Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A Distant Ship Floats on the Horizon

"just so you know, if things were different... things would be different."

Kamekubaba

In the process of moving my stuff from Isla Vista to Hollister to Santa Barbara, I've found a yellow post-it note with a world scrawled on it: "kamekubaba." It's mysterious. It's in my hand-writing. And I have no idea what it means.

Google doesn't recognize it either, which means I'm totally out of luck. I wrote this word in my rush writing and not my neat writing, which means it could also be a few other things. I could have also written "kainekubaba," which also means nothing, or "karekubaba," which Google suggests might actually be "karubaba," which seems to have something to do with New Guinea but still, alas, means nothing to me.

One useless post-it note.

The After-Dinner Candy Most Preferred by Indie Rock Stars

I think it was this Rolling Stone article that explained where the White Stripes got their name. When trying to conceive that unique Jack White-Meg White sound, the two decided that one common, everyday object best represented their goal: those round, red and white after-dinner mints you get at restaurants. Simple. Classic. Beloved. But not knowing the name, they simply called them — and, thus, themselves — the White Stripes. Appropriate, really. The candies jelled with the barebones rock aesthetic and the two ran with it.

A funny story: I'm at the grocery store looking at the bags of Bracch's candy. You know, the nasty, chalky stuff parents hand out at birthday parties after the kids are sufficiently rattled with the good sugar. But those same red and white candies, according to the Bracch's company, are called the Starlight Mints, a name shared by a lesser known but also wonderful indie rock band.

Two bands, one candy and essentially the same name.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Super Fan-Tast-Eek

One more.



I'm done.

Intern Clique No. One and the Mysterious Little Door

On the last day of work, I finally got to photodocument the John Malkovich door. It's a little curiosity on the stairwell that I used to get to my floor — a door that's about three-quarters the size of a typical National Geographic Society door. Some wise individual rocked my world and placed a name placard on this door. It's just like every other placard in the complex — same brown fake wood background, same font, everything — that reads "J. Malokovich's Head."



Me standing next to the door so as to emphasize it's smallitude. You can just kinda-sorta make out the text on the placard.



The other two members on the intern clique, playing about the door in the manner of monkeys. Upwardly mobile, professional monkeys that I like very much, but you have to admit they do look just like a bit like monkeys.

A CD for DC

I've decided to commemorate the whole Washington experience with music. I got this far and then bam — musical brick wall. Interns and intern groupies, I'm now accepting suggestions.
1. Scissor Sisters - "Laura"
2. Kinks - "Picture Book"
3. Beck - "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime"
4. Louis VIX - "Finding Out True Love Is Blind"
5. Shivaree - "Good Night Moon"
6. Starland Vocal Band - "Afternoon Delight"
7. Digable Planets - "Rebirth of the Slick"
8. Europe - "Final Countdown"
9. Polyphonic Spree - "Night and Day"
10. Chromeo - "Mercury Tears"
11. Who - "Who Are You?"
12. Scissor Sisters - "Comfortably Numb"

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Ôdishon

My cousin is seriously considering auditioning for the next season of "The Apprentice." What's scarier: I could actually see her being on the show. My dad wants me to find out how to apply for the next "Amazing Race." I just like that the popularity of reality shows have made them a viable option for people's lives.

I haven't really cared about the whole "Real World"-"Road Rules" universe since I applied to write a story for the paper last year — and, you know, I totally didn't even care and it still kind of sucks when they didn't want me. Ahem. But I've been inexplicably drawn to the latest "Real World"-"Road Rules" challenge between the Real Worlders and the Road Rulers. I can't stop watching. I don't even know who most of these kids are anymore, but I just keep watching. (I blame Jet Blue — I saw it on the flight out of Washington.) But it occurred to me that once you're one of these shows, you've got it made. You just keep going back for reunion shows and challenges with different shows. Pretty soon, you're whole life revolves around the casting decisions of the madmen at Bunim-Murray. You'd spare any personal development for the cameras. You'd become a TV character. We'd watch you date, eat, live, age and gradually devolve into the likes of Eric from "Real World" season one. Yikes.

Maybe I'm happy that MTV finds me undesirable. But if they wanted me and I ran with it, at least then I'd be able to count on semi-annual, televised reunions with all my friends.

("real world"-"road rules" challenge is a bitch to punctuate in AP style.)

