Monday, October 30, 2006

We have the technology! We can rebuild him!

As you can tell from my title, Daddy-O came through the surgery like a champ. This was one of the longest days of my life, and I'm practically delirious with exhaustion, but I wanted to write about this while it's still (semi-) fresh in my mind.

We all got up at 5AM this morning, had breakfast (except for Daddy-O, who had to fast), and drove to the hospital, which is only a 5-minute drive from my dad's house. It's only a few years old, and it was obviously built with the wealthy citizenry of [smallish Minnesota town] in mind; I swear, when we first walked in, I thought we'd gone to a hotel by mistake.

Anyway, we took the elevator up to the orthopedics center, and Dad filled out his paperwork. Then the nurse took him in back to prep him for surgery, and R and I sat by the fireplace and chewed our fingernails until she returned and said we could go back and visit him.

When I saw him in that hospital bed, looking so small and vulnerable in his hospital gown, with an IV in his hand, I almost burst into tears. The impending flood was dammed, however, when Daddy-O turned and said to us in an affronted tone, "They shaved me." Then, just in case the implication wasn't clear, he hissed, "EVERYWHERE."

I smirked. "You got some manscaping done, eh? That shit's gonna itch when it grows back."

"I can always count on you for encouragement, little Ro."

The surgeon walked in, and when he introduced himself, I winced because he shares the same name, first and last, with one of my absolute least favorite people at the Cube Farm. But he was very personable and explained everything thoroughly, so I liked him.

When it was time for Daddy-O to be wheeled into the OR, I kissed his cheek and whispered, "I love you." Then R did the same, and we went out to the waiting room, where I excused myself, went in the bathroom, and cried for five minutes. Then I washed my face, returned to the sofa, and picked up my book.

Several chapters later, I glanced at the clock. By that time, Daddy-O had been in surgery for about 30 minutes.

Fifteen minutes later, Dr. B came out, and if you'll pardon my indelicacy, I practically shit my pants because I thought something had gone wrong. Before I could say anything, though, he told us that the surgery was finished (!) and had gone very smoothly, Daddy-O was alert (I didn't realize this until the surgeon mentioned it, but Daddy-O didn't actually get put under; he only had local anesthetic), and we'd be able to see him once he was moved to his room.

Shortly after Dr. B left, G arrived; she would have come earlier, but she had a patient of her own to see. We updated her, and when the nurse came out and said Daddy-O was situated in his room, we went upstairs to see him.

Frealz, people, this hospital is the shit! All the rooms are private, and there was a couch, a DVD player and VCR, and a flat-screen TV. The smell of lavender was in the air, and soothing New Agey music was playing. A card on the table said that volunteers bring around a cart of magazines, books, DVDs, and---peep this---Playstation 2 consoles and games twice a day! (I might just have to bring in my newly acquired copy of Bully; I'm sure Daddy-O would love to see the hawt boy-on-boy kissing, or perhaps even take a turn at beating up some greasers.) No pillow-top mattress or swanky bed, of course; it was standard hospital issue. Daddy-O was sitting up, looking pretty freakin' good considering that he'd just had major surgery. We all gave him a kiss on the cheek, and then we sat on the couch and talked to him. When the nurse came in to check his IV drip, I could tell she was already charmed by him. Then the reiki healer (I shit you not) came in to work on him, and SHE was obviously smitten as well. "Oh, [Daddy-O], you're so funny!" she purred, laying her hand on his arm. I swear he could sell ketchup Popsicles to a bride in July.

We stayed until it was obvious that he was getting tired, and then we took off. R and I came home and napped (I get to sleep in Daddy-O's unbelievably comfortable bed while he's in the hospital, seeing as I'm the guest and all), and then I had to get up and fix the toilet seat, do the laundry, figure out the printer, call various relatives and Daddy-O's assistant (who cried, "Oh my god, I'm so glad he's okay, I love your father like a father!", which---although it was obviously heartfelt---struck me as so absurdly funny that I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing), and call the exterminator, since a nest of paper wasps has taken up residence just outside of Daddy-O's bedroom window, and the little shits keep managing to get inside, which doesn't exactly make optimal conditions for recuperation. Finally, with all our poop grouped for the day, R and I took a long walk, and then we came back and had dinner, and then we went back to the hospital, stopping by Borders first to pick up some magazines Daddy-O had requested.

