Saturday, August 12, 2006
If we mean post-puberty, then I think it was with the girl mentioned in the post below. Pre, I think it was a girl named Michelle.
2. What would you do with 1,000 plastic spoons?
To be honest I'd probably save them. I'm always breaking or losing those things.
3. What kind of music did you listen to in elementary school?
Elementary school? Lots and lots of show tunes-like Jesus Christ Superstar, Annie, Godspell, Barnum. No, I am not gay. The Star Wars soundtrack, and the "story of the film" albums. The Flash Gordon soundtrack by Queen. I swear I'm not gay. Olivia Newton-John. Muppet Show cast albums. The Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie soundtrack. Alvin & the Chipmunks. Men At Work.
With only a few exceptions, I didn't really get into pop music till Jr. high.
4. What is the best thing about your job?
5. Do you like more than one person right now?
The question is vague...
6. Are you against same sex marriage?
Why, yes. Yes I am. Fortunately, the couple of gay women who live in my head are quite in favor of it.
8. Where are you going on your next vacation?
9. Do you feel sad now?
No, but I have good deal of denial about the realities of my situation going for me.
10. Are most of the friends in your life new or old?
Again, the question is vague...define your terms!
11. Do you own any furniture from Ikea?
No, I don't think so.
13. If you could be an animal what would you be?
A dolphin or a wolf.
14. What state/country are you from?
15. Tell us about the last conversation/s you had?
An offensively stupid call from the video store telling me something I never checked out was late.
16. Where do you see yourself in one month?
Another year older (September first, he said, glancing towards the Amazon.com wish list) and deeper in depression.
17. What is your favorite smell?
Grass (the kind you find on a lawn, not a euphimism for anything).
18. What is your favorite sight?
Bodies of water. Or just bodies.
19. Do you consider yourself bi-polar?
No. I do, however, have one or two friends who might have differing thoughts on the subject.
21. Have you ever done anything vindictive to your co-worker?
Not in reality, no. But in my fantasies there's a little dwarf who hides under tables with a razor and cuts the tendons of people I feel have humiliated me. Which brings me to the next question:
22. Have you ever gone to therapy?
It's funny you ask that, actually. Yes I have, and yes I am.
23. Have you ever Played Spin the bottle?
No, but I did see a terrible movie by that name a few years ago. It was on DVD, and I had to push "play" to watch it, so I guess you could say I...no. No, I never have.
24. Have you ever Toilet papered someone's house?
Oh, yes. Better yet, someone's car the night after it rained. Have you ever tried to get wet toilet paper off a car?
25. Have you ever liked someone but never told them?
You want the list or should I just say yes?
26. Have you ever gone camping?
Yes. And I'm resisting the urge to make a limp-wristed joke playing on the word "camp" here.
27. Have you ever had a crush on your brother's friend?
No brother, so no.
28. Have you ever been to a nude beach?
29. Have you ever had sex on the beach?
Not to go all Clintonesque on you here, but define "sex." In other words, not to completion, but one or two things have started there...
30. Have you ever had a stalker?
Yes, actually. Or at least, I had a girl from my past hunt me down in order to finish something we'd started a few years ago and that she thought unfinished...
31. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?
32. Have you ever laughed so hard you cried?
Yes, I suppose I have. It's not exactly a common occurence, though
33. Have you ever gone to a party where you were the only sober person?
34. Have you ever been cheated on?
Not to my knowledge if we're talking cheating=sex. But I've had girlfriends of mine make out with other guys.
35. Have you ever felt betrayed by your best friend?
What else are best friends for?
36. Have you ever lied to your parents?
Yes, certainly. I think it was the first time a child has ever lied to their parents.
37. Have you ever been out of the US?
Yes, once, but unfortunately it was only to Canada (nothing against the lovely country, but...). Also, I've been to Tennessee, which is not so much out of the US as it is out of the realm of fathomability.
38. Have you ever thrown up from working out?
39. Have you ever gotten a haircut so bad that you wore a hat for a month straight?
I'm just going to pause here while everyone reading this who is familiar with the hair that I walk around with on a daily basis has a good, long laugh.
