Thursday, November 30, 2006

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's cold outside today. It's been snowing since early this morning. I love this kind of weather. Around 2 this afternoon, I needed to run a few errands, one of which was stopping by the grocery store. Here's what I was in the mood for today:

Pepperidge Farm Sourdough Bread
Sweet Sue Chicken 'n Dumplings
BlueBird Pecan Swirls
Nestlé Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows
Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows
Hillshire Farm Deli Select Turkey & Chicken Combo Pack
Tree Top Apple Cider
Kroger Brand Red Grapefruit Slices in Light Syrup
Little Debbie Fancy Cakes
Dr. Pepper
Provolone Cheese
Claussen Dill Pickle Halves
• Potatoes for Baking
• Sour Cream

The sourdough bread was for toasting, as a side for the chicken 'n dumplings as well as for the turkey/chicken sandwiches. I bought both brands of hot chocolate because I couldn't remember which one I liked best (I think it's Nestlé, but Swiss Miss was on sale for $1). And I bought both the Dr. Pepper and the apple cider to heat up (separately) and sip while watching movies over the weekend. For those who have never had Dr. Pepper served hot, here's how you go about it:

Pour Dr. Pepper into saucepan. Heat to simmering temperature about 180º F. or just below boiling point, (The beverage will appear to be boiling long before if is hot due to the carbonation.) Place a thin slice of fresh lemon in bottom of cup and pour steaming hot Dr. Pepper over it. Serve at once. This drink will be hot - sipping hot or should be about 170º F. when ready to drink. NOTE: A fresh slice of lemon is required to give the proper taste of Hot Dr. Pepper.


I love Vince Vaughn. Though everyone seems to know him best from his "breakthrough" performance in Swingers and in more mainstream comedies like The Wedding Crashers and Dodgeball, I first came to love him in a little independent movie called The Locusts. The movie co-starred some other favorites, Paul Rudd and Kate Capshaw. It was the movie that forever earned Vaughn a place in my heart.

Vaughn has since gone on to make a lot more mainstream "wacky" comedies (re: Old School, Be Cool, etc.), which I assume are more lucrative than the dramatic roles he seems to have abandoned (here's hoping!). I'm assuming once his young male demographic begins to wain, he'll get back into the more substantial roles like the ones that paved his career (re: Psycho, The Cell, Return to Paradise). I think he's a dynamic actor and I long for the days of his more dramatic roles.

In the meantime, I just bought The Break-Up on DVD and look forward to seeing him and Favreau, both of whom I think are handsome, "fat" or thin (eh, it's all relative). Dreamy. I just wanna kiss that little mole on Vince's left temple. *sigh*

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Movie Review: The Return

Last week ( I think, I'm getting old you know) I went to see Sarah Michelle Gellar's latest movie, The Return. Having a soft spot for 'Buffy' and her projects (Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, etc.), as well as being in the mood for a creepy movie, I thought surely I couldn't miss. Boy, I couldn't have been wrongerer (<-----made up word).

For those who may not know the premise of the film, here is a brief synopsis AND the original movie trailer: Joanna Mills (Gellar), a traveling business woman, begins having nightmares of a murder that occurred 15 years ago. Soon she is drawn to an old farmhouse, where the murder took place.

Looks/sounds promising, right? Wrong. Wow, this movie stunk. It should have been rated 'P-U.' I should have been suspicious when I realized that I was the only soul in the entire theater. Forty-five minutes into the movie I found myself pumping my legs up and down, wishing it would hurry up and GO SOMEWHERE. I can honestly say this is the first and only movie I have ever seen at the theater where I actually didn't give a second thought to getting up and going to the bathroom. I never feared for a moment that I would miss anything. And I didn't. I came back to another go-nowhere scene. I should have gone to see Borat. I wound up wanting a Return of my money.

Here are the pros and cons in a nutshell:

First the Pros, since there are so few of them:
• The movie had a great, dark, foreboding look to it that would have been a perfect compliment to the atmosphere, if there was any.

Now for the Cons:
• The movie relied on loud sounds/sudden 'startles' for its' "scares." This happened A LOT. You tend to get numb to the schtick after the 3rd time around.
• What was with the continuous close-ups of Gellar's nose and the vehicle she was driving? Yeah, we get it. It's Texas. Everyone in rural Texas drives an all terrain vehicle and resides in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style home. Also, meat hooks and meat are around every corner. Cliche.
• The delivery of the material was as convoluted as the plot. Sure, I appreciate that not every movie has to spell out every little detail, that sometimes piecing together the puzzle on your own is half the fun. However, in this case, the puzzle pieces were all the same color and several pieces were missing.
• What was with the guy (Peter O'Brien) cast opposite of Gellar? Is he really the best they could come up with? Forget the 17 year age difference, and the fact that they're somewhat love interests, he brought absolutely nothing to the role but questions of "Who is this guy and why is he playing opposite Gellar?" And while we're on the topic of appearances, Gellar's hair looked painted on. No ones' hair is that devoid of highlights and/or color nuances, however subtle. BAD. Plus, her teeth were distractingly white.
• How come key scenes that were in the trailer to sell the "scare" factor, weren't in the movie? What's that about?
• The shaky zoom-in editing style was distracting and without merit. Don't use a camera gimmick unless the scene calls for it. Too many of today's horror/thriller directors try to get too "creative" with the angles and end up coming off looking generic and forced.
• The movie's plot is so convoluted that it doesn't give the viewer enough to work with and leaves you wondering "What the hell is going on? What is the significance of this scene? Where-the-fuck is this moving going?" Sure, the movie ends up answering these questions in the last 15-20 minutes, but by that time the viewer has lost complete and utter interest in the characters and the subsequent situations they continue to find themselves in. BAD SCRIPT. I'm still baffled as to why Gellar took this project. One can only hope it was a contractual obligation and not by choice. Painfully plodding, jumbled mess of a 'thriller.' A thriller completely devoid of thrills.

