January 31, 2005
A Different Kind of Pineapple
The new weapon of mass destruction in Afghanistan:
January 27, 2005
Addition By Subtraction
I was talking to someone at work today who is going through some difficult circumstances, and I was trying to stress to this person that change is a part of life. That people change, and how they feel about things - including other people - changes too.
It's hard sometimes to make sense of these things, but in the end, I truly believe that the people we have in our lives are the people we're supposed to have in our lives. And that for every person whom we lose, we gain the opportunity to open ourselves to another. One who might enrich our lives in far greater ways than the person we've just lost.
Addition by subtraction.
This is just how I actively choose to see this sort of thing. Otherwise, I think it's too easy to focus on what you no longer have ... and then you miss the fact that life is one continuous, glorious opportunity to have and do better; to be and feel more.
So for my friend at work, I say this:
There are many people in this world that can love you; there are many people in this world that you can love.
As hard as it is to let go of something, I think it's easier to accept if you see it, ultimately, as something that will be positive in your life. Addition by subtraction.
My coworker, I don't think he believes that. He's trying to bring something back that has ended. That's something we've all done. "Why can't they be who they were? Why can't we go back to what we had?"
I don't really know that there's one answer, other than that people just change. For a vast array of reasons, they change. You just accept it and move on to something better. Because "better" really is out there, even if it doesn't seem like it is right now.
So I was driving home tonight thinking about this, and I realized that right now, at this moment in time, I love everything about my life. There is nothing I would change. I don't know why I feel this way, since I have reasons not to (stupid lungs).
Even that I wouldn't change. I just ... I'm just happy. For no specific reason, and because of no specific person. I'm just very happy with the big picture of my life.
To quote Kerouac, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.
Sark the Herald Angels Sing
Why am I here? No, really - I'm not sure. Because as it turns out, I'm one of those people who look much better in motion than I do in still photography.
I'm David Anders, and you'll have to take my word for it.
I play the deliciously evil Mr. Sark on Alias. Or at least I did. I haven't appeared on the show yet this season and THAT IS REALLY A PROBLEM FOR ME, J.J. *ahem*
I don't have much of a range of emotions in photos (much like my nemesis, Michael Vaughn, who is in possession of only two facial expressions - angst, and forced happiness). For example, here I am with a look of oblique malevolence. And here I am with the exact same expression, just wearing a different colored shirt.
I pretty much only wear white or black shirts, you'll notice.
I swear to God on the life of my dead grandmother that I'm attractive, even if there are times when I totally look like a gremlin. I mean, I know I'll never be this guy. I'll also never be this guy, but come on - if you had to stand next to someone who looks like this, you'd probably look like day-old bread, too.
See, look - I can be sexy. Yes I am! I am!
I am Mr. Sark, and I will give you the stinkeye as soon as, uh, look at you.
Come On Now Sugar
|The Dandy Warhols|
"We Used To Be Friends"
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NOTES: I downloaded this song when it was recommended during LG's first Phonic Phriday, and I've fallen in love with it. It is apparently the theme song to the show VERONICA MARS.
A long time ago we used to be friends
But I haven't thought of you lately at all
If ever again a greeting I send to you
Short and sweet to the soul I intend
Come on now honey, bring it on bring it on yeah
Just remember me when you're good to go
Come on now sugar, bring it on, bring it on yeah
Just remember me when
It's something I said or someone I know
Or you called me up, maybe I wasn't home
Now everybody needs some time and everybody knows
The rest of it's fine and everybody knows now
Come on now sugar, bring it on bring it on yeah
Just remember me when you're good to go
Come on now honey, bring it on bring it on yeah
Just remember me when
We used to be friends
A long time ago we used to be friends
A long time ago we used to be friends
A long time ago we used to be friends, yeah
January 26, 2005
Put Some Clothes On, Hippie!
'Ello, luv! I'm Ewan McGregor - fancy a shag?
No no, I'm kidding. Sort of. But seriously, look at how cute I am. Don't you want to jump on my ... bike?
I can rock the tight black t-shirt. And I look really sharp all cleaned up for a fashion shoot, don't I? Aren't they casting for the next Bond? Does Bond ever get naked? Because I've been naked in almost everything (don't worry, it's work safe). I've also been known to kiss a cock when the mood strikes.
Speaking of "strikes" - who knew Obi Wan Kenobi could be so pretty? No cracks about my lightsaber!
You should also fancy me because I'm willing to make myself look foolish, just for your amusement. I'll wear my pants on my head if it will make you smile. I'll gleefully pretend to decapitate a tiny plastic skeleton in order to make you laugh. I'll even slick my hair into a pompadour and play with miniatures - Ewan destroy Tokyo! - all for your affection.
Here's one last look, just for Roo.
Now excuse me, I have to go get naked.
January 25, 2005
The Best Dream-Kisser Ever
I guess I never wrote about the dream I had that featured U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. It was a wonderful dream, highlighted by this one, long, amaaaaaaaaazing kiss that Larry gave me while he was consoling me over losing server space for one of my websites. It was one of those dream kisses when you wake up and still feel it.
In my dream, Larry spent his non-U2 time working as a veterinarian.
Anyway, getting to the point - Larry Mullen Jr. is hot. Larry has been hot for decades. He started off as a cute kid, entered the League of Hotness in his late teens, and then went supernova around the mid-80s. He's in his 40s now but still freakishly attractive.
I don't think the man ages at the same rate as the rest of us mere mortals.
So, in summary - Larry Mullen Jr. skips through the Land of Perpetual Hotness, and we (at least Teem and I) follow right along.
January 24, 2005
It's Miller Time
Okay, why is it that whenever anyone writes an article about me, the headline is always a play on that stupid old slogan for Miller beer? Can't people think of anything new? It's just lazy!
But I'm not lazy - I'm Wentworth Miller. I know what you're saying - who? Wentworth Wha'? I'm an actor who has appeared in such diverse fare as the short-lived TV series Popular (where I looked really cute sporting the shaved head look) and the miniseries Dinotopia. No, no one else saw it either. So don't feel bad.
My film career is better, even though I've had just a few roles. I played a backstabbing doctor in Underworld, but I am best known for playing the young Coleman Silk in The Human Stain. Sir Anthony Hopkins portrayed Silk as an older man, even though we don't look a thing alike. Namely because I'm biracial, and Sir Anthony Hopkins is, well, not. My father is black - betcha couldn't tell!
