Sunday, April 30, 2006

Are You Down With G-O-D?

With it being Sunday and all, I thought there was no better time to post a commercial I just saw on television for The United Church of Christ. After doing a little research on the ad (you know what a sucker I am for online research), I discovered that it was released in late March of this year. Evidently the commercial has already been deemed a threat and not only has been rejected by the major broadcast networks but also, most recently, by Spanish-language channels Telemundo and Univision.

For those who may have slower cable connections or are unable to watch the commercial as presented here, here's a brief synopsis of the ad: The ad, called "Ejector," shows a gay couple, a single mother, a disabled man and others flying out of their pews as a wrinkled hand pushes a red button.

Text on the screen reads, "God doesn't reject people. Neither do we," and a voiceover says, "The United Church of Christ. No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here."
*This ad is currently running on the CNN, USA, TNT and BET networks.

subsequently, the church tried to run a similar ad in December 2004 in which bouncers outside a church stopped gay couples, racial minorities and others from entering. The networks also rejected that ad.

This ad made me smile and gave me a glimmer of hope for the future. It's nice to see that someone out there gets it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Brokeback Mountain: Reality vs Pop Culture

I finally got around to seeing Brokeback Mountain. Best Buy had a promotion where when you purchase the DVD you receive the book Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay, FREE (a $16 value, no less). YES! I'd finally get the book version I've been wanting! The first Best Buy had completely sold out of the promo item so I initially thought I'd be resigned to buying it used on DVD at Hollywood Video. As chance would have it the other Best Buy near my house actually had plenty in stock, so I did end up buying the DVD new as well as receiving the book.

Having had time to read/listen to other people's reactions, reviews, etc. about the film long before I actually saw it, I've noticed one constant: The majority of straight men that had the wherewithall to see the movie, seem to find it slow paced and "boring," while straight women seem to friggin' love it. I think it all boils down to the whole machismo vs "chick flick" thing. Just an interesting observation. I'm always fascinated by what does and doesn't appeal to people and why.

I liked the movie. I didn't necessarily think it lived up to the whole Oscar hype, but visually I thought it was a beautiful film and the majority of the acting was great. However the fact that Michelle Williams performance was nominated for an Oscar still baffles me. Personally, I thought Anne Hathaway had a more interesting character and delivered a better performance than Williams did. And I must say, Heath Ledger's performance did live up to the hype. I thought he was great and though I find Jake to be super-dreamy, Ledger's performance was more consistent and just better overall. I have a newfound respect for Ledger as an actor now.

I think one of the reasons I liked the film was because, to me, it was realistic in the sense that it was another one of those gay-themed movies that doesn't necessarily have a happy ending. As morbid as it sounds, I tend to have more respect for those movies as opposed to the ones that portray being gay as some kind of wacky misadventure complete with a soundtrack you can dance to. Don't get me wrong, those movies can be fun, but I can't take them seriously. That's not to say that being gay is some kind of neverending funeral march, but trust me, it's not as fabulously accepted as Hollywood or some of us would like to believe.

Which brings me to the topic that I've been discussing (read naysaying) with some of my friends and fans of the film since its release. Though I admit that having a mainstream film with mainstream actors playing the leads is a step in the right direction as far as bringing otherwise "taboo" issues into the mainstream in order to stimulate a dialogue among people, I don't necessarily feel like this movie was some magical beginning to a brave new world. Unlike most of the gay people whose reviews I've read and/or talked to, I don't see this movie as a landmark simply because it received positive acclaim and an Oscar nomination. That's all great of course, but I'm not deluded enough to think I'm going to be "bonding" with any of the people in the red state I live in, much less change the way they think anytime soon. It's just not realistic.


Another issue the movie stirred up was what is is to be a "man." Apparently the whole aspect of a gay man being portrayed as rugged as opposed to the whole over coiffed metrosexual schtick, is "mind bending" to some people. Personally I was much more interested in another topic the movie touched on: violence. Suffice to say I thought this particular topic helped round out the total package that is Brokeback Mountain. I think sometime people get too wrapped up in the ideals of homosexuality and can't or won't see the forest for the trees. Unfortunately violence is still a very real side-effect of homosexuality. I think Matthew Shepherd was an all too grim reminder of that.

And last but not least, I have to comment on the whole hubbub via The Advocate in regards to Gene Shalit's alleged "antigay review" of the film. Apparently they took offense with Shalit's perception that Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Jack was a "sexual predator" who "tracks Ennis down and coaxes him into sporadic trysts." According to GLAAD: "The characterization of Jack as a 'predator' and Ennis as a victim reflects a fundamental lack of understanding about the central relationship in the film and about gay relationships in general." I'm sorry but that's just plain bullshit. It never ceases to piss me off when the gay "community" takes offense at anything that puts them in a bad, but not necessarily unrealistic light. That's not to say that Shalit is right...or wrong. It's simply his interpretation as a viewer. That's it. If you don't like his conclusion, fine, but don't pull "defamation of character" outta your ass (no pun intended) just because you don't agree. That's just ridiculous. Like any film review it's all relative. Form your own opinion and see what movies interests you and avoid the films that don't. It really is just that simple.

[ Click the image to see Brokeback Mountain in 30 seconds ]

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I have jury duty today and I didn't finish writing my review for Brokeback Mountain in time to post it, so instead I'm giving you this video to watch until I get back. It's by Duran Duran and I still contend that it has one of the best beginnings ever. God, Roger Taylor (the drummer) looks so classic and ethereal as he reclines back in those swirling clouds. *dreamy* Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek is one of those movies that I've been putting off renting because it looks so stressful. I don't know about you, but I have to be in the mood for certain types of movies: foreign films, graphic movies, tearjerkers, etc. On a side note, when I went to rent this movie, two of the clerks were discussing it. Both late teens, early 20's. The one girl was saying she liked it while the guy (trying too hard to be "awesome") was poo pooing the fact that the actual acts (I don't want to spoil it for you, so I won't be specific) weren't shown shot for shot as they happened. In other words, if someone was being gutted, he didn't want to have to imagine it (God forbid he be asked to think! Noooooooo!) he wanted to see it. Some people are so full of shit. I have zero patience for people with no imagination. "Cool dudes" like this is why shitball movies like The Fast and The Furious 3: Tokyo Drift will continue to make money at the box office. There's always a Gen Y moron waiting in the wings to be eXtreme! Rhee!

