Wednesday, December 31, 2003

when it pains it roars

Okay, all together now - say it with me...


Yeah, my frickin truck died. Alternator, probably, but the whole damn machine is a massive piece of shit so it could be any number of things in addition to that. I need a new water pump, for one, and most likely a new thermostat (I know you won't get heat if you don't have coolant in the thing, but even when it's filled with coolant the heating is fickle at best) and tonight, every time I used my turn signal the airbag light would come on. That's probably related to the alternator, thinking about it, but who knows - Olds Bravadas are notorious for having ropey wiring.

So that's our last vehicle, bitten the dust. Nothing can be done, obviously, until Friday at the earliest and even then I shudder to think the multiple hundreds of dollars it will cost. On top of that I'm going to have to walk to the store for milk and other stuff until then - did I mention that it's fecking freezing in Minnesota? Talk about being screwed - we so cannot afford this right now. Three months? Sure! Bring it on. But now? No way.

See, Andy and I don't use credit cards. We have one that has a very low credit limit on it and that's it. We had some, shall we say, issues in the past. A few years ago I was drunk on my own buying power and charged my van on my American Express gold card and the rest, they say, is history. We cut up our cards and haven't looked back - which means that we pay for everything with cash on the debit card. We spent the last of our "free" money on the Playstation 2 for Samantha and that was going to be our final end-game play until we get our tax return.

Now this. On the cusp of me getting a job, on the verge of Andy needing to fly to California, with Samantha not only needing a flight to Illinois booked for her next visit with her dad but also needing a ride to the airport that would cost a fortune if we had to take a cab. Shit's looking pretty damn bleak, to say the least.

I was headed to the grocery store to buy stuff for my annual patented "Slap Your Momma" enchiladas and milk to feed Nico's growing "gallon a day" habit. I was going to pick up vino and beer for Andy's festivities (the English celebrate a culture of drinking and their New Year's parties involve staying up until six, eight a.m. and drinking until you pass out, then waking up and drinking some more. My head says, "No thanks - it's soda for me tonight" but Andy's pantry was bereft of alcohol.) and the truck just...died. In the turning lane of a very busy intersection. I sat there forever getting honked at, yelled at, swerved at, and having beer cans thrown at me. How having a broken-down truck makes me a "dumb whore" is beyond me, but apparently, that's what I am. I was pissed, I was freezing, I was on the verge of crying but had to hold that back because I knew my tears would turn to ice.

Of course, since I'd figured my trek out to be a short one, not only was I not wearing make-up but my hair was still wet from my shower. And doesn't it just figure that the tow-truck guy was cute? Nice guy, too - Jason from North Star Towing - told me what a piece of shit my truck is (like I didn't know) and helpfully suggested that I buy a Saturn. Yeah, right - me, in a Saturn? No way. That's what old guys drive and buy for their wives. (Just kidding - but honestly, a Saturn is far too small for us.)

The highlight of the night came in the form of a pizza delivery guy from Papa John's called...Mark? Dave. I think his name was Mark. He invited himself up to love on my dogs and hung out with us for a good half-hour or so. Super-sweet guy. He didn't even notice the five hundred pounds of dirty laundry that were spilling down my basement steps that I'm too lazy to wash.

Of course, my paranoia kicked in and I started thinking, "He's casing the place. He's befriending the dogs so he can steal them, then rob us." So if we're robbed and/or killed, tell the cops to talk to Mark Dave at Papa John's.

I could just cry. This new year's sucks, big-time. Andy's getting his drunk on and listening to old music, the kids are playing and having fun, and I just want to stab myself in the eye with a fecking knitting needle. I don't want to be around anyone or do anything besides soak in the tub and go to sleep. I don't even care about making it to midnight - I just want this nasty day and the associated future bills to hurry up and get themselves over with.

Scratch that - the highlight of my night is watching Nico shake his groove thang to "Personal Jesus". He's recently discovered walking backwards and incorporates that move into his dance. Hands shaking, head bopping, hips wiggling, walking backwards. With his tongue hanging out.

Ah, I could watch this all night.

But the rest of it all sucks. Hope you're having fun, cuz I sure as hell ain't.

Happy new year-ingly,


Maybe I can sell my liver to pay for the truck. You only need one liver, right? So that leaves me, what, three to spare? Something like that, anyway. ()

is it 1996 again already?

I woke up this morning naked on the couch with a Playstation controller in my hand. My brain screamed a neon hangover that blinked like the "Bates Motel" sign. A bag of chips lay nearby. My face felt stiff because I neglected to remove my makeup before passing out going to sleep.

Last night I could have sworn I was a married mother of three, but when I woke up this morning I was back in college.

I'm feeling a bit salty this's a piece of advice for ya: if you've gone for two full weeks without the slightest sip of alcohol, make sure that you stick to a single martini - but since you're only having one, go ahead and make it a double. If you absolutely must have a second double, stop there. And, while you may think it's hilariously funny, drinking wine straight from the bottle through a straw does dodgy things to your frontal lobe. "Dodgy" as in it will remove your frontal lobe and replace it with bricks that have the odd ability to throb.

The worst part is that I'm pretty sure I got lucky but I don't remember if I was any good or not. See, Andy, this is why we should always, always tape it - we need to do the post-game analysis. (There is a dirty "armchair quarterback" joke in here somewhere but you'll have to find it yourself.)

I've medicated myself with some chocolate milk and a raspberry Italian ice - a sure cure for a hangover - and am now onto tea therapy. I'm trying to convince the kids to play a rousing game of, "How about we all shut the hell up for two damn minutes?" but they're not biting. Fine, kids, whatever - have some gum for breakfast. Wait, it's can't have gum for lunch, too. Here, have some chips. On bread. Sure, why not.

Thank jeebus for Andy. And curse him for making me buy vodka.

Back on the wagon-ious,


At least I didn't chunder...I did a lot of chundering back in '96. I dubbed it "The Year of the Vom". But I've grown up since then. ()

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

picture pages, picture pages, lots of fun with picture pages

It's been quite a while since I've inundated you with photographs of things you really couldn't give a crap about, so today I'm loading you up with more than you could possibly be interested in.

I'm actually being nice today, doing the old thumbnail thang, rather than throwing huge pics up here. Sometimes I forget some people are still on dial-up, you poor bastards. So clicky me piccy for bigger images, eh? (NOTE: Some of the damn thumbnails aren't working in Mozilla, but I'm bored, so phhhbbtttt. I'll fix 'em later.)

Zoe in her sock-hat.
Okay, this hat started as a sock. But seeing as how I'm a rebel knitter I didn't check the gauge or length or width, so it ended up being far too large and short for anyone besides a Hobbit to wear as a sock. Zoe kind of freaked when I gave it to her, saying, "No, this is for daddy's feet! Ew, I'm not putting it on my head!" and I was giving it, "You'll wear it and you'll like it, missy!" Hence the expression. I don't know what her problem is, as I even went so far as to make a kicky little tassel for the thing. Damn unappreciative kids, I tell ya.

Sock in progress. These are the real socks I'm doing. On the left is the current sock I'm still working on, and the one on the right is a finished sock. The ability to knit a heel yet eludes me so I did a standard tube-sock design, which isn't the nicest thing in the world to wear but at least it's frickin done. Finished sock. One is, anyway. I'm going to line them with a softer yarn, as this was done in a rather nasty-feeling acrylic. But hey, they're going on feet, ya know? No sense in knocking myself out. If only there was a way to, you know, buy skeins of yarn that are already in sock-form. Ah, what a wonderful world that would be!

I, Claudius.
This is but an example of the kind of messages Andy leaves me on the fridge in magnet letters...

...and this is an example of my reply. There seems to be a glaring difference between our intellects, huh? But while he'll be murdered and deified, I'll simply get a cap in my ass because I failed to give props to the appropriate homies. There's a lot to be said for that book-learnin'.

Crazy brows.
This is what I've been looking like lately in the eyebrow department. I mentioned in early November about my eyebrow-waxing disaster and since then I've been gun-shy about my 'brow maintenance. Too much is better than not enough any day of the week. However, I finally buckled the other day and got back on that tweezers horse and decided to take care of the bizarre growth above and between my eyes.

Normal eyebrows.
Lift and separate - there should be two eyebrows. I have accomplished this task without any major disasters in over-pluckage. I don't know why I did the picture in greyscale - it's just far more flattering to my complexion, which is usually a light blue hue. Because I am so severely anemic and Jewy, that's why. I glow in the dark, seriously. You really don't want to look at me in real life without the aid of sunglasses to cut the glare. (PS - Those are pajamas I'm wearing - no, I don't walk around in public wearing shirts like that but I do sleep in them. Don't judge - they're comfy.)

