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November 2003 Archives

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November 30

Finished this month's Knossos book Anonymous Rex by Eric Garcia. Its McGuffin is simple: dinosaurs have evolved to be slightly less than human size. For millions of years, they have hidden among humans, disguised in their human suits, unbeknownst to the semi-evolved simians. Otherwise, it just a detective story.

The only depth would be comparing this secret dinosaur society to gays, and ethnic or religious minorities. Otherwise, it's a fun, beach sort of read.

Garcia has written a prequel called Casual Rex and the novel about conmen entitled Matchstick Men, which was recently turned into a movie directed by Ridley Scott and starring Nicolas Cage. A pilot has been greenlighted for a Anonymous Rex which actually uses the Casual Rex plot. As I read the novel and dinos shed their human suits, I pictured Rob and Charlene from Dinosaurs. I don't whether that makes you think of something silly or technically sophisticated. Can the closeted society subtext survive such a transformation to the small screen?

November 29

Watched the Angel episode "Lineage". Wes and Fred go to sell advanced weapons to a middleman. They are interrupted by cyberninjas and Fred gets shot in the process.

Back at Wolfram and Hart, Wesley's Dad Roger has come for a visit. He's Roy Dotrice, already famous as a father in Beauty and the Beast and Amadeus. Miranda knows him better as the biological father of Jane Banks in Mary Poppins.

Roger says he's here representing the reassembled Watchers to evaluate Wesley with the aim of taking him back in the fold. Wes doesn't want to go back.Fred asks for Papa Wyndham-Price's help in deciphering the writing inside the cyberninja they captured.

Spike believes that this is clear evidence of human-robot sex. Wesley accidentally sets off the self-destruct. While they're in the process of evacuating the building, Roger disarms the bomb.

Cyberninjas land on the roof and the power goes out in the building. They fight Wesley and Roger who finish the combat going into the secret passages. While Wes isn't looking, Roger bashes Wesley over the head, takes some magic staff and says,"Phase one complete" into his ear.

Roger leads Angel to the roof and we find the magic staff incapacitates the vampire with the soul. Wesley comes up and yanks the staff out of his Dad's hand, then they point guns at each other. Son threatens to destroy the magic staff by tossing it off the side of the building, then Dad immediately grabs Fred. Wesley pumps many bullets into Roger as the helicopters run away. After a lot of flashing, we discover Roger is also a robot.

In the epilogue, Wesley calls England and I realize that it's around 8 hours later there. Fortunately the writers figured this out.

Victoria, Miranda and Ian at the piano performing THERE'S NOBODY LIKE US
"There's Nobody Like Us"
November 28

My parents hosted an after Thanksgiving dinner with Chinese food. I ate way too much. Miranda, Victoria and Ian performed an original presentation of "There's Nobody Like Us".

Despite the late hour, Whitlock and couldn't get to sleep with a full stomach so we watched the episode "Putting Out Fires" of Tru Calling. Tru wakes up to her professor who says he's meeting with the dean this morning. She laters finds him lip-locked with a new hottie. As she shops with Lindsey, an aggressive shopper takes a grammy camisole away from Tru.

That evening, Benitez brings in an adult male and a young girl that died in a fire. The man calls to Tru to help him. Time winds back a day and she speaks coldly to her professor and his meeting with the "dean".

Tru goes to the firehouse and finds the dead guy. She makes an excuse to take him to the building that will burn down and inspect it for gas leaks. He finds the leak and fixes it with duct tape.

Tru quickly goes where her professor is having his bimbo breakfast. As the new girl goes to the bathroom, Tru sits down opposite her professor and makes him very nervous. When the hottie returns, Tru gives some circumspect speech about passing the torch to the new model. It's really not the proper telling off I would expect in such a situation.

While shopping with Lindsey, Tru manages to hold onto the grammy camisole. Tru takes a walk with her new fireman boyfriend in the park, but he says that leak wouldn't have caused an explosion for a week. She runs back to the apartment and spies around the suspicious building super who has a history of insurance fraud.

Tru breaks into the super's office and is discovered by the older brother of the dead girl. She takes him for ice cream and learns about his traditional broken home. Again Tru walks in the park with her fireman and she suddenly realizes that the boy started to fire to get attention.