Sensitive and Savvy

Your Brain is 53% Female, 47% Male
Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I come across news stories all the time and thought I would share three recent articles that caught my interest in particular:

Christmas Wreath With Peace Sign Banned
Comments: Man, this really pissed me off when I first read it. I think it's absolutely ridiculous. It's so goddamn frustrating to see people's civil rights being altered and loopholed and generally steamrolled time and time again, while church & state continue to merge into some politically-correct police state. Grrrrrr

Baby Born with Twin in His Stomach
Comments: This creeps me out. Reminds me of the scene from the movie The Dark Half, where the surgeons are operating on the little boy's brain because he is blacking out/having seizures, and when they go to make the incision on his brain an eyelid opens and you see an eye darting around frantically. Turns out he was supposed to be a twin, but the other fetus never fully formed and his body basically absorbed the other twin. Creepshow!

And the last news story requires a little preface for those who may not be familiar with the original story:

Back in July of this year, a man who worked for the city of Neenah, Wisconsin, found an envelope containing $1,900 secured to the bottom of a discarded metal desk with magnets. He turned the money into authorities and after the 90 day waiting period, no one had claimed it, the city refused to turn the money over to him.

Here's the update:

Owner Of $1,900 Found At Scrap Heap Was Worker Killed On Highway
Comments: Again, I was really steamed when I found out that this genuinely honest person was getting shafted, then this story came out and it made me feel a little better knowing that his honestly didn't go unrewarded. Not that honesty/integrity necessarily has to be rewarded monetarily, but it would have been a real slap in the face if the man didn't receive some form of recognition. All's well that ends well.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas Music

A friend and I were discussing what Christmas albums we own and how it can sometimes be hard to find a good one. So, I decided to share my small, yet steadfast collection of Christmas CDs. None of the CDs listed here are over $10, with most falling well below the $5 mark.

In the Christmas Mood- The Glenn Miller Orchestra © 1991
Comments: Okay, first off let me warn you that not all CDs released by LaserLight are as good as this one. In general, the LaserLight label is generally appealing because they are inexpensive and have deceptively-appealing covers but generally real shitball quality tracks. HOWEVER, on occasion, there are exceptions. This CD is one of them. I love this CD and it has become a tradition at my house. I always end up playing it at some point during the holidays. A truly great addition to your Christmas CD collection. *Note: There is also a part II to this collection, which I just discovered while adding a hyperlink!
A Jolly Christmas from Sinatra- Frank Sinatra © 1999
Christmas Gift Collection- Nat King Cole © 1992
Comments: I LOVE this CD. Though it does contain a few tracks that could be considered not traditionally Christmas-y, the CD is excellent through and through. It contains some great Christmas songs that you don't hear ALL THE TIME, so that too is refreshing. However, my all-time favorite Nat King Cole song on this CD is not a Christmas song: A Handful of Stars. A must-have CD for anyone who is a fan of Nat King Cole.
The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas: Christmas Spirit- Various Artists © 1997
Comments: I could SWEAR that we had these same Christmas albums on audio cassette when I was growing up in the late 80's. I distinctly remember seeing them advertised on TV and ordering them from there. However, looking at the copyright date, apparently they were released in 1997. Maybe that was the year the CD versions were issued because I definitely remember the cassette cover art being the same. ANYWAY (sorry, it bugs me when I can't pinpoint dates) I bought this set of 3 discs at Costco back in '99 and they are all excellent. They contains all the tradition Christmas songs sang by the original artists (for someone who grew up in the 70's/80's) and is excellent from beginning to end.
The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas: Holiday Magic- Various Artists © 1997
The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas: Christmas Memories- Various Artists © 1997
Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails- Various Artists © 1996
A Vintage Christmas Cracker- Various Artists © 2002
Comments: I just ordered this one. It's a double disc and it had so many great songs and artists I couldn't resist. With over 40 tracks by artists like Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, Dinah Shore, Judy Garland and lots more, you just know it's gonna be good!
Christmas All-Time Greatest Records- Various Artists © 1990
Comments: I was working at a record store the year this one came out and I remember it being in the bin of Christmas CDs that everyone would rifle through day in and day out. I ended up listening to it so often in the store and had so many customers ask "What CD is this?" that it's become another perennial favorite. The artists run the gamut from: Lena Horne, Bing Crosby, The Beach Boys, Glen Campbell and lots more.
The Edge of Christmas- Various Artists © 1995
Comments: This one is definitely for those of us who grew up in the 80's and/or just prefer a little more contemporary Christmas music. Some artists include: The Ramones, The Waitresses, The Cocteau Twins, Queen, Pat Benatar, The Pogues and plenty more. It's just not Christmas until I hear The Waitresses' Christmas Wrapping.
Hi-Fidelity Holiday: A Holiday Compilation in Stereo- Various Artists © 1998
Comments: This CD was released by Star-anything to make some-bucks and I bought it cheap at a pawn shop. Me no likee, but it technically is part of my collection, so I thought I'd include it. FYI.
Jazz to the World- Various Artists © 1995
Bing & Friends Christmas- Various Artists © 1999
Comments: This CD has a jillion different covers, so I was unable to locate this particular CD. However, if you wanna try and find it, it's a great CD. The CD contains 20 tracks and includes favorites like Rosemary Clooney's Suzy Snowflake, Hitch a Ride With Santa Claus sung by Bing and Lindsay Crosby and lots more by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney.
¡Esquivel!: Merry Christmas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad- Esquivel © 1996
Comments: This CD must be out-of-print because it is insanely-priced over at Amazon, though I could swear I see this one at the used CD places all the time. Hmmm...
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas, - Ella Fitzgerald © 1988
Comments: Another can't-miss Christmas favorite. Excellent CD from beginning to end. Highly Recommended.
Christmas Jump & Jive: Songs That Won the War- Various Artists © 2001
Martinis & Mistletoe: Cool Tunes for Your Christmas Cocktail Party- The Yuletide Lounge Band © 2002
Comments: Believe it or not, some great Christmas CDs can be found in the weirdest of places. I bought this one at the hardware store up the street and I really really like it. And yes, it is yet another example of a good LaserLight label CD. I'm usually leary of music CDs where the songs are performed by any alien group I've never heard of, since it's usually a sign of inferior or just downright 'yuck' renditions. However, this is the exception. The CD flows smoothly and is very Jazzy without trying too hard. It really is perfect background noise for a party or just to wrap presents by. My personal favorite track: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Jazzy!
A Swinging Big Band Christmas- Various Artists ©
Comments: Yet another good example of what LaserLight can do. Great songs performed by Guy Lombardo, Gene Krupa and Les Brown to name a few. A nice CD to have on in the background while doing things around the house during the holidays.