Side view of the Natalie.
Speaking of being Jewy, check out that nose, eh? That's something else right there. I heard on Savvy Traveler the other day that you can book a safari to Africa and get your nose done while you're there. I could book a nose-job and when I come home from vacation I could tell people I was, I don't know, mistaken for a rhino and my old nose was lopped off by poachers. All y'all button-nosed little chicas can just suck on it, okay, because I hate you and will punch you square in the throat if I ever see you in real life. Button-nosed bitches.

Oh, yeah, and since I'm showing you my profile you can check out my earrings. They're pierced in a triangle with two hoops on the outside and my diamonds on the inside. I don't know why. I did that a long time ago and have yet to see anyone else with their ears pierced that way so I'm keeping them that way. No real reason for pointing it out other than the coolness of my piercings might cut the sting of that schnoz. Or not - I'm too close to the problem to be objective.

Poli profile.
This is where I lay on the political spectrum, quiz via Andy via Solonor. Turns out I'm not nearly as much of a bed-wetter as I thought. Sollie, on the other hand, is in desperate need of some rubber sheets, and Andy's thisclose to replacing his heart with a stone. We're well on our way to having even more of a Dharma & Greg marriage than we already do, I'm afraid. Is that grounds for a divorce, or should we simply videotape our exploits and market it as a new hit reality show? Decisions, decisions.

And this has nothing to do with anything, but I have finally found a quiz that gives me results that I like...

You are the average man's fantasy. You like sports
and action movies, toilet humor is your forte
and you love beer and red meat. His friends
all want to hang out with you, and most want to
do you. Too bad all the girls you know hate
you, but hey, who cares. You're a man's woman.

What's your brand of sexy?
brought to you by Quizilla

It's funny because since we bought Samantha her Playstation 2 I've been asking Andy to buy me "Grand Theft Auto 3" because I'm quite in the mood to put the smack-down on some bitches and hos. He said I'm "just not right".

Oh, and the chick in the quiz results isn't a thumbnail so, unfortunately, that's as big as the pic's going to get. Which is too bad, really, cuz she be hot.

So that's it for the day. This entry took me a long time so I hope you appreciate it. Now I'm off to suck down a few beers from the bottle and watch some porno and James Bond while wearing a dirty t-shirt. Maybe I can get Andy's bitch-ass to make me a steak.



Damn, this post was a mish-mash of just about everything, huh? So much for linear thought. ()

Monday, December 29, 2003

i loathe the airport

Okay, one thing before I say anything else: you ladies who are so keen on chai tea - oh isn't this yummy, you just have to try it - should have warned me that it tastes like pumpkin pie. I bought a cup of the stuff this morning at Dunn Bros. at the airport (thankfully, Ms. Nigeria wasn't in attendance but their coffee of the day was still Sumatran so I wasn't about to press my luck) and before I even took a sip my nostrils were assaulted by the rank stench of pumpkin pie. You know how I feel about pumpkin pie? It was invented by spice manufacturers as a vehicle for nutmeg. That's it! Pumpkin pie exists solely for the benefit of people who sell nutmeg. Guess what? I frickin' hate nutmeg.

But I drank the tea anyway because I had been up since four a.m. and had to battle traffic (oy, all you people who congregated on Hiawatha Avenue this morning around five...what the hell were you all doing?!? The traffic was worse then than it is during rush hour - crazy) as well as an orange terror alert that meant I had to stand in line forever to get a stinking pass through security. (Yeah, I know, I bitched when they gave me a pass without checking me out and now I'm bitching that they checked me out before giving me a pass.) Needless to say, I was needing some major caffeine so I supped the tea. Giving those ladies the benefit of the doubt I thought, "Perhaps I've judged the tea too harshly - I'll try another cup on my way out of the airport." Hey, guess what sucks more ass than chai tea? Nada. As in, "nada damn thing". Yack attack extreme.

Whoo boy, am I filled with sunshine today or what? The airport does it to me every time. So does waking up early - hell, before today I didn't even realize that there were two four o'clocks in a day - whoda thunk it?

I don't like the airport primarily because of my paranoia. The flip side of paranoia, of course, is narcissism in that one thinks that one is so remarkably special that, not only is one given undue attention by strangers, said strangers also find one so remarkable to bestow judgment and desire them harm. I hate when strangers look at me - I'm always afraid that in their glance they see everything about me, like my sexual habits and history are written across my face in much the same way innocence is evidenced in the young. I'm afraid that my eyes reveal every little secret and indiscretion I've ever experienced and the stranger at the airport walks away, thinking, "Wow, she's a bit of a mess, isn't she?" Of course, in all likelihood they're thinking (if I even cross their minds at all) is more along the lines of, "Why is that girl muttering the names 'Mel' and 'Erica' at her cup?" But such is the burden of paranoia that I think people actually pay attention to my wholly unremarkable self.

I know - I really shouldn't leave the house. For the rest of the day I really don't plan to, either. Andy and I were debating which one of us was going to pick Samantha up from the airport and I gave it the old, "Well, I'll go, it's no big deal. You haven't been sleeping well, and besides that, you're far too grumpy when you have to wake up that early." To which he countered with, "The only way you're going to see four a.m. is if you stay up all night - I'll go." To which my reply was, "Oh yeah? We'll just see about that!" I made him think that he'd won by pressing my "don't tell me I can't do something because I'll do it just to prove that I can" button when in actual fact it was all a scheme so that I can take a nap without getting grief about it. I have a trump card..."But I woke up and battled with the airport - I deserve a nap!"

I'm thinking that chai tea is decaffinated. Damn Dunn Bros. does it again.



I'm so tired that I stopped three times while writing this because I'd forgotten what I was talking about. Even re-reading what I'd already written didn't jog my memory. I'm not even sure I made the point I was trying to make. Sorry 'bout that. ()

Sunday, December 28, 2003

satan is the motor revving in my gut

There I was, minding my own business (ack - the worst stories always start out that way!) when I was overcome by the nastiest feeling of ooginess this side of labor-puking. At first I thought it was a reaction to Andy dancing and singing to the James Taylor/MCI (or whatever) commercial but it didn't go away as quickly as usual. I moaned for a bit and Andy asked what I'd had that might upset my tummy. "Nothing, just Diet Coke and water. Oh, and a pint of pickle juice." No big deal - okay, it was a little more than I usually drink in one sitting and this was juiced-up juice of my own design (extra extra extra vinegar and garlic) but hey, no problem! Guts of steel - I've been drinking pickle juice for so long that when I was younger my mother told me that drinking the stuff was the cause of my severe anemia. Did I stop drinking it then? Nope, I just doubled the dose of my iron pills. Nothing was keeping me from my pickle juice.

Until tonight. Man, oh man, was I suffering.

What the hell happened to me? What the hell is happening to me? A couple of weeks ago I stopped drinking completely because I woke up one day and the bags under my eyes screamed at me, "Guinness is making you fat and stupid and the shiraz has been kicking you old-school lately so your dumb ass wants to knock it off." I realized that my body was right - I couldn't hold my alcohol like I used to, so I quit. I haven't felt better in ages and have even effortlessly lost four pounds already in the process. Though I have some blood sugar issues which means I have to eat a lot of chocolate to replace the sugar I would usually get from the beverages or else I wake up in the middle of the night, shaking like a leaf. Just tonight I busted into the box of Longhorn's turtles that Jack sent me but had to stop myself after the third one - chocolate is like alcohol in that once you've had a few you might as well bust out the Budweiser and Hershey's instead of the quality stuff because your taste buds are numb by that point. Save the good stuff for when you're fresh into your feast and you'll appreciate it a lot more.

You know who says stuff like that? People who can no longer handle their pickle juice. Seriously, I am thisclose to changing the name of this blog to "Milk of Magnesia" because that's what I'm supping now. Nearly two-thirty and I'm afraid to fall asleep in case I vomit and choke to death - which is something I simply cannot do until I'm twenty-seven.

At least I'm in good company - Nico is having some issues with his ta-tas so he's not wanting to sleep, either. He's lying here, moaning, while I'm slouched over him, moaning. Maybe a bath is in order for both of us? That sounds nice - perhaps I'll drink some bubble bath to coat my stomach, because this milk of magnesia shit is for old people. I'm not old and I'm not getting old - my body simply needs to be retrained in the subtle art of appreciating pickle juice for the green, liquid gold that it is. Cuz I'll be damned if I'm going to come up with another title for this stupid blog.