When the fire begins, Tru rings the fire alarm and gets most everyone out. However, her fireman stupidly returns without equipment for the girl under the bed instead of sending one of his fully armed bretheren.

November 27

Vacuumed all the leaves in the backyard and dumped them in the woods. My arms will really hurt tomorrow.

We hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year. Whitlock's mother arrived with her new daughter-in-law Kerry. The main course was jumbo shells stuffed with spinach and ground turkey in a cream sauce.

November 26

I refer you today to Solonor's Groovy Computer Baseball League. This is not just a mere OOTP league on the web. All the teams play in Middle Earth locations. Every player has an authentic Middle Earth name. Each player's origin, rather than being an Earth country, is a Middle Earth race.

There's even a version of Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball" entitled Tolkien Baseball. The rules list the names of their promotions.

On the way home I passed the Spy Museum and my co-worker Brian Thompson said,"It's that Seinfeld lady."

I turn around and there's Julia-Louis Dreyfus. She looks short as you might imagine. I don't want know what she was doing in town. This brings my in-person sightings of Saturday Night Live cast members to two in addition to Tony Rosato who I saw walking the streets of Manhattan while at a College Bowl tournament.

November 25

From and, pay particular attention to the thong and camisole.

November 24

On the BBC website, you can find the wedding announcement for Mia and Nomar, but not a word about the MLS Cup.

November 23

A precious moment, courtesy of Kristin Hamlin:

...I humiliated myself thusly (keep in mind that my parents were in the front seats):

KRISTIN: Justin, you know what else we need? A headboard.
KRISTIN: Because I'm sick of banging my head into the wall all the time.


KRISTIN: When I read! When I read in bed! When I sit up and prop up the pillow and read in bed!

Yup, that was pretty embarrassing.

November 22

For today's couch potato activities, we start with the Enterprise episode "Similitude". It begins with Archer giving a eulogy over Trip's body. Then we flash back to "two weeks earlier".

Enterprise gets stuck in a cloud of highly magnetic goo and Trip gets seriously injured. The only way Phlox can save him is to grow a clone that can donate neural tissue. After brief soul-searching the clone Trip is born and Phlox ponders a name. I came up with Quad.

Phlox settles on Sim and the kid remembers things that happened to Trip at the same age. Terrible science, but we'll ignore it. T'Pol is supervising repairs instead of whoever Trip's second-in-command is.

When Sim is the right age, Phlox finds out the operation will kill him. Sim discovers there's a secret enzyme, that might extend his fifteen-day lifespan. Archer forces him to go through with the operation. Sim thinks a for a moment to hijack a shuttlepod, but the death of his sister stops him. We also learn that impractically, a shuttlepod has no toilet facilities.

On to the CSI episode "After the Show". Not much in the way of twists here. A creepy stalker and photographer killed an aspiring showgirl.

The suspect, Howard Delhomme, but not this Delhomme, wants to be interrogated by Catherine,"the pretty one". Sara gets peeved when she and Nick getting shoved aside in this case.

Finished with Angel and "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco". The mailroom guy in a Mexican wrestler's mask finally comes to the fore. He is called number 5 in a reference to Short Circuit.

Fifty years ago, an Aztec demon named Texcatcatl wandered the Earth looking for the talisman that would make him powerful. Number 5 and his four brothers were both Mexican wrestlers and heros who helped the helpless. When Texcatcatl was defeated, only Number 5 of his brothers survived.

Now the demon's back. It's a predictable story, but getting Mexican wrestlers into the mainstream was pretty cool.

November 21

Whitlock and I may have picked up whatever sickness Miranda had so our big weekend is reduced to sitting around watching television.

So we start with the Enterprise episode "North Star". The crew finds a planet containing humans who live just like the American Old West, except for the aliens they abuse as second-class citizens. From some more sniffing around, Archer discovers that the alien Skagaran or Skags abducted humans as slave workers on this planet.

The humans eventually revolted and Skags are not allowed schooling. Archer and the schoolmarm are arrested for educating Skag children. The sheriff lets Archer go, but the teacher has to spend ten years in prison.

Archer executes a jailbreak that results in the teacher getting shot and he's forced to request a teleport. A shuttlepod returns with a contigent of space marines. Archer explains himself to the sheriff. As they return to the shuttlepod, the bad guys start a shootout.

