Monday, February 28, 2005

February media update plus random Oscar shizzle

Asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; your mileage may vary.


1. Dark Water by Koji Suzuki: A collection of utterly meh short stories by the author of The Ring. The only remotely good one is "Floating Water", which is the basis for an upcoming film starring Jennifer Connelly.

2. The Problem With Murmur Lee by Connie May Fowler: A very Southern book about a free-spirited woman who dies mysteriously, leaving behind friends who search for the truth.

3. The Memory of Running* by Ron McLarty: A man loses his parents in a car accident, and shortly thereafter, he learns that his long-lost schizophrenic sister has been a Los Angeles morgue. Without thinking, he gets on his old bicycle and starts riding to California from Rhode Island. A tremendously moving road trip story of an entirely different color.

4. The Bachelorette Party* by Karen McCullah Lutz: Okay, yeah, it's chick lit, and the writing isn't always stellar, but it's really, really funny. During one particularly choice scene, I was wracked by the kind of soundless, hysterical laughter that leaves your cheeks bright pink and tear-streaked.


1. Interior Desecrations* by James Lileks: Oh god, this book is too fucking funny. Lileks found pictures of 70's interior design and compiled them into one eye-bleeding book. Did people actually think this shit was attractive? The mind boggles.

2. Whatever You Say I Am: The Life and Times of Eminem by Anthony Bozza: My strange fixation with Eminem's nose continues.

3. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss: The perfect book for anal-retentives (I think there's a hyphen in that) like me who groan out loud when they see signs like "Journal's on Sale".

4. Belly Laughs by Jenny Mc Carthy: Ordinarily, Playboy Playmates with big fake titties and bleached blonde hair annoy the shit out of me, but Jenny gets a pass because she's got a gross sense of humor, as evidenced in this sporadically amusing account of her pregnancy and childbirth.

5. Kyoto: Less than a month now!

6. The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln by C.A. Tripp: This is the book that has received tons of press lately because it claims Abraham Lincoln was gay as an Easter basket.


1. Bleach vols. 17-18 by Tite Kubo

2. Love's Zephyr vol. 4 by Motoi Yoshida

3. Casino Lily by Youka Nitta

4. Sweet (anthology)

5. Count Cain vol. 7 by Kaori Yuki

6. Pheromomania Sydrome: Symptoms of a Girl's Delusions by Ichiha

7. Princess Man and the Magic Lamp* by Kayono

8. Doll Garden* by Yuri Hasabe

9. Gakuen Alice* by Tachibana Higuchi

10. Lucu Lucu vols. 1-2 by Asari Yoshito

11. Shine* by Masami Hoshiro


1. The Magdalene Sisters: Disturbing fact-based movie about Irish women who were shut up in virtual labor camps and forced to work in laundries for such "sins" as having babies out of wedlock, flirting, and being raped. Astonishingly enough, the last of these laundries wasn't closed until 1996.

2. Punch-Drunk Love: What a strange, strange movie. I'm still not sure if I liked this or not.

G and I watched the Oscars last night, and I'm sad to say I only guessed 11 out of 24 categories right. Boo!

Since it's Monday and I'm in a shitty mood, I can't come up with any brilliant quips about the Oscars, so here are a few choice ones from people who are more on the ball this morning than me:

From Defamer:

*Tragically, [Hilary Swank] wasn’t able to find a stylist to dress her on her big night, and had to settle for slipping into a three-dollar navy blue stocking from JC Penney cut down to reveal her toned ass-crack. She went to the “girl from a trailer park” thing, which is obscene for someone who’s just won their SECOND Oscar. Um, you’ve already overcome the Cheez Wiz sandwiches and GTOs on blocks in the driveway years ago? White trash cred expires after the first award, Hils.

*An entire roomful of people breaks into hysterical laughter at the very sight of Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz. It appears that just before the Crows took the stage, Sideshow Bob successfully attacked Duritz’s head and is sodomizing his scalp.