Here I am looking suave at a premiere of the film. Here I am looking even more pretty at another premiere. I don't know who this overly-bleached chick is, but she keeps sidling up to me at all these premieres.
I was born in the UK - dad was studying at Oxford - but grew up in Brooklyn. I'm 32 and I graduated from Princeton, so I'm cute AND smart. Which means you should love me.
What I Love About ... Rappy
One thing I love about Rappy is that her online nickname has pretty much made her real name superfluous. More so than anyone else I know, I have to consciously think about using her real name during the appropriate times. She is Rappy. The very embodiment thereof.
More seriously, though, there are many things I love about Rappy. She's all of the major things I look for in a friend - caring, funny, and intellectually curious - but she's also so much more.
I love how Rappy can be sympathetic without it coming across as patronizing. There was a moment recently when I was telling her about something sad I was dealing with, and she said "That must be difficult for you." She didn't try to minimize the issue; nor did she try to give me one of those fake-happy "everything will be okay" speeches. She just acknowledged what I was feeling, and that she recognized that it was something unpleasant for me.
Rappy is one of those friends who is willing to go to battle for the people she's close to. She reminds me of a scene from a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, where Riley, Buffy's ex-boyfriend, comes back to town with his new wife. Buffy and Willow have this conversation right after Willow meets Riley's wife:
Buffy: Will. Thanks, but no. I don't want to get all, you know - petty.
Willow: That's the beauty. YOU can't, I can. Please. Let me carry the hate for both of us.
Buffy: Go nuts.
Rappy would never really hate someone just because I don't like them (she's too independent for that), but she'd definitely hypothetically hate them right along with me. Which is something good friends do for each other.
Rappy gives very good advice, but doesn't get bugged if I don't take it. And she doesn't say "I told you so" later when it turns out she was right all along. She commiserates with me when I'm annoyed, and celebrates with me when I'm happy. She's a very good listener. She's always willing to help me when I ask. I count on her a lot during Big Brother season to think of new and interesting ideas for the HT site.
The superficial quality I envy most in Rappy is her talent for photography. She has an amazing eye for detail, and I'm very proud of her that she's taking a class in order to further her natural gift. I'm sure I'll be buying many of her photos in the future.
Rappy never gets annoyed when I go to her for "Jewish stuff" (much like how I go to Roo for "Catholic stuff") and even exposes me to Hebrew songs and other cultural things that she thinks I'd be interested in.
Rappy is one of the most thoughtful friends I have, and this is best shown in the gift she gave me for Christmas 2003. She knew I liked the work of a photographer named Noah Grey. She also knows my affinity for photos of roads and highways. So she bought an autographed print of this photo and had it beautifully matted and framed. It is one of the most perfect-for-me gifts I've ever received from anyone.
I don't get to talk to her as much now that she's living in Israel, and I've lost my Alias-watching buddy, which is sad (I enjoy that show much more when watching it along with someone else). But for years now (wow, has it really been years?), Rappy has kept me company while I'm at work ... my sanity thanks her.
Last but not least, I hope very much that Rappy will be able to join me on my trip to Ireland. I am so excited to finally be going this year, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have right alongside me, sharing in all of the sights, sounds and cute boys I have every intention of enjoying.
January 21, 2005
Dublin Is for Whoring
Me: I'm reading the catalog I got from Tourism Ireland
Rappy: anything interesting?
Me: we should go see that!
Me: I think I'm going to spend this weekend lounging around the house and doing Ireland research and junk
Me: and never changing out of my pajamas
Rappy: that sounds oddly familiar
Me: I love how in Europe it's called "car hire" instead of "car rental"
Rappy: and then there's takeaway
Me: what's that?
Rappy: take out
Rappy: and putting things in the "boot"
Rappy: which sounds kinky, but isn't
Me: get your hands out of me boot!
Rappy: well, naturally! That might hurt!
Me: ooh, Dublin has a ZOO!!!
Rappy: Julie, do you really need to fly across an ocean to see a zoo?
Me: *jumps up and down excitedly*
Me: but they have snow leopards
Me: and ring-tailed lemurs!
Rappy: ok, I think our day in Dublin will have to be spent separately.
Rappy: I'm more interested in the shopping and architecture
Me: I'm more interested in the eating and whoring
Rappy: ooh, forgot about the whoring
Me: can't forget the whoring!
January 20, 2005
Deep In the Heart of Geekdom
I've got two new projects:
1. Uploading and captioning all of my photos in my new photo gallery.
2. Figuring out how to best take advantage of the coolest free software program I've ever seen - Picasa, Google's newly-acquired photo management tool.
January 19, 2005
Matty + Roo 4 Ever
I'm home now, Roo! And I didn't forget about hooking you up with Matthew Sweet (heh heh heh).
So for you, Roo:
'Cause I'm sick of myself when I look at you
Something is beautiful and true
In a world that's ugly and a lie
It's hard to even want to try
And I'm beginning to think
Baby you don't know
"Sick of Myself"
(And here's my faaaaaaaavorite Matthew Sweet song):
I have had it with you
I've got bigger things to do
Than to keep on crossing your line
But you're so fine
Can't get you off of my mind
(And for good measure, just because it's a good song):
Stop what you're doing to me
My love don't wanna see
Then - We were young and strong
Now - Everything is wrong
Didn't you want me?
Didn't you need me?
Could you not say
You believe me?
And our love is in a time capsule
Onward and Downward
Achtung! Delirium ahead.
(This was all before the day got ultra-hellish. I am, unbelievably, still at work at 7:38 p.m. with no end in sight.)
Me: please let me dieeeeeeeeeeeee
Rappy: I'd rather you didn't. While you're still with us, who was the dreamy boy who played the dead fighter on Cold Case?
Rappy: I've seen him before.
Me: the dead fighter...
Me: oh, I Tivo'd the last ep
Me: haven't seen it yet
Rappy: You know, this Tivo deal is the devil.
Rappy: You're totally not caught up on anything. It's like you're ASKING me to spoil you!
Rappy: *curses tivo*
Me: SHUT UP!!!
Me: don't you EVER take TiVo's name in vain!
Rappy: it's SO stormy here. It's been hailing on and off all afternoon
Me: wow, hail!
