Thursday, August 31, 2006

media update: August

Oh, I am so looking forward to September. For one, it might actually start cooling down; I can't say as I enjoy getting into my car after work and feeling like someone just slid me into an Easy-Bake Oven. For another, there are three movies coming out that I'm eagerly anticipating: Crank, The Protector (Tony freakin' Jaa, boooooooooooy!), and The Black Dahlia. Ima get my matinees on, yeah yeah. There are also new Karin Slaughter and Sujata Massey novels to look forward to, AND a creepy new survival horror game coming out, so I'm going to be very happily occupied.

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


1. The Girls by Lori Lansens: The story of conjoined twin sisters and their journey through life. I thought parts of it were too melodramatic, but it was still touching.

2. Water for Elephants* by Sara Gruen: Through flashbacks, an elderly man tells the story of his years spent traveling with a circus during the Great Depression. Vividly written and by turns heartbreaking and funny, this is destined to be one of my favorite books of 2006.

3. The Man of My Dreams* by Curtis Sittenfeld: Even though Curtis Sittenfeld (who is a woman, by the way) wrote Prep, which made my top ten list last year, I hesitated to read this because the title and the cover photo (a crown-wearing frog) made me think it was going to be chick lit. Well, that was pretty fucking stupid of me; I should have known better. This is a wonderful book about Hannah, whose search for love and struggles to deal with family and the real world struck many a chord with me. Shit, even the book jacket raises some good questions: "At what point can you no longer blame your adult failures on your messed-up childhood? Is settling for someone who's not your soul mate an act of maturity or an admission of defeat?" I have some minor criticisms of the last chapter, but the rest is golden.

Read so far this year: 33


1. Extreme Cuisine by Jerry Hopkins: A compendium of some of the more bizarre things people eat around the world. Drugstores need to put copies of this book next to Metabolife and Dexatrim, because it's probably the best diet aid I've ever come across. Some of the full-color photos literally made my gorge rise. (And yeah, yeah, I know everything's culturally relative and people who eat cats and balut---half-formed chick embryo---might think hamburgers and ice cream are gross, but still! Fucking nasty!)

2. PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives*: So this dude named Frank Warren started passing out postcards and asking people to anonymously send in their biggest secret. This book compiles some of the best submissions, ranging from the funny ("I really enjoy peeing while I swim") to the heartbreaking ("I never said anything about my brother molesting me because I thought he’d be sent away”). Associated website here.

3. Job Hopper: The Checkered Career of a Down-Market Dilettante by Ayun Halliday: Essays on some of the author's more unusual and/or craptacular jobs. I was reading this in the waiting room of my doctor's office and got some nervous looks when I kept laughing out loud.

4. Dirty Sugar Cookies* by Ayun Halliday: This author is a recent find, and I'm happily working my way through her entire oeuvre. This one is a hysterical collection of essays about her relationship with food and cooking. Bonus: even the included recipes are funny.

5. Hillbilly Gothic: A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood* by Adrienne Martini: A raw, often blackly funny memoir about the author's struggles with postpartum depression, which has run in her family for generations. Choice childbirth quote: "It's like getting the best Christmas gift ever, but Santa decided to kick the crap out of you before you unwrapped it."

6. The Big Rumpus by Ayun Halliday: Okay, now I'm done with all of her books. This one is my least favorite of the four, probably because I can't relate to the adventures of a mother raising two kids in the East Village, but it still has its moments.

Read so far this year: 58


1. The Watchmen by Alan Moore

2. Parfait Tic* vol. 14 by Nanaji Nagamu

3. Death Note vol. 12 by Ohba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi: This was one of my favorite manga series of last year, but I began to lose interest in it after [spoiler omitted for the two of you who might pick this up]. However, this was the last volume, and it ended on a very satisfying note.

