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March 14, 2006

'Til I Reach a Higher Ground

highwaygirl: Chris needs to be wearing nothing but a tube sock
Magpie: HWG!
Cops: agreed, HWG.
Donna: oh, no. nooooo HWG.
gfrc: Oh, and Chris rocks.
highwaygirl: what, mags? it would be strategically placed.
Magpie: where? on his foot? you perv.
Donna: it's the mime in her.
Magpie: IN her
highwaygirl: hahahahaha
lifeonhold: heeee

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2006

Pandora's Box

I can't remember who first mentioned Pandora (I think it was MsKick), but for the last few weeks I've been listening to it and building a really entertaining customized "radio station" of streaming music.

I started by using Toad the Wet Sprocket as my base musical recommendation. From there, the system recommends songs that are similar in style and lets me rate whether I like or dislike them. If I give the song a thumbs down, I skip to the next recommendation and the song in question is never played again.

Over time it builds a station of songs I like based upon my ratings and bands that I have specifically added to my station (like Jimmy Eat World, the Gin Blossoms, and the Dandy Warhols). You can also add specific tracks to a "Favorite Songs" list. This is helpful because it lets me go back and remember which new artists I'm interested in exploring further.

When you click on the display for a song - the display shows the CD cover, the band name and track name - you can also access links to buy the song off of iTunes or the full release from Amazon.

To give you an idea, I'll post what songs it serves up this morning, and what I did with them:

  • Toad the Wet Sprocket (it always starts the day with Toad), "Fly From Heaven" - Thumbs up!
  • Third Eye Blind, "Jumper" - No rating, but I listened to it because I haven't heard it in awhile.
  • Weather, "All This Time" - Thumbs down.
  • The Hold Steady, "Most People are DJs" - Thumbs down, with extreme prejudice.
  • Dandy Warhols, "We Used To Be Friends" - Thumbs way up.
  • Cracker, "Movie Star" - No rating, but sang along.
  • Urge Overkill, "The Candidate" - Dismissed.
  • Robert Pollard, "I Drove a Tank" - Kicked.
  • Paris, Texas, "Cemetary City" - Thumbs down, hoping for something better soon.
  • Pavement, "Rattled By the Rush" - No rating; I like Pavement, but this song is merely OK.
  • Cracker, "Sweet Thistle Pie" - Nooooooo.
  • Jimmy Eat World, "Pain" - Thumbs up.
  • The Countdown, "Say Something" - No rating, but it was decent.
  • The Bravery, "Fearless" - *yawn*
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket, "I Think About" - Ups.
  • Vic Chestnutt, "Panic Pure" - A little too alt-country for me.
  • Joe Jackson, "Get That Girl" - No rating.
  • Fire When Ready, "The Right Hook" - Downer.
  • Wolf Colonel, "The Almond Gorilla" - I am now ready to switch to Winamp.
  • Inspiral Carpets, "Please Be Cruel" - My faith in Pandora is restored.
  • Graham Parker, "Did Everybody Just Get Old?" - WTF?
  • Sinead O' Connor, "Jealousy" - No rating.
  • Kenny Loggins, "Just Breathe" - No really, WTF???
  • Dandy Warhols, "Godless" - Big ups; Mike, this could be your theme song!
  • The Lucksmiths, "Now I'm Even Further Away" - These people sound exactly like the real Smiths.
  • Pale Fountains, "Palm of My Hand" - And these guys sound a lot like Fun Boy Three.
  • Chuck Prophet, "No Other Love" - I like this song, but I'm not going to rate it.
  • The Decemberists, "Clementine" - I've been wanting to hear these people, and now I have. The lyrics to this just made me laugh out loud.
  • Owen, "In the Morning, Before Work" - All the wimpy-boy music/plaintive wailing is starting to run together. Ha! This song just name-checked Morrissey. That tells you everything you need to know. That said, I kinda like this song. He's using a dobro, and that makes me happy.
  • Everlast, "Lonely Road" - Hell the no.
  • Travis, "Side" - Mmm, Scottish boys (second only to Irish boys).
  • Escape Club, "Walking Through Walls" - If you're going to serve me this horrid 80s band, at least give me "Wild, Wild West."
  • Archers of Loaf, "Plumb Loaf" - No rating.
  • The Black Halos, "Darkest Corners" - Loud. Gone.
  • The Replacements, "Johnny's Gonna Die" - I love the 'Mats, but this isn't one of their best songs.
  • Comet Gain, "Saturday Night Facts of Life" - Music for whiners, which we skip.
  • Urge Overkill, "Vacation In Tokyo" - Dismissed again.
  • The Calling, "When It All Falls Down" - I didn't really like this, but I listened to it.
  • The Outfield, "Closer To Me" - How dare Pandora give me a song by the Outfield that isn't the JOSIE'S ON A VACATION FAR AWAY song???
  • Alex Lloyd, "All You Need" - I really liked this one and will definitely try to find more by this guy.
  • Simple Plan, "I'm Just a Kid" - PLEASE KILL ME NOW (and here's where Pandora stopped skipping through songs I don't like - you can only do that so many times in an hour).
  • Mike Johnson, "Come Back Again" - Listened to, but not rated.
  • Big Head Todd & The Monsters, "Tangerine" - No.
  • Dandy Warhols, "Mohammed" - Way Up.
  • The Perishers, "Trouble Sleeping" - This was really, really good. I've added the CD to my Amazon favorites and will probably consider buying it after I hear more tracks.
  • Chris DeBurgh, "A Night On the River" - Um ... no.
  • Sebadoh, "Soul and Fire" - Skipped.
  • Dada, "Where You're Going" - I was talking to Rappy and didn't notice this was on.
  • 8Stops7, "Good enough" - Boring, skipped.
  • The Jayhawks, "Better Days" - Not bad!
  • Moonbabies, "Stars of Warburton" - Who the what now? And do they mean PATRICK Warburton? But whatever, I kind of liked this one too.
  • Wide Mouth Mason, "Midnight Rain" - Too country, ditched.
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket, "Way Away (live)" - *screams*
  • 16 Horsepower, "I Seen What I Saw" - I don't even know what to make of this, and I say that in a good way. Honestly, I've never heard anything like this before - it's gothic, but melodic and not really moody. I'm at a loss. Must hear more.
  • The Go-Betweens, "Here Comes a City" - Really, really good. INSANELY good, even.
  • Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin, "Anna Lee" - That's it, I give up.
I was hoping to hear my first Pandora discovery, Fretblanket's "Into the Ocean" - which I've put on my Favorites list - because I LOVE this song but cannot find it online anywhere (illegally or legally).

Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:55 PM | Comments (2)

December 21, 2005

You Know What He Did?

"He was injured. Injured BAD."

This is the cutest, funniest thing I've seen in quite a while:

Advertisement for BlueCross BlueShield (opens in Windows Media Player, safe for work)

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:08 PM | Comments (5)

December 12, 2005

Devotion to the Egg


I finally got the chance to see the movie March of the Penguins this weekend, and it was absolutely fantastic. I laughed, I cried, I marveled at the lengths emperor penguins go to reproduce and raise their young.

(Go to the official site - linked above - and watch the trailer. You'll be sold. If you have Quick Time, you can view the trailer and two additional clips.)

Morgan Freeman's narration is, of course, absolutely perfect.

It really is one of the best movies I've ever seen. The cinematography is gorgeous, the subject matter is interesting, and baby penguins are freakishly cute.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:55 AM | Comments (1)

July 06, 2005

One! More! Day!

Until Big Brother 6 starts, that is. And everyone needs to come over to Hamster Time and check out our live feed recappers (including me), because we bring the funny (and witty and cynical and bitter).

Sorry I haven't been posting much. I was hellaciously busy at work, then I was busy getting HT and its alternative board, HT.net, ready for the season, AND I was trying to finish up the layout for Foecus. I'm pretty happy with the way Foecus is looking, and today's photo - "Depth of Feline" - is particularly good.

In depressing news, Eric is leaving tomorrow. Who will keep me entertained during lunch?

Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:10 AM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2005


It's been a sucktastic day (hellaciously busy at work, tropical storm moving through the area), so I've got nothing. Except this:

My favorite Calvin and Hobbes strip
My second favorite Calvin and Hobbes strip


Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:59 PM | Comments (9)

June 01, 2005

The Flop, the Turn, and the River

Mmm, Danny

I almost filed this entry under "Celebrity Crush."

I'll admit - my first exposure to the joys of Texas Hold 'Em poker was Celebrity Poker Challenge on Bravo. However, then I started watching the real thing, and right away my favorite player was Daniel Negreanu. Danny! He's so witty and wry and sarcastic; he always seems to be having fun and getting into the other players' heads.

Plus, he's really good. And he blogs.

Last Sunday the New York Times Magazine ran an excellent story about Danny, written by Pat Jordan. I didn't think I could like the guy more, but ... yeah.

(Oh, and in my next life, I want to be named "Jesus Ferguson.")

Card Stud


Daniel Negreanu is a vegetarian, without much interest in food. ''I ate two days ago'' is the kind of thing he says. His disdain for food is a reaction to his mother, who is obsessed with food. Mommy, as he calls her, likes to serve people food, then sit down and smile at them as they eat. When Negreanu was growing up in Toronto, Mommy sent him to school with his lunch packed in a brown bag. When he went to McDonald's with friends, she gave him a brown-bag lunch. When he got his first job as a telemarketer (''I lasted a day,'' he says), Mommy packed him a brown-bag lunch. When he got his next job at Subway (''I was a good sandwich maker''), Mommy packed him a brown-bag lunch. These days, when Negreanu goes to work at night at the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas, Mommy packs him a brown-bag lunch.

Daniel Negreanu (pronounced neh-GRAH-noo) is a small, slightly built man of 30. His job in Las Vegas, where he has bought a house for Mommy, is playing poker for eight hours a night or more, for pots as high as a million dollars, with older men named Eskimo Clark, Jesus Ferguson and Texas Dolly Brunson. Negreanu looks small, boyish, defenseless, with his bottle of water and Mommy's brown-bag lunch at his feet. Often during his poker games, Mommy calls from home. If he's winning, she says: ''Good. That's enough. Come here, I made some cabbage rolls.'' If he's losing, she says: ''Today is not your day. Come home, I'll make you some mamaliga.'' If he's breaking even, she says: ''Nothing is happening. Come home, I made some fresh vinete.''

Poker is no longer the sole preserve of unshaved, cigar-smoking older men in cheap motel rooms. It has become a game of the young, most of whom have made their poker bones playing online poker. Negreanu says they learn as much about poker in a year as he did in seven years playing cash games. ''I see Internet kids with a $250,000 bankroll,'' he told me. ''I had to hustle up games to get a bankroll, which is why I consider myself a bridge between the old-timers and the kids. I have a hustler's skills, but I'm up on what's happening now too. Some old-timers don't keep up with the kids and get passed by. They don't respect their intellect.''