Me: we get that sometimes
Me: I like hail
Me: it's like God is throwing rocks at you
Me: tee hee
Me: I made a funny on LG
Rappy: let me go see!
Me: tee hee
Me: tee hee hee!
Rappy: let's see who catches it first
Me: we shall see
Rappy: I'm actually dying laughing
Rappy: does roo know?
Me: I was typing "lemming" and just thought - No. Let's do "lemon"
Me: I gave her the same "tee hee" I gave you
Rappy: she must, as I just pointed out the banner hadn't been changed
Me: yeah, she told me to change the bannah
Rappy: did you do it on purpose or did it just come out and made you laugh?
Me: it made me laugh as soon as I thought of doing it
Me: so I DID IT
Me: I had typed "lem" and then thought of it
Me: I am fully caught up on LG
Me: *breakdances with glee*
Roo: we need to take down the lesley banner
Roo: can you do it?
Me: yeah, I will do that
Me: tee hee
Me: *pinky to lip*
Roo: rappy is tee heeing me too
Me: tee hee
Roo: you wrote lemon????
Me: TEE HEE HEE!
Roo: you're wacky!
Me: I am delirious with sickness
Celebs for Sale
Would you like to own the tuxedo that Ewan McGregor wore to the Golden Globes? What about Globe-winner Teri Hatcher's "sexy from the waist up, looks like your cat shredded it from the waist down" Donna Karan dress (warning - it's a size 2)? Or even ... EVEN ... Charlize Theron's gorgeous sapphire Dior strapless gown (a respectable size 6-8)? All of these - as well as the frocks worn by Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, Christine Lahti, and Al Roker (!) - are up for auction through ClothesOffOurBack.org, benefitting UNICEF's tsunami relief fund.
You can even buy Charlie Sheen's Kenneth Cole cufflinks! And the cufflinks AND shoes (no bids yet! Be the first!) worn by Lost's Jorge Garcia (Hurley). Or the dress worn by the equally lovely Maggie Grace (Shannon)(Ian Sommerhalder not included).
And the piéce de rêsistance - WILLIAM SHATNER'S SHOES!!!
Sick of Myself
...when I look at youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...
A little Matthew Sweet to start the day never hurt. Although it probably won't help today, for I am sick. My body has been toying with the idea of getting sick for a few weeks - I'll start feeling a little poorly, and then get better - but now it's made a firm committment to feeling like hell.
I believe it's the flu, since I woke up this morning with body aches 'n chills (to go with the cough I had yesterday). My lungs, of course, are in full-on rebellion. Viva la revolución!
And now, off to get ready for work.
January 18, 2005
Remains of the Day
Updated throughout the day as time allows.
Me: what is cute waiter's NAME?
Rappy: Oh, it's not good
Me: how do you pronounce that?
Me: that's very close to d-jee-ber
Rappy: omg, FUCK OFF
Me: *twirls around the office*
I'm Going to Grow Wings
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Transport, motorways and tramlines
Starting and then stopping
Taking off and landing
The emptiest of feelings
Disappointed people clinging on to bottles
And when it comes it's so so disappointing
Let down and hanging around
Crushed like a bug in the ground
Let down and hanging around
Shell smashed, juices flowing
Wings twitch, legs are going
Don't get sentimental
It always ends up drivel
One day I'm going to grow wings
A chemical reaction
Hysterical and useless
Hysterical and ...
Let down and hanging around
Crushed like a bug in the ground
Let down and hanging around
Let down again
Let down again
Let down again
You know, you know where you are with
You know where you are with
Floating, bouncing back
And one day...
I am going to grow wings
A chemical reaction
Hysterical and useless
Let down and hanging around
Crushed like a bug in the ground
Let down and hanging around
January 17, 2005
What I Love About ... Lynn
I'm going to start a new thing for Mondays. It'll be a nice, happy way to start the hellishness of the work week.
Each Monday I will wax poetic about one of my friends, and why I love them so much. Some entries are bound to be shorter than others (heh). I'm going to kick this off by writing about my friend Lynn, since I meant to do so over the weekend.
Lynn was a lurker on Hamster Time. She sent me an e-mail one day to comment on something I had written on this site, about my experience having had cancer. Essentially, she knew exactly how I felt; reading her words, I knew exactly how she felt, too. She told me about her own struggle with the disease, and we began to correspond regularly.
Lynn is, quite simply, the strongest person I know. It would be enough just to have cancer. But Lynn also has had to deal with the death of her beloved 18-month old granddaughter; I suspect her own grief has been in part set aside in order to help her daughter mourn the loss of the child. Three other people very close to Lynn suffer from chronic, potentially life-threatening illnesses.
It is more than one person should be asked to bear, but Lynn isn't the first person to have more than their share of heartache. Many have before, and many will after. What makes Lynn so special is that she is, despite all of this, an unfailingly hopeful person. It's not an understatement to say that I have learned so much more about life, and how best to live it, from her than I have from anyone else in recent memory. The experiences of her life that she's shared with me are both inspiring and humbling.
Knowing her makes me want to make something special of my own life, and that is the kind of inspiration that lives with a person forever.
Lynn is someone that I know will always have my best interests at heart. When I ask her for advice, she gives me her opinion honestly (which I value so much) yet doesn't expect me to change my beliefs to fit her own. She just offers her take on a situation, without expectation.
There have been times when I really didn't know if the things I was doing were beneficial, because they were difficult. Lynn is always there to encourage me to try and do what is best for myself, even if it might be painful in the short term. Whenever I question a situation, or doubt my own actions, she always helps me reconnect with the idea that more often than not you have to ask for what you want, and what you deserve, and not be willing to accept less.
Every time she tells me stories about her life, I tell her that she should write them down, because they'd make a wonderful book. She says she doesn't write well enough to do that, but she's wrong. I hope she changes her mind about this someday, because she has so many things to share that would speak to people in a meaningful way.
I posted Lynn's message this weekend because she asked me to, but I will admit that it made me feel very good to know that someone I respect and value so much thinks that highly of me. But as much as Lynn seems to think I've added to her life, she has added so much more to mine. She's the wise older sister I never had, and a person that I can rely on, always, to help me see things from new perspectives.
Lynn has given me acceptance, support and wisdom; she is in all aspects a wonderful friend, and I am truly the better for having known her.
January 16, 2005
I absolutely have to have this for my desk at work.