Wolf Creek is one of those "based on a true story" movies. Here's the synopsis of the film: A chilling, factually-based, story of three road-trippers in remote Australia who are plunged into danger when they accept help from a friendly local.

I rented the "Unrated" version of Wolf Creek, which I had 5 days to watch. It took me 3 days to finally gather the nerve to start watching it and a 4th day to finish it because it was stressing me out and was seriously brutal. When I say brutal, don't translate that as "gory." Though Wolf Creek has been compared to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre by the more unimaginative "reviewer," I fail to see the similarities other than the whole "based on true events" aspect and maybe the fact that the gore was actually much more minimal than the "Unrated" label would lead you to believe. From what I've read, the only difference between the Unrated and the Rated 'R' version is a few deleted scenes that really didn't add much to the storyline. According to the Review Board: The documentary style of this film creates a level of realism which heightens the impact of the violence. That violence is frequent and, in some scenes, prolonged. Unlike typical “horror” movies, Wolf Creek does not employ the usual tension-releasing devices (such as exaggerated special effects or comedic relief), nor the stylised approaches to depictions of violence, instead striving for a tone of realism that takes it out of the realm of fantasy. This very realistic tone results in a film of high impact and the impact of the violence is high. So there you have it.

Though I'm a fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I found Wolf Creek to be considerably more disturbing. I think a big part of that is due to the fact that in Wolf Creek half the movie is comprised of character development and getting to know the characters and the latter half is these same characters that you've come to care about (I liked all three of the protagonists) fighting for their lives against a callous bastard of an antagonist.

Though I thought the movie looked great, had terrific acting and was seriously suspenseful, I'm not sure if I would buy it on DVD simply because I personally found it depressing. The fact that these people I'd come to like as characters were so brutally murdered without provocation was just really unsettling, not to mention the way in which they were murdered. Shot on digital film, the movie looks polished and very professional. Not once was I reminded that this was the director's first full-length film. An amazing job overall, not to mention the actors. They were all superb, plausible and completely engaging. Again, this all came to make the movie even more realistic and disturbing when it came time for the bloodshed. For once, the movie didn't go where I thought it was going and the person I expected to survive, didn't.

Definitely not for the squeamish, but if you like your adrenaline in the form of suspense this is just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Blood, Mayhem and Hunks...80's Style (sorta)

I'll be reviewing movies I recently watched and/or rented all this week. This is my review for the much-anticipated (on my part) Camp Slaughter. I prefer the original title of Camp Daze, but I guess the PR people thought "Camp Slaughter" would rent/sell better.

Here's a brief synopsis of the film: A group of kids break down while driving down a remote forest road. After a disturbing night alone in the woods, they stumble upon Camp Hiawatha in full swing and packed with seemingly happy teenagers. However, the teens and the camp itself are strangely trapped back in 1981. The clothes, the music, the hair, and the attitudes are 24 years back in time. The campers are forced to relive the same day and night over and over again. The night when a silent killer stalked the camp silencing campers and counselors one by one. The kids from the present struggle to understand and help the teens from 1981 break free of the curse.

The movie had its pros and cons, depending on whether or not you're an 80's slasher movie fan, which I am. On the plus side, I appreciate the movie and what it was trying to do; pay homage to the 80's slashers via cliches, body count, music, sets, etc. It's obvious that the people who made the film were lover's of the genre. I just don't know how successful they were at translating that concept into an actual film.

The shot-on-video look of the film didn't help, I don't care what kind of spin you put on it ("It gave the movie a retro, more authentic look", etc.), it was more distracting and left the movie without the polish it needed to engage the audience. The "80's" wardrobe wasn't up to par either, though I'm sure the people responsible for the movie would say that the wardrobe was meant to be campy, it didn't seem deliberate (anything can be justified after the fact). It seemed more like an unsuccessful attempt at capturing a time period in which the wardrobe person was just not familiar with. I'd be very surprised if the person responsible for the wardrobe was even a teen in the 80's. An Olivia Newton-John headband and some basketball shorts do not the 80's make.

And last, but not least, the acting. It's about what you'd expect from a shot-on-video movie. Like any ensemble piece, some actors/actresses were better than others, but for the most part more often than not, the acting was pretty heavy-handed and about par, considering the material.

Now for the best part about the movie: The eyecandy. Oh man, if you like hot guys, then you'll dig this movie. Of course the irony is that they flipped the whole male/female dynamic usually associated with slasher flicks (i.e. the T&A factor) and the male bods were a lot more prominent than the females. It was almost like watching one of David DeCoteau's straight-to-video "horror" movies. For those who aren't familiar with DeCoteau, he's an über gay director whose horror flicks are basically a bunch of Abercrombie & Fitch wannabe twinks (AKA "himbos") in their underwear dealing with some kind of supernatural or horror-related crisis. His movies are FILLED with hot guys, while most of the actor's heads are probably filled with cotton. The movies and the "effects" generally suck (CGI), but the mancandy hovers (no pun intended) somewhere near homoerotic and softcore with a bodycount (not surprising considering he started his career "directing" gay porn). If you want to rent one, here's how you watch a DeCoteau movie:

• Press "Mute"
• Keep your finger hovering over the "Forward Wind" button on the remote
• Enjoy

And speaking of hot guys, the one MAJOR saving grace of the film was the lead actor who portrayed the camp director, Ivan (Jon Fleming). Damn! He was smokin' H-O-T! He has those Vince Vaughn eyes I love so much and a bod that can only be described as perfection, especially the legs. I'd like to sink my teeth into that manwich! ROWR! I'd buy the movie completely based on his appearance, and I will too...once it goes on sale previously viewed at Hollywood Video. I defy you to not agree with me! I double-dog defy you! Hot, I'm tellin' you!

