Friday, July 29, 2005

Things to do if you're not headed to Ohio.

- OK, guys, I'm going out of town to Ohio this weekend, but, if I were still in town and if I were you, I would head to the Landmark to catch MURDERBALL, this sports documentary about quadriplegic wheelchair rugby athletes. (Yes, quadriplegic ... not paraplegic. Apparently they explain it.) Lots of articles have been written, and the reviews have been uniformly strong. Beyond that, the athlete Mark Zupan is kinda hot in a tattooed, rough-trade way. And, beyond that, it's not like you've ever seen a quadriplegic wheelchair rugby movie before.
- Jenipher tells me she's just started THE HISTORIAN, and I was going to hand it to my mom this weekend so that she could read it on the plane. I'm still getting over having finished HARRY POTTER, and I don't know whether I should finish THE RAZOR'S EDGE or start something new entirely, like 44 SCOTLAND STREET. Anyway, what are you reading now that you're done with HARRY POTTER?
- Actually, I read a short story from this Annie Proulx book, CLOSE RANGE, over the weekend. The story was called "Brokeback Mountain," and it's been made into a movie with Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. The story (and the movie) centers on two Wyoming ranch hands who are inexplicably drawn to one another and engage in this scorching hot, torrid affair, even though they're both married and have children. It's really, really well-written. (Proulx was nominated for a Pulitzer for it.) And, beyond that, it's got cowboy-on-cowboy action. I highly recommend it.

- Talking with my bookstore co-worker Shalewa about THE ISLAND, she said to me that she wouldn't see it because there was little-to-no chance that Ewan McGregor would appear naked in it. Then, she mentioned that it's really a rare Ewan movie where he's not naked, for the man appears to drop trou at any opportunity. I mean, there's YOUNG ADAM (which I've not seen), THE PILLOW BOOK, TRAINSPOTTING, VELVET GOLDMINE ... Surely, I'm forgetting one. Is Ewan McGregor a better actor when he's naked? Or is he just easier to watch then?
- Last night, I recommended Set Yourself on Fire, an album by Stars, to a guy who wanted Sufjan Stevens. He listened to a couple tracks of it, began to howl in ecstacy and then rushed to my register to buy it. So I thought I should recommend it. It's quirky and a little sad, but it's good music.
- Is it just me, or are the ads for THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN actually funny? Yeah, I thought it was just me.

- Yesterday, while in my office breakroom, I saw that warning on the Coke machine and wondered if anyone's ever really been crushed to death by a vending machine. That drawing's really funny. I imagine it must've happened at one point. Anyone heard anything about someone crushed by a soda machine. Friend of a friend? Or is this just an urban legend?
- I can't do any chores this week. I'm going out of town. Hee.
- Oh crap, I've not yet packed.
- Check last week's list.
- Create a list of things to do before you die, a list of goals (in no particular order) that you'd like to achieve. For more information, see this site.
- That missing Aruba girl, Natalee Holloway, is probably the best thing to happen to CNN since they fired me. Every night, it seems Larry King or that pudgy Melanie Griffith-looking woman Nancy Grace are talking about her. Thank God she's blonde and rich and pretty, otherwise she'd probably not get any news coverage. No one on CNN, though, has asked her distraught parents why in the hell they would name the girl something obnoxious like "Natalee."
- Finally, given that I've been in an inappropriate mood all week, can anyone think up a double-feature of movies that would be unintentionally funny or disturbing to watch together? I was thinking, you know, of watching BAD NEWS BEARS and MYSTERIOUS SKIN back-to-back so that I could get two different takes on traumatic experiences in Little League. Or SCHINDLER'S LIST and SWING KIDS for different takes on Nazi Germany. Anyone have any ideas? What's a really tasteless idea for a double feature?

Monday, July 25, 2005

You gotta come see the baby.

These are photos of Zoe, sent by Kacoon over the weekend. I thought you guys would like to see her. Do not coo about how cute the baby is. Everybody already knows.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Every now and then, I get a little bit terrified.

His name was Mark, and his body wasn't much more defined than a stick figure's. In spite of that, perhaps because my standards for physical attraction remain a bit low, I told myself he was cute. I remember about him, more than anything, his Adam's apple. It protruded out of his neck startlingly, as though it were that group of red feathers below a cartoon turkey's beak. His skin was pale. He was probably 5-foot-6, which was shorter than me. And the thick shock of black hair that came up out of his head, which he'd tried to tame into a part with mousse, looked something like a porcupine's back.

Mark was a history major at UGA who happened to live directly above my stairwell room in Myers Hall for about two months during my sophomore year, around the time that I met Ash while working for dorm security. I think Mark was 23 then. I remember that he was a transfer student. I remember that I met him out at Boneshaker's one night. I remember that he had both a high-pitched nasal voice and a lisp. And I remember how he used to talk down to me in a tone that, I guess, was intended to be flirtatious.

But I wouldn't remember Mark at all if he weren't the worst kisser I've ever known in my entire life. The one time I kissed Mark was a horrifying experience, the sort that you never get over. The time with Mark was even worse than the time I accidentally sneezed mid-kiss with Welsh Guy and worse than the time that guy in Augusta crapped on me. Mark was such a bad kisser that I can no longer hear a Bonnie Tyler song on the radio without laughing uncontrollably.

The negative experience actually all starts with Bonnie Tyler. My association with the singer, prior to my sophomore year in college, hadn't been exactly stellar throughout my childhood. I owned the "Footloose" soundtrack tape when I was 8, and "Holding Out for a Hero" was one of the songs I would rewind on my tapedeck and listen to over and over, though I, of course, listened more often to "Let's Hear It for the Boy."

When I was in the seventh grade in 1988, I had a more vivid experience with Bonnie Tyler's music. I was a founding member and the student leader of the anti-drug organization in my middle school. I was even the one who came up with the ultra-dumb name for it: B.A.D., which stood for Buford Against Drugs. B.A.D. didn't actually do much to curb drug abuse in the middle school, I don't think, but we at least held meetings where we talked about drugs, colored in posters with magic markers and performed useful, educational skits about how to "just say no." Looking back on it, I cringe. But, whatever, it was the Reagan era.

