Formerly Felines for Anarchistic Green Democracies

A Bostonian at the University of Michigan.

There will also be discussion of the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Michigan Wolverines. Probably in that order.

Detroit Tigers content now at Roar of the Tigers!

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Blogging the Detroit Tigers for the Most Valuable Network.

the flickr photostream

Head here to see what I've been shooting lately.

the game sets

Head here to see the shots from a specific baseball or football game (or anything else I've made a set for).


Spelling rant
Yankee Star Wars
A Tigers Comedy of Errors
How bad is Keith Foulke really?
Harry Potter and the Boston Red Sox
Bellhorn vs. Graffanino vs. Lamprey
Critiquing team slogans
Joey Harrington blogs a baseball game
Jason Varitek gets injured
Winter meetings fashion report
Mascot Rant #1
Mascot Rant #2

8 Days of Jewish Baseball
Day 1- Kevin Youkilis
Day 2- Brad Ausmus
Day 3- Al Levine
Day 4- Jason Marquis
Day 5- John Grabow
Day 6- Justin Wayne
Day 7- Shawn Green
Day 8- Gabe Kapler and Theo Epstein

the Story of Chanukah, Red Sox style
Part I: the cruel reign of Steinbrennochus
Part II: rise of the Soxxabees
Part III: the rebellion begins!
Parts IV, V, and VI
Parts VII and VIII

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Fun with Roster Photos
Note: Comments may not exactly correspond to images, as the images will change when the team puts up new photos. Adds a level of surreality, I think.
Detroit Tigers
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Chicago White Sox
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox 2006
Boston Red Sox 2007
New York Yankees 2007

Teams of the Cat

Red Sox



University of Michigan
Wolverines (all sports)

this is all

Sports Reads

Baseball Desert
Baseball Heavy (PawSox)
Bullshit Memorial Stadium
Cursed to First
Empyreal Environs
Firebrand of the AL
GYS Network
Joy of Sox
Livejournal Home of Red Sox Nation
Misery Loves Company (Sox and Mets)
Over the Monster
Peter on All
Professional, Idiot, and the Tailback
Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory
Respect the Tek
Singapore Sox Fan
Surviving Grady
Yanks Fan vs. Sox Fan

Detroit Tigers and Lions

Roar of the Tigers

Beyond Boxscores
Bless You Boys
the Cheap Seats
Daily Fungo
Detroit Tiger Weblog
Lions Den
Mack Avenue Tigers
Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass
Motown Sports (messageboard)
Motown Sports Revival
Northern Michigan Detroit Sports Blog
Out of Bounds
Sweaty Men Endeavors
Take 75 North
Tiger Tales
Tigers Central
Where have you gone, Johnny Grubb?

I'm a member of DIBS!

College Sports

MGoBlog (Michigan)

Big Ten Hardball
Blog that Yost Built (Michigan)
Blue-Gray Sky (Notre Dame)
Boi from Troy (USC)
Every Day Should be Saturday (Florida, general college sports)
iBlog for Cookies (Michigan)
ParadigmBlog (Michigan)
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer (Alabama)
Schembechler Hall (Michigan)
Sunday Morning Quarterback (Southern Miss, mostly general)

2632 (Orioles)
Aaron Gleeman (Twins)
Around the Oval (Ohio State)
Bard's Room (White Sox)
Bat Girl (Twins)
Ben Roethlisberger (personal blog, god help us all)
Bronx Banter (Yankees)
Bronx Block
Buckeye Commentary (Ohio State)
Camden Chat (Orioles)
Enlightened Spartan (Michigan State)
Futility Infielder (Yankees)
Let's Go Tribe (Indians) (Yankees forum)
Pinstripe Alley (Yankees)
Replacement Level Yankees
Royals Authority
Royals Review
Tribe Report (Indians)

Armchair GM (all)
Athletics Nation
Blog Maverick (Mark Cuban)
Catfish Stew (Athletics)
Ducksnorts (Padres)
Fire Joe Morgan
Gaslamp Ball (Padres)
Goat Riders of the Apocalypse (Cubs)
Idiots Write About Sports (A's, Giants)
Lookout Landing (Mariners)
McCovey Chronicles (Giants)
Minor League Ball
On the DL (gossip)
Pittsburgh Lumber Co. (Pirates)
Rays Talk
Red Reporter (Reds)
Serious Dismay Sports
Uniwatch (all teams)
USS Mariner (Mariners)

Gilbert Arenas
Curtis Granderson
Tommy Lasorda
Mike Maroth
Pat Neshek
Nate Robertson
Curt Schilling
CJ Wilson
Kevin Youkilis

the Brushback
Call of the Green Monster (Red Sox)
Die-hard Cubs Fun
the Dugout, chat room of pro baseball
Korean baseball cartoons (inexplicable)
Wizznutzz (Wizards..just read it)

Ann Arbor is Overrated
Dave Barry
Corey Corcoran
Fried Rice Thoughts
Go Fug Yourself
Goodspeed Update
Grand Mental Station
Quo Vadimus
Ryan Estrada
Mike Wieringo

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Thursday, July 31, 2003  
The blogger website has all these little announcement things for us bloggers, pertaining to new blogging software and the like. Anyways, the latest one is headed 'And in the Darkness Blog Them'. Ha ha! I snickered.

A couple of blogs ago (the July 23 blog, I believe) I mentioned that a reader of this here turkey had requested postage of fanart which I have done. I also said that this prompted me to run a little search and see what sort of fanart was already out there. I also noted that I was completely and utterly sickened by the unabashed badness of said fanart, so I was disinclined to post anything unless someone really pestered me about it.

Well, I've been duly pestered. I suppose I was asking for it, I shouldn't have said that I'd cave to peer pressure. Things to remember for next time. None of the locals put in a word, and I'm not sure if that's because they assume I ain't talking to them herein, or for some obscure reason of their own, but a number of you non-local readers sent in (mostly) politely demanding emails on the subject of a Feline Anarchist online art gallery.

All I can say is, I'm working on it. If anyone knows a really good free photo host site, let me know. I am also thinking that maybe I should look up some copyright laws or something before I go posting my art on the web, but plenty of people do it without detrimental results to their art, so I ought to be OK. The gallery, if/when it gets made, will probably consist of mostly pen and ink things, and also comic book things. Those being the art bits which I can scan most readily.

As for a time frame... well, I hope I can get some stuff up before I head off to college. That being at the end of the summer. But you, cher reader, you can help move up this time frame! How can you do this? You can tell me about a good free photo host site that you know of. This would be very, very helpful.

Went into Boston today. I actually managed to get my mother to give me the car so I could take myownself to Wonderland. Yup, Wonderland, that's the name of the T stop (in Boston, we call the subway 'the T'). Like Alice and the white rabbit and all that hookah-smoking-caterpillar sort o'jazz. Only much seedier. And dirtier.

I used my incredible coffee hunting instincts to sniff out a hidden Starbucks. That is to say, I logically assumed that there had to be a Starbucks somewhere in the Copley mall, and lo! there was. My skills of logical assumption and deduction are quite peerless.

Then I sat outside for a couple of hours so I could doodle the lovely Trinity Church. Which I did. It came out OK. There was a big tree obscuring some of my view, so I just drew in the tree, rather than trying to draw bits of the building I couldn't see. I also couldn't see the bottom the building because some undoubtedly evil children's puppet show thing was setting up a vast stage on the lawn, and that obscured some of my view as effectively as the tree did.

A fellow stopped as he was walking by and said that he thought my drawing was very good and very pretty. I thanked him. Usually people just gawk when they're walking by, or try to surreptitiously peer over my shoulder. I stolidly ignore them. But it's nice when someone comments in a genuinely meant yet nonintrusive manner. I appreciates that, I does.

Then I drove home in rush hour traffic and wept. But I was smiling on the inside, you see, because by taking the car for the day I had spared my mother the trip. I get car, mother doesn't have to shuttle me around. Everyone wins!

