Thursday, June 30, 2005
Fuck. Just... fucking fuck.
My digital camera totally won't work. Specifically, I can't download any photos from it onto my computer. Have tried bloody everything. Right now I'm doing web searches, and so far this is the most helpful thing I've come across:

sipix digital video the northern and southern hemispheres. A much more elaborate theory sipix camera company was advanced by Dr. Croll, and is still entertained by many. ... she had no suspicion; all was cheapest sipix sc-3300 sipix a6 drivers download confidence and reliance. " ... been in the parlour sipix sp-1300 window three days--three days ...


Oh dear lord. I actually clicked on that link, to see what could possibly follow. Here's a sampling:

ENTERTAINMENT ON THE INTERNET What implication could Internet have on the life and the way we do entertainment? Entertainment means something that amuses human beings

No shit. I'm pretty entertained so far.

Are the movies dying? Let me rephrase that Are movies the way we have understood them for several generations as suspenseful andor comic andor soul-altering shadow plays shared by large audiences in theatrical settings in their red-star end stage?

If you've seen any good soul-altering shadow plays lately, do let me know.

Test Pattern: Commercials We Hate 12 p m PTBad ads, bad adsBad ads, bad ads, whatcha gonna do? should not be used for our entertainment "And Danielle: "Animals are not for entertainment I would enjoy


¦ The News Journal ¦ Best Bets for July 37th Annual Cat Show Features 300 cats, vendors of cat toys, supplies and related items City of Wilmington Freedom Celebration

So... cats = freedom?

Along with yesterday's news item about the giant fish, I'd say these are all clearly signs of Earth's Last Days.
In which V. lists a few small and petty things which somehow manage to piss her off pretty consistently.

1. The BP station near my house recently renamed its little convenience store "Kangaroo". Okay, fine. I don't see the logic in this, but fine. Whatever. The thing that annoys me is that they renamed the car wash "Washaroo". Good god, that's just stupid.

2. You know that song, "Don't Disturb This Groove"? I have kind of a love-hate thing with that song, and this week the pendulum swings towards 'hate'.

3. When they bleep out bad words on the radio or television. As if we don't all know what is being said anyway. Even worse, when they dub over words on television with milder epithets in an obviously different voice. Example: in Repo Man, the word 'motherfucker' was rather infamously changed to 'melon farmer'. Sigh.

4. Oprah, sweetie... the shop was CLOSED. Shut up about it already.

5. When Dawson's Creek is pre-empted in favor of a day-long marathon of The Real Gilligan's Island. Now, if they'd pre-empt it in favor of a second season of Outback Jack, that might be a different story.

6. Speaking of Dawson's Creek, Katie Holmes has really been getting on my nerves lately. It's not the whole TomKat thing. To be honest, I begin to suspect that those crazy kids might actually be in love. And might actually literally be crazy. But I digress. No, what pisses me off about Katie Holmes is, she just can't act. I watch Dawson every morning (for two hours, and yes, I do have a life as well as a modicum of good taste) and Katie Holmes appears to have some sort of palsy throughout. Whenever she speaks, she nods her head aggressively, and blinks about four hundred times. She does this in films as well, and I wanted to bitch-slap her hard for the ten minutes of actual screentime she had in Batman Begins.

7. Why do people talk smack about Lindsay Lohan? Or Nicole Richie for that matter. There's this maddening double-standard that really pisses me off... women in this country are crucified for being even five pounds overweight. And we have such a warped and skewed concept of "overweight" that Renee Zellweger was treated like an obese martyr for gaining 30 pounds to play Bridget Jones. That's not fat, kids. That's normal. But then, when these girls bow to pressure and lose weight, they're crucified for being "too thin" and accused of having eating disorders. Where's the middle ground? What the hell are we girls supposed to think? It's bad to be fat. No, no, it's bad to be too thin. Where's the line?! Note to media: LAY THE FUCK OFF, JESUS CHRIST. Mellon farmers.

8. Don'tcha hate it when it's a hot day and you drive through sonic for a milkshake and they bring it out to you and then you're stuck in traffic and it's bloody sweltering and all you want is a sip of your sweet sweet frozen beverage, but it's too thick to come through the straw?

Okay, that's more than enough negativity for one afternoon.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
In which V. posts a photo of the Giant Bigass Mofoing Catfish, at Eli's insistence.

Image Hosted by

The mind reels, y'all. IT REELS.
Click here to read a news item about a giant catfish. And when I say "giant", I mean, like, Food of the Gods giant. Like, Godzilla vs. Bigass Giant Fish giant. Like, This Is Going To Give Me Fish Nightmares For The Rest Of My Natural Born Life giant.

Click on the photo to see it close up. That's not doctored, kids. That's for really real. A six-foot catfish. The size of a fucking SHARK. Jesus Tapdancing Christ, I don't know that I'll ever be able to set foot in any body of water ever again without thinking "catfish the size of a Ford Escort could be circling around me at any bloody time" even though in the back of my mind I realize that this is extremely rare and not at all likely to be the case.

If I were religious, I'd probably call this a sign of the End Times. Dag, yo.
Five things I totally heart this week
1. The Machinist
I got a copy of this film from M. recently, and sat down to watch it yesterday afternoon. 110% brilliance, is what I say. Christian Bale stars as a man emaciated by lack of sleep. He is haunted by accidents and visions and hallucinations and all sorts of chaos. Someone seems to be out to get him. There's a psychological mystery here, and the solving of it is a real mindfuck. I can't say enough good things about this, you should all go out and rent it straight away. And take note of how many times he chooses between right and left. Good stuff.