One weekend, we students of B.A.D. learned a particularly elaborate anti-drug skit featuring the music of Bonnie Tyler during an off-campus workshop for schools in the area. It was hosted by a group of attractive, enthusiastic college kids in a group called P.R.I.D.E. (I forget what it stood for, maybe Promoting Reality in Drug Education or Padding Resumes Imitating Drug Educators. I doubt the group still exists, though I often wonder whatever happened to those people.)

The skit, swear to God, started with Mr. and Miss Generic Clean-Cut American Youth dancing together happily in the middle of the stage to "Total Eclipse of the Heart." Their faces gleamed with smiles reflecting the promise of their young love, him wearing brightly colored jams from Body Glove and her wearing jellies on her feet and a Scrunchii in her hair.

As the song reached the end of the first verse, though, trouble appeared from both corners of the stage. Suddenly, the stage was overtaken by a mass of other, somber-looking students, all wearing dark sunglassses and black sweatshirts with words like COCAINE, LSD, MARIJUANA and ALCOHOL in white print on their backs. The "drugs" all danced on the stage, then they formed a circle around the generic, happy couple, stopping them from dancing and ripping them apart. As though narrating, Bonnie's verses reflected the horrifying scene onstage, "I don't know what to do. I'm always in the dark."

Mr. Clean-Cut Generic American Youth was forced to look on helplessly and in horror as the synthesizer wailed in Bonnie Tyler's song. As the girl blissfully continued to dance, the black-sweatshirted "drugs" all linked arms and formed a circle around her.

Suddenly, at one of the cries of "Turn around, bright eyes," the girl was supposed to realize that she was trapped, that she couldn't break away from the circle of "drugs" dancing around her, closing in more and more with each moment. Her lover, despite effort, was unable to do anything. They were both helpless. Or were they?

Then, just as the "powderkeg" gave off sparks, the girl was able to break through the evil circle, flying away from addiction and back into the arms of her man. As the thwarted "drugs" then danced back off the stage, the girl and boy reunited happily and danced together until the spotlight dimmed on them and the sound of Bonnie Tyler's rasps faded away. Wthe skit was done, I remember looking out into the audience and seeing people wipe away tears. Parents were crying. Students were crying. We'd all defeated drugs that day, and we were proud.

Any happy memories I may have held of that day, though, were clouded when I decided to visit Mark's dormroom that night sophomore year.

I'd broken up with Ash for the first time about a month before that night, and it had been horrible. I mean, the time I kissed Mark probably occurred right after I set fire to Ash's coat in that barbecue pit. Word had gotten out around the dorm that I was volatile and someone to avoid, and, in my limited foresight, I thought I was never going to date again. Sure, he was wiry and his voice was a bit high, but Mark looked at me like he was interested. And I really needed an experience with someone new to help me forget Ash.

I'd seen Mark look at me when we met earlier that week at Boneshaker's. (I, frankly, was amazed anyone ever did look at me at Boneshaker's.) One or two times while I was at a shift at the security desk, he'd come by and sit with me. (Whenever I had a crush on someone on security, I would do the same thing, so I suspected Mark might like me.) So I walked up the steps to Mark's room in the third-floor stairwell, and I said hello.

Mark was really happy to see me, and he let me in the room. He then lisped his way through a guided tour of all his knick-knacks and stuff. There were WWII-era model airplanes. There were lots of dusty-spined history books. He talked about transfering to UGA from somewhere, that he wanted to be a history teacher. I listened to him. I asked him questions. Still, something seemed a little off about him, but I couldn't figure out what it was. He sounded uncertain. He was rambling a bit. He asked me no questions at all.

I glanced over his video collection, which was all neatly packaged into plastic, brown containers like at a mom-and-pop video store. Then, I looked at the CD case on top of Mark's stereo.

"Oh, Bonnie Tyler," I said. "I know Bonnie Tyler."

Mark's voice got all excited and suddenly confident.

"You like Bonnie Tyler???" he asked me. "I love her, LOOOOVE HER."

"That's cool," I said. I was going to tell him about the P.R.I.D.E. skit but didn't.

"There's something I've got to show you," he said. "Sit down, there on the bed. The bottom bunk's mine."

"Um, OK," I said, and he suddenly started to speed from box to box around the room, then he pulled out one of the video boxes and handed it to me. He sat down close to me while I tried to figure out what it was.

"You know the video for 'Total Eclipse of the Heart,' the one where Bonnie sings to people with lightbulbs in their eyes," Mark said, his lisp only slightly affected. "This is it!"

I honestly had no idea how to react.

"Oh, that's cool," I said.

"I honestly didn't know how to get it at first," Mark said. "They don't sell it anywhere, and you can't find any collections of videos. I tried Bonnie's fan club, but nobody had anything at all. I tried magazines, thinking maybe that someone would release a video of '80s music. I found nothing. Eventually, I just wrote a letter to MTV, and you'll never believe it ... They checked their archives, found it and sent me a copy of it off the original master tape!"

Oh God, I thought to myself, he's gonna make me watch it.

Mark jumped up from the bunk with a start, opened the video box, turned on the TV and placed the tape in the VCR.

"Wait," he said. "Let me check the surround sound. I tried rigging it earlier."

Then, he started to wander about the room, checking the wiring and other things.

"So, um, I'm a journalism major," I said. "And I'm from Buford. Do you know where that is?"

"Uh-huh," Mark said, looking at the wiring.

"And I'm 19, and I don't go to Boneshaker's a lot, so it's lucky we met when we did," I said.

"Uh-huh," Mark said again, helping himself off the floor and starting the video.

"And I work for The Red & Black as the student affairs reporter," I said. "Do you read it?"

"Uh-huh," Mark said, checking the VCR again.

"And I like movies, and I'm in some drama classes," I said. "Are you listening to me?"

"Uh-huh," he said impassively, still not listening to me.

"And, all of a sudden, I was running through a field completely naked," I said in the same tone to Mark. "And that's when I knew the UFOs had abducted me. But no one else believed my story."

"Uh-huh," he said, starting the music video.

Mark then unzipped a bag on his floor, which was apparently filled with his shower supplies. In his hands was the largest jar of Vaseline I'd ever seen. I think the pupils of my eyes widened from shock.

"And you're not listening to me, and I don't know if I should be here," I mumbled in the same tone.

"Uh-huh," he said. The Bonnie Tyler music began.