Tonight Jess and I went to the Atomic Cafe, because we felt like it and we didn't want to drive purposelessly. Got delicious smoothie, I did. I am a very big fan of the Atomic Cafe grilled cheese, but I had already had dinner, so no grilled cheese on this night. I don't know why people are so freaked out by the crowd there, it's just people. Sheesh.

The other night Jess and I had dropped Jason off at his house, and were about to turn off his street when who should we see but the magical, magisterial Madeline. As we hadn't seen her in weeks, it was absolutely necessary that we flag her down and speak with her. We did so.

So the three of us were standing about, chatting, on the side of the road, for a goodly bit of time, as there was much to discuss. We had to cut our conversation short, however, because around midnight we were told to disperse by some of the genial town police. I'm sure we looked like real trouble-makers, three girls talking quietly. The cops said they had 'had some calls' about us, which would be pretty funny if it were true (I mean, jeez, not only were we not talking loudly, we didn't even have the radios on!), but there is some doubt as to the veracity of their claims.

Anywho, the paper (that's the Swampscott Reporter, for you nonlocal folks) comes out tomorrow, and we're desperately hoping to get into the police log as 'rowdy group of youths dispersed by officer' or somesuchathing. I would clip it and frame it if we did get in. Monday/early Tuesday, right around midnight, corner of Jason's street and that main street. Keep a hairy eyeball out for it.

Are you acquainted with those cassette things you use to make your non-CD-player-equipped vehicle play CDs? You know, the ones you hook into your portable CD player, and then you put the cassette into your car's cassette drive, and the CD plays over your car's speakers? Yeah, you do know. Anyways. They work with the new iPods! And I have a new iPod!

I was informed of this the last time I was in the Mac store in the mall (and a thoroughly glorious store it is), so I became rabidly happy. See, mother's car has no CD player. Mother's car is the one I use. It is also the one which will become mine next summer. So now I can play my iPod in it! This is better than the radio, because I don't have to switch around, and better than a CD player because I can randomize it and it's all different bands and songs and I don't get bored. Better than a mix CD, of course, because it can hold 8 million more songs than a CD can.

Yeah. I was rendered deliriously happy by this revelation.

Got two new books (Monday night before our policely joys Jess and I had gone to Barnes and Noble, simply because it's fun to do so). Oliver Twist and another Murakami book, called The Elephant Vanishes (collection o'short stories). Murakami's the one who wrote The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which I adored. Oliver Twist, in case you're stupid, is by Charlie Dickins.

But I sort of feel like rereading the 5th Harry Potter before I start those, so I think I shall. Woo yay for getting started on the third reading of that book this summer!

Yesterday I saw that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy show. You've probably heard of it, it's that new Bravo show where they have 5 gay guys make over a straight guy who needs it. Awesome show. Not only are the people in it absolutely hilarious, it's very well edited, which enhances the amusing bits. Yeah, I enjoyed it. The new ones are Tuesday nights at 10 on Bravo, around here at least.

Locals take note! We need to go to the DeCordova museum before the summer is over! We need to pick a day. For cat's sake, let me know if you want to go. I am foaming at the mouth to go. Grrrr. Work with me here, people.

If you really are people...

Yeah, getting to be that time of the night I know all too well (crazynocturnalcreatures time!), so I best be ending this blog before insanity sets in and I start losing the ability to type coherently.

G'night all.

1:21 AM

Sunday, July 27, 2003  
Today I saw Winged Migration.

I went all the way out to the Embassy Cinema in Waltham to view it, since it's not playing anywhere closer to my humble abode. I hadn't been there before, but it's what we New Englanders would call a "wicked mad crazy" movie theater. They play all sorts of independent films there. It's like the Hollywood Hits in Danvers, only more so. Neat little theater, if I knew how to get there I would say that it's the perfect place for me and my movie-obsessed friends. Alas, my legendary sense of direction (or lack thereof) rears its ugly little head.

Anyways. Saw Winged Migration. It was incredible. Incredibly glorious. Incredibly, gloriously, wicked mad crazy. A great, big, enormous 'woah'.

The movie is beautiful. The scenery, the birds, the flying... gorgeous. Sumptuous material. And it is filmed in such a way that you find yourself sitting in the theater with your mouth hanging open. And your eyes are wide. Maybe you are also shaking your head in disbelief. But you had best be believin'!

You see, they didn't use any special effects to film the birds. None at all. Yet some of the shots which they managed to get... mon dieu. Just... mon dieu. They are so close to the birds that it's as though you are the birds. You're flying with them. You are seeing what the birds are seeing. You can feel the wind in your feathers. You can feel your wing muscles working. You're frikking migrating, for cat's sake!

Some of the shots are so close-up that the birds don't look entirely real. After all, we're not used to seeing birds that close. They're wild critters, and while you don't really think about it too much, when was the last time you got all in-yo'-face with a bird? Unless you own a parrot, I don't think it was very recently. So when the camera gets that close, the bird looks... computer animated. But it isn't. It's real. And that, folks, is a-frelling-mazing.

Oh, and on the parrot note... if you see this movie, you won't ever want to own a parrot. Ever. The sight of parrots in pet stores will make you cry. You will despise the entire parrot industry. Seriously. You will also want to destroy all hunters.

So, the movie's got parrots in it. And penguins and puffins and artic terns and skuas and gannets (thems all bein' artic-type birds). And it's got lots of geese in it, 'cause geese are power fliers and any movie about migration is going to have to have geese in it. And some ducks. And some very loud yet elegant cranes (and storks). One very bad-ass cowbird chick. And lots of other birds as well. And a couple of other animals. And a couple of people.

the strange-looking sage grouse is also featured. it makes one hell of a retarded noise

Yeah, OK, so the very few scenes with people in them were probably (almost certainly) staged. But it's not something you worry about during the movie, it's just something you notice afterwards and shrug off as artistic license.

But most of the movie is just birds. Birds doing what birds do. And you know what? These birds are so masterfully filmed, so masterfully captured, that it's more emotionally gratifying than most human-acted movies you see these days. You'll laugh out loud at some of it. You'll gasp in awe at some of it. You'll cry at some of it. I definitely got teary at bits, and if you know me you know well that I'm not a crying-at-movies sort of person.

I most definitely got more emotional reaction from the birds in this movie than I got from any of the human actors in Identity, the Real Cancun, 28 Days Later, or Pirates of the Caribbean. This is not because the birds are better actors, although that's arguable for some of the actors in the aforementioned films. No, it's because Winged Migration is filmed so perfectly, so beautifully, so ________ly (insert own adjective of awesomeness), that emotion is wrung from scenes in it in ways that most other movies can only dream about.

Go see Winged Migration!!! That was me screaming at you to go see this movie. You are a damnfoolidiot if you do not. It is so good that, despite all the ranting and raving I did above, I still cannot convey the totality of its goodness to you. YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE.

*ahem* Of course, there will be those poor sods who are simply incapable of enjoying this fine, fine, fine film. If you are at all, in the teeniest tiniest way into birds, you will love it. If you are at all, in the teeniest tiniest way into filmmaking techniques, you would have to be an idiot to not appreciate this film. If you like to see things which are beautiful, you will like this movie. If you are of an artistic temperament, you will like this movie. If you are of a scientific mind, you will probably like this movie. If you are a moviebuff, you should know enough about movies to like this movie (otherwise you are a faux moviebuff and, as such, should be beat about the head with a bundle of sticks).

You probably know if you would like this movie or not. I suppose it's not for everyone. I'm pretty sure that most people have a good enough idea of what kind of movie they like to know whether or not this is for them.

But it comes to you, from me, the Feline Anarchist, EXTREMELY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Vurry vurry much so. It gets 4 Paws Up, and a Tail as well.