It kind of reminded me of another good film, One Point O, which you also should all go out and see straight away, although that may pose a bit of a challenge as I don't think it's available anywhere. Oh well.

2. Ronin Studios
My publisher. I've been working my ass off for the past few weeks on this comic. I don't know how much I'm really supposed to say about it, but I think it's tentatively titled "Shell" and based on what I've seen (the first half of the artwork), it's pretty strange.

3. Kasabian
I don't dig them as much as The Killers, but this band is pretty good. Very danceable, definitely going on my gym playlist. However, their eye candy level is quite low I'm sad to say.

4. The Killers

Because I say so. And because the lead singer is definitely hotter than anyone in Kasabian. And because I still haven't gotten sick of hearing Mr. Brightside.

5. Salad Fingers
Come on. You had to see this coming. With each passing day, my devotion to this darkly psychotic flash series grows stronger, ever stronger. Whoever thought this up is a genius. It manages to be kind of whimsical, yet full-on sick and weird all at the same time.

For the curious, the full series (along with some parodies, spin-offs, and fan fiction) can be found here.

What's the matter, Mister Fingers? Don't you like my mouth-words?
Monday, June 27, 2005
Hubert Cumberdale! Fancy seeing you here...
From the same place I found Magical Trevor, I bring you Salad Fingers.

Be warned... as much as Magical Trevor was silly and fun, Salad Fingers is dark and bizarre and really sort of grotesque and profane. And I love it. Whoever thought it up is one sick fucker, and I respect that. Be sure and watch all four episodes (links to the next one are just underneath each film). I think part 2 is my favorite, though it makes me feel kind of unclean somehow.

Go watch, provided you aren't offended by deformed mutants with a rust fetish.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
In which V. is too tired to think up a clever prologue.

Take the MIT Weblog Survey
Friday, June 24, 2005
Friday Baddie Blogging
This week's baddie is Brenda Walsh.

Bitch!! I wonder how they manage to hide her wonky eye...
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Everything Sucks!!!
In which V. expresses disgust at the poor quality of today's entertainment options. Except for Magical Trevor, which continues to amuse and delight.

Okay, so it's possibly not accurate to say that everything sucked today. This morning's double header of Dawson's Creek was enjoyable. But everything else today has been sub par.

For starters, there was the DVD I chose to watch. I'll tell you right now kids, it's a good thing I get that "all you can rent" deal at the video store, because if I'd actually paid $3.50 to see this, I'd be pretty pissed off right now. The film in question is Death 4 Told, allegedly presented by "Master of Modern Horror" Tom Savini.

Let's clear a few things up, shall we? For starters, Tom Savini isn't a master of ANYTHING, let alone "modern horror". He is not a particularly accomplished director (only two feature film credits to his name so far). He's an effects guy. Not that I'm dissing effects guys, not at all. Once upon a time I studied film effects in art school. But, just because one can sling fake blood with the best of them, this does not make one a "master of modern horror".

Also: Tom Savini didn't have jack shit to do with the production of this film. He didn't direct it. Didn't write it. Didn't even sling any fake blood, so far as I can tell. No. He had a small role in it, and about three minutes of screen time. And for this, they plaster his name all over the cover as well as a large red photograph of his face.

But I digress. This film was quite possibly the worst horror film I've ever had the misfortune of seeing. It wasn't laughably bad. It wasn't mockably bad. It wasn't "let's blog this derisively" bad. It was just BAD. Complete worthless shit. Looked to be filmed on someone's home camcorder. The sound levels were so assed up that the background music drowned out the dialogue. Not that the dialogue was anything special.

The stories (this was a collection of four) were derivative and pointless. There was nothing - NOTHING - even remotely creepy or disturbing about any of them. What really blows my mind though, is that the user comments for this film on the IMDb are overwhelmingly positive. At least one of the commenters admits to being in this P.O.S. film, and I have to wonder whether all of them were. He claims it had a budget of $90,000 which is about $89,500 more than I would have given it credit for.

Following that, tonight's episode of Hit Me Baby, One More Time was so crappy that I turned it off about halfway through just so I could come here and bitch about how bad it was. I'd only heard of two of the acts (Glass Tiger and Club Nouveau), and all five of their round one live performances totally bit. Even the two songs I liked, they bit. And I was having a hard time making myself care much about their cover versions.

The host did mention that last week's internet vote showed that We The Viewers thought that Howard Jones should win, and that the studio audience was way off in voting for Irene Cara. Toldja. Howard Jones was robbed. Robbed, I say.

I am quite sure something else sucked today, but I can't remember what it was. Oh yeah, I was watching this film Beyond Borders on cable OnDemand. Okay, okay... I know it got really bad reviews, but I'm an Angelina Jolie fan (and Clive Owen doesn't hurt, you know). And I know Angelina Jolie is getting the bad homewrecker rep lately, but you know what, she gives $9 million of her own money for global relief every year. And she got a pilot's license so that she can airlift supplies in. What does Miss Aniston do? Huh? Huh? Jack, that's what. And now she's whining about how she wants to adopt a Cambodian baby too, so that maybe Brad will love her again... yeah, okay.