Mark pulled the top off the Vaseline, still oblivious to anything that I was saying, and stuck his thumb deep into it. I kept talking, I think, about the time I was attacked by dragons. Intent, he pulled his lubed-up thumb out of the vat o'Vaseline, then smeared the stuff over his lips with one quick motion back and forth. In front of me.

I started shaking, nervous and really grossed out. I mean, what one person needs a giant supply of Vaseline? But, through it all, I kept talking.

Mark, finished with all his errands, sat down next to me on the bed.

" ... And so that was when I saw a unicorn for the first time," I finished.

Mark looked me deeply in the eyes and lingered there.

"Benjie ...," he said, affecting some kind of lustful, nasal tone.

"Yeah?" I asked, trembling and annoyed.

"Th-hut up," Mark said forcefully in full-on lisp. Then, he grabbed me very tightly, stuck his tongue out and then shoved it deep down my throat. As he did this, he tried to lean me back onto the bed.

Bonnie Tyler sang, "Once upon a time, I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart."

Feeling the goop of Vaseline against my mouth while Mark's foul-tasting tongue tried to choke me to death, I think I audibly gagged. Less than a moment later, I pushed the little son-of-a-bitch off me and rushed toward the door.

Mark was stunned.

"What happened?" he asked me. "What is it?"

"Um, I can't do this," I said to him, opening the door. "I'm sorry, but I have to go."

"Wait, you can't just leave like this, Benjie," he said. "What's going on?"

I tried my best to sound tactful, but, for the record, this was true.

"Mark, I'm sorry," I said. "But if I end up staying here, I'm just going to hurt you."

Mark looked confused.

I said, "Sorry, I gotta go." Then, as the "powderkeg" echoed through the stairwell, I ran down the hall fast as I could toward the girls' side of the building and hid in a friend's room for, like, two hours.

Trying to figure out what happened, Mark actually tried talking to me a couple times after that - in the stairwell or at the security desk, but I told him that it would never work between us and that he'd be better off just leaving me alone.

And I've not been able to listen to Bonnie Tyler with a straight face ever since.

Things for me and you and everyone we know to do.

- ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW opens today at the Landmark in Midtown, and I was supposed to see it earlier this week. Instead, though, I saw Kacoon's baby. I think I got a better trade-off, but I still really want to see this movie, which has gotten mostly great reviews. Even Lupo liked it, and he's notoriously hard to please. The cast is full of unknowns, though performance artist Miranda July has received awards for writing, directing and starring in it from both the Sundance and Cannes film fests. Plus, Jim at the Landmark looked into booking the film after I told him about it, so I owe it to him to see it and to get everyone else I know to see it.
- I've been obsessively listening to "Illinois," this new CD from Sufjan Stevens, ever since I bought it earlier this week. It's a concept album, Stevens' second in a series on all 50 states, and it sounds like the cast recording of a particularly twisted, innovative, strange musical. References to Carl Sandburg, Mary Todd Lincoln and John Wayne Gacy are made throughout the album, and it works surprisingly well. I actually heard about this album during a Headline News segment one day while I was having lunch at the Bollywood Blimpie, and I'm really glad I took a chance on Sufjan Stevens.
- If you managed to finish HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE last weekend or, perhaps, during the week, then you probably need to use this week to catch up on your sleep. I was reading the last 200 pages of that book until 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, and it was worth it. That book - including its devastating ending - were completely thrilling. If anyone wants to talk plot twists, e-mail me.
- I'm a Ewan McGregor fan. I am distinctly not a fan of director Michael Bay. PEARL HARBOR, starring that ass-clown Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale, was one of the most egregiously horrible experiences of my life. So I'm not quite sure whether I'll be seeing Bay's clone sci-fi movie, THE ISLAND, which is his first movie not produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The one review I've read wasn't kind, but it came from Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, which could mean anything.

- Am I the only one who thinks that the extra steps that Jude Law took after his affair with that nanny was uncovered in the tabloids showed uncommon openness and honesty from a celebrity? I mean, he took out an ad in the paper admitting that he'd cheated on his fiancee Sienna Miller and that he was sorry he'd subjected her to something so painful. Yeah, I know, if he were really a good guy, he wouldn't have cheated, but, still, he went to the papers about it. That shows guts. Besides that, look at just how damn beautiful the man is.
- HUSTLE & FLOW, which I saw last night, is a terrific movie, both gritty and a hell of a lot of fun. Terrence Howard is terrific as DJay, a Memphis pimp with a dream of recording a rap demo. The supporting cast is really strong. The movie has one of the best screenplays I've seen in a while, too. Though there are stereotypical characters, nothing turns out the way you'd expect, and the dialogue and soundtrack are excellent. The good reviews this has received are deserved. HUSTLE & FLOW is a great movie.
- I really want to see BAD NEWS BEARS, even though it's probably nowhere near as good as the original. I just really like Richard Linklater's work, usually. And anytime Billy Bob Thornton gets the opportunity to play a foul-mouthed, surly, drunken loser, it's hilarious. I don't have high hopes for this remake, but I just want something with a BAD SANTA vibe to it.
- Clean your apartment before your mother comes and does it for you.
- Take the baskets of laundry you did on Sunday out of your car.
- Check on last week's list.
- Anybody know of a really good toy that I can get Zoe? She's only been alive four days and doesn't have control over, you know, anything yet. She doesn't even know her name. But, still, I thought I should buy her something.
- Publishers of Michael Chabon's THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH have just re-released the book with a new cover, which I noticed earlier this week. If you've never read it, it's a very good coming-of-age novel in the vein of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. Chabon won the Pulitzer for a later novel, THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY, but MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH was his remarkable debut work. The book works whether or not you're a gay man - and Chabon himself is not gay, but every gay man I've handed it to has adored it.
- OK, have you ever gotten a crush on an old movie star? Someone like Tab Hunter, Paul Newman, Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, William Holden, Rita Hayworth or somebody like that? This weekend, try to check out an old movie featuring somebody like that, then ask yourself just how hot they actually are. Seriously, a photo of Robert Redford from BAREFOOT IN THE PARK makes me melt.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Visiting Zoe.

I went to visit Baby Zoe in the hospital yesterday and proceeded to tell her the story of how her parents met and such.

"You're the baby that exists in spite of me ...," I started. Then, I went on to tell her about how I told Kacoon that she probably wasn't Mike's type when I found out that she had a huge crush on him.

