Saturday, July 08, 2006

Special two-in-one Kate Winslet posting

KATE WINSLET has the most desirable body in Britain, according to a survey of female magazine readers.

The Titanic beauty, 35, a curvaceous mum of two was voted top by readers of Closer as having the body that most women would like to have.

Second was Charlotte Church, Pirates Of The Caribbean star Keira Knightley was third, Coleen McLoughlin fourth and Jude Law’s on/off girlfriend Sienna Miller fifth.

Topping the least desirable list was super skinny Victoria Beckham followed by chunky ex-Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona and top-heavy Jordan.

From UK Sun

via ohnotheydidn't.

Smart women, those Brits. According to the skewed values of American society, Kate Winslet is somehow "too big," but the English know sexy when they see it. I wouldn't necessarily rate the rest of 'em, and in fact I've never heard of this Coleen McLoughlin girl, one moment...ah. Apparently she's a footballer's wife. They take these things seriously in the UK, you know.

Seems pleasant enough to look at, but not someone I'd necessarily write home about. Meanwhile, in our second piece of Kate Winslet-related news for today...

If [director James] Cameron gets his way, his pics "Titanic," "Aliens" and "The Terminator" will come to life as 3-D projects, and he's already begun tests on "Titanic" as a 3-D feature.


I suppose it's only me whose first thought upon reading this was to speculate on the possibilities of Kate Winslet's nude scene as rendered in 3-D, was it?

Yes, I thought so.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Symbolic, no?

Show me the way to go home, I'm tired and I want to go to bed...I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. In a perfect world, I'd live there still, but I was priced out of the area. I've been known to say, in more solipsistic moments, that so far as the nations economy is concerned, the rest of the country can burn for all I care if it means I can move back.

I mean, Thomas Mann is on my right shoulder telling me "You can't go home again." I've been back once or twice over the years and there's a lot of truth to that. Trouble is, Dorothy Gale is on my other shoulder telling me "There's no place like home."

Right or wrong, that's the goal. You ask me, where would I like to be to be really happy? And the answer is, living in the San Francisco Bay Area again. There's nothing for me here and there never has been.

The only thing I can say this period of semi-enforced isolation has done for me is make me a better writer. Which certainly doesn't suck. And if I'd stayed, who knows whether I'd have come up with the characters that I have (or met some of the friends in "real time" that I have)?

I saw the picture above on the Flickr blog. And what it immidiately said to me is "Here is the goal. But it's obscured by a lot of fog and I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to see it." I suspect the fact that I'm feeling the anxious vulnerability and exposure that comes from actually having a query letter out there has something to do with it.

Say, you know what I'd like to hear right now?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I'm cool with this (get it?)

?? Which Season Are You ??

You're Most Like The Season Winter ...You're often depicted as the cold, distant season. But you're incredibly intelligent, mature and Independant. You have an air of power around you - and that can sometimes scare people off. You're complex, and get hurt easily - so you rarely let people in if you can help it. You can be somewhat of a loner, but just as easily you could be the leader of many. You Tend to be negative, and hard to relate to, but you give off a relaxed image despite being insecure - and secretly many people long to be like you, not knowing how deep the Winter season really is.Well done... You're the most inspirational of seasons :)
Take this quiz!

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The Anniversary Party

Here we are again, one year after

Today is the one-year anniversary of Dictionopolis in Digitopolis. When I started this new blog, after two years writing one called The Sound of the Crowd (published via the Ink 19 site), I made a mission statement.

Let's see how I've lived up to my dreams, and how the blog and they have changed. My mission then:

To record my depressing attempts to bring my characters to the screen.

This has changed; I'm now recording my depressing attempts to get my characters published.

To mark the passing of those who should have their passings marked.

Still doing this when people pass whose lives (or more frequently work) has meant something to me.

To indulge in Schadenfreude as Bush's ratings sag.