Overall, worth a rental if you like the 80's slasher genre and/or hot, shirtless guys who are obviously a product of the times and definitely not the 80's. Today's generation of guys now have the obligatory abs, etc. Very Abercrombie & Fitch, and definitely not Izod.

P.s. For those concerned that the stills from the movie shown here somehow spoil the movie, trust me, they don't. Things aren't always at they seem at Camp Slaughter.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Jury Cutie Duty

I recently received a summons to report for jury duty (that's what I get for registering to vote, LOL). I reported for duty last Thursday at 8am. At the entrance of the building there is a metal detector that everyone has to pass through before entering the building. Since I'd reported for jury duty in the past I knew to bring a well-stocked backpack with me, filled with all kinds of things to fill the time. The x-ray kept showing something "knifelike" in my bag, which I told them was not the case since I wasn't' carrying a knife. After a third pass through, the guard concluded it was my cellphone.

Upon entering the main room where all the potential jurors were gathered, I immediately honed in on a really good-looking guy with huge biceps. I briefly considered sitting nearby, if nothing else, to take a picture and show you guys, but then I thought "Forget it." I knew in my heart that he longed to meet someone just like me simply didn't want to maneuver through rows of already seated people just to sit and ogle some guy I'm never gonna meet anyway. Instead, I opted to sit in the front row (more leg room) and just read the book I brought with me. Eventually, the video presentation began. Yes, they actually made us watch a video explaining the whole "euphoric" experience of civic duty. In addition to the star-spangled pep speech delivered by various people, there were also film clips from popular mainstream (so as not to confuse the masses) jury-related films, interspersed throughout the judicial system sales pitch. Films like: Liar Liar, Legally Blonde, To Kill a Mockingbird and My Cousin Vinny. In retrospect I guess it's a pretty smart idea to appeal to the everyman, but at the time it felt like the video was underestimating our intelligence, but then I looked around at all the slack-jawed yokels on cell phones and thought "Eh, maybe not."

We took the oath and eventually 150 of us were given numbers 1-150 and seated accordingly. I was #6. Then each of us were given a 19 page questionnaire to fill out (more details later, if I don't get chosen to be on the jury, otherwise mum's the word until all is said and done), detailing the case at hand and asking us our opinion on various topics. We were required to fill out the questionnaire in the felt tip pen they provided for us. The moron sitting next to me was holding his in such a way that whenever he turned a page, the tip narrowly missed my khaki pants. He got me once, and I was ready to be a bitch if it happened again, but it didn't. Three and a half hours later we were dismissed and asked to return in 2 1/2 hours. Oh goodie. I basically spent my 2 1/2 hours reading in the plaza across the street and eating a club sandwich from Zippy's. During which, while organizing my backpack, I discovered that, shoved into the bottom of one of the interior pockets, was a small pocketknife! LOL! OMG, I felt so deceitful. Since I haven't used this backpack in forever, I'd totally forgotten that it was in there. To be honest, I'd forgotten I even owned it. Anyway, I forgot all about it just as quickly as I'd discovered it and re-entered the building with it again! However, this time it was without incident. Weird.

Once everyone returned from break, we were each given a date & time to return to be interviewed by, I'm assuming, each team of lawyers on both the defense and the prosecution. To be honest, I'm kind of nervous. I offer no apologies for my answers but at the same time I also feel like a judicial profile is somehow an invasion of privacy (esp. considering the nature of some of the questions asked on the questionnaire). Besides, if they're going to call everyone in to grill them again what was the point of the 19-page questionnaire? They could have just gave us an oral exam with the same questions and monitored out reaction, etc. Whatever. I'll let you know how it turns out.

On a positive note, I received a whopping $6 check (I can retire now) and the court reporter ("Bill Shelton") was super-dreamy! He reminded me so much of someone I once had a crush on, that I couldn't stop stealing looks. He was very cute...little wedding ring. He's probably 12. LOL! Whatever the case he was a nice distraction to an otherwise boring day. BTW, I also took plenty of pictures of downtown Fort Worth, but I'll be posting those at a later date.

So, just for the heck of it, I'm listing 4 of my favorite courtroom films. Click on each one to read a synopsis. All are currently available on DVD.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Move Over, Mr. Clean

In honor of it being Spring Cleaning time, I thought I'd share a little motivation tool with you. Being dirty never felt so good. Click the image to be inspired

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Royal Attitude Isn't Wearing Well

This article (written by Darla Atlas) ran in The Dallas Morning News last week and though a tad on the "I'm a square parent with something to say"-side, I agree with the core message: Enough already with the perpetuatinging of the whole "spoiled is cute" horseshit.

Oh, and BTW, I do remember there being similar type shirts/iron-ons when I was growing up in the 80's. I distinctly remember two school pictures where I was wearing one T-shirt that had a glittery/iridescent-like iron-on that said "Spoiled Rotten" and had a picture of an apple with a worm in it and another T-shirt that simply said, in black type "Don't Fuss. Just treat me like any other fabulous person." Both were around the time of my 5th-7th grade year in school. So, they did exist, but they were nowhere near as dominant as they are now and were nothing more than T-shirts at a time when just about anything was game for an iron-on. However, I can see how today they are much more of a commentary on encouraging/glorifying snotty attitudes that very much exist due to lack of parental discipline.

What's the real message of T-shirts aimed at our 'little princesses'?

This country has become overrun with royalty. Specifically, princesses. They're everywhere – at least if you believe the T-shirts worn by every other little girl in the country.

And if she's not a princess, she's "spoiled rotten," "absolutely adorable," "pure perfection," or an "authentic cutie." They're all variations of the same message: I Love Me. Lots.

I haven't bought one of these message shirts for my 6-year-old daughter, but it's not from a lack of supply. Whenever I go shopping for her, I thumb through shirts proclaiming "Social butterfly," "It's not easy being a princess," "I love the spotlight!," "Attitude Warning: May Answer Back," "Heart-breaker" and "Born to be a star."

