March 31, 2005

AV Club Feature

This may be the best idea for an AV Club feature yet:

Great Scenes in Bad Movies, and Bad Scenes in Great Movies.

There were at least two I disagreed with, but it's a fantastic idea.

Also, a bizarre comic strip that is new to me:

The Underworld

Posted by Chris on 03/31/05

I find the Onion AV Club the best place for film reviews. They seem 'fair and balanced' in their praise and criticism and they present a review that's generally humorous, put into context and just the right length. They have thoughtful, entertaining features like this and Commentary Tracks of the Damned. They also escape the harshness of Ebert's Caesarian thumb, the Rosenbaumian attempt to lay blame and impress you with his reading accomplishments, and the staleness of star ratings. So, kudos, etc.

Posted by: isaac at April 1, 2005 7:09 AM

Guidelines for Horn Usage

I feel like we've covered this before, but here it is again for those of you that missed it. There are only three modes of acceptable horn usage:

1. The polite tap. This is for when the person ahead of you at the red light is lost in thought and the light's changed. You want to give them a friendly nudge without being rude.

Very rare to hear these. I once got a friendly wave in return when I used it.

Verbal equivalent: "Everything O.K. up there?"

Musical equivalent: one staccato eighth note. Imagine you're just tapping the horn enough to make sure it works.

2. The double tap. You tried #1 and they still haven't moved. You're still being friendly - it's still just a tap - but this IS a second attempt.

Verbal equivalent: "Light's green, friend!"

Musical equivalent: two eighth notes. If following the polite tap, separated by one half measure of rest.

3. One insistent beep. You've tried #1 and #2, and at this point you've wasted enough time. The person ahead of you is officially now a bozo. This is also for use when someone cuts you off.

Verbal equivalent: "Now you're just being rude!"

Musical equivalent: one half note. This may seem short, but keep in mind that if you've gotten to #3, you're dealing with someone that's beyond your courtesy anyway.

And that's it. This may seem scant for acceptable horn vocabulary, but honestly - anything more than this and you risk becoming just as bad as the clown that cut you off.

And here are some specific "horn nevers" to call out:

Never: The "sustain." Someone has done something so grievously rude that you just HAVE to hold that horn down. No, you don't. If you're white-hot with rage then give yourself three #3s and then calm down. Anything of longer duration than this, and you have gone over to the Dark Side.

A good rule of thumb: If you're sounding your horn for more than a five-count and you're not slumped unconscious against the wheel, then wonder no more: you are an asshole.

Never: Shave and a haircut. There's just no possible situation when it's needed. Let it die.

Never: In place of the doorbell. You couldn't announce yourself as a lazy dickhead more if you passed out printed T-shirts stating same. And let me say something else: if you're the one being picked up by Lazy Dickhead, you're a dickhead too if you don't say something.

Posted by Chris on 03/31/05

But where would Bo and Luke Duke fit into all this?

Posted by: Foley at March 31, 2005 11:32 AM

I'm glad you asked this, because although sounding a horn that plays "Dixie" (Or in another milieu, "La Cucaracha") definitely surpasses the rudeness of "The Sustain," in another way, the sort of chap that would install such a horn is very much doing us a favor by announcing just what an asshole he is before arriving on the scene.

If only we could identify ALL supreme assholes as such before getting involved with them! Maybe we should ENCOURAGE novelty horn usage!

Posted by: Chris at March 31, 2005 11:41 AM

Why does anyone still do "shave and a haircut"? Which among our current cheesy jingles will our grandkids be tapping out on their flying-car horns?

Do you have any similar rules for dickheads who leave their car alarms on (to inevitably wail) during violent thunderstorms?

Posted by: isaac at March 31, 2005 12:05 PM

The length of the horn beeping depends on my mood. It could be a less than a second and if I am pissy, then they will get the sustain. Think about it, they are being stupid. Driving is not daydreaming. Do what you need to do, or take the bus.

Posted by: klugula at March 31, 2005 2:12 PM

Oh my friend. Do you not see that if you give a Sustained Beep, then you have become what you behold? RESIST! RESIST!

Posted by: Chris at March 31, 2005 2:40 PM

Well, if it makes you feel better about my horn usage, generally I use the sustain, and the person waves a friendly sorry, so I end up feeling bad about using it. Perhaps that will deter me from future horn abuse.

Posted by: klugula at March 31, 2005 2:50 PM

I think we both know... that's not true.

Posted by: Chris at March 31, 2005 2:51 PM

March 30, 2005

CSI: Blog Patrol

CSI: In Front Of This Building update. They're back and have turned the courtyard into the Biscayne County Courthouse entrance again. But this time there is much crime tape and "policemen" are everywhere, as if something untoward has happened in or around the court itself. So it looks like this episode will feature a story RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES.

I predict a standoff that can only be resolved by a smouldering, red-haired, cigar-smoking veteran cop.

Posted by Chris on 03/30/05

These crime shows are so few lately, I look forward to each and every one. Another genre that just doesnt get enough air time, is the medical drama. Where have they gone? What was it that someone said when Caruso left NYPD Blue to make his way into a rewarding film career? I hope you have a long career, a Shelly Long career. But, here he is, back on the tube. The world rejoices!

Posted by: klugula at March 30, 2005 12:49 PM

never seen one episode of CSI or it's derivatives. On the other hand, I Tivo Law and Order SVU and CI. Also, for those of us who like men and find them sexually appealing, Blind Justice is a very good show.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 30, 2005 5:36 PM

I wretch @ the site of any poster, preview, clip of Blind Justice. For one, it was extreme overkill on the marketing. I get it, he's blind and he wants to keep his job. He's getting crap from his former buddies. They don't think he can knock it. I know that the critics were hailing it, but my God, could it be more cliched? I will not watch this show should the Lord himself tell me to do so. Besides, we sooo needed another cop show, with the lead character standing up against the odds. Crap! Crap! Crap! Yes I am judging it w/out seeing it, stupid blind me. Is it Ron Eldard, is that his name? Yes, he is cute, but not saying such lines as, what was it? "I can still do my job. Don't count me out." Or whatever boring crap they had him babble on about.

Posted by: klugula at March 30, 2005 6:56 PM

Plus now I have to rename the drama I wrote about a blind judge. "I don't need to see evidence in order to rule on a case. I'll know if it feels right."

Now I'll have to go with my other titles, "Unsightly Judge" or "Eye Rule".

Posted by: Rich at March 31, 2005 7:26 AM

Rich, how about "Just Blindness"? He should probably tap dance in his off hours.

Posted by: isaac at March 31, 2005 10:53 AM

I like the tap dancing part. I'll give you a producing credit. I've decided the name will be:

The Judge Who Couldn't See Shit.

It will have to be on HBO of course.

Posted by: rich at March 31, 2005 11:40 AM

An Actor Who Doesn't Do Anything For Me

Mr. Jerry O' Connell.

Posted by Chris on 03/30/05

Maybe it's the hair.

Posted by: isaac at March 30, 2005 11:55 AM

Aside from the fact that he is totally hot and I would push my mother in front of a bus to do him, I don't find his acting to be that appealing. However, before he was the buff hottie he is today, he did a wonderful job in Stand by Me. Long live Vern Tessio!

Posted by: klugula at March 30, 2005 12:46 PM

Even little Corey Feldman was good in that one.

Posted by: Chris at March 30, 2005 12:47 PM

You are right, but I did not want to be the one who has that statement next to his name.

Posted by: klugula at March 30, 2005 12:50 PM

Did you know that Jerry's less attractive brother is the title character on the new "The Bachelor"? Don't ask me how I know that.

Posted by: Naomi at March 31, 2005 8:54 AM

I knew that. and I would do him too. Take that Mom!

Posted by: klugula at March 31, 2005 9:02 AM

March 29, 2005

The Guv'mint DO take a bite, don't she?

Speaking of dume, we just got the report back from Accountant, and it looks like the U.S. Treasury made a record-breaking profit from this particular married-filing-jointly household in 2004. Kudos to everyone down at Treasury for keeping their department in the black!

And the bad news keeps coming. Accountant, normally so wily in matters of cash, was unable to do either of our state returns, because "there was no way we could owe that much."

With this foreboding statement hanging in the air, and us already out a grand on this "America" thing after federal and accountant fees, we're left to figure out the rest of the damage from the two states ourselves. Or, shell out even more money to a local accountant, hoping they can sort it out for a client that moved and dissolved a corporation in the same year.

I must keep chanting to myself, "roads, clean air, police service, food and drug standards, freedom of speech. Roads, clean air, police service, food and drug standards, freedom of speech!"


I must NOT think, "Iraq War, tax cuts for the highest 1%, no social security, sweetheart deal to the credit card companies." I MUST NOT LET MY MIND GO DOWN THAT PATH.

Man, when I come to that box on the tax form where you can contribute a dollar to political campaigns, I'm going to not put a check in that thing so hard it's going to not break my #2 pencil. I'M NOT CHECKING THE HELL OUT OF THAT BOX!

Posted by Chris on 03/29/05

Tax time? Is it really? I am holding off cuz I am going to owe a small fortune this year. I love tax time!

Posted by: klugula at March 29, 2005 12:08 PM

Have brian tell you the "humorous" story of how he was actually in a literal fetal position in our hallway after doing our taxes.

Good times.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 29, 2005 1:47 PM

March 28, 2005

The Whales of Dume

This weekend we went to a beach just north of Malibu called "Pt. Dume," which the guidebook said was a great place to see "filmmakers, dolphins, and whales." Yeah, right, whatever. We went anyway because it sounded great, and DAMNED IF WE DIDN'T SEE ALL THREE.

Just as we came over the cliff, we saw not only two or three dolphins, but A WHALE GLIDING ALONG THE SURFACE. I'm not sure how big it was - it was tough to gauge the scale. After a bit we realized there must be two or more, and the dolphins seemed to be keeping them company as they went north.

And as if this weren't enough of a bonus, we kept walking and saw three more on the other side of the bay - one of which was having a good time cresting out of the water and splashing back down. Still hard to believe we saw such a thing.

I'm never doubting that guidebook again.

Posted by Chris on 03/28/05

But what of the beautiful filmmakers?

Posted by: Rich at March 29, 2005 6:46 AM

I love Malibu...Barbie.

Posted by: Naomi at March 29, 2005 7:44 AM

The beautiful filmmakers were there too, frolicking in the tide, playfully cresting every so often to blow spray from their blowholes.

What gentle giants, those filmmakers! What graceful beasts! Oh, the majesty of Nature!

Posted by: Chris at March 29, 2005 8:01 AM

Chris turned to look for the beautiful filmakers. There were none to be found. He ran up and down the beach searching, hoping, gasping for air and yelling, "Where are the beautiful filmakers?!! Where?!!" Then out of despair, for no beautiful filmakers answered his call, he flung himself off of a cliff and into the understanding ocean. Chris felt the cool love of the ocean water envelope him and take him to a better place. Just then a giant humpback whale surfaced and opened his huge dinner plate sized eye and stared at Chris. Chris looked into the eye of this gentle beast, saw his reflection and at that moment realized, I am the beautiful filmaker. I've been here all along. At the moment Chris decided to choose life. "I want to live! I want to live!." But it was too late the whale ate him.

Posted by: Rich at March 29, 2005 8:12 AM

:: clap ::

:: clap::

:: clap clap clap ::

really great stuff rich.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 29, 2005 8:42 AM

My God - it's like he was THERE.

Posted by: Chris at March 29, 2005 8:43 AM


Posted by: klugula at March 29, 2005 8:53 AM

Curses! Jessica used the slow build sarcastic clap against me.




Posted by: Rich at March 29, 2005 8:54 AM

March 25, 2005

Reviewed: Palindrome & "Father's Office"

Note to the burger joint and bar "Father's Office:" Your "order at the bar" system is very convenient! FOR YOU, I mean. For the customers, standing four deep at the bar trying to get someone's attention, not so much. And for those lucky enough to be seated at the bar, I can't imagine having a shifting wall of people brushing up against them while they eat is so great either.