This has changed, sadly. It's been replaced by the ever-chilling realization that it doesn't matter what the majority of people really want. Too many people in a position to do something about it have too much of their dicks (I mean you, Ms. Clinton) invested in the belief that he's President Bigman Notstupid for anything to ever actually happen.

To act as a self-appointed filter for the "MSM."

See above. As noted, at the moment the attitude that shapes this blog is a simple one. I could do post after post about how little truth sees the light of day, or I could run pictures of Jaime Pressly and Jennifer Connelly. What would you do? One of these things leaves me feeling insanely bad, the other does not.

To pull the covers off hypocritical Republicans.

I hope so, whenever I can, but again, see above. In the words of Bill Murray in Meatballs: It just doesn't matter.

To push for the US to get out of Iraq.

Well yes, obviously. I believe we need to get out now. All the arguments about whether that will make things worse, whether there's a way to stay and make things better blah blah blah, are for me negated by one thing: The people in charge are quite clearly incompetent.

It's not a question of can anything be done, it's a question of can they do it? The answer is obviously no. And until that changes, the only solution is: Get out now.

To occasionally indulge myself by running song lyrics.

To be sure. Most recently, "The Metro" by Berlin. And now that I've figured out how to embed videos occasionally...

To chart the troubling rise of homophobia and related activities in this country.

On a completely unrelated matter, today Georgia and Albany decided, "Let's see, Mississippi and Alabama, 1960...yes! We want to be remembered just as well as they are!"

And yes, though it may not seem so from most of the above, to steal a laugh when and where we can.

I hope to god. There is nothing like a great clown (Nathan Lane, Groucho Marx, Jack Benny) or a witty line of dialogue ("I was misinformed." from Casablanca, many from Buffy/Angel and The Simpsons at their best.) or drawings that just make you smile. They're some of the things that make life worth living.

Even comics I don't think are great anymore (Kevin Smith, Dennis Miller, The Boondocks) still have a bit of my affection just because they were so good once.
Especially by mocking the illiterate, the stupid, and the state of Tennessee.

Always and forever.

When meeting the people who make the Emmy nominations, just nod, smile and back away slowly

This year a new system was tried in hopes of gaining recognition for some acclaimed but nominationless performers and programs. Didn't take, apparently, because what we have here is a list of the usual suspects.

Up until 10 days ago, I would have been all about 24 being the most-nominated series of the year. Now that the show's creators and actors have openly gotten into bed with the evil wing of the republican party, I have fewer horses in this race.

(Although, by the way, if Hollywood is so liberal...ah, skip it)

Nice to see Candace Bergen get a nod for Boston Legal, but I don't understand why Blythe Danner and Oliver Platt were nominated for Huff. First of all, if any cast member of that thankfully-canceled series deserves recognition, it's Azaria, and cast member of that thankfully-cancelled series deserves recognition. Not this year.

And if you'd have told me there would come a time when I'd be rooting for William Shatner against Oliver Platt, Gregory Itzin and Alan Alda, I'd have said you were crazy. For that matter, I might have said that if you'd told me Jaime Pressly would ever have the words "Emmy-nominated actress" attached to her name...but I suppose Corey will be happy.

Battlestar Galactica appears to be the new Buffy, at least in terms of fans whining about how it never gets the nod. I can't watch the new BG-those aren't Cylons! Cylons have one glowing eye bouncing back and forth on the middle of their forehead like a ping pong ball!-but my feelings to one side, I resigned myself to a basic truth about the Emmys years ago:

If not enough people watch your series, or those who do aren't members of the Academy, you're not going to be nominated. So even though I knew this was almost certainly Lauren Graham's last chance at the brass ring for Gilmore Girls, and Kristen Bell's performance was the best thing about some of last seasons less-than-worthy episodes of Veronica Mars, I had little hope.

Deserve's got nothing to do with it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Jennifer Connelly: What happened?


I'm usually of the opinion that Mark Evanier is right about most things, but...
Enron ├╝berthief Kenneth Lay died this morning. Matt Drudge, with his usual flair for accuracy, briefly had it up as a suicide, then switched to a heart attack.

