhaps supernatural going on with the island.

But here's where they may have a problem - now that they HAVE hinted at something supernatural on the island, they really have to follow through. If they pull a Chris Carter at the end of the season, no amount of Evangeline Lily will save it. As Ibsen said, and I quote: "If you imply that there is a dinosaur on your island, then you have to show it or something better by the end of season one."

Posted by Chris on 12/ 6/04

Also: sex.

Based on what we've learned so far, the 'supernatural' item is simply going to be the biggest cop out ever: namely: an amalgam of every castaway's worst fears. They started to lose me when the doctor saw his dad wandering around, and when the guitar mysteriously appeared, and, of course, the lame were made to walk.

I love the show, but I feel it's a sort of tough love.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 6:20 AM

What happened to you? Remember all the good times we used to have? Man, we were tight. It was like I could read your mind. Sure we had DirecTV looking over our shoulder all the time, and holding us back from greatness, but it was good.

I've changed a lot since then. I've been working out and reading a lot. My memory is bigger than ever and I've discovered broadband. I think I'm better than ever before. Without D. I've lost a little of my focus ... can't multitask as well as I used to.

But hey, I miss you. Look me up sometime.


P.S. John says "hi". We're still tight as ever.

Posted by: TiVo at December 9, 2004 1:49 PM

More hard-hitting journalism

This month's TIME magazine cover story:

SECRETS OF THE NATIVITY: Why the story of Jesus' birth inspires so much scholarly interest - and faith

Thank God there's a magazine still willing to ask the hard questions.

Once more TIME magazine steps forward - when others wouldn't have the guts - to shed light on this little-considered period in history.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 6/04

I didn't know the nativity was a secret. To think I was privy to the most sensitive details of the birth of christ (mangers, swaddling, Mary being 'with child' and yet a virgin), when I was just a wee bairn, and by bairn, i mean American six year old.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 2:35 PM

Would you then say that this post on my blog has inspired your scholarly interest - and faith?

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 2:38 PM

As you know, I've often misspelled your name as Christ. This must mean something.

I'd like to approach a friend of mine and say "Hey pal, I like, well, you inspire my scholarly interest...AND FAITH"

I've got a quick scholarly theory on the nativity if you'll just hear me out. I think it's so interesting because:


Could that be it?

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 2:41 PM

Hmmm. Yes, but with this TIME story there's this sort of implication of a DaVinci Code-like mystery that's been revealed. Or at least that Nicholas Cage from National Treasure might be involved.

Plus TIME magazine has this picture of the manger on the cover, and the Baby Jesus is kind of aglow.

So I'm going to have to reject your theory.

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 2:46 PM

Over at Newsweek they did a poll: 79% of Americans believe the virgin birth was real. They think it really happened. Not just the red states.

With the renewed zealous drive to purge society of its sexual awareness and education and put the lid back on Kinsey's box, it's a wonder these 79% aren't looking for that virgin method to start families and have children without resorting to icky, sinful carnal activities.

Posted by: isaac at December 7, 2004 8:44 AM

easy does it on the Christianity bashing, if you don't mind

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 9:04 AM

So as the tone of the comments change, so changes the color of the blog page.

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 9:26 AM

I honestly, rarely tread into the defense of my faith because the media and world in general is rife with terrible examples of it, so for every Mother Theresa there's a woman drowning kids in her bathtub, a christian school burning santa in effigy, john ashcroft, blah blah blah.

It's hard. It's also sad to have to kind of hide and apologize for what I am. One of my improv friends the other day said "I don't even want to associate with someone who owns a bible". And I thought...what the? Here I bad am I?

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 9:52 AM

I didn't mean to bash Christianity. I think it's a fine religion even though its becoming alarmingly trendy to wear it on one's sleeve (and bumper) and practice the pick-and-choose version (charity - yes, tolerance and peace - no, etc.)

I've no problem with Christianity or Christ (whom I happen to believe existed), but I balk (pretty audibly) at much of what's been attributed to him after his short life. We soon turn from the reasons anyone ever began listening or following him (radical new ideas of tolerance, equality, hope, the golden rule, doing things simply because they are right, etc.) to blind faith in everything that's written about him (walking on water, raising zombies, wine from water, etc). In short we let the myth - that naturally grows when heroes become legend - drown out the reality and Christ's words never sink in.