I know, I know, it's just a shirt. And all little girls are indeed princesses, in the best sense of the word. I just wish that we could also brag about some of their other great traits. I mean, you never see a kids' shirt that says, "I'm witty!" or "I Make All A's!" or "Creative soul" or "I'm fun to be around!" How about "Well-grounded" or "Big-hearted"?

No, no, no. These would not sell, as they're flat-out dorky. But playing up one's spoiled-and- proud status is both cool and popular.

When I was my kids' age, I don't recall having shirts with all these "princess" sayings on them. Neither does my husband, whom I consulted.

"But how about those 'I'm With Stupid' shirts?" he said. "Those were a hit."

"Well, you're not bragging about yourself on those," I replied.

"Yeah, but you're calling your friend stupid."


The only "message" T-shirt I remember having was one with a picture of Shaun Cassidy on it. And maybe one made with iron-on letters that spelled out my name. Which was not, incidentally, followed by "Best Person Ever."

That may be because I didn't have the highest self-esteem in all the land. It could also be because where I was raised, being conceited was possibly the worst thing you could be. It was downright despicable.

I don't think I was the only person raised to think that way. About 10 years ago, my then-boss said he was afraid his niece would grow up to be insufferable, because she once said, "I'm pretty!" when they were at dinner. Nowadays, she wouldn't have to say it; it would be advertised all over her little person.

As this generation of girls gets older, will they actually be insufferable? It's too early to tell. But I do think there's a natural progression from "American Princess" shirts to ones that say "Drama Queen." Girls on The Real World like the drama-queen shirt, I've noticed. And they're the same ones who also like to brag that they're the b-word. A connection? Maybe, maybe not.

But maybe all of those shirts have nothing to do with our girls' self-satisfied attitude. It could be that it's simply the byproduct of modern-day parenting. I mean, my daughter is well aware of how adorable she is, T-shirt or no. The other day, I mentioned that a little baby in the neighborhood was so cute. "I'm cuter, though!" she said.

In some ways, I love that confidence, which I never had. I want her to feel so good about herself that if and when she runs across some mean girls (inevitable, I know), she'll be able to roll her eyes and know that she's better than them.

But I don't plan to buy her a T-shirt that says so.

Joan Miró's Birthday

The anniversary of one of my favorite artists birthday is today. I love that Google commemorates these things. Click the Miró/Google image to read more about him and his work.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Not-So-Subliminal Sex...Vol. 2

[ Volume 1 ]

Whatever. Vol. 2

[1] Nothing says "classy mom" like leaving a Myspace comment in a sparkly font that says "I Swallow" Whatever.

[2] "Isn't this this coolest thing EVER, kids?! Here, let me get a picture of you standing next to it. What a sweet ride! Now let's go find mom so we can go eat at CiCi's Pizza!" Whatever.

[3] As stereotypical as it is, when I see musclebound hunks my first thought isn't "renaissance man." Their wealth of knowledge is pretty much limited to diet, "supplements," majoring in Business (so they can be "personal trainers" or own their own gym, doi!) and all things Ahnuld (esp. Conan the Barbarian). Try as I may, I just can't picture some pecasaurus winding down with some Tolstoy and a cup of chai. Go get another Superman tattoo and bang some chick with a hot rack, Bro. Whatever.

[4] This person's profile was vomit-inducing. They're obviously newlyweds or labotomy recipients...or both. Whatever.

[5] I hate this new trend of referring to pregnant women's stomachs as "bumps." It's not cute, it's retarded. The term's annoying factor ranks right up there with: peeps, 'rents and my bad.

[6] This photo defies logic. I'm sure she'd justify it by saying "It makes me feel good about myself." Yeah, whatever, Brazilla. I hope she got a titanium spine implant as well. Idiot.

[7/8] Ah, sweet, sweet romance. Love can be found online. I think I've discovered the gay equivalent of eHarmony. And to think, I used to be cynical about gay men's motives. What-ever.

[9] "You want some of this?" No thanks, Abercrumbie. I like my clones to have more tattoos and at least 3 beer signs in their bedrooms. Thanks though. By the way, nice necklace. What, no wristbands, dude? Whatever, dude.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Breaking News

OMG, this was so fuckin' hillbillilicious that I had to share! Just when you think he can't possibly be any more of a retard...

[ Click the image for the related news story ]

*Epilogue: Okay, I looked it up and "decider" is an actual word. However, I still feel it's a horrible use of grammar, especially for a figurehead such as Bush. Awful.

Whatever. Vol. 1

First off, let me preface this post by saying I was originally going to title this post "Assholes," but then I thought better of it since things like products and such can't necessarily be considered "Assholes." I instead settled on the more appropriate, eye roll-inducing title of "Whatever." Say hello to volume 1 of 2.

[1] Yes, I too am on Myspace and like anything, it has its merits. It's a fun distraction, but my life doesn't revolve around it. I've made some cool friends and actually recently met someone locally (friendship only, so keep that wedding rice in your pants). Then there's the atypical gooftards like this humble hunk (This is the only pic he could find, so don't read into the fact that he just happens to be shirtless) who'd like for us to know he's more than a pair of jailbait abs. He's a theologian too. Riiiight. Whatever, dude. When he's not getting, like totally wasted at a party or trying to score some panty moisture, he's busy communing with God and kickin' it old school with a book in the great outdoors. Whatever.

[2] Meet the latest brainstorm from those crack dealers over at the Coca-Cola company: Coke Blak. I give this delicious concoction of Coke and coffee flavoring a shelf life similar to that of Crystal Pepsi, though Messy Marv(in) over at The Impulsive Buy found it to be a delectable flavor combination. I'm still highly skeptical.

[3] Seeing this pretentious ad, I now know I will just never get the whole gay subculture. There's something to be said for aging gracefully. I'm beyond burned out on the whole age-defying furore. Whatever.

[4] Speaking of shit, I love that whoever made this sign knew their audience. They knew that the inbred whitetrash who'd be reading/heeding the sign would have no idea of what "fekkes" was, so they gave it a subtitle of "scat". Hey, it's easier to pronounce and who has the kind of time for words with more than one syllable anyway? Whatever.