BirdWatch 2005 Begins
I'm doing cleaning/laundry all day today, and the wildlife outside is keeping me company. Right now out on the pond there are:
A great egret, snowy egret, two little blue herons, an anhinga, five double crested cormorants sunning themselves on the bank, one baby cormorant diving in the water, four pairs of Florida mallard ducks, about 20 pigeons and around 100 robins.
There's also a snapping turtle sunning itself near the cormorants, but snapping turtles are ugly and should be outlawed.
January 15, 2005
The Strongest Person I Know
My dear, sweet friend Lynn has asked me to post this for her. And to say I'm humbled by her words would be an understatement.
I've got to run down to Largo for Alex's football game, but tonight I'm going to better introduce you to Lynn. She is an extraordinary person.
January 14, 2005
Pieces of Me
And upon leaving work, I feel like this:
You Still Don't Complete Me
Whoa. I just read Maureen O'Dowd's column in today's New York Times and now I know the reason why I'm not married! (Other than the fact that I don't want to be married.)
I'd been noticing a trend along these lines, as famous and powerful men took up with the young women whose job it was to tend to them and care for them in some way: their secretaries, assistants, nannies, caterers, flight attendants, researchers and fact-checkers.
Women in staff support are the new sirens because, as a guy I know put it, they look upon the men they work for as "the moon, the sun and the stars." It's all about orbiting, serving and salaaming their Sun Gods.
In all those great Tracy/Hepburn movies more than a half-century ago, it was the snap and crackle of a romance between equals that was so exciting. Moviemakers these days seem far more interested in the soothing aura of romances between unequals.
I have experienced this twice. For some men, there's this idea that, as a woman, if I don't consider them the sun around which I orbit that it means I'm not into the relationship. I've had male friends who prefer to be with women who make them and the relationship the focus of their entire life.
Which I've never fully understood; I understand the desire to be loved and appreciated, but I don't quite get the desire - beyond pure egotism - to be worshipped. It sets up the relationship in a grotesquely unequal way, and I don't imagine those kinds of relationships last very long (or are ultimately very fulfilling).
BUT, that's just me. I've always been one of those people who is attracted to men that I feel are my equal, especially intellectually. If that equality isn't there, he doesn't hold my interest for very long.
As John Schwartz of The New York Times wrote recently, "Men would rather marry their secretaries than their bosses, and evolution may be to blame."
A new study by psychology researchers at the University of Michigan, using college undergraduates, suggests that men going for long-term relationships would rather marry women in subordinate jobs than women who are supervisors.
As Dr. Stephanie Brown, the lead author of the study, summed it up for reporters: "Powerful women are at a disadvantage in the marriage market because men may prefer to marry less-accomplished women." Men think that women with important jobs are more likely to cheat on them.
A second study, which was by researchers at four British universities and reported last week, suggested that smart men with demanding jobs would rather have old-fashioned wives, like their mums, than equals. The study found that a high I.Q. hampers a woman's chance to get married, while it is a plus for men. The prospect for marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise.
I'm screwed. So, so screwed (if that's true. I refuse to believe it is, or that it makes pairing up impossible).
I just thought of something - what if the glitch in the study results is that men who are attracted to women who are their equals don't necessarily seek out marriage? And vice versa. Maybe those types of people are more likely to eschew a "traditional" institution such as marriage?
This part makes me sad, because I really like Carrie Fisher and think she's wonderfully smart and talented:
"I haven't dated in 12 million years," she said drily. "I gave up on dating powerful men because they wanted to date women in the service professions. So I decided to date guys in the service professions. But then I found out that kings want to be treated like kings, and consorts want to be treated like kings, too."
January 13, 2005
Like Alabaster Sky
I had to rescue this poem from the unreliable archives of my Diaryland site. Can't lose one of my finest pieces of writing (originally published on May 21, 2003):
You're super cool, and that's no lie
With skin like alabaster sky
And rosy lips, so thin, so narrow
And chest that's not unlike a sparrow
Your caustic wit, your childish gall
Release me! From your heady thrall
I cannot lose, I cannot win
I see you every day, again.
One of two 19-year-old fish with human-like facial features in Chongju, about 140 km (88 miles) south of Seoul. The hybrid species fish were born between a carp and a leather carp in the pond of a personal house in Chongju. Each of the two female fish is 80 cm (32 inches) long and 50 cm (20 inches) in circumference. The owner of the fish said on Monday that their faces have begun to look more and more human over the last couple of years. REUTERS/Chungcheong Today
I just don't see it. I mean, I see the little blob that I guess is supposed to be an eye, but it just looks like a fish to me. More to the point, though, how long do you think it will be before someone starts seeing Jesus in this fish? Or maybe since it's a female fish, they'll start seeing Mary Magdalene.
This fish is destined to end up on eBay. Or mounted to the back of someone's car.
January 12, 2005
Out of Sight
I've always liked George Clooney. He's good looking, and he seems funny, smart and kind in his interviews. But now that he's added "willing to publically throw down with Bill O'Reilly" to the list, it's full-on LOVE. To wit:
In response to your lead story on January 6, where you attack the Sept. 11 telethon, it is incumbent upon me to help you get your facts straight.
First, to clarify, it was not the Red Cross but the United Way that sponsored that telethon... an easy mistake to make... if you're 3.
Second, contrary to what you claim, no one objected to you investigating where the funds were going, but we strenuously objected to you insinuating that it was a fraud (which is what you did) as we were still waiting for a list of names of the dead. 6,000 was the number when you broadcast your attack (some 3,000 was the real number), that is simply a fact... no spin. There's no question, sir, that you have become quite powerful. The panic that you started that week scared other charitable organizations into simply handing out money to anyone who walked into their office. I suppose the threat of a Senate investigation would scare most anybody. It was an interesting week though... you showed up on the Today Show to talk about the telethon, but when pressed by Matt Lauer, admitted that you would only talk about the scandal if they hawked your new book. Fact... no spin. You said your tactics weren't about ratings, and that same week took out ads bragging about beating Larry King for the first time, all while Eliot Spitzer and Frank Thomas and Josh Gotbaum were weeding through the difficult task of who was dead and who was not.
