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19 posts from July 2001

Oldies: July 31, 2001...

When it rains, it pours. As many know, a couple of months ago, Anthony ("Dr. Mark Greene") Edwards announced that the 2001-02 season of "ER" will be his last. That was a pretty big blow to ER fans because he was one of only three remaining members of the original cast still on the show. Well, some of that changed a month later when Sherry ("Dr. Susan Lewis") Stringfield announced she would be returning to the show after a 3+ season hiatus for the 2001 season. Well, that bright spot was shot to hell yesterday by the announcement that Eriq ("Dr. Peter Benton") LaSalle will be following Edwards lead by leaving the show at the end of this next season.

Okay, so far I have not been totally affected by all the departures on the show. George Clooney leaving was not that big a deal to me (probably because I feel Clooney is one of the best film actors around right now - it's hard to top his roles in Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, and especially O Brother, Where Art Thou?). I didn't mind when Julianna Margulies left either. Edwards leaving ain't too big a deal for me as well because the new supporting cast on the show including Ming Na, Maura Tierney, Paul McCrane and Erik Palladino is incredible. Yes, you read that correctly, I do like Dr. Romano, he adds spice to the show that has been lost since Dr. Benton had his son and became a bit of a softie. And it's that new side of Dr. Benton that has made him my favorite character on the show. Benton is incredibly cool. He is now a bit more accepting of some things that his old character never would have been. Example? Think about the time that he allowed his nephew's girlfriend to hide out with him and Cleo even though she was directly responsible for his nephew's death. Do you really think Dr. Benton Phase I would've allowed that? Hell no. But, despite his newfound sensitivities, he is still more than capable of doing what needs to be done in order to survive. He can fight the powers that be if necessary and he has not been afraid to lock horns with Romano when things weren't going his way. In short, I'm gonna be very sad to see LaSalle leave the show. But, good luck to him in his future life of writing, directing and producing. The small screen just ain't gonna be the same without you.


Oldies: July 30, 2001...

This one'll definitely make Katie a happy camper. For several years, Hollywood honchos have been trying to find a way to make a film version of everyone's favorite monkey. No, notMonkeybone. I'm talking Curious George. Yep, you heard me right. First, there was talk about doing it in traditional animation. Then they wanted to make it live action. The third option was a mix of animation and live action (assumably, the man in the yellow hat would be live and our favorite overly-inquisitive monkey would be animated much like the upcoming Scooby-Doo film). Finally, they decided to go theShrek route using what is now known as photo-realistic animation. Should be interesting and I'm sure Katie and I will be first in line the day it opens.


Oldies: July 27, 2001...

I'm not sure how I should feel about this one... One of my favorite childhood movies The Goonies is about to have a sequel made. This was a damn good movie and I still enjoy it immensely, however, I'm not sure that I want to see a sequel made. One thing you gotta bear in mind is that a majority of the actors in this flick -- Sean Astin, Ke Huy Quan, Corey Feldman and Jeff Cohen -- are all my age and the original movie was released back in 1985. No, there will not be a new bunch of kids brought together for this sequel. Yes, all of the original cast is returning (except maybe the Fratellis, two of whom -- John "Sloth" Matuszak and Anne "Mama Fratelli" Ramsey -- are dead). How do you do a sequel to a great kid's adventure flick when the "kids" are nearly 20 years older? Kinda weird. If you'd like to read more about this movie, there's a pretty good unofficial fansite called thegoonies.com and they've got an up-to-date photo of the entire cast from their recent commentary recordings for the DVD Special Edition release of the original movie coming out later this fall. It's pretty easy to tell who's who, but just in case you need some help... (from L to R) Jonathan Ke Quan ("Data"), Sean Astin ("Mikey"), Martha Plimpton ("Stef"), Corey Feldman ("Mouth"), Kerri Green ("Andy"), Director Richard Donner, Jeff Cohen ("Chunk") and Josh Brolin ("Brand" - AKA Minnie Driver's new husband). This is a pretty cool pic, so enjoy.

On a wholly unrelated note, I recently discovered that if I log onto my personal data manager through GeoCities, they will provide me with some page statistics (who visits, from where, what browser, etc.). Not as in-depth as my old tracking system which no longer exists, but it still helps. This one has a pretty unique function, though, in that it gives me the top keywords used in search engines to find my site. Turns out that my top search words -- don't ask me how this happened -- are "NyQuil Withdrawal." Now that is some funny stuff. Not that I used that as a keyword/phrase in my Metatags either. I only remember briefly mentioning it in one of my entries several months ago when I actually did suffer NyQuil withdrawal. Heh.