Oh! I almost forgot. It's got a French guy narrating, but he speaks in English the whole time, so it's entirely narrated by someone who sounds like Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies. Gloriousness.

Then I came back to the home area, and the family had dinner out at this new restaurant in Salem called Rockafellas. It's pretty cool, it's right in the center of downtown Salem, and the building it's in (that being the Daniel Low building) used to be a bank, so the restaurant keeps their wines in the vault. And the front door is neat, because it used to be a revolving door but they removed it after the Coconut Grove fire (you all oughta know that story... Boston night club, bad fire, revolving doors which no one could get out of, lotta crispy folk), so the door is in a sort of round alcove.

The food was pretty good too. The service was less than exemplary... most of the time the waitstaff could be seen wandering around with desperately confused expressions on their faces. They also didn't seem to know which table number went with which table, so they were forever bringing the food to the wrong table. But I'm inclined to cut them some slack, I think they've only been open about a week, and all the waiterfolk looked terribly young, so I'll bet noone's really trained up just yet.

And hey! They had live jazz music! Hot diggetty!

Then I came home and drew a grasshopper.

Last night Jess and I went to Richardson's, but I drove. Creepy, ja? No one died, though, and we even managed to get a good parking spot. Then we came back to S'scott and were cornered by Noah, but then all initiative to get out and do something died, so we all spent the evening sitting in my den with my entire family, watching TV and laughing our buns off.

Noah spent a good 15 minutes trying to tell us a story about making some guy stop short in his car and thusly spill the food on the seat next to him. It took him that long to tell the story because every sentence was interspersed with mad fits of unstoppable giggling. It was really quite worrisome. My dad, I think, was convinced that Noah had lost his mind entirely. It ended up being only a middlingly funny story, but Noah's hysterics over it made it well worth hearing.

After I dropped Jess off I put the car in the garage all on my lonesome, without anyone sitting in the car telling me how close I was to the sides of the garage or how far I should pull in. See, we've got a fairly small garage, and we've got a fairly large car. The one fits in the other, but it's a fairly tight fit. And I have absolutely no sense where the sides of the car are when I'm driving it. So my putting the car into the garage is fraught with many taking-off-the-side-view-mirror sort of risks.

But lo! it was done. And the angels rejoiced, for they are theological and lo! so did the angles, though they be only geometrical.

I have no idea what that means, but it's that time of the night again! *evilly insane laughter*

Found a brand new Internet game for you. Did you ever play Myst? Did you ever wish you had? I had both Myst and Riven, and I played 'em both, and they amused me greatly. Anyways, this here game is rather like Myst, only of course it's on a website rather than a CD, and it features slightly stranger creatures, and it's trees in space. It's called Samorost, or maybe that's the name of the person who made it. Quoiever.

It's got awesome graphics and you've gotta figure out how to move through the levels, like in Myst. I got up to the level with the anteater in it, but that one stumped me. Couldn't figure it out. If anyone does, please let me know, otherwise this will probably eat at my soul until I am a mere shell of a human being. Also, maybe not recommended for non-cable folk, I've no idea how long it would take to load for you poor sods. But you're really missing out... (the previous sentence was said in a cajoling singsong voice)

That's all.

Go see Winged Migration! gogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogo.

2:07 AM

Wednesday, July 23, 2003  
So this guy emails me, and he's all like, "your blog takes forever to load so you shouldn't put so many entries on one page and shit" and I'm all like, "yeah OK but my archives are all shot to hell and haven't worked in 18 thousand millennia" and he's all like, "ok so what does that have to do with it?" and I'm all like, "ok so if someone wants to read some back issues they've gotta be on that one page 'cause there aren't any archives" and he's all like, "yeah ok so how come you don't fix the archive?" and I'm all like, "yeah i was all over that shit and it's like not fixable and stuff" and he's all like, "yeah ok but your page takes freaking forever to load" and I'm all like, "ok we already covered that get cable for cats sake" and he's all like, "ok i totally don't need this abuse" and I'm all like, "yeah ok i totally don't need this particular reader."

And that was that.

I'm all excited-like to maybe get to bed tonight before 3 am. It's been a long, long time since I last managed to fall asleep before 3 am. This is probably not such a good thing. My mother would have me believe that it's the single most evil thing in this world, and while I'm not entirely a proponent of this idea, it's starting to appeal to me. In a milder, more toned down sort of way. Like, bed by 1 am. Or something.

Went into Boston today. That's twice this week already. Monday was dinner-and-wander-around-Fanuel-Hall-with-mother day. Dinner was at Kingfish Hall, which has very delicious and fancy food. We justified getting it by saying that it was a celebratory dinner for the AP scores which I got. Woo ya AP scores! All that money was well spent.

Today was the weekly art-in-Boston trip. It was ickyhot and sticky as a quagmire out, so I opted for the great indoors. Specifically, the Boston Public Library. I wasn't expecting there to be anyone in there, it being summer and all the students are not needful of studying and such, but there were quite a number of folks there. It looked like a lot of businessfolk were in there being all laptopful and doing their work where it was quiet and cool, which I guess is a good idea, when you think about it. I was there cause there's some glorious architecture in some of the rooms. I spent a merry little couple of hours doing this heinously involved pen and ink drawing of part of the room. When I finished and held it up to look at it, I realized that almost the entire thing is done in one value. It looks retarded. Ah well. Such is life.

Last night I tooled about with Jason and Jess, because we were all bored and couldn't think of anything to do other than drive about. Much chatting was had, all the usual acerbic, caustic remarks about all the usual people who deserve such remarks. Yeah, you all know who I mean. Good times. We went around the Marblehead Neck, and for some unfathomable reason it was wreathed in this ridiculously thick fog which made driving an unnaturally creepy activity.

For some equally unfathomable reason (probably something having to do with sugar intake and time of night) we decided that this pea soup fog was actually the wrath of God, descending on the inhabitants of the Marblehead Neck. To slay their first born male children. Re: Passover. See, there ain't much in the way of Jewishness on the Neck, so we figured maybe God was getting all wrathful and whatnot.

Yeah, now that I write it, I don't really know what the frell was going on with us, but it was just one of *those nights*.

Omigawdquick get the lamb's blood up on your doorposts! It's the Angel of Death manifesting atmospherically! And stuff!


I'm all happy with myself and whatnot because I've been trying to get some nice finalized character sketches of all the comic book characters I've invented done before I go to college. And I finally managed to get maybe six or seven of them that I'm happy with. Two of them I did over at least 5 times each. Not amusing. Anyways, I got 6-7 done, and I've got maybe 45-50 original to me, if-you-steal-them-I-kill-you-damn-quick characters. Well. At least I've started to make progress, right? Right?

And yes, I'm well aware of the fact that I'm a huge, incredibly major dork. Making my own comic book characters. *slowly sinks behind desk, covering face, in shame* But hey. It keeps me entertained. If I wasn't doing this, maybe I'd be snorting crack or somesuchathing. C-o-m-i-c-s: my anti drug.

Can't quite believe I just typed that. But we're going to let it stand, as a lasting testament to my swiss-cheese-like mind and the sanity that has escaped therefrom.

'therefrom': an actual word! I know, I know, I didn't believe it either, but then I looked it up and lo! there it was. You spend enough time talking like me and Corey do and regular, everyday words start looking unreal. Not that 'therefrom' is a regular, everyday word, but we're going to assume that you know what I mean and then we're going to drop it.

Consider it....


*edit* I just thought that you all should know that it's now 10 of 12, and I'm massively craving black olives. *end edit*

*another edit* Someone emailed me and demanded (politely) that I post some fanart stuff that I've got done for Wolverine and Catwoman and other such things, but then I went and looked at the fanart that's flitting about on the Internet these days, and I went and made myself ill. This stuff is crap. Almost all of it, almost without exception. I am, to put it succinctly, appalled. If any one of you readerfolk really wants it badly enough I guess I'll post something, but I am pretty disinclined to do so, after having seen so much atrociously bad art at once. *end edit*

11:42 PM

Tuesday, July 22, 2003  
I have only one thing to say tonight.