Wow, that was quite a digression. Add Jennifer Aniston to the list of things that sucked today. But anyway, I was watching this film on OnDemand, and you're supposed to be able to stop those and start them again where you left off. And I was about 3/4 of the way through it, and I was getting hungry, so I thought hey, I'll stop this and fix myself a vegetarian chicken burger. So I did. And when I went back to re-start it, it wasn't in my queue any more. WTF? So now I have to get it again, and let it play for a couple of hours until it gets to the point where I left off. Crap! Crap, I say!

Right, then. I think I've vented quite enough for this evening. Perhaps what I need is a good healthy dose of Magical Trevor. Because, you know, the tricks that he does are ever so clever.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Everyone Loves Magical Trevor
In which V. has become addicted to a most bizarre flash animation.

Y'all should all go check out Magical Trevor.

I found this last night, and the little song stuck in my head so badly that I found myself lying awake at 3AM singing it to myself. Totally brilliant.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Alone in the Dark
In which V. wastes her afternoon watching dreck so she can blog it for the amusement of others.

Alone in the Dark sports a cast of today's most popular Hollywood miscreant trash. Christian Slater takes time out from his busy schedule of drunkenly groping the asses of middle-aged women on the street to play a "paranormal investigator". And Tara Reid takes time out from her busy schedule of being photographed exposing her nipples and/or falling down and puking outside nightclubs to play a "museum curator". We know she's supposed to be A Smart Girl because she wears nerdy glasses and has her hair pulled up in a bun.

The film begins with some flashbacks. Kids at an orphanage were being mysteriously experimented on. They are taken away somewhere. One escapes. Oh no!

Present Day: Christian Slater, Paranormal Investigator Extraordinaire, arrives in a city carrying a strange artifact from the Abkani civilization. The Abkani are being presented sort of like the Mayans... technologically advanced, mysteriously disappeared. We see a strange man giving orders over the telephone for someone to kill CS and steal the artifact.

Our boy Christian gets into a taxi and starts telling the cabbie rather a lot about his personal life, including the fact that he is a Paranormal Investigator (lest we forget) and explains what that means (lest we are idiots). Then he mentions that he lost all his memories at the age of ten because of something bad that happened at The Orphanage. Could it be?!? Is Christian Slater the missing experimental kid?! This is too transparent to be avoided.

Suddenly they realize that they are being followed by another cab. Chasing ensues. The driver of the other cab is some weird superhuman possibly demonic man. He can jump unusually high, and carries on chasing CS despite taking two bullets straight through the chest. Bullets through the chest might not kill him, but being impaled through the chest with a metal spike seems to do the trick. I find this to be inconsistent, and it pisses me off.

Meanwhile, Tara Reid has gotten a delivery of some Abkani artifacts. Some security guards at the museum discuss how mysterious the Abkani were, just so We The Audience get the point driven in to our tiny helpless minds. Tara Reid is wooden and bimboesque. I am not buying the Smart Girl Science act at all.

Christian Slater lives in a warehouse full of things that look like Mysterious Antiques. He checks his answerphone messages and has one from a guy whose nightmares have started again, and wants to know whether CS is having nightmares too. CS fondles his artifact, and finds some weird gem-looking thing inside.

Flash to a boat. The Mysterious Man (I think the same guy who gave the order to have CS killed, but I wasn't paying close enough attention) and his crew have hauled a solid gold box out of the sea. It's an Abkani relic (remember the Abkani? They're mysteeeeerious). He mumbles something about how they believed that solid gold could trap evil spirits.

Flash back to Christian Slater, everyone's favorite Paranormal Investigator. He's fondling his relic again, and cleaning it with a brush. He examines it closely under a magnifying lens, and notes that it has odd symbols all over it. Luckily he seems to have a library of Odd Symbols stored on his computer. Let's check those out, shall we?

Meanwhile, back on the boat (I really hate rapid scene changes)... Captain Mysterious doesn't want to open the gold box. He says it's a bad idea. His crew decides to beat him up and lock him in a room, and then they bust the thing open. Instead of treasure, there is a Shadowy Creature inside! Oh no!

Back to CS again! Looking on his little laptop at his Odd Symbols. Suddenly he gets a splitting headache! Could he somehow be connected to the Shadowy Creature? His relic has started to glow, but I don't think he sees it.

MASS CONFUSION! At the same time all of this is going on, a few random people we've not seen before are shown having their lives disrupted by some hypnotic urge. They stop whatever they're doing (washing dishes, stocking shelves, etc) and just walk away purposefully into the night. WTF? Also, Captain Mysterious is locked in a room and can hear shooting outside. The crew are trying to stop the creature? And Tara Reid gets mildly creeped out for a few seconds whilst cataloguing her Abkani relics.

Back on the boat, the shooting has stopped. Captain Mysterious breaks out of his little room and finds the entire crew dead. The box is empty and the boat is covered in blood. He mucks around with the box and finds another small relic inside a secret compartment.

Now we go to BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS. It seems to be staffed entirely by people dressed like Ninjas. All in black, like they have to be ready for SuperSecret Ops at all times. They do some nonsensical things with an unrealistically futurized computer (computers in films are never at all realistic, are they?) and mutter something about magnetism. Their boss seems dismayed.

Tara Reid gets a phone call from The Professor. He's away on a mission somewhere. Tara Reid mentions that she's cataloguing the Abkani relics. NO NO NO!!! Bad Tara Reid! Bad! Bad! Only The Professor was supposed to open that box! Leave it alone, you stupid twat, he'll deal with you when he gets back. She responds with phrases like "uh... yeah". I'm sure all party girls Super Smart Scientists talk like that.

