January 31, 2005

Camp Clarence for Retarded Teens


Read over this article and see if your first thought isn't "Game over, dude!"

First Amendment no big deal, students say. Study shows American teenagers indifferent to freedoms.

...When told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.

Well! I say we truly are up that most famous of all creeks without a paddle!

I mean, that's it, then, isn't it? We can all pack it up and go home, I suppose. And by "home," I of course mean somewhere other than the place most of us currently call home. We've certainly moved past the days when American kids famously couldn't find a given country on the map, haven't we? Now it seems they don't really need those pesky little "freedoms" the man on the TV is always droning on about, which as the article desperately and amusingly points out in the third paragraph "form the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States."

But - let's not despair. I have decided to use my "imagination" - put on the ol' thinking cap, as it were - to come up with not one but two possible solutions for this daunting problem.


One solution is for the commonly sullen teen, the other is for those suffering from a more stubborn case of the brat syndrome.

Solution one, the gentler solution: Take away all their music and T.V. More specifically, just take away all the music and T.V. that THEY like. Leave them with "The View" and "The Today Show" and "Price is Right," and let them listen to oldies. When they whine, explain that the artist whose rap stylings they so treasure or whose lip-synchings they closely identify with has been found unsuitable by the government. Explain that the lyrics were found offensive by someone, namely you, and so you have taken steps as a good citizen to have them censored.

The second solution, for the truly Troubled Teen. As I mentioned before when this came up, a good thing for people who are so willing to give away the Bill of Rights might be a nice long vacation in, say, Afghanistan, or Iran, or China. These are not, as Amnesty International might say, your Zine-Friendly Countries. These are not nations known to produce, say, an Eminem.

Since it would be cost-prohibitive to actually ship planeloads of the Like, Whatever Generation overseas, I propose we set aside some land in Arizona for "Camp Clarence." (So named for the angel in "It's A Wonderful Life" that showed Jimmy Stewart what he was taking for granted). Here a team of talented Psi-Ops people will recreate the way of life in one of those nations less fettered by freedoms, and let the teens in question see just what it's like.

Tough love - it's what's for dinner.

Posted by Chris on 01/31/05

Some additional items to take away from these shiny-faced regressive adolescents:

Take away their internet. How can you enjoy the internet if you think freedoms of speech, ideas and belief are overrated?

Take away their genitals. For Chrissake do we want these people breeding?

Posted by: isaac at February 1, 2005 6:53 AM

Internet! How could I have forgotten that? Internet, and phones because they might transmit naughty text messages, and those video games that promote violence - censored.

Posted by: Chris at February 1, 2005 8:12 AM

Fellas, fellas, let's remember that these are AMENDMENTS we're talking about. If the Founding Fathers really thought they were important they would have put them in the actual Constitution. Instead, they tacked them on like so many potato bug study or cattle industry tax break riders.

If you really want to teach these kids a lesson, make them harbor troops in their room for a few years. That's how my parents taught me the importance of the Bill of Rights.

Posted by: Rich at February 1, 2005 8:22 AM

It's very brave of you to come forward with this in a semi-public forum. Pushing the 3rd Amendment on kids in their formative years is always so traumatic.

Posted by: Chris at February 1, 2005 9:27 AM

Rich, those were toy soldiers. Yes they were lead but you were only forced to eat a handful.

Next time I buy liquor for the neighborhood children they have to tell me the importance of our freedoms first.

Posted by: isaac at February 1, 2005 12:11 PM

January 28, 2005

A word I'm not crazy about


Posted by Chris on 01/28/05

What if it used in the phrase "Bantha Fodder"?

Posted by: klugula at January 29, 2005 6:28 AM

This post is nothing more than cannon fodder for those crazed "Spam Commenters" out there. Chris, have you got any good tips for Texas Hold 'Em lately?

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at January 31, 2005 7:49 AM

I have to manually delete tons of Texas Hold'em invites every weekend. I also got an email from Voldemort offering an illegal download of the new Harry Potter book.

Posted by: Chris at January 31, 2005 12:57 PM

what a naughty voldemort.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 31, 2005 1:10 PM

Did you save that email? JK might find that to be fertile fodder for a lawsuit against he who must not be named, eh?

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at February 1, 2005 11:09 AM

January 27, 2005

In this town, at the end of the day, there will be no truck

Question: Is it possible to live and work here without developing grand theories about it that you love to share with people, as if the whole world is just wondering what it's like? Answer: NO.

I will have no truck with the people of my new city who use phrases of the type


In this town is the apex of smarm. When someone says in this town they have achieved the pinnacle, nay, THE VERY ZENITH of smarmitude.


Secondary to this are pearls of entertainment business wisdom prefaced by At the end of the day.



Let's make it into a game. 10 points for an In This Town, 5 for an At the End of the Day. 20 if they are holding a Starbucks coffee when the say it, 40 if it is uttered into a cell phone while driving. All four at once? JACKPOT! YOU WIN! GO HOME!

Of course this is the most unfortunate and frankly stupid pet peeve that I have. It's a bit like going to a musical and complaining because there are songs.

Posted by Chris on 01/27/05

I hate 'at the end of the day' so so much. But like you said...why? why does it bother me to such an extent? I can't answer you it just does. I get sick whenever anyone just says "the industry"

god. GOD! STOP IT.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 27, 2005 2:22 PM

This reminds me of a similar phrase I hear from time to time: Welcome to Chicago.

Blizzard? Welcome to Chicago.
Cubs balls it up again? Welcome to Chicago.
Dog got sliced in half? Welcome to Chicago.

Posted by: isaac at January 27, 2005 2:25 PM

Almost as good as "don't like the weather? Just wait a minute" which every city uses as if rapidly changing weather patterns are unique to their city. I've heard it in Chicago, Rochester, Syracuse and Toledo just to name a few.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 27, 2005 2:45 PM

It reminds me of an Onion photo caption a few years back:

NYC Resident Sees Squirrel in Tree; Shakes Head, Smiles, and Says "Only in New York."

And I'm still laughing about "Dog sliced in half? Welcome to Chicago"

Posted by: Chris at January 27, 2005 2:49 PM

Making Light of a Very Bad Thing

Maybe it's the solution. Or maybe I just have a sick sense of humor.



Posted by Chris on 01/27/05

January 26, 2005

Irma Vep

Irma Vep is not a brilliant commentary on the state of the French, American and Hong Kong movie industries as is often cited, nor is it a "hilarious" work that somehow crystallizes the beauty of cinema as Salon's Stephanie Zacherek would have you believe in one of her typically gushing and stupid reviews, but it IS a chance to be stunned again by Maggie Cheung and to see an authentic depiction of behind-the-scenes chaos on a low-budget film production. It's like Living in Oblivion, but not as overtly comic. And those are good enough reasons to see it.

Director Olivier Assayas cinches the approval of critics like Johnathan Rosenbaum, who called it a four star "masterpiece," by 1) casting Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, 2) ending the film with a Stan Brakhage-like scratched-film montage, and 3) being French. Not having a conventional ending helped, too. If this had been made identically in America, Rosenbaum would have assailed it as vapid if he had bothered to notice it at all.

I think what's really going on in the movie is much simpler - Assayas fell in love with Cheung (they were later married), and designed this project as a way to work with her. Every scene is a romantic gaze at her. She stars as "herself" in the film, and it is mostly about her. Nothing wrong with that. There are a lot of worse reasons to make a movie, or see one.

Posted by Chris on 01/26/05

I wouldn't call it hilarious either, the comedy is more observational and a mite too subtle for roaring openly. I enjoyed it but now knowing Mr. Rosenbaum liked it I should revise my opinion.

If they had made it here they'd probably cast Zhang Ziyi as Maggie Cheung, or at least put her on the poster.

Posted by: isaac at January 26, 2005 2:33 PM

January 25, 2005

Pit-Pat the Pan Sexual Spokesthing from Space

You know who we haven't checked in with lately? Those aliens parked on the dark side of the moon, the ones waiting for us to be mature enough to handle all their wonderful futuristic gifts like spaceships and cancer cures and anti-gravity and the secrets of the universe.

Let's see if we can tune them in - oh wait, they left when they heard we were using the phrase "pan sexual agenda."

I guess they have some sort of directive forbidding them from interfering with primitive cultures. Oh well - maybe NEXT eon!

Posted by Chris on 01/25/05

I think it's really a brilliant statement on American society that we have to actually get together en masse for a whole week and have special programs at school to learn that calling someone a name can hurt their feelings.

My initial response? Shouldn't a parent teach a kid things like that?


Posted by: friend jessica at January 25, 2005 11:28 AM

We can still go after albinos, right?

Posted by: isaac at January 26, 2005 9:38 AM

Albinos need the most love.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 26, 2005 9:48 AM

Don't be so tough on the world. Remember, many people are facing, "silent tsunami's of despair".
Think about it, won't you.

Posted by: Rich at January 26, 2005 10:26 AM

are you continuing to apostrophize tsunamis just to make me mad or is that how it was originally written?

Posted by: friend jessica at January 26, 2005 11:13 AM

It's a good idea, remember sticks and stones..."Words will never hurt me". Tell the kids not to waste time name-calling and go right for titty-twisters, thumpings and face-slitting. There will be injuries but that's the march of freedom, right?

Posted by: at January 26, 2005 12:11 PM

It seems I have raped the laws of grammar once again. I apologize. I just have all of these apostrophes lying around and nowhere to use them.

Posted by: Rich at January 26, 2005 1:59 PM

So that's what it's like

A few years ago I wrote a movie called The Intervention, about some friends getting an intervention together for their wild pal. It takes place in one day and in one apartment while they are waiting for him to arrive. As the day goes on, they begin to argue with one another over whether they should really be there, and eventually it becomes more about these people continuing to be friends than the absent wild guy. How clever I am! Then I actually shot the movie, my first feature-length effort, and after a long period of editing, showed it last year. How resourceful!