4. Desire Climax* vol. 2 by Ukyou Ayane

5. Tokyo Babylon* vols. 1-7 by CLAMP

Read so far this year: 66 volumes


1. V for Vendetta: A man in a Guy Fawkes mask tries to rally the citizenry against a totalitarian British government. This is based on the Alan Moore graphic novel, and apparently he was so utterly disgusted by how it turned out---not that he's ever been happy with ANY adaptation of his work---that he refused to have his name anywhere on it. Despite the creator's loathing, I thought it was good, and it earned bonus points for employing my eternal crush Rupert Graves, as well as for a heartbreakingly beautiful scene that left me choked up. (For those of you who have seen it, it's the one where Evey is reading the note in her jail cell; classic Alan Moore.)

2. The Descent*: An almost unbearably tense thriller about a group of women who go spelunking and run into some serious trouble. Between this and The Ruins, I don't think I'll be visiting any caves for a while.

3. Jaws: G was horrified upon hearing that I'd never seen this classic before, so we watched it together. Very good, although the shark looks laughable by today's standards.

4. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance: An unrelentingly grim, albeit impeccably crafted, Korean flick about a kidnapping that has unforeseen consequences. Afterwards, G commented, "Well, THAT was happy-making."

5. Manos, Hands of Fate (MST3K version): Did the people who made this actually think it was GOOD at the time? The mind boggles. Gotta love Torgo, though; I want his theme music as my ringtone.

6. The Dead Zone: A surprisingly well-done adaptation of the Stephen King novel about a man who gains psychic powers after a car accident.

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: It had some exciting action sequences and some truly great, gruesome creatures---thanks to some of the hentai I've seen, I found Davy Jones particularly disturbing---but it was waaaay too long. I was squirming like a kid with pinworms by the 2 hour and 15 minute mark, and I still had 20 minutes to go!

Seen so far this year: 65


1. "Why or Why Not" by Rekka Katakiri

2. "When the Cicadas Cry" by Eiko Shimamiya

3. "Go All the Way" by The Raspberries: I was driving to the supermarket and this began playing on Jack FM. It was a gloriously cheesy slice of power pop, and I freakin' LOVED it. Of course, the problem with Jack is that they don't tell you what they've just played. I tried Googling the lyrics I remembered, but came up with surprise, because it turns out I'd completely misunderstood the chorus.

Anyway, the next morning when I was driving to work, the Jack announcer gave their website address and said you could look up what they'd played in the last couple of days. Excitedly, I popped online as soon as I logged in at work (as you can tell, my priorities are straight), checked the block of time when I'd heard it, and I found the song. I downloaded it off iTunes, and I've listened to it at least eleventeen times since then. And in a prime example of Bader-Meinhoff, I was reading Esquire three days later and Mary-Louise Parker listed it as one of her favorite boinkin' songs. Might have to try that myself.

4. Rule of Rose soundtrack: I'm never happier than when I have something to obsess over, and right now it's this video game. It's not out yet, but after seeing the trailer and listening to its beautiful score, I'm absolutely salivating. It looks like a cross between Haunting Ground, the Brothers Grimm, and Lord of the Flies, and I've already put down a deposit for it at EB Games.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

tales from the crypt

…in which I share an entry from my recently rediscovered "old school" diary, circa 1995.

This particular installment is a howler because it deals with the wondrous new technology called the Internet. Back then, it was a real novelty, which dates me in a very excruciating fashion. Footnotes, where necessary, are indicated by a number in parentheses and follow the entry.

August 18, 1995

Dad brought home a laptop from work last week but none of us could figure out how to use it, so all it's been used for is solitaire.

Anyway, we got a free America Online (1) starter kit in the mail complete with ten free hours and a waiver of the first montly fee. I got everything installed and entered cyberspace. After a few aborted tries I got hooked up, complete with my own user name and password. I immediately browsed some of the more interesting sites and then went to a couple of chat rooms. For the most part, they were boring, but I added an occasional comment. I was getting pretty much ignored until I made a reference to El Mariachi (2) and a guy started talking to me! (3) Even though other people were in the room (about 12) we kept up a conversation. After about 25 minutes we were the only ones left!! (4) He lives in Georgia---he’s a computer major and into alternative music and animation too! I kept asking him questions about abbreviations that people kept using, like “LOL” which means “laughing out loud” (5) and he was so nice and patient…which I guess is easier to do when you’re not actually there.