From the always brilliant Cintra Wilson of Salon:

*Jeremy Irons looked like his face has been soaking in a turpentine-based happiness remover.

*Hilary Swank's body in her dark blue dress was so pneumatic, she looked like an erotic balloon-animal made of inner tubes.

*Tim Robbins looked like he just woke up and went bobbing for apple bongs.

*Antonio Banderas, looking like he just took a swim in Julio Iglesias' sebum pond, was sitting in what looked like an adobe Mexican prison set, or El Grande Castillo del Taco Bell, braying with Carlos Santana, who was grimacing with simulated guitar-passion behind his Blueblockers. Jesu Christo. Next time, instead of letting Banderas disgrace himself to represent Hispanic culture, perhaps the Academy should just cut to a shot of stuffed bullfrogs dressed like mariachis. Or maybe a cute terra-cotta lawn sculpture of some drunk guys wearing sombreros, having a siesta. Or a piñata, shaped like a burro. Ai caramba.

Friday, February 18, 2005

if you believe in fairies

In 1999, in anticipation of my trip to Paris, I received my first passport. I'm lucky they even let me into the country, considering the horrible photograph (Rosanne Rosanadanna frizzy pyramid of hair, enormous Sally Jessy Rafael glasses, heinous striped sweater), but they did, and I was grateful.

Since that trip to France, I've gotten three more stamps in my passport: Norway, Bermuda, and Japan. Not as many as I would like, but considering that the only assets to my name are a 1996 Chevy Cavalier with a big dent on the driver's side door and four video game consoles (six if you count the ColecoVision and Atari 2600 gathering dust in Daddy-O's basement), I think I've been pretty lucky. And when you add my health and the continued health of my friends and family, being able to move to California, and the boyfriend of my dreams (yes, I know, I could test Jenna Jameson's gag reflex with this shit), I almost feel like I haven't got the right to ask for anything else.

But I am.

Two things, in fact, and I'll start with the altruistic one first.

My brother, R, is so shy he makes me look like Paris Hilton, yet despite all that, he worked up the courage to ask someone out...and she said yes. He sent me a gushy e-mail about how pretty and funny and bubbly she is, and how excited he is and how hopeful he is that it goes well, and my heart ached in that way it does when someone you love is putting themselves out there and you're afraid they're going to be hurt or disappointed. He's such a melancholy guy, thanks to a combination of bad luck, bad choices, and a series of unfortunate events, and I think having a girlfriend would be the best thing that could possibly happen to him.

So tomorrow, around 12PM CST, if you could direct a stream of good energy towards Minnesota, that would be keen.

The selfish part, which goes along with the opening lines: I recently sent in my application for a trip to Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka) at the end of March, and to put it mildly, it sounds like one assrockin' good time. Unfortunately, I just got an e-mail from Yumiko saying that they need at least twenty people to sign up before March 4th or the trip will be canceled.

This cannot, I repeat CANNOT, be allowed to happen under any circumstances.

Come on, everyone, let us raise our voices to the skies! Let us do positive visualizations of me sitting under the cherry trees, drinking in the beauty of Japan. Ah...the petals drift through the air, dancing like pink snow as they gently settle on my shoulders, and I am refreshed.

An entreaty in haiku:

O kindest Buddha!
Let there be nineteen more nerds
On this trip. Kthx.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

an open letter to Lucky magazine

Dear Lucky,

I have subscribed to your magazine since its inception, thanks to an unbeatable introductory offer, and I’ve been a subscriber ever since. One of my favorite monthly rituals is to soak in a hot bubble bath and read the latest issue, lusting after all the beautiful clothes and shiny objects.

Well, I read something in the March 2005 issue---page 175, to be exact---that almost made me drop it in the tub. In Jean Godfrey-June’s column, she writes: “There’s no substitute for either of the Laura Mercier concealers, and when people ask me for my single desert-island essential, it’s like Sophie’s Choice: Would I rather look tired or broken-out?”


