Friday, February 29, 2008

media update: February

Sorry this looks so crappy; I think all of the pictures/videos messed up the formatting. Oh well.

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


1. Secrets of a Lady by Tracy Grant: In Regency London, an upper class couple's world is turned upside down when their son is kidnapped and, in the process of trying to find him, their darkest secrets come to light.

2. Breaking Her Fall by Stephen Goodwin: A man receives a phone call from someone claiming that his 14-year-old daughter is drunk off her ass and blowing guys at a party. He rushes over there and commits an act of violence that has far-reaching consequences. The themes and style reminded me of Jodi Picoult.

3. Mademoiselle Boleyn* by Robin Maxwell: An excellent fictionalized account of Anne Boleyn's adolescence, complete with some nice racy scenes.

4. The Diving Pool* by Yoko Ogawa: Three disturbing novellas by one of Japan's best-known female authors. The title story is about a teenage girl who, unable to deal with her feelings for her foster brother, begins taking it out on a baby in her parents' care. "Pregnancy Diary" is about an unhinged woman cataloging her pregnant sister's state of mind, and "Dormitory" is about a woman revisiting her old dorm in hopes of finding her missing cousin.

5. The Serpent's Tale* by Ariana Franklin: I was chomping at the bit to read this because Mistress of the Art of Death was one of my favorite novels last year. In this one, Adelia investigates the murder of King Henry II's mistress. It's nowhere near as good as Mistress of the Art of Death, but it's still an engrossing historical mystery, and I happily plowed through it. The blurb on the back cover sums it up best: "CSI meets The Canterbury Tales."

6. The Opposite of Love* by Julie Buxbaum: The protagonist breaks up with her boyfriend and promptly regrets it, but he's angry and won't take her back. Her life continues to spiral downward when she gets involved in a messy legal case, her boss sexually harasses her, and her beloved grandfather becomes ill. I know this sounds like one colossal downer of a book, and there are times when it's almost unbearably sad---the scene where she talks to her dead mother had me reaching for the Kleenex---but it's also occasionally funny, and I was anxious to discover how everything turned out. Warning, though, to anyone planning on reading this: I would advise skipping the prologue, because it's chock full of spoilers. I don't know why on earth the author and/or editor thought that would be a great idea. They should have made it an epilogue instead, or just left it out entirely.

7. Celebutantes by Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper: Lola, the protagonist, finds herself in a pickle when she promises her budding fashion designer friend that she'll convince a celebrity to wear one of his gowns to the Oscars. It alternates between fluffily amusing and mindnumbingly stupid.

8. Beautiful Children* by Charles Bock: Holy fucking wow, is this good that I don't want to spoil it by giving away too much. I'll just say that this funny, sad, and scary book, in which a 12-year-old boy disappears in Las Vegas, is one of the best debut novels I've ever read.


1. Helping Me Help Myself* by Beth Lisick: The author spent a year taking advice from various self-help books and seminars. It's hysterically funny and occasionally quite moving (such as when she goes on a Richard Simmons "Cruise to Lose" cruise, expecting it to be stupid and campy, and finds herself surprisingly touched by the experience).

2. Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter: A "meh"moir about the author's journey through the foster care system.

3. Her Last Death* by Susanna Sonnenberg: When the author received a phone call saying that her mother was on the brink of death after a car accident, she decided not to visit her; this memoir explains, in brutally honest detail, why. Exquisitely written, painful, and redemptive.

4. Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch: A mildly entertaining memoir about the author’s stint working at Per Se, one of the most renowned restaurants in New York City. Not the best thing to read during my lunch break, since the description of one of the desserts (a Valrhona chocolate brownie with milk chocolate ganache, milk chocolate snowflakes, and spiced caramel ice cream) made my cup of vanilla yogurt seem like dog shit in comparison.

5. Hope's Boy by Andrew Bridge: Another memoir about going through the foster care system, although considerably better than #2.