Christian Slater is having some kind of dream about the orphanage. He and a nun discover that all the missing kids have come back. He wakes up on the floor (I guess he passed out from his headache?) and his mobile phone is ringing. It's the wife of one of the people who Walked Purposefully Into The Night. She's woken up to find him missing. OMG! OMG! What should she do?

I am starting to think that no scene in this film is more than two minutes long...

Christian Slater tells a story in voiceover about how the Abkani monsters join forces with people who lose their humanity. We get a visual of some skyscrapers. I have no fucking clue.

He goes to visit the panicky wife. She has incredibly large boobs and Christian Slater keeps looking down her shirt. She worries that her husband has left her, and CS promises to "straighten this out". I guess the missing guy was one of the orphans too? Which would make sense...

We get another voiceover of CS asking someone for a favor, while the visual is an SUV driving over a bridge. I begin to think the director is abusing the voiceover technique. He winds up at the orphanage. The Nun is still there. She is happy to see him. He says that George has disappeared. She says "it's happening again." WTF? She gives him the files of the other orphans.

True to form, that scene was under two minutes long. He's back home now, looking up missing people on his laptop. No wait. He's doing a voiceover again, with a visual of more skyscrapers. He used to be an agent with BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS. Remember that favor he called in? He's meeting an agent. He bribes the agent with pie, and the agent confirms that 19 former orphans went missing last night. He wants to know what CS is up to, and CS is deliberately vague.

Christian Slater, America's Next Top Paranormal Investigator, goes to the museum. Seems like Tara Reid is his girlfriend! OMG! She punches him because he's been incommunicado for months and she thought he was dead. Her trousers are way too tight. Not in a sexy way, but in a sad and ill-fitting way. He gives her his little relic, and they talk about it. Then the lights flicker. The security guard wakes up (!) to find that the cameras aren't working!

Everyone starts wandering around with flashlights. The film's editor finally breaks the two-minute barrier. The security guard gets killed by the Shadowy Creature. It crushes his skull. All right! CS and TR find the body and are then pursued through the museum by the Shadowy Creature. Just as they are about to get eaten, agents from BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS absail in through the skylights. I knew there was a reason that they were perpetually dressed like ninjas.

There are lots of dramatics and agents storm the museum with rifles. They find nothing. There's some tension between Christian Slater and the Leader of the Ninja Agents. They wrestle. CS steals some kind of security tag or computer disk or maybe flash memory or something off him and walks away.

Oh, it's a security clearance. CS goes to BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS and finds an old guy doing an autopsy on the superhuman man who tried to kill CS earlier. He has a parasite thingy fused to his spine. They say some boring stuff about symbiosis. It is implied that CS has a parasite thingy inside him, too. OMG!

This film is only halfway through and already I have written a Bible. Blame the editor's ridiculous two-minute scene maximum.

At the museum we find out that Captain Mysterious is actually The Professor AND a former agent. Yawn.

Back at 713 HQ we find out that yep, Christian Slater has a thingy inside him, but his thingy is dead. Probably because CS was electrocuted as a child. WTF?!? Removing it might paralyze him.

Captain Professor has a Shadowy Creature in a cage and he pokes it with sticks. He injects the creature's blood into his arm. End scene. This is worse for one's attention span than MTV.

Back at 713 HQ, we are getting a LOT of dodgy science. The dodgiest. Loads of stuff about specific elements (osmidium?) and light frequencies, and electromagnetic disruption, and something that was called something like "liquefied irradiated photon resin". BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Yeah, okay.

Christian Slater goes home with a big suitcase full of photon resin (BWAHAHAHAHA). He strips down. We see that Christian Slater is totally Not In His Prime. More voiceover, but I kind of don't care any more. Tara Reid comes over and can't resist his bloated manliness. They have sex. Eeeeew.

Okay, you know that friend CS has at Bureau 713? The one he bribed with pie, and then found out about the photon resin from? Well, Captain Professor goes to that guy's house and infects him with a parasite and his eyeballs turn grey. Cool!

Back at Christian Slater's house, a bunch of parasitic orphans show up along with a full-blown Shadowy Creature. He shoots it with liquefied iridium gum or WTF ever. And then ninjas agents from 713 show up and more creatures and there is a full blown lengthy shootout scene accompanied by industrial death metal.

CS and TR join forces with BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS. They all go to an abandoned gold mine. The unrealistic computers indicate that the mine is home to all the Shadowy Creatures. This is when I start losing interest, and watch at 3x speed for a little while.

The mine has some Abkani stuff in it. They find a secret shaft. Yawn. General chaos. Shooting, explosions. I am very tired of the film at this point and really want it to end so that I can go do something fun.

Oh, here's something mildly interesting. Hidden deep in the mine they find a lab. Turns out it was BUREAU 713 at the AGENCY FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS who actually infected the orphans with evil parasites. Why? WHY?!? The leader of the 713 agents (who might possibly be Skeet Ulrich?) gets all pissed off because they've been trying to stop something and the whole time it was something THEY created. WHY!!???

They find a secret door, and Christian Slater's little relic is The Key. Tara Reid sagely mentions that "some doors are meant to stay shut." Gah. Just shut up and go back to nightclubbing, Tara Reid. At least you're good at THAT...