So we talked for like three hours until the system shut down for maintenance, cutting me off in the middle of a sentence. I really loved talking to him and I hope I see him online again! (6)

1. Keep in mind that I was a complete newbie, and thus was not privy to the true evils of AOL.


3. No way! A real live boy?!? What an O. Henryesque turn of events!

4. I had not yet discovered the private chat room function, which is why this was so exciting to me. I assume, anyway; I have a hard time remembering yesterday, much less my frame of mind 11 years ago.

5. Yes, my dear younger readers, there was a time when this was arcane information.

6. I did indeed see him again; in fact, I burned a hole in my credit card talking to him online (back then, they charged by the hour). Then he left AOL for another ISP and I never spoke to him again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Stan Lee can eat my juicy butt

I’m not usually the type to get all worked up about reality shows; for the most part, it’s a genre that just doesn’t interest me. However, I made an exception for Who Wants to Be a Superhero? because, from my innocent childhood crush on Christopher Reeve as Superman to the Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld comics I greedily devoured as a preteen, I’ve always loved superheroes. I even bought three sheets of the new superhero stamps at the post office, because slapping Batman on my bills is just too freakin' cool for words.

Anyway, from the very first episode, Major Victory was my pick. A former male stripper who filled out his costume quite nicely, he instantly won my heart with his quick quips and hysterical antics. He completed every single challenge, from stopping for the crying child to surviving the attack dogs…

…and he FRICKIN’ GOT KICKED OFF LAST WEEK. Why? Because Stan Lee didn’t think he took it seriously enough. Okay, Mr. Lee, creator of Stripperella! What the fuck ever.

Ah, Major Victory, I still proudly salute you. You will always be the shiny pantsed superhero of my heart.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hello My Name Is I Don't Work Here

Last night, I realized that I was completely out of reading material, which is pretty much a fate worse than death for me, especially during TV rerun season. So I hopped in my car and drove to the library in search of intellectual, or at least entertaining, fare. I was standing in the new releases aisle, scanning the spines, when an elderly woman came up to me and said, “Where are the genealogy books?”

Now, I didn’t look anything like a staff member. If I had been wearing my work clothes, which include a nifty lanyard for my ID badge, I could understand it. However, I was wearing jeans, slides, and this shirt. If I’d actually known the answer to her question, I would have just told her, but I didn’t.

I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t work here.”

The crone narrowed her eyes at me and said, “Well, whyever not?”

“Uh…because I work somewhere else.”

Jesus H. Christ.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Part 3: I'm gonna see the cow beneath the sea

The final installment of my Q&A, spread out for your DEE-lectation.

Do you have a New Orleans connection? I’m just about the only person I know who uses the word lagniappe. (I lived there for 22 years and claim it as my very own.)

Nope…unfortunately, I’ve never even been there, and it saddens me that I’ll never see it the way it used to be. There’s got to be so much more to it than drunken jailbait flashing their titties for beads and black-clad Goths skulking around looking for Anne Rice and Trent Reznor’s homes.

What’s your favorite thing about G?

And here I thought the question about my favorite kind of monkey was hard.

Hmmmm. Seriously, I don’t know how to answer this one. If I had to pick just one attribute, it would be his sense of humor. He makes me laugh myself into a wheezing, teary-eyed fit practically every day I spend with him. He can be very sarcastic, but it’s never mean-spirited, and his reactions when I say or do something particularly weird are hysterical.

How did you discover your perfume fetish, and what are your top three?

My fetish stems from a Tinkerbell gift set I got as a kid. It had nail polish, lip balm, and a tiny bottle of perfume that probably smelled like flowery ass, but hey, I didn’t know any better, and I thought it was the best thing ever.

My top three favorites are always subject to change without notice, but currently they are:

*Minnie Wilde Magic: This smells like tigerlilies, Bain de Soleil, and sunwarmed skin, and it’s fabulous.