At this point, the gun battle should be over in a minute, given the advantage in weapons, but no. We need a Western fisticuffs sequence as well. Anyway, after it's over, Archer promises to return after they take care of the Xindi to take anybody home who wants to.

The episode's not the disaster I thought it would be. After 200 years and minimal natural resources, the technology should have reached at least 1900.

Moving on to the CSI episode "Invisible Evidence" which begins with the revelation that Las Vegas trials are held in darkrooms. Warrick fesses up that neither he nor the arresting officer got a warrant for the car where an incriminating knife was found. Never mind that screwups like this are usually discovered before we get to the preliminary hearing - CSI has 24 hours to get evidence on the suspect.

There also should have been someone along the way with a pooper scooper to check that all warrants have been obtained. On the other hand, there is sufficient evidence in the case of an outstanding drug warrant on the suspect to search for drugs. If a bloody knife is found in the course of that search, it's usually admissible. Also, how did the 19-year-old victim get such a nice apartment?

Okay, so it's a studio with Rhoda Morganstern beads. Catherine finds ejaculate on the toilet flush handle. It must have spilled when he dumped the condom since no semen was found on the victim.

The semen doesn't match the suspect, but a waxy susbstance leads to a nearby car wash. James Marshall from Twin Peaks did the dirty deed, saw that the first suspect lived in the same apartment complex and planted the knife. Unfortunately for James Hurley, he also kept some dog tags from the vicitm.

Nice sequence where Nick and Sara deflatten a BMW and Warrick finds himself in the ladies room.

Finish off with the CSI: Miami episode "Big Brother". The murder of a commodities trader leads to a webcam sorority house that's really a fake setup in a warehouse. Though it looks like the trader may have been killed by one of the girls, it was really a jealous guy in the control room.

In the other plot, Horatio discovers his dead brother had a child by Suzie, the methhead from last season. Suzie's current husband offed Raymond, but Horatio never tells Yelina on-screen about her new stepdaughter.

Exterior exit 5 to Arundel Mills
Entrance to Arundel Mills.
November 20

Whitlock and I went to Arundel Mills for Christmas shopping. It's a cousin to Potomac Mills and Franklin Mills. During construction, people claimed to have seen a Bigfoot-like creature.

Miranda is sick today, so she stayed home with her Grandma.

November 19

A few months back Knossos read The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris. Originally published in 1894, it might have been a slightly amusing adventure of a mariner finding himself in a strange land. However, the language is that of a writer who thought,"Everybody loves Shakespeare. If I wrote just like him everyone would love me, too." So you get masterpieces of drivel like this:

I wot, forsooth, that thou wouldst call me base-born, and of no account, and unworthy to touch the hem of thy raiment; and that I have been over-bold, and guilty towards thee; and doubtless this is sooth, and I have deserved thine anger: but I will not ask thee to pardon me, for I have done but what I must needs.

Granted, 19th century literature is different from 21st century, but this is a 19th century author pretending to write in 16th century style. And he fails utterly. This is Eye of Argon material. Run away from it as fast you can.

November 18

Freddy Adu signs with DC United. I think may know his advisor Arnold Tarzy who played Oliver in elementary school while I played the Artful Dodger. This will certainly infuse MLS with excitement since Freddy's promise is several times that of LeBron. At the worst, the transfer fee whatever English or Spanish team eventually pays for him can fund the league for three years.

The NBA will have a new alignment when Charlotte comes in:

Pacific: Golden State, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Phoenix, Sacramento
Northwest: Denver, Minnesota, Portland, Seattle, Utah
Southwest: Dallas, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, San Antonio
Southeast: Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando, Washington
Central: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee
Atlantic: Boston, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto

I guess Memphis and Minnesota really didn't have that big a problem with playing in the Western Conference.

November 17

Took Miranda to ballet class and read "Still Coming Ashore" by Michael Flynn. For a hard science writer, he has a wonderful way with interpersonal relations, much like Charles Sheffield.

November 16

Watched the CSI: Miami episode "Grand Prix". A pit crew fuel man dies with an invisible methanol flame. The driver he works for is a male Anna Koournikova who hardly ever wins. At one point, when Horatio accuses him of cheating, I swear he should have said,"What what I need to win for? I have $65 million in endorsements and I'm gorgeous".