It's not a technicolor yawn if it's only day-glow green-ious,


I can't believe I've ended up me. ()

Saturday, December 27, 2003

who wants to be my friend?

Come on, you know you wanna be my friend. Of course you do! I'm so wonderful, dontcha know? Pay attention to meeee!!!

Wait, why is everyone looking at me? What are they thinking? They're judging me, I just know it. do wanna be my friend? WHY? What do you want from me, huh? just don't get it. You don't get me. Just - just go away, okay? Come back when you understand, if you ever could. It's not about you, okay? You're in my house now - it's all about meeee!!!

Love me. Get away. What do you want from me? Where are you going? You can't walk away from me! You fool! Nevermind, I don't want to talk about it. No, forget I said anything, alright? I'm just a little insignificant microbe. Gum stuck to a shoe, I am. Now build me a fucking pedestal, tool.

Adore me, I hate you-ingly,


Personality Disorder Test Results
Paranoid |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Schizoid |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Schizotypal |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Antisocial |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Borderline |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Histrionic |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Narcissistic |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Avoidant |||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Dependent |||||||||| 38%
Obsessive-Compulsive |||||||||||| 46%
Take Free Personality Disorder Test

I'm a bit disappointed I didn't score higher in the obsessive-compulsive. I'm going to have to take that test again and again and again until I get it right. ()

i like LOTR movies despite the fact that i am, quite clearly, a woman

I still haven't seen Return of the King yet. I know, I know - I'm just as shocked as anyone. In fact, I haven't been to the cinema since November 15th of last year, when I saw Harry Potter. Wait, that's not true...didn't I see Finding Nemo? Where was Nic when I did that? I can't remember if I took him or not, but I must have.

Anyway, I don't often get out to see movies when they're released in the cinema - I'm a pay-per-view baby. Even if it's something I've been wanting to see for a long time I still have to wait until it's available on television. Like the Terminator 3 movie - I was dying to see that movie but only got my first chance the other day. (As a side-note, you probably don't want to ever watch movies with me. I rate their goodness by the number of times I scream out, "That was fucking cool!" at the action. Poor Andy was asleep but I was giving it, "Damn, did you see that? Arnie just knocked over an ambulance with his body." To which Andy replied, "That's funny, because I was dreaming about knocking over a body with my ambulance." Smart ass.)

The first two Lord of the Rings movies rated high on my "That was fucking cool" scale and I have every confidence that the third movie will blow them out of the water, if my trusted geek sources are, in fact, to be trusted. It made a grown man cry. I've been reading nothing but goodness about the movie, which makes me happy but it also really pisses me off that I'm not going to get a chance to see it for, like, five years. (Why aren't there more girls who like these movies? The guys, they love it. The stuff I see from chicks is more like, "What is with people and Lord of the Rings?" Surely I'm not the only one who tries to get their husband to play LoTR in bed, now am I?) At any rate, I'm having to convince myself that, no, I don't actually want to see the movie (which I do) and no, it probably isn't as good as everyone says it is (which I know it is). Telling myself these things is the only way that I'm not going to drive myself frickin insane.

Which is why I was so pleased to run across this list of "50 Reasons Lord of the Rings Sucks" via Jennifer's History and Stuff, which I am reprinting in its entirety, copyright be damned. (To be totally honest, I've had this open in a tab for a few days and read this list at least once or twice a day. Some of this is absolutely hilarious. If you're a kingpin dork, such as me, that is.)

So if you're feeling like the only geek in town who has yet to see the film, just read this and realize, hey, you didn't want to see another smelly old LoTR movie anyway.

50 Reasons Why Lord of the Rings, as they say in America, "sucks"

1. Fellowship of the Rings and Two Towers were shoved down our throats.

I've heard some students are even forced to read some novelization of the movie in their literature classes. Ridiculous. Does Hollywood run our classrooms now?

2. Greed.

Hollywood can't make a movie these days without crapping out a sequel the next year to squeeze more money out of the sheep. Guess what; there's ANOTHER LOTR movie coming this Christmas. Gee, I wonder what will bring Rocky out of retirement this time?

3. Quality Control at New Line.

Millions of copies of the LOTR DVDs have thick black bars at the bottom and top of the screen throughout the film. Didn't anyone catch this? You know what happens at the end, in the extreme foreground and extreme upper sky? Neither do I. Bush league, guys.

4. They switched Darrens on us!

Look closely in Fellowship and you'll notice the human member of their party is played by two different actors at different points of the movie (it takes a sharp eye to notice, but one of them has red hair, one black).

5. Quality Control at New Line, II.

In the massive Mt. Doom battle scene at the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring, a DVD pause reveals at least half a dozen of the 50,000 Orc Warrior extras are wearing modern tennis shoes.

6. Speaking of Orcs...

The Orcs were obviously stolen from PC game maker Blizzard and its Warcraft series. Too bad Blizzard is apparently too scared to sue New Line over it.

7. Racism.

Percentage of protagonists in Fellowship who are white: 100. Meanwhile the black antagonists and their black crow spies and their black glass seeing ball inhabit their black towers and perform black magic. Gosh, I wonder if there's some symbolism there?

8. Gold: The Stretchy Element.

The ring, which is seen to be at least two inches in diameter at the beginning to fit the polish sausage-sized finger of Sauron, suddenly fits Frodo's child-sized finger later. I guess this movie takes place in a world where rings magically change sizes on their own.

9. Violence.

Give me one reason that story couldn't have been told without all the fighting.

10. Horse sense.

Why didn't they take horses on their quest? Or even better, why didn't Gandalf's giant flying bird friend haul them into Mordor? Watch out, Frodo! All of your methods of transportation have been swallowed by the Dark Lord of the Plot Hole!

11. Retracted.*

See below.

12. Return of the Living Dead.

In FOTR, if you watch closely during the Inn scene, Frodo and his crew are shown getting stabbed by the Ring Wraiths. Then, five seconds later, they are fine again. Note to the director: try proofreading your movie before you release it to the public.

13. Did someone say plot hole?

Liv Tyler's character is seen easily defeating nine strong supernatural beings, even though she is clearly a woman.

14. The Battle Droid Syndrome.

The mutated muscular soldiers of Mordor turned out to be hilariously ineffective fighters, a dozen of them held off by a single dying human. Apparently they made the beasts by crossing Orcs, Goblins and the French.

15. Sloppy CGI.

Gandalf's smoke boat at Bilbo's party is pretty impressive, but smoke cannot be made to travel horizontally, thus revealing it to be nothing but a cheap special effect.

16. The Asbestos Wizard.

We all saw Gandalf fall into the molten core of Middle Earth after his battle with the firebeast thing in part 1. Well, I guess the Gandalf action figure must have sold well, because in the slap-together sequel Two Towers, Gandalf is back. Perhaps it was voodoo, a la the corpse in Weekend at Bernie's II (look closely and you'll notice LOTR steals several elements from the WAB films).

17. Invisible Implausibility.

Every time Frodo or Bilbo went invisible with the ring they should have also gone BLIND. Your eyes cannot function unless light is reflected off the cornea. If light passes through it (as must be the case with invisibility) sight is no longer possible. Also, rings do not turn you invisible.

18. The Asbestos Wizard, II.

The giant fire beast thing at the end of part 1 was breathing a firey breath hot enough to send heat-distortion waves through the air. The sheer temperature of the air should have burned off Gandalf's beard and eyebrows. None of my reading on evolutionary biology reveals a single reason why a particular race of humans would develop unflammable facial hair as this would provide practically no advantage in either survival or mating.

19. I'll have to rent that one.

The rushed-through story the screenwriter threw in as the first ten minutes of Fellowship of the Ring looked a lot more interesting than the movie we were forced to watch. Why didn't somebody make a movie off that instead?

20. Magic Mechanics.

Experts on the occult say in order for a wizard to floorspin a fully-grown man like Gandalf, he'd need three magical staffs, not two.

21. Finders, keepers.

So Bilbo, who we are supposed to identify with as a protagonist, finds a piece of someone else's jewelry and just keeps it for himself? That's funny, because I would expect a good man to submit it to the local Lost and Found so it could be claimed by its owner. It makes me wonder if he bought that hillside house or if he was just squatting.

