March 29, 2001

Dream Log: I dreamt that it was night and I was down by the floating open-air harbor market in Hammersmith. (Note: in reality Hammersmith contains no such thing). I was pushing a shopping cart that contained a few items and a bunch of bananas when I was stopped by two men who demanded that I hand over my wallet. I opened it to show that it contained only Australian money - which was useless to them - but they wanted it anyway. Suddenly Mike Piazza appeared out of nowhere and whacked them both with a baseball bat, thus rescuing me and my bananas. Seriously.
Could this dream have something to do with my anxiety over securing Piazza for my Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball team? Perhaps, perhaps... although Freud would probably have a field day with all the phallic imagery.

Ironminds has a hilarious article about the benefits of becoming Amish. As somebody who also grew up in the "Amish Belt," I can attest that this writer's observations are spot on. Well, except I'm pretty sure that the Amish do use buttons on their clothing. Buttons, but no zippers. And as I spent some considerable time in my youth at a beach frequented by the Amish, I definitely agree that more stylish swimming apparel is needed. *shudder* Polyester shorts aren't even comfortable to look at, much less swim in, I imagine.

Russell Crowe at the Academy AwardsSalon's "Nothing Personal" gossip column relates a tidbit about Russell Crowe being, uh, a tad smelly at the Oscars. Joan Rivers apparently commented, "He does not wear deodorant... They call it animal magnetism in Australia."
My Thoughts: "Joan, you pathetic old hag. First off, Russell Crowe isn't Australian. He's from New Zealand. I know it doesn't sound like a big difference to you, but calling an Aussie a Kiwi (or vice versa) is roughly equivalent to mistaking a Canadian for an American. They don't like it. They may look very similar to the rest of the world, but that's all the more reason they like to distinguish between themselves. And secondly, the dig at Australian men was not appreciated. I happen to know several, and none of them smell even remotely stinky. (Snookums, in fact, smells great.) I've never really liked you Joan, but I was content to allow you and your silly daughter to hold court on E! and thus spare most of the world from your superficial and unfunny personalities. However, with this most recent offense I'm afraid you've earned yourself a spot on my 'Celebrities I Loathe' list. Consider yourself warned."

What? Puff Daddy now wants to be called P. Diddy?? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. I never thought that anything could be a step down from "Puff Daddy," but he's proven me wrong. Is this some weird attempt to copy J. Lo?

Quote of the Day:   "Only one minute to caffeinated happiness, baby!"
– Snookums to me this morning, as I sat at the kitchen table in a still-asleep stupor while he gleefully fiddled with his espresso machine

I think somebody at The Onion lives in Northern Indiana. This article is just too "local" to be believed. University Park Mall? Yeah, that was my college mall. (And yes, they have a Marshall Field's.) Glenbrook Mall in Fort Wayne? That's where my sister shops.

I have to say I disagree with Max about the new "black version" of "Gone With the Wind" that's about to be published. Don't get me wrong, I love the original book too. But don't you think that this story (told from the viewpoint of Gerald O'Hara's mulatto love-child with Mammy) sounds incredibly interesting? Beyond my curiosity, I also like the idea of this woman re-interpreting a supposedly "sacred" text and expanding it to include herself. (Mental cross-reference: that artist who pissed off Guiliani by portraying herself as a nude, black, female Christ.) And besides, it's not like this is a new concept. Jean Rhys retold "Jane Eyre" from the point of the madwoman in the attic in her novel "Wide Sargasso Sea" and earned critical acclaim. Why should this case be any different? Is it because "Gone With the Wind" is still a cash cow to be milked? I'm just thinkin' here...
March 27, 2001

I did that Acrophonology thing brigita recommended. It was mostly crap, but check out this sentence from the analysis of my first name: "You enjoy being stroked verbally and physically." Ewwww. I feel icky.

This is a really cool web application that maps the distribution of your surname across the United States. Not surprisingly, Kentucky is the jackpot as far as "Howards" are concerned.

