Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Well. That's one way to usher out 2003.

We woke up this morning to discover that the power was out in our building. Upon further investigation, we found that the entire power grid is out. Fun! It's still out, as far as I know. We're at Jenn's apartment, which, though only 2 blocks away, is apparently in a different grid.

Shelby & Wanda's plane is probably landing around now. Guests during a blackout! More fun!

Remarkably, we got tons accomplished today around the house, by candlelight and maglite. We got our new chest of drawers home with Jenn's help and put away all of our clothes. Of course, whenever I get around to washing the piles and piles of laundry, we will still not have room for everything. Oh well.

Cassie gave us our X-Mas presents just now. More movies! X2 and Princess Bride. Yay! And she gave Will the new Bosstones album and a Jill Tracy album. We love Cassie.

Happy New Year, everybody. See you next year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Quick note.

In case anyone is wondering, yes, my comments are down, and yes, they will be back soon. Heath, who very kindly hosts my comments, is changing servers. Everything should be fixed in a few days.

If you are desperate to comment on anything, feel free to [email removed] in the interim. (Please note that anything SPAM-like will have email address blocked and anything rude or nasty will be published here for the world to see.)


If you'd like to answer this too, you can get the template from P@'s blog.

Is your head screwed on right?
Righty tighty, lefty loosy!

What question(s) make you scratch your head in puzzlement?
*scratches head*

How do you get ahead in life?
You have to be Brad Pitt.

"Here comes Gwenyth's a box."
Hee. Didn't read ahead. (Ahead! It's so funny.)

What is your impression of talking heads?
Oh, man. There was this Talking Heads song I used to absolutely love, and now I can't remember anything about it.

Do you prefer giving or receiving head?

"But now we're standing face to face
Isn't this world a crazy place?"

Shouldn't this question have been the Last question?

Who said, "That was the worst head I ever got!"?
Some asshole I slept with once.

What is your head full of?

and finally...

Off with your head!
Done. [up]

Monday, December 29, 2003


Today Will and I went to Sears and liberated a puppy. He's a tiny black lab and his name is bean. Not, as one might expect, for Sean Bean (which I only just thought of), but because his belly is full of beans. His fur is plush and he fits on mommy's shoulder. I have not yet introduced him to the pigs and the lion, but will do so at bed time.

Speaking of bed, I am very excited! While we were out, we also went to Linens 'n Things again, because we needed new pillows. My neck and shoulders have been bothering me immensely, and I have isolated the problem as being the fault of ancient pillows. I found one of those foam contour pillows for only $30! I hope the quality is good - last I checked, those babies sold for more like a C-note.

All in all, our day was far too productive, as seems to be our habit lately. I'm hoping to break that one soon. I need some lazy time (sleeping in until almost noon today notwithstanding).

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Somebody loves me!

(The previous entry doesn't count. Not because it's a quiz, though I'd use that only as a last resort entry, but because I made it before I went to bed last night, so it was sort of a Saturday entry.)

So, today was far too productive. We worked on organizing the kitchen (having gotten a fantastic cart from my dad yesterday to help with storage issues), I fixed the DVD player so it'll play widescreen for everything (except, obviously, the few retarded DVDs out there that are fullscreen), Will took apart and cleaned the grill, and I checked out his old computer to see if it would work as a second computer/gaming system. It might be too slow and not have enough memory or hard disc space for some stuff, but I can't be sure yet because I couldn't convince it to recognize a keyboard, which made it difficult to experiment. Still, I think it was a success if for no other reason than the fact that I turned off my own computer in order to borrow the monitor. And at least we know the Beast still runs, even if we don't know how well.

Anyway, I was getting tired and a bit grumpy, so Will helped me get everything hooked back up to my computer and put on the Batman theme, which cheered me up enormously.

I think we might have done some other stuff as well, but I'm drawing a blank. I don't think the fact that we ate and washed the dishes really qualifies as accomplishment. On the other hand, we did both, so I'll count them.

Yesterday was also quite a full day, now that I think about it - we went to Linens 'n Things to pick up the cart (the online store is out of stock or I'd link to a picture - it's so pretty!), and stopped at the army/navy surplus store for a t-shirt for Will, where I tried on some helmets (Kevlar is heavy), and then went to our favorite furniture store, where we got our coffee table, and bought a dresser. Finally, we will have places to put all of our clothes! Not until later in the week, as they are going to fix it up first, but hopefully by the New Year. Which reminds me, must ask Jenn if we can borrow her truck...I don't believe it will fit in our sedan. By which I mean, it is huge and we could possibly fit a drawer or two into our sedan.

Will talked to his mom today and asked her how old he was when he started reading. He was aghast until I told him that I started late too. Thing is, we both took our time but immediately jumped in to reading "real" books. I'm the fastest reader I had ever met until I met him. He doesn't actually read, he eats books.

This is coming out very disjointed.

Will's mom also wanted to know if I was working this week. That woman is never going to accept the fact that I don't work full time. I told Will that it doesn't bother me as long as he is OK with it, but I'm not sure that was true. I think her questioning may have contributed to my bad mood.

Thank goodness for Batman. Will loves me.

So I had given up on posting stupid quiz results...

But it's Edward Gorey!

Don't Trip
You will be smothered under a rug. You're a little
anti-social, and may want to start gaining new
social skills by making prank phone calls.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

I don't know about that prank phone call business, though. I am reasonably certain that I live in the only household on earth without caller ID.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Deleting my cookies made all my cookies go away.

Not the "desert" kind of cookies, of course. (I laughed and laughed over that typo when Mindi pointed it out. Um, I think it was Mindi. I am WAY too lazy to check.) The computer kind of cookies. I've had to sign into stuff all over the place that I had all but forgotten required logins. For example, I occasionally have to log into the WD, but I always have to log out oslowe first. Not today! Today I had to log in because I deleted my cookies. Also I had to log into Blogger and Blurty and probably something else. And I am totally screwed if I go the New York Times website, because I stay logged in there and I don't even know what email address I registered, let alone the password. I guess I will forgo news from now on. That will be OK.

