Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shake it up

Regarding the news about McCain's VP, I'm not going to pretend I can come up with anything better than this piece from last night's The Daily Show:

After showing some footage of Palin speaking after McCain announced her, they poke fun at the pitch of Palin's voice, but I noticed something else from that same footage. When Palin says the women of America "can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all," she accents her point by stabbing her extended index finger in the air in front of her. Is it just me, or does McCain seem to recoil slightly?

Methinks the first thing Governor Palin needs to learn as the campaign moves forward: You don't make sudden gestures around the elderly.


I heard that some had called Palin a GILF (variation on MILF with "Governor"), and then it seemed the obvious next step is VPILF. However, apparently that term has been around for over two months, with already in place.

The campaign is going to be more interesting over the next couple months that I was expecting it would be.


Digressing from the silly jokes:

I am not politically savvy. There are many, many others out there who follow politics much more closely than I do. That's why I don't attempt to offer cogent analysis of the topic; I don't delude myself that it's a strength.

However, even back at the point where Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign, I never thought she would get picked as Obama's VP. I cannot explain exactly why that was; it just didn't strike me as likely. I didn't know who would get selected, but it wouldn't be her.

At least a month ago, the thought occurred to me that the Republicans putting a woman on the ticket with McCain would be a clever ploy to try to appeal (at least ostensibly) to Clinton supporters feeling disenfranchised. But as an admittedly jaded observer, I dismissed the possibility of them resorting to such a measure. The GOP strategists were obviously very smartly ruthless (as evidenced by the past two elections), but still, this was the party of "traditional values" and having a woman in the Number 2 slot is not exactly traditional. That still seemed too likely to be seen as progressive, no matter how much of a right-winger they could find.

So when I turned on the TV yesterday morning and saw the "breaking news" about Sarah Palin being selected as the running mate I was struck with a surprising lack of surprise. Frankly, I was mildly disturbed at having been even mildly prescient about this possibility and see it really happen. That's not the sort of thing that occurs in my existence. Perhaps I missed the cynical comfort of having politicians go with the obvious (i.e., picking another white male) rather than the remote potential that even I couldn't believe.

I'm just noting that over the decades of my life I have grown accustomed to having a particular relationship with the world of politics, and this was outside of that norm. This was not any sort of "Hey look I smart I was--I kind of anticipated something that perhaps many pundits didn't see coming" reaction; this was "Crap--I kind of anticipated something that perhaps many pundits didn't see coming."

The rhetoric of "change" was bandied about a lot during the campaigns, but I must admit: This was not the change I thought would occur.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Learn to forget

There are many songs I have heard many times, which I like very much, but where I discover that I've misheard some of the lyrics. And I'm not talking about early R.E.M.; mumbled words don't count.

The most recent instance:
Soul Kitchen ( LP Version ) - The Doors

In "Soul Kitchen" I thought the line that followed "The cars crawl past all stuffed with eyes / Streetlights share their hollow glow" was "Your brain seeps through with no surprise." And hearing the song again a few days ago, I realize it's "Your brain seems bruised with numb surprise."

I don't know why.

It's not as though my original interpretation was ever the case, but clearly at some point my brain thought it heard words with similar sounds—mostly similar vowel sounds—and satisfied itself with that. From then on I dwelled in a realm where paying further attention to the lyric was unnecessary, because seeping brains certainly struck me as something Jim Morrison may have written. It seemed to have a peculiar internal logic, although I cannot even begin to attempt now to explain how I held that belief.

It's not like the (as far as I can tell) far more common "Excuse me while I kiss this guy" in "Purple Haze"; that is pretty much the simple bleeding of the one word into the first part of the next—"the" and "s" does sound very much like "this" when sung. Granted, kissing "this guy" makes for a much less psychedelic idea than kissing the sky, so that strikes me as something people who didn't really get Jimi would hear.

