31 posts from July 2006

Shadows run in full flight...

I know I said I wasn't going to post from San Francisco, but I wanted to throw this little bit out there.

Today, we're going to try to go to the San Francisco Giants v. Washington Nationals game. This will be my first game in SBC Park (or whatever the hell it's officially called these days) and only the second time I've seen the Giants play. I haven't been to a Giants game since they played the Cubs back in 1992 in Wrigley Field and I got Will Clark to sign my glove; I still use that glove. And this is my first game this season.

These days, I'm not much of a Giants fan. No Clark, no Matt Williams, and they have Barry Bonds. That last one is more than enough reason to hate them. Sorry, I'm not a Bonds fan.

But I was thinking of taking my copy of Game of Shadows by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams to see if I could convince Bonds to sign it.

I know the likelihood of having him sign it is pretty slim considering it's a book all about his abuse of steroids and his lies to Congressional investigation committees. But if I cushion the request by saying "can you sign it, 'this book is full of shit'?", do you think he'd do it?

Hmm... might be worth trying. Even if he takes the book from me, throws it on the ground, pisses on it, and sets it alight, at least I'd have some good photos for my Flickr account. Supposing I live long enough to post them.

For I have seen the face of love...

In case you're wondering why in the hell I'm online at three-freakin'-o'clock in the morning, it's because we're getting our ungodly selves ready to head out to the ungodly airport for our ungodly flight scheduled at this ungodly hour.

My brain is scrambled, so this post is gonna be a simple one. I just can't take deep thought at this moment.

Actually, I can't even think up a topic, so I'm letting Johnny C. do it for me, as this was a request from him.

People like to receive gifts. It's true. Admit it.

Yes, you may argue that you like giving gifts more. That's all fine and dandy, but that doesn't take away from the fact that you do like receiving them, right?

So what's the most creative gift you've ever received (or given)? Could be a seriously well thought out gift that you didn't realize you wanted and love as a result. Or it could be some gag gift that someone gave you.

One of the coolest gifts that Katie and I ever received was a wedding shower gift from her coworkers at her old job. It is more of a gag gift, admittedly, but the level of thought and creativity that went into it are second to none.

Allow me to set the stage a bit...

Katie worked in a place where her coworkers loved stupid slapstick humor. Bad movies, bad TV, etc. And they would talk about this stuff incessantly. One of her coworkers, Mikey (not the one we know here in the Blogiverse), was the worst. Or "best," depending on how you looked at it.

One day, he went on my old Web site and downloaded one of our engagement photos and had a little Photoshop fun with it. He turned it into a hangtag that he then attached to a bottle of Courvoisier. It was then given to Katie and I at one of her showers.

Check it out...

Courvoisier   Courvoisier tag

If you're not getting the joke, you clearly are not well versed in all things Leon Phelps, A.K.A. "The Ladies Man" played by Tim Meadows. So read up.

We still have this bottle. It's proudly displayed.

Just keep on using me until you use me up...

It's kinda funny how well things work out sometimes.

Today is my dad's birthday and Katie and I are heading in to celebrate it with him and the rest of our family.

Tomorrow, of course, is the day we leave for San Francisco. Very early in the morning. And we would like to avoid paying the exorbitant parking fees charged in the long-term parking lots at O'Hare International Airport.

So what do creative planners such as Katie and I do? We go in and celebrate my dad's 61st birthday, spend the night at their house, and then use my parents for a free ride to the airport.

What loving kids are we? I know, I know. It's more than many of you can bear. There is just such a freeflow of love happening here on kapgar at this moment.


Well, that was going to be the plan, anyway, until my brother offered us seats in his company-expensed stretch limo to the airport. Hmmm... parents in the early morning on the way to the airport or a STRETCH LIMO? You tell me which we're choosing.

Seriously, though, happy birthday, Dad! We love you ("we" being Katie and me, not me and my split personality).

Have you heard the news, makin' all the headlines...

Fletch_1 After years of speculation; a revolving door of stars, writers, and directors; and a series of hate-filled messages from Chevy Chase aimed at formerly attached Director Kevin Smith; it looks as if Irwin M. Fletcher may be returning to the big screen after all.

I, like Sandra, am a huge (nay... GINORMOUS) advocate of the movie Fletch. It's all about a snarky L.A. Times investigative reporter known as "Fletch" played to perfection by Chevy Chase.

It is easily one of the funniest films ever to come out of Hollywood and proves that you don't need gross-out humor to amuse an audience... just damn fine scripting.

And that's what Fletch is all about, the script. Quick-fire dialogue is the key to both the movies and the original novels by Gregory McDonald, which are also damned hilarious.

Hell, Kevin Smith even asserts that the inspiration for his dialogue-driven movies came from McDonald's writing style.

This time around, though, it looks as if Zach Braff (Dr. John "J.D." Dorian of Scrubs) will take the lead role of Fletch in what will become Fletch Won, chronologically the first book in the series (hence the need for a younger star). Scrubs creator, Bill Lawrence, will adapt and direct the movie.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this casting decision. While I like Braff... a lot... I don't see him as Fletch. Yes, he's better than some of the rumored casting "shortlists." But he's not nearly as good as two of the early frontrunners for the role. He's always struck me more as the goofy comic whereas Chase as Fletch was always more of a wry comic throwing out the subtle zingers that you may or may not even catch on to.

Continue reading "Have you heard the news, makin' all the headlines..." »

Where have all the cowboys gone...

Let me tell you, there's nothing like going on a vacation to make you feel better about yourself at work.

An odd thought, I know. But allow me to explain as my theory has twofold support.

1. The lead-up to the start of your actual vacation is a test of your ability to perform your job both effectively and efficiently
Nobody wants to leave work for a vacation with a ton of projects stacked up on their desk. The reason behind this is because you know they are there and will be waiting for your eventual return from whatever pseudo paradise you are visiting. And it will bug you the entire time you are supposed to be "relaxing."

Admittedly, the projects are probably going to pile up in your absence anyway. But what you don't know can't hurt you. You don't know what projects or how many or how in depth they will be. So you may as well not even worry about them. They are non-entities, simply put.

But the projects you already know about and should be working on are the ones that'll bug you. You know what needs to be done and how long it should take you to do them. You also know that you probably should have gotten them done before you left.

However, if you are able to leave work the day before your vacation with a relatively clean desk, this is a good thing. It's a very good thing.

If you can achieve this standard, give yourself a pat on the back and have an extra few drinks at the hotel bar. You deserve it!

2. When people in other departments find out you are going to be gone, they freak out.
I'm not kidding about this. I've told several people I am going to be out of the office next week. Quite a few of them are reacting with "oh! I... I... really need your help on this. Guess I'd better get you the data sooner."

Granted this can backfire in terms of last-second projects that need to be completed before going, it does feel good to realize just how much you are needed and will be missed. It can also bite you in the rear when it comes time to request vacation days, but you deal with those problems as they rear their ugly heads.