I don't make as much money as you, Mr. O'Reilly (a fact that's easy to check), but I'm fascinated by your use of the word CELEBRITY as if you're not one... you put on make up, you do Leno, The Today Show, go on book tours, and do junkets, so let's be clear... you are a well paid celebrity. Period. No spin. And, to quote you last week, "with power comes responsibility"... people canceled their pledges because YOU told them that the telethon was flawed... a lot of money that should have gone to a lot of needy families didn't, because you wanted a controversy... and controversy has made you a celebrity... remember, sir, that this is me you're talking to publicly. I was the one you called several times the day before the telethon to say that we "had to include 'The Factor'" in the press interviews, and that it "wasn't fair to leave us out, we're a news program". Fact... no spin. I think people should know that.
Now, here's the only important fact: the 9/11 telethon was an unqualified success from the beginning to the present and we make sure of it. (I say WE because I'm on the board of directors of the United Way).
Your report last Thursday was a preemptive strike... NOT to protect the families affected by the tsunami, but to create more controversy for your own personal gain. Because of it, fewer people will donate money to help truly traumatized victims; they'll be afraid that their money will do no good.
So all right, Mr. Journalist... come on in. I'm booking the talent for the Tsunami event... and you, Mr. O'Reilly, are now officially invited to be a presenter... (at this point, not one of the people I've invited to donate their time has said "No")... this way, You can personally follow up on our fundraising... this is your chance to put your considerable money where your considerable mouth is... show up... help raise money... and if we're doing something wrong, point it out. I believe firmly in the check and balance system... you'll get nothing but a handshake and a "Thanks for helping out" from all of the rest of us "celebrities".
So what do you say, Mr. O'Reilly... either you ante up and help out AND be that watch dog that you feel we clearly need... or you simply stand on the sidelines and cast stones, proving that your January 6 TV show was nothing more than a "box of lights and wires" designed to make you wealthy.
We do the show this Saturday, it's across the street from where you shoot "The Factor".
I'll need a quick response.
I hadn't intended to watch that benefit, but I will now. Hot, smart, funny, kind, sarcastic, and doesn't want to get married. Why can't I find someone just like him?
(Although his overuse of ellipses is making me blind.)
January 11, 2005
The Shirt On My Back
I found a really cool new blog called Preshrunk. It's a blog highlighting the most interesting t-shirts available for purchase online. The guy writing up the descriptions is amusing, and the shirts are so very cool. I will likely purchase one (or all) of the following:
Click on the image for a larger version; click the link for more information
BACON IS A VEGETABLE
VINTAGE RED CROSS
SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP
PART OF THE SOLUTION
A MAN, A PLAN - MEXICO
I WOULD BE CANADA
I F*CK LIKE A GIRL
Obviously, uh, that last shirt would be for wearing at home only.
I especially like that Toothpaste for Dinner site because they have their pug, Chubby, modeling their shirts.
January 10, 2005
I've been playing around with Photoshop Elements 3.0 tonight and decided to test out its ability to create a LOMO effect on photos. Kinda like this:
Pretty cool, I think. LOMO photography gets its name from a type of Russian camera that renders photographs in a very brightly colored, highly saturated way, with dark edges. I've always liked the look of them, so it's fun to be able to mimick the effect with software (rather than having to buy me a small Russian camera).
Here are some before and after examples:
Midnight Train Goin' Anywhere
You know how some people have those list-y things on their blogs that say how they're feeling, or what they're listening to? I don't have any of those.
Wearing: Red Old Navy hoodie and men's boxer shorts
Eating: Fruity Pebbles
Latest Injury: Dropped a steak knife on my big toe and sheared off a corner of the nail; 'tis now infected
Listening: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" (I've heard this song everywhere the past few days - in multiple stores, on multiple TV shows. It's definitely some sort of sign.)
Scratching: My nose
Last Movie Watched: Wet Hot American Summer (excellent)
Exercise: Taking out the garbage
Dreaming Of: Excel spreadsheets (don't worry, I won't write about it)
Hours of Sleep: Seven
Catching Up: On e-mail
Worrying: Nothing. Yet.
Lost: My MAC Honeyflower lipstick and my spool of CD-Rs
Words of Wisdom: "Street Lights. People. Ohhhh ohh OHHHHHHHHHHHH!!"
January 08, 2005
Are You Ready to Rumble?
Today I saw Hulk Hogan at my vet's office. This was no huge surprise, since it's well known that he lives in the area. My sister-in-law once saw Hulk shopping for produce at Winn Dixie.
Anyway, I'm just standing there with my mom, waiting to talk to the receptionist, and a woman who turned out to be Hulk's wife came in first, blowing by everyone and gushing about the two Jack Russell Terriers in the waiting room. She made small talk with the JRT owner for about 15 seconds, then Hulk came through the door carrying what I thought was two purses. One was hot pink leather with rhinestone accents, and one was Louis Vuitton. Come to realize later that they're both items you use to carry pocket dogs.
So Hulk and his wife aren't even made to wait with all the rest of the unwashed masses in the waiting room; they go right in. Then I see two blonde teenagers walk in and follow Hulk. His son looks normal; his daughter looks like she's trying to channel Paris Hilton (long white hair, pout, tragic lack of fashion sense). The difference is that his daughter looks healthy (in the sense that she looked to be at a "normal" weight rather than rail thin).
My mom and I were placed in the exam room next to the Hogans. Their two dogs' names are Romeo & Juliet, and they were suffering from impacted anal glands.
Celebrities - they're just like US.
January 07, 2005
Letters From Home
I've been getting some really nice e-mails in response to those packages I sent out to the military a few weeks ago, including this one:
Greetings from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. On behalf of all of us here, I would like to thank you for your care package received today. We are very grateful to you for your generosity. The DVD you sent us will become part of our Camp DVD library.
It is people like you who in their generosity make it so evident that we live in the greatest nation in the world. We are proud to serve you, to protect your way of life, and to ensure the hope of a better day tomorrow.
I will be posting your letter on the bulletin board so others can respond to your letter.
Nice, eh? I thought that was very kind of him. Especially when I realized that his return address is one assigned for Special Forces soldiers, so I'm sure he's probably extremely busy at all times.
That letter really made me introspective for some reason. I wrote him back, including the following:
I've been thinking a lot about the U.S. military since I found the anysoldier.com website. I realized that you and the other soldiers are willing to make sacrifices for our country that I don't honestly know I am willing to make myself. I know that I'd be willing to risk my life and/or health for my family and friends, but whether or not I could extend that willingness to people I don't know, or a cause, or an ideal ... I just don't know.