It's so sad. Where do the deleted cookies go? Is there a cookie heaven? Is there a cookie hell for the spy cookies?

I am thinking about this way too much, and most likely not making any sense.

Will is watching Black Hawk Down special features. I am not likely to be online long. All of the information is transmitting to me aurally, but I can't see the pretty, pretty men. Well, the pretty men and Jerry Bruckheimer.

Oh, man. The Blogger spellcheck just told me Blogger was not a word. *shakes head sadly*


Friday, December 26, 2003

I should be at my goal of 300 pounds and immobile by the New Year.

Because we simply did not have enough deserts in the house (by last count, brownies, cookies, fudge, more cookies, and some cookies), when we went to the store for coffee just now we picked up Profiteroles and an apple pie. I don't think I have ever purchased a pre-made pie before, but there is a first time for everything, or so I am told. It is usually a point of pride for me to make pies from scratch, but frankly, it is the day after Christmas and the thought of taking the time is unappealing at best.

We've spent pretty much all day with our shiny new Firefly DVDs. We love Jenn. When we're through with these, we have the Black Hawk Down special edition to play with, also from Jenn, and Neverwhere from my mom, and Sullivan's Travels from John (who assures us that we can wait till his visit in February to watch it), and The Best of Hunter S. Thompson (which I am afraid of) from Sledge, and THE ALIEN QUADRILOGY which my wonderful father gave Will. There is a distinct possibility that we will never leave the house again.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

O Holy Crap

By my calculation, 2,231 hours of features, with 2,024 hours of commentary. Not to mention documentaries, featurettes, interviews, gag reels, deleted scenes, and other extras.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

in the drunk tank

I was going to make the Best Christmas Eve Blog Entry Ever, but then Will wrote a poem that is better than anything else ever, and since I am already outdone - why bother?

It's almost midnight. Well, almost in the sense that it's more than an hour away.

"Hey! Hey! Unto you a child is born!"

I really like Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I may be getting a touch weird in my old age.

Yesterday as we were walking through The Grove (a shopping mall of sorts), I told Will that he'd better get me a switch for my stocking, as he'd already given me a lump of coal. I waited a minute for him to get it, and was all set to wave my left hand wildly in his face when he laughed.

I've developed a really obnoxious habit. Whenever Will leaves the apartment - even if it is just to run down the hall to the trash cute - I say, "Go with God." I think I also said this to him once when he was headed to the bathroom. I really don't know what has gotten into me.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Thank goodness that's done!

By which I mean Christmas shopping. After spending all day yesterday (slight exaggeration, but only slight) grocery shopping, we went and bought the last of our Christmas gifts today. This included a gift for ourselves. We had originally intended to just buy each other stocking stuffers, but neither of us was much in the mood for that, so we bought a really lovely serving dish set and a pretty ornament that is too heavy for the tree. We also bought cards, which I figure we will probably mail by my birthday (which is in July). Then we came home and I made my WD Secret Santa gift. It took me about five seconds - I hope the recipient doesn't notice. I think it came out very nice.

The whole gift-buying experience was quite painless, though I wish we'd been able to do it sooner. I dislike crowds.

I am sad to announce that Sean and Matt won't be coming for dinner tonight. All this means, though, is that the pork loin, in its Jerk marinade, will be deposited into the freezer for use at a later date. And that I will have to wait until January for Everwood spoilers. I am such a snob - I only take spoilers if I can get them from The Source.

Oh! I also had lunch today with Jenn and Chuck (Ghost from the WD). That was nice. I almost went into the Army recruiting office. Not to sign up (I'd go Air Force, I think), but because apparently if you ask for literature and soforth, they give you the Army first-person shooter computer game. I decided that I wasn't in the mood to bring Will a game that my computer probably can't handle, so I skipped it.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Food, glorious food!

Random fact: at age 9, I was in the local high school's production of Oliver! as a boy in the orphanage. I was also credited in the program as the understudy for the Artful Dodger. I still do not know why, as I never rehearsed the role.

I got off the phone a little while ago after talking to Will's father for quite a while. He'd called to tell us all about his new puppy, Palmer, who is terribly clever.

In Klein family tradition, I shall now tell you all about the food that we have eaten recently, and the food that we will be eating this week.

Last night I made pasta. I suppose this isn't very exciting, except perhaps in the fact that I make my own sauce from scratch. Last night's sauce, though, was particularly good, and I also fixed some Italian sausage and a salad. The salad was actually leftover from a carry-out order Will's office had bought Friday, but we dressed it up a little. Will also bought a loaf of excellent Ciabatta from the market, and we had some really nice wine that had come in a gift basket. Jenn ate with us.

Tomorrow night (if the plan is still on), our friend Sean and his boyfriend Matt are coming over for Jamaican. I'm making Jerk pork loin, rice and peas, cornbread, and I don't know what else. Seems like there was something else. Maybe something green.

On Christmas eve I will make pizza. I'm thinking of doing one with Italian sausage and carmelized onions (and possibly mushrooms), one margharita style, and one veggie (with green peppers, onions, olives, and whatever else is lying around).

On Christmas day we are making Mexican food and all of our "orphaned" friends are invited over. There will be Carne Asada, Chile Verde, quesadillas, homemade tortilla chips (from store-bought tortillas), salsa, guacamole, Mexican rice, and refried beans. I'm making everything but the tortillas from scratch (which is why there are no tamales on the list). I may be forgetting some stuff. It will really be a feast.

In addition to all of the regular food, I'm making Chex mix, and doing this thing with walnuts that Will's mom did over Thanksgiving (toasted with butter and curry powder). There are also tons of snacky foods from the gift baskets we received this year (one of them was from Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara!) and all sorts of other stuff.

For the week or so following Christmas I expect that we will be eating leftovers exclusively.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

This is my blog entry for today.


Friday, December 19, 2003

Well, I'm back.

From Middle Earth, that is. We saw the early evening showing of Return of the King last night.

Frankly, there aren't words. Nevertheless, I shall try.

[spoiler for ROTK]
I held off reading this book so that I wouldn't have too many expectations for the movie. I had been undecided on whether I would do this until I read The Two Towers and fell in love with Tolkien's version of Faramir.