And then because I do everything the hard way I decided I was going to revise the last 2/3rd of the script a bit and do the whole thing over again. I really liked my idea but not so much my execution. How admirable!

The other day a friend sends me this from IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425137/

How distressing!

Well, it's not like the idea was the most original thing in the world. It's not as if I wrote something really abstract and weird like Mulholland Drive and then a few years later someone else has done it too. I'll still continue rolling this particular boulder up the hill, but it takes something out of you to look over and see that someone else has already had one professional hoisted to the top of their hill.

Posted by Chris on 01/25/05

Imagine what Bob and Doug McKenzie felt like when they found out that some hoser named Shakespeare horked their script for "Strange Brew" and wrote a play called "Hamlet" (or something like that).


Posted by: Brian at January 25, 2005 1:01 PM

Keep the same idea, but change the name of the movie to, Meet the Parents III: The Focker Intervention. No one will even remember the other guys film.

Posted by: Rich at January 26, 2005 10:23 AM

January 24, 2005


AMC has been going nuts with The Omen lately so I've had a chance to reconsider its place on the creepy devil movie scale. The seventies were a great time for Satanic movies. It was a time when you could enjoy the idea of the "Antichrist" as a cartoonish horror movie concept, and not worry that millions of people actually fervently believed in it. Also in the seventies horror films weren't afraid to let kids be evil, (something I don't think they really did again until The Good Son with Macauley Culkin in 1993) and is there anything scarier than a devil kid?

In fact for a bit in the seventies and late sixties they seemed somewhat preoccupied with evil kids: The Exorcist two years before The Omen in 1974, and Rosemary's Baby, 1968. The influence of Exorcist, still the king of all devil movies, can be strongly felt in The Omen, and also another big seventies devil movie, The Amityville Horror (Due to be remade this year, I see on IMDB) in 1979.

Although I've long held Omen in high regard, after a few repeat viewings this weekend I'm forced to see it in a new light. It's a great story with some truly memorable creepy bits and some incredibly lucky casting - the kind that could typecast an actor for the rest of their career - but ultimately the movie looks now like an above average TV movie.

Take a look at how ineptly the opening scene with Gregory Peck is played, when he makes the fateful and bizarre decision to secretly substitute an unknown child for his own stillborn son. This sort of awkwardness continues throughout. And a huge portion of the movie is given over to long individual episodes depicting people that know the truth about Damien getting bumped off in accidents more freakish than Satanic. It's long on creepiness (ably helped along by Jerry Goldsmith's score), but short on actual plot. It could by edited down to about an hour, really. This was Richard Donner's first big screen outing after a long career in TV, and it shows.

What makes the movie memorable, and worth an occasional rewatch, however, are a handful of effective and extremely creepy scenes, and Donner deserves credit for them: Damien knocks Lee Remick (and a goldfish) off the second floor, and because of that I will never climb past the second rung from the top on a ladder EVER; David Warner and Gregory Peck opening the grave and I STILL don't understand what those animal bones mean but it's GREAT; and without question, the nanny hanging herself from the roof during Damien's birthday party.

The entire Omen series continues in the same vein of near-quality, although Sam Neill certainly did his part to make the third installment a quality scare. (It wasn't until Jurassic Park that I could stop associating him with the Damien character) They could take all three films in the series and edit them into a really effective single movie, but individually, they are all weak.

Posted by Chris on 01/24/05

totaling of sums Chris.

There will be a totaling of sums.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 25, 2005 8:09 AM

Perhaps I am insane, but aren't the bones, that of a jackal? Wasn't Damien born from a dog? They do talk about a jackal right? I saw this movie in college, and the only memorable thing was Peck's delivery of "These are knives, he wants me to stab him!" For years, my friends and I quoted that line, and it was a constant reminder of how much I disliked the film. But I saw it again recently, and it did not pain me as much. Although Goldsmith's score was/is creepy, I cannot hear the "dog is near-by" music w/out laughing. Good stuff!

Posted by: klugula at January 25, 2005 2:14 PM

I have seen none of the 3 sequels. Am I missing anything?

Posted by: klugula at January 25, 2005 2:15 PM

I don't believe it was that Damien was born from a jackal or any animal, I THINK what was going on was that Damien's actual mother had been murdered by the locals in that little Italian village, and for some reason they put the bones of an animal in the grave instead. Maybe because they knew Damien was the child of Satan? That can't be right. I don't remember!

I think you should see the sequels just once to say you had. The story really is VERY cool - that the Antichrist is being set up to be the President. And Sam Neill really is good.

Posted by: Chris at January 25, 2005 2:45 PM

My boy has confirmed that I am correct. He also believes that Damien was born from a jackal. The creepy priest says so.

Posted by: klugula at January 26, 2005 10:57 AM

You're right - I found the screenplay online to be sure. (http://www.screentalk.biz/scriptofthemonth.htm) They find two graves, one large, one small, in the "Grippe De Sant'Angelo" graveyard, which for some reason also has a statue of an "Etruscan Devil-God." In the mother's grave are the bones of a jackal, and in the small grave are the bones of a baby with obvious head injury. And somewhere in here Thorn (Gregory Peck) starts talking as if the baby killed and buried there was his actual son.

Why would they bury a jackal? Why does he think his real son was spirited away to Italy and killed? Am I going to have to read this whole screenplay now?

Posted by: Chris at January 26, 2005 5:35 PM

I do recall the priest saying that Damien was born from a jackal. So his "mother" was buried, along w/ the real son. I think you should check it out.

Posted by: klugula at January 27, 2005 7:05 AM

OK, here's the OTHER thing. At the movie's start Thorn and his wife live in Rome, (something I missed) which explains why his real son would have been buried there - if not why the Satanists would keep incriminating remains around, if not why they would bother to bury a jackal, and if not why a Satanic statue would be kept up in a Christian cemetary anyway.

I have now officially put more thought into this than anyone in history, besides David Seltzer the screenwriter. Thanks a lot. I'd better stop before I realize it's the best movie of all time.

Posted by: Chris at January 27, 2005 8:41 AM

Damien's mother was a wild jackal (scavenger, eater of carrion) and his father was Satan. When he was born the jackal died and was buried in the creepy Italian graveyard by Satan's followers. Damien was then swapped with Robert and Kathy Thorn's son so he could be raised by the powerful couple, their real son was murdered and buried beside the jackal. It's all very simple if you pay attention.

Posted by: Mitzi Del Bra at January 15, 2006 11:11 AM

Thanks - maybe the reason I had such trouble remembering his jackal heritage is that I STILL think it is dumb that they would have then given the jackal a burial.

Posted by: Chris at January 15, 2006 2:19 PM

Citibank slogan watch

A new one just went up at my intersection:


As with every single Citibank slogan in this ad campaign, it's hard to know how they actually intended the proles to read this. Is it that we should leave the money worries to them and enjoy life more? If so, is a trip to the library the best way for an ad campaign to evoke a life of enjoyment? Wouldn't one way to enjoy life be to have more money? Yet their ad seems to be warning us away from getting any from them via a loan - or is it?

Whatever their intention, as usual there is the underlying, ironic message attached to their slogan, which was my first reading:


Or, in my case:


Posted by Chris on 01/24/05

and let's talk about the commercials. We've got a guy balancing his kid on his hand and two old people playing ukeleles...supposedly while their money is in Citibank.

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS YOUR POINT? You too can be a flagrant freewheelin' jagoff if you bank with us

Posted by: friend jessica at January 24, 2005 1:15 PM

Perhaps this is the (post) modern face of advertising. By seemingly not having a point, people who don't get the ads (analytically thoughtful people who notice and comment on their surroundings) ask or talk about it, then some guy from California writes about it in his blog. Before you know it you've just performed advertising, for free, mentioning the wonderful institution and services of Citib-


Posted by: isaac at January 24, 2005 2:42 PM

January 21, 2005

Scripture of the Day

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. Also, it will be in the form of a sponge wearing short pants. - 1 Thessalonians 5:2, KJV

Posted by Chris on 01/21/05

They've got a point. Christ didn't go in for this hippy tolerance and compassion. He was too busy with the Lord's Work: plotting terrorism on abortion clinics, and small carpentry jobs.

Posted by: isaac at January 24, 2005 10:57 AM

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

I understood that this movie was to be a high-end Brew n' View type, but it's much better than that. I'd put it in the company of "Road Trip" for recent movies that go for that 1970's National Lampoon feel and pull it off. They're smart, funny, honestly brash, and you can find the "message" of the movie but it's secondary. They're not afraid to show young people getting high (in fact the movie seems made for the Currently High demographic) and not above asking some of the actresses to go topless. It may as well be 1979. It strains a bit when it goes for absurdity, but maybe that's because I wasn't in that target demographic.

They should get John Cho and Kal Penn for other buddy movies. And Neil Patrick Harris deserves respect for the way he patiently endures the mantle of Doogie Howser.

The DVD design is one of the best non-Criterions I've seen. They shot footage just to use as background for the menus that sort of parallels the story but isn't pulled from it, and the cast / crew interviews go beyond the He Was Great To Work With stuff. The only extra it's missing is some sort of recreation of the meeting that had to take place between the producers and the White Castle execs. I know White Castle is hardly at the top of the fast-food chain, but it took balls to sign on to this movie.

Posted by Chris on 01/21/05

January 20, 2005


Wow - did anyone else watch "Medium" the other night? AMAZINGLY bad. Bad to the degree that the stock of everyone involved - even Jake Weber - is lowered. Bad to the degree that I wonder if NBC is trying for some sort of insurance scam a la "The Producers" when the show is cancelled.

