Monday, August 30, 2004

Kevin Smith to make "Clerks" sequel. Yea!

(Kevin Smith says this movie will be the opposite of "Jersey Girl." Good! That means THIS movie won't stink! Although I did like parts of "Jersey Girl." For instance, the scene at the diner in which Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler discuss sex vs. porn. That was good. And I actually liked Jennifer Lopez' scenes and wish there were more of them. Yet, I wish for less of her in public.)

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Kevin Smith is making another convenience store run.

The writer-director of "Dogma," "Chasing Amy" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" told the Associated Press on Friday that he has begun work on a sequel to "Clerks," his homemade indie classic from 1994.

That $27,000 movie, shot at night in a store where Smith worked, chronicled the adventures of Dante and Randal, two guys who talk about life, death, sex and movies while working at neighboring stores.

The sequel picks up 10 years later.

"It's about what happens when that lazy, 20-something malaise lasts into your 30s. Those dudes are kind of still mired, not in that same exact situation, but in a place where it's time to actually grow up and do something more than just sit around and dissect pop culture and talk about sex," Smith said during an interview at his Hollywood office. "It's: What happened to these dudes?"

A new 10th anniversary DVD of "Clerks" debuts September 7, and Smith said working on that three-disc set inspired him to write about what became of those characters.

The sequel -- titled "The Passion of the Clerks" -- is set to begin shooting in January. Miramax Films, which turned the original into a cult-hit after buying it at the Sundance Film Festival, plans to distribute the follow-up.

"It's funny, it's very raw, insanely foul-mouthed. In many ways it's the antithesis of 'Jersey Girl,"' Smith said, referring to his recent PG-13 comedy with Ben Affleck as the widowed father of a little girl.

Smith is also writing the screenplay for a movie version of "The Green Hornet," but no longer thinks he will direct it. The "Clerks" movie has moved to the top of his to-do list.

He said he called Jeff Anderson, who played the combative video-store worker Randal, and Brian O'Halloran, who was the besieged-by-strangeness convenience store employee Dante, to run the idea by them first.

"Jeff was actually very protective of 'Clerks,"' Smith said. "Jeff was like, 'Are you sure you want to do this? That movie means a lot to people and do you want to go back?' I thought about it honestly, and it would seem chicken to not give it a shot just because I'm afraid of (messing) with the first film."

So far, he said he has gotten only positive responses from the people who have read the script, so he decided to move forward with it. Both O'Halloran and Anderson are signed on, and Jason Mewes, will return as stoner Jay, the "hetero life-mate" of Smith's stoic Silent Bob.

"I'm sure there will be naysayers who say, 'Oh my God, it's an opportunistic grab at a buck,' but it's not. We're doing it for nothing," Smith said. "We're going to do it insanely inexpensively. The budget will be somewhere between 250 grand and $5 million."

The original was shot pre-dawn, and most of the actors worked for free and then went straight to their day-jobs with little or no sleep.

"This time around we'll afford ourselves the luxury of nice 12-hour days," Smith said. "And people can get paid."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I Watch the Video Music Awards so you don't have to.

This year's Video Music Awards are in Miami and the artists are arriving by boat on a dressed-up dock. How old is Kurt Loder exactly? The other host of the pre-show, Su Chin Pak, actually seems to have a brain in her head. I haven't seen many of these videos because MTV and VH1 only show them anymore at 5 a.m. and I can only watch when I have insomnia.

Adorable Will Smith is on the red carpet. He is decked out in Phillies gear. Love him. "I just saw Shaq," Will says. "He lost a ton of weight!"

There is P.Diddy, in a white suit and a weird cropped Mohawk. Look! There is Al Sharpton! (Why is he there?)

Jay Z arrives, also in a white suit, and a straw Panama hat.

Somebody needs to explain to me the rap fashion trend of guys wearing huge white t-shirts over baggy shorts. That is what I wear when I am bloated and I am not considered hip then.

Beyonce is wearing gold lame hot pants and a boob-exposing jacket. I think she has on a blonde wig. Destiny's Child is back in the studio, she reports.

Jennifer Lopez opens the show. She is dressed in a huge brown hat and a brown, leather-ish handkerchief dress. Don't like it. She introduces Usher. It is raining on Usher. Won't this electrocute him as he sings? Oh the rain is so he can get wet and then take off his shirt. Usher uses a microphone stand to break a window. Now it is Ludacris with Usher. And Usher again, in a white suit.