On the other hand, I spoiled myself silly for the movie - sort of. I knew lots of little details that, had I known how they added up, would have essentially added up to the story. Some of the details were from the book, some were from the movie. For the most part I didn't know which was which. I did know about the events that were moved from the end of TTT, because there was no way in hell that I'd stop reading a book that fantastic before the end.

The two big things that I did not expect:

  1. Eowyn and the Witch King. I knew the prophesy, that no mortal man could kill him. I'd theorized that perhaps it would be a hobbit (Merry or Pippin, even before knowing their exact roles in this part of the story), and during the movie I became certain that it would be Aragorn, based upon my very limited understanding of the Dunedain. When Eowyn was holding Theoden, I realized that it would be her. When she beheaded the Fell Beast, it actually took me a moment to realize what had happened - not because it was shown poorly (it wasn't), but because it was so stunning and sudden. When she pulled off her helmet, I very nearly cheered.

  2. The eagles. I had NO IDEA, and was so unspeakably happy when they came. Later, when Frodo and Sam were on the rock on the edge of Mount Doom, with the lava flowing around them, I knew that it would be the eagles who'd come to their rescue (I wasn't spoiled, I am just clever), but it never occured to me that Gandalf would be with them, and I cried.

The crying was a bit of a pattern for me throughout the film. I managed to hold the tears back, though they formed in my eyes, until the first sweeping shot of Minis Tirith as Gandalf and Pippin rode up. Yes, it was the architecture that got me. (Shout-out to Jess!) The tears had been in my eyes since at least the moment when Merry and Pippin were separated, but this is when they started flowing.

I was very surprised at the number of songs in the movie. Merry and Pippin in Rohan, Pippin to Denethor, and Aragorn. In the two previous films, the songs have only been in the extended cuts. I thought it was lovely to have them in this version.

The utter physical disintigration of Frodo and Sam broke my heart. When Sam carries Frodo up Mount Doom, you can see the bones in tiny Elijah Wood's ass. Their recovery in the end was so sweet to watch, particularly Sam. The moment when he stood up to go talk to Rosie in the Green Dragon was so moving, because it immediately made me think of his reactions to her in the beginning of Fellowship, and showed how much he changed. Frodo trying to be Frodo again was almost as heartbreaking, and I sobbed and sobbed as he said goodbye to his companions to get on the ship with Gandalf.

I read a review on the WD in which someone was disappointed in Aragorn grabbing Arwen and kissing her. I think that is ridiculous - he won the battle, he was crowned king, and his love came back to him. I would have grabbed her just as quickly, kingliness be damned.

I won't even mention the moment when Aragorn and all of Gondor bowed to the hobbits, because my keyboard is getting wet just thinking about it. (That sounds gross. I mean that I am crying again.)

There is so much more to say. I don't know how to say any of it. My mind is a blur of wonder and heartbreak. When the movie was over and we walked out to the courtyard at the theater, I broke down completely and sobbed into Will's chest for about ten minutes. Then we went inside and had a drink. I have never needed one so badly.


Thursday, December 18, 2003

Let no man, hobbit, elf, or dwarf tear asunder.

I was watching some show like Access Hollywood (it wasn't like Access Hollywood, it was Access Hollywood - unless it was Extra) last night, and they were showing some footage of people at the Return of the King on opening day, including a couple getting married in full LOTR regalia. The minister "improved" on the traditional "What god has brought together, let no man tear asunder" in an adorable fashion, I thought.

Speaking of ministers, I just got off the telephone with Justin, who will be marrying Will and I. He has cleared the date and is thrilled that the wedding will be during the day, as he has tiny hobbits (er, children) who will be attending as well. Which reminds me, our wedding will be child-friendly. I know that this sometimes causes problems, but the only thing that I can think of as far as that goes that even has a possibility of being true is that the parents may be distracted by their babies, and frankly, parents should pay attention to their babies. I was thinking of maybe getting some crafty projects and setting up a table where the little ones could do stuff on their own, if they got bored.

[drastic change of subject]
I had the loveliest experience yesterday. In an odd sort of way. I had to go to the bank to transfer some money from my dad's account to ours (for the deposit on the movie theater) and to cash my paycheck. Because I stopped off at the mailbox to pick up my check, I exited the building through the front door, rather than the side door that's closest to our apartment. So I took a different route than I usually take to the bank. As I walked down Harvard, I had a stunningly vivid sense memory, though it took me a moment to place the smell. I finally realized that the patches of grass I was passing had been fertilized, and I was smelling a farm. There is something about the smell of cow dung that is just lovely. Not that I'd want a perfume of it or anything, but I don't wear perfume anyway.

I turned right on 6th Street, past the homeless guy who sits in front of the post office. I smiled at him and he smiled back. It made me wonder how many people just walk past the homeless, never even looking at them. At Hobart, I passed three or four boys who were just sitting, being hoodlums or whatever it is that boys do on street corners. They looked at me, and one of them made a funny sound that I suppose is something like whistling, and another said to his friends, "I bet she's getting a book." It was very surreal, though I was walking in the direction of the library. Do I look like a bookworm? Do all white girls hang out at the library? I don't know. But it was funny.

After I took care of my business at the bank I went to the grocery store, where I was horrified to discover that apparently NO ONE sells parchment paper anymore. Bastards! So I bought french fries instead.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

This one's for Matty.

Seeing as my last entry was far more words than normal, I give you this, in the Spirit of Christmas:

Tonight, I made brownies. I also cooked fish and chips for dinner. I hope the brownies don't smell like dinner.

I was wearing my sexy new bra the whole time.

The end.

And the lion shall lay down with the lamb? - "Sodom's Solemn Warning"

Any of various forms of sexual intercourse held to be unnatural or abnormal, especially anal intercourse or bestiality.

(Definition courtesy of

I stumbled upon an article written by Ed Vitagliano in the American Family Association Journal, a Christian publication whose sole purpose seems to be condemning anyone who does not think the way that its contributors feel they ought to. Not very Christian if you ask me. I know a lot of good Christian people, and I must say that they are all considerably more intelligent and compassionate than this asshole.

