Tuesday, April 27, 2004

In other news, all pieces of the True Cross have declared really bad fakes

I remember hearing about this and having doubts.

I also saw that there is another expedition going to Mt. Ararat in search of Noah's ark. Hey, if they find an ark on the top of that mountain I will convert and spend my life spreading the word of the Lord. That is how confident I am that Noah's ark is not preserved on the top of a fucking mountain.

Since we are getting all goddy here I just saw another story about the Shroud of Turin. The shroud is my favorite religious fake. It's even cooler than that blood in, I think Milan, that supposedly came from some martyr. It liquifies once a year. The shroud is interesting to me because it is a very old legitimate medieval hoax. The story of its existence is more interesting than what it is supposed to be. Check out the poll next to this story. Over 40 percent of the responders think the shroud actually was wrapped around the bloody corpse of Jesus and a significant portion "don't know for sure." Fucking morons.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Ug Oomgowa or More than likely you don't give a whit about this

I like stock a car race. Today there was an unpopular end to a race. Today's Nascar Cup race ended under a yellow flag. The race was held at Talladega. Talladega is 2.66 miles around and the banking on the turns resembles a tidal wave. The drunken rednecks in the stands knew that if NASCAR stopped the race after a late caution, that once the race started with a two or one lap shootout, there would be a 85% chance of a wreck. There was also a better than fifty-fifty chance that this wreck would be spectacular. I'm talking about the possibility of ten or twelve cars smashing into each other at 190 mph. I'm talking about the chance of a 3000 pound car geting spun backwards, it's ass end lifting up into the air and then barrell rolling for over a thousand feet. Or both these things could happen at once. Hell, one of those cars could flip into the stands, killing dozens. Ten years ago that might have happened. But now, NASCAR has a national audience and a big wreck at the end of an already overly-risky restrictor-plate race would not play well in the media, especially after their best driver died three years ago at another track where the cars are hampered by a resctrictor plate.

So what did this sensible but, only now after useless injury and death, common occurence bring out in the fans? Anger and the acting out of that anger. Hundreds of fans on the front stretch tossed empty beer cans onto the track...after the race was already determined. How did the network announcers react? With the same outrage as David Poole. What nonsense. These fans who come to Talladega were weaned on carnage. The fwiggin' ads for races at Talladega feature big ole wrecks. NASCAR had a chance to offer these fans a chance at some big-time crashing, burning and flipping that was almost guaranteed by a one-lap shootout. These people were denied what they had been offered. They tossed aluminum cans onto a racetrack after the race had already been decided. Hey, these people were drunk. NASCAR has an official beer for christ's sake (notice the lack of capitalization of the word christ). Such hypocrisy is...presidential.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Not good

You know I've always thought this whole Iraq thing was a bad idea, morally and practically. Yet I always believed that somehow it would work out. I always thought we would either hold it long enough for a new administration to come in and unfuck it or the administration would start dealing with reality and go international with it. Now it looks like it could turn into a long "generational conflict (I wish I could remember the name of the Sentaor who referred to it that way)" that could rip us apart like Vietnam, the civil rights movement, those big wars called one and two, the Civil War and KISS taking off their makeup.

Now I'm just a little scared.

People are actually debating the need for a draft...

By the way if a draft is necessary: fuck any kind of deferment.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Funny stuff

I'd like to remind you that Al Franken's radio show on Air America Radio is damn funny. Disregarding politics, Al is just one of the quickest wits in the world and the writing for his skits is excellent. His show is on from 12-3 EDT and can be heard on the website.
Weirder than fiction

Check this out. This is a picture of porn actress Brooke Hunter and her husband...Don Hollywood. Don Fucking Hollywood. I think this picture may answer best the question, what's Los Angeles like?

It's pimps and ho's, baby.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Feelin' mo' professional

Yesterday I did something that is a big deal in any young librarian's life. I gave my first booktalk. That thing I did last month was a book discussion. We had all read the book and sat down and discussed it. Yesterday I went to an old-folks home and gave a gathering of 16 octogenarians a short talk on three books. I'm a big wuss when it comes to public speaking and I was a little disappointed when I got into my car to head out to the retirement community and it started. My stomach was full of butterflies as I headed into the senior citizen ghetto. Once I exited the elevator I took to the third floor and walked into their modest library and was greeted by a couple of early arrivers and the activities cooridinator I calmed down a lot. Heck the coordinator even went and got me a glass of water after I asked where the drinking fountain was. Next time I am taking a bottle of water, I needed that water a couple of times.