Happy Text Message

The 2005 chain of Christmas text messages, or thirteen ways to say the same thing and one way to say some off-the-wall thing that I still don't fucking understand.
  • Katie H, firstly: "Merry Christmukkah, kids."
  • Adam, secondly: "Christmas greetings."
  • Marcy, most briefly: "Happy xmas."
  • Monique, generically: "Happy holidays."
  • Jenn, emphatically: "MERRY CHRISTMAS"
  • Me, wonderfully: "Happy Jews Go to the Movies Day!"
  • Edith, quizzically: "jews and mexicans feliz navidad"
  • Tristan, long-windedly: "We eat Chinese food too. Altho my fam does celebrate the holiday, at least its most commercial aspects"
  • Nate, nerdishly: "Merry Xmas everyone. I hope Santa-bot didn't kill any of you!"
  • Haier, jewishly: "no better way to celebrate the birth of santa"
  • Jill, piously: "Happy birthday to our lord and savior, the almighty jesus christ!"
  • Marcy, againly: "Ur a smally pirate hooker"
  • Jessica, popfully: "Yay 4 listen ing 2 the mariah xmas song on repeat!"
  • Greg, traditionally: "You mean merry jews go to the movies day"
Our dimes, apparently, ain't worth nothing.

Santa Claus Gave Me a Hangover for Christmas

Well, that and an electric toothbrush.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Clawglip

Thoughts while sitting on the toilet and playing Super Mario Advance: My love of typos and mistranslations arose all the way back in childhood, during the closing credits of Super Mario Bros. 2, of which Super Mario Advance is a remake. Instead of seeing who actually made the game, you see the characters in it, including the bosses. If you avoided warping and actually played the whole game through, you'd encounter a surly crab monster, Clawgrip, as the boss of the fifth world. He's identified as such in the game's instruction manual, but the credits fall victim to that infamous Japanese-to-English problem with "R" and "L" and we instead see the text "Clawglip."



Anyway, that's not the revelation here. No, I realized that this stupid, easy-to-beat crab monster holds the unique honor of being the first and possibly only Super Mario Bros. character created specifically for American audiences. In its original form, Doki Doki Panic, the game had a different boss for this world: an albino version of the same bomb-tossing mouse that serves as boss for the first and third worlds. That was apparently considered too dull, and so Mr. Clawglip made his grand debut when Doki Doki Panic became the American Super Mario Bros. 2.

Well, it seemed noteworthy to me.

Christmas break, in case you didn't realize, means playing portable video games while using the bathroom.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Snoozaroo

courtandspark86: hey
kidicarus222: hey?
courtandspark86: amber?
courtandspark86: HELLOOO why didn't you meet me?
courtandspark86: amber
courtandspark86: answer me you freak
courtandspark86: i waited for you for like 2 hours!
kidicarus222: no
kidicarus222: not amber
courtandspark86: omgg sorry who is this?
kidicarus222: drew
courtandspark86: sorry im going crazy
kidicarus222: who is this?
courtandspark86: amber is a loser for your reference haha
courtandspark86: this is christa
kidicarus222: hi
kidicarus222: how did you get my screenname?
courtandspark86: sorry about that
courtandspark86: i totally thought you were christa
courtandspark86: i mean amber
courtandspark86: wow
courtandspark86: i neeed sleep
kidicarus222: do we know each other or what?
courtandspark86: ooh i know what did
courtandspark86: i was looking through blogs
courtandspark86: and i must have clicked on your aim
kidicarus222: must have been it
courtandspark86: sorry!!
courtandspark86: well ill leave you alone
courtandspark86: bye

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Cold Set

I left late for Santa Barbara on the shortest day of the year.

The 101 was weirdly empty. No rush hour. No cops. Not much of anyone going anywhere. No one to see me pull over because the box lamp took a header en route, flipped end-over-end and suck one corner into the upholstery of my dad’s new Tahoe.

It’s a strange feeling to walk around normally well-populated places when no one’s around. As corny as it may sound, it made me feel like breaking into some cold set from a movie about me.

I’d actually forgotten to expect a deserted Isla Vista. Winter break. Quite possibly that last winter break I’ll enjoy without the obligation of a nine-to-five. The idea of pulling into the Pasado House driveway had been tying knots for the whole drive. I halfway expected a big, smoking crater, so seeing the house basically intact made me feel good, even if the backyard was littered in a way that made it looks like we were having a yard sale for all our rain-soaked cardboard.

The inside was manageably dirty, especially considering how bad it could have been. And from Monday afternoon on, I’ve pretty much been working on eliminating my presence from that house. Oddly, I didn’t even mind having to clean the living room and kitchen and backyard when Subleaser Keith saw the mess and began doubting whether the Pasado House was the right place to be living. I’ve done it so many times, it was lamely familiar to be vacuuming that same pool table green carpet.

But I empathized with the new guy. If I were him and just getting to Isla Vista, I’m not sure I’d want to live there either. Like he pointed out, the place “has potential.” It totally does. I’m sure that’s why the girls ended up there to begin with. For me, the Pasado House has more than potential. It has history.

When I think about how many people from my various intersecting social circles have actually called 6768 Pasado Road home at one point or another, I have to count with both hands. It started out with Meghan, Brie, Monique, Taryn and Shana. Jesusa and Natasha subleased. Then I moved in that summer, followed by Nate. Then we had those shithead subleasers, Drunko and Kaspar. Then Jill finally moved in. Then Cory moved in that summer while Owen and Beth subleased. Then Tristan and Glenn. Then the pasty one and the Russian potato subleaser. Then Kristen. Then Jono and Skippy. And now Subleaser Keith, who thankfully seems intent on keeping the place nice, if the present shithole décor hasn’t completely scared him off. And, somehow, I feel Hillary O’s presence as strong as anyone’s, simply because her whole living room set presently resides in the house.