"I don't know if it would work," I think I told her, after I let it leak that he'd just broken up with his girlfriend. "I'm not sure you and he would get along."

Four months after that, they were married. And that was four years ago. Their anniversary is next week, I think.

Midway through my long story to the baby, Mike looked at his daughter and saw her yawn. He looked at me and said, "Wow, you're the first person she's ever gotten tired of."

Later, I tried to sing Zoe her first unconventional lullaby. I ended up doing a rendition of Billy Idol's "White Wedding" for the girl. Then I moved on to The Beatles' "When I'm 64," which Kacoon liked better.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Introducing Zoe Rose.


Zoe Rose Coon, 7 pounds and 13 ounces, was born about an hour and 20 minutes ago. Everything went smoothly. Kacoon's apparently resting, a bit shaky from the meds. Mike says he's shaking, too.

This is amazing.

Due date.

Kacoon's C-section is scheduled for this afternoon, but I can't head down to the hospital today because I can't find anyone to cover my shift at the bookstore. This annoys me slightly because, even though Kacoon's likely to be zonked out post-surgery, I still want to see the baby and hang out with the family.

Still, I'll have plenty of time to spend with the baby, so I guess I can live with having to work tonight.

Mob scenery.

On Saturday, my friend Will and I went to Downtown Rocks at Underground Atlanta for a free Weezer concert. It was crowded. Hella crowded. More crowded than any place I've been in the middle of in my entire life. While The Bravery played, I was backed against a building's wall for 20 minutes while everyone and their brother squeezed past me. There was such little room in front of me that I had to hold my arms over my head so that people could get past.

The music was really good. But I'm never doing that again.

By the time Weezer took the stage, Will and I were up in a nearby parking deck, watching the stage from a distance. Rivers Cuomo is still really cute, even from a distance.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Things to do when you're not reading HARRY POTTER.

- The book comes out at midnight. To assure that I'll get my copy, I've signed on for a late shift at the bookstore.(Earlier this week at the bookstore, I noticed that the boxes had all been locked away in the manager's office. No one has been allowed to even touch them.) Are you a fan? Where are you getting your copy? Beyond that, who do you think is the Half-Blood Prince?
- Dena suggested, among other things, that I try a new wine this weekend. She says she's been trying some glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, breaking away from her usual order of chardonnay. Sounded like a fun idea. Tonight, the High Museum's doing its Friday Night Jazz program, and, well, I won't be there because of the HARRY POTTER book. But it sounds like fun. And it's a good opportunity to do as Dena says.
- Last week, because that customer Jonathan recommended it, I picked up a copy of W. Somerset Maugham's THE RAZOR'S EDGE in the store. Though I didn't think I would get into it, I ended up reading 50 pages there. Then, I bought it, took it home and read up to page 130. It's a really good book about a WWI vet searching for meaning and God while all of his friends live the high life during the Roaring '20s. It's really good. And a couple characters in it, though readers probably were less inclined to notice this when it was first published, are really, really flaming.
- The Emmys suck. No nods for NIP/TUCK. No Julian McMahon. No Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop for GILMORE GIRLS. No VERONICA MARS. No Kristen Bell. No Shohreh Aghdashloo for 24. I mean, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and LOST received lots of nominations, but I wish they'd spread the wealth.
- My film prof Neupert tells me he's been catching up on his Anime the past couple weeks. He recommends GUNSLINGER GIRL, which looks way violent. I've never been able to "get" Anime, as I've mentioned before, but I'm willing to try something if Neupert likes it.

- For its tenth anniversary, Amazon has been staging one special event after another. One of the things that the site's sponsored is celebrity hand deliveries. So, apparently, a couple days after a lucky customer ordered the INDIANA JONES box set, Harrison Ford showed up himself at the door with the package. If you look at some of these celebrities involved, like Clay Aiken or Tom Arnold, I don't know if I'd open the door to them. "Honey, Howie Mandel's at the door! Run for your life!"
- HAPPY ENDINGS, which I've seen and recommend, opens today at the Landmark. You should see it. Lisa Kudrow's good in it.

- HELLBENT, called the first "gay slasher movie," is being released in the fall. In it, a masked serial killer is going to stalk young, hot gay men through the streets of West Hollywood on Halloween night. True to the tradition of slasher movies, of course, most everyone will probably be half-naked when killed horribly. (Of course, I'll be in the theater, screaming, "Run, Mary, run!!!") I don't get how "equality" in culture is achieved through minorities receiving their own bad romance novels and slasher movies. Is this progress?
- Baby Coon Day is, apparently, Tuesday. That is the day that Baby Coon will arrive. (Incidentally, does anyone else notice how Baby Coon is timing his arrival for HARRY POTTER week? I think Baby Coon wants a J.K. Rowling-inspired name.)
- Check last week's list.
- Do your laundry.
- Wash your dishes.
- Improv in the Park occurs every Thursday night in July, and some of my friends say it's really, really funny. Dad's Garage, one of the theater troupes involved, is supposed to be fantastic.
- My favorite foreign movie, recommended by Neupert, is Agnes Varda's CLEO FROM 5 TO 7. It's about a pop singer who has two hours to shop for a nice hat in Paris before doctors give her the results of a cancer screening. It wavers between being fun and bleak, and I love it. What's your favorite foreign film? (British and American movies don't count. It should be mostly subtitled. For example, AMELIE counts, and DANCES WITH WOLVES, though it's subtitled, doesn't. If you don't watch movies with subtitles, that's just sad.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Scott called me. I mean, Snapshot. From, like, two years ago.

The last time I communicated with him, it was to send condolences when a mutual friend of ours died. (Wait, he did send me that e-mail updating his address book.)

Anyway, maybe he'll know where I can get a new mugshot taken since I can't find a photo booth anywhere.

Inappropriate dress and casual attire.

Jenipher had her review at work today, and, for some reason, they talked to her about the way she dressed, everything from her "revealing" tops to the fact that she wore white shoes before Memorial Day.

They did not, however, mention the way that she dresses her damn dog, the thing I commented on yesterday.

Here's another photo, for instance, of her dog Archie in that Buckeyes jersey. (This is the one that Jenipher says is cuter.)

Dena, in the meantime, told me that she would've preferred me showing a regular photo of her dog Wally to show that he's capable of "just being handsome."

