September 30, 2005

Last shopping day until my birthday. "Serenity" now!

Happy Serenity release date! Birthday week is awesome! I won't be going to see the movie tonight because I need more time to convince Rob that even though he never watched "Firefly", and he doesn't acknowledge that Joss Whedon is God (a title Joss shares with Rob Thomas), that he wants to see Serenity. I'm working on it.

September 29, 2005

"The Greatest Game Ever Played"?

What's up with the new Shia LaBeouf movie that looks like a misguided cross between "Newsies" and "The Legend of Bagger Vance"? How could that have possibly looked good scribbled on a napkin? And calling the movie "The Greatest Game Ever Played" isn't going to convince anyone that golf is an an exhilarating sport that makes people all nostalgic for some kind of Americana that never existed. That's baseball's job.
Oh, and "Lost" was also impressive last night. The show has the tendency to develop really slowly, with tiny explosive bits of development thrown in so that you don't even notice that the story has hardly moved at all. But last night was the first time the plot actually paddled backwards. I like how the "Lost" producers took all that goodwill they engendered last week, when they actually propelled the plot forward for a change, and just tossed it all away, while calling us all a bunch of suckers. Interesting choice "Lost" folks.
Holy crap! "Veronica Mars" has two mysteries this year! Who killed Felix and who tried to kill Veronica but killed Meg and some other random people on a bus instead? Awesome! And I love Charisma, and I think she should get any high school guy she wants, but she needs to stay away from Veronica's boyfriend. Duncan is a sweet kid, and the whole puppy love thing is very cute, but he and Veronica don't have half the steam she has with Logan. But nicely done twisted love triangle!

September 28, 2005

Veronica Mars, she's a marshmallow.

"Veronica Mars" premieres tonight! Finally! There is no containing my excitement. Who's at the door? What happened to Logan on the bridge? What will her and Duncan's relationship be like now? Will she and her dad get the $50,000 back? What's the mystery this year? Will the '09ers accept her? Do we want them to? How awesome will Charisma Carpenter be? And ohmygod, would you Nielsen families just watch already?

September 27, 2005

Old Navy is selling this abomination. I actually like the comfort of the Uggs and their many fake counterparts, and of course I surrender to the pink, but these are just wrong. Slouch boots should be worn only with stirrup pants or tapered jeans with superfluous zippers. I love the 80's too, but can't we leave anything back there?

And birthday week continues...

Happy A Breath of Snow and Ashes release date! The long awaited Diana Gabaldon novel is here! It's been four long years since The Fiery Cross, the last book in this series came out.

This sixth novel in the 15-year-old Outlander saga begins:

The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.

Now that's some fun escape reading! My copy is currently in transit from Amazon and should arrive any day. And no, you can't borrow it until I'm done.

September 26, 2005

Funny hat time is approaching...

It's almost Wurstfest (the ten day salute to sausage) time again! Last year we experimented by having someone stay sober and drive us all home from New Braunfels, instead of staying in a motel like we usually do. But who is that fun for? I spent a good chunk of the day pricing motels and as usual, they're over-charging to a crazy degree during Wurstfest. The Motel 6 wants $85 for the night of November 12. Super 8 wants $90 and Holiday Inn wants $112. To stay in New Braunfels? Maniacs. Start saving up your beer money now!

First Birthday Present of the Week

My mother made me a sweater. What did you get me?

September 22, 2005

Contrary to popular belief, Austin cannot be hit by a hurricane.

Hurricane Rita is taking over Texas. And even though we live over a hundred miles inland, the stores are running out of bread, bottled water, generators and plywood. People are completely insane. We are going to have some rain and some wind. ACL Fest is gonna be nasty muddy. The power might go out briefly. The most upsetting part of that? I won't get to watch TV for a while. And I need to catch up on some sci-fi channel "Firefly" episodes!

It looks like we might miss the John Prine concert in Dallas too. We were planning to leave tomorrow after work, but my family is now worried that the traffic is going to be so awful that it's not worth it. I really hate to miss the concert. And I really hate to lose the $100 in tickets, since the concert has not yet been canceled or postponed. Feel free to join me in hoping that John Prine gets stranded in Austin (safe in his hotel of course) so that the Dallas concert gets re-scheduled.

September 19, 2005

I want my three hours back!

The Emmys are a farce. "Everybody Loves Raymond" is simply not that funny. Patricia Arquette is mediocre. I love James Spader too, but Ian McShane could kick his ass even while drunk and doubled over from kidney stones.