The first book I discussed was "A Hero's Daughter" by Andrei Makine. I rushed through that one a little bit but I didn't screw it up. The second book was "Shooting the Sun" by Max Byrd. I was more composed with that book and I think I spoke confidently about it. Although I did get lost at one point. I took a sip of water and gathered my thoughts back up. The last book I nailed. It's called "The Mammoth Cheese" by Sheri Holman and it's one of the best books I've read in the last year. It's full of wonderfully realistic characters that all interact with one another. I really enjoyed describing how the characters all intertwined. I even fielded several questions from the ladies. They were actually paying attention. That felt really good.

My talk lasted about half an hour. I have never talked that long before. The longest presentation I ever gave in my schooling was ten minutes. I guess it's easier to talk about three good novels than any school assignment. When I wrapped up the ladies started grilling me. Wow, it was fortunate that I was prepared. They wanted details that I was able to provide. I think that is why it went so well because I was ready. It's amazing how much easier things are when you don't go about them half-assed. I answered questions for about fifteen minutes.

After I finished the press conference portion of the talk I spent a few minutes visiting with the ladies. I was pleased to see a few come up and write down the titles of the books for future reference. They were all so sweet and gave me really good feedback. Mostly to talk a little slower and louder since most of them are half deaf. I thought I was talking plenty loud. Any louder and I would have been shouting. I'll have to work on that. They have a small sound system there and there is no way in hell I am going to use that. They are very proud of their library. They showed me the new arrivals that the public library's group services department had just dropped off. On the shelf I saw the book "Empress Orchid" by Anchee Min. I was going to discuss that book yesterday but there is a large hold list on it and I couldn't get a copy. There it was right in front of me. I wish I had seen it before I started because I would have recommended it. Next time I'll peruse their library and check for books I am familiar with and wing a short discussion about one.

As I was walking out to my car in my post-presentation glow I remembered that I had forgotten to mention all the strong themes like family, faith, love and country that permeates "The Mammoth Cheese." Ah well, I'll do even better next time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Saturday Night

This last Saturday I went and saw a friend's band play at a place called The Room. If I can ever get their name straight in my head I will tell you what they are called. Here's a shot of Robin playing his geetar.

After his band played a local punk band called Minority Party played. They brought along some sidekick who was dressed in a like Mel Blanc's Mexican character from the Jack Benny show. Apparently his job was to get the crap kicked out of him by the crowd. I believe he was dressed as a Mexican caricature in order to make some kind of point about...um...minorities.
You're not going to link to Neal Pollack again, are you?

Hell yes.
You're not going to link to Neal Pollack again, are you?

Hell yes.
Fun little blog game I heard about. Ok, I'll play

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

"After a quick prayer of Thanksgiving, he gathered as many of the scattered tidbits as he could, and, after loosely replacing the lid, began climbing the hill of debris toward the stairwell and the thin patch of sky, with the box hugged tightly under one arm."

'A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Walter M. Miller, Jr. 1988 Bantam paper back version, yo.

Monday, April 19, 2004

I ain't never done this yet

I've seen it on other blogs but I figgered I should do it now since I've had too many beers to read.

Searches that have brought peoples to me blog in reverse order until I get bored doing it:

(By the way, text in parenthesis contain my cute little comments on each search. Enjoy!)

Goggle (No, I can't speel)
chickenheart cosby (number fucking-one on websearch!)
peter hessler (who the fuck is he?)
1978 toyota corrola (my car back on Okinawa in 1988)
ted rall pic (Might want to try an image seach, bucko.)
ian mcklellen (Obviously Sir Ian doing a vanity search)
okinawa blog
high speed photography grenade (Nice idea)
"anti-bush quotes" (I don't have enough)
big ed (Must be someone researching my pecker)
jock straps use (uh...gay porno and protecting your nuts when combined with an athletic cup)
the meaning of the song 'bridal train' by the waifs (I hope my blog was helpful. Saw these young ladies open for Dylan last year)
Alla Kliouka (So far the most popular search that has brought suckers to my blog)

That's all for now. My counter only holds so many searches.

Old Home Week

For the first time since I left the Marine Corps in 1990 I have a neighbor who greets his visitors by saying, "Wassup Nigga?"