The second time around, he wasn't quite as peppy; I think the whole ordeal had finally caught up with him, and he was taking full advantage of his morphine drip clicker. Still, considering that he'd just had major surgery that morning, I think he was doing pretty good. The hospital where he's staying doesn't have set visiting hours, so we didn't need to clear out at any given time, but he kept drifting in and out of sleep, so we only stayed for an hour.

I'm pretty freakin' drained myself, so even though it's only 9PM California time, I'm going to crawl into bed and crash. But I wanted to update you on how Daddy-O's doing, and also thank everyone for your kind thoughts and e-mails, which I honestly think kept me sane over the past few days. I owe a few phone calls/e-mails, but for now, the backs of my eyelids need investigating.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I said no, I can't talk about this.

He said, But you have to know these things. You need to know who to call and what to do if the worst happens. Here's the key to the safe deposit box. This is my lawyer's number. Most of all you know how much I love you and your brother. It will be okay.

And I smiled and said, I know Dad, I love you too, and I went in the bathroom and sat in the tub and screamed into the water. I screamed it's enough, God, okay? Fuck, it's enough already, you've done enough.

But fate is the blackjack dealer who takes your chips and shrugs and says It's not personal, kiddo, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Sometimes you get the boyfriend and the ice cream and the good books and the beautiful sunsets, and sometimes you get the dead mother and the sick brother and the father going through surgery.

And all I can do is say just this once, please. Just let him be okay, because I'm not that strong.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Thin slices of kobe beef cooked over a hot river stone + jasmine rice + a Flirtini + Hot Monkey Love (deep-fried Snickers on a stick with vanilla bean ice cream) = me, rolling around on the floor and moaning.

My fortune cookie read: "It's time to change doctors." I ain't ultra superstitious, but man, if Daddy-O had gotten that one, I'd have freaked something fierce.

I'm not sure why I wrote this. I have to lie down now.

MORNING AFTER EDIT: This was at Chino Latino, by the way; you can see their menu here. The drinks aren't listed, so I can't tell you for sure what was in my Flirtini, but I think it was champagne, vodka, and pineapple juice. It was pretty damn strong, and I was still feeling it at the time I wrote the above, so yeah.

Also, that seriously was my fortune; Chino Latino has snarky fortune cookies. G-the-Fiancee's said "Closets are for clothes, girlfriend!"

Oh! Earlier in the day, I also had blue moon ice cream. Oh yeah, baby. On the rare occasions that I'm able to find it, I always ask the clerk what flavor it's supposed to be, since nobody can tell me. I've heard everything from "a twist on tutti frutti" (no) to "minty" (definitely not) to "the milk that's left over after a bowl of Froot Loops" (closest so far, but still not quite right). This one scrunched up her nose and said, "Kind of lemony almondy?"

It's a mystery, Charlie Brown.

So yeah, nothing else has really happened other than getting my gorge on. (Hey, I kind of have to, since I'm sure my appetite will decrease the closer we get to the surgery. And just to reassure you, G, when we stocked up on groceries, I didn't get any junk food, and I even bought applesauce, even though it physically pained me to do so.) There were lots of things around the house that needed my attention: askew window treatments, a shower curtain that was falling off its hooks, a printer that needed to be loaded with paper, a VCR clock that needed setting. I did all these things, and Daddy-O said, "Thanks, little Ro. We just kind of fell apart without you here."


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


So I was forced to go to a meeting at work today, and as I sat there half-listening to my boss talk about the changes coming to the Cube Farm (note to self: find new job by the end of 2007), I thought about a bunch of different things: the dwarf construction worker I’d seen on my morning walk, what I needed to do before my trip, whether the new Stephen King book will be good or a piece of shit, and so on and so on and Scooby dooby dooby.