*Nanadebary Pink: It smells like really expensive, spicy soap, and I love the saucy vixen on the bottle too.

*The Exact Friction of Stars: Ben & Jerry’s used to make an ice cream flavor that was obviously supposed to be Almond Joy, although it wasn’t called that, no doubt due to licensing issues. This smells like that tasted, with a splash of orange for extra pizzazz.

And you didn’t ask, but my least favorite fragrance is Be Beautiful’s Chocolate Cosmos, which I recently had the misfortune to sample. I took one whiff of it and refused to put it anywhere on my body, because it smelled like shit. I don’t mean that figuratively; it literally smelled like shit. And not just any plebian shit, oh no! It smelled like shit that’s been sitting in a Port-a-Potty for a couple of hours…you know, that really pungent shit and chemical smell. I don’t know who approved this fragrance, but they should be beaten severely.

Okay, no more shit talk, I promise.

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance?

The microwave, because I can’t cook at all.

Favorite childhood cartoon?

This is going to sound funny coming from the anime freak, but I didn’t watch cartoons as a kid, at least not that I can remember. I didn’t watch much TV at all, actually, aside from “Dance Fever” and “The Incredible Hulk”. Man, I loved “The Incredible Hulk” so much that, when I misbehaved and Daddy-O said I could choose between a spanking or missing “The Hulk”, I picked the spanking. (This was before VCRs, obviously. You kids get off my lawn!)

Most annoying habit?

When I’m driving, I make racecar noises when I change lanes.

Worst ex story?

After we broke up, M1 sent all my stuff back to me in a huge trash can. He’d nailed a piece of plywood over the top to keep the contents inside, and as my mom helped me pull the nails out, she said, “Wow, honey, he turned out to be an asshole, didn’t he?”

Most embarrassing moment?

Butchering ABBA during a karaoke night in Japan. It was so horrifying that I swore I would never sing in public again.

Would you ever have plastic surgery?

Barring a horribly disfiguring accident (anti-jinx!), no. I don’t have a moral problem with it---although I do wonder if the women who Botox themselves into mannequin plasticity honestly think it looks good---but there’s nothing about myself that I dislike so much I’d be willing to overcome my fears of pain, poverty, needles, and surgery.

Okay, Miss Gamer Lady, what’s your #1 favorite video game of all time?

Jeez, why not just ask me which child is my favorite? (Not that I have kids, but still.) If you held a gun to my head (and, um, please don’t), I would have to go with Silent Hill 2, in which you play James Sunderland, a man plunged into unimaginable horrors as he searches for his wife. The storyline could hold up against any Hollywood thriller, the music is achingly beautiful, and parts of it made me tear up.

But oh, Cruel Noter, to make me choose! The other Silent Hill games are amazing, too. Then there’s the sheer visceral terror of the Resident Evil and Clock Tower (barring the second installment, which blew) series, and the lurid, gory, gooey, astoundingly offensive Illbleed. Then we have the “party” games like Super Puzzle Turbo Fighter, Taiko Drum Master, the Bust a Groove series, and Samba de Amigo…the unclassifiable Seaman…old school classics like Ms. Pac-Man, Jungle Hunt, and Galaga…and Dead Rising looks promising too; let’s hope they port it from the Xbox 360. Oh…so many wonderful, wonderful games…sigh.

Terrible question, but which CSI is the original?

The one set in Las Vegas.

What are you reading right now?

A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity by Kathleen Gilles Seidel. It’s not grabbing me, though, so I doubt it will pass my 50-page rule.

Hey, in your last entry, you didn’t list Lost as one of your favorite TV shows. Did you stop watching it?

No, I had a brain fart; thanks for reminding me. I edited that entry to add Lost, as well as The Sopranos.

What was your first concert?

Marc Almond at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, 1989. Oh my god, I was the biggest Marc Almond fan for years (in all his incarnations: Soft Cell, Marc and the Mambas, and solo), and when I found out he was coming to town, I cajoled a friend into driving me. The concert was seriously awesome; I was so moved that I cried.