I fancied the notion that I at least kind of got the Doors. I owned all their albums. I knew Jim Morrison's middle name. I'd seen a good tribute band multiple times. I understood what "Horse Latitudes" was about. By no means was I as serious a fan as some people, but I was more than merely someone who kinda liked some of their songs (and perhaps owned the greatest hits collection). I even owned the X cover of "Soul Kitchen" so I'd even heard Exene Cervenka sing the words (although, admittedly, that is a much faster version, so making out the words in that one were even less likely).

At some point over the last couple decades should I not have been able to reach the proper understanding of the words Jim sang? All it took was paying close attention. Or heck, just looking them up online; it's not like there's any shortage of websites that have been up for years where this information could be acquired.

Clearly my brain was bruised with numbness of what had seeped through.


I notice on the KissThisGuy site (the "archive of misheard lyrics") that "Soul Kitchen" is not listed at all. Apparently I am the only person who heard what I thought I'd heard.

I'm not sure whether the unique nature of the error makes me feel better or not.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Doing it for the kids

This story hit the wire a few days ago, which in web time makes it ancient history, but given its nature I feel some compulsion to mention it.

Why? It pertains to noticing grammatical mistakes, a topic on which I have commented more than once.

Two men, who were apparently in a group known as the Typo Eradication Advancement League, noticed mistakes on a sign in the Grand Canyon National Park, so they made corrections to said sign with markers and correction fluid. However, the sign was historic, dating back to before the second World War.

They were tracked down by investigators for the National Parks Service because they admitted to doing it on their website (which essentially has been taken down).

They pleaded guilty to vandalism charges, were banned from visiting national parks for a year, and required to pay over $3000 to restore the sign to its previous grammatical imperfection.

What lesson is there to be learned here?

That if one is to write on signs in a national park, even with the preservation of English in mind, one should not mention that in a public forum such as a website? No. In this day, if one doesn't tout one's actions on a site that can come up in a Google search, it didn't really happen.

That one should leave the signs as is and wryly lament it on one's website? Well, that's kind of my thing, and we've seen how well it's working to address the issue. However, it's not so much that I disagree completely with the notion of taking action, but as I don't have a few thousand extra bucks sitting around (especially with a wedding coming up next year), I can't afford any more than what I've been doing. So if one has the bank account to back it up, that (in and of itself) is not what should hold one back.

When one sees a typo or other error in a public sign, one must research its origin to determine the period in which it was composed. One must bear in mind that language rules continue to adapt, thus what is considered incorrect in present day could very well have been perfectly acceptable in its day.

Even if one determines that the error was considered incorrect in its historical context, one needs to bear in mind the implicit rule when it comes to such matters: One must be of the same generation as the person who made the mistake in order to propose any corrections. After multiple generations have come and gone, the sign becomes an historic record of how quaintly unconcerned our forebears could be regarding this arbitrary sense of order those of us who bothered to learn it tend to be.

The signs need to be left alone so future generations of English majors can discover them and be filled with their own sense of indignation. Really, what will children in the future (who take the time to spell check) have to complain about unless we leave the mistake-ridden old world as is?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Inside pitch

No need to get out of the way when it comes to viewing pictures over on the useless photo site. New shots have been added, including some of our national pastime. (No, not complaining. I mean baseball.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More FUQs

(Frequently Unasked Questions, started back with this post):

FUQ #7: Why it the site called "uselessdoug" dot com?

It's a tribute to my deep and abiding belief in conservation: it connotes I am the Doug who encourages using less.

FUQ #8: Seriously. Why it the site called "uselessdoug" dot com?

If you insist.

Honestly, I did not choose the name; my fiancée (back when the term of reference for her was girlfriend) set up the site as a surprise gift for our first anniversary (the first anniversary of our first date, that is). And no, what I got her was nowhere near that awesome. Or awesome at all.

Let's move on.

I presume she adopted that from my email address, which has been uselessdoug since I first started it up, back in the late '90s.

So this has turned into a question about my email moniker.

I will assume that the "doug" portion is self-explanatory enough. That's merely what people call me, being a shortened version of my given first name. It seemed prudent to have some indication of who I was in the email, without being obvious.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Let's move on.