“Okay!” my boss M suddenly said, closing her laptop, and I jumped. “I have a manila envelope containing some important information, and I need a volunteer to take care of it for me. Anyone?”

“I’ll do it,” J, the chick from the mailroom said.

“Oh, wait, before you open that…did you want to delegate that to someone else? This is your last chance before you have to deal with it.”

“Um, okay, I guess I’ll pass it off,” J said, and the bitch stood up, walked to the other side of the table, and handed it to ME!

Gee, thanks a pantsload, I fumed. Not like I don’t have enough shit on my plate. And what about the time I helped you out when [the other mailroom employee] was gone for three fucking weeks? Twat.

“I guess we’d better get right on that, actually,” M said. “C, could you open it?”

So I did…and it was a twenty dollar bill. I held it up and everyone began murmuring excitedly. The moral lesson was something like how you might lose out on a valuable opportunity if you try to pass off your work on someone else, blah blah, whatever. All I cared about was that I had twenty clams for porn, candy, and magazines.

But you know what really killed me? I ran into J in the bathroom after the meeting, and she said, “Uh, do you think I could have that twenty bucks back?”

I laughed.

She did not.

And when I realized she was serious, I screamed, “Bitch, you tryin’ to jack my steez?” And then I ripped out her weave and used it to wipe my ass.

Okay, that last paragraph was a lie. I actually laughed again and said, “Nope, sorry,” and I washed my hands and left.

When I first heard about a video game in development called Bully, I’ll have to admit that I had a complete knee jerk reaction to it. Early reports said that you played a bully who gains experience points by tormenting the weak, and seriously, I was so pissed I thought my brain would burst. I was pretty badly bullied in elementary and junior high school (see Welcome to the Dollhouse for a more Disneyfied version) and I thought this was just the worst freakin’ idea. I sure as hell don’t believe in censorship, and I don’t think that games/movies/books/cloud formations can cause someone to do something bad unless they leaned that way to begin with, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Well, turns out that Bully, despite Jack Thompson’s frothing diatribes to the contrary, is not a “Columbine simulator” that will lead to “children across the nation being tortured and killed”. Nope, your character is protecting the weak, and I don’t have any problem whatsoever with that.

I also don’t have any problem with this:

That’s right, Rockstar Games, creators of the notorious Grand Theft Auto games (also known as the Cop Killin’, Hooker Humpin’ Fun Time Jamboree), lets you boost your character’s health by getting your mack on with the gender of your choice.

Bully > > > > > > > > > > > > > >Jack Thompson

On a more somber note, I’m heading back to Minnesota tonight. Things will be fine and dandy through the weekend---a swank dinner at Chino Latino, a trip to get my beloved blue moon ice cream, potential visits with old friends---but on Monday, Daddy-O is having hip replacement surgery. He’s never even had his wisdom teeth pulled, so he’s kind of freaking out. I know it will be the best thing for him, especially after seeing how badly he was limping during his visit here two weeks ago, but I’m still scared as hell. He tried to talk me out of coming, but there’s no fucking way. I’ll be taking care of him through next week, and then my brother, G, and the private nurse (Daddy-O’s already making lewd jokes about sponge baths, and G has threatened to call the service and tell them to send a man) will take over.

So if you could all keep a good thought for my dad, that would rock. I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, October 16, 2006

just an ordinary BIZARROLAND

Today is the final day of my four-day weekend. I'm trying not to stress out too much about the ungodly workload that no doubt awaits me tomorrow, but it's rather difficult. I fear liberal application of chocolate and hydrotherapy in the form of a hot bubble bath may be in order.

Anyway! My weekend has, for the most part, been quite pleasant. Daddy-O, his fiancee GR, and my brother R were in California to celebrate Daddy-O's 60th birthday. Daddy-O and GR did the wine country thing on Friday, so I had R all to myself. We managed to pack the day full of fun: the beach, a drive down the PCH, a jaunt to the neighborhood in which we grew up, and a stop at Chocolatine for nummies (a lemon sugar crepe for me; oh, the humanity!).