Christian Slater decides to "trust the Abkani" and leave the door locked. But here comes Captain Professor and he threatens to kill them all unless they hand over the key. So they do, and he opens the door, and then maybe-Skeet-Ulrich kills him with a knife thrown to the chest. Inside the door is a black void full of monsters. Um, k.

Maybe-Skeet-Ulrich stays behind to blow up the mine and CS and TR escape. Practically everyone is dead. Back at the orphanage, the Nun is dead and all the orphans are missing. Oh wait, never mind. The city's been evacuated. The end.

Dear lord. This was tedious. It wasn't as awful as I expected it to be, but it sure wasn't good, either.
Adventures in Kittensitting
In which V. rescues a wee baby kitten and has misadventures.

Okay, so. This past Saturday night we had some pretty brutal thunderstorms. Six inches of rain in one night, hail, 50 MPH winds, loads of heavy thunder and lightning. And then on Sunday morning I was outside with my dogs when I heard a very tiny "mew..."

I looked around, didn't see anything. Then I heard it again. "Mew..."

I followed the sound over to my car, where suddenly a very tiny kitten crawled out from under the bonnet. Soaking wet, terrified, and complaining about it all. We fed her and played with her a bit. I took some photos, and they'll be posted if I can ever get my digicam working.

We call her Little Monster. She mews sweetly at all times, even when eating.

She's dark brown with a white chest and belly. I'd estimate her to be around 7 weeks old, though it's possible she's a little younger. Judging by her interactions with us, I'd say she's definitely used to human contact and affection. This baby belongs to someone. Or rather, did. We've posted flyers and called the animal shelter to see if anyone's reported a missing kitten. We went around the neighborhood and asked if anyone's lost her. So far, nothing.

Finally my dad said he'd adopt her, and if her owners don't turn up he'll keep her. But she had to have a bath. The poor blighter is covered in fleas and motor oil, and lord knows what else. Between the storm and the undercarriage of my car, she really stinks. A lot.

So this morning I am all prepared to bathe her. And then she starts to wiggle and the claws come out. And I think, no. No, this is not a good idea. So I called the pet store down the street. They do grooming, and they'll bathe her for $10. I quickly judge $10 to be well worth the price, if I can avoid getting my arms shredded and my bathroom turned into a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

So I load Little Monster into her carrier (well, it's not HER carrier. Technically it is the carrier belonging to Farkle the Ubercat, who is not at all pleased to have a cute baby around, and is even less pleased to have a cute baby USING HER THINGS).

I digress. Monster goes into the carrier, mewing sweetly. Monster goes into the car, still mewing sweetly. But as soon as the car starts down the road, Monster starts making this horrible ghastly howling noise that sounds uncannily like the Evil Creepy Cat-Toddler from Ju-On.

Image Hosted by
Rowwwrrrrr! You're dead now!

So that's where she is now. I've hosed out the carrier, so that Clean Monster will have a Clean Crate to go into for her trip over to Dad's. A side note: Monster is not happy about being wrongfully imprisoned. You know how in films, people will grip the bars of their cell and rattle them? She does this, puts her little paws through the bars of the door and rattles it. And she's observed how I open and close the latch, and I've caught her trying to undo it on her own. She's a wee criminal mastermind.

Hmm. Maybe she should be called Houdini.
Friday, June 17, 2005
OMFG!!! HELL YEAH!!! RAWK!!!!111
In which V. gets a bit carried away by some Very Good News.

Ohhhh!!! Depeche Mode are going on tour AND releasing a new album early next year.

This is news of the most delightful sort. I have an unnatural love for Depeche Mode. I do hope they tour the states. Oooooh.

Right, then. You may all carry on with your lives now. As you were.
Friday Baddie Blogging
This week's baddie is Tom Cruise.

Image Hosted by

Leave Joey Potter alone, you freaky OT-IV.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
They call them one-hit wonders for a reason...
In which V. carefully analyzes this week's episode of Hit Me Baby, One More Time.

Right, same drill as last week. Again, I found this show to be equal parts impressive and colossal train wreck. Let's have a look.

Round One
Wang Chung sing that Wang Chung song. They look exactly the same as they did 20 years ago (my god, has it been 20 years?). That one guy even still has that weird mushroom-looking hairdo. Great song, but they're not so great live. Leads one to suspect that it may have actually been 20 years since they sang this song.

Sophie B. Hawkins sings "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover". She also looks exactly the same, right down to the excessively ripped jeans. Another great song, but she really sounds like shit live. Leads one to suspect that she might actually be a crap singer, and just gets mixed real good by some talented producer somewhere.

Cameo sing what is possibly the greatest song of all time, Word Up. Their performance, like the song, was flawless. I defy you to contradict me - you must all acknowledge the awesomeness of Word Up. Because as we all know, it is The Code Word, and no matter where you say it, you know that you'll be heard.

Howard Jones sings "No One Is To Blame". We can't accuse Howard Jones of being a one-hit wonder because he in fact had many hits. And also had impressive hair. Sadly, he is now almost bald. But he's still got a great voice, and his round one performance rocked.

Irene Cara sings that song from Flashdance. She's okay. Looks a bit plastic, as if she drinks Botox for breakfast. Complained that everyone mispronounces her surname. Show host then proceeds to mispronounce her surname for the entire rest of the show. Brilliant.

Round Two
Wang Chung sing... are you all sitting down? Wait for it...