Haley Joel Osment: the heinous bundle of evil who brought us the Sixth Sense, A.I., and soon Secondhand Lions.

Family Guy: the incredibly random and funny TV show made by that guy who went to RISD.

Haley Joel Osment does one of the voices on the Family Guy.

Someone stop the world please, I'd like to get off.

12:10 AM

Sunday, July 20, 2003  
Greetings, humble reader folk.

Much has occurred since I blogged last, because I have been Lazy. And Slothful. And other such things. So I might not get into it all. If you experienced any of it along with me and it's not mentioned herein, don't start questioning the reality of your experiences or anysuchthing. I'm sure you weren't hallucinating. Well. Pretty sure. For most of you.

On... um... well, it was one of those days this week. I done forgot which one. One of the days this week, my mother and I went birding. Yeah yeah yeah, go on, laugh. It's actually fun, and it tickles my zoologically-oriented brain. Here is the site for bird sightings in Massachusetts: Massbird Sightings. Massbird is the bizarre little cooperative of birders (those who obsessively watch/seek/count/photograph/discuss birds) in Massachusetts. Many of these people teeter cheerfully on the border of insanity, but then again, so do I. Thusly, I enjoy them.

So, we headed to Plum Island, which is this neat little island up by Newburyport. There were supposed to be glossy ibis (ibises? ibisi?) in a swampy area right next to the highway in Rowley, which is on the way. So when we got to the approximate area, we pulled over onto the side of the road and got out to see if we might find some ibis(es/i). Quelle surprise! There were already two older guys standing there, one with a scope and one with a large and complicated camera.

Turns out that these fellows were birders. Creepily enough, it also happened that they knew my mother. "Hey, how are you? No, we haven't seen the white-faced ibis, but we've got eight glossies here. Haven't seen you in Marblehead Neck lately." It was freaky. We come all the way out to Rowley, Rowley for cat's sake, which is maybe 45 minutes or an hour from Swampscott, and we pull over on the side of the highway, for cat's sake, and we end up standing there on the side of the road with these two birder guys who know my mother. The world is a strangely convoluted little place, and the birding world more so.

It was pretty funny, because after we had been standing there for a little bit, a couple of other cars pulled up. People would get out and say, "Oh! What are we looking at here?" and we'd tell them and then everyone would break out their binoculars and Ooo and Aaah and such. This is normal birder behavior. Look to see where other people who look like birders are standing. Pull up to them and ask what they're looking at. If you're only an amateur birder, as most are, this is the best and sometimes only way to see some really crazy stuff you'd never see on your own. And everyone does it. After a bit there was a right little crowd standing there on the side of the highway. Non-birder passerby must have thought we were absolutely conkers. Well, perhaps we were.

But the flock of glossy ibis was actually quite loverly, because they were right up next to the road, so you could see them perfectly even without binoculars. The guy with the expensive-looking camera probably got some nice pictures, since they were so close. And glossy ibis are pretty. They've got these elegantly curved beaks, and their feathers are dark, but they shine red and green when the light hits them.

People were getting irritated, though, because what everyone really wanted to see was the white-faced ibis. See, glossy ibis, while pretty, are not particularly rare around these parts. Contrariwise, the white-faced ibis is not from around here at all, and to see one in Massachusetts is a bit like seeing a polar bear running wild in Texas. Everyone was looking for the white-faced ibis because this one guy had reported seeing it with this Rowley glossy ibis flock a few days before. People were starting to get skeptical, though, because no one had been with the guy when he said he saw it, and no one had seen it since. The idea that this guy might have broken the mostly unspoken yet stringent code of ethics followed by birders by falsifying a bird report was not being received happily.

So, after gazing at the ibis for a bit, we got back into the car and made our way to Plum Island. We saw some nice stuff there... an osprey in its nest, a kingbird, purple martins in their purple martin houses, and something that looked like a kite but was much too small to be one. It had the weirdest flight pattern too... it would hover, which is very strange to see in a bird, and then it would dive down into the water with a splash. We're still not entirely sure what it was. We didn't stay too long at Plum Island, and we stayed in the car, because it's greenhead fly season up there and those buggers are nasty. Trust me, you don't want to interact with them if you don't have to.

this ibis is glossier than a pair of bad vinyl pants

That night, or the next night, or some night this week (my sense of time has evidently gone the way of my sense of direction), me and Jess went to Krispy Kreme! At night! Because the Krispy Kreme is open until at least 2 am every night. It was a pleasant little journey, since the Krispy Kreme is all the way out in Medford (Medfahd, to put it Bostonily). But we got there more or less without incident. And then we had Krispy Kreme. Mmmm. They give you one free donut when you're standing in line, and it's as fresh as a donut can get. They literally take it off of the conveyor belt and hand it to you. And it's warm and it's gooey and it's heavenly and I bought a round dozen to take home to my family because they were just that good.

There were a lot of bikers there, it being a warm night and all. This one biker dude was a most incredible personage. He had the typical black leather Harley Davidson biker vest thing, the typical long grey biker ponytail, the typical american flag biker bandana. The thing that made him glorious was the fact that he was wearing a large, prominent gold 'chai' necklace. It was splendid. And of course the fact that it was me and Jess witnessing this just made it that much better. Jewish bikers, Unite!

chai means 'life', for the uninitiated folks out there

Yesterday (Friday, that is... I think it's past midnight right now) was my weekly Boston trip for artsy purposes. Corey accompanied me. We spent a goodly amount of time in the Starbucks right next to Maison Robert, because it has a massive window overlooking this insane little sidestreet thing, and also because we are both ardent fans of Starbucks coffee. Inky doodles were done of the patrons and passerby. There were screaming children, and people talking about breast implants, and a woman wearing an obscenely voluminous Red Sox poncho. Whom I drew. Because she deserved it.

Then we went to Fanuel Hall for a change of scenery. If you're not from the Boston area, you're really missing out on Fanuel Hall. It's this massive foodery sort of place, with occasionally live music inside or outside of it, and also occasionally clowns. It's got this wonderful air of seediness overlaid by an air of pretension overlaid by the fact that the building is old and pretty cool. And it's almost always packed to the brim with people in varying degrees of decay and awesomeness. All of which combines to create a fairly wonderful atmosphere.

So, we sat in Fanuel Hall for a while, drawing the interesting people there, and desperately trying to avoid making eye contact with the people we were drawing. That's always terribly embarassing. You always get the feeling that they just know you were drawing a really unflattering picture of them. Interestingly enough, this is often quite true, as the most fascinating people to draw are the ones who are crazy-looking in some respect, but still. You don't really want them to know that you noticed their own personal shade of deformity and are, in fact, currently reproducing it with glee.

Then we came back to Swampscott, and, despite the fact that I was driving, no one perished and no property damage was incurred. We sat around chez moi for a bit, then we went to see Swimming Pool with Dave and Jason. I'm using the word 'then' far too often in this blog but I'm too Lazy and Slothful to think of another way of putting things.

Swimming Pool was a very strange film. A lot of very strange things happen. While you're watching the movie, you see many things happen which make you want to scream, "What?! What is going on? What movie is this? Why is it necessary that this happen?" For instance. Why was the same scene replayed three times with three different pairs of people? Why were there so many shots of naked breasts? Why did the leading lady look exactly like Swampscott High guidance counselor Mrs. Reardon? Why weren't they translating the French exactly (this is what comes of actually understanding the French without subtitles. boo ya.)? What was the deal with the damn pool, anyways? Why was there, suddenly, inexplicably, a midget?