With the name portion parsed out, that leaves us useless. Err, "useless."

In the latter years of my time attending university, I got involved with the student-run weekly newspaper (as opposed to the daily journalism department-run paper) and in my second semester with them I started a roughly bi-weekly piece. What would happen is that the editor needed something in by Friday, so Thursday evening I would drag out whatever thought I could ramble on about for several hundred words, generally throwing in an allusion to the Simpsons whenever possible. (So, to some extent, it was blogging before there were blogs.) That I called "Another Useless Column."*

Was that ironic? Yes and no.

Clearly I was not accomplishing much of anything with it. It was not serving a purpose; it was not, by conventional journalistic standard, useful. So it was vaguely accurate.

It also was intended to invoke "useless" in the sense that Oscar Wilde used it in the preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray. Which basically suggests that art is not utilitarian, and that is exists for its own sake, closing with the line "All art is quite useless."

What I did definitely existed only for its own sake, and therefore part of me fancied that it approximated art. That, of course, was very much a matter of interpretation, but there was little arguing that it was anything other than useless.

And there was the self-deprecating aspect that also tied the two sides together nicely.

Thus it was both keeping humble perspective on what I do while at the same time touting it. Which is about as close to describing my personality as is ever likely to occur.

And which is more than you needed to know, but now you know it.

Undoubtedly, you could have used less of this.


* Those columns are chronicled on the site here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thanks for coming

Every so often I check who has stopped by my humble little spot on the web by looking at the details of visits according to SiteMeter. And while what it tells me includes nothing about the person, it does tell me the page visited, the time of the visit, the browser used, and the city and country of the ISP.

(It's kind of a benevolent Big Brother situation.)

So I discovered that yesterday at 3:30 pm I got a visit where a Google image search directed the visitor to this post from last year.

It's a picture of an amazing Simpsons cake my fiancee got for my birthday years ago; the post I titled "Best. Cake. Ever." (a play on one of Comic Book Guy's lines).

Not only did the person come to the site, but he or she stayed for over three minutes (an eternity in internet chronology), looking at three other pages. (According to the data, most visitors who find a post of mine through a search tend to view only the page in question, so this is quite impressive to me.)

And from where did this visit originate? Georgia.

Specifically, the city of Tbilisi.

Yes, that's the capital of the republic of Georgia. You know, the country where Russian tanks are still on periphery of the capital.

I'm not sure whether this is a subtle indication that the cease-fire was, at least yesterday, allowing Georgians some free time, or whether it's just that the power of the Simpsons cake trumps even fears about invading Russians. Would that really make it the best cake ever?


To be clear: I don't mean to make light of the unresolved military situation with the tone above; I very much mean to make light of myself.

I'm not changing the tagline on the site to "Giving comfort in a time of crisis" or anything, but if there's even the slightest possibility that even just this once a post provided a moment of needed distraction for someone in this world, it certainly makes my humble efforts seem worthwhile.


In an interesting coincidence, I also got a visit yesterday from Georgia, U.S.A.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Barack and roll all morning

From the Yep-that's-morning-TV department:

Tuesday on the Good Day L.A. program*, amidst the usual frivolity, they showed a video (from the web!) featuring footage of Senator Obama set to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" (which was a hit back in 1987, and which became an ironic hit again this year when it was used in a fad known as "Rickrolling"). Someone edited bits of Obama speeches featuring the specific words in the song and synchronized them with the song almost perfectly. For the music-only intro it featured shots of him dancing on the Ellen show. See for yourself below:

It was impressive both in its execution and in that how-does-someone-have-that-kind-of-free-time? way. The on-air personalities (they're not doing news so they're not anchors) commented about that afterward.

Then Dorothy Lucey, the leather-skinned co-host who, despite having majored in political science, reports the celebrity gossip stories (and who seems to have the Caps Lock key stuck when she types her blog), made a quip about how it was clear he was half-white by the way he danced.

