Thursday, July 28, 2005

You gotta love this guy

Ebert on the film Stealth: "It might be of interest to you if you want to see lots of jet airplanes going real fast and making a lot of noise, and if you don't care that the story doesn't merely defy logic, but strips logic bare, cremates it and scatters its ashes."

OK, one more: "Beautiful Thai girls who allow themselves to be picked up by U.S. pilots almost always speak English, but never mind."
Almost there

In eight hours and fifty minutes my ten day vacation will begin.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Change in the weather

I've noticed that I have been getting a lot fewer hits from google. I wonder if they restructured their search engine to give blogger a lot less importance. That's a bummer. Some of the sick-ass and weird-ass searches that used to bring people to the blog were fun to look at now and then.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Kitty cat as teenager

Those of you in the know know that I have an orange tabby cat that is a couple of years old. He is the most belligerent cat you will ever meet. "Oh great," you're saying, "another story about one of your fucking cats. I'm so glad I checked your stupid blog today." Stay with me for a second, man, this'll be good.

His name is Gallagher and he has this fun little act he goes through when he feels he is being treated unfairly. The act is usually performed when I don't let him outside when he wants. He loves to go outside and he's well behaved when he is outdoors. He doesn't run off and doesn't fight me when I bring him back in. But he's convinced that he isn't allowed outside enough and he's right. If he wasn't such a glutton I'd let him outside every day. All he does, though, when I let him go out into the back courtyard is eat grass like the scenario from John Chrisopher's "The Death of Grass" is coming in a couple of hours. He doesn't explore his surroundings. He doesn't chase birds. Sometimes when it's really nice out he'll roll in the gross. Nine times out of ten he just eats fucking grass like a cow. One time I didn't stop him and take back inside after a few minutes to see if he would stop on his own. After about fifteen minutes I starting worrying that he might explode and just picked him up and took him inside. About thirty seconds later he puked his guts out. Because of all that I don't take him outside that often. Who wants to stand outside and watch a damn cat eat grass? Not me. I figure he needs to entertain or engage me in some way or he's wasting my time.

There are times when he demands to go outside. He'll sit in front of the back door. Look up at me and meow pathetically. I used to ignore his pleas but now I just tell him to shut the fuck up. He'll mew again and I'll tell him to shut the fuck up and then throw something harmless at him like a fork or one of the other cats. After about six hours he'll give up.

Now he's pissed that he degraded himself and he must resurrect his kitty dignity so he'll strut into the kitchen, crouch in front of the fridge, jump up and knock cartoons, rent notices and other interesting tidbits of our lives down onto the floor. By the time you get into the kitchen he's gone and you're left with a little mess of paper and novelty magnets to clean up. I can't get too annoyed about that. It's too creative.
How cool is this?

It's almost worth $35.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

What a dick

I can see from the recent world headlines that George Bush's war to spread terrorism is working out real well. Go Team USA!
The movie/book thing

For some reason I get a kick out of reading books and watching movies that share the same story. I prefer to hold out for books and movies of quality. I sorry to say that I sat through the movie "The Bone Collector" (one of those things that happens when you are dating) but I had no desire then nor do I now to read the book on which that shitty movie was based.

Just this last week I read the book "Election" by Tom Perrotta. "Election" was a one of those movies that surprised me. I remember watching it at home a couple of years ago and loving it so much that I watched again that same weekend. The same thing happened when I first saw "Reservoir Dogs." Although I think I watched that movie three times over a weekend as different groups of friends came over.

But, yeah, movies and books. It turns out that "Election" works pretty darn good as a movie and book set. The stories vary enough and provide a little variety but both are similar in tone and pace which allows me to picture the movie's actors in my head as I read the book. I love it when it comes together like that. The book is short so not a lot was left out when it was converted to a film. A couple of storylines were rearranged for flow. I found it interesting that Broderick's character was stung by a bee in the movie and that did not take place in the novel. In the book we were inside that character's head and we knew how miserable he was. The bee sting was substituted for a page or two of the character's narration.

