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The Dead Speak

I was at a conference in a very tall building where people alive and dead were arguing about other tall buildings. I was angrily denouncing the notion that the bringing down of the World Trade Center buildings was art when the cast of That '70s Show stormed in brandishing boxes trailing wires and claimed they had the building wired to blow.

I snapped.

I kicked Ashton Kutcher in the head just as he twisted the detonator in his hands. Nothing happened so I kicked him again and ripped the wires out of the device. Then I solar plexed Laura Prepon, left her gasping for air on the floor, and ripped the wires out of her device as well. The assembled intellectuals had nothing to say, merely shook their heads in dismay at the violence.

It must've been the U.N.

Posted 09/25/02 in Dream Life
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The Rock Nits Red Bear

I'm sure someone is going to get outraged over this: Kids Simplify National Anthem

All I want is for our education system to stop underestimating our children. If they were baffled by the meaning of "rampart," open a dictionary, read the definition, then move on. Treat a kid like he's stupid and he will live up to your every expectation in that regard. Challenge him and he amaze you.

Posted 09/24/02 in Idiocy Abounds
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Conversations With A 2 1/2 Year Old

...walks into my office wiggling fingers in both ears...

Her: I have to scratch my bwain.

Posted 09/23/02 in Conversations
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If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor

Also posted on

Even if you don't know his name, you know Bruce Campbell's face. The nerdy hero in the Evil Dead movies, the intelligent but unlucky bounty hunter in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., and the suave and debonair King of Thieves in Xena:Warrior Princess are just a few of his more notable roles. In his 20-plus year career, he's done many "Hey, it's that guy!" parts (a fair bit of directing, as well) and seems to relish his B-star status...and the relative freedom it provides from the more onerous effects of fame.

This autobiography is as much Campbell's life story as a treatise on how to make a low budget horror movie, or really any independent film. It should absolutely be required reading for all nascent film directors. It might help weed out the starry-eyed Bergman devotees who regularly inflict their creations on unsuspecting film festival audiences to be subjected to a first-hand account of how much sheer animal effort making a film can be. Acting students would likewise benefit from study of this book. Campbell says he "danced a jig" when Brisco County was cancelled...he was happy that he could finally get some sleep.

Chins is a very entertaining read. The details of the making of the Evil Dead movies, in particular, sparked a marathon viewing during which my husband and I constantly poked each other, saying things like, "that's actually Karo syrup," and "they did that with Vaseline and a sawhorse." There are the usual first-name-only anecdotes that will have you running to IMDB to try and ferret out the true identity of the Asshole Method Actor, the on-set stories that go a long way towards explaining the final product that we see on screen, and probably less of the really personal tidbits than some of you would like, but you must remember Bruce is a midwestern boy and his mother will most probably read the book.

The only off note about this book is the somewhat detached tone of the narrative. At first blush, it may seem that Bruce Campbell is a guy things happen to. His prose is laid back, casual, and not imbued with a whole lot of emotion. But the more I think about it, the more I think that he's probably at bit like Joe Banks when he said, "I have no interest in myself. I think about myself, I get bored out of my mind." That despite years of association with Hollyweird he has managed to keep both his sense of self and his sense of perspective. And good for him.

Posted 09/23/02 in Bookage
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On Art, Part II

This woman's way of thinking perfectly illustrates how divorced from reality some "artists" can be. She speaks of the WTC attacks as "wonderful ... because it was a new idea."

No. That is not acceptable. And I'm not just speaking as an American and one who is very vocal about my hatred for the perpetrators of the terror attacks. I'm speaking as a human, one who has fucking respect for human life and simply cannot view the deaths of 3000 people "in the abstract."

This woman is a complete an artist for cloaking her nutzoid political views in concrete and resin and foisting them off as "art"...and as a human being for completely failing to have anything resembling a moral compass.

Posted 09/19/02 in The Wisdom of Me
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Pro Foosball

It's been too long since I regularly watched NFL games, I have no particular team affiliation left anymore. I used to pull for anyone the Cowboys were playing just to cack my father, now I suppose I have to have some sort of loyalty to the Bucs since I'm a Tampa Bay area resident...and Chucky do make it exciting, don't he? I tune in to the games now because my husband usually has a stake in the office pool not-any-sort-of-betting-thing-at-all and for sheer appreciation of the game, being one of the few females who can tell illegal motion from offsides and appreciate the beauty of the wishbone.

All that said, I hereby and forthwith curse the Washington Redskins to lose every single game they play in a most egregious and humiliating fashion while under the *snort* leadership of that piece of shit in a human suit that goes by the name Steve Spurrier. I had tonight's MNF game on for all of three minutes when one of the Redskins perpetrated a personal foul.

Whoo. What. A. Surprise.

Posted 09/16/02 in Foosball
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On the front of the case for the VHS version of the Robert DeNiro/Eddie Murphy anti-buddy cop movie Showtime is a little orange box that says, "BONUS Hilarious Additional Footage!!"