So I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for being willing to do the things that most of your countrymen are not willing to do. I want you to know that your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed, or unappreciated.
No matter what I think about our presence in Iraq from a political standpoint - and I'm pretty sure my opinion about that is obvious to anyone who reads my site for any length of time - I really do admire the soldiers, sailors and Marines who are over there. It can't be any easy life, even if they volunteered for it.
Just What I Needed
Hello, this is Circuit City. We've received authorization to exchange the DVD player you brought in for service. Please bring any accessories that came with the player to the store, so we can process your credit.
A $138.60 gift card later, and I'm the happy owner of a Sony DVP-NS775, which was actually only $99.90 in the store.
SO. Not only did I get a brand new DVD player out of this, but I got a better player that is cheaper than the one I bought two years ago. I hooked it up immediately upon returning home with it last night (ooh, shiny) and it works beautifully.
January 06, 2005
Sydney Get Your Gun
My overall impression of last night's Alias season premiere - pretty good. Not great, but better than average.
I've only watched it once, and some of my questions will probably be answered with a second viewing, but these are the things I'm thinking about this morning:
- Sydney + Dixon 4 Ever – I squealed with joy when Sydney said that the thing that made joining APO (hello, lame!) worth it was being partnered with Dixon once more. Which made me shudder with glee because I think their relationship was one of the bedrocks of this show, and getting away from it last season was a big ol' mistake.
BUT THEN! Who does Syd get partnered with both times she goes out into the field? Sucky li'l Vaughn. So I'm peeved that JJ didn't actually deliver on the renewed Sydney/Dixon partnership.
- The Eagle Has Landed – What's up with the new call signs for these people when they're on operations? Sydney is now "Phoenix" and Vaughn is "Shotgun"? SpyDaddy is "Raptor"? Bring back Mountaineer and *chortle* Boy Scout *guffaw*. I can't recall what Jack's former call sign was.
- Mama, Just Killed a Man – Okay, so, Sydney found her mother's dead body and had her buried in a mausoleum in Moscow. When did this happen? And why does Syd not even mention it until the final act of the two-hour episode? I have a feeling we'll see this part of her story in greater detail later, told in flashback, but it was just really jarring to have this information casually dropped into the episode at the end. Especially when prior scenes showed Sydney weeping to Vaughn about how her father had killed her mother.
- Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child – Why is Sydney such a spoiled brat when it comes to SpyDaddy? As soon as it was revealed that Jack had requested permission to kill Irina, I knew that the only reason he'd do that would be to protect Sydney in some way (although I didn't guess it was due to Irina putting out a contract on Syd's life). The Sydney/Jack relationship is, to me, the very foundation of this show, and the past two seasons have shown that the two of them had grown extraordinarily close. Sydney finds out that her dad killed her mom and she doesn't even get around to asking him WHY? And it doesn't occur to her that just maybe he did it for a good reason? The man went to PRISON for you, Sydney! Wake the hell up!
And THEN, at the end, when she finds out that SpyDaddy killed Irina because Irina had hired someone to kill Sydney, does Sydney thank her father? No. Does she do ANYTHING that shows any sort of gratitude? No. She wouldn't even hug the man who saved her freaking life.
Given the past two seasons and the arc of these characters' relationship with each other, these scenes just rang very untrue to me.
- Using "Bad" was BAD – I love U2's "Bad" very, very much. It's a beautiful song that evokes so many different emotions and thoughts. But frantic shagging is not one of them! What an odd, odd choice of music for Sydney and Vaughn having sex for the first time since she "died." Lyrically I can understand the choice (a little) but the pacing of the song is the antithesis of frenetic, which was exactly what was being shown. Guh! Fire the music coordinator!
- Marshall-ing the Forces – I love Marshall. No, I FLOVE him. "I've been to see Sark twice, just to see a familiar face. We had eggs." I love you, little man! "Did I die?" LOVE. ADORE. Just don't bring back his wife and kid, because they're boring.
- Hey Little Sister, What Have You Done? – Please please pleeeeeeeeeeeease let Sydney kill Nadia soon. Heck, have ANYONE kill Nadia soon. "I will find the person who killed our mother, and I will KILL HIM." Shut it, twit. The day SpyDaddy dies is the day I stop watching this damn show, and I really don't want a season where Nadia is just about almost kinda finding out that Jack killed Irina. Sloane knows that Jack killed Irina; I wonder if he'll tell Nadia at some point in order to get back into her good graces?
Of course he will.
- Credit Where Credit Is Due – The opening credits? I'm not sure I like them. The music doesn't seem as jittery as it was before; I wonder if it's slowed down? I do kind of like the collage of Disguised!Sydney - because really, don't we also watch this show to see Syd's outfits while she's undercover? - but I found myself wanting to see shots of the other cast members, too.
- Weiss Up – Give Greg Grunberg more to do, please! They need to bring him into the black ops fold (he's the only one outside the loop now that Marshall has been recruited). Did anyone else get a very "Will" vibe from him when he and Sydney were bantering in her kitchen? And Weiss is supposed to be 38? Or was it 37? Either way, that struck me as a little bit old (not that I mind, it just didn't seem to fit with what was in my mind for that character). I guess Nadia could be Weiss' Jenny. Only deadlier (one would assume).
- Pure Evil – Sloane can be my Bad Daddy any day. Because he's BAD! And EVIL!! And don't you forget it!!
January 05, 2005
Kids and Stuff
Greetings from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. On behalf of all of us here, I would like to thank you for your care package received today. We are very grateful to you for your generosity. The DVD you sent us will become part of our Camp DVD library. It is people like you who in their generosity make it so evident that we live in the greatest nation in the world. We are proud to serve you, to protect your way of life, and to ensure the hope of a better day tomorrow. I will be posting your letter on the bulletin board so others can respond to your letter.
Me: very kind
Me: I will write him back!
Rappy: damn - that is very nicely written!
Me: yeah, as a chief warrant officer he has to be older
Me: late 20s, early 30s at least
Rappy: god, do you remember Vince Brooks? Good times.
Me: a lot of the contacts are obviously very young because they WRITE LIKE THIS IN THEIR WHOLE POST and they talk to u like dat
Me: Vince Brooks? no.