I was raised basically atheist, and now consider myself agnostic. I have read parts of the bible, but frankly I find it dreadfully boring.

Ed says:
For �gay� and lesbian activists intent on molding American culture in their own image, the church is seen as the most stalwart opponent resisting the triumph of homosexual philosophy.

I find two things in particular about this opening sentence to be very interesting. The first is the use of quotations around the word gay, but not around the word lesbian. This can be interpreted two ways that I can think of: One, "gay" is a term meaning "homosexual," which is the (only) correct term; two, lesbians are HOT SHIT and therefore more legitimate than those dirty, buggering "gays." The second is the use of the word stalwart. It is used here as an adjective, and can therefore mean either "Having or marked by imposing physical strength" or "Firm and resolute; stout." Using the Pope as my point of reference, the former is obviously not what Ed referred to. If "Firm and resolute; stout" means "stubborn, obstinate, and consuming of foamy beer," then it may be an accurate description.

In interpreting what the bible has to say on homosexuality in Genesis (18 and 19), the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, he says:
In fact, the word sodomy, which generally refers to unnatural sex acts (especially homosexual anal intercourse) is derived from the name of the city of Sodom.

He is absolutely correct if you ignore his parenthetical. However, since it was published right there in the middle of his otherwise correct (if judgmental) statement, you probably should not ignore it after all. I would be terribly disappointed if my readers were to ignore my (highly amusing) parentheticals, so I will afford him the same respect that I myself would appreciate. As you can see above, my online dictionary source also singles out anal intercourse (or buggery, as I like to call it), but does not specify homosexual or heterosexual. That is because both involve the insertion of a penis into an anus, and also because the authors of are not disgusting homophobes.

Digression: I have a question about the use of the word "unnatural." How can it be determined whether a sex act is natural or not (assuming consent)? Let's say it's summer time, and quite hot in our apartment, and my lover and I are in bed together, naked and performing the acts that generally lead up to intercourse. (Like, you know, smooching.) Due to the combined factors of temperature and arousal, my anus becomes slick with sweat and other moisture. When my lover attempts penetration, aiming most properly for my hoo-ha, he inadvertently finds himself an inch deep in my out-hole. What's worse, the pressure feels good and I like it! Since the course of events took place "naturally," are we committing a sin? Actually, that's two questions. Have we already committed a sin? If we continue, are we committing a sin?

Going back to the dictionary, let's talk about bestiality for a moment. Bestiality is a non-consensual act. Whether it is natural or normal becomes a moot point. What I want to know is whether animals of separate species (excluding humans) laying together is acceptable. I'm not talking about the dog and the cat sharing a sunbeam for an afternoon nap. I'm thinking more about that naughty lion taking advantage of the Little Baby Jesus-Lamb. (Or was it the other way around?)

Back to Ed.
When two angels, in the form of men, came to Sodom to stay with Lot, the men of the city surrounded the house and asked, �Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them� (vs. 5, KJV).

Please note that Ed uses the King James bible, which many have argued is wildly reinterpreted.
With such a Biblical event casting its shadow over the theological landscape, how could �gay� advocates sidestep the obvious implication that God considered homosexuality a despicable sin?

Some simply deny that any type of sexuality � homosexual or heterosexual � is in view in the Sodom and Gomorrah saga. For example, in his book, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, Dr. Sherwin Bailey argues that the Hebrew word translated �know� in this verse does not refer to sex at all. Instead, the request on the part of the townsmen to �know� the visitors was merely a request to become acquainted with Lot�s guests, especially since they were outsiders.

A proper exegesis of this passage reveals the ludicrous nature of this argument. Lot responded to the initial request by beseeching the men, �Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly� (vs. 7, NAS). This is hardly a comprehensible statement if all the men wanted to do was meet Lot�s guests and start up a conversation.

It's difficult to say, without having read Dr. Bailey's work, whether his is a retarded argument or not. Ed's description of it certainly makes me lean toward the more "traditional" (and anti-gay) interpretation, but I am well aware of the drastic differences between modern translations and the original Hebrew, so I am leaning back toward Dr. Bailey's side.

I had to look up exegesis, which means "Critical explanation or analysis, especially of a text." Ed does not credit his source for this "proper" exegesis, so I cannot give it any weight at all in his argument. As Rabbi Merope is on vacation, I have no source of information on the actual meaning of the Hebrew word in question, but I think it is safe for me to assume that if it does not have a sexual connotation, it may still mean a bit more than "have a conversation." There can be wicked intent without rape (or even consensual but unnatural sex) as the ultimate goal.
Furthermore, as P. Michael Ukleja argues in Bibliotheca Sacra, with such a restricted meaning for �know,� Lot�s offer of his daughters to the men of the city (itself a disgraceful act) would be inexplicable.

Actually, there is nothing restricted about Dr. Bailey's meaning, whatever it may actually be. It is, in fact, less restricted than the assumption that it can only possibly mean buggery.
The more common approach for activists, however, has been to argue that the sin here in Genesis is not homosexuality per se, but homosexual rape. �Violence � forcing sexual activity upon another � is the real point of this story,� said lesbian English professor Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, co-author of the book Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?

Why does Ed single Mollenkott out as being a lesbian? I wonder...

He goes on to argue that there is no indication that Lott's visitors would have objected to fucking the men who wanted to "know" them. This is his weakest argument yet. By absence of one item, you do not prove another item, also absent.

Later in the article Ed quote Ezekiel 16:49-50:
�Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.�

He argues that the abominations referenced are obviously homosexuality. This is strangely similar to interpreting the President's Constitutional right to declare war without Congress's approval as a right that applies in non-emergencies. (I am over-simplifying because I can only really concentrate on one document at a time, and my copy of the Constitution is across the room anyway.) Why is there a need to look further than that passage for evidence of what the abominations are? I am not trying to say that the bible is A-OK with homosexuality, because that is clearly not true, at least in current interpretations. What I am saying is that he is using his own agenda to redefine something that is already defined very clearly.