If that's going to be your system, though, fine. But how about letting people know so they don't sit and wait at a table for 15 minutes? Also know that tipping for no table service joints usually tops out at 10%.

Further note: The burger really was outstanding, though.

Note to director Todd Solondz: If you're going to agree to do a Q&A after your movie, the subject of why you're interested in pedophilia is going to come up. The subject of depicting minors in sexual situations is going to come up. It's inevitable. It's been featured in at least three of your last four movies. All the eye rolling and Woody Allen stuttering and surprise when someone asks the obvious question comes off as a little disingenuous.

Posted by Chris on 03/25/05

Father's Office is a little bit of a gay name anyway. It would be a good name for a lingerie shop ~ not a burger joint.

Posted by: Casey Edward Hayes at March 26, 2005 11:34 PM

If it WERE a lingerie shop that would at least explain the terrible table service, though.

Posted by: Chris at March 27, 2005 10:20 AM

I went to a bar once and asked a waitress if she could get me a menu or a drink or something and she said "Yeah, but it's easier to go up to the bar"

I couldn't help but wonder:


Posted by: friend jessica at March 28, 2005 7:13 AM

March 24, 2005

Random Fact About Me

I wasn't too much into making models when I was a kid. I think I liked the idea of it but I was always put off by how much time it would take to do it right.

Painting the pieces beforehand was completely out of the question. Assembling things in stages was out of the question. "Letting the cement dry" was an absurd thing to ask a child to do, I felt. I wanted to put this model together, STAT.

For people like me there was the "Snap-Tite" series, which required no glue, (which in my hands instantly turned to gum), but these models were always lame. I once tried a Snap-Tite Porsche, but it looked horrible. The pieces only had two colors, and it was FAR too easy to put together. It was also a bad choice because I've never been into cars. This was the first and only model I destroyed with fireworks after I finished it.

I once attempted two very stylized models of airplanes completely from scratch, out of thin cardboard. I did a biplane and a non-biplane. If I had to guess I'd say I was thinking of an F-16, but I know makes and models of military crafts less so than cars. They turned out OK, but I screwed up the painting.

The best one I ever did was a large Millenium Falcon, because somewhere I had read how to make the surface look "aged and dirty." What you did was paint over the exterior grooves with black paint, and then immediately apply paint thinner, and sort of wipe it around. It took a bit to figure it out, but then the model looked FANTASTIC.

But then I was faced with the other thing I didn't like about models: storing them. There was something wrong about making this fantastic looking thing just for the looks. It was like creating a toy that could not be touched.

Posted by Chris on 03/24/05

I would spend days, ne WEEKS working on models. I sanded the pieces after I separated them from the palstic holders, shaved off extraneous faults in the molding, appropriately "aged" and "distressed" more warn parts, etc. Airplanes were bored with bullet holes from dogfights. Aircraft carriers had skid marks from planes that landed there countless times and smoke trailed the planes that were just leaving the flightdeck. Cars had pinstripes and dirty mudflaps. Boats had darker shading where the waterline used to be before this miniature vessel was lifted from the stormy sea from wence it came.

They all met their ends in my backyard under massive mailstroms of BB gun fire. It was the most fun trying to shoot the pilots out of the cockpits!

Posted by: Big Fat Brian at March 24, 2005 1:05 PM



Posted by: friend jessica at March 24, 2005 1:10 PM


Posted by: Big Fat Brian at March 24, 2005 1:12 PM

Shaving off faults in the molding? You were hardcore!

Didn't it hurt to shoot them up after so much work? Why do you destroy the things you create?

Posted by: Chris at March 24, 2005 1:41 PM

That very question was asked of me when I was a toddler and didn't have a bowel movement for 31 days. It was very difficult for me to destroy what I had created.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 24, 2005 1:44 PM



Posted by: Wife Ami at March 24, 2005 4:37 PM

I'm getting it from Wife Ami too?

Forget it.

Chris... I thought you kept the pimp-hand strong.

I'm disappointed.

Posted by: Big Fat Brian at March 25, 2005 6:24 AM

I think "~ whence" means "What does ~ mean in this context?"

Put another way, "Dude, what's up with the ~?"

Now you explain what "~ maelstrom" means, apart from being the new name of my band.

Posted by: Chris at March 25, 2005 8:05 AM

Totally weak and hamal chris. Your wife was obviously referring to brian's fey spelling of whence (as wence). Whereas I was ripping his fey spelling of maelstrom as mailstrom, which is what happens when a mailbox gets pulled up by a tornado.


Posted by: friend jessica at March 25, 2005 8:10 AM

Thank God I did not have the added nerdiness of model making. No, I just played w/ my friend's Bionic Woman doll.

Posted by: klugula at March 25, 2005 9:01 AM

Zelda Goodness

If you had told me ten years ago that one day I could download and play the original Zelda on my personal computer:


I would have looked at you as a strange visitor from the future, bearing wondrous, shiny gifts.

Posted by Chris on 03/24/05

When I used to hole up in the bedroom and play Intellivision adventure games (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons usually) I would actually sit there and narrate my adventures aloud.

"Glancing behind her one last time, she went down the ladder to the 12th level, where she knew she'd never be heard from again..."

Then I'd go be upset about how I didn't have a boyfriend.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 24, 2005 11:25 AM

For ten long years I've wondered why you looked at me like that. I thought my fly was open.

Posted by: isaac at March 24, 2005 11:26 AM

oh my god it IS, and look at the size of that thing!

Posted by: friend jessica at March 24, 2005 12:23 PM

March 22, 2005

Erring on the side of your base

Bush yesterday on Terri Schiavo:

"This is a complex case with serious issues," Bush said. "But in extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to always err on the side of life."

But it must be much less complex and serious to sign off on a record number of executions as the governor of Texas. From Yahoo:

Bush said he stepped into the Schiavo case because the United States should have "a presumption in favor of life," but there were 152 executions in Texas during his administration, including some in which the convict's guilt was in doubt, critics said.

So maybe it could more accurately be called erring on the side of your base.

I'm not all that familiar with the timeline of our President's personal "religious" awakening. To be fair, maybe Texas achieved its record before he was "saved?"

Posted by Chris on 03/22/05

Once again, how is pulling a five month old baby off life support erring on the side of life?

Oh right, the mom ran out of money.

i wonder if Terri Schiavo was black and lived in Harlem, if this would be an issue.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 22, 2005 11:24 AM

What I like to do in cases like this is ask What Would Jesus Do. And then I like to ignore that, and do whatever's going to keep power in Republican hands, because that's the point.

But the MAIN THING is, I ask What Jesus Would Do, frequently, so that my base can hear me and admire me.

Posted by: Chris at March 22, 2005 11:37 AM

Hmmm What Would Jesus Do?

Well..he's not really big on super rich guys

Ok, but besides that

Ok ok. Jesus also doesn't like unnecessary suffering, and he believes that perfect peace and healing can be found through merciful death

hmmm..yeah, but that's not the popular opinion

jesus didn't care what was popular.


Posted by: friend jessica at March 22, 2005 11:42 AM

Jesus would have turned over some tables and yelled, "I'm out of order? You're out of order! This whole court is out of order!"

I love how Bush and the Republicans are for States Rights, but only if they agree with the decision made by the state. I hope it goes to the Supreme Court because Rhenquist and Scalia have already sided with the rights of a person in a vegatative state to die.

Posted by: Rich at March 22, 2005 11:56 AM

But don't forget that Scalia will do whatever The R's want him to do. I'm guessing when he and Cheney were on that duck hunting trip, they showed Scalia the incriminating pictures they have of him.

Posted by: Chris at March 22, 2005 11:58 AM

Err on the side of life? So in hunting for WMDs, do you...

1) Give the inspectors more time (along with all your iron-clad intelligence proof)?

2) Bomb the shit out of the natives?

Posted by: isaac at March 22, 2005 1:33 PM

"err on the side of white christian life"

Posted by: friend jessica at March 22, 2005 1:38 PM

We used to change the terror alert color whenever there was bad news for Bush, but we haven't done that for a while (since it was pointed out).

I wonder if the new system of distraction involves pushing Christian hot-buttons on needless battles like this storm in a teacup.

Posted by: isaac at March 22, 2005 2:42 PM

They're throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it will stick.

Posted by: rich at March 23, 2005 6:53 AM

When i did that, my mom beat me bloody with a slotted spoon.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 23, 2005 8:19 AM

March 21, 2005

Texas Futile Care Law

I can't resist putting up this update from Hullabaloo:

By now most people who read liberal blogs are aware that George W. Bush signed a law in Texas that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient's family's wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother's wishes in Texas just this week. A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by the Texas courts just yesterday.

Those of us who read liberal blogs are also aware that Republicans have voted en masse to pull the plug (no pun intended) on medicaid funding that pays for the kind of care that someone like Terry Schiavo and many others who are not so severely brain damaged need all across this country.

Those of us who read liberal blogs also understand that that the tort reform that is being contemplated by the Republican congress would preclude malpractice claims like that which has paid for Terry Schiavo's care thus far.

Those of us who read liberal blogs are aware that the bankruptcy bill will make it even more difficult for families who suffer a catastrophic illness like Terry Schiavo's because they will not be able to declare chapter 7 bankruptcy and get a fresh start when the gargantuan medical bills become overwhelming.

Posted by Chris on 03/21/05

woah. what? WHAT? I mean, WHAT? I've never read such hypocrisy in my life. Can I get some cites on this so as to feed my own anger? Does Hullabaloo have the pertinent links? (it's a 'forbidden' url here at work)

Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 2:23 PM

I did a bit of poking and found the story about the baby being taken off lifesupport

Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 2:34 PM

Give him a break! Maybe the one in Texas was black.

Posted by: isaac at March 22, 2005 10:07 AM

in discussing the dichotomy of Terri Schiavo being forced to live and Retarded inmates being fried on Low, someone said "Geez, even when G.Bush does something positive you guys have to slam him"

I couldn't resist. Someone tell me the positive - state sponsored murder of the mentally challenged? Or the prolonging of one family's agony? I'm missing it.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 22, 2005 10:10 AM

Isn't this "big government" trumping "sanctity of marriage"?

And what about the "personal responsibility" crowd? Instead of protesting the husband's rights they could organize to adopt, look after and pay for the vegetative patient. They could take ownership of the problem instead of fighting someone else's ability to solve it.

If this woman had died in combat (or friendly fire) in Iraq she would have barely a fraction of this news event saturation.

Posted by: isaac at March 22, 2005 10:50 AM

The Preferred State of Mind

Man - I can't imagine a more difficult situation in all of life than if your spouse was in a vegetative state, and facing the question of whether to let them die. How about on top of that, having such a horrific, intensely personal matter being adopted as a cause by politicians looking to score with their Right to Life base? Many of whom, by the way, are right outside the hospital calling the husband a murderer. Talk about pressure.

It's understating it by a few hundred miles to say this is a tough issue without any happy endings. But Terri Schiavo's husband is her legal guardian, and he thinks his wife wouldn't want to live this way. And now House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is from a different state and has never met her, claims Terry wants to live. And our president has signed into law a bill to have her feeding tube reinserted.

Let us not be shocked that Tom DeLay and the President would take such extraordinary efforts. Republicans clearly prefer their constituents in a receptive, vegetative mental state.

Once again the lesson should be quite clear: their religious beliefs are more important than your wishes. And it's hard to say it better than Alicublog did:

The Republicans, flush with power, know that they can get away with a lot right now, and so are quickly handing out candy to their most powerful interest groups. The banks and financial companies got their turn with the Bankruptcy Bill, the oil companies got theirs with ANWR; now the Jesus Freaks are getting some play.

(As usual, Lileks has found people on the fringes of the debate saying rude things, so he has awarded the matter to the Republicans by default. And extra points for relating this back to Iraq at one point, James!)

