8.29.2005

Girls Rock

The Pink Slips


Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for The Pink Slips! And all the other girl bands from the Willie Mae Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls. This is seriously the coolest thing ever. My niece Sadie, rockstar in the making, is 18-months old...Do you think this camp will be around in seven years? If so, I'm *so* signing her up!

annamaria at 11:10 AM

2 spoke

8.26.2005

Friday Random Ten

Kate Bush


Every week I consider doing a musical audit a la Norbizness, and every week I realize that my shameless rating of Waterloo as a 10 out of 10 will get me mocked mercilessly. Frankly, my fragile ego simply cannot take the criticism. And considering that I was happily singing along to The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald yesterday, I think my fears are quite founded.

So, I humbly offer you my unrated Friday Random Ten, Lake Gitche Gumee edition:


  1. Love You More Than Life - Neutral Milk Hotel
  2. I Know What Boys Like - The Waitresses
  3. Sister I'm a Poet - Colin Meloy
  4. Red Right Hand - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  5. This is Not a Love Song - PIL
  6. Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin
  7. Lost in the Plot - The Dears
  8. Jason Lee - All Girl Summer Fun Band
  9. Western Skies (accoustic) - Lazyboy w/Roddy Frame
  10. Jig of Life - Kate Bush


Leave your lists (and ratings, should you choose) in the comments.

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annamaria at 8:00 AM

4 spoke

8.25.2005

Now, I'm not one to gossip...

mmm...foxy.


...okay. So I am one to gossip.

But imagine my excitement to get this juicy tidbit even before the tabloids.

Seems like Jennifer Aniston's divorce finalization isn't hitting her too hard. If Brad can go gallivanting around with that tramp who keeps adopting foreign children and carries them around like handbags, why can't she get a little lovin'?

Confirmed: Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn seen making out like crazy for at least an hour last night at the House of Blues in Chicago. Wee!

I love Vince Vaughn, so good for her. You make out with that man, girl!

person x at 11:08 AM

4 spoke

8.24.2005

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Chavista


No, I'm not talking about Wilco. Remember a few weeks ago when I said Pat Robertson ought to take a look in the mirror before denouncing violent Muslim clerics? Well, apparently Robertson spends about as much time at this blog as I spend watching The 700 Club, as evidenced by his call for the United States to assassinate popularly-elected Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Classy.

In my opinion, Chavez is second only to Spanish Prime Minister José Zapatero when it comes to political figures that I actually respect*. Needless to say, Robertson—no where on that list.

So, rather than reiterate my take on the situation (which should be obvious given that the title of my original Robertson post was called Annamaria continues to support the Patriot Act), here’s a round up of what far smarter and funnier people have to say:


Venezuela reacts; Chavez gets the ultimate quote: "I don’t even know who that person is."

Greg Palast gives us the real story about Chavez and Robertson

Norbizness does all the work, and provides a convenient list of choice Pat Robertson quotes.

And finally, Crooks & Liars asks the all important question: Where are all the Right-wing bloggers?


---------------
*Speaking of Respect, George Galloway is way up there, too.

annamaria at 7:47 AM

2 spoke

8.22.2005

Picture this: Jen gets confused by the religious.



I know. It's strange. But religion confuses me. It shouldn't, really, having grown up in a religious family, attending Sunday school classes at the Ukrainian church that I attended. And forget about saying bad things about religion in front of my grandma. She already thinks I'm going to hell, I think.

I know how it all operates. But sometimes things confuse me.

Let me preface my little story by telling you a little bit about the block that I live on. One main street features a Planned Parenthood. Around the corner from that is a crazy god store. Just down the street from crazy god store is one of those "fake" family planning clinics where they front like they are going to give you fair and unbiased advice about pregnancy, contraception, etc. -- but, let's face it. They're about as fair and unbiased as the Fox News channel. They get you in there and do not give you all the options where pregnancy is concerned -- and forget it if you are interested in getting information on an unwanted pregnancy.

So, I'm coming home from work the other day, and there's a man on the ground in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic.

"Hmmm, I wonder if he dropped some things," I think.

Then I remember about the religious weirdos -- the ones who think that Planned Parenthood is only about abortion and that contraception is an abortificant, and who forget that the organization also offers other lady services like annual exams and what have you.

And it hits me -- this man is praying in front of the Planned Parenthood.

I have grown a little complacent since moving to Chicago. I hate to admit it. I haven't seen the crazies in action in so long (with the exception of the 30 or so pro-lifers holding up photos of various "fetus" photos while standing about 20 feet apart down a main road in a suburb of Chicago) that I almost forgot what is out there.

What I'm thinking is that I should do one of two things to get those radical juices flowing again:

1) Go to fake pregnancy clinic, fake a pregnancy scare (because then, at least, we'll all be faking) and document my findings. Then flyer polls around the fake pregnancy clinic regularly, as it is right near my bus stop, warning the unsuspecting woman of the dangers that lurk inside.

2) Pray outside of their clinic, and should someone question me I could tell them that I am praying to their god for forgiveness them and for those inside, as misinformation, less-than-accurate information, ignorance, and deception to those in a fragile state/seeking advice/seeking guidance/seeking options in any situation is disturbing, wrong, and immoral.

3) Or I could just play the easy route and just donate/volunteer at Planned Parenthood.

person x at 9:42 PM

2 spoke

Yes! Michigan!



Yes! Michigan! The feeling's forever!*

Forever and ever and ever. Each time I go back, it feels like an eternity.

However, there are some things that I would like to do this trip:

Eat in Mexican Village.
See the "Drew Boyd Haircut."
Go to Brown's in good ol' South Lyon.
Find the sender of the now infamous forward, Email-Forward-Friend (EFF), and kick her ass.
Catch a flick at the Detroit Film Theater, if anything good is playing. Main Art is always a good standby.
Pick up a show at the Stick?
Play 1000 with my Baba.
Get some hookah gear at 42 Degrees.
Chase the puppy around my mom's big yard.

