Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I forgot to mention...I'm a redhead now! I got bored Saturday and spent the evening dyeing my dark rooted blonde hair a nice, deep shade of red. (Nice n' Easy #110 Natural Light Auburn). It turned out pretty well--I've gotten positive feedback from co-workers. The only problem is that the color faded a bit when I washed it this morning--the roots are still red, but the ends are now a vague, blondish hue. (It's hard to dye over hair that's already dyed, or so I've heard). The good thing is, though--at only 7 bucks a pop, I can just keep buying boxes of the stuff and redo it whenever this happens...I figure sooner or later it's gotta take. Hopefully it won't make my hair fall out though, because a decent wig would probably be pretty expensive.
I'm not feeling the movie list today (the one that I started last week), so here is a list of some cool ezines I've come across:

smallspiralnotebook Great writing, especially the non-fiction.

Bust Electronic version of the print magazine.

3am magazine My favorite of the lot, mostly for the story about the porn writer.

All Things Girl A zine created for women, by women--featuring art, photography, poetry, prose...a little bit of everything.

Fishheads Actually just a random archive of stuff culled from the brilliant (now defunct) Fishheads magazine...the coolest publication ever to come out of Indianapolis.

Friday, March 26, 2004

If I could create the perfect man, I swear he would be a carbon copy of Steve Martin. He's funny, smart, handsome, self-effacing, and he can write! I just finished his novella The Pleasure of My Company, and it was exquisite. I haven't loved a book this much since Wonder Boys. I read Shopgirl, his other novella (Ugh. I don't like the word novella. It sounds pretentious) last year while I was on a plane to Vegas. It was cute, but I didn't like it nearly as much as this one. I just finished the book, and I've already started re-reading it. I've also ordered the audio version from the library (read by Mr. Martin himself). Yes, I'm a little obsessive.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

And speaking of odiferous eruptions of intestinal gas, here is someone defending Britney Spears and her "talent." I don't think this is a joke. I think discotrash1119 is actually serious. That makes it even funnier.

"She def has some talent!" Uh, talent for what, exactly? Also, "def"?

"...it wouldn't kill all you people who hate Britney to give the girl a little bit of a chance." I beg to differ. I think that it would kill me. And it would be a very gruesome, very painful death.

"I dare you to download 'Don't Let Me Be the Last To Know'..." Is that a double-dog dare?

"Listen to this and then tell me she can't sing." I'll do you one better. I won't listen to it, and I'll still tell you she can't sing.

"I'm sure some people will tell me she can't sing after they hear this anyway, but those people are just being mean for the sake of being mean." Well, nobody said life is fair, princess.

"Give the girl a chance before you tear her down. It's the nice human, American thing to do." That's what Dubya said.

Heh, heh. This is from my beloved engrish site. It's a "smoker's courtesy" sign from Japan. I like the little arrow thingie coming out of the guy's butt, and how the stench from the fart or the cigarette smoke (I can't tell which), seems to have taken the other guy's head off.

I'm such an ugly American--I didn't know I was supposed to look behind me first. I just let it fly!

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I was lying in bed at 6:30 this morning, trying to muster the strength to get my ass up, and turned on the TV for some noise so I wouldn't fall back to sleep. I didn't notice what was on, just flipped on the TV and cranked up the volume. It turned out to be Reading Rainbow. They still have the same theme song they had when I was a kid! I used to love that show. I felt kinda dorky lying in bed watching it this morning. But I did learn a lot about trains.

I thought of a new idea for a list today, this time having to do with movies. I'm going to have to split it up, because I came up with way too many for one list (I want to keep it at a manageable length), so I'll keep adding to this periodically.

Movies that most people haven't heard of or seen, but should:

All the Real Girls This movie was recommended by a friend, and aside from her, I don't know anyone else who has seen it. (I'd never heard of it before she mentioned it). It's a sweet, low-key movie about a group of--well, for lack of a nicer word--hicks in a small southern town. The great thing about it is how well it treats each character. Even the ones who initially come across as dim or obnoxious are given a certain amount of depth and something interesting to say. The love story at the centerpiece is beautifully played by the two leads in performances that are so authentic they don't even seem like performances. Be forewarned--the ending doesn't come giftwrapped and leaves several loose ends. I liked that about it though--it has an almost poetic feel.