Wang Chung sing "It's Getting Hot In Here" by Nelly. Much like last week's warped performance of "Toxic" by Haddaway, this worked out insanely well and I was thoroughly impressed. If Wang Chung were to have released this as a single instead of Nelly, I would not hate it. I do so hate that song, but not as much as I hate that song that goes "now urrybody in da club get tips". But I digress.

Sophie B. Hawkins sings "100 Years" by Five For Fighting. It's a decent song when they do it, although perhaps a bit too sentimental for my tastes. She sounds like crap again. I completely lost interest after about ten seconds.

Cameo sing "1985" by Bowling For Soup. I love that song. I love Cameo (well, Word Up, anyway). But Cameo + 1985 = mediocrity. A funk band just cannot cover contemporary pop-punk. However: Cameo wore some large, flamboyant red top hats. That takes balls. Good for you, Cameo, for having balls.

Howard Jones sings "White Flag" by Dido. Lovely, simply lovely. I'd have voted for this one.

Irene Cara sings... um... some song by a person called Anastasia. I have never heard of this person and the song was complete shit. She had a full band with her, that she was calling 'Hot Caramel' because her surname is Cara, and you pronounce it like 'caramel' and maybe now people will get it right.

Irene Cara wins. Show host mis-pronounces her name a few more times. I am sure this was deliberate. So, two weeks in a row, the least impressive act wins. I think this is staged.

But I have to watch next week, cos Glass Tiger is on, and I bought their album back when I was 11.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Bonus Baddie Blogging
In light of today's verdict, I am compelled to present an extra baddie for the week. I try to keep my personal politics and the like out of this blog as much as possible, but...

This week's bonus baddie is Michael Jackson.

Image Hosted by
Chester Chester Child Molester

Our justice system is incredibly perverted. I'm thinking Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and R. Kelly should all meet for a beer or something. Sick. Sick, sick sick. I guess enough money and fame can buy innocence in this country. And in Kobe's case, a bigass diamond can buy your trophy wife back.

Rant over.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
In which V. wonders whether this sequel can really be pulled off.

So, it looks as if Saw 2 is in the making. The original was one of the most brutal films I've ever seen, and I've seen some doozies. Somehow, forcing people to torture and kill one another seems a lot more depraved than just killing them yourself in a violent yet straightforward manner.

Spoiler: (highlight to read) Can you really make a sequel to this, considering at the end of part one the baddie was supposedly about to die from a terminal illness? I have my doubts. We shall see.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Headline of the Week
Jessica Simpson raises the bar for beauty standards
In which V. notes that, never mind the media-pushed impossible ideal, Ms. Simpson is looking pretty good.

Here it is, the video for "These Boots Are Made For Walking".

The much-hyped bikini car wash scene is maybe ten seconds long. Sorry, boys. Also: Willie Nelson is cool.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Hit Me Baby, One More Time
In which a number of has-been pop stars completely butcher current hit songs. Hilarity ensues.

So NBC has this new reality show. It's a direct rip-off of a British show that M. told me about. I missed it last week, which was disappointing. But with a bit of hindsight I realize that's probably for the best.

The premise: each week (for the whopping three weeks that this debacle goes on) five musical acts from Back In The Day compete in front of a studio audience to find out (as best as I could tell) who sucks least. First, they all sing their big hit (and they all only had the one hit). Then they come back for a second round and put their own unique spin on a current pop song. Chaos! Madness!

This week's "contestants" (ahem) were: The Knack, Haddaway, Tommy Tutone, The Motels, and Vanilla Ice. Quality!

Round One:
The Knack sing "My Sharona". They sound about the same. The lead singer looks a bit... I dunno. Not all there. Crazy-eyed. A decent performance, for those of you who didn't get freakin' sick of "My Sharona" about twenty years ago.

Haddaway sings "What Is Love". He attempts to do that head nodding thing from A Night At The Roxbury. This may or may not be a feeble attempt to show that he can laugh at himself. Note: overly synthesized dance song sounds as bland today as it did 15 years ago.

Tommy Tutone sings that godawful Jenny song. Tommy Tutone, who already looked to be about 40 years old in the clips they showed from... what was it, like, 1982?... anyway, now he looks about 70. And he kind of has a bit of palsy. And he complained about having to work as a computer programmer when he really just wants to write another album. (Unsolicited advice to Tommy Tutone: dude, you only had the one hit song, and it's really goddamn tired. Be glad that you have the computer skills, you're more likely to get rich off that than by forcing more terrible music on the population). He sounded terrible. Just terrible, really. So bad that I kind of felt embarrassed for him.

The Motels sing "Only the Lonely". I always thought that shit was Pat Benatar. Huh. The show host hits on the lead singer, even though she looks like a bad drag queen.

Vanilla Ice sings "Ice Ice Baby", if you can call that singing. Whatever.

Round Two:

The Knack sing "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet. Oh.... Knack guy, no. Don't do that. Musically they did it justice... they're at least technically able to play the guitar. But imagine Herman's Hermits trying to cover "Anarchy in the UK" or something, and you'll get the idea. Sad. Just fucking SAD.

Haddaway sings "Toxic" by Britney Spears. Despite the fact that he's crawling around on the floor and writhing like a squid in heat, he is surprisingly good. Surprisingly VERY good. I'm damn impressed. I would have voted for him, seriously.