This has got to be a boon for the Living Will industry. Until I get one on file, let me state for the record in indelible HTML, I do not wish to be kept in a vegetative state. I hate hospitals so much, if I ever have so much as an overnight stay I confer upon Wife Ami all rights therein and unto to pull my plug and end the misery.

Posted by Chris on 03/21/05

Lileks is the champion of using strawmen to win arguements. For instance, in a column against abortion, he'd find some woman in New York City who goes out and gets pregnanct specifically to have abortions because she thinks they're fun. And then everything else is negated.

The only thing that weirds me out about the Schiavo case is this: it's not a matter of pulling a plug, or a breathing tube, it's a feeding tube, and starving to death over two weeks (as I understand will be the process, maybe I'm wrong), seems intensely cruel and unusual. Am I missing something in the story?

That said...keep me alive as long as possible, with a t.v. in front of me on the food network. I need the rest.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 12:19 PM

Hmmmm Experts agree that Terri Schiavo can't recover from her vegetative state



Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 2:08 PM

THE HUSBAND SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DECIDE. PERIOD. This whole thing upsets me, angers me, and disgusts me. The fact that she does react and smile and cry gives me pause. But after 15 years (is that right?) what hope is there? I hate to be negative, but why would you want to remember your loved one in this scenario? It should never have gone on this long. I think that starving her for 14 days is gruesome, although I have no other ideas. Euthanise her? We were listening to npr this morning, and I thought the best argument was the wording that the reporter used. "artifical means". If the body is no longer operating w/out assistance, then it is time to end it. So, I could be kept alive for another 20 years after I was to die. Does that mean I want to, or should be allowed to live? So many angles, so many arguments, let the woman rest in peace.

Posted by: klugula at March 21, 2005 2:14 PM

CSI: In Front of This Building

CSI: Miami? More like CSI: In Front of This Building, because they're downstairs making a scene right now. What IS this? Are you telling me they've been LYING about it being in Miami?

They changed the signage to make the building the "Biscayne County Courthouse." What?!? Uh, HELLO!!! THIS ISN'T BISCAYNE COUNTY AND THIS ISN'T THE COURTHOUSE!

It's like everything they're doing is a lie. Who are we supposed to believe if Hollywood lies to us? What can I trust? Maybe the Republicans are right about this place!

Anyway, I'm going downstairs to see if I can spot David Caruso. Maybe today's the day he has an aneurysm from overacting!

Posted by Chris on 03/21/05

I'm still waiting for CSI: Moline.

Posted by: Rich at March 21, 2005 9:51 AM

Go up to him and say "Hey, aren't you the guy from Jade?"


Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 9:58 AM

Or, "Aren't you that guy from Hudson Hawk?"

Posted by: Chris at March 21, 2005 10:02 AM

Best: Are you the guy from Thief of Hearts? or First Blood.

Posted by: klugula at March 21, 2005 10:19 AM

I saw him and all I could get out was "AREN'T YOU CIGAR AFICIANADO MAGAZINE'S DAVID CARUSO?"

Posted by: Chris at March 21, 2005 10:24 AM

March 18, 2005

Note to my bank and various creditors

Ledger balance vs. Actual balance? Recent activity vs. Unbilled activity? What? Huh? I'm sorry, but I don't have any idea what the difference is between these things.

What I'm looking for from you is actually quite simple: WHICH ITEMS HAVE CLEARED. WHAT'S MY BALANCE. That's it. I can figure out the rest.

I don't need a report on the items that are in some quasi-state of clearance. I don't need to know if you got one of my checks but you're still holding it up to the light to see if it's real. I don't need these coy references to money I SORT of have but not really because, well, it's bank stuff, you wouldn't understand.

How about you just show me the hard data you have, and if I don't see a charge I'll assume it hasn't cleared yet.

And while we're on the subject - on the website, how about individual record IDs for all the transactions? I haven't used those paper statements to balance my checkbook for about four years. Just number them, so that when I sign on to download the recent activity, I know exactly which ones I checked off last time.

Posted by Chris on 03/18/05

Your hatred of capitalism is making shiny-faced nervous adolescent Jesus cry.

Posted by: isaac at March 18, 2005 2:37 PM


The "money you sort of have but don't count on it" feature is the most sickening. Current vs. Available balance to me is like having two restrooms labeled Lilies and Violets. I know the words...but what do they mean to ME.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 6:14 AM

A Decade Under the Influence

It was interesting to see this great documentary about the influential directors of the 60s and 70s right after the well-worn topic of Spielberg & Lucas's ruination of American film had come up again. (In the comments here.)

The focus of the movie was not on the "Jaws" / "Star Wars" explosion, but the "Easy Rider" period just before, when young directors enjoyed a brief period of freedom from the Hollywood factory's churning out of safe, predictable fare. Even Spielberg and Lucas peers like Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorcese, Francis Coppola, and William Friedkin seem to think that the mega-success of "Jaws" and "Star Wars" essentially brought an end to that freedom.

And it's undeniable that once the movie businessmen saw just how much profit could be realized from one weekend, they tried again and again to repeat the "Jaws" / "Star Wars" formula. Once more the smaller, idiosyncratic voices of cinema were drowned out, and in a crypt somewhere far below the earth, a critic named Jonathan Rosenbaum stirred to life.

But the difference here is that their fellow directors don't lay the blame for the focus on blockbusters at George and Steven's feet. In fact, among their peers they seem roundly admired as master filmmakers making incredible movies, not corporate drones fulfilling a lifelong dream of keeping Robert Altman's career down. This has always been the missing component of this favorite gripe of a certain kind of critic, and has always been what's irked me most about it - the complete minimizing of Spielberg and Lucas personally by some critics because of their enormous success.

"Ah, the light!" said Rosenbaum. "It burns! It BURNS!"

Posted by Chris on 03/18/05

Say what you will about Lucas, I've always admired the fact that he made Star Wars the way HE wanted it, and he did whatever it took to get that done. Don't forget, Star Wars was an independant film.

Posted by: Foley at March 18, 2005 10:16 AM

Yes, and he's never changed on that. The vision is absolutely singular, and he hasn't altered it to please bitter critics or fans with incredibly high expectations. Even in his latest interview, when he's questioned about fan disappointment with the last two films, he says:

"I never try to anticipate what the world's going to think or even worry about whether they're going to like it or not. That's not my job, to make people like my movies. They either like them or they don't. That's completely out of my hands."

Posted by: Chris at March 18, 2005 10:24 AM

I agree, it's too easily overlooked that these are probably the most personal big films on the market. It's odd that auteurism in this instance is attacked as being control-freakism because not everyone agrees with his choices.

Posted by: isaac at March 18, 2005 10:55 AM

March 17, 2005

A new bell / whistle

Special thanks to the site for the magic Javascript I'm using for the "Show / Hide" comment thingy. Now I am looking for the way to show / hide all comments at once, to better your In My Defense experience.

Posted by Chris on 03/17/05

Top Ten Movies

Top 10:

In no order:

Dark Star
Raising Arizona
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Meaning of Life
The Four Seasons
The Celebration
Time Bandits

On deck:


What are yours?

Posted by Chris on 03/17/05

In no order, except for the first, which is definitely Number One.

The Color Purple
Raising Arizona
Death Becomes Her
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Catch Me If You Can
Singin' in the Rain
Waking Ned Devine
Winged Migration
Love Actually

On deck:
The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
The Talented Mr. Ripley

Posted by: Wife Ami at March 17, 2005 11:16 AM

I think it's important that the title is MY PERSONAL TOP TEN MOVIES. I don't, by any means believe these are the top ten movies ever made or some such shit. These are in no Particular order, except that truly, Ghostbusters is my favorite movie OF ALL TIME.


Ferris Buellers Day Off
Raising Arizona
Empire of the Sun
Talk Radio
Field of Dreams
Dead Again
Much Ado About Nothing
Quiz Show
National Lampoon's Vacation

On Deck:

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 11:19 AM

wife ami is such A GIRL.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 11:22 AM

I'm so glad you noticed!

Posted by: Wife Ami at March 17, 2005 11:37 AM

I enjoy the fact that Raising Arizona is so universally loved. Look how vastly different ALL of our lists are, and yet, there's Raising Arizona on all of them.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 11:49 AM


Mine are in no particular order, except some might fall alphabetically here and there. I'm having a very hard time with this one. My on deck is a little big because I'm having trouble shrinking this down. I'm bad at just picking ten.

Also, I ruined the Raising Arizona thing.

Requiem for a Dream
The English Patient
From Russia with Love
The Godfather
Lost in Translation
LA Confidential
American Psycho

On Deck
Rear Window
The Seventh Seal
The Sweet Hereafter
Through a Glass Darkly
Lawrence of Arabia

Posted by: Mups at March 17, 2005 11:59 AM

Ok. Here we go. I've honestly never done this before. In no partucluar order. Here goes...

The Holy Grail
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Henry V (Branagh)
Bull Durham
Rear Window
The Shawshank Redemption
A Fish Called Wanda

On Deck:

Posted by: Big Fat Brian at March 17, 2005 12:07 PM

oh man. Shawshank

I may have to put that on deck instead of Christmas Vacation

Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 12:12 PM

Yikes! My on deck list is growing. Fish Called Wanda, Field of Dreams, Metropolis, yes! But Mups - Requiem For a Dream? There are not enough stiff shots in the world to restore my nerves after that movie!

Posted by: Chris at March 17, 2005 12:14 PM

LA Confidential and A Fish Called Wanda definitely go on deck for me. I was rooting for Raising Arizona to show up on everyone's list. Come on, folks. You all KNOW it deserves props.

Posted by: Wife Ami at March 17, 2005 12:20 PM


Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 12:21 PM

I include the previous disclaimers along with another: this is me today and my favorites keep shifting depending whether the moon is waxing in Uranus or something...

Seven Samurai
It Happened One Night
Star Wars
Lord of the Rings
Princess Mononoke
Fallen Angels/Chungking Express (hard to separate)
Roman Holiday

On Deck:

You Can't Take it With You
Citizen Kane
Withnail & I
The Lady Eve
The Horse's Mouth
The Apartment
Fight Club
Band of Outsiders
Hidden Fortress
High Noon
Ashes of Time

narrowing it down is difficult so I'll stop here

Posted by: isaac at March 17, 2005 12:47 PM

I have never seen Citizen Kane.
It's true

Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 12:57 PM

I forgot The Philadelphia Story and His Girl Friday. It's too difficult Chris, curse you.

Posted by: isaac at March 17, 2005 1:08 PM

Hmm. Also Silence of The Lambs, Swing Kids, and I really really really love the Disney Beauty and the Beast.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 1:19 PM

I'll give this a whirl. It will undoubtedly chang e tomorrow. ;-) In no particular order:

* Amelie
* Lost in Translation
* Mansfield Park (1999)
* Royal Tennenbaums or Rushmore
* Barcelona
* Red
* Blade Runner
* Battlestar Galactica mini-series (just watched it last week and loved it)
* Nightmare Before Christmas
* on of many sci-fi films that I eagerly anticipated and then was slightly let down by in quality, but I still love watching. (5th element, hellboy, matrix,

On Deck (what does this mean? runner-ups?)

* Incredibles
* Empire Strikes Back
* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
* Heat
* American Beauty
* Lord of the Rings

Posted by: Jeff at March 18, 2005 5:30 AM

This seems like a very intellectual crowd, so I fear I may take some heat over my movies, but, I gotta be me...

The Original Star Wars (Episodes 4-6)
The Matrix (NOT the Sequels)
Back to the Future
The Indiana Jones Movies
Pulp Fiction
The Incredibles
A River Runs Through It

On the bench...
The Shining
Last of the Mohicans
Edward Scissorhands
The Shawshank Redemption
Superman II

I could go on and on, but I'm going to stop there. All in all, I LOVE MOVIES!

Posted by: Foley at March 18, 2005 9:02 AM

Wow! Great lists! They have reminded me to add "Amelie," "Fight Club," (which I urge you not to talk about), "Citizen Kane," "Ghostbusters," "Pulp Fiction," "Silence of the Lambs," and "Empire Strikes Back" to my "on deck" list, which is the list of movies that may be called on at any time to fill one of the coveted top ten spots should one of the greats falter.