Racing With the Moon Anyone who doesn't believe Sean Penn worthy of his recent Oscar win should take a look at this 1984 film, because he's excellent in it. And so is Nicolas Cage, another actor who's been accused of being hammy and over-actory in recent years. (It's also interesting to see Nic before the receding hairline and bulgy eyes, because he was once quite the dish).

Threesome "To me, sex is like pizza. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good." This movie was unfairly overlooked, probably dismissed as another generic college sex comedy when it came out, but it's actually very funny and has some surprising depth to it. It's about how the lines between friendship, infatuation, and even sexuality can be blurred and crossed in close relationships. (I also posted about this on Fametracker, if any of this sounds familiar. I'm stealing from myself). And the soundtrack (featuring vintage B-side Duran Duran and U2, among others) totally kicks ass!

Shag Okay, this movie is adorable. And I mean that in the best possible way. It's like Dirty Dancing without the power ballads and veiled social messages. Don't get me wrong, I like D.D. okay. I just like this one tons better. It's much more fun, and everyone in it (the guys, the girls--everyone) is just so durn cute. Great eye and brain candy.

Me Myself I Great Austrailian comedy about a single thirty-ish woman who gets a glimpse into what her life would have been like had she married an old boyfriend and settled down in the 'burbs. The eerily similar Family Man came out the very next year...I can't decide if it was a remake, a rip-off, or an homage to this one.

Five should be enough for today--I'll continue the list next week.

Monday, March 22, 2004

I just went on amazon and ordered Beavis and Butthead's Chicken Soup for the Butt. See, I'm an intellectual, and I need reading material that challenges and stimulates. Most people don't understand this.

I miss B&B.

I saw Something's Gotta Give last night. I liked Diane Keaton's character and the fact that she was a writer. (I like "writer" movies). And I liked Jack Nicholson sort of making fun of his lechorous reputation. I just wish the film had been, like, an hour shorter. Seriously. There's no reason for a comedy to be that long. The imdb lists the running time as 128 minutes, but it felt like they stretched it out to at least 3 hours. I thought the seemingly endless 'make-up/break-up' love triangle thingie with Keanu Reeves and Jack was totally uneccesary. I also really disliked the "they lived happily ever after" scene tacked on at the very end. It's insulting when movies do that. I mean, we see the two leads get together at the end, most of us are smart enough to draw our own conclusions. But then the writers have to connect the dots for us, in case we're too stupid. And I know the point of the movie was two older people falling in love, etc., but I kept hoping for an unconventional ending with Diane Keaton ending up with Keanu. I mean, I know I would have. It's like, "Gee, who do I pick--a 36- year-old, gorgeous, well-read, kind, sensitive doctor who worships me, or a 63-year-old womanizer with a heart condition?" I mean, I like Jack Nicholson and all, but in real life, that decision would have taken me about three seconds to make.

Friday, March 19, 2004

There's this guy I work with. I'll just call him Pree-vert, to protect his privacy. (I know it's spelled and pronounced pervert, but pree-vert sounds funnier). I call him that because he's the office pree-vert. There's usually one in every office. Sometimes they are amusing. Sometimes they are offensive. Sometimes they are just sad. Pree-vert fits into that last category. He just ran in here brandishing a can of whipped cream. I'm serious. He was in the kitchen (you have to pass my desk to go into the kitchen) and I heard him let out a cry of delight. After a few moments, he trotted out to my desk with the aforementioned can o' cream.

"Who brought the whipped cream?" he asked excitedly.

"Uh, I think it's left over from the caterers yesterday. From dessert." I answered.

"That's great!" said Pree-vert.

"Yeah, you can put some on your coffee and pretend you're at Starbucks," I replied, refusing to play his sexual innuendo game.

"Well, I can think of some better things to do with it, but I won't go there," he said, as he turned and headed back to the kitchen.