And the Winners are...

Congratulations go out to Natalee and John E! Both won a brand new pair of orange ear warmers from From the Blue (and, of course, me, Kirkkitsch).

Please send me your shipping information and I will get your ear warmers out to you ASAP. Toasty ears activate!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday Funnies

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Mine was peaceful, which is always welcome.

As I've mentioned before, I'm currently cleaning out all the closets in preparation for my big garage sale (it's actually gonna be in the backyard, but to hell with semantics) coming in December. I'm currently all caught up with the main part of the house, but have to tackle the laundry room/back bathroom starting next week (god, I dread it). In the meantime, I have narrowed down my mementos to 3 or 4 cigar boxes, and one of those things among them was an envelope filled with misc. comic strips I'd clipped from various newspapers over the years. I've scanned them and posted them here for you to see. I hope you enjoy them! My personal favorite is the 1-panel, of The Quigman's. Click on the images to enlarge. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving from Kirkkitsch

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

People and Other Aggravations

One of the books I bought this fall at one of the various book sales I went to, is a book called People and Other Aggravations by Judith Viorst. I initially bought it for the illustrations, but once I had time to sit down and read it, I liked the content as well. The book describes around 2 dozen different 'types' of people. I thought this one was appropriate, considering the whole Kelly Ripa hoopla. She's definitely the type that falls under this category.

I'll post more over the next few weeks. There are so many good ones that I can't choose just one.

[ Click on each page to enlarge ]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Riptide Washes Up One More Drama Queen

One of my friends just asked me if I knew anything about the 'Clay Aiken/Kelly Ripa thing.' Since I don't watch morning television, I told him I hadn't, but I'd look around on the Internet to see what it was all about.

So, I Google the two names in a search and apparently there is some drama over Aiken recently guest-hosting with Ripa during Regis' absence. Apparently, during an interview with some people from So You Think You Can Dance With The Stars of American Idol, or whatever the hell is the latest masturbatory incarnation of reality TV that's captured middle America's short-attention span this week. So, during the interview (watched via YouTube), Ripa in her usual spastic, self-centered, faux-interested-mode, completely monopolizes the interview, leaving Aiken to sit there and twiddle his thumbs. It got to the point where Aiken jokingly reached over and covered her mouth and that's when the drama ensued.

Ripa's demeanor changed as she told him "Oh that's a 'no-no.' I don't know where that hand's been, honey!" while taking his hand away from her mouth. Her later excuse had something to do with hygiene and some chivalry BS.

First off, I honestly could give a shit about either of them. Neither one of them register on my Star Scale and never have. I never got the whole American Idol appeal nor Ripa's. However, I have never liked Ripa. I don't find her attractive, talented and/or humorous. I think she's a big spoiled, generic, horse-toothed diva who thinks everything and everyone should revolve around her. The fact that she's had the staying power she has is a monument to the fact that people will watch anything if exposed to it long enough. She should be thanking her lucky stars that her 15 minutes didn't expire a long time ago.

Secondly, what this boils down to is appeal-factor. Ripa obviously has some issue with Aiken. Personally, I think the issue is that she's threatened that someone else might get the attention she so obviously craves. I find it more than a little hard to believe that if the person putting their hand over her mouth was Julian McMahon or one of the hundred other men she's gushed over on the show, that it would have been a 'problem,' much less been handled the way it was.

And last, true to form, the majority of people taking Ripa's side have been using the "How dare you touch that beautiful woman" retaliation, short of calling Aiken a faggot. Gee, that's so original. I love it when people who have zero debating skills go straight for the physical. Example: Rosie O'Donnell recently commented on The View (according to various web sites) that she felt Ripa's behavior was homophobic in nature. Whether it was or not, isn't the point. The point is, I've read multiple comments where people retaliate by calling her 'fat,' 'lesbo,' 'dyke,' and/or Aiken 'gay,' 'fag,' etc. What does that have to do with anything? These are the same ignorant assholes who bitch about Michael Moore whenever one of his documentaries comes out and they don't like the 'message.' Instead of actually making an effort to approach the situation with research, knowledge, etc. to disprove his work, people go straight for the 'fat' comments. It's so ridiculous already. I'm never surprised to see how truly ignorant people are as a whole.

Epilogue: Ripa is now claiming that her remarks had nothing to do with Aiken's sexuality and that it was more a matter of her being a mother of young children and it being cold and flu season.

Apparently being a mommie is free rein for justifying acting like a self important cunt.

Monday, November 20, 2006


I ran across this article in the October issue of Reader's Digest, but only now have had the time to scan it and talk about it. It made me roll my eyes and go 'Oy.' This post was inspired by another blog post recently written by my friend Terri, on her blog.