Many of these young players, like Negreanu, David Williams, Phil Ivey and John Juanda, have become instant celebrities because of their TV exposure at the World Series of Poker and on the World Poker Tour. ''We're the new rock stars,'' says Negreanu, who had a first-episode cameo in the ESPN poker series ''Tilt.'' Hollywood stars like Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck and James Woods treat such players as if they are the real celebrities. ''Poker is hot because it's everyone's sport,'' Negreanu says. ''Most guys can't play football or hockey. They're fat and out of shape, but they can play poker at home. Poker is the purest form of reality TV. Nothing's scripted. There's drama. Real people with real money on the line.''

Last year Card Player magazine named Negreanu the poker Player of Year. Jeff Shulman, a publisher of the magazine, says, ''Daniel Negreanu wins so much he's a freak of nature.'' Texas Dolly Brunson, who is 71 and has won nine lesser World Series of Poker competitions and two grand-prize W.S.O.P. championships, says: ''He may be one of the all-time greats. Maybe the greatest ever.''

This week, someone will win a grand prize of more than $5 million in No Limit Texas Hold 'Em, the main event at the World Series of Poker, which begins on June 2 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It's a prize Daniel Negreanu has never won, even if he is already one of the best poker players ever. ''He's on an amazing roll,'' Brunson says. ''The only thing that can bring him down is if he forgets who he is.''


Since Negreanu moved to Las Vegas in 2000, he has won more tournaments, 30-plus, and more tournament money, about $6 million, than any other player. He has also won millions of dollars in private cash games at the Bellagio. ''If I had to play $100 games, I'd shoot myself,'' he says. ''I like million-dollar cash games.'' Cash games are dangerous. A player gambles with his own money. Often Negreanu brings hundreds of thousands of dollars to those games. If he loses, he has to go deeper into his own pocket. He once lost $156,000 on a single pot in a cash game.

Tournaments are less dangerous. Each player puts up an entry fee of, say, $10,000; that is the most he can lose. But if he survives late into a tournament he can win hundreds of thousands, even millions, on his $10,000 investment. Last year at the W.S.O.P., an attorney from Connecticut, Greg (Fossilman) Raymer, won $5 million, and David Williams, a 23-year-old college student, finished second, winning $3.5 million. Negreanu himself won $1.8 million at a Bellagio tournament last year and another $1.1 million at a tournament in Atlantic City. When Negreanu first started playing tournaments in the late 90's, a sponsor occasionally covered his entry fee, and he had to split his winnings 50-50 with the backer. But since 2000, Negreanu has used his own money for cash games and tournaments.

Negreanu claims not to have much interest in money, except as a means of keeping score. After he won that $1.8 million at the Bellagio, he bought six videos and put the rest of the money in poker chips in a lockbox at the casino as if it were a bus-station locker. The chips are still there. The $1.1 million Negreanu won in Atlantic City was converted into $300,000 in cash and an $800,000 check. Back home in Las Vegas, he discovered that he left the check in his hotel room; the maid threw it out, and Negreanu had to fly back for another check. ''I don't believe much in banks,'' he says. ''Although I do have one bank account with not much in it, just a couple hundred thousand.'' He also doesn't believe in credit cards, or buying anything he can't afford to pay cash for, which is why he always travels with a wad of $100 bills held together with an elastic band.

Negreanu has two basic rules for playing poker. First, maximize your best hand and minimize a mediocre hand. Too many novices play too many mediocre hands when not bluffing, which increases their chances of losing. Great players only play hands when they have ''the nuts,'' or unbeatable cards; otherwise they fold hand after hand. Second, play hours, not results. Negreanu sets a time limit for his play and sticks to it, whether he's winning or losing. If he goes beyond his time limit, he risks playing ''tired hands'' when he is not sharp. (Before a tournament, Negreanu gives up alcohol and caffeine. ''I do nothing, to numb my brain,'' he says, ''except watch poker film -- just like an N.F.L. team before the Super Bowl.'')

Negreanu says that most great players are geniuses, then lists the kinds of genius they must have: 1) a thorough knowledge of poker; 2) a mathematical understanding of the probabilities of a card being dealt, given the cards visible; 3) a psychological understanding of an opponent; 4) an understanding of an opponent's betting patterns -- that is, how he bets with the nuts and how he bets when bluffing; and 5) the ability to read ''tells,'' or a player's physical reactions to the cards he is dealt. Negreanu is a master at reading tells, although he claims it is an overrated gift, since only mediocre players have obvious tells. The best players, of course, have poker faces.

Negreanu says he can break down opponents' hands into a range of 20 possibilities after two cards are dealt. After the next three cards are dealt, he says, he can narrow the possible hands to five, and after the last two cards are dealt, to two. ''It's not an exact science,'' he admits, ''but I can reduce the possibilities based on the cards showing, his betting pattern, tells, his personality and my pure instinct.''

Shulman, Card Player's co-publisher, connects Negreanu's success to his personality: ''Daniel controls a table by getting everyone to talk and forget they're playing for millions,'' he told me. ''He makes every game seem like a home game -- you know, guys drinking beer and eating chips. They forget what's happening. Plus, Daniel is the best at reading an opponent's hands, as if their cards were transparent. He gets guys to play against him when he has a winning hand and gets them to fold when he has nothing. He's the King of Bluffing. You know some guys can beat bad players and not good players, and some vice versa. Daniel does both.''

Beyond Negreanu's knowledge and considerable intelligence, what makes him truly great is his aggressiveness in a game -- his ruthlessness, some might say. He once bluffed his own girlfriend, also a professional poker player, out of a large pot at a tournament. ''I bet with nothing,'' he says, ''and she folded. To rub it in, I showed her my hand. She was furious. She stormed into the bathroom, and we could hear her kicking the door, screaming, smashing stuff. When she came out she kicked me in the shin and said, 'Take your own cab home.''' She is no longer his girlfriend.


Negreanu began preparing for his poker career when he was a 5-year-old with ''grandiose dreams'' in Toronto. He was a change-of-life baby (his mother had nine previous miscarriages) raised in an Old World Romanian household. Before they moved to Toronto in 1967, his mother, Annie, and his father, Constantin, were so poor in their native country that, according to their son, they seldom had enough to eat. As a boy, Negreanu says: ''I was big on numbers and reading people. Mommy would take me to a mall, and I'd see a couple, the woman rolling her eyes, and I knew she was sick of him but he loved her.'' As a young teenager, Negreanu was short, so, he says, he never got the No. 1 girl -- ''Only maybe No. 3'' -- but he was personable and adaptable enough to fit in with all the school cliques, the ''blacks, nerds, cool kids.''

By 16, Negreanu was skipping school to play pool. He showed up only for tests, usually ''acing them,'' he says, especially his math tests. ''My math teacher was a moron,'' he told me. ''I'd go up to the blackboard and show him a better way to do it.'' It was at the pool hall that Negreanu learned poker, becoming a regular at the house games there. He then taught his classmates to play and ran a daily game in the cafeteria. One day a kid wrote him a $300 check to cover his losses, and the next day Negreanu was in the principal's office. ''The principal told me the kid stole the money from his mother. I said, 'What's that got to do with me?' He expelled me. I said: 'Why me? He stole!' ''

By the time he was 17, Negreanu was playing for as much as $1,500 a night: ''I played noon to 8 p.m. every day and won $45 an hour.'' At 21, he made enough money to finance a trip to Las Vegas. But he lost the money quickly and returned home humbled, beginning a vicious cycle that lasted more than a year. Negreanu would hustle up a bankroll in Toronto, go to Las Vegas and lose it, return to Toronto for another stake and so on. Eventually he had an epiphany: he had to stop being so aggressive. ''I realized I can't always be the bull,'' he says. ''I gotta rein it in and play some defense.''

A few months later in Las Vegas Negreanu had his first big success. At 23, he became the youngest player to win one of the smaller World Series of Poker competitions. Shortly after that, he began to win regularly in Las Vegas in both cash games and tournaments, and soon he had settled there. Negreanu was on a roll that lasted until he was 26, when he fell in love with a woman he refers to as Delilah.

''I got careless,'' he says. ''I thought I had plugged all my leaks at 19.'' Leaks can be alcohol, drugs, gambling, women. In Negreanu's case, he was winning so much money so quickly that he couldn't spend it fast enough. He began to splurge on expensive dinners, order bottles of Champagne, then try to play high-stakes poker. ''I began to lose $30,000 a night,'' he says. And Delilah was distracting him from poker; she never understood that it was his job and not a game. She called him during his games, pleading with him to come home because she was lonely. Negreanu was getting calls from two women while he played poker, his girlfriend and Mommy. Even worse, they were jealous of each other. ''If Mommy made me breakfast, Delilah's feelings would be hurt,'' Negreanu says. ''So she'd make me breakfast. Same with lunch and dinner. Jeez, I was eating two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners every day.'' Shortly after he broke up with Delilah, Negreanu went on a winning streak and formulated another poker rule: ''Avoid the poker table when there's a crisis in your life.''

Today Negreanu has no crises in his life. He is rich, famous in his field and happily in love with a woman named Lori Weber. He says she's easygoing, self-assured and jealous of neither Negreanu's poker nor his mother. (His father died when Negreanu was 22.) ''I laugh at how much his mother adores him,'' Weber says. ''Let her do it. It makes her happy.''


One afternoon in early January, Negreanu and a lifelong friend from Toronto, Jason Morofke, were navigating their way through a crowd of poker players and fans in the lobby of the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas. They were there for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament. The Atlantis is a sunny adult theme park. Rock waterfall pools. An underwater re-creation of Atlantis. A comedy club. A disco. All forms of gambling. The Atlantis is where people who don't know how to entertain themselves go. Negreanu, wearing a baseball cap pulled low over his eyes and a jacket with its collar pulled up around his neck, could walk only a few feet before being recognized and asked to pose for photographs. Morofke said, ''He's a celebrity now, but he's still the same guy he was at 17.''

Negreanu plays his celebrity role graciously, which is why Steve Wynn, the Vegas casino impresario, hired him to be the poker ambassador at his new casino, Wynn Las Vegas, which opened in April. But in private, Negreanu is skeptical about poker players being viewed as celebrities. ''I hate idolatry,'' he told me. ''They're just nerds trying to be great men.''

Negreanu entered a conference room crowded with men and a few women seated at the 30 or so poker tables. He circulated among them, glad-handing the players; he seemed to know everybody. Whenever he enters such a crowded poker room, he told me, he can look around and see all the players he has lent money to. ''In any given room,'' he said, ''I can see a million dollars of my money out there. Some guys I back in games, some I give personal loans, one guy I put in drug rehab. I guess you could say this is my leak. I was really soft in my 20's. I used to go to L.A. with $30,000, win $20,000 and leave with $20,000.'' He shrugged.

Shulman told me that Negreanu is loved like no other poker player. ''College kids love him because they think he's one of them,'' he said. ''Mothers love him. He does things no pro athlete does. He answers all his e-mails. He has no ego. I haven't seen this in any other sport.''

Texas Dolly Brunson told me: ''I didn't like Daniel at first. He was too brash, loud, always partying. . . . But he turned his train around. Now he's one of my favorite people. You know, poker transcends age. There's just this bond when you put your feet under the table and your hand in the pot.''