Yes, there's nothing more hilarious in the year 2008 than a joke that ostensibly plays on the stereotype that everyone of a particular race is a bad dancer. I'm sure the viewing audience at home who was not blow-drying their hair or shuffling their children off to school or hitting the snooze button for an imprudent fourteenth time was in absolute hysterics over that remark.

If there's one thing that individuals like Fred Astaire and Justin Timberlake have failed to do over the last half-century is to demonstrate any ability to move rhythmically to music in a well-coordinated and fluid manner. I hear that any white people who audition for So You Think You Can Dance are only filmed so they can appear on an irony themed "blooper" episode, with the judges barely able to refrain from bursting into laughter the whole time.

It's certainly encouraging to know that there's still room for sweeping generalizations based on race in contemporary American society without eliciting any sort of backlash.


A cursory analysis of Ms. Lucey's quip proves it to be way too glib, and not remotely accurate. Clearly she doesn't know what she's talking about.**

Oh, it's not that she's wrong about white people being wooden dancers. (I mean, we've already established that, haven't we? Haven't we? There's no way I was being sarcastic, was there?)

No, she merely attributed Obama's moves on the Ellen show to the wrong group.

He didn't dance like a white person—he danced like an attorney. Have you seen those people dance? Nothing sucks the soul out of one's skills on the floor like passing the bar! To practice law one must check one's rhythm at the door. Am I right or am I right?

Yuk-yuk. Thanks. I'll be here all week.


President Bush—now there's a dancer. Have you seen his moves?

There's only one explanation: Clearly, he must not be white.

Therefore if Obama gets inaugurated next year he won't be the first president of color.

I'm not sure what color Bush is, but it must be one of them.


* I grasp has a rhyme in it, but "good day" is generally used when departing, so it makes it a somewhat less-than-appropriate name for a show about starting the day. I digress.


** A person on TV demonstrating a failure to think before speaking. I know—I was shocked as well.

Hey, apparently she has an Emmy, so she must be infallible. Don't daytime TV awards grant one the same power as the Pope? Well, if nothing else it, she's kept her job since 1993, so she must have some appeal.


Dorothy Lucey: She is an inspiration for me. I'm not sure she'd be happy to hear that, however.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Over on the useless photo site, a couple posts have been added that have (shock of shocks) people in them.

It's okay. They're performers in a group called Strange Fruit.

Click on over and find out what they were doing.

Friday, August 08, 2008

G.O.D. (Green-Obsessed Days)

Between 1987 and 2007 I amassed a sizable collection of compact discs (well over a thousand). In 2001 I started ripping all those discs to mp3 (a process that took over a year of doing several a night). In the years since then, more and more I was listening to songs on the computer and listening less to the discs. I now have an iPod, and I rarely actually listen to any of the circular pieces of plastic taking up two large racks in my place. So recently I took some time to divide up my collection into those discs I would wish to keep, and the more than 50 percent with which I could easily part.

I have not yet made the effort to trek all those down to a used CD store to try to sell them, but I suspect when I do there'll be some (such as ones I plucked out of the 50 cent bins that seemed like they might be interesting and were not—yes, what did one expect for half a buck; I know) that the store simply will not want.

I have not sold any CDs to such stores in years, and the main reason I stopped bothering to try that was because the amount the stores paid was hardly worth bothering to take them down, but the secondary reason was that there would be some that they'd decline to take, even if I gave the discs to them for free, asking not a single cent in return. And now I can only imagine the market for CDs is even worse, and they'll be even more picky about what they'll buy.

The discs that I wouldn't be able to even give away to a store are certainly ones where I'd rather not have them take up space. So what will I do then? Simply throw them away?

And when I think that, I am hampered by a thought which I would not have expected, but nonetheless it comes to mind: CDs don't biodegrade, do they? Therefore, it is ecologically irresponsible for me to discard them in the garbage.



I told you that to tell you this:

For the last year or so I have been getting music by downloading (yes, legally) rather than going to a store to buy CDs. To a great extent it made sense, since I was generally buying the disc but then immediately ripping it to mp3, so downloading in an already digital format cut out that step. It also eliminated instances where I'd go to a store with something in mind and find it out of stock.