In my mind, all of these people still belong there. I remember them being there. And they all still seem to receive mail there. (Admittedly, fake people such as Gilles Tanguay, Fannie Fay Silverstein, the entire Colossocorp staff and Cassidy Madison Reed also still receive a great deal of mail there.)

I can remember sitting in the living room with some assortment of some of the roommates — I can even remember who it might have been — and wondering how old that house was and if a family used to life there when the far bedroom was still an apartment and, if so, what purpose the Taryn-Moe bedroom might have had. A den? A nursery? Did some little kid grow up there?

In a few years, that house will be out of our chain of friends for good. Whoever lives there probably will never know about all the cool stuff that happened there — all the puke and beer and sex fluids spilled in that house and all the good stories behind each individual spillage, all senses of all virginities lost, all theme parties appropriately attended and all petty fights shouted and gossip spread and songs drunkenly sung along to and movies drunkenly fallen asleep to.

Before I left for Washington, I broke apart the wine barrel potter that had been home to this large succulent bush. As the plant got bigger, the barrel had begun to burst at the seams and I figured the plant would grow itself to death if given enough time. I dug a hole in the corner of the yard, a non-intrusive spot where I hoped people would leave it alone. It’s alive now and as healthy as ever, so if it can withstand Cory and Tristan’s neglect it can live through mostly anything, the hardy fucker. It’ll be there at least. I guess I can only hope that somebody sometime will notice it and how thick it’s trunk is and think that somebody sometime must have planted it and that that happened a long time ago.

I live downtown now.

To tie back in with that corny, trite movie-of-my-life metaphor, I guess we’ve filmed all the scenes on that set. It’s not so bad. They’re good scenes, for the most part. I guess I’m doing something else now.

(At the moment, I feel directionless and kind of scared. I had a thought while picking out what I hope would be the last of Jonna’s New Year’s Eve 2003 glitter from the bushes. I thought that if I was in a plane that was crashing into the ocean, I’d be scared but at least I’d know where I was going: towards the ocean at a fatal speed. A short future, for sure, but least I’d know.)

A Letter to My Former Roommates

I really sent this. True story.
hey guys.

so i think i might have finished cleaning the pasado house for the last time. oddly, i didn't even really mind cleaning it this time.

to fill you in, subleaser keith showed up this morning to start moving in and freaked out. the house was in a pretty sorry state — shit everywhere and dirty dishes all over the counter and stove and ants and just general badness. i don't know whose fault is was and it kind of doesn't matter now, but keith started having second thoughts about living in the place. i explained that part of the mess was the fact that i was moving out and that everyone left in a rush for break, which may or may not have been a lie, but he was still not happy with the idea of living in a sty. on top of that, he couldn't tell if there'd be any room in the house for his stuff, even with everyone else's stuff square and tidy. he also asked what the rat kill list on the white board meant. i couldn't think of a good enough explanation, so i asked if he had seen the rest of the house yet. that also turned out kind of badly, since the rest of the house was also pretty messy.

i told him to come by tomorrow, since i'd have my stuff out and i could clean up a bit.

anyway, nearly all of my furniture is gone. my white couch is still in the living room and so is the green checkered chair and my rolling office chair. i'm gonna have to pick those up after school starts, but they will be gone soon enough. presently, the living room is arranged so that i can move my furniture out easily. the white couch is where the tv used to be, and since i had to remove the tv stand, the whole stereo-playstation-speaker set entertainment center had to come apart. it's now resting, unplugged and useless, on the coffee table. now, from wherever you sit in the living room, you have nothing but that to stare at. it's funny to me.

a few other things i also left behind but still intend to pick up, including the waterfall picture and the vacuum, even though the latter is missing a part i assume you guys threw out. it's a funnel shaped filter that sits in the center tube that kind of looks like lamp shade. sound familiar? i'd guess you guys threw it out when you were emptying the vacuum out. the thing now doesn't work as well. also, the axe now belongs to you guys for good. i figure it's probably soaked in rat blood, which would be the worst kind of blood, and i don't want any weird rat blood diseases.

i left a few things for you guys, according to your skills and interests. i had a perfectly good external zip drive that i have no use for that's now on phil's desk, along with a super nintendo-type controller with a usb port. for cory, i left water balloons. and for tristan, i left some mail for him, since his name was on it. i also am leaving the shipwreck picture in the living room, since someone drew all over it in permanent marking. i know that was a cheap thing i got at a thrift store, but i really liked it and i wished you guys hadn't done that or let your friends do it.

keith seems like a really nice guy. he also really liked the house. please don't scare him away. i really need him to lease my room. he also seems like a bit of a workhorse who wouldn't mind keeping the place looking nice. please please please don't break him.

drew

Monday, December 20, 2004

If She Were Any Quieter, She'd Be Dead

Imagine "Wet Hot American Summer" with its funny bits replaced by overdone, B-grade slasher horror. Keep the Jewish summer camp thing and the randy teenagers and the guys wearing obscene soccer shorts, then just substitute two-steps-below-grisly horror moments for wherever the movie was funny — only the horror actually still comes of as comedy.

