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April 2005

Appendix A

...and the next thing I knew, I was on my way to the emergency room to see if I needed immediate surgery.

Which I did. Had my appendix removed Wednesday night, and now I’m recuperating at my sister's house for a couple of days. I’m sore as hell, but otherwise fine. More details eventually.

Fun With Google Maps

It's very easy to become obsessed with Google Maps, so I’m glad that the Google Sightseeing blog is picking out the most interesting finds so I don't have to go look for them when I should be doing something productive instead. This post pointing to the Warner Brothers Studios reminded me of my visit to the lot this past Summer to visit my friend Rachel at work. In this view you can see the main lot, with the town square of Stars Hollow/River City in the lower right corner.

Stars Hollow

Retracing the route from the main WB lot to the WB Ranch, home of the magical street of favorite TV houses, I found an aerial view of the Ranch that shows the patch of lawn containing the "Friends" fountain and the Esther Williams swimming pool, surrounded by the streets with the houses from "Bewitched, "The Partridge Family," "I Dream of Jeannie," et al.

1164 Morning Glory Circle

Googlismo

Because sometimes I feel obligated to post, whether I have anything worth mentioning or not. Googlisms!:

sparky is in the house
sparky is the only machine on the market that you can head and heel
sparky is more than a "who"
sparky is now sitting in the state police museum in west trenton
sparky is worried about people who do not know important fire safety rules
sparky is as cute as can be and very smart
sparky is an android [yes! — ed.]
sparky is not gifted with this ability
sparky is more than just email
sparky is easy [who's been talking? — ed.]
sparky is a true believer in the mellow
sparky is unable to communicate except through his thoughts
sparky is just what doctor demento ordered [yes! — ed.]
sparky is overcome with emotion and ready to confront funky rat
sparky is at the legs eleven table dancing club in birmingham
sparky is surrounded by a hazy glow
sparky is to slamdance what scooby doo is to the stoner crowd
sparky is a walmart fish
sparky is melting over the glass of time

See, only slightly less funny than random search requests!

My Co-Stars

Eddie and GwynethThis photo from the red carpet at this year's Oscars captures two of my co-stars from my old high-school days. Eddie and I, as many of you know, have been friends for most of forever and some of our many actics include a short series of funny but also painfully crude short movies: "Mantra at Midnight," "Mantra II: The Wrath of Fabric Woman," and "Burning Pig" (the classic of the bunch). For Eddie, these were stepping stones for what was to become an honest-to-goodness film career. For me, these were proof that I should stick to the visual arts instead.

Although Gwyneth and I never grew close, we did meet a few times back when we were both seniors at exclusive Upper East Side private schools. She and her friends were going to put on a production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown as a thesis project for their English class (or something like that) but since they went to an all-girls school, they needed boys. And when all-girls schools on the Upper East Side needed boys, they frequently came looking to my school. My pal Neil and I auditioned and were cast, respectively, as Snoopy and Charlie Brown, and I think Gwyneth was supposed to play Sally. I don't remember much of the few rehearsals we had, but I do remember sitting in some other girl's humungotron U.E.S. home and talking with Gwyneth, trying to remember why her mother's name was so familiar.

I think the gals soon realized that putting on a musical by themselves was a bit too ambitious, even for rich, well-connected, private-school kids. We stopped hearing from them after a few rehearsals, and eventually sent our copies of the script back through the little brother of one of them.

It was many years later, long after I’d pretty much forgotten about the whole thing, when I was reading an interview with Gwyneth that I suddenly realized I’d known her. It would be nice to say she'd left a huge impression with me, some sign of the inner star quality that would eventually nab her that Oscar, but mostly I had to struggle to remember any detail about the handful of times we'd hung out. I just filed her away as another skinny rich girl who I’d probably never deal with again, and then I went back to wacky, endlessly inventive antics of my own circle of friends, whose company was much more satisfying. Damn it! If only I could have known whose coat tails to ride.

Man in Tights

Ok, gents, it looks like they've finally revealed the costume for the new Superman movie. Time to let out your inner (or perhaps your frequently observed) bitches and critique:

Brendan Routh as Superman

(By the way, that photo links to a press release revealing the general plot for the movie. Feel free to weigh in on that as well.)

There's a totally weird quote from Bryan Singer, too, in this USA Today fluff piece about the movie and the costume:

"I always had the general idea of the suit. However, when the conceptual art was evolving around the same time that I cast Brandon, I privately had paintings rendered with Brandon's face, which certainly brought it to life."

Is it just me, or does that whole idea sound like a weird erotic fixation just got thrown into the mix?

Title? Nah.

Looking out of the window and down into the street, she saw the rush-hour crowds beginning to move towards the bus-stops. Soon they began to take on a human look, to become separate individuals who might even be known to her. This seemed a good deal more likely, though less romantic, in London than in Paris, where it was said that if you sat long enough at a certain café on the pavement, everybody you had ever known or loved would pass by eventually. Surely though, Catherine thought, peering down, it couldn't be quite everyone, that would be far too emotionally exhausting.

Barbara Pym, Less Than Angels

The Scent of Clean

I’m not a big fan of rain, but I absolutely adore the smell in the air the comes right before the onset of a downpour in the warmer seasons. It's amazing how pervasive that particular becomes. I wish I could put my finger on the thing about it that puts such a spring in my step, especially since it's followed by such dreariness. But there it is — some primal, exhilirating reaction to the air around me. that’s pretty good.

No One Expects the German Inquisition!

No one who speaks German could be an evil man!"

