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Friday, August 08, 2003
Where'd everybody go?
I'm BORED! Somebody update their Web site! Put some funny cartoons online. Unveil a funny comic strip. Anything! Today is sloooow at work and I have nothing to entertain me. I even CLEANED MY FUCKING DESK. That's how slow it is today. I had time to file movie press releases and send old folders to the library and organize myself. Do you know how bored I have to be to actually clean and sort through my shit?
It's dire, people. And I have at least an hour and a half before I can get out of here. What am I supposed to do? My computer doesn't play DVDs!
Update, people! Raise your mighty voices and bring The Funny!
Oh, and if you're in Austin this wekeend, go check out Freddy Soto. I saw him in L.A. and he was completely hilarious. I'll be seeing him tonight.
Completely inappropriate e-mail subject header of the week:
"Father dreams to rape young sons"
First of all? To me? That's not a good father. I don't see how you can call yourself a father and be sending out e-mails to people saying things like that. I mean, you should dream to maybe have your sons score a homer in Little League or maybe to have them get into a good college. But to rape them? Maybe I'm old fashioned here, but that's not the kind of dream a good dad would have.
Steve Martin op-ed piece
For you language geeks, Steve Martin (yes, the actor/writer) wrote a short op-ed piece about the WMD flap in the New York Times today. Very cute, although I think any number of people who are funny and are sticklers on word usage could have written it. But, hey, he's Steve Martin.
My old Projects page was one of the butt-ugliest on the Net, so I finally did something about it. Behold! The New Projects Page. It may not be gorgeous, but at least it's not all floaty and strange-looking anymore.
Thursday, August 07, 2003
It was a Friday night and still sunny as I crossed the Congress Street bridge on my way to meet with Pineapple to talk about some Web Writers Weekend committee stuff. We were to meet at the dark, smoky Cloak Room, the place where you can practically see the lung cancer growing off the walls. The fact that the room is tolerable, nay enjoyable despite this is testament to the waitstaff and the personalities who inhabit this subterranean drinking hole.
Along the bridge and on the other side, near Cesar Chavez, I saw not one, but two sets of dual strollers, parents carting along their twins in the early evening warm breeze.
I was thinking about barrenness, how we're probably doing a lot of things to ourselves with the things we ingest, the dirty air we breathe, the energy drinks full of stimulants that may someday make us sterile. We're certainly not in environments condusive to breeding: We're stressballs pumping ourselves full of the things that would kill baby off if they were mainlined our intakes.
So when the sperm count is low or the eggs aren't releasing properly, the doctors loosen the jockey shorts, prescribe fertility treatments, turn people into walking, copulating copiers. And then you have twins, triplets, quints, sextups.
I worry about overcompensation, about wanting one of something so badly you'll take five of it instead and chalk it up to the unpredictability of nature.
Movies this week...
Freaky Friday: This has turned out to be one of those pleasant surprises of the summer, a teen movie with adult appeal that doesn't seem to insult either audience's intelligence. Like Pirates of the Eye-Liner and 28 Days Later, it's confounding critics' expectations, making many of them gush at the comedic prowess of Jamie Lee Curtis, whom A.O. Scott implies in the New York Times is damn near Oscar-worthy for her performance. I'm kicking myself because I had plenty of tickets to see this in advance and I kind of pushed it aside, unwilling to give it a chance. I may pay to see it just to make up for that error in judgment. How interesting is it that some of the most well-received movies of the summer are those using conceits typically thought of as doomed premises? The body-switching movie. The zombie movie. The goddamned pirate movie. The movie about fish that talk. Personally, I'd take a single Dori or blood-spewing zombie over a whole stable of Drew Barrymores, Martin Lawrences, Lara Crofts and Extraordinary Ex-James Bonds.
I Capture the Castle: What? Who? Based on a British what? I Ignore The Movie!
The Holy Land: This sounds a lot like any number of movies about a naive young man (typically a writer or a tech dude) entranced by the whiles of a stripper. I guess screenwriters are just inspired when they go to the strip club and then they rush home and write on a bunch of index cards about their thoughts of stripping as a metaphor for whateverthefuck. In this case, the young dude is a Yeshiva student in Israel. And the stripper is... a stripper.
Lucia, Lucia: Another in a long long of Spanish-language films I probably ought to see, but this one just doesn't jump out and the reviews have been middling at best. Cecelia Roth is cool, though. She was by far the best thing in All About My Mother.
Northfork: I never saw Twin Falls, Idaho but I like the idea of twins making movies. Or even just brothers making movies. I could totally see myself working in some creatively collaborative way with my own bro in something that doesn't just involved instant messaging. It looks like what they're going for is a David Lynchian surrealist landscape about a town about to be flooded underwater by a public works project. I remember seeing that bit toward the end of O Brother Where Art Thou? and thinking, "Why hasn't somebody made a movie just about that?" Now they have. Will I see it? Probably on video.
S.W.A.T.: Oh yeah. That movie. I just love in the preview where the bad guy is yelling that he'll offer a million dollars to anyone who can break him free from jail. Except he goes, "One MEEEEEELLLIOOOON DOLLARS!" It's hilarious. Based on what I've read, that cool little plot point doesn't come up until late in the movie and by then Colin Farrell has already made six other movies where he plays a cop or a CIA dude or someone trapped in a phone booth who made out with a bunch of pop music ingenues. And he's pissed because somebody stole his lucky charms.
