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Wednesday, October 30, 2002
We did pumpkins yesterday. Here's

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We did pumpkins yesterday. Here's mine:

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and here's Bryan's:

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And finally, the inspiration for Bryan's pumpkin:

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It's Clyde!

In other news, Google has been hooking me up with some really out-there search requests. For instance, I come up fifth for Halloween crap, second for Halloween costume Mike Wallace, and my personal favorites, *first* for both dumbest Halloween costume ever and COOLEST COSTUME EVER. Does anyone else find themselves almost too entertained by the crazy referers they find sometimes?

Tuesday, October 29, 2002
Lessons I learned this weekend

1) Weblogs are the greatest invention ever, because when you talk about things you like, people buy them for you. Thanks for the orange-cream filled oreos, Mrs. Bruchman!

2) My mom’s neighbors are heartless, blood-thirsty individuals. While on a pleasant Sunday afternoon visit to NJ, we were greeted with the remnants of an apparent massacre:

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Anyone have the number of the state ASPCA?

And, on a slightly more profound note, 3) Biology is weird. (Hey, I said slightly.) After slogging through about 30 pages of introduction to de Beauvoir's The Second Sex (from author, translator, and some random person who felt like adding their 2 cents), I finally got to her first chapter on biology. I was already familiar with some of the unusual reproductive behaviors that go on in the animal kingdom, such as that the females of certain types of spiders and the praying mantis (in captivity anyway) will eat the male after they mate, or that for sea horses it is the male who is entirely responsible for looking after the young. A few facts de Beauvoir noted still surprised me, however. For instance, the drone honeybee who is able to mate with queen- in midair, mind you- is somehow disemboweled in the process, so immediately afterward he falls to the ground dead.

The existence of most insects and other simpler forms of life is so bizarre, if you think about it. Termites, ants, bees, etc. are essentially slaves to the process of reproduction. The workers are all slaves to the queen, and spend their lives gathering food, building the nest, and looking after the larva. The queen, while she may seem to have a pretty sweet deal compared to the others, is a slave as well, as de Beauvoir demonstrated. She can do nothing but sit in the nest and lay eggs, sometimes thousands a day. Once she becomes sterile, the workers kill her.

While I suppose you could argue that the lives of humans and other higher mammals aren't so different, that all we do is work our whole lives just to be able to have the resources to raise a few children, I don't think the situations are that similar. The term "slave" really seems to be the most accurate term to describe their relation to reproduction, but I don't think it applies to the situation of higher mammals very much, least of all to modern humans.

This whole process of evolution, of the way in which the food chain works, is depressing to me. For those at the top, it's good deal, but the insects and other organisms at the bottom basically got screwed over. They spend their entire lives working thanklessly to reproduce and continue the existence of their species, which generally serves only as a food source for larger animals. I know I think about things too much sometimes... but what an awful existence. Existentialism in action, perhaps?

Monday, October 28, 2002
candy corn and "spiritual wickedness"

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I might offer a "creative" new idea for a spooky treat to pass out to the little satan worshippers who will arrive at your door on Thursday evening. Rather than candy, why not delight the kiddies with a Chick tract like "The Little Ghost," and teach them to pray to "make the devil mad and jesus glad! (This site is 100% serious, in case you were wondering.) Other valuable information included on Chick.com includes information on why good, god-fearing christians shouldn't celebrate Halloween, and how to make "the devil's holiday" into a "soul-winning event"! I've already got a basket full of tracts just waiting by the door. How about you?

And if you're feeling especially ambitious, why not hold a psycho-evangelical-christian-style haunted house like these folks in, where else, GEORGIA:

Instead of the usual haunted house, a small church in Georgia set up a series of rooms containing dramatic portrayals of real life situations. One shows a bloody car accident, another displayed the horrors of abortion. A sordid drug scene was included along with a ghastly satanic ritual. The last room contained a scorching walk through hell. At the end, trick-or-treaters were given a gospel tract on the way out.

Why do these INSANE people, who think of themselves as christian but uphold almost none if its core values, have to ruin a fun, silly little holiday for kids like this? And what is the message here? That if you cause a car *accident*, you're going straight to hell?

Friday, October 25, 2002
the friday five

I think I'm going to start the dumbest blog ever, and only post entries for This-Or-That Tuesday, the Friday Five, and the Saturday Eight. Any other days of the week have silly questions associated with them yet? With that said, I thought I'd give the original, the Friday Five, a go. What can I say, it appeals to my inner 13-year old.