What I'd like to know is why they didn't include this "hilarious additional footage" in the actual movie.

Posted 09/16/02 in The Sliver Screen
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Rule Brittannia

The gentlefolk over at Samizdata show us who our true allies are.

England, we thank you.

Posted 09/11/02 in Linkage
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It took forever to fall asleep last night...I was convinced something was going to happen and jumped up every 12 minutes to check the news on the computer. This morning I feel like my head is wrapped in cotton, it's drizzling outside and everything feels...disconnected.

I don't expect to get much work done today, instead I will be here, reading what my friends have to say, exchanging emails and instant messages with them, just being close, being a community. And yes, remembering.

Posted 09/11/02 in Local News
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September 11

Some of you don't want to hear about it anymore. Some of you can't yet bear to deal with it. Some of you are completely in touch with your rage.

Whoever you are, whatever you feel, Michele is leaving her weblog open tomorrow simply to collect your thoughts and memories. Where you were, your reactions, your most vivid memory, or anything you want to say. And if the blogroaches want to join in as well, trample their little feet over our remembrances, well that's okay too. Because the freedom they have to do so is what this country is all about.

Posted 09/10/02 in Linkage
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A Night In Elsinore

Looking for some Marx brothers stuff for a client, I found this transcript of a parody of my favorite Shakespearean play...


Ahh, France, eh? I'm told that
France is a lovely country, and I
hear they make most excellent wines
there. Go. Enjoy yourself. And
be sure to send some postcards.
Now, my nephew Hamlet, my son, how
is it the clouds still hang on you?

Hamlet turns to face the audience, and we see his

face for the first time. Hamlet has a big, black
mustache that looks as if it might have been
painted on, and he smokes a cigar.

Nay, I am too much in the sun! Get
it? That's a joke. My real father
just died, and now I've got you for
a father, so I'm too much in the
sun! Boy, that Shakespeare sure
could write. I'd like to see
Francis Bacon pull off a joke like

Hmmmmm. Come, Hamlet, my son, how
is it the clouds still hang on you?


I don't know. Maybe it's because
you're reigning.

Good Hamlet, I know full well the
love you bore your father. But
cast thy nighted color off! If he
were here today, do you think your
father would want us to mourn on
and on, wearing the same customary
suit of solemn black, day in and
day out?

Well, he'd probably ask you to
change your socks.

Hamlet, . . .

In fact, that's still a pretty good
idea. And while you're at it,
change your husband.

Hamlet, I loved your dear, departed
father. No woman could have loved >
him more.

Of course not! No other dame ever
had a chance, not with you watching
him like a hawk. And a fat lot of
good it did him, ... poor old Dad.

Hamlet, it's unfortunate that your
father died, but fathers have a way
of doing that. My father died, and
his father died before him, and his
father died...

Yeah, but uncles go on forever.
Don't you?

Hamlet, why don't you try to think
of me as your father?

OK, bury yourself six feet
underground, and I'll give it a

I think Groucho perfectly captures Hamlet's simultaneous pathos and rage, don't you?

Posted 09/10/02 in Linkage
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For The Greater Good

"Extremist Muslim clerics will meet in London on Sept. 11 to celebrate the anniversary of the attacks on the United States and to launch an organization for Islamic militants..."

The lead psycho is quoted as saying the "council will aim to implement Sharia law in Britain and will not exclude al-Qaida sympathizers from membership."

Dunno about you, but I think that's a fine time for an SAS training mission in the area to go horribly awry, resulting in the complete, and totally regrettable, destruction of the Finsbury Park mosque.

Or perhaps the Bi-Annual Libertarian Shoot 'Em Up can be arranged to be held in the neighborhood. Whaddaya say, Perry?

Link via Silflay Hraka

Posted 09/09/02 in Idiocy Abounds
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Being out here on the web, spilling out our thoughts and feelings as we do, most certainly does not make us celebrities but it does automatically confer one of the worst aspects of fame...leeches. I call them leeches instead of stalkers because, in most cases, they're just hangers-on who feel it necessary to bitch and moan about every little word that comes out of our keyboards. I have Tractor Boy, Michele has Tomas, Andrea has "Jim Wolstead", Dawn must have a hundred by now but they're all too craven to leave their names. The list goes on and on. I'm sure all bloggers have them.

What I want to know is this: is life really so cushy in Mom's basement that you have nothing better to do than surf the web and whinge about the opinions of others? Do you just do it for the small measure of attention it brings you? Do you really find it gratifying to have people call you an asshat and suggest that you choke on your own vomit and die?

You know fellas, there's a whole wide world out there, just ready and waiting for people who have the courage of conviction you lot have demonstrated. So why don't you grab a shower, put something on over those moth-eaten tighty whities and get out there and accomplish something!!