I actually haven’t been to that many concerts. Aside from Marc Almond, I’ve seen Morrissey, the B-52’s, the Violent Femmes, Babes in Toyland (twice), G. Love and Special Sauce, a group concert by a bunch of oldies stars like Del Shannon and The Crystals (my parents were supposed to go together, but my mom wasn’t feeling well on the night of the concert, so I went instead), and Joan Osborne.

What are your biggest regrets in life?

I have two major ones. The first one is that I wish I had been kinder to my mom when she was still alive. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t constantly nasty to her or anything, but I think back on things I said in the heat of anger and I would give absolutely anything to take them back.

The other one is from my college years. It was late at night, and M1 and I were driving back to our dorm after a long night of dancing. We were on a back road, and there weren’t any streetlights, so he was driving very slowly. I noticed a woman walking on the side of the road ahead of us, and when she heard our truck approaching, she turned around and shot us a look of pure terror that I swear I can still see fifteen years later. We kept going, and I have never forgiven myself for not insisting that M1 pull over so we could see if she needed help. She didn’t look injured, and we hadn’t passed any disabled cars, so I have no idea why she looked so scared, but not knowing is no reason for not stopping. I sometimes still think of her late at night. I hope she was okay.

You know that my name is Blue Canary One Note, right? Even though I spell it L-I-T-E.

Cool! Do you know that guy that legally changed his name to Trout Fishing in America?

You’ve been invited to invent a candy product! *applause* Lay out your sweet plan and make me drool. (Okay, not a question proper, and it actually sounds rather lewd, but you get the idea.)

I’ve been turning this question over and over in my head, but I just can’t imagine how the sheer gustatory brilliance of a Godiva oyster could be improved upon in any way.

I am intrigued by AM’s comment about Mother’s circus cookies mixed into vanilla ice cream, though. That sounds tooth-achingly good.

What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever seen?

This is really, really, unbelievably disgusting, so those of tender constitutions may wish to stop now.

I’m not kidding.

Last chance!

There’s a video clip online of a bald man thrusting his ENTIRE HEAD inside a woman’s, um, area. I cannot fathom how such a thing is even humanly possible, barring massive (and potentially lethal) doses of muscle relaxants, so it must be a fake.

Dear God, let it be a fake.

Looks like that does it for this Q&A round. Thanks for playing!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Part 2: Ou est la bibliotheque?

This particular question gets its own entry, because the answer is a lengthy one.

Please, please tell me your all-time favorite books! (I stole this question from you.)

That’s quite all right; I was hoping someone would take the bait, because I love pushing my favorite books on other people! In no particular order, here are my ten favorite books of all time, as well as a brief description of each one. I’ve tried to keep the synopses as spoiler-free as possible, but if you want everything to be a surprise---this means you, G---you might want to skip them.

1. As Meat Loves Salt by Maria Mc Cann: Yeah, yeah, I push this book on everyone---poor G is slogging through this one at my behest---but there’s a reason for that. It’s about a disturbed young man who flees home and winds up joining Cromwell’s army, where he becomes obsessed with a fellow soldier. Sumptuous descriptions, vivid characterizations, some scorchingly erotic scenes, and an emotionally devastating climax all add up to make this the best book I’ve ever read. What astounds me the most about this novel is that even though Jacob, the main character, does some truly horrible things, I still cared about him and I honestly wanted him to be happy. (I’m apparently not alone in this; I read an interview with the author and she said she was astounded at how many letters she got from people who said they wished Jacob was real so they could marry/be with him. If you’ve read the book, you know how utterly deranged this truly is.)

2. The End of Alice by A.M. Homes: A jailed pedophile starts getting letters from a young woman who shares similar compulsions, and their correspondence causes him to look back on the events that put him behind bars. You don’t find out the full extent of his crimes until the last few chapters, and to put it mildly, it’s a doozy. This is one of the most disturbing, uncomfortable books I’ve ever read, yet it still makes my top ten. Why? Because the writing, when it’s not splashing about in Grand Guignol excesses, is almost lyrically beautiful. I didn’t read Lolita until long after I’d read The End of Alice, but Nabokov’s influence (puns, taking delight in the way certain words sound and fit together) is clear.