On Saturday, R, my boyfriend G, and I headed to Santa Barbara to meet up with Daddy-O and GR. We had drinks, took a walk to the pier (and boy, my pirate shoes just weren't made for walkin'...), and enjoyed a lavish spread at the Sage & Onion. I had filet with a molasses reduction, and G and I shared warm chocolate cake with pistachio rocky road ice cream in a sugar tuile. My groaning gut! (Literally, as it turns out; I don't know if there was something wonky with the food or if I just ate too much rich food in too short a time, but more than one member of our party suffered gastrointestinal distress! Man, if I keep getting the shits/barfies like I have been the past couple weeks, I'll fit into a two-piece by summer!)

Then, on Sunday, it was time for my family to head home. I saw them off with hugs (but no tears for a change, since I'll be seeing them all in less than two weeks when I fly back to MN for Daddy-O's surgery), and then I grabbed my gear and headed over to G's. He was in a fine mood, thanks to the Giants' victory, and we celebrated with pizza and a movie (Lady Vengeance, to be exact).

Ah, but you were wondering about my title, yes?

I had today off as well thanks to AWA (alternate work arrangement; i.e. every other week, I work four 10-hour days and get Monday off). I didn't have anything planned, so I went over to the local mall to assist the economy. I bought some heavily discounted Harajuku Lovers accessories in Urban Outfitters, and then I made a beeline for Sephora.

(beep beep beep)

Damn cell phone and its low battery alarm!

I sat down on a bench across from the movie theater to turn off my cell. My attention was soon diverted by an angry woman screaming at the ticket seller. I couldn't make out what she was saying, at least until she whirled around and yelled, "Everyone, listen up! This theater sells tickets to R-rated movies to little kids!"

"God, Mom, chill," the 14-year-old (I'm guessing) boy next to her whined as she stalked past me.

I can only assume her attention was drawn to me by the rapid movement of my head as I looked down, pretending that I wasn't watching her tirade. She turned around and barked, "Here you go, miss, have a free ticket since that fucking theater won't refund our goddamn money!" She thrust a ticket at me and I took it from her, not daring to speak.

Dude, it was for Jackass 2...which was starting in two minutes!



See, I have this shameful thing for Jackass. I loved the TV show, and I loved the first movie. The only reason I hadn't seen this one yet is that I figured the DVD would have a ton of deleted scenes, plus I knew there was a scene where Steve-O attaches a leech to his eyeball, and I wanted to skip right past that bad boy.

I didn't even watch the leech scene---as soon as the words "Leech Healer" showed up on the bottom of the screen, I took the opportunity to take a much-needed bathroom break---but I am seriously traumatized.


Anyone know where I can buy eyeball bleach?

Monday, October 09, 2006

tales from the crypt, part 2

(title: tales from the crypt, part 2)

…in which I share entries from my old school, lo-tech diary, circa 1996.

This particular installment is about two dates: the worst I’ve ever been on, and the weirdest. I’ve certainly got nothing to complain about now---how could I, when poor G spent most of his weekend cleaning up my Bellagioesque fountains of barf?---but sometimes it’s good to look back and reflect on just how far I’ve come.

Plus I figured you’d all get a kick out of these 100% true bad dates. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll---well, I don’t even want to say it. I’ve actually managed to keep down two cups of yogurt and a sleeve of saltines today; I don’t want to jinx myself.

June 6th, 1996

Today I walked to Caribou Coffee to meet up with an online friend, S. We've been engaging in some mild flirtation for the past few weeks. He's a Soft Cell fan, and I promised to make him a compilation tape with "The Girl With the Patent Leather Face" on it, since he hasn't heard it. It started raining when I was halfway there, but I'd thought to bring my umbrella.

He was nice, and really tall---6'4"! We talked for about an hour, and then we parted ways. I asked him to drop me off at the library.