Sideshow Bob's parole judge

The View From Asteroid M

Check out this amazing satellite view of Beale Air Force Base in Yuba City, CA:

SR071 Blackbird at Beale Air Force Base

Notice the trusty SR-71 Blackbird sitting there? If you can squint real hard, you might even be able to see a beam of bright red light, or a short Canadian being thrown in the air by a big shiny thing — wait, is that lightning and a small cyclone in the corner?

(Courtesy of Google Sightseeing and their collection of airplanes found in Google Maps.)

Illegal Loft Living? Shocking!

The Times just ran an article about all the illegal lofts in East Williamsburg, especially those in the immediate area of my former residence, the Brooklyn Home for Wayward Bloggers. If you live (or have lived) in the area, you'll notice that every photo in the article and every street mentioned is within Frisbee distance of the Morgan Ave. L station. Kids, maybe it's time to get organized again if you want your interests protected. Shockingly enough (and this is where I wish there were some kind of punctuation mark to indicate use of sarcasm), the city is annoyed that landlords defy zoning regulations, yet residents area want to live in cool old buildings even if the circumstance is shady and there's no recycling. Also, I’m not surprised that realtors never mention that the living situations are totally illegal, but I’m a bit more stunned that people moving into the area are so naive that that don't realize it within about 5 seconds.

I miss living in Brooklyn a lot, and I miss living in a loft even more. I don't miss, however, constantly worrying about the threat of eviction or runaway gentrification. (I also don't miss the asshole who lived across the hall from me who yelled at everyone he didn't recognize and possibly locked his Yoko-Ono-ish wife inside their loft when he went to work, but that’s another fistful of stories altogether.) Those were the days, eh? I’d still take them back so I could have enough elbow room for guests and photo studio.

Fleshbot Spot

A little bird told our pal at Fleshbot about the Poseable Thumbs, and it's led to a delightful jump in traffic and kind remarks. I just may be on to something.

(Read the rest...)

Book Meme

Drub tapped me for another meme that’s been making the rounds. Since this is easier than figuring out what to write, and slightly meatier than just trotting out funny search terms, I'll comply with my instructions.

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

Well, I’ve already got John Waters' Crackpot half-memorized from years of reading it again and again, and since that would surely be one of the first books to go in a major purge, I’d have to choose that one.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Constantly. At one time or another there's been Alec Scudder, Hiro Protagonist, Joe Kavalier, Ponyboy Curtis, et al.

The last book you bought is:

If I don't count trade paperback collections of comic books, it would be The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst, a classic of the genre I should have picked up a long time ago. (My last comics trade was volume 4 of John Byrne's work on the Fantastic Four.)

The last book you read is:

Something to Be Desired by Veronique Vienne, a fantastic collection of essays about graphic design, culture, and stuff.

What are you currently reading?

Monthly doses of Metropolis, Wired, and an unruly list of comic books. I’m between books, although I just grabbed Room With a View from the bookshelf while going to double-check Scudder's name in Maurice.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

Four-Eyed Wonder Worm

mr_mind.jpg

Despite my inexplicable fascination with Captain Marvel, Jr., I find Shazam Family comics almost impossible to read, at least the golden age ones, and all the kiddie versions that DC published for so long. Mr. Mind, though, was always a genius idea for a super-villain. I was so pleased to thumb through a copy of the JSA recently and discover that he's still around.

There's no particular reason for this post, other than that I found this panel while going through some old issues of Shazam and I just love that drawing and that snippet of dialogue. A telepathic alien worm who can survive electrocution! Genius, I swear.

A Cookie Lurking Around Every Corner

Because I’m a sucker, I’m helping out the folks at my old job by going in a couple of days a week for the new few months to help them through a busy patch. (They begged, I was a pushover.) I don't love commuting at rush hour again, nor do I love the horrible anxiety that washes through me whenever I overhear the same old overwrought office dramas flaring up again. I am so glad I don't have to get involved with any of that crap. I’m less thrilled that I have to witness it once in a while, but for now I’m just grabbing those paychecks and reminding myself that even really high-strung people need love, too.

On the plus side, there's some tasty new eye candy hired since I left.

The real danger of being in an office again, though? Random piles of snacks lying around, tempting me with their decadent sweetness. This is not the best situation when I’m finally able to get back into my skinny pants for the first time in a couple of years.

Yes, You Are

It was entirely too perfect to walk into the comic store this morning to witness on of the regular crew of cliché-ridden clerks earnestly singing along to Radiohead's Creep.

Shark Attack

Yes, it's utterly awesome that Jacques Cousteau's grandson has built a shark-shaped submarine, but if comic books have taught us anything, then we should all get ready for this to fall into the hands of a super-villain looking for a gimmick.

Beetle's Blue

beetle_booster.jpg

I get all moist when I see true love in full bloom, don't you?

Countdown to Infinite Crisis may be many things — and I’m sure opinions about what thet may be will vary — but I think it's one of the most touching coming-out stories I’ve ever read. Oh, sure they don't really say anything, but I’ve run across a lot of these, and I can see all the signs.

Ted Kord is rich computer genius type who's a little dorky (hot), but despite all he's got going for him he (1) feels really insecure around the popular guys. He also (2) leads a secret life, running around at night (3) wearing outlandish outfits and having adventures. He seems to have (4) token crushes on Batgirl and Wonder Women, but they (5) just think he's sweet but harmless. It's painfully obvious, though, that he (6) is in love with his best friend, the (7) handsome blond spokemodel who (8) mooches off him. After Booster is attacked and hospitalized, poor Ted dashes off to find the culprit, leaving a (9) melodramatic farewell with the nurse. As you can imagine, there are a number of plot twists meant to entice readers into buying more comics during the next year or so. And the biggest very-special-episode cliché of all...? (Warning: spoilers ahead.)

(Read the rest...)

Robin Takes a Shot to the Face

Sometimes, the best captions just write themselves, don't you think?

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