3. The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder: A troubled young woman, obsessed with the Japanese atrocities committed against the Chinese during the Rape of Nanking, goes to Tokyo in search of an elderly Nanking survivor. She makes some dangerous friends and even more dangerous enemies, all of whom are determined to get their hands on a mysterious elixir. I don’t usually get frightened by books, but there are some scenes in this one that literally made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. However, anyone who dismisses this as just another thriller is sorely mistaken, because the ending packs a powerhouse punch that left me in tears. (Note: Outside of the North American market, this book is published under its original title, Tokyo, which is craptacular because it sounds more like a travel guide.)

Oh, and I’m very jealous of you Brits, not only because you have awesome potato chip flavors like ham and mustard and roast chicken with gravy, but because you get John Connolly and Mo Hayder books before we do. Who knows when Hayder’s latest, Pig Island, will make it across the ocean? Dammit.

4. The Green Mile by Stephen King: I’ll admit that part of the reason I love this book so much stems from the circumstances under which I first read it. Stephen King decided to publish it in serial form, releasing a volume (each one consisting of about 100-150 pages) every month until it was finished. My mom and I eagerly awaited each new release, and I can still remember our outraged screams over one major cliffhanger. Anyway, that’s not the only reason I love this book; I also love it for its rich characters and its exploration of miracles both big and small. It’s true that Stephen King has written more than his fair share of tripe over the years, but this is an example of what he can produce when he really puts his mind to it.

5. Dark Hollow by John Connolly: This is the first book of Connolly’s that I read, and it remains my favorite. Charlie Parker, the private investigator who’s the central character in almost all of Connolly’s novels, is asked to find a woman’s ex-husband and get him to pay child support. But then the woman and her little boy are killed, and Charlie, who lost his wife and daughter to a vicious murderer, is determined to track down the culprit. He’s assisted in his quest by his friends Louis and Angel, two morally ambiguous and decidedly gay hitmen, who get some priceless dialogue. It’s a riveting thriller, dark and sad at its core, but not without redemption. And if you ever get the chance, go see John Connolly at one of his signings; he’s a charming, handsome guy with a swoon-worthy Irish brogue. He’s also really nice; he even remembered my name at the second signing I attended! (Well, sort of; he was close enough that he gets full credit.)

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: I was a latecomer to the whole Harry Potter phenomenon, but my friend B-chan insisted that I would love the books, so I grudgingly picked the first one up…and I didn’t put it down, except to pee, until I was finished.

7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling: My favorite of the series so far, thanks to its unbeatable combination of magic, mayhem, tragedy, humor, and adolescent angst.

8. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: Hey, if a book can make ME cry about a spider…

9. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber: Set in 19th century England, this book follows a young prostitute named Sugar as she struggles to survive and then finds herself the paid plaything of a wealthy man. This sprawling novel took the author twenty years to research and write, and it shows; the descriptions are gorgeous, and my attention never wavered, even though the book is almost one thousand pages long. (Kirsten Dunst---whose name is an anagram of Dr. Sunken Tits, by the way---is supposed to play Sugar in the movie adaptation; don’t fuck it up, Dunst.)

10. The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst: A man, grieving the loss of his wife, isn’t sure it was an accident…so he tries to teach their dog to talk, because it was the only witness to her death. There’s a part in the middle that’s a little too outlandish to enjoy, but the rest of the novel makes up for it. This book will speak to anyone who’s ever been utterly consumed by grief; have lots of Kleenex handy.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Part 1: you asked, I answer

Oh, dude, I just got back from my massage and I'm feelin' so loose like a long-necked goose, to quote the late and marginally lamented Big Bopper. Still, I shall endeavor to answer a few of your questions before loping off to bed and passing out.

Who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong?

I don’t know, but if I ever find out who it is, I’m gonna paste him and paste him GOOD.