Oldies: July 26, 2001...

See? If I had just held out a little while longer, I could've used this piece of great news yesterday instead of that crap about car letters. Katie got a call from the woman who interviewed her last week and... she was offered a job. Woo hoo! A great weight was lifted off Katie's shoulders, let me tell you. She was sweating bullets all day Tuesday and Wednesday in anticipation of the call. Of course, she was being pessimistic thinking she would not get the job. I was the positive one who kept building her back up. I was right. Congratulations, hon. I'm proud of you.

I find it amazing how I was always a very pessimistic and cynical person throughout much of my life. Then I started dating Katie and now I've become the one in the pair that is constantly holding on to hope... effectively negating my past-pessimistic tendencies. Weird.


Oldies: July 25, 2001...

I think it's obvious that I have absolutely nothing worthwhile to say when I chime in with a blurb about those weird little letters that come at the end of the name of a car. You know what I'm talking about... my Ford Ranger XLT, for example, or Steve's (Katie's brother) Ford Escort ZX2. Just what in God's name do those letters stand for? I know that, officially, they are used to designate features... i.e. the Escort doesn't have quite as many features to it as the ZX2 (or so I think). But does it stand for anything? All I can get out of XLT is X-tra Long Truck. Today, I went to Wal-Mart during my lunch break and stopped at the light in front of me was a Ford Focus ZTS. I know that the Focus is being targetted towards younger drivers, but don't you think it's going too far to have the letter designation on this model so closely resemble a common dermatological problem amongst their target buyers? The first thing I thought of when I saw this car was "Ford Focus Zits." Jeez. Yeah, I'm bored.


Oldies: July 24, 2001...

Oh those wacky Germans. A couple in Germany are in court trying to obtain the right to name their baby daughter Jona. German registry officials claim that the name is a derivation of the Biblical name Jonah (you know... Mr. Whale Fodder). However, the parents say they chose the name because it is a very common girl's name in Israel. Give them the name for God's sake. What's the big deal if it's boy's or a girl's name. Have you seen some of the names that have come out of the U.S. lately? Some funky stuff there. I don't see why "Jona" is such a big deal. And I thought the U.S. was the only country with really petty lawsuits to worry about.


Oldies: July 22, 2001...

We survived! Today, Katie and I officially got the Catholic church's blessing to get married. Yep, we survived Engaged Encounter. This was a two-day retreat in which we are asked directed questions about marriage, each other, and ourselves in order to see if there are any areas of incompatibility between us. In essence, it's meant to make people think about topics that they might not normally think about when they are in love. You know how puppy love can get. People forget about the practical side of marriage and that there are responsibilities once you get married. Well, as it turns out, Katie and I had already covered every single topic they brought up to us. Yeah, we good. It's pretty reassuring to know that we have been smart in our relationship and that we've been able to sit down and have good conversations about reality. Things are good.


Oldies: July 20, 2001...

Before I begin, let me make something clear... I have absolutely nothing against female drivers. In fact, many of the women I know are better drivers than many of the men I know. Notall but many. So, on that note, here we go. In Toronto, a girl was taking her driving exam and she was doing very well. So well that her instructor was about to sign off on her getting her driver's license. Final thing to do was pull back in to parking lot of the testing center and park the car. Heck, this final step wasn't even a part of the official exam. However, she managed, upon trying to park, to hit four cars then her vehicle spun around and hit two more. What's worse is that a woman standing between two of the cars wound up in the hospital with leg injuries. Needless to say, she did not get her license. That's really gotta suck.


Oldies: July 18, 2001...

Talk about proud. Katie and I can now call ourselves graduates of the University of Boneheaded Coaches Who Like to Have Football Players Run Over Marching Bands. Yeah, get a load of this one. This past weekend, John Binkowski (sp?) who is the strength and conditioning coach at Northern Illinois University decided he wanted to have the football team run windsprints on the turf at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, IL. Well, that's all well and good except for the fact that the field had been loaned to a drum and bugle corps team from Ohio to practice marching on. Binkowski ordered them to leave and they refused. So he had his team run their sprints through the band -- and if they happen to take out one or two of them, so be it. The team did just that. One bugler now has a hairline fracture in his jaw, a drummer has a sprained ankle and there were a few other minor injuries like the one caused when junior footballer Anthony Falbo ran over a girl (she refused treatment at the hospital). Binkowski and Falbo were arrested on the spot and a warrant was recently issued for the arrest of another player who remains unnamed. Falbo was suspended from the team and Binkowski was fired immediately by NIU. Yeah, you can expect some lawsuits to be happening in the near future. Is that not the most arrogant and boneheaded thing you've ever heard of a coach doing? Here athletes have been working for years to eradicate the perception of themselves as absolute meathead jocks and they've been doing a pretty good job of it. Then you get some stupid shit like this. Kinda sets back the movement by a couple of decades. Oh, and Binkowski now has a permanent spot in the "Darwinism Missed Me" file. I've really got to start a page dedicated to these sorts of idiots, don't you think?