A plot "twist" stolen from at least two other movies I can think of ("Red Dragon" and "One Hour Photo"), laughable interplay between Tough Cop Who Doesn't Trust The Psychic and The Psychic, they capture the killer and then end up sort of forgetting that plot, and - I'm sorry because I've liked her in other things - a terribly poor showing from Arquette. I kept waiting for it to get better and then I kept watching because it was so bad.

When someone puts out a show using a tired old genre (Psychic Helps Solve Crimes) you think it might be because they've thought of something new to do with it. Nope. Not at ALL.

Posted by Chris on 01/20/05

Sadly, I did not even give it a chance, since the ads did absolutely nothing for me. The crap factor has been confirmed, thank you Chris.

Posted by: klugula at January 20, 2005 12:13 PM

I have...never liked Patricia or her trashy sister Rosanna. Both of them can roast in hell for all I care.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 20, 2005 2:30 PM

I have never hated them, but have never gone out of my way to see their work. Patricia is all one level. I cannot recall any "intense" scenes in which I was actually convinced by her. Rosanna is ok. But all I have really seen her in is "Desperately Seeking Susan". If I had to choose, it would be Rosanna. But I would choose someone else altogether if possible. You get the point.

Posted by: klugula at January 20, 2005 3:03 PM

I liked Patricia in "Lost Highway," "Beyond Rangoon," and especially "Flirting with Disaster," but she did not rise above the writing in this horrid show.

Posted by: Chris at January 20, 2005 3:51 PM

January 19, 2005

Rod Serling

So much has been written about Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone, but the AV club (Noel Murray) comes up with what seems like the definitive summary:


I avoid buying the "definitive" collections - Looney Toons, the Simpsons, the original Star Trek - because I have this strange fear that owning them will ruin it for me. As if my enjoyment comes partly from catching them when they are randomly broadcast.

Posted by Chris on 01/19/05

woah. Did the government censor your Condoleeza Rice statements?

Posted by: friend jessica at January 20, 2005 6:29 AM

I took it down because I couldn't find the transcript of the hearings, and I wanted to be very specific. Curses!

Posted by: Chris at January 20, 2005 11:14 AM

January 17, 2005

Epithets I Don't Use Enough

BOZO. I accidentally used this one today when someone pulled out in front of me on the interstate, and decided that I have to move it into regular rotation. I like the fifties charm it has. I like that it's not profane. It gets the point across - that the other person is in error - without overly condemning him. It implicitly allows room for redemption if someone is merely "acting the fool" as opposed to being an asshole for all time.

CLOWN. As with "bozo," I like the retro feel of this one. I enjoy the quaint implication that if someone is not driving correctly, then they must have escaped from the circus. I've been experimenting with this one at work. (In fact I'm afraid I may have applied it somewhat liberally in some cases, in the name of getting the feel of it.)

JOKER. This one implies a more willful and chronic state of troublemaking, but as above it's not nearly as harsh and final a sentence as "asshole" or that overused queen mother "MF." It is far gentler to assign someone to some playing-card pantheon of lunatics.

GOON / THUG / HOOLIGAN. Fun to use with any group of young people. I like the miscellaneous, generic feel these have, as if the offenders are just bit players in some 40's adventure serial. "Goon #3 smacked his gum as I approached the Kit-Kat Klub." Realizing they are just bit players of a universal type makes the obnoxious behavior easier to take somehow. These days they may wear baggy jeans and strange head-panties, but they are still just timeless goons.

MALEFACTOR. Who am I kidding? It would never occur to me to use this one when it would be appropriate, but I love the gentility. With this one you'd really need a cane to shake in someone's face as you said it.

CRAPWEASEL. I've loved it since David Schwimmer said it on "Friends." It sounds like something a kid would make up. I like the absurdity of this one and the fact that, the louder and more angrily I say it, the more I'll start laughing. Hard to use, though, if the offensive party has made an actual life-threatening move in traffic.

The following epithets are out:

ALL THE R-RATED ONES. Overused and they're not getting me anywhere. You want to feel release after an epithet, not doubt that it wasn't clever enough, or guilt because it slipped out unbidden. If I'm throwing an insult I don't want to be burdened by doubt, guilt, or the fear that I suffer from Tourette's.

BASTARD. "Bastard" makes me laugh when I use it because it comes from such a specific, overwrought character in my mind, that of a very serious Englishman in his fifties who is liable to take a drink at work. Basically I picture Ian Holm as the ineffective, nervous administrator in "Brazil." The hilarity of this one meant it was always more of a joke than a useful epithet anyway. Like many of the words I get hung up on I enjoyed it precisely because it did not find a comfortable home in my vocabulary, but existed there as a novelty. This one was in special rotation anyway, but because of the humor and overuse, it needs to be temporarily retired.

JACKASS. A favorite, but it should be temporarily retired due to overuse.

SON OF A BITCH. I love the square-jawed, manly, noirish feel of this one, but alas, it never just slipped off the tongue. I always had to remember later that "son of a bitch" would have been a cool thing to say. Since it never moved into regular rotation anyway, it's retired.

Posted by Chris on 01/17/05

If I had to pick a word that I would love to use more often, it would have to be: Creep.

Posted by: klugula at January 18, 2005 11:08 AM

I would like to add HOT DOG! as an expression of joy.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 18, 2005 11:36 AM

Creep is good. Another one occured to me: MISCREANT.

Posted by: Chris at January 18, 2005 11:45 AM

How about OH BOY! and SWELL!

Posted by: Chris at January 18, 2005 11:46 AM

For awhile, I used the Vern Tessio expression, "Sincerely." Elwood quickly put a stop to that. But I had not planned it. It just came out one day, and then continued til Elwood beat me up. Sincerely!

Posted by: klugula at January 18, 2005 2:10 PM

How about Marge Simpson's term; Crum bum. That's a great one.

Posted by: klugula at January 18, 2005 2:11 PM

My favorite nasty one is "C***sucker!"

Posted by: klugula at January 18, 2005 2:13 PM

Before anyone jumps on that, I was just trying to be polite. I don't actually call someone a C-*-*-* sucker. Ok?

Posted by: klugula at January 18, 2005 2:14 PM

Of course if you want to go back even further you've got, coxcomb and brigand. But my all time favorite is f*ckchop.

Posted by: Rich at January 25, 2005 9:22 AM

January 14, 2005

Don't get me started on the Red Sox - really, please don't

When I meet people I try to hide my hideous nature from them for as long as possible. I'm not talking about my psychotic preferences regarding beauty, although I try to keep that under wraps as well, but the fact that I don't care about sports.

If you're still reading at this point - I have found a way to respond to sports fans when they start talking about last night's game without giving away that I am a sociopath, and I swear it has worked. Suppose they're going on about the Red Sox. I respond like this:

"The RED SOX? Don't get me started on them!"

I've found this to be a fairly good way to avoid detection as a Known Communist because it can be read a few different ways. Either I'm saying I hate the team / a specific player with every fiber of my being, or if I instantly detect that's the wrong way to go, with a slight change of inflection I can indicate that I am a long-time fan unhappy with the management of the best ball club ever in the history of the sport, period.

This generally only works once per person, however.

While at the law firm there was one amiable fellow that wanted to talk basketball all the time. He'd bring up a particular team and I'd tell him not to get me started on THEM! But then I'd run into him again, and have to remember how I voted last time. Here's an email I sent to friend Brian about one such conversation:

The dangers of bluffing about sports

I ran into the guy who was talking to me about so feverishly about basketball the other day in the elevator. Without much preamble, he announced to me that the St. Minneapolis Cardinal-Hawks* had won last night. And then he just watched me for my reaction. Realizing a reaction would be needed, I created something like a pained expression on my face and then said "Don't get me started on the Cardinal-Hawks!"

And then he just kept on looking at me. I'd screwed up. I instantly realized that however I had sports-bluffed with this guy LAST time, I'd obviously taken the arbitrary position of being very much in FAVOR of the Cardinal-Hawks, and now here I was reversing that for no discernable reason. Also, I must have somehow said that I didn't like the Florida Marlin-Rays or the West St. Louis Oil Drums or the Colorado Wolverines, which is who the Cardinal-Hawks beat last night, and now here I was throwing my lot in with THEM.

I covered by asking how Shaq had played last night at least, and he gave me some highlights of the game. Then I said "Well, you can't really bet against Shaq," and that seemed to get me back on track.

*Obviously not their real name, but if I could remember their goddam real name, then I wouldn't be in this mess.

Posted by Chris on 01/14/05

I don't even know enough about sports to successfully bluff someone. So I choose to tell the truth. "I have no idea what you are talking about."

Posted by: klugula at January 14, 2005 11:39 AM


Posted by: friend jessica at January 14, 2005 11:42 AM

I am unaware of many "computer speaks". What does that mean? I am sure it is an insult of some kind. Please explain.

Posted by: klugula at January 14, 2005 12:04 PM

~ in this case means "stop talking."

Posted by: Chris at January 14, 2005 12:12 PM

Will do.

Posted by: klugula at January 14, 2005 12:14 PM

And by the way, Klugula - I seem to remember a movie shoot day scheduled on a Cubs game day when you were just as excited about it as everyone else.

Posted by: Chris at January 14, 2005 12:15 PM

There are those rare occassions where I will get caught up in the hoopla, such as last years baseball playoffs, but in general I choose to remain silent, cuz I really don't follow any particular sport, or team. If I watch long enough, I can get the jist and terminology, but once I stop, it all goes away. So I am better off not commenting at all. Thus, you may erase all of my previous commentary. Thank you for your time.

Posted by: klugula at January 14, 2005 12:27 PM

I'm sorry. Your lies are indelibly recorded here for all time.

Maybe you could write something about the dangers of bluffing about not liking sports.

Posted by: Chris at January 14, 2005 12:47 PM

No, I won't steal your thunder.