That was one of the most boring award shows ever. However, the best part, was seeing Kristen Bell get some much deserved Emmy attention, even if it meant she had to sing the theme song to "Fame" while dancing in leg warmers and heels.

The second best part was watching Ben Affleck slump down so far in his chair, in hopes of hiding from the cameras so no one would see him slumming at the Emmys.

September 16, 2005

Happy fifth anniversary to me! Oh, and to Rob. He was kind of there too. Five whole years. So if anyone needs marital advice, feel free to ask. I'm now a professional.

Oh! And happy wedding to Nicole (she's the one to the left of me). She and Kevin have hijacked my anniversary to use as their wedding day. They're partying it up in Prague at this very moment. Lots of love! Bitches.

September 14, 2005

"you idiots, they couldn't leave, they're poor"

Being poor means not having anywhere to go, even if you had a way to get there.

They knew the hurricane was coming, why didn't they just leave? One of my co-workers asked that last week. And I realized how very much I can't put it into words and make people understand what it means to be poor. There just seems to be some kind of mental block people have, and they just don't get it. You know, that same one that prevents Dubya from getting anything? They have some fantasy that even if you are poor, welfare (paid for with their tax dollars of course) takes care of you. Did you know that you can be really poor and still not be poor enough for Medicaid? Or food stamps? Or Legal Aid?

John Scalzi of Whatever: Being Poor

September 13, 2005

And this is why reality television should die:

“No, we did not think to put in the contract, ‘Do not shit on another cast member.”

Best. Show. Ever. Part 2

Kevin Smith loves Veronica!

"This is, hands-down, the best show on television right now, and proof that TV can be far better than cinema."

"In a lifetime of dedicated television watching, “Veronica Mars” is easily one of the five best shows I’ve ever dug."

It's official. Everyone is watching "Veronica Mars", but you. What the hell are you waiting for?

September 09, 2005

Why I Love September

The big At-A-Glance calendar on my cube wall (that I surround with a border of stickers every year) currently makes me look TV crazed to a Rain Man degree. See how the TV shows outnumber the rest of my life?

Sept. 9: My friend Shelia's birthday
Sept. 10: haircut appointment 11am
Sept. 11: my friend Jennifer's bridal shower
Sept. 13: "Gilmore Girls" and "Bones" season premieres
Sept. 16: Rob and I celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary and my friend Nicole gets married in Prague
Sept. 19: "Kitchen Confidential" and "Medium" season premieres
Sept. 20: "Nip/Tuck" and "My Name is Earl" season premieres
Sept. 21: "Lost" season premiere
Sept. 22: "The Apprentice 4" and "Everybody Hates Chris" season premieres
Sept. 24: John Prine concert in Dallas
Sept. 25: "The West Wing" season premiere
Sept. 27: Diana Gabaldon's A Breath of Snow and Ashes is released
Sept. 28: "Veronica Mars" season premiere (I can't even convey how excited I am)

Oh, and October? My birthday! And "Close to Home" and "One Tree Hill" season premieres! I am a sad individual.

September 08, 2005

After Katrina

Two paramedics relate their experiences after being stranded in New Orleans while there for a convention.

So we pooled our money and came up with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes we had. We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for the "imminent" arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute the arrived to the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

The police command center at one point directed the group (all of whom were on foot) to the Pontchartrain Expressway where they were told there were buses waiting across the bridge.

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot.

At one point, the community encampment they had built on the freeway so that they would be easily viewable to rescue efforts and in order to share supplies was stormed and destroyed by local police holding guns on them.

As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water.

All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers.

After they managed to get airlifted out and flown to San Antonio:

There the humiliation and dehumanization of the official relief effort continued. We were placed on buses and driven to a large field where we were forced to sit for hours and hours. Some of the buses did not have air-conditioners. In the dark, hundreds if us were forced to share two filthy overflowing porta-potties. Those who managed to make it out with any possessions (often a few belongings in tattered plastic bags) we were subjected to two different dog-sniffing searches.

Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept, and racist.

Sent by Jennyfivetina

September 07, 2005

US News & World Report: The Cassandra of our times.

Big Blow in the Big Easy published on July 18, 2005 (six weeks before Katrina).

"If a hurricane comes next month," says Ivor van Heerden, director of Louisiana State University's Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes, "New Orleans could no longer exist."