1. What is your favorite scary movie?

Hmmm. Tough one. I love Poltergeist and the Blair Witch Project, but I guess that I'd have to say that the Exorcist is probably my favorite since it completely scares the crap out of me (especially with the extra footage that was added to the version released a year or two ago) and the cinematography is amazing at the same time.

2. What is your favorite Halloween treat?

I don't especially like any of the special candies associated with Halloween. After a couple of pieces of candy corn, I'm done. Ooh! Except I do like those oreo cookies with the orange filling they make around this time of year.

3. Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, describe your best Halloween costume.

I usually do something, although I don't think I dressed up last year. My best Halloween costume ever was when I was a head on a plate in fifth grade or something like that. We made a table out of a big cardboard box and cut a hole in the middle to put my head through. We also cut a hole in the paper plate to stick around my neck. I think some veggies were also glued to the plate around my neck as a "garnish." That was the coolest costume ever. Everyone loved it, except one idiot whose house I went to with my friends thought I was a boy since I had my hair pulled back.

4. Do you enjoy going to haunted houses or other spooky events?

No!! I get way too into them and get too scared. My friend Curt had a really good haunted house at a party he threw when we were in high school and it took me a good half hour for my breathing to return to normal after I went through it.

5. Will you dress up for Halloween this year?

Not sure yet. The only costume idea that Bryan and I seriously discussed was being cheesy and going as Justin and Kelly from American Idol, since apparently they were an "item" by the end of the show, but we haven't really decided yet.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002
take that, dubya

Check out Arianna Huffington's column on Salon.com today. She calls for a new wave of commercials based on those anti-drug ads that depict innocent-looking kids describe how they support terrorists by buying drugs. Only this time, they might show

a soccer mom in a Ford Excursion (11 mpg city, 15 mpg highway) saying, "I'm building a nuclear bomb for Saddam Hussein." Or a mob of solo drivers toodling down the freeway at 75 mph shouting in unison, "We're buying weapons that will kill American soldiers, Marines and sailors! Yahoo!"

I think she does a great job of pointing out the Bush administration's hypocrisy and inconsistencies in regards to terrorism, Iraq, drugs, and their own special interests. This falls into what I'd have to say is my favorite kind of political writing. Huffington trashes Bush by a) revealing several slimy things his administration has done and then b) makes an incredibly funny, witty joke at his expense by using his own tactics against him. I love it!

UPDATE- 10/23

Whoa. Apparently this article has made quite a splash. Overnight a campaign has developed to make these commercials come into being. Huffington's new column has info on how you can support it. Wow. Thank you, NRDC, and to everyone who donates. I just might make out a check tonight myself.

Monday, October 21, 2002
monsters, hippies, and dead people

Sunlight on autumn afternoons has such a warm, golden touch to it, even when that light is filtered through cheap aluminum blinds, and is competing with the sterile florescent lights above my desk at work. Even my dull plastic desk accessories look nice in it, making elegant, elongated shadows across the formica.

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Anyway, this is gearing up to be a rather busy week. Tomorrow night I'm headed off to a hipster party, organized by some cute indie-rock kid and other people at his work. Then on Wednesday, a few of the 'rents are stopping by for dinner, so I have to find time to make the apartment presentable between now and then. Um.

In other random linkage, some company in Chile has begun producing what may be the most romantic product I have ever heard of- a new "king size" coffin with room enough for two. The imagery is truly touching, isn't it? And finally, there is my favorite tidbit for the day. Earlier this month, a woman apparently bit her husband to death after an argument. The only explanation for his death thus far has been that he was died from massive tissue damage caused by the bites. I think from now on Bry and I will be VERY careful not to piss each other off too much...

Friday, October 18, 2002
i saw famous people!

Sleater-Kinney rocks my world. That is all I can say. I enjoyed their show so much I briefly considered buying tickets to their upcoming shows in Brooklyn before remembering how broke I am. Those three women are just so amazingly talented... and talk about hardcore. Carrie chipped her tooth on the mic and kept right on going through the 3-song encore. One of my favorite points of the evening came when they played "#1 Must Have", the inspiration for the title of my site. See my research page for the lyrics. We got home soo late and I was soo tired and sore from standing/hopping around, but it was completely worth it. If you don't already have a copy of One Beat, go buy one now, only $11 through the label!