6. Have You Found Her* by Janice Erlbaum: The author spent time in a homeless shelter when she was a teenager (as detailed in her previous memoir, Girlbomb) and, when she got older, decided to volunteer there. She met a brilliant teenage junkie named Sam, and eventually they became very close. But then, as Sam became sicker and sicker, she discovered something truly shocking that forced her to reevaluate everything she thought she knew about her friend. A heartbreaking and infuriating story.


1. The Savages*: Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman play siblings who must put their aging father, from whom they've been estranged for years, into a nursing home. There are some moments of dark comedy, but in general it's a painful, exceptionally moving film with superb performances.

2. The Eye: A blind violinist (Jessica Alba, turning in a performance so wooden that the producers should have saved a few million bucks and hired a mannequin instead) receives a cornea transplant which enables her to see dead people. So, so, so very bad. Not even the "okay, this is stupid but I'm enjoying it anyway" kind of bad; just plain BAD.

3. Cloverfield: An incredibly intense thriller about a monster wreaking havoc on New York City. I would have given it a star if I hadn't had to sprint to the bathroom and puke. Yes, I am one of the poor souls that got severe motion sickness from the shaky camera. I even took Bonine beforehand in hopes of staving it off, but no such luck. (I ran past a theater employee on the way to the bathroom, and when I emerged five minutes later, he said sympathetically, "Cloverfield?" I replied, "No, Meet the Spartans.") Anyway, I hope the inevitable sequel doesn't use the same technique, or there's probably no way I can see it, which would be a shame because (nausea aside) I really liked this movie.

4. Rush Hour 3: Aside from a couple of good action sequences and a decent quip here and there, this sucked so hard. Poor Jackie Chan tries to retain his dignity, Chris Tucker mugs shamelessly, and the dialogue has more clunkers than a scrapyard.

5. Shoot 'Em Up*: Now THIS is a rollicking action film! Clive Owen (excellent as always) plays a mysterious man who helps deliver a baby and then tries to protect it while evading a group of hitmen (including Paul Giamatti, who looks like he's having a blast). Along the way, he recruits a lactating hooker to help out. It's improbable as hell, so if you insist on realism in your movies, don't bother. But if you're in the mood for a bloody, audacious, stylish bullet orgy, this is a must-rent. It's the best movie John Woo never made.

6. The Bourne Ultimatum: The third installment in the Bourne series involves some insane fighting and car chases. Although I enjoyed it, I think my expectations were too high after reading so many reviews claiming it was the best action film of the past ten years.

7. The King of Kong*: An awesome and surprisingly suspenseful documentary about a sad sack family man and a mulleted jerkwad competing for the world record Donkey Kong score.

8. Music and Lyrics*: Hugh Grant plays a former pop star capitalizing on his 80's heyday by performing at high school reunions and amusement parks. A Britneyesque diva asks him to compose a new song for her, but he's no good with lyrics, so he recruits Drew Barrymore to help out. A very charming movie.

9. Gone Baby Gone*: When a 4-year-old girl disappears, her desperate aunt hires two private detectives to investigate. Excellent performances and a script full of surprises.

10. The Heartbreak Kid: Ben Stiller plays a man who impulsively marries a woman he's only known for a few weeks, and on their honeymoon, he discovers that his dream girl is more of a nightmare. To complicate things, he falls in love with a woman vacationing at the same resort. Some great, raunchy laughs, but ultimately it's a bit too uncomfortable and mean-spirited.


1. "Erotic City" by Prince
2. "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club
3. "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper


After reading that this game had been produced by Shinji Mikami, the genius behind the Resident Evil and Devil May Cry series, I decided to rent it from GameFly.

This bitch is HARD.

Granted, I don't usually play fighting games, so my problems with it are understandable, but G's much more adept at this type of game, and even HE had moments where he wanted to take the game outside and fling it across the freeway.

So why is it game of the month? Well, despite its flaws (which, in addition to the insane difficulty, include some serious clipping issues), it's the funniest game I've played since Bully.

You get to fight Mr. Gold and Mr. Silver, who shamelessly flirt with you right before beating your head into the ground. (And make no mistake; they may be gayer than a pink hairnet, but they're two of the hardest non-boss enemies in the game, and they will fuck your shit UP.)