Negreanu found his table, No. 14, and sat down beside Morofke. He acknowledged the eight other players around him. Only one was a seasoned pro, Yosh Nakano, from Los Angeles. The others were ordinary-looking young men who would like to become Daniel Negreanu someday. They tried not to stare at him, but every so often they sneaked a glance. Even the dealer couldn't help smiling at Negreanu. Before the game began, a woman stopped by to say hello to Negreanu. She was Evelyn Ng, the former girlfriend Negreanu bluffed out of a pot. I asked if the story was really true.

''Yes, it's true,'' she said, then faked a kick at his shins. She told me the problem with their relationship was that both of them were poker players with big egos. ''I had trouble taking his advice,'' she said. ''He wanted me to play like him, aggressive, but I was more conservative, so we broke up.'' They later tried dating again but decided they were better as friends. ''Daniel's a great friend,'' Ng said.

Over the next four hours, Negreanu played poker. He was nervous at first, but as the games assumed a rhythm of their own, he relaxed. There was not much talk between games, since the players didn't know each other. There were a few grins, however, when Nakano nodded off during a hand. ''He's been playing for four days straight in L.A., without sleep,'' Negreanu whispered to me.

The game continued in silence, players folding hand after hand before the final cards were dealt. It was boring. Poker is no sprint; it's an endurance race. But then Negreanu became hot and won six out of seven pots. He put $10,000 into the eighth pot and smiled at one of his opponents, a beefy man. ''I'm trying to get you all in,'' he said, '''cause I got you beat.'' But the man wouldn't bite. He flicked his cards toward the dealer. Negreanu said, ''I had two aces,'' but he didn't show his cards. He showed his cards a few hands later after he bluffed a player out of a pot with a pair of threes. He hugged his chips and said, ''My bluff of the day, gentlemen.''

A few hands later, Negreanu bet $3,000 -- '''cause I got the best hand.'' He tossed a head fake at Morofke. ''You only got ace-king.'' Morofke folded. By the time the first session was halted for a dinner break at 8 p.m., Negreanu had built his $10,000 entry fee into $42,000. (He would end up with $11,000, finishing 75th.) Negreanu went up to his hotel suite with Morofke to relax for an hour before the second session at 9 p.m. He took off his sneakers and lay down on the sofa.

''The guys at the table weren't very good,'' Negreanu said. Then, glancing at Morofke, who is a landscaper and plays poker only occasionally, he added: ''I don't mean you. You played O.K., but you played too many hands. A good player wants to avoid confrontation unless he has the nuts. A few times I wanted them to think I was bluffing by taking a long time to place a bet, but even then I had the nuts. I'm walking through these guys 'cause they're letting me be aggressive. They're laying down like lambs at the slaughter.'' He grinned. ''My job -- taking money from chumps.''

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:23 AM | Comments (8)

May 17, 2005

ADD + FAS = Britney Spears

Teem and I watched the new Britney & Kevin: CHAOTIC show tonight.

Wait. No we didn't. We never watched that show, ever. Just forget I ever said anything like that.

Teem: uh... that Tru Calling show!
Me: canceled!
Me: *bzzzt*
Teem: bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt bitches!
Me: jizz face!
Teem: hahahahaha
Me: I'm sorry, that's all I see
Me: wtf?
Me: what does that mean?
Me: "my love doesn't scare me. other people's love scares me."
Teem: I have a feeling this show is going to be like watching... uh, I dunno. Like watching swirly chaotic paint dry.
Teem: TOXIC!
Teem: swirly, chaotic PAINT
Teem: this was when britney like, still had a real job
Teem: being a slut and whatnot
Teem: but you know, it's an honest profession
Me: I may be unable to make it through this entire show
Teem: her boobies look like a butt
Me: I think she was born with fetal alcohol syndrome
Teem: I think she was born in a vat of alcohol
Me: with a rope around her neck
Teem: look at her boobs
Teem: it's like she has two asses
Teem: 9 minutes in and I can pretty comfortably say this is not must-see TV
Teem: I like the toxic video
Teem: where she screws on her boobs
Me: britney dies!
Teem: I am so moved
Teem: *teats up*
Me: hahaha
Me: bitter betty
Teem: AUGH!
Me: he skeeves me out bigtime
Teem: me too!
Teem: and this wendy's commercial... it makes me want to commit murder
Me: hee!
Teem: heh!!
Me: *makes mewling noise*
Teem: that made up for the wendy's
Teem: I wanted to be your 40,000th
Me: aww, did you?
Teem: but I couldn't make it past 39,995
Teem: refreshing didn't work!
Me: well it only counts you once ever 30 minutes
Teem: oooh
Teem: fucker!
Me: it was on to you!
Teem: I reckon
Me: I am very scared of Britney Spears at this point
Teem: her boobs are eating her hair!
Teem: *smacks britney*
Me: her boobs are ugly
Teem: they look like an anus
Me: *snort*
Teem: she's wearing tighty whities across her nipples
Me: her voice is HORRIBLE
Teem: *cringes*
Teem: *lip syncs*
Me: *lip synchs Japanese style*
Me: it's better than she does
Teem: Gee, I'm like totally bummed that I missed out on a Britney concert
Me: ADD + FAS = Britney Spears
Teem: hahaha
Me: ol' jizzface
Me: Felicia talks like she's 5
Me: that's not normal for a woman her age
Teem: =-O <<< o==8
Teem: that's um, the jizz
Me: Teem, you scallywag
Teem: *wags*
Teem: what's the bedroom?
Teem: she looks like fire marshall bill sometimes
Teem: oh goody
Teem: more concert footage
Teem: what a spectacle!
Teem: *in awe*
Me: I feel like booting
Teem: hahaha
Me: she has flounder face
Teem: *puts hands together like WOO!*
Me: your love is like "whoa," Teem
Teem: it is!
Me: skankalicious!
Teem: shave your damn head again
Me: seriously
Teem: and then put a bag over your head
Teem: and then throw yourself into a dumpster
Me: and then set the dumpster on fire
Teem: and then send keenyah to graze in the dumpster
Me: Britney = flounder
Teem: yah
Teem: sing it, MO!
Teem: first impressions, Mo
Teem: cling to those
Teem: uh oh, not a night shot
Me: night vision is ultra terrifying
Me: smoking is so fucking sexy
Me: don't you think?
Teem: his teeth were glistening a lovely shade of yellow
Me: someone should have drowned Britney at birth
Teem: this show sucks, julie
Teem: like, more than I thought it would
Me: yes, yes it does
Teem: I'll stick it out the next 15 minutes though
Me: I for one will not be watching it again
Me: let us never speak of it
Teem: so I can say I watched an episode
Me: :-X
Teem: although I'm not sure why I'd admit that
Teem: yes, exactly
Me: I'll deny it until I die
Teem: I mean, how many episodes of this shite are there?
Teem: and is every episode just like this?
Me: *sigh*
Teem: britney is so deep
Me: I want to kill myself
Teem: take britney with you!
Me: *kills self*
Teem: augh!
Me: you did get what she said there, right?
Teem: no
Me: "let's just stay inside and fuck all day"
Teem: [/denial]
Teem: no nononono
Me: cry with me
Teem: I've no tear ducts left
Teem: my eyeballs have been ripped out
Me: they sealed up, did they?
Teem: hee
Me: is this supposed to make people LIKE Britney?
Teem: I have no idea
Teem: maybe it's supposed to make them feel sorry for her busted ass
Me: seriously, I want to drill holes in my skull right now
Teem: my god
Me: I want to drill holes in my skull and stick straws in them
Teem: is this supposed to be interesting to people?
Me: and serve up my brain like a fruity tropical drink
Teem: I'd drink but I don't want to give my baby FAS
Me: I want to bury myself deep in the earth right now
Teem: I think I enjoyed my barium enema more than this show.
Me: I'd rather have another bone marrow biopsy than do this again
Teem: damn, you win
Me: fire marshall bill!
Teem: yes!
Teem: now her boobs will eat all of London
Teem: poor London
Me: it's over
Teem: I am going to have nightmares
Me: I'm going to shower
Me: to wash off the dirty
Teem: they should not show this right before bed time
Teem: man!
Me: the skeevy
Teem: thanks for sharing this with me
Me: yeah man
Me: I would have given up without you
Teem: good thing we will never have to do that again
Me: nope never
Teem: see, the bright side!
Me: we shall never speak of this again
Me: *zips lips*
Teem: speak of what?

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:33 PM | Comments (69)

May 11, 2005

Mount Nigel

Teem and I chatted through America's Next Top Model tonight, as usual. If you missed the episode, here is a summary:

Me: shit!!
Teem: oh oh!
Teem: there you are!
Me: what have I missed?
Teem: keenyah being a big old bitch
Teem: that's about it
Me: no shocker there
Me: is this a clip show?
Me: no
Teem: oh, and they have to do a african tribal dance in front of a huge audience
Teem: it's new!
Me: this isn't the final is it?
Teem: no
Me: ok
Teem: but it's obvious that tonight is keenyah's night to go
Teem: so we can *celebrate*
Me: *african tribal dances in celebration*
Teem: *waddles around*
Me: I like Kahlen
Teem: me too
Teem: I think she's my favorite, then naima
Me: yep
Teem: then like, 300 miles later, brittany
Me: shut up, fat keenyah
Me: keenyah's mouth is focked up
Teem: was keenyah always such a crackhead?
Teem: I don't remember this in earlier episodes
Me: she's gotten worse every ep
Me: mmm, Caress
Teem: *caresses you*
Me: *jumps on*
Teem: hee!
Teem: lee-roy!
Me: ooh, she has porked out
Teem: that's a good name
Teem: Bertini is kinda creepy
Me: just wait
Me: the white guy is hot hot hot
Teem: he is
Me: keenyah sucked on a LEMON
Teem: keenyah sucks
Teem: ewwwwwwwwww he's moaning!
Teem: he was more like grunting
Me: I want the white guy model
Teem: keenyah is full of herself
Me: brittany is a lush
Me: how!
Me: *holds up palm*
Teem: how!
Teem: heeee
Me: catfight!
Teem: britney is wise when she's drunk
Teem: hee
Me: UGH!
Me: *mute*
Teem: dude
Teem: there's a pig on my tv!
Teem: a pig with great eyelashes
Me: her reign of terror needs to end
Me: Trublend!! UGH!!
Teem: bleh
Teem: satan's thighs, dude
Me: almost a hint
Me: I hate keenyah
Teem: hey, me too!
Me: you rock, teem!
Me: I think it will come down to Naima vs. Kahlen
Teem: I hope so!
Teem: I would let nigel moan at me
Me: I would let Nigel do ANYTHING to me
Me: *eyebrow*
Teem: hahahaha
Teem: this is going to be hilarious
Me: Brittany looks like she's been punched in the face
Teem: she's looking a little worse for the wear
Me: Naima looks dead
Teem: yep
Teem: *poses on nigel*
Me: *climbs on nigel*
Teem: *mounts nigel*
Me: dammit
Me: waited too soon to make my move
Teem: hee
Me: too long
Me: HEE!
Me: <-- dork
Me: crap, Kahlen might go
Teem: noooooooooooooooooooo
Me: I love Kahlen too!
Teem: britney has been taking good pictures
Me: dammit
Teem: uh
Me: *scared*
Teem: it has to be keenyah!
Teem: cuz she's fat and stuff!
Me: oink oink
Teem: WHAT!
Me: Bye, Kahlen
Teem: fucking fucker
Me: kill! kill! kill!
Me: WHOA!!
Teem: wait!
Me: *screams*
Teem: oh!
Teem: naima is totally gone
Me: bye brittany?
Teem: mothrafocker
Me: it can't be naima
Teem: it is!
Teem: sumbitch
Me: but she's been the viewers' favorite 100 weeks in a row!
Teem: seriously!
Me: fire fire burning bright
Teem: I hate how tyra talks
Me: whew
Teem: whoa
Teem: poor brittany
Teem: we shoulda known
Me: keenyah sucks ass
Teem: since the ep concentrated on brit and keenyah
Teem: they are only keeping keenyah for the drama
Me: fine, look at the good
Me: then get off my screen
Teem: it's totally gonna be naima vs kahlen
Teem: heh
Me: naima wins this
Teem: *feels*
Teem: is next ep the last one?
Me: I think so, yeah
Me: two hours
Teem: I bet it's up against the Lost finale
Teem: *hugs tivo*
Me: *hugs it good*
Me: it's my lovah
Teem: hee!
Me: ick
Me: ok
Me: watch this
Me: the end
Teem: are you going to watch this?
Me: she looks like he just came on her face
Teem: yes!!!!
Me: am I watching it?
Me: I dunno
Me: are you?
Teem: =-O O==8

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:17 PM | Comments (2)

April 11, 2005

I Don't Understand

Every morning I try to grab a few CDs out of my big enormous CD binder and take them into work. This particular morning, I was all excited to take Idlewild's The Remote Part with me. I hadn't listened to it in awhile, but I'd been thinking about the first single from that release - "American English" - and really wanted to hear it.

