Friday, April 30, 2004

Today feels like a Saturday. Both my parents have taken the day off work, I was awoken at far too early an hour to run automotive errands, and we're all going to get gussied up for the Mountain's music school graduation tonight.

Dead Wings
It was once pointed out to me that many sports fans refer to their favored team as "we" in times of victory and "they" in times of defeat. This practice is despicable; thus, I have resolved to refer to my teams as "they" in times of victory, in honor of the work they do that brings me such joy without them even knowing who I am, and "we" in times of defeat, to show my solidarity with their cause, especially through adversity.

You'll notice last night, after Calgary scored two goals in 18 seconds to tie the game in the second, I said, "we have to pull this out!" We. It is in that spirit then, that I would like to thank the Red Wings for living up to my faith and congratulate them on their brilliant 4-2 victory.

H-A-D
Have a knife-through-your-head-day.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Dead Wings
I just saw my boys give up two goals in 18 seconds. Way to show that old killer instinct, guys. Come on, we have to pull this out! If not, you're all fired.
Remember, kiddies, virtue is its own reward.

Which is better, being true to who you are even as it brings your world down around your head, or selling out and living the high life? Is it moral to ask others to betray themselves for your happiness? When you've alienated everyone you love, is it any comfort to know the truth is on your side? The answers are: be true to yourself, especially if it brings you ruin; no; and yes.

Why Ben Sisko is not only a better captain, but a better man than Jean-Luc Picard: "In the Pale Moonlight" compared with "I, Borg." After all, what is one man's soul balanced against the fate of an entire civilzation?
Kappa Epsilon Gamma
Once upon a time, when I was chalking the Diag during the first F.R.A.T. Party campaign, a frat boy approached me and asked, "Would you call your country a cunt? No, so why do you call my fraternity a frat?" First of all, genius, because if you chop the "-ry" off of country, you get count, not cunt. Stupid frat boy. B of all, it's a free count; so, I'll insult frat boys all I want.

That said, the Mountain of Love is in a frat, a musical fraternity the letters for which I can never remember, but I'd recognize them if I saw them. Over the years, I've given him a hard time about that, probably too hard a time. Yes, he's in a frat, but he's never been a frat boy. So, I am hereby decreeing that I will never again tease the Mountain about being a Greek, though I reserve the right to make fun of all other frat boys and sorostitutes. Baby steps, baby steps.

H-A-D
Have a scary day.
The 109th Rule of Acquisition, "Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack."

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Alas...
I like Star Trek: Enterprise, I really do, but increasingly when I watch I am struck by a certain melancholy, rooted in an awareness of how much better the show could be, with the same stories, in other, more capable hands. It is entirely possible that Ira Steven Behr set the bar so high with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that I am simply ruined for other projects. Ye gods, now that I shown Guy Zach Nie and the Profesor DS9, will it be possible to sell them on the other shows? They're seen the lights of gay Paris, how can I ever get them to go back to the farm?
Zooey Deschanel Appreciation Day
Holy balls, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is going to have Malkovich! This movie has the potential to be one of my favorite movies of all time. I absolutely adore the old crummy BBC miniseries. If you can make a film with high production values - AND Zooey Deschanel! - while still retaining the soul of the BBC efforts, with which Adams himself was involved, well, the sky's the limit. I'm not saying the film will be great, but it has the opportunity to be mind-bogglingly incredible.

Big guns.
Bug guns.
Bog guns.

It's all essentially the same thing, you know.
Varsity
I'm staring at the cover art for MxPx's album Life in General: while an assistant principal-type adult looks on, a jock asshole (complete with mullet and varsity jacket) holds one punk in a headlock after depositing another in a trashcan. I love MxPx. I am, after a fashion, a bit of a punk. In high school, I wore a varsity jacket.

I loved that jacket. It's the best coat I've ever owned, but even more than that, I loved the letter. I was a three-year letterman on one of the top ten or top twenty swim teams in the State of Michigan. (And in those days, you had to earn a letter, they weren't just given away.) I worked my fat ass off for those letters, earning the nickname "the SKP Machine." If you don't know what SKP stands for, well, sucks to be you. You probably should have swam in high school. I wore my jacket with pride, because I earned it. Does that make me an active participant in the evil jockocracy?

Some would say yes. I wore the jacket, the same jacket as the assholes on the football team (though mine was different, since the swim team's letters invariably read "Big 9 Champs," while the football team struggled futilely to reach .500 in a given season), and that makes me as much a part of the problem as they were. I may not have pushed people around like they did, but I wore the same status symbol. I avoided getting teased for being a nerd by clothing myself in a wolf's skin. But you know what? That's whiny bullshit. Maybe the football players didn't give me as hard a time as they would have if I'd just been in the marching band, but that isn't my fault. I refuse to be responsible for how they react to the jacket. I got off my lazy butt and I did ten thousand yeards a day and that gives me the right to wear the symbol of that accomplishment and if you don't like it, be you fellow punk or football player asshole or whiny goth kid, you can go fuck yourself.

I did ten thousand yards a day, but if you're too small-minded to see anything beyond the jacket, how exactly does that make you any different than the jocks? I earned my jacket, and it means much more to me than you ever will.
Reliable Taste
When receiving pop culture recommendations, it is critically important to consider the relability of your source. Does this person have a clue what they are talking about? Do they like the same things you like? Or, if they don't, do they know what you like? And just because you like someone does not mean you should listen to their recommendations. Take for example K. Steeze. He is my friend and I love him to death, but his movie recommandations carry about the same wait as the late Idi Amin's. (No, I am not calling Steeze the moral equivalent of Idi Amin.) Steeze is a good guy, but his taste in movies and television shows is atrocious; his taste used to be questionable, but by this point it has become painfully obvious that he doesn't know quality from a hole in the ground. Poor Steeze, so very, very clueless.

H-A-D
Have a spontaneously combustible day.
The Watergirl doesn't know what a bug gun is. Who doesn't know what a bug gun is? (Scroll down, knucklehead.) Sheesh, some people.

If there's one thing Animal Face-Off has taught me, it's that size wins: hippopotamus beats bull shark; walrus beats polar bear; brown bear beats tiger. Weight equals victory. Victory is life.

Ritual in the Dominion
Pre-Combat
First: "I am First Omet'iklan, and I am dead. From this moment on, we are all dead. We go into battle to reclaim our lives. This we do gladly, for we are Jem'Hadar. Remember, victory is life!"
Others: "Victory is life!"

The White
Jem'Hadar: "We pledge our loyalty to the Founders, from now until death."
Vorta: "Then accept this gift from the Founders. May it keep you strong."

Whenever
"Obediance brings victory. Victory is life!"

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

"If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us,
do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die?
and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"
--William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Call me a cretin if you will, but I became familiar with this quote from, and will forever identify it with, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Today is much improved from this afternoon; Sports Night, combined with Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption, was a wonderful restorative. Dinner also helped. We had nachos!

And now for a Guinness and "Visionary."
To this point, today has been a profoundly crummy day. Listening to A Jackknife to a Swan has helped, but I think I need to break out the big guns to drive away this funk: I'm going to go watch Sports Night, specifically the two-part "Draft Day" story, because war between friends is on my mind.

H-A-D
Have a blind day.

Monday, April 26, 2004

monster / n. 1 any grotesque imaginary creature 2 a very wicked person 3 any huge animal or thing

monster / n. 1 an imaginary creature, usually large and frightening, compounded of incongruous elements 2 an inhumanly cruel or wicked person 3 a misshapen animal or plant 4 a large hideous animal or thing (e.g., a building) 5 huge; extremely large of its kind
Proximity
If there is one lesson life has taught me again and again, it is that certain people will simply never get along. Not everyone can be friends, even people who have dear mutual friends. Some people should just be kept away from each other.