You get to fight a gorilla!

And, best of all, you get to spank people! Well, female enemies; there's no man-on-man stuff like in Bully, although one of Gene's alternate costumes wouldn't look out of place at a gay pride parade:

I've mentioned that this game rules, yes?


I was a teenager in the 80's, and I watched more than my fair share of MTV. This video from Music and Lyrics is a brilliant parody of disposable 80's pop, from the cheesy outfits and dance moves to the faux-deep lyrics like "You are gold and silver". Fair warning, though: if you watch this video, the song will never leave your head.

(And booo to iTunes for making you buy the entire soundtrack if you want this song. I mean, I love it, but I'm not willing to pay ten bucks for it!)

Oh, I ain't gonna spoil this one for you. NSFW due to language and, er, themes.

This ought to tide you over until David Lynch's next movie comes out.

One of my favorite cinemas from God Hand, mainly because I'm secretly a 12-year-old boy and think the word "douchebag" is insanely funny. (If you don't want to watch the fighting sequence after the opening, fast forward to 3:10 to see the rest of the cinema.)

This may very well be the most important film you will ever see. Despite the freeze frame above, it's not that raunchy, but I'm going to err on the side of caution and say this is NSFW.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

ass hysteria

What I am about to write shames me, but in the interest of honesty, I feel I must confess. Those of you with tender constitutions, or those who are breastfeeding or pregnant, are advised to hit the back button on your browser immediately, lest you and your infant be tainted by the foulness contained within.


Lately, I am a farting machine.

Now, granted, it’s not like I’ve never been flatulent before, but lately it’s out of control. I think I can trace the origins of this particularly strenuous bout to my discovery of All-Bran crackers. They have 5 grams of fiber per serving, and they taste like a heartier Wheat Thin, so I’ve been knocking down a box every three days or so.

Let’s take a look at the nutritional information and do the math.

There are nine servings per box, so if I’m eating three servings a day, that equals 15 grams of fiber…and 15 grams of fiber a day means that it sounds like someone shoved a string of firecrackers up my ass.

Poor G. If he weren’t an atheist, I’d nominate him for sainthood immediately. Last Sunday, we were watching The Bourne Ultimatum, and I took advantage of a particularly loud action scene to let loose with a few grumblers. As a general rule, I try not to fart in front of him; sure, I belch proudly, but some things are just too gross to share. But I knew there was no way I’d make it to the other room in time; my hasty retreat would just mean a case of the walkin’ farts.

Seconds later, G leaped from the couch and ran to the kitchen, where he frantically rummaged through his junk drawer for matches while howling, “GodDAMN, baby!”

“I’m sorry!” I called sheepishly.

Although that was embarrassing, at least G is my boyfriend and has seen me at my worst; he’s cleaned puke out of my hair, for god’s sake. But when I subject strangers to my evil butt miasma, then something must be done.

Two weeks ago, I got a massage and I couldn’t help farting. It was silent, but the reek was so intense it almost brought tears to my eyes. The therapist didn’t say anything, but she coughed. I didn’t say anything, but I tipped her 30% before slinking out the door.

The massage place shares a parking lot with a restaurant. On the way to my car, I passed the dumpster, which was filled with rotting food.

It smelled like Sephora in comparison.

Later that week, I told G about farting during my massage, and asked whether I should have said something to the therapist or just kept quiet. He said, “If it had been me and I felt one coming on, I would have excused myself and gone to the bathroom.”

“But I’m NAKED when I get a massage! I can’t just walk out the corridor to the bathroom!”

“Naked, huh?” he asked, stroking his chin thoughtfully.


This week, since I had another massage appointment, I decided to lay off the All-Bran crackers for a few days. When I went to the massage place last night, I was relieved to get a different therapist. She was wearing a batik skirt, Birkenstocks, and a flower over one ear. She greeted me by pressing her palms together and saying “Namaste”; in short, she was a classic textbook hippie. I got undressed and lay down on the table and she began working on my back.