But then you see the very last scene of the movie, and everything goes *click* in your brain, and you say, "Oooooooooohhhhhhhhh!" and suddenly everything makes sense and everything is good and you want to go back to the parts of the movie you were complaining during and say, "I'm sorry, Swimming Pool, I see now! You're really a good movie! I didn't mean it when I muttered right here 'this movie needs a higher rating than R'. I get it all now! It's so good! So artistic! So... worth it!"

I'm dead serious about that, too. When you watch the movie, there will be parts of it that will make you grumble and groan and wish you were maybe not seeing this particular movie. But when you get to the very end of the movie, you will want to leap out of your seat and say, "That was right brilliant, that was!" But it won't happen until the very, very, very end.

It's funny, how maybe less than 2 minutes of the movie can make all the other 100 minutes suddenly worthwhile.

Perhaps that's what makes it a good movie.

Swimming Pool is going to get 3 and a half paws up. You should probably go see it, unless you get skittish seeing naked women on the big screen. If you're a dense sort, you really should go see it with someone who always 'gets' movies, because if you see the ending and still don't 'get it', you're going to be massively disappointed. But it is my opinion that this is one fine film.

Then we drove home through Salem and a girl wearing a tie screamed at our car, "I gotta know what time it is!" while we were stopped at an intersection. So Dave yelled back, "11:15!" So the girl turned back to her friends to relay the message. And we all were reduced to hysterics because it was so surreal and amusing.

Yup. That's all. Today consisted of sleep, drawing, more sleep, and painting (yes, I finally got some painting done). Nothing of note.

I leave you with slumberous intentions.

1:25 AM

Wednesday, July 16, 2003  

Tonight people were bored. This is not surprising, since we live in good ol' Swampscott: population-14,000; closing time- 8 pm. It's an Olmstead Community, you know. I didn't know, but that's what our brand-new, created-by-high-school-art-teacher town sign says. Our new town sign also has a criminally busy ceramic mosaic on the back of it, so there you are.

I am speaking with Kate on the line right now, and she just used her first noun/adjective as a verb! I am so proud. This must be how parents feel when their little, parasitic children burble their first words, thus heralding them into a new phase of their life, wherein they beg for cell phones and run up ridiculous bills because their tiny child minds are unable to grasp the concept of 'free nighttimes and weekends'.

Kate: "that doesn't mean that you can sarcastic it."

Applause, I think, is in order.

Anyways. Boredom. Then we went to sit at Jason's house. Liz and Corey wimped out and went home around 10, despite the fact that we taunted them mercilessly for it. They ended up missing all the fun, because after they left everyone else showed up. And Noah brought the movie The Real Cancun. Which, being bored, we decided to watch.

The first half hour or so involved gratuitous nudity, people acting like idiots, and looooots of drinking. The rest of the movie followed in the same vein. Essentially, it was a movie about the sort of people who would cause me to commit either suicide or murder if I ended up rooming with them in college. Whiny, self-absorbed people with less intelligence than a sea sponge. And a sea sponge doesn't even have a brain, so that's saying something.

who is capable of better decision making: dead sea sponge, or girl from the real cancun? the answer, my dear watson, is elementary

And it ain't the lady.

Yup. So, The Real Cancun caused us to have much laughter, but this was because the movie was being watched while the room was filled with highly toxic levels of Extreme Sarcasm. It was mostly emanating from me, I'm sad to say, but others made valiant contributions. In other words, the movie itself was nothing but sadness in its unrelieved terrible-movieness, but it was rather amusing to mock it.

There's a new Weebl and Bob up, called Hentai. Yup. You heard me right. Hentai. If you're one of the strange people who know what hentai is (and I did), don't worry, it's only poking fun at hentai. It's not real hentai, i.e. it's not graphic. So you may watch it without worries.

Got sheets and whatnot for the dorm room today. I know that you care so very much. They're bright orange. The dorm rooms I saw at orientation looked pretty damn bland, so I'm thinking that a bit of vibrant color is no bad thing.

The one thing which I absolutely must have in my dorm room: a beanbag chair.

Dunno why. Perhaps it's just because I've never had one before. I have this burning need for one now, though. My life will be piddling and incomplete without a beanbag chair.

On that note, I wish you all a Good Night.

Don't let the bed bugs infest you!

1:06 AM

Monday, July 14, 2003  
On Saturday my family went out to dinner at Bertuccis.

While eating, we were discussing college (huge surprise, that) and the fact that I'm studying art/biology. I said some to the effect that I would love to continue in art as a career, but I find it to be a mightily impracticable idea. I'm not sure if 'impracticable' is a word or not, but we're going to go with it for now.

Anyways. After I said this my parents began giving a rousing speech about how I should do what I want to do, and other such things. This is not unusual behavior for parents. What was unusual was that the fellow sitting in the booth behind us turned around and jumped into the discussion.

Apparently, his son was in art school in Philadelphia, and this gentleman felt very strongly that I should go into art as a career if that was what I wanted to do. You see, he hadn't gone into teaching when he got out of college because people told him that there wasn't any money in it. He was a teacher now, but boy did he regret not going into teaching immediately. If it made me happy, I should stick with the art. The world needs more artists. Did he mention that his son was in art school? His girlfriend was studying animation. You should see the stuff they draw together, some of it's just incredible.

This barrage of talk caused me to nod nervously and toy with my fork, not wanting to encourage the guy any. It was also a little bit awkward because he was sitting on the side of the booth directly behind me, so that, in order to see him, I had to twist about in a manner most inconvenient for the eating of dinner.

Finally he stopped talking, and my family retreated back into its usual little bubble of personal insanity. But no! He was not quite done with us yet. He turned back around and started talking about movies. Have you seen the original Time Machine movie? No? (I've read it, but I haven't seen it) Well, you should. It's an excellent movie. A good, clean movie. You really should see it.

He only stopped when we got up to leave the restaurant.

Woo yay for Bertuccis and their crazy patrons!

At some point during the evening (I can't recall if it was at dinner or in the car or at home) we got to talking about comic book characters. My dad and brother have some interesting ideas about comic books, by which I mean that neither one of them knows the first, second, or last thing about them. Anyways. So we were discussing what a good comic book character would be. The upshot of all this was that I ended up promising to draw a buffalo shooting laser beams from its eyes. This creature is to be a comic book character. The comic book landscape it inhabits promises to be suitably surreal.

I've already drawn it, but I'm too lazy to scan it in right now, so here's the next best thing.

i think this is actually a bison, not a buffalo. i'm sure that you don't mind.

I would like to commend a couple of animations to your attention, once again. If you haven't seen the animation of kittens from northern England singing Destiny's Child, what's the matter with you? Huh? Huh? Go and see it immediately. I love that one playing the xylophone. (it's the No Hands kitten, by the by, if you're a b3tan and recognize the little bugger)

Another very, very good animation from the same creator is We Like the Moon, sung by the Spongmonkeys. Go and see it. The Spongmonkeys are bizarre. The song lyrics are bizarre. The way the song is sung is bizarre. Just go see it. Now.

I have found a good game on this magical Internet. It's called Seconds of Madness. The graphics are neat-o and they shine with prettiness. And it's pretty tough to play. Takes a bit to get used to. But it's simple enough so that you can figure it out after you play it a few times. I recommend it rather highly.

Err yup. Short blog. You love it.

8:52 PM

Saturday, July 12, 2003  
Greetings. It is one of those days when I'm very very tired during the day, due to early waking-up-ness. I am not meant to be awake during the day. I think that I am actually nocturnal.

New music for you all to peruse and glorify in. I need to stop buying CDs. But then how would I enjoy new music? Quelle conundrum. I just assumed that the word 'conundrum' was feminine, by the way. Not that it's a french word in any event. Boy. I guess that makes even less sense than I previously thought.

This is what comes of being tired.

Anywho. The music. I got another Levellers CD, this one called Levelling the Land. It is every damn bit as good as the last one I got, and that one was spectacularly good. I finally realized why they sounded so Irish, even though they're British. They make liberal use of the fiddle. Which is very Irish sounding. But gosh dern it, they make that fiddle sound glorious beyond all reasonable assumptions of fiddling. The Levellers. More people should have heard of them, they're much too good to remain underground for long. That's my opinion, anyways.