But when that coworker infers to you how much you'll be missed, it's the ultimate pat on the back, let me tell you.

Just pray they haven't replaced you with "Bob" from the temp agency when you get back.

Turn it off...

Wanna hear about my challenge for the week that we are in San Francisco? I'm not going to blog during that week. Well, at least I won't be blogging live.

In an attempt to spend as much time away from my computer and spend as much time with Katie (and Brian and Jen) as possible, I'm leaving the laptop at home and not giving you guys posts as I spend time out in the Bay Area. This effort is being made in conjunction with our desire to travel as lightly as possible. And, in all honesty, my G3 PowerBook is a bit of a space hog.

How batty will this drive me? Probably more than even I can imagine. But I'm going to try.

I do apologize in advance for this, but do you really want to read a day-by-day recap of what we were doing? I fear that might get a bit tedious. I will tell you all the good stuff when I get back, though, I promise.

Fear not, though. This does not mean that you won't have stuff to read here at kapgar. I will still hook you all up with your daily fix of all things entirely nonsensical. To this end, I've been trolling the post idea list in my Moleskine and writing several ahead of time. I'm also looking through some of my old draft posts to see if there are any cool or interesting ones. These are my ramblings that, for some reason or another, never actually wound up being posted. I've even thought about asking a couple people if they'd be willing to guest post here for me just to keep things interesting.

All information about what happens on our vacation will go up the week after we get back, complete with photos. And I'm sure I'll be taking a boatload of them. We didn't own a digital camera the last two times we were out there, so I'm probably going to take a ton this go round. And I don't have to worry about scanning.

God I hope I have enough memory cards. Yikes. Time to clear them out.

Lord I'm no thief but a man can go wrong when he's busted...

If I learned anything from my commute home yesterday, it is:

  1. We are nearing the end of the month, and
  2. The Batavia (IL) Police Department is sorely behind on their ticket-dispensing quota

As I was driving up Randall Road, I noticed a cop who had pulled a vehicle over on the side of the road. No big deal. Cop is talking to him through the window; kid in the car is pissed. Yeah yeah, we've seen it all before.

However, a mere 500 feet up the road, tucked back in a side street are two other cops. I've seen this before, as well. But, when they are both together like this, they are typically turned in opposite directions because they're talking to each other. Instead, both of these cops were pointing nose out waiting to suck in some prey.

But to top it all off was yet another traffic bust only a half mile up from that.

So, to tally things up... one stretch of road less than three-quarters of a mile long, four cops, two busts.

Remind me to take the backroads home for the rest of the week, will ya?

You got persuasion, I can't help myself...

On Friday night, Katie and I met up with her brother to have dinner at P.F. Chang's in Schaumburg. One spectacular meal later, I cracked open my fortune cookie and got this.


Oh how true... oh how true. I'm good like that.

I guess perhaps I should give you some backstory.

A couple months ago, my brother Scott, whom some of you may have read commenting on a few of my posts, told me that he is giving his computer to his and Katie's youngest brother who is leaving for college in the fall. He wanted to upgrade himself to a new computer that he could use as a media center. He was considering a Dell, but I could hear in his voice that he wasn't sold on it.

Hmmm... time to work my magic.

This was right around the time that Dave was talking about how he had hooked up his new Mac Mini as a media center, so I suggested this very same idea to Scott. Honestly, it was just a shot in the dark sort of suggestion, but why not?

He wanted some more information, so I got it for him. Well, what I could anyway. For me, computing is just that... computing. I use my computer to do computer-like things. I've never even considered going the whole computer-based media center route. After some research, though, I'm really digging on the idea.

I think I had Scott pretty convinced early on that Mac was the way to go. But he still wanted to go in and check one out at the closest Apple Store in Woodfield Mall to be sure and he wanted Katie and me to go with. After a few weeks of begging on Scott's part, we finally found a day we could go and it was this past Friday.

maclogo We met at the mall a couple hours after we all got off our respective jobs and headed into the light... the glowing white light of the giant Mac logo on the sides of the entrance to the Woodfield Mall Apple Store. I'm sorry, I don't care what anyone says, these are some of the most beautiful stores in the world. I could be a Windows fanatic and still be in awe of how these places are laid out. The stores are works of art. Not to take anything away from the artistry of the machines themselves.

What I find funny is that, despite his protestations that he was only conducting comparison shopping, Scott walked out with a top-of-the-line Mac Mini, a 20" Cinema Display, bluetooth keyboard and mouse, a new printer, and an AppleCare protection plan.

I was like a proud papa. And then, when Scott announced, "if I never see Windows again, I'd be happy," I think a tear formed in the corner of my eye. It was more than any man can handle in a single day.

After beholding the might packaged in such a small unit, even Katie is interested in getting one. Not just yet, though.

Now if only I could use my "powers of persuasion" to convince those behind Powerball to rig their machines in my favor.

I do have one question, though... have any of you ever applied for Apple credit before? Scott did this while I was playing with one of the new Mac Books and taking self portraits in Photo Booth (which you may see me using sometime soon as I was able to e-mail them to myself from the store). They asked him three identity verification questions and you'd expect that they would be about him. Ironically, only one actually was ("what kind of car did you recently obtain financing for?").

The other two were about Katie. "What age group best represents your sister, Katie?" and "what city does your sister, Katie, live closest to?" That freaked us out a little bit. Katie moreso since she was right there as the computer asked Scott these questions.

Is this standard fare when obtaining store credit anywhere? As Scott asked, what would happen if you were estranged from your sister?

You know I had a big hurt...

Back when I posted those images of my two childhood ID cards, Jenny made a comment that made me think that perhaps I needed to clarify a little something.

In response to the distinguishing feature listed as "pencil mark palm, right hand," Jenny said, "Is a pencil mark really a permanent distinguishing feature? Isn't that like saying, 'milk mustache, upper lip'?"

Well, normally I'd agree. But in this case, it did become a distinguishing feature as it was not just some superficial mark on my palm.

Yep, at the time, I had, and actually still have, a chunk of pencil lead in the palm of my right hand. And it's been lodged in there since first grade.

Desk You remember those desks that we had back in grade school that had the underbelly portion in which you could put books, paper, and other supplies? No, not the desk with the lid that you lift. This was something else. Yeah, like this one...

Well, one day, after sharpening all my pencils (don't ask me why I actually took some initiative in grade school of all places), I returned to my desk. I began stuffing items in my desk. When I grabbed one of my pencils, I actually grabbed it with the point toward my palm. The eraser jammed against the edge of my desk and drove the lead right in it. And it broke off.

I don't remember if I was crying or not. Being that I was in first grade, it's highly likely.

I labored through delusions that I was going to die as everyone I knew told me that lead poisoning kills you. It wasn't until nearly a year later, after it was clear that I wasn't dying, that I discovered modern pencils were made of graphite, not lead.

As a result, I never bothered to have it removed. And it's become a bit of a grade school war story. Along with the bandsaw scar on my right thumb and the chisel scar in the webbing between my left thumb and forefinger, amongst oh so many other stupid injuries.