So I go to take it out of the sleeve, and ... it's in two pieces.


I don't have to tell you that this is not the way CDs are supposed to be. I have no earthly idea how a CD that has not moved from this sleeve inside this binder for at least 8 months somehow got split in two, but ...

It's dead, Jim.

I should have grabbed 100 Broken Windows instead.

Anyway, I was complaining about this to John in an email and I couldn't remember the actual name of the CD, so I went to the band's website to look it up. Which is when I saw that they have new a CD out, Warnings/Promises. This excites me in ways you cannot imagine.

So I click around for a release date and ... although it is presently available in the UK ... it will not be available in the States until AUGUST.

Well let me tell you something - I can't wait that long!

I've listened to all the clips (the first single, "I Understand," is pretty good) and watched both of the videos, and I really must have this now. NOW! Or at least soon (like, within a week). Delayed gratification is just not my thing.

Oh, but my crush on lead singer Roddy Woomble happily lives on, even though he's grown his hair out and he's looking a wee bit girly.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:46 AM | Comments (3)

March 10, 2005

Free Stuff That Rocks

Does anyone want a free one month trial for Netflix? Only loser weirdos don't use Netflix, so ...

They sent me an e-mail that I can forward to all of my friends that includes a promo code for a free month.

Be forewarned, though - it will suck you in. It's not quite as indispensible as TiVo, but fairly close.

Contact me if you want me to send you the promo mail.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:02 PM | Comments (2)

February 27, 2005

Purple States

Lookit me, stealing an idea from RandomBen. This is going to be the next non-fiction book I read:

What's the Matter With Kansas? by Thomas Frank
First chapter | Buy

An excerpt from the book jacket:

Hard times, instead of snapping people back to reality, only seem to stoke the fires of the conservative backlash. Indeed, those segments of the working class that have been hardest hit by the big economic changes of recent years are the very ones that vote Republican in the greatest numbers. We seem to have but one way to express our anger, and that’s by raging along with Rush—against liberal bias in academia, liberal softness on terrorism, liberal permissiveness, and so on. Our reaction to hard times is thus to hand over ever more power to the people who make them hard. In fact, the election of 2002 provided a perverse incentive to the men who gave us the dot-com bubble and the Enron fiasco: Keep at it. The more you screw the public over, the more they will clamor to cut your taxes. The more you cheat and steal, the angrier they will become—at the liberal media that expose your cheating and stealing.

And here's more - a longer excerpt from the book's final chapter, and a Q&A with author Thomas Frank.

There is a link on the Alternet site to a photogallery project called Sorry Everybody, which gives those who tried to stop George Bush a chance to show the rest of the world that they apologize on behalf of America for the 52% who weren't thinking very clearly.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:17 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2005

Celebrities: Bastards Just Like Us

The glitterati like Apple products as much as us wage slaves do, but they don't always feel the need to be considerate customers:

Stars Take a Shine to Apple

Apparently, Melanie Griffith is a bitter old hag who "threw a tantrum when she was unable to buy a pink iPod mini." LeVar Burton refused to go out to his car to get his photo ID for a credit card purchase, causing the sales clerk to relent "only because I could see a vein pulsating in his forehead and I didn't want to be the one responsible for causing the blind dude from Star Trek to have a stroke."

Robin Williams, John Stewart and Kiefer Sutherland are all, according to reports, super nice.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:38 PM | Comments (2)

February 14, 2005

Rock Gods

Yes, this is how rock stars should look:

franz ferdinand

Marry me, Nick McCarthy! (the guy on the far right, who is the guitarist for Franz Ferdinand)

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:38 AM | Comments (5)

February 13, 2005

The Sound of "Music"

They told me not to miss the first five minutes of the Grammys, so like the mass media sheep I am, I'm not missing it.

So far we've had the Black Eyed Peas preach about tolerance (as near as I can make out; they're pretty difficult to understand, what with all the shouting and flailing their arms). This is an interesting (read: hypocritical) message coming from a band that originally called it's recent hit "Let's Get Retarded."

And now we have a duet between Gwen Stefani and Eve. It's official - Gwen Stefani is insane:


Los Lonely Boys follows the freakishness. These people can actually play - what are they doing on the Grammys?

Maroon 5 - shut up, Adam Levine, you big whiner. And stop trying to dress like Paul Weller circa The Jam.

Someone from the Black Eyed Peas - am I supposed to bother to learn his name? - just threw a guitar to Adam Levine (unfortunately it didn't hit him in the forehead) and they dueted a bit. *yawn*

OH YES. HELLO. Franz Ferdinand! This makes all the crap I've just sat through worth it. Dear god, the Franz guitarist is all sorts of cool. "Take Me Out" indeed.

And now all the bands are doing some sort of weird collage of their songs. Someone is breakdancing on the floor. Franz Ferdinand is standing there looking cool. Oh, and there's The Edge in the crowd. Good way to end.

*exits stage right*

ETA: Just have to add one thing - Marc Anthony looks like a reanimated corpse.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:15 PM | Comments (2)

January 19, 2005

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!!!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:33 AM | Comments (1)

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!!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:08 AM | Comments (12)

January 03, 2005

The Vaughn The

Me: dude
Me: two more days
Me: *holds up two fingers*
Rappy: until?
Rappy: OH!
Rappy: DUDE!
Rappy: DUDE!
Me: *screams*

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:23 PM | Comments (5)

December 29, 2004

Come On Home


Jerry Orbach Dead at 69

This makes me so sad. I loved him. Wonderfully talented actor, and by all accounts an even better man. I stopped watching Law & Order when he left the show, because really, what was the point?


Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:15 AM | Comments (1)

December 28, 2004

The Dark of the Matinee

I read several so-called "milblogs" - online weblogs written by military personnel - off and on. One of my favorites belongs to Sgt. Missick, who writes with a level of thoughtful contemplation that many of these blogs lack.

Aside from his writings, though, he has posted photos from his deployment in Iraq. In addition to his own photos, there are photos taken by SPC Ryan Albaugh, who I'm assuming is in the same platoon as Sgt. Missick.

I am very impressed with SPC Albaugh's work; specifically his use of light (or the lack thereof) in his photos. I sent an e-mail to Sgt. Missick to request permission to post my favorite of SPC Albaugh's photos, an image called A Soldier Tired of Waiting:

Click the photo for the original high-resolution version A Soldier Tired of Waiting © 2004 by Ryan Albaugh. All rights reserved.

Since SPC Albaugh gave me permission to use "one or more" of his photos, I'm also going to post my second favorite, Waiting to Move Out:

Click the photo for the original high-resolution version Waiting to Move Out © 2004 by Ryan Albaugh. All rights reserved.

Again, I love the lighting on this photo. Whether or not this was the photographer's intention, I really like how the American flag patch is illuminated while the soldier's face is in shadow. There's a lot of subtext and meaning you could infer from that.

You can see more of SPC Albaugh's work on the blog (click the Pictures link, then proceed to the gallery for 4-05 to 5-04).

Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:03 AM | Comments (3)

December 10, 2004

Is the Grisly Reaper Mowing?

Yahoo Movies posted the trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory today. It didn't sell me on the movie. At all. Although I did like the part where Wonka remarks on chewing gum.

I think the problem is that Johnny Depp, as Willy Wonka, looks a whole lot like the Peter Pan guy.


Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:24 AM | Comments (2)

December 02, 2004

These Are Their Stories

Dammit, this really blows - Jerry Orbach has cancer.

I love this man. He was the one reason why I kept watching Law & Order throughout the years, and when he finally left prior to this season, I gave up the show entirely. There's no point in watching it without him.

And he voiced "Lumiere" in Beauty and the Beast, which only increases my love even further.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2004

But What About Rodan?

Godzilla Gets Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

LOS ANGELES — Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, 50 years after he stomped onto movie screens and hours before the premiere of his latest film, "Godzilla: Final Wars."


Producer Shogo Tomiyama appeared at a ceremony outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre, where the 2,271st star is located, and tripped the light fantastic with the big lizard in celebration.

"I'm here representing Godzilla. Unfortunately, he cannot speak English," he said. "We're very excited he is being honored in America."

Godzilla reacted violently to the presence of the paparazzi.

On screen, the fire-breathing sea creature was spawned by nuclear weapons testing. He made his appearance in Japanese theaters in November 1954 while the United States was conducting nuclear tests in the South Pacific.

At the ceremony, Tokyo's finest appeared mostly peaceful. But let's not forget what people the world over know – Godzilla eats children.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2004


Roo is so good at cheering me up. She sent me a link to the "Jaws-as-reenacted-by-bunnies" clip, and I had to watch all the others. I like them all (except the Alien one is a little meh).

The Exorcist
The Shining

Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:02 PM | Comments (1)

September 30, 2004

I'm a Rock! It! Man!

I hesitate to subject you, gentle reader, to the following experience, because I'm not sure your mind is quite ready for it. And yet, I must. Today I bring you ...

William Shatner's spoken word performance of "Rocket Man." (Right click to save; Quick Time required)

Now, let's get one thing straight before we start. In my world, The Shat is the shit. The man can do no wrong, and I enjoy his work. Not enough to, say, watch The Practice or his new show, whatever it's called. But that's mostly because I don't like James Spader.

ANYWAY, I love William Shatner and I firmly agree with the worldwide cabal that believes this performance of the Elton John classic, especially the ending, is "the apex of entertainment in our civilization." It is, honestly, just that good. So be sure you watch the clip all the way through.