June 7th, 1996

What the fuck?!? I was online and S showed up on my buddy list. We started IMing and he said, "Yesterday I really wanted to masturbate on your shoes. You have such beautiful feet." I was wearing cheap espadrilles! Nothing to jerk off about. *

June 12th, 1996

Yet another online date, but this one suuuuuucked! His name was Jim, and he moved here recently from North Carolina. He was so damn boring. At one point, the conversation stalled and then he said, "Do you like Garfield?" I was kind of taken aback, but I said sure, and then he said, "I got a Garfield calendar for Christmas last year. My favorite one is when he's trying to get the lasagna away from Jon; I laughed so hard!"

Okay, what the hell?!?! That's like saying your favorite episode of "Gilligan's Island" is the one where they're trying to get off the island!

Anyway, so we finished eating and he asked if I wanted dessert. I said no because at that point I just wanted to go home! But he got cheesecake, so I had to sit there and wait for him to eat it. At one point, he offered me a bite so I took one. This winds up being relevant!

When the bill came, Jim patted his shirt pocket and said, "I got something to take care of this." So I thought he was going to get out a credit card, and I figured well, at least I got a free meal out of this shitty date. But he pulled out a little pocket calculator and started tallying up who owed what! "You had the filet mignon, so that was nine dollars, your drink was two dollars, and you had a bite of my cheesecake, so that was, let's say, fifty cents."

I laughed because I thought he was kidding...I mean, would YOU take that seriously? But he was serious! I practically threw my money at him and when we left, he asked if I wanted to go out again. Fuck no!

*There’s an interesting addendum to this charming tale. S turned out to be a very unusual guy, to put it mildly. We never met up in person again, but we talked online and on the phone all the time. Once we were talking on the phone and I said something like, "What did you think of that movie, S?"

"Oh, don't call me S," he said.

"Um, what am I supposed to call you?"

"Call me slut. I don't deserve any name but slut, or pig, or whatever you want to call me, mistress."


So yeah, he really wanted to be dominated by a woman. One day he sent me an e-mail with a picture attachment and a note that said, "This was a fun party; I wish you had been there too." My computer at the time was basically an Etch-a-Sketch, and pictures took forever to open, so I sent it to K and asked her to let me know if it was anything interesting. She called me two seconds after I sent it and said, "Oh my JESUS CHRIST, I can't even tell you what's in the picture! You have to see it."

The next day at work, K sat down in the cube next to me and passed me a piece of paper that was folded about fifteen times. "You might want to wait until your break to look at it," she whispered.

Could I resist? Uh, no. I opened it and saw, to my shock, good old S and a guy I didn't know on all fours, looking over their shoulders at two women who were busily shoving dildos the size of hamhocks up the boys' butts.

Ah, romance!

Monday, October 02, 2006

media update: September

Wanna be a ghostbuster, first black president, owner of Hustler...

Oh, hello there; hope you all had a good weekend. This is a couple of days late, but since I didn't watch or read anything on Saturday (aside from an issue of Entertainment Weekly and two episodes of CSI), it's still accurate. Asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; your mileage may vary.


1. We Are All Welcome Here* by Elizabeth Berg: I always make sure to have Kleenex handy whenever I read one of this author's books, because she has never failed to make me cry. This novel, about a teenage girl growing up with her disabled mother in the 1960's, was no exception. I disapprove of the deus ex machina near the end, but I'll forgive her.

2. Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston: A woman tries to forgive her husband after discovering that he's having an affair with his trainer. Not as good as Winston's debut novel, Good Grief, but it has its moments.

3. Journal: The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Amy Zoe Mason by Joyce Atkinson and Kristine Atkinson: This is a murder mystery done in the form of an illustrated journal kept by its unlucky title protagonist. The book is voyeuristically beautiful in a Griffin and Sabine sort of way, but the story is lacking. It would be worth leafing through in a bookstore or getting at the library, though, just because of the unique way it's laid out.