I tried---oh, how I tried!---to keep my ass clenched tighter than a miser’s fist, but when she began pressing hard on my lower back, a stinkypuff emerged. Again, it was silent; again, it was horrific.

“I am so sorry,” I said, my face burning. I stared down at the floor through the face cradle, wishing it would open up and whisk me away.

“Nothing natural is shameful,” she said in a dreamy voice that made me suspect she’d been blazing a fatty right before our appointment. I heard some clinking, and then the smell of patchouli filled the air. “This will help,” she said, returning to the massage.

Perhaps there’s something to this hippie shit after all.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I could dress in black and read Camus

Survey time, yanked from Debbie! I left out a couple of questions and fixed a few grammatical errors (not hers).

Your ex is on fire on the side of the road. What do you do? Call the fire department. Ass Taco was, well, an ass taco, but not to the point of deserving massive bodily injury.

When is the last time you wanted to punch someone in the face? Last week, Mean Grandma asked my coworker J a question. J didn’t hear her because she had her headphones on, so in an effort to be helpful, I answered the question. Mean Grandma said, “J?” and I repeated the answer. Mean Grandma said, in the snottiest tone of voice I’ve ever heard from someone that wasn’t a 12-year-old girl, said, “Yeah, I heard you. I was talking to J.” Well, fuck you too, lady! I was so tempted to go to the store, buy a bottle of Downy Wrinkle Releaser, and leave it on her desk with a note saying “For your face”.

What are you craving right now? Ice cream, Spam musubi, and a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips. No, I am not pregnant.

What was the last thing you cried about? That Pedigree commercial with the shelter dogs. It’s shamelessly manipulative, but it seriously reduces me to tears.

Scariest thing you’ve experienced in the past year? On the serious front, health scares for various loved ones; on the lighter front, for weeks after coming back from Key West, I kept waking up absolutely fucking convinced that Robert the Doll was in my room. God, just thinking about it right now is creeping me out.

Are you happy right now? In general, yes. I have an awesome boyfriend, a wonderful family, and cool friends. There’s a huge pile of books on my coffee table, including The Serpent’s Tale by Ariana Franklin, which I’ve been dying to read. I have a three-day weekend to look forward to. Things aren’t all orgasms and ice cream, but overall, life is good. Personal happiness score on a scale of one to ten: 7.

What was the last movie you watched at home? Shoot ‘Em Up, which was seriously awesome. Any movie in which Clive Owen stabs a guy in the eye with a carrot automatically gets a star.

What’s in your pocket? It’s 1:15AM, so I’m rocking the woobs. I’ll take a tip from Debbie and tell you what’s in my purse instead: several pens, a glasses cleaning cloth, fortune cookie slips, Advil, a hairbrush, tissues, oil blotting sheets, a Lookin’ Good for Jesus mirror, sunglasses, keys (apartment, mailbox, car), small notebook, stamps, Dr Pepper lip balm, cell phone, a Baskin Robbins gift certificate, iPod, and wallet. Inside the wallet: $23 and change (which I refuse to count; I ain’t that bored), driver’s license, two credit cards, ATM card, various loyalty cards, car insurance card, two library cards.

What about your favorite dessert? My absolute favorite dessert of all time is old-fashioned sugar cream pie, which can only be found in Indiana. This is actually a good thing, or otherwise I’d never eat anything else, become housebound, and have to wash myself with a rag on a stick. The four runners up, in no particular order: Madre’s cheesecake, the almond biscotti cheesecake from Wood Ranch, the orgasmic Caramello di Noce at Fiamma’s in the MGM Grand, and the crepe I had in Japan that was stuffed with cheesecake, whipped cream, and caramel. I count ice cream separately, and my five favorite flavors are blue moon, Ben & Jerry’s Uncanny Cashew, B&J’s Cinnamon Buns, pistachio, and Cold Stone Creamery sweet cream with cookie dough mixed in. I’ve mentioned that gluttony is my favorite deadly sin, yes?