It has now occurred to me that an argument could be made that (legal) downloading of music is not only convenient but is eco-friendly. One doesn't have to get in the car and drive to a store (or even if one did mail order, a delivery person would not have to drive to one's home to deliver), thereby alleviating some level of pollution going into the atmosphere. The music label doesn't have to use the resources to produce the CD one would have purchased at the store, and again, a delivery truck need not be driven to get that CD to the store. And perhaps best of all, when the time comes that one decides one doesn't want that music any more, one simply deletes it off the computer without having to dump the CD in the garbage (because the store doesn't want it) and have it contribute to a landfill somewhere.

How iTunes has not used that in their marketing, with everybody jumping on the "look how green we are" bandwagon, I have no idea.

Crap. I just did their work for them, didn't I? I really must stop giving these ideas away for free.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

G.O.D. (Good Ol' Days)

Recently I saw an installment in the HBO series When It Was a Game, which is a nostalgic look back at baseball in the pre-modern era. The episode centered around the 1950s, with the continued racial integration of the leagues and the expansion to the west with the moves of the Dodgers and Giants. However, what struck me was how, despite the existence of television during that time, the footage used in the episode was clearly home movies, likely shot by individuals who happened to be inclined to take their Super 8 camera to the stadium in those days.

I'm not suggesting the producers were too lazy to find the actual TV footage from the day. I found they in fact sought out this home movie footage because it gave a different perspective than the images that were on TV in those days (and which is much better known now). And I imagine it took some effort to track down these home movies, given that they'd be decades old, and thus it would not only be a matter of locating (presumably in private collections) the films but also finding ones that were still in usable condition.

If decades from now someone is to put together a show about baseball in the first years of the century and wanted to seek out privately shot footage (as opposed to the copious amounts of TV footage), presumably that future producer will need only search through the myriad videos that will undoubtedly be posted on the whatever the future equivalent of YouTube happens to be (which may, in fact, still be YouTube). It won't be so much a matter of who kept reels of film safely in proper storage but who bothered to upload to a site where the servers were always backed up. Well, those who tagged their video appropriately so it could be found in searches.

It's not that finding video footage of what is present day will be difficult to track down in the future; with as much as is already available online, compounded with all that will be shot and uploaded in the years between now and that point in the future, the tricky part will be sifting through all of it to locate what actually applies to the topic in an appropriate way (basically, what was shot at a usable resolution, is in focus, where the camera is held reasonably steady, etc.).

It won't be that we'll be any less nostalgic in the future, but the children of the 21st century won't have any difficulty remembering all they lived through; it will be immediately accessible at any moment.

If they can find what they're looking for.

There will come a time when children will not be able to remember a time when we couldn't instantly remember our childhoods.


Unless the complete collapse of technology-driven society occurs before that theoretical future point.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Cheesed head

In case you were wondering how this site differs from other ones, allow me to distill it to the key distinction:

This is the one not talking about the Brett Favre trade.

Hope that clears it up for you.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Dark Bug: Behold the power of cheese

Recently, in the middle of the day we were at a a touristy collection of shops and restaurants next to a theme park and concert venue. Being hungry and having paid $12 to park about three hours earlier, we decided to stay and eat at there. Walking through the food court area we noticed a restaurant where they sell foot-long wieners like at a nearby baseball stadium.

I ordered mine with chili and cheese, which sounded good at the time (and which cost over a dollar extra). When we got our food it was not a slice of cheese under the dog (as any good hot dog with cheese should be) but a glob of the nacho-type cheese-type product on top of the chili. (It wasn't that bad, but it was simply too much relative to the chili and hot dog.)

The seating was outdoor tables arranged on multiple levels, and most of them were occupied. We found an open one, and even started to sit, but then I noticed another table one level down in the shade. Knowing the heavy competition for tables we hurried down the stairs and just got to it before someone else took it. Score.

