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4 posts from September 2003

Oldies: Sunday, September 21 - Saturday, September 27, 2003...

Saturday, 27 September 2003: Well the office is finally done. We have been working to rearrange things a bit. We sold the old computer table and got Katie's old desk that she had inherited from, I believe, her grandma. It looks much nicer and we now have drawer space. Also, we framed and hung some pencil drawings of various players from the 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates as well as a team photo that I was given by my parents. This further solidifies the room as the "sports memorabilia" room. They look really nice despite the frames costing only about $5 each (with a coupon on top of that). We've been wanting to frame these prints for a while and we finally found inexpensive frames that don't look too cheap.

Now if I would just make the time to put a couple of storage containers in our attic, things would be perfect in there.

Friday, 26 September 2003: Does God hate me? If not (as I'm sure any churchgoer reading this site right now is saying), then why does He spite me by making me repeatedly bite the same spot on my lip? Why, after accidentally biting your lip or your tongue or whatever, do we as humans seem predestined to continually bite that same spot over and over again when there are plenty of other bite-worthy spots in our mouths? Why God? Why? My mouth just won't heal. I think this spot has now been bitten about six times in two days.

Wednesday, 24 September 2003: I love when this happens. My coworker Eric and I decided to use our lunch break to drive up to Best Lie (er... Best Buy) and see what we could see. Well, lately, I've been having a craving to listen to some White Zombie and Rob Zombie music because I thought it would make the ideal workout music. However, all the songs I like by him are spread out over three or four studio albums and two soundtracks. I didn't want to spend that kind of money. So I mentioned to Eric on the drive up that I would love it if they came out with a Rob/White Zombie greatest hits album. As we walked toward the CD department, lo and behold, on the new releases rack is Rob Zombie's "Past, Present & Future" -- his greatest hits. How fortuitous (yes, I can say big words). I swear I had no idea this CD was coming out. And this is not the first time this has happened to me. I did this with the Scorpions a couple of years ago before they released their latest greatest hits that included their "Crazy World" tracks. And I did it with one other band, but I can't remember who it was. So damn funny how that works out.

If you like Zombie music, check it out. This set comes with a DVD of all his videos as well. The insert book is the best part, though, with a year-by-year photo montage of the progression of Rob's look... or "digression" as it were. There are points in the timeline where he looks like Slash from Guns n' Roses, Al Jourgenson from Ministry, and even Charles Manson as he currently looks in prison. Creepy stuff.

The only thing that would have made this disc better would be if it had "Scum of the Earth" from the Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack. Oh, well. You can't always get everything you want, eh?

Monday, 22 September 2003: Today marks the official start of the fall television season and I've gotta admit that I'm not particularly looking forward to it. At least not like I have in the past. There's a ton I want to watch, but I'm going to have to tape most of them because of my night job and the fact that Katie is not around during the primetime shows on Monday through Thursday due to either work or class. Talk about playing catch up on the weekends. I'll bet you see us dumping a bunch of the shows we normally watch simply because we can't find the time. Wouldn't surprise me and it would help save our sanity somewhat. That much is for sure.

Well, here goes...

Monday, 22 September 2003: Today marks the official start of the fall television season and I've gotta admit that I'm not particularly looking forward to it. At least not like I have in the past. There's a ton I want to watch, but I'm going to have to tape most of them because of my night job and the fact that Katie is not around during the primetime shows on Monday through Thursday due to either work or class. Talk about playing catch up on the weekends. I'll bet you see us dumping a bunch of the shows we normally watch simply because we can't find the time. Wouldn't surprise me and it would help save our sanity somewhat. That much is for sure.

Well, here goes...

Sunday, 21 September 2003: I've decided that since I've been reading some pretty intense books lately (Wounded and Witch Ember primariy), I'm going to take a break and read something a bit lighter. So I'm going with a kid's book (well, actually, this is more of a young adult's book since it's actually a novel and not a picture-enhanced book). Specifically, Holes by Louis Sachar which was the basis for a movie earlier in the summer by Disney. What the heck, right? Gotta throw in some interesting stuff every once in a while. And, who knows, maybe I'll actually get around to writing a review of Jerry Seinfeld's Halloween book. It's that time of season and it was actually a decent children's book. Could add a bit of spice to the site, don't you think? I should also review Where the Wild Things Are since I did read it recently. Oh, the possibilities.


Oldies: Sunday, September 14 - Saturday, September 20, 2003...

Friday, 19 September 2003: I find it kinda funny how tastes can change when it comes to movies. I don't mean that you start to like a particular genre of movies or even a specific title over time. I'm referring to how you can hear about a movie coming and be totally stoked about its pending release and then, as the date approaches (or passes), that desire wanes.