40. Have you ever eaten 3 meals from 3 different fast food places in 1 day?
I don't think so.
42. Have you ever spied on someone you had a crush on?
Not really, unless surreptiously gazing at girls in high school counts as "spying."
43. Have you ever slept with one of your co-workers?
No. Slept with a girl I was in a Rocky Horror Picture Show cast with once.
44. Have you ever seen your best friend naked?
No, and it's probably for the better. Over the years I've had a number of "best friends," but only one of them I'd ever have wanted to see naked. I never did, but I don't want to get into that now...it's all in my first play...
45. Who was the last person you kissed?
Technically, my four-year-old nephew, when I was saying goodbye after baby-sitting him at the park.
46. When was the last time you slept for more then 12 hours straight?
I don't think I ever have.
47. Have you ever been to jail?
48. Who is/are your best friend(s)?
Don't know that I have one at the moment.
49. Have you ever stolen anything?
50. Ever drank egg nog?
1. had your first kiss with?
If I recall correctly, it was Ben Varkentine, behind the Peninsula School after music class. He had rubbery lips.
So do I. Now I'm even more anxiously awaiting my copy of Boehlert's Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush book at my local library. Here are a couple of excerpts from the article.
Equally far-fetched is the assumption that a candidate in Connecticut will impact races in the other 49 states. Since when do voters in Oregon, for instance, vote in retaliation for whom citizens in Arizona elect in their primary? Perhaps that was true when the renegade candidate was KKK honcho and Republican David Duke. But Lamont is a multi-millionaire and fourth-generation Harvard graduate. Why would voters in Tennessee be concerned about Lamont, let alone care about him? There's absolutely no proof that the choice Connecticut Democrats made Tuesday is going to influence elections around the country. No proof, that is, other than the fact that the Republican National Committee's Ken Mehlman says it's so.
But what I think is essential to understanding the Lieberman media phenomena is that, for the most part, the pundits who assailed Lamont's rise during the campaign were the same ones who signed off on the disastrous war in Iraq and now appear spooked that voters in Connecticut finally decided to hold Lieberman, the de facto Democratic co-sponsor of the invasion, responsible for that foreign policy debacle. They're spooked because for the last three-plus years there's been something of a gentleman's agreement that nobody inside the Beltway, whether at the White House, Congress, the Pentagon, or inside the corporate media world, has been asked to pay any sort of professional price for backing the disaster that is Iraq. But suddenly Democrats in the Nutmeg state have decided enough's enough. That's not a trend Beltway insiders want to see spread nationally, which is why so many pundits were eager to marginalize Lamont and his anti-war backers as "crazies" and "elitist" "bomb throwers."
and the air
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the sun and air
Of nothing in particular"
"Here comes the me..."
You Are The Sun
You represent the best of life - vitality, success, and and truth.
You tend to have a strong, centered, balanced personality.
Inspiration and discovery are your fortes. You are very mentally strong.
A talented mind, you tend to excel at math, philosophy, and music.
As well as you have done in the past, the future is going to be filled with more success.
A new creative project is coming your way. Feed it, and it will grow into something huge.
Great riches, recognition, prosperity, or happiness is coming your way.
And it's possible that a fantastic vacation, or a new baby, is coming sooner than you think.
"I like to ask friends of mine, happy couples who seem to have a pretty good marriage, I will ask them, 'How's your sex life?'" Alec Baldwin's little brother writes in a new book excerpted in the upcoming Esquire mag. "They will say something like pretty good or okay or no complaints here. Here's what I tell them: Imagine taking a healthy sex life and inviting the power of God into that exchange."
Via the New York Daily News.
BTW, in that same column you'll see an item about how Elle Macpherson and Heidi Klum are fighting over which of them gets to be known as "the body." Isn't that the sort of thing that's best settled with a cheerleading competition?
For the record, just call me "team Macpherson"...