H-A-D
Have a Swiss army day.
Sweet freakin' daisies, SportsCenter is in Spanish! Wild! Wow, they sure are spending a lot of time on sooccer... and I don't mean MLS.

Skeeter's having some boy problems, and I don't think I'm much help. The only thing I can think of to do is post the lyrics to Fountains of Wayne's "Hey Julie." Again.

Trekkin'
I watched some of the bonus materials for Star Trek: Nemesis this evening. That made me sad. Compared to DS9, it's just so... immature. So juvenile. So undeveloped. These people have been treading water for fifteen years, not growing, not changing. And there is so much forced, hollow emotion in Nemesis, I just feel bad for everyone involved. Not quite embarrassed, but something not unlike it. The season-by-season boxsets of Voyager are coming out, but what's the point? Seven years of repetitive futility, seven years of unrealized potential, seven years of damn, dirty lies.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Foreign Service Written Examination - Saturday
I climbed out of bed at 6:40am, the room bathed in gray light through the uncurtained window. I took a shower under water that was just a little too hot; oddly, though there was no fan, the steam cleared quickly. There's nothing I hate quite the same way as post-shower humidity; this was a good omen for the rest of the day. I dressed, ate my pre-planned breakfast - a Jimmy John's Slim 1 and a 20oz Dr Pepper - at my brother's desk, and was out the door by 7:26am.

I walked to Angell Hall as I have a thousand times before, and from there whatever dramatic expectations I'd had, foolish though they may have been, were thoroughly dashed. A wizened old lady and a girl my age in one of those atrocious hooded sweater-coats lead a group of us through Angell, past the Fishbowl, and into Mason Hall. Even twenty minutes before the examination began, the second-floor hallway was filled with people I've known all my life: the overachiever with his decorative leather portfolio, the girl in warm-ups whose face is painted despite the fact that it's early morning on a Saturday, the frat boy with a fashionable amount of stubble and a backwards visor, the bald twenty-five year old in a Made in Detroit brand sweatshirt (I'm assuming he's a metal fan).

We were divided into three groups by the first letter of our last name; I was in P-Z. Mason Hall, room 1427. If I never had a discussion section in that actual classrooom, I did in that very hallway. They checked our official registration letter and phot identification at the door to each classroom and assigned us seats. Standard chairs with attached desks. "Are you left handed?" The lefty desks are, fittingly, located at the left end of each row. No one is wearing a suit and tie. There's no Frank Oz. The proctors look as sleepy as the rest of us. This is nothing like Spies Like Us. There are instructions. No. 2 pencils and black ink pens only, if your cell phone or pager goes off, you'll be asked to leave and your results invalidated. No hats. All coffee cups and backpacks along the sides of the room. A few whispered jokes from the people who can't tolerate two minutes of silence in a room full of strangers.

As the day progressed, on five separate answer booklets, I signed my name and agreed not to divulge any information about the contents of the exam, presumably to enemy agents, maybe to a friend who, unbeknownst to me, is a Red sympathizer. You can't be too careful. I may have already said too much. I might already be a security leak. I might be going away for awhile.

Imagine taking five finals in one day, only they aren't testing any specific set of facts and figures that you've been cramming into your brain for the last ten weeks, but the general knowledge you have alredy rattling around in your head. They're judging you, as Michael Feldman would say, "For being who you are and knowing what you know." A few rudimentary economic questions, no math more complicated than you can do in your head. A glaringly disproportionate number of questions about intraoffice interactions. The State Department is more concerned with office politics than global politics? Multiple guess Scantron, followed by two essays, lunch, more Scantrons. English expression to end the day. Once you're done, you can leave, you don't have to wait for the whole test period. No one can leave in the final five minutes. Once you leave this room, I can't let you back in, thr proctor intones; so, be sure you have everything with you. My hand was still a little cramped from the essays.

We file out. We disperse. For my part at least, I was a little wasted, as much from the lack of sleep as the stress fo the exam, but felt restored to health and youthful vigor once I'd indulged in that classic exilir, Taco Bell. Chapulas for a better tomorrow. The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day in Ann Arbor. Results in late July. Happy birthday, Mike. My first choice for the interrogation (oral assessment) portion, should I earn a satisfactorily high score on the FSWE: Chicago (I can crash with Danny Boy); second choice: Washington D.C. (my sister). I'm not sure what Allan Foster Dulles would have thought of yesterday's proceedings.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? - Friday
My brother was here in old Grumlaw on Friday morning. My father made a non-vital repair to one of the side windows of The Last Angry Van. Before he left, the Mountain and I planned my arrival in A2; I was staying on for a few hours in GB to assist my father in putting new sway bars on Woody and the Impala. My brother said, "I'm going to spend the afternoon with the Conchshell, but we'll hang out this evening." Fine with me, I spend the early evening getting some vital and long-delayed work done for The Newsletter.

After successfully toiling in the Fishbowl for several hours, I stopped off at the Jimmy John's at Division and Hill to buy dinner and my breakfast for the next morning. I arrived at the Love Shack (the Mountain's lair) around 9:30. He was laying on his bed, watching E! with the Conchshell. I set down my backpack and sat down at his desk to eat my dinner (two Slim 1s) in peace. They both wanted to know why I got Slims, not regular Jimmy John's; that seemed very normal, because the first thing I always do with guests is question their cullinary choices. As always when I am around them, I try to mind my own business and keep my head down. The Mountain tried to engage me in conversation several times, but as soon as we'd begin, the Conchshell would call his attention back to the opera score she was examining.

As soon as I finished eating, I made a beeline for the door. They asked me where I was going. Their E! special on N*Sync having ended, they were now watching Wildboyz. I cited this as my reason, but my brother protested, saying that I loved Jackass. This is true, but that does not mean I enjoy either Wildboyz or Viva la Bam! The Conchshell protested that Steve-o no longer had a fish in his butt, but I was unswayed. Downstairs, I had noticed that the All-American Boy and Sam I Am, my brother's housemates, were watching the Tigers game. I told the Mountain and the Conchshell that I was going to join them, that I would rather watch baseball than stay in that room. Shocking as this was, it had the virtue of being true.

You all know how much I hate baseball and watching baseball on TV; if you do not, I will be happy to go on at greast and venomous length about my disdain for the "American pasttime." Suffice it to say that I loathe baseball, but at that moment, it was the far more appealing option. In my brother's room, listening to their mindless recitation of music school gossip and the Conchshell's classification of everything in the world as either "stupid" or "cute," I could feel myself growing dimmer, my formidable intelligence slowly but surely slipping away. My braincells were perishing at a calamitous rate, the truly sad part being that the surviving cells envied the dead, for their suffering was at an end. As IQ points ticked off like miles on an odometer*, I knew that something had to be done. Baseball, my old nemesis, was in that moment less mind rotting than listening to their banal banter. I bolted, and found unexpected refuge in a 17-3 rout of the Cleveland Indians by the Detroit Tigers.

To borrow Zooey Deschanel's priceless phrase from Big Trouble, I just had to get out, go somewhere else, go "where it's not so, I don't know, stupid."

After a little while, after the game was over and the boys split, the Mountain came downstairs and sat down. Soon, the Conchshell followed. In the course of the conversation, I made fun of his haircut, which is essentially a Beatle cut. In response, she called me a Nazi. Fortunately, they left for their party shortly thereafter. That morning, the Conchshell had had her jury, which is a big, stressful test in the music world. She wanted to attend this party to blow off steam, a typical college ritual. In her own words, she wanted to get "wizzasted." I remember at time (two years ago) when my brother hated people who drank expressly for the purpose of getting wasted. He despised, decried, and denounced those people; now, he is madly in love with one.