Such has been the case with me lately. I was very stoked about two films that were released recently. One was Once Upon A Time in Mexico with Antonio Banderas. I loved El Mariachi and Desperado very much. Both were incredible flicks. And I was stoked as I read online about the production process on this, the third film in the series. However, now that it has opened, I just really haven't had the desire to see it. Weird, huh? The other film is Underworld which stars uber-babe Kate Beckinsale in black leather. Plus, it has vampires fighting werewolves to boot. How can you go wrong? Yet, I just don't have the will to go out and pay to see this anymore.

Oddly, the films I want to see are ones that I'd never heard of until a few weeks before they were scheduled to come out. The first movie I would really like to see is Lost in Translation with Bill Murray and Scarlet Johanneson about a movie star on the wane (Murray) who goes to Japan to film a commercial and winds up starting up a friendship with a 20-something girl who is in a dead-end marriage (Johanneson). This movie looks incredible. And I've really started digging Murray in these off-kilter dramedies he's been doing lately like The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore and I think this could be in that vein to a degree. The second film I want to see, but not with quite as much fervor, is Anything Else with Christina Ricci and Jason Biggs. Ricci is the reigning queen of the indie flick and has been for about five years since she shunned mainstream Hollywood to tackle movies on her own terms. I like that attitude and her skill as an actress has improved leaps and bounds as a result.

And, sadly, that pretty much sums up all that I want to see in theaters any time soon. Well, okay, some part of me kinda wants to see Freaky Friday. That's another story.

Wednesday, 17 September 2003: So ABC has officially announced that it will not be canceling "8 Simple Rules" after the death of star John Ritter. Instead, they will play the first three episodes of season two which he finished before his untimely passing (this I was hoping for). Then, in November, they will have an hour-long special in which Ritter's character Paul Hennessy dies and the family must deal with it (this I was not hoping for). Apparently, they want to introduce a new male lead who will probably play Paul's brother or something along those lines who comes in to help the family. They've thrown around some names and the two that seem to come up more often than not are Richard Kline who played Larry in Ritter's first sitcom "Three's Company" or Henry "The Fonz" Winkler who was taping a guest spot on "8 Simple Rules" the day that Ritter died.

I really am not sure that this is such a good idea. How many shows last after their main character either leaves or dies? Well, I don't have exact numbers here, but I can't think there would be too many. Yes, I'm sure some people will say that "ER" survived after George Clooney and Anthony Edwards left as did "NYPD Blue" after David Caruso and Jimmy Smits left. However, these shows are more of an ensemble than "8 Simple Rules" is. "Rules" was built around Ritter. He was clearly the star, the focal point, the honcho, you name it. I'll still watch just to see how they handle it, but I'm not holding out too much hope.

Tuesday, 16 September 2003: You wanna talk about a wake-up call? As I was stepping out of my office to go home after work today, something small and brown goes zipping across the sidewalk in front of me right under my boot. I think it was a chipmunk, but it was moving so fast that I can't quite be sure. And I was so close to it that I could literally feel it underneath the toe of my boot. The one thing, aside from the identity of The Furry Flash, that I cannot be sure of is who would have had more damage done had I not stopped myself from stepping down further. Would I have crushed the poor little guy or would his momentum have torn my leg off? I have no idea. I'm glad I didn't find out. Could've been messy either way.

Monday, 15 September 2003: Who didn't see this one coming? After delaying their wedding that was scheduled for yesterday, it has been announced unofficially that the Jennifer Lopez - Ben Affleck relationship is over. Kaput. Thank God.

Apparently, Ben got tired of fighting with her and that's all that they had been doing since their film Gigli bombed here in the States. Reports claim that she is hoping to reconcile while he does not have the same hopes.

Good man, Ben. Run away. Run far away. Get a lap dance. Sleep with a hooker. Get soused and wake up in some stranger's bed. Who cares? Have fun. You have finally reaffirmed yourself to all those around the world who saw what a drastic change you underwent personally after getting together with that hyper-bootied maneater. Maybe you have a clue after all.

However, this, of course, means that they will be on every entertainment magazine's cover for the next several weeks. I can deal with it just because I know that said mags won't be able to hype what a "wonderful" relationship they have.

Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, Ben's free at last.


Oldies: Sunday, September 7 - Saturday, September 13, 2003...

Friday, 12 September 2003: As if the second year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks wasn't already enough reason to hate yesterday, I now discover another one.

As I'm sure almost anyone already knows, beloved actor John Ritter died yesterday of what is being termed an aortic dissection which is an impossible-to-diagnose condition in which his aorta has, literally, a cut or tear in it. Nobody knew about it until it was far too late.