Okay, a little background on Pree-vert. He's around 45, recently divorced, and, (I suspect), lonely. So I do feel sorry for him. It's hard not to. All that aside though, he's a dick. An inappropriate dick. He's made numerous sexual comments to certain women (and men) around the office. He's been written up three different times for sexual harrassment. And he hasn't been fired, which I find mystifying. (I heard someone defend him once by saying, "But he's good at what he does," like that excuses everything. And I don't even know what it is he "does," besides wander around the workplace making bad sex jokes and rude comments. I think he's in good with Bossman, which says a lot about both of them). And he's a massive dork, to boot. I don't have anything against dorks, really. Sometimes I like dorks. But this guy is a DORK. He complained to me once that Minneapolis was "too liberal." Now what kind of a dork complains that a city is too liberal? Even people who aren't liberal usually don't complain about a place being too liberal. Whatever, hombre.

There's also another guy here who we'll call Troll. He works out of the office most of the time, but once a week or so he'll come in here just to annoy me. He has a Porsche. Don't ask him about it. Don't comment on it. Don't even look at it. If you do, you'll get stuck talking to him for an hour. And he'll go apeshit if you pronounce it "Porsh." It's "POR-shah." Two syllables. As in Di Rossi. And don't you forget it!

I use Troll to illustrate my point that as bad as Pree-vert is, there's someone even worse. And that would be Troll. Troll has it in his head that Pree-vert is gay. You see, there was an incident where Pree-vert grabbed another guy's butt. Here at the office. He did it jokingly. But still. It was creepy. And the butt-grabee did not appreciate it. So news of the butt grabbing spread around the office, as it tends to do, thus leading Troll to believe that Pree-vert is gay. Not only does he suspect that Pree-vert is gay, but that Pree-vert (for some UNGODLY reason), wants him. To which I say, come the fuck ON! Troll looks like a troll. He is short. He is squat. He is butt-ugly. And most importantly, he is unbearably obnoxious. I don't care how many POR-shahs he buys. The dude ain't getting any. Not from men, women, or anything in between. So why the hell would he assume that Pree-vert (if he is gay, which I don't think he is. I think he's just desperate, and has no concept of socially appropriate behavior) would want HIM, of all people?

See what I'm dealing with, here?

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy St. Patrick's Day! From me to you. I love St. Patty's. I remembered to wear green today, but unfortunately it's sort of a pukey baby-shit green instead of a healthy Irish green.

Bossman is in the Wisconsin Dells today for business meetings, which rules. I heard that he's sick too--so maybe he won't be in tomorrow.

The meetings in the Dells (I'm starting to talk like a Minnesotan) have to do with the "restructuring" that's been going on in some of the regional offices, which (according to my sources) means that Corporate Big Cheese at the Milwaukee headquarters is canning some people he doesn't like. He's already "released" two of his employees this past week; one of the guys had taken the day off the same day that Cheese was planning to fire him. (The employee's reason for taking a personal day was that his dog was dying. Okay, it may have been bullshit, but being an animal lover, I can totally understand. Hell, I'd understand a leave of absence for something like that. But I'm a posey-sniffin' treehugger). Anyhoo, instead of waiting til the next day when the guy came in for work to give him the boot, Cheese went to the guy's house to fire him. Yeah, that's what I said. If I'd been in the unfortunate dying-dog owner employee's position when the dickhead showed up at my door to can me, I'd have stuck my foot so far up his ass he'd need to have it surgically removed. And then I'd sic my dying dog on him. What an asshole!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Monday, March 15, 2004

I forgot to add an update about the Liz Phair concert on Thursday night. Shame on me!

As I mentioned before, it was held at the infamous First Avenue club in downtown Minneapolis, where most of the movie Purple Rain was shot. They have a new sign out front, but for the most part, it looks about the same inside. Except it's a little smaller than it looks on the big screen, which is usually the case. The acoustics were actually pretty good, and it's a fairly intimate venue--definitely a plus, since Liz Phair is one of those artists where it's better to be up close and personal.