I think, if I wasn't already gay, that women who dote over dogs would've turned me off toward their whole sex.

Anyway, in regard to Jenipher's attire, I told her that she might find another job somewhere. I suggested she might enjoy something where she gets to pose on the hood of a hotrod.

OK, seriously, I put Jenipher in touch with someone who works in HR because I think her boss is confusing "inappropriate dress" with a matter of taste. You can go to Jenipher's website and see what sort of clothes she usually wears. It's not like she's on the cover of MAXIM or anything.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

This is cute. Consider yourself warned.

Occasionally, Dena and Jenipher like to test me. You see, they're both dog-lovers - and not just ordinary dog-lovers. They're both of the "Treat my dog like it's my child" school of dog ownership freakishness.

This means, on occasion, they'll send me photos like this one, featuring Dena's sweet, furry, whiskered, precious, lovable dog Wally wearing reindeer antlers. (He's the non-poodle.)

Or this one, featuring Jenipher's beloved Archie in a Buckeyes jersey.

They send me these photos in the hope that they will inspire in me, I guess, a sort of "Aww, that's so pwecious" form of dog appreciation. Instead, as they've found, my reaction is usually something along the lines of ... "If you collapsed in your kitchen and died, your dog would be perfectly justified in eating your face off." Or something more succinct like ... "Die."

Dena often accuses me of being nicer to other people's dogs than I am to hers or Jenipher's. (And I hope this post clarifies that I prefer no dogs over the delicious, furry, intelligent, pretty mini-mutts called Wally and Archie.)

Once I wrote a post praising Lupo's dog, Mr. Jones, on the site, and Dena accused me of unfair favortism. I told her that Lupo knew better than to put Jonesy in a sweater, snap a photo of him with Santa and send it to me as a Christmas card.

Dena's defense is usually that furry, woofy, sweet, wittle baby Wally's photos with Santa (who usually looks annoyed when he's holding him, frankly) are really, really cute. I suppose they are, if you're one of the sickos into that kind of thing.

If I've gone too far or said too much, forgive me, but dressing dogs like people is just wrong.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Dennis the non-menace.

Glad to know Doug and Black and every other person with the misfortune to live in Birmingham survived the hurricane.

Here we've just gotten a lot of thunderstorms.

One of my customers at the bookstore this weekend told me that God's mercy has spared Atlanta from horrible, disastrous storms, and I had to argue with him that I don't think God's particularly angry at areas that get the storms. (I didn't mention the fact that our city is, you know, landlocked.)

He asked me if I believed in Jesus Christ. I said, "Sometimes."

And he got all shocked, "SOMETIMES?!!!" (For some reason there didn't seem like a way to answer the question that wouldn't shock him, since he's the one who thinks God's giving Atlanta some powerful shield against storms and misfortune.)

I said, "I'm not the person to talk to about it."

Then, luckily, he left my section.

Somewhere beyond the C-section.

Kacoon's scheduled her baby's birth for Tuesday, which means that next week we will have a brand-spanking-new Baby Coon to talk about and play with. We still don't know what Baby Coon's sex is going to be since it decided to play the Crying Game with the ultrasound photos. (Though I know it's not genetically possible, I think the baby gets that from me.)

I've not seen Kacoon in a month. She was really, really pregnant when I last saw her, so now she's probably got her own ZIP Code. From what she's written about it, though, I see that she hasn't lost her sense of humor. She says her swollen hands have developed carpal tunnel since she's entered her last trimester.

I think they've chosen to ignore all my old suggestions for the name of Baby Coon, which means that it'll stand a better chance of surviving the playground.

I love Baby Coon. This is going to rule. I mean, it's better than a new Harry Potter book. This time next week, I'll get to drive to the hospital and see a new baby, which I'll eventually get to teach sarcasm and the joys of shopping.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Things to do if you're committed to Sparkle Motion.

- The director's cut of DONNIE DARKO is playing at midnight on Friday and Saturday at the Landmark. The film, which I once centered my entire birthday party around, is a work of twisted genius. It's so much fun. My DVD copy of it is signed by its director, Richard Kelly, who's really cool. It's the breakout Jake Gyllenhaal movie. It's got a terrific cast, including performances from Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Katharine Ross, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal and the scene-stealing, terrific Beth Grant, who really ought to work more than she does. This is one of my favorite quirky movies ever, and it's about what you should do if a giant, time-traveling, metal-faced bunny rabbit tells you that the world's going to end. If you haven't seen it, go to the theater. You'll be quoting it to friends and puzzling over what it all means for years.
- 99X is presenting DOWNTOWN ROCKS at Underground starting this weekend, which brings us a free concert from Cake and the Stereophonics. At different points, I've thought of their songs as "my theme song." What's your theme song?
- The new HARRY POTTER book comes out in a week. A week. So that means that next Friday night-Saturday morning, I"ll be working a shift at the register of the Barnes & Noble, fighting off dozens of people as they clamor to try and find out who the Half-Blood Prince is. (Half-blood could mean a mix of Muggle and Wizard lineage, but we've already heard that it's not Voldemort. And Hermione wouldn't exactly be a "prince?" What about Snape? I have no idea.)
- Since I was sick for the majority of last weekend, I'm just looking forward to spending some time working and being less congested.