In high school and college, I harbored dreams of being involved in one of those Lethal Weapon-esque situations where I would strip down with a woman comparing scars back and forth.

Alas, 'twas only a dream. Renee Russo is a teasing bitch.

Woah-oh-oh, Janie's cryin'...

And for good damned reason.

I know this is a bit old (like a month old), but it's been quite some time since I've sought out any Van Halen news. I harbor no hope of them ever getting back together again and doing anything that a normal band would do like record an album, go on tour, make public appearances, sate the fans.

I've given up hope on them entirely.

But, for whatever reason, I found myself looking for news about Van Halen recently, and this is what I get...


Eddie and Alex Van Halen made a surprise appearance during Kenny Chesney's June 17 performance at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

During the show, the two brothers backed Chesney on the Van Halen original "Jump" and The Kinks' "You Really Got Me," a cover version of which appears on VH's 1978 self-titled debut.

It's the first time the Van Halen brothers have been seen on stage together since Van Halen's 2004 tour ended.

I'm at a loss... I... wow... um, yeah... I'm gonna go join Janie now.

I'll be brave for you...


Main Entry: 1brave
Pronunciation: 'brAv
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): brav·er; brav·est
Etymology: Middle French, from Old Italian & Old Spanish bravo courageous, wild, probably from Latin barbarus barbarous
1 : having or showing courage   <a brave soldier>

Everyone would like to think of themselves as brave, courageous, daring, etc. We want to think we would be able to rush into a raging fire and save whomever may be stuck inside; that we would be able to face down the mugger that just took our iPod from us on the big, bad city streets; or any number of other situations that we could potentially be faced with during the course of our lifetimes.

However, it is also far too easy to transcend bravery and set foot into stupidity.

But what if this delineation didn't exist? What if you could be brash and flaunt your bravado without consequence? Would you? What would you do?

If I Were A Brave Man... I would skydive solo on my first attempt. Hell, I'll top myself... I would BASE jump off the Sears Tower.

If I Were A Brave Man... I would challenge Ann Coulter to a televised debate.

If I Were A Brave Man... I would become a full-time firefighter. I'll top myself again... I would be a smokejumper.

If I Were A Brave Man... I would volunteer to let the guys on Miami Ink do whatever they want (solely in terms of tattoos).

If I Were A Brave Man... I would skindive with Great White Sharks.

If I Were A Brave Man... I would wrestle alligators.

If I Were A Brave Man... I would barrel roll in an F-22 Raptor.

If I Were A Brave Man... I would swim unprotected in the Amazon River or the Florida Everglades.

If I Were A Brave Man... I would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

If I Were A Brave Man... God, I could go on forever.

Not all of these are out of the realm of imagination. Most have been done at some point in time or are even done on a semiregular basis. But for an ordinary schmo like me, they're pretty far fetched.

So do it. Push your imagination to the limit. What would you do? Go nuts.

Tell me more, tell me more...

Before I go into my post today, I wanted to take a second to hype up what I feel to be a very important post by one of my brothers in blogger arms, Mikey Miller of Who Do I Have to F&$k to Get Laid. He recently interviewed Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of Ryan White, the young boy who contracted HIV via a blood transfusion treatment he received for hemophilia back in the early 1980s. Ryan died in 1990, but his mother is still very much involved in HIV/AIDS advocacy.

Mikey's interview is posted on his site in its entirety.

Please take a moment to go check it out. It's an incredible interview.

Speaking of interviews, what follows is part of an ongoing interview series begun by Kelly and thrown my way by Belinda as part of the BlogHer 2006 Conference. I may be doing it wrong as it seems as though they each interviewed someone else, but I wasn't sure who I'd want to interview or who, in their right mind, would want to interview me. So I'm answering the standard questions myself. If it makes you feel better, pretend that Belinda is interviewing me and the answers are posted on my site instead of hers. Here goes...

1. When did you start blogging and why? Or talk about your blog. What can I learn about you in under five minutes?
Blogme Using blogware (in my case, Typepad), I've been blogging since June of last year. However, using whatever means were at my disposal (read: "static HTML"), I've been posting online blog-like entries since early 1998. Yep, more than eight years. That's a long time.

Five minutes may be more time than you really want to spend with me. Trust me on that one. Well, if you decide to stick around the full five minutes, you'll learn that I am a movie, TV, and book nut; I have several regular readers whose friendship I cherish greatly; and I love my wife almost too much for it to be truly healthy. I'd like to think that's what you'd walk away with.

2. How do you use blogging to build friendships?
I read my favorite blogs and learn about people and comment on their sites and hope that they reply if it necessitates one. I also use my favorite blogs to find other new people and wind up on their sites and learn about them. It's the ultimate social network.

3. Who do you read every day, rain or shine?
I'm hoping rain never becomes a factor in my reading. My bloglines subscription is about 87 strong, but this also includes a few news sites and Flickr feeds so I know who has added new photos. I have many that I read on a regular basis including Dave, Karl, SJ (both sites), Johnny, Neil, Dustin, Sandra, Sizzle, Jax, Jacynth, Kim, Mikey, Pauly, Alissa, Carly, Chanakin, DGM, Dagny, RW, Hyperion, Brandon, Eve, Gary, Bec, Sheryl, Elaine, Jill 1, Jill 2, Tracy, Kelly, Ryan, Belinda, Nicole 1, Nicole 2, Nat, Jackie, BA, Sass, Jenny, Hilly, Claire, MM, Rabbit, Dariush, Bre, Lynne, ChickyBabe, Suze, Anomie-Atlanta, and Shane. Then there are also Jack and Xtine, if they'll return from their self-imposed hiatuses. And, I suppose Chase as well (heh heh). You'll notice I'm being much more thorough this time around than the last time this sort of question came up.

That's a lotta damn links. God I hope I remembered everyone. If not, please don't be offended.

While I may not necessarily be on their sites every day, I do read every post as often as they post 'em. There are a few others that I've only recently discovered via some blog affiliations and I'm currently getting to know them as well.

4. Why did you choose to share that piece of yourself in a photograph?
My head? Seemed like a no brainer. Wait, that doesn't sound right.

Continue reading "Tell me more, tell me more..." »

Is this love that I'm feelin'...

To review, or not to review. . .
Hey, wish me some luck. I'm submitting revised versions of my blog-based reviews of The Omen and Superman Returns to a local newspaper for consideration as a contributing movie reviewer.

And if I get the role... step one of my plan for total Kapgarization of the mass media will be complete! Muahahahahaha!!

Yeah, okay.

Blog Crushin'. . .
I cannot attest to whether or not this will still be up on his site as this post goes live, but, as of yesterday (Tuesday, June 18, 2006), I was Neil's Blog Crush of the Day!


It was only a fluke that I happened to find it, too. I missed it when I was reading and commenting on his daily post. I only saw it when I was looking at blogs that were linking to mine via Technorati.