Ed finally says something that backs up his argument:
In 2 Peter 2, the apostle said the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah should serve as an example to the wicked of every generation (vs. 6). Lott, he said, continually witnessed �the sensual conduct of unprincipled men,� who, among other things, �indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires� (vv. 7, 10).

But then follows it up with this piece of absurdity:
Jude 7 makes the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah even more explicit: the inhabitants �indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh,� and what could be stranger than men fornicating with other men?

CONTEST! Name something stranger than men getting it on with each other. Bonus points if it actually fits Jude's description of strange flesh.

I'll start you off: Cannibalism.

There's tons more where that came from (the analysis of Ed's "argument" as well as the amusing contest entry), but I still have brownies and a trip to the bank to make.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I am the ghost of Christmas presents.

Well, sadly, we are unable to give any gifts this year, but I am certainly feeling the holiday spirit! This morning I went to the mall (ugh) in Beverly Hills (ugh, ugh, ugh) and actually had an all right time. Perhaps my strategy of going on a Tuesday morning, which was not in fact thought out at all, was a wise one.

I went to check out a kitchen cart at Bed Bath & Beyond and to buy some jeans and stuff at The Gap, both non-surprise-type gifts from my father. I found jeans that fit and several other nice items, including another fabulous pair of sweatpants (eventually that will be the only sort of bottoms that I wear) and a few long sleeve t-shirts. When I got in line, I was at the front, but there were two women who'd queued up on the wrong side of the check-out counter. The first woman had been there before me, and the check-out girl sent her over and said she would be helped first. The other woman had her very adorable (11 or 12-year-old) daughter with her, and somewhat reluctantly asked me if it would be all right for her to take care of her return ahead of me, as she had a doctor's appointment down the street to get to. I said that she certainly could, as all I had left to do today was to buy chocolate chips, and I had all day to do so. We were called to opposite sides of the check-out, facing one another, and while we were being helped she called over to me and said she was glad we'd met, because so many people are so rude at this time of year. She said something about a song she liked that advised people to wake up and put a smile on their faces, and said that I'd reminded her to smile.

I left feeling very good about myself and about the season, and went across the way to Victoria's Secret where I (finally!) found out my bra size and purchased two. Then I bought a Chai, cried over the loss of Wizards of the Coast (where did it go?), and went to Smart & Final for some baking supplies.

And it's only just 2:30! If I can keep myself from spending all day online, I may get some baking done.

Monday, December 15, 2003

For those of you that a) are not Simon and b) have not yet gotten the hint that is the best site on earth...

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King press junket.

I've linked to part three as it has links right at the top for parts one and two. You'll have to backtrack, but all the info is there in one place. Also, contains SPOILERS. In the first two they are easier to avoid, whereas the third is pretty much one big spoiler from start to finish.

You're welcome.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Mrs. Viglielmo taught me three things.

  1. The times tables
  2. How to write in cursive (that one didn't stick)
  3. To always go with my first answer

Thank you, Mrs. Viglielmo. Fourth grade wasn't so bad after all.

My first instinct for a jewelry store was correct. My first instinct for a dress shop was right. My first instinct for an officiant was right. And my first instinct for a venue was right, right, RIGHT.

Yesterday evening Will and I visited the Silent Movie Theater. We are totally in love (with each other as well as the space) and will be married there. I spoke to my father today and he will be taking care of the deposit. The price for the space seems astronomical to me, but having checked out some other venues online I know that it is actually quite a steal.

We are just waiting to hear from Justin (our minister) about his availability and talk to Charlie about the contract for the theater. If all goes well we will be setting the date by the end of the week.

I am ridiculously excited.

In other, totally unrelated news, we decorated for Christmas last night and watched Zulu this evening. It's been a truly fantastic weekend.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

We'll go anywhere the president says
Because the president believes in god
Like all good soldiers should

No, this is not a political rant. I haven't got time. Well, that isn't entirely accurate. I have time, but damnit, I'm in a good mood and I do not wish to spoil it.

It's just that we were listening to that song ("All Good Soldiers" by Bad Religion) and I was thinking that it's almost definitely anti-war, anti-soldier (or at least anti-armed forces), anti-president, and anti-god, but it just makes me want to run (RUN) to the nearest recruiting center and sign up to serve my country.

Isn't that funny?

Friday, December 12, 2003

An even more importanter question:

Who is orion b?

Some important facts I have learned about Hollywood lately:

  • Ben Stiller: has a very firm handshake.
  • Vince Vaughn: always looks like that.
  • When in doubt - wear the leather jacket/coat.

Some important questions I have about Hollywood remakes:

  • Freaky Friday (DVD): "Alternate" endings? THEY GET BACK THEIR OWN BODIES AND LEARN A VALUABLE LESSON. How many "alternates" can there be to that?
  • Love Don't Cost A Thing: WHY?

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Holy casting announcement, Batman!

Sorry, that was lame.

CHUD has announced that Cillian Murphy of 28 Days Later has been cast as a villain in the upcoming Christian Bale-starring Batman movie.

CHUD also reports that the Firefly movie may not be happening as soon as hoped, if at all. Since this is coming from Joss Whedon, Compulsive Liar, I don't think anything of it one way or another. CHUD is my number one source for movie info, but my pal Alan Tudyk recently told our friend Len (who is working on the Underdogs DVD) that things were looking good for the movie.

In conclusion, I have to go find my VHS copy of The Replacement Killers, and also make a new Deadlands character. Poor Little Joe needs some time to recuperate.

p.s. Awwww! The Blogger spellcheck wanted to replace "Whedon" with "Wheaton." My work here is done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I'm so money, baby.

OK, so I didn't talk to Vince Vaughn. However, Steve the Pirate (you may know him as Wash, the pilot of Serenity) congratulated me on my upcoming nuptuals and was quite giddy when Will told him how much we're looking forward to the Firefly DVDs. Then he started talking about Isaac Asimov and totally lost me.

Dude. Alan Tudyk!

I like getting tons of comments.

Therefore, I should kick lots of ass every day.

The trouble is, kicking ass is tiring, and some days I need to just go hang with Vince Vaughn, drinking martinis.