You'd have "Sleepaway Camp," my latest Netflix delivery and easily the most entertaining eighty minutes this week. If the guys behind "Wet Hot American Summer" didn't have this movie in mind as a source for their parody, then they've surely must have at least seen "Sleepaway Camp." I still can't decide what I liked best — the rampant Long Island accents, the roles of the imperiled campers being played by actual adolescents, superbitch Judy wearing a t-shirt that actually says "JUDY" on it... The main actress, a girl with the too-cool name Felissa Rose, works perfectly in the movie despite not speaking for the first half-hour. She's this skinny, gawky Jewish girl who's mastered that please-don't-notice-me slouch that unpopular kids adopt so quickly — a kind of Sarah Silverman before Sarah Silverman became Sarah Silverman.

I even mind that most of the staff seemed okay with the cook character's raging pedophilia or that the big twist — which, by the way, occurs in the last twenty seconds of the movie, then promptly segues into some of the best-worst 80s closing credits music I've ever heard — is ludicrous and kind of offensive and doesn't really explain anything.

I thoroughly enjoyed this awful movie. I haven't felt the joy of rooting through a video store bargain bin and picking something so abysmally wonderful since "Black Mama, White Mama." My grade: as many plus signs as I could possibly tack onto a B without bumping it up to an A.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Don't Smoke — But If You Do, Smoke Fictional Brands

Names of all the fictional cigarette brands I can think of.
  • Laramie (from "The Simpsons")
  • Morley (the ones the cigarette-smoking man smokes on "The X-Files")
  • Red Apple (from the QT universe)
  • El Dorado (from "Family Guy")
  • Kentucky Slims' Chicken Flavored Cigarettes (from "Futurama")
  • Dromes (from Lolita)
  • Bilsons (I think I saw this label on "Lost," which is my new televised obsession.)
I could have sworn there were more.

Mayon-Egg

Anxiety attacks be damned, my parents took me to Valley Fair, which apparently decided that “Valley Fair” didn’t adequately enough shout “upper-class shopping” and now calls itself “Westfield” or else that sounds like a track housing development. I got new glasses from the nice people at LensCrafters and they dilated my pupils in the process. Puppy dog black with the tiniest ring of blue around them. I look into mirror and think, “Shit. I look like a Powerpuff Girl.”

Faulty Structure

Another thought about shopping: I remembered how much I hate how Structure changed its name to Express for Men. Bad idea. I’m not sure if the name change happened in cooperation with the country’s overall movement towards a trendier and more feminine form of masculinity. Anyway, the name Structure just worked so much better. I’m fairly certain the store shifted its general clothes style a few more notches toward gay, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t have done that with the old name. “Structure” gives me connotations of firmness and stability, whereas the new name makes me think “girly shit — but for dudes.” Not cool.

All I Want For Christmas Is Earworms

Three.

It's the number of times I heard that goddamn Mariah Carey Christmas song that Jardine played the last night in New York. So catchy and so ingratiating and so very much so caught in my head. I just wish I new what it was called so I could download it and exorcise it from my poor brain.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Drew and the Big Bronze Ram

I said I'd do it and I did do it and here it is.



National Geographic, I'll never forget you.

Determined Deciduous

A short-term time capsule. I wrote this while travelling and just found it. Post-worthy, I guess.
I like you, Massachusetts, but somehow I think it’ll be a long time before I see you again.

As I write this, my train is speeding through the Boston outskirts. On the left, we’re passing through what looks like the bedroom community for the Massachusetts shit factory workers, judging from the patchwork scrap metal architecture. On my side, however, the trees go by. Some leafless skeletons being showed up by a few determined deciduous covering their tree-privates with red and orange.

Inside the train, I can enjoy this perfect, contained environment. The snow from yesterday turned into rain but I’m dry and shoeless. My phone’s recharging, I finished Wigfield and I’m about to start with Diary, I have a scarf and my credit debt is so far manageable. I have this TV screen window that’s constantly changing, interrupted only by the three-second head rush cameo of a train heading towards Boston instead of away from it. And I’m not even pissed that all my seventh grade geography has failed me when I try to visualize which states I’m passing through.

I guess that’s why I’ve chosen to deface the final, blank — and otherwise useless — back page of Wigfield. I want to remember that even while traveling through the shit weather after being gone for three months, I can still feel comfortable.

White-Faced Woman No. Two

Kat and I braved the Hollister movie theater and caught the late showing of “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Not bad, but something I can’t put my finger on kept it from truly succeeding. I maintain that it had potential — wonderful, Burtonesque potential especially evidence by the last third.