- HEIGHTS, one of Jesse Bradford's two new movies, opens in Atlanta this weekend. It's playing at the Tara. Glenn Close is also in it as someone lucky enough to seduce Jesse Bradford. According to every review I've read, it's a pretty good movie - but Glenn Close is great in it.
- Last week, while ill on the Fourth of July, I started reading Tom Perrotta's LITTLE CHILDREN, and, thus far, it's pretty good, covering much the same suburban territory as DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, only the book features a sex offender who's just moved into the cul-de-sac.
- Oh my God, AVANTI, DA VINCI! was extended until July 10, and somebody forgot to tell me! I'm adding this update at the last minute. If you haven't seen it, run to the Center for Puppetry Arts!
- FANTASTIC FOUR has opened to some pretty dismal reviews, complete with one that called Chris Evans the "generic hottie male" and Jessica Alba the "generic hottie female." I don't know why I want to see it. Oh yeah, for that scene where Evans burns his own clothes off, even though it's PG-13.
- Do your laundry.
- Check over last week's list.
- Find out if you can still fill your prescriptions.
- Stop talking to yourself.
- Reading through the beginning of THE HISTORIAN, I was surprised to find that it's all written in first-person, and the main character is never given a first name. When this literary device works, the book can become REBECCA. When it doesn't work, it can read like a choose-your-own-adventure novel. Anybody remember those? I found a G.I. JOE one among my childhood books just recently, and I've not yet tried to read it. I'm not sure if I'd have the patience anymore to hold my page while reading through both choices to see which one gets you killed. Is that technically cheating?
- Jennifer Connelly was on the radio this morning to talk about DARK WATER. Um, I completely forgot this was coming out this weekend, so I probably won't see it.
- A movie critic told Lupo, while in an interview this week, that the best movie released in the last 10 years was ELEPHANT. Now, my initial reaction, in answering the question for myself, was to say THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, but I realized that's too old. It came out in 1991. What do you feel the best film released since 1995 has been? I'm toying with a dozen, off-the-beaten-path choices, from RUN LOLA RUN to THE TRUMAN SHOW, and I can't yet narrow it down. Oh wait, Lupo just reminded me of what my pick is: BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. What do you think is the best film of the last decade?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Word from Miss Gibson.

Thankfully, Miss Gibson was not in the London bus or tube system this morning when a series of bomb blasts killed 40 people and injured about 300 more.

I arrived at work to find e-mails from her and from Lupo asking if I'd heard from her.

Her e-mail said:

Hi guys. You've probably all heard about the tube/bus
bombs in London. Luckily I had the day off and was in
bed, and so far I know, most people I know weren't in
the wrong place at the wrong time. But it obviously
doesn't bode well for the city, especially with the
Olympics coming ... Hopefully this will be one-off
and they'll find the guys who did it. Of course, the
news is speculating it's possibly al-Qaida, but right
now it's too early to say. Guess we're officially on
the terrorist hit list though.

I don't know what to think of this. I just found out about it. I'm just happy that she's all right.

Oh cool ...

Emily Giffin, the author of the really fun chick-lit books SOMETHING BORROWED and SOMETHING BLUE, is coming to my store tonight to do a signing.

Anybody wanna meet me there? It's the Barnes & Noble Buckhead, and Emily's really nice.

I sold my soul to Oprah.

This weekend, among the things I did on my "Things to Do ..." list, I actually finished AS I LAY DYING, and, to my surprise, it was really good and had a nice twist at the end.

So now, thanks to Oprah or in spite of her interference, I'm someone who's read Faulkner. And, when I finished the book, it felt pretty cool, like I'd accomplished a goal.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

My movie star crush.

Yesterday, even though I was sick, I went to an advance screening of HAPPY ENDINGS and met the actor Jesse Bradford, who was in SWIMFAN and BRING IT ON. And, um, pardon me for a second, but I have this huge, huge, huge ridiculous crush on him. (Look how cute he is, though.)

Don't worry, though. Despite what you read in the post below, I behaved myself and didn't go all SWIMFAN on Jesse Bradford, even though he talked to me. And stood right next to me. And autographed one of my videos. And, with the buttons of his shirt undone, crouched closer to me and told me a secret about his next movie, which I won't be able to share until it appears in the trades.

HAPPY ENDINGS is the new Don Roos movie. Don Roos is the guy who did THE OPPOSITE OF SEX, which had the brilliant Lisa Kudrow and Christina Ricci in it and totally rocked, and BOUNCE, which had Gwyneth Paltrow and that dumbass Ben Affleck in it and may be the only movie that left its key, central, pivotal, plot-changing scene on the cutting room floor.

Bradford is one of about a dozen stars who appear in the movie, which is one of those ensemble, everyone's-connected-in-some-weird way movies like NASHVILLE, MAGNOLIA or CRASH. The movie's pretty good, and Lisa Kudrow, Bradford and Maggie Gyllenhaal are really, really good in it. Oh, and it's got Christopher from GILMORE GIRLS in it (and he's playing gay!), but he doesn't ever get naked - so I didn't get to fulfill my WB wet dream.

Anyway, after the movie, Bradford (who I'm not calling "Jesse" ... it's not like I know him) came down the aisle past me, sat next to my friend Jim the theater manager (who got me in after I confessed my crush) and took part in a 20-minute Q&A. I asked the third question, I think, though my voice was severely jacked up from the head cold I've had all weekend. I told Bradford he was a great actor, mentioned Soderbergh's KING OF THE HILL to him (which he starred in when he was 13) and then asked him who he'd worked with that impressed him.

Bradford mentioned working twice with Adrien Brody. He also said he was impressed by Jason Ritter, who's John Ritter's son and also in HAPPY ENDINGS. And he said his favorite director to work with was James Ivory, who made A SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER NEVER CRIES with him.

Someone asked him about Soderbergh and Spalding Gray, but he mentioned barely being able to remember KING OF THE HILL. Then, he said he was too young when he made that movie and that it was like watching old footage of yourself in Little League.

At that, of course, I held up my VHS copy that I'd brought with me - like a complete dork, and he saw it.

"There it is ... There it is ...," Jesse Bradford said to me. "Hold it up, and show it to the rest of the class."

So I held up my video, and the remaining audience turned toward me for a second.

Then, Bradford said with mild sarcasm into the microphone, "I have a feeling I'll be signing that in about 10 minutes ..."

"Sorry," I said out of habit.

"No, no, it's fine," he said. He was so completely cool. One guy in the next row asked me to hand over the video for a second so that he could see it.

Later, he talked about the other movie he's got coming out this summer, HEIGHTS, which opens at the Tara on Friday. In it, he apparently gets seduced by Glenn Close.

The Q&A ended - shortly after he admitted he had a girlfriend, incidentally - and I walked my video down to Bradford, who was walking toward me and the only other guy asking for an autograph.

"You really don't have to if you don't want ...," I said to him.

"No, it's completely cool," he said. "I want to sign it for you. What's your name?"

"Benjamin," I said.

"Um, mind if I put 'Ben?'" he asked.

"No," I said.

And, of course, my gel pen didn't immediately work against the video's glossy case. So he signed the other guy's notebook, then turned back toward me.

"It doesn't look like it's gonna work," he said.

"Sign it here," I said, pulling the video out of the box and showing him the white label tape underneath it.

So he signed it there, drawing a little peace sign on the video label next to his name.