Me: the hot black army general?
Rappy: he was the hot General
Me: brief me, baby!
Rappy: you'd like that!
Me: I would not turn that down
Rappy: hey, did I tell you about my paycheck?
Me: no. is it a special paycheck? a MAGICAL paycheck?
Rappy: it was magic all right.
Rappy: I'm putting aside 2000NIS of it towards our trip
Rappy: which should cover the flight.
Me: You will like Trina
Me: Actually you and Trina are a lot alike. you'll probably hit it off and not speak to me.
Me: I'll be forced to pick up random Irish boys
Rappy: heh. We're already not speaking to you!
Rappy: speaking of Irish boys. What's happening with yours?
Me: well, it's kind of odd
Me: I mean, I'm happy with the way things are
Me: and he seems to be too, for now
Me: but I think eventually he'll break up with me
Me: because I don't want a super serious relationship
Me: i.e. marriage
Me: I love the relationship I have with him right now
Me: I don't think I'll ever want to get married, to be honest
Me: maybe I just haven't met the "right" person
Rappy: what about kids?
Me: I'm not feeling the maternal urge as of yet
Me: if I do, I think I would rather adopt
Me: as you know, my genetic material is already fucked up
Me: why pass it on?
Rappy: and there are so many kids needing a good home
Me: besides ... exactly
Me: I don't think I'd even want to adopt an infant
Rappy: how are your ribbies doing?
Me: I'd want to adopt, say, a six year old
Rappy: older kids are so much harder to place
Me: they're doing pretty good, I can breathe/laugh/cough without too much discomfort
Me: I think I'd like being a mom to an older kid
Me: I've never been a big BAAAAAAAAAAABIES person
Me: they're fine, but I'm not enthralled with them
Rappy: heh. I thought it was just me.
Me: heck no, man. I have a married friend who absolutely does not want to have children ever.
Me: she doesn't like kids, period
Rappy: And a 6 year old is so much better for a couple of reasons: first, you sleep through the night. Second, you can leave them to their own devices for the most part
Me: well, what it comes down to, for me, is this - I don't want to give up my life to have a child
Me: and if you have an infant, you must do that
Rappy: I don't want to say "never" to having kids, but I *really* don't want them
Me: babies take over your life 24/7
Me: I'm too selfish to undertake something like that
Rappy: I keep finding more and more reasons not to have them.
Me: it's not for everyone, and I think it's perfectly fine as long as you know that about yourself
Rappy: starting with those tractor sized baby "carriages". I especially appreciate those when I get stuck behind one on the bus
Me: I'm not saying I'll never have kids, either, but it's not something I yearn for right now
Me: not at all
Me: maybe I never will, who knows?
Rappy: the idea of not being able to pick up and go anywhere I want to is reason enough not to have them
Me: that's also reason enough not to get married
Rappy: depends on who you're marrying
Me: I'm very much for long term monogamous relationships
Me: but I think there's a 50% divorce rate for a reason
Me: people simply grow apart
Me: I'm not the same person at 34 as I was at 24
Me: it would have been a tossup as to whether or not my boyfriend at 24 would still be compatible with the 34 year old me
Me: know what I mean?
Me: I'm just saying that life is an unending process of growth
Me: and all you can really do is hope the person you're with - if you're with someone - grows in a way compatible with you
Me: I think that's true of any kind of relationship - romantic, friend, whatever
Me: when it stops working for one or both people, it ends
Rappy: I can't imagine what I have with any of my friends pre-2000
Rappy: My personality and interests totally changed around that time. Even later, actually.
Me: have you ever reconnected with someone from your past?
Me: that you haven't seen or talked to for years?
Rappy: with a couple of friends, and I'm very loosely in touch with them.
Me: I have too, and in many cases it's just jarring how little we have in common now
Rappy: When I did the walkathon for Lisa I went out with a bunch of people afterwards, and could find literally nothing in common with them
Me: we have shared memories, but they're such different people now that I wouldn't even choose them as friends
Me: I guess my thing with romantic relationships is that I don't know that it's possible for someone to (and this sounds bad) hold my interest for the rest of my life
Play the Feud
Last night I also dreamt that I was on the Family Feud game show. The original version with Richard Dawson as the host, not that silly, suicidal Ray Combs (Richard Dawson also played Newkirk on the show Hogan's Heroes, which I have not yet incorporated into a dream - but plan to).
Anyway, I was playing the Feud, but the family I was with was not my own. I don't know who they were, but they were dumb. Dumb as hammers. So I'm up there with Richard Dawson at the box thing with the button that you slap to buzz in with the answer, and the question is "Name a type of egg."
I buzz in first and scream, "EISENHOWER!"
Richard Dawson: "Survey says?!?"
And the board flips over the fourth response to show EISENHOWER - 5. Meaning five people answered the question "Name a type of egg" with "Eisenhower." I have my finger on the pulse of America, yo.
So the other person buzzes in with some inane answer and they don't have their finger on the pulse of America, so I've got control of the board for my "family." Only I don't let them answer; I don't even confer with them for possible answers. I just stand up there with Richard Dawson and guess at responses myself.
Richard Dawson: "Name a type of egg."
Me: "Track 3."
Richard Dawson: "Survey says?!?"
And the board flips over the third response to show TRACK 3 - 15. How did I get so smrt?
Richard Dawson: "Name a type of egg, love."
Me: [long pause] "Poached?"
Richard Dawson: "Survey says?!?"
And the board flips over the second response to show POACHED - 25. I do an Ashlee Simpson-esque, acid reflux sufferin' hoedown right there at the box.
Richard Dawson: "NAME a TYPE of EGG."
Me: [excitedly] "GOOD!"
Richard Dawson: [screaming] "Sur! Vey! SAYS!?!?!?"
Ding! Family Feud theme music starts blaring, and confetti falls from the sky
The top response on the board flips over and it's GOOD - 55. Notice that this means that even while in a dream state, my brain knows that 5 + 15 + 25 + 55 = 100.
Good egg! Good egg! Good egg! I say that all the time!
So then everyone is celebrating and I'm hoisted up on shoulders and paraded around the set and then there's a big party for my family because we just won Five! Thousand! Dollars! People are impressed that I knew all the answers, but I lean in to Richard Dawson and admit that I have no idea what those answers mean. He explains the significance of "Eisenhower" (which I forget now), but I remember that he told me that "Track 3" refers to the song "Gloria" by Laura Branigan.