If he sticks to the "daily" aspect of this feature, I will likely be passed over today in favor of a younger and newer me. But I have captured it for the sake of warming my heart for years to come!

I'm stoked!

You like me! You really like me! Or, at least, you did yesterday!

I'm the Blog Crush of the Day of the Citizen of the Month. How cool is that?

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for. . .
If any of you are interested, you can read in the extended post about a debate I had with Dustin regarding the merits of ninja over pirates. I was in support of ninja and he supports pirates. I'm sure I'll be flamed for this by a few of you (Dave). But, hopefully, one or two of you prefer ninja... because they rock!

Continue reading "Is this love that I'm feelin'..." »

I will make you hurt...

Ouch... quit it! Ouch... quit it!

It hurts to type right now because I strained the hell out of my middle finger yesterday trying to save us from being aced against in volleyball. It was a fast serve, on a game that didn't count (we had already lost our two for the night), and it only hit my finger bending it back to the point where it snapped. No break; just a snap. But it still hurts like a mutha. And, of course, my job revolves around typing. Go fig, eh?

It just had to be my favorite finger on my dominant hand, didn't it?

Speaking of hurt, why do the Gods of Credit hate us so? Last month, Katie and I paid off all the outstanding projects that had been languishing on our Home Depot credit card. Gone. Done. Fini!

We were feeling good because the plan was to recarpet our bedroom after we return from San Francisco next month.

Now, however, we discover that we need to buy a new water heater. Grrr...

Reassure me that we're not the only ones this happens to. Tell me that someone else out there, when you either pay off a credit card or save up money for some big purchase, something happens to destroy that plan entirely. I hate to make you recall some bad memories of "wants that may have been," but I need some reassurance here.

We're sending messages, messages, messages...

When you sit at work day in and day out, your expectations for what constitute "entertainment" and "distraction" start to wane a little bit. You pray that a new piece of news will come up on Yahoo's homepage that can divert your attention from the daily humdrum.

Admit it. I'm right.

Well, one of the activities I've taken a liking to lately, since joining Gmail at least, is to check out what people in my contact list have to say in the Google Talk status boxes.

For those not in the know, Google's e-mail service (known as Gmail) has a built in IM service they call Google Talk. When you're logged in to your Gmail account, one of the sidebars shows your list of most common contacts and their availability status for chatting purposes. One of the coolest aspects of it is, instead of just something saying you are there, you can actually customize the message quite easily. And some of the people on my list have some pretty damn cool messages.

They're cool to me anyway.

And, a lot of times, we'll use these messages to start up conversations when I'm on my lunch break.

For example, this is one of my most current status messages...


And it started up a pretty cool conversation with both Alissa and Johnny about the album. Alissa convinced me to buy it, which I will; while Johnny was attempting to sway me to the dark side by stealing it off a bit torrent. Bad Johnny! I would never do something of questionable legality!

Speaking of Alissa and Johnny, here are a couple of their more recent status messages...

Gtalkalissa Gtalkjohnny

I really can't wait to hear more about Alissa's new voiceover gig. That'll be cool. We're going to need a phone number or an audioblog with the message in there. As for Johnny, his never really changes. But I still like it for its simplicity.

Another deuce of cool messages come from Sandra and Karl...

Gtalksandra Gtalkkarl

Sandra, I hope it's not unrequited. Contact him. Karl, you're a lucky bastard. But I'll be there soon, as well.

Jacquie usually has pretty cool status messages up as well. However, she wasn't online when I was writing this so I missed out on posting some of her "witticisms."

I can't really explain why I like these messages so much. Maybe it's just how quick and to the point they are. Maybe it's because it humanizes my address book a bit. Whatever the case may be, I look forward to them on a daily basis and they do help get me through the day.

Keep 'em coming!

Growing up, growing up, looking for a place to live...

One of the curses of living in your own place is the constant push for you to take all the crap that you own, whether you realize it or not, out of your parents' house and put it in your new place.

Once in a while, you get the phone calls that sound something along the lines of...

"we're doing a 'spring cleaning' this weekend and we were wondering if you wanted to come over and pick up your stuff" or

"guess what we found the other day?"

Sometimes, your parents attempt to veil their intent a bit but you still see right through it.

"I wonder how easy it would be for us to downsize?" or

"We have been thinking about moving... who needs all this space?"

On occasion, they'll visit you and just happen to leave some of your stuff behind when they leave.

Other times, they become truly sneaky. Like Washington policymaker sneaky. You know those politicians who so desperately want to see their bill passed that they attach it to a more popular bill that has no chance of failure thus ensuring the passage of their own bill? Parents do this, too. They tell you that they have something for you that they bought the other day at the store. They have it ready for you in a bag and you take the bag home and take out the goodies only to discover that the bag's bottom is lined with your old stuff. It's a slow process, but highly effective. Tricky little bastages!

Last week, my parents gave us some of my old things that they had found. Included in this amalgam of... I'll be nice... "crap" was a bunch of my old paperwork from my speech therapy sessions in grade school (I had an r/w pronunciation problem, what of it?), my merit badge and rank cards from Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and these two little gems I thought I'd share...

Pepsiid85 Pepsiid86

Thus proving there actually was a time when I, both, was cute and had hair.

I do find it funny how I had absolutely no distinguishing marks in '85 and suddenly had a card chock full of them in '86. I was also two inches taller and 13 pounds lighter in a matter of 11 months. And how... how the hell do you get "blonde hair" from that second picture? Were they blind?

What'll you do for money honey...

Got this from Nicole and also saw it at Karl's and Dave's as well as others I may be forgetting. It's called Meme-ology.


  • What is your salad dressing of choice?
    It really depends on the salad and my mood. Sometimes it's bleu cheese, sometimes ranch, sometimes French, other times a nice vinaigrette or Italian, then there's always Caesar.
  • What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
    I think Subway and Chipotle constitute "fast food," so I'll choose them.
  • What is your favorite sit down restaurant?
    Eduardo's Mexican restaurant in DeKalb, IL.
  • On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
    15-25%. Unless you really piss me off; then all bets are off.
  • What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
  • Name three foods you detest above all others.
    Mushrooms, olives, pickles.
  • What is your favorite dish to order in a Chinese restaurant?
    Kung Pao chicken.
  • What are your pizza toppings of choice?
    Sausage and pepperoni if I'm in a carnivorous mood; spinach otherwise.
  • What do you like to put on your toast?
    Peanut butter.
  • What is your favorite type of gum?
    Cinnamon. I have no real preference for actual brand.

Continue reading "What'll you do for money honey..." »

It don't discourage me from trying...

If there's any one thing that I dread about our trip to San Francisco at the end of the month, it's all the walking that we are planning to do. No, I don't personally have a problem with walking. I do it every day. The problem I have is with the fact that I am sorely out of shape.

Okay, admittedly, Katie and I have been back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon for just about a month now. And we've been doing fairly well. I have no idea what number of pounds we've lost and I don't care. Our goal is to make our current clothes fit better and our smaller clothes fit again.