Then, of course, he closed the box and then tried to sign the box again. So he gave me, like, three autographs. I felt like a schoolgirl.

In the meantime, of course, I asked him again about his next movie, which he couldn't tell the Q&A group because he said he didn't want to tell the whole group. He said he'd get into trouble. He only mentioned for them that it was a "war movie."

I asked him, when he was talking with me, if he'd gotten a part in Tarantino's long-planned WWII movie INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. When I mentioned the title, Bradford said he didn't even know what that was.

Then Bradford whispered to me and the other guy getting an autograph what his next movie, the "war movie" is. And it is big. Pretty damn big. And he has one of the leads.

So I told him, "Congratulations." And I said thank you. And I walked down the aisle toward Jim.

Jim asked me, "So, are you dying?"

I stood next to Jim and said, "Omigod, omigod, omigod ... he talked to me. He's so, so cute. And really nice."

Jim said, "Yeah, he's really nice. No ego at all."

And then I went home and went crazy, not about this, though.

Anyway, the video is wrapped in a newspaper in my car. I didn't want to endanger it by walking it to my apartment. It was raining, after all.

Why I bother.

What exactly happens to me when I have a panic attack - and I've had them since was a teen, at least - is hard to pinpoint and hard to describe. I've tried to reason it in and out of therapy a million times. It can't just be that I get the urge to call someone a dozen times too many. It can't just be that I'm trying to bother someone. It can't just be that I'm in the mood to be all dramatic and mess up my friendships.

Something usually happens that disrupts me. Like I'm feeling sick, or someone doesn't return a phone call. Or someone says something a certain way to me, like they say goodbye to me at the beginning of a 20-minute drive home, and it just sets me off to worry or wonder what's wrong or fret and talk about it or fret and sulk or fret and lash out or just fret and fret some more.

Then, all my fears hit me, the reasonable and the unreasonable and the worst-case scenarios, and the loneliness surrounds me. And I want to talk to someone about it, feel safe about it, but I can't seem to reach anyone. Friends aren't available. The therapist's only got voicemail.

Even sometimes when I rationally *know* everything's fine, something *feels* wrong. If I reach someone, and they ask me what's wrong, I'll tell them, "Nothing, really." Which is true. And they'll wonder why I called. I called because, for a moment or for a day, I don't feel safe or I don't feel secure. And I know I should know better than to bug someone. The tiny, little slight that caused my freakout is tiny and little, but everything - for a minute or for longer - feels just doomed.

And I sit on my couch, and I've been sitting there for 20 minutes, not moving. Or I start to talk aloud to myself. Or I sit in my parked car for longer than I should, perplexed and unable to move forward at all. I list in my head all the people who I could talk to, and none of them are available or none of them want to hear my bullshit. Because it really all just is bullshit, I think. I *know* it's minor, even though it *feels* major, and I come off like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. I *know* it's minor, but I can't stop feeling the panic, anyway. That makes it even more frustrating.

I'm diagnosed as obsessive, which I wish meant that I kept a cleaner apartment. I don't obsess about germs. I obsess about people, where I stand with them or if I'm liked or how I seem. I have *safe* friendships, friendships that I feel secure in or friendships that I trust and don't worry about. These friendships don't usually cause me to make a dozen, panicked phone calls, which I am occasionally prone to do, but these friendships are the ones that I can turn to when I just need to calm down. I've not learned yet just to go to sleep when I have a panic attack or am unreasonably depressed about someone. If they happen in the early evening, I'm stubborn and don't want to sleep, thinking that maybe someone who can help me (and that changes, based upon situation) will just call. If they happen late, I think that I can figure out what's wrong and, to some degree, "solve it."

Usually, though, I just have to be by myself and relax a bit and wait out the paranoiac worry, wait for my brain to regain its reasoning. I always think it'd be easier if I could just hold someone's hand during it, but that's not the best course of action.

I've been off my pills, which don't stop the panic attacks but do stop me from being so antsy or edgy, for over four months. I don't like being on my pills. Last night, I thought I might need them again. I think I maybe do.

What caused the panic last night was that I feel I've lost a friendship. I feel almost certain that it's changed, that it's gone and that it's all my fault. There is no evidence to suggest that things have changed or ended, in fact there's evidence to the contrary, but I feel like I've tested too many boundaries or become entirely too unreasonable. Last night, the conflict in my head culminated with me intentionally having to lose some people's phone numbers so that I wouldn't call them too much ever again. Not that it should matter to me, even though it does, I don't think they want to hear from me, anyway.

In a panic, things happen suddenly. Moods change quickly. My manners go out the window. My tact disappears. I'm at the mercy of whomever I'm on the phone with or in front of or trying desperately to impress, and I don't have complete control over where my mind goes.

There are differences between what I *know* and how I *feel.* People who think I'm too smart to do the stupid things I occasionally do maybe don't fathom the level of disconnect that goes on between my reason and my emotions.

I worry. I worry and worry and worry. And I get frustrated. And I yell at people or yell at myself. (When I was much, much younger, I would freak out, cry and beat myself with my fists upside the head. One time, my mother had to hold me still because I was inconsolable, screaming about how I didn't trust "the future." I've gotten more disciplined and controlled since then. Trust that I'm much better nowadays.)

It's hard for me to understand the "drama," as people sometimes call it that. That makes it sound like I'm faking it or embellishing it. I basque, sometimes, in having a story to tell, and I know that. But when I've worked myself into some kind of unnecessary frenzy that I know is beyond reason, the "drama" is not fun for me. The feelings are real. The worry is real. I feel the tension in my shoulders or the pit in my stomach. Knowing I'm being completely ridiculous - yet not being able to completely quiet the fears in my head - is not fun.

The minor causes of my latest freakout have been mostly clarified. Things like that just happen. As I said, I rested on it, and things looked better in the morning. I've taken the necessary precautions to establish better boundaries between me and my friends, after worrying over it for a couple days and, worse, spending a rainy Fourth ill and in the company of my mother. And it would be better for me if I naturally knew just to *do* something, without narrating that I'm doing it. But I don't always work things out the way I should.

Once the panic's over and I'm done being embarrassed about it, that's when I usually can be better off by myself. Right now, it still kinda feels like I'm trying to explain myself or that I'm making dumb excuses for behaving like an ass.