Posted by: klugula at January 14, 2005 12:56 PM


I think the ~ was meant for me, by the way.

Posted by: Chris at January 14, 2005 1:04 PM

January 13, 2005

Rapture Index Down 3 Points

Good news today on the Rapture front (or IS it good news?): the Rapture Index was at 152 for January 10th, down from the 2005 high of 155, making conditions for Christ's return to Earth less favorable by a net -3 points.

This is still well above the Heavy Prophetic Activity ceiling of 145, but generally positive (or is it negative?) that we're seeing less of the False Christs, Apostasy, Gog (Russia) and other end-time activities charted by RaptureReady.com.

No doubt that as incidents of Wild Weather and Beast Government continue, the need for prophecy reporting will remain, but for now we can all breathe a sigh of relief! (Or moan in terror?)

Posted by Chris on 01/13/05

what about microchips in the head? Thats' got to be troublesome. Originally the mark of the beast was our Social Security Number, which is interesting, because it implied that the only people affected by end time prophecy were Americans. What we need is a WORLD WIDE mark of the beast, and I'm afraid microchip implantation with medical information is it my friends. Don't buy or sell goods without it.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 14, 2005 6:22 AM

In Mark of the Beast news, I see that not just Social Security Numbers, but RFID bar codes qualify. How is a Christian store like Wal Mart supposed to keep inventory and track consumer trends without fulfilling a prophecy?

I also see that Civil Rights and the Peace Process are end-times indicators. Does that mean more peace equals more Rapture? I'm so conflicted.

Posted by: Chris at January 14, 2005 9:48 AM

I've always been confused about that as well. I think it's because then finally Israel will be at peace in their own land. But THEN, they have to rebuild a sacred temple, and with todays construction unions, we all know how long that takes...am I RIGHT?

I think the peace process one is a primarily Zionist belief. Civil Rights? Seems strange.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 14, 2005 11:09 AM

Let's all remember that Revelations wasn't considered a book about the End Times until the late 1800s when some scholar decided it was.

Worth noting.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 14, 2005 11:10 AM

but let's stop talking about it, because it does keep me up at night worrying. honestly.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 14, 2005 11:10 AM

Tonal Listening

Before my current job I worked as a menial A/V techie in a law firm. God bless them for giving me work after I was laid off, and I loved getting to know the legal secretary crowd I sat with, but it was like being on Mars. Yesterday I found this email I'd sent some friends from that job. In retrospect I can see that this was where my social skills were taking the latest in a series of sharp dives:

A couple of points of interest

In no particular order:

1) Since the majority of the people I work around now are only about 4% as interesting as the people at the last job, I've developed a disturbing habit that I call "tonal listening."

This means that I no longer bother to listen to the words people are saying so much as wait for the breaks in their talking. Then, by inserting the appropriate vocal conjunction into their conversational pause, which I base on their tone of voice, I can effectively bridge my way through their statement and still seem to appear interested.

There's one guy that I can completely tune out with this technique, and thank God for it. Otherwise I'd have listened to the same story about his vintage corvette for the fifth time this morning. Another girl's conversation I hear solely as a woodwind-like drone with the occasional half-measure of rest - sort of like the way Charlie Brown hears any adult. And that's the way it HAS to be, because otherwise I'd be forced to hear her consider and reconsider every atom of detail about her wedding right up until the nuptials, which are - oh Christ - three months away. I'll be dead in three months if I have to know about her seating-arrangement anxieties and whether or not the fortune cookies should be lemon-flavored and whether her shoes will be too tight to dance and did she get the right rate for the hotels and will Aunt Dorothy mind doing the flowers for the aisles because after all she's a florist but will she mind doing her day-job at the wedding?

So far "tonal listening" is making me a perfectly passable conversationalist, at least by this place's standards. All I have to do is keep tabs of facial expressions at the last second of their sentences before the pauses, and I know what sort of mmm-hmmm or oh really is required of me. I'm like the guy who plays the triangle at the symphony. I swear it works.

And to be fair, I actually DID listen to the words people were saying for the first month I was here, but in all that time no one said anything of interest, and nothing that I said in return - and keep in mind that I was making really clever replies, or at least was trying to, as I'm the new guy here and trying to make a favorable impression - seemed to be of much interest to them, either. They don't get me. They never do. I never even get a "boy is he strange" glance, which means that in six months, they'll get it or a least pretend to. I just get blank faces when I make with the funny, as if their minds are just completely unable to parse the data I've just sent out, and will therefore ignore it as gibberish. Is this what comedians mean by playing the Catskills?

Bottom line, I've been using A material on these folks for about 5 weeks, trying to establish myself as the Technical Funnyman. And it's not working - either because I'm not that funny after all or the fact that every single person here lives in the suburbs, which I'm discovering seems to make a huge difference - so I'm phoning it in from here on out.

2) There's a lawyer here named Matlock. I haven't seen him in person yet, but can you IMAGINE the hell he must be living? Poor Matlock. I bet he'd get my jokes.

3) Regarding personal office decor: MORE THAN ONE PERSON here has an office or cubicle with a decorative theme so COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY dedicated to one animal AND THAT ANIMAL ONLY that it has to be pathological. One man has so many pictures of wolves in his office that I actually go tharn when I have to go in there. I try to stay as long as I need to, but I always end up sprinting out before he's through talking, my irises completely dilated and my tail between my legs, looking desperately for a thicket to hide in until I can get back to my warren.

Some sort of psychological reaction against modern office buildings? An effort to retain some sense of nature in a skyscraper? Perhaps, but a postcard of your vacation to Wyoming would suffice. Graphic illustrations of the entire genus and phylum canine lupus plastered on your walls is overboard.

Although I do see how my social skills were decaying here, let me be clear: the people I talked about in this email would have tested anyone. And in fact Wedding Girl / Corvette Man were the least of it. I wish I'd saved some of the emails talking about my A/V counterpart, who more than anyone was responsible for me fleeing that job.

Imagine being on a chain gang and the one next to you keeps saying "Hot enough for ya?!?" Imagine that this person you are chained to is slightly autistic, not in the adorable Rain Man way, but in a way that means you have to pick up most of the slack, and later you discover she's not really autistic, that's just something she tells new prisoners so they'll do her work. Also, imagine that your fellow prisoner locks her computer when she takes an off-day from the gang but leaves the "Peanuts"-themed screensaver - complete with audio - going, which means you get to hear Charlie Brown going "AUUUUUUUGGHHHHH" every twenty seconds all day. Further imagine that when you are putting in for vacation time from the chain gang she hogs it all - and is allowed to by the gang boss - so that your ability to travel is effectively destroyed.

Well. I've obviously strained the "chain gang" metaphor but I hope it gives you at least the emotional impression.

I'm ashamed of the "suburbs" comment because it sounds so urban elitist. I don't hold with such easy classifying of people by where they live, but frankly, it was true. At the end of the day everyone headed for the Metra trains except me.

And I wasn't kidding about enjoying getting to know the legal secretaries. They were great. Because of what they endured every day they had developed the most industrial-strength sense of humor I'd ever seen. Julie who sat next to me kept a set of tennis shoes under her desk in case another 9/11-style evacuation was required. (The office was in the Sears Tower, by the way) She was the first co-worker I'd ever met that learned the practicality of issuing me one blanket blessing per day for my sneezing, as opposed to offering one per sneeze. Apart from some of them suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, these ladies were great.

Posted by Chris on 01/13/05

I eliminated both my social skills in the mid-90's; you're a socialite Gandhi (but one who still kills bugs) in comparison.

I once suffered through a wedding-planning cubicle neighbor (and we had low partitions for "easy team communication"). You must admire their Zen-like ability to be remain focused on the mundane, like the forgettable pebbled texture of an invitation, their boundless optimism, in thinking they'll find a wedding photographer who won't hate them, and their discipline, refraining from talking of anything unrelated for sixth months. She made me want to eat glass.

Seems like you passed your endurance test with flying colors, whatever they are.

Posted by: isaac at January 13, 2005 9:16 AM

I would love for you to also experience the daily required morning discusson of the previous evening's reality show smash hit surprise twist that wasn't really all that of a surprise. Every day it's the same thing. Either that, or I get to hear how the people on "Lost" really aren't all that lost beacuse they all look too beautiful.

For example...
"I worked on a fishing boat for six weeks one summer. We showered in salt water every day. Let me tell you... your hair doesn't look that good after washing in salt water."

I think it's the lack of ability to suspend reality for sheer entertainment's sake that bothers me the most.

No... I don't think that Trista made the right choice. She's on a damn TV show isn't she? She subjected herself to the ridicule and scorn that she gets because she's getting paid for it. So no... I don't feel bad for her or anyone else on any other reality show for that matter. And I don't care which person has an alliance with which other.

Bottom line... I like to be entertained just like everyone else. However, the TV is not my only source of entertainment. And I can't stand to listen to you discuss it every single morning when I'm trying to actually EARN my paycheck.

Sorry for the hyjack/rant.

Posted by: Brian at January 13, 2005 9:23 AM

I am one of those "let's talk about the previous night episode" people. Does it become a problem if the rest of my staff are in the same boat?

Posted by: klugula at January 13, 2005 9:32 AM


Love you! Mean it!

Posted by: friend jessica at January 13, 2005 9:34 AM

I like to discuss t.v., but there are folks who repeat back every line of the script, complete with commentary as if I DIDN'T WATCH IT, when, in reality, the reason we're discussing it is because...wait for it...WE BOTH WATCHED IT.

There's a skill involved in talking about t.v. Only I have it. Well, and Brian. Brian and I are married and we know how to talk about t.v. to each other.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 13, 2005 9:35 AM

I think I am a pretty good TV talker. I discuss highlights, moments that got my motor running. A particulary sexy flash of skin, etc. I also discuss it in context of the quality of past episodes, and of course the exciting previews of next week. But I do not retell the entire story to someone that has already seen it. You are not the only good TV talkers. So there.