Posted by: Chris at March 18, 2005 9:04 AM

So I am way behind. Forgive me. No order, except the first one...
Day of the Dead
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
The Birds
The Road Warrior
Blue Velvet
Uncle Buck
The Karate Kid
Murphy's Romance
Revenge of the Nerds
Black Widow
...too many? Sorry

Posted by: klugula at March 18, 2005 10:49 AM

Oooh, oooh, and My Man Godfrey!

Posted by: klugula at March 18, 2005 10:51 AM

THAT IS FOURTEEN MOVIES. YOU WERE ASKED FOR A TOP TEN. The management will now go through and relegate a random four to lesser, "On Deck" status.

Posted by: Chris at March 18, 2005 11:21 AM

My apologies. Just take them all off. They all suck anyway. Stupid movies.

Posted by: klugula at March 18, 2005 11:29 AM

Yes, Amelie and My Man Godfrey. And also American Beauty and Last of the Mohicans (very underrated). I also forgot Ghost in the Shell and Hannah and Her Sisters.

It's a difficult question, naming top ten. It's like being asked to name the organs you want to keep.

Posted by: isaac at March 18, 2005 12:01 PM

I thought of another: "Seven," or, as the kids are calling it, "Se7en."

Posted by: Chris at March 18, 2005 7:07 PM

Life of Brian
Raising Arizona
Searching for Bobby Fischer
On the Waterfront
Straight Story
Say Anything

On Deck:
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (First one especially)
Holy Grail
In the Heat of the Night
The Station Agent

I'm surprised Brian didn't have Strange Brew on his list. I'm sure I left something off as well.

I call, list not etched in stone!

Posted by: Rich at March 21, 2005 7:37 AM

I know...I feel I am the only one who really loves Requiem for a Dream. Although, I can only watch it once in a great while.

I also forgot Adaptation, which is another one I love and other people seem not to so much. Not to mention Taxi Driver...Chinatown...Maltese Falcon...LIE...Bob le Flambeur...ugh, too many that I like too much...

Posted by: Mups at March 21, 2005 8:33 AM

Rich made me remember how much I love L.A. Story. That needs to be On Deck for me. And Backdraft. Man, I love Backdraft.

Harris! Someone told me you have a PhD in Arts and Humanities!

Yes I do!

Lot of good it did you.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 9:22 AM

I loved Adaptation, never seen Requiem, but I do love's me some Jennifer Connelly (is that spelled correctly?)

Posted by: klugula at March 21, 2005 10:22 AM

Correction, loves me. No apostrophe.

Posted by: klugula at March 21, 2005 10:22 AM

I loves my friend

Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 11:12 AM

It was meant to sound ghetto. Duh. Work w/ me here.

Posted by: klugula at March 21, 2005 1:09 PM

No I know it was. It reminded me of a horrible horrible poetry project I worked on with the likes of isaac, and maybe chris, many years ago. We perfomed a poem as a 'round' and it sounded like garbled crap. One of the lines was "I loved my friend", and perhaps it was isaac who read it as "loves" and we all laughed at how early american negro dialect was so different from our own.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 1:52 PM

I loved My Man Godfrey. Have you ever watched Life with Father? I think that's the name. It's were the whole family has red hair. It's a fun old movie.

Here's one that I bet either no one has seen or no one likes. If you like this movie please discuss. Let It Ride with Richard Dreyfus.

Posted by: Rich at March 21, 2005 1:54 PM

If you haven't seen Let It Ride, I can lend it to you. real cheap

Posted by: friend jessica at March 21, 2005 2:01 PM

The only thing I know about Let it Ride, is that I used to have the movie poster. My local video store would give me most of their posters that would not be hung up, so I would go through and rid myself of the nasties, and proceed to store the rest, which I still do to this day. Let it Ride did not make the cut. Sorry.

Posted by: klugula at March 21, 2005 2:06 PM

Has anyone ever seen the My Man Godfrey remake, with (I think) David Niven? How does it compare to the William Powell version?

Posted by: klugula at March 21, 2005 2:08 PM

I loaned Jessica and Brian Let It Ride, 6 or 7 years ago and they still haven't watched it. They still have the video, but refuse to watch it. They will though, if I have to wait 20 more years, they will watch it!

Posted by: Rich at March 22, 2005 6:40 AM

I thought a friend keeping a movie for a few months was a long time. I stand corrected.

Posted by: klugula at March 22, 2005 7:18 AM

If I relinquish that movie to Rich. Rich wins. Don't you see that?

Posted by: friend jessica at March 22, 2005 8:34 AM

I have already won by making you store my radioactive movie for 7 years. Moohoohoohaha!

Posted by: Rich at March 22, 2005 8:51 AM

I do see that. Someone else sees it too. Someone else who sees everything. Someone else who sees it as stealing. Hmm?

Posted by: klugula at March 22, 2005 8:56 AM

Elwood? Is it Elwood? If it's elwood i'll give it back this afternoon.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 22, 2005 9:12 AM

It could be him. It could be someone else. The question is; do you want to take a chance?

Posted by: klugula at March 22, 2005 9:25 AM

Jesus, correct? Jesus sees it as stealing! Now you are in big trouble Jessica.

Posted by: Rich at March 22, 2005 1:35 PM

March 16, 2005


Just so's you don't think I am in constant, reflexive disagreement with Lileks, today I agree with him completely:

When it's movies and Gnat, I'm fine with it.

Posted by Chris on 03/16/05




Also, i had a dream the other night that John K. (I'll protect his innocence here) was being chased by a huge tiger, maybe ten times normal size, with a huge spear sticking out of his side. I watched it all from a distance, as Bette Midler would say...and John only escaped by diving into deep, putrid water and swimming far away.


Posted by: friend jessica at March 16, 2005 2:17 PM

Why bother to interpret it? Call him up! It actually happened to him. I thought you knew that!


Posted by: Chris at March 16, 2005 2:34 PM

Wait, he thought it was a mistake to go back and do the beginning of the story (the rise and fall from grace)? He'd rather see what happens after the story ended (post-redemption)?

Yeah, the most exciting WWII films take place after the war was over, not during Hitler's rise rise to power or subsequent war. (I'm not counting the Third Man as a WWII film)

Posted by: isaac at March 16, 2005 2:45 PM

You're just mad that Hitler lost.

Hitler cuddler

Posted by: friend jessica at March 16, 2005 2:51 PM

Not that part so much as the general Anti-Rosenbaumian sentiments he offered re: joy at the movies.

Posted by: Chris at March 16, 2005 3:08 PM


Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 6:00 AM

Yes, joy at the movies is a good thing. I'm not on the anti-Lucas/Spielberg-bandwagon. Their philosophy was always making films they wanted to see, not trying to guess what would appeal to the widest and blandest demographic base (which is what the studios do today and what the Rosenbaums blame Lucas/Spielberg for). They've both made dark and light films.

I find the joylessness of films today comes not from the darkness of the stories but a general cynicism that takes a condescending attitude toward any form of sentiment. They appeal to the head, not the heart (or soul).

In relationship terms, it's a choice between the love of your life (requiring emotions, risk of pain, thought and time) and a handjob behind the dugout (shallow and brief forgettable pleasure). Movie studios prefer to deliver the latter because it's easier to sell.

Posted by: isaac at March 17, 2005 7:23 AM

I completely agree with that, particularly the cynicism. I think filmakers also relate unhappiness, tragedy, sad ending with 'reality' or 'raw emotion', when actually, there ARE happy endings and success and survival in life.

that's why people watch friggin' Uncle Buck every time it's on TBS or why everyone loves Raising Arizona, and frankly, it's why below average 'bad' movies like The Pacifier gain success at the box office. You can only watch Requiem for Dream so much before you're ready to blow your head off.

I was going to make some crude handjob comments here, but decided not to.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 7:32 AM

I agree. Putting something in a film because it's (one view of) "reality" isn't particularly admirable. Provoking saddness because you can is no better than provoking laughter because you can. I want those feelings, but because the storyteller has made me think, learn and empathize, not because they're following a formula to get those results.

I like a happy ending but I want it to grow organically from the story rather than "because the real ending didn't go down well in Peoria's test audience". I want to cheer for the protaganist because I've joined him on his journey not because you're supposed to cheer for the protaganist.

I miss directors like Frank Capra who had powerful messages, ideas and commentary in their films along with the laughter or tears (very often both).

Sorry for all the parentheses.

Posted by: isaac at March 17, 2005 9:51 AM

oh, and this guy named his kid Gnat? Is that more endearing that earmite, chigger or dung-beetle?

Posted by: isaac at March 17, 2005 9:54 AM

Uncle Buck is a great movie, yet again showcasing the many talents of the late, great John Candy. Sure, it's no Canadian Bacon, but come on... what could be? :)

I think we should all tell MORE people that they should take a quarter downtown and have a rat gnaw the proverbial mole off their cheek. At the end of the day, in this town... THAT my friends is entertainment.

Henry Rollins does a great bit on movies as well, and what appeals to the masses and why people go to see particular types of movies. Good stuff.

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at March 17, 2005 10:00 AM

What I think is so excellent about the rat gnawing comment is the implication that you'd have to PAY A RAT to do that. As if rats take money in exchange for goods and services.

Here's a quarter, go pay a TWELVE YEAR OLD BOY to gnaw that thing off your face wouldn't be as funny..because I used to rub aunt eileens feet for a quarter every holiday.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 17, 2005 11:25 AM

To everyone on the Mt. High "Conquest" lift at around noon on Sunday

My thanks to you for not laughing, or at least not laughing audibly, and especially for not pointing, at my attempt at the blue "Conquest" run that goes right along the ski lift.

Perhaps it was not so much funny to you as pathetic, and not worthy of laughter; whatever the reason, thanks.

I do not go skiing enough to call myself a "skiier," and in fact I go so infrequently that it takes hours to build back up to even my low baseline of competency. You probably guessed that. But each time I like to at least TRY a blue hill, which is how I found myself on "Conquest" that day.

This was unfortunate, and I'd like to apologize to anyone on the ski lift directly overhead who witnessed the incident or any fellow skiier or snowboarder on that run for the three hellish minutes it took me to descend.

At the Mt. High ski resort, as at others, I call for greater detail in the classification of ski runs. Also as at others, the point at which I made this call, loudly and with some profanity, was the moment that I got off the lift and looked down at the blue run which was my only way down.

What a difference a few thousand feet makes in your perspective of slope!

I am not proud of how I got down. What I did was not really "skiing;" it would be described more accurately as "hurtling." Faced with what seemed like a sheer cliff to descend, I was forced to instantly revise my plan of going slowly down the mountain in a graceful "S" pattern, in favor of the more conventional, less dashing "wedge" formation, which is of course the skiing equivalent of standing on the brakes.

The "S's" became smaller and smaller until they gave way to one long terrified "I" as I wedged straight down the hill at what felt close to 70 mph.

It couldn't have been pretty.

I suggest there be some degree of detail - perhaps even to the point of including a 3-D miniature at the base? A kiosk running a computer simulation? Actual rise-over-run figures? - greater than just the three levels of difficulty, green, blue, black. Let's just say that there is an acute difference between a Mt. High blue and a Nub's Nob blue.

A coda: To all snowboarders everywhere, I appreciate your derision towards skiiers in general and me in particular. You represent some next stage of evolution in humanity, with your youth, your up-to-the-minute fashions, your understandable cursing, your complete disdain for gravity, your invulnerability to cold. You are the future of the sport and I am an evolutionary dead end.

But I do wonder if I could ask you not to just stop whenever and wherever along the hill, flopping down in the middle of the path while you wait for your buddies to catch up. If you're going to form an impromptu barrier seven people wide, please to wear day-glo traffic cones on your head to signify yourself as obstacles. Not all of us have as much control as you. Sorry to harsh your groove.

Posted by Chris on 03/16/05

Yeah man, you're harshing my grove. Now my oranges won't grow.