Whatever happened to the Bald Mountain? I try to fathom what deep unhappiness would make a man betray the ideals in which he so strongly believed, but without success. I am left wondering to where my beloved brother has gone, and who this imposter is, this stranger who wears his face and answers to his name.

*I know this makes no sense, since my IQ was dropping and odometers tick upward, but I just like that way this sounds.
Hellboy
Seed of Destruction
Wake the Devil
The Chain Coffin and Others
The Right Hand of Doom
Conqueror Worm
Weird Tales
, vol. 1
Weird Tales, vol. 2

B.P.R.D.
Hollow Earth and Other Stories
The Soul of Venice and Other Stories


Now all I need is the money to acquire these volumes of supernatural horror and the macabre.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Hello, Kitty
Someone please tell me what exactly Sam hopes to accomplish by repeatedly head butting my elbow pit?

FSWE was this morning and afternoon. I have a couple "big" posts planned about the weekend, but now's not the time.

Issues Nos. 4 and 5 of Vol. V of The Newsletter have finally gone out, No. 4 a whole month late. We're finally getting back on track.

Enterprise was pretty good this evening. Fire, explosions, Future Woman. Neat!

Presently, I'm listening to Gordon. It's hard to believe it's been eight years since Rock Spectacle....

Ooo, there's a new post from Thursday; so, be sure to check it out. I started it Thursday, but only just now had the time to finish it.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

A Bit of History
I do not wish to seem insensitive to the casualties that we have suffered in Iraq, but in light of recent hyperbole, I feel that a bit of historical perspective might be in order.

Iraq is 171,000 square miles in size; in twelve months of fighting, we have suffered approximately 600 dead.

Iwo Jima is 7 1/2 square miles in size; in thirty-six days of fighting, we suffered approximately 7,000 dead.
I watched "The Siege of AR-558" last night and "The Abandoned" this afternoon. "The Siege of AR-558" is one of the most affecting war stories you could ever see, right up there with Platoon or Band of Brothers. Episodic television, in the right hands, is capable of astounding storytelling.

Peril!
Papa paid out the Benjamins and the Mousemobile rides again! Or, "It's alive, it's alive!" Or, my beloved automobile is once again the Mousemobile that roared! Woo hoo! Mom still hates the wagon (potential names: the Woody Wagon, the Fauxmobile), but it's getting a little tiresome. Yes, Dad bought a car without telling her, but her primary complaint seems to be the damn thing's color; thus, she's coming off as petty and bitchy. Nevertheless, the Mousemobile is repaired, the trany no longer leaks like a sieve, and that's pretty much all I care about. I win!

I suppose if one thinks about it the only reason the Mousemobile has outlived the Pirate Boat and Big Honkey is my father's patronage. After all, if one shelled out the clams the Pirate Boat's rear axle could have been replaced, and though I do not know what specifically caused Big Honkey's recent, and lamentable, demise, but I'm sure it could have been remedied had enough money been thrown at the problem. Darth Vater is an abomination as a human being, but I owe him a great debt for the Mousemobile's continued health. Thanks, Dad.

H-A-D
Have an absurd day.
"What just happened?
She just happened,
She just happened to cross my mind,
Without warnng she crossed my mind,
What just happened to me?"
--The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "She Just Happened" from Pay Attention

I think it sez a great many good things about the world that even Dicky Barrett, who possesses the Devil's own voice, sings about the love of a girl from time to time.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Zooey Deschanel Appreciation Day
Even though I'm getting sick and tired of Will Ferrell, I still love the movie Elf. The best part of the film is Ms. Deschanel's rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." She has a lovely voice, yet seems so utterly unlikely to sing such an ardently cheerful song. Just one thing, though: she's about my age, 24; Will Ferrell was born in '67. The thought of them together just, well, it just doesn't sit right. She's not jailbait, but still a tad too young for him. Come on, casting directors, let's get on the same page here.

Sea Fever
The Mountain's senior recital this evening was quite fun. Saw the Mountain of Love, and of course the Conchshell, the All-American Boy, Lus Diddy, the Landau System, Dr. Saban, the Accompanist and the Accompanist's Husband, and the funnest folks in Frankenmuth, Roz and Marty. (They are so cool, I will never understand why they are friends with my parents; that's not a knock against my parents, it's just a fact that they are incredibly not cool.)

Doing my bit for king and country, I had five pieces of pie, one each of chocolate, pumpkin, apple, pecan, and blueberry. One of my most favorite expressions is "There's always room for pie," but I know realize this is not so. That boast is an example of my favorite fault: hubris. I'm feeling okay now, but only because I didn't have any dinner. Oh, I ate so much pie; right after I finished the last piece, it would have taken only a firm jostling for me to have produced "flung spray and blown spewm." *urp*

I do feel as if I've somehow benefitted science, though. I have now conclusively proven that there is not always room for pie.

Dead Wings
Well, I'm glad it won't be necessary to fire Dave Lewis. Excellent effort across the board in games 5 and 6. Good show, old boys. Now, gentlemen, I would prefer that you make the series against Calgary as boring as possible. Domination is nice, but I would prefer that you annihilate the Flames. ANNIHILATE!

Best thing I said all day: "What's the point of having a media empire if it isn't evil?"
This afternoon, after a morning spend going over the FSWE sample questions yet again, I watched "The Jem'Hadar", "Statistical Probabilities", and "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River." After we get back from A2, maybe "The Siege of AR-558."

Peril!
Mom is really, really upset about the stationwagon; she is still fuming. Dad had not yet decided if it is worth the expense to repair the Mousemobile. Mom is once again agitating to get rid of the Mousmobile, give me her Lumina, and get something "cute" for her to drive. At all costs, the Mousmobile must be preserved! (Come on, only two years until it's twenty.) And tonight? Pie. First, the Mountain of Love's recital, then pie. Mmmmm, pie.

H-A-D
Have a bad day after.
The Jem'Hadar
U.S.S. Odyssey - lost with all hands
U.S.S. Sarajevo - presumed lost
U.S.S. Maryland - presumed lost
U.S.S. Proxima - presumed lost

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Peril!
Will the Mousemobile survive? Will there be a Count of Monte Carlo? What the hell color is the new wagon, anyway? For the answers to these and other automotive questions, stay tuned! These are perilous times.

The Newsletter
Yes, we've had some production problems, not unrelated to first the Mousemobile and then the van and now the Mousemobile again being in the shop, but The Newsletter rolls on undaunted. The Plate and I have discussed some wonderful ideas for the summer issues, cheap, gimmicky ideas to keep the readership interested. No, seriously, we're going to experiment with theme issues, entire issues without columns, and foreign languages, while at the same time remaining the same old The Newsletter you know and love. It's going to be wicked.

H-A-D
Have an intoxicating day.
The Dominion
Dominion proper
--the Founders
--the Vorta
--the Jem'Hadar
Cardassian Union
Breen Confederacy

This afternoon I watched "Inquisition", "In the Pale Moonlight", and "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges." By Jove, DS9 is amazing, almost regardless of how many times you have seen an episode. Man, the Dominion War was already unbelievably fantastic as it was, and then... the Breen! Oh, man!

Sorry, Skeet, I just had to post about Star Trek; it had been weeks. New Enterprise tomorrow... at least in theory.
More fanart, nothing official, but damn that's cool.
Ha! Eat monkey-tossed feces, Clarett. I hate his jerk and hope he fails, and NOT just because he went to The Ohio State University. (Actually, I'm not sure if one season is long enough to count as having gone to a college.)