[5] Found this ad on some site, I think it was Myspace come to think of it (they love this shit). This guy that's supposed to be "hot" and enticing just creeps me out. Everything I don't want in a man. Whatta queen. Ironically, I think he looks like the boy king, Tut. ::shiver::

[6] This blog header literally induced diarrhea. I hate it. It just screams "tampon." I stumbled across it while surfing blogs ages ago and have been saving it for something special, like this compilation. If you're not diabetic, visit...if you dare.

[7] I'm neither pro East Side or West Side, but I do think this fucked up excuse for an online game is in really bad taste. I love how they carefully chose to use the word "Get" instead of what it really is: "Shoot." Whatever.

[8] I saw this advertise recently on television and my first thought was "What's the point?" All you're doing is transferring a pot of boiling water into another container, in order to cook the spaghetti. Why bother pouring scalding water into a smaller container? It's hawked as simplifying cooking pasta. Yeah, 'cause boiling water and straining spaghetti is a real brainteaser. Whatever.

[9] Meet Cindy. She's an introverted sperm receptacle teen on Myspace who loves discussing Chinese Russian détente and being on the honor roll. She doesn't know what sex is and you better not say anything sexually suggestive to her 'cause she's just a virtuous young girl who's just online to make friends and exchange ideas, so don't pigeonhole her based on her looks. The concept of online sexual predators, "hookups" and/or making plans to meet people from online is an alien concept to both Cindy and her parents, so if she winds up raped or in a dumpster somewhere, it'll come as a great shock to their system. Whatever.

[10] The newest "Anti-Wrinkle Serum" from Lancome: High Resolution Collaser-48 Intensive Collagen. It's a mere $60 per oz. and will improve your quality of life. You'll never get old, appear old or die. A bargain at just $60! Whatever.

[11] What a great game: Because every girl's sense of self-worth should be grounded in how much she weighs! It's important things like this that make a girl feel good about herself. I vote for 86lbs. Anything above that is just icky. Whatever.

[12] I know, I know. I already blogged about these Scarface wannabe assholes, but they still abound on Myspace. Let's hope his gun goes off in his pants so he can't reproduce. Whatever.

[13] Where do I even begin with this eyepatch charading as a thong? Is this really supposed to be "sexy?" Toss in a raging case of razor burn due to poor manscaping and you've got yourself a party. Whatever.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Survey Says: Depressed

I saw this over at Tarsier's blog a while back and just got around to taking the test. Apparently I'm majorly depressed, but have yet to give birth (So, can I safely assume people will stop asking me "When is the baby due?"). Please send gifts in the form of Nutter Butter cookies in lieu of flowers.

DisorderYour Score
Major Depression:Extremely High
Dysthymia:Very High
Bipolar Disorder:Slight-Moderate
Seasonal Affective Disorder:Moderate
Postpartum Depression:N/A
Take the Depression Test

I Wish I Knew How to Give a Shit

ABC News — The annual White House Easter Egg Roll has been an oasis of innocence in a city of partisan venom for nearly 130 years, dating back to the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes.

But the decision by gay and lesbian couples to bring their children to the event in Washington Monday is injecting conflict into this year's festivities. Some Christian Conservatives are not happy.

In an age when Spongebob Squarepants, Buster the Rabbit and "Tinky Winky" the Teletubby have all been caught in the cultural crossfire, perhaps it was inevitable that the Easter bunny would be next. Two hundred gay and lesbian families say they'll be attending.

'Meet Our Families'

Colleen Gillespie and Alisa Surkis waited in line for hours to pick up their tickets. ABC News caught up with them and their 3-year-old daughter Ella at their home in New York City before they left for Washington. "I think that for us it's really a simple thing," Surkis said, "that we just wanted our fellow citizens a chance to meet our families." Ella said she's really looking forward to one thing in particular: "Candy." Gillespie and Surkis said conservatives have politicized families like theirs by demonizing them.

'Tacky and Tasteless'

The Bush administration, which has endorsed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, has said that all families are welcome at the Easter Egg Roll.

But some conservatives say what these families are doing is pushing a pro-gay marriage agenda — politicizing an event designed for children. "It just seems … tacky and tasteless," said Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, "to take an event that should belong to them and turn it instead into an event for adults to use to make a political statement."

First off, I opted for a different title than the über queer (not to mention über tired) Brokeback Bunny? reference that ABC opted to use. Apparently this whole "scandal" was given the aforementioned code name (after all, it's not officially scandalous until it has a code name!). I haven't even seen the movie yet and I'm already tired of it. Who knows, maybe when I do see it I'll love it so much that I'll prefix anything referencing gay topics with the word "Brokeback."

Secondly, I am soooo tired of every little thing being attributed to some kind of political stance/statement. Is it ever going to end? I can completely understand why people (like myself) are so jaded these days.

I'm not going to go into some long-winded rhetoric over the whole news story. Suffice to say the whole "family values" schtick is old. Fuck, it was old back when Bush senior's sidekick, Quayle coined the phrase in 1989. I think most people can see the forest for the trees and realize that the Right Winger's whole anti-gay propaganda is nothing more than a smokescreen for the real issues at hand. And even though I happen to be gay, I'm much more concerned with things going on here in the real world like escalating gas prices (AKA price gouging), the economy and the future of social security, healthcare, etc. I could give a fuck if some gay parents attend some overrated PR bullshit at The White House.

Oh, and as far as Mark Tooley's outrage over what he perceives as tainting a children's event in order to make a "political statement," I have one thing to say: Yeah, wouldn't that be tragic? It'd be like someone coming up with a plan like, oh let's say the No Child Left Behind Act in order to pander to potential voters in order to get re-elected, then failing to follow through with the promises made therein after being re-elected. Now that's tacky.