Well, one half of that is coming true. We both are fitting in our current clothes much better. I'm wearing a pair of shorts that I wore last summer that used to be a bit snug and now are quite baggy. That's a good thing. Same goes with Katie. Her clothes look much better on her.

We haven't really tried any of our old clothes on just yet. Baby steps, people!

To further our drive to get back in shape, we also started working out again at the gym. Since the hill climbing is what will kick our ass more than anything else out in SF, we've been doing a lot of cardio. Heck, for the first time in more than a year, I was actually jogging on Monday and Tuesday. Katie jogged on Monday and used an elliptical machine on Tuesday. While she went for a walk with a friend yesterday morning, I went for a bike ride later that night while she was at work. Last night, we went for one of our long neighborhood walks.

As much as I hate exercise, it really has felt good to be back in the swing of it all again. It's only been a week and I am feeling better. I'm breathing easier. I have more energy. I'm sleeping more soundly and apparently my occasional bout of snoring has waned.

Okay, okay, enough of this Public Service Announcement.

Suffice it to say that I'm stoked about our trip. We now have a hotel booked. Our airfare is done and paid for. We only need a car now. And a plan.

Oh screw the plan.

Vacations are much more fun when you're a bit more spontaneous. I want to live a little out there.

If I can help it, the only planned event (other than the flight) will be a Giants game against the Nationals either on Monday or Tuesday. The only reason that will be planned is because the MLB refuses to schedule their games around ME! Selfish bastards.

I need to calm down. Where are my running shoes?

Latest Fun With Dead Trees review   - Stick Out Your Tongue by Ma Jian

More than meets the eye...

Note: TypePad had a pretty significant downtime yesterday during which almost all functionality, save for actual post display, was down. No commenting, no trackbacking, no stat taking. If any of you tried to leave a comment yesterday and were unable, I apologize. But that functionality has returned and you can still go back and comment, bitch, gripe, etc., should you still remember what you wanted to say in the first place.

Okay, moving on...

Both of these notes should take you back a bit.

Yabba dabba doo...
I get occasional e-mail updates from McFarlane Toys' news. Once in a great while, there is an interesting tidbit, but not all that often.

Yesterday's update had a big gem. Well, more like a gemstone. Or, more specifically, a Flintstone. And friends.

Yep, McFarlane, creator of some of the most well-sculpted action figures ever, has obtained the license to develop figures  based on Hanna Barbera characters. The first wave of figures includes two different Fred Flintstones (one on a chopper and one in a hot rod), two different Tom & Jerrys ("Rock 'n' Roll" and "No trespassing!"), Hong Kong Phooey, and Quick Draw McGraw.

Cartoon characters are notoriously difficult to capture in a three-dimensional sculpt simply because they are always only two dimensional. We've never seen them in full 3-D glory before. The resulting sculpts are typically very lackluster. I need simply defer to a majority of The Simpsons figures that came out a few years back to make my point.

These, however, look spectacular. McFarlane and company really did a great job of capturing the feel of these classic characters and bringing them to life in plastic.

Check out a couple of them...


The Autobots wage the battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons...
Is anyone else out there as thoroughly terrified of this as I am? And, yes, I am still scared despite learning that Dane Cook will have a cameo in the film (he's an avowed Transformers nut).


If you do visit the site, make sure you click on the "Watch the Exclusive Announcement Now" link. That little bit is actually kinda cool. As for how the movie will turn out... well, it's being directed by Michael Bay. Take that however you choose.

Wow, I've managed to both instill fond memories of years past and rape those very same years in one post. I'm so proud.

I say, who the f@$% are you...

I hate when this happens.

I was walking from my truck to the front entrance to our gym yesterday when I saw a father and his two daughters walking out. I don't know for certain, but I'd guess the girls were about eight and four.

The elder daughter was stone mute as the younger one rattled off comment after comment to her dad. She was a veritable machine gun firing off constant details about all the people she knew that she had run into that day. All the while her father kept cooing his approval by saying things like "wow," "that's nice," and "cool."

As we were about to cross paths, the little girl looks up, points at me, and says, "and that's our neighbor!"

I pray my saucer-sized eyes didn't betray my lack of recognition as the father said "yes it is" to her and "how are ya?" to me.

Me (externally): "Hey! How ya doin'?"

Me (internally): "Oh shit. Who the fuck are you?"

My mystery neighbor's ID remains unresolved.

Katie and I really need to start meeting our neighbors.

The more you do it, the less you fall down...

Since Apple started selling videos that you can download to your iPod, the majority of the marketing has been toward the primetime TV shows that they have available. However, there are many other nuggets of boob tubey goodness out there that you can put on your Pod.

I, for example, discovered that Comedy Central has a series of stand-up routines that you can download and watch.

Danecook_1 So far, I have only downloaded one -- Dane Cook -- and I love it. This download is my first experience with Dane and he is abso-friggin-lutely hilarious. I've actually watched it twice so far, that's how funny it is. Katie and our friends MadIrishMan and his wife really dug it, too, as we drove up to Lake Geneva this past weekend.

Have you ever listened to an audio recording of a comedian at some point in your life? Well I have. Tons of them. Bill Cosby, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Sam Kinison, Denis Leary, Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, you name the comedian, I've probably listened at some point in time or another.

Having these routines on your iPod is pretty much the same. You can just plug in and listen. For the most part, you don't really need to see what's going on to be able to understand and laugh.

However, what makes these iPod versions even better, obviously, is that you can check out the occasional bit of visual humor. This ability, of course, is glaringly absent from the old days of cassette and CD stand-up comedy recordings.

If you have an iPod and the willingness to fork over $1.99, I highly recommend it.

A few words of caution... don't Dane and drive; the combination may be deadly.

I hope to never find out, personally.

Okay, so now that I've become one with Dane Cook, are there other bits by him I should look into finding? Something I can put on my iPod? What about other comedians that are readily available on iTunes? I need suggestions as I feel the need to laugh out loud.

Latest Fun With Dead Trees review - How To Talk To A Liberal (If You Must) by Ann Coulter

When will you admit it...

From Urban Dictionary...

guilty pleasure (n.)

1. to describe a certain substance or activity a person enjoys, and often practices, while said person morally believed or is informed that the substance or activity is abnormal, improper or incorrect.

2. Something that you shouldn't like, but like anyway.

Time to fess up.

I wanna hear about some of your guilty pleasures from the entertainment realm.

We all have our favorite music that we are ready and willing to admit to, be it to friends in person or on our blogs. But what about those things that you would be embarrassed to have people uncover? These are the songs that, if someone were to catch you listening to it, you would lie and say, "I don't know how that got there" or "that's not mine."

This comes up because I've been reading a lot about guilty pleasures recently. It was even a segment of a music meme that was making the rounds. Empress Eve the metal queen admits to liking some Black Eyed Peas and Britney Spears. Dave the Depeche Mode addict slyly admits to an enjoyment of Flock of Seagulls (sorry, Dave, I don't consider the other two to be particularly damning). Gregory Ng of Apple Matters posted a really good shortlist of guilty pleasure songs from his iPod last year.