Mirah, who opened the show was also really good, but seemed rather unappreciated by a crowd looking to rock out at a riot grrl show. As for the other opening act, I'm not even going to waste my time discussing them because they completely sucked. (See Bryan's site for a good summation of my opinion.

Then yesterday I *had* to go hang out at Le Cirque for work where I met, well ok, exchanged glances with, Mike Wallace (who is much tanner and shorter than you'd think) and good ol' Helen Gurley and David Brown. It was a little boring, but I won't complain about free champagne and hors d'oeuvres. And the restaurant itself is a strange place. It's filled with huge paintings, velvet drapes, and this gorgeous marble staircase, but then the floor is covered with carpeting that reminds me of what you would see in movie theaters- do you know what I mean? Bright colors, weird shapes. It was rather difficult to look at the primary-colored floor and the deep burgundy walls at the same time. Bizarre.

And finally, in other random news, I discovered that I am linked on what I believe is a German blog. How random is that?

Tuesday, October 15, 2002
rhode trip, part ii

More photos from Providence. This rather provacatively posed baby was for sale on Wickenden Street.

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Here's Curt doing his hair while we got ready to go out and hit the clubs.

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And finally, a few shots from my train ride home.

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And last but not least, a slightly belated (but only by about 20 minutes!) Happy Birthday! to Jeremiah.

Monday, October 14, 2002
rhode trip, part i

This weekend I went to go visit Curt at his new place in Providence.

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Anyone who can guess the line from Waiting for Guffman he was quoting here gets a prize.

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We went to the RISD Museum on Sunday.

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The RISD campus is right next to the Brown campus, located on picturesque Benefit Street in Providence.

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See?

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Oh, and P.S.- I have the cutest boyfriend ever.

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Part 2 of my Providence photos to come tomorrow.

Thursday, October 10, 2002
random acts of disrespect

First up for today: some beautiful hypocrisy in action. Apparently the 70 British delegates to the recent Earth Summit conference in Johannesburg spent 500,000 GBP (that's $781,996 American) of taxpayer's money on caviar, vintage champagne, lobster and foie gras to dine on while attending this conference to fight FAMINE! FAMINE! Yes, never mind the children starving outside in the streets, dying from drinking contaminated water. Just sit back and chug down a $2 bottle of mineral water (even though clean, filtered tap water is available in your 5-star hotel) and chow down on your filet mignon. I mean, it's not there's anything *you* could *personally do* for these people right outside your window. ARGH!!!

But alas, this site is supposed to entertain as well as inform (ha!). In that spirit, I found some really great costume ideas I'd like to share. First of all, as an alternative to the typical, hum-drum ghost costume, why not try out the Spooky Holy Ghost get up? And if that's too much for you, how about one of these great masks? Let's all do our parts to make Jerry Falwell the hottest Halloween costume this year, k? If you check out either of these links, be sure to scroll all the way down to see the "ads" along the sides.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002
how spicy

Hooray for food photos! I made a veggie curry (OK, it was a wussy curry, that wasn't very spicy at all) with basmati rice the other night. Bryan played food critic and carefully considered the first morsel.

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And in the end, he got almost a bit too excited about it.

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Most exciting of all, though, was that I finally used my crepe pan yesterday. And they came out pretty damn good if you ask me. I was quite proud.

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And speaking of food, I had a rather disillusioning afternoon. I just discovered that the makers of almost all of my favorite veggie foods have been bought out by huge, evil, corporations. According to Vegan Street (link via VegBlog), Boca is owned by Kraft, which is owned by Phillip Morris, and Gimme Lean and Deli Slices, some of my favorite fake meats in the whole world (hehe, I must sound weird to some people) is owned by ConAgra, which also owns companies like Butterball and Slim Jim. Sheesh. I can't even buy veggie food without supporting all of that meat crap accidentally. Hopefully I'll be able to find good substitutions for all of this. Anyone know if the meaty-style Gardenburgers are any good?

Monday, October 07, 2002
I was lucky enough to

I was lucky enough to spot the cutest rock star in all of New York City this weekend.

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And I even managed to pick him up... how lucky am I? And as if that wasn't enough, I found myself this cute blonde chick too...