People are dangling from the ceiling. There are fires on stage. This must be to dry off Usher. Now it is Shaq and Will Smith. Shaq is a lard butt, I don't care what anyone says.

The Best Pop Video goes to No Doubt for "It's My Life," in which she kills off all her husbands. I like the song and video and the red flowers in Gwen Stefani's hair.

Jay Z wins an award for "99 Problems," a song I like and my friend Tina hates. "What up B?" he says to Beyonce. She is supposedly his girlfriend although they keep it on the "down low." I guess "What up B?" is as close to a declaration of public love that Jay Z gets.

ARGH! It is Hoobastank singing that song I hate!! And they are off-key!!!

Okay, I am bored. Now I have switched over to the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. People are holding giant pinwheels, fishing nets and there is a parade of vacationers holding inflatable beach toys.

A library outing for the group home folks

Far be it for me to make fun of the differently abled or the mentally ill. Not with all MY anxieties, neuroses and OCD tics. But my recent visit to the local library brought me into contact with some interesting folks.

I was at the magazine rack, picking up my dose of Cosmo, when a sort of good looking guy around my age glanced at me. Considering I am single and hormonal, I glanced back. Then he started repeating: "Sixteen! Sixteen! Sixteen!" I wanted to say, "No. Cosmo! Cosmo! Cosmo!" But then I realized he had some kind of vocal tic.

So I sat down at a table and read the 152 ways I Can Please A Lover. Mr Vocal Tic then started walking around and pushing back all the chairs so that each was even with the table.

Then he began muttering: "Meep! Meep! Meep!"

I checked out my books just as he and his friends got into a van with a counselor and drove away.



Today, Dad and I made a trip to the new Ikea that opened on Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia. It was a madhouse! You would think people had never before been to a discount Swedish retailer! There is an Ikea in Plymouth Meeting, but this one is the first in an urban area.

First of all, I took the wrong turn coming off the bridge and wound up going back OVER the Walt Whitman Bridge. Then I got stuck in a line of traffic going into the Ikea parking lot. There were so many people, they had police directing traffic.

Once inside, a band was playing WAY too loud for Dad's ears. We went upstairs. It was PACKED. It was worse than the Boardwalk in July or South Street at 9 p.m. on a Friday.

Since he is a guy, Dad is not much of a shopper. He is very purpose-driven, wheras I like to sit on all the chairs and touch everything. We had a nifty lunch in the cafeteria. The Swedish meatballs were on sale for $1.99! YUMMMMMMM.

I looked at a wall unit but basically did not have the energy to haul the thing to my car, tie it to my car, drag it up three flights to my apartment and then put it together. Instead, I bought two pillows for $3.99 each, two wooden cutting boards and an impulse buy at the register of 10 wooden hangars.

The BEST part of the new Ikea is that it sits directly across the street from the aging cruise ship, the S.S. United States. In its heyday, the ship was a glamorous passenger vessel. Now it sits rusting at the dock, awaiting someone to refurbish it. But it is darned cool to look at its red smokestacks and deck, even if they have seen better days.

Wacky Wafers!!!

Here is terrible news! Nestle is discontinuing Wacky Wafers! Yes! It is true! (Well, actually, I have not verified this. But I read it on someone else's blog!!!)

Friday, August 27, 2004

Subservient chicken

This is really, really odd. Perhaps disturbing. But also interesting.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Join Friendster

Hi guys, I am having lots of fun on Friendster lately. Come, join. Be one of us. If you want me to send you an "invitation" to be my "friend" let me know!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Should I do this? I like to write letters!

And I could get paid for it!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Britney and Kevin to remake "My Prerogative"

How nice! They are following in the footsteps of Bobby Brown, a truly balanced individual! As well as Jennifer Lopez and her then-husband Chris Judd in a video. And Jennifer Lopez and her then-boyfriend, Puff Daddy, in another video. And of course, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in "Jenny from the Block." Yes, good luck to Britney and Kevin. I shall be watching.,1,14787,00.html

Britney & Beau's Video Wedding
by Lia Haberman
Aug 24, 2004, 2:00 PM PT
back to story

Britney Spears is immortalizing her hot 'n' heavy romance with Kevin Federline by putting him in her new video.

Federline, a backup dancer by trade, will star in the pop tart's new clip--a cover of Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative." The track is one of two new-ish songs to be included on Spears' greatest hits album in stores Nov. 16.