Anything else I should get into while I'm visiting the mitten this weekend?

Oh, BTW. I'll be visiting the mitten this weekend. Anyone up for some trouble?

* Does anyone remember this shitty jingle? Along with "Tell 'em you're from, tell 'em your from Deee-troit!" (when, in fact, very few can actually tell 'em they're from Detroit, since no one actually lives in Detroit proper).

Labels:

person x at 8:30 PM

5 spoke

8.19.2005

Annamaria's Musical Math



The Decemberists + Squeeze = Giddiness Galore

Thanks, Rich!

Labels:

annamaria at 1:15 PM

0 spoke

Friday Random Confession

Yet another confession: I have a serious girl crush on Neko Case


It's confession time, folks. I lie to you every Friday. It's not that the songs I list are, in fact, not random, so much as they are not Friday. See, I blog at work, mostly because when I'm home I don't feel much like blogging, particularly when I could be doing better things like playing Text Twist on Yahoo! Games. So...since I blog at work, but the computer at work has no music saved on it, I generate the random lists on my home computer on Thursday night.

Like most people with a problem, I am loathe to admit to it. In fact, if I had my way, I would have blithely continued with my charade and you never would have been the wiser. Fortunately, Jen is a good friend. She recognized that I have a problem and staged her own personal intervention, namely by leaving me this message at the top of my FRT saved draft:

[Jen says, upon seeing this post created almost in full on Thursday night, that Annamaria is, in fact, a big ol' nerd]

Thank you, Jen. I have seen the error of my ways. Unfortunately, this leaves us at a bit of an impasse: if we ignore my illicit Thursday lists altogether, we can continue on our happy way, but if my lies and manipulations offend, I'm going to have to kick myself out of the FRT club. Oh, and waking up earlier on Friday morning and doing the list before work is not an option (I need all the sleep I can get!). I'm looking to you, dear readers, for guidance and support in these trying times.

  1. A Sight to Behold - Devendra Banhart
  2. Luv 2 Luv U - Timbaland & Magoo
  3. Tightly - Neko Case
  4. Cold Wind - Arcade Fire
  5. Chains of Love - Erasure
  6. It's My Life - Talk Talk
  7. Come On! Feel the Illinoise! - Sufjan Stevens
  8. Romeo & Juliet - Dire Straits
  9. Hello Time Bomb - Matthew Good Band
  10. Pass the Dutchie - Musical Youth

Labels:

annamaria at 7:45 AM

5 spoke

8.18.2005

Give me a freaking break.



Jude Law's naked weiner isn't even small. Leave the poor, hot man alone.

Hasn't the poor, hot man had enough trouble lately? What with him cheating on his hot actress fiancee with the nanny?

And the subsequent breakup?

And now everyone calling his schlong teeny-tiny?

Come on. He's People's sexiest man alive for god's sake. Give the poor, hot man a break.

person x at 10:01 PM

2 spoke

How did I miss this?

From USA Today:
The leader of the free world is now leading a Boomer Generation fitness trend. At age 59, President Bush is ripping around on a mountain bike, beating stress — and his fellow riders — with aplomb.

accomplished mountain biker
Mountain biking is hard work!

annamaria at 10:40 AM

0 spoke

It ain't violent, it's Biblical!

cognitive dissonance:
An inconsistency among some experiences, beliefs, attitudes, or feelings. According to dissonance theory, this sets up an unpleasant state that people try to reduce by reinterpreting some part of their experiences to make them consistent with the others.

Remember the guy who died after spending 49 hours playing video games? Looks like he should have stuck around just a little longer because, according to ABC News, there is a video game revolution just around the corner!

With all the raunchiness and violence in mainstream video games, a group of Christian businessmen hears a call to provide a more wholesome alternative.

The Christian Game Developers Foundation held a conference in Portland, Ore., last month to create games with a different mission.

"I think the majority of gamers out there just want to play a great game," said the group's leader, Ralph Bagley. "They don't really necessarily need intestines hanging on a doorknob."

Bagley said wealthy Christian investors are planning to bankroll a slew of new Christian games to compete with their raunchier rivals.

Whew, what a relief! It's about time someone came up with a wholesome alternative to all of those violent and raunchy mainstream video games. And what could be more wholesome than the Bible? Just check out this preview of these Hot! New! Christian! games:

In one game, "Catechumen," players use a sword to convert Roman soldiers to Christianity to the cries of "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" In "The Bible Game," players race across the parted Red Sea to battle Goliath with a slingshot.

In "Rebel Planet," users explore the world before the great flood. And coming soon is a "Left Behind" video game based on the popular Christian book series and film.


Good wholesome entertainment


So, to sum up, we've got a game about sword-wielding Crusaders, another about slingshot-waving giant-killers, yet another about a flood that wiped out the entire population of the Earth save the two-by-two God saw fit to redeem, and, finally, one about a group of people who apparently missed the Rapture bus, and now have to contend with death, destruction, and Hell on Earth until it returns to pick up the stragglers.

Am I the only one with a headache?

annamaria at 10:24 AM

1 spoke

8.17.2005

QAF Postscript.


Sorry, kids. Brian and Justin are splitsville for good.


I found this interesting post on another site, which I think is interesting. Turns out that someone was all pissed about the last episode of QAF and wrote to one of the writers for explination.

The answer actually makes me even madder, believe it or not, because it essentially states that there's no more Brian/Justin. No ending up together. No Kinnetic NYC. But, dammit, it does all make sense when you read it.

Basically, I was trying to make him aware that there was an overwhelming sense of displeasure with the finale. And while there are those fans that wanted a wedding, not all of us were displeased about that it didn't happen. Basically we were expecting Brian and Justin together in some form and the ending provided no sense of closure in that respect. I also wondered what the message was with Brian ending up alone at Babylon. In all, I told him that I didn't understand how this ending could be seen as "satisfying" and asked him why they chose to end it as they did.