BUT SERIOUSLY. You're a bigger man than I. I'm scared to even start to think about attempting skiing as it can only end in "kicker news story" tragedy for me.

"And next....a pudgy lady who literally fell head over heels....TO HER DEATH!"

Posted by: friend jessica at March 16, 2005 11:22 AM

::sighing heavily::

Posted by: Chris at March 16, 2005 11:38 AM

None of this would have happened if you'd been at church, shooting the place up.

Posted by: isaac at March 16, 2005 12:02 PM

What's with the dramatic sighs? I didn't even MENTION goats.

Just the fact that you don't proofread your blog.


Posted by: friend jessica at March 16, 2005 12:42 PM

I sigh because I revise everything about 93 times and still miss the groves.

Posted by: Chris at March 16, 2005 12:45 PM

Chris' tombstone:


Posted by: friend jessica at March 16, 2005 12:58 PM

Yes, but I'm sure there'll be a typo on it, and over on your tombstone will be a picture of my goats.

Posted by: Chris at March 16, 2005 1:36 PM

your pissyness speaks volumes

Posted by: friend jessica at March 16, 2005 2:19 PM

March 15, 2005

Cow State Hallucinations

From one of the Left Behind books:

"Let me be the first to tell you: You have just seen the wrath of the Lamb!"

Could there be any phrase in English more absurd than "Wrath of the Lamb?" And could anything sum up the contradiction of these Revelations fetishists better?

From a Gene Lyons article in Harper's on Tim LaHaye's apocalyptic adventure series:

After living in the Bible Belt for more than thirty years, I've learned several things about our fundamentalist Christian brethren: First, theirs is an embattled faith, which requires an ever evolving list of enemies to keep its focus. It includes Satan worshipers one year, "secular humanists" the next.


I've also learned that fundamentalist Christianity's spiritual entrepreneurs are never more dogmatic than when they are ignoring, if not contradicting, the essence of Jesus Christ's teachings. The basic con is to insist upon the historical and scientific accuracy of every syllable in the Bible--then to analyze its symbolism, unveil hidden acrostics, and decode secret messages known only to initiates. The Book of Genesis is reduced to a biology text, and Daniel becomes a crystal ball.

While we're at it, here's another article on end-of-the-world fun from Bill Moyers: Welcome to Doomsday. As any good Left Behind fan knows, any time Moyers writes an article, the Rapture Index goes up one point.

Posted by Chris on 03/15/05

I remember reading about Mr. LaHaye's fortunes and stock assets. Leaving aside the obvious point about a camel and the eye of a needle, why would someone expecting the imminent Rapture, have assets tied up in the stock market?

Posted by: isaac at March 16, 2005 6:34 AM

March 14, 2005

Speaking volumes

On the same theme of people finding great meaning in very little, below, I'm seeing a bit of over-reliance on this phrase "speaks volumes." It's becoming a little threadbare.

Does something always have to speak "volumes?" "Volumes" brings to my mind a very large collection of books, containing an ENORMOUS amount of meaning. Does your subject REALLY contain that much meaning?

Next time you're about to bring out the "volumes," think it through. Maybe what you're looking at doesn't speak VOLUMES, but instead, a very concise pamphlet?

Maybe instead of whole volumes it speaks a very attractive three-color glossy brochure? Maybe it speaks a thin, self-published vanity tome! Or a xeroxed handout! Maybe it speaks a miniature, point-of-purchase novelty book about angels! Maybe it speaks a scribbled Post-It note, I DON'T KNOW, I just know it doesn't always have to be volumes.

Posted by Chris on 03/14/05

I think the fact that you as of yet still fail to link to EITHER Alien Loves Predator OR Brewster Rockit, Space Guy in the "The Fun" section, speaks volumes about "The Fun". VOLUMES I say.

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at March 14, 2005 12:08 PM

I just tore 'speaking volumes' out of the language for you.

Perhaps we can also eliminate the phrase '24/7'. Apparently it's a way of saying 'all the time' but without all that clarity.

Posted by: isaac at March 14, 2005 12:15 PM

24/7 is a big irritant for me. The look on my face, when someone says it, speaks volumes about the hatred I feel toward it.

Posted by: klugula at March 14, 2005 2:27 PM

I like when they throw in 365.

24/7, 365. Why not go all the way? 60/60/24/7/365?

Posted by: friend jessica at March 16, 2005 6:26 AM

But he was such a normal guy

I am so tired of hearing this from the people that lived next to killers when the papers inevitably descend on them. The neighbors of this Wisconsin church shooter assure the media that he was "a completely average guy." Stop the presses! Really? I thought all murderous psychos carved swastikas in their forehead! I thought that was their "thing!"

It's such an honest, understandable question, and always so useless. And police are stunned that there was apparently "no motive." HOOBOY! You mean he didn't leave a clear, concise explanation that would make us all understand why someone would start shooting in a church? But... but that's just CRAZY!

YES! Now you're getting it!

I understand the desire to understand why people flip out, and of course support all inquiry into it. I'm not suggesting we all resign ourselves to the occasional random psycho attack. But the implication in these questions is disturbing. People want to find a very specific trigger that makes this happen, and when they don't in the next few days, they'll seize on any shred of a detail in this guy's life - some file they find on his computer, some picture they find in his house - and follow it to whatever conclusion they've already reached.

Posted by Chris on 03/14/05

One woman explained that he was a nice guy because he would trap rabbits in his back yard and then drive them thirty miles away to let them go.

THAT is perfectly normal behavior? Shuttling Rabbits to and fro?

Also, what's all this about not liking sermon? "He was upset about a sermon he heard two weeks ago"

Oh WELL then. OK, let's just shut the books on this one. If the sermon upset him, I think we all knew what would happen.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 14, 2005 11:40 AM

I blame the violence in video games.

Posted by: isaac at March 14, 2005 12:17 PM

I used to get pretty worked up about the sermons @ my church. Mostly the ones that included drinking special orange drink, as a symbol of the Lord's blood. The preacher would have his say, and then give us some orange drink for the long journey home. I felt forever healed. Then one Sunday, it did not work, and I felt the urge to transport my hamster from room to room. Other than that, I am perfectly normal, normal, normal, normal.

Posted by: klugula at March 14, 2005 2:31 PM

March 10, 2005

Winner of the Unintentionally Symbolic Award

...and the winner of the Unintentionally Symbolic Award for the day is:

Airline pulls pillows off planes in cost-cutting effort.

The Unintentionally Symbolic judging committee applauds America Airlines for the clever and subtle messaging to their customer base!

It is also a relief to return to domestic consumer matters after the previous, harsher Unintentional Symbolism award, which of course went out to the U.S. Army for IRAQI PRISONERS SODOMIZED.

Posted by Chris on 03/10/05

Some of my favorite past winners have been John Ashcroft's $4000 drapes on Lady Justice and the concealing of Picasso's Guernica during a pre-invasion Colin Powell speech.

Oh and let's not forget the president's wearing a wire during the debate.

Posted by: isaac at March 10, 2005 11:12 AM

What could be worse than UNINTIONAL SYMBOLISM?

Is that where you use words that don't exist to symbolize words that do?

:: kissing goats right on their little heads ::

Posted by: friend jessica at March 10, 2005 11:23 AM

And now I will correct the spelling, and to future generations your comment will make no sense. Don't you see? That goats cannot be lost by me here?

Posted by: Chris at March 10, 2005 11:52 AM



Posted by: friend jessica at March 10, 2005 12:15 PM

Can I just say in my defense that I was young, and the priest told me it was what Jesus wanted?

Posted by: Chris at March 10, 2005 12:42 PM

:: laughing and stopping abruptly ::

Now it's on. YOu know I love the lord.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 10, 2005 12:44 PM

Hey, why is it bad for the baby Jesus to cry? Babies often cry for no reason at all, or dippy reasons like a crayon being moved out of reach or fouling their swaddling clothes.

I'd be more worried about making grown up bearded Jesus cry. With babies you can always shut their bedroom door and turn the music up.

Posted by: isaac at March 10, 2005 1:58 PM

I see you've read my parenting tips.

Posted by: Rich at March 10, 2005 2:01 PM

god you people really are godless.


"The Little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes"

I was taught in Sunday school and by exasperated babysitters everywhere that Jesus never cried or threw a tantrum or pouted or sassed. HE NEVER SASSED, you hear me?

From the day he was born, he never was a bother to his parents.

So if you make the baby Jesus cry, you must be really fucking shit up.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 10, 2005 2:21 PM

But let's agree with Isaac, it's PARTICULARLY worrisome if you're making the grown-up bearded Jesus cry. You'd have to be one serious cold-stone hella harsh dude.

Posted by: Chris at March 10, 2005 2:32 PM

you have ALWAYS loved isaac best. ALWAYS

:: sassing ::

Posted by: friend jessica at March 10, 2005 2:35 PM

And if he had a dog I'd feature its picture too - WHAT OF IT.

Posted by: Chris at March 10, 2005 2:47 PM


Posted by: friend jessica at March 10, 2005 2:47 PM

March 9, 2005

Please Do Not Speak to the Telecom Tech

I have a new entry for the Plural Project:

An Irritation of Telecom Guys.

Who knows what those guys with the vans and hardhats and fancy phone equipment are doing? They sure don't seem happy about it, whatever it is. I'll give you some insight: they're NOT. I just had to go ask one a question down in the phone room of our building, and they really don't like it when you do that.

He had his Fancyphone clamped to his ear the whole time, so I waited to ask him my question. When it was clear after several minutes that he was just holding it there and not really "toning the line," I went ahead and spoke. He didn't like it.


Posted by Chris on 03/ 9/05

Citibank Billboards - Now With 40% More Irony!


Translation: Since poor choices in your youth and recent legislation in our favor have condemned you to a life sentence in the modern day equivalent of debtor's prison, perhaps you should learn to get your fashions at Thrift Stores. But live richly!

Previous billboardery:



Posted by Chris on 03/ 9/05

Bankruptcy! The Musical

So the bankruptcy bill is a done deal - although Bush could in theory veto it, I suppose. (Ha ha ha! But seriously.)

It's another smart move by the Rs because they get to please their MBNA / Citibank masters and at the same time actually look economically responsible. I mean, anyone who's against it must be in favor of spendthrifts abusing bankruptcy protection, right? Why can't you control your spending, loser? Can Not Supporting the Troops and making baby Jesus cry be far behind?

Poor, poor MBNA! Poor Citibank! Why do you people blow your paycheck at the track and then turn them away empty-handed?

I could see the sense of it if it was anything like a two-way street. If we're forcing consumers to act with greater responsibility, how about doing the same to the Credit Overlords? Any crooked landlord or lender can put a black mark on your precious credit report with no accountability. Credit cards can raise your interest rate if you are late not just on their payment but ANY payment. Hey, I've created my own problems with these credit cards and take responsibility for it, but let's not pretend Citibank's whole sweet deal isn't based on preying on the financially dumb like myself.

Hard to see this as anything else than a valentine from the R's and some D's to their masters. BE MINE! I CHOO-CHOO-CHOOSE YOU!

Also hard to imagine the very people this will hurt the most being able to retain the memory of who did it to them long enough to matter.

UPDATE: Good sum-up of the legislation by Arianna Huffington here.

Posted by Chris on 03/ 9/05


You don't need money to love children. Might as well give it to us.

Once again. Mondo at center stage.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 9, 2005 9:32 AM

It's good we're not letting those deadbeat small business owners - the ones who've been using their "sorry, I'm still fighting in Iraq" lame excuses - off the hook for their companies' demise and bankruptcy.

Posted by: isaac at March 9, 2005 9:35 AM

If you can't compete with CostCo and WalMart and BestBuy, maybe you shouldn't be in the business, you know?

Think about it, ok sweetie

:: playfully ruffling despondent man's head ::

Posted by: friend jessica at March 9, 2005 9:48 AM

It's also good we've relaxed restrictions on Walmart, allowing them to move into banking and forcing hopeful small shop owners to reveal their buisiness plans. It's good for Walmart: crushing the competition before it's hatched helps keep them competitive, or something.