There are two other drivers who try to hit on Calleigh with accents that scream,"Did I tell you I was Italian?" and "Did I tell you I was British?" Lauren Holly plays the bimbo team owner. So there are factions in the team that are both cheating to win and cheating to lose. The head mechanic wanted to lose and was discovered by the fuel guy, so he set up this death.

November 15

Picked up a folding table for Thanksgiving. Whitlock and I watched the second season closer to MI-5 entitled either "Christine" or "Pit of Secrets". It starts with Bruce Payne, movie villain with a British accent, playing an American hitman and getting killed right at the beginning. Christine gives Tom and note she wasn't supposed to see that the hitman who just got plugged was coming to the UK and the CIA was going to terminate him without telling any of the British services.

Tom pull in Zoe and Danny without telling Harry. A CIA agent named Ziegler tells Tom to back off, so we know Quinn isn't making it up. All three are tortured by Americans but only Zoe and Danny are allowed to go back and tell their story to Thames House. They think Tom will escape to Slovakia with Christine.

However, Tom's being set up by an ex-CIA operative whose daughter Quinn recruited. The girl is now in a mental institution. In revenge, Tom is being framed for an assasination of a high British officer.

Tom tries to explain himself to Harry, but ends up shooting his boss instead. Tom swims into the North Sea. We're not sure whether either or both are dead.

On the Enterprise episode "Twilight". Archer wakes up 12 years later with a sexy Vulcan nursing him and Earth destroyed. Directed by Tom Paris, it's essentially "Year of Hell". The special effects budget is exhausted, the actors act, characters change, but it never really happened.

Way back in the past, Archer stayed behind to pull a beam off T'Pol and got a parasite that affects memory for his trouble. He can now only remember stuff that happened before the parasite got him. So T'Pol takes command, but it doesn't stop the Earth from getting destroyed anyway. Along the way, Earth blowing up looks a lot cooler than Alderaan and T'Pol rams a Xindi ship with another Xindi ship strapped to the starboard nacelle.

The Xindi don't stop with Earth and wipe out every Earth colony, which leaves the Enterprise leading a ragtag fleet - oops that was Battlestar Galactica - to the Ceti Alpha system where Kirk exiled Khan. T'Pol remains on the planet to nurse Archer while Trip commands Enterprise as it patrols the system.

So it's 12 years later and Phlox thinks he's found a cure, but it requires the power of a warp engine. After the cure begins onboard Enterprise, he finds out that killing it changes the time continuum, as if it never happened. The Xindi come back to finish the job, but Archer creates a subspace explosion and it was all a dream.

Finished off watching the CSI episode "Jackpot". Al the coroner gets a head from a small town and Gil follows up. Meanwhile, back in Sin City, the techs figure out the head was on "a damp, north-facing slope, a least nine thousand feet up, cleared but not recently exposed to fire". Gil talks to the lady whose dog found the head and the shoulders of the victim are soon found. The rest of the body was buried.

Further examination of the body gives a name to the victim - a student at the University of West Las Vegas where all the students on the show go. The sheriff is suspiciously uncooperative. The coroner is a vet who has been a Vorta, a Ferengi and an Andorian.

The victim had some romantic e-mails with somebody in town. Grissom finds an abandoned barn where the kid's car has been stashed. Turns out the victim was seeing a man the father of his roommate - and the roommate was the killer. Which leaves the open question would you date the parent of a roomate? As the parent, wouldn't you tell your lover to stay away from your kid and the uncomfortable situation that causes?

In the other plot, Catherine is left to do paperwork, but gets a $250,00 check from Sam Braun. She turns it down. Boy, I would have quit my job for the ethics problem, and found another gig pronto.

November 14

Watched the CSI episode "Fur and Loathing" which featured furry fandom. The poor guy in a raccoon costume was in a furpile yiffing Sexy Kitty when a wolf poisoned kitty's fur just where the raccoon could lick it. Rocky gets into an argument with his girlfriend who drives him home. Unfortunately, she runs him over just before getting hit by a truck herself. While heaving by the side of the road the raccoon, he gets shot by a rancher who thinks he's a coyote.

In the B plot, a guy is killed in a robbery over vending machines and left to die in a freezer.