Shawn was kind enough to write her back with the following explanation:

Hello (name withheld),

Thanks again for your e-mail, to which I'll throw in my two cents.

I'll start by talking a bit about that old chestnut, Love. I tend to think there are four main kinds of it: Love of Self (in a good way - as in self-esteem - not in a negative way as in selfishness); Love of Friends (i.e. Platonic); Love of Family; and love of someone deemed to be "significant" and thus falling into the category of Romantic Love. The entire series has been an exploration of these different kinds of love, with some characters dabbling more in certain areas than in others. In the case of Brian, I'd assert that he operated most obviously in the realm of Self-Love, and had significant storylines with respect to Platonic Love (i.e. Michael).

In the area of Familial Love, there arguably wasn't much, but part of what the show tried to demonstrate is that in a queer world family is often created rather than inherited. Brian's biggest growth over the five seasons, however, came in the development of his ability to admit and accept Romantic Love into his world through the character of Justin. I'm hoping this is all fairly self-
evident and can be accepted at face value. I'm sure many arguments could be made regarding inconsistencies in what I've just outlined, but as this is my opinion, I'll base the rest of my response on the framework presented above.

Not that it's at all objective, but I'm going to plot Brian's 4 kinds of Love as I think they were when we first met him in Season 1:

Self Love: 10
Platonic Love (most notably with Michael): 9
Familial Love (most notably with Debbie/Michael): 7
Romantic Love: 1
Naturally, this kind of quantification of love is completely absurd,
but it's useful as a tool to illustrate my point. Bear with me.

So as far as writing goes, if a writer is going to approach Brian's character and say, "Okay, where do we take this Brian fellow in order to evolve him over the course of the series?", the answer is pretty clear: This character needs to go on an adventure of Romantic Love. Note that this isn't an adventure in the sense of a tour package with sunsets and cruise ships and beaches - but in the QAF sense of learning how to navigate Romantic Love in a world filled with sex parties, drug use, hedonism, political activism (or apathy), homophobia, and all the so-called normal things that straight people try to cope with. Given that Brian's character is already pretty well evolved in other areas, the challenge in writing him becomes one in which we (the writers) don't want to compromise the other forms of Love in order to develop the Romantic Love. In other words, if Brian is established in episode 101 as a character who is happy and proud to be single and sexually voracious, this is what makes him so intriguing and so much fun to write/watch. If we (the writers) are to keep him dramatically interesting and consistent, we can't start chipping away at the Self-Love part of him in order to use those pieces to build up the Romantic Love. A perfect example of this is how Brian's character seemed so strange in the closing episodes of Season 5: his entire being as a Self Love 10 was being eroded as he tried to become a Romantic Love 10.

Obviously, there are easy ways to refute the above paragraph:

Why do these so-called "building blocks" of Love only come in limited quantities? Can't Brian remain high in Self-Love and also become high in Romantic? Sure. But then I'd take the argument a step further: Is Brian the kind of person who would want to be a Romantic Love 10? There's no doubt that most of the online fans are screaming for a "Yes!" But I disagree. Just because fans want something doesn't mean that the character himself would or even should want it too. I believe the reaction over the end of the series is based on the assumption - which Brian has worked hard to dispel over the course of the show's run - that achieving a state of permanent, long-term coupledom (i.e. successfully reaching a Romantic Love 10) is the ultimate realization of happiness and fulfillment.

And I stress that word: Assumption. It's the kind of burning assumption that's fueled and fanned by Hollywood's incessant Romantic Comedies, where the subject-matter is supposedly built around Romantic Love. But it's important to keep in mind that most of these genre movies never actually deal with the true and gritty realities of Romatic Love: more often than not, they're only courtship movies in which the bulk of the drama centres around a) How will the couple meet? b) How will the couple come together? and c) How will the couple declare their undying love for one another? Once these questions are answered, the credits roll and we leave the theatre under the assumption that the couple lives happily ever after.

I think that a key strength of QAF is that it spent five years taking a very hard, critical, and honest look at what happens after the credits roll. It asked a totally different set of questions: Is Romantic Love really all it's cracked up to be? Is it a panacea? Is it just a sham? And perhaps most importantly - Is it for everyone?

In the case of Brian, we discovered in the writing room was that answer was a definite No. After five years of taking Brian on a roller-coaster of Romantic Love, one of the things we realized (and this is what I meant when I told you earlier that the ending felt "emotionally right" to us) is that after 5 years, Brian's character would still fundamentally reject the assumption that Being a Romantic Love 10 = Being Happy. But that's not to say he hadn't grown as a character. I'd say that his Romantic Love score at the end of 513 was about a 6. Which means that somehow, Justin had gotten to him and had had a definite impact. At the end of the show, Brian was able to admit and verbalize that he did indeed love Justin, in a way that was understood to be Romantic.

So then why did they go their separate ways? Because for Brian, his Self Love and his Platonic Love were the keys to his fundamental happiness. Those are the Loves that trumped the Romantic. And because Justin knew this, he refused to lock Brian into a life in which he wouldn't be completely happy.

Notwithstanding this fact, they both knew that they were connected at a deep level. Said Justin, "We don't need rings or vows to prove that we love each other." In other words, "Our definition of Romantic Love falls outside the assumptions that mainstream society wants to graft onto us." Their Romantic Love is self-defined - not socially defined. And after 5 years of experimentation, negotiation, heartache, and headache, they finally managed to define their Romantic Love in such a way that it didn't compromise Brian's happiness, which is (and has always been) built around his Self- and Platonic Loves.