Friday, August 11, 2006
Jackson is great, so here's an a cappella version of one of his biggest hits. This version appeared on the Night And Day Tour of 1982/83, and is performed "Without the aid of any musical instruments, save for a lone tambourine...he (drummer/percussionist Larry Tolfree) can't sing, you see, he's gotta do something."
A slightly different version (I believe) appears on the beautiful "Live 1980/86" two-album set.
After Ned Lamont’s victory in Connecticut, I saw a number of commentaries describing Joe Lieberman not just as a “centrist” — a word that has come to mean “someone who makes excuses for the Bush administration” — but as “sensible.” But on what planet would Mr. Lieberman be considered sensible?
So what’s really behind claims that Mr. Lieberman is sensible — and that those who voted against him aren’t? It’s the fact that many Washington insiders suffer from the same character flaw that caused Mr. Lieberman to lose Tuesday’s primary: an inability to admit mistakes.
Imagine yourself as a politician or pundit who was gung-ho about invading Iraq, and who ridiculed those who warned that the case for war was weak and that the invasion’s aftermath could easily turn ugly. Worse yet, imagine yourself as someone who remained in denial long after it all went wrong, disparaging critics as defeatists. Now denial is no longer an option; the neocon fantasy has turned into a nightmare of fire and blood. What do you do?
You could admit your error and move on — and some have. But all too many Iraq hawks have chosen, instead, to cover their tracks by trashing the war’s critics.
They say: Pay no attention to the fact that I was wrong and the critics have been completely vindicated by events — I’m “sensible,” while those people are crazy extremists. And besides, criticizing any aspect of the war encourages the terrorists.
...in his non-concession speech, Mr. Lieberman described Mr. Lamont as representative of a political tendency in which “every disagreement is considered disloyal” — a statement of remarkable chutzpah from someone who famously warned Democrats that “we undermine the president’s credibility at our nation’s peril.”
There’s an overwhelming consensus among national security experts that the war in Iraq has undermined, not strengthened, the fight against terrorism. Yet yesterday Mr. Lieberman, sounding just like Dick Cheney — and acting as a propaganda tool for Republicans trying to Swift-boat the party of which he still claims to be a member — suggested that the changes in Iraq policy that Mr. Lamont wants would be “taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England.”
An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.
More sobering for the GOP are the number of voters who backed Bush in 2004 who are ready to vote Democratic in the fall's congressional elections — 19 percent. These one-time Bush voters are more likely to be female, self-described moderates, low- to middle-income and from the Northeast and Midwest.
"I don't feel like the war was the answer," said Paula Lohler, 54, an independent from Worcester, Mass., who is inclined to vote her opposition to Bush. "It seems like it's going on and on and on and nothing's being done."
In the South, Bush's approval ratings dropped from 43 percent last month to 34 percent as the GOP advantage with Southern women disappeared.
Those dixie chicks are the best. Long may they live.
"Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won't "look as appealing" under the circumstances.
Is it any wonder I fear the exploitation I know is going to follow the apparent success of the World Trade Center movie?
I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the "Adam Ant appearing in a road company production of Godspell" makeup on her cheek. But you can understand that this was as nothing to my confusion when I scrolled down and saw the caption at the bottom of the picture...
So she means, "I am African" in an "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together" sense. So that's fine.
Except that it means I've just been sexually aroused by a plea to save lives. To reiterate: I'm so confused...
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I always feel the need to draw the perhaps-thin distinction that I am not criticising these films, because I haven't seen them. I'm just talking about my response to what I have seen about them.
Tonight I'm talking about World Trade Center, directed by Oliver Stone. By RT consensus, this is
...a visually stunning tribute to lives lost in tragedy, World Trade Center succeeds unequivocally, and it is more politically muted than many of Stone's other works.
Maybe. But when I've seen ads for it, all I can think is that they've taken one of the most unforgettable events in recent American (hell, world) history in recent memory and turned it into dumb, Hollywood horseshit.