Monday, April 19, 2004

229
On this day, two hundred twenty-nine years ago - April 19, 1775 - the universe changed. With the fighting at Lexington and Concord between British Redcoats and colonial minutemen, the Revolutionary War began. By the time the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the United States of America was born. The Americans, the denizens of Winston Churchill's "Great Republic," have had a profound influence on the course of human events, introducing democracy on a continental scale and eventually becoming the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. And at all began on this day, with a running skirmish in the woods of Massachusetts.

Americans troops have fought their way into Berlin, Tokyo, Rome, Paris, Mexico City, Seoul, Brussels, Amsterdam, Manila, Baghdad, and a thousand others, but never conquered an empire. Even when our troops arrived as conquerors, they left as liberators (with the exception of Mexico City). Democracy has been spread to every continent of the Earth, and American culture and commerce are so dominant some worry about the homogenization of all the world. And it all began on this day, two hundred twenty-nine years ago.

How's It Goin', Eh?
Gah, I can't believe Boston let Montreal win. You hosers! Listen, I respect Montreal's status among the original six and the many, many, many, many Cups they have won, but I can never in good conscience root for the team from la belle province. Damn Quebecois bastards!
So, my dad bought a car today. Of course, he neglected to discuss the plan with, much less mention it to, my mother; she is, predictably, quite peeved. It is a faux woody, the height of tackiness; the unpaneled metal is the most peculiar and annoying shade of purple. Bizarre is a word that springs to mind.

My father now owns six automobiles, all Chevrolets:
'85 Camero IROC Z-28 - bought new (has been sitting in the garage for three years while he installs a new engine and transmission)
'88 Astro - bought new (The Last Angry Van)
'86 Celebrity - bought 1993 (the Mousemobile)
'95 Lumina - bought new
'95 Impala SS - bought 1999
'95 Caprice Classic (stationwagon) - bought 2004

Formerly Known as Empire City
Precision is important. It is important not to confuse The Insomniac with The Somnambulant Man. Also, Formerly Known as the Justice League was hilarious.

H-A-D
Have a loud day.
Batman (1989) - The Joker

Batman Returns (1992) - Catwoman, The Penguin

Batman Forever (1995) - The Riddler, Two-Face

Batman & Robin (1997) - Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Bane

Batman Begins (2005) - Ra's al Ghul, Scarecrow

If the latest film succeeds, and I hope that the collaboration between Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale will be a rousing success, one wonders which villains will be left to populate the later films. The Mad Hatter? Clayface? Scarface? Firefly? Magpie? Killer Moth? Batman has the best and deepest rogues gallery in all of comicdom, but after the top ten are exhausted (and he is quite unique in having ten quality adversaries), the pickings become pretty slim fairly quickly.

Of course, it would be worse in a potential Superman franchise. Lex Luthor, Brainiac, General Zod, Bizarro, Darkseid... and after that it drops off pretty steeply. I mean, what, a Toyman movie?

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Hello, Kitty
It must be very unsettling being constantly surrounded by giants, creatures many times both your height and weight. What primordial feline instinct is it, Sammy, that makes you snap at a hand that pets your side after you've sat down in front of one of the giants. Sleep, little kitty, and dream your dreams of preying and playing.
El-Alamein
This was the strangest first mowing of my unfortunately lengthy lawnmowing career. Usually, it is agonizingly slow going, with long, wet grass and frequent clogs. Darth Vater informs me the new mower (which he's had for a couple years) is much better about not clogging. I can't speak to that, as today the lawn was exceedingly dry. The mower was kicking up so much dust I eventually went inside and fetched a pair of goggles I received one Good E. Bag Wednesday (once again "the gift of safety" pays off). I felt like one of Monty's Desert Rats out there. (Notice I did not say I felt like a member of the Afrika Korps. Though they were equally assaulted by dust and sand, it's not good to compare oneself to the Afrika Korps since they were, after all, fucking Nazis. I'm with Indiana Jones, I fucking hate Nazis.) In any event, it was really dusty.

Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, Viscount Montgomery; Star Wars; Indiana Jones; and BTW madness all in one post. I am the reference king!

First Primes
of Apophis
Bra'tac
Teal'c
Shak'l
of Anubis
Ha'rak

Tridentine Rite
Next weekend, for utterly unfathomable reasons, my mon is going down to Dayton to hang out with her mom. Of my four grandparents, Grandma Little is only one left alive. Why? Because apparently evil is it's own reward. I'm serious, she's horrible. How Grandpa Little, who was the nicest man in the world except for the very unfortunate flaw of his racism (he was born in Kentucky in 1921, what do you expect?), could stand her, much less marry her, is beyond me. Of course, the real reason she's still alive is probably that she's several years younger than the rest of them. But I digress.

Next weekend, Mom won't be here; so, I'm on my own for Mass. This is the perfect opportunity to catch the Latin Mass, i.e. the Tridentine Rite. I found it at a church somewhere in the wilds of Flinttown. Next week, I'll be up in that mug, 1547 style. (The Rite used up until Vatican II was virtually unchanged from its codification by the Tridentine Council in 1547.) Bugger off, accessible Mass in the local language! I have no idea if I'll enjoy a Mass in Latin, as I neither speak Latin nor know the Mass by rote, but I was born fifteen years after Vatican II and was raised in an exclusively contemporized parish; I think my curiosity about the old Mass is understandable.
Complicated
Driving my mom's car yesterday, bored by whatever was on NPR and without a tape at my disposal, I flipped around the dial. On CK 105 (that flashes me back to middle school), I heard the first single off Avril Lavigne's new album. I liked it, I really really liked it. I look forward to buying the new album.

As soon as I'm done here, I'm going to go mow the lawn. The downside: I have to mow the lawn; the upside: fat bank (relative). Summertime's in full swing: the flannel sheets have been put away, the fans have been taken out, and the ankle socks have replaced the crews. I put my big black shoes in the closet and my sandals down by the front door. Before Mass, I read about the Wings in the Sports section and watched Kerry on Meet the Press; after Mass, I changed the sheets of and then read on my bed and just now listened to the first fifteen minutes of This American Life that I missed yesterday.

H-A-D
avehay a igpay atinlay ayday
Ha, George Plimpton doing commercials (back in the '80s) for video games? That's awesome! The more I hear about the late Mr. Plimpton, the more I like him. Now, I just need to actually read some of his books....

Hello, Kitty
Shorts weather is apparently rough on Sammy. He absolutely refuses to sit on my legs when I'm wearing shorts. There I am, watching TV, and there he is, wanted to be pampered, but he simply won't curl up on me. Your loss, yo.

A very adventurous drive from A2 to GB in the Mousemobile this afternoon. Pressure. Panic. Peril. Fun had by all.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Friday, April 16, 2004

Something appears to have gone terribly wrong with the Mousemobile; it is a lamentable coincidence that every time the Mountain has the Mousemobile for more than a few hours, something goes wrong with it. Or is that a lamentable "coincidence"? He's probably just jealous that I love the Mousemobile more than him. Anywho, Meine Vater and I shall investigate tomorrow.

I was very frustrated earlier, but as usual the act of writing was highly cathartic. On balance, it's been quite a lovely day. Though I do so hate the heat, even I love the first day of shorts weather. Just as I love short sleeves, I also love short pants.