* P.s. Did anyune even see any news footage of this year's Easter Egg Roll? I didn't. Just curious.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter

I found the two black & white images some time ago, and the vintage Easter card is from my collection. The black & white image at the top is from a issue #7 of a comic book called Dork written by Evan Dork. The other black & white image is of an actual pendant, believe it or not. I was so appalled by the commercialism of it that I had to share it. Can you imagine someone actually taking such a thing seriously? Yikes.

So whatever Easter means to you, I hope you have a happy one!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Say What? Vol. 8

[ Caption This! ]

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I Gotta Be Me?

A friend of mine recently gave me a copy of the 2002 documentary Cinemania. While I found it fascinating, I also found it somewhat unsettling. It reminded me too much of that old proverb "There But for the Grace of God Go I." I'd recommend renting it if you get the chance. Here's a synopsis of the documentary, courtesy of

This documentary about the culture of intense cinephilia in New York City reveals the impassioned world of five obsessed movie buffs. The filmmakers expose this delightfully deranged cult by capturing the daily lives of its members. Interviews in movie houses, on the street and in the homes of the subjects tell the story of each individual. Many cannot hold a job, or choose not to. All of them have demoted the importance of the real world, giving all of their attention to the fantasy world of the movies. These human encyclopedias of cinema see two to five films a day, and from 600 to 2,000 films per year. Many have no physical sex lives, living instead in a world of romance with stars like James Dean or Audrey Hepburn. In Cinemania, Hollywood's biggest fans become the true stars. This is the story of their lives, their memories, their unbending habits and the films they love.

My friend and I both have an extensive collection of movies and assorted movie memorabilia. I mostly stick to ephemera and the movies themselves, not getting too involved with the whole aspect of collecting in the strictest sense of the word, but I have my share of books and photos.

We discussed how tragic it was that the majority of the cinemaphiles dealt with in the documentary, as one reviewer put it, were basically "...borderline mental patients whose obsession with movies is simply a symptom of their obsessive compulsive disorders." We agreed that there could be a documentary made of people like he and myself who collect movies, fuss over cover art, search for out-of-print movies and rejoice over simple things like soundtracks and movie tie-in paperbacks. What I normally take pride in suddenly felt tainted, as if there's something "wrong" with me in the sense that some characteristcs of the people we were just pitying now reflect on me. I don't feel quite as out of the loop as the people documented, but then I'm sure they don't feel like what they do is unjustifiable either. I'm wondering if it's all a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. Whatever the case, it's left me feeling like I'm somehow maladjusted.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Upcoming DVD Releases Vol. 6

[R]= Rental [P]= Purchase [PVC]= Buy Previously-Viewed if Cheap

The Agatha Christie Miss Marple Movie Collection- Now Available [P]
Everything is Illuminated- Now Available [R]
Private Dicks: Men Exposed- Now Available [R]
Comment: I remember seeing part of this documentary on HBO, but I never caught it in its entirety. It was really interesting. Would like to rent it and finish what I started.
Capote- Now Available [P]
Derailed- Now Available [R]
Sliver (Special Edition)- Now Available [P]
Comment: I'm so glad I waited to buy this DVD now that this SE version has been released. Always loved this movie, though it wasn't big at the box office. Great book and soundtrack, too.
Snoopy, Come Home- Now Available [P]
POPaganda- Now Available [R]
I Love Your Work- Now Available [P]
Comment: Gotta own it. My man Vince is in it!
Crash (2-Disc Special Edition)- Now Available [R]
Marlene Dietrich: The Glamour Collection- Now Available [PVC]
Brokeback Mountain- Now Available [P]
Thank God It's Friday- Now Available [P]
Comment: I LOVE this movie! It's one of my all-time favorites. I'm so excited that it's finally on DVD! The soundtack is great too!
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother- Now Available [P]
Comment: Another favorite. Ranks right up there with The Cheap Detective and High Anxiety for me!
Camp Slaughter- Now Available [R]
Comment: I've been looking forward to this movie for such a long time. It's got such a great premise. Think Groundhog Day meets Friday the 13th!
Duane Hopwood- April 15 [R]
Comment: Still love Janeane Garofalo and David Schwimmer's not too hard on the eyes either.
Event Horizon (Special Edition)- April 18 [P]
Bad Dreams- April 18 [P]
Love Happy- April 18 [P]
Breakfast on Pluto- April 18 [R]
Hostel- April 18 [R]
Comment: I'm kind of unsettled about seeing this one. It seems really gory. I'll rent it when I'm feeling brave.
Visiting Hours- April 18 [P]
Magic- April 25 [P]
Shopgirl- April 25 [R]
American Dad: Volume 1- April 25 [P]
Sweet Bird of Youth- May 2 [P]
Comment: M-m-m Paul Newman! I can trade in my import DVD version of this movie now, for the American release!
The Family Stone- May 2 [R]
Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons- May 2 [P]
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone- May 2 [P]
Comment: God, Warren Beatty hasn't looked this gorgeous since Splendor in the Grass!
Fat Albert: Vol. 3- May 2 [PVC]
Dr. Katz: Season One- May 9 [P]
Comment: I LOVE this show! I have all the episodes on VHS. Now I can trade them in for the DVDs! Whee!
The Facts of Life: The Complete First and Second Seasons- May 9 [P]
Comment: One of my all-time favorite TV shows. So glad they are finally releasing this to DVD!
The Ringer- May 16 [P]
Comment: Johnny Knoxville. Need I say more?
Napoleon Dynamite (Special Edition)- May 16 [PVC]
Comment: Again, another "special edition" after I've already bought the first version. This extras are gonna have to be pretty great in order for me to buy this one.
That Girl: Season One- May 16 [PVC]
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang- June 13 [R]
Superboy: The Complete First Season- June 20 [P]
Comment: Anyone else remember this (1988-1992) pre-Lois & Clark TV series? I remember thinking John Newton (the original Superboy for seasons '88-'89) was soooo hot! ROWR!
Family Affair: Season One- June 27 [P]
Alice: Favorites Compilation- June 27 [PVC]
Comment: Leave it to those cheapskates at Warner Bros. to cop out and give us some bullshit compilation CD instead of Season 1. Those assholes. And I guarantee they are double dipping with this one, watch them release Season 1 shortly after, just like they did with Friends. Jerks.
Wolf Creek- Now Available [R]