Christinaaguilera And reading both of these happened at about the same time as I was being thoroughly re-exposed to one of my guilty pleasures... Christina Aguilera. Yeah, what of it?

The other day, Katie and I awoke to her alarm (set to radio) and her new song "Ain't No Other Man" was playing loud and proud and we were both shaking our asses in bed in perfect time to the song. All this despite having just woken up. I was proud.

Another guilty pleasure of mine would be Kelly Clarkson. I can't get enough of that girl. I sing out loud when her stuff comes on. It's pretty bad.

I also have plenty of Wham! and George Michael on my iPod. Plenty, trust me.

But my A-number-one guilty pleasure, something I have loved for longer than I care to remember or should ever admit to is an 80s band out of Europe. One that had a couple of hits that were pretty big and most people will recognize. One that you almost never hear people admitting to liking. Yes, I still own my original copy of Falco 3 by Falco complete with "Rock Me Amadeus" and "Vienna Calling." The few people that I have told this little snippet to nearly have to catch their jaws before they hit dirt. But I like it, dammit. And I'm now admitting it to the entire blogosphere.

So let's get it all out there. Who are your guilty pleasures? What makes you "shake your groove thang"? Hell, if you want to, go ahead and admit to some of your guilty pleasure movies, books, etc. Whatever your fancy, get it out there. You'll feel better having admitted to it. Trust me.

My love for you is ticking clock, berserker...

Some little tidbits to carry you through the remainder of the weekend and into next week...

Best. Search Results. EVER.
You remember my post a little while ago about some of the weird web searches that found my site? I posted it because those were some of the best of a weak crop of searches. If you want some really funny and cool ones, you have to check out Karl's or Hilly's sites.

But I finally have a good one all my own. One I can be proud of. One I'd be willing to put on a T-shirt (worn underneath another shirt most likely). One that defines what my site is all about...

"housewives that love black cock"

Yes, you read that one right. Somehow or another, that search found my site. Is Randal on the Web? Woo hoo!!

Know your corporate identity
This Excel-based corporate logo identity quiz was sent my way at work. Off the bat, I was able to get about 40 out of 50 of them. How well will you do? Just save the linked file to your computer and fire it up. It's pretty cool and, if you're anything like me, you'll be addicted until you finally solve the damn thing.

Beware, though, you may have to get creative with some of them to make them work. Spelling has to be spot-on and some need both brand and item. However, it doesn't look as though it's case sensitive. Oh, and feel free to discuss the answers in the comments to see if you can solve the whole enchilada.

And let me know how you did as well. I did finally finish the thing. But some are really obscure. Hence why working on it with blogbuddies might just be the best method available.

News personalities have personality
One of the things I love about Chicago is the news. I try watching the news in other cities when I visit, but it's just not the same as when I'm back home in Chicago. There's just something about our news that I love.

Couldn't possibly be the fact that only in Chicago will you find the NBC 5 news featuring newscasters with such family friendly names as Dick Johnson (a bit repetitive, don't you think?) and Pete Sack (need I say anything at all?).

God I love this town.

It doesn't matter who's wrong or right...

I don't know why I'm clustering two into one, but both are memes I like and I want to answer before they become too passe (sp?).

The first is a fun meme I got tagged with by Dustin. With a title like this, how can you not want to participate? The second comes from Chase and, while I wasn't tagged with it, I really liked it. So I stole it... it's mine. Just try and prove otherwise.

Top Five Nouns I Want to Fight: A Meme of Violent Proportions

Here are the instructions, as per Dustin: "We all have those nouns that annoy us to no end and would love to rough up a bit, so here is your chance. Fighting doesn’t mean killing (that’s a separate meme currently circulating Riker’s Island) or even drawing blood. Whether it’s cuss out, bitch slap, or body slam, it really all depends on your own pent up rage.

So here are my five nouns...

Randall Road 
Ran-hell Road is the main thoroughfare that runs north and south near our home and is used to take both Katie and I to our respective places of employment as well as being the most available route for traveling to see Katie's parents. A mere 10 years ago, the greatest level of commerce this road had seen was a Chevrolet dealership. Not anymore. There is more shopping now than you can shake a stick at. We literally never have to leave Randall Road to find absolutely anything we could possibly need (pending availability, I suppose).

Of course, with the convenience of this shopping comes the traffic, the road expansion projects, the accidents, the cop traps, you name it. This road is hell. Fortunately, I can take alternate backwater routes to work. Katie, however, is stuck.

Dumbass Drivers
I know I've covered this extensively before, but it has happened again since that time. A woman was about to turn in front of me not realizing I was right there. In front of her. Not in a blind spot. In a bright red truck. Flashing not-safe-for-work hand signals in her general direction. Dumbshit. A select few drivers should be given the right to install rocket launchers on their vehicles to deal with such problems. I would like to officially volunteer my services to test such a contraption.

Comment Spammers
Admittedly, I was proud when I received my first bit of trackback spam some months ago. I felt it was my own little coming-of-age celebration as a blogger. However, in the last couple months, I have received dozens of trackback spams and quite a bit of comment spam. One particular attack screwed up my comment functionality entirely. Luckily, TypePad makes it very easy to eliminate comments and trackbacks that you don't want. And I do just that on a regular basis.

Despite these problems, I still refuse to activate CAPTCHAs to verify comment validity simply because the TypePad CAPTCHAs are practically impossible to read and I want to make your interaction here at kapgar as painless as possible. Here is an example...


Sadly, this is actually one of the easier Typepad CAPTCHAs I've ever seen. I hate 'em.

Child Pornographers/Statuatory Rapists
How? Why? What? I... I... I am just in shock that somebody can actually perpetrate such horrific acts on children thus stripping them of the childlike exuberance and love of life that is telltale of their age group. I just don't get it. What kind of sick fuck do you have to be to do this? Sorry Dustin, but in these cases, "fighting" does equate with "killing" in my book. Or, at the very least, "severely maiming."

Mac Haters
Most of the people I know who hate Macs are people that have never used them at all or at least not extensively enough to develop a well-rounded opinion. I really cannot respect people like that. They diss and dismiss without really giving it a shot.

Well, I'd like to tell you about a couple friends of mine, both former Mac haters. They bashed and bruised and attempted to sway me of my Mac-loving ways. The continuously espoused the merits of Windows XP and other PC related hardware and software. Last year, one of those Mac haters bought a new computer... it was a Mac dual G5 tower, and he loves it. The other recently announced that when he buys his next computer, it'll be a Mac. These are techie people. Freaks for their computing. Their lives revolve around their computers. And they've both gone back on what they claimed. Hmm...

I, at least, use both on a regular basis. So my hatred of Windows is well rooted in more than a decade and a half of personal experience.

I had to leave you on a slightly lighter note after the severity of #4.