Were Jean and the editors huddled in the wardrobe room, giggling and passing around a huffer bag full of nail polish remover, or do you honestly not know what Sophie’s Choice is about? Well, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the latter, so let me fill you in: the choice that Sophie must make is which child she has to send to the Auschwitz gas chamber. Gosh, that sure would be easier than picking a favorite Laura Mercier concealer, huh? Sophie sure had it easy compared to Jean Godfrey-June! Just think if she had to choose between her kids and Laura that would have been a real pickle!

Now, don’t get me wrong; I know that Sophie’s Choice is fictional, but the Holocaust was not, and to use it as a throwaway punchline in a fluffy magazine about shopping, for chrissakes, seems a little…oh…OFFENSIVE to me. What’s next? “How to Be a Holocaust Survivor---Or Just Look Like One”? "Schindler's List of Essential Fall Fashions"?

Lest you think I’m just a joyless, easily offended woman who has nothing better to do than write letters to magazines, I assure you that’s not the case. It’s pretty hard to shock me---as anyone who’s known me for more than five minutes can attest---but this certainly did the trick. Perhaps I’m just a tad more sensitive to the issue now that I'm dating a Jewish man, but I'd like to think this would offend me no matter what.

Well, congratulations, Lucky. You’ve finally proven yourself to be the airheaded piece of tripe your detractors have always accused you of being.

Sincerely yours,

[my real name]

Monday, February 07, 2005

fate's mighty bitchslap

When the alarm went off this morning, I yawned and immediately cringed as a thousand needles of pain shot through my throat. I got up and hawked two liters of bright yellow phlegm into the toilet, and then, despite feeling like reconstituted dog shit, I began getting ready for work.

Once I was dressed and my hair was brushed and my lipstick was on and my pulse points had been spritzed, I realized I still had ten minutes to burn, so I thought, "Oh, yes, I should get my tax stuff together so I can drop by after work and get those done." I began rummaging through the pile of crap on my floor, looking for my W-2 and my statements for my savings account and my mutual fund.

Cue the soundtrack to House of Sand and Fog as I also find an envelope ominously marked "State of California Franchise Tax Board" that I had forgotten about.

I opened it.

"Our records indicate you have not filed a California income tax return for one or more years since 1999."

Um, what?

Frantically, I flipped through my file folders and found my tax returns for 2001, 2002, and 2003. Sho'nuff, I had filed every single year I've lived in California.

What the fuck?

Now bordering on tears, I folded the letter and put it in my purse, vowing to call on my lunch break and find out what the hell was going on.

So I put on my work badge and sunglasses, walked out to my car, and oh joy, to my UTTER and EXTREME delight, I had a COCKSUCKING MOTHERFUCKING FLAT TIRE.

Let's recap, shall we? In the course of one hour, I:

*Woke up with a throat full of broken glass and thistles;
*Found a letter saying I had not paid state income tax;
*Discovered a flat tire on my car.

So much for bordering on I was in full sobbing mode as I went back inside and flung myself on my bed for a good long cry. Then I called in sick, left a message for Dr. Feelgood to see if I could get in for an appointment, and curled up in bed.

On the plus side, my doctor's office called, and I have an appointment at 10:20. K is off today, and she has graciously agreed to drive me over there. When I get back, I'll call Triple A to put on my spare, and then I'll go get my tire changed. Then I'll come home and call the tax board. THEN I'm going to get into bed and pull the comforter over my head.

Christ, this sucks!

Must go to happy place...happy place...'s so beautiful here. I'm on the beach, and G is feeding me warm creme brulee while Jude Law rubs my feet. Diego is bringing me a mai tai. There are pointy-tailed gray and white kittens and capuchin monkeys frolicking about! It's so perfect here.

I ain't leaving.