I hope that makes sense. At the very least, I trust it was a valiant enough effort on my part to shed some light on what I personally was grappling with in the writing room as the final episodes were pieced together. Although I certainly don't speak for Ron or Dan or the other writers, I suspect similar thoughts were going through their heads as well. I invite you to share this response on the discussion boards, and hope it will inject another perspective into the raging debate. And of course, I thank you
again for your enduring passion. Long live the fan fic! ;^)

Best,
Shawn

Labels:

person x at 3:54 PM

1 spoke

8.16.2005

Please, allow me to retort.


Something tells me that this young man
will not be allowed on the plane.
Less because he is Arabic; More because of the HAND GRENADE.


I drafted a response back to the forwarded rubbish that supported racial profiling this morning. After such a long lapse of time, checking for a response to my response throughout the day, I was starting to get depressed. I was starting to think that I was right, and that my forward-friend was wrong.

But, Yes! An answer. Proof that we should, in fact, look questionably upon all Muslim men we come across. Or...well...not.

Sorry to all that were offended by this email [Uh-oh. I think she's talking about me here!]. But this is America and we have the right to feel and say however we want. If it means that what was said in this email is the "pot calling the kettle black", so be it. Sure, all the facts in (both "tests" [Please note that I sent along Ian's response to my early post almost verbatim, including the test]) are true and every race is guilty of some crime or another but that's not what this email is about. If you missed the point- let me enlighten you. It's about people being so politically correct and afraid to offend that they overlook things that could potentially be dangerous.

And most importantly, please do not judge us who support this email. Not all of us are afraid of terrorists, have those stickers on our car, shop at Wal-mart or more importantly, pin our hate on Muslim men. Gosh, since you are so politically correct, looks like youre the one who's the pot calling the kettle black.

Uh-oh. I think she got me with her well-crafted arguments, creative logic, and stunning sarcasm.

But, me? Politically correct? How wrong you are, sista. Just shows that you don't know me at all, beyond the fact that I delete all your puppy/angel/(((((HUGS))))) forwards. Oh, but you didn't actually know that, did you. Maybe I'll save that for my next response.

Anyway, to my answer to the "answer":

I certainly don't think that I'm being "politically correct" in any way by not eating up racism with a spoon and calling it dee-licious! In fact, in most occasions I'm the first to be politically incorrect, a la Bill Mahr and his now defunct show.

I just thought it was important to point out that a test could have been created like that for any ethnic group/social strata/sex. The fact that certain terrorist activity can be pinned on Muslin men is just a small amount of problems that have even been happening in the last few years. Palestine/Israel? Russia/Chechnya? Various acts of genocide throughout Africa? The Chechens are as likely to commit an act of terrorism in the industrialized world, but should I be stopped at the gate because I'm a Ukrainian sympathizer?

The real point is that we cannot judge an entire group of people by the actions of few. To do so is an act of shortsightedness and open discrimination. To stop every Muslim man that goes through airport security? We'd be missing a whole lot of other crazies by screening only people with a copy of the Quran.

Why not go the route of most European countries and screen everyone in depth, and not just with questions like "did you pack your own bag" -- several times -- instead of operating with the lackadaisical security we currently have in the US [Thanks, Annamaria!]? Wouldn't we cover both bases that way? Those can then rest assured that those "potentially dangerous" are being screened, and I can wait patiently for my turn to be questioned knowing that we aren't acting with blinders on and possibly missing other red flags and dangers.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted on this ongoing story as more developments arise. This is Jen Jones, NON-PC TV reporting.

person x at 4:46 PM

8 spoke

Bustin' up a Starbux

I think this Starbucks used to be a Taco Bell


I hate the Concerned Women for America. I once joked with Rich that my animosity toward the CWA, and literally everything they stand for, probably makes me an Aloof Man for France. After all, CWA leader Beverly LaHaye (wife of Tim LaHaye, author of the Rapturific Left Behind series) once defined the Equal Rights Amendment thusly: "The ERA proposes the elimination of our God-given roles as men and women, resulting in the redefinition -- and eventual destruction -- of family." Yes, making sure that I don’t lose my job because I’m a woman will eventually bring forth Armageddon. And let’s not even get into how the Violence Against Women Act will cause families all over the country to collapse because men are no longer allowed to beat their wives with impunity. But I digress…

After spending years fighting against the ERA, VAWA, the NEA and, ahem, Harry Potter, the CWA has found a new enemy: Starbucks. Well, shit. I hate Starbucks, too. Seems I am going to have to go through a conversion, and actually start drinking their bitter fucking coffee. Of course, I'm not contrarian enough to simply start imbibing Frappuccinos because the CWA implores me not to; no, I'm going to do so because, like Starbucks, I think Armistead Maupin is pretty fucking cool:

click to enlarge photo
The censored bit reads "damn."
Yes, the CWA is offended by the word damn.


According to CWA, this cup "blatantly pushes the homosexual agenda." This cup will bring the downfall of civilization. This cup will turn your children into sodomites and bull-dykes, even though it can barely manage to keep my coffee warm for longer than five minutes.

Now, if the CWA and their ilk want to boycott Starbucks, I say go for it. After all, it will make the lines shorter and decrease the amount of time I have to spend around the distressed and oh-so-depressed emo boys who make my Caramel Macchiato. But can't they find a better reason than this? It's a cup. With a quote. By a gay man. Fuck--do these people read Shakespeare? Appreciate the Sistine Chapel? Guess what--Shakespeare had a male lover and Michaelangelo was a flaming fucking queer. Get the fuck over it!

A Venti of his choice to Brad R. of Sadly, No! for the alerting us to this prime example of Wingnuttery.

Labels:

annamaria at 10:19 AM

2 spoke

8.15.2005

An idiot's guide to support racial profiling.



We all have those people. The people who you haven't heard from in years, but still insist on sending funny jokes or angels with blessings or pictures of cute puppies or funny pictures of signs or great big (((((HUGS))))).

These are people who don't care to keep in touch with you in a real sense. Don't get to know your ideals. They are just hoping to keep in touch with you until they are engaged and can hit you up for a wedding gift. (I do think that this is the serious goal of about 75% of those who send endless forwards.)