It's odd. A couple weeks ago, the things that bugged me weren't even factors in my existence. A couple weeks from now, my panic attack will probably just strike me as really silly.

This is how it always happens.

Photo booth search.

Anybody know where I can find one of those old photo booths in and around Atlanta? You know, the kind you can sit in, pose and it'll spit out your photos in a couple minutes? (The kind where they actually use instant film, as well, would be preferable to the new, digital ones you can find at a mall.)

They had passport photo booths all around London. I can't find one in Atlanta.

They used to have one of those booths at Junkman's Daughter's Brother in Athens. I don't know if Junkman's Daughter in Five Points also has one.

Can someone please help me find one? I want photos like the one above, taken of my friend CK in London.

Fixing the glitch.

If this works, then my friend Hoppe over at Sky Corgan fixed the glitch.

Yay, he did it!!!! Yay!!!

Friday, July 01, 2005

For the new "Things to Do ...," just look down.

The glitch is ongoing.

Things to do while Morgan Freeman narrates.

- Apparently, we're deep within the Golden Age of Morgan Freeman at the movies this summer. Not only has he already appeared in two films since May, UNLEASHED and the superior BATMAN BEGINS, he's also providing voiceover narration for two more movies set to hit theaters, Steven Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS and the cute-looking, MILO & OTIS-ish MARCH OF THE PENGUINS. (Plus, he did the overarching narration and won an Oscar for MILLION DOLLAR BABY, which is coming out on DVD in a couple weeks. And let's not forget THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION ... ) Now, with movies, I'm of the mind that narration is usually a bad thing. A very bad thing. I mean, according to ADAPTATION, voiceover narration is a sign of sloppy storytelling. I like Morgan Freeman's voice and all - resonant and knowing as it seems, but does he have to narrate everything? I feel we're one step away from having Freeman hired to follow a guy around, telling the story of his life as the guy goes through it. (I told Lupo that, for a laugh, he should hire Freeman to come in and narrate my life while I'm on my deathbed. I think it would be funny.) Frankly, I prefer James Earl Jones, anyway.
- Meanwhile, Stephen and I saw WAR OF THE WORLDS yesterday, and I thought it was just terrible. Not as bad as THE VILLAGE, but damn close. Of course, Lupo saw it and liked parts of it - until its disastrous mistake of an ending. See HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE at the Tara instead. (This week's Plugola scandal is brought to you by me ...)
- Jenipher recommended this ridiculous MTV reality show to me called MY SUPER SWEET 16, and I went to the website for it and found it to be everything she described. "It's bad," Jenipher told me. "You want to kill these kids, but you can't stop watching." Cameras follow around a ridiculously rich, spoiled rotten teen as the kid plans the birthday party to end all birthday parties. I didn't think that the premise would be enough to carry an entire show, but then I read the summary of a recent episode, featuring some rapper named Cee-Lo's daughter. Get this: A diva like Sierra can't pass out invitations the normal way either. She has hired a group of people to dress all in white, drive around in a limo and hand-deliver each invite, complete with a miniature Louis Vuitton cake and a speech. Sierra instructs them to let everyone know that if they show up without a present or money, they won't be allowed into the party. Jenipher says the show is worse than the newest REAL WORLD. On a related note, I was so happy when, at 25, I became too old for MTV's target demographic.

- I saw MYSTERIOUS SKIN at the Landmark with Brad this week, and it was fantastic, the best movie I've seen since OLDBOY. It was well-acted, well-directed and well-written, which is saying something if you've seen the other, horrid films of Gregg Araki. MYSTERIOUS SKIN, though, is also a completely unnerving and occasionally hard-to-take look at childhood sexual abuse, so it might be a little too much for some people. (Miss Gibson, fearing that it would evoke some memory of trauma in me, warned me about the movie, bless her. But, thankfully, I was fine during it.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a child actor I remember from the DARK SHADOWS remake who found more of a following in 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN, gives a fantastic performance as a teen hustler named Neil, whose dark childhood has framed the way he addresses his entire life. Brad tells me that the book by Scott Heim is really good, too, which doesn't surprise me. Araki's usually no genius, but he made a genius movie. I'm thinking it's because of the source material.
- For the Fourth of July, watch your favorite patriotic movie. Maybe a Capra movie. Say the Pledge of Allegiance. Write a congressman.
- The new sci-fi novel THE TRAVELER came out this week, and it sounds interesting, though sci-fi isn't really my thing. The author is a guy named John Twelve Hawks or something, which for some reason strikes me as funny, even though he's probably just a Native American.
- Do the usual chores.
- Finish that damn book you're reading, and start a new one.
- Chris and Michael are running the Peachtree Road Race on Monday morning. Go to their blogs, and wish them luck.
- Write Oprah to tell her to get over herself and the whole Hermes thing, for, whether they should've let her shop in Paris or not, the store was technically closed when she came by. And, frankly, there are bigger things going on.
- See PEACHTREE BATTLE at the Ansley Park Playhouse. Everyone else in Atlanta already has. If there's any justice, AVANTI, DA VINCI! is sold out. But, if it's not, go see it.
- If the formatting on the screwed-up blog allows you to, check last week's list.
- "Catch My Disease," the fourth track on the new Ben Lee album, "Awake is the New Sleep," is so infectious happy that it makes me clap and sing in my car when I really ought to be driving. It reminds me of '80s New Wave and just makes me want to roller skate. There's even a line in it about loving someone "like fireworks." You should try it.
- So, did anyone see BEWITCHED or that dumb HERBIE movie yet? Yeah, me neither. If you ask me, it's no wonder that the box office for the year is in a slump, though THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST's success last year was particularly unmatchable this year. Most of the mainstream cinema this year just sucks. Mark my words, the slump isn't going to end for weeks.
- Finally, Terry McMillan's husband, the one who inspired her to write HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK, is gay, according to reports on their pending divorce. How very Carrie Fisher. Thus, if movies were real life (as hypothesized by the folks at The Black Saint), a guy who looks like Taye Diggs would also be gay. And that would be a good thing.
- I wanted to see the upcoming Keira Knightley movie DOMINO, where she stars as a fashion model-turned-bounty hunter, before the real-life Domino Harvey died in a bathtub this week. But now that the real Domino has died under odd circumstances, I must admit I'm dying to see the film. It comes out in November, though.