Kauai Obligatory picture of blogger's cat. November 13

Very windy day today. Something fell into our yard. Looks like one of those fake shutters used for decoration on the front of a house.

Back when I raked the leaves and promised to leave them untouched for two weeks so Miranda could jump in them, Whitlock was worried that the wind might undo all my work. Tonight they're not in a neat line directly behind the kitchen, but they're still in a pile next to the house. The wind and the shape of the building tend to do that.

November 12

Ever have a second grader with a math assignment where she's supposed to find various solid shapes around the house? When you can't find a pyramid, it's great to have this.

November 11

Matt Bruce has a post on the AL Rookie of the Year. I've already expressed my opinion on the qualification of Japanese players. The argument is that Jackie Robinson, coming over from the Negro Leagues was considered a rookie. The Japanese Leagues must be inferior to the Negro Leagues since no Japanese League players have ever been elected to the Hall of Fame, but several exclusively Negro League players have. Therefore, a Japanese League player must be considered less major league than a Negro League player and better qualified as a rookie. Anyone who would deny a Japanese League player the Rookie of the Year must be in a favor or retroactively rescinding the awards to Jackie Robinson, Don Newcombe, and everyone else who came over from the Negro Leagues. Any takers?

November 10

A little late in the posting, but still funny from Zulkey.

Rank: Sexy Halloween Costumes

...6. Sexy Don Zimmer. Nobody's taking you down, in your scintillating bald cap, titillating big fat stomach, hot baseball cleats. You are the MVP of sexiness! Downside: Being taken down by Sexy Pedro Martinez.

Watched the Enterprise episode "Shipment". The crew finds a planet where an element called "kemocite" is being refined for a weapon of mass destruction. They break-in and hold hostage the head scientist who reminds me of Paul Williams as Virgil in Battle for the Planet of the Apes.

At first we think he's not Xindi. Then he waxes poetic about the avians on "my" homeworld. So he is Xindi. I had to watch this scene four times to get it straight.

Not much happens. Archer puts a tracking device on the Xindi vessel that will deliver the kemocite to the weapon. Phlox and Tripp discover that the Xindi weapons have a little reproducing worm inside. The Xindi ape scientist tells Archer that not all Xindi are their enemies.

November 9

Blew the leaves into the back yard. Got some very sore arms for my trouble. I told Miranda they'll stay there for two weeks after which I'll suck them up into the woods.

Hung in there to watch a disappointing loss by DC United that included Hristo Stoichkov getting a yellow card for pushing his own teammate. The Ball Coach won and it's gravy now with the team passing my three win prediction.

November 8

Miranda had a long day, going to a soccer game, then a birthday party with her friend Yelena. We peeked outside a few times to watch the lunar eclipse.

Stayed home and watched the MI-5 episode "Strike Force". A weasely corporal says that a distinguished major is planning a mutiny and strike within the armed forces. The alternate plot involves the transportation of spent uranium to Dover amidst massive strike threats in several industries.

Tom has gone undercover but discovers the major only wants him to sign a petition. As Tom tells Danny to remove him from the assignment, the weasely corporal blows the cover. The major intends to hijack the uranium shipment and detonate it in a massive oil fire if his demands aren't met.

As Tom tries negotiate the major to stand down, sharpshooters take down the major and standoff ends. They didn't try to explain how a bomb on one of the oil drums was defused.

Went on to the CSI episode "Feeling the Heat". On another hot Las Vegas day a baby left in a hot car dies, so is that all? The parents, played by Arye Gross and Stacy Edwards, lost another baby to Tay-Sachs. They brought their second child to their pediatrician, played by Carlos Jacott of Buffy and Firefly. The latter child starts showing signs of Tay-Sachs and killed it with neglect. Turns out it was suffering mild pesticide poisoning and was perfectly healthy.

The D.A. is named Jeffrey Sinclair, after the commander played by Michael O'Hare on Babylon 5.

The secondary plot is a girl floating dead in the lake. A guy she picked up turned up missing. Turns out he pushed her off a cliff in fun and she hit her head on a rock. When he dove to rescue her, he drowned.

They went with three plots this week. In the third, a guy in an un-air conditioned apartment turns up dead mysteriously. A tiny bruise leads to electrocution as the cause along with faulty wiring and a trail of water.