Surely true Christianity involves following Christ's ideals and example, not believing every old story written about him without question.

I didn't mean to put you or Christianity on the defensive. I'm sorry the man and his following is still being used as a wedge and political tool by men in power.

I could be wrong though.

Posted by: isaac at December 7, 2004 10:29 AM

I also apologize for all my attempts at jihad in these pages. It's just so TEMPTING to go on jihad against the infidel, though! I mean, come on! 76 VIRGINS! YOU try passing that up some time!

Seriously. My problem has never been poor Jesus. I just wish you'd sometimes hear the vast chorus of sensible Christians speak out against their Falwells and Ralph Reeds.

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 10:35 AM

Sensible Christians are all too often drowned out because frankly, to live the faith is not very...newsworthy. It's like reporting when a plane lands safely.

I mean, if I came up to a news crew and said "Hey, let's live and let live, love each other regardless of race or religion or social class, let's feed the poor, clothe the naked (the ugly naked) and give shelter to the homeless. Let's just do in a heart what's best for others rather than our own gain..."

the t.v. crew would pack up and go home.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 11:34 AM

Then I think if these extreme right wingers don't speak for mainstream Christianity, it would behoove the more moderate Christians to make a much louder noise - so they are not drowned out. If these guys at the far right are in fact twisting the point of Christ's teachings.

One might even say that would be the Christian thing to do.

And I'm sure it WOULD be considered newsworthy if some Christian organization ("Sensible Christians" would be a great name for one) stood up, and for instance, decried Falwell for blaming gays for 9/11. ("YOU DON'T SPEAK FOR OUR RELIGION" might be a good slogan, and as an added bonus it would fit on a bumper sticker.) Or defended the idea of separation of church vs. state once.

WWJD if someone had stood out in the crowd at the Sermon of the Mount, re-interpreting what he was saying according to their own politics? It would have been smitin' time in the temple!

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 11:44 AM

The whole point of CHristianity, though, as I've learned it, is NOT to be a huge bullying organization of street toughs.

We're simply supposed to live through example. You know what the secret code is? THEY WILL KNOW US BY OUR LOVE. The only thing you're supposed to feel after being in contact with a Christian is a small case of dry mouth, dilated pupils and a warm sense of calm and love.

I am, admittedly, not good at it. I've never claimed to be the greatest example of Christianity. And I feel guilty about it. It's probably why I can't get pregnant, but in the end, it's a process...ongoing, you know, until Jesus calls me home. (Which i picture as Jesus leaning out a screen door)



Jesus: You come home now.


Jesus: NO, I said come home. Brian already came home and so did all your friends.

Me: AWWWWW...maaaaaaan

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 11:51 AM

I don't want to alarm you but from your description it sounds like Christians are composed of CANNIBIS.

This changes EVERYTHING.

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 11:57 AM

Dude it's an herb man. God created weed, man created beer...which do you trust?

I'm sleepin sound in the nest of mother nature's hair...

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 12:00 PM

The TV crew might pack up and go home, if they aren't a Christian TV crew.

If ratings and profits, commerce and capital, possessions and investments are rated higher in our motivations than compassion and helping those less fortunate (I am my brother's keeper, etc.) then surely we should accept that capitalism is our religion rather than the socialistic urge that is Christianity.

I wonder if Jesus asked for proof of insurance before he healed the sick...

Posted by: isaac at December 7, 2004 12:25 PM

But let me stress that if this "Christian Debt Relief" thing I keep getting spam about is for real, I'll join any church and discriminate against vast legions of people. Those interest rates and late fees are killing me.

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 12:34 PM

There's also a 'prayer diet', where any time you feel like eating you pray instead.

And the pounds just melt away.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 12:40 PM

I forgot to take Chris to task on 76 virgins. Do you get them all at once or is it a subscription, say one every three months until all 76 bedrooms are full? And do they have to be virgins? Do you really want to go through that 76 times with inexperienced and sheltered women (assuming said virgins are women)? Could it be 76 nymphomaniacs or perhaps non-virgins with an enticing combination of slight experience and overwhelming desire for more.