Part of my problem may be feeling that if this was a film that needed to be made (and I consider that a pretty big "if") then it should have been cast with absolutely no movie stars whatsoever. Because as long as I'm looking not at a police officer who risked his life trying to save others, but at Nicholas Cage...dumb, Hollywood horseshit.
And if this is a film that needed to be made I guess I would rather it had been made in handheld, almost "cinema verite" fashion rather than the apparently mythologizing way it has.
And what does it tell us about the five years that have followed that I'm also worried about how Bush supporters will exploit this film if it succeds?
No no, it's because Clinton endorsed him.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
1. Glowing, chirping orbs?
A visitor to the SIGGRAPH 2006 technology fair walks through an interactive installation
2. A woman sitting under over 50,000 polystyrene balls?
Australian artist Nike Savvas sits under her art piece consisting of over 50,000 polystyrene balls at the New South Wales Art Gallery in Sydney August 3, 2006. The sculpture titled 'Atomix - Full of Love, Full of Wonder' , vibrates with wind from 10 fans and represents the different 'shimmering' colours in a hot, outback landscape. It is part of a sculpture exhibition 'Adventures with Form in Space' that will open to the public next week. REUTERS/David Gray
We here at Dictionopolis in Digitopolis have anticipated your every need.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
A quick survey of pundits commenting on the Ned Lamont victory shows that no one has a clue what it all means. Neither do I but I know what I hope it means. I hope it means that Democrats will wake up to the idea that the mainstream view in this country is that the War in Iraq has been a colossal mistake. It is not a fringe, extremist view or even an exclusively Liberal view that any good office-seeker would be wise to keep at arm's length...More Democrats need to stop hedging their statements in this area for fear of being accused of being branded unAmerican or pro-Saddam...I just think the Lamont victory legitimizes the majority view a bit more tonight and makes it seem more politically viable. At least, I hope that's what it means.
Original post: In case you haven't heard...
Apparently Joe Lieberman has been defeated in the primary. Good. Even Andrew Sullivan thinks-
The notion, advanced by Lieberman, that criticism of the president's war leadership is somehow inappropriate when the country is in danger gets it exactly the wrong way round, I think. It is precisely because the danger is still so great that criticism is so necessary. That's democracy's strength.
-and that was in the course of endorsing Lieberman (being a gay "conservative independent," Sullivan is, as you might imagine, a bit of a masochist). Here's what a supporter of Lieberman's opponent, Ned Lamont, had to say.
"People are going to look back and say the Bush years started to end in Connecticut," said Avi Green, a volunteer from Boston. "The Republicans are going to look at tonight and realize there's blood in the water."
One other thing.
Lieberman has said he will run as an independent in the fall if defeated in the primary. His falling poll numbers spurred some Democratic colleagues to make last-minute campaign appearances, including former President Clinton, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and others.
At The Huffington Post, a "Business Futurist"/film and Star Trek fan named Steven G. Brant asks the good questions like-
"Will the Democrats build or destroy themselves based on this result?"
Will Senator Dodd now support Lamont? Will Senators Clinton and Schumer? Senators Kennedy and Kerry? What about Bill Clinton? What about Howard Dean and the Democratic Party?
-and says this to soon-to-be-former Senator Lieberman:
I say to Joe, "Learn from Al Gore. Retire to private life. And work for what you are passionate about from that place in society. Al has done pretty well for himself and for our country in that role, wouldn't you say? Do the same thing, Joe. Set an example by showing people that you can put your party...and your country...ahead of your desire to stay in power. Be a good loser, Joe. That's how you can keep 'the old politics of partisan polarization' from winning."
Me, I say this to Bill Clinton and Sen. Boxer: Mr. President, I'll always think you got a raw deal. Senator, I generally feel pretty good about having helped elect you that first time back in California. But you need to understand something. There's some new sheriffs in town and they don't like people who support the Iraq war or who apologize for the Bush administration.
When it comes to endorsing a DiNO like Lieberman...run and hide.