Posted by: klugula at January 13, 2005 9:45 AM

Brian - it's OK to hijack the comments. I'm also mystified by the Bachelor / Bachelorette reality thing. Not that people are so fascinated by it but why the bachelor / bachelorette gets such hell from the ones they pass over on the show. As if that's not the nature of the game. They should own up to the ultimate power they have; it should be called "Harem."

Posted by: Chris at January 13, 2005 9:59 AM

The key point to mention regarding my last comment was that this happens EVERY DAY. Now... I like tv and I watch tv. And I like to talk about it with others. But my problem exists with the competition that seems to exist between my coworkers as to how MUCH tv has been seen. There are people here who TiVo "The Simple Life" for God's sake!!! GIVE ME A BREAK!!! There is also the argument regarding how something was too unbelievable (see the hair problems comment above). It seems that if I'm not able to tell the group something that I noticed that is non-parallel or unbelievable or nonsensical then I'm not "part of their group." It's just stupid.

And on those rare occasions where they discuss things that I've actually seen, I just sit, listen, and roll my eyes so hard that I give myself a headache.

However, it's also important to note that I'd rather masturbate with 60 grade sandpaper than participate in their "conversations." I'm simply irritated at the vehemency and the frequency of said "conversations."

Did I spell those words correctly?

Posted by: Brian at January 13, 2005 11:14 AM

sheesh. li'l crabby.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 13, 2005 11:30 AM

Ever conscious of my unabated negativity, I must say that I am blessed where I work currently (I'm a few floors below Brian and his sandpaper).

I say perhaps eight words in a day, if prompted by one of my quiet co-workers. Otherwise it's headphones on with internet radio.

Cripes, at work I'm listening to installments of Don Quixote, Anna Karenina, Where Angels Fear to Tread and We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (P.K. Dick) this week. Yesterday I listened to The Playboy of the Western World, David Sedaris reading his latest and a sociology program about the need of mankind to have carnivals and play with fire and why celebrations lose their spirit when co-opted and managed by business interests and rulebooks.

I love my silent co-workers (whom I hooked on the same internet radio) and the bloody great bloody marvelous internet. Happy, positive isaac. Frabjous Day, etc.

Posted by: isaac at January 13, 2005 12:09 PM

January 12, 2005

The U.S. and Cuba of Home Appliances

I forever lost the moral superiority of being the only one able to tape shows this week when I failed to record the Ellen Show as requested. And it was not just any episode of Ellen, but one Wife Ami had attended as an audience member. Ouch.

I had very carefully gone over the VCR settings, completed my pre-flight checklist of time, channel, and tape, but instead of Ellen I got two hours of NBC daytime including "Passions" and "Days of our Lives." My error? One of the classics: Failing to make sure the VCR time was synchronized with real-world time.

I had just the day before moved the TV and VCR into a different room, so when I unplugged everything, the time was reset, THE DAMNABLE TIME WAS RESET, DAMN THE TIME ANYWAY. Oh, for the days of TiVo when these things were accomplished with the touch of a button.

I had achieved moral taping superiority in my home not only because I was the only one who could fathom the TV / VCR relationship but because Wife Ami had failed on numerous occasions to tape important shows for me. Now her inability to record the Six Feet Under Season Finale or any of the Project Greenlights when I was in London will forever be overshadowed by the Ellen incident. My ability to be condescending in VCR matters is forever lost.


Having our TV watching habits de-evolve back to VCRs makes me realize that my love of TiVo is not so much because what it can do is such a great new idea - but because it's finally fulfilling the promise of an old idea. I'm not asking to interactive with a hologram of the stars of "24," I'd simply like to set the machine to record the show later.

I've always thought VCRs and TVs had the crappiest of design relationships, but this drives it home anew. Set the channel here, set the channel there. Make sure the time is OK. Put the TV on channel 3. Make sure the tape is rewound and that there's enough space on it. Make sure the "TV / VCR" button - which has caused more confusion in our house than the Tower of Babel - is clicked correctly. God help you if you have a cable box. TVs and VCRs are the U.S. and Cuba of home appliances - forced to exist in the same space but not cooperating very well.

Did I ever make fun of someone for not being able to set the time on their VCR? I apologize. If they give out an award for shitty design, then it should have a blinking 12:00 on it.

Unrelated side note: You people who make a point to say you don't watch TV when I'm talking about a show - I sentence you to wear a black beret at a jaunty angle for one year.

Posted by Chris on 01/12/05

On the bright side, Wife Ami had already seen that episode.

Posted by: isaac at January 12, 2005 1:46 PM

It is a good point, and one I made to her later when my error was discovered.

For future reference, however, in this situation it was not an effective argument.

Posted by: Chris at January 12, 2005 2:02 PM

boy are you two thick. The whole point was so she could see herself on t.v., goofball.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 12, 2005 2:28 PM

Then commit a crime, and get on Cops, like everyone else. Duh!

Posted by: klugula at January 12, 2005 3:18 PM

January 11, 2005

It has come to destroy us

Today when I walked outside there was an unfamiliar, uncomfortably bright orb in the sky. It causes the eye much pain to look at, and is also emitting quite a bit of heat. Clearly the thing has been sent from another world to destroy us.

Later I'll go outside again to throw stones at it - perhaps that and my hooting will scare it away.

Posted by Chris on 01/11/05

There is an equally frightening orb that arrives at night, sickly pale, to shed blue light all over the darkness. Other beings live on that orb.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 11, 2005 1:21 PM

I have seen that one - I believe it to be in league with this new, more powerful one.

Posted by: Chris at January 11, 2005 1:54 PM

We have the sickly orange apocolypse sky here in Chicago lately, because it's so cloudy it reflects the snow and the amber streetlights and with a naked tree against it? It might as well be the poster for Carnivale.

As much as I dislike, and don't advocate the apocolypse, I like the orange sky that comes in winter...especially if it's snowing at night.

We have not seen the fiery orb here for at least a fortnight.

Posted by: friend jessica at January 11, 2005 2:39 PM

Heathens, talking about such things. It has all been planned by our Lord God, and ye shall not question such masterworks. Nor shall ye hurl stones at the Lord's doings. Go in peace, for He loves you. All the death and destruction of the past weeks is his way of showing that.

Posted by: klugula at January 11, 2005 2:56 PM

It is Texas Hold 'Em. On your knees!

Posted by: Texas Scrotum at January 12, 2005 10:05 AM

January 10, 2005

Unfortunate Bladder Synchronicity

There is a fellow here who has the exact same 1) morning / afternoon drinking schedule, 2) bladder size, and 3) threshold for discomfort as me, because the last three times I have gone to the bathroom, I look up and there he is headed down the hall towards the men's room too. I see him, he sees me, and we both think the same thing - not him again.

We are not to the point of making conversation during these unfortunate meetings, nor will we be. This is unacceptable. I require a completely empty men's room as I'm sure he does as well.

Posted by Chris on 01/10/05

so what do you drink in the morning? i'm a vodka man myself. then perhaps a nice carafe of shiraz in the afternoon ...

Posted by: kjk at January 11, 2005 5:31 AM

Is he hot?

Posted by: Brian at January 11, 2005 6:14 AM

You've passed the prediction stage, now you can move on to controlling this man. Might I suggest starting with piercing, unblinking eye contact? Perhaps turning to him over the sink or urinal and visibly searching for something to say. You can shatter this man.

Posted by: isaac at January 11, 2005 7:04 AM

Your Child Vexes Me


The next time somebody brings their infant child into your office, PLEASE MAKE A POINT TO GET UP AND PARTICIPATE IN THE COOING. Just do a few token passes and then you can go about your business.

A lady just came in here to talk to my co-worker, and she was carrying her six-month old. Pretty cute. Within 10 seconds the office was filled with people - men and women - cooing at him / her. They were making a lot of racket but I didn't mind. I work in a cave and any special guests are a welcome break.

But I was also the only one busily working away. Here's the image: every head turned to adore the child except mine. So when the baby started wailing, the mother turns to me and apologizes. Then everyone clears out. So as not to disturb the Chicago Baby-Hater from his precious work.

I made a point to wave bye-bye at the baby as everyone left, but as the child's vision has not developed and no adult saw me do it, the gesture was lost.

Posted by Chris on 01/10/05

now that's not entirely true! i saw the half hearted obligatory wave! ;)

Posted by: leslie at January 10, 2005 6:04 PM

But if a man waves at a baby and the mother didn't see it, can he truly be said to have waved.... AT ALL?

Posted by: Chris at January 10, 2005 7:10 PM

Is it safe to assume that you weren't working at home that day? Because if you were... that would be just too odd.

Posted by: Brian at January 11, 2005 6:12 AM

I think the obligation exists only if the baby is owned by a co-worker, not merely a guest. The coo-ers might have been out of line and overreacting or just practicing in this case.

The wave wasn't lost. God, Holy Ghost and Baby Jesus all smiled and jotted a note in some book.

Posted by: isaac at January 11, 2005 6:57 AM

That's right. The Lord and all of his angels, including me, love you for the wave. God Bless You!

Posted by: klugula at January 11, 2005 1:10 PM

Whatever happens... I must not cry

Some weekend things:

  • Starting Friday and then for the next 24 hours or so some sort of constant beeping was going off in the neighborhood. Nothing as insistent as a car alarm, just a soft three beats, one rest, three beats, one rest. I had just gotten to the stage of planning vandalism to it when it shut off.

  • The next day, ironically, I lost all hearing in my left ear after a swim. The amusing result according to Wife Ami was not that I talked louder to hear myself, but completely inaudibly. Still not a hundred percent on that ear. If it goes on for another day I'm considering heightening my other senses to compensate.