I’m almost tempted to read some of the Lemony Snicket books. They’re dark and morbid and, as near as I can tell, full of snakes and leeches and exactly the kind of stuff I was always drawn to as a kid, even though most kiddie fare avoided it.

Easily, however, I would recommend this movie for its ending credits. Seriously, if you have eight bucks to spare and would rather not watch Jim Carrey ham-and-cheese it up for ninety minutes, sneak in late and watch the ending credits. They rock. They’re like a creepy-cool Smashing Pumpkins video done with animated paper cutouts and set to the kind of airy-mellow Thomas Newman that sounds like every other Thomas Newman score. Kat and I both decided that we wishes we still got high so we could come back and watch them again.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Astos

I’m waiting out the Hollister doldrums — periods of holiday season stillwater that can stay even the fastest ships. As a result, I dove into the chest of used and abandoned video games in my closet and pulled one out that features a minor villain named Astos. He’s a Dark Elf. (Needless to say, my childhood had periods strangeness and introversion — the kind that often involve Dark Elves, in capital letters and everything. I can remember fighting this Astos character as a child. (He was a lot harder then, by the way.) And I remember my brother calling him “Ass Toast.” It seemed funny at the time — less so now.I have no idea what ass toast might be. Might it be similar to — should I really write it? — butt crust?

Buck, Butch and Buzz

Allegedly, "Meli Kalikimaka" is the thing to say. I heard the song playing in Target yesterday and it annoyed me. You see, I've recently learned that "Meli Kalikimaka" amounts to Hawaiian gibberish. It's just how "Merry Christmas" translates into the limited Hawaiian alphabet. The process changes R to L and S to K and inserts vowels between every syllable. Honest. Swear to Pele the volcano goddess. It's Polynesian Spanglish. It's el trucke.

I suppose it would have been naive of me to think the native Hawaiians had an actual way of expressing yuletide greetings, but I never really thought about it before. Nevertheless, I'm as disappointed as when I learned where that white stuff on Californian Christmas windows came from.

I'm wishing I had a flock-free Christmas, but it's seventy degrees outside.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

One Powdered, One Glazed

Not to be a complete whore for celebrity news, but what person writing the life story of Portia de Rossi suddenly started pulling names from a hat? Seriously — Ellen!?

The DNA Thieves

I'm alarmed by the presence of Paz Vega.

In case you haven't noticed, this star of the upcoming Adam Sandler-Tea Leoni feature "Spanglish" has somehow stolen Penelope Cruz's DNA. Look at her. She looks just like Penelope Cruz. Return Penelope’s DNA, Paz, and peel back your Penelope face to reveal your real face in the manner of a Scooby Doo villain, please. We don't really need another Penelope. We still have the first and she is enough, I guess. But at least Paz' voice doesn't cut through my brain like some kind of frisbee-tossed saw blade.

My worries do not stop with Paz, however. No, she represents a disturbing trend that I've noticed among celebrities in the past few years — and I'm not bitching about their kids' names this time.
  • Monica Potter so clearly has stolen Julia Robert's DNA, spliced with blonde genes.
  • I've long suspected that Leelee Sobieski is the result from some cloning experiment with Helen Hunt's bodily leavings.
  • And I swear I can't tell the difference between Marley Shelton and Kate Bosworth.
  • Remember Skeet Ulrich? Remember how he looked just like Johnny Depp? Remember how his role in "Scream" was eerily like Johnny Depp's debut in "A Nightmare on Elm Street"? Remember how Wes Craven directed both? Clearly, a case of DNA-thievery.
Spooky stuff, really, but I'm not sure what scares me more: the thought that Hollywood's trying to pull a fast one on us or the inherent crime in that human cloning and DNA manipulations has already begun. It's happening under our noses, people!

Nobody Loves an Albatross

Boy and dog are reunited and all is right in the world.

I read in a Tom Robbins novel that a person's dreams are affected by where they sleep. If you sleep in someone else's bed, for example, you dream like them. I'm not sure whether this occurs as a result of some mystical connection between a body and its bed or olfactory memories created by inhaling that person's lufted skin cells and whatnot. The book didn't elaborate. But it's a neat thought to entertain. Anyway, according to Robbins, a bed that no one has slept in for a while leaves no impression.

I haven't dreamed at all since I got home. I've slept well, but it's that dreamless deadweight sleep, like when I've had to much to drink. Only I haven't.

Otherwise, home is good. I have perhaps the most disparate collection of Netflix deliveries: "Charade," "Irreversible" and "The Muppets Take Manhattan."

Dreamy or not, life is good.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Red Eyes, Brave Heart

Super Shuttle picks Adam and me up at three-thirty — as in, in a few hours from now. We got a few final beers at Big Hunt and it occurred to me that three-thirty in the morning is by far the latest-earliest-ungodliest hour I've ever been expected to do anything. Our only solace is the hope that somehow Dulles will have a bar open that will provide the martinis that will make our flight a little less unpleasant.