Finished with the MI-5 episode "The Seventh Division". It begins with Tom working undercover with customs. As he goes to take a leak or contact HQ, Columbian drug smugglers massacre the customs van.

The Columbians plan to trade drugs for weapons with an Eastern European gang. Zoe and Tom get to the drug lord through his mistress, who also has relations with an English petroleum executive who looks like Bob Ryan. Then Tessa steps in and the drug lord kills his mistress. The drug lord is killed and the weapons shipment is stopped, but Tom has become very disillusioned.

Before Zoe and Tome lure the mistress, they go over their cover, which is as brother and sister. Their parents died when their auto was hit by a truck. In the closed-captioning it says,"Carl met Laurie". Obviously the person doing the closed-captioning knows no British English.

Norman Rockwell
Golly Gee!! You are NORMAN ROCKWELL. You are a painter of simple, everyday happenings. You tend to avoid the outrageous and stay well within the guidelines of society. Your friends count on you for your loyalty and level-headedness.
Which famous artist most reflects your personality?
brought to you by Quizilla
November 7

In the November 10-23 issue of Baseball America, Alan Schwartz writes the hundred-billionth column of how Barry Bonds has been nasty since he was in utero. The inexplicable line is:

The greatest description of him I've ever heard, and I wish I could remember who told it to me years ago, is this: "Barry Bonds was born on third base, and assumed he had hit a triple."

Somebody tell Hank Aaron he's not the major league career home run leader. Apparently, Bobby Bonds should be credited with 827 dingers - and he'll continually hitting them even though he's dead.

November 6

Hal Clement died in his sleep on Wednesday, October 29. I never really liked his work. He recently wrote some sequel stories to Mission of Gravity that I found incomprehensible.

But as a gentleman, Hal Clement was second to none. With nary an unkind word, he strided through conventions with an energy I hope I have when I'm 81.

Back during the planning of Mythcon 1994, the planned and eventual guest of honor was Madeleine L'Engle. However, there needed to be contingency plan in case she turned us down or had to cancel at the last minute for health reasons. I proposed that Hal Clement would gladly turn up on short notice. To fantasy and science fiction conventions, he was the equivalent of Marv Albert to the Late Show and Spike Bowden to Silver Screen Test - the cheerful emergency guest.

For the smile he brought, he will be missed.

Watched the CSI: Miami episode "The Best Defense". In the main plot, two boys spending their trust fund running a bar are shot dead and a friend is also shot but remains alive. Suspicion falls first on another bar owner, but they only get him for drug possession.

Horatio turns to the survivor, the heir to a sugar empire, defended by an attorney played the always-slimy Jay Mohr. Turns out the boy wanted to open a bar himself, run by the two dead guys. When they changed their mind, he shot them. Jay decided to concont a story and shot his client himself. When CSI connects the gun to the attorney, the ruse falls apart.

In the B-plot, Duquesne's been servicing Hagen so effectively, his head's broken through the moonroof. Then Calleigh's Dad Kenwall turns up, just 60 days clean, with a public defender case. It's someone who confesses to stabbing her boyfriend with a screwdriver, but Calleigh suggests Daddy look at the evidence.

Calleigh almost crosses the line of conflict of interest, but there seems to be signs of self-defense. Hagen, the primary detective on the case, is very unhappy. Although, it eventually turns out the suspect kept stabbing even after her boyfriend went unconscious. I still think there was reasonable doubt to convince a jury that she was just too scared to stop.

Dad now wishes he had taken the plea bargain and goes off to drink. Fortunately, Hagen rescues him from driving.

November 5

This response from Avedon Carol to Naomi Wolf:

I'm completely amazed at Wolf's apparent belief that the average college-age woman was ever brimming with sexual confidence.

What we were generally brimming with was the conviction that guys were generally trying to nail anything female, and that's why they were trying to nail us, even though we weren't that pretty, our breasts were too small or too big, our asses were huge, our hair was crap, etc.

Yeah, the same women that guys thought "knew what they were doing" to them never imagined that anyone thought they looked particularly good. Mostly they assumed that with that zit, that ass, that hair, those guys would never ask them out once/again/whatever. And 90% of what they did they were doing because they thought they had to in order to be considered desirable.

Young women have always been insecure about men and the fact that men really are trying to get into our pants doesn't change that because we are convinced it's not personal.