Incidentally, this page from CBS New contains a web-video report by a correspondent named Trish Regan. She suggests that Lamont's victory may lead more Democrats to come out against the war-and that Republicans will try to use this against them (soft on national defense, you know the drill.)
I don't know anything about Trish Regan but a quick trip to Yahoo! shows me that she certainly seems to aggravate the conservative blogs like "NewsBusters," which naturally makes me like her just a little bit more.
And she used to work in San Francisco, which makes me like her a lot more. I suppose there are some who would tell you she is quite delectable to look at (A former Miss New Hampshire in the Miss America Pageant, apparently)-but I ask you-would I be that shallow?
Meanwhile, since I opened this post by quoting someone on the short list of right-wing louts I could learn to like, I might as well close with another, the ever-wiley Joe Scarborough, who earlier tonight wrote a piece that begins:
The conventional wisdom for tonight's Connecticut primary seems to be that a Joe Leiberman loss will yank the Democratic Party so far left as to make other Democratic candidates unelectable this fall. The logic is laughable and similar to what I heard from Republican leaders in 1994.
That was the election year when the most conservative wing of the GOP took over the party and swept into power in the US Congress. None would have predicted that outcome just two years earlier.
Quote via Kos, who observes,
While one may wonder why Scarborough is so intent on giving good advice to Democrats, it bears noting that 1) his advice contracits that of every other "well meaning" conservative eager to defend the Democratic Party's good graces, and 2) it does line up nicely with his own experiences in 1994.
If nothing else, food for thought. Though I don't disagree.
Studio executives are increasingly frustrated by hit films that leave them impoverished because the stars, as well as directors such as Steven Spielberg, grab most of the profits.
Most recently, Paramount Pictures has allowed a long-standing deal with Tom Cruise whereby-
Paramount has paid Cruise-Wagner Productions, Cruise's private film development company, up to $17.5 million a year to base its office on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles. It also paid for 10 staff. In return, Paramount gets the first bite at any Cruise film.-to lapse.
The item further goes on to say that
Studios are feeling more bullish because many northern summer hits, from Cars to Superman Returns, have been driven by strong scripts and computer effects rather than celebrities.
Emphasis mine. Well, I'd like to believe that, I really would...but I think we all know that even as we speak Will Ferrel is being offered something like 13 million (I'm guessing) a picture.
And actually, I don't mind that so much. His picture is bringing in a lot of money and it's fair to say he's responsible for a good amount of that and that Americans like him. Whereas Tom Cruise:
Hollywood studios are influenced by Q Scores, an annual poll of a celebrity's likeability. In the last poll, the percentage of Americans who liked Cruise fell from 30 two years ago to 19, while people who disliked him jumped from 14 to 31. The next Q Score, due to be released confidentially to the studios next month, is expected to be even worse.
Henry Schaffer, of Marketing Evaluations, which carries out the Q Score polls, said Cruise had suffered in particular with young women, especially compared with more low-profile stars such as Tom Hanks. "The two Toms used to be neck and neck at the top of the Hollywood tree, but the more flamboyant Tom is in danger of crash and burn," he said.
The more "flamboyant" Tom. Cough cough. Anyway, the problem from my point of view isn't just that actors (and some directors) are paid such a huge percentage of the costs for any film-it's the other valuable contributors to a film that aren't.
And the fact that these big paydays contribute to cart-before-the-horse filmmaking where something gets made not because somebody (a writer, perhaps), has a good idea for a story or some characters but because somebody sees a market.
I suppose, in a utopian, almost Communist world, everybody who worked on a film would be paid almost the same up till and unless it began to show a profit. Which brings us to the well-nigh legendary feats of Hollywood accounting, which are well known for contriving to show that virtually nothing shows a profit.
Which is another reason why so many actors, once they are in the position of one of the Toms, insist on getting so much beforehand. It's a screwed-up system (he's just getting this now?). And much as I would like to believe this item, that wants me to believe studios are realizing strong scripts are at least as important as movie stars and SFX...
I just don't think there's a lot of talk of that going on in the deal-making for Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Jamie Fox, Colin Farrell or Michael Mann at the moment...