And yes, I realize that you don't just open a bag of candy and tell the child "Eat 'til you hit the bottom," however, it's people who do shit like this (re: the article) who are the same politically-correct assholes who give their kids 'time-outs' and who put their kids on Ritalin because they're "such a spirited handful." Whatever. I am so beyond tired of the whole vilification of anyone and anything that eats like any normal person has been doing for decades. And don't even get me started on the latest hubbub where the government is now going to dictate portion sizes and choice of cooking oils. Here's an idea: Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!

P.s. What retard kid is gonna say "Four" without being coerced? C'mon! That's like those parents who try and tell you "Billy would rather trick-or-treat for UNICEF than receive candy." Riiiiiight. I somehow find it hard to believe that if his answer was "Fourteen" Mommy would have been okay with that. Puhlease.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Chilly...Did Someone Say 'Chili?' + Giveaway

It's been pretty chilly around here lately and I'm lovin' it! I love stepping outside and smelling fireplaces burning. As such, I just came across some of my old Garbage Pail Kids cards and it seemed fitting so I thought I would share.

And speaking of sharing, click on the Garbage Pail Kid card to see what you can win. If you'd like to be entered in the drawing, please e-mail me with the subject "Chilly" and I will put your name in the drawing. I will be giving away two pair, so you have twice the chance of winning! I'll announce the winners on Monday, November 27th. Good luck!

*P.s. They're unisex and adjustable. And yes, they're my favorite color: orange! Oh, and if you're concerned that they might not fit you, don't be. I have a Charlie Brown-sized head (buying sunglasses is a bitch!) and they fit me just fine. Truly a one-size-fits-all!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Time Retardant

I emerged from my cocoon yesterday to go pick up some groceries at Super Target and go to the movies (a review coming soon to a blog near you). During my recent closet excavations, I unearthed several Swatch watches. Eighties be damned, I still love my Swatches (complete with dead batteries). A definite defining factor from my formative years. The brilliant marketing, graphic design and overall style of Swatch helped solidify my love of pop culture and good design. But I digress.

Having forsaken the wearing of an actual wristwatch more than 10 years ago, I decided to take a particularly cool Swatch with me and pick up a new battery at the jewelry counter while I was at Target.

Naturally, the watch batteries are behind the counter (because that just makes sense, what with them priced at a whopping $3), so I had to ask for assistance. Naturally, I didn't remove the actual battery before I came, assuming I could borrow a nickel or paperclip to remove the old one while I was there. As it turns out, the clerk is not allowed to aid the customer in any way when it comes to removing the old battery...even though I'm buying a replacement battery. I stood there, mind boggling over the overly complicated corporate bullshit rules & regulations. Apparently it had something to do with the fact that if the watch was somehow damaged while removing/replacing the old battery, the store is liable for damages. Even if I remove the battery myself.

I talked to my friend Derik about this, assuming he would make a frowny face and side with me. He sided with Target. We went back and forth with our own arguments (my key argument: "That's retarded"). He took the "If I talk long enough you'll agree with me out of exhaustion" method. It no workee. I'm stubborn too, so I took my retaliatory, dig in my heels (and oh what heels they are!) stance of "I've made up my mind, get on board or you will be annihilated" (the equivalent of putting my fingers in my ears and singing "I'm not listen-ing! La la la la la!" very loudly). Otherwise known as 'the high road.' LOL! Not. I think our combined hardheadedness is one of the pillars of our complicated, yet steadfast friendship. Needless to say, we agreed to disagree. Maybe I'm nuts, but I think way too many things have gotten waaaaay too complicated.

Annnyway, I ended up buying the battery (+3) over at Radio Shack. I now have a super-groovy "new" timepiece. Once I get caught up around here, I'll have to post some pictures of all the Swatches I found.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Brokeback Coloring Fun

While spelunking through one of my closets (2 down, 1 more to go!) I've come across all kinds of swell stuff. Among them was my ol' Big Jim coloring books. I flipped through it and had to snicker once I saw this particular coloring page. I realize that for it to officially be like Brokeback Mountain, they'd both be in the same sleeping bag, but you gotta take what you get. I considered putting them in the same sleeping bag through the magic of Photoshop, but I just didn't have the time and/or patience, so you'll have to use your imagination. *Click on the image for a printable version

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

mOlé Part Deux

Well, I finally got this collage together, as promised, to show the 'before' and 'after' of the mole removals I had a few weeks ago.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the 'before' pictures I took turned out too blurry, so I was forced to use the only remotely recent photo I had, and it's not too hot either. For a reference point, think of the mole that was near my left eyebrow as being a little smaller than the diameter of a pencil eraser. The mole that was in my sideburn was half the size.

Overall, the removal was not as bad as I'd anticipated and I had kinda psyched myself up that the moles would be removed via laser (after reading an article online), but when I got there the procedure was actually performed with a scalpel.

I was given shots to numb the areas where I was having the moles removed and I was shocked that they actually really worked (unlike at the dentist, where sometimes I have to have more than one shot to get me numb). She told me I shouldn't feel any pain but that I might feel some pressure. And it was true, I didn't feel a thing, but I did hear the 'crunch' sound when the scalpel pierced the flesh for the first time, and the 'tink tink tink' of the very sharp scalpel digging out the mole. Blech. I wish I'd brought my MP3 player (when I go to the dentist, I make use of their Walkman, cuz I don't know about you, but for me the sound is the worst part of going to the dentist. Once that's blocked out, it's smooooth sailin'). Oh well, hindsight is 20/20, right?

Anyway, after the stitches were put in (which I didn't even feel), I was instructed to keep a band-aid on the areas for a couple of days and made an appointment to come back a week later to get the stitches removed.

And that's pretty much it. No big deal, but when you haven't had many medical procedures, it initially feels like a big deal. LOL!