Back to Christianity, perhaps we should put it (along with other religions) back in school. I don't mean sermons, but good analytical questions, religion-comparisons and discussion. Perhaps we could take Christ back from the rabid right with such ponderings as: Who's more likely to own a handgun, Jesus or Lucifer? Or why do we tell our children first to believe in St. Nicholas then not to believe in him, although he was a real life bishop in Turkey?

Posted by: isaac at December 7, 2004 1:24 PM

THe church I attended in Rochester New York, prided (<-- is this a word?) on "LEARNING" about Christianity. I took a six week course where we attended a variety of Christian services and compared the teachings (baptist, methodist, episcopalian, catholic, lutheran). We had 45 minute sermons with hand outs and notes, and overhead projectors. We studied the history of the time, what the people where like when the bible was written, yadda yadda yadda...and my favorite theory from my pastor who has now passed away was:

what if Adam and Eve were actually one celled organisms? It's said they were made in the image of God.It doesn't say "two arms two legs and a head".

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 1:37 PM

Overhead projectors? Comparitive teachings? Ritual cannibis usage? The sin of Pride? Referring to the B-I-B-L-E in lowercase?

I don't know what sort of One-Celled Amoeba-God they taught YOU to worship, but it definitely sounds like something that would make Baby Jesus cry.

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 1:58 PM

Regarding the 76 Virgins:

It's sort of like the lottery, where you can have one virgin a month for 76 months, or you can opt to take them all in a flat payment. But if you do that it only comes to about 35.4 Virgins after taxes.

Posted by: Chris at December 7, 2004 2:01 PM

The downside? You have to bang them all very quietly in their bedroom while their parents are home.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 7, 2004 2:03 PM

10-disk Matrix Set

TEN DVDs for the Matrix box set? TEN?!? Do we REALLY need ten disks for all the various accompanying behind-the-scenes miscellania that series generated?

Seriously - three disks for the movies, one or two of all that exciting footage of people looking at wireframes, another just of actors in front of green screens, another devoted to all the breakthroughs in philosophy attributed to the Matrix, and O.K., let's throw in another one for the fight scenes and wire work. I've still got two left over. What are those for? Are they just coasters?

Harry Knowles over at Ain't It Cool aside, who needs ten whole disks of the Matrix? Isn't there a limit to how much pleasure you can derive from the Behind the Scenes Genre?

Posted by Chris on 12/ 6/04

It is true. Even for my favorites like Dawn of the Dead, I still have yet to watch all the extras. So who gives an "F" what the Matrix has to offer. Good times.

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 11:09 AM

I'm excited because I got the "Unrated Director's Cut" of Riddick in the mail last week and I think we all know what Unrated Means:

Lots of nude sex. NUDE SEX in front of a green screen. THE EXTRA FEATURES ARE UNRATED.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 11:20 AM

Perhaps the other two discs fill in the plot holes...?

Posted by: isaac at December 6, 2004 12:35 PM

Gay men and movie fans answer this:

Has Clive Owen ever played a bad guy? I had some great kickin' dream sex with him last night and I gotta taste for some Clive.

And don't say "THE DRIVER" on, I mean real movies.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 1:04 PM

I understand "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" features him being a bit angry and mean. A TIDBIT: If Pierce drops out of Bond, Clive is my choice to replace him. Just putting that out there.

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 1:14 PM

Yes I agree fully, and here's another tidbit:

If there's anyone alive who hasn't seen Croupier, they're dumb and a jerk.

YES, that includes my mom.

I may have to swallow my hatred of Julia Roberts in order to see CLOSER, however, I will be singing NIN the whole time.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 1:22 PM

I feel the exact same way. What can be wrong with us, deep on some genetic level, to not want to bask in Julia's glow like every other human being on the planet?

People like us should be forced to live underneath the cities in sewer tunnels, amongst the alligators and C.H.U.D.