4. Triptych* by Karin Slaughter: Three stories---a cop with dark secrets, a sad sack ex-con who stumbles across a sinister scheme, and a promiscuous vice cop---seamlessly intertwine in this taut thriller. More twists than a jumbo-sized bag of pretzels, and I guarantee you won't see most of them coming. Warning: Karin Slaughter is very aptly named, so if you have a weak stomach, you're not going to want to read any of her books. This one isn't that bad, at least compared to her previous novels, but it still has plenty of wince-worthy moments.

5. Girl in a Box by Sujata Massey: In the latest installment of the Rei Shimura mysteries, Rei---now a full-fledged government agent---is sent to Japan to investigate the shady business practices of a major department store. Not one of the better books in the series, but I still enjoyed its setting.

Read so far this year: 38


1. Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death* by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen: A fascinating peek into the newest trends in the funeral industry, from whimsically shaped caskets to diamonds made out of human cremains. Am I just tetched in the head, or are those diamonds actually beautiful? I don't know that I could ever wear one, though. I felt bad enough when I lost a $25 silver ring my parents gave to me when I was a teenager; I can't imagine how I'd feel if I lost a ring made out of a loved one.

2. The Best American Magazine Writing 2005 (anthology): One of the articles in here ("The Wronged Man", about a man who spent 22 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, and was eventually freed when DNA proved his innocence) made me burst into tears.

3. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman: A collection of humorous essays about the author's childhood, overwhelming desire to get laid as a teenager, and wondering if you can still be a feminist when you go apeshit with glee at David's Bridal. I picked this up at [temmahkrik]'s recommendation, and I agree with her that it gets better as you go along.

4. Tabloid Love by Bridget Harrison: The author moved from London to New York City to work at the New York Post, and eventually she was given her own column to talk about her love life...which got awkward when she started dating her boss. This book has a lot of funny moments in it, but it's the poignant moments (her recollections of 9/11, spending Christmas Eve interviewing an elderly man about his wife's death) that I particularly enjoyed.

5. Straight Up & Dirty* by Stephanie Klein: A chronicle of the author's return to the single life after her divorce (or, as she puts it, after leaving her "wasband"). It's not only gloriously raunchy, but it's hysterical, and those are two great tastes that taste great together.

Read so far this year: 63


1. Teacher's Pet by Miki Aihara
2. Imadoki! by Yuu Watase
3. Sexual Harassment Avenger by Oumi Shinano

Read so far this year: 69 (uh huh huh huh)


1. Crank: A hit man is injected with poison by one of his enemies, and the only way he can stay alive is to keep his adrenaline up, which he does by driving through shopping malls, snorting coke, humping his girlfriend up against a newspaper machine in the middle of a crowded Chinatown marketplace, and so on. I love me some Jason Statham, but this movie was disappointing, especially since he didn't get a chance to show off his martial arts chops. Catch it on DVD, or rent The Transporter instead and entertain naughty thoughts during the oil scene.

2. Friends With Money: Jennifer Aniston plays the lone broke woman in a group of very wealthy friends. Smart and realistic dialogue and excellent performances, although ew on Jennifer using a stranger's vibrator.

3. Eight Below: Paul Walker, looking less hunky than usual thanks to windburn and eighteen layers of clothes, plays an Antarctic guide who must abandon his beloved sled dogs during a storm, and fights to get back to them while the dogs struggle to survive. Considering that it's a Disney movie, the dogs were refreshingly unanthropomorphized (if that's a word), and I teared up a few times. (Okay, once was due to the horrible CGI during the leopard seal attack, but most of the time it was due to something touching or tragic.)

4. The Protector*: Do you like intellectually challenging plots and Oscar-caliber acting? This isn't the film for you. Do you like nonstop, hardcore martial arts action that's so exciting you leap from your seat and yell "Tony freakin' Jaa in the house, mothafuckas, serving up piping hot beatdowns! Recognize!", causing your boyfriend to shrink away from you in fear? Then this is most definitely the movie for you.