This momentous event apparently occured at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:44 AM | Comments (2)

September 08, 2004

Secret Survivor Handshake

I just finished watching the episode of VH1's Bands Reunited that features the group ABC. Why does this show always make me cry? I was upset when two members of the band chose not to take part, but it was nice that the other two members - singer Martin Fry and drummer David Palmer - went forward with the one-off show. Martin was who I wanted to see most, anyway.

But the show left me stunned for an entirely different reason. Martin was the last band member they tried to talk into participating in the reunion. During his segment, the host started talking to Martin about 1986, and what happened to him.

What happened to him? He was diagnosed with cancer. What kind of cancer? Hodgkin's disease (like me). How old was he? He was 26 (like me). He married his girlfriend right after he finished treatment. What is his girlfriend/wife's name? Julie (like me).

When the words "I couldn't wrap my brain around it, but I had Hodgkin's disease, which is a kind of cancer" came out of Martin's mouth, my reaction was a loud "NO WAY!" And then I said "Martin's in the club!" It was that statement that elicited a puzzled look, and subsequent questioning, from the person watching with me. Who didn't know I was a cancer survivor. But who does now, and, well, I'm just not sure it went over all that well.

Anyway... I really liked some of the comments Martin made about his experience. Especially two statements:

"The people who see you at your best, and who see you at your worst ... when you're crawling around on the floor - that's a friendship."

"I kind of feel like I was robbed, in a way, of some time. And that's what motivates me today."

As cheesy as it sounds (and I know it does), I feel a sort of kinship with this person because of our shared experience ... and more importantly because I think both of us got the same life lesson out of being sick, and made the conscious decision to let the experience ADD meaning to our life instead of detracting from it.

Martin and David performed two songs (with help from Nick Beggs of Kajagoogoo!) at the end - "The Look of Love" and Poison Arrow (right click each to download) - and both sounded fantastic.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:53 PM | Comments (1)

August 30, 2004

Those Who Don't, Critique

I was hunting around the 'Net for screencaps of the Haircut 100 video for "Love Plus One" in anticipation of tomorrow's entry, wherein I foist that song upon an unsuspecting populace. Or you. What I found instead was a site called Reel Reviews that contains goddamn funny reviews of cult films and videos.

After reading the site's synopsis of the "Love Plus One" video - A bunch of total geeks in Hawaiian shirts dance around like fuckin' idiots in this pointless exercise in bad taste - I decided to read all the reviews of stuff that I've seen. It didn't take all that long. Plus I had help. Here are some of my favorites:

After the Fire, "Der Kommisar" - I have completely forgotten this video, although the actual song keeps ringing in my head like a Kafkaesque nightmare. Can anyone fill in the gap?

Adam Ant, "Goody Two Shoes" - Rocker wanders around mansion, freaking out butlers, maids, cooks and anyone else who crosses his path with a series of goofy antics. The guy is wearing a ridiculous costume and decked out in war paint, making him look like a cross between some bargain-basement buccaneer and Chief Dan George's bastard son from Little Big Man. By the end of the video, he manages to persuade a female reporter to let her hair down and become a total slut. Fade out.

GOOD GOD!!! I just read the synopsis for Big Country's "In a Big Country" and I find out that "After a long struggle with alcoholism, Big Country lead singer Stuart Adamson hanged himself in his hotel room in Hawaii shortly before Christmas, 2001. He was just 43 years old." JESUS!!! That makes me very, very sad.

So, uh ... no Bands Reunited for Big Country, then. I'll get back to being sad after I finish this entry.

Pat Benatar, "Love Is a Battlefield" - A whacked-out floozy leaves home, becomes a whore, seeks refuge in a cheap bar and leads a weird dance ritual whose torn-clothed, wild-haired participants flail around like victims of Tourettes Syndrome on crack. Some real Guido-type dude in a three-piece suit tries to hit on her but she kicks some ass and then strolls off into the sunset.

Cruel Intentions - A bunch of young, wild and rich party animals plot and scheme in order to get laid. Tragedy ensues.

Falco, "Rock Me Amadeus" - Mozart wannabe in rainbow-colored fright wig charges around town screaming incoherently about how Amadeus was the first punk rocker or something ridiculous to that effect. The freak takes a ride on a motorcycle. A bunch of bikers pump their fists in unison.

Madness, "Our House" - Another infectious hit from a long-forgotten band (at least in the United States), this video's energy and humor serve to mask its otherwise banal and simplistic lyrics. Or did the video actually serve as a serious political commentary on the struggles of London's working class? Who the fuck knows? Either way, it was great entertainment.

(Yes, yes it was. I must download the song, now, because I can't be bothered to go find the CD I have that it is on.)

Nena, "99 Luftballoons" - A bunch of red balloons over Germany are mistaken for a UFO or missiles or something.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:42 PM | Comments (2)

August 29, 2004

A Very Very Mad World

Someone told me that there was never a soundtrack released for Donnie Darko, but ... YES THERE IS!! I will be running out to Circuit City today to buy it (if they have it), and I might pick up the Director's Cut (or whatever) editions of Alien and Aliens while I'm there.

*hugs frazzledglispa for the information*

*waves at Natey*

Teem, Roo and Nancy have been attacked by an almost-hurricane this morning in Charleston, SC. I just talked to them for about 10 minutes and they're being menaced by tsunamis outside the hotel lobby. At last report, Nancy was sliding down the stairway bannister.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:47 AM | Comments (2)

June 30, 2004

A Bitter Story

My cheeks hurt from laughing so hard at this:

A Bitter Story

Posted by Highwaygirl at 05:49 PM | Comments (1)

June 29, 2004

Rock the Vote

If you love me or care about me at all, you will place a vote for Hamster Time as the Best Big Brother website in all the land! Look for the ballot on the right side of the page.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:41 PM | Comments (6)

June 26, 2004

Number One In the Hood, G

So, courtesy of Overg, I am now fully in love with Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a show on the Cartoon Network. Although I feel a bond with Meatwad, I must admit at this point that Master Shake gets most of the funny lines.

But Meatwad also has his moments! In fact, Meatwad is the owner of my all-time favorite ATHF line (so far): "Do what I said, 'cause I said it."

It's all in the delivery, yo.

Anyway, last night Overg and I simul-watched five ATHF episodes that we both had TiVoed. That's really the way to go, I think - watching with someone else who likes the show as much as I do (well, even MORE). It's even funnier when you can share.

I can't remember all of the episode titles we watched last night, but two lines stand out:

Master Shake: It's Obvious Day at Camp Stupid!
Fratboy Alien: It was worse than eight bitches on a bitchboat.

The episode with the fratboy aliens was a scream. I wish I had not deleted it.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:07 AM | Comments (5)

June 18, 2004


I'm going to be picking up the fourth season DVD box set of The Simpsons this weekend. I was excited because for some reason I thought my favorite episode, "Lisa the Vegetarian," aired that season. But I looked it up and I was wrong - it aired in the seventh season.

ANYWAY, my favorite part of the episode is the meat movie shown to Lisa's class after she complains about having to dissect a worm and the lack of vegetarian alternatives in the lunchroom. Here's a synopsis of the filmstrip:

The film starts. "The Meat Council Presents: `Meat and You: Partners in
Freedom'. Number 3F03 in the `Resistance is Useless' series." Open on
cattle country.

Troy: Nothing beats a stroll in cattle country. Hi, I'm Troy McClure.
You may remember me from such educational films as "Two Minus
Three Equals Negative Fun" and "Firecrackers: The Silent Killer".
Jimmy: Mr. McClure?
Troy: Oh! Hello Bobby.
Jimmy: Jimmy. I'm curious as to how meat gets from the ranch to my
Troy: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down Jimmy. You just asked a mouthful.
It all starts here, in the high density feed lot. Then, when the
cattle are just right [swipes his finger along the top of a cow
and licks it] Yum...it's time for them to graduate from Bovine

A klaxon blares out a siren and the cattle begin moving up a conveyor
belt into the meat packing plant.

Troy: Come on Jimmy, let's take a peek at the killing floor.
Jimmy: Ohhh!
Troy: Don't let the name throw you Jimmy. It's not really a floor,
it's more of a steel grating that allows material to sluice
through so it can be collected and exported.

They walk throught the door of the plant accompanied by the sounds of
moo-ing and startled cows. Electricity noise sparks in the background
as the camera pans down the length of the factory to a truck marked
"Meat For You" being loaded with raw chunks of meat. Troy and Jimmy
emerge, with Jimmy visibly pale and queasy.

Troy: Gettin hungry Jimmy?
Jimmy: Uhh, Mr. McClure? I have a crazy friend who says its wrong
to eat meat. Is he crazy?
Troy: Nooo, just ignorant. You see your crazy friend never heard
of "The Food Chain". [Flash to a picture of "Food Chain",
with all animals and arrows pointing to a silhouette of a
human.] Just ask this scientician.
Scientician: [Looking up from a microscope.] Uhhh...
Troy: He'll tell you that, in nature, one creature invariably
eats another creature to survive.
[Images of various wild carnivores attacking and eating
others appear.]
Don't kid yourself Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance,
he'd eat you and everyone you care about! [Image of a cow
quietly chewing cud.]
Jimmy: Wow, Mr. McClure. I was a grade A moron to ever question
eating meat.
Troy: [Laughs.] Yes you were Jimmy, yes you were. [Briskly rubs
his hand on Jimmy's head.]
Jimmy: [Timid] Uhh...you're hurting me.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:08 AM | Comments (6)

April 21, 2004

Again and Again

As I said a few days ago, I've been watching Band of Brothers on the History Channel, and it's been terrific. I'm down to the final episode (thank you, TiVo!), and the penultimate episode, "Why We Fight," depicted Easy Company's entrance into Germany and the company's discovery of one of the Jewish prison camps.

Not an easy thing to depict, of course, but it was done beautifully. It made me feel so many different things - revulsion balanced with empathy, anger offset by despair. The acting in these scenes was incredible - you could see all these different feelings flashing across the soldiers' faces as they began to understand what had happened in this camp. I think the prevalent feeling was shock - shock at what people can do to each other. Shock at how inhuman it is possible for humans to become, under certain circumstances.

There was a scene, after the discovery of the camp (and the ensuing realization of what had happened to these Polish Jews), where soldiers go back into the nearby town to get any food and water they can get their hands on. They go into a bakery and start taking all the bread, to which the baker protests vociferously.

One soldier, Webster, speaks German and translates what the baker is yelling to his fellow paratroopers. "He says he didn't know about the camp," Webster tells them. Then Webster grabs the baker and angrily asks how it was possible that the baker couldn't smell the burning and rotting flesh permeating the town. "You KNEW!" Webster shouts. The baker continues protesting, and another soldier says, "C'mon, Web. He says he didn't know."

"He didn't know?" Webster replies, looking at the baker with contempt. "BULLSHIT."

At the end of the episode, statistics were quoted - during what would become known as the Holocaust, Hitler's Germany oversaw the slaughter of six million Jews, and two million other ethnic minorities. Which is genocide, a term created in 1944 specifically to define what happened during the Holocaust. Ordinary citizens had knowledge of what was happening and did nothing.

I'm not sure it's fair to blame them for that, though. Perhaps they feared for their own lives, if they spoke out? Perhaps they just didn't think that their voice would make any difference?