At the moment, I'm eagerly anticipating tonight's "SNL," as the Scissor Sisters are the musical guest. I can't remember the last time I was eager to see the "SNL" musical guest perform.

By the time many of you read this, I'll be in California again. If, somehow, I'm not and it's not yet Sunday morning, wish me luck and pray for nice weather and perplexingly buoyant aircraft.

Ruth Buzzi Better Watch Her Back

Funny what I think about when I should be packing. I feel like I have one foot planted firmly on the east coast and the other in a jet flying back to California, only without all the tearing open of my torso and spilling of my entrails that would occur if such a situation actually happened.

Here's a list I mentally composed on the way back from the UPS store: ten talented comedic actresses who deserve to get more and better parts than they get now. I feel like I could watch these ladies scratch headlice and still be entertained.
A DISCLAIMER: Notice I didn't include Tina Fey or Amy Poehler. I feel like either of them already get good parts and I don't have to worry about their continued success in comedy.

ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: Notice that I didn't include Molly Shannon or Ana Gasteyer in the above disclaimer. Maybe it's just that the absence of "SNL" reruns has caused my love for them to wane somewhat, but I'm just not rooting for them like I would have a few years ago. I'm a wellwisher, in that I wish them no specific harm.

A THIRD DISCLAIMER: I realize just now that I never addressed my jealousy of Amy Poehler for taking my dream job: being Tina Fey’s co-anchor on "Weekend Update." Honestly, I’m happy for her. I feel like Seth Meyers could have done a decent job as well, but she’s really filled a void that Jimmy Fallon left when he stopped trying to memorize his lines three years ago. My only real complaint about the new Fey-Poehler anchorteam is that the jokes sometimes skew a little femme, which is okay but does open them up to lame "Weekend Cuntdate" jokes.

Friday, December 10, 2004

I Want It Now!

Even the exhaustion of being away from home for three months must step aside for the sheer joy that is Wonka. Click here for the trailer to the new Johnny Depp-starring, Tim Burton-directed and altogether snarifilicous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (And if that doesn't work or takes to long to load, try approaching it from the link at the bottom of this news article.) The only downside: the release date of July 2005.

Spent

No more money. No more energy. Home in thirty-six hours.

We we did (the last installment):
  • Ate at Katz's Deli, where they filmed the fake orgasm scene in "When Harry Met Sally."
  • Ordered the corned beef sandwich and consequently ate more cow product than I had in a year.
  • Failed miserably at getting tickets to Avenue Q or Wicked.
  • Instead got tickets to see Brian Regan at Caroline's.
  • Saw he Chrysler Building.
  • Saw Grand Central Station, the most beautiful train station in the world. (I realized now that the new music stage on "Saturday Night Live" was designed with this place in mind.)
  • Saw the U.N. (Lame.)
  • Saw the Rockefeller Christmas tree. (For serious.)
  • Found that both Conan and Letterman are on hiatus this week. (Assholes.)
  • Went with Jess and Katie to some bars near Ludlow: Iggy's and Welcome to the Johnsons', the latter of which was set up to look like a house party in Midwest suburbia.)
Brian Regan sucked balls, by the way.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Me and My Terrycloth Kilt

I'm writing this on dueling iBooks.

Did I mention that Jessica's apartment is a toaster? It is. It's not, but it is, in nearly every sense of the world. Not that I'm ungrateful for this swelter shelter, but the place is small, rectangular and cursed with a runaway heating system that makes every night feel like that night I had the fever that gave me the weird dreams about spiders.

What we did:
  • Saw what we thought was a sizable chunk of Central Park but actually was the tiniest sliver of the southernmost section. (The park actually covers like fifty blocks vertically and maybe ten horizontally. It's also a rectangle but much, much bigger than Jessica's apartment and not nearly as thermally kooky.
  • Saw MOMA, which just opened and rocks.
  • Saw Fifth Avenue and all the fancypants shopping areas thereabouts. (We bought nothing.)
  • Saw FAO Schwartz, which was lousy with sticky fingered children and pushy moms with strollers. (Anxiety attack.)
  • Saw the Rainbow Room, where "Conan" and "SNL" tape.
  • Saw Radio City Music Hall.
  • Possibly saw the Rockefeller Christmas tree. (Honestly, we're not sure. I told Adam that if we really did see it, we'd know and there shouldn't be any question whether a given tree was the Rockefeller Christmas tree or not.)
  • Saw Times Square. (The Vegas Strip with peacoats.)
  • Had time to kill so we saw another movie. ("House of Flying Daggers." Shitty. I've never before fallen asleep in a movie theater but I think it's funny that the first flick to put me under would be called "House of Flying Daggers."
  • The nicest Sbarro's ever.
And then I was a tired puppy — to tired to go out last night.

Today's plans: pending.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Fourside

I'm here and that's what's important.