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 1:37 PM

If i can be handed a rock solid, airtight guarantee that she doesn't do the "shocking burst of horsey laughter" followed by the "GIANT HORSEY FAKE SMILE" in this movie, I'll go see it. Anything short of notarized proof and I have to wait for video.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 1:48 PM

I sort know, like Julia. I guess this will also mean my banishment from the site. So see y'all later...I guess. Who is Clive Owen? :)

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 1:58 PM

good lord man. who is clive owen? I had crazy dream sex with this british suavity last night.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 2:04 PM

He was in Gosford Park, Croupier, King Arthur, he was the Driver in those zany "BMW" movies.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 2:05 PM

Oh for heaven's sake folks. The little smiley face after my comments was to indicate that of course I know who the hell Clive Owen is. Good God! What, do I live under a rock. You know as well as I do, how he starred in that drop dead bomb King Arthur and all of his other crap. Pleeeasse. I don't know who Clive Owen is. I don't find him particularly attractive, which is probably why I have never seen any of his films.

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 2:11 PM

No, no, no. In that case you didn't want the smiley, you wanted the WINKING smiley. ;)

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 2:14 PM

Hey, what is wrong with living under a rock? Explain it to me, I'm pretty defensive about it.

Posted by: isaac at December 6, 2004 2:18 PM

Nothing wrong with living under a rock....I guess. ;) (does that suffice your royal highness?)

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 2:23 PM

You don't.


Clive Owen attractive?

What the? You would reject his oral offerings?

Have you ever watched him smoke? You might change your mind. He's a great smoker.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 2:25 PM

I do like a good smoker. So, we shall see, if I end up attending a viewing of Closer.

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 2:51 PM

December 2, 2004

Posted by Chris on 12/ 2/04

It's a writing desk with a Nielsen Ratings box.

(Are Nielsen Families ever given IQ tests? The Wheel of Fortune is still on the air for ck's sake!)

Posted by: isaac at December 3, 2004 7:47 AM

I am intrigued by this piece. Hmmmm.... Oh, it's kind of phallic.

Posted by: klugula at December 3, 2004 11:00 AM

michael stole my thunder. i was going to say:

"my is that telegraphing writing desk in your pocket or are you just happy to see me"

Now that I think about it...mine is so much funnier

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 6:14 AM

Yeah, if you like crap!

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 7:15 AM

my first reaction was, "Wow, he's got a big one!"

Posted by: kjk at December 6, 2004 7:49 AM

who doesn't like crap? If people didn't like crap we wouldn't have shows like The Mountain.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 8:20 AM

or presidents like Bush jr.

Posted by: isaac at December 6, 2004 9:19 AM

Facts About Palm Trees

You walk outside and someone has left a big broom in the alleyway. And there's another one over there. And - wait a minute - there are brooms EVERYWHERE. I can count five, six, seven of them strewn on the sidewalks from here! Did the Big Broom truck crash nearby?

Nope - those aren't brooms, they're branches that have come off the palm trees. If there's any wind at all, they're everywhere the next day. They're about five feet long, and have smallish thorns all over, so when you make a pile of them by the dumpster, be careful.

I'm trying to figure out some craft project with them. Maybe I'll paint them red and green and give them as Christmas presents.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 2/04

Hey big spender!

Posted by: klugula at December 2, 2004 7:28 PM

Happy birthday Jesus! I covered these living organisms with toxic paint to take their very life force!

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 8:21 AM

Happy Birthday, Jesus! I've cut down a pine tree in the prime of its life to celebrate your birth, because it's our tradition! Look - I've hung a treasured Baby Jesus ornament on one of its now-lifeless branches to honor your greatness! Thy will be done!

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 10:18 AM

Happy Birthday Jesus! I profane your sacred name and live with a woman who is "vegetarian".

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 11:07 AM

Praise Him. We got a fake tree this year. And it was placed in storage so we can go kill one instead. I think the sacrifice thing is what it is all about. Doesn't He like that sort of tribute?

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 11:32 AM

Happy Birthday Jesus! This Christmas I shall kill a live thing AND smite an unbeliever, all in Your name! And then I'll go home and have the nude green screen sex, which You have sanctioned because I am hetero and married! ALL PRAISE BE UNTO YOU!