On video: I got an advance copy of Chicago on DVD and, my god, it looks fantastic. The deleted musical number, "Class," is a bit of a disappointment. I've never seen the musical, so I'm not sure what I was expecting, but basically Catherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas-Someday-Gallaga and Queen Lacleavage just sing to each other a bunch of curse words about how nobody's gots no class anymore. That's it. They just kind of sit there and sing. So I can understand why they cut it from the movie. It just stops everything dead and doesn't have the same visual impact as all the rest of the songs in the movie. Plus, it's the only song not "performed" on a stage and without Roxie present. So it kind of shatters the whole conceit of all the musical numbers that don't really happen all being in her mind. It's definitely no great loss, even though it is a pretty good song. Watching it on a widescreen TV in DTS sound, though, is a treat. The colors pop and the vocals are crystal clear. It's a very, very good DVD transfer.
Also saw Not Another Teen Movie on cable which was exactly what it was supposed to be and not much more. Looking forward to checking out Gangs of New York when I can spare a week of my life to watch it.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
By now, most movie geeks know that IMDB is the preeminent source for all movie and TV info (at least in the trivia sense), but I've gotten hooked on their entertainment news/gossip. It's a nice mix of speculation and fact, like today's, which vets the recent rumors of a Bennifer Breakup (Bennifer? J.Fleck? Afflo?) as well as some sauciness on Ed Norton's part after his break-up with Salma Hayek. (They broke up? I had no idea. Salma, call me!)
Also in today's is some news about last minute Sex and the City edits, Whoopi's controversy (she's smoke on TV? Oooooh, controversial!) and even a helpful tidbit about the Ben Stiller/Jack Black movie Envy, which I thought was opening this week. Thanks, IMDB!
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
The Awful Tooth
I haven't been to a dentist in almost three years (sexy, no?) and I blame the Republicans.
It's possibly unfair and certainly innaccurate, but who else am I going to blame for my dental insurance going from Extremely Cushy to Damned Deductible?
While I'd managed to live with paying up front for doctors' visits and prescriptions, including my very necessary Allegra-D fix, it was almost exclusively through a system of opening my wallet, paying every expense and then grumbling quietly to myself, teeth grinding, about the Halcyon days when the Halcyon was paid for, as if by magic, by my former insurance plan.
That was before my $6 Billion Man insurance doubled in price, and I had to downgrade to the Don't Ask/Don't Get Sick Plan. The plan, which I probably shouldn't say out loud, rhymes with, "Glad I met ya." This plan works out great for my body, which doesn't get sick very often, but awfully for my teeth, which missed the ministrations of one Dr. Ramesh, a brilliant Indian dentist who managed to take the pain away while praising stories of mine she'd read in the paper. It was a winning combination.
So pause the rewind and then fast forward two and a half years. My teeth are not awful, not British or anything, just not exactly as sparkly as back when I had decent dental insurance. And a few months ago, I strarted noticing a little tingle on my lower left molars. Not pain, just a little, "Hey, if I were to eat a candy apple, that might be painful" kind of tingle.
Then, about a week ago, I was drinking a slushie and PAAAAIN. COLD AWFUL PAIN. I've had my fillings get all cold sensitive before, but this was like somebody put highly conductive wire from my tooth to my brain. I went, "AAAAGGGH!" It was like having an ice cream headache, but all compacted into one molar.
I tried to avoid hot and cold liquids, but over a few days it got worse until even brushing my teeth with mildly cool water was causing giddy, funnybone-like pain in my mouth.
So I called Dr. Ramesh's office. Which is actually Dr. Linkatoon's office now that Dr. Ramesh has gone elsewhere. I probably should have been loyal, but I went the easy route. I went to the old office and got a new dentist. The young ladies there were still young and cute -- Dr. Linkatoon, it seems, has a habit of hiring young Latinas as oral hygenists and receptionists. I've got no complaint about that, and it was entertaining watching a guy from L.A. severely hitting on the receptionist, who had a good lot of cleavage hanging out over the little sliding window, and who wore her big metal braces proudly over said cleaves of age.
Inside, my dentist had the goofy, good natured demeanor of J.D. from Scrubs. He showed me big, colorful pictures to demonstrate the dangers of gum disease. He was young and seemed a little inexperienced -- he cleaned my poor teeth, using the nasty scraper to get into my swollen gums. I went without anaesthetic, figuring it would be faster and less apt to make me a drooling mess. So when he did his thing, he asked every two or three seconds, every time I flinched or made a little noise, if I was okay and if he should stop. He was like a particularly insecure virgin doing it for the first time.
The result was that I had a few cavities (when I say "few" I mean around three, not like 16 and I'm trying to make it sound like I don't have a nasty trench mouth), but wouldn't need a root canal. In fact, the area giving me all my problems would only need to have a filling replaced. He didn't see any sign that a huge exposed nerve was hanging out or that I'd somehow been housing a ferocious Tooth Demon in there.
So next week, I get my filling replaced, and for now, I'm fully committed to flossing again. You know, like, tomorrow or something.
Monday, August 04, 2003
Where I's at
I'm in management training today and tomorrow, so the updating will be a little sporadic. Right now I'm taking a tiny lunch break and writing this from an itty bitty break room. They've got super duper Ethernet in the hotel we're at, but it's stingy, foule Ethernet, the kind that asks you for a password before it lets you go anywhere. Damn you Dirty Ethernet! So I'm dailing up from a tiny Clark Kent-to-Superman sized phone booth.
Oh, good news on the tooth thing -- no root canal necessary! But I did get a good talking to about flossing. Floss it up, folks, if you like your pretty teeth.
More adventures later...
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