Tommy Tutone sings... some shit by Blink 182. Or was it Good Charlotte? One of those snotty faux-punk poseur bands. Tommy Tutone fucks it up. He totters around the stage doing that weird "hopping around on one leg with a guitar" move that was maybe cool 40 years ago before anyone learned how to actually dance. He looks positively geriatric, and here he is singing an angry youth anthem. Owwww... poop pants.

The Motels (who I would have sworn were Pat Benatar) sang "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones. They speed it up and turn it into an angry Joan Jett-esque piece of shit. Not that it was a great song to begin with. Not-Pat-Benatar continued to look like an ancient drag queen. Note: if you have a lot of facial wrinkles, it's not likely that the jet black hair and fire engine red lipstick are doing you any favors. You have my pity, Not-Pat-Benatar, but not my vote.

Vanilla Ice claims to sing "Survivor" by Destiny's Child, but he changes all the words and doesn't sing at all, and instead just perfoms some surly rap about how he's Vanilla Ice and he loves his daughter. WTF?

Vanilla Ice wins. There is no justice in the world. I will have to watch this again next week.
Friday Baddie Blogging, the Thursday Edition
In which V. has chicken pox, and decides it's best to just stick this up now while she feels well enough to.

This week's baddie is the evil Chamberlain Skeksis.

Image Hosted by

I will have your gelfling essence, mmmmmmm.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Fun and Games, Literature-Style
In which Eli gives V something to do while she's stuck at home with the chicken pox.

Yes, you read that correctly. I have the chicken pox. Now I get to experience all the joy I missed out on in kindergarten. Moving on...

Number of books I own: You expect me to know this off the top of my head? Furthermore, you expect me to count them??! Let's see. One... two... thr... oh, fuck it. A lot.

Last book I bought: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I don't actually buy books, as a general rule. I get them from the library, or borrow them from friends. Although when M. was here, we paid a visit to a secondhand paperback shop, and I got The Association by Bentley Little and one of the books in Val McDermid's Wire In The Blood series.

Last book I read:
The Association, by Bentley Little. It's about a supernaturally evil homeowner's association, and it kills, maims, or generally enslaves anyone who breaks the neighborhood rules. That's the last one I finished, at any rate. I'm about halfway through another Bentley Little novel called The Policy. It's about a supernaturally evil insurance company, and it kills, maims, or generally enslaves anyone who doesn't buy bizarre and overpriced insurance. I sense a pattern forming here.

Five books that mean a lot to me:
1. Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison. Perhaps the greatest achievement in comics literature... a perfect fusion of story and image. This made a huge impression on me back when it was first published. Because really, who among us can deny the ultimate awesomeness of a Lovecraftian mental instution full of outrageously dark and sinister criminals? Put there by a dark and sinister "hero" who's every bit as insane as they are... When I read it again as a young adult, it was evidence that yes, people DO work in the comics industry, and that pursuit of such a vocation was not entirely out of reach.

2. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. My grandpa used to read this to me when I was younger. When I was older, too. It helped to encourage what would become a tremendous respect and love of nature, and it was special time with someone I loved very much. I think the message was very apt... the whole "you need a thneed" thing... we're a society of over-consumption. We're ruining the earth for the sake of a lot of cheap crap that we don't have any real use for. If the Lorax were real, I'm sure Bush would have hauled him in on terrorism charges by now...

3. The Stranger, by Albert Camus. I had to read this in AP English during my senior year of high school. Everyone else was totally stumped by the whole existentialism thing, but somehow I just got it. And I liked it. All the other students were constantly grumbling about how nothingness was stupid and how man HAD to have a deeper reason for being, etc etc, and I was all "LIFE IS A VOID!! THINGS ARE ONLY WHAT WE JUDGE THEM TO BE!!! HELL YEAH!!! WOOOOOO!!!!". On the final exam, we had to write our own last chapter for The Stranger, about what should happen to the main character if he were to be released from prison. Everyone else (and I do mean, literally everyone - this is the bible belt) wrote about how the guy found god and repented and his life took on a profound different meaning. I wrote about how he walked out of the prison and was promptly hit by a bus, and nobody cared. I got an A+.

4. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I think I must have been a flapper in a past life. I love love LOVE this era. And everything about this book just reaches out and grips the hell out of me. I love the way it romanticizes the jazz age. I love the tragedy. I love the way these characters are so deeply and completely flawed, and yet we connect with them anyway. Maybe we connect with them BECAUSE they're flawed. I had to read this for high school, and I devoured it all in one afternoon. And then read it again. Timeless.

5. This list would be incomplete without Perfume, by Patrick Suskind. Easily my favorite book of all time. This one's special because a friend I care about very much cared about ME enough to share it with me. It had made an impact on him in that way that amazing books do, and knowing me well he knew that it would hit me the same way. I don't often use the words "sick" and "beautiful" in the same sentence, but Perfume is sick and beautiful. It's about the sickness of beauty, and the beauty in sickness. The main character commits some of the most degraded atrocities ever imagined, and he does it all in the name of beauty. Of acceptance. And his motives, I think, are pure. He just wants to belong. Singlehandedly one of the most inspired and original books I've had the privilege of reading, and I'll be forever grateful to that friend for passing it along to me.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
You're the birthday, you're the birthday, you're the birthday boy or girl!
Codename V would like to send the birthday shout-out to Eli. Happy Birthday, Eli! Holla!