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 11:39 AM

Well, that last comment pretty much leaves me out in the cold then, doesn't it? Thanks for the reminder that I am not allowed to partake in such affairs, as I am unholy and dirty, and sinful. Just say it! Show me the gates of hell, for I will enter them upon death. Sins of the flesh. An abomination. Is that really what you think of me? No nude green sex for Michael, cuz he is engaging in premarital, gay sex. Thanks from me, for the ruined day.

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 11:58 AM

Let me not answer your question, but ask one of my own: why do you hate Jesus?

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 12:24 PM

How low can you go? Just because I perform every no-no put forth in the Good Book, doesn't mean I don't love Him. I sure am havin' a good time though!

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 12:31 PM

Plus I happen to have sources (you) that inform me you're starring in a movie about cannibalism. So I ask: How low can YOU go, sir. Next you'll be publically questioning our leaders.

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 12:33 PM

I don't hate Jesus but it is a shame we allow him to co-opt and diminish Christmas. Shame.

Posted by: isaac at December 6, 2004 12:42 PM

Agreed. Get your own holiday, pal. That's what I say. Or, get your own holiday, Pal.

Posted by: Chris at December 6, 2004 12:44 PM

No, I am especially clear on how great our leaders are. I have just viewed Farenheit 9/11, and any doubts about their capabilities have been vanquished, thank you very much. I love the Lord and our leaders! Also, what is wrong with cannibalism? It brings people closer together. There is joy and happiness in flesh eating. Lots of love.

Posted by: klugula at December 6, 2004 12:46 PM

Cannibalism is nothing but extreme cuddling.

You know what Rammstein says: You are what you eat.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 1:00 PM

More Jessica Goodness

What luck! There was a free showing of Blade: Trinity last night, which stars Jessica Biel and some other people. The movie was about Jessica Biel kicking a lot of ass and looking great doing it. Also, there were other people in the movie doing things related to the plot, but... Jessica.

I like the Blade movies although they're certainly not pushing any boundaries. Lots of goths in leather and too much eye makeup walking in slow-mo, plenty of CGI-assisted ass-kicking, and Snipes doing his silent loner thing. They have no pretention to be anything else. It's also makes me smile for some reason to watch Snipes and Kristofferson together in this comic book movie, knowing both men have given so many other good performances in serious, dramatic roles.

I suspect my enjoyment of the three films is akin to what fans of seventies karate movies feel. You're not watching them to see them push the limits of the art form. It's like hearing a band play a good cover of a favorite song - there's only so much variation from the formula you want anyway. Plus it didn't hurt that it was a free showing at the Arclight, best theatre worldwide, and that the director / writer answered questions afterwards.

In addition to featuring Jessica Biel, the movie also has a pretty frightening demonic Dracula. I'd put it up there with Darkness from Legend in the design department.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 2/04

sheesh. I thought this was going to be a nice essay about me, and all the good I do and such.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 6, 2004 6:16 AM

Hang on a minute

Where are all these families that the "Nielsens" use to rate TV shows? Have you EVER known anyone being polled by the Nielsens on what they're watching? Have you ever heard of anyone you know or anyone your friends know having a Nielsen People Meter in their home? Anyone you know filling out a "TV diary" for the Nielsens? Who are these people? WHERE are they?

Ratings show that "Desperate Housewives," for instance, is being watched by 17,601,000 households*. Which of course isn't the total amount of people that are being monitored. So don't you think you'd eventually run into someone being polled?

Just seems weird.

*Although the Nielsen site says they use a sample of only 5,000 households to generate their ratings. Say... what's going on here?
Posted by Chris on 12/ 2/04

Yep... Jessica's Great Aunt and Great Uncle in Oswego, New York were a Neilson household for a year (2001 I believe). They got paid for it too! They do watch a LOT of tv. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that they watch a lot of crap. Plus... they're old. That's why Regis still has a show.

Posted by: Brian at December 2, 2004 9:27 AM

Or.... Nielsen.

Whatever. I suck.

Posted by: Brian at December 2, 2004 9:28 AM

I knew it. The "Regis Anomaly" has been found.