Why can I only see God after huffing aerosol cans for hours on end?

Because God is a homeless 17-year-old skate punk, and there’s nothing He loves more than a paper bag full of Krylon fumes.

What is your favorite kind of monkey and why?

A fiendishly difficult question to answer! Tamarins make me melt with their eensy little hands and their Salvador Dali mustaches, but there’s much to be said for the lively and intelligent capuchin as well, with their wise old man faces and zany antics. Basically, I love all primates aside from baboons (mean and ugly), chimpanzees (disturbing tendency to bite the faces and balls off unsuspecting people), and Colin Farrell.

Aside from Japan and Iceland, to what other foreign country would you like to travel and why?

Finances permitting, I’m hoping to visit Costa Rica next year. I’ve always wanted to see the majesty of the rainforests for myself, and of course, Costa Rica is home to many wonderful and exotic creatures, including my beloved monkeys and sloths. I’d also love to see more of France---I’ve only been to Paris---as well as Italy (incredible food, handsome men, beautiful art), the neon buzz and dazzle of Hong Kong, and the Seychelles, which, judging from the photographs I’ve seen, is quite possibly the most beautiful place on earth.

What junk food item have you been dying to try but haven’t for fear it would make your heart explode?

Darling, I’ve tried a Luther (cheeseburger between glazed donuts), Hot Monkey Love (a deep-fried Snickers bar with vanilla ice cream), and a Carl’s Jr. Breakfast Burger (hamburger patty, fried egg, tater tots, and cheese between two sesame seed buns); I can’t imagine anything potentially delicious that I wouldn’t try. I am curious about deep-fried Twinkies, though.

Do you really read and watch all the stuff you say you do in your media updates?

I most certainly do! If I don’t read/watch something all the way through, it doesn’t make the list. I read very fast, plus I read during my lunch break at work and for at least an hour before bed, which means that I’m able to polish off at least one book every week. Plus, let's be honest, not everything I read is quality literature, and it takes much less time to plow through a Jackie Collins novel than it does to read, say, Madame Bovary. As far as the movies, G and I usually watch at least one movie every weekend, and sometimes two.

What TV shows do you watch?

My current favorite, at least until The Simpsons comes back, is Who Wants to Be a Superhero? God, I love this show so much I want to marry it, and if Major Victory doesn't win I will throw myself facedown on the floor and have a right old tantrum. I also watch Jeopardy!, all three CSIs (although only the original consistently keeps my interest), Rescue Me, and Nip/Tuck. We don't get G4 at the Merry Mansion, but G and I watch it on the weekends. X-Play is a video game review show hosted by the incredibly funny and personable Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb. They get some great lines; for example, for one game that featured babies as the protagonists, Adam said, "After ten minutes of this game, you want to take a coat hanger to the whole thing." I also really like Cinematech: Nocturnal Emissions, which features clips from video games, including some truly weird Japanese ones that we'll probably never see on our shores. They also had a long segment on one of my all-time favorite games, Illbleed, which ensured my faithful viewership. OMG, G4, BFF!

EDITED TO ADD: Gah, I can't believe I forgot Lost and The Sopranos! It's been so long since I saw either one that I just plumb forgot.

To be continued...

filibuster vigilantly

Folks, I am buh to the ored. I absolutely cannot think of anything to write about, even though I want to write, so I'm taking a cyberpage from the blogs of other people and asking for your questions. I'll answer pretty much anything as long as it doesn't infringe on the privacy of someone else or ask for information that might be used for Nefarious Purposes. (Not that I think any of you would do that, but hey, I need a disclaimer.) Want to know my earliest childhood memory? Want to know my favorite books of all time? Want to know what I think of the music reviewer who compared Ashlee Simpson's song "Boyfriend" to Joan Jett? (Free answer: OMG FUCK YOOOOOOU) Ask away; my e-mail address is sairentohiru[at] My ensuing entry may wind up being snore pie with yawn sauce, but hey, as long as I'm entertained.

A lagniappe for you, in the form of one of my all-time favorite short animated films. And it's not even Japanese!