I went with my friend Jay from work, who is a new "Phair phan" (hey, did I just make up a cool handle for her followers? I think I did! I'm probably not the first to come up with it, though, so whatever). Liz had two opening acts, but we missed them because we decided to hang out at the Irish bar across the street until it was closer to showtime. After some greasy pub food and a few beers, we arrived at the club about 20 minutes before she took the stage. Jay decided to wander around the club to try to find the best angle to watch the show, but I stationed myself up front and to the far right of the stage. I had a pretty good view of her, even if it was just of her left side. And I was close, so that was cool. While she was performing, I kept trying to will her over to my side of the stage so she could slap hands with me or something like the rock stars do on TV. No such luck. She pretty much just stayed center stage during most of the show. She also switched guitars a lot, more than I remember her doing the first time I saw her back in Indy last August. Jay had a theory that the guitar switching was a power trip thing, because she had this cute little younger guy come out to wait on her and dutifully hand her guitars and adjust the strap for her. He said that she probably just did that "because she can." I argued that maybe she wanted a certain sound for each song, and wanted to acheive that using different guitars. Or maybe it was a power trip. (If so, what's the problem? I'd probably do the same thing!)

As for the music, she did a pretty balanced mix of stuff from all four albums, (in contrast to the show in August, where at least half of the material she performed was from her latest CD). I think my favorite this time around was the encore, where she did two of her "dirty" songs, "Fuck and Run" and "H.W.C." (short for Hot White Cum. Yeah, she's naughty). It was a good show overall; she seemed more confident and relaxed than last time.

I didn't get her autograph, but that was okay since Marcus and I met her in Indy after the Vogue show and she signed my Liz Phair promotional sticker. This time around, I wanted to bring one of her CDs that she could sign for me, but I forgot. I didn't see her outside doing the meet-n-greet thing on Thursday, probably because it was butt-clenching cold, and she didn't want to freeze (she was just wearing a little camisole thingie and jeans). I did get another souvenier, however--after the show we were standing around while her roadies were loading up her equipment, and I ripped off a huge piece of masking tape that was stuck on one of her instrument cases that said Marco -- Liz Phair on it. One of her roadies, this dreadlocked hippie guy, saw me do it and said "That wasn't very nice." I tried to give him the doe-eyes and said, "I'm sorry. No--I mean, I'm really sorry." He just shook his head and said again, "That wasn't nice." No, it wasn't. And I felt so bad about it that I went home that night and cried myself to sleep.

Oh, except that I didn't.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Okay, I'm sitting here trying to get some writing done and work on my resume and cover letters, but I keep getting distracted by the damn internet. It's evil. Here is something I've just come across that about made me piss myself. I wish I had thought of it, but I don't have Photoshop.

Go here and enter a bizarre parallel universe where Alanis sings "I love my life!" Christina Aguilera covers up her ass (in a nun's habit and a burqa), Rob Zombie sings his favorite alpine yodels, Eminem sings about Jesus, Michael Bolton is a gangsta rapper and Yanni is a pimp. Pure comic gold.

Friday, March 12, 2004

In the "oh shit, I forgot about these" category (addendum to yesterday's list).

Honorable Mention

Talk Show - The Go-Go's

Stunt - Barenaked Ladies

Disintegration - The Cure

Black Celebration - Depeche Mode

This Year's Model - Elvis Costello

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Screw it! I'm not waiting til Tuesday to post my latest list.

Okay, this could change in five years, but probably not much--the only albums that risk getting bumped are the ones currently occupying spots eight through ten. So without further ado...

My All-Time Top-10 Favorite Albums

10. Central Reservation - Beth Orton
This is my favorite Beth Orton album (Trailer Park is a close second). It's one of those CDs I can play continuously for an entire day and not get sick of. Best tracks: Central Reservation (both versions), Sweetest Decline, Stolen Car.

9. The Joshua Tree - U2
I tried to resist picking this one as my favorite U2 offering, mostly because everyone seems to pick it as their favorite. But when I mentally ran though the track listings of Achtung Baby and The Unforgettable Fire (my two runners-up), I had to admit--this one kicks ass. Best tracks: Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Red Hill Mining Town, Trip Through Your Wires.