5. Cache: A French thriller about a man who starts receiving surveillance tapes and creepy drawings on his front porch. This would have gotten a star except for the ending, which had G and me screaming "WHAT?!" at the screen. Helpful hint: if you watch this, pay very careful attention to the last scene; it doesn't explain everything, but you'll have a new angle to mull over. (Or you could watch the director interview for some more ideas, but he's so goddamned pretentious that you probably won't want to.)

6. The Black Dahlia: I'd been looking forward to this movie for a long time, but I was pretty disappointed. The story is convoluted as hell, Josh Hartnett has the charisma and talent of a week-old piece of deli meat, and ohmyfuckingGOD on the fanged dildo. On the plus side, the sets and costumes are top-notch, Scarlett Johanssen and Aaron Eckhart turn in capable performances, and Mia Kirshner does a good job of portraying Elizabeth Short. I still think Jennifer Connelly would have been perfect, but she might have been too old for the role. Ah well.

7. Brick*: This film noir set in a high school gets tons of bonus points for originality. Joseph Gordon Levitt is especially good as the teenager who wants to find out who killed the girl he loves and why. I wasn't sure if I was going to star this or not, but after remembering a certain surreal scene, I've got to.

8. The Notorious Bettie Page*: Remember back in the 90's when Gretchen Mol was on the cover of Vanity Fair wearing a clingy white shirt that prominently displayed her nipples? And everyone was all "Ooooh, she's the next big thing" and then she basically disappeared? Well, she's back, and I gotta give the girl credit; she is fantastic as Bettie Page, the 50's pinup girl and bondage queen whose refreshing blend of sexuality and innocence still resonates today. It's a damn good movie.

Seen so far this year: 73 (holy crap!)


1. "Gone Daddy Gone" by Gnarls Barkley
2. "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley
3. "When You Were Young" by The Killers
4. "I My Me Mine" by The Polysics
5. "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol
6. "We Used to Be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols


Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly

I liked the first installment of this series, but this one was much better. The voice acting is greatly improved, the storyline (twin sisters wind up in a haunted village that participates in a nasty religious ritual) is more engrossing, and it features the biggest jump scare I've ever gotten from a video game. I was so startled I actually dropped the controller, which has never happened before...not even during the infamous two-way mirror scene from Resident Evil 2.

Rule of Rose

Okay, anal-retentive side note first: I actually finished this game on October 1st, but since I played the vast majority of it in September, I'm including it here.

Anyway, you play Jennifer (not shown), a young girl who's heading to an orphanage after a tragic airship accident claims the lives of her parents. On the bus, she meets a mysterious young boy who asks her to read him a storybook, and then he gets off the bus and runs up a hill. She follows him into the orphanage, and things quickly go horribly wrong. The adults have long since vanished, and the orphanage has descended into chaos, ruled over by an elite group of girls whose word is absolute. Jennifer must try to stay alive, aided in her quest by a loyal dog she rescues, and figure out why everyone hates her so much.

The first time I played this through, I got the bad ending, and I was about to take the game outside and fling it across the street like a shuriken. None of the intricate plot was explained, and I felt like I'd just wasted 50 bucks and 13 hours of my life. But G and I did some research, and we found out how to get the good ending, which fortunately didn't entail much backtracking. With the good ending, you get an additional chapter which explains almost everything...and once I got the whole picture, the emotional impact of the storyline left me in tears.

Sure, the combat is terrible, but since you're playing an average teenage girl and not, say, an elite special agent, I suppose that could be forgiven. The camera isn't the greatest, which is a standard complaint with just about every survival horror game, and the loading times are ridiculous. But man, that storyline, the exquisite CGI cutscenes, and the beautiful presentation make up for the flaws and then some. If you like twisted fairytales, then this is the game for you; it truly is, as Kotaku said, Lord of the Flies in petticoats.


The Polysics: This is a brazilliant Japanese band that's very heavily influenced by Devo. This video for "I My Me Mine" features a cool little girl, a body poppin' cop, a Japanese dude imitating Michael Jackson, and a majorette. What else could you ask for? Polysics provide you with 200% of your awesome RDA. Crank up your speakers and terrify your pets!