We watched people strolling up and down the open area as we started eating our baseball-inspired cuisine. A long red carpet had been set up down the middle, as the premiere for a new movie was to occur there later in the day; we tried to figure out from which direction the stars approached and where the press stood, etc., although without much genuine interest.

When I was not even halfway through my food I looked at my fiancée, who, looking at my chest, said, "Don't move." I glanced down and noticed a wasp, or possibly yellow jacket (it definitely wasn't a bee) hovering inches from my shirt. Slowly I got up from the chair, keeping an eye on the flying insect. However, within seconds it flew up toward my hand that still held the cheese-product-covered dog.

The cheese-product-covered dog which cost over $4.

The cheese-product-covered dog which, at that point, appeared to be what was attracting the centimeter-long, winged, yellow and black insect.

When the it flew within about a centimeter of my hand I reacted by doing what seemed the logical thing for me, a creature hundreds of times larger, to do: I dropped the hot dog.

I didn't consider that where I was dropping it had an empty chair below it, and that when it would hit the metal mesh seat of said chair that the cheese-product would spray out in all directions, including toward the aforementioned fiancée (who was cleaning up her items in preparation to leave, and not see the falling weiner), before glopping on the ground. Which is what happened.

I picked up the remains of the dog and bun from the seat, then grabbed some napkins and wiped it off as best I could.

Possibly even funnier than the notion of a mammal nearly two meters in height tossing away unfinished food* and fleeing from an insect (even one with a stinger) is this: As I grabbed the tray (with the carcass of what had been my meal resting on it) and turned to take it to the trash I noticed there was already some people waiting to take the table, despite having seen me wiping off the seat, undeterred by the globs of cheese-product lingering on the ground that I couldn't wipe up, unconcerned with the hungry wasp. (I'm not sure whether it's worse if they saw the insect and understood my actions, or if they didn't and merely witnessed me seeming to indiscriminately drop something messy on a chair.) The place was so busy that no table could be considered off-limits.

Especially one in the shade.


* Well, something approximating food. In retrospect, the wasp may very well have done me a favor. Perhaps it was merely hovering around the dog in an effort to stop me from consuming the whole thing, in a gesture intended to say, "What the hell are you putting in your body, Doug?"



The universe is a never-ending source of fascinating moments when you stop and think about it.


Epilogue: When later in the afternoon, after we had long since left the area of the incident, we got hungry again (having not eaten enough of our attempt at lunch to tide us over to dinner), we got something from a popular fast food restaurant, clearly indicating we learned nothing about being cognizant of what we put in our bodies.

The wasp could not be everywhere.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

All things considered I couldn't be better, I must say

[This post is rated PG-13, for language. Just so you know.]

Back on Thursday the 17th of July, my fiancée requested that I be at her place by 7:00. She would not specify why, other than to suggest we were doing something which was a surprise.

I was there by 6:57.

She noted that jeans and a t-shirt would be appropriate wardrobe for the evening's activities, so it would be an informal event, whatever it was. But she brought a bottle of wine.

We got in the car, drove down the block, stopping at chicken restaurant for some take-out. We headed down Hollywood Boulevard, through slow traffic, and eventually turned up Cahuenga. It seemed we were heading for the Hollywood Bowl. Except we'd never drive there; parking was too crazy there, so we would have walked and taken the shuttle bus were that the destination.

We arrived at the John Anson Ford Theater, across the 101 freeway from the Hollywood Bowl. We parked, brought our food, and stopped at the box office. I was told to wait away from the window while she procured the tickets.

As I waited, holding the bag of chicken, I noticed a sign by the entrance for "OutFest" and discerned the same logo on the shirts of those working the door. OutFest is, for those who don't know, a gay and lesbian film festival.

I wasn't sure if that was what we were attending or merely was an upcoming event, but I wasn't concerned if it was. It would be something special for me, and if nothing else I was happy to be out for the evening (no pun intended).

We ascended the multiple stairways leading up to the doors to the amphitheater, not finding any open picnic areas along the way; we would have to eat at the seats. However, when we got up there they were not yet allowing entry, so we had to stand around, not eating the food we held.