  • I decided to give the side bar comment thing a rest because it embarasses me to come back in the morning and see I've been advertising porn sites for someone all night long. Now, with improved "inline" comments.

  • We rented Shrek 2, and say what you will, and I will, Antonio Banderas made me laugh hysterically. I thought the role of his life was this generation's "Zorro," but it turns out that it's "Puss in Boots."

    Whatever happens... I must not cry.

    Still - like the first one, overall the movie makes me smile but I don't quite see what the fuss is. The best parts remain anything with crowds of the other fairy tale characters (Pinnochio steals all his scenes, as does the Gingerbread man), but they don't stay with them very long. With Shrek I always feel that the filmmakers are definitely above average, but would secretly rather tell you about the new techniques they invented to render hair and cloth than talk about the movie.

    And now to completely undercut myself, I watched the film, noted its beauty but was not over-impressed, then watched the behind-the-scenes extras, and was BLOWN AWAY by the how complex and successful the animation is. Yes, there's lots of talk of cloth and hair and light-rendering, but that's all there in the movie and so realistic and incredible I didn't notice at all. The "Shrek 2" extras include what must be a first, which are not bloopers but "glitches" - instances when a character's face didn't move in time to his body, or when someone's arms were made outrageously long, and for some reason this brought the enormous complexity of what they're doing home more than a "blooper" reel.

  • Saw Napolean Dynamite, another movie I'm glad I didn't wait in line for last year in Utah. I can't wait for this indy-film subgenre to disappear and be replaced by the next one.

    Posted by Chris on 01/10/05

    Having recently seen Shrek II myself I was struck not so much by the hour and a half I'll never get back but the size and enthusiasm of the market for glossy mediocrity.

    I enjoyed the first one (soundtrack, scat-humor and pop-culture-references-as-"humor" aside) and came out of the theatre thinking the only way they could blow it would be to make a sequel.

    The strength of the first seemed to come from its originality and surprises, taking something familiar and twisting it into something new. The sequel ditched the strengths of the first (actually going so far as to negate the central "looks don't matter" message so that, yes he MUST to look like a ogre for her happiness) and served us with more pop-culture-references instead of character development. It might be my old fuddy-duddy ways that make me struggle to find the humor in a joke you can see coming or have seen before (such as a long journey interrupted by a character repeatedly asking "are we there yet?")

    Chris, as someone who writes very funny scripts, do you find yourself censoring your words, removing ideas and clever concepts and replacing them with scat-jokes, sarcasm or empty pop-culture-references, in order to make your writing more mediocre? I mean, do you want to make it in this business, kid?

    Posted by: isaac at January 10, 2005 10:56 AM

    I think it was Eisenstein who said, "Cinema is truth told 24 times a second - also, fart-jokes are pure gold with the 18-35 demographic."

    So yes - if there's a chance for bathroom humor, I take it and thank the Gods of drama for the gift.

    Posted by: Chris at January 10, 2005 11:22 AM

    18-35 demographic? Then I am in the wrong. I have cheated Hollywood in quitting early my demographic love of cheeky fart jokes (the water bubbled up, oh ho ho hee) and other observations on internal and external bodily scents and functions. Forget I said all that, for a couple of years.

    Antonio Banderas was great though. I wanted more Puss-n-Boots and less cringe-bringing Jar-Jarish Donkey.

    Posted by: isaac at January 10, 2005 12:15 PM

    This entry hurts my feelings on so many levels.

    one, isaac, is that my husband calls me Donkey, and so Donkey the character is sort of my...animal familiar if you will. In Shrek, when he says "alright now I hope you heard that, she said STEED" I laughed forever. FOREVER. I AM STILL LAUGHING.

    Secondly, I laughed so hard at napoleon dynamite i nearly peed. FEEDING A LLAMA HAM? The way he drank that gatorade? the way he ran down the hall after throwing the campaign button. Wait until my mother hears you didn't like that movie.

    WOO HOO what a sad crazy day.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 10, 2005 2:28 PM
  • January 9, 2005


    Even before this End Times rain storm we're currently having, locals have consistently maintained that it NEVER rains here, and then about half of them would sing the line from that song stating same. (If you don't know the song - lucky.)

    So when it does rain a sort of instantaneous hysteria descends on people OH GOD OH GOD WATER WATER FROM THE SKY, which is somewhat contagious; maybe it's due in part to the fact that even during a little sprinkle, after only five minutes water is instantly rushing through the gutters like a river. I must live at the foothills of everything because you can get washed away walking down the street. It does get you a little crazy.

    On the upside it's good for at least twenty minutes worth of additional conversation fodder with the seniors in your family that watch the Weather Channel.

    I have not dared complain to my midwest or east coast friends yet because of their snow problems, but now I see there are killer mudslides.

    Posted by Chris on 01/ 9/05

    I remember many years ago, the big earthquake in california that interrupted a monday night movie about a teenager raped by a cop (I was SO MAD that the movie was pre-empted)...but anyway..

    the next day my mom said "you know...there's a lot of adult bookstores and porn companies in that area! Perhaps God is tryin to tell us something"

    And now, when I look around this great land...if God were to smite every wide range area that contained an adult bookstore, well, a)there would be no more Wisconsin and b) why wouldn't it hit Los Angeles or HOllywood instead of San Fran?

    my mom is quaint and strong in her beliefs. And I love her. Don't break bad on my mom.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 10, 2005 2:37 PM

    When I hear talk of destructive natural forces being God's power and His teaching sinners a lesson (although killing people rarely teaches them anything), I begin to wonder if He regards our charity toward the survivors as some complicity in their sin. Are we, in effect, giving a getaway vehicle to escaped convicts?

    That earthquake in San Francisco was probably ordered to destroy the saccharine "Full House" family, or at least provide material for a very special episode.

    Posted by: isaac at January 12, 2005 7:12 AM

    The Fred Phelps Family, proud owners of the God Hates Fags website, made famous by them protesting Mathew Shepard's funeral, assuring them that Fag Matt was roasting in hell, has attributed the Tsunami to God smiting the child sex trade in Asia.

    A noble cause for sure, but then Howard Stern asked whether or not the CHILDREN RAPED IN THE SLAVE TRADE DESRVED TO DIE. The answer?

    "Don't cloud the issue"

    stupid innocent victims! CLOUDING THE ISSUE!

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 12, 2005 11:16 AM

    January 7, 2005

    Oh no.

    I was doing OK, hiding behind my skepticism about this project, until I read this from Entertainment Weekly:

    ''It's not an origin story; I didn't want to remake what Richard Donner [director of Reeve's first two Superman movies] did so well in the original, and didn't want to tread on the great work they're doing on Smallville. He's already part of the culture; he has left the planet. This is the story of his return.''



    Posted by Chris on 01/ 7/05



    Posted by: Brian at January 7, 2005 12:41 PM

    I love you brian.

    Posted by: isaac at January 7, 2005 2:39 PM

    Engage Shields

    Must... not... look forward to film... must... not... LOOK FORWARD TO FILM...



    Posted by Chris on 01/ 7/05


    Posted by: Brian at January 7, 2005 11:40 AM

    I love you brian.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 7, 2005 11:49 AM

    That fellow playing old King Kong is certainly growing an interesting resume: Gollum, King Kong, genius Martin Hannett.

    Posted by: isaac at January 7, 2005 11:54 AM

    The body of Gollum was fashioned after Iggy Pop.

    Thank you. I'm here all day.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 7, 2005 12:13 PM

    There's a King Kong remake? ;)

    Posted by: klugula at January 7, 2005 2:48 PM

    So you are well enough to be a smart ass, but not well enough to cook me food. Bah!

    Posted by: klugula at January 7, 2005 2:49 PM

    January 6, 2005


    From the news thing that pops up on AIM:

    Thomas Slattery is hoping for unspecified damages for being "forced" to buy an iPod, one of the most successful electronics products in years.

    Someone get this guy a lap guard, STAT. Because he's headed to a McDonald's drive-through and THAT COFFEE IS HELLA HOT.

    For some reason this story reminds me of the joke Woody Allen tells at the beginning of "Annie Hall:"

    "Two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of them says: "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible."

    The other one says, "Yeah, I know, and such small portions!"

    In other amusing iPod news: Playboy has released a little one-off collection of pictures designed for viewing on the iPod Photo called the 'iBod.'"

    Is there no end to the way the iPod is bad? The battery doesn't live long enough, people who buy them are just trying to look cool, they don't have the Beatles in the iTunes store, I'm forced to use iTunes and by extension iPod because there's no other music playing software in existence, and now they're trying to corrupt the children... how much more evidence is needed that Apple is just wrong?

    Posted by Chris on 01/ 6/05

    gosh. I got an ipod for christmas and I think its neato.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 6, 2005 9:39 AM

    And I want an iPod because they are neato (although they only seem to let you share with one iTunes computer setup, making it difficult to swap and steal music).

    Now that you mention it I have noticed some folks just trying to look cool: dressing as dancing silhouettes just like the ads.

    Posted by: isaac at January 6, 2005 10:22 AM

    What's wrong with that isaac? GOD!

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 6, 2005 11:13 AM

    Not a thing, I find silhouettes curiously stimulating.

    Posted by: isaac at January 6, 2005 11:49 AM

    January 5, 2005

    How was Ann Coulter's Christmas?

    "Oh, it was so much fun this year, because saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is like saying ‘Fuck you!’ I’ve said it to everyone. You know, cab drivers, passing people on the street, whatever. And they come up with the ‘Happy holidays.’

    No word on if she then threw down a smoke bomb so she could escape on her broom. From the Observer - not a site to visit if you have a problem with the veins in your forehead bulging too much, by the way.