22. Go-Go Gadget Arrow Sprouter.

Legolas shoots arrow after arrow at his enemies, and yet the number of arrows in his quiver never decreases. I guess elves have glands on their back that secrete arrows.

23. Watch out! He's going to explode!

The heroes are shown eating again and again, and yet no one ever goes to the bathroom throughout their entire quest.

24. Meesa gonna make theesa movie suckah!

The character of Gollum in The Two Towers was entirely computer animated (a cheap effort to cash in on Jar Jar Binks Mania) but was just a dim shadow of George Lucas' effort. Thank you, Peter Jackson. Thank you right to Hell.

25. Propaganda.

The Elves, clearly the most advanced and wise species, are also clearly gay.

26. Speaking of Elves...

Elves are beautiful and wise and tall? Great warriors? Makers of fine lightweight weapons? Our modern knowledge of elves has observed only an ability to make cookies and toys. All the elves in the film are portrayed as living in a warm paradise (Rivendell) but our own information tells us the aforementioned group of toymaking elves work and thrive in the arctic. Hey, Mr. Jackson: Research is half of writing.

27. Homage or theft?

The "happy village of little people" idea was stolen from Willow.

28. Homage or theft II?

The wise old wizard character was stolen from Harry Potter.

29. Homage or theft III?

The "travelling on our quest through a corn field" scene was stolen from Shrek.

30. Homage or theft IV?

The character of the rebellious-but-helpful Ranger was stolen from Val Kilmer in Willow.

31. Homage or theft V?

The concept of the violent dwarf was based on Al Pacino.

32. Homage or theft VI?

The "old man looking through the door hatch at the approaching little people" scene was stolen from A Clockwork Orange.

33. Homage or theft VII?

The cantina scene with a noisy bar filled with a mix of otherworldly species was stolen from Cecile B. DeMille's One Night in an Alien Bar.

34. Homage or theft VIII?

The incident with the flock of evil magical spying crows serving the All-Seeing Eye was based on an actual incident.

35. Homage or theft IX?

The character of the Giant Evil Flaming All-Seeing Eye was based on former President Jimmy Carter.

36. Homage or theft X?

The character of Elrond was based on Agent Smith from The Matrix.

37. Weighty issues.

AKA "Plot Hole No. 273." Even with all that walking and light eating, the character of Sam only got fatter.

38. Realism, schmealism.

Liv Tyler's immortal elf volunteers to give up her eternal life for a single romance with a human man. Could any man really be that well endowed? I find it unlikely.

39. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.

The most advanced civilization is that of the elves, which are long-haired, new-age types? Sorry, Mr. Jackson, but modern science has proven that in any modern civilization, hippies would be extinct.

40. Too many notes.

No movie should be over two hours long. Did we need that whole thing in the mine in part 1? What about that almost-infinite battle scene in part 2? Didn't it seem like they were just adding pointless scenes in the middle to pad it? It's like they decided beforehand they wanted three hours for each film and used filler to flesh them out.

41. Too many notes, II.

I just want to re-emphasize the above point. There is no reason entertainment can't be concise.

42. Too many notes, III.

Too many characters to keep track of. The dwarf was clearly only there as a token dwarf character to sell tickets to lucrative movie-going dwarf demographic. Lose him.

43. Rationalization for violence.

Why, in part 1, is the black octopus creature painted as the bad guy when it attacks, when one of the fellowship had clearly been throwing rocks at it?

44. The Shoeless Land.

The Hobbits both 1) refuse to wear shoes and 2) run a livestock-based farming economy. Wouldn't they constantly be stepping in crap? Why doesn't the movie address this issue?

45. Casting.

Why couldn't Frodo have been played by Christopher Walken?

46. Casting, II.

Why couldn't Gandalf have been played by Bruce Campbell?

47. Casting, III.

Why couldn't Bilbo have been played by Vin Diesel?

48. Casting, IV.

Why couldn't Strider have been played by a monkey?

49. The Score.

The background music wasn't nearly funky enough for me.

50. What's that smell?

As bad as the Lucasfilm leaks were with his last film, the filmmakers of Return of the King already have the novelization out in paperback. I've seen it at Barnes & Noble already. As if we needed any less of a reason to go see it.

-Dr. Albert Oxford, PhD
London Film Institute


11. Damn you, gravity!

The giant firebeast thing is defeated by Gandalf when he destroys the bridge, sending the creature plunging to its death... despite the fact that it has wings.

This was retracted when a reader pointed out that the wings, like the rest of the beast, were made of shadow and fire and thus would be useless for flight. Thanks for the tip!

And in case this list has pissed anyone off, the esteemed Dr. Oxford has issued an apology:

I want to apologize to the world's Lord of the Rings fans.

My LotR article, submitted to me by an esteemed film expert and meant to be a private work for the enjoyment of the few friends and family who read my personal website, mushroomed into something horrible. I know now how a young Harriet Beecher-Stowe must have felt after her innocent suspense thriller Uncle Tom's Cabin accidentally started the Civil War. I guess the great commentators of each generation suffer in this way.

One LotR fan wrote me to say, "I am sure I am not the only critic of your article, and I am sure that there are many different views on this." And this is true; there are dozens of views on a subject, until we know the answer. And then there is just the one.

So, 178 angry e-mails and one 2,000% traffic increase later...

...I want to say I'm sorry.

I know now that many of you love these films, and will probably sequels. You identify with the characters created by the Action Figure Design Department at New Line. You have that right; art is a matter of personal taste.

In fact, many of you in your expletive-peppered e-mails threw my own words back at me when you said:

"Research is half of writing."

Well, a little research on my part revealed that Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers were indeed very popular. The films rang true to millions, and not just those of you who trust blindly in America's corporate brainwashing machine and dash out to buy every product you see glimmering on your TV screens. Dr. Oxford says his data shows the film also attracted a large number of homosexuals (hooray for Ian McKellen for breaking down the barrier for gays in action movies, paving the way for Vin Diesel) and was very big among High School dropouts and the mentally ill.

THAT IS A GOOD THING. There is no disagreement here; I realize that even those people need entertainment.

And I understand your frustration. I understand your anger. After all, it was I who had Old Man Murray shut down after I found curse words on their site. I myself remember writing a negative Titanic review in 1997 and receiving a storm of protest from the Leo DiCaprio Worshippers Guild, the North American Billy Zaniacs and the International Union of People Who Love Crap.

But I have a right to my opinions. This website has won numerous awards for online journalism; I blew the lid off the faking of Tupac Shakur's death a full two years before the mainstream media caught on. I have an Associate's Degree. Don't take this the wrong way, but that means in this world my opinion counts for a little bit more than yours does. I don't mean that in a bad way at all; it's just one of those facts of life.

I guess what I'm saying is that regardless of which piece of popular entertainment has been insulted, we don't have to load up on beatsticks and travel half way around the world every time we see someone disagreeing with us. A dog barking at a man is a dog. A man who stops to bark back probably doesn't have anywhere to be that morning.

Ah, that's some good stuff-ious,


ps - Another link of note is where they uncover the male nudity filled LoTR feature, not for the faint of heart, but funny as hell.

I can't read the name "Legolas" and the word "quiver" in the same sentence without going all gaa-gaa inside, despite the fact that the Elves are clearly gay. Just like Vin Diesel. ()

Friday, December 26, 2003

he doesn't just love the eighties...he, like, *loves*loves the eighties

It's no real secret that my husband was a goth in the eighties. I mean a hard-core goth. I just looked for a picture of him with his long, flowing black hair but could only find a picture of when he looked like a jerk (really cute) and was dating this horrendeously ugly (waaay prettier than me) French girl, and that was sometime in the early nineties. I promise I'll hunt out a picture of him in the eighties - you wouldn't believe it's the same guy who, these days, prances (yes, prances) around the house to Pet Shop Boys and Bronski Beat. If the him now could meet the him then, the then-him would kick the now-him's ass.

For the most part, Andy's goth past stays well-buried. Every now and again when I pop in some Sisters of Mercy or Cure it'll surface, briefly, but then retreats. I thought his goth past was gone for good after we watched the Cure in Berlin on PPV a few weeks ago (side note: yeah, it's only, like, an hour long for $16 but the live version of "Lullabye" was totally worth it - I got chills four times.) and Andy retold his old goth stories not with the excitement he used to muster, but in a nostalgic way. The way a very old man tells stories of the love affair he had during "the big war" with a European woman - that kind of nostalgia. Alas, I should have known better.