When I was a kid, my dad would dress up as Darth Vader every Halloween. It was wicked sweet; he'd stand at the bottom of each driveway, absolutely radiating menace, caped from head-to-toe in black, broken only by his perfectly colored lightsaber. Hmmm, perhaps his new nickname should be Darth Vater? Were the Force strong with him he would certainly give in to the temptations of the dark side....
Nice things about today: I can say fuck - FUCK! - and because confounded Lent is over, I can eat meat. Mmmmmmm, meat.
FUUUUUUUUCK!
The online version of The Newsletter is going swimmingly, but I'm beginning to think the print version will never be realized. I spent a fucking hour waiting for Nos. 4 and 5 to print today, to no avail. They never ever appeared in the printing queue. Every time finals come around, genocide suddenly seems a much less appalling idea. First of all, honey, you're way too fat to be wearing a belly shirt. Second of all, how will printing out 100 pages from Wired's site help you pass a final? Fucking cunt. Add on to the fact that I have to drive down to Ann Arbor for all this shit, and then drive back up here and get to class on time. (Which, of course, I didn't.)

Why do I have to go to Ann Arbor? Because of three things: a) the version of Publisher on my HAL is seven years old and not compatible with the existing Newsletter files, b) my father cannot unlock the more advanced version of Publisher on his HAL (he lost the packaging with the registration/unlock information), and c) the HALs at UM-Flint make my p.o.s. HAL seem incredibly advanced. So, the only place I know to access for hours and hours at a stretch a computer with a sufficiently advanced version of Publisher is the campus in Ann Arbor. Which is fine most of the time, I typically enjoy my little sojourns, but not when all the little douchbags down there print willy-nilly and frustrate my plans.

I'm still pissed off about the fat cunt this morning. For fuck's sake, why are you printing a hundred pages, you pathetic manatee?

H-A-D
Have a completely shitty day. (Wow, that's disturbingly prescient.)

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Life seems better when you're wearing a Less Than Jake shirt.

Almost every Thursday, it strikes me at some point during the day that one day a week might not be enough time dedicated to appreciating Zooey Deschanel. Then I think that I probably already come off as a little creepy; so, one day a week will be fine.

I've been to Cottman Transmission often enough the guys recognize me. Oy. Oi? No good could come from mixing the sort of guys who can pull off "Oy" and actual oi punks. No good at all.

Snapshot in Time
In my CD player right now:
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Let's Face It
Flogging Molly, Swagger
Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around
Fountains of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers
The Aquabats!, Myths, Legends...

In my HAL:
Mu330, Winter Wonderland

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Aquabats!, Mu330, and a Less Than Jake T-shirt. Think I like ska-punk?

H-A-D
Have an explosive day.
The F.R.A.T. Party
The root beer keg, a feat of ingenuity and imagination which I pioneered and of which I am extremely proud, has returned to the Diag. The root beer keg, a campaign stunt of the Gargoyle's Frankenstein-like Friends Rebelling Against Tyranny Party, which took on an unexpeted life of its own, propelled me, with assistance from some infamous acts of dubious judgment by young Chip Englander, into office. I campaigned as and then became "Your MSA Representative"; in giant yellow foam cowboy hat and mirrored aviator sunglasses, I did my best to be as disruptive as possible within the constraints of parliamentary procedure.

And now, the root beer keg has been restored to life by and perverted to serve the ends of, of all things, a fraternity. The emblem of the F.R.A.T. Party has been twisted to the nefarious purposes of a frat. In all honesty, I feel as if I could cry.
Word of the day: POLSKA. Oh, who am I kidding, Polska is the word of the day everyday. Polska! I should put that on a T-shirt.

MURKY TRANSPORT DISASTER / 701 (front/back; white ringer with red trim, red letters)

Narwhal (gray, white letters)

OH YEAH! / ROK* (red, white letters)

THE LAST ANGRY MAN (black, white letters)

Poser (black, red script letters)

NOT A FROG (blue, white letters)

Polska
or
POLSKA?

Well, the Polish flag is red and white, so we could go red with white letters, bit something about the glory of Polska tells me black with white letters might be where it's at. Hmmmm.

*Curiously enough, this has nothing to do (I don't think it does, anyway) with the Republic of Korea (South Korea). And no, there isn't an asterisk on the shirt. And with that, strike up Mike Park's "Korea Is So Far Away."

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Whack-A-Mole Update
Lefty sez he has something in the works. So, we shall see.

Hello, Kitty
As I was watching the BBC on PBS, waiting for dinner, I noticed Sammy started hissing at the back door. Well, that's odd. I swung my chair around and saw a big, fat black cat less than three feet from Sam. There it was, in broad daylight, standing on our porch giving my cat the evil eye. Sammy hissed again and again, "Blackie's" back arched. After a few moments, Blackie turned away and retreated underneath a sunchair. Sammy stared. Believe you me, Sammy was spoiling for a fight. Blackie had to be at least twice his size (by weight), but in his younger days Sam would have torn him a new one. Had I let him out, I'm certain Sammy would have attacked Blackie, with an uncertain degree of success. You don't know how lucky you are, Blackie. Back in the day the great white hunter would have given you what for. You would have been proper fucked.

Sammy's old and trembly, but from time to time he remembers who he used to be. He may only weight a few pounds, but he's every bit the lion.
Woo hoo! The Newsletter Online has been updated! Thanks, Steeze!

AOL can go to fucking hell. The NL Online has been updated, which I've independently confirmed, but fucking AOL will not refresh the page and still shows issue No. 3, not the proper No. 4, as the current issue. Somebody needs a brick to the face for this bullshit.

Zooey Deschanel Appreciation Day
Dyed blonde, dyed red, or natural black? Despite thinking that my own hair never looks better than when dyed pink, I've got to go with natural black. I'm not sure what colour her hair should be in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; the actress who played Trillian in the BBC movie was a bleach blonde, but it's been several years since I read the books and I honestly do not remember the colour of Tricia McMillan's hair.

H-A-D
Have a repetitive day.
Revised Per Skeeter's Suggestion
Pete, "Oh, yes, this is a brilliant plan. You're five feet four inches of fury."
Margaret, smiling, "Five foot three, motherfucker!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Dead Wings
I am sick of this crap. Yes, Vokoun is looking frighteningly Giguere-like, but two goals on ten fucking shots?! Manny, you hack. You fucking career back-up. Time to let the real goalie start, it's time for Cujo.

To quote the great Captain Benjamin Sisko, "Oh, I don't know. I find nothing keeps me alert like a healthy fear of death." If the Red Wings do not win this series, which would mean two first round exits in two years, it will be time to fire Dave Lewis. I hope it doesn't come to that, but if they lose after being up 2-0, I don't really think there will be a choice.

There's nothing worse than underachievers. It's one thing to be no good, but it's quite another to have tons of talent and still find ways to lose. But, I sincerely do believe the past two games have been an abberration and that the Wings will prevail. I'm just not convinced they believe it.
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."
--George Orwell
Hello, Kitty
There was another cat out on the deck when I got home a little while ago. There was something about his (her?) face that made me think he was young. Fully grown, but still young. The most notable thing was his incredible girth. This was a tubby cat. I admit I'm used to Sammy's supermodel look (pointy shoulder blades: sexy, but not fun to pet), but even so this was one fatass kitty cat. He was like the cat over at Sarah's house a few weeks ago, coarse hair and a vertical tail. How did it ever happen that Sammy would have the softest, silkiest coat around? He's a ruthless killer! Hmmm, maybe it's the bloodlust that does it? Man, that's messed up.

The second "season" of Clone Wars was absolutely wicked. Of course, now I can't believe that I have to wait thirteen blasted months for Episode III. Ki-Adi-Mundi... dead? Noooooooooooooooooooo!

"Linguo... dead?"
"Linguo is dead."

9/11 Circus
Here's my problem with the 9/11 Commission: the commissioners are giving interviews. Every evening, every morning, on the Sunday morning doubletalk showcases, they are everywhere. And though the Democrats are on more often, the Republicans have been doing it, too. This is madness! How are they supposed to maintain the pretense of conducting an honest, objective investigation if they are actively engaging in punditry? Do jurors in the middle of a trial give interviews? Do detectives in the middle of an investigation give interviews? NO! Of course not!