The biopsy results were negative (whew!) and I was told to keep SPF-30 on the area near my eyebrow, regardless if I went out in the sun or not. It had more to do with the skin pigment being consistent with the rest of my skin. Little did I know that a tube/bottle of SPF-30 costs like $9 (ridiculous), so I opted for the $2 SPF-30 lip balm instead. LOL! I checked with the pharmacist first and he said it would be A-OK. Ancient Chinese secret huh?

[1] This is a picture I took of part of the medical district. It was taken from the parking garage where I parked the morning of my procedure.

[2] The area with stitches (kinda hard to see...see, I told you the pictures were blurry).

[3] My lame 'before' picture, which is hard to see, but you get the general idea.

[4] The AWFUL 'after' picture taken in the medical plaza's bathroom under fluorescent lights (gee, can you tell? God, I look green).

[5] Biopsy photos of my moles. Mole A is the one that was on my head, near my eyebrow. Mole B is the mole that was located in my right sideburn.

[6] Proof positive that olive loaf really does look an awful lot like a mole biopsy photo.


Listening to the oldies station and changing the lyrics of The Commodores' Easy (Like Sunday Morning) to "I'm easy, like Lizzie Borden. I'm listening to the oldies station while I clean out closets in the bedrooms, in preparation for the garage sale of the year in about 3 weeks. This crap is OUTTA HERE whether it sells or not. I am not packing this shit up and storing it again for years. If it doesn't sell, it's going to Goodwill. My friend Derik is going to come help me with the garage sale and bring his own boxes of goodies. I am getting rid of A LOT of stuff that I've been keeping for god knows why: stuffed animals, books, magazines, clothes that fit me back in 1988, knick knacks out the wazoo, etc. In the immortal words of Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, "Enough is Enough!"

I'm done now. Back to the closet (figuratively speaking).

P.s. I'm also finding all kinds of cool shit I thought was lost forever and/or forgot I had, but more about that later. Trust me, it's good. :)

P.s.s. I know! I'll do another installment of "Look What a Found In My Drawers!" at a later date! To see past installments, click here, here or here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dark Ride

So, there's this thing called Horrorfest that's coming up on the 17th of this month. It's been advertising like crazy, on television, billboards, etc. Oh, by the way, before I get too far ahead of myself, let me tell you what Horrorfest actually is: Horrorfest is a weekend of horror films that are considered to graphic or too disturbing for general audiences. After Dark Films will release "8 Films to Die For" (plus one bonus film) for one weekend only in approximately 500 theaters around the United States.

So, anyway, I dropped by the site to see what the movies were and to see if they were playing any remotely nearby (this shit usually bypasses us completely and goes straight to Austin). The site had no fuckin' information. Every button that might contain actual information about the time/date/location/cost were all "coming soon." Apparently they spent all their money on marketing concepts instead of actually getting the event organized. That was about 5 days ago. I just checked again and now that the event is one week away they actually have information. AND as it turns out, they are showing it in Dallas...BFE Dallas. And you know how much I love to get lost on the freeway in fuckin' Dallas, especially at nighttime.

Needless to say, I won't be going. Sure, I wanna see some of the movies, but once it gets overly complicated (like it already has), I lose interest fast. Besides, they'll all be on DVD before I know it anyway. Still, it would have been nice to see the one I reaaaaaaaaaaally wanted to see, Dark Ride. Here's a brief synopsis: A group of six friends on a road trip stop off at an amusement park attraction named 'Dark Ride', unaware that a psychopath who has just escaped a mental institution for brutally murdering two girls, is seeking refuge there.

The movie appears to have an 80's slasher feel to the plot (think The Funhouse meets My Bloody Valentine). That coupled with a bloody body count tells me I will most-likely totally dig it (like, fer sure really). Plus, the trailer (though way too dark) helps seal the deal.

I'm still not sure why a slasher movie that apparently isn't breaking the mold when it comes to gory murders, is being considered "too graphic/disturbing for general audiences." Looking at stills from the movie, it doesn't seem any more "graphic" than a lot of movies that have been in the theater these last couple of years. Personally, I think it's a marketing ploy and/or these films had trouble finding distribution/representation or something along those lines.

In addition, I also think the killer, Jonah looks genuinely creepy. The movie looks like a throwback to what slashers used to be. I really love the movie poster as well. I miss the "old school" slasher movie posters that weren't afraid to show some blood, unlike the teentacular "hip" bullshit posters that feel compelled to show us the entire cast in domino formation, looking pouty and emo.

Click here to watch the teaser • Click here to watch the trailer

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What I Wish I Was Reading + Dirty Birdy

I love Amy Sedaris, but I just can't bring myself to pay nearly $20 for her new book. LOL! I know, I'm a cheapskate, but maybe once it's not so new I'll find it cheaper somewhere.

BTW, I just called 911 and reported the new neighbors down the street. They must be new because this Tejanopalooza just started like 3 weeks ago, but it's consistant every weekend. Let's put it this way, it's so loud I could hear it while watching TV in the den in the BACK of the house and I can feel its' reverberations when I'm in any other room of the house. These people live ACROSS the street 4 houses away! Retarded. This is just one more reason I hate people. Fucktards.

Friday, November 10, 2006

What I'm Listening to: Vol. 11

Dinah Washington- Dinah's Blues © 1998
The Pet Shop Boys- Actually © 1987
A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector © 1990
The Best of Nina Simone © 1990
Prozzäk- Hot Show © 1999
Etta James Rocks the House © 1992

I know, I know. Even looking at Christmas CDs this far ahead is insane, BUT once I saw the songs and the people peforming them, I had to buy it. Boy, am I glad I did. I LOVE this Christmas CD! I'm kinda picky when it comes to Christmas music, but in addition to having one of my favorite songs (Marshmallow World, as only Darlene Love could sing it), all the songs are good. Performed by Darlene Love, The Ronettes, The Crystals and Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans, you can't help but get in the holiday mood while listening to it. Highly recommended.