See, Andy doesn't just love the eighties - it's like he's really pissed they're gone. If the eighties were a woman, Andy would have freaked out on her ass around 1989 and been like, "What do you mean, you're leaving? No, that's not going to happen. You're never going to leave me, ever." Then they'd find the dead body of the eighties in Andy's trunk. It's that kind of love. Psychotic, "I own you" kind of love. Which is why I not only allow him to listen to his gay music (note: I don't mean the word "gay" in a derogatory sense - I mean the singers are literally gay), I actually encourage it. Anything to keep him away from The Cult, Iggy and the Stooges, Siouxie and the Banshees, Sisters of Mercy, et al.

Enter Andy's brother. This guy is even more firmly entrenched in the eighties than Andy is, and is ritually mocked by yours truly about this. So what does Brother Dear send to Andy for Christmas? A double "All The Morose, Dark-Ass, Goth Shit That Your Wife Doesn't Want You To Listen To Because You Then Pretend You're Seventeen Again and Lumber Around the House Being Moody and Damning The Establishment and Dancing Like A Twat" cd. He's been blasting this shit for hours and singing in a voice that's easily three octaves lower than his normal speaking voice. He's growling. He's flailing his arms around wildly and banging his head. Sadly, he's not banging it on anything - just banging it in general. I may hold a two-by-four behind his head and let him knock himself out - it's really the only way to save him from himself.

I was thinking of hitting some sales today but I am really not comfortable with leaving him alone. It's only eight pm in the UK and I'm afraid that Andy will dig out a bunch of phone numbers from other people he used to share lipstick with and talk all night about the good old days. This is a guy who speaks fondly of the time he got his ass absolutely kicked by some guy in a truck for "no reason". (Every fight Andy got into when he was young was for "no reason". It couldn't be the fact that he strutted around like a dickhead and antagonized people - nope, it was for "no reason". Oh, and all of his teachers were out to get him.)

Can a marriage withstand this time-shift? Should I fight fire with fire and bust out some Jane's Addiction, Anthrax and Rage Against the Machine? What to do?

I'm thinking a heavy-duty dose of Gordon Lightfoot is in order. If there's anything that can be considered a goth antidote, it's a little bit of "Brandy, You're A Fine Girl".

Screw it, I'm leaving the house. I'll wait until he's asleep to scratch up his cds and blame it on the kids.

All growed up-ingly,


Trouble is, I really like most of the songs on those cds but I have to do the wifely "tut-tut" thing to keep him adequately discouraged from going all-out and stealing my make-up. ()

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

a christmas story

It was Christmas Eve and everyone at the North Pole was in a tizzy. The day before Christmas usually found Santa Claus in a panic but this year was different. This year was worse - much worse.

"Woman, where the hell is my whiskey?" thundered Santa as he stomped through the small kitchen, slamming cabinet doors in his wake. Mrs. Claus was struck by the marked difference between the typical image that Santa usually projects and this brawling, slovenly man she saw before her. The only difference, really, was the absence of Santa's coat, which meant his suspenders and stained t-shirt were exposed but the transformation was disturbing. Mrs. Claus averted her eyes, as Santa seemed to have the power to tell if she were being dishonest.

"Whiskey? Why, you finished it last year and we haven't gotten any more," she said in her calm, even tone. This wasn't true, as each year Santa was presented with crates of whiskey from thankful parents the world over and, regardless of how much the elves drank during the year (and lordy, how they could drink!) there were always bottles and bottles of the stuff left over. Each Christmas Eve, Mrs. Claus looked at the calendar, hoping that this year would be the year that Santa managed to get his one-year sobriety chip and each Christmas Eve Santa would get stinking drunk and throw the rest of his sobriety chips onto the fire to begin again the day after Christmas.

She tried, in vain, every year to dump the whiskey down the toilet but, being a child of the Great Depression, she wasn't able to waste so much, even if it was whiskey. Mrs. Claus was also a bit of an enabler, half-thinking that it was good for Santa to numb himself for the holiday run. As he always said, Mrs. Claus didn't understand the pressures of his job, and she never would as long as all she did was spend her days making clothes for the elves, puttering around the house and grooming the reindeer. "I have a pretty sweet deal here," she thought to herself, "and I am married to a man who's pretty much wonderful the majority of the year, so who am I to begrudge him a snootful on his most hectic day of the year?"

With her rationale firmly in place she produced a bottle of whiskey from behind the freezer. "Oh, here we go! Here's some whiskey - I must have misplaced it," she said, pouring Santa three fingers of 25-year-old Macallan. He downed it in one gulp and motioned for her to refill his glass. After his second drink he shuddered and cursed. "Martha," he said, and surprised her, as she was addressed by her first name so infrequently that she often forgot it herself, "this year is going to be an ever-loving bitch." He motioned to a letter on the table that had arrived only this morning. "Those gat damn lawyers for the RIAA have sent me a 'cease and desist' letter telling me I can no longer press my own cds to send to the kids. Can you believe that?!? What a load of bullshit. I can tell you one thing for free - that Courtney Love has never been on the 'good kids' list in her life. Don't even get me started on the boys from Metallica!"

Santa looked pensive for a moment and sighed. "Looks like these kids are going to have to settle for Radiohead cds. Boy, that pisses me off - it makes me look like a chump! Like I don't know the difference between Metallica and Radiohead? Like I don't know that 'OK Computer' is one of the greatest albums of all time? Nah, not to these kids. Thanks to the RIAA I'm going to look like I don't know my ass from my elbow."

This had not been a good year for Santa, what with all the high-tech toys and gadgets kids were asking for these days. It's a popular misconception that Santa's elves happily toiled away all year long making presents, but as of late there's been talk of unionizing. Besides, Santa thought bitterly, the elves' skills set was horribly out-dated. Sure, if kids still wanted, say, a wagon the elves were fine. But each year Santa was having to move more and more of his manufacturing work to Asia, which gave him a twinge of guilt because not only did the Asian children toil away in sweatshops making circuit boards for Western kids, but the majority of them didn't even believe in Santa so he couldn't even hook them up with toys. He had another drink and felt very, very sorry for himself.

The ringing phone snapped him out of his funk and he lumbered to answer it. The wall seemed to simultaneously move closer as well as recede away from Santa's reach and he briefly wondered why the phone was dancing. Mrs. Claus answered the phone and handed it to Santa, whispering, "It's someone from Washington - straighten up!" Santa cleared his throat and answered the phone. "Claus here. Yes. Well, it's the same as every year. No, why would I need that? Well, now, how am I supposed to know - it's magic! No, no, no, now you listen to I don't think you understand what this means. I've been doing this for centuries, why...well, yes, I understand that. But come on! I'm frickin' Santa Claus! Sigh - fine, I'll see what I can do. Thanks for the notice, you ass."

Santa placed the phone back on the receiver, then lifted it back up and smashed it into the wall. "Why the hell do I need to submit my flight plan for approval with the FAA?!?" he screamed. "If I deviate from my flight plan they will 'have no choice' but to shoot me down? What the hell is that? Oh Martha, I just don't know what I'm going to do," he moaned into his hands.

"Well, you could always call the other Clauses," she suggested timidly. "What, Kwanzaa and Hanu Claus? No stinking way. We've had a rivalry going for years - if I asked for their help it would shift the balance. No way." Santa was still shaking his head "no" as Mrs. Claus dialed the phone. "Hanu? Yes, it's Mrs. Claus. Would you mind grabbing Kwanzaa and coming over, please? We have a bit of an emergency. Thanks."

Within moments, two other men magically appeared in the kitchen near Santa. "Oy vey, Santa - pull yourself together! Stress like this, you don't need," said Santa's cousin, Hanu Claus, as he stretched out in a kitchen chair. "Easy for you to say, Hanu," replied Santa, bitterly. "Your work is almost over while mine has only begun."

"It's like I always tell ya, Santa," Hanu sighed, "You should spread this out over a few days. A little bit here, a little bit there, rack up some air miles and fly yourself to Florida for free in January. What's not to like?"

Santa was getting more and more pissed off by the minute. "Well, Hanu," he said through clenched teeth, "my job would also be a lot easier if I passed out pencils and first-aid kits like you do, but unfortunately, gentile kids expect a little bit more from me."

"Abuse like this, I don't need!" shouted Hanu. Kwanzaa Claus piped up. "Come, come, mon! We all on da same side 'ere. Why don't we all just calm down?"