Obviously, anyone's death is a tragedy.

No. Maybe I'd feel differently if I hadn't read Pipe Dreams, Robert Bryce's book about the fall of Enron, recently, but I can't see the death of someone who was greedy on a scale beyond your imagination as a tragedy.

To be fair, Mark's next sentence is
Obviously also, it's hard to get too emotional about Mr. Lay, who swindled so many people out of their retirement funds, health insurance and old age money.

I guess I'm just saying that he's willing to be more generous, in a human condition, we-are-all-part-of-one-big-family way, than I am. Probably makes him a better person.

Barney Frank: Proof positive that all homosexuals are not witty

From the Washington Times:

No matter how hard members of Congress who appear on the "Better Know a District" comedy segment try to beat the system, Stephen Colbert makes them end up looking silly. But several lawmakers said doing the spoof spot on "The Colbert Report" on TV's Comedy Central actually has raised their profiles back home, particularly among young folks.

But Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, regrets his appearance and called Mr. Colbert a "third-rate" comedian.
"It was a stupid waste of time, and he is two stooges short of a good routine," Mr. Frank said.

Later that same article the Times, which is about on the level of the Drudge Report and Fox News, gets this little lick in:
Mr. Colbert, widely panned for his performance bashing President Bush at the White House Correspondents Dinner, commonly asks guests: "George W. Bush: great president or the greatest president?"

Emphasis mine. Neat how they worked that in. Widely panned? Yeah, I suppose it was-by the people he was "bashing," in other words, the press corps, who actually ignored Colbert's performance for as long as they could.

Then it became obvious that they had to say something, so they set about bashing, and complaining about how he'd spoiled the party. Most people "outside the bubble" seem to have thought he was brilliant.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating until Bush is out of office.

To the White House press corp:

Bush making jokes that suggest sending other people's children to their deaths on a falsehood was funny=cute.

Stephen Colbert making jokes that suggest the press corps is partly to blame for the fact that the country is in such a mellofa hess=an alarmingly disrespectful lack of decorum.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

See, if more of them actually had bodies, this would be exciting

At ohnotheydidn't, someone with almost as much time on their hands as I have (and I didn't think that was possible) has put together a sequence of photos of runway models slipping accidentally (?) out of their clothes.

Lest this sound like a nice idea, I would remind you that most models have only slightly bigger chests (and rounder behinds) than your average 10-year-old boy. And if that turns you on, I'd just as soon not know about it, thank you very much.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Random Flickr-Blogging: IMG_8883 EXTRA

A pink bow on a hot chick's bikini top.

The very definition of "gilding the lilly."

(Photo credit: TCarson)

You have to throw the stone To get the pool to ripple

It's a quote from the band Squeeze. I often think of it at times like these, and have even adopted it as something of a personal motto. Times like what, you ask? Well, I mailed off a query letter, chapter outline and SASE (stamped with a Gonzo Muppets stamp for luck) to my first publisher today.

If you pray, do. If you don't, send me good thoughts in whatever way you see fit.

(A less spiritual man would point you to my Wish List, accessible if you look over to the right there and click the View my complete profile link. Fortunately, I am clean-minded and above that sort of thing.)

Random Flickr-Blogging: IMG_8883

Two of the three men were congratulating themselves on their luck in finding their partners; two of the three women were doing the same. Unfortunately for all concerned, the women congratulating themselves were not necessarily partnered with the men who were, and vice-versa.

(Photo credit: Mike & Alexis)

I love when this kind of thing happens

--when you find connections between things.

The Human League were one of the greatest groups of the "new wave" era, and the source of my old blog name, so you know how I feel about them in general. "Love Action" is one of my favorite of their songs.

According to the aforementioned Rip It Up And Start Again,
"It's not got a proper chorus,' admits [Human League singer Phil] Oakey, explaining that 'Love Action' is basically two different songs bolted together. The verses, from a song called 'I Believe In Love' are 'confessional nonsense, what I was feeling at the time,' while the angular, not-quite-a-chorus bit is from another song about watching Sylvia Kristel in the soft-core erotic movie Emmanuelle.