    Now I'm just waiting for someone in the moral values crowd to step up and take issue. Or... was this what you guys were trying so hard to protect last month? The right to say "Merry Christmas" and mean it as a big fuck you to liberals? Ah, OK. Jesus would be proud!

    Enjoy Ann's books!

    Posted by Chris on 01/ 5/05

    I especially appreciate her comment: "I generally don’t admire people who get ahead on somebody else’s coattails". Is her unwavering support for George Warmonger Bush a flip-flop or just good old fashioned Republican hypocrisy? If it weren't for little Bush's Daddy (and their Nazi-laundered family fortunes) he'd still be drunk or stoned, jacking off into a Texas garbage can.

    Posted by: isaac at January 6, 2005 7:09 AM

    Ann Coulter is... I can't even come up with a funny retort. To say she gives conservatives a bad name is useless because even conservatives hate her. Every time someone spews shit like Ann Coulter does, Jesus packs ONE MORE BAG to get back here on the early train.


    Posted by: friend jessica at January 6, 2005 7:31 AM

    And, and her comment about the four pillars of the GOP: the elderly, blacks, hispanics and blue-collar workers. Considering the people you hoodwink, undereducate and exploit your "pillars" is marvelous! America never had slaves, it had pillars.

    I'm asking the wrong people I know but what is the appeal of this woman? Every interview with her I've read starts with comments on how radiant, stunning and beautiful she is. Is this a contractual clause for her participation? Even before I became acquainted with her politics, which I excuse as intense self-loathing turned outward, I thought she has the appearance of an overused low-end porn-star with a dash of undead. I'd take Julia Roberts, the Olson Mutant Twins, America's Equine Sweetheart, Gollum or even Rush Limbaugh's tempting buttocks over this gaunt flesh vase of bile any day.

    Posted by: isaac at January 6, 2005 7:33 AM

    I'm not sure that even conservatives hate her. SOMEONE'S buying her book, which has been on the top ten bestseller's list for three months. I think a lot of people are just fine with what she says.

    Posted by: Chris at January 6, 2005 8:37 AM

    I know for a fact, from hanging out at the Straight Dope that a lot of people buy her books for the trainwreck value. But sadly, you're right. Some jerkoffs think she's a dream come true. Conservative and fuckable.

    Wait a minute....sounds like me.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 6, 2005 8:44 AM

    January 4, 2005

    When America's Sweetheart Pisses You Off: A Guide to Coping

    The good news: you are not alone. Since the days of Shirley Temple and Clara Bow there have been people who felt this way, though for obvious reasons they hid it. And even today there are those like yourself, people that look at America's Sweetheart and do not so much adore her as marvel at the size of her head. The bad news: all those people including yourself are fat, bitter, negative fatties that no one wants to be around anyway. So yes, you're basically alone.

    However, there are some steps you can take to cope with your isolation:

    1. Learn to appreciate other forms of mass media, forms her universally adorable smile hasn't infiltrated yet. Books are pretty safe. Movies. TV, magazines - right out. Avoid any place with Gap ads or billboards.

    2. Every time her oversized head appears on TV or a bill board you will be reminded that you apparently lack some basic sensory ability that others have, the ability to adore this wonderful, precious, sexy woman, and her shoes. But don't dwell on that. Instead try taking up some hobby that limits your exposure to society, like going on walkabout in the Australian outback for months at a time.

    3. Think of it this way - you have long wondered what happened to all those kids they bred to star in "Annie" back in the seventies. You'd assumed they were all teaching tap dance to pre-teens, but now we know at least one escaped that fate.

    4. Above all, keep it to yourself. Saying that you find America's Sweetheart unappealing, or worse, ordinary, will only cause others to look at you as if you have a little string of drool hanging from your lips. The key is to fit in. The next time you are at a party, try introducing yourself to a stranger with the line, "My incontinence is now mostly under control, although some leakage still occurs." Note the reaction - because it would be the exact same if you revealed your feelings for the Adorable One. DO NOT LET ON.

    5. Gird yourself for the next Emmy awards. Even though her brilliant cable show on which she was brilliant has been over for a while, they will still be a reason for her to receive an award for her brilliant work, or at minimum have someone else talk about her brilliance. Avoid all TV and media for a month before and after, lest your gaze fall on her enormous noggin.

    6. Remember that at any time you can enter society simply by accepting her as the worthy target of your admiration and love. If not, learn to love the taste of cat food because it's what you'll be eating when you're alone and old, weirdo.

    Posted by Chris on 01/ 4/05

    Never been a huge fan, but her husband is cute, and she did star in one my favorite 80's flicks; Girls Just want to Have Fun. So she is not all bad. Is she?

    Posted by: klugula at January 4, 2005 12:05 PM

    Much like with Julia, I'm not denying the talent, I'm just wondering - whence comest all the adulation? And her husband needs a good role, tout suite.

    Posted by: Chris at January 4, 2005 12:09 PM

    He should have retired in to, as Mike Tyson says, Bolivian after Ferris Bueller. THE BE ALL END ALL OF FILMS AND CHARACTERS.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 4, 2005 1:07 PM

    That could be argued, but not very easily.

    Posted by: klugula at January 4, 2005 2:55 PM

    Chris what you're suffering from is the irritability some of us face when we are served media-designated "celebrities" rather than audience-created "stars".

    The former are known more for appearing on magazine covers (or the vapid "what they wore" pages), talking about their private lives, press junkets, talk-shows and attending parties than an output of consistently strong, unique or engaging work. They have talent that can't be denied since it's what they rest on, like surrogate laurels. Occasionally the Academy Awards throws them a bone and the media reminds us why we are supposed to love them with marvelous stories about how they lost weight or changed their hairstyle after giving birth. Fat chance you'll ever hear a reporter asking one of these celebrities how they researched the role or what attracted them to the character and story, unless it involves weight change. These actors are often miscast in period films so producers can get budgets.

    The latter are known more for their (body of) work. They often aren't photogenic enough for the magazine covers and aren't interviewed so often because they are reluctant to talk about their private lives; they'd rather talk about their work (i.e. why the audience likes them). They collect Best Supporting Oscars and often look for ways to grow as actors, rather than repeating similar roles they know their fans are comfortable with. They usually don't rely on talent because they use developed skills and hard work in realizing the character. Some of these types are prone to honesty in talking about the industry or L.A., where they don't usually live.

    There you have it: style or substance, red state or blue. Yes, you're crazy if you don't like America's Sweetheart or God's President Bush.

    Posted by: isaac at January 5, 2005 11:00 AM

    January 3, 2005

    Project: Mandolin

    Project: Mandolin

    (LOUIS comes rushing in from offstage. He is wearing a labcoat. RANDALL is at his desk.)

    LOUIS: Have you seen Project: Mandolin around here?

    RANDALL: Project: Mandolin... Project: Mandolin... refresh me?

    LOUIS: They're ants.

    RANDALL: Ah! Ants! Ants? Hmm. Where is their... ah, container kept?

    LOUIS: There's no container.

    RANDALL: No CONTAINER? No ant farm? Then how are they kept?

    LOUIS: Right here in the lab.

    RANDALL: Good lord, you mean they're loose?

    LOUIS: It's part of Project: Mandolin!

    RANDALL: Ants crawling all over everything is your project? That seems like a bad idea! O.K., well, I feel sure I would have noticed a lot of ants in here. Maybe I should alert housekeeping? What sort are they anyway?

    LOUIS: They are "carpenter" ants. Very painful bite. They are about a foot long each, with a mouthful of tiny, needle-like teeth. They should be right around in here somewhere...

    RANDALL: A foot long? Needle-like teeth? And these are ants we're talking about?

    LOUIS: Yes, and you will also recognize them by the gills located right along the midsection. If you could keep an eye out for them that would be great. I'm almost positive I left an entire school of them here just yesterday.

    RANDALL: Gills, you say. In a "school." Now I feel like we're maybe not talking so much about ants anymore. Is it possible we're having more of those semantic issues we've discussed?

    LOUIS: Yes, well, "ant" is my code word for them.

    RANDALL: OK, now we're getting somewhere. What would be a more specific word, then, than "ant?"

    LOUIS: Er... "pirahna."

    RANDALL: Pirahna? Project: Mandolin involves leaving a school of pirahna lying around the office?

    LOUIS: Well... that's part of it, yes.

    RANDALL: Then I feel we can relax somewhat now, because it seems unlikely that those would be much of a threat. Apart from the eventual smell. Remind me - did I authorize this project?

    LOUIS: Watkins did. It was the "dry-land piranha" project?

    RANDALL: Dry-land piranha? By which you mean piranha that can move about on dry land? (He raises his legs up off the floor) All right, now I believe we have sufficient cause for alarm again.

    LOUIS: I'm sure I included this aspect of the project in the summary.

    RANDALL: Louis, can you tell me what a dry-land piranha has to do with polling? This is a polling firm. A POLLING FIRM.

    LOUIS: That... was not made clear to me.

    RANDALL: And we've told you before about using more descriptive names for your projects. "Project: Mandolin" hardly evokes the idea of a dry-land piranha.

    LOUIS: Perhaps not to you.

    RANDALL: But we can deal with that later. Where exactly are these fish? Surely I would have noticed them?

    LOUIS: I was almost certain I left them in this office.

    (The two begin looking around a bit - in drawers, behind cabinets, etc.)

    LOUIS: Good grief! Who would have thought it would be this hard to find a school of invisible piranha?

    RANDALL: Hang on, hang on, hang on. "Invisible?"

    LOUIS: Er... didn't I mention that?

    RANDALL: No, I feel I would have remembered that.

    LOUIS: Hmmm. Well, not to pile bad news on top of bad, but they are also masters of disguise.

    RANDALL: Invisible AND a master of disguise? It hardly seems necessary.

    LOUIS: But they are only invisible part of the time! The other time, they'd need to be able to pass as you or me!