Santa and Hanu shot each other a knowing look. Neither of them particulary cared for Kwanzaa, for while Santa and Hanu had been at their job for centuries, Kwanzaa was only in his gig as a result of affirmative action imposed in the sixties. Kwanzaa himself wasn't exactly positive of what his point really was, but he knew that they had a major problem that could only be solved if they worked together. Unfortunately, Santa and Hanu were both smarting a bit so they took pot-shots at Kwanzaa.

"Oh, lookie who speaks!" said Hanu. "It's Mr. I'm Not A Real Holiday But Pretend I'm All About African Heritage Even Though I Was Born in Jamacia! Yes, I'd love to hear your insights, seeing as how your job doesn't even start until after Christmas is over - probably timed it that way to take advantage of the sales." Kwanzaa was livid. "You jus' jealous, mon, that you didn't tink of it first!" he shouted at Hanu. Santa piped up and drunkenly slurred, "No, Hanu, it's like this - he creeps into the houses where I've left toys and lifts them to deliver them to the Kwanzaa kids!" Now Kwanzaa was really pissed. "Wot you mean to say dere, Santa? You sayin' you tink I thieve because I'm black, mon? Is dat what you sayin'?"

Mrs. Claus tried to diffuse the situation before it turned into an all-out brawl. "Boys! Come on now, we have a problem that we need to solve. How are we going to get all of these toys delivered if Santa can't fly without declaring his flight plan? Come on and think!"

"I bet Kwanzaa would have no problem busting into homes to deliver the toys, would ya, Kwanzaa?" snorted Santa. "Remember when you were busted on that breaking and entering charge and you had to get Hanu to hook you up with a lawyer?" Now Santa was howling. "Me and Hanu, we've been doing this for generations and were never busted on breaking and entering. Ah, we laughed and laughed about that one, didn't we, Hanu?" Hanu chuckled to himself, remembering the panicked phone call that Kwanzaa made to him a few years prior when he was arrested. "Tell 'em, mon, tell 'em I be Kwanzaa! Dey don' believe me cuzza my accent, cuzza I don' talk like a da Bushman. But tell 'em Hanu, mon, you gotta help me!"

"Ah, screw dis, mon - give me somma dat whiskey," Kwanzaa mumbled as Santa poured him a glass. "What about you, Hanu? Do you want a drink, too?" slurred Santa. Hanu wiped his glasses and said, "It's highly unorthadox but why not?" He'd secretly been wanting to get his drunk on for some time, but being Jewish it was difficult. If you ever come across a Jewish alcoholic, you can be sure that they worked very, very hard to get that way.

As Kwanzaa, Santa and Hanu sat around getting drunk and telling stories about their toy deliveries through the years, Mrs. Claus became impatient. "Um, Santa, what about the kids this year? What are we going to do?" Santa turned one glassy eye to his wife and sneered, "It's your problem now, toots." Mrs. Claus thought for a moment, then devised a plan.

She hurried to her wardrobe and found, way in the back, a red leather bustier with garters and stockings. She quickly pulled them on and surveyed her curvaceous body. Not bad, she thought to herself, as she pulled her cloak around her. She knew that there was only one way the kids would get their gifts tonight, and that was for her to deliver them herself. And there was only one way that she could get security clearance to fly around the world without a flight plan.

She dug into the filing cabinet that Santa reserved for letters from the adult freaks and weirdos that routinely sent him letters asking for perverted items and scenarios. She found the one she was looking for and read the letter again. On her way out the door she grabbed a riding crop and a saddle and made her way to the sleigh. Rudolph saw what she was carrying and asked her, "Why, Mrs. Claus - you're not planning on riding one of us reindeer, are you?" "No, you silly reindeer!" she laughed, "These are for a very naughty little boy that can help me get clearance to deliver the toys tonight. I'll give him what he's been asking for and he will give me something I want." She peered at the letter once more and shouted to the reindeer, "Now on to John Ashcroft's house - mush, mush!"

As she flew away from the North Pole she thought of the tasks that lay ahead of her that evening, but all she could really focus on were thoughts of the crates of whiskey that would await her upon her return. "Santa's going to be seeing some changes around here", she chuckled to herself.

And that's the story of how women's liberation changed the face of Christmas forever. Or something. I just really like the thought of John Ascroft wanting to play "Whip the Reindeer" with Mrs. Claus.



Merry Christmas Eve and all that jazz. ()

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

very merry christmas to me!

I've received my first blogger gift in the mail yesterday from none other than my Minnesotan brother, Jack. A few months ago I hooked him up with some quintessential Minnesotan fare and, in turn, he hooked me up with some Texan fare.

I was sent two huge jars of D.L. Jardine's salsa, a salsa bobos and a peach salsa. These aren't hot - at least, not to someone like me who makes a meal out of a Bloody Mary by filling half the glass with jalepenos and habaneros - but, man, are they good! The salsa bobos looks like a typical black bean and corn salsa but the taste is phenomenal. There's a slight bit of warmth and a hint of an afterburn, but that's the perfect level of heat, as any more pepper would have detracted from the tastiness factor.

The peach stuff was a surprise, as I'd never had a peach salsa before. I popped the jar open, expecting a chutney-type salsa, and took a big spoonful. Whoa. Do not take a big spoonful of salsa if you are expecting it to be sweet. I'm sure that I only thought it was hot because I was expecting peachiness - or maybe it really is hot, as I only tried the little bit last night - but, again, that's some tasty pudding right there. The peaches are an interesting addition in texture and taste and I was unexpectedly surprised.

I also received a large box of candy that is currently tucked away in the medicine cabinet so the monster children don't see it and try to beg it off me.

If this weren't enough, I have to give Jack mad props for the presentation. These were sent in a gift bag with the flag of Texas on it, and the tissue paper inside had little Texases colored in the state flag as well. You can't get stuff like that in Minnesota - probably because our flag sucks - but that just tickled me to no end.

Of course, the competitive person in me is saying, "Oh yeah? You've gone all Texan, now have ya?" and fighting the urge to send lefse and pickled herring. Maybe I can overnight him some lutefisk...I bet the majority of Texas has never smelled lutefisk. I need to expose Jack for the true Minnesotan he is, rather than this salsa-sending, transplant Texan.

I know, I know - these urges are not normal. I should just say, "Thank you!" and be done with it, but that's just not my style. Now it's on.



I need to find a way to incorporate salsa into my Christmas dinner now...I can start a new Minnesota-Texas fusion cuisine. Yeah, that'll be popular. ()

Correction: Technically, Solonor sent me my first blogger pressie and Christmas card. But, while Jack sent edible things, Solonor sent things to listen to and look at. The way to my heart isn't through my eyes and ears...that's the way to my brain.

Monday, December 22, 2003

in da caveses redux

I posted the other day about Speaker's original parody of "In Da Club" where he outlines the story of Smeagol in a song called In Da Caveses (that's the link to the song). Well, he's gone and put up the lyrics now so you can sing along. Lyrics which will be reproduced here wholly without permission, because we likes to keeps them handy to sing along.

Go, go, go, go
Go, go, go smeagol
It's our birthday
We gon' party like it's our birthday
We gon' sip Bacardi like it's our birthday
And we got our precious
When it was our birthday.

[Chorus] (2x)
You can find me in da caveses, rhyming all my dayses
Livin off of fishes that never seen a flameses
I'm into my precious ring, if you touch it then we'll flays yas.
If not us then the Goblins'll probably takes yas

When we pulled out in da boat, we was on da anduin
Smeagol rowed the boat, while Deagol fished the scene
Deagol saw the fishes, that's when he saw the gleem.
Smeagol wondered what it was, but Deagol got to greedies
We said, "homie ain't wanna play, we just want that thing"
He said "No way it's my precious ring"
We told him it was our birthday, that we deserveds it more.
But he said he founds it first, he told us not be sore.
He was being rude, we knew it should be our present.
We knew he hads to gosies, but it wouldn't be pleasant.
So we jumped Deagol, then we gave him a chokesies
and we throttled and squeezeds him until he croaksied
We killed our cousin there, we watched him as he died
Then we were banished from our town and completely chastised
They chased us to the mountains, we found a new scene.
We had no more friends, but we at least have the ring.

[Chorus] (2x)

The Theives. The filthy little theaves. They stole our precious, and we wants it.

Ah, that's some good stuff right there. Go, listen, pass it around. It's the only way the geeks will ever hope to rule Middle Earth.