I just woke up in Jessica Jessica's apartment on the lower east side. That geographical term means nothing to me, really. I have a vague knowledge that I'm on an island. Jessica tells me that "Seinfeld" took place on the upper west side and the only time the show ever went to this neck of the woods is when Kramer gets lost and has to call Jerry for help. "I'm at the corner of first and... first?! How can that be? I must be at the nexus of the universe?"

The intersection of First Street and First Avenue does in fact exist, though I haven't seen it yet.

We got in later yesterday evening, so we didn't have time to see sights, so to speak, but Jessica's neighborhood is a lot to take in anyway. She says she somehow unknowingly moved into the DP of the lower east side. There's actually a shop called Paul's Boutique here, though it's apparently named after the album and not the other way around. We ate at a geographically vague Latin bar and saw "Bad Education" and then just hung out.

I'm here and that's what's important. Adam's showering and then I'm in and then we're gonna try to hit as much of the city as possible. It's not warm but it's actually a little sunny out. I think Adam and I are going to check out Central Park soon, before it gets dark and all the weirdos go crazy.

I don't smoke, but I'm somehow compelled to have one cigarette on Jessica's fire escape.

I'm here and that's what's important.

Monday, December 06, 2004

That Tricky Fucker Called Time

Boston is cold. Boston is old. Pretty good seafood, too.

Adam and I met up with Jessica Twin last night in Cambridge, which turned out to be pretty cool. We had fondue at a bar called the Grendel's Den and then saw a kickass brass band at a pub called the Plough and the Stars. People apparently drink literary in Massachusetts. Jessica Twin showed us some spots where "Good Will Hunting" had been filmed and told us that that movie was a big reason she moved to Boston. I think that's as good a reason as any to move anywhere.

We're staying at a hostel instead of Jessica Twin's place. It's totally cool though -- American hostels blow Euro ones out of the water.

We woke up early this morning and saw Fanieul Hall, which is different from Nathaniel Hall, which doesn't exist, we learned. I like the Boston, even if it doesn't like me and tries to push me away with biting cold. There's a massive shopping area downtown wherein I experienced the most Christmasy moment of my life: a department store display of "A Christmas Story" tableus, the bell tower chiming out "Come All Ye Faithful" and the sweet smell of roasted nuts. Plus the biting cold, of course. I never realized how integral cold was to my perfect mental picture of Christmas. Now I've got to learn to Christmas without it.

I thought I could see random specks of snow all day. By the time we were walking through Boston Common, it snowed for real -- the first time I've seen snow in at least four years. There was this string of statue ducks that the city commissioned in honor of Make Way for Ducklings, which I haven't looked at since I was a kid. Adam says Holden sees them in Catcher in the Rye and wonders why they they just stand still in the park in the middle of winter. Someone has to tell him that they're statues. I don't remember that part of the book.

We had dinner at the "Cheers" Bar, which isn't really the "Cheers" bar but the Bull and Finch and then we got tired of fighting cold and saw "Closer." I spent the whole movie trying to spot locations in London that I remember from two years ago, but couldn't. (The movie, meanwhile, made painful moments seem beautiful and reminded me that I haven't had a relationship in nearly a year.)

We wandered around the cold city for a while then eventually ended up seeing a different Jude Law movie about relatonships at the Mariott movie theater. I'm starting to feel like this extended holiday with Adam is one prolonged platonic date, though I guess it could be a lot worse.

Jessica Jessica finally called back and I think things are set for New York tomorrow. She's being distant again, but maybe things will warm up a bit when we actually get there. I can't believe I'll finally get to see all that: the Statue of Liberty and the rest of the iconic bullshit I've seen on screens since I was a kid.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

"When Will I See You Again? (District of Columbia Remix)"

For the purpose of protecting Sanam's ability to be employed, her screenname has been digitally altered.

schanampitri: hey
kidicarus222: hey
kidicarus222: jew screenname?
kidicarus222: *new
schanampitri: work screen name
schanampitri: what are you doing?
kidicarus222: i'm printing out my 20 page research paper on tourism crisis management, cleaning out my desk and saying "goodbye forever" to national geographic
kidicarus222: as you might guess, it's a big moment for me
schanampitri: wow, I have awesome timing
kidicarus222: i'm glad you're here for it
schanampitri: glad you'll have me

It's a Shpadoinkle Day

Today's the last time I have to roll out of bed and trudge zombie-like to National Geographic. I can't believe all the little passwords and I.D. badges and NG-specific terminologies become obsolete at 5:30 this evening. I can' believe I've done everything of consequence that I will do for this company. And I really can't believe that I must one day return to this eight-hour morning-to-evening work day.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Hot Pocket of Hate

I think I've just committed the biggest act of academic hubris yet in my short life: I used myself as a source in my research paper. I asked Tricia and she said it would be okay — even common among certain fields of study. So I went ahead and parenthetically cited the Florida hurricane article I wrote for Traveler back in October.