This commission was supposed to point out the structural flaws in our government that left us vulnerable to terrorism, to point out that our intelligence agencies were still set up to fight the Cold War. Now it's degenerated into petty politicking. Sad, really.

H-A-D
Have a repetitive day.
Pete, "Oh, yes, this is a brilliant plan. You're five feet six inches of fury."
Margaret, "Five foot five, motherfucker!"

Monday, April 12, 2004

From this afternoon's drive out to Durand to pick up The Last Angry Van after having an exhaust leak remedied: "Remember, Michael, when the man asks you if you want to get old, say 'No.'" The saddest part of my relationship with my father is when it's good it is so good.

"Got fed up, decided to leave after one last drink,
Felt a tap on my left shoulder and started to think...
I can't take this anymore,
What will this line be?
That's when he let his line fly,
'Hi, my name is Steve.'
Where have you been all of my life, sweet thing?
Can I buy you a drink, marry you, anything?

We've heard one too many over used pick up lines.
Give us some credit, we're not sleazy, dumb, or blind."
--Dance Hall Crashers, "Pick Up Lines"

Man oh man, Karina's hot.

Star Wars
My position on this is pretty clear. If you don't like Star Wars, I don't want to know you. I don't wish you any particular ill-will ("I'm a well-wisher in that I wish you no specific harm."), I just don't want you within fifty yards of my life. You don't have to love Star Wars as much as I do, but there is something seriously wrong with anyone who does not at least like Star Wars. I mean, come on! Darth Vader. Han Solo. Princess Leia in a metal bikini. Lando fucking Calrissian. Lightsabers. Yoda. Chewbacca. Not one, but two, count 'em two, Death Stars. Wave after wave of faceless Stormtroopers. Wedge. Wedge!

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi was released in 1983. VCRs have been plentiful since the mid-1980s. That's twenty years. If you haven't seen Star Wars, the only reasonable conclusion is that you don't want to see Star Wars. And if that's the case... well, I think it's pretty clear where we all stand.
"Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden

I am not a patient man, but I'm learning.

Vote For Kodos
As a Catholic, Senator Kerry is not supposed to get divorced. So, he had his first marriage annulled. Basically, that's a do-over. It never happened. An eighteen year marriage never happened?! I'm pissed at Kerry for being such a weasel, but I'm far more pissed at the chode priest, monsignor, or bishop who let him get away with it. How dare you abuse your office in that way, you slimy bastard; beware, buddy, there's a special corner of Hell for men of the cloth who betray their oaths. As for Kerry, such a cynical abuse of his supposed faith fits my assumption that the man has no soul.

But for the purposes of Whack-A-Mole, assuming Lefty has any fight left in him, fear not. My objections to Senator Kerry are based on policy grounds, not his moral bankruptcy.

Zach Nie! Can Go to Hell
I wrote Never Girl an email asking her a question about the Red Wings/Predators series. She replied with a quip about her adopted Oakland A's. Under the Empire, I will destroy baseball even if I have to kill every last man on Earth to do it.

H-A-D
Have an apple a day.
Hello, Kitty
No matter what you need to say, chances are you can find a Star Trek quote that's damn near perfect. The late DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, "I'd pay real money if he'd shut up."

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Easter
Happy Easter, everybody! Woo hoo! Well, Lent is over, Christ is risen, and that can only mean one thing: fuck, shit, bitch, ass, FUCK! Have a fan-fucking-tastic Easter, you fucking bastards! I feel like Miquel Ferrer in Hot Shots: Part Deux, "Thanks, Topper, I can kill again!"

I love Easter and I hate Easter. I love Easter because, well, it's the bestest holiday in the Christian faith. Eat shit, world, you thought you could kill the Jesus? Fuck you, he's the Son of Man! My man's fucking unstoppable! Holes in his hands and his sides, but the son of a gun walks again. In cinematic terms, it would be The Passion II: Jesus Rides Again. On the other hand, I hate Christmas-and-Easter church goers. You hypocritical piles of crap, why are you even here? Are you afraid for your soul and think showing up twice a year will save you? Jumpin' Jack Pratt, do you understand the first thing about His grace? My point is this: my mom goes to church way more than twice a year; so, on those very crowded days, she has earned a pew, Bog damn it. I will kill all you other other motherfuckers to make sure she gets a seat, you understand me?

So, while Mom was sitting somewhere near the front, I was standing in the very back of the church. I have to tell you, it was pretty cool back there. I was right along the center aisle and could see up the red carpet to the alter and above Father Bill's and Deacon Corder's heads the uncovered statue of the risen Christ. I've always liked sitting in the back of classrooms; so, I can scan the whole room. I discovered today that I really like being at the back of the church. (And Holy Redeemer is a Catholic church; so, you know, this is a large structure seating what? A thousand folks? Maybe more.) Also, now I want to be an usher. Those guys have like their own little club back there. They're half-paying attention and cracking little jokes and displaying a very endearing world-weariness/devotion. They've been there and been at it so long that they can only be doing it out of love, yet feel comfortable enough just hang out. I want one of those red jackets, damn it.

I said a Rosary last night before going to sleep. I may have to start doing that on a more regular basis. The Mountain of Love wrote a very venomous column about his atheism for The Newsletter; I definitely need to stop praying for his soul. Let the little fucker burn. Yeah yeah, I know, hate the sin, love the sinner. It's not in my nature to be a Christian, yet here I am. Damn it.

H-A-D
Have a hot day.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Empire City
The city of The Cloak has always been called Empire City, and his flagship comic book Empire City."Empire City" is Detroit, or Detroit as it could have been, and was named Empire City because it was founded at the intersection between three empires, American, British, and French. Of course, now I'm reading Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, about Sam Clay and Joe Kavalier, fictional creators of the fictional comic book hero* The Escapist. The Escapist's city is a version of New York called Empire City, complete with an Excelsior Building (Empire State Building) and Staue of Liberation (Statue of Liberty). So, despite the fact that I had never read Kavalier & Clay nor heard of The Escapist or Empire City before I created The Cloak and his Empire City, obviously I can no longer call The Cloak's universe Empire City.

* Obviously, all comic book heroes are fictional, from Superman to Spider-Man to Hellboy are fictional; so, why go out of my way to point out that The Escapist is fictional? Because Superman has appeared for sixty-six years in Action Comics, Adventures of Superman, Superman, and many other periodicals; Spider-Man for forty-three years in The Amazing Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Peter Parker: Spider-Man, and many others; and Hellboy for ten in various Hellboy and B.P.R.D. miniseries. Before the novel Kavalier & Clay, published in 2000, there had never been a single issue of the adventures of The Escapist in comic book form. Since then, Chabon has overseen a handfull of Escapist comic books, in the guise of lost works of Kavalier & Clay, but that's neither here nor there.

So, what the hell do I call Empire City now? I see two options: a) come up with a new imaginary name or b) just call it Detroit. There are good arguments for both. All the cities in this universe have imaginary names; highlights include Puritan Bay (Boston), Patriot City (Philadelphia), Neopolis (New York), Centropolis (Chicago), Aero City (San Francisco), Astropolis (Los Angeles), and Imperium (London). Some need work (Neopolis), some are genius (Aero City). On the other hand, the Detroit "D" looks beautiful when embroidered on a Tigers cap. The word Detroit is French for "the narrows," and in high school we pronounced it "De-tois." Detroit's flag, which deserves to be more famous, is a gorgeous combination of the French fleur-de-lis, the British royal lions, and Old Glory. A city at the intersection of three empires, American, British, and French. What I like about a fictional name is that it gives me the freedom to play with the city, to change its history, temperment, and geography. What I like about the real name is that it is the real name, and Detroit's a pretty sweet name.