8. On My Way, Don't Know Where I'm Goin' - Paul Simon
Is it lame to have a "best of" compilation on my list? I don't give a crap. This is the only Paul Simon that has all my favorites. And the title is cool, too (although I wanted to pick There Goes Rhymin' Simon, another cool title, but it doesn't have much on it that I really like besides Kodachrome). Best tracks: Mother and Child Reunion, Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard, Late In the Evening, Graceland, Slip Slidin' Away. (I can't listen to that last one too much though, because it makes me sad. Yes, I am a sensitive soul).

7. The Best of Blondie - Blondie (duh)
Yeah, another best of. Sue me. This is the only Blondie album that has the version of Rapture with the cool intro. (Even Auto American, the album that Rapture originally appeared on, doesn't have the cool intro version. Not the copy I own, anyway). But I digress. This one rocks. Best Tracks: All of them! Okay, I never liked (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear. But everything else is stellar.

6. Footsteps In The Dark - Cat Stevens
Okay, this is also a best of. But it's the only Cat Stevens release I've been able to locate that has all the Harold and Maude songs (there was never an official soundtrack album for the movie). Best tracks: The Wind, On the Road To Find Out, Father and Son, The Hurt, Trouble.

5. Rubber Soul - The Beatles
I'm a pretty big Beatles fan. Not a Beatlemaniac, but close. This album is from my favorite Beatles era, after I Wanna Hold Your Hand but before Strawberry Fields. Best tracks: Drive My Car, You Won't See Me, Michelle, I'm Looking Through You, In My Life. (And in case you're wondering, my favorite Beatle is Paul).

4. Blood On the Tracks - Bob Dylan
Not much to say about this one, except that it's the greatest Dylan album ever. The overall tone is pretty melancholy; I think I read that he was going through a divorce during the recording. Best tracks: Tangled Up In Blue, If You See Her Say Hello, Shelter From the Storm, You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.

3. whitechocolatespaceegg - Liz Phair
This is the album that turned me on Ms. Liz and her music. This one's more melodic than her first two, and the arrangements and lyrics are kick-ass. Best tracks: Perfect World, Polyester Bride, Johnny Feelgood, Go On Ahead, What Makes You Happy, Headache, Fantasize---hell, the whole damn thing rocks.

2. Temple of Low Men - Crowded House & Every Picture Tells A Story - Rod Stewart (tie)
Okay, I had to make it a tie because I just couldn't decide between the two, and I didn't want to bump any of the others. To this day, I can't believe how little success Crowded House had in the U.S. (compared their native New Zealand). Maybe I should move down there, where music like this is more appreciated. Anyhoo, this album is considered the darkest and most contemplative of their works, which makes it all the better (good thing Prozac wasn't as widely used in 1988...it may have made it a different album entirely). And as for Rod, c'mon--this one is definitely his greatest. Best tracks (Temple): I Feel Posessed, When You Come, Into Temptation, Never Be the Same, Better Be Home Soon. Best tracks (Picture): Reason To Believe, Every Picture Tells A Story, Mandolin Wind, Maggie May.

1. Rio - Duran Duran
Was there any doubt that they'd be number one? And choosing among their albums was a difficult task. Notorious is my alternate number one choice, but since that one was the "pared-down" DD, and Rio features The Original Fab Five in all their glory, I had to go with that one. Best tracks: New Religion, The Chauffer, Save A Prayer, Hold Back the Rain, Rio.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I've been thinking...maybe link day should be list day? Anyway, I thought of a list today:

Cool Women That I Like

Anais Nin. I've been sort of obsessed with her lately. I checked out some of her writings from the library, which included excerpts from her Diaries and a few short stories. I also bought an audiotape of a reading that she gave in NYC in the early 70's, not long before she died. I think she's my new hero.

Beth Orton, because I'm in love with her voice and her lyrics.

Liz Phair. No matter what anyone says about her new album, I still love it. (She's been criticized lately for "selling out," but I don't agree). I know that the popular opinion is that she went downhill after Exile In Guyville (her first album), but I think it's completely the opposite. Although Guyville has its charms, I think she's actually gotten better with each album. And I'm seeing her for the second time this Thursday in Minneapolis (at First Avenue-- "the Purple Rain club")!

Deborah Harry, because she's the coolest.

Catherine Keener. I can't find a decent website for her, so here's the imdb link to her film Walking and Talking, my favorite chick flick ever.