But it got me thinking about genocide, and what our moral imperative is when we know that genocide is happening. Both myself as an individual, and the United States as a country. I don't think that, as individual citizens, we can do very much to prevent or stop the government-sanctioned slaughter of an entire race, religion or ethnic class of people. But I do think that the United States government does have a moral imperative to do whatever is necessary to stop genocide from occuring, even if we have nothing specifically to gain from it ourselves. We should do it because it's the right thing to do.

We're willing to fight over oil rights and our way of life. We're willing to fight to maintain or national safety and integrity. None of which I seriously disagree with. Why aren't we willing to fight simply because fighting is the right thing to do?

Because genocides are still occuring (if you click on only one link in this piece, please make it this one), even after we've documented the horrors of the Holocaust. Do you think that the United States would stand around, willfully ignorant, if millions of Jews were still being executed in Europe? Absolutely not. So why did we stand around while almost one million people were slaughtered during ethnic cleansing in Rwanda in 1994?

I guess we were too busy with Vietnam to really care about how Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were in the process of killing 2 million Cambodians (30% of the country's population).

One of the things that infuriates me is the fact that national governments won't call the mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands - based on ethnicity, religion or race - exactly what it is: genocide. Because if they do, according to United Nations resolutions, they are required to act. If the term is used, the U.N. is legally obliged to act to "prevent and punish" the perpetrators.

But we don't want to get involved, so we run around saying that we "condemn these actions and ... call on all parties to cease any such actions immediately." Thanks, President Clinton! I'm sure the Hutus and Tutsis cared a whole hell of a lot that you asked them nicely to stop hacking each other to bits with machetes. Jesus.

And it's still happening. The Arab Janjaweed militia, armed by Sudan's government, are systematically killing and displacing black Sudanese citizens. According to Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, 1,000 black Sudanese are killed every week.

Last week, Kristof used his column to talk about what is being done - or not done - to prevent the situation in the Sudan from reaching Rwanda-like proportions. There is a tentative cease-fire in place, but this statement couldn't be more true – "It's a fallacy to think that just because we can't do everything to stop genocide, we shouldn't do anything."

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:17 AM | Comments (3)

April 15, 2004

And Then There Were Two

So, who do you think is going to get to hear YOU'RE HIRED from Donald Trump tonight on the finale of The Apprentice? I honestly don't care! No, really. I'd be happy with either Kwame or Bill winning. I think I like Kwame a little more, but Bill is cuter. What does that have to do with running a business? Nothing. But it has everything to do with entertaining me.

Angel continues to limp towards the finish. Happiness was found in the casting of Adam Baldwin (Noel Rohroaereroaerer from The X-Files)(and lots of other stuff) as the new conduit to the senior partners, for two reasons. One, I really like Adam Baldwin. He's a good actor and tall and manly and stuff. Two, I really hate the character of Eve and think the "actress" who plays her - name unknown - is almost wholly without talent. Sadly I think she'll still be in these last episodes, but now that she's no longer the conduit - and therefore no longer immortal - my hope is that she will DIE! DIE! DIE! very soon.

And as much as I love Lindsey, the trade of Linney for Gunn was kinda lame. Way for the character of Gunn to go out with a whimper, huh? Quite a bit different than the character he was when he first appeared on the show.

AeonFred needs to die soon too. She talks too much.

In sober political news, Thomas Friedman's op-ed piece in today's New York Times is quite interesting. It compares the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza with what needs to happen in Iraq re: the U.S. turning over governance of the country to Iraqis. He makes very good points about how "there is nothing like the burden of responsibility to promote accountability."

I also love the opening to today's column by Maureen O'Dowd:

If only Osama had faxed an X-marks-the-spot map to the Crawford ranch showing the Pentagon, the Capitol, the twin towers and the word "BOOM!" scrawled in Arabic.

That might have sparked sluggish imaginations. Or maybe not.

HEH! It's funny because it's true. And the ending is equally good:

(Bush) reiterated that his mission is dictated from above: "Freedom is the almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world."

Given the Saudi religious authority's fatwa against our troops, and given that our marines are surrounding a cleric in the holy city of Najaf, we really don't want to make Muslims think we're fighting a holy war. That would only further inflame the Arab world and endanger our overstretched military, so let's hope that Mr. Bush's reference to the almighty was to Dick Cheney.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:02 PM | Comments (1)

March 29, 2004

Ooh, Baby I Love Your Way

When Sark is good, he's very, very good. But when he's with Lauren, he's just bad (and not bad as in good, just bad as in bad).

Case in point - David Anders' understated delivery of Sark's reaction to the Evil (But Hot) Black Terrorist Guy's assassination of the technogeek who just helped him decode the crystal-map:

Sark: [pause] [deadpan] That was extravagant.

I also liked when Sark told Lauren that she needed to KILL HER DADDY.

I think I know what is "wrong" with Alias this season - too much emotion, not enough action. And I don't mean "action" as in Sark and Lauren rutting like crazed weasels, ew! Ew! Ew! Ew!

I mean "action" as in kick-assedness. I don't want Sydney to be one-dimensional, but I also can't take her constant schmoopiness over Vaughn any more.

And speaking of Vaughn ... dude, you are the most emasculated man on television. You're such a girl.

Who didn't catch on that Lauren's Mom was evil within 5 seconds of her appearing on screen? Anyone? Hmm? Raise your hands. The only thing that would have been more obvious would have been to have the woman wearing a "Kiss Me, I'm Evil" t-shirt.

I think she's Irina's second sister. Which would be a FUN plot twist (one of the few so far this season), but would sadly make Sydney and Lauren cousins. Until we find out in the season's penultimate episode that Lauren was actually taken in by the Reeds after having been abandoned on the side of the road by a roving band of howler monkeys. You know you're in bad shape when even howler monkeys hate your crazy eyebrows and enormous fivehead.

Also, has any character ever asked the obvious question - why in the hell does Lauren speak with an accent? Did they do this and I just missed it? Because Daddy is 'Merican and Mommy speaks with a vaguely Southern accent, and even if Lauren the Abandoned Howler Monkey spent her formative years in Britain or Australia (or WHEREVER her accent is supposed to be from) I seriously don't think it would be so pronounced at this point.

Agent Weiss needs to get on top of this, stat!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:07 AM | Comments (6)

March 07, 2004


I now have TiVo. I can record a program on the TiVo, record a second program at the same time on my VCR, and watch a THIRD program on my TV.

*hugs TiVo*

I may never leave my living room again.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:18 PM | Comments (1)

March 05, 2004

The Inquisition - What a Show!

I am inordinantly excited that Mel Brooks' History of the World - Part I is on AMC tonight at 8 p.m. I adore this movie (RIP Madeline Kahn and Gregory Hines).

Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:12 PM | Comments (2)

February 18, 2004

Gimme Five

This "opinion" piece on The Onion is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. WARNING - It is profane.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:27 PM | Comments (2)

February 11, 2004

Walk the Dog

Aww, the big black doggie won! Josh the Newfoundland took home Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club championship.

Here he is!


Coco the beloved Nawfuck Terrier, who came into the competition undefeated, suffered her first loss. But she's still super cute:


Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:35 PM | Comments (1)

January 12, 2004

Sydney, Don't Be a Hee-ro

Pretty excellent Alias last night, eh?

At first I thought it was going to be one of those dastardly clip shows - although I admit that Alias even does those well - but later I realized that J.J. was just making very good use of past footage to give this episode context. Well done, my man.

And Sark is frucking HOT, and I scoff at all of you who once said otherwise. *looks at Rappy*

The only plot point I rolled my eyes at was the whole "stealing Sydney's ova" thing. First, unless someone went at her ovary with a steak knife, the scar wouldn't be that big (and someone using a steak knife probably wouldn't have the tools necessary to extract the eggs anyway)(oh, sorry, I was being too literal. I should know better with this show.).

And then this idea that the Covenant wanted to breed Sydney's eggs with Rambaldi's DNA. I'm not really up on the whole fertilization without sperm thing, but that's asking me to suspend my disbelief just a leetle too far.

Except I guess they never have specified the, uh, source of the Rambaldi DNA and what, uh, medium it is suspended in.


In other news, it is Monday. Bluh. Well wait, this Monday is pretty okay (see above entry), PLUS I get to watch another episode of Cell Dogs tonight, PLUS America's Top Model starts tomorrow. Whee!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:40 AM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2004

Who Let the Dogs Out?

So I'm watching this show on Animal Planet called "Cell Dogs." I've never seen it before and it just started at 5 p.m. The show is about prisons that have programs where inmates train service dogs.

Eleven minutes in and I'm ready to cry. The show went to commercial with the teaser that Lisa is going to have to give up her dog, Molly. I don't know why, but Lisa is crying about it, and I'm ready to cry, too.

*bleeding heart*

5:30 p.m. - Well Jerri just got paroled, and I'm crying. She was the leader of the program, and she trained the star dog, Bud. He was the first dog in the program and will "graduate" soon (it takes 18 months to train the dogs). Jerri started crying as she was saying goodbye to Bud - he was the last goodbye - and it's so happy-but-sad.

Oh, and Lisa had to give up Molly because Molly failed her training. But it turned out okay because one of the prison guards adopted Molly.

5:45 p.m. - Dee Dee, who was Jerri's best friend, took over as trainer for Bud (a beautiful Golden Retriever). The program picked Christina as the new leader, since she's serving a 38-year sentence and won't be getting paroled any time soon. Heh.

AWWWWWWWWW. Bud is going to be partnered with a 14-year-old with Down Syndrome.

You know what strikes me about this program? These women look so normal. And many of them are incarcerated for voluntary manslaughter. I don't know what preconceived notions I had about what female convicts looked like, but whatever they were, they've been blown away. These women look like they could be my coworkers, or friends.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2004

I *heart* Danny

This column is a good example of why I love Dan Savage so much.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:11 PM | Comments (2)

December 05, 2003

With Or Without You

I can't liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive..
With or without youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...

I'm listening to The Best of U2: 1980-1990 at work this morning, and I'd forgotten how much I love early U2. Later U2, not as much (although I do love many songs on All That You Can't Leave Behind). So I'm flipping through the CD booklet, and the music is reminding me how great songs like "With or Without You" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "The Unforgettable Fire" are, but the photos in the liner notes are reminding me how HOT Larry Mullen Jr. is/was/always shall be. Damnation!

*touches Larry Mullen Jr. and is burned*

I had the good fortune to see U2 in concert once. It was during the tour for The Unforgettable Fire, so I guess it was about 1985 and I was 15. It was at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, and my friend Kim (don't remember her last name) was a year older and had a car, so she drove. We got there super early because we - me, Kim and Dina (Merrill?) - fancied ourselves as groupies. Awwww, yeah. I've been backstage many a time in my day.

We didn't get backstage that day, though. But we were very close to the front of the line, so when the doors opened we were able to rush in and get fourth-row seats on the floor. Yep, general admission. The floor was covered with rows of plastic chairs that were bound together at the edges.

The Red Rockers opened. I don't remember anything about them other than that I think they had a decent single at the time, "China." Wait, it's all coming back to me now (ewww, Celine). I think that song went something like:

China, Chiiiiiiiinaaaaaaa
Calling out to history
Is that the way it will always be?