And we can whine all we want about Playboy, but we aren't really comparing ourselves with the Playmates, we're comparing ourselves with fashion models, who are much thinner and even more heavily airbrushed and made-up than porn models. Thank god most guys prefer porn models to fashion models - most of them look considerably more human, and considerably more female.

Men, of course, get less obnoxious as they get older, and that is probably what Ms. Wolf is noticing. Men in their 40s are not just looking to get laid, so they don't try to back you into a corner as fast.

And then men think you look fantastic and wish to hell they could make you stop whining about your big ass and your hair and whatever. (I sometimes think what men really like about porn is that it's so refreshing to see a woman just get undressed and not say something like, "Is my ass too big?")

I'm 51. I don't do what's expected of me and I don't do anything I don't want to do and men - including men who are young enough to be my own offspring - still hit on me. I don't know why they don't hit on Wolf, but she looks more conventionally "pretty" than I do and she's more than a decade younger so it can't be looks and youth alone. Maybe it's that I don't run around trying to make up reasons why porn is bad.

Or maybe they are hitting on her and they're just too subtle for her to notice, or she is still too screwed up to know when to take it personally, or some other dumb girl reason. Or maybe she just intimidates the hell out of them. God knows it can't be because they're not interested in real women, because they sure as hell are, and I still get reminders of that every time I walk out of the house...

One hopes that once one is past one's teens one begins to realize that being "well-hung" has nothing to do with it. Good god, how smart do you have to be to know that teenage girls generally decide whether they are that interested in a guy before they have any idea how well he is hung - and they don't want to hear about it from you, either.


Well-funded doesn't usually have all that much to do with it, either. Brushing your hair and standing up straight is a much more valued quality.

But of course, guys have stupid ideas of what girls are looking for, and girls have stupid ideas of what guys are looking for, and this was true long before any of us were looking at any porn.

November 4

Sometimes the chauffeur thinks he owns the car.

Watched the new Fox series Tru Calling starring Eliza Dushku. If you watched enough post-season baseball this fall, you know the premise. Just out of college, Tru Davies gets a job at the morgue. She gets messages from the recently dead to save them and Tru travels back in time one day to the rescue.

For this episode, we got to meet her sister Meredith, a lawyer with a cocaine problem, and her brother Harrison who has a gambling problem. Her friends from college are Lindsay the girl and Cameron the guy. Tru dates Mark, her professor.

Zach Galifianakis plays Davis, the nerd at the morhue who reminds of me the host of a series on the University of Maryland channel that featured practical applications of mathematics. The show was made in the 1970s so this isn't the same guy.

Between the exposition, Tru is trying to stop the death of a dancer and bartender named Rebecca, portrayed by Callisto herself, Hudson Leick. One of the suspects is a very violent businessman portrayed by Callum Keith Rennie of Due South.

Generally, it's not stupid entertainment. On the good side, there a reasonably-sized dysfunctional family to serve the ensemble cast. On the bad side was my most shocking moment of television in the last week. Halfway through the show, Eliza Dushku says,"Earlier tonight on Tru Calling." For a moment, I thought I taped only one hour of a two hour show, but I was wrong. They must believe that their audience has a such a short attention span, they need to reminded what happened less than half an hour ago. Either that, or it's a sop to the people who just finished watching Friends and zapped over to Fox.

The show's most parodiable moment is that Tru runs everywhere. Sure, she has no car, lives in New York and was a track star in college, but it will wear on us soon. Once Tru goes to LaPlaca Land, the image of Eliza Dushku running might outlive Faith the Vampire Slayer or Missy Pantone in a bikini.

November 3

Refinancing Day. Also fixed the downstairs toilet.

Watched the Angel episode "Life of the Party". This is sort of Lorne's episode as he hosts a Halloween party at W&H. Of course, none of the baddies are coming because they believe Angel will kill them.

Angel and Lorne suck up to a demonic Archduke. The Archduke keeps a being with a cork on his wrist that dispenses his bodily fluid.

As the party sort of heats up, the dance floor is pretty pathetic. Wesley and Fred get very drunk even though they haven't been drinking very much. Spike is uncharacteristically positive. Gunn pees everywhere to mark his territory. Angel and Eve go back to his office to do the wild thing.