I'll shut up about it now - I was just really excited to get the lyrics. Cuz I'm a sad bastard like that. ()

Sunday, December 21, 2003

open letter to the chick at dunn bros. at msp airport

Look, lady, I don't care how many times you tell me you're from Nigeria, my coffee is still going to be burned. This cup, and any other cup you pour from that pot - burned! I don't care if you're from Nigeria or Pensa-frickin-cola, I just want a new cup of coffee from a fresh pot because this one sucks.

I know it takes a while to acclimatize yourself to a new culture and, coming from a country where women are buried up to their necks and stoned to death for the terrible crime of, I don't know, adding, I can understand that you might not have found your footing. Great, you're in America, speak your mind, whatever, but understand that you, as an employee of Dunn Bros., are not entitled to yell, "I don't need this!" when I ask for a new cup of coffee. I have been up since six and have had to fight my way through the idiot, first-time holiday travelers and then run through this fricking airport - in heels - in order to get my kid on a plane and I want a fresh cup.

Do not - I repeat, do not - fuck with me before I get my caffeine fix.

Furthermore, don't tell me, "It's Sumatra coffee, you don't know. I'm from Nigeria!" I do know what Sumatra coffee tastes like and I also know where Sumatra is in relation to Nigeria. So, no, lady, you don't know. I can tell the difference between a Sumatran, Kenyan and French coffee on sight alone, okay? Oddly, however, I don't believe I've ever had a Nigerian coffee - that's funny, huh?

Listen, chick, just replace my coffee and stop being such a bitch. And no, don't you dare try to push one of those gummy-ass bagels off on me - I'm a Jew, I know bagels.

I'm from America, you don't know.



I would have slapped her silly but I was afraid people would consider it racist. I'm not racist, just idiotist. ()

Saturday, December 20, 2003

i just don't know what to say

Today Andy came back from the store and mentioned that there was a large package on the front stoop. I assumed it was something from his family and sent Samantha out to grab it. Andy asked who it was for and Samantha, with awe in her voice, said, "It's for mom...from Nana."

What? Could it be? She sent me - me - a present? After everything...nah, couldn't be.

I looked, and sure enough, it was from her. To me.

I hurriedly tore open the large box, and staring back at me was the largest selection of Swiss Colony meats, cheeses and candies that I've ever seen outside of their catalogue. Andy walked up behind me, put his arms around me and nuzzled me on the neck. I could feel a lump forming in my throat and tears sprung to my eyes as I whispered, "Damn it - this is the exact same passive-aggressively, thoughtless insult of a Christmas gift that I was going to send to her. Now what am I going to do?"

Sigh - I guess I can't get one up on the Master...after all, she taught me all of the treachery I know.

Back to the drawing board-ious,


Honestly, who sends their kid a heart attack in a brightly-colored box for Christmas? I mean, I'll still eat it but it's not yet Christmas yet so I'm just gonna carry on my bitchin. Usually I'd be grateful for a gift like this but it's well-known in my family that she only sends these things to people she dislikes but feels obligated to gift, like teachers or liquor store clerks. ()

in da caveses

I am in utter awe of the enormous talent of Speaker at GeekGasm for his kick-ass parody of "In Da Club" as Gollum called "In Da Caveses".

My kids are rocking, Sam is cracking up and my Shorty's being a Shorty. I've got to get Andy to video some of Nico's dancing on this - it's absolutely hilarious.

Livin' off the fishes that never seen the flameses-ingly,


(link via the ruler of all things geek)

Listening to him doing that voice even makes my throat hurt. ()

random, general, non-linear linkage type stuff

There's nothing really funny here but, screw it, it's Saturday and you should be out shopping anyway.

  • Okay, I use Thunderbird for my email (because Microsoft sucks) and I love it, but there's just one thing - it's too damn smart on the spam blocking. When my email comes in, stuff is automatically flagged as spam (my computer learns new things while I'm sleeping) and is summarily dumped into the trash folder. Sounds great, right? Not so, for it seems to be jealous of most of my personal correspondence and chucks that right along with the offers to see Paris Hilton get nasty. (An aside - I've seen that Paris Hilton tape and it was such a yawnfest that I found myself wondering when the military was going to bust in to save Jessica Lynch. Honestly, what was up with that green night-vision stuff? It made Paris's eyes look like Michael Jackson's at the end of the "Thriller" video.)

    Anyway, I've spent some time looking through the trash and found a few emails from real people - one of them was from Alex telling me that I was mentioned on the news section of the Friends industry page at Blogshares. He sent that just before Blogshares went under but now it's up again so I don't feel like too much of an ass for not mentioning it sooner. I guess being part of the "friends" industry is better than what I was filed under with my old url, which was "mental health".

    I don't play Blogshares anymore but I have an absolute buttload of shares that I'd like to dispense to others who still play, but I cannot log in to my account. According to them, I've never registered. Yes, I have had my identity erased by an online game - how's that for feeding paranoia?

  • A blokey mate from across the pond is now famous in his own right. Call Centre Confidential has gotten some award of some kind from the Guardian (or as it's more commonly called, the "Groiniad") for having, I don't know, the most abusive color scheme seen this side of Dame Edna's wardrobe. Yeah, I'm getting petty, so what? I've followed C-Cubed (as I like to call him) since back in the day and now, all of my love and attention is being cast aside in favor of fair-weather friends who clicky-click through a newspaper article. Remember Scary Duck, C-Cubed...after all the fame and attention fell away, what was he left with? That's right - a paltry 1200 visits a day! So just remember those of us who loved ya before you got all famous because one day, we'll be all you have left.

    Just kidding - congrats. It couldn't have happened to a more obnoxious color scheme.

  • I don't check my stats very often since I am a lazy, lazy person but every now and again I look at my referral script thing. That is, when I accidentally hit the space bar and it pops down a few pages - I just don't like to scroll, don't ask me why. I saw that I'm getting a few hits from a very old post of Les's where he links to The Camel Toe Song set to the tune of that Beach Boys song, "Kokomo" or whatever. It has a video with a lot of close-up shots of said camel toes and, while it made me giggle in a few places (because I am very crass) I simply don't get the whole "camel toe" phenomenon. Crotch cleavage is something I try to avoid at all costs - I don't understand the appeal. Then again, I really don't understand the appeal of breast cleavage, either - it makes you look like you have an ass on your chest and it's too easy to drop things down there and have to fish them out. I've lost earrings down there, popcorn, tweezers, chip crumbs and, on one particularly nasty occasion, a glob of soup. It's a pain in the ass and sometimes I want to wrap my chest up in Ace bandages to flatten the damn things out.

    What was I talking about? Meh, nevermind - if I wanted to pick up my train of thought I'd have to scroll and I'm not up to that right now.

  • Every now and again I like to check in with my old friend Boy George to see what he's up to. I found his personal ad on Gaydar and was impressed by the swish little artsy pictures he has in his profile. (Warning - not exactly work-safe, or in the name of good taste in the slightest. Naked guys and all that jazz.) But what was even more impressive was the banner ad that was flashing above his ad to, erm, buy a kit so that you could make a synthetic copy of your own penis. Vibration optional. (That link isn't in good taste, either.)

    Yes, for the low, low price of $69.95 you, too, can make a life-sized, realistic down to the last detail, copy of your own schlong. The revolution is upon us!

    I was reading the FAQ (not for any, ya know, real reason other than, ya know, morbid curiousity) and was disturbed by this question: What if my penis is crooked? That leads me to believe that a lot of y'all are bent up. How does that happen? And why am I only hearing about this now?

    Crooked how, exactly? Curved? Bent at a right-angle? Corkscrewed?!? This is something that is going to take an enormous amount of research on my part. Andy, hand me the credit card and hold my calls.

  • I just realized that I've mentioned Michael Jackson, do-it-yourself dildos, Paris Hilton, camel toes, Boy George and crooked schlongs in the same entry. Let the freaky search terms begin!

Glutton for punishment-ingly,


I can get away with talking about this stuff because it's Saturday, and only freaks and weirdos read me on Saturday. Don't try to deny it - you're a freak and/or weirdo by virtue of the fact that you're here. Case closed. ()

best christmas card message ever

Okay, so a little background - one of my dad's sisters died a few years ago. I wasn't close to her or her husband but I felt badly about my uncle spending his first Christmas as a widower so I sent him a card.

Now, I hadn't seen this particular aunt and uncle since my dad's mother died in the early nineties so I was unsure if he even remembered me. I wrote out this nice message to him and signed it, then thought, "He doesn't know I'm married - he doesn't know I live in Minneapolis." So under my name I put, in parentheses, "Rit's daughter" so he'd remember who I was.