    RANDALL: A school of piranha walking around breathing air? Skeletonizing anyone that gets in their way? That would be some trick to pass as one of us. Of all the features you've incorporated into this little project, THAT would almost be the topper.

    LOUIS: Well, they ARE very good.

    RANDALL: Right. Is there anything else I need to know about this project?

    LOUIS: Hmmm. I believe... that covers it. (ticking things off on his fingers) Dry-land, invisible, disguised, highly intelligent. That's it.

    RANDALL: Highly intelligent?

    LOUIS: Yes. All together the fish form a single, intelligent entity. Oh, come on! I'm POSITIVE I told you that.

    RANDALL: Again - no you didn't. How intelligent are we talking about?

    LOUIS: A good bit. Well, at least according to the scores on the Math section of the test. Not so much on Verbal.

    RANDALL: But for all this Math-centric intelligence, can I expect that they are still very much a fish that can and will strip the flesh off our bones in seconds?

    LOUIS: Oh, absolutely. No question.

    (Randall pushes back from his desk, approaches Louis, and puts an arm around him)

    RANDALL: All right. Before I inform the Haz-Mat team and send everyone home for the day, I need to ask you something about Project: Mandolin, and I want you to be very honest with me.

    LOUIS: All right.

    RANDALL: Have you, in truth, actually killed someone? And this whole piranha business is just a way to throw the blame off? Please be honest!

    LOUIS: No.

    RANDALL: Ah! Good. Then allow me a second question about Project: Mandolin before I call Fish & Wildlife, as well as our insurance carrier: is this whole thing just a way to get out of our date on Thursday?

    (A long pause.)

    LOUIS: No.

    RANDALL: Really?

    LOUIS: I.. yes. Yes. Look, I'm sorry. I'm just nervous. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have made all this up. You asked me out, and I'm going. We said 7:30, Pete's Bowl-a-Rama, right? I'll be there. Like we discussed. Looking forward to it.

    (Louis quickly leaves.)

    Bonus Scene:

    (In the hallway outside Randall's office, Louis releases a big sigh. At that moment there is a slight visual distortion in the air in front of him, which quickly disappears - as if SOMETHING was there.)


    LOUIS: Thank you.


    LOUIS: NO! It's reverse psychology! I-


    LOUIS: My Lord, I SWEAR, I-


    LOUIS: Yes, my Lord?


    LOUIS: Yes, my Lord.

    (Louis turns to go)


    LOUIS: Y-yes?


    LOUIS: Yes! Absolutely!


    LOUIS: And... and it shows! I would never have recognized you there.


    LOUIS: Oh - not at all.

    (Louis leaves.)


    (Later, while on his date with Randall, Louis tries to drop clues to the truth once again. But Randall doesn't pick up on them, and is later skeletonized - although not by the Carpenter Ants.

    Still later, Louis lures a significant portion of the Ants away with honey, enough to lower their collective I.Q. to the point that he can escape. The Ants continue on at the polling firm, however, and eventually discover an entirely new demographic. Without Louis they are unable to communicate the knowledge of this new demographic, however, and its consumer potential withers and dies.)

    The End.

    Posted by Chris on 01/ 3/05

    Sounds like something you would have written whilst in London.

    I like it.

    Posted by: Brian at January 4, 2005 6:30 AM

    I would like nothing more than to read this, but for some reason, all of your a)quotes in shaded boxes and b) seemingly cut and pasted passages are in the World's Tiniest Font (tm) which renders them as hieroglyphic dots.

    This is why I can't ever get into the political discussions.

    Also, for your i, Anna Quindlen said she was glad Christmas was over because the Christian Majority is SO OPPRESIVE with their celebrations.

    You know how we are. We hold people down and beat them to death unless they sing Good King Wencelaus...ALL THE VERSES.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 4, 2005 7:56 AM

    The Sanford Season

    Boston Mayor Wants Vehicles, Not Cans, in Parking Spaces

    There is an unwritten code of urban etiquette on Boston's narrow and often snowy streets: you shovel a parking space, and it's yours.

    But now the city is cracking down on this folk rule and warning residents that it will no longer tolerate the garbage cans, the chairs, the boxes and the Christmas trees that people use to reserve the parking spaces they sweated to clear.

    Nothing says CLASS like reserving the parking space you've dug out with your trash. They do this in Chicago too, and it drove me crazy. In addition to piles of gray and black slush on the sidewalk, and no sun for months, we also were treated to the sight of people's lawn chairs, garbage cans, and buckets out in the street after the snow.

    My current neighborhood is nothing to brag about in the class department, however. Across the ally they've partially demolished a building and left it that way for about a month. Even the gangs are embarrassed to tag it with spray paint.

    Posted by Chris on 01/ 3/05

    It may be an eyesore, that's true. But hell, if I threw my back out for an hour shovelling snow to remove my vehicle, I would not want some schmo to come by and take advantage of my hard work. But, that is why I purchased a parking spot in my building. I always have it reserved, except when the maintenance men believe us to be gone, and decide to take the spot and then we return earlier to find our spot taken and then have to search the building high and low to find the culprit. Nothing worse than that. Parking spaces suck.

    Posted by: klugula at January 3, 2005 2:34 PM

    I also got irritated when Schmo came along to take advantage of my finely-sculpted car hole. That's why, when I lived in such climes, I recycled the snow I shoveled away, using it to form the walls of a protective igloo around the space, which could withstand all assault.

    But I also think there's a business opportunity going to waste here. Why not some sort of decorative, attractive space-holder? It's not that I mind people reserving a space they've shoveled, it's just that some use their damn garbage to do it.

    Perhaps something crafty fashioned out of macaroni glued to a board? How about something with a banner insisting that their favorite sports franchise is superior to another? Glitter and glue can be employed to make any otherwise foreboding barrier festive! How about using one of those controversial nativities I keep hearing about? What Would Jesus Do? He wouldn't park here, that's for sure!

    Posted by: Chris at January 3, 2005 2:48 PM

    Why can't everyone be happy that they provided a parking space for others and in the future that kindness will be repayed as a parking spot to you. If you look at it like "YOUR PARKING SPOT" that leaves very little parking anywhere else in the world, since every place that can occupy a car, HAS been occupied, snow or not.

    Altruism people. Just shoveling the snow for the greater good should be reward enough.

    When we used to live on Fletcher, this guy tried to organize a block party to shovel out EVERY SPOT (with everyone's help) and then we wouldn't have to worry about it. On the day that was the day...he was out there all alone. No one helped.

    Me? I have a bad back.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 4, 2005 10:07 AM

    What about white collar criminals keeping the streets shovelled?

    Posted by: Chris at January 4, 2005 10:14 AM

    what about you taking your liberal agenda and shove it right up your meatus?

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 4, 2005 11:31 AM

    How about you get your lawn chair and mop bucket out of the street, Cousin Eddie? And while you're at it send another batch of this granola with cranberries, which I'm eating out of the can with my hands. GET ON IT.

    Posted by: Chris at January 4, 2005 11:38 AM

    Before I said I was eating the granola with my hands to be funny - now I actually am.

    Posted by: Chris at January 4, 2005 11:40 AM

    My parking-spot-in-the-snow story happened not to me but an old co-worker. So it's her story, not mine (but another reason I'm glad my old car no longer owns me).

    She slaved away, removing the snow, for the appropriate time that impress upon others you've suffered. She had the familiar thought: since she had removed public snow from a public road, that slice of road now belonged to her. To safeguard her dubiously acquired tarmac real estate she left a chair standing while she parked her car elsewhere, presumably someone else's tarmac real estate, for eight hours.

    When she returned home to her clear spot, the chair was still there but she was annoyed to see it in the back seat of another car occupying the spot. She screamed and cursed then probably lived happily ever after.

    Posted by: isaac at January 4, 2005 12:40 PM

    January 2, 2005

    Review: Closer

    Who cares.

    Posted by Chris on 01/ 2/05

    Don't hold back!

    Posted by: klugula at January 2, 2005 12:01 PM

    was there a bitch slap of any kind? Preferably by Clive?

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 4, 2005 7:58 AM

    You will like Clive in it. He is very good, displaying plenty of the manly qualities so prized by today's women, as well as moments of vulnerability and pathos. He takes us right to the brink of bitchslap, but because it is Julia, the slap is not joined.

    Alas - that still does not make the movie worth it.

    Posted by: Chris at January 4, 2005 8:33 AM

    F. F. F. F.

    All I ask for is a little violence in today's films. Is that too much? Apparently the answer is yes.

    Will you be seeing White Noise? I wet my pants a little bit with terror just seeing the previews

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 4, 2005 9:57 AM

    I don't like the preview to White Noise, especially at night. As I told Chris, the movie to see is Phantom. What a rare joy. I just loved every minute of it. Such good acting and...I cannot continue this charade. The movie bit giant ass. I really tried to like it, but it did not happen.

    Posted by: klugula at January 4, 2005 10:01 AM

    is there a bitch slap in it? Preferably by the Phantom? Does the Phantom do any sexual menacing that couldn't be shown on the broadway stage? The promise of further sexual menacing and kidnapping is all that will get me to go.

    And is the guy who plays Phantom hot in anyway? I mean, aside from the hideous disfigurement?

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 4, 2005 10:04 AM

    Yeah, he is cute, and so is Raoul. But it did not save the hideous acting and the lone (count it, one) hang-dog expression that Emmy Rossum displayed as Christine. A little variety maybe? This was the first film that I can recall that made me want to leave the theatre. My fellow attendees loved it. Not sure what happened. Good supporting cast, Miranda Richardson, and Minnie Driver. God love her, she saved the movie. She was really quite good. No bitch slapping, but I may have missed that part when I was examining my inner eyelids.

    Posted by: klugula at January 4, 2005 12:10 PM