So, a "friend" of mine from way back in the day sends me this forward. God knows she should have known better. Or maybe God doesn't, since he doesn't exsist (BURN!).

But yes. What follows is the reason that all Muslim Americans, or Muslims period I should say, should be hassled in all aspects of life. I'm sure that African-Americans and Japanese-Americans will agree, as the profiling that happened (happens?) to them is all worth while. Jap bastards, all wanting to take over.

I digress.

I'm trying to think what in the hell I should write back to this, because it certainly requires response.

Please help me craft one.


These stated facts are true - they've been at this for years !!! In addition to our enforcement farces, where are all the GOOD (?) Muslims in all this?

Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice test. The events are actual cuts from past history. They actually happened!!! Do you remember?

1) 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:
A. Superman
B. Jay Lenno
C. Harry Potter
D. Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

2) In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:
A. Olga Corbett
B. Sitting Bull
C. Arnold Schwarzenegger
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

3) In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
A. Lost Norwegians
B. Elvis
C. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

4) During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
A. John Dillinger
B. The King of Sweden
C. The Boy Scouts
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

5) In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
A. A pizza delivery boy
B. Pee Wee Herman
C. Geraldo Rivera
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

6) In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
A. The Smurfs
B. Davy Jones
C. The Little Mermaid
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

7) In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
A. Captain Kidd
B. Charles Lindberg
C. Mother Teresa
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

8) In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
A. Scooby Doo
B. The Tooth Fairy
C. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

9) In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
A. Richard Simmons
B. Grandma Moses
C. Michael Jordan
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

10) In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
A. Mr. Rogers
B. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
C. The World Wrestling Federation
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

11) On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
A. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
B. The Supreme Court of Florida
C. Mr. Bean
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

12) In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
A. Enron
B. The Lutheran Church
C. The NFL
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

13) In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
A. Bonnie and Clyde
B. Captain Kangaroo
C. Billy Graham
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

Nope, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone because of profiling.

Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel doubly ashamed of themselves - if they have any such sense.

As the writer of the award winning story "Forrest Gump" so aptly put it,"Stupid is as stupid does.."

Come on people wake up!!! Keep this going.

person x at 8:10 PM

3 spoke

8.12.2005

Friday Random Ten

The Decemberists


Hey, it's Friday already! It's been an exciting week since we last did the Random Ten--Queer as Folk ended, my car got smashed up at the Meijer parking lot (that will teach me to give my money to fundies!), and I got a raise! How exciting. Actually, it's not. My raise was so miniscule that I might just be able to use it to fix my injured car.

But forget all of that--it's Rich's birthday! Happy birthday, Rich! And it's Friday, which means it's time for musical randomness. If you don't know the rules shame on you, 'cause this shit is hardly new. Here's mine: The Friday Random Ten, Happy Birthday Mark Knopfler Rich Edition!


  1. The People's Limousine - Elvis Costello & T-Bone Burnett
  2. Our Dying Brains - Grandaddy
  3. I Left My Wallet in El Segundo - A Tribe Called Quest
  4. Hounds of Love - The Futureheads
  5. Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack & Peace
  6. F the CC - Steve Earle
  7. The Mariner's Revenge Song - The Decemberists
  8. New Kicks - Le Tigre
  9. Erection - The Faint
  10. Girl Anachronism - Dresden Dolls


Your turn!

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annamaria at 8:46 AM

5 spoke

Underwhelmed

Rich often calls me a Grammar Queen, due to my tendency to become apoplectic over misuse of quotation marks or the failure to conjugate simple verbs. I'm not saying that my grammar is perfect (I'm sure that there are people who can find fault even with me!), but I can guarantee that I will never be guilty of such crimes against language as "I seen" or "boughten."*

Apparently, Rich isn't the only person that has noticed my language and grammar OCD; my brother Giacomo was kind enough to send me this critique of the alphabet. It's really quite funny (assuming you are a nerd like me, but not a nerd like him). For example:

L l

What.the fuck.is that? Surely no worse letterforms exist than these two duds—I mean c’mon … two lines and a line? Who designed this, some old fart completely worn out and bereft of ideas? The design rationale must’ve been one helluva snow job. The capital L has that gaping, awkward open space, and the lower case … it’s a line! and it looks like a cap I or a 1 fer god’s sake. How did this get passed?! I’m glad I don’t have any of these in my name.


I propose that the author tackle Arabic numerals next. After all...what the fuck is up with the 7? I hate the 7. I hate it so much I give it both a serif and crossbar just to make it look a little interesting. Maybe we should switch to Tamil numerals. After all, how cool is this ?


----------------
*Boughten has some degree of respectability amongst linguists, mainly due to its prevalence in the Northern U.S. (particularly the Midwest). I still say bullshit. The past participle of Buy is Bought. I defer to the Brits on this one since they invented the fucking language!

PS: Want more grammar fun? Check out these lyrics. Chris Murphy knows what I'm talking about!

annamaria at 7:36 AM

3 spoke

8.10.2005

There is nerdy. And then there is...NERDY



Nerdy to the end, ya'll.

You would have thought that getting canned from his job would have been the hint to this South Korean that he was more than a little addicted to video games. Apparently he missed so much work, opting to stay home with his computer instead, that he was fired.

Then, 49 hours after entering an Internet cafe to play games on the computer, he dies. Not a heart attack or anything like that, mind you.

He dies of exhaustion.

He literally did not get up from the computer for 49 hours and fucking died.