A recent poll by the University of New Orleans suggests that 62 percent of greater New Orleans's 1.3 million residents would feel safe in their homes during a Category 3 storm. "We're a victim of our own good luck," says Susan Howell, the poll's director. The city's high poverty rate is another hurdle; almost 1 in 6 households has no car.

New Orleans is more vulnerable today than ever. Development and levee construction have put 500,000 acres of nearby coastal wetlands under water since 1965, eliminating buffers against the wind-fueled spikes in water levels known as storm surges. Even a Betsy-like Level 3 storm, which has winds of up to 130 mph, is now more likely to trigger storm surges in the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain that could spill over levee walls. The resulting flood could take months to drain. "You're talking about creating a refugee camp for a million homeless residents," says van Heerden.

And on September 1, 2005:

FEMA Director Michael Brown agreed with other public officials that the death toll in the city could reach into the thousands."Unfortunately, that's going to be attributable a lot to people who did not heed the advance warnings," Brown told CNN.
"I don't make judgments about why people chose not to leave but, you know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans," he said.

A mandatory evacuation? The word evacuation implies that there was some kind of orderly procession out of town. Not the mass exodus- running for the hills- days long traffic jam for those lucky enough to have cars to take them the hell out of Dodge.

Somebody for damned sure didn't heed the advance warnings. Hopefully, their heads are going to roll.
Sent in from Leslie in San Luis Obispo: California Legislature Approves Gay Marriage

"Marriage should be between a man and a woman, end of story. Next issue," insisted Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy (R-Monrovia). "It's not about civil rights or personal rights, it's about acceptance. They want to be accepted as normal. They are not normal."

Who decides what's 'normal'? Wealthy old white men who care way too much about what goes on in other people's bedrooms threaten the sanctity of my family.

This is what it looks like after the apocalypse.

After Katrina disaster, survivors rely on primitive skills to stay alive.

September 06, 2005

The Aristocrats is a vulgar movie. There will be no refunds for anyone who is offended.

Rob and I went to see The Aristocrats at the Alamo Drafthouse Lakecreek on Saturday. The above warning is taped all over the place. We made fun of it while buying tickets. Who would buy tickets for the unrated movie and not know that it's about a really dirty joke? I wasn't really worried. How bad could it be? And I don't offend easily. But... wow. There are ways to offend that I hadn't even thought of. And if you're not shocked by this movie, then you're as depraved as Bob Saget. And damn is that freakin' depraved. Oh, and if urine, feces, incest, and bestiality (sometimes all at once) don't offend you, there's a mime.

September 02, 2005

He's tanned and rested, but is he ready?

The New York Times: Waiting For a Leader
"And nothing about the president's demeanor yesterday - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis."

September 01, 2005

I was just flipping around and caught a couple of minutes of the Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson. What was up with Jimmy Kimmel practically having to sit on Courtney Love to keep her from doing something totally crazy and Courtney Love-like?
Note to Courtney Love's drug supplier: Cut the girl off. She is not good advertising for your product.

Congress... Where do I sign up?

The federal minimum wage turns eight-years-old today.

The federal minimum wage has remained at $5.15 an hour for the last eight years. In that same time period, Congress has given themselves six "cost of living" raises totaling $24,500, raising their salary to $158,100. Yet they've left the minimum wage at $5.15 an hour for those they love to refer to, come campaign time, as hardworking Americans.

If an American citizen working for minimum wage works full time (40 hours per week) for one year (52 weeks) their gross salary will be $10,712. The poverty line for one individual is defined as making below $9,827. So our lucky worker is only earning $885 above the poverty line. Oh, and he very likely doesn't have health insurance.

But hey, passing a law to raise the federal minimum wage isn't as easy as you'd think. Congress was really busy this year trying to keep a vegetable alive and legalizing commercial space travel.

London Preston Federline

Britney Spears talks baby names. I would make my usual joke about her bayou trash taste, but Louisiana has it hard enough these days.
But c'mon!
"Or London Preston. Isn't London pretty? And, er, for a girl, I love Addison Shye. I think that's pretty."
Somebody please kidnap K-Fed and give that boy a vasectomy.
My birthday is in one month! Our wedding anniversary is in two weeks! John Prine concert is in three weeks! I'm helping to host a bridal shower in one week! That's all I got.
I have to move my cube at work yet again. Storage B it is.
New Orleans is gone. How awful and amazing is that?
I can't afford gas.
I wanna take a nap.