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Bill Hicks Quote

It's been a while and you new readers may not have seen one of my random Bill Hicks quotes: "Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather."
I can't believe this guy holds a public office

A quote by Mecklenburg County Commisioner Bill James in an article in the Charlotte Observer about new library director, Charles Brown: 'From Republican Bill James, he heard an argument for applying community standards to the library's collections, including a ratings system on books like that on movies. "We had a great meeting," James said. "The main point I was trying to get across to Mr. Brown was, `Welcome to Oz. You're not in Minnesota anymore.' "'

I hope he is just grandstanding and doesn't actually think that would be implemented. I am sure he doesn't have a realistic plan with which to start such an impossible project. And that quote! How rude can you be?

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Marketing: the devil's work

Some suggestions for names for upcoming giant SUV model's.

10: Olympus Mons
9: Galilean Moon
8: T-Rex
7: Dangerous at Any Speed
6: I Have a Tiny Penis
5: Barrel Roll
4: Hell's Half Acre
3: Expeditionary Force
2: Chrome! Chrome! Chrome!
1: Screw You, Hippy!

A message to the lady dialing her cell phone while allowing her giant Ford Expedition to drift slowly into my lane this morning: Fuck you.

Thursday, April 15, 2004


The next time your former street punk uncle brags about making zip guns in shop class show him this picture of a homemade Iraqi rocket launcher.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Neal Pollack invents another character and then interviews him

NP: Surely you’re not siding with our enemies here?

LL: I don’t look at this situation as “good guys” versus “enemies.” This war is not cut-and-dry. It’s a chess game, with people on both sides used as pawns, being played by power elites. As the sides have been defined, I can’t take sides. If I oppose the U.S government’s actions, I’m not a lover of terrorism. And if I oppose terrorist atrocities, I’m by no means an American patriot. I try to look at situations with maximum objectivity.

NP: And we appreciate that.

LL: You should try it sometime. It’s fun.

NP: I just might.
Maybe not

I didn't really have high expectations for the Punisher movie that is coming out. The man avenging the death of his murdered family with double pistols may have been a unique comic character but as a movie character it's been done just a few times. Hell, Denzel Washington's new movie is basically a Punisher movie. I first saw the trailer a few days ago and I heard that song. Any movie trailer that features one of those horrible alt-rock songs? No thanks, I'll pass.
Joshua breaks it down

"But, even setting aside the awkward moments where the president couldn't think of any mistake he'd ever made on foreign policy since 9/11, what I saw was a man with a quiver of cliches and a few simple stock arguments. Whatever the question, he grabbed a handful of those and tossed them back."

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Went and saw the Butchies play at the steeple Friday. You can see me and James at the fringe of the flash in this pic. It was shot by one of the band members between songs. I'm the red-faced guy who is waving. If the Butchies come to your town go see them. They rock.
It sho' is green out

Yesterday before work I drove down Queens Road West and took a few snapshots out the windshield of my car. Yesterday was that nice spring rainy day that makes the green light come out on Queens Road. It was the kind of day that can cause a young boy to spend hours on his couch masturbating.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Smiling quietly to yourself

It's hard to keep a straight face when helping a young school teacher locate books by an author named Harry Wong. Really, it's just not that easy.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Remember the...uh...hmmm...oh yeah, that old church that became a fortress

Tonight my new friend and I went to see the new movie, The Alamo. This is the second time we have gone to a theater without checking the listings hoping to catch The Ladykillers and ended up seeing something else. The first time we saw Hidalgo which was cool with me since it had the guy who played Aragorn and I was curious to see him in another role. For those of you wondering Hidalgo is half a good movie. I recommend leaving after the raid by the bandits. The guy who played the Nazi guy in Oz and the newspaper editor in Spiderman plays Wild Bill Hickock in Hidalgo and he's great. It's worth seeing just for that. That dude's a great actor.

I really enjoyed the Alamo. It's not a great movie but it's pretty darn good. I read one review that said there's too much talking. I believe it's called dialogue and it assists in establishing characters. It also had Billy Bob and Jason Patric in it. I dig Billy Bob, he's a fine actor and funny and witty when interviewed. Jason Patric always reminds me of that cool handsome senior who treated high school freshmen like humans.

Billy Bob was fantastic as Davey Crockett. He comes within a hair of stealing the movie. There are a couple of great scenes where he is the focus that just make the movie worth watching. It's fascinating watching a man grapple with his legend. I don't recall ever seeing such a concept portrayed so effectively before. The dialgoue you've seen in the commercials is probably the weakest of these moments. There is a scene involving the Mexican army's band and Davey's fiddle that is fantastic.