OK, I hate martinis and don't know if Vince will be in attendance, but I am going to the Underdogs wrap party tonight with Will. (The movie is technically going by "Untitled Dodgeball Movie," but the original name is most excellent and I refuse to call it anything else until I have to.)

The question, of course, is what should I wear?

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Todays' score.

I got my ASS KICKED by about 800 cookies today. The catering company I work for is catering Disney's Christmas party, and apparently this requires A FUCKLOAD OF COOKIES. It took four of us ALL DAY to decorate them all. Un-fucking-believable.

I drove Will to pick our car up from the crime syndicate dealership that was holding it ransom for $90 because they fixed something they didn't tell us they were going to fix (which obviously wasn't the thing that's covered by warranty, which they also fixed). I demanded to speak to the mechanic, who had left for the day, and instead got the manager, who hemmed and hawed (whatever that means) and removed the charges from our account.

On the way home, K-ROQ played Rock Superstar.

Universe: 1
Annika: 2

I win, I win, I win.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Sean Bean Sean Bean Sean Bean!

Dear Reader,

Thank you for continuing to read my blog, despite the inane drivel that my brain transmits to this page.

I meant to write a proper entry today, but I worked long hours and am now off to see The Fellowship of the Ring, Extended Edition, in the Cineramadome at the ArcLight Theater. This will, without a doubt, be the second most exciting night of my year.

There is a chance that, due to the trauma of seeing Boromir die on the big (huge!) screen, I will be incapable of typing for a day or two. I hope that you understand.

Much Love to you all (except those of you I do not like).

Sunday, December 07, 2003

The votes are in, and it's unanimous!

Will: Better than Vaughn in every way.

I might start actually liking this show. Not that I would stop making fun of it, but it's growing on me. Not enough Pudgy!Spy, though.

Happy Sunday. Wish me luck updating this week, as I will be prepping food for Disney's Christmas party.

p.s. Dear Computer,

You are a FUCKING RETARD and I hate you.

Saturday, December 06, 2003


Friday, December 05, 2003

People Are So Stupid. (Part 86 in a series)

I will continue my Land of Milk and Honey post, just not right now.

So, our car needs a new Timing Belt. Or, at least, something related to the Timing Belt needs to be fixed. I don't know, I'm not a mechanic. The regular mechanic that I took the car to identified the problem and called the dealership, who said that even though our warranty is expired, this is covered because it's part of the Emissions Control System. Yay! So I called the dealership and spoke to the same guy (Larry), making an appointment for today.

When Will arrived with the car this morning, he was told that the appointment was made incorrectly, and they couldn't take the car, and it was somehow My Fault. He glared at the guy a lot, and finally forced him to admit that I had made the appointment perfectly, but 5 of his mechanics were out due to the flu.

WHAT THE FUCK, MAN? Why didn't you just say so in the first place? As I understand it, he also tried to pawn off some of the responsibility on Larry, who no longer works there. Somehow, I have a feeling that this repair will NOT be covered by the warranty, and we are Royally Screwed. We'll find out Tuesday, when the Moron promises they will actually work on the car.

I cannot stand people who will lie to cover their asses, especially when it involves diverting blame to someone else, and especially when the truth wouldn't have made anyone look bad. It's a damn good thing I wasn't there, or this guy would be eating through a tube. (I speak metaphorically, of course.)

Thursday, December 04, 2003

The Land of Milk and Honey

I've been thinking lately about finances, and not just my own. (Though I admit, it's my own that led to this train of thought.)

There is practically no one in this country who lives within their means, but almost everyone thinks that they do. I could be all vague and blame it on consumerism or the media or some shite like that, but that isn't it. The root cause may be hidden in there somewhere, but that isn't the extent of it.

Note: I will be making generalizations. I am aware that this doesn't apply to everyone.

On one side, everyone has their income. Let's make up an imaginary person who makes $30K a year. After taxes, this person (X) makes about $20-$25K a year. (I am too lazy to do the exact math.)

Then there are X's expenses. Housing is bound to cost around $800-$1000 a month, assuming that X is a city dweller. If X is lucky, this amount also covers the essential utilities (by which I mean gas and electric, and water if X owns rather than renting). A basic phone line runs about $20/month after taxing; most people have voice mail, which adds about $8, but maybe X was frugal and bought an answering machine. If X got a good deal on long distance service, that is another $10/month. You can't live without internet these days, and if you're going to spend $15 on dial-up, you might as well double it and have a high speed connection. X probably has a cell phone, too. That's another $30 (I'm not counting one-time fees here, on the assumption that they were already paid). X has to eat. Despite good planning, it would seem that it's impossible to spend less than $100/week on food if you cook at home, and more if you eat out. Let's assume $600 per month. Laundry must be done, at a conservative estimate of $5/week, rounded up to $25/month. That is assuming no dry cleaning, but I like to assume. Transportation is a must. Let's assume that X bought a car with a bank loan. The bank gets $250/month and the insurance company another $150. The gas station takes $20/tank, but X gets good gas mileage and only has to fill up twice a month. An oil change every three months at $30 a pop comes to $120 a year, plus the occasional new air filter or whatever - round up to $200. Maybe more, but this is a relatively new car.

I have counted the above as essentials. The internet and cell phone have good arguments against them and could be considered luxuries, but as I said, X is a city dweller and may need these items for work. Sure, X could take the bus, but what if the bus doesn't go where X needs to be?

Many people would consider anything beyond this a luxury, but then turn around and insist that they need it. Cable, $50/month. Movie rentals, $20/month (if you rent one a week or sign up with Netflix). Actually leaving the house, priceless. Hee. I mean, variable. Let's say $10/week, which doesn't allow for much of anything.

One vacation and/or trip to visit family per year is $300 for plane tickets plus expenses of another $200. It's difficult to make it through any major gift giving season without spending, not to mention birthdays throughout the year. Let's call that $500 for the year.

Unexpected emergency expenses add up quickly too. I am including booze. Easily $1000 a year, all told.

Thank goodness I have my calculator. One moment while I tally up.

...$29,500 a year. That's nearly $10,000 more than X brings home. It's a good thing X has a credit card.

To be continued...

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Hell is other people.