Where do you hurt? For the last couple of days, my right hip has been bothering me a little bit. This of course sets off all my paranoid alarms: “Oh my god, I’m going to have to get a hip replacement just like Dad!”

What are you going to do after this? Probably go to bed.

Do you know anyone in prison? No, but my mom spent the night in jail once. She and her friends were out cruising and causing mischief, and they got picked up by the cops, who decided to put them in jail overnight to teach them a lesson. Of course, this was in Warsaw, Indiana, in the early 60’s, so we’re not talking Oz here. Daddy-O used to tease her mercilessly about being a jailbird.

Do you think someone is thinking about you right now? Doubtful. Everyone I know is probably in bed, as I should be.

But first, iTunes shuffle time! Here are the first 50 songs to pop up on shuffle.

1. “Love Missile F1-11” by Sigue Sigue Sputnik: Best known as the song playing when Ferris Bueller is taking a shower.
2. “Nightingale” by Norah Jones
3. “This Town” by Hot Hot Heat
4. “The Sound of Settling” by Death Cab for Cutie
5. “Moonlight Sonata” as performed by Emil Gilels
6. “Honey Power” by My Bloody Valentine
7. “When You’re Good to Mama” by Queen Latifah: Recently on Jezebel, someone said that they refer to their vagina as “Queen Laqueefa”, and I swear I laughed for a solid ten minutes.
8. “Here In Your Bedroom” by Goldfinger
9. “Rain of Brass Petals” from Silent Hill 3
10. “Hideaway” by Erasure
11. “Not Too Soon” by Throwing Muses
12. “The Ballad of Chasey Lain” by the Bloodhound Gang
13. “Life” by Akira Yamaoka
14. “Blue Knife (Kitty-N’s Theme)” from Bust a Groove
15. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco (hush!)
16. “Painter Song” by Norah Jones
17. “Crash Burn” by Blues Traveler
18. “Ankle Injuries” by Fujiya & Miyagi
19. “Lose Your Love” by Blancmange
20. “Invisible Man” by The Breeders
21. “Confluence” from Memoirs of a Geisha
22. “Dead” by The Pixies
23. “Man in the Long Black Coat” by Joan Osborne
24. “Basket Case” by EON
25. “Love Glove” by Visage
26. “Addicted” by Truth Hurts
27. “The Devil’s Right Hand” by Steve Earle
28. “Loneliest China Place” by Chainsaw Kittens
29. “Independent Love Song” by Scarlett
30. “Too Much Time on My Hands” by Styx
31. “Je t’Aime Je t’Aime” by TommyFebruary6
32. “Crazy Town” by Velocity Girl
33. “Stars Are Blind” by Paris Hilton (IT WAS A FREE DOWNLOAD GODDAMMIT)
34. “Theme from Somewhere in Time” by John Barry
35. “Say Goodbye” by Theory of a Deadman
36. “White Noise” from Silent Hill 2
37. “Saturday Night” by Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
38. “Impaled” from Devil May Cry
39. “Under My Thumb” by the Rolling Stones
40. “The Minute Waltz” as performed by Jean-Marc Luisada
41. “I Don’t Want to Get Over You” by Magnetic Fields: This is where the entry title comes from.
42. “Gone Daddy Gone” by Gnarls Barkley: The following picture of the band made me howl with delight.

43. “Panic” by The Smiths
44. “Guest List” by the Eels
45. “Planet Earth” by Duran Duran
46. “Our Lips Are Sealed” by the Go-Go’s
47. “Sense” by the Lightning Seeds
48. “I Could Be Happy” by Altered Images
49. “Such Great Heights” by the Postal Service
50. “Summer Kisses, Winter Tears” by Julee Cruise

It can be beds time now.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

mah new spank material

The day after the glorious, glorious Super Bowl, I read the following comment on Live Journal: "Someone please write me some Tom Brady/Eli Manning grudgefuck slash!"

I do NOT approve!

I do, however, approve of this:


Mmm, yes, baby, I like the way you sack.