Or something like that. I'm definitely hearing the melody of the chorus in my head.

So, Red Rockers get off the stage, and then the audience is all whipped into a frenzy for the boys from Ireland. People stand up on the seats of their chairs. We do too. U2 starts playing and everyone starts jumping around and chair dancing and pogoing all over the place.

Then people start standing on the backs of the chairs. The plastic chairs. Pretty soon, the backs of the chairs buckle under the weight, so that the backs of the chairs are now bent backwards and are parallel to the seat. Which basically eliminated the space that had once been between the rows of chairs.

Then that happens in every row, until you've basically got several hundred people jumping around and chair dancing and pogoing on an elevated, shaky floor made of bent plastic chairs. Balancing? Very difficult. Falling? Very easy.

And we did. Several times. Then people started pushing and surging forward and stepping on the fallen and pushing and stepping and surging and not thinking and shoving and pressing and screaming and dancing and pushing and surging until ...

We're pushed tight up against the stage. I can't breathe, and my back hurts, but it doesn't matter because THERE'S LARRY MULLEN JR. AND OH MY GOD IS HE CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTE.

Ah, "Bad" just started playing on this CD. This is such a beautiful song.

If I could, I would
Let it go...
Posted by Julie at 10:32 AM | Comments (5)

December 04, 2003

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

This is the day that will not end
It goes on and on my friend...

This day is DRAGGING. I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, only without the ability to create ice sculpture and the witty remarks about a truck-driving rodent ("Don't drive angry!").

So. Who do you think is getting the boot on Survivor: Pearl Islands tonight? My pick is ABB - Anyone But Burton. You see, we needs the eye candy now that our sentimental favorite (Rupert) is gone. Right?

And even odds on Johnny Fairplay *shudder* saying something reprehensible.

Posted by Julie at 03:56 PM | Comments (9)

November 30, 2003

Nothing's On

Doesn't it figure that when you most want to watch television, there is absolutely nothing worth watching? Earlier this afternoon I just wanted to surrender to the idiot box, but I couldn't find anything interesting to watch. I ended up watching the last 20 minutes of Mary Reilly, and let me tell you - that movie BLOWS. I have no idea what Julia Roberts was thinking with that one. She probably doesn't either. The only reason it was even remotely watchable was because I was mocking it, and I was hopped up on allergy medicine.

In seven minutes I'm going to watch Who Killed Jesus? on the Discovery Channel.

An hour ago I had another massive allergy attack, so I can no longer breathe through my Rosebud Salve-covered nose.

Posted by Julie at 06:54 PM | Comments (5)

November 18, 2003

Let's All Zshuhz!

New Queer Eye for the Straight Guy tonight! And not only that, I bought the Two Towers DVD box set today!

Good times ahead, my friends. Good times.

Posted by Julie at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

Cold Case

Note: I'm writing this with Coldplay's "Green Eyes" playing in the background, and may I just send out a big SCREW YOU to Chris Martin for refusing to perform this song anymore (because Gwyneth Paltrow has blue eyes, not green). Chris, I hope you and Gwyneth break up soon, and you can go back to performing one of the best songs you've ever written.


I'm now taping the Simpsons on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. Why is this noteworthy? Well, for two reasons. One, I've been watching the Simpsons since it premiered, so for me to not watch a new episode at the exact moment it is first shown is unheard of.

Second, it's noteworthy because I've found a show that I think is better.

Well, I'm not sure it's better. It's a completely different genre, but for whatever reason, it speaks to me on a level that the Simpsons no longer does.

So. Does anyone else watch Cold Case? Yeah I know - it's on CBS. Which, generally speaking, isn't worth anything as a network except for reality shows (and okay, maybe CSI). But don't let the fact that it's on CBS keep you away – Cold Case is an excellent show, and you should be watching it.

It's a mystery, but it doesn't have Big! Momentous! Twists! the way that Law & Order does. Incidentally, I used to love L&O, but now? Not so much (although Jerry Orbach can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned).

But I digress. Cold Case is a show with heart. That's really the best way I can describe it. There is a palpable sense that the detectives working to solve the case, and bring closure to the crime, are emotionally invested in seeking justice for the victim. It's wonderfully acted, the stories are creative, and the messages within the show are subtle enough that I don't feel like I'm being beaten over the head by someone else's morality.

But it's the ending of the show that always gets me, and typically brings me to tears. Not big, heaving sobs, but those lone, solitary tears that people get when they're empathizing with others. At the end of each show, with the case finally closed, a song plays in the background. It's always a song from the era when the cold case originated - the last episode used the Byrds' "Turn" - and it's accompanied by slow-motion shots of the detectives, and the family/friends of the victim, and of the killer being led away.

Interspersed in these shots are shots of the victim, from the era when they were still alive. Usually they're looking at their friends or family and smiling, as if to say "I'm okay now. You don't have to hurt for me anymore." And at some point the victim and the lead detective, Lilly Rush, make eye contact, and the victim gives a little smile, or a little nod, in a gesture of thanks.

It makes me cry every single time.

Last week's episode involved a gay college baseball player being beaten to death outside a gay bar in the '60s. It was absolutely phenomenal, and the end was so poignant. The player appeared in the alley where he was killed, watching his mom and the detectives light a candle at the little memorial his mom had set up. He was dressed in a suit, and he and his mom kept looking at each other and smiling. And then his college boyfriend - who was a law student when they were together and had grown up to be a judge - smiled at him. Then we see a shot of the boyfriend - and in this scene he is no longer the judge, but shown as he appeared in college - walking up to the victim. They look at each other for a moment, and then embrace ... something they could never do publically when the victim was still alive.

I have a lump in my throat just remembering it.

Posted by Julie at 08:40 AM | Comments (7)

November 16, 2003

Dandelion Break


Last night I went into my bedroom at 9:30 p.m., laid down to pet Caygeon, and woke up this morning at 7 a.m.

Posted by Julie at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2003


As I was going to sleep last night I started thinking about what a cool verb "burned" is. It's etymologically wicked. Consider the following:

I burned my hand on the stove.
The horrible image was burned into my memory.
Last night I burned my mix CD.
The coach burned a timeout after the penalty.
Highwaygirl really burned Overg when she called him a gork.

Pretty cool, huh?

My Launch.com station has been ROCKING this morning. Here's a glimpse of what I've been listening to:

Pat Benatar, "Heartbreaker" – You're the right kind of sinner to release my inner fantasies

Gordon Lightfoot, "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" – Bring in the workers and bring up the rails

Scritti Politti, "Perfect Way" – A part of me belongs apart from all the hurt above

Depeche Mode, "Stripped" – Let me see you STRIPPED down to the BONE

Wilco, "Candyfloss" – I know I should be more careful, I know I should watch where I've been

Matthew Good Band, "Failing the Rorschach Test" – This ain't real, baby ... got a better excuse for myself

Babanarama, "Venus" – As black as the dark night, she was ... had what no one else had (yeow!)

Juliana Hatfield Three, "My Sister" – I hate my sister, she's such a bitch

10,000 Maniacs, "These Are Days" – You know it's true, that you are blessed and lucky

Queen, "Killer Queen (Live)" – Caviar and cigarettes, well versed in etiquette, extrordinarily nice

Human League, "Don't You Want Me?" – Don't forget it's me who put you where you are now, and I can put you back down too

Tones on Tail, "OK This Is the Pops" – Know the truth but tell only lies

Pixies, "Debaser" – I am un chien andalusia

New Order, "True Faith" – I used to think that the day would never come, I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun

Alice In Chains, "Man In the Box" – He who tries (will be wasted)

Bauhaus, "Sanity Assassin" – He drops a capsule in your drink and spikes your dreams with madness

The Outfield, "Your Love" – JOSIE'S ON A VA-CA-TION FAR A-WAY!

John Mayer, "Why Georgia" – Everybody is just a stranger, but that's the danger in going my own way

Stevie Nicks (with Tom Petty), "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" – This doesn't have to be the big Get Even, this doesn't have to be anything at all

Fountains of Wayne, "Bright Future In Sales" – I'm gonna get my shit together, 'cause I can't live like this forever

The Monkees, "Daydream Believer" – Cheer up, Sleepy Jean! Oh what can it mean, to a daydream believer (or a homecoming queen)

Guster, "What You Wish For" – And I will get what I deserve

Pearl Jam, "Daughter" – She holds the hand that holds her down ... she will rise above

Jimmy Eat World, "Sweetness" – Stumble 'til you crack, sinking into sweet uncertainty

Posted by Julie at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2003

Life Goes On

Holy moly, it's already November. *sigh*

Gonna go watch my tape of Tru Calling now, so I can send it to cable-less Roo. Here's to hoping it doesn't blow.

UPDATE - 9:45 p.m.

Well, it didn't blow. It wasn't great, either. I'll probably keep taping it for a few weeks before I decide whether or not it's worth my time.

Today I did a whole lot of nothing. I rearranged the train case that holds all of my PRODUCT and watched an extra-long Director's Cut version of Jaws. Heh, I typed "Jawa" there first. Anyway, this is approximately the 213th time I've watched Jaws, and I still love it. "We're going to need a bigger boat." Rock on, Roy Scheider! ROCK ON!

Tomorrow I'm meeting me dad to go see Scary Movie 3. My expectations are very low, which is probably good.

Posted by Julie at 10:41 AM | Comments (1)

October 18, 2003

From the Archives II

Another archival entry - this one is one of my favorite things that cartoonist Berkeley Breathed has ever written.

April 24, 2003 - 9:09 a.m.

Note: This is one of my favorite Berkeley Breathed pieces.

The Great LaRouche Toad-Frog Massacree

The summer of 1988 descended on Bloom County much as it had for each of the previous nine years of my life; humid and without hint of the chaos ahead. We needed no hints, however, for calamity always rode shotgun with Bloom County summers. Each spring, bored boys awaited the hot months with giddy anticipation normally reserved for the imminent approach of a gang of Nazi motorcyclists. Things were going to happen. Wonderful things. Catastrophic things. And if that meant, say, that my dad's new Chrysler LeBaron were to be dynamited by Japanese antiprotectionist guerillas, so be it. This was summer, after all, and such things simply happen. Confident in the knowledge that soon the June sun would fry most of the common sense out of everyone's noodle, Milo and I would kick back among the meadow dandelions and wait for things to generally fall apart. As I said, this summer would be no different.

These were contented times for me, being, at age ten, still safely ignorant of what my adulthood would bring (namely, a clerkship at the lingerie counter of Wal-mart, a job that would send some fetishists I know into palm-sweating ecstasy but which, alas, still sends me to my knees with nausea. See chapter 11, "Women and Nausea"). These were, in fact, generally contented times for everyone. A presidential election was approaching, but it would be another four years before Clint Eastwood reached the White House and really stirred things up, so for the moment, life was pretty tranquil. This, I figure, helps explain the exaggerated behavior of Bloom Countians over what happened that summer.

The Great LaRouche Toad-Frog Massacree, as it became known, had its roots in two entirely separate and unrelated events: a conspiracy of happenstance which was to test the civil defense preparedness of an entire American community and forever alter the ecological food chain of the North Meadow Pond.