First of all, today is much better than yesterday. Thanks to everyone for their kind words. We're still broke, but I am much less panicked.

So. Hell. As usual, this requires some backstory. Will's best friend in high school was Shelby. They've kept in touch over the years, and usually see each other at least once a year, on New Year's Eve. Last year Shelby wanted to visit but I had to say no, given that we were living in a studio apartment. I felt terrible about it, and invited him (well, told Will to invite him) to visit us this year, now that we have space for an extra person. A couple of weeks ago he called to say he hadn't bought his ticket yet, but would soon, and to ask if he could bring a girl he's been dating. I am less than thrilled at the thought of having an extra person here, but only due to space issues. We told him to bring her. The plan was that they'd arrive early in the week and stay until Friday or so.

Will just called to say that they are arriving on New Year's Eve at 7:00 (in the evening!) and leaving late on Sunday. I am furious. For one thing, Will has a rule: no driving after dark on Amateur Night. Once the sun sets on New Year's Eve, we don't leave the house. We like it that way. Now we will have to leave the house and go to the airport. Then we will have to go to the airport Sunday night, and first thing Monday Will has to go back to work. Maybe it is weird, but we always like to have a day or two to unwind after going anywhere or having guests. Now we will be thrust back into the routine of normalcy without any time to ourselves.

All I can say is, this girl had better be fantastic. If we don't get along I am kicking them out to the curb. (Not really. I am a wimp.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

[no subject]

Well, yesterday just sucked. It started out fine, but around 4:00 things started going downhill swiftly, and by bedtime I was a wreck.

The first awful thing was a call from the phone company asking if perhaps we'd like to pay the bill rather than have all of our services turned off. This was totally my fault, and I am feeling very stupid right now. What happened was that the November bill arrived with October's amount added to it as a past due amount. I was certain that I'd paid the October bill, and thought they must have crossed in the mail (which happens often - I pay my bills the day they're due most of the time), so I set the bill aside intending to check whether I'd paid in October. I promptly forgot about it. I still haven't gone through the stack of mail that arrived over the holiday week, so I never saw the late notice. If they hadn't followed up by phone, I'd have no phone or internet. Luckily, the woman who called was very nice about the whole thing, but I couldn't find the checkbook and had to pay by credit card. The card I have is on my father's account, for emergencies. Technically this qualified as one, and my father is very understanding about money issues, but it was awful having to call him as well as Will to tell them about my giant screw-up. And it was giant, as we get one bill for local and long distance as well as internet.

Then I checked the bank balance and discovered that my normally bad money-handling skills went down the drain last month, and we've been twenty-one-dollared to death. (The bank charges $21 for each overdraft payment.) I knew that we were pushing it by buying my ring, but I really thought I'd done the math and we were coming out even. So much for my paychecks being extra money.

So it boils down to us being into overdraft again, and right before Christmas.

The second event was far worse in the long-term, real world sense. After our friend Craig died three and a half years ago, some other friends from college put together a Topica message board so that we can all keep in touch (as most of us hadn't talked in a year until the funeral). I rarely check the board, being lousy at communication, but I'd posted there a few weeks ago to share the news of our engagement. In one reply, someone asked for news of Pasha, a boy who Will knows but I've only met once. I know that he travels a lot, and I assumed it was just a "what's Pasha up to?" question. But a reply from another friend linked to a blog maintained by his friends and parents, documenting his recovery from a car accident in August that left him brain damaged. He was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler at somewhere over 60mph and thrown from his van after it rolled several times. The impact must have been incredible, as the bruising showed that he was definitely wearing his seatbelt. His left femur and hip were damaged so badly that the surgeon said he'd never seen that kind of damage on a young person (I believe Pasha is 28). Remarkably, he is walking and communicating, though he is still having trouble with his memory (he knows that he is brain damaged by is surprised every time someone explains what happened to him) and has aphasia, which is difficulty identifying the correct word. Interestingly, he is multi-lingual and apparently finds it easier sometimes to find the word he wants in Spanish or Russian.

The good news is that he is doing well, all things considered, and he is definitely still in there, albeit damaged.

I'm not angry at anyone for not telling us. Pasha isn't my friend at all, and he and Will haven't seen each other in years as far as I know. But I am a bit bothered that the message board didn't have a post about this, as it was starting for the purpose of not having one of us die and the others not know about it (or not have spoken to the person in ages). I don't even think Pasha was a member of the board, but it still seems like the sort of news that would be shared.

Needless to say, Will was quite distressed. He dealt with it by going to bed, and I stayed up to read the archived messages about his recovery. I literally couldn't do anything else. When I finally turned off the computer and went downstairs, I checked on Will just as he was having a nightmare. He used to have driving nightmares constantly - losing control of the car, the brakes not working, going over a cliff, etc. - and hasn't had one in ages until last night. I got in bed immediately, forgetting all about brushing my teeth or changing my shirt, and held him until we both fell asleep.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Good grief. December already?

This is simply unacceptable. Where has the time gone? I have nothing to show for it. Weellll... that isn't strictly true. But there was very little in the way of personal accomplishment for me in 2003. I am no closer to having any sense of organization in my life, I haven't written anything (except for those 2500 words before I pooped out on NaNoWriMo), we've been in this apartment for nearly a year and it's still not the way I want it, and I am not wealthy, famous, or a member of Mensa. (Only one of those last three is an actual goal, so that's a relief. I'm 0 for 1, not 0 for 3.)

On the other hand, I am the happiest I've ever been. That's got to count for more than reaching 'life goals', doesn't it? Yes, I thought so.

I haven't updated all week due to being in Pittsburgh. Remarkably, we were there for 4 full days and didn't go anywhere near Primanti's. It's a good thing I can make a good Primanti Barranti Bros. sandwich myself. Which reminds me, must purchase cheese.

So we arrived on Tuesday evening and went straight to Will's parents' place, where we were fed a lovely chili and the largest steaks I have ever seen. Mary and Stephen gave me a bracelet that's been passed down from Stephen's grandmother Stella to his mother Lilly to Mary and now to me. I was very touched, and it's quite lovely and not like anything else I have. We had a drink and cozied up to the fireplace before going to bed in Will's old attic room. The bed up there is actually ours, but didn't come with us to California. It is the most comfortable bed in the universe, and I want it back.