(N.B., Britney: Bennifer commemorated its love in "Jenny From the Block" and look how that turned out.)

Scheduled to debut in early September, the video will feature Spears dressed in a wedding gown and walking down the aisle with Federline. According to People, she'll also be seen in her undies--after cutting off the straps of her wet dress with a kitchen knife because she's driven her car into a pool. (Don't you hate when that happens.)

Writing on Spears' official Website, her mom, Lynne, says the video is being shot at the historic Paramour estate in Los Angeles and will feature lots of close-ups, since the Britster's bum knee still hasn't completely healed. It will also be a family affair. As Lynne writes, "Please look for that good looking hunk of a son of mine in the video--he has a cameo right at the beginning."

Mama Spears has also been helping the young lovers shop for a new house ever since they returned from a "relaxing trip" to Lake Tahoe. (Rough life. Didn't they just return from an R&R retreat in Hawaii?)

Info. on "The Real World" Philly

Posted on Tue, Aug. 24, 2004

"The Real World Philadelphia" cast is taking off. Meet them tonight on MTV, but first, here's a sneak peek.

Inquirer Staff Writer

Where's the drama? The intrigue? The conflict?

It's not around the Old City kitchen table of The Real World Philadelphia house, where the seven castmates gathered Sunday afternoon for a farewell pizza.

As best friends do, they laughed, they hugged, they finished one another's sentences. They raved about Philadelphia's nightspots and tittered over the drunks who felt obliged to sing the Eagles fight song under their bedroom windows in the moonlight.

Mostly, Karamo, Landon, MJ, Willie, Melanie, Sarah and Shavonda (first names only, please) recounted how much they learned about themselves over four months.

The cast's unscripted stories, peppered with young-adult angst, are the centerpiece of the MTV reality series, one of the most-watched shows among young people.

The cast - three Californians, a Midwestern jock, a glib Southerner, a former child actor from New York, and an aspiring lawyer from Florida - will be unveiled tonight in a Real World special. The season premiere will be Sept. 7.

The seven would not spill story lines, but suspicions are strong that one of the men who aren't gay will talk about coming out.

"I didn't think it was going to be such an emotional ride, and it really was," said Karamo, 23. He's a community activist from suburban Los Angeles. "I thought it was going to be more surface, but it's really deep. I think this process has changed all our lives forever." The other six nodded.

The Real World's 15th season very well may contain drama, intrigue and conflict. It may answer any number of questions about the former strangers who shared and swapped doorless bedrooms, submitted to round-the-clock surveillance,and got matching tattoos.

But more immediately, within days of their arrival in late April, the seven learned the answer to the mind-bender "Which came first - the chicken or the egg?"

For reasons unknown, a heckler had rolled a shopping cart containing a live chicken against an outer door of the cast's house at Third and Arch Streets.

The building was egged later. Ergo, the chicken came first.

"I think the people of Philadelphia have been wonderful and great and warm, but an innocent chicken in a shopping cart?" said Sarah, 22, the house hottie, who soon will enter the University of Florida's law school. "I was... questioning animal rights issues in the city. It's not the city of chickenly love."

The others cracked up.

"Great story, Sarah," teased Willie, 23, the New Yorker, who as a youngster appeared on the PBS series Ghostwriter.

MJ, 24, a strapping football player who grew up in Nashville and is seeking his fortune behind the scenes in Hollywood, chimed in that a flasher had preceded the chicken. "Second night here, and a gentleman walked by and pulled out his private area. That was awesome."

The Real World Philadelphia's highest drama played out in March, a month and a half before the cast arrived and shooting began. Several trade unions picketed the house because the show's producer, Bunim/Murray Productions, had hired nonunion contractors to build the living quarters. Construction stopped. Days after a Bunim/Murray worker told a Common Pleas Court judge that pickets had grabbed her, producers announced they were leaving town. They were lured back a week later by an unlikely contingent of young activists, politicians, and newly contrite labor leaders.

"The residual effect was that the anonymity was compromised," said Tracy Chaplin, 42, the show's supervising producer and a veteran of eight Real World seasons. "Our address and picture were in the paper. The key to the success of this show is to allow the kids to focus on themselves, the city and their lives."

In the end, it didn't matter so much.

The seven profess to have weathered any scrutiny well, and ended up loving Philadelphia and most Philadelphians. "The people we would actually talk to were very nice," said Sarah. "The people who would interject were not very nice." Landon and Shavonda were involved in a bar fight last month after locals hassled a man trying to dance with Shavonda at the Old City club 32°.