Oldies: July 17, 2001...

The following is a test. I've figured that I'd like to be able to give "spoiler" information on this page from time to time. However, I'd like to present it in a way that allows me to keep it hidden from normal view. Many movie websites out there accomplish this feat by coding the spoiler information to appear on a page as the same color as the background. In case you haven't noticed, the background I'm using is slightly multicolored (two different shades of a greenish-blue). So, I'm trying out one of the colors as the spoiler text color against this notebook background to see if it remains invisible under normal circumstances. What I need from you, dear reader, is to test it for me. In other words, you have been given the charge of highlighting a segment of text below so that you will be able to read it. Shall we try it out? Let's do it...

I found a teaser trailer online (there are links below for different versions of the Quicktime file - pick your poison and view away) for a movie coming out next May that I'm hoping will be pretty damned cool. I don't think I really wanna tell you right out what the movie is. However, I'll take advantage of spoiler-vision to tell you that it involves everyone's favorite webslinger - Spider-man. Granted this is not really all that much of a spoiler in the traditional sense, this feature can come in pretty handy if I'm talking about some movie or book and you don't want to know about something that may spoil the experience for you (unless, of course, you really wanna know and you don't care if I spoil it for you). It's that easy. However, I need to know that this shows up properly. Please let me know if you cannot see the text when it's just sitting there and if it is readable when you highlight it with your mouse.

High-Res Quicktime
Medium-Res Quicktime
Low-Res Quicktime

Bear in mind your connection speed when deciding which to download. Modem users (unless you have a buttload of time) should try the low-res version. It won't be as neat and clean, but it'll work. When I use this option in the future, I'll have it clearly marked "Spoiler" or something of that sort so you know to highlight it. Cool? Oh, well, I'm not giving you a choice in the matter.


Oldies: July 16, 2001...

Here's a close-to-homer for ya. Colleen Gallagher, a mother of two and waitress at Excalibur (just north of Rainforest Cafe in downtown Chi), was given a nice tip for her service. She was helping out some execs from Meridian Investments, Inc. which included its CEO John Boc. They started talking and she related her hardships to him (father isn't paying any child support, she's struggling to make ends meet, etc. Typical sort of stuff you hear), and he told her to write in a $1000 tip on their first bill. Later on during the night, he pulled out a handful of credit cards, fanned them out in front of her and told her to pick one. She chose a platinum Visa. He told her to "go give yourself $10,000." Boc is known for charitable donations and just randomly giving to people, but this supposedly exceeds even his normal generosity level. Damn, I'm in the wrong business.


Oldies: July 11, 2001...

Are you looking for a life of fun? Intrigue? Politics? Well, have I got an opportunity for you! You, too, can serve an internship with Rep. Gary Condit (D. - Cal.). An opening has recently made itself available at his office in Washington, D.C. If you are interested, you can fill out this easy application and soon be on your way to helping Rep. Condit by either covering his ass with blatant lies or digging a deeper hole for him to fall in.

Yes, folks, this application is for real. Although I can't say for sure that his office is actually accepting intern applications considering the current state of affairs (both literal and figurative). If you are completely confused as to what I am referring in this little snippet, you should really turn on the news at 10 instead of Friends. Rep. Condit's most recent intern Chandra Levy has been missing for 10 weeks now and suspicion has been directed at Condit. Police searched his apartment today (though they haven't revealed if they discovered anything) and it was recently discovered that Condit did have an affair with Levy. Even though the whole intern-affair idea harkens back to Slick Willie and Monica Lewinsky, at least Mon's still alive (and she got her blue Gap dress back!).

Oh, this site keeps getting better. I just discovered a link on Condit's homepage to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children site. Yeah, so Chandra is 24 years old and not exactly a "child". But, you gotta appreciate the sheer irony of this link existing on his site (quite prominently, I might add).


Oldies: July 10, 2001...