The only good idea I've got so far is Palatine City. What can I say? I like Rome.

The Real World
And now I've got to go help my dad change the oil on The Last Angry Van. Not my brother, who drives it, but me. He's in A2, doing opera/school type stuff. I'm here, doing nothing. I'm not as pissed off or despondent as this post might seem to indicate. Those are just the facts of the matter.
After the Bonanza: Day 14
It's the weekend. I didn't shave yesterday and I'm not going to today. I'm rediscovering the joys of stubble. Also, the joys of shaving just before Mass and trying to get your blood to clog before you bleed all over your nice collared shirt. The beard was, all told, not as bad as I'd feared it might be, but it just wasn't the natural state of things. At this point in my life, I'm not a beard guy. A Beardy McWeirdy, if you will.

H-A-D
Have a half full day.

Thursday, April 8, 2004

Fabulous Cinema
One thing I really like to do is rent movies and then watch them late at night, almost always starting after midnight. The past two nights, I've seen Better Luck Tomorrow and Bend It Like Beckham. Without question, two of the best movies I have ever seen.
All Hallow's Eve
Sure, it's only April, but it's never too early to start working on my costume for Halloween. Ideas I'm throwing around:
Sandman (Wesley Dodds's original costume)
Hellboy
Moshe Dayan

Hello, Kitty
It's wet and rainy today; so, Sammy has finally shut his yap. Thank Bast.*

The Watergirl Cometh
No, I've never seen a performance of The Iceman Cometh, nor the film. Piss off. Anywho, The Watergirl is back in Michigan for Easter, and plenty of revelry tomorrow at Dominick's. In the last two days, I've had two extended conversations with her, one yesterday as she traversed the Mass Turnpike (scandel!) and this afternoon as she sat on a couch underneath her beloved pooch. We've learned two things: 1) she is deathly afraid of Winter Items making a scene and 2) all she needs is a Fairy to complete her matching set of the Troll, the Leprechaun, and the newly minted Ogre. Crap, I know there's one other I'm forgetting. Gnome? Elf? Goblin?

H-A-D
Have a cheesy day.

*You don't know who Bast is? How about Bastet? Well, I'm sick of the academic hand-holding, why don't you go look her up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

I am wearing a Pith helmet.
Zooey Deschanel Appreciation Day
I realized something the other day: I dislike Scarlett Johansson. I've only ever seen her in one movie, The Man Who Wasn't There; it was horrible, but that wasn't her fault. I want to see Ghost World, and, because of Bill Murray, I am willing to see Lost in Translation, but nonetheless I just don't like her. I realize this is based primarily on the fact that these days she is extensively talked about in the press and featured on magazine covers. It had nothing to do with her acting. And that's sad. So, let this be a small secular prayer that Ms. Deschanel's career will be long, successful, and interesting, but that she will be spared the cursed title of "it girl."

Hello, Kitty
We have moles. Years ago we had rabbits, but then Sam killed them all. (He may not have killed them all, but those he didn't kill he certainly drove off.) Later, he brought us offerings of shrews, birds, and mice. However, he is powerless to combat the moles. Even were he not a decrepit, trembling old man, even in his great white hunter prime, I don't think he would be a match for the moles. He's just not subterranean. So, we have contracted with profesionals to poison our yard. As a result, Sammy has to stay inside for a few days. I don't remember exactly how young he was when we first started letting him run wild, but he was barely past being a kitten. Sammy is now and always has been an outdoor cat. The past two days have been rough. As soon as I get home, he begins whining. It is a truly pathetic sound. I try to pet him, give him little bowls of milk, and ease his pain, but to no avail. He feels the call of the wild and nothing else can sate him. The worst part is that he simply cannot understand. How do you explain to a cat that he can't run around outside because Great War-era poisons have been deployed against moles? Hang tough, Sammy, it'll be okay.
Hockeytown
Playoffs start tonight at the Joe. All right, boys, let's not have a repeat of last year, shall we? You're all finally healthy, now kick some arse. It may have been the motto of the '97-'98 season, but I still have the patch on my sweater and I still think it's apropos: Believe.

Not Quite Deep Throat
I heard John Dean on NPR yesterday. Yes, because after G. Gordon Liddy, no one knows more about how to faithfully execute governmental duties than John Dean. Remember, folks, before he squealed*, he went along with the whole thing from start to finish. He didn't think Watergate or the cover-up were a bad ideas until he was facing prosecution. Convenient change of conscience, that.

*The "whistleblower" phenomenon is very interesting. Here these people are lauded as heroes, yet every child is repeatedly told that nobody likes a tattle-tail. And why is it that whistleblowers have so much credibility? For any whistleblower to be effective, they had to have gone along for quite a long time with whatever evil they now denounce. Odd, that.

H-A-D
Have a visual day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Don't ask me how my conversation with Sardine came to this point, but at the very least I thought this progression was quite good:
Bad Boys II
Menace II Society
The Dead Poets Society
Dead Presidents
All the President's Men
Remember, kids, it's important not to confuse Peter Sarsgaard with Stellan Skarsgard. Very different guys, very similar names.

I keep seeing advertisements admonishing me to buy the DVD of The Matrix Revolutions and thus, "complete the trilogy." Why would I purchase a trilogy that is 2/3 absolute garbage? I'm far more like to buy just The Matrix and pretend the two later films never happened. Given all the Matrix-twats who talked up The Matrix as better than Star Wars, I was endless pleased when both Reloaded and Revolutions turned out to be utter fiascoes. Psssh, chumps. Let this be a lesson to you, don't #%*$ with the king.

All the water I've been drinking is making me sick. I mean, I don't even know who I am anymore. You know how many Dr. P's I had yesterday? Two. TWO! I went to grab a third, but was suddenly struck by the need for something less sweet. I actually wanted water. Water! Madre de Dios, I've betrayed everything I stand for! Not really, but Bog below, this is intolerable. Next thing you know I'll be craving carrots as a snackfood. I sicken me.

But speaking of water, ye olde Watergirl has posted some... mature... reading material on her bloggy blog. I'll have to print it out and read it aloud at Dominick's this weekend. ^_-

H-A-D
Have a secret day.
Twelve Idiots
Jesus was a great guy. Not just a great guy, but the greatest guy. So why during His lifetime was He followed around by the twelve idiots? You'd think the Son of Man would have some kind of brain trust, but instead He walked around with a dozen bumbling morons. Have you read the Bible? Before Acts, these guys couldn't light a candle if they were on fire. Peter, eventual founder of the Catholic Church, was so stupid he answered to Peter, even though his name was Simon. Sheesh!

Monday, April 5, 2004

Ponder If You Will
Inter arma enim silent legis. In time of war, the law falls silent.
Posers
Margaret Eastman
Mary Peppard
Kari Putterman
Pete Fahrenheit
Parker Peppard
Scipio Winter

Young Margaret - my spectacled, red-haired heroine - has gone through many last names. Originally, she was Margaret Dykehouse, but then I decided to use her as the protagonist of In Search of the Perfect Lesbian (the character is a wee bit older than the story). And obviously, you cannot use a character named Dykehouse at the center of a story about flirting with lesbianism. To do that would be horrible, as horrible as Arthur Miller's Willie Loman (you hack!) or The Truman Show. (Low man, true man, think about it.) Since then, she's been in limbo. Margaret Friday. Margaret Sandhurst. Margaret Adair. At one point, Pete Fahrenheit was Pete Winter; so, once he became Fahrenheit I dallied with the idea of Margaret Winter. But my initials are MW, and I can't have a character who is essentially me as a girl have my initials. Then, she was Margaret Kincaid, and I love the name Kincaid, but somehow the combination just sounded ridiculous. So now she's Margaret Eastman. I change my mind a lot, but this I know is right.