Continue reading "It doesn't matter who's wrong or right..." »

I remember you...

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I am taking part in a project called 2,996. This project is the brainchild of D.C. Roe, the man behind the Rough Draft blog and is being used as a blogger memorial to the 2,996 victims of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

Basically, each participating blogger is assigned one victim of 9/11 and is asked to commemorate them on their site. These posts are to go up live on 9/11/06. Once they are all posted, a mass directory of the links will be put on the 2,996 project site.

Here's the info direct from Roe...

2,996 voices…

2,996 remembered…

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

If you would like to help out, either by pledging to post a tribute on your own blog, or by offering your services to promote this cause, just leave a comment here and I’ll email you the name of a victim.

Then, on 9/11/2006, you will post a tribute to that victim on your blog.

But, and this is critical, the tributes should celebrate the lives of these people–kind of like a wake. Over the last 5 years we’ve heard the names of the killers, and all about the victim’s deaths. This is a chance to learn about and celebrate those who died. Forget the murderers, they don’t deserve to be remembered. But some people who died that day deserve to be remembered–2,996 people.

Thank you,

D. Challener Roe

I want to thank Chanakin for the heads up on this project. I am signed up and I have been given a person to memorialize.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to persuade each of you to take part as well. This project will only work if we have enough people sign up to cover all the victims. It's a small thing to do to remember those who gave their lives on one of the most tragic days in modern American history.

If you'd like to sign up, visit the original project post on D.C. Roe's site and leave a comment. He'll contact you via e-mail with more information.


It's Independence Day this time...

It was definitely a good Independence Day. Well, for the most part, anyway.

Katie had to work from 9-5 at her job, which sucked. However, being a holiday, she gets time and a half, which doesn't suck.

Instead of sitting at home on my duff, my dad came over and we went to a relatively new disc golf course in St. Charles that I've been wanting to try for some time. However, I really had no idea where it was and the online map provided by the St. Charles Park District really blew chunks in terms of accuracy. A half hour after starting our search, we found it.

All I can say about this course is WOW. It's nine holes of pure hell. Instead of just being a straightforward disc golf course, this one involved a real physical workout. You were hiking up and down hills and driving both up and down ravines. In many cases, your disc might get stuck halfway up a ravine and you have to climb to get it. And these are not graceful slopes, either. One of them was a fairly severe 55-60 degree slope and it had rained the day before making it quite slippery. None of the holes exceeded a par 3 and all were really short distance, but the difficulty was second to none.

We loved it! It was a really nice, new take on disc golfing. I'm not expecting my brother to actually read this post so, hopefully, the next time we all go out to play, the difficulty of the course will horrify my brother. And I'll be there with my camera waiting to snap shots of his expressions. May have to do some audio as well.

We left the course drenched in sweat and covered in dirt. Instead of going out for lunch, we just went back to my place. I jumped in the shower while dad grabbed some food and drink. Then we settled down in the living room to watch Kelly's Heroes. Nothing like father and son enjoying some quality time with Clint Eastwood.

He left shortly after that and then Katie came home. She changed and we jumped in the truck to head over to Fox Valley Mall in Aurora for the city's fireworks display. Actually, we first visited Hooters for dinner. Katie is not one to quibble over scantily-clad waitresses when the wings are as good as they are at the Hoot. Me? I'm just not gonna quibble, period.

I pointed out to Katie the irony that I was wearing a Bad Monkey shirt (what do you do when your monkey's been bad?) and a Horny Toad hat in a Hooters restaurant. I swear the overt sexual connotation was completely unintentional.

After our wings and the pitcher of Blue Moon, we decided to check out what few stores were open as we waited for dusk to arrive. Then we set up shop in the bed of the truck. Back in the day, Katie and I used to have picnics in the bed. However, once I got the hardtop tanneau cover on it, those picnics ended. It's a bit awkward trying to sit up in the bed when there's a hardshell lid hanging right over you.

But for fireworks, it was ideal. We spread out some blankets and laid back in the bed with the lid up as far as it would raise.

And what did we do? We slept. Intermittently. The beer was hitting us as was the long day we'd had so far. If someone were to walk past us, they'd have found at least one of us sleeping at any given time. Here's the photographic evidence...


Should I worry that Katie's hand is covering the monkey on my shirt? Would that constitute "touching my monkey" as Dieter repeatedly attempted to con people into doing? Hmm... And, hey, that's twice recently that I've been photographed shilling Dave's shirts. What the hell?!?!

We did wake up in time for the fireworks, though. And I'm glad we did. It was an awe-inspiring half hour of skybound explosive glory. Our parking spot had a nice view, but wasn't quite close enough to allow for great photos. But I took some anyway. This is probably the best of the bunch...

Boom goes the dynamite

How'd you all spend your holiday? Clearly more a question for my U.S. readers, but anyone is free to chime in.

Latest Fun With Dead Trees review - Dangerous Affairs by Kelle Z. Riley

Hot shoe burnin' down the avenue...

I'm really behind on some of the photographic retrospectives I've been meaning to post about. They've all been loaded to my computer, but I tend to slack about uploading to Flickr. Oh well. They're uploaded now, so I can post them. I hope you all don't mind a couple photo posts this week.

The first one is from the Swedish Days festival in Geneva that happened on the weekend of June 23-25. We went down there with Brian and Jen on Friday and had us a good ol' time. What with two local wineries having a lot of tastings going on and all of us being of age... how can you not have fun?

Katie and I
Even though this photo of Katie and I is dark, I still like it. Some of you may recognize the shirt.

Hot dogs
Thankfully, not a Chicago-style dog.

Continue reading "Hot shoe burnin' down the avenue..." »

Leavin' on a jet plane...

I'm pretty sure I did use that title previously for my Florida trip last September, but, c'est la vie. Deal with it. I'm not feeling particularly original right now.

Some good news and some bad news.

First, the good news...

GoldenGate-sm Katie and I booked our tickets to San Francisco for the end of this month. We will be out there for just about a week and staying with my brother and his fiancee in a suite at a hotel near the airport. Not as close to the city as we were hoping, but considering the lack of availability for hotels where we wanted to stay and the prices for the few rooms that were available, we took the cheap option... FREE, actually.

We will also have the opportunity to hang with Sandra, Mikey, and Jacynth while we're out there. That's going to be cool. Not sure when just yet. But we'll make the time. I hope the reality of me doesn't let them down.

Now, the bad news...

We aren't leaving for SF until the 30th. So we're probably not going to be able to meet up with Karl who leaves that day from BlogHer. I thought we might run into each other at the airport, but we're flying into Oakland instead of San Francisco. I'm bummed about this.

Finally, the unsure news...

I don't know when Chase is departing from BlogHer, so there is still a chance that I can meet up with her. Let me know, Chase.

Oh, and happy Independence Day to all my fellow U.S.ians!

The soundtrack starts, the scene begins...