Monday, August 07, 2006
|You Have Your Sarcastic Moments|
While you're not sarcastic at all times, you definitely have a cynical edge.
In your opinion, not all people are annoying. Some are dead!
And although you do have your genuine moments, you can't help getting your zingers in.
Some people might be a little hurt by your sarcasm, but it's more likely they think you're hilarious.
|You Are a Mermaid|
You are a total daydreamer, and people tend to think you're flakier than you actually are.
While your head is often in the clouds, you'll always come back to earth to help someone in need.
Beyond being a caring person, you are also very intelligent and rational.
You understand the connections of the universe better than almost anyone else.
Chris had, quite simply, finally had enough. "Goodbye, cruel-waugh!"
Original source here.
Come Mardi Gras, the chandelier liked to tease the flowers.
Original source here.
I don't really have a caption for this, I just, um...yeah.
Original source here.
Baby, you can drive my car.
Original source here.
"Are you taking me to The Big Place?"
"Yes, Ben. You'll like it at The Big Place. There's lots of room for you to run and jump around."
"I know. Hey, where are ya goin?"
Original source here.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
The channel even scheduled the heavily promoted pilot episode tonight following another of their periodic marathons of "Gilmore" reruns. The producers of "Moons" clearly want me to compare it to "Girls." Bad move.
On the bright side, now I know more about what a "Gilmore" produced without the Sherman-Palladinos will look like...
The (seemingly scientifically-dubious) premise is this: After being hit by a meteor, the moon has broken into three pieces which are going to crash down to earth, ending "life as we know it." This could happen in a matter of hours, or it could be years-no one really knows for sure.
Therefore, the inhabitants of a small town are acting even more self-conciously "quirky" than usual.
One of the things that bothered me about "Commander In Chief" wasn't its certain unavoidable similarities to "The West Wing" but the way they seemed to go out of their way to accent them rather than standing clearing on their own.
What's most blatant about "Milford"-it was obvious even in the commercials-is the star performance by Elizabeth McGovern. McGovern is a talented and lovely actress in her own right, but in this part her hair has been cut and dyed, her makeup has been done, and she has been dressed so that if you squint, she is a virtual twin of Lauren Graham's Lorelai Gilmore. And just because the producers really think we won't notice the difference (or they simply do have no shame) they've actually gone so far as to name the character Laura. Making her a Laura-lie, as I like to think of it.
The similarities continue.
Lorelai comes from a monied family but ran away to muddle through on her own.
Laura used to be married to a rich man but he's just run away leaving her to muddle through on her own.
Lorelai is a single parent and now, Laura is too.
Lorelai's daughter Rory is an overachieving bookworm.
Laura's son Alex is a computer genius.
Lorelei's love interest is a truck-driving, handy but smart and sensitive diner owner.
Laura's love interest is a truck-driving young lawyer who moonlights as a plumber and whose best friend is a diner owner.
Lorelai attends town meetings packed with comical, gently scolding townsfolk.
So does Laura.
If there is any reason to watch the remaining episodes (and that is a mighty big "if") it's the performance of Samantha Leigh Quan, an actress whose name is new to me. She plays a young professional woman who falls for McGovern's son without realizing he is only 16.
Her character had one of the worst parts of a pretty bad script-a speech where she has to tell the boy that he's so cool and smart she can barely keep her hands off him. Why yes, two men did write this script, why do you ask? Yet Quan somehow remained both appealing and (almost) belivable.
Which is more than I can say for the show's one big name. Though I meant it when I said McGovern is talented-I refer you to "Ordinary People"-judging from her performance tonight, one of three or four things (or possibly a combination) has happened:
- She's had bad plastic surgery that leaves her less able to move her face.
- She's zombie-walking through a money gig she doesn't think will be picked up beyond its initial eight episode order-and it can't be good for the ego to be asked to so neatly replicate the appearance of another actress.
- Or she simply hasn't aged well.
None of these things are crimes, of course, just unfortunate at best, disappointing at worst.