Congratulations Katie! A couple of weeks ago, Katie sent in her resume for a job opening (one of several) as an assistant speech pathologist with a school district in DuPage County. Sorry, I don't know which school district. However, this woman really wants to interview Katie so much so that she is willing to meet at her own house on her own time. I'd call that a good sign. Sound that way to you? Good luck, hon.

And in entertainment news, it appears the Backstreet Boys have become Backalley Men. Yep, our little teeny boppers are growing up. A.J. McLean (don't ask me which one he is as I have no friggin' clue) is now in rehab for alcohol abuse and depression. The rest of the band has had to cancel out several of their tour dates as a result. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ragging on the poor boy. I gotta admit that I'm impressed he had the cojones to admit he has a problem and seek help for it. Plus he had a pretty legitimate reason - the recent death of his grandmother hit him pretty hard and he now suffers from anxiety attacks. I can understand that one. Death is pretty difficult to deal with. Let's just hope he makes the most of his time in rehab so he doesn't relapse like many other celebrities (*cough*Robert Downey Jr*cough*Darryl Strawberry*cough* - oops, did I let that slip out?).


Oldies: July 9, 2001...

Somebody call the wahhh-mbulance. Apparently, on the set of the new movie The Score - starring Robert DeNiro, Marlon Brando and Edward Norton - there was a lot of behind-the-scenes tension. Seems that for whatever reason, Brando doesn't like the director Frank Oz. People magazine is supposed to have a more detailed explanation of the reasons why, but suffice it to say that whenever Oz was on the set, Brando refused to do anything. Really professional and mature of him. DeNiro had to direct the scenes with Brando while Oz would be in an offset booth feeding directions to his Assistant Director who, in turn, relayed them to DeNiro. C'mon Brando, grow the hell up. So much for the theory of the "Elder Statesman."


Oldies: July 7, 2001...

Today marks the official double-digit countdown. Yes, only 99 more days left until Katie and I are married. Woo hoo! Katie's getting nervous. I'm not yet. Maybe I'm just weird. Or maybe my body's just waiting until I'm up at the alter to force me into some kinda vegetative state. We shall see.


Oldies: July 6, 2001...

Yeah, we had fun today. On Wednesday, Katie and I were offered tickets to go see Dave Matthews Band at Soldier Field tonight. We weren't going to go because concert tickets generally cost an arm and a leg anymore (unless you go see Pearl Jam who like to keep their ticket prices down - God bless you guys), but then Katie's mom offered to just give them to us. Score! But of course we went. How do you say no to "free"? I can't. Neither could Katie. So, despite having to contend with Taste of Chicago traffic, Katie drove in to the city and I took the train to meet her at Soldier Field. Our seats were way at the other end of the stadium, but Dave had four huge digital screens on stage so we could see what was going on. But our view really wasn't that bad anyhow. The cool thing about our seats was that the angle allowed us to see the stage and the skyline of Chicago right above it with a sunset just off to the left. Tres cool. Only wish I smuggled a camera inside to snap a shot or two of the view. Dave played a lot of stuff off the new album which Katie and I still aren't too familiar with. Unfortunately, he played hardly anything off his debut album "Under the Table and Dreaming" which is still his best one (in my mind, at least). So, despite the traffic and the lack of old material, the concert was still a blast and I wouldn't mind seeing him again in the near future. But, not before I check out another Pearl Jam show.


Oldies: July 4, 2001...

Happy Fourth to you all. Only bad thing about today is that Katie and I didn't a big fireworks show. We went to MaryEllen's house to spend the day at a cookout which was fun, however due to work and screwed-up fireworks display schedules, we didn't see anything except the little ones going off around us in the car on the way back to Katie's house. That kinda sucked because Katie and I love to watch fireworks. I think the fireworks are what make the holiday. Oh, and when I say "screwed-up fireworks display schedules" I am referring to the city of McHenry which always has their fireworks the Saturday before the fourth. This year, that puts the display back in June (the 30th to be precise). Seems kinda ridiculous to me. Make an exception to the rule once in a while, will ya?


Oldies: July 2, 2001...

Well, here's a load of crap for you. My e-mail service, Net@ddress has decided to become a pay service due to the declining internet market. Fun joy. I had to go in and change my e-mail address to a hotmail account and convert all my addresses over to the new service and all kinds of other fun crap. This sucks. Katie had to do the same thing. Well, if you are one of those people who actually reads the archives of rants on my site, don't use any of the old e-mail links for they will direct you to my old account which will be inactive after July 31st. I'll try to change as many links as I can, but I'm not making any promises. I think what pisses me off the most about this is that I just had a box of business cards printed up for freelancing purposes with a netaddress e-mail addy on them. Bastards.