And you would think that they would be especially big in Boston, since cat knows we love our Irish music here. The Flogging Mollys, the Dropkick Murphys, etc. etc. I see no reason why we can't extend the love to a non-local Irish-sounding band.

Also got Heroes and Villains by Paloalto. I thoroughly enjoy it, although I tend to like the beginning half of the CD more than the last half. This may change as I listen to it more, though. One never knows. It's a little bit poppier than what I usually listen to, but hey, I enjoy it, so I'm not going to let that stop me. It's possible that you've heard a couple of their songs on the radio... probably either Breathe In or Fade In/Out. Fade In/Out was what made me perk up my little ears in favor of the album in the first place.

I also got a CD called You Are Free by Cat Power. She's a lady singer, she is. I haven't got many of those... I've got Garbage and Poe, and now Cat Power. A little more sedate than the music I generally favor... certainly not as blood-pumpin'-inducing as the Levellers. But it's good stuff. Very melodious. I'm listening to it right now, I find that, for some obscure reason, it's making me happy. This one song, specifically. Called Maybe Not. *grinning like an idiot for no reason at all*

I got these CDs at Newbury Comics, which is of course the best place around to get CDs. The best selection, best prices, best random stuff which they also sell there. And usually the people working there are pretty cool. So, I was purchasing these CDs, and the guy working the register looks at them and says, "Hey, you're going to like this one. Cat Power's awesome." I was a little bit surprised, since he didn't look like what I would've thought a Cat Power fan would be. I don't know what I thought such a fan would be, but I wasn't thinking this fellow. Well. I felt happy about getting it at that point. Did I mention that he was cute? He was cute.

It is one of my dearest wishes to someday go into a Newbury Comics and see the Life with Leslie guy there. Oh, you know. Les McClaine. His link is up there under the webcomics links thingy on the side, it's called evilspacerobot. His style is pretty distinctive, and I am a fan of it. Anyways, his ongoing Life with Leslie comic is highly amusing, and the Point is that he works at Newbury Comics. So I assume he lives somewhere in this glorious state. I don't know which Newbury Comics he works at, but I haven't run into him yet. I vurry much hope that I do, one of these days.

Still tired, I am.

the bushbaby joins me in my nocturnal hijinks

Yup yup yup. New music linkees are posted on the side, comme d'habitude. Click them to be led to good music. Whether or not you listen to it is your own issue. I can lead you little horsey folk to water, but I suppose I can't make you drink.

I saw Pirates of the Caribbean last night. It was... well. It was funny. I laughed at points. Of course, there was also a lot of laughter at the crowd, rather than at the movie. Before the movie started, the family sitting directly behind us was playing a game. Someone would think of the character from either Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, and everyone else would have to guess who it was. Sort of like a limited 20 Questions. "Is he in Harry Potter?" "Adult or teenager?" "Does he have long hair?" "Is it black?" "Is it Snape?" You get the idea.

There were also numerous beautiful people in our blessed theater. Noah's old flame, Sarah, came up to say hi, thus affording us with our first glance of this much-discussed nymphette. Strangely enough, not a single one of us, after having listened to Noah's descriptions for many months previous, had pictured her accurately. Everyone was startled by her appearance. Anyways, after saying hello, she returned to the very first row of the theater, where she was sitting with her boyfriend (a blond gentleman wearing a worrisomely short denim jacket and a white tshirt so tight that his ability to breathe may well have been impaired). During the movie, they had bouts of making out and cuddling and, one may reasonably assume, sweet-nothing-whispering. This allowed for reams of amusement for all of us, excepting of course poor Noah. Alas.

We also saw a preteen girl wearing a tube top that was literally the smallest tube top I've ever seen someone wear that wasn't a bathing suit. It looked like a head-band. Her entire abdomen was exposed. If she were an insect, it would have been fair to say that her entire thorax was exposed as well. As if this wasn't bad enough, she very obviously did not have the... stuffing which one would expect for such an article of clothing. This was due to her painfully evident prepubescent state. Yes, she made us laugh. In an uncomfortable, Whose parents let them go out of the house like that? sort of way, but laughter nonetheless.

So, the movie! Well, it was more or less what I was expecting. Orlando Bloom wasn't terrible, but then again, not too many demands were placed upon him, acting-wise. He did a good job of serving his purpose, which was to stand around and look hot. Yes, we all know that he's gay. Doesn't mean we can't appreciate him from an aesthetic point of view.

Johnny Depp played a pirate with subtle hints of gender confusion. He wore lots of eyeliner. And had many flowing, overexaggerated gestures. And wore more beads than Marissa does (if you are unacquainted with Marissa, just think of modern-day hippies). Yeah. I mean, he was amusing at times, but not for the whole frelling movie. It got to be a little much.

Keira Knightly (I think that was the girl's name) looked very much like Winona Ryder. She suffered from the Storm Syndrome, which means that she spent a lot of the movie standing around with wide eyes and with her mouth hanging enticingly open. I haven't got anything further to say about her, really.

The rest of the movie was bizarrely done. Before I saw it, I wasn't entirely sure what age group was the target audience. After seeing it, I'm still not entirely sure. It's like they wanted to make it appeal to both teenagers and little kids, and ended up making it not quite appeal to either. Parts of it are oddly junvenile and parts are oddly adult.

The supporting characters are also horribly developed. The father is a cowardly fop of a Britishman, but he's totally OK with his daughter languishing in the arms of pirates. Johnny Depp's old girlfriend, when introduced, promised to be an interesting female character, but then she was summarily ignored by the movie. This tantalizing-introduction-followed-by-hardly-ever-seeing-the-character-again pattern was followed far too often in this movie.

Also, people said 'Huzzah' like they meant it. That shouldn't be allowed.

So, if you think Orlando Bloom or Johnny Depp is attractive, go see it. If you're not expecting much more than occasionally silly entertainment, go see it. If you want anything more than that, don't bother, you won't particularly regret it.

S'all. Aarrrgh. Can't wait for nightfall.

not a vampire, i swears it, i does

5:24 PM

Thursday, July 10, 2003  
Hello hello hello. I am blogging. Again. Despite the setbacks, which are numerous. The setbacks which I must endure are as follows:

a) Two very blisteringly hurtful blisters on the middle finger and thumb of my right hand. This hand is integral to writing, drawing, and also, alas, typing. The agony is unbearable, yet bravely I bear it. The blisters were conceived in an irrational fit of feverish colored pencil sharpening.

b) A Shift key which is, for reasons known only to itself, sticking into the keyboard. This means that every so often I'll accidentally hit it out of the vile force called habit, and then everything will suddenly go into caps and shift symbols. And then I'll have to waste precious time and energy prying the key up with a mechanical pencil. Which probably is very bad for the keyboard, but I'm trying not to think about it right now.

c) Archives which still are not working.

and finally d) New glasses. They are very differently shaped from my old ones, and this means that I'm still getting used to having unfocussed space around the edges of my vision. Also, the prescription is a little different, so I'm still adjusting to that, too. In other words, everything is just a wee bit off, and it's making me all disoriented-like.

here are my new glasses being worn by one of the speakers for my computer. no reason.

But on I blog! This is because I actually received requests to do so, from two or three people here in jolly old S'scott, and from that one fellow down in California who always emails me if I don't blog for more than two days. You, sir, can calm down a little. I'll make my mother post a notice if I die or something. So don't worry quite so much. Please. I beseech you.


Discovered yet another online comic in my endless scouring of the Internet. It's called Butternut Squash, and it's not anything spectacular like Return to Sender or Strings of Fate, but it's amusing enough to warrant a mention.