Posted by: Chris at December 2, 2004 9:32 AM

Actually, if our flat screen would not have already been installed into our wall, my boy and I would have become a Nielsen family a short month ago. But they would have had to rip everything apart to install their contraptions. We were actually both in their most coveted demographic, he being "Latino" and me being 18-34 years of age. Of course if we had gone through with it, how would it have looked, since I watch "The Golden Girls" about 5 times a day. Maybe it was better it did not work out. Hmmm?

Posted by: klugula at December 2, 2004 10:14 AM

We would have represented 23,000 households. I wonder if they all would have liked "The Golden Girls"? or "Spongbob". ?

Posted by: klugula at December 2, 2004 10:16 AM

Wait... doesn't that mean that the Nielsens are rather like an Electoral college of TV viewership? And THAT means the ratings MAY NOT REFLECT THE POPULAR VOTE ON WHAT WE WANT TO SEE! AARGH! CALL OUT THE NATIONAL GUARD ON THIS ONE FOLKS!!!!

I'm gonna get me a couple of them there "Nielsen" thing-a-ma-whatsies. And I'm a gonna hook 'em up to all my TVs. And I'm watching Arrested Development, anything on Cartoon Network, anything on Comedy Central, and probably a smattering of the rest of Fox's lineup plus the random MTV "gee I never did THAT when I was a 19 year old" show... you know, Real Battle of the Road Ruling Ride Pimping "But I Want Axl Rose's Face" True Life World.

Posted by: RangerDekiion at December 2, 2004 12:03 PM

Oh dear - that sounds suspiciously like someone gleeful that his candidate got in.

Posted by: Chris at December 2, 2004 2:04 PM

Hey, I'm in as blue a state as you!!! I'm just pointing out that few folks representing the millions and millions of TV viewers ACTUALLY out there is rather like the Electoral college. And probably why you can always find an episode of Matlock or Murder She Wrote on somewhere, all hours of the day or night, but see great shows like Arrested Development almost cancelled. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Posted by: RangerDekiion at December 3, 2004 9:13 AM

TiVO! TiVO, my friend!

Posted by: Chris at December 3, 2004 9:40 AM

If everyone hates (and no one understands) the Electoral College, why not vote it out of existance? It was once explained to me as a device to keep ignorant voters from electing some Mickey Mouse candidate. Clearly it doesn't work, twice over.

I realize this has nothing to do with Nielsen Families or men like Regis, who has the look of an overeager gynecologist. Not that I know any gynecologists.

Posted by: isaac at December 3, 2004 11:53 AM

i knew a neilson couple. they recorded everything they liked, but never got around to watching ...

Posted by: kjk at December 6, 2004 7:54 AM

December 1, 2004

Posted by Chris on 12/ 1/04

this is that 1.00 magic trick you buy out of the back of comic books. where you put a coin in the drawer, shut the drawer, then open it and HOLY CHRIST, the coin is gone.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 1, 2004 9:49 AM

I lost 2.75 to one of those things when I was a kid. Bastard neighborhood magician. He got me with the joy-buzzer too.

Posted by: Chris at December 1, 2004 9:56 AM

Chris, that wasn't a joy-buzzer. It's...for grown-ups.

This contraption? Fairy-tale cats use it to make pasta on Baj-Wovil Day.

Posted by: isaac at December 1, 2004 12:19 PM

Hey, all this commenting is making it difficult for me to tell y'all about our shitty online gambling.

Posted by: at December 1, 2004 12:26 PM

Local TV News Battles Irrelevancy

I'm not sure about other cities, but here in the city with the angels, the local news teams interrupt their programming with great frequency to broadcast high-speed car chases between police and criminal as they occur. This has happened at least three times since I've been here.

From where I sit this city seems to have a disproportionate share of these car chases. Maybe the news teams are just more aggressive in covering a hidden, nationwide problem? Or maybe the producers are just naturally directing their news crews the way they did when they were making action movies back in the day.

But it couldn't possibly be that the type of person that would flee in a car would see one of these chases on TV and think they were cool - no! No way. "The cops may have caught me but at least I'm going to go out in a blaze of regularly-scheduled program interruption!"

In the final analysis, the real problem with this subgenre of news coverage is that it's BOOOOORING. The chases always end the same way - man crashes car, about 40 of the LAPD surround him, looking like they would execute him on the spot if it weren't for the news helicopter, and it's over. No one ever makes a break for it on foot, nothing ever explodes, no hostages. Come on, guys.