Now, I'm one for playing the games and being a little nerdy, but I'll at least get up on occasion to, say, drink some water. Or eat a sandwich. Or go to the toilet. I don't want to be called nerdy for game playing ever again, because I'm not play-49-hours-until-you-die kinda nerdy. So there.

person x at 8:14 PM

1 spoke

Kiwis and pizza are a great combination

Via DED Space



That billboard is for Hell Pizza, a New Zealand pizzeria chain. Tops that post-election edition of the Daily Mirror, don't you think?

annamaria at 8:21 AM

0 spoke

8.09.2005

Jen doesn't like me very much right now

Well, Jen didn’t seem to like my recap of the series finale of Queer as Folk (what can I say, I didn't hate it!), and I’ve decided that our friendship is too important for us to be disagreeing about anything. So, I checked out our friends at LifeSite, and found that they are up to all kinds of wingnuttery, namely, crazy talk about abortion and the like. So, Jen, here’s a post we can both agree on…

First, LifeSite links to a list of abortion-supporting companies, provided by Life Decisions International (Hey, doesn’t "decisions" imply choice? Heathens!). Seems they want their readers to use this as a boycott list, but don’t you think it would be so much more fun to use this as a list of companies to buy shit from? For instance, in need of an accountant? Try Ernst & Young. Need school products? Highsmith! How about drugs? Merck and Pfizer are your friends! Have money to invest? Wells Fargo and Wachovia donate money to Planned Parenthood. Clothing? Neiman Marcus, Levi Strauss, Kenneth Cole are all about killing the babies. How about over-priced organic foodstuffs? Whole Foods loves free range chicken more than your fetus!

Actually, the LDI site is a font of useful information. For example, the Celebrity Watch lists all kinds of actors, musicians and writers, etc. who endorse and/or support Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, LDI uses the word "celebrity" rather loosely (LaVar Burton?), and shows their complete lack of the cool when saying things like this: "Nirvana (following the suicide death of the band's lead singer the group has worked under the name Foo Fighters)." Ummm…no. But they did manage to confirm what I have always suspected: Richard Belzer fucking rocks!

Richard Belzer


According to LDI President Douglas Scott, "This is not a Jesse Jackson boycott; make news for a day or two and then go away. Several corporations were boycott targets for many years before their chief executives finally realized we are relentless and will continue to let them know we disapprove of their philanthropic practices. The key is remaining diligent. If we give up, Planned Parenthood wins."

Actually, darling, the key is remaining "vigilant," not diligent. You see, while they rhyme, those are actually two totally different words.

But, that Jesse Jackson slam really pisses me off. Yeah, I know, the whole "Bud's a dud" campaign failed, but, um....how about South Africa? Remember that one? Considering Mandela's out of jail and apartheid's kind of over, I hardly consider Jackson's boycotts to be failures all around. Maybe we Planned Parenthood supporters should be glad that LDI's not running a "Jesse Jackson boycott."

And they say feminists can't take a joke


Then LifeSite gets even funnier, linking to Dawn Eden (isn't she the one that called AmandaPanda a Porn Liberal?), who takes Planned Parenthood to task for creating a silly cartoon. Seems Planned Parenthood Golden Gate's Superhero for Choice, Dianysis, likes to shoot the anti-choicers with her condom-dispensing laser gun, and once they are caught and neutralized (that nonoxynol-9 is a killer!), they Poof! disappear. Dawn seems to think they get all blowed up, but more likely they just, well, disappear...you know, which is what happens to all villains in comic books. Sheesh...it's a cartoon, no one really dies!

But Dawn has a point when she says that Planned Parenthood and its supporters wouldn't stand for an American Life League cartoon featuring an anti-choice superhero blowing up pro-choicers. But maybe that's because, unlike anti-choice extremists, we don't necessarily have a history of turning our violent fantasies into reality.

annamaria at 2:09 PM

6 spoke

8.08.2005

QAF 513: They came for the Queer, they stayed for the Folk



Well, folks, it's all over. I managed to get through the "Saying Goodbye" special and the final episode without crying, though I must admit I came pretty damn close a couple of times. And while I'm still disappointed at the lack of Kinney-Taylor nuptuals, I've got to admit, I don't think they could have given us a better series finale. So, let's wrap up our show by taking a look at our guys (and girls!) one at a time. We'll start with my favorite:

Temmett

Ted: From a boring accountant to a porn king to a crystal queen to a singing waiter to...an accountant; seems like Ted has come full circle. But really, this Ted it drastically different than when we first met him. He's confident, self-assured, poised, fuck--guys think he's hot! I was seriously concerned last episode when we met Creepy Tad (who turned out to be Borderline Personality Disorder Tad), but all was put right last night. I told Jen once that my ideal ending for Ted would go something like this: Ted is walking down Liberty Avenue, ther are people all around, and from within the crown a familiar face appears--Blake. He catches Ted's eye, they smile at each other, and the audience is left with the tacit understanding that this time, their timing is just right. Well, QAF gave me an even better ending--Ted and Emmett run into Blake, and not only does the audience realize these two belong together, but Emmett does, too. He gives them his blessing, and I barely blink back the tears.


Emmett: So maybe Drew didn't have his 21st birthday, but I think Emmett is going to be okay. You know, it occurs to me that Emmett is the only character that hasn't undergone a major transformation. While he's dealt with some pretty serious shit (See the Light, George's death, Ted's addiction), he's always bounced back, flame as bright as ever. To me, Emmett has always represented resilience and pride--he might be the swishiest of the bunch, but he's also proven time and again he's got bigger balls than most. So, while he's not exactly paired off at the end (unless his former high school crush, Calvin Culpepper, counts), you know he's going to be okay.

Lindsay and Melanie

Melanie & Lindsay: I know I said one at a time, but you can't really talk about one without the other, right? I have to admit, I've never been a huge fan of these two. I don't know if it is the actors (who lack the chemistry to make me believe they are actually a couple) or the fact that they were so obviously tacked on (the British series had no Mel/Linds counterparts), but I just ever latched on to their storylines. But, I'm glad they are back together, if only because their personalities when apart are so grating! The move to Canada makes me jealous because I wish I could just pack up and go to Toronto. But, Brian loves his Lindsay so I guess that means I must as well, so it was a good ending for the lesbians--together, with the kids, off to start a new life. Good for them!