I always rooted for Goliath against the little turd with the slingshot.

Posted by: isaac at March 9, 2005 10:53 AM

March 8, 2005

Random notes

Note to the game "N:" There is no joy in level 5. Level 5 is too hard. It is not humanly possible to get past level 5. I have tried it and tried it and tried it. I have died in every possible way on level 5. Now I am jumping off platforms and being electrocuted in my dreams. My back and neck are stiff from tensing up every time I try to make a jump.

And this is level five out of, what, 50? And each level is actually four stages? This is impossible. Is this Hell? Have I really gone to video game Hell? Talk about addictions. I CAN'T STOP PLAYING. You've ruined my posture, you've ruined my writing, you've ruined my life, HELP!!! HOW DO I GET OFF LEVEL FIVE?

You think it's so easy? YOU try it.

Note to people everywhere: If you think about, if no one anywhere EVER responded to these spams or telemarketers or junk mail, then they really wouldn't do it, would they? They'd have to be making money or it wouldn't go on!

So who is it? Which one of you has been applying for home loans online? Who's been trying to meet H!O!T AS1AN T33NS? Who's ordering the cheap Adobe programs? Who's buying quality ink products? One of you has, I know it, or these people wouldn't still be trying.

Listen - we ALL want the free Adobe software, we ALL want the cheap V!AGRA, we ALL want to be approved for home mortgages, we ALL want to get with the h0t As1an teenz. EVERYONE wants it. But some things in life can't be downloaded. Let's agree not to encourage people to ruin the Internet. Thanks.

Note to the movie My Fair Lady: Oh no! NO! Why did I watch you again? Such a score, but - OH NO!

Are you trying to say that Eliza Doolittle was retarded? Are you trying to say that Higgins and Pickering were sharing the Love That Dare Not Speak It's Name, and their little linguistics experiment was actually just an episode of Queer Eye for the Bedraggled Cockney Flower Girl? That's fine, but is that what I'm supposed to take away because there was NOTHING between Harrison and Hepburn in that movie. Are there any more boringly staged dance numbers in all of Hollywood musicaldom?

Note to Each day I struggle with whether or not to post links to animal sex on my site. I appreciate your input, but don't call me, I'll call you.

Note to me: Nice shirt today.

Posted by Chris on 03/ 8/05

May I respond?

There really isn't anything I hate more than the ending of My Fair Lady. Let's say the two guys are boyfriends. OK. Fine...but don't lead the retarded girl on into thinking you're in love with her for a joke. What is this? The Company Of Men? Could they possibly have treated Eliza more like a piece of shit or what? Don't get me started on the end of the King and I. A slow motion apocolypse would be a happier ending than that.

My shirt is a bit too tight today

smutpipe: Is it free?

The problem with spam is people respond to the "to get off this list click here" and then the vicious cycle continues.

I'm addicted to stupid Bookworm as much as you are to N. I drop tiles in my sleep.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 8, 2005 2:01 PM

This isn't one of my typical snarky, antisocial posts. More of a straightforward question because I feel I am always three paces behind e-culture.

Why do spammers mis-spell words like Viagra and Asian with numbers?

Posted by: isaac at March 8, 2005 2:40 PM

Because I can enter a spam blocker that says "any email that says "viagra" or "knock down walls with your cock" goes immediately to the trash.

They alter it to get through filters.

I think.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 8, 2005 2:47 PM

I think that's right, too. But there is also the hacker subculture that deliberately mispells for different reasons, I think.

Posted by: Chris at March 8, 2005 3:03 PM

Damn you sir. It was the height of irresponsibility to introduce 'N' to me. As if I didn't lose enough hours of my youth to LodeRunner. God help me if they introduce a level editor.

Yours in damnation.

Posted by: relpek at March 8, 2005 4:10 PM

Oh, my friend. My poor friend. It is my sad duty to report to you that...


(At least on the PC side)

Posted by: Chris at March 8, 2005 4:34 PM

Thank you for the answer to my spam question.

In return I can tell you that leeches, at least the medicinal variety, have 32 brains. I don't know why.

I haven't tried 'N' yet because I'm afraid of its addictive nature (as Relpek has confirmed). I heard recently a comedy sketch in which a young man arriving in heaven was reminded of his life's work: how many computer solitaire games he'd won.

Posted by: isaac at March 9, 2005 6:36 AM

March 7, 2005


A "Get Your War On" update:

Posted by Chris on 03/ 7/05

Terror From Above

The office complex I work in has a day care, and their little outdoor play area faces the big inner courtyard. You can't see the kiddies inside because of a hedge, but my walk to work coincides with one of their Morning Play Periods, and I can hear them running around in there.

Occasionally you see one of their plastic balls - the hollow kind that cover the floor of a McDonald's Play Place - has escaped. If I come across one, I throw it back over the hedge. Today I threw one back over and EVERYTHING IN THERE STOPPED.

Had I hit some toddler on the head? Because it was me - probably. I'm sure some kid lost an eye today. I heard no wailing but I hurried on, not looking back.

Posted by Chris on 03/ 7/05

I'm picturing you running like Bill Murray in Rushmore.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 7, 2005 11:24 AM

March 3, 2005

Whence Comest Goats?

Friend Jessica says:

Hi. I'm friend jessica. You may know me from such posts as "let's not get rid of religion" and " ~ ". The management of this facility has asked me to take a moment out of my busy schedule to explain what we in the business, and by business I mean, THE INDUSTRY, call 'an inside joke'.

Friend Chris and Friend Jessica have a long, storied, rocky, illustrious, tempestuous, disease riddled history, in which, on a DAILY BASIS, they would engage in hours long IM conversations containing such gems as:

jarbabyj: and it's also been a personal rule of mine to never say:
jarbabyj: "Yes, I have freedom, but at what price?"
jarbabyj: at any time
cmccaleb02: I like to use the "what price" mode of asking things in every day situations, though
cmccaleb02: What price these jeans?
cmccaleb02: What price this CD? I can't seem to find the sticker.


jarbabyj: HANG UP AND CLONE!

and a SIX PAGE LONG LIST of Website Titles/Band Names that is likely never to be equalled again in our lifetime.

During the course of our discourse we became masters of the nitpick,tyrranical typo hounds, grinding innocent keyboard slips into the ground like so many spent Camel lights. As it happened, if one made a typographical, hyper emotional or ridiculously political slip up, it resulted in 'getting the other's goat', which soon became a game of "Goat getting", completely encased in the :: :: double colon code for "action" in IM conversations. After winning a particularly long argument, one would pause and type:

:: gently herding goats in to lush green field ::


:: gathering goats into arms, skipping away ::

But if the opponent didn't feel he had lost (I say HE, because very often Chris was the loser), he would

:: snatching goats back with a vengeance ::

or some other variation thereof. Sometimes, one would notice their mistake before the other and actually:

:: sending goats by the boatload to your pasture ::

And so it has carried on to this day. I believe at this time, most of my goats are with Chris in California, but I did get a handful back this afternoon when Chris referred to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as a popular Fox t.v. show. Kudos.

Next time, if there is a next time: The Everlasting Dinner Party.

I agree with all, except, I was NOT the usual loser. The goats by far spent more time in MY field, which was far lusher, far greener, and their rightful home.

Posted by Chris on 03/ 3/05

My greatest fault was consistently typing chris' name as "Christ", which, as you can imagine, ended in both hilarity and blasphemy

Posted by: friend jessica at March 3, 2005 2:50 PM

I still have that website name list somewhere, although not electronically.

Kitty Sweater Militia
Jenny Jones As Much As Killed That Guy

and of course;

The Third Mutant Hand

Posted by: friend jessica at March 3, 2005 2:55 PM

So, in plain English, you're having an affair.

Posted by: isaac at March 4, 2005 9:45 AM

You've got your papers gathered neatly in one hand and your Swingline brand stapler in the other. You clamp the stapler jaws around the pages and squeeze them together. No satisfying ker-clunk happens because the stapler is empty.

Do you try it again once or twice though? Huh? Do ya?

Posted by: isacc at March 4, 2005 11:02 AM

Looks like isaac's been partaking a of a little of the 'ganja' again. Dope, weed, mother nature's hair...

Posted by: friend jessica at March 4, 2005 11:26 AM

Well, yes. The glaucoma, you know.

I read recently about an ongoing study in Spain where they have found cannabis (more specifically, THC) can help prevent memory loss in Alzheimers sufferers. Perhaps another forthcoming check mark in the 'Reagan was wrong about this' column?

It also has intoxicating side-effects which are of course sinful. One should never take drugs to feel better.

Posted by: isaac at March 4, 2005 12:15 PM

Also don't say this

Apparently sometimes I am so wrong just one negation won't do. Some people need to correct me with a whole series of no's strung out into one word:


This seems borderline OC, and I wouldn't be surprised if these same people have to SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB their hands a lot because the GERMS WON'T GO AWAY. So I can cut some slack. But only this much:

You get five no's before you get slapped. Five no's should be enough for anyone.

Posted by Chris on 03/ 3/05

Borderline OC, as in a hip youngster t.v. show or borderline OCD?

:: welcoming goats ::

Posted by: friend jessica at March 3, 2005 10:30 AM

Actually, "OC" is fine in this context, so there WILL be a transfer of goats, but from your field to mine. Goats... GOTTEN.

And extra points to me for the correct usage of "actually."

Posted by: Chris at March 3, 2005 11:01 AM

You down with OCD? Ya, you know me.

Is it yeah for yah, or is that pronounced yeh?

Posted by: Rich at March 3, 2005 11:35 AM

Yeah you know me


Yea or nay

Posted by: friend jessica at March 3, 2005 1:40 PM

An unrelated note to all pregnant women: If you're having your photo taken, please cradle both hands delicately across your womb (one higher than the other, please) and cast your eyes downward the way you might in a thoughtful moment.

Back to OCD...

Posted by: isaac at March 3, 2005 2:42 PM

And let's have your hair in a low ponytail falling over your shoulder, shall we?

Posted by: friend jessica at March 3, 2005 2:51 PM

Also, to the cat hanging off the tree branch: REALLY look like you're struggling to hang on there. Let's get those eyes wider. That's it. Come on, really look like you're pissed off there. Yes. YES! YES! IT'S MONDAY MORNING AND YOU ARE PISSED! YES! YES! HANG IN THERE!



I've worked with better.

But not many.

Posted by: Chris at March 3, 2005 4:54 PM

And if you're a patient having your photo taken for a medical website, laugh and smile at the doctor. Do not, under any circumstances, look sickly, chemo-bald, bloodied or like you need to see a doctor.

If you're the doctor, wear a stethoscope so we know.

If you're a group of doctors, make sure the photographer stands above you at about 45 degrees so it'll look like you're popping off the page. It would be better if you aren't doctors but attractive models, a good mix of ages and cultures please, in white coats. Only one or two of you need the stethoscope but stand close together so we know you're a team.

Posted by: isaac at March 4, 2005 10:00 AM

Also, to all the new moms showing up for the Anne Geddes calendar tryouts. It would be helpful if you could have your babies in the peapod suits BEFORE Ms. Geddes arrives. She really doesn't like to be kept waiting.

And for those with fat babies, the tomato suits are right over there.

Ladies, PLEASE. If you HAVE TO ASK, then YES, your baby is fat! OVER IN THE TOMATO LINE.

Posted by: Chris at March 4, 2005 12:50 PM

I'd like to see Anne Geddes take it further, putting those adorable vegetable babies into salads, casseroles and other healthy meals.

Maybe Wegman's Weimerauners can come over dressed up for the feast. They should be reminded to stare gormlessly at the camera.

Posted by: isaac at March 4, 2005 2:16 PM

Don't say this

"Monday week."

Whatever time you've saved by shortening "A week from Monday" will be taken up - and more - by me being annoyed. Who has that kind of time?