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In addition to the evening's main attraction was another cool band called Cookies Downtown, whose web site is unfortunately still under construction. Immediately following them was some Dave Matthews-wannabe band, so we all pretty much high-tailed it out of there.

In political news... My first tidbit comes from the pen, er, keyboard, of one of the greatest political minds of our generation: Moby! But seriously, read this quote he posted from Representative Dennis Kucinich:

During the Administration of Ronald Reagan, 60 helicopters were sold to Iraq. Later reports said Iraq used US helicopters to spray Kurds withchemical weapons. According to the Washington Post, Iraq used mustard gas against Iran with the help of intelligence from the CIA. Intelligence reports cited the use of nerve gas by Iraq against Iran. Iraq's punishment? The US reestablished full diplomatic ties around Thanksgiving of 1984.

Throughout 1989 and 1990, US companies, with the permission of the first Bush government, sent to the government of Saddam Hussein tons of mustard gas precursors, live cultures for bacteriological research, helped to build a chemical weapons factory, supplied West Nile virus, supplied fuel air explosive technology, computers for weapons technology, hydrogen cyanide precursors, computers for weapons research and development and vacuum pumps and bellows for nuclear weapons plants.

Moby then added, "so at least the weapons inspectors will know what brands to look for! technology sold to iraq by american companies with the blessings of the u.s department of defense..." Haha, I adore that man.

But so can someone explain to me WHY the government did this? Did they just not care about the fate of the Kurds and assume that these weapons would never be used against us?

In other scandalous, Bush-family related news (this time courtesy of Bumptious), good old Jeb has apparently been making several rather public jokes in extraordinarily bad taste about the Rilya Wilson murder. Gotta love a man who is SO extraordinarily homophobic that they'll make lesbian jokes about two women (whom he incorrectly assumed were gay) even when the real issue at hand is the death of a child.

Why is it that in this country we impeach presidents who cheat on their wives rather than ones who give weapons to insane, dangerous men, who call for wars to maintain their approval ratings, and are openly bigoted against the people they are supposed to protect and represent?

Friday, October 04, 2002
i wanna be a walmart rockstar

Yuck. Since today has been so gray and depressing & because it seems that practically everyone I've come into contact thus far has been unbelievably grouchy, I've decided to try and lighten the atmosphere a bit by entertaining y'all with fun and/or slightly creepy links.

I was lucky enough to discover losers.org the other day. Needless to say, I was shocked that I didn't see links to pages belonging to anyone I know there, but I did manage to pick up a few good ideas to use in the future. One major disappointment was that the domain ourbeautifullove.com was taken. I guess Bryan and I will have to find another repulsively saccharine phrase to use for our "couples" blog.

My upset was quickly dissolved, however, when I discovered this musical artist's homepage. Hey, she sings at a Nashville Walmart, what more could you want? I can't wait to get home so I can check out some of her mp3s.

Finally, we have the ever-popular web-site-as-personal-ad. I think that a LOT of blogs are actually intended to function that way, whether their owners admit to it or not, so in my opinion, this phenomenon alone isn't exactly noteworthy. This woman, however, is a special case. I mean, really, I can't understand why she hasn't met a decent guy yet. I just can't imagine that she would have trouble finding a man who didn't mind following her simple, reasonable rules. Grab her before she's snatched up by someone else, boys!

Wednesday, October 02, 2002
fake plastic babies

I attempted to take pictures around the city today while I was out running errands at work, but most of them didn't come out because my camera SUCKS and I need a new one. I think Jay should donate his old one that he's trying to get rid of to me, but I doubt that will happen. Anyway, there's this weird abandoned costume shop near my job. I finally glanced in the windows today, and here's what I found:

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Frightening, sun-faded plastic masks of crying babies with outdated New Year's Eve glasses drooping off their head. Eek! This pretty church is also near my work:

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My final submission for the evening is something that may be quite a trend from now on.

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I think that from now on I'm going to photograph almost everything I cook, a la vintage Pocket Pig, who used to draw everything she ate on her palm. Well, sort of. Magnetic Fields Fans should proceed directly to her entry here. That's all for now from my mouth-watering corner of the web. Bon Appetit!

currently

Reading:
The latest issues of Bust and Bitch
Hearing:
Tori Amos- Scarlett's Walk
Viewing:
A series of shorts at the NYIIFVF

updated 04.20.03

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