Also, let it be known that henceforth, Codename V may also be addressed as Bloodher Ladyship. Right, then.
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Saturday Hottie Blogging
Since I was too lazy to come up with a Friday Baddie this week, I thought I'd make it up by posting a photo of the shirtless axe murderer as he appeared in Blade Trinity.

Image Hosted by

It has come to my attention that this bloke is engaged to Alanis Morissette. The mind reels. She has a large, misshapen head, and she looks kinda funny with that new haircut. I like maybe two of her songs. Maybe three. But not that angry one.
Friday, June 03, 2005
The Dust Factory
A film I wanted to like, but don't quite know what to make of.

Watched The Dust Factory today. I keep renting these films that sound hella intriguing, but for whatever reason I haven't been able to see. This one finally made the list of films eligible for my unlimited rentals thing, so I watched it today.

So you have this kid Ryan, he's maybe 13 or 14. His dad died when he was nine, and presumably he hasn't spoken since. His grandpa has Alzheimer's disease. His grandma dies, and it kind of screws with his head a bit. Pretty early on in the film, he has an accident and falls from a bridge into a lake.

When he climbs out of the lake, things seem different. He makes his way back home. No-one is there except Grandpa, who suddenly seems lucid. He meets a girl named Melanie who wears a winter coat even though it's the middle of summer. She twirls around all the time. The sun never sets.

Turns out they're all in a sort of limbo place called The Dust Factory. It's where people go when they're kind of in-between life and death. Ryan is there because he had his accident. Grandpa is there because of his Alzheimer's, which he doesn't seem to know he has. It's a strange surreal sort of place.

The centerpiece of it is a circus big top, staffed by horrific mimes and a sinister mute ringmaster. When people decide that it's time to leave The Dust Factory, the only way to leave is to try their luck on the trapeze. They do a flip, and the trapeze artist tries to catch them. If he catches them, they're tossed into the air and vanish. This means that they've moved on (died, I guess). If he drops them, they turn into a pile of dust. This means that they live, and go back to being conscious and aware in the real world.

When someone moves on, all the residents of The Dust Factory have a big party. Crazy Grandpa keeps urging Melanie to DANCE! DANCE! all the time. Melanie dances all the time. She can also ice skate on the lake, even though it isn't frozen over. Turns out that when Melanie had her accident, it was winter. So it's always winter for Melanie.

Melanie and Ryan fall in love. Crazy Grandpa keeps shouting DANCE! DANCE! The sinister mute ringmaster stalks them, and some pretty creepy stuff happens. The Dust Factory is not an entirely safe place.

Eventually, everyone has to go on the trapeze, there's no escaping it. This ends in kind of a confusing and unsatisfying way. I think the essence of the film is supposed to be about Ryan's journey, or vision quest or whatever. It's a very interesting premise, and the bulk of the film was engaging. But the ending left me with too many questions. Also, I think it was maybe intended for kids. I don't know much about kid mentality, but I'm guessing that perhaps they're unconcerned about emotionally fulfilling endings...
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Blade Trinity
In which much asskicking occurs. Hell yeah.

The great thing about contemporary vampire films is, even when they suck they're basically guaranteed to contain two elements which I personally dig very much. One, industrial techno music, and two, goths. Blade Trinity delivers heavily on those two things, as well as a few other elements which V. personally finds pleasing. Let's review:

Things About Blade Trinity Which V Personally Found Pleasing

1. Industrial Techno Music

All over the soundtrack. Crystal Method, Overseer, I think there was some Fluke in there. This is the kind of stuff I listen to at the gym, it makes you want to kick ass. Thus, it's a nice soundtrack for watching other people kick ass.

2. Goths
Goths are cool. Codename V is often accused of being a goth, despite wearing rather a lot of bright colors. Being fond of black eyeliner, combat boots, and skulls probably contributes a lot to this. At any rate, I relate to goths, and thus like seeing them in films. So there.

Parker Posey is in this as kind of a supergoth vampire dominatrix queen. I don't like Parker Posey. Also, she's ugly. Especially in this film. Very ugly.

3. Girls in leather trousers who know kickboxing and are skilled at using sophisticated weapons
Codename V likes these kinds of characters, because in Codename V's own internal dialogue, she is wearing leather trousers and kicking a lot of ass in a very advanced and militant kind of way. Codename V wants to be Lara Croft when she grows up.

Jessica Biel is in this film, and she kicks mucho ass. And she does it fashionably. I respect that. Kudos to you, Jessica Biel! You are making up for the crimes against good taste perpetrated by Seventh Heaven.

4. Motorcycles

Motorcycles are awesome, and fun to ride. There are some really cool motorcycles in Blade Trinity. Jessica Biel rides a nice blue one, whilst wearing her leather trousers and carrying sophisticated weapons. Codename V has now added "sweet blue motorbike" to her internal dialogue.

5. The shirtless axe murderer from the Amityville Horror remake

Ryan Reynolds. Yes. He was in this film, and shirtless for a good bit of it. Let's re-visit the shirtless axe murderer.
Image Hosted by

This element pleases Codename V.

Overall, I'd say this was an excellent film. It's not Shakespeare, obviously. Total lowbrow fun of the asskicking-and-explosions variety. Two enthusiastic thumbs up. I could probably find a lot more to say about it, but I have this tradition of watching 90210 reruns every evening with my cat, it's our bonding time (true statement, I am not making this up). And the West Beverley gang are all set to start in about ten minutes, so...