Perhaps maturity was at work. This season's cast is the oldest in series history, and all but Willie had some college. (Willie was the only cast member who didn't get a tattoo of a Roman numeral XV.) Shavonda, a Hooters waitress and junior-college student from Southern California, is the youngest at 21. Landon, who soon returns to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to finish his degree in landscape architecture, turned 25 on Saturday. The cast age range usually is 18 to 24 during shooting.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Alan Alda will be on "The West Wing"

Alan Alda joining 'West Wing' Actor to play Republican senator

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Alan Alda is returning to series television.

The five-time Emmy winner will join the cast of NBC's White House drama "The West Wing" next season, playing a Republican from California with presidential aspirations.

Also joining the series is Marley Shelton ("Uptown Girls"), who will play a former feature reporter mentored by Danny Concannon (Timothy Busfield) who becomes White House deputy press secretary.

Mary McCormack (USA's "Traffic"), who guest-starred in several episodes last season as the brash new Deputy National Security Adviser, will return as a permanent fixture. Jimmy Smits, meanwhile, is in talks to come on board the series.

Playing a Republican senator is familiar territory for Alda. He plays Maine Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster in Martin Scorsese's upcoming Howard Hughes biopic "The Aviator."

The "West Wing" role marks Alda's first major series commitment since his award-winning run on CBS' "M*A*S*H." In 1999, he did an Emmy-nominated stint on "ER," which is executive produced by "West Wing" producer John Wells.

In March, Alda will begin rehearsals for the Broadway production of David Mamet's play "Glengarry Glen Ross," which will also star Liev Schreiber.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Aiiiieeeee! Thieves stole the "Scream!"

(AP Photo) Munch's Iconic 'Scream' Stolen in Norway
The Associated Press

OSLO, Norway Aug. 22, 2004 — Armed, masked thieves burst into a lightly guarded Oslo museum Sunday and snatched the Edvard Munch masterpiece "The Scream" and a second Munch painting from the walls as stunned visitors watched in shock.

It was the second time in a decade that a version of the iconic "Scream," which depicts an anguished, opened-mouthed figure grabbing the sides of its head, had been stolen from a museum. 

The thieves, who fled by car, also grabbed "Madonna," another priceless painting that along with "Scream" is part of Munch's "Frieze of Life" series painted in 1893-94, depicting themes of sickness, death, anxiety and love.

The two or three thieves, wearing black masks, threatened an employee of the Munch Museum with a handgun before grabbing the paintings, easily snapping the wires that attached them to the wall, witnesses and the police told The Associated Press and local media.

Many museum visitors panicked and thought they were being attacked by terrorists.

"He was wearing a black face mask and something that looked like a gun to force a female security guard down on the floor," one witness, Marketa Cajova, told the NTB news agency.

"What's strange is that in this museum, there weren't any means of protection for the paintings, no alarm bell," a French radio producer, Francois Castang, who saw the theft told France Inter radio.

"The paintings were simply attached by wire to the walls," he said. "All you had to do is pull on the painting hard for the cord to break loose which is what I saw one of the thieves doing."

Police spokeswoman Hilde Walsoe told AP that no one was injured during the robbery and that police had found the escape car an Audi A6 and fragments of the paintings' frames.

Munch, (pronounced "moongk") a Norwegian painter and graphic artist who worked in Germany as well as his home country, developed an emotionally charged style of great significance in the birth of the 20th century Expressionist movement. He died in 1944 at the age of 81.

The stolen "Madonna" depicts an eroticized virgin with a blood-red halo in a dark, swirling aura. Munch later produced woodcut lithographs of a similar subject.

Munch made four versions of "The Scream," an image that has fascinated experts and the general public for decades. Art historians and amateurs alike have pondered the meaning of the enigmatic, seemingly bleak image, which over the years has found fame in the popular culture in serious reproductions but also cartoons and novelty items.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Back in New Jersey

It's raining here. But at least, no hurricanes. Just a gay governor.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Mom's house FINALLY has power

All hail the electric workers and Thomas Edison!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

After the storm

Hi there. I am writing this in the Seminole County library because my Mom's house STILL does not have power. That makes five days since it went off on Friday during the storm. Mom and I have been staying at motels. But Jenny and Kevin are staying in the house because they worry about all their cats. So far, the cats seem fine. They