Since I just finished "A long way down" by Hornby I am going to have to pick up his novel "High Fidelity" someday soon. I love that movie and just watched it again a couple of weeks back. I've always wondered how the book and movie worked together. I understand that the book is set in London and I'd like to see how the characters travel between Chicago and London.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Billion dollar babies

I am at home right now. I have to go back to work at six. I'm working a split shift today because Melanie and I can't schedule worth a shit. We're getting better, I think. I kinda like spending a few hours at home between work shifts. I guess that only works out positively when you live ten minutes from work. The last Saturday I worked a coworker told me to shut up after she said that on Saturdays her drive to work shrinks from 40 minutes to twenty and then I said "That's interesting, my drive on Saturdays is ten minutes just like every other day of the week."

I've been fooling around with music online and you know what? Alice Cooper is still making interesting music. I didn't realize he came out with an album in 2003 called "The Eyes of Alice Cooper." I discovered that fact after reading a review of his current album called "Dirty Diamonds." According to reviews he went back to a more basic rock and roll sound. Judging from the few tracks I've heard today that is true. That's good because I didn't dig the 'modern' sound of his previous two albums. He's always written catchy songs and they don't need to be dressed up. Just a couple of guitars, drums, bass and vocals will suffice, thank you. Maybe he heard some White Stripes and realized your sound is what you say it is, not what people say it should be dadgummit. You gotta admire how Alice is out there trying to make good music. Go Alice, your new songs are great.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Top Ten

Top ten reasons I ain't got a cell phone

10) Dental equipment has better reception.
9) I prefer to walk around wearing an earpiece and talk to myself.
8) Still pissed I couldn't afford one when only drug dealers had them.
7) Those yelling fat ladies on the bus.
6) Brain cancer.
5) Designer Covers. Jesus.
4) I already have a digital camera...and a telephone.
3) Everyone else fucking has one.
2) If there's an emergency I can borrow yours.
1) I prefer alcohol for impairing my driving.

Monday, July 18, 2005

A rooma zoom zoom

The roommate went and bought the new Harry Potter book Saturday. He got home with it about noon and finished it last night around 10 p.m. How's that for savoring a 600 page book? When he finished it, he said "Aww." He wouldn't have done that if he had taken his time and enjoyed the book over a few days. Ah well, he was waiting a long time for it like everyone else. I am the last hold out. I have yet to read any of the Harry Potter books. I think I might have to read the first one just to gain a little respect from the kids in my writing group.

Firesign Theatre offer

A couple of young ladies at work are big fans of the David Cross and his project with Bob Odenkirk called Mr. Show. Melanie loaned me the first season of Mr. Show on DVD and I took it home and was under impressed. She and Natalie (Natalie works down in circulation) both attested to loving the surrealism in the sketch comedy on Mr. Show. Melanie also liked how they would weave similar themes and storylines into different sketches. The first thing I thought of when they said these things was, of course, the Firesign Theatre. I was introduced to the Firesign Theater in high school by my friend Kevin. After listening to the Firesign Theatre off and on since the mid 80's what I saw on Mr. Show was good but it paled in comparison. I definately don't want you to think I am disparaging Mr. Show or David Cross. I dig the stand up of David Cross and his character on "Arrested Development" was a hoot.

If you don't know what the Firesign Theatre is, it is a Comedy troupe that put out three awe inspiring comedy albums back in the late sixties and early seventies that are chock full of clever word play, strong and funny characters, interweaving story lines, amazing sound effects and inspired voice acting. They worked through the early 80's and reunited back in 1998.

I had mentioned to Melanie and Natalie that I would make a mix CD of some Firesign Theatre material. Turns out I had a problem since many of their albums consist of two 25 minute tracks. I was determined to spread the word so I went to and found an audio editor so I could slice a few tidbits out of these long and complicated albums and add them to a mix CD. I even had to pay for it. It was worth it, though. I can see it being useful down the road.

I'd hate to put all this time into a mix CD and only give it to two people. Anyone else want one?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Soda pop in the morning

I'm sorry to say that the most exciting thing I did this weekend was go see "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." That in no way should reflect on the movie, the movie was fun. It's just a sad comment on my current social life. The movie was really good. I laughed through the whole thing and so did the audience. Not since the South Park movie had I heard such continuous laughter in a theater. There were a lot of kids in the audience since I went to a matinee and the kids really seemed to enjoy it. There was one kid making a lot of noise. I couldn't tell if he was crying or being bratty. Turns out he was in one of those complicated wheelchairs and probably was unable to control his reactions. I felt a little guilty for being annoyed.