The Novotny-Bruckners

Michael/Ben/Hunter: Wow, an entire episode where I actually liked Michael! I've always liked Ben, though, even when he was Steroid Mary, so any ending where he gets a loving husband and son (they're going to adopt Hunter, yay!) is good in my book. I read that originally the show was supposed to center around Michael, but when test audiences responded strongest to Brian, the focus shifted. That's probably a good thing, as I most likely wouldn't be writing this recap right now...because I wouldn't be watching the show! But, to be fair, Mikey's grown up a lot in five years, from being Brian's biggest fan, to Dr. David's boy toy, to Ben's husband and Hunter and JR's dad, and while I still can't stand the guy, I think the whole Brian fight this season was instrumental in making Michael a decent person. He stopped idolizing and idealizing Brian, and now he can be an actual friend. And Brian really needs a friend right now.

Brian and Justin

Brian and Justin: Oh, these two. I wanted nothing more than to see them married, and while that didn't happen, I'm shockingly okay with the way things ended. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but it didn't feel like the end for them, rather just another one of their many breaks--like with the fidder or LA. Brian is giving Justin the room, and the time, to be the best homosexual he can be, and you just know that he'll be waiting for him when he's done. After all, Justin might always be the one walking away, but Brian never hesitates to take him back. The final scene between these two was one of the most beautiful (both in terms of emotion and cinematography) that I've ever seen on QAF, and it nearly made me break my promise to myself not to cry over a damn TV show! I'm pleased that they didn't cheat us out of one last time with these two, even if it didn't follow matching tuxes and bull dyke minister.

Can I also add that I was not thirty seconds into the episode before I realized there would be no wedding? The opening song was "Sleep" by The Dandy Warhols--the same song that was playing at the end of episode 102, the first time Brian sends Justin away.

And finally...

The Brian and Mikey Show

Michael and Brian: Ugh, it pains me to say it, but for all the talk about Brian and Justin, it is Brian and Michael who are truly at the center of this show. Think about it, how has every season ended:

Season One Michael and Brian in the hospital waiting room after Justin gets bashed.
Season Two Michael conforts Brian after Justin leaves with the fiddler.
Seaont Three Brian gives up his last wordly possession, the Corvette, so that Michael can run away with Hunter.
Season Four Even as Ben and Michael get married and Brian and Justin embark on a new course in their relationship, the real story is Brian and Mikey crossing that finish line.

Season Five is no different--Michael drags Brian to what remains of Bablyon for one last dance (cue 101 flashback, the song is "Proud" by Heather Small, the same song that played during the hospital rooftop scene), and Babylon resurfaces from the ashes so that our boys can all dance and live and love one more time.

The only diffence this time is that, at the end, Brian is alone. But maybe not... He's dancing on a platform, with green laser lights shining above the crowd, but he's raised up, cutting through the lights. I kept thinking that this scene looked so familiar, and it finally hit me. The only other time we've seen Brian dance alone was in Season Two, when he went to the White Party, rather than attend Melanie and Lindsay's wedding. He was dancing through those same lights, and what was in his hand? A wedding bouquet. Maybe it's not over for our favorite couple just yet.

I'm not sure how I am going to spend my Sunday nights from now on, but I am pleased that QAF went out with class, even if it wasn't a happily ever after fairy tale ending (no pun intended!). Okay, I'm ready to let go now.

Of course, I still have a huge fangirl crush on Gale Harold, so I'll be spending the next few weeks renting all of his movies. What, you didn't think I was going to let go completely, did you?

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annamaria at 3:04 PM

4 spoke

8.07.2005

Annamaria Is...

Annamaria is the guardian of newborns.  How ironic.

As Kerri noted the other day, I'm not exactly Jane Smith, so imagine my surprise when after checking SiteMeter today, I noticed that someone found our little blog by doing a google search for "Annamaria is." Needless to say, I was intrigued. What am I exactly? Well, according to google:

So, I think you all need to do a similar google search, and tell me what you are in the comments.

annamaria at 8:28 PM

9 spoke

8.05.2005

Friday Random Ten

There’s something I gotta ask you. I just wanna know, what are you gonna do for me? I mean, are you gonna liberate us girls from male white corporate oppression?


I'm convinced that this post by Ian should be required reading for all parents. You see, Ian, Jen and I are probably the most child-hating people on the planet. Well, perhaps child-hating is a bit harsh. We mean your children no harm, we would just like for you to keep them away from us. Unless we want to play with them, in which case we can toss a ball or run in circles or whatever it is that little kids like to do, but at the sight of tears or dirty diapers, please expect your children to be returned to you. Please see the rant from earlier this week about naming your children, and you'll see that I'm in a decidedly anti-parental mood this week. Must be the birth control pills kicking in.

Needless to say, I have a wonderful relationship with my nine nieces and nephews.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, just a digression that I couldn't ignore. What really matters is the Friday Random Ten. I tried to come up with a witty title this week, and but the best I could do is "I swear I will send those damn CDs out this weekend!" edition. It will have to do. Otherwise Kerri is going to kick my ass.


  1. Feeling Called Love - Pulp
  2. Kiss Me Like You Mean It - Magnetic Fields
  3. Mary - Lou Barlow
  4. Superstar - Sonic Youth
  5. Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
  6. Raindrop - The Reindeer Section
  7. Scenario - A Tribe Called Quest
  8. My Sharona - The Knack
  9. Lullaby - The Cure
  10. Love in a Trashcan - The Raveonettes


Your turn!

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annamaria at 8:20 AM

7 spoke

8.03.2005

QAF 512: The Beginning of the End.



So, my dear QAF, where should I begin with my goodbye? Let’s start from the very beginning.

The most captivating ongoing storyline has been the relationship with Justin and Brian. Justin, being just a boy when first meeting the god-like Brian and still in high school. Brian, well, was a god. Not even god like. He was the gay god of Pittsburgh.