Posted by Chris on 12/ 1/04

We have those chases here too. It's called "Cops".

Posted by: klugula at December 1, 2004 10:13 AM

Perhaps they would be less tedious, more dramatic if they had better coverage. You know, more (interesting) camera angles, swift cutting between them, etc. One long-distance lens from a hele-chopper? What is this, the New Wave? Dogme 95? News producers might check out 2 Fast 2 Furious for some tips on creating exciting and unfulfilling drama.

Posted by: isaac at December 2, 2004 7:12 AM

Spam Roundup

  • I have been entered into various lotteries to get my Green Card. AT LAST! Citizenship will be mine!

  • Also, we are all invited to check out the various links being spammed in the comments section in our spare time.

    Posted by Chris on 12/ 1/04

    Jessica, the spam has taken its toll - I accidentally deleted your last comment and left the ones I was trying to get rid of. NOOOOOOOOOO.

    Posted by: Chris at December 1, 2004 8:52 AM


    Posted by: friend jessica at December 1, 2004 8:56 AM
  • Random Hitchcock Note

    What is up with "The Birds?" Every time I see this movie it's like they've added ten more scenes of women treating each other coldly before the seagulls make their move.

    Who remembered this long scene of Jessica Tandy talking about how her chickens wouldn't eat? The extended scene showing each individual step of Tippi Hedron taking the boat across the bay? All these long scenes with her and Suzanne Pleshette? GET TO THE BEAKS HITTING THE GLASS.

    My theory is that everyone in the movie is a witch, and when Tippi shows up to make the moves on Rod Taylor, the town's one man, they summon a spell of nature to chase her out. I hope this doesn't end up being close to some obvious and generally accepted reading of the movie, as it just occurred to me.

    Posted by Chris on 12/ 1/04

    You are treading in thin ice when you start mouthing off about "The Birds". The birdless scenes of talking are meant to be long, so that when the attacks come, they are all the more terrifying. Any other easy ?s I can answer for you. Duh. Besides, I would think that all the cattiness between the women would evoke some other emotion, other than disgust. You are a straight man? Doesn't that get you hot? (Suzanne and Tippi; not Jessica)

    Posted by: klugula at December 1, 2004 10:11 AM

    Come on! It's not like it's the Halle Berry and Rebecca Romijn wrestling with each other in leather outfits sort of cattiness! It's women with bouffant hairdos being SLIGHTLY CHILLY with one another. It's women in attractive suits snapping their their handbags shut a BIT TOO QUICKLY and delivering their exit lines in clipped tones. Nothing hot about it. When that first gull swoops down and pegs Tippi right in the bouffant, I laugh every time.

    You're right about the suspense of waiting for the attacks to come being a good payoff, but it's not terror, it's RELIEF! Relief that something is finally making all these school marms break into a run! Run, School Marm, RUN!

    Posted by: Chris at December 1, 2004 10:18 AM

    You can't tell me that Tippi is not hot...and Suzanne's sexy, raspy voice? For the women and gay men, Rod Taylor is super hot! It is a scary movie. And the rest of it is a wonderful character study. A mother and her momma's boy; a socialite losing her mind; a school teacher desperate for love and now trapped in a small town with no sex; a young girl who vomits cherries. Oh wait, getting ahead of myself. This is on my list of favorites, and I believe part of the charm is the quiet (lots of it) before the storm. My goodness, how I love this movie. By the way, the chicken telephone call is very important in setting up the unrest of the bird world. It is needed. So there.

    Posted by: klugula at December 1, 2004 10:54 AM

    Here's where I'll say something that is sure to have me exiled from all friendship groups.

    I have yet to see an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

    Posted by: friend jessica at December 1, 2004 11:19 AM

    Wait a minute, you're saying the subtext of the movie is sexual? Now I've heard EVERYTHING. Next you'll be going on about how "Oedipal" it is when Rod Taylor's mother finds the man with his eyes pecked out.


    Posted by: Chris at December 1, 2004 11:25 AM

    My God, at least see "Psycho." For someone attracted to dark young men, I'd think this would be up there on your list. And see "North by Northwest" just so you can appreciate my mad James Mason skilz.