Huh. I was just reading an article at Fametracker that mentioned the actress Bijou Phillips, who was in "Almost Famous". I just finally saw that film on the airplane back from Australia, so I went to the IMDb to see which groupie she was. Imagine my surprise, then, to be reading through the trivia section and see references to a section of the movie (a near plane crash?) that I didn't even see. I guess they must've cut it so people who don't like flying wouldn't get freaked out. Have you seen the movie? What happens in the scene?

Salon's article about McDonald's and mad cow disease really turned my stomach. For the past year and a half I've been congratulating myself on not giving in to paranoia and fear (I bought some hamburger just last night to make chili... yum!), but even I begin to crack when faced with phrases like "mechanically recovered meat." Tell me again why I should be a vegetarian, brigita?

Snookums and I were discussing this experiment at AOL London today. Apparently all clocks and watches were covered up to see if people would work more efficiently when they weren't stressing about how much time they had to finish their tasks. Unfortunately I don't think such a thing would work for me. Ever since college, I've had a pathological inability to get anything done unless I have a deadline staring me in the face. (Which reminds me, check out my new watch!)

I was just chatting with my mom on IM and expressing my disgust at the fact that Dubya is apparently going to give this year's commencement address at ND. She responded with the perfect encapsulation of what I hope 50% of the American public are currently thinking:
    Mom: yeh, well, he's kinda turning into a weenie or else I was pretty blind before
Ahh, the remorse of the Republican voter. Is it too early to start chanting "Gore in '04"?

Every news site on the Web is screaming about the Oscars today, so I figured resistance would be futile. I didn't watch the actual show (they only show it on cable here, and at some crazy ass early hour of the morning), so I was pretty eager to check the Net and see how I did in Kel's contest. Being a lazy sort of person, I had put all my faith in Ebert and used his picks for my own. Suffice it to say, we got our ass(es) kicked. I was glad to see how much the awards had been spread around, but I still think "Gladiator" as Best Film is a total joke. My disappointment on that front was thankfully mitigated, though, by the immense glee I got out of discovering that Kate Hudson lost while wearing an atrocious silver fringed gown. It's all downhill from here, Penny Lane.

Brigita, Brigita... Why must you link to things that make me snort with laughter and draw attention to myself when I should be being studious and productive? That said, "Who's Your Daddy?" is my favorite.
March 22, 2001

Welcome to the dollhouse...Matt linked to an interview with Todd Solondz, who made the films "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and "Happiness." Nothing, I repeat, nothing is as funny as my sister doing the Weiner Dog dance. She's gonna love this.
I'm actually not a real big fan of either film. "Dollhouse" just hit way, way too close for comfort. To make matters worse, I saw it with a friend who's a junior high teacher and he guffawed through the whole thing. I just sat there and squirmed. And don't even get me started on "Happiness." It's probably the only film in my life that I've ever seriously considered walking out on. I believe that Solondz is a unique artist and that he's very good at what he does, but I can't find the humor in such a bleak universe. Other optimists are warned to watch these films at their own peril.

Gael pointed to a great site full of Saturday Night Live Transcripts. My friend Kel and I are having a lot of fun reminiscing about our favorite episodes from college. I especially liked "Tinker Bell's Revenge" (with Claire Danes), "Celebrity Jeopardy" (I'll take "The Rapists" for $200, Alex!), another "Celebrity Jeopardy" (the one where Marlon Brando writes "Poop"), Gwyneth Paltrow's monologue, "Old Glory Insurance" (Are YOU protected against robot attack?), and "Star Wars Screen Tests".

My dad e-mailed me raving about some Taco Bell promotion to give everybody in the United States a free taco if Mir hits a target in the South Pacific. I figured he'd picked it up from some bogus e-mail forward. Turns out I was wrong. Now I wonder, how do they determine who's eligible for this? Is it everybody physically located in the U.S.? What about tourists? What about illegal immigrants? In other words, how do I (theoretically, of course) get my taco??