Of course, all my female friends are on this list as well, because they're awesome, but they don't have their own websites, (at least, none that I know of). Someday I'll figure out how to post your photos on here, though!

I'm in such a Girl Power mood today! (Ugh, I really wish that term didn't conjure up images of The Spice Girls).

More to come....

Friday, March 05, 2004

I've been dilligently working on a bad movie review for Purple Rain, but who knows how long that will take me, so I decided to do a "mini" review on another one that Marcus and I watched, The Incredible Shrinking Woman.

First of all, this is a movie that I saw when I was around 8 years old. I remember watching it at my friend Lisa Doerr's house--her parents had a Betamax, or, as I excitedly told my mom, "one of those things where you can watch a movie anytime you want!" (I was so up on technology, even then). There were repeated viewings of this movie, along with The Black Stallion and The Wizard of Oz. I remember having a fondness for TISW--particularly due to the scene where Lily Tomlin gets to live in her daughter's dollhouse with Ken. (I used to want to shrink myself down so I could ride my model horses...Christ, I was an odd kid). Anyhoo, that and the scene where she falls down the garbage disposal (komedy!) were my favorite parts, and the only ones that stood out in my mind before Marcus and I rented this for one of our Bad Movie Nights a while back.

Seriously, though--looking at this movie twenty-some odd years later--man, does it SUCK. Lily Tomlin stars as a housewife who, due to exposure from some chemical compound in household cleaning products (or something), begins to shrink. And the wackiness ensues! Except not. This movie made no sense whatsoever, and I'm not talking about the plot, (what little of it there is). First of all, Lily Tomlin plays two characters--the housewife and the nosy neighbor. And it's not like an Eddie Murphy/Nutty Professor thing, where he plays multiple characters under heavy makeup. The difference between Lily Tomlin's housewife and Lily Tomlin's nosy neighbor is....a pair of glasses. The characters are not supposed to be related or anything, so why the dual role? The movie is full of shit like this that doesn't make any sense. All the scenes look like they were shot (on really cheap film), and just slapped together randomly. About twenty minutes in, there's a "hilarious" scene where Lily Tomlin (as the housewife), is doing dishes and gets her hands stuck to the plates with "Galaxy Glue" (which is, BTW, the big account her ad exec husband is working on. I think this was a major plot point, but I can't remember). Her kids come running in, and they all end up in a pile on the laundry room floor, as the jingle for "Galaxy Glue" plays. They roll around on the floor, stuck to one another, and the scene goes on for like 10 minutes. At this point, I turned to Marcus, confused, and asked, "What's going on here?" Marcus grimaced and said, "I think it's supposed to be a spoof on advertising, but they're not doing a very good job." The rest of the movie is about as coherent. Another "what the fuck?" moment: after Lily Tomlin shrinks, her Spanish maid (who had appeared in earlier scenes demurely dressed in school-marmish outfits, hair in a bun) suddenly begins wearing florescent tube tops and hot pants, dancing around the house to bad mariachi music. She completely changes personalities, and it's never explained! At the "funeral" for Lily Tomlin, (her family mistakenly believes she was ground up after falling in the garbage disposal, see--komedy!) the maid is back to her previous demure, school-marm threads and hair. Again, it's never explained! Lily Tomlin's family finds her again, but then she gets captured by mad scientists, or something (at the risk of sounding redundant--this movie makes no sense), and is locked in a cage with a guy in a really bad gorilla suit. She escapes, with the help of the "gorilla." Then more stuff happens, and she returns to normal size. At the very end, the process reverses itself somehow, and she begins growing. Did I mention the whole thing makes no sense? The director, the "esteemed" Joel Schumacher (who went on to direct other instant classics like D.C. Cab, St. Elmo's Fire, and Dying Young), was either on some serious psychotropic drugs, or suffering from ADHD. As Marcus commented during our screening of Shrinking Woman, "Joel Schumacher couldn't direct his way out of a paper bag."

I don't reccommend this film, even for a laugh. It's not a fun bad movie, like Xanadu or Six Pack. It's just bad. It may be fun to watch stoned. Then again, it may suck even worse.