Turns out Lorne is behind all this because he's had his sleep removed. Wesley and Fred go to find it while the manifestation of Lorne's sleep is a fatter, tougher Lorne. The storeroom apparently can store ennui as well. Fred returns Lorne's sleep to him by pointing an ominous delivery device at his head. Wesley and Fred establish their "friendness" as Fred has coffee with Knox.

Ben Edlund wrote this episode and it seemed to be filled with more real angst. I was reminded of a supervillain party on the Tick. Also, I was reminded of the alien spaceship that ran on the fear of its pilots.

November 2

Went to the University of Maryland and visited Ludwig Field, the soccer facility. This would be a Division One stadium in England, if Milton Keynes is used for comparison.

My real reason or being in Terrapain Country was the 2003 ACF Fall Mid-Atlantic Tournament where I read questions along with Dwight Kidder, Tim Young and others. I stayed only half the day, but the Yahoo Quizbowl Group should have the winner.

For reading only in the morning, there were still some entertaining moments. One player called himself the Great Gazoo and another made reference to Mr. Peabody so the Baby Boomer icons are not completely dead.

Princeton achieved "The Holy Grail," answering all 20 toss-ups against American. This was the first time anyone had seen American in competition. We hope they weren't discouraged. I was told they'd already won a game at that point.

Dwight Kidder read to one team who didn't pick up additional clues of Ohio senator and flew in space and thought only on the fact of a failed 1984 Presidential bid. So instead of John Glenn, they guessed Walter Mondale. This then brought to Dwight the image of "Mondale in Space". The funniest incorrect buzz was "Robert Burns" for the correct answer of "Sappho".

Finished watching the Angel episode "Reaper". I'd expected another trip into Spike's tormented soul, complete with Drusilla, Buffy and Mom, but unfortunately, it wasn't that exciting. Instead the title character is an 18th century psycho who deconsecrated the land upon which the offices of Wolfram and Hart stand and still haunts the building.

The Reaper wants to torture Spike before sending him to Hell. Spike defeats him and the Reaper ends up in stasis in the basement. The nudity was a little Spike and later on a little Fred in the shower.

November 1

Went to visit my mother-in-law and her visiting sister. My OOTP team signed Marshall Chamness, the reigning MVP. I'm in the process of manually inputting the schedule. After that, the last place Michigan Cougars and Vancouver Redwoods get a logo makeover. Then, the San Bernardino Stallions replace Arrowhead Credit Union Park with ChevronTexaco Field, which looks suspiciously like Cinergy Field while the Great American Ballpark was under construction beyond left-centerfield.

The Undertow...
|Historical Atlas of the 20th Century|
|Who Will Be Eaten First?|
|The Predator Class|
|What It Is, What It Was|
|The Metaphysics of the Buffyverse|
|The Patriotism Refuge|
|Tech Support Excuse Generator|
|Church Sign Generator|
|Kennedy to America|
|Ugly Wedding Dress of the Day|
|The Ramones|
|How to Talk to Your Kids About the Paris Hilton Sex Video|
|Luxury Fashion|
|Operation Iron Hammer|
|They Found Nemo|
|The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same|
|The Spammer's Compendium|
|Of Course|
|Baseball Chronology|
|Today's Front Pages|
|Tomorrow's Ancient History Today|
|Donkey Milk|
|Random Personal Picture Finder|
|College Humor|
|Internet Buzzword Generator|
|Quizbowl Links|
|Cosmic Baseball Association|
|The Stonehenge Project|
|US Army Insignia|
|Late Show Top Ten|

|Jeff Angus|
|BallPark Digest|
|Dave Barry|
|Mike Burger|
|Fred Bush|
|David Bykowski|
|Maciej Ceglowski|
|Margaret Cho|
|Emil Tom Chuck|
|Bill Conlin|
|Jessie Connolly|
|Mark Coen|
|Jon Couture|
|Kevin Drum|
|Victoria Groce|
|Jim Henley|
|Arianna Huffington|
|Hayden Hurst|
|Impolite Company|
|Samer Ismail|
|Bill Maher|
|Jenny Miller|
|Doug Pappas|
|Tricia Southard|
|Julie Stalhut|
|Summary Opinions|
|TRASH Times|
|Eva Whitley|

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Last revised November 30, 2003
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