Dark Horizons is running an interview with Colin Firth about his role in "Bridget Jones' Diary." You know, Colin, you're really starting to piss me off with this whole "I'm-not-Darcy-and-I-hate-all-my-fans" thing. It's like Russell Crowe. If you choose to be a movie star, you gotta accept the consequences and stop bitching about the very people who pay your salary. And what the hell is that bit about fighting Hugh Grant? That's not in the book! Their characters are never even in the same place! Grrrr...

I'm still working on the photos. I've discovered an upside to jet lag: you get a lot done in the wee hours of the morning when everybody else is asleep. I've got about 60 done and 30 to go. Should be up tonight. In the meantime... let the blogging begin!
March 21, 2001

I hate to admit it, but my sister knows me too damn well. I was wearing sunglasses (my new big blue plastic ones). I did have a backpack. But when I actually fell, I was wearing my ugly-ass Meijer sandals. Oh, I brought the Chuck Taylor's all right, and I'd been wearing them all over Sydney with no socks, but that fateful day I decided to switch it up (mostly because the Chucks were full of sand). Friggin' psychic sister. Biatch. :)
March 19, 2001

Leaving before it kills me...
In eight hours I'm leaving sunny Australia for the neverending gloom of the U.K. As if that weren't depressing enough, I tripped on a sidewalk running to catch a bus yesterday and wrenched my ankle, which is now the size of a grapefruit. I can barely walk. I'm talkin' serious pain here. On the plus side, my sister would've loved it. (She finds pratfalls to be the height of comedy.) I mean, painful though it was, I can see the inherent physical humor in a person trying to simultaneously run, turn, and remove a bus ticket from a backpack, which leads to said person tripping on a crack, stumbling forward, skinning her knees and hands, and finally belly-flopping on the pavement right in front of her astonished boyfriend, a bus driver, and about 30 bus passengers of various nationalities. And let's not forget the other catastrophes of this otherwise wonderful holiday: I fell on my ass in Snookums's garage (resulting in an egg-sized bruise on my bum), I had a land leech attached to my right foot (which left a bump that began to itch like mad a week later), I was caught in the worst floods Australia has seen in fifty years, and I got fried to a crisp after spending a mere 20 minutes in the sun (resulting in peeling shoulders and my having to cover myself in SPF 30 every time I set foot out-of-doors). Like I said, it's probably best that I leave the country before it kills me. The next time y'all hear from me, I'll be home in the boring (but safe) U.K.

Blog problems: A) What happened to Max's site? I keep getting errors. Has it moved? B) Amer, please lose the green background quick. You're Korean, not Irish, Sis. :)
March 17, 2001

Am I on holiday, or what? I can't help posting. I go to check my e-mail and end up reading blogs and examining my site statistics. This one is too good to pass up: I'm the #2 result when you search for "paceyporn", second only to the site itself! I swear, I didn't think that up on my own. Somebody actually found my site that way.
March 14, 2001

Nasty big wet floodA disastrous turn...
Um, yeah, so that rain I mentioned? It turned out to be the biggest flood in over fifty years. Snookums's parents' house is seriously located right in the middle of the swath of destruction, yet luckily they're up on a high hill and most of the bridges near us were still passable. We couldn't get back to Sydney til Tuesday though, when we lucked out and discovered a train that was still running. Now we're back in civilization at Snookums's sister's house (hooray for cable modems!) and planning our tour of the city. Since the flood cut into my time in Sydney, we managed to call my office in London and convince them to let me stay an extra couple of days. I got Qantas to move my ticket, and Voila! I'm here til next Tuesday. Apologies to my patient visitors for the extended sabbatical, but I promise to have lots of interesting stuff to share when I get back. Later...
March 9, 2001