On June 21, 1988, the following item appeared on page 3 of the daily Bloom Beacon, sandwiched between an article on the plummeting price of cow tongue and "Dear Abby":

by Milo Bloom, Investigative Reporter
Today it was discovered that after years of aggressive expansion, the Soviet Union has stretched its borders to within a mere 12 miles of American soil. The State Department has no immediate comment.
...which wasn't particularly surprising since the State Department had been aware for some time that the easternmost tip of Siberia comes within a polar bear's whisker of Alaska, but who cares since it's too damned cold to worry about. But the vast bulk of the Beacon's readership had no such knowledge and a subdued rumble of patriotic consternation coursed through the local population like some frightening new flu virus. The consensus was that something ought to be done.

"SOMETHING," bellowed Steve Dallas at a hastily called town meeting, "SHOULD BE DONE!" He pounded the table, looking properly drunk with nationalistic fervor. Eunice Annanburg suggested CIA assassinations of most of the Kremlin, but she was soundly overruled in favor of a more moderate response. A letter would be dispatched to the President informing him of the crisis. (Years later, Caspar Weinberger would write in his memoirs that he had been sent to the White House to reassure Mr. Reagan that it wasn't necessary to send the Sixth Fleet to investigate this new business. We were pleased our letter had attracted the attention it deserved. The President was a fave-rave in Bloom County.)

A high level of media-inspired hysteria and paranoia having now been generated, the stage was set for the second minor incident to complete the general breakdown of order that led to the The Great LaRouche Toad-Frog Massacree. And it happened early the next Sunday morning, deep within the Bloom County Volunteer Fire Department's wiring system. Several errant electrons jumped when they shouldn't have at a place they shouldn't have, resulting in what shouldn't have happened. In short, a short. The air-raid siren came to life for the first time in Bloom County history.

It must have started about 6:00 in the morning and, it being Sunday, caught everyone asleep. At least everyone in Milo's boardinghouse, where my father and I lived. Bolting upright in bed, eyes wide, I listened to the wail outside and I knew immediately that this day was to be dealt a prefectly proper dose of pandemonium. The Nazi motorcyclists had, so to speak, arrived. A nuclear missile attack was not safe but it certainly was not boring.

"Get under the door frames!" yelled Dad, huddling beneath his as I emerged from my room. I told Dad that standing under door frames was usually something done during an earthquake and that he might have been mixing up his catastrophes - but by then the rest of the residents had emerged and were milling around the top of the staircase, listening to the siren and peering up at the ceiling. These, I later thought, are the many foolish things people do while waiting for Russian missiles.

Standing there in our various forms of undress, nobody had to say what we were all thinking. The newly discovered twelve-mile gap between our peace-loving people and the Soviet hordes had been just too tempting and the Bolsheviks had decided to get the jump on us. "I TOLD you all that something should have been done!" said Steve Dallas, who was pounding the wall wearing only Fruit of the Loom briefs. That Steve also was barefoot was actually the greatest danger we faced at the moment, his feet being considered a public health hazard within a five-county area. In Bloom County, prolonged bachelorhood is often looked at with suspicion, but in Steve's case it was merely a consequence of poor foot hygiene: women were simply never seen in his company. Now, Steve didn't look much like what a homosexual was generally presumed to look like, so folks accepted the foot theory and gave him little trouble as long as he kept his loafers on. Normally, aging bachelors can be a real moral strain on a small town.

The siren still screamed and Milo quickly took control of the situation. "Okay!" he said, "Where's our Civil Defense Coordinator?" This was a good question, since Opus, who held that office, was missing.... A quick search found him sitting on the pot with the Sunday funnies. A late night of questionable activities had apparently taken their toll, for he was asleep with the comics draped over him like a quilt. Our Civil Defense Coordinator was awakened rudely and dragged, struggling in a half nelson, to the top of the stairs.

I should digress to explain that the more unsavory positions of official authority within the boardinghouse bureaucracy were given to those members who made the unfortunate mistake of being absent for house meetings. Thus Opus, much to his eventual horror, had been given the honor of being voted Official Trash Coordinator, Official Wasp Nest Remover, Official Rain Gutter Cleaner, Official Chimneysweep, and Official Handler of Steve Dallas's socks - positions he earned by being off somewhere in Milo's Meadow picking his nose when the nominations were made. These were underhanded actions and complaints were lodged. But this - this Official Defense Coordinator business was something altogether different. That awful Sunday morning in June was the first Opus had heard about this new office. "ME?" he cried. "ME? Nope! No way! No no no! Uh-uh! ME?" He started to hyperventilate, so we wiped his brow with a cool rag and got him some herring entrails and grape juice, which calmed him down some.

With the collapse of the only official leadership, the situation began to deteriorate. Thermonuclear bombs were due any moment, things had to be done. Panic had to be averted. Steve realized what he needed to do and returned to his room while the rest of us regrouped outside in the street. Opus, dazed and faint with anxiety, was propped up and federal civil defense instructions were shoved into his hands. Dad, Milo, his grandfather, Oliver Wendell Jones and his parents from next door, passerby in the street, all came to attention and awaited instructions. The sirens wailed on. Obviously only minutes remained.

" 'First,' " said Opus, reading from the government manual, " 'Gather shovels.' " We dispersed and looked for shovels, returning with several. " 'Second, quickly and without panic, take refuge in the countryside.' " Shovels in hand, we formed an orderly line and proceeded to march behind our hyperventilating leader down the street, passing by others who were clearly reacting to the threat of thermonuclear annihilation with less self-control than ourselves. We, after all, had taken the precaution of procuring not only an official federal civil defense handbook, but an official - if reluctant - Civil Defense Coordinator as well.

Upon reaching the dandelions of Milo's Meadow, well removed, we supposed, for Ground Zero, we stood at attention and awaited further instructions. " 'Dig shallow trenches, " Opus continued. " 'Lie down in trenches, cover self with wooden door or like object and await blast. After shock wave passes, emerge and go to nearest emergency Civil Defense Center and fill out emergency change of address forms.' "

With this, we seized the handbook and hacked it to pieces with our shovels. Opus was officially decommissioned and we quickly adopted a favorite stand-by approach to an approaching holocaust - hysterical panic. This is always fun to watch, so Milo and I settled back into the grass to savor the confusion, our own fates apparently sealed. Opus wrung his hands and worried about what radiation would do to his complexion.

Steve Dallas jogged by, dressed in designer fatigues and wearing an extraordinarily full backpack. "JOIN ME IN THE HILLS!" he yelled in passing. "ONLY THE PROPERLY EQUIPPED WILL SURVIVE!" Or the lawyers, we thought. "JOIN ME AND WE'LL CRAWL FROM THE RUBBLE AND LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY. TO THE HILLS! ONLY THE WEAK WILL PERISH!" This was no comfort to the nearly shattered Opus, who had no illusions as to where he stood in the strong/weak classification. Watching his best friend Steve Dallas disappear into the woods dressed like Rambo proved the final decisive blow to an already critical frame of mind and he plopped over unconscious. Lying serenely among the clover, Opus was blessedly unaware of Portnoy and Hodge-Podge marching up the hill with a fully automatic 45mm American Ruger Assault rifle, apparently intent on massacring the imminent hordes of Communists in groups of fifty or more. "We're gonna massacree 'em!" bellowed Portnoy, waving the weapon that had obviously been borrowed from the shelves of the K-Mart Sporting Goods Section. Milo and I, concluding that the general scheme of things just couldn't handle this much fun, tried to dissuade Portnoy and his fellow conspirator from their patriotic mission. They would not hear of it. These, after all, were a groundhog and a rabbit, two of the most excitable critters to be found in modern meadows and wont to excessive behavior. "We'll go out blasting!" they said.

Down we went, following these two warriors, to the North Meadow Pond, where invading Russians were suspected. Opus awoke and trailed this dangerous procession, rubbing his stomach, for nulcear war had upset it. If he was to die in a fireball, he thought, it would be nice to go to Heaven without gas. This was obviously not to be and the crushing reality pushed him further into a deep funk. He was nearly at the point of tears when Portnoy, aiming into the water of the North Meadow Pond where the Communists were hiding in their scuba equipment, pulled the trigger of his massacre machine. "I CAN SEE THEIR EYES! YAAAAAAA!" he screamed, or something like that. For a full minute, automatic weapon fire tore into the little pond, turning it into a horrible, savage, boiling froth of hot lead and foam. We hit the ground as the spray of bullets continued, tearing up trees, rocks, sod, an old inner tube - oh, it was simply horrific. Order was restored when the ammo was exhausted and we picked ourselves off the ground. Opus had, at the first blast, collapsed in cardiac arrest and was briefly thought to be shot, but after thorough and prolonged CPR, was brought back to full consciousness, walking away from the incident with only minor emotional troubles.

Back at the battle scene, we survivors checked for bullet holes in our clothing. Portnoy sat on his rump, the gun on his lap smoking. He surveyed the sight in front of him and quietly exhaled a low, sliding whistle, much as one might do when passing a terrible car wreck.

There, floating facedown in the turbid water, were hundreds, no, thousands of corpses . . . legs wide apart, arms spread, tongues extended their full eight or ten inches. It was plain as pie that there wasn't a single living toad-frog remaining in that pond. The overwhelming magnitude of the crime grew on us as we stood around, eyese bulging and mouths agape. "Look at Portnoy," I whispered to Milo, for indeed the crushing realization of guilt at what he'd done came across his face like a shadow, and he slumped in shame. These tragic victims were clearly not Russians, although he could have sworn they were when he first saw their gleaming eyes in the early morning light.

Milo, realizing that Portnoy's emotional stability was at stake, went to his side and explalined that while, admittedly, the likelihood of those toad-frogs being Communists, or even liberals, was not great, there was no reason to assume that he had wiped out Republicans instead. In fact, there was an excellent chance that the vast majority of them were LaRouche Democrats, who, of course, were better off dead.

This revelation appeared to cheer Portnoy, and the entire party headed back into town where we stopped off for Egg McMuffins, the air-raid siren having long since been silenced and the general domestic tranquility restored. The news-papers recorded Portnoy's excesses that pandemonious day as The Great LaRouche Toad-Frog Massacree, an honor which won him some brief celebrity and a quick appearance, via satellite, on "Nightline." Things settled down soon afterward and, except for the frequency of fried LaRouche frogs' legs served at supper, normalcy returned to haunt the remaining summer.

I neglected to mention, however, that Steve Dallas was eventually discovered by a small and enthusiastic search team several days after the Massacree, lying spread-eagled and dazed among the summer hyacinths and surrounded by the remnants of his survivalist base camp, now in a state of higgledy-piggledy. A blow-dryer, blender, toaster, piña colada mix, microwave oven, and other essentials of survival lay scattered among the barbed wire and camouflage netting. His formerly impressive fatigues were nowhere to be seen. The shocking truth is that all he was wearing was an argyle sock and a bad sunburn. Opus bent down and put an ear to Steve's mouth just in time to hear him whisper, "The horror . . . the horror . . . I . . . forgot . . . the . . . mayonnaise." We took him home and rubbed Noxzema all over him and put him to bed, where he remained for the better part of the week stuck to the sheets.

Posted by Julie at 05:11 PM | Comments (11)