The Boston journey this week was a good one. On the way over my mother and I found ourselves driving by the parking lot which is the site of Corey's employment, so we stopped in to see just how he was supposed to be comporting himself. It didn't look too bad, he had been there for about five and a half hours when we stopped by and he still seemed distinctly not suicidal, which was a rather comforting thing to note.

So, in Boston, I went to the Boston Commons and wandered about for a bit, before deciding that I wanted to be in the Public Garden. No big schmeal, they're right across the street from one another. The difference, in case you're wondering, is primarily thus: the Commons is where Frog Pond is (the pond which they freeze for ice skating purposes in the winter), and the Garden is where the swan boats are and also the sculptures of the Make Way for Ducklings ducklings.


Hooray! The shift key got stuck again just now, so I prised at it with my trusty mechanical pencil, and the entire shift key gave a start and went flying off the keyboard into the air, scribing a graceful arc across the computer room before clattering on the floor. I uttered a very loud expletive for this advanced hour of the night, retrieved it, and attempted to reattach it. It now seems to be working perfectly. Let us all take a moment to celebrate unintendedly solved problems.


Moment over. On with the tale.

So I got into the Public Garden and spent quite a good slice of time wandering about trying to find a nice place to sit myself down. There were a number of nice places, but you must bear in mind that some of them were already occupied. I saw a woman lying the shade reading the new Harry Potter. I approve. In any event, I ended up sitting quite near the water, in the shade (hating the heat as I do).

It was almost unspeakably pleasant. The weather was very, very nice... not too hot at all when you were out of the sun and right near a little body of water. Every so often a swan boat would clatter by and that was amusing. There were also a large assortment of ducks (mallards), geese (canadian) and swans (real, not the boats) to view. And my mother (who had come in to do some shopping) got me an Italian ice, lawd bless 'er. I am a fan of Italian ices.

Yeah, so it was good. I was very comfortable. And I got out my pastels and did pastel drawing, which meant that I got pastel all over my person and clothes, but I didn't much mind. I think a couple of people stopped behind me to look at/discuss what I was doing, but I cheerfully ignored them. As is my wont.

The ducks kept on coming over to see if I had food. I guess they're so used to people feeding them that they just expect it. I told them that I didn't have anything and most would get the message pretty quickly and leave. This one male mallard just didn't leave, though. He kept on hanging around, tilting his little duck head at me, convinced that I had something to feed him. Every time I picked up a stick of pastel he would inch closer and sort of lean foward. I kept on saying to him, "No, these are pastels, you don't want to eat them, you wouldn't like it, it's not good for you," but he just wouldn't listen.

I'm pretty sure that passerby thought I was insane. I mean, I'm sitting there, covered in pastels, with this damn duck hanging around me. And I'm talking to it. Loudly. Yup, that's the crazy artist girl over there, ignore her, she's mostly harmless.

The stupid thing ended up circling me for around half an hour before he got wary of some geese moving into the vicinity and decided to high-tail it out of there. So to speak.

Woo yay for Boston!

Woo yay also for the fact that Corey now has a blog! The link is posted up on the side, under the friend links, but here it also is. It's called Corey judges things hardcore, which is funny because it's true. And funny. It's not a journal blog like this here turkey, it's got other goodness on it. Read, and ye shall be enlightened.

And we all desire enlightenment.

In other news! Robert Fick, first basemen for the Atlanta Braves (that's baseball, in case you're not sportistically inclined, or in case you're just stupid), is my new best friend. Pray tell, why? you ask. For an answer, you must read this article. It's got a kitten in it. And heartwarmingness. Robert Fick, you are a Good Person.

To end on a very Helene-like note, I give you....

Conversations in the Car with My Family:

Mother: You can't shoot a bald eagle, it's a federal offense.
Brother: Why, 'cause it's on a quarter? Someone shot Lincoln, and he's on a coin.
Father: But he wasn't then, so it was OK.

1:34 AM

Sunday, July 06, 2003  
Happy belated Fourth of July! May you revel in your independence from silly taxing British folks. But don't let that stop you from buying Harry Potter.

I actually did most of my celebratin' on the third of July, since that's when the good ol' Swampscott fireworks were. The night began with a cookout chez Kate. The food was good, as it often is chez Kate, and the people there were entertaining enough to keep me from expiring sleepily in my potato salad, as is my wont at boring events.

Then we went down to the beach where they were firing off the fireworks. There were a lot of people there, since it the fireworks were combined for both Lynn and Swampscott. And, of course, there were numerous ne'er-do-well Nahant folks lurking ominously in the shadows. So quite the crowd, quite the crowd.

We saw a number of children walking around with various glow toys, as is traditional on the fourth (or third). You know... those blinking visor things, and the like. But there were a few which seemed to be new this year (or else we were only noticing them for the first time this year). A lot of kids were wearing blinking blue earrings, which were the very height of ill-advised fashion. In my opinion.

There were also roving bands of childrens wearing blinking red devil's horns. On their heads. Evidently, this was meant to be festive. But... what does this mean? What are these children trying to say? We support America and Satanism?

Anyways. The weather seemed to be cooperating. It was pleasant out, not too warm and not too cool. It was cloudy but not precipitating. All seemed to be going as planned.

Then the fireworks began. It rapidly became clear that good things were not meant to be. The clouds, it transpired, were very low over the water that night. So low, in fact, that they were no mean distance above the firework-shooting barge. So low that the fireworks, when fired, went directly into the clouds. Therein they exploded. Thusly, no fireworks were seen by us poor spectators on the shore. All that we saw were little lighted trails going up into a giant, ponderous cloud, followed by a palely colored glow emanating from said cloud.

So we saw some nice green clouds, red clouds, blue clouds, pink clouds, purple clouds, and yellow clouds, but no actual fireworks. This somewhat detracted from the firework-viewing experience.

But the show must go on! All the fireworks were fired off in due course, and the finale was visually indistinguishable from the rest of it (the cloud remained illuminated), except that the noise got a little more cacophonous. I'm not entirely sure if they kept on trucking once they realized that no one could see anything because they decided to be troopers about the whole thing, or because they couldn't think of anything else to do, or because the fireworks were on some sort of automated system and they couldn't stop it once they started it up.

I suppose, of course, that it's conceivable that those on the barge, right underneath the fireworks, might not have realized that everyone else was only seeing vaguely colored smears of light glowing ethereally from behind clouds. Alas.

clouds are not conducive to fireworks displays

After the show (such as it was) we stood around and let the streams of parents tugging unfulfilled and cranky children pass on their way to their now immobilized (by the crowd) vehicles. We had much chattage. We also saw Darya, which pretty much made the night of every one of my friends.

Then we departed for the parts which shall remain unnamed herein, lest the person who housed us get into trouble. It was supposed to be a relatively quiet event, with our friends and not really anyone else. One or two juniors has asked if they might come, and the host had agreed, being of an amiable mind at the time. We arrived at the designated place, and began the amusement (i.e. drunken hijinks). A couple of juniors arrived. A couple more arrived. With ridiculous celerity, the seniors found themselves outnumbered by what must have been 5 to 1.

Needless to say, the good host was not much amused by this. The question was posed, "Did you guys bring the whole grade?" The juniors sort of shifted around sheepily at this, but no response was forthcoming. The answer, so far as I could tell, was very close to 'yes'.

That was the third. The fourth was altogether more sedate. I had a cookout at my house, which was attended by all adults, me and Noah. So me and Noah spent the entire time alternately chatting and watching movies. We saw Mighty Aphrodite, Heist, and American History X. Mighty Aphrodite was sort of funny but unnecessarily weird. A typical Woody Allen movie. Heist I actually enjoyed, just because it's so rare these days to get a character who's unreservedly 'heroic' and always one step ahead. Everyone's got to have a tragic flaw these days, so it was nice to see someone clever enough to always be winning even when you thought otherwise.