Chimps and koalas and leeches, oh my!
Greetings everybody! I'm about halfway through my trip and I thought I'd check in and say hello. Singapore was great, very hot with lots of shopping malls and things to do. Snookums and I visited the Zoo and got our picture taken with a chimpanzee! It was so cute. We got into Sydney on Wednesday and unfortunately it's been raining ever since. We did make it out to see a koala though, and I got my first glimpse of the Pacific. On a scarier note, I had a leech in my shoe today that took a tiny bite out of my foot! I used my new digital camera to take pictures for you all when I get back... :) See you soon!
March 2, 2001

Crocodile Dundee and meHooray! I'm headin' Down Under!
It's Friday night, and in less than 12 hours I'll be boarding a plane to take me to over halfway around the world... three days in Singapore, followed by a week and a half in Sydney, Australia with Snookums and his family. You can bet there'll be lots of pictures to put up on web-goddess upon my return. I'll try and post something during the trip so you know I haven't been eaten by a dingo (yet). Be good, and think of me on the 15th, celebrating my birthday far away from everything I know. I'll see you all back here in two weeks! Bye!

Me: Awww, man! *whining* OSX isn't going to support DVD! Maybe I should wait to get it then? Damn, I was really looking forward to starting my DVD collection! You know, once the "Puma" version comes out they will, so maybe I'll just wait a few more months--
Snookums: Your iMac doesn't have a DVD drive anyway, does it?
Me: Oh. Right. *pause* Bollocks.

People are getting very paranoid about the spread of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. Apparently UK visitors to Portugal now have to dip their shoes in disinfectant. Some woman in New Zealand is facing criminal charges because she neglected to disclose that she'd been to a farm in Scotland in the past 30 days. I'm starting to wonder if we'll be detained when we get to Australia next week...
March 1, 2001

Max linked to a good article about the current European culture of fear. As an American currently living across the pond, I definitely think that the "irrational fears" are worse over here than at home. Sure, Americans distrust the government, but the British distrust everybody. Back home in Indiana, the only thing I really feared was a car accident (whether from a drunk driver or hitting a deer). Here, though, we fear the trains, we fear the beef, we fear the cell phones. We have the disasters to back it up, too! Personally, my big current one is that "deep vein thrombosis," seeing as how I'm flying to Sydney in less than two days. My doctor advised that I take half an aspirin and move around a lot, but after reading that article I think I'm going to be jogging laps up and down the aisles. (What about alcohol? Alcohol thins the blood, right? Bring on the cocktails!)

HOLY COW! The Harry Potter movie trailer is available online! You've gotta see this thing... For now, you can only get it in a streaming version from the official site, but Entertainment-Rewired Magazine is going to have a downloadable version soon here. Go check it out, and read the rest...
Was that not amazing? According to AICN, the score was done by John Williams (of Star Wars fame). I really hope they manage to keep that dark, eerie feel through all of it. It looked more like a Tim Burton movie than a Chris Columbus one! Everything looked amazingly like how I had pictured it from the book. I loved the editing too, jumping from the letter to the train to the Great Hall. I really, really hope that the film lives up the quality of this trailer. *fingers crossed*

For brigita: AICN says that the Scooby Doo movie will suck big time. Apparently Access Hollywood is doing a promo (Quicktime 2MB clip) that gives us our first glimpse at the characters in costume. It ain't pretty. Freddie Prinze Jr. looks positively ridiculous in that blond wig, and they're apparently so ashamed of Matthew Lillard as Shaggy that they don't even show him from the front. And, as AICN put it, Sarah Michelle Geller looks like a "fetish dream" of Daphne.

Freddie Prinze as Freddy   Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne   The rest of the gang

If you're not willing or able to download that clip, here are three images I managed to grab. They're linked to bigger versions, but if you wanna put them on your web page, please please please save them to your own web space. I don't want another bandwidth debacle.

Slashdot links to a very interesting Boston Globe story about researchers who were able to pinpoint the exact time and location that a Vincent Van Gogh painting was done, mainly by using astronomy. Cool. You can see the original painting online here and the ensuing Slashdot comments are here.