The two have had their share of ups and downs – cancer, a little fucker named Ethan, Hollywood, Justin and his desires to be a stepford fag. But now it seems like everything is changing. With a wedding on the horizon, this episode of QAF opens with what the audience has been waiting for the entire season: Brian fucking Justin’s brains out all over the loft. (Why not the new mansion in the country, or could they only afford to rent the house for one episode?)

But there is trouble with the domestics, brought about by the sneakiest of the terribly humdrum lesbians, Lindsay. You may remember that earlier in the season she was especially cunty at the custody hearing. But she outdoes herself here.

Just because Mel/Linds are leaving means that everyone else has to uproot their lives as well? Justin can paint in Pittsburgh. He can go to gallery openings anywhere while having his home base in the Pitts. As Justin so eloquently put it, his chance of a lifetime is Brian.

But leave it to cunty Lindsay to fuck up a party. Meeting with Brian, she shows him the article written about Justin. She knows how he is going to react – he has done it before. He always starts to isolate himself when an opportunity comes along for Justin, trying to push him away so that he’ll pursue it. Not shocking, that looks like what might happen on this week’s episode.

So, will there be a wedding? Will Justin and Brian end up together? Will Justin go to New York? Will Brian follow him and start Kinnetic NYC? Will the executives of Showtime be getting my angry calls all day on Monday, demanding a feature film-length resolution to the Brian-and-Justin-must-live-happily-ever-after of my dreams?

And then there is everyone else...

Remember Drew Boyd? And how I loved him? I wish I was at the club with Emmett and this show was real life, because this little white girl would have done my best to kick his ass. Does he know what he’s giving up in Emmett by making out with the trick at the bar?

My dream resolution? Emmett eating pudding and maple syrup or whatever other nasty concoction that Aunt Luella came up with. Drew comes to the door of Debbie’s house, cake in hand, announces that it’s his 21st birthday, and proceeds to fuck Emmett’s brains out.

And then there is Ted/Tad – does anyone else get the weirdo vibe here? Like the making Ted listen to three messages saying “I love you” while sitting at the table when he was late? Or making him cancel his birthday plans with his long-time friends, who have been with him through everything and are sure to be hurt on his canceling the bash. (Emmett especially.) He just seems possessive and stalkery. I’m holding out for a last episode return of Ted’s true love, Blake. Like I have been all season. Or is Ted just going to end up alone? That’s too depressing to even imagine.


Lesbians are moving to Canada. See ya, bitches!

Michael and Ben? Strangely quiet this week. Hunter is back in school, with no follow-up on what it’s like for him. Maybe we’ll hear this week? Will he get back with Callie? It had better be a quick makeup, though. It’ll be taking away from precious Brian/Justin screen time. Michael and Brian make up. Finally. And all because of Ben, who has surprised me a lot lately.

So, on Sunday night on the couch is where I’ll be. Box of Kleenex in hand. Whatever the end scenario is, I’m sure I’ll be crying my eyes out. Hell, I’m sure I’ll be crying during the goodbye special and all through the entire last episode. I feel like I’m losing my friends.

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person x at 2:15 PM

6 spoke

Annamaria’s unsolicited advice to Britney & Kevin

The waffle waitress and her prince


I don’t have kids, nor do I intend to, so I am loathe to offer unsolicited advice to parents and parents-to-be, but I feel that this issue is far too important for me to remain silent. For the love all that is good and pure, please do not give your unborn child a stupid name. And by stupid names, I mean names that you have taken from any of the following:

I know, I know, everyone but me thinks that Apple is a cute name for Gwyneth’s little sprog. You’re all wrong. Apple Martin sounds like a fucking dessert, as in "I’ll have the Peach Melba, and my date will have the Apple Martin." And I wish I could say that Gwyneth was the only person to ever give her child a stupid name, but everyone from Frank Zappa (Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet & Diva) to Ving Rhames (Reignbeau) has saddled their children with names so stupid, so ridiculous, you wonder how they are ever going to get real jobs. And by real jobs, I mean something that doesn’t involve taking off your clothes.

Even people that I love and respect have managed to fuck up their kids lives within the first few hours of their birth. Rachel Griffiths has a son named Banjo. Jason Lee’s kid is Pilot Inspektor. Joe Strummer’s daughters are Jazz Domino Holly and Lola Maybelline. Rob Morrow is hands down the worst father in America, with a kid named Tu. Yep, that’s right, Tu Morrow. Shannyn Sossamon, who used to be a DJ, named her kid Audio Science. How is this not child abuse?

Names like these make Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz Beckham seem normal. In fact, as long as Jermaine Jackson (son is Jermajesty) and John Mellencamp (Speck Wildhorse) keep having kids, the Beckham kids might have a fighting chance to overcome the fact that Posh and Becks are their parents.

But of course, no rant about ridiculous names could be complete without mentioning the Grand Dame of fucking up your kids’ lives: Paula Yates. Before Paula overdosed on smack, she managed to name her kids Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom and Pixie. Those are Bob Geldof’s kids, and apparently Sir Bob managed to put a kibosh on the really bad names, because Paula’s daughter with Michael Hutchence is called Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily. Poor Tiger Lily, not only does she have an absolutely atrocious name, but her dad died in a freak autoerotic scarfing incident, her mom died from a heroin overdose, and she’s being raised by Bob “Wanker” Geldof. The girl is doomed.

I shudder to think what the king and queen of the chavs, Kev & Brit, are going to name their little spawn. I’m hoping they might just surprise us all and call it Elizabeth or James, but I really don’t have that much faith in them. I’m waiting for the announcement that little Aubergine Cilantro Federline was born.

Alright, audience participation time—what is the worst celebrity baby name? Or non-celebrity baby name. Hell, how about worst pet name?

annamaria at 9:31 AM

6 spoke

8.01.2005

Fucking coward.

person x at 2:47 PM

2 spoke