I grew up watching John Ritter on "Three's Company" and I kept watching it throughout my young adulthood and even now in syndication. This past year, Katie and I fell in love with his new show "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter". I loved this new show so much that I gave it four Kapgar.com Primetime Awards including a Best Rookie Actor award to Ritter himself.

You have no idea how bummed out both Katie and I are at this news. Losing Ritter is like losing a close friend even though we've never actually met him. He was just such a big part of our young lives for so long. This is truly the first time I've really been affected by the death of a celebrity.

Well, Heaven is a much funnier place now.

Thursday, 11 September 2003: Need I say anything about what is going through my head right now other than severe anger and hatred towards those Al Q'aida bastards who are laboring under the delusion that everything they do is for the glory of Allah and that they will be rewarded with eternal riches for what they've done?

Nope, didn't think so.

Wednesday, 10 September 2003: Do you remember several months ago how I mentioned that Hallee Hirsh's mom (Hallee played Anthony Edwards' daughter on "E.R.") sent me an e-mail thanking me for awarding her daughter the Best Rookie Kiddie award in my Primetime Kapgar.com Awards for 2002? Well, I just received another e-mail from her saying that she updated her daughter's trivia page on IMDb to include my award.

How cool is that? Kapgar.com now has a mention on the biggest movie reference site on the entire Web... the Internet Movie Database! I am completely stoked. I have a permagrin spanning ear to ear right now. I e-mailed her back saying that she could link directly to that entry if she so desired and provided her the proper URL. I dunno if she'll do that or not, but it would be even cooler that way. More promo for me and my little site. When you combine this with the fact that my Film Critique pages average nearly 15 to 20 hits per day (3 times what this page receives) over the last four months, well, you can understand my excitement. I know that 15-20 hits isn't much in the scheme of things, but when those same pages barely received 2 or 3 hits per day before that, you could say it's a big improvement.

This is really getting cool.

If you'd like to see it yourself, surf on over to Hallee Hirsh's IMDb trivia page.

Tuesday, 9 September 2003: Okay, this is one you gotta see to believe, Mcphee.com is selling what is bound to be the rage among collectors of obscure action figures -- a librarian. Yes, as in frumpy dress, short hair, horn-rimmed glasses, and, the best part, an action feature that allows you to press a button on her back and her arm swings up with a finger extended to shush noisy library patrons. Can it get any better than that? Librarians all over the country are in a tizzy about it saying that it "sets the library profession back 30 years" and that these figures are an insult to librarians everywhere. Why? It's funny. How does it set the profession back? I just don't get that one. Yes it's the stereotyped vision of a librarian much like the little old lady in Ghostbusters. But, what have librarians themselves done to eliminate this stereotype? Very little to be honest. The librarians at my local library look roughly like this figure, too. Hell, if I was a librarian, I'd be proudly displaying this figure on my desk just for kicks.

Monday, 8 September 2003: As we have been expecting, the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) has finally gotten around to filing lawsuits against individual users of file sharing software. The 261 lawsuits in this first round target those users that have swapped "thousands" of files with their computers and continue to do so despite threats from the RIAA. I think the article I read said that those named in these lawsuits face fines of $150,000 per infringement. That means a fine for each music file on their hard drive. That one's gotta hurt.

Thankfully, I don't have to worry about being a target as I have not used a file swapping system for nearly two years if not longer. Ever since AU blocked out the gnutella clients from its system, I haven't been able to download at work and there's no way in hell I'm gonna sit through a download on my 56K modem at home. Not worth it.

I wonder how many people have actually stopped file swapping since these lawsuits have been announced.

Sunday, 7 September 2003: Hey, I'm finally playing catch up with the "in crowd". After weeks of frustration with my current cell phone losing its signal completely and unpredictably for upwards of 20 minutes when Katie's phone has a perfect signal and after suffering through numerous resettings of my phone when the memory wouldn't hold onto details, I have traded it in for a new one.

You see, Katie and I got a three-year service plan on our cell phones when we bought them at Best Buy and it's one of the few times I would recommend buying one of their Disservice Plans. We have had to trade in phones due to technical issues at least three times each. We have used this plan to upgrade from the old Nokia 5165 to the Nokia 3360 and now, I have upgraded to the Motorola T720. Yeah, I have a flip phone with a color screen and all the bells and whistles. Didn't have to pay much for it either since I was allowed to use the original purchase price of my 3360 towards the purchase of this one as well as Best Buy's instant $50 rebate. Paid about $30 for the phone. I can handle that.

Only problem now is that Katie wants one. She's jealous. Her phone is having some of the same problems that mine did. So we may have to cash in on our plan again.

La vita e bella, no?


Oldies: Sunday, August 31 - Saturday, September 6, 2003...