I've been looking for a movie meme for sometime but have not been having much luck finding a decent one. Until, that is, SJ e-mailed this one to me that she created all by her lonesome. Eventually she will answer her own meme and post it either on The Write Coast or on Listaholic. Until that time, though, I have it here for you. Oh, and I love the title.


1. What was the very first movie you saw? How old were you, and what did you think of it?
Star Wars when I was two or three years old either in 1977 or '78. I'm assuming I loved it considering my subsequent addiction to all things Star Wars.

2. What do you consider the all-around BEST movie you've ever seen? (Only one, now!) What's so great about it?
I'm going with To Kill A Mockingbird since I can only pick one. Great film with a timeless story and spectacular acting.

3. Now choose the hands-down WORST movie you've ever attempted to watch. (Again, only one!) What makes it such a dud?
I could tick some people off and say Empire Records, but it wasn't the worst. Just bad. But I'll go with Howard the Duck... c'mon, do I really have to detail why? That should be rather obvious.

4. Good, bad or otherwise, pick your all-time FAVORITE movie, and tell us why.
The Shawshank Redemption. There is nothing bad about it. It's one of the only films that can make that claim.

5. Name a movie you've seen so many times you know every line of dialog, and give us your favorite quote from it.
Real Genius - "was it one of those dreams where you're standing in sort of sun-God robes on top of a pyramind with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?... why am I the only person who has that dream?"

6. Who's the one film character you could swear was based on you? How so?
Clark Kent... minus any chance of ever becoming Superman. I'm an awkward, bumbling idiot. I admit it.

7. Ever been told you resemble an actor? Which one?
No actor that I'm aware of. But, back in the days when I had hair, I was told I look a lot like Mancow Muller the shock radio DJ.

8. If you could play any role in a film's remake, which would it be?
Michael Bolton (David Herman) in Office Space. Not sure why.

9. What actor makes you reluctant to see a film, just knowing s/he's in it?
Lately, Tom "the raving lunatic" Cruise

10. Best book-to-movie translation you've seen?
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness into Apocalypse Now. No, it's not a direct translation of the book -- hell, it's not really all that close at all -- but Francis Ford Coppola did such a fantastic job with it that it deserves recognition. He brought a whole new angle to the interpretation of Conrad's words that I think the author would have been awfully damn proud.

11. Worst book-to-movie translation you've seen?
Michael Crichton's The Lost World (the sequel to Jurassic Park). Crichton was practically forced to write the sequel to Jurassic Park because of contractual obligations, so he did it begrudgingly. And then Steven Spielberg and the writers ditched his words entirely. Really sad because Crichton did, what I thought at the time, to be a great job considering the pressure. The movie is nothing at all like the book.

12. Crappy movie, awesome soundtrack: What film comes to mind?
Grosse Pointe Blank. Another movie I just don't get, but both volumes of the soundtrack rock.

13. What movie do you think is most highly over-rated?
There's Something About Mary. 7.1 out of 10 at IMDb? Are you kidding me? Fargo makes this list as well.

14. Pick a little-known film you feel everyone should see.
Hable Con Ella (trans: "Talk To Her") - a spectacular Spanish film about love and obsession. Additionally, any Star Wars fan should see Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress just to see from where Lucas' derived his inspiration. Some runners up include Narc, The Red Violin, and Requiem for a Dream.

15. If they make a movie about your life, what should they title it? Who should be cast as you?
Misery about a female blogger who, out of obsessive desperation and a need for new posts, kidnaps her favorite blogger (me, played by Eric Bana - I feel he's the closest Hollywood likeness to myself) and hijinx ensue. Yeah, okay, so it's not about my real life, per se. But, really, who knows what kind of wackiness is in store for me in the future.

Mary Mary, why ya buggin'...

I can honestly say I never expected the outcry that I received regarding my disregard for the movie Empire Records. There are many fans of the film out there, apparently; yet only one person actually tried to justify why. Everybody else just stuck with "it's great," which really doesn't help sell me on it. Sorry.

To those of you who stood with me, my heartfelt gratitude. Not that I'm trying to alienate my readers who are fans, but I was starting to feel like an old Handiwipe... used and discarded. I nearly broke into a chorus of "all by my-se-e-elf."

Well, here's a shocker for ya... Empire Records is not the only instance in which I seem to deviate from the norm when it comes to my dislike of certain films. And I had so much fun with the last round of flaming, that I am going to subject myself to it yet again.

There's a little comedy that came out back in the summer of 1998 that I just couldn't get into. No, that's not entirely fair. I did enjoy some of the film in the beginning. But it all just imploded into a heaping mass of loathing and hatred about halfway through and I found myself wishing for those two hours of my life back. And the price of the ticket.

The film?

Continue reading "Mary Mary, why ya buggin'..." »

I'm a bitch...

I must hate myself.

Some people abuse themselves on a daily basis. It could be something as horrific as self mutilation... an eating disorder... an abusive relationship... spending time as Britney Spears' "manny".

There are all kinds of ways to torture yourself both physically and mentally.

And here I am joining the ranks.

Care to guess how?

Well, in an attempt to have as well-rounded an argument against her very being as possible, I am reading Ann Coulter's How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must).

HowtotalktoaliberalDon't worry, I contributed no money to her self-serving cause by buying the book. I checked it out of the library. There is no way that bitch is getting my money. But I will have some fun at her expense.

As much as I wanted my first true experience with Coulter to be her Godless: The Church of Liberalism, that one is on the library's hot-read list because of how new it is. That means there's a wait on it and a max check-out time of a week. This one is a couple years old now, but still new enough that her ideas shouldn't have dated themselves too horribly. Not that they were ever truly relevant.

But I digress.

This book is a collection of the articles she has written for publication in, what she calls, "the rare brave newspapers that carry my column."

Perhaps there's a reason for that.

Anyway, you know how they say the sign of a good read is that an author can capture your attention in the first paragraph? Well, try this one on for size...

Historically, the best way to convert liberals is to have them move out of their parents' home, get a job, and start paying taxes. But if this doesn't work, you might have to actually argue with a liberal. This is not for the faint of heart. It is important to remember that when arguing with liberals, you are always within inches of the "Arab street." Liberals traffic in shouting and demagogy. In a public setting, they will work themselves into a dervish-like trance and start incanting inanities: "Bush lied, kids died!" "Racist!" "Fascist!" "Fire Rumsfeld!" "Halliburton!" Fortunately, the street performers usually punch themselves out eventually and are taken back to their parents' house.

Zimmerman flew, Tyler knew!

Wait, sorry, that last bit was Turk 182! I'm getting my rally cries mixed up.

I digress yet again.

That first paragraph really got me hooked. Not likely in the way that she or her editors intended.

No, I take that back. This is exactly what they hoped for, isn't it?

But I should be okay considering that I'm neither liberal nor conservative. I ride the fence and have beliefs that allow me to visit both sides for a spell. The one thing I do know for sure, though, is that she is a raving fucking lunatic.

Now to keep myself from laughing long enough to finish the book.

Wish me luck... I'm going in!