Well, that year I didn't get a card from him, nor did I receive a card from him the year after that. But yesterday one came from my uncle K and I tore it open, actually excited that he'd finally reciprocated. I was hoping that my little gesture would have, I don't know, touched him in some way that inspired him to open up to me, or at the very least, tell me how my cousins were doing.

Not that I cared for my cousins, mind you - I went to the same high school as a couple of them and ignored them. We didn't get along very well at all.

I tear open the card from uncle K and read the message: "Yes, I know who you are."

That was it! No, "Hey, Natalie, how's the family - we're all fine, Merry Christmas." Just a response from a notation I'd made two Christmases ago.

I'm not sending him a card this year - instead, I'm going to wait for two years and send one that says, "Okay - I just wasn't sure if you knew I was married and had moved. There are a lot of Natalies in this world, you know."

Kinda like playing chess by post with a friend overseas. I see a new game emerging.



I'm all about the family togetherness. ()

Friday, December 19, 2003

hello, my name is natalie and i'll be your idiot this evening

It's a well-guarded fact that I am a huge fan of heavy metal. When I'm not listening to opera or celtic folk songs I like to really burn this world down with some kick-ass guitar riffs and screaming vocals. Andy jokes that the tag line for my favorite station (behind NPR, of course) should be, "Angry FM - all angst, all the time".

I used to be a big fan of Ricky Rackman on Heabanger's Ball in the eighties and early nineties, along with 120 Minutes. I'm not talking simply enjoying a bit of the old "Downward Spiral" or "And Justice For All"...I was more like "Pretty Hate Machine/Broken/Fixed" and "Garage Days". (If you don't know what this is in reference to then I wouldn't have been friends with you back then - these days I can hardly afford such snobbery. Cuz I'm all grown up an' shit.)

So yesterday I was going to the post office and got bored with whatever crap they were talking on NPR so I mosied on over to Angry FM just in time to hear them announce a rock block of - gasp - Rage Against The Machine. Kick ass. I cranked the volume up slightly higher than my tempanic membranes were comfortable with and rocked the fuck out. I was feeling pretty cool, and was looking pretty cool with it.

I pull up to the post office and see a group of stoner high-school aged kids sitting on a car, smoking. Well, maybe they were older than high school but I can't judge age very well. I briefly wondered why they were hanging out at the post office - back in my youth the post office wasn't exactly the place to be, seeing as how the stuff I got up to carried a much stiffer penalty if it were to be done on federal property - but let it pass.

See, a funny thing happens to me when I listen to Angry FM...I become a teenager again. I posture, I damn the man, no one understands me, I laugh at middle-aged people. And I'm cool - oh so very cool.

The volume in my truck was high enough that the kids outside could hear it and it caught their attention. They looked at the truck with a puzzled expression and I thought, "Man, this'll be sweet - I'm looking all hot so I'll strut past these kids and they'll see how cool I am, despite the fact that I'm 26." I was looking swank in some brushed cotton pants, suede high-heel boots and lambskin jacket complete with groovy shades. I kind of glide past them in my best runway model mode and give them a brief glance. I pop my eyebrow in a sexy Dave Matthews/Sean Connery way and kind of give it a "what's up". These three guys look at me for a second...then snort with laughter.

Little punk-asses laughed at me. ME! I was rocking out to "Man in the Box" when they were still playing in the sand box - and they snorted at me.

I can't be positive why they laughed but I think it has something to do with the fact that I drive an Oldsmobile SUV. That's probably it. You can't be rock hard when you're in a frickin' Oldsmobile. That's my problem right there - what I really need is a rusted out El Camino. That'd give me some major street cred.

Those punks. Makes me wish I had a garden hose to spray them - that'd teach 'em.

Hope I die before I get old(er)-ious,


Who the hell hangs out at the post office anyway? They were probably a bunch of narcs or sumthin. ()

Thursday, December 18, 2003

merry christmas - now shove it up your ass!

As I've mentioned far too many times before, I am currently estranged from my family, owing to the fact that my mother is a shallow, petty, unstable bitchmaster from hell. Now, I've come to realize that this is probably a good thing, because my mother is a notorious mind-fucker and takes great joy in pitting my sisters and I against each other with malicious gossip. Still, being the morally-superior person that I am I have still found it in me to send a birthday gift to my mother (the first time I managed to send something that didn't arrive late - and we were treated to a rather formal, "Dear Mr. Yates"-addressed thank-you card for the trouble), and sending Christmas cards to everyone in the family, despite the fact that only my sister, Hippy, sent us one. I think she wants to stay on my good side because I'm the guy who's responsible for her autistic daughter should anything happen to Hippy. (Because I am the only person in the family who gives two shits about my niece with autism - everyone else is like, "Why don't you just put her in a group home or something?" My mother goes so far as to introduce her as "Rain Man" to strangers - yeah, she has a heart of gold, that woman!)

The trouble with all of this is my father. My dad is the coolest, most laid-back guy in the universe. He treats me like an equal, just one of the guys, and once told me that out of all of his kids (seven of us in total) he was proudest of me and felt I was most like him. But since my mom is pulling her crap I can't even call to talk to him in case she's home when I call. Dad and I have spoken three times since - when was it, early October/late September? - and two of those phone calls were during the World Series. He managed to sneak another phone call to me the other day to see how I was doing and asked me to call more often - I said that I really couldn't take that chance because I didn't want to risk my mom being there. He said, in an angry voice, that my mother "knew better" than to say anything bad to me while he was around. But what if I called when mom was around and dad wasn't? He paused and said, "Well, okay, I'll just make sure to call you more often and make sure mom doesn't see the phone bills." THIS is what my mother has reduced us to.

Anyway, my sister Hippy emailed me the other day with this appeal to basically suck my mom's ass and build some bridges because "life's too short". Don't you hate that phrase? Life's too short. Bullshit! Life is the longest thing you'll ever experience - why spend all of that time surrounded by assholes? Cut 'em loose and don't think about them.

This sentiment was echoed yesterday in the most unlikely of places - my mother's cousin, whom we went to visit in South Dakota over the summer. This lady is one cool cookie - she was a teacher and never had kids because she'd "seen the worst of the worst and was afraid I'd end up with one like that". I hadn't spoken to her in far too long so I sent her an email about what was going on, as I'm kind of the go-between for her and my mother. I had to tell her that I wouldn't be able to relay messages to mom anymore and here's why, blah blah blah, fully expecting cousin M to come back with a "life's too short" thing, too, as she's getting rather elderly. Her response? "Fuck your mom - if she's going to act like that then it's best if you stay away from her. It's her loss. Life's too short to spend it walking on eggshells for someone who flakes out like that on her own child." Gawd, did it feel good to read that.

The run up to the holiday has been very trying for me because the plan was that the entire family - mom and dad, three sisters with their spouses and five children, and two dogs - were all going to come up here for Christmas. We'd been planning it all year. I'd been looking forward to it all year, since I'm the only one among us who has a house large enough to accommodate all of these people. Other years were spent at my mom's house, tripping over one another and fighting over a single bathroom and shower. Here would be like Xanadu in comparison. But they're not coming, and part of me was greatly disappointed that I won't get my chance to show them what a decent, whole-family-together Christmas could be like.

It's strange being so cut-off from your whole family. Even my mother's brothers haven't sent me a card this year. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, as they're all of the same "If you lose, you're outta da family!" ilk. The cost of what I've lost due to my mother has really hit home in these past couple of weeks. But I think I've got it sorted out now...reading the words "fuck your mom!" from her seventy-year-old cousin did wonders for my holiday spirit.

I think I'm going to make that be a holiday toast around here - while I'm sitting around on Christmas with Andy and the kids I'll make the girls close their ears and Andy and I will say, "fuck your mom!" and clink glasses. If you want to make it part of your holiday tradition, feel free. You wouldn't believe how empowering it feels, even if you love your own mother. Think of "mother" in the fact, I think I'm going to use the word "mother" instead of, say, "psycho". "Hey, did you hear about that guy who killed women just so he could eat their toes? What a mother!" Hmmm...thinking on it, don't we already kind of use that word to describe bad guys? "That de Sade, he was one sick mother!" Wow, it just works on so many levels.

Merry Christmas and fuck your mom!

In lifted spirits-ingly,


I must admit, I am a bit thankful for my mother, as she's the walking embodiment of What Not To Be. Kind of like a reverse role model. But fuck her, anyway. ()