Yeah, I don't know either.
Last night I had the strangest dream.
I was living in a glass box. The walls were such that people could see in, but I could not see out. Yet I knew when people were watching me, because colored symbols - unique to each individual - would appear on the walls whenever someone was there.
There was one symbol that appeared regularly. In the beginning, it made me angry to see this person appear. "You can see me, but I can't see you," I said defiantly. "That's hardly fair, you know."
After a while, though, I realized that seeing the symbol appear on the wall gave me a strange sense of comfort. Because although it might have looked to all the world like I was alone in that box, I knew I was not.
"You're still there."
And then I grabbed a pickaxe and smashed my way out of the box and went on a rampage in downtown Tokyo while singing "Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride" over and over in a chipmunk voice.
- fin -
January 04, 2005
Happy Birthday, Cap'n!
Teem: greetings, infidel!
Me: it's the birthday wench!!
Teem: tis I, the scourge of the birthday cake!
Stroke to the Left
There is no emoticon for how I feel today.
Me: did you send me this DC incident?
Jake: what DC incident
Me: about the CP
Me: staff only pages
The last message was not sent because you are over the rate limit. Please wait until sending is re-enabled and send the message again.
Jake: I'm going to hurt you
Do this do that what do you think of this maybe we should do that no let's do that or maybe that but definitely not that what do you want to do about that and that and that but not that. Let's leave that alone.
WARNING! The following contains profanity.
Jake: Sean used to call him the "walking erection"
Me: I'm sick of you bitches not sending me email when you send me an incident
Me: oh, nevermind. you did.
Me: why would Sean call him that?
Jake: because Path will hit on anything that moves
Me: I really don't want to think about Path's cock, EVER
Jake: (and I personally believe he would fuck a dead person)
Jake: hahaahahaha dude
Jake: you just said _Path's real name_ and COCK in the same sentence
Jake: HATRED ETERNAL
Jake: DAMN MY VIVID IMAGINATION
Me: I'm going to gouge my eyes out
Jake: better make it deeper into my brain
Jake: I don't want to picture what Path does with himself in the depths of the night
Me: now I've totally lost track of what I was doing
Me: oh, you know what?
Me: I'll bet he uses LOTION
Me: when he strokes himself
Jake: SFUFUFUFUCKKKKKKKKKKKYOPU GDA!!
Jake: FGUCK YAOU!
Jake: lkeasg jhafd
Me: *giggling maniacally*
Jake: *VOMITING VIOLENTLY*
Me: at least I didn't speculate about HOW he strokes himself
Me: like, speed and stuff
Jake: I'm going to kill you
Me: I'm laughing so hard I cannot breeeeeeeeeeeathe
Me: I need my inhaler
Jake: I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!
Jake: you are pure evil
It's 3:30. And I'm maybe 10% done with all the stuff I need to do. Although I did finish two things for other people, so that's progress.
*wades back into the abyss*
January 03, 2005
Aragorn and a Dead Guy
Lookit what I can do with my fancy new DVD player/burner:
Yah! I can take screencaps of movies! I don't know why I'd ever want to take screencaps of movies, and I don't think I'll probably ever do it again, but ... if I want to, I can. And that makes me cool.
The Vaughn The
Me: two more days
Me: *holds up two fingers*
Back to Hell
Reason #465 why the Internet is so very cool – You can post a song from a band you like, and a few days later the keyboard player from that band leaves you a comment.
I cannot imagine going back to a pre-Internet world, purely from an information standpoint. I've been completely spoiled by my ability to find information within seconds about whatever topic I'm interested in. I can't even fathom having to actually make a trek to a library (and even those are online now as well).
The flip side of this is that I assume that the information I want is out there. Usually it is, but when it isn't, I'm actually surprised.
Jake: he has arrived
Me: *genuflects to a higher god*
Jake: *cocks weapon*
My DVD player died on Saturday during the movie fest. I guess it didn't appreciate the dry humor of A Mighty Wind, because it gacked within 15 minutes of playing that disk. The display kept reading "H07" and refusing to read the disk. After doing a Google search (see? I'm totally dependent upon the Internet) I learned that the Panasonic RV-32K is apparently a piece of crap that is known for the "dreaded H07 error" - which means its spin motor has died.
According to the user reviews on CNET I should consider myself lucky to have gotten two years out of the thing. Or as "Yet Another H07 Victim" writes:
"Searching Google, it seems getting the H07 (It's dead, Jim!) error after a year in a half is doing pretty good!"
Fortunately I - for some unknown reason - bought the extended warranty when I bought the player from Circuit City on 12/30/02. Yep, it died nearly two years to the day after I bought it. So I took it to the store on Sunday and they're sending it out for "repair." I think they'll change their minds after they realize what is wrong with it. If it can't be repaired, then I get a replacement of equal value and ability, or, if they don't have a comparable model, a gift card in the amount of my purchase price. Which is pretty damn good.
What's not pretty damn good is Circuit City telling me the process will take 3-4 weeks. I helpfully pointed out that the warranty states that after 7 days they have to provide me with a loaner. The clerk balked at that, saying they no longer use that warranty plan (they replaced it with something I can only assume is drastically inferior and much more in their favor). So I had her call the manager, because my paperwork clearly stated what my rights were, and they are required to honor the warranty under the terms in which they sold it to me.
And so I WON. But I have to wait until Sunday to pick up the loaner.
January 01, 2005
Happy New Year!
I've created a gallery of the Last Sunset of 2004. These photos were taken at Sand Key State Park in Clearwater, Florida. None of the photos have been retouched.
I created the gallery using Photoshop Elements 3.0, which is turning out to be the coolest thing ever. Seriously. It resized the original photos and created all the thumbnails and the gallery HTML. This is just a basic gallery (there are about 30 different backgrounds and themes you can use) and I didn't create captions for anything.
I'm spending the day locked in my apartment watching movies with Ian. So far we've watched King Arthur (mmm, Clive Owen/Ioan Griffudd/Hugh Dancy hotness) and Timeline (mmm, Gerard Butler hotness). Next up is A Mighty Wind (mmm, Christopher Guest hotness).
Oh, I hooked up my DVD burner today and it works perfectly.
*big toothy but-I-will-not-do-anything-illegal grin*