Posted by Chris on 03/ 3/05

now you've started something with isaac the brit

Posted by: friend jessica at March 3, 2005 10:13 AM

"Brit?" That sounds suspiciously like one of the "other countries." You know how I feel about that.

Posted by: Chris at March 3, 2005 10:19 AM

Brits say "monday week" and they also refuse to put THE in front of hospital

"We took mom to hospital yesterday"


Posted by: friend jessica at March 3, 2005 10:30 AM

Look, it's not their fault. Apparently the colors on their flag DO run, and their country is not #1, as the overwhelming lack of bumper stickers to the contrary force me to believe. So how would you feel? Give them a break.

Posted by: Chris at March 3, 2005 10:58 AM

Monday week I understand but hospital should follow the same rule as school (so nononononononononono on that one).

One that gets me is the time...It's either "quarter to" the hour or "quarter past". Never, ever is it "quarter OF."

"It's a quarter of four!" Really, what is it one then?

Posted by: isaac at March 3, 2005 11:01 AM

Also, in this context the example should have read "We're taking MUM to hospital."

"Quarter of" also is confusing, no truck to be had with that.

Posted by: Chris at March 3, 2005 11:03 AM

Don't forget about those people woh COULD care less.

Really? You COULD? Because I think that you're so stupid that I COULDN'T care any less.


Posted by: Big Fat Brian at March 3, 2005 1:52 PM

what does woh mean?

Posted by: friend jessica at March 3, 2005 1:54 PM

You're gonna find out tonight, BITCH!

Posted by: Big Fat Brian at March 3, 2005 1:59 PM


but fair.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 3, 2005 2:19 PM

Those last few comments painted a picture of lovely marital harmony. I for one, am glad that I was able to enjoy and know their way of life. Thank you so much to Jessica and Brian for that insight. Just know, that as you curse and beat one another, the Lord is watching. He is right now. He has just walked into my room. Hello Lord! Welcome, come have a sit down. I have been waiting for you Lord. Cookies? Kool-aid?

Posted by: klugula at March 3, 2005 2:48 PM

Agreed X 1000. "I could care less" has to be one of the weirdest things people say.

Posted by: Chris at March 3, 2005 2:53 PM

But what if what they are trying to say IS that the could, possibly, care less.

"Hear about the Michael Jackson case?"

"Yes, but I could care less about it."

Maybe that person is simply trying to let you know that it's possible that they COULD care less about the topic. Maybe they feel back that they care so much about it, and are thinking perhaps that they could, nay SHOULD, care less about it.

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at March 3, 2005 3:17 PM

They just said "I could care less" on the Golden Girls. I am reporting this for your own amusement. Yes, I watch the Golden Girls. Enjoy.

Posted by: klugula at March 3, 2005 3:36 PM

She's so ugly I wouldn't fuck her with Bea Arthur's dick.

Posted by: Rich at March 4, 2005 9:01 AM

Poor Dorothy, she always gets the "shaft".

Posted by: klugula at March 4, 2005 12:09 PM

March 2, 2005

Lileks Mutters To Himself

James Lileks is disturbed by the Supreme Court's decision to make juvenile executions illegal, not because he's pro-death penalty, but because he doesn't like the Supreme Court looking to other countries for their example:

(The Supreme Court) upended laws concerning the execution of juvies because five judges didn’t much like the law, and were alarmed to find it was out of step with the direction of the drift of the emanations of the penumbra of several judicial decisions in Europe. I’m not all that keen on the death penalty; I think it lets them off the hook. I want killers to die in jail, alone, forgotten, with their last meal consisting of steak-flavored mush and Sanka. But the reasonings don’t seem based in that pesky Constitution itself, and the very idea of using foreign law as some sort of guide for American law unnerves me as much as it angers me. I know: let’s use Iranian law to settle the constitutionality of divorce, right now. Someone bring a case.

That's right, James. Because once we start looking to other countries as examples, we'll inevitably, immediately fall under the thrall of Iran. Once you open the deadly Pandora's Box of "other countries," the obvious outcome is that we'd look immediately to Iran and only Iran for guidance. Well done as usual, James!

Tell you what. When I need to see what a matchbook looked like in Minnesota in the 60s, I'll call you. When I need an opinion about issues, I'll call... anyone else.

I wondered today why he doesn't have comments on his site, and then I realized: it's because people would leave comments.

Posted by Chris on 03/ 2/05

If I remember correctly the Constitution and Declaration of Independence both borrowed heavily from European philosophers as well as the Romans and Greeks. I guess Europeans only had good ideas before the 1780s.

Posted by: Rich at March 2, 2005 1:35 PM

If I had a family, I would model my governing body after that of Iran. My children would follow those rules, as well as my spouse. What's the issue here?

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 1:35 PM

Are you kidding? I just THOUGHT about other countries and the next thing I knew I'd cut off my wife's head! Iran is some crazy shit, man!

Posted by: Chris at March 2, 2005 1:46 PM

I guess no country should adopt our form of government because it wasn't "their idea". Or we should get rid of the Ten Commandments because we wouldn't want to follow Jewish law. Let's make our own up from scratch.

God forbid the other 6 billion people on the planet should have any good ideas or are more moral than we are.

I also like the fact that he uses Iranian Law as a joke, to settle divorce cases, but is okay with the fact that Iran is one of the few countries along with the U.S.(until now) that uses a juvenile death penalty.

Finally, I believe the Constitutional justification was cruel and unusual punishment. Or did Lileks have that stricken from the Constitution.

Plus anyone who uses the word penumbra should receive the death penalty or at least a good horse whipping.

Posted by: Rich at March 2, 2005 1:48 PM

America Fuck Yeah
Doin' the Job to Save the MOtherfuckin' DAY YEAH

Isn't Ironic, don't you think, that the finest example of modern day democracy is...

you guessed it


Posted by: friend jessica at March 2, 2005 1:52 PM

If we didn't take ideas from other countries we wouldn't have beer or Nascar (motor car racing was started by those pesky French) or a language.

I'm amused by men who are unashamed to admit that progress angers and unnerves them. I can't wait for xenophobia to go back out of style.

Posted by: isaac at March 2, 2005 5:38 PM

But you have to admit, Xenophobia was one of the most rockin' hair bands of the 80s.

Posted by: Rich at March 3, 2005 6:44 AM

That depends: Where did rockin' hair band Xenophobia come from?

Posted by: isaac at March 3, 2005 8:06 AM



And by war I mean a link to an extremely addictive video game:


God help you if you like platform games where there's a lot of jumping and acrobatics and getting dots and such. Download it - it's invaded my dreams.


Posted by Chris on 03/ 2/05

Well, not exactly the same, but in the original "Dawn of the Dead", Peter shouts @ the bikers, when they shoot @ him, "Now we've got a war!"

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 12:22 PM

Why not let the US Army give you a war?
You paid for it.

Posted by: Captain HAVOC at March 3, 2005 9:47 AM

Who paid for it? Not me, I never pay taxes.


Posted by: Chris at March 3, 2005 11:13 AM

March 1, 2005


I have not directed enough movies to know, but I have to assume that when you are on the set of a horror flick, the idea of having the actor walk slowly... forward... forward... towards a door, perhaps... slowly... forward...


and they turn, and... whew, it's nothing. So they turn back around, and


I have to assume that this must be the COOLEST DAMN THING to set up when you're doing it. It must look SO GREAT when you're right there. And you JUST KNOW it's going to make people jump in their seats!

I assume it's great on the set because it has been in every, every, every, every, every, every, every, every, and I DO mean every horror film for teenagers, ever, and as tired as I am of the Brooding Bathroom Hero, I am 567% more tired of this.

At this point it's the equivalent of the very first piece of film ever, shown in 1895, "Train Pulling Into The Station." The very first time they showed that ten-second movie, people who had never seen or heard of a movie before leapt screaming out of their seats, afraid an actual train was coming in the room to smash them. The second time? They were complaining that the effects looked cheesy.

In other words, they got it. It's the same with this. It doesn't work anymore. Retire it.

I'd expect more from a movie directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, who teamed so well on "Scream," but then I'd also expect a halfway decent werewolf flick. Would you be surprised to learn that after the kids get bitten by the werewolf, they begin eating raw meat and enjoying "heightened senses?" Like in every other werewolf movie for fifty years? And that the kid uses his new "powers" to get the best of the bully? (If so, then let me warn you ahead of time, not to spoil "Train Pulling In...," but it's not a real train, and you're quite safe.)

The one thing I was going to call out as original (bully shows up at nerd's house to make a surprising confession, and the whole movie could have been about this if it was going to be interesting), I am informed by Friend Leslie was taken from "Buffy."

Oh, there are a few laughs, and since I have a fear of werewolves (Which is I suppose like being afraid of Morlocks, I mean it just doesn't come up much), a FEW chills, but for some reason every cool shot you saw in the trailer is compressed into a 4-second dream montage, never to be seen again. Wha?

Craven and Williamson also make the brave choice to use their werewolves to make a statement about something people of ALL socio-economic backgrounds can relate to, which is "the evil of Hollywood publicists."

A huge disappointment. But so as not to end on a negative note, here are my top werewolf flicks:

1. American Werewolf in London. Not a great movie, but for some reason it still scares me so bad my stomach hurts. As a kid I found the shock and gore extreme, and I still do.

2. The Howling. Joe Dante had no interest in winking to the audience that everything was OK. It almost feels subversive in bits. The birthplace of the long, piece by piece Rick Baker transformation.

3. I can't think of another good one. Good Lord, that's it? Why is this subgenre so under-represented?

Posted by Chris on 03/ 1/05

The original WolfMan w/ Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Bela Lugosi? Hello?

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 3:54 PM

I knew that was coming, and have to admit now that while I DO love the old classics like that, they do NOT scare me in quite the same way as newer movies!

But there are tons of movies I have NOT seen. What classic horror films do you find truly scary?

Posted by: Chris at March 1, 2005 3:57 PM

Nosferatu and Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Not so much scary, as creepy. Things did not get scary til the 60's. At least as far as I am concerned. It all got crazy w/ Psycho...pardon me.

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 4:13 PM

Horror of Dracula w/ Christopher Lee was a good one. Hammer @ its finest.

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 4:15 PM

I agree - things did not get scary until the 60s. Maybe Psycho is the watershed. Nosferatu / Caligari are not scary or creepy to me, but surreal. And Hammer does not provide actual scares but a sort of agreeable Guignol du Fromage.

Posted by: Chris at March 1, 2005 4:24 PM

I think "scary" is the films that broke new ground. Psycho, Night of the Living Dead,The Exorcist, Halloween, The Blair Witch Project. You push the right buttons, and you will get the desired reaction, but the films that really tried something new, are the ones that will be remembered and that were genuinely terrifying. All of the knockoffs work, up to a point, but it is always obvious you are watching a knockoff. Scariest film to me is Blair Witch. The realism and hopelessness. The darkness. No idea what is really out there. No gore, no special effects, just horror and the sounds of silence. Good stuff.

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 4:44 PM

I am not sure if you have seen this, but a big recommendation for Suspiria. I am not a huge Argento fan, but this is really a great piece. Dizzying...

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 4:45 PM

Y'know, klugula, I am really glad to hear someone else give The Blair Witch Project some props. When I tell people that it scared the bajeezes out of me, they all die laughing at me. I attribute it to the fact that they have no imagination. Fact is, I knew it was a movie, unlike some folks who thought it was TRULY a documentary, and it still kept me up at night. Here's the successful recipe that they used--they showed us nothing. Seriously, my imagination can freak me out more than anything you can ever show me on film. The right amount of suspense, the right amount of edge of your seat camera angles, BAM! I'm seeing a kid in the corner everytime I close my eyes for weeks.

Posted by: Foley at March 1, 2005 5:39 PM

1. Company of Wolves – I always thought this was erotic and tended to sympathize with the wolf.
2. An American Werewolf in London – watched it when I was 12 in a double feature at the Egyptian with the Gate. Loved it =D
3. Silver Bullet – & no, I’m not talking about the popular vibrator
4. Howling – seedy, but I liked it…
5. Underworld – Kate in leather… need I say more?