Will's sister Sara and her boyfriend Jason arrived at about 7:30 Wednesday morning after driving from Maryland at the end of her shift (they're both police officers). We all went for a late breakfast at my favorite Pittsburgh diner, Tom's. (Incidentally, it is actually called Tom's Diner. Tom's Restaurant is at 101st and Broadway [unless it's Columbus] in New York City, and is the one that Suzanne Vega wrote the song about.) Later that afternoon we drove to a coffee shop to meet Darren. Will asked him to be our best man, and he (Darren) nearly cried. Then we went to Gooski's, the greatest bar on earth, and had a few before heading back to the house for a huge Italian dinner. It was fantastic, though I'm sure I make better sauce. Of course, I think I make better sauce than everyone, so that isn't saying anything.

Thursday was Thanksgiving. Historically speaking, this is an appalling holiday. Traditionally speaking, however, it is one of the best. A time to gather with family and friends, eat until you burst, and truly live the things that you are grateful for. Jason's parents came, as did my father and sister. My stepmother didn't make it, because one of the kitties was ill.

The food was fantastic, as was the company. Much ado was made over our engagement, and I was only a little bit upset at the fact that it's taken 6 years and a diamond to be treated like a member of the family, whereas Jason was instantly accepted and is clearly totally adored by everyone.

Everyone got on fantastically. My sister won the whole family over (damn theater people) and my dad and Stephen talked for hours about their experiences in classical music over the last 25 years (and certainly about many other subjects, but I was full and tuned them out). Jason's parents, Jack and Kathy, were wonderful. I was terribly sad for the three of them, Kathy in particular - they lost their younger son last spring, and she was having a very rough time of it. At the same time, though, she was an absolute hoot - invited herself to the wedding, in a non-annoying way, told stories about Jack's years as a police officer, and was just generally a lovely person. Jack was...well, I could dedicate an entire entry to him and not do justice to the man, so let's just say he was a riot.

Friday started out very weird. We slept in, as neither of us was feeling well, and when we came downstairs for coffee we were bombarded with plans for the day. Keep in mind please that my entire extended family with very few exceptions live in the Pittsburgh area, and we had made it perfectly clear that we were going to, at the very least, visit with my grandmother. Everyone was aware of this, but as soon as we were awake we were told that we were going to the Strip, to the Theater (where Will's dad used to work), to Cannonsburgh for antiquing, to someplace called Bob's Garage, and to some jazz club. We were very stubborn and insisted that they leave us be for the day. I'm certain we offended someone, and frankly I don't care. My grandma is eighty-three, for crying out loud.

We had also made plans with Will's friend Ron, who he worked with when we lived in Pittsburgh 5 years ago, for that evening, which we switched to dinner plans to accommodate the Crazies (or In-Laws - take your pick).

So we drove to Best Buy, where we bought more memory for the camera, and then went to my aunt Chrissy's, where we saw my cousin Erin (who is also getting married next year), my uncle Tony and aunt Mary, my grandma, great-aunt Dot, and my cousin Mike. After a nice, relaxed visit we stole Mike and went to Mad Mex, where we had a few drinks and met Ron and his friend Ralph. We had a great time, and I want Mike to come live in LA. Are you reading this, Mike? The spare bed is waiting. I'll even wash the sheets. After dinner we had to go back, for fear of upsetting the family further.

At this point I should interject a little backstory. For the last two months, since we agreed to spend the holiday there, Will's mom has been telling us, every time we talk, that Sara and Jason are really looking forward to going out on the town with us. They want us, according to her, to take them to Gooski's and to hang out as couples. Wednesday and Thursday nights Sara and Jason spent in the basement, watching movies, and Friday morning, after we were so very stubborn about seeing my family, Mary actually pulled Will aside to make him promise to see Sara that night.

So we get back to the house, which is empty, and Will calls his dad's cell phone. He's told that they're just leaving Bob's Garage and will be home in a few. I was feeling positively wretched at this point, and put on my PJs and settled down in front of the fire with a Hot Toddy. I made it perfectly clear that Will was welcome to go out, but I wasn't moving. Sara and Jason arrived after a few minutes, with no sign of the "grown-ups." After a few minutes of awkward beating around the bush, we realize that none of us have any interest in going anywhere. Jason ran upstairs to change into sweats, and we all sat by the fire and had a few drinks. (I should probably point out that Stephen had bought about six cases of beer and innumerable amounts of wine and liquor. Jason had apparently spent all day trying to convince the parents that it would be wasteful to go out to a bar when we had one at home.)

It came out at this point that Mary has been telling Sara for two months that Will really really really wants to take her and Jason to Gooski's and hang out as couples. When Will called, they weren't about to leave at all, but were hustled out and deposited at the door of the house. They were actually followed here, despite having their own car, to make sure they'd be with us. We laughed about it for a bit and after a while all of the parents came home and we had a few more drinks and went to bed. It's funny - I can't decide whether to be amused or livid that this woman is convinced that her 28-year-old son and 25-year-old daughter, both successful in their fields and established as adults, cannot simply talk to one another. I guess I'd better be amused, since I'm marrying into this family.

We left on Saturday. The airport was shockingly empty, considering that it was a holiday weekend, and we were very early for our flight, so we went to O'Brien's pub for lunch. It was fantastic! I can't believe that there is such great airport food! The trip itself was fairly uneventful.

Yesterday our beloved Cassie took us out for sushi, which was so good that I am still recovering. We also watched Mucha Lucha, King of the Hill, and Alias. Oh, and The Practice, which was surprisingly good. I never liked it before. But maybe I just like James Spader.

Today I am trying to decide what to do first, so naturally I haven't done anything. I need to do the laundry, clean the kitchen, dust, upload the photos (after finding the camera), eat, buy milk, and test the old computer to see if it still works. Oh, and back up all of my files and upgrade to XP. Clearly I will not be doing all of this today...or in fact any of it, if I keep going at my current pace. Well, chances are I'll eat either way.