*On a side note, for those who are familair with the whole Phil Spector/murder case, the CD's insert folds out into a creepy little poster of him dressed as Santa. Freakshow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Idiot in the Box

The night before last I made a late-night run to a nearby Jack in the Box. I was craving their Sourdough Grilled Chicken Club. In addition, I placed an order for a couple of their (2 for) 99¢ tacos. I drove up to the window, paid, took my bag and went home...only to discover they neglected to put my chicken sandwich in the bag. Oy.

I called them and told them what happened and they told me I could come back later to pick it up. So, I decided to go pick it up and have it for dinner last night.

While I sat there (Jack in the Box) and read the paper, lots of people began to come in. One of them was this loud, obnoxious woman whose volume control didn't seem to have a 'low' setting. As she trumpeted around, barking corrections to her order, asking stupid questions etc., I just rolled my eyes and wondered why high-maintenance people like her even bother to eat out, what with everything seeming to be such an effort for her. Then she did one of the most retarded things I've seen in a while:

After placing your order, they give you your cup so you can go get the drink of choice at the fountain. There they also have lids, straws and assorted condiments. The container with the lids is marked according to size.

The woman must have ordered a "regular/medium" because when it came time to put the lid on, it blew her goddamn mind because the lids marked "regular/medium" didn't fit! OMG! Stop the presses!

SO instead of exercising her common sense and choosing another lid until she found one that fit, she takes her drink UP TO THE COUNTER (which is swamped with customers) and complains that the lid "doesn't fit."

*insert blank stare from me. blink. blink blink.*

The cashier tells her that there are lids next to the fountain. She goes on to say that the container said "regular/medium" but it doesn't fit her regular-sized drink cup.

*I'm still not believing what an unbelievable moron she is*

As it turns out, the container that holds the lids is marked incorrectly, which she goes on to inform him. He grabs a lid and puts it on for her and she walks away, still mumbling about how it's not marked correctly.

Where's a gunman in need of a hostage when you need one? People are dingleberries.

Collections #32

This marks the first of a new regular series that I'm going to be posting. Since I have little collections of different things, I thought I'd occasionally share some of them with you.

This is my small collection of bookmarks (the ones I could find). I know bookmarks may seem like an odd thing to find solace in, but I do, however eccentric that may seem. I thought bookmarks were the shit in the 80's. Bookmarks were plentiful back then but have somewhat fallen off the radar and/or gotten fancier and more complicated. Give me a tassled bookmark any ol' day. And speaking of the 80's, I have such fond memories of browsing for hours at B. Dalton Bookseller, Taylor's Books, Waldenbooks, etc. Good times.

I'm esp. fond of the first two bookmarks because they are the oldest. Plus, I never see much of Ziggy anymore and I miss him and his dog Fuzz.

The last bookmark is identical (image-wise) to the bookmarks that one of the bookstores in my hometown used to have sitting out on the counter, for free. I've always loved the image and thought it had a 'cozy' feel to it. The book store, B For Books didn't last long, but I have fond memories of the bookmark. Book stores never really did very well in the town I grew up in (whatta shocker), so I usually had to go to the nearby town of Fort Worth, to shop for my books.

The bookmarks have come from all over the place and some (the first 2 in the last row) are a few that I picked up at various used book sales. I esp. love the name The Haunted Book Shop (I so wanna go there!) and the quote on the other bookmark: "A room without books is as a body without a soul." Nice.

[ Click image for more detail ]

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Duuuuh, Ya Think?

In regard to yesterday's election results:

"The message yesterday was clear. The American people want their leaders in Washington to set aside partisan differences, conduct ourselves in an ethical manner, and work together to address the challenges facing our nation," Bush said.

Yeah, now he's insightful. Whatever.

Spooky Movie Rental Reviews

Halloween Night © 2006
Synopsis: This horror movie tells the story of a high school student's Halloween party that goes terribly awry when a psychopath escapes from the local mental hospital and turns up at the party (which is in the same house as the psycho's childhood home). Suspense, surprises, and terrifying chills result in this film (allegedly...I've yet to find any proof. Methinks it's just a marketing ploy for the Ritalin Generation) based on true events.
Comments: It being close to Halloween, I was anxious to rent any and all new horror/slasher movies that looked remotely palpable.

The movie was 'okay.' It started out good enough and I'd hoped for some creative kills, but it just kinda went down hill after the first murder. On the plus side, there were some really good-lookin' guys in it (Jared Cohn {DAYUM!} and Mike Zent to name a few). However, though Jared was such the hottie, his performance could have been greatly improved by actually learning his lines instead of the whole "improvisational" riff he kept desperately clinging to. Methinks he was trying too hard to be a walking billboard for the improvisational classes that he teaches. Like most things, a little goes a lonnnnng way.
Survey Says: Eh, this movie was alright if you have nothing bette to do on a Friday night. Weak gore. Low bodycount. Worth a rental if you're really into slashers, but everyone else don't bother.

Salvage © 2006
Synopsis: College student Claire Parker is stalked and killed by a serial murderer. Awaking alive and well, she assumes the whole affair to have been a grisly nightmare. When the awful scenario repeats itself a second and then a third time, she is forced to conclude that something supernatural is afoot. Enlisting the aid of her best friend, the local detective, and her reluctant boyfriend Jimmy, Claire must somehow break the cycle and piece together the truth -- a truth too horrible to imagine.
Comments: Speaking of too horrible to imagine, that would describe this convoluted premise. It sounds intriguing enough, in a Groundhog Day kinda way, but it never really succeeds in successfully delivering a coherent ending.