I see my name a lot, but there's some special spark in seeing it squeezed nice and tight between a pair of parentheses. It's nearly sexual.

Stats for my UCDC research paper, "“Keeping Up Appearances: The Fight to Restore a Disaster-Stricken Tourist Destination’s Appeal”
  • Pages written: 19
  • Pages left to be written: minimum of one
  • Total words written: 5,541
  • Number of times I used the word "travel": 148
It's 11:59 and I'm blogging when I should be powering through the last of this shitbag paper. Tomorrow, will be my last day working for the National Geographic Society. I should be concerned, I suppose, but instead I'm sitting, lost in the oddest mix CD I've ever heard.

Sometimes I burn CDs and I don't have enough tracks so I just stick something random onto the end. It's efficient. Lulwa, the creator of this music mosaic, seems to have extended that concept to an entire random album that has so far included "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things," the Spice Girls, Shakira, the Strokes, the Buggles and a mix of hip hop and boy bands that I honestly couldn't identify if I tried. And yet oddly, it's intriguing.

Lulwa: one; predictability: zero.

(i'm afraid shakira will make me write the final page of my paper in as scrambled an order as she speaks english)

Some Words in Favor of Celebrity Chemical Castration

As some of you may know, Julia Roberts recently defied God, Mother Nature and Father Time and plopped two human larvae out of her 63-year-old cooter. (I'm actually going to check on that age later — I could have overshot it a bit.) In true celebrity fashion, she named both her children in the most retarded manner possible: Meet little Phinnaeus and Hazel.

I'm actually unsure as to what the proper simile would be to adequately convey the utter retardedness of her choices. I was initially leaning toward likening her choices to those of an idiot woman-child incestualized by her idiot man-child brother and raised her children in her some remote hermitage of fanciful idiocy, but now I think I favor new age retro hippie letting his drunk, stoned helper monkey randomly press the “go” button on a machine labeled “stupid name machine.”

Oh, Julia. What the fuck is wrong with you? What was going through your gums?

The sad part is that little Phinnaeus and Hazel will be in good company. I cringe at the thought of celebrity idiot daycare, wherein Robert’s pups can frolic — and later, commiserate — with Gwynneth Paltrow’s daughter Apple, Courtney Cox and David Arquette’s baby Coco, Will Ferrel’s son Magnus and Conan O’Brien’s daughter Neve. I fear for the son born this summer to Jon Stewart. That kid, likely destined to join this neo-Brat Pack, will likely be mocked for his name, the outstandingly normal “Nathan.”

A recent Washington Post column discussed this trend and brought even more celebrity naming fuck-ups to my attention.

For example, for the fuck told Shannyn Sossaman she was famous enough to name her son “Audio Science”?

Why isn't Child Protective Services prosecuting Jermaine Jackson for naming his son “Jermajesty”?

Was Erykah Badu thinking about running gear or sleek jungle cats when she named her daughter “Puma”?

What was Jason Lee smoking when he named his son “Pilot Inspektor”? (And seriously — do you know where I could get some?)

Why do I so readily believe that, as rumors state, Posh and Becks will name their third whelp “San Miguel,” who will join “Brooklyn” and “Romeo”?

And can we summon the ghost of Michael Hutchence and yell at it for naming his daughter “Heavenly Hiranni Tigerlily”?

At least Frank Zappa had an excuse for naming his children Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva: “Hey man, it was the seventies.” Nowadays, it’s one thing to do a lot of drugs; it’s another to just name you kids in the manner of someone on drugs.

I worry for little Phinnaeus and Hazel — or Phinny and the Hazz, as I’ve taken to calling them. If having paparazzi sneaking into their house to steal their mother’s stool sample wasn’t going to fuck them up enough, they also must cope with the notoriety of having a ridiculous name that draws superfluous publicity. And the viewing public will just have to hear those stupid names every time those kids get arrested, divorced or put on “Oprah” to discuss their new book about how being Julia Roberts’ kid ruined their lives.

I say you get to name your kids something stupid if you’re a nobody — say, a hermit or some truckstop waitress in Buttonwillow or something. No one cares about you. No one puts your name in the news.

Take me, for example. My name is Drew. I don’t have a common name, but I also don’t have a name that would cause people to recoil in shock and pity. I think my parents treat the line between boring and freakish rather well. Had my parents been famous actors, however, I shudder to think of what they might have tried to name me. Gumball Jesus Mxxxxx. Liger Tiglion Mxxxxx. Original Flavor Wheat Thins Mxxxxx. Fifi Trixabelle Mxxxxx.

Really, I’m shuddering. Watch me shudder.

Clearly, celebrities are out of control. Blame us or blame them, but please agree that they must be stopped before they breed again and name their offspring something retarded. I’m not saying that celebrity chemical castration is a must, per se… I’m just saying, “Hey. Think about it.”

Hey. Think about it. Okay?

Signing off from the Cereal Box for today, I’m Liger Tiglion Mxxxxx.