Friday, 5 September 2003: I was watching "Today" this morning and they were discussing the debate that occurred yesterday in New Mexico involving all nine of the democratic hopefuls for the 2004 Presidential Election. And, as the reporter described, none of them really took potshots at each other. Just at the current Prez. One such comment really cracked me up and I'm surprised my laughing didn't wake Katie up. It was John Kerry and he said (excuse me if I misquote here), "the only jobs that President Bush has created are for the nine of us standing up here right now."

'Nuff said.

Thursday, 4 September 2003: I don't know if I said anything yet about it, but my friend's fantasy football league finally drafted this past weekend. I started tooling around with it a little bit on Monday to see what free agents were available and I made one or two swaps. Nothing major.

Until today, that is. Today could officially have been dubbed "Free Agent Feeding Frenzy" as I dumped seven of the 20 players on my roster and just went to town picking up newbies. It kinda had to be done because I found out that my backup quarterback (Chad Pennington of the Jets) was going to miss the first 12 weeks of the season with a broken wrist. That really does me no good. And when you have to replace a pretty major player like that, it really kicks the re-evaluation bug into full gear. So I dumped my backup quarterback, my backup tight end, and one of my backup running backs. Plus I also ditched all four players on my defense. I replaced my QB and all my defensive players, but, instead of nabbing a new RB and TE, I got two new WRs to test out and see how they do over the first several weeks of the season. Hey, they could become trade fodder later down the line for a better RB. Who knows? Heck, they could even wind up replacing my starting WRs. Anything's possible this early in the season.

Wednesday, 3 September 2003: Let me tell you one thing I learned today. Not quite the hard way, but it was learned all the same... work and alcohol do not mix.

This week is what's known on this campus where I work as "Opening Week". There are all kinds of activities going on like meetings and welcome back orientation sessions for faculty/staff/admin and then there's the big student move in and their fun activities. Well, one of the things I attended was a luncheon at the President's house. And, upon arrival, much to our surprise, we found bottles of beer awaiting us. This was surprising because we are a dry campus. Yes, the Prez's house is well off campus, but it surprised us nonetheless. Of course we partook in such liquid libations. Would you expect us to say no? Hell no. Then about a half hour or so later, I had myself a sangria. They weren't at the bar during the first go around. And these were pretty strong sangrias. Combine that with the fact that I really don't drink nearly as much as I used to and that equals a nice buzz. Then, try to talk to your coworkers whilst enduring said buzz... hmm... fun. Thankfully, a shuttle was provided to take us back to campus from her house. Driving would not have been a good thing at that point in time.

Tuesday, 2 September 2003: Lately, Katie and I have been seeing a lot of TV promos for Heath Ledger's new movie The Order. I'm interested in seeing this even though Katie probably wouldn't go near it being a horror flick. But the one thing that we both noted was how diverse Ledger has been in his roles. He was one of those actors that broke big in the late 90s/early 2000s teen movie craze as the loner rebel in 10 Things I Hate About You. He was so popular afterwards that he was receiving script after script after script. But they were all for teen flicks. He said no. He wanted to try something different. He wanted to expand his repertoire and be a bit more daring. In other words, he didn't want to fall into the trappings of teen movie hell. And he didn't.

His next movie was as Mel Gibson's son in The Patriot followed by a pauper with dreams of being a champion jouster in A Knight's Tale. Now he's in The Order about a priest trying to eliminate a demon and next will beNed Kelly with Ledger in the title role as the infamous Australian gunslinger and outlaw (I'm really looking forward to this one). If I missed any movie roles in this list, I apologize to Heath. C'est la vie. Can't be perfect, can I?

I give him credit. He's trying things out on his terms. Not the likeliest of formulas for success in Hollywood these days. But it seems to be working for him.

Sunday, 31 August 2003: Are you looking for a new hobby? Do you need an effective way to eliminate the stress in your life? Do you have an apple tree in your backyard whose apples are starting to rot? Well then, grab yourself a golf club and join in the latest craze... Apple Golfing!

Yes, while up in McHenry today celebrating Katie's dad's birthday, we were asked if we could help clear the backyard of all the rotting apples laying around. So, Katie, her brothers Scott and Steve, Scott's girlfriend Liz, and I grabbed some irons and we went a whackin'.

Admittedly, I'm no golfer. But I can tell you that some of my swings (once I got out of my early divotting phases) would have flown pretty nicely had these apples not been prone to midair disintegration. And yes, it was a heckuva lot of fun despite taking a lot longer than if we had just gone through with a rake. But what fun is a rake? I don't even rake leaves. I mow them into a bag and dump them. Quicker and more effective. Rakes are a thing of the past, my friend. Who needs 'em.