I also enjoyed the actor who played Santa Anna. He had the right amount of vanity and visciousness that allowed you to view him as "the bad guy" and have sympathy for the Mexican soldiers under his command.

The battle scene is pretty intense but it doesn't have the gore factor of say Private Ryan or the Passion. I wish they had spent a little more time displaying the fortifications so the battle scene would be easier to follow. A couple of times I found myself thinking, "this is good but where in the Alamo is it taking place?" So far Private Ryan and Band of Brothers have best set up a battle so during the confustion of fighting you know what is going on. My favorite examples of that is during Band of Brothers and the scene where they attempt to take Carenten and when they approach the town during Operation Market Garden and the silly British tankers ignore the paratroopers warnings about the camouflaged German Tanks. What the Alamo does do well is give you such good characters that you really don't want the battle to start since you know they are all doomed. It reminded me of the final battle in Saving Private Ryan when the men are waiting for the German troops to arrive. The sense of fear and doom is palpable. You just wish Davey Crockett and the rest would crawl over the walls at night and try to get away.

What the fuck?

So far all I've seen are the commercials but I have to make a judgement call...the new Fox show called The Swan is some sick-ass shit.
Pretty colors and it smells nice too

Next to Park Road right outside my apartment complex is a wisteria vine growing on some power lines. It's annual bloom is one of my favorite things about living here. I love to see it day during spring as I leave and for and return from work.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Neal Pollack returns home

Man, you gotta read Pollack's take on the Rice testimony. It's Killer stuff.
Fight the Power

This is the perfect format for Chuck D.
On the cover

On the cover of the newspaper today I saw a photograph of a group of Marines kneeling with their arms around each other as they prayed over the body of a dead comrade. I hope our fucking goddamn president is enjoying his vacation. They always told us that Marines were born to fight and die but shouldn't it be for an honorable cause not for the hubris of a failed oilman that was unable to complete his own reservist duties.

God, sometimes he makes me just crazy...fergle nerp dwoggin fanny pack...rumplebut token jeshua stizzle...gloggle ferg norgan docka dork...phert nerder berger fluzz......

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Up and beyond

Looks like Heinlein might be right again. Private enterprise is going to eventually bypass the guv'ment in space travel.

I have always told my friends that space travel will not explode until it becomes profitable. That is what drove European exploration of the Americas: dough. Private companies making a profit by flying tourists into low-earth orbits is step two in busting our species off this rock.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Fumbled the ball and then picked it back up and scored a touchdown

Today I had my first booktalk. For some reason, several months ago I had convinced myself that the talk was supposed to take place in May. Nope, it was today. The type of talk I did was a club we call Mom's Book Break. Fifteen minutes after the talk was supposed to start two of the mothers came upstairs looking for the booktalk librarian. I asked them which book they were discussing today while thinking to myself "don't say Heroe's Daughter, Don't say Heroe's Daughter." One of the ladies looked at me and said, "Heroe's Daughter." Crap.

I ran downstairs and started the talk. It turned out pretty great, I have to say. I was prepared. I had read the book months ago and had worked out questions to ask the ladies weeks ago. Thank god I was ready. The three ladies that showed up had read the book and one of them had been to Russia which is where the book is set. The conversation flowed well and I asked good opening questions. I just hope that these were the only three that showed up and we didn't lose someone because it started late.

Maybe it worked out for the best that I had forgotten about the talk. I had no time to worry about it and was able to go downstairs and just do it. Having done this and having it go well will really help me with my big formal book talk that is coming up...uh...sometime soon. I'm not really sure when. Nah, I'm kidding, it's June 3rd.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Blood and guts

Today I went to see "The Passion of the Christ." I went with my new friend because she begged me to go because she wanted to see it and didn't want to see such a gruesome movie by her lonesome. I bitched and moaned a little bit because I wasn't all that keen on watching a man get beaten withing a couple inhces of his life, paraded through an angy rock-throwing mob, get crucified and then die painfully from exposure. I have to admit though, that I was curious. I had read and heard so much about the movie that I partly went to see what all the fuss was about.