Posted 09/08/02 in Blog Things
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Missed It By That Much

Well, that was a bloody exciting game. And I think I can say without fear of contradiction that Oklahoma is the luckiest frickin' team on the face of the planet today.

Roll Tide.

Posted 09/07/02 in Foosball
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The closer we get to the anniversary of The Act of Terror We So Richly DeservedTM, and the louder the war drums beat, it seems like more and more people who were sitting on the fence are now making a choice. Any kind of a choice. Support the Iraqi "surgery," don't support the wearing of red white and blue, watch every 9/11 memorial you can find, bury your head in the pillows and don't even turn on the television. Arguments are springing up in the most unlikely places, people with no past political postings are now weighing in on everything from the likelihood of war with France to how appalling Ann Coulter looks in a mini-skirt.

On the Big Whiteboard, I think our culture has undergone another evolutionary change. In this past century, the 40s and 50s could be viewed as our grade school years, the 60s and 70s the adventurous and troublesome high school years, the 80s and 90s the trendy collegiate years. And now, in this new century, we're getting a taste of what it's like to be grown-ups. We have an unbelievable amount of information at our fingertips, we see what's happening in the world as it's happening. To not know that Robert Mugabe is a murderous thug who is once again sacrificing "his" people for his own ends, is to not have electricity and live deep in the Appalachian mountains. There is no hiding under the covers, eating Ben & Jerry's and watching Friends reruns. Reality smacks us in the face at every turn. It's time to stop blinking.

So, on this one year anniversary of the murder of nearly 3000 of our citizens, I'm going to REMEMBER. Remember the people in the towers, the people in the Pentagon, the people in the planes. I will remember who did it, why they did it, that they will probably try it again. And that they will most likely die screaming before succeeding this time.

I will remember that I am an American. And goddamned proud of it.

Posted 09/06/02 in The Wisdom of Me
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How It Is

Sometimes I wish I could write like Michele...really put it all out here, regardless of how raw or frightening or even hurtful it may be. I feel like I put such a small part of myself here, sometimes I wish I could show the whole picture, or at least a watercolor sketch. But my mind shies away from that idea almost immediately...Hey, isn't there a football game on? Scrabble? Where's that book I was reading...

I'm sure it has something to do with my rootless childhood. When jerked from country to country, you learn to make acquaintances quickly and to never consider them real friends. Just an insulating blanket of people with familiar faces that you don't expect to know for very long. You learn how much to show them, how much is safe to reveal, how much of yourself you can afford to give. And you're always ready to leave.

I will never put more of myself on here than you see right now. I just can't. I have met some good people through this medium, some who would have you believe they are good, and the usual number of assholes. The urge to take a break from this is pretty strong right now. There are some people who are making it much less fun than it used to be...triggering the "ready to leave" mode I've had to use for so many years.

But you know what? I'm not ready to leave. I've always maintained that this blog is for me. I write to amuse myself, to keep in touch with distant family and friends, to see if this writing thing is something I want to have a serious go at. If it amuses and pleases you lot as well, that's an extra added bonus and welcome.

But this is all there is. All there will ever be.

Posted 09/03/02 in Blog Things
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Violation Administration

The Veteran's Administration medical system is a complete disgrace. I pity anyone who is required to deal with them for any reason whatsoever. Sure, they give free medical care to vets, but they only have two kinds of doctors: those who are too ambitionless or stupid to be somewhere else and those who are there because they relish having an enormous pool of unwitting test subjects.

What was this guy up to, with all of his take-home body parts? What was the bitchwhore in Birmingham up to when she put my husband on a psychotropic for back pain? I was nursing our one month old son and I watched Dan as the drug took effect...staring blankly at the television and tugging on his hair. I have never been so frightened in my entire life. If I had that doctor in front of me now, I would kill her.

They told him so many things...he'd never walk again, he'd never have a normal life, he'd be in a wheelchair by 40. Fuck them. He took back his life, lives with constant low-grade pain, and yet somehow manages to be a wonderful father and husband and quite happy. If you have a choice at all, stay as far away from the VA as you can. Your life means nothing to them.

**UPDATE** - I knew I was giving these bastards too much credit...Dan just reminded me they told him he'd be wheelchair-bound by 30, not 40, and with absolutely no sexual function at all. Fuckers. For the record, he's a father of two who wears me out on a regular basis and can play kickball with 11-year olds for hours. Well, minutes anyway.

Posted 09/02/02 in Local News
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I believe my hatred for Steve Spurrier is quite well documented at this it is with mixed amusement and disgust that I present to you the Spurrier Tracker. Play along at home and keep track of how many facial contortions good old Steve can muster before he finally strokes out on the sideline. Fun for the whole family!

Posted 09/02/02 in Foosball
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Conversations With A 5 Year Old

Boy: Dad, what would happen if we had no shadows?
Dad: Nothing.
Boy: Well, I think we would fall over.

Posted 09/02/02 in Conversations
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