Connect-i-cut
If UConn wins both the men's and women's NCAA tourneys, I'm going to puke. I like the State of Connecticut, but this is just too much.

H-A-D
Have a horny day.
Sunday
I spent my whole weekend doing a good deed for an old lady with severe mobility problems. My entire body is tired, deep deep down. I cut my hands to ribbons, because there is nothing sharper on this earth than the underside of a bush. It's Palm Sunday; so, at Mass the kiddies performed the tradtional Passion play. By Jove (ironic, no?), I love Passion plays. I also love palm leaves, mostly because I can't resist swatting my mom continuously on the walk from the church door back to the car. Hee hee.

Saturday, April 3, 2004

After the Bonanza: Day 7
Well, it's been a week since the beast was slain. My appearance has been fully restored, I have become acclimated to the routine of shaving, and the central question has been answered: yes, I can indeed grow a beard. If I may say so, a fairly sweet beard.

Hellboy
My dad and I saw Hellboy this evening. To make a terrible pun, it was a hell of a good time. Fully-realized characters, excellent effects, a strong story, and a brilliant sense of humor, the film has it all. Plus, quality Mignola-esque visuals. I'd love to see a second Hellboy. Perhaps Hellboy: Conqueror Worm? I've said it before and I'll say it again: any hero worth his salt has to fight Nazis.
Deathworld
After I finish The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, before I tackle Don Quixote (please please please let it be good and not at all like reading Dumas, which is concentrated suffering), I've decided to reread Harry Harrison's Deathworld trilogy: Deathworld, Deathworld 2, and Deathworld 3. The funny thing about Deathworld is that only the first book actually takes place on Deathworld.

H-A-D
Have your day incognito.

Friday, April 2, 2004

Hellboy
Woo hoo, Hellboy is in theaters today! I haven't been this excited for a movie since Miracle. The only comics I've bought this year have been Hellboy comics: Hellboy: Weird Tales and B.P.R.D. In honor of this minorly momentous moment, here I present all of the demonically-related, occult-themed characters from Empire City:

Sebastian Adair
The Shadow
Faust*
The Mandarin

*formerly Morningstar

H-A-D
Have a Picasso day.
I Don't Trust Clark Kent
I do not like Fox News, but I respect their honesty. Fox News is nakedly partisan, promoting a conservative agenda and, thus, the Republican Party. The network news divisions (ABC, CBS, NBC), the twenty-four hour cable news channels (CNN, MSNBC), the majority of the print media (specifically the plagarism-prone The New York Times and The Washington Post), and even my beloved public media (NPR moreso than PBS) are liberally biased; where they falter is that they clearly promote a very specific political agenda whilest cloaking themselves in the garb of objectivity. Don't make me laugh. Fox News is illiterate, reactionary, pigheaded, and a nest of jackals (ye gods, why isn't Ollie North in prison for his crimes?), but it does possess the singular virtue of being honest about its preferred point of view.

How did the once venerable profession of journalism ever come to this? When you cannot respect Walter Cronkite, as I do not, something has gone seriously wrong with the system.

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Jack Knight
Starman: Sins of the Father
Starman: Night and Day
Starman: A Wicked Inclination...
Starman: Times Past
Starman: Infernal Devices
Starman: To Reach the Stars
Starman: A Starry Knight
Starman: Stars My Destination

next
Starman: Grand Guignol
Whack-A-Mole: Preliminary Round 2 - A Vote For Kodos Special
LEFTY:
Of the many topics from which to choose, I say we start with welfare. You seem displeased with the welfare system. The principles of a welfare state are that 1) Every member of society is entitled to a minimum standard of living. 2) The welfare state is commited to putting full employment at the top of the social goals to be supported by public policy. Strictly on the ideology and intentions of the welfare state, how do you stand?

RIGHTY: You do know that the point of this is to convince me to vote for John Kerry, right, Lefty? I do not believe that every citizen is entitled to a minimum standard of living. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which means that the government won't kill you without due process, won't imprison you without due process, and won't go out of its way to squash your dreams. Nowhere in there does it say the government - and since the government gets its money from taxes, the taxpayers - owes everyone a decent living. That's up to you. Nor do I believe the government has any obligation to bring about full employment. Full employment is the fevered dream of Marxists and jai alai enthusiasts, and, even were it possible, the only way to guarantee it would be government control of the economy. And we all saw how well that worked in the Communist Bloc.

Now, because I'm a nice guy and productive taxplaying workers are good for the country as a whole, I do support a limited social safety net to assist the unemployed, recently rehabilitated ex-convicts, and those who have fallen on hard times. I fail to see how the Great Society does anything but promote the continuance of an permanent underclass.

TV!
I just discovered the show Wonderfalls. Damn it, I can't wait an entire week for another episode. You bastards!

Tommy Boy
My congratulations to Tommy Amaker and the University of Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team for their triumph over Rutgers, 62-55, to win the National Invitation Tournament. This is a good thing. It means that Michigan is the 66th best team in the country. Woo hoo! The really nice thing about winning the NIT is that you become one of only two teams who earn a spot in post-season play to win your final game. Sixty-four of the sixty-five teams in the Big Dance and thirty-one of the thrity-two teams in the NIT end their seasons with a loss.

"Hail! to the victors valiant,
Hail! to the conq'ering heroes,
Hail! Hail! to Michigan
The leaders and best!

Hail! to the victors valiant,
Hail! to the conq'ering heroes,
Hail! Hail! to Michigan
The champions of the west!"

Yeah, it's only the NIT, but after you've had seasons and seasons of memories stolen away by the greed and stupidity of Chris Webber, you've got to cheer for something.
After the Bonanza: Day 5
I shaved today for the first time since slaying the beard Saturday night. I had intended to do so earlier, but the beard-slaying shave was incredibly close. Now that my sideburns have been sculpted... daaaaaaaaaaaaammnn. Righty looks better than Lefty, but both look fantastic. If all of me looked as good as my sideburns, I'd be beating the honeys off with a stick. The beard might be a fine look for me in a decade or two, when I fear that my waredrobe will no longer be dominated by band T-shirts (today: Avoid One Thing, Joe "The Bass Fiddleman" Gittleman's side project) and blue jeans, but until then the sideburns and imperial rule. As a side note, I hope the imperial goes out of style soon, because I hate looking like just another tooly jerk. On a positive note, it feels good to be using the old Kiehl's Men's Alcohol-Free Herbal Toner again. Wooooo!

It's not the greatest time of year for sports. March Madness is almost over, Michigan failed to make the Frozen Four, football season is seemingly endless months away, and, worst of all, the blasted ten-month, sixty thousand game baseball season is beginning. Kill me now. But before that, there is still one ray of hope: the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup. For just about the first time all year, the Red Wings have most of their line-up on the ice instead of in the stands with injury; they have clinched the Western Conference and home ice through the the conference finals, and still have a chance to claim the President's Trophy for best regular-season record; and Manny Legace, with Cujo one of the last players still injured, whopped the Avalanche twice last week. Time to erase the memory of last year's debacle. Bring the Cup home to Hockeytown!

During a commerical break from Pardon The Interruption, I just saw an advertisement for Troy. Aws yeah, bring on the greatest story ever told.

Zooey Deschanel Appreciation Day
Sure, we only celebrate Zooey Deschanel Appreciation Day one day a week, but isn't every day a good day to appreciate Zooey Deschanel?
Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

H-A-D
Have an incomprehensible day.