My reaction:

1) The opening scene where Jesus is praying to god to allow him to not be tortured and killed was quite moving. It would have been a great final scene in a serious movie about the life of the man. Although Satan with a worm crawling out and back into his nose was superfluous. I guess that way people know for sure that the androgynous evil-looking fellow is either the prince of darkness or one of the guys from Jackass.

2) Antisemitism? Hmmm...I guess I did notice that all the guys that wanted Jesus dead had the stereotypical faciual features of what ignorant people would call "Jewish" and Jesus and Mary had nice European aquiline features. The Romans also looked very...uh...Roman. The actor that played Pontius Pilate looked like one of those busts of Julius Caesar. Maybe it was done to avoid confusion.

3) Best gory special effect: When Jesus was getting the bejesus whacked out of him by the cat o' nine tails one of the whips wrapped around his torso and the hooks got stuck in his flesh. When the Roman soldier yanked the hooks out flesh flew off the body like scales when you are cleaning a fish. I have to give a big shout out to the boys at Industrial Light and Magic for that one.

4) Another nice gory touch was when we were shown the point of a nail that has gone through the hand of Jesus and subsequently through the wood of the cross. Dripping off that nail and onto the ground? You got it: blood.

5) The movie was well-directed, I have to admit. It was genius in its manipulation of my emotions. Even as I went in ready to dismiss the movie I couldn't avoid being jolted by such horribly violent acts upon a peaceful person. This also brings about the question is it helpful to make the most violent movie ever about the man called the prince of peace?

6) Braveheart moment of the movie: The scene where guys are preparing to stone Magdalene. The camera is at ground level. We see a row of men with rocks. A sandle-clad foot thumps into the ground. Dust rises and settles. We see a hand draw a line in the sand. The hand then draws a symbol in the sand. The men all drop their stones since none of them is without sin. Man, that was a funny scene. I never realized that Jesus was such a stud.

7) Jesus invents the dinner table: In a flashback we see Jesus show his mother a table that is taller than normal. She is playfully aghast. How can one eat at such a tall table?! He then explains he has yet to build the taller-than-normal chairs. They both laugh. Fucking stupid.

8) Part I actually liked: A couple of the Roman soldiers involved in the crucifixion were surprisingly worthy of empathy. They go from pitying a man's suffering, to fear of what he may be to awe of what he is. Their reactions are paced well.

9) Overt symbolism: Remember the two criminals that are crucified along with Jesus? Like any good mythology one is sympathetic and one is scornful. The sympathetic one is promised that he will join Jesus in paradise (how lucky is that, to be crucified the same day as Jesus? Just be supportive and, boom! you're in heaven for all eternity.) and the scornful one gets his eye pecked out by a crow. Apparently his attitude is wrong. That made me laugh.

10) Over the top message of the movie: Mary staring into the camera as she holds the dead body of her son. She just stares and stares and stares at the audience as the camera pulls back. She is saying "how can you not be a good bible thumping Christian after watching this two-hour snuff film?"

11) I swear when Jesus rises from the dead you can see his butt for just a split second. Showing Adam's ass or Eve's boobies is legitimate since that's the way they were. Any good Christian would rise from the dead in suitably conservative attire.

11) I have to wonder what will give this movie a long video life, the supposed message or the awesome violence? I can picture this movie being shown in bible study classes and S & M clubs.

12) My overall reaction? A totally unnecessary movie. Either you believe or you don't, depends on your brain or how you was raised or a little bit of both according to recent studies.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Al Franken sure is funny

Right now I am listening to a re-broadcast of a recent Al Franken show on the website of the new Air America Radio network. It's damn funny. In fact, right now he is playing a new skit by at least one half of the classic radio duo Bob and Ray! How cool is that?

Thursday, April 01, 2004

But once they are born it's OK to bomb and shoot them or send them somewhere to be shot or blown up.

"We stand for a culture of life in which every person counts and every person matters. We will not stand for the treatment of any life as a commodity to be experimented upon, exploited or cloned," the president told GOP donors to his campaign at a fund-raiser in Washington Tuesday night.

A personal note...

I have to say this attitude is my favorite form that hypocrisy takes with the anti-abortion right wing crowd. They are against the destruction of cells that may become human but think nothing of killing fellow human beings whether it be in a needless war or by executing retarded people.

I remember talking to a musician once at the Milestone club a long time ago and he told me about an anti-abortion rally he had witnessed. One of the slogans the protesters were chanting had something to do with not killing unborn babies because they were future soldiers. I think that sums up the attitude of our presidente perfectly.