    Posted by: Chris at December 1, 2004 11:27 AM

    First off, Jessica should be ashamed of herself. There are alot of overhyped movies/actors/directors, etc, but Hitchcock is not one of them. To Chris, you are right, think of these birds as a mindless eating machines. All they do is eat, fly and make little birds, and that is about all. Damn, wrong movie again. I have to agree with you Chris, I once has my eyes pecked out by birds, and I got no sexual satisfaction, or even sensation when it happened. You are right, I am wrong. Birds. Neat.

    Posted by: klugula at December 1, 2004 11:33 AM

    Way down in Dixie, son, I once has my eyes pecked out.

    Posted by: friend jessica at December 1, 2004 11:43 AM

    If you got no satisfaction then you just weren't doing it right. It's a common fetish in Botega Bay.

    Posted by: Chris at December 1, 2004 11:48 AM

    Sorry. You just could not let that go could you. I will retire now to my bird sanctuary. Perhaps some of my pets will pecks my eyes out again.

    Posted by: klugula at December 1, 2004 11:48 AM

    BoDega Bay. Sheesh.

    Posted by: klugula at December 1, 2004 11:51 AM

    I wasn't talking about the town in the movie. I meant the town of Botega Bay. In Washington. They're into birds there.


    Posted by: Chris at December 1, 2004 11:58 AM

    You know who else is into birds? Osama bin laden. That's a true.

    Posted by: friend jessica at December 1, 2004 12:06 PM

    Elitists! All this high art discussion of film. Let's bring it down to allow some red-staters in on the discussion: all those birds, hundreds, thousands of them, and not one fleck of bird's muck? Have you seen lower Wacker? That stuff's terrifying!

    And to friend jessica, see The Lady Vanishes. Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood (mmm), a not-too subtle assault on pre WWII pacifism and Alfred Hitchcock's funniest film all in one. There might be a hot Deutschlander lurking somewhere in there too.

    Posted by: isaac at December 1, 2004 12:11 PM

    "Rebecca" too. Seeing it will make 60 years worth of references and spoofs click into place.

    Posted by: Chris at December 1, 2004 12:17 PM

    Stranger on a Train and Rope. Top notch!

    Posted by: klugula at December 1, 2004 12:18 PM

    And the Lodger. I think that was his first, a silent film based on a novel based on Jack-the-Ripper. A serial killer film before it became trendy or possible to show bloody mutilated corpses and gruesome crime scenes.

    Posted by: isaac at December 1, 2004 12:24 PM

    To Jessica, are you in the mob now? That's a true. That's a good a donut.

    Posted by: klugula at December 1, 2004 12:50 PM

    Sorry to dip back into The Birds but I've just listened to two parts of the novel (by Daphne DuMaurier) on the radio. It's very different from the film, more of a War of the Worlds, Day of the Trifids trapped-on-an-island-feel. The story deals with Cornish rustics, no Tippi cosmopolitan lady, lovebirds or chisel-featured dashing young man. Lots of birds blackening the sky and at least one dive-bombing gannet.

    I'm sure some bright director, hot off directing a music video or two and sporting a cool single embarrassing name (like Pez or Kaos), will eventually revisit this book and deliver a film worthy of every cgi-fan's wet dreams.

    Posted by: isaac at December 3, 2004 1:08 PM

    You are probably right. Nonetheless, I am sure I will get excited over the trailer when it does appear.

    Posted by: klugula at December 3, 2004 1:20 PM

    As long as Kaos doesn't mess with the central theme, which is of course the eternal conflict of Man vs. Bird.

    Posted by: Chris at December 3, 2004 2:07 PM

    Any suggestions for the tagline?

    Life is for The Birds...?

    (I predict 37 million on its opening weekend, knocking Shrek 4 out of the number one slot.)

    Posted by: isaac at December 3, 2004 2:15 PM

    How about "This summer... Dreamworks Pictures is giving audiences... THE BIRD."

    And then you see Michelle Pfeiffer (In the Tippi Hedron role) holding up her middle finger.

    Posted by: Chris at December 3, 2004 2:33 PM