I've read reviews, in regards to the "twist" ending, ranging from "You just don't 'get' it because you're not deep like me" to "Whu?" I was of the latter persuasion. Trust me, it's not my first time at the ol' picture show, so surprise endings are normally not lost on me, however badly executed, but this one was a total reach. I don't buy that the ending was just sooo profound that people aren't 'getting' it. That's called bad execution (no pun intended).
Survey Says: Relatively good performance by the female lead. The movie does have some genuine creepy moments, but overall this movie was a total waste of my time and an effort to watch. Wait for cable.

Heartstopper © 2006
Synopsis: Two hospitalized young people discover that things can get even worse when the dilapidated institution is stranded by a severe storm and a maniac stalks the corridors butchering the patients and staff.
Comments: I wanted so badly to love this movie. The premise is a lot like another 80's slasher-on the loose in the hospital, called Hospital Massacre. This movie wasn't anywhere near as interesting when it came to the actual murders. How many times can you see some 'supernatural' killer rip someone's beating heart from their chest before it gets monotonous? The movie reminded me of a less entertaining version of 1989's Shocker. Robert Englund brought absolutely nothing to the movie, but an annoyingly cliched character. Needless to say, the movie didn't even begin to hold my interest and I never got past the first 45 minutes.
Survey Says: BIG yawn. Monumental yawn. Don't waste your money renting this. Definitely one to watch on cable...if at all.

Slither © 2006
Synopsis: A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters.
Comments: I'd heard lots of good word-of-mouth about this movie AND it's premise closely mirrored that of an 80's movie that I really liked, called Night of the Creeps, so naturally I rented it. Plus, the leads Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker are pretty easy on the eyes. Rooker has a surprisingly tasty bod on him. Who knew?

Fun movie with juuust the right blend of humor (it's not laughing at its' own jokes). Likeable characters. A homage to the 80's horror movies, when they were still fresh and fun.
Survey Says: I liked this movie. A decent marriage of 'old school' prosthetics and CGI effects, especially in a day and age where CGI reigns. Definitely worth the rental. I might even buy it used, for the right price.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mental Goulash 13

• I saw a woman waiting to cross a busy intersection last night. She was standing there with both hands on her hips. I nicknamed her Super Pedestrian.

• I'm currently getting ready to have a HUGE garage sale (it's actually gonna be in the front & backyard, but the hell with semantics) in early Dec. I've only emptied the one closet in the dining room and I already wanna run screaming from the house. I still have the back bathroom, laundry room and garage to go. Cross your fingers that I don't come across any rats or mice. I'm such a girl about those kind of 'surprises.' Not that I'm afraid they'll bite me, as much as I'm afraid I'll be startled and impale myself on the nearest blunt object.

• Last night I tried the McRib for the first time ever. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I esp. liked the BBQ sauce. Now I can cross off "Try a McRib" 'Things to do before I die' list. Inspiring, aren't I?

• I PROMISE that the before/after pictures of my mole removal are forthcoming. The problem is that all my pre-op photos were all too blurry, so now I am having to find a picture of myself (no small task, as I detest having my picture taken) pre-op to go with my post-op photos.

• Today is voting day for state governor, among other things. I voted early (before Halloween), so I'm covered. Not that it will mean anything to any of you, but I didn't vote for Terri Moore, who was running for District Attorney. And here's why: I received her humongous 8.5x11" 'postcard,' and thought the giant blow up of some emo teen girl (selected to insinuate sexual abuse without actually coming out and saying it) and the whole "Save our precious children and grandchildren from child porn predators!" platform was emotional blackmail of the lowest order. "Our children." Whatever. I'm not saying "go fuck a kid," but I am saying don't try to emotionally blackmail me by pulling "But what about the children?" outta your ass for the umpteenth time, THEN insinuate that voting for your constituent is like condoning sexual predators.

Personally, I'm sick & tired of the whole child angle being milked for all it's worth. Enough already! Let's focus on the issues that actually affect everyone, not just people with kids. I spend thousands of dollars in taxes for "our" children to go to school. Where they are and what happens to them is their parents' responsibility (some parents need to get reacquainted with the meaning of that last word).

And don't even get me started on the obligatory "grandchildren" tossed into the mix. Yeah, let's make sure our scare tactics encompass all the generations. What-ever. Utter bullshit!

• Since I am on the Half Price Books mailing list, I receive coupons from them in the mail. They recently sent me a coupon for 50% off one item, so I got the recently-released Thriller DVD boxset ($70 new/$40 used) for a mere $20.00. Woo hoo!

• While channel-surfing the other day (it must be genetic), I caught part of a Country Music video on the CMT channel for a song called Honky Tonk Badonkadonk by Trace Adkins. Country music has officially run out of ideas. Aye Carumba. Gimme 70's Pop-Country any day of the week...Crackers in Bed...Two Doors Down...Kiss an Angel Good Morning...

• As a rule, I don't normally shop at CVS Pharmacy. Ever since I saw a Totino's pizza in their freezer section priced at $8. Anyway, I stopped by the other day because they were closer than Walgreen's and it was a matter of convenience (not to mention that I reaaaaalllly had to pee). Annnyway, I bought a big ol' bag of CVS Brand lemon drops for $1.50 and lemme tell ya, I am diggin' 'em! I was drawn to the fact that they were discs and individually-wrapped instead of the regular lemon-shaped/sugar-dusted kind. I still love those, mind you, but they always ends up morphing together into some big candy meteor that I end up throwing away.

• I recently purchased a Brother label printer. It's bright orange to boot! I'm getting such a kick out of it (I have no life).