I still had no specific idea what we were doing, but I did notice through the open doors that a screen was up, so it seemed likely a film would be shown. What it was I did not know. My fiancée kept asking if I really didn't know, and I kept answering I did not. She then pulled out the ticket stub and showed it to me.
Printed on it: South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, The Sing-along.

That's right. They were showing the 1999 South Park movie for the purpose of having a sing-along.

For those who have not perused my profile (or seen my Facebook page), the SP movie was my favorite of that year. I saw it multiple times in the theater. I own the soundtrack on CD.

So I understood how it was something she figured I'd like.

And yes, it was being shown as part of a gay film festival. As the person who came out to introduce it said: "Some people may wonder what's gay about South Park. And I say: Have you seen it?"



By the way, we were let in to the amphitheater with enough time to eat before they started the show. I know you were wondering about that.

Being an outdoor facility, obviously they couldn't "bring down" the lights on cue. Starting the movie had to wait until the sun had set and it got dark.

In addition to running the movie on the screen, there was also a projector with the words to the songs that ran like subtitles along the bottom. (Occasionally the person running that part would start the slides (I presume they were) too soon and then would have to advance through them rapidly to get back to the start of the upcoming song. Perhaps this was intended as a quick primer.) So, no, we were not expected to remember all the words to "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" off the tops of our heads.

The songs may be filled with profanity at times (which is the point of the plot, for those who haven't seen it), but they also mimic and lampoon typical musical numbers remarkably well. Do bear in mind that the film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Song category.

Who goes to sing words like "Shut your fucking face, uncle fucker" at the top of their lungs, in a group, under the stars? (Besides us.) Everyone.

Well, not literally everyone; the theater holds only around 1200. However, it was nearly filled to capacity.

Were there obviously gay people there? Yes. Were there "breeders"* (besides us)? It certainly appeared to be so. Were there people that one would not necessarily peg as diehard South Park fans? I'd say that was most of the crowd. The audience looked to be mixed evenly along gender lines.

In short, the songs of Trey Parker bring out everyone--whether one is out or not.

(Well, everyone with a open-minded sense of humor, or at least a general appreciation of satire, and who is not easily offended.)


My fiancée is super, thanks for asking.

(Yes, I await the first person to leave a comment making the obvious joke.)


* I feel compelled to explain I use this term sardonically (although I concede there are those who use it without their tongue being in their cheek). I'm not crazy about calling heterosexuals "straight" as it implies homosexuals are somehow "bent." Which they may or may not object to, but that's not why I eschew its use; it doesn't convey my meaning.

And gaging the sexual orientation of strangers from observation alone is, admittedly, a less-than-ideal method, but... well, let's face it: there are certain signs that are hard to miss.


A quaint little tail of what is in the photo below was posted on the photo site.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

This just in

FYI: The issues between Internet Explorer and the SiteMeter code appear to have been resolved, so now I can resume tracking visitors, even without comments. But please do feel free to click the Comments link and leave your mark.

(I do visit any sites of those who leave comments. Really.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

And we're back

Apologies to any readers who attempted to access the site through Internet Explorer earlier and got a error. That appears to have been due to an issue with code for the SiteMeter counter, which has been removed until that gets resolved.

I see a note on the SiteMeter blog that indicates they're migrating to a new platform, which I suspect may be part of all of the problem. (Just a theory on my part, however.)

In the meantime I'll have no way of knowing whether anyone's visiting, so I'm assuming my numbers are way up. However, if you get the chance, please leave a comment (by clicking the Comments link below any post) so I'll not feel completely deluded.

Mostly deluded, just not completely.

Thanks. We now return to your regularly scheduled internet...

Me and my shadow

With all this nonsense about dealing with the press, it's been days since I've focused on the important stuff: Reminding you about pictures of flowers over on the useless photo site.

Please feel free to click on over and see if you know their names. Leaving a comment with such info won't get you a post in your honor, but you will get my undying gratitude.