If memory serves, Sylvia Kristel is the first woman I saw naked (onscreen).

I love when this kind of thing happens.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Get well soon, Roger

Film critic Roger Ebert, who has battled cancer in recent years, was in serious condition at a hospital Sunday following an emergency operation to repair complications from an earlier cancer surgery.

Ebert had surgery June 16 to remove a cancerous growth on his salivary gland. He told Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder at the time that the condition was not life threatening and he expected to make a full recovery.

About 8 p.m. Saturday, a blood vessel burst near the site of the operation, the Sun-Times reported Sunday on its Web site. A Northwestern Memorial Hospital spokeswoman declined to comment Sunday afternoon.

Tag to anyone who reads this (who has a blog, of course)

Quick, name seven songs you listened to recently and got really into.

In no particular order:

  1. Steady Jules Shear
  2. The Honeythief Hipsway
  3. Something About You Level 42
  4. In A Big Country Big Country
  5. Go! Tones On Tail
  6. White Lines Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel
  7. Take On Me A-Ha

It takes a very steady hand

Clearing the decks, part one

Most of the songs on Stutter’s self-titled debut album share a frustrating quality of starting out with sonic waves of color bursting forth that the group is then unable to ride to a consistent finish.

Of those, “Brand New Start” (especially in an album-closing remix) and “Twenty-One” are the best-dressed kids at the ball. Even if the lyric to the latter does sound like premature nostalgia from a band in their mid-20s…but “premature nostalgia” isn’t a bad bag to put them in anyway.

Given their ages, by rights Stutter should be nostalgic for 1999. And I don’t mean the Prince album. But instead, many of their songs wouldn't sound out of place on one of Rhino Records' Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the ‘80s volumes.

I rate that era higher than almost anybody, but if I want to revisit it I'll slip on one of those discs, thank you very much. I've said this before: It is not enough to be pastiche snapshots of other songs and bands; that way lays Katrina and the Waves (not such an inapt comparison, as it turns out)

It is just possible that people who were only five when most of the bands influences were in current release will like them more than I do. As for me, it leaves me with a feeling I believe is recognizable to most in their ‘30s, a certain affectionate perspective best illustrated by the pin-on phrase…

“I like you. You remind me of me when I was young and stupid.”

I’m not quite sure why this should be, but Devo’s “Girl U Want” (1980) seems to be one of the most-covered of that venerable groups singles. Trouble is…well, it may be worth remembering that when Devo covered a song, like say “Satisfaction,” they did something to it. Stutter’s stab at “Girl” is distinguishable from the original mainly by changing a personal pronoun (“I’m just the girl…”) or two. You never escape the feeling that you’re listening to boys and girls playing dress-up rather than telling their own stories or developing a songwriting voice.

I can see (said the old fogy, bending over backwards to be fair) how the group might be great fun to go and see. The people are attractive and the songs do indeed sound great, especially on the tracks co-produced by the band and Alex Greggs. Greggs' name is new to me, but a quick trip to Google reveals that his dance card has previously included groups like N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Brandy and Du-

Wait a minute.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’ve been reviewing what (the light slowly dawns) is clearly a bubblegum album as though it were supposed to be Peter Gabriel or Johnny Cash, Joe Jackson or something.

I owe you (and Stutter) an apology. Seen in this new light, the albums’ sometimes blah song construction and banal lyrics are nearly offset by its frothy energy. There’s always a place for warm-blooded performances of songs about lust; to deepen them would be to miss the point.

Whether or not Stutter has promise (they do) is almost beside the point. At this point, from my perspective, it’s like watching people finger-paint in primary colors.

A few words of explaination: The above was written for Ink19. As I do not anticipate writing anything more for that online magazine for reasons of no interest, I have withdrawn it, and decided to post it here.

The link in the band name is to their MySpace page.