Monday, November 06, 2006

Currently Reading

Nothing's Sacred by Lewis Black © 2005
Synopsis: With subversive wit and intellectual honesty, Lewis examines the events of his life that shaped his antiauthoritarian point of view and developed his comedic perspective. Growing up in 1950s suburbia when father knew best and there was a sitcom to prove it, he began to regard authority with a jaundiced eye at an early age. And as that sentiment grew stronger with each passing year, so did his ability to hone in on the absurd.

True to form, he puts common sense above ideology and distills hilarious, biting commentary on all things politically and culturally relevant.

Comments: I am loving this book. If you are a fan of Lewis Black and his no-nonsense humor, then you will enjoy this book. A quick read. A fun read. An insightful read.

I just finished the chapter on Black's junior high years and this passage cracked me up: "My mother dressed me in irregular clothing and my pants were always way, way, way too baggy. When I asked why they were so big, my mother, as God as my witness, replied, "Because you have a big crotch." If this was the case, none of the girls in my class ever took note. Maybe because the top button of my shirt was always buttoned and I wore big Tortoiseshell glasses. So I looked like a dump truck in heat."

Better Than Homemade: Amazing Foods That Changed the Way We Eat by Carolyn Wyman © 2004
Synopsis: A freewheeling illustrated history of the packaged foods industry. From Green Giant and Hamburger Helper to Jiffy Pop and Jell-O, syndicated columnist Carolyn Wyman reveals the fascinating origins of your favorite "food" products -- along with never-before published advertisements, innovative packaging (cheese in a can!?), and hilarious "unauthorized uses."

You'll learn that Birds Eye frozen foods were invented by an Arctic adventurer; Kool-Aid got its start from an 11-year-old entrepreneur; and Twinkies were once used to capture a gang of escaped baboons. Perfect for fans of the Food Network's Unwrapped, this guide is the ultimate paean to processed pleasures!

Comments: This book has it all: Cheesy, kitschy photos, retro recipes, pop culture history, AND I was surprised that it wasn't a Chronicle book. Looking over the spines of my library, most of the books like this are usually published by Chronicle, but this one was published by Quirk (I like the name better). A mere 76¢ at Pick up a copy today!

The Occasional Man by James Barr © 1966
Synopsis: (From the book jacket) No longer young and beautiful, David, at 40, was still handsome. Flat broke and depressed over the break-up of his affair with the man he had adored for fifteen years, David wandered lost and lonely in the back streets of the twilight world of sex.

Suddenly three men came into David's life - each offering a different variety of relationship for David to grasp at: a cruel, super-virile young man with whom David was physically obsessed; a warm and kindly Negro who offered more companionship than excitement, and a godlike, demanding older man who was a master of every kind of erotic adventure.

Comments: First off, I don't even want to talk about how much I paid for this book. Let's just say it was more than I normally like to pay for a paperback book, vintage or not. BUT, pre-70's gay pulp is hard to find (esp, in decent condition), and the premise seems like a lot of fun, so I thought "Why not?" Plus, who could resist a tagline like: A new adult novel of the torments and temptations of abnormal desires.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Man Finds Letters to God at Sea

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A U.S. man who found 300 letters to God floating in the Atlantic Ocean said on Friday he will donate them to a church instead of selling them on eBay following protests from religious people.

The letters, sent to a deceased Baptist clergyman, mysteriously wound up in a sealed plastic shopping bag near a beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Bill Lacovara, an insurance adjuster from Ventnor, New Jersey, said he waded out to get the bag while on a fishing trip last week.

The letters were addressed to the Rev. Grady Cooper of Jersey City, New Jersey, who died in 2004. Someone cleaning his house may have discarded the bag, which Lacovara found about 100 miles from Cooper's residence.

They include one from a teen-age girl asking God to forgive her for having an abortion, one from a prisoner who said he was innocent and wanted to be at home with his family, and one from a man who wanted God's help winning the lottery, according to media reports.

Lacovara said he could have auctioned them off on eBay for up to $15,000 and would have given the money to charity. But he has withdrawn them from the online auction service because he said the move offended some religious people. "There were a lot of religious fanatics that were very insulted," he told Reuters. "They said they were disappointed in me, and I didn't want to do something that's going to create bad vibes." Some urged him to burn the letters, throw them back in the ocean or give them to a church, Lacovara said.

Lacovara said about a dozen clergymen have offered to take the letters, and he is evaluating the requests to make sure the letters don't fall into the wrong hands.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dinosaurs Love Grey Poupon

A few days ago, I was at the grocery store getting provisions for Halloween. I was tired and kinda out of it and at one point while strolling down one of the aisles, I blindly ran over a 'speedbump' and was like "WTF did I just run over?" I lookd behind me and there laid a little dinosuar with tire marks down his back. I picked him up, to get him out of harm's way, and then it dawned on me "Why not have a little fun with him?" As you can see, he now loves Grey Poupon. I guess what they say is true; dinosaurs will eat anything.

Take It From Totie...

Jack O'Lantern '06

This is a picture of this year's jack o'lantern. Believe it or not, I didn't feel like carving one last year, so the pumpkin just hung around the house until around August of this year.

This year instead of my usual Sloppy Joes, I made mega nachos, Rice Krispie Treats and Golden Graham Bars (same principal as Rice Krispie Treats, just add chocolate chips; think s'more in bar form). I made too much of everything, so it's Halloween here alllll week.

I only had 2 trick-or-treaters (my friend Christi and her hubby dropped by with Mummy Princess and Recalled Spinach; i.e. their children). It was fun to have trick or treaters for a change. I've only had them once before in the 11 years I've lived here.

I watched Halloween, Fall of the House of Usher, The Headless Horseman (AKA The Adventures of Ichabod Crane/Disney) and lotsa Halloween cartoons/specials (Fat Albert, Bugs Bunny, Mad Monster Party...). AND it was nice and chilly, so I opened all the windows. Nice nice nice.

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