I don’t suppose ilsa: she wolf of the ss counts does it ;)

Posted by: leslie at March 1, 2005 6:10 PM

But if you DO want to talk about popular vibrators, I'm always available.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 2, 2005 6:28 AM

See, I did not know anything about it. I saw it when it was in very limited release. I read the tagline, and went in. I was 99% convinced it was real. The only moment that I questioned it, was one of Heather's over the top blabbings. That quickly disappeared though, and the movie left me numb, disturbed and on the verge of tears. I have seen so many horror films in my day, it was a genuine shock that it bothered me so deeply. The chills I had when they were running in the end, and Heather screams, "There's a house!" I thought I was going to die. I have not watched it all the way through since it was first released on video. Don't know if/when I will view it again. Icky stuff.

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 6:29 AM

I heard Hammer Studios is starting up again.

I agree with The Blair Witch Project being one of the scariest films. It demands an engaged and imaginative audience and works more on an emotional level than most horror films I've seen. Less is more; I've always found the unseen more frightening than creative makeup with extra helpings of blood.

I thought the first Alien film was pretty goshdarn scary too. The rest of the series veered into action flicks but the first was solid horror.

Expanding the arena into another area of scary geekdom: Resident Evil on the Gamecube. Cinematic, beautiful design in fixed camera angles forcing you to react to approaching off-screen sound (try it all alone, lights off with headphones) and plenty of panic and surprises. You could literally shit yourself but I don't advise it.

Posted by: isaac at March 2, 2005 7:09 AM

I played that once. I am a product of the original Playstation version. I spent so much time on that game, that I found it hard to commit to the same game, but with all new areas, scares, monsters, etc. But yes, the graphics are outstanding, and those games get my motor running. Super scary. I thought the movies were good scary, stupid fun also. Bad, but so good.

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 7:21 AM

"Blair Witch" made me break out into a cold sweat. When I saw it the first time I had to splash my face with cold water after. I hope those guys made a lot of money.

"Alien" has to be one of the best films of any genre. Between that movie and "Blade Runner" Ridley Scott has influenced just about every sci-fi / horror film that came after. "Alien" also belongs with two other excellent movies, "Jaws" and "Exorcist," that are typically placed in the "horror" genre but stretch over into other categories.

Posted by: Chris at March 2, 2005 8:24 AM

Rosemary's Baby. Paranoia, Satanism, chocolate mousse, Ruth Gordon, Ralph Bellamy, that stupid Dr. Hill (Charles Grodin), the phone booth scene, the stopping of the cradle rocking w/ the knife (ugh), "he has his father's eyes", all that other good stuff.

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 8:45 AM

Not intending to drag back in the recurring subject, I found it interesting to hear the Exorcist director's intent was to scare folk into going back to church.

That and presumably to help Mike Oldfield sell so his record.

Posted by: isaac at March 2, 2005 8:45 AM

It's not horror but Repulsion horrified me, unlike the Fearless Vampire Killers.

Night of the Living Dead also deserves some thumb uppage.

Posted by: isaac at March 2, 2005 8:48 AM

I have not seen many Polanski films, but I have heard good things about "The Tenant". Isn't that Polanski? Don't get me started on Romero. Chris knows, there will be no shutting up. In a good way of course.

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 8:54 AM

For ultimate apocalyptic scares, the Dawn of the Dead remake. I may get some sneers on this one, but this movie scared me so much. I was trembling when it was over. Not particularly a "good" movie experience, but certainly memorable.

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 9:03 AM

"Rosemary's Baby" is a completely unsettling. It's amazing to look at the many small things Polanski did in that movie to put us off balance. Imagine that movie being done today - we'd see the devil baby jumping out of the crib in dream sequences throughout.

Posted by: Chris at March 2, 2005 9:08 AM

When I watched Rosemary's Baby in a college film course, we discussed the scene of Mia Farrow in her bedroom. She is talking on the phone (I don't remember what was happening) and Polanski kept the camera outside the room, lined up w/ the door frame. Mia enters to pick up the phone and then disappears out of the shot. The conversation takes place w/ only the door in the shot. The whole time, I found myself moving my head to be able to see into the room, and what she was doing. Our teacher pointed that out, and we all agreed, that is what we were doing. That was such a great moment, realizing how manipulative great filmmakers can be.

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 9:20 AM

I did a whole term paper on the subliminal manipulations that editors and directors used in The Exorcist to make it twice as scary, things you'd never even recognize or see.

The soundtrack to the actual exorcism has an underscore of the sound of angry bees and pigs being slaughtered, two sounds that strike fear into the hearts of men. Also the shadows in the room don't match up with anything, and of course, my personal favorite: injecting a bloody skull over the face of the preist every 32nd frame.

Watch The Exorcist frame by frame and you'll never sleep again.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 2, 2005 9:30 AM

I used bees for the soundtrack of "Intervention," too. They weren't angry, though. They weren't making much sound at all, now that I think about it.

Posted by: Chris at March 2, 2005 9:42 AM

In fact, all they did was sit around and mess up Kim's apartment.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 2, 2005 9:46 AM

I wondered what the honey flavored goo was.

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 9:52 AM

A movie that scared the hell out of me in college, although not techinically horror was, A Clockwork Orange. I remember sitting in a dark dorm room and about half through it I was so disturbed I had to leave the room. So maybe not so much scary as disturbing. Sort of like Rosemary's Baby.

Posted by: Rich at March 2, 2005 12:17 PM

I have always heard, that if your eyes did not close when you sneezed, the pressure would pop your eyeballs right out of their sockets. What if Malcolm McDowell had to sneeze when he was being made to watch all the violent images? Think about it.

Posted by: klugula at March 2, 2005 12:21 PM

Clockwork Orange WAS very disturbing, except for that part where they caned the bum. I mean, people do that all the time!

Don't... they? Guys?

Oh come ON! Tell me you guys have never caned a bum!


Posted by: Chris at March 2, 2005 1:14 PM

Oh a hobo. I thought by "caned a bum" you were being euphemistic.

Posted by: Rich at March 2, 2005 1:39 PM

Note to Robin Williams

Re: the Elmer Fudd impression. I really have to assume at this point that you're doing some pretty heavy comedy research with this bit. I.e., we all know that gags become funnier the third time you do them - but what about multiples of threes? Is the same joke funny the ninth time you do it? The 36th? The 87th? Will there still be laughter the 309th time you do Elmer Fudd as Marlon Brando?

THAT'S what I assume you're trying to find out, and in the spirit of furthering our knowledge of the universe, I wish you luck.

Posted by Chris on 03/ 1/05

I hate when comedians preface an impersonation with a completely implausible story.

"YOu know, I bet Pee Wee Herman would make a great Hamlet..."

No you don't. Just say you're going to do your funny Pee Wee voice and be done with it.

Impressions, as a rule, to me, are not funny. Sometimes, as the word would imply, they are IMPRESSIVE. Sometimes the performer sounds exactly like said star...but that's not...humorous, just...clever.

The reason my excitement for the movie Robots decreased by a factor of 70 is because Robin williams is in it. Even when he's just a voice he's hogging the whole movie with adlibs and one liners.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 1, 2005 12:28 PM

Chris, I really thought we were on the same wavelength with our perception of the universe, but, sadly, we are not. Tired? Perhaps, but c'mon, the guy gave us MORK! Mork, Chris! Don't you think he's earned the right to use some recycled Fudd jokes? One word...Mork.

Posted by: Foley at March 1, 2005 12:29 PM

Oh Foley :: patting your head :: that was thirty years ago!

But seriously. I think Robin Williams is very funny...but he's also a world class HAM. He tires me with his 100 mph comedy.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 1, 2005 12:47 PM

The man has given us so MANY things, Mork being of course the greatest. All I ask is that he now start giving us LESS of certain things.

Posted by: Chris at March 1, 2005 12:51 PM

I assume, friend Jessica, that you aren't including my James Mason impression in all of this.

That's right friends of Chris, it's mine. He stole it from me. Sorry, Chris, that had to be done. It's for the best.

Posted by: Rich at March 1, 2005 1:15 PM

Is it not enough that you have Chicago? Can I not enjoy James Mason dominion over the West Coast? Just for a little while?

When will the Midwest and West Coast James Mason gang war end? When will Mason and Mason put down arms and join each other at the Center of the Earth, in harmony?

Peace out!

Posted by: Chris at March 1, 2005 1:44 PM

And not just Mork, friends. What of his wonderful turns as Sy Parrish in One Hour Photo, or the creepy Walter Finch in Insomnia. It's not ALL just nanoo-nanoo, Ms Euphegenia Doubtfire, genie-in-the-lamp here.

He is a ham tho, and his character in Robots is probably the reason I most want to NOT see the movie since it just looks like a rehase of Genie + Dr Know + Rainbow Randolph Smiley + Every other manic character he's ever done, times 10.

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at March 1, 2005 1:46 PM

My ex-girlfriend (shut your mouths) was a big fan of Robin, and her obsession w/ him led to a real hatred for the man. I got so tired of hearing about "Good Morning Vietnam" and "Dead Poet's Society". Of course, she probably got sick of hearing about my crazed Madonna worship sessions. Do you think that should have been a clue in, for her, and for me?

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 1:51 PM

I don't mind him now, except for the reasons that Chris brought him up in the first place.

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 1:52 PM

Some things might be better left to memory. I liked him for Mork and Mindy, but after seeing him recently (as Mork) on a poster for some rerun channel...I just don't know. I mean, that hair! Was it a wig? Can someone, regardless of how funny they are, really live with hair like that? I know I'm weak, but I'd off myself and damn well dramatically.

I didn't realize he was still doing comedy. I thought he only plays serious or cheerfully inspirational characters with tremulous voices now.

Posted by: isaac at March 1, 2005 2:06 PM

Garp, Mork, Mrs. Doubtfire, Mr. One Hour Photo, Mr. Insomnia, Mr. Goodwill Hunting, Popeye - YES, POPEYE - the guy in Survivors, and above all... Parry in Fisher King. He's done so many great roles, I just wish he'd lay off the Elmer Fudd... well, forever.

Posted by: Chris at March 1, 2005 2:12 PM

Isaac brings up an issue that Chris may not be aware of. Here in Chicago we have a new station, channel 23, METV. It is nothing, NOTHING but old, wonderful t.v. shows. Why, every day at 5:30 I can catch an episode of the Monkees...and what about The Mary Tyler Moore Show? Newhart? Cheers? Mork n Mindy? Yes. They're all here.

Yes, Webster too.

Posted by: friend jessica at March 1, 2005 2:17 PM

I believe it also has The Jeffersons. Is it this channel that has 227?

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 2:24 PM

I believe so. In a dream world, there would be a two hour block configured thusly:

Silver Spoons
Little House on the Prairie (prior to the arrival of NANCY)

Posted by: friend jessica at March 1, 2005 2:30 PM

I've been cravin' a little Too Close for Comfort myself. Jim J. Bullock. He was sure neat.

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 2:33 PM

Yeah, Chris! Feel like moving back yet? If that's not enough, The Reader now has Get Yer War On.

Klugula, isn't it Jm (not Jim) J Bullock? I was once corrected on this and burned it into my impressionable virgin mind.

Posted by: isaac at March 1, 2005 2:45 PM

I would have to check my Hollywood Squares fan book, just to be sure.

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 2:46 PM

I'll settle this. It IS in fat JM J.

It's fun to say because it's more of a guttural response.

JMMMM like you're eating caramel

JMMMMM j. bullock

Posted by: friend jessica at March 1, 2005 2:53 PM

Well, I will rest easier tonight. And my dreams will be filled w/ Jm. J. Bullock. But, they usually are anyway.

Posted by: klugula at March 1, 2005 2:58 PM

I could have checked too. Nasty, villainous rotton Isaac.

Just for the record, a bullock is a castrated bull. Almost Dickensian isn't it?

Posted by: isaac at March 1, 2005 3:27 PM