I just got back from the 110 degree laundry room and there are some bugs in the trees making a hell of a lot of noise. Are they cicadas? I thoght their time had passed. I can even hear them indoors. Jesus.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I shout but I know not what I say

I just finished reading an article about Senator Clinton calling for an investigation into the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game. Turns out she probably has never seen nor played the game. That's too bad. If she had then maybe she could talk intelligently about it. She said, "They're playing a game that encourages them to have sex with prostitutes and then murder them. You know, that's kind of hard to digest." Correction: you can pick up a prostitute and take her to a quiet place and your car rocks back and forth and you hear some suggestive sounds. There is a thing called "the hooker trick" where after she gets out of the car you can shoot her and take her money, including the money you just gave her. The game does not 'encourage' this. You can shoot any non-player character at any time and risk getting caught by the cops. Some kid somewhere figured out the so called "hooker trick." You can make the game as violent as you want. It's wide open. If you choose not pick up prostitutes then you don't.

I think it's funny that some of the hysterical social commentary in the game never gets mentioned. The game repeatedly skewers political posing like Clinton's. Maybe that's what really annoys them is the game hits a little too close to home concerning the realities of living in America. If a kid played this game and paid attention to the radio soundtracks and the dialogue in the cut scenes he might walk away with less respect for what passes as authority and that's dangerous.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Shitting in all our beds

Time for one scumbag from a gaggle of scumbags to hit the road. Gotta love a president who allows politics to trump national security, if I may quote Corn from the Nation magazine.
His teeth were brown as doe's fur

I just started Nick Hornby's "A Long way Down" today. You know, he writes like people talk.

Do waterfowl do touch and go's?

I finished "Time's Eye" by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter last night. Not a bad little "To your scattered bodies go" kinda story without the whole afterlife aspect. Seems like it was set up just so Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great could fight over the city of Babylon. You can't fault anyone for trying to pull that off. The battle scenes were good but they could have used a good dose of Roger Zelazny. That's not fair though, any book could use a good dose of Zelazny.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The depths of history

I think I am going to start using the practice of David Cross and Michael Nesmith. The title of my blog will now have nothing to do with the content of the entry. That way when I lose my train of thought when I am typing and meander off onto another topic...dang my finger smells funny...then no one will be confused by what happened because they are already confused by the mismatched title and content. It's foolproof.

The queen bee left the fog lights on

Saturday night I rented Napolean Dynamite and watched it finally. Holy crap, is that movie funny. I had seen all the hype and was prepared to be let down and I wasn't. I love it when that happens. Once you watch that movie it's difficult to not spend the next few hours talking like Napolean Dynamite. I just love quirky, clever and unhurried movies like this one.

Tender moments in the lives of rodeo clowns

I've been noticing in a few news stories that the PC version of the new Grand Theft Auto game has a patch you can add that will allow your character to have sex. Grand Theft Auto has been cruising under the RADAR here for a couple of years. The fake shock over its violence is losing its appeal to the monkey people in the red states. Now though, oh man, now there is sex in the game. Look out, the freaks are riled up.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


I went golfing again yesteday with my old buddy Brigham. We went to a nine-hole public course called Revolution. We got a late start and on the way to the course we stopped by a practice range and split a medium sized bucket of balls. We got to the course after one and it should have been really hot and humid but we were lucky yesterday. Because of the tropical storm that blew through town the night before the weather in was in the middle 80's with low humidity. There was a steady breeze and the air was nice and clean. More than once I was standing in the middle of the course surrounded by maple trees while gazing up at a Carolina blue sky with puffy white clouds cruising by on the breeze and just marveled at how beautiful it was and how litte I was sweating. As a big fat northerner it's always a miracle when it's pleasent outside in Charlotte in the second week of July.

I even had my first legitimate par hole yesterday. I rolled the ball up on a par four hole green on the my second shot and two putted the ball in. It felt real good. I even had one of my best straight drives and had a cool seven iron second shot over a tree that almost made it to the green. Of course after that good shot I pooched a chip over the green twice and shot a six but the approach shot still felt good.

Revolution was a fun couse to play. The fairways were well tended and the holes were well designed and challenging. Unfortunately a few of the greens were substandard with bare spots that made putting almost futile. It would be a perfect public course if they could get those greens in shape.