Monday, April 10, 2006

Currently Reading

Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They'll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them) by Mark Crispin Miller © 2005
Synopsis: Renowned critic and political commentator Mark Crispin Miller argues that it wasn't moral values that swung the election-it was theft. While the greatest body of evidence comes from the key state of Ohio-where the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee found an extraordinary onslaught of Republican-engineered vote suppression, election-day irregularities, old-fashioned intimidation tactics, and illegal counting procedures-similar practices (and occasionally worse ones) were applied in Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and even New York. A huge array of anomalies, improper practices, and blatant violations of the law all, by a truly remarkable coincidence, happened to swing in the Bush ticket's favor.
Comments: Normally, political books aren't my bag, however, after seeing Miller speak on C-Span's Book TV last weekend, this topic fascinated me so much that I wanted to read the book for myself. And you know what? It is fascinating! It reads like some kind of sinister movie plot, but the scary part is it's probably true. Who knew that The Bush Administration would stoop so low as to orchestrate a deliberate phone jamming scheme to prevent Democrats from voting in New Hampshire? Pretty sneaky, sis!

The James Dean Story by Ronald Martinetti © 1975
Synopsis: He was the rebel without a cause for a generation of youth in search of a hero. Dean's sullen and uncompromising independence fired the imagination, giving the young a champion, who by his example would lead them out of the post-war rut.

But who was James Dean? Was he the monumental talent some claimed? Was he a closet homosexual? Was he a ruthless manipulator? Was he a petulant, spoiled troublemaker? Or was he an innocent in Tinseltown, struggling to preserve his identity?

Comments: It's been my opinion that Dean was the perfect man: Devastatingly handsome, multi-talented (Acting, Sculpture, Music), tortured, intellectual, humble, etc. Of course I could have lived without the (rumored) fact that he rarely bathed (blech), but with all that other stuff going for him, I might have been able to look the other way (Damn, he was HOT!). Then again, maybe not. Either way, when I saw this book, I had to get it. First off, it's such a great cover. Second, it has well over 2 dozen great black & white photos inside (I love it when paperback books do that. I miss that.). And thirdly, I've had the documentary of the same name for years and have never run across this hard-to-find edition of the tie-in paperback book. A must-have for a Dean fan like myself. *Just 99¢ at

The Eyes of Laura Mars by H.B. Gilmour © 1978
Synopsis: Her Eyes See Everything. Love. Death. Destiny. She is beautiful, bewitching...a dazzlingly chic photographer whose mirror-bright lens captures fantastic images of silken eroticism and passionate cruelty. Hers is the bizarre, glittering world of high fashion.

He is handsome, stalwart...a fiercely dedicated law-and-order cop opposed to those who mindlessly glamorize violence. His is the dark secret underworld of brutal and sudden death.

Laura Mars and John Neville. Death is the lure. Love is the lock. Destiny is the secret that embraces them forever.

Her Eyes Are The Psychic Connection Between Life And Death.

Comments: In 1978, the film version of The Eyes of Laura Mars was released in theaters. Written by John Carpenter (Halloween, The Fog) and starring Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones, it's one of my favorite psychological thrillers of the 70's. The movie is like a time capsule of life in New York in the late 70's. The movie has a great look that seems timelessly decadent. Having caught the movie recently on cable, I fell in love with it all over again and decided that I had to read the book. A great suspense thriller if there ever was one. Guaranteed chills on a warm Spring day. *Just 1¢ at

*I found it interesting that the author who wrote the book version of The Eyes of Laura Mars also wrote the novelizations of some of my other favorite movies: Fatal Attraction, Saturday Night Fever and Pretty in Pink, to name a few.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Coffee, Tea or...

[ Click image to enlarge ]

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Madonna is Full of Crap

WARNING: Attention hypersensitive Madonna fans: Today's post will be a negative one. Viewer discretion is advised.

Growing up in the 80's, I loved Madonna. I thought she was the coolest thing to happen to Pop music, ever. She had great style, vision and music. I loved how imaginative she used to be when it came to "re-inventing" herself. I dare say she invented what we today consider "reinvention" (well, her or Boy George). *Click the image to the left to see the original cover before it was airbrushed!

I STILL love, what I consider to be the pinnacle of her musical career (1990), her singles/music videos for Justify My Love and Vogue. Of course these were proceeded (and followed) by a string of other great singles and their prospective music videos.

HOWEVER, I am not one of those people who thinks the sun doesn't rise until Madonna wakes up. I grew up loving her, but my interest in her and her music began to wain around 1994. And though I LOVE both the video and the song from her '94 album Bedtime Stories, it was the beginning of the one-hit-wonder string of albums, which were to become a disappointing trend.

Fast forward to 1998 when her Ray of Light album was released. I remember anticipating the premiere of her video for her single Frozen. She looked great and I fell in love all over again, also finding newfound faith in her other singles Ray of Light and Nothing Really Matters. Unfortunately, my hopes that she'd returned to her original splendor were short-lived.

Then the corn hit the popper: (not necessarily in chronological order)

• She gets married
• Squeezed out a couple of kids
• Jumps on the Kabbalah wagon (making the red string bracelet the hot accessory du jour in celebrity circles)
• Moves to Britain (and somehow manages to acquire a British accent)
• Takes the spiritual name "Esther"
• Embraces Farrah Hair with a vengeance
• Becomes a children's book author
• Makes a contrived attempt at being "controversal" by pulling a lame publicity stunt at the MTV Awards, by kissing shebilly Brittany Spears.