American History X... well, it was one of those movies that you watch and then realize that every issue you're concerned about in your own life is utterly trivial. It was a damn good movie. I mean, not only was the message very serious and important and good, it was conveyed in a most masterful way. Yup. Disturbing, at points, but most well worth seeing.

There were fireworks in Nahant on the fourth but I didn't go for a myriad of reasons. It ended up sounding as though I didn't miss anything much in any event. So my tears are kept in check.

Last night I saw 28 Days Later. It was freaky. A good movie, but I was filled with fright. Not so much as Hana, though. I was sitting next to her, and I think it is safe to say that I've never seen anyone freak out quite so much at a movie. She was jumping and flinching in her seat during the previews. Anyways. The movie. There was scariness. And it was well made. And I was sort of awed that they managed to do the entire thing on digital film. And I was very happy about the way that they ended it, or else I wouldn't have had any sleep that night. As it was, on the drive home I kept sort of expecting red-eyed bloody people to jump out of the shadows on the sides of the road.

The whole SARS thing is evident, of course. And there's sort of an AIDS undertone too. And I think they went a little heavy-handed near the end when they did the whole 'there is no difference between Infected and Not Infected people, all of human nature is bestial' thing. Well. That 'll make sense if you see the movie. Probably.

So, don't go see it if you're scared by SARS, blood, poppy techno music, or monkeys. But it is a good movie. So go see it if you have no fear of these things.

Going to go watch Adult Swim. G'night all.

11:30 PM

Wednesday, July 02, 2003  
Twoooo posts, in one day. I don't do this often. It seems as though I should do it more often. But that seemingness is a LIE. OK. Calming down now.

On the T ride home yesterday, the Blue line was utterly packed. May have had something to do with the fact that we were going home right smack dab in the middle of rush hour. Anywho. This older, decrepit-looking man got on while we were still in Boston. He made a younger guy give up his seat, saying, "Excuse me, young fella, but I lost half-a-leg in Vietnam..." So of course the younger guy got up and was very gracious about it.

Then the old guy proceeds to harangue this young guy with stories. Stories of his own personal woes relating to the IRS, the Vietnam War, and his wife. Somehow all of these stories managed to intertwine. Essentially, the IRS, the War, and his wife all managed to screw him over at some point or another. It was compelling in an utterly bizarre sort of way. Kate and I agreed that it was very much like that Tim O'Brian-or-whatever-his-name-is book, The Things They Carried. Only in real life. Anyways, the guy ended his story by announcing, loudly, "Nex' time, I'm fightin' for the A-rabs. 'Least they c'n keep their women at home!"

Which I thought was a debatably positive point, but I wasn't going to be the one to argue it.

Germany -
Despite a controversial recent history, it has had
a tough and powerful history. A modern-day
technological and cultural beacon, it is still
target to stereotypes and antiquited thoughts.


Technologically Advanced.

Culturally Admired.

Global Power.


Target of Historical Fervor.

Constant Struggle.

Funny-Looking Ethnic Clothing.

Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Ha. Yeah, Germany, that's me alright. Go on, take that sucker.

Tonight my family played host to the abandoned children. Jess's parents were in the city for the night, and Noah's mother is away on business somewhere, so we had both of them dining with us. It was fun. My family is slightly insane on the best of days, but with the encouragement of others, it only gets more so. Much laughing at the dinner table.

I also discovered that I can access AIM from my cell phone. It probably costs a manure-load of money, but that's OK. Now I know it's there. And knowledge is good.

According to Corey, who got it off of the Entertainment Weekly website (but I'm too lazy to look it up myself), Marvel comics is introducing a new mutant character. Princess Di. Back from the dead and presumably thrilled to be wearing spandex and chattin' it up with mainly American mutants. It's supposed to come out in September, as an issue of the XStatix (formerly XForce, apparently) called 'Di Another Day'. I suppose that Buckingham Palace is... less than thrilled.

Irregardless. I think we all know who's rushing out in September to purchase this issue. (hint: it's me)

That was a pretty lame hint, now that I think about it.

11:52 PM

What... what happened to my archives? My precious, precious archives. They appear to have disappeared from the face of the Internet universe. I am confident that somewhere in the vast, distant reaches of these electrical pathways, my archive is lurking. But I am at a loss as to how I would get at it. If anyone has any insight, puh-leaze inform me. My email, it is on the side.

Yesterday Kate and I ventured into Boston. Much adventuring was done on this venture. We noodled around the North End for a bit, which was cool because I generally don't go to the North End (excepting, of course, trips to North Station). At night the North End can get pretty damn creepy, but during the day it was hopping. We went to this incredible bakery where we got cannolis that defied all of my previous definitions of cannoli deliciousness. It's called Mike's Pastry, and I highly recommend it.

Then we went to Cambridge and actually managed to get to the Garment District without getting heinously lost. It's not exactly near the T stop, so that translates to 'unfindable' for me. Of course. But Kate's salmon-like sense of direction led us true. There's no AC in the Garment District though, so it was quite hot in there. They did have a lot of cool stuff (and cheap, bien sur), but I didn't get anything. If it hadn't been so hot I would've spent more time browsing and whatnot, but it just wasn't feasible on such a day. Kate got a handbag shaped like a Chinese carryout box which was much coolness.

the majestic salmon, like kate, uses its infallible sense of direction to return every year to its ancestral spawning grounds. or to get to the garment district.

Then we had fruitfull drinkage at Seattle's Best Coffee, which was OK, but it just ain't Starbucks. We didn't see a Starbucks anywhere around, so we had to make do. They had comfy chairs open though, so we lounged there for a bit. I slung myself over the chair in a rather undignified fashion, with my feet up and dangling over one of the arms. But no one seemed overtly offended, so that's good enough for me. Kate, in her demure little sundress, could not resort to such inelegant posturings.

Yup. Then it was hot out, and we were much tired, so home we went. And I mucked about with those art markers I purchased, and I made myself very happy because they are so fun and they work so very well. The pages in Strings of Fate that are done in marker are my idol pages. And the character sketches are marker. Check 'em out, they make me cry with their skillful goodness.

Today I had an eye doctor appointment. Much ick. I hate that bright yellow glop they pour into your eyes to check if you have glaucoma or not. Makes your eyes all sticky and whatnot. But joy! I ordered new glasses! After having had the same pair for however many years. A lot of year. All of high school... I think all of middle school. Dunno. Lotta years. Anyways! The new ones! They're... well, they're a little bit... unsubtle. They're also blue. You'll see when I get 'em.

I guess you could call them... very... well, very art school. Yeah. You'll just have to wait and see.

Sites on the side have been updated, hopefully. The Return to Sender site has moved, so if you had it bookmarked from the old address click on the link I just provided. I added a couple of new online comics for you to peruse. Achewood is there, I think I mentioned it in an earlier blog. It's pretty funny if you're not worried about... crudery. On occasion. I also put up Goats, which is MOST amusing at times, but it may make more sense if you read a few of the back issues. Then again, it may not. I wouldn't really recommend reading a lot of the back issues, since there are about 10 million of them.

I have also located another site to add to the 'View It or Die a Horrible Death' section. You may have heard of it before. Are you aware of the All Your Base Are Belong to Us phenomenon? Well, in case you're not, it's... um, it's a phenomenon. Having to do with a very old video game and a very bad translation that made some people amused. These people made a video with the very bad translation. The video became ridiculously famous and a great many people are now amused by it. And the song is horrendously catchy.

Anyways, you can see it, it's posted on the side. And also herein. Go see the All Your Base Are Belong to Us video. Or else you'll be all left out of the massive, widespread inside joke. And I just know you hate that sort of thing.

Also, if you haven't seen the other sites listed in the 'View or Perish Horribly' section already, what's the matter with you? It's titled that way for a reason. You have to see these things before you die. Or your life will have been worthless. I put 'em up there because I don't want your life to have been worthless. I do these things for you, cher reader. Go see 'em.

miserable little ingrates

5:00 PM

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