That evening Wendell and I went and saw War of the Worlds and once again Roger Ebert nailed the review. It was a decent movie with some killer special effects shots. I mean, killer. The first twenty minutes were great with Tom Cruise as the man-child divorced father who has a pretty shitty relationship with his children. Most action movies have setups that bore you to tears but for a while there I was almost prepared to watch a really good movie about a divorced father trying to live with his two children he barely knows over a weekend. With all the special effects and action this is definately a movie to see on the big screen. At home I think it would just be a little boring.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A leader of great resolution

Our shitty president on today's attacks in London: "I was most impressed by the resolve of all the leaders in the room," Bush said. "Their resolve is as strong as my resolve."

Jesus. Also he couldn't resist scaring the American public by informing us to be extra vigilant on the way to work this morning. Thanks chief, you're an inspiration to us all.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Hot, hot, hotter than hell

OK, here at work we have to AC units on our roof. One is out. One half of the building is almost 90 (parts were over 90 ealier today) and the other half is a delightful 75. Temperature outside? Barely over 80. It drives me crazy when we lose AC in these new sealed buildings. It wouldn't be nearly so stifling and miserable in here IF I COULD CRACK OPEN A FUCKING WINDOW! When the AC is running my sinuses act up because of all the shit in the vents. Opening a window would be nice. When the AC is broke it's murder in here because I can't open a window. I think I see a would be nicer in here IF I COULD OPEN A FUCKING WINDOW! Maybe in the near future these sealed up buildings will be seen by idiot fucking architects and builders as the bad idea they are.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Did you check out any of the internet feeds from the Live 8 shows yesterday? I was at work all day and I checked in now and then to see who was onstage. We didn't have access to sound but it was cool to see who was onstage. Kudos to AOL for providing such a reliable feed. I hate AOL less now. Still not enough to actually give them any of my money though. After I got home after work I was able to see one song by the one band I really wanted to hear: the reunited Pink Floyd playing in London. I was able to see their last song, Comfortably Numb. It was great and I was very pleased. This morning I checked the streaming rebroadcast and caught three songs by Pink Floyd. Cool. I still haven't caught Neil Young's appearance in Canada but from what I have gathered he didn't play a set and just joined a band at the end of the show to sing "Rockin in the Free World." I'd still like to see it.

Sleater Kinney

Sleater Kinney the other night was a really good show, if you were wondering. The club they played at in Winston-Salem was Ziggy's. I'd been there once before a long time ago to see Southern Culture on the Skids. The other night the place must have been over ninety degrees. It was very unpleasant and if it had been any other band I might just have left. I ended up deserting James after a while. We found a spot near the back where we could see and hear the band perfectly. It also turned out to be the hottest spot in the club. I found a spot on the left side where I couldn't see as well but was near a bank for fans. Good enought. I stuck it out at that spot and was rewarded with an encore in which they played my two favorite songs back to back: "I Wanna be your Joey Ramone" and "You're no rock and roll fun." It don't get no better than that.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Yay, Pictures!

It took a while after our computer was reimaged but I finally downloaded an FTP program so I can post pictures again. Why not start with pictures from the Heroes Convention?

Supergirl was there.

This guy had a great costume. This is the Captain America that fought Nazis. I should have gotten a picture of the old style shield he had strapped to his back. It was obviously homemade.

Of course what would a Heroes Convention be without a Klingon chick?

What the heck. Here is a quick shot of Sleater Kinney rocking out at Ziggy's in Winston Salem the other night. I couldn't really get close for a good picture but this proves I was there at least. Man, it was hot in that club. There was one guy standing to the right of the stage all night with a digital camera. He must have taken 100 flash pictures of Corin Tucker that night. She looked to be getting a little annoyed with him after a while. Understandable. How many times can you take the same picture in one night?

A quick memory

Although I've never read any of his books I was sad to see that Shelby Foote died a couple of days ago. About six years ago he appeared at the library's annual literary festival. At that time I was library's official photographer and was lucky enough to attend a reception for Shelby Foote at a home here in town before his talk that evening. I can say without any reservation that that was one of the most fortunate events of my life. It is the only time I have ever been a few feet away from such a learned person as he held court with admirers. He talked with the rich guests for over an hour and fielded question after question about the Civil War. The only time he wasn't talking was when someone threw a question at him after he finished answering the last. It was amazing and I was in awe. To be that close to a great scholar for even a short time was an honor.