First off, I've grown weary of every song/album being a "message" album. What? Now that she's become a mother and found spirituality she's "deep" now? Whatever. I find the fact that she's turned into a completely uptight, pretentious shell of her former self, an extreme turnoff. Sure, depth is nice, but when you wield it like a badge of honor, a little goes a lonnnnnng way. Second, I hate her tired attempt at trying to single-handedly bring back Farrah hair and Danskins. Third I have little to no interest in hearing parenting tips from someone who was once quoted as saying "Sometimes I stick my finger in my pussy and wiggle it around the dark wetness and feel what a cock or a tongue must feel when I'm sitting on it. I pull my finger out and I always taste and smell it. It's hard to describe, it smells like a baby to me, fresh and full of life." Apparently Madonna's panty hamster is the Mentos of vaginas. Whatever.

So, the October 2005 issue of People magazine rolls around and I read an article entitled Madonna Airs Her Dirty Laundry in Public. I was completely turned off when I read: Off-limits to the children are TV, magazines and newspapers – not to mention milk and ice cream. "My kids don't watch TV. We have televisions but they're not hooked up to anything but movies. TV is trash. I was raised without it. We don't have newspapers or magazines in the house either.”

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know I believe that discipline is dead when it comes to the way most parents raise their children these days. However, there's discipline and then there's extremism. I realize all parents and their "technique" vary from individual to individual. I have no qualms with instilling a sense of respect, responsibility, etiquette, etc. in a child. And with the buzzword du jour being "childhood obesity epidemic," (which I think is just another bullshit opportunity for parents to play the blame game) I can also understand instigating a certain amount of self-control when it comes to food choices.

So, keeping all this in mind, what is Madonna's deal with playing milk/TV/magazine/newspaper Gestapo? Granted, too many parents today use television as a babysitter, but I also think that those parents who deliberately overcompensate for their own childhood issues by keeping their child in some kind of vacuum from society are just asking for it to backfire later on. It may not manifest itself right away, but at some point resentment will set in.

The kind of people who try to shield their kids from pop culture, in whatever form it takes: television/movies/literature/advertising, are going to be the exact same parents who scream "FOUL!" whenever their child does begin to rebel. If you don't believe me, pick up a newspaper or turn on the news. Today's generation of parents are sue-happy when it comes to their children's "best interest." Disputes ranging from some parent's precious angel not making the cheerleader squad to holding the school responsible for their child's self-esteem to what kids are being permitted to eat at school. Everything that happens to their kids is someone else's fault.

Parents who want to raise their children in some unrealistic hyper utopian bubble where the school cafeteria offers a milk "alternative" (i.e. soy milk=bullshit), low-carb/organic/whole grain lunch devoid of preservatives, zero exposure to mainstream media, violence, bullying and competition, seriously need to look into homeschooling, where they can control every facet of their child's life. It's not the school's responsibility to uphold your religious convictions, diet, etc. And should you choose homeschooling for all these reasons don't be surprised when you end up with a maladjusted, high-maintenance product that can't relate to other children and vice versa. On the contrary, ignorance is not bliss.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with a parody song entitled Off My Horse I Will Fly* sung to the tune of Madonna's Power of Goodbye, written by fellow blogger Stephen M. Silverman:

My collarbone's broken and my hand too
My ribs are a cracklin', I'm black and blue
Went a-flyin' when my horsie let go
I think I'll stay home just countin' my dough

Shouldn'a' gone ridin', what can I say
How'd I know he'd throw me away
Pain is a warning that something's broke
I pray to God he'll knock off his jokes

Chorus 1:
My tailbone is on fire!
There's nothing I can move
I think I cut my eye
I need to go potty
But I can't even try

I talked to my doctor, said I can't sing
A second opinion'd be a nice thing
At least I've got on a brand new sling
Stupid old horsie

Chorus 2:
There's nothing I can feel
I hope that my wounds heal
I wish that my horsie
Had warned me with a squeal

I know what I'll do
I'll turn him into glue


*In reference to the news article regarding Madonna being thrown from a horse, back in August of '05.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Walker, Texas Ranger Hunk

Stumbled across this guy while on another of my image expeditions. His name is Jim Walker and after doing a little research, I learned that he was fired from one of the local news stations for not revealing his sources. Hmmm... So let me get this straight (so to speak): He's a dashing, handsome GWM with integrity who has a smokin' hot bod. I wouldn't kick him outta bed for eating crackers. Juicy!

Oh, and for those who can't get enough Brokeback Mountain goodness, apparently Jim was in a cowboy-lovin'-themed music video recently that's been getting some attention. Naturally, I have opinions about all this Brokeback madness, but I'm saving it all for a future post.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Brokeback to the Future

In honor of today's DVD release of Brokeback Mountain (which I still haven't seen, but will definitely be blogging about later), I present: Brokeback to the Future.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Shark Movies

I periodically get on kicks where I like to watch movies with similar themes: Camp movies (Meatballs, Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp, Little Darlings, etc.), Faye Dunaway movies (Supergirl, The Eyes of Laura Mars, etc.) and so on. Lately, with Spring and Summer approaching, I've been jonesing for some killer shark movies. Of course, the one that started it all, Jaws is a given, but I've also included some of the posters for other killer shark movies you may or may not have heard of. I remember seeing Great White in the theater shortly before the folks at Universal had it strongarmed out of the theaters for being too similar to Spielberg's film, and passing itself off as its sequel.

Fun Jaws/Shark Facts:

Jaws was originally going to be directed by Alfred Hitchcock (with Charlton Heston as Police Chief Brody)
• To make the real sharks look bigger a midget diver was hired for Hooper's cage sequence.
• The mechanical sharks were named 'Bruce' after Spielberg's lawyer Bruce Ramer.
• The shark's final death cry is sampled from 'The Creature from the Black Lagoon' and was also used as the death cry of the truck in Spielberg's earlier movie 'Duel'.
• At the height of seventies 'Sharkmania' ice cream stands started selling flavours such as 'Jawberry', 'Finilla' and 'Sharklate'.

Megalodon: The largest shark to ever lurk the depths of out oceans: 220,000 lbs. and capable of growing over an estimated 70 feet long. Some reconstructed jaws of megalodon measure 10ft. by 11ft. This is larger than a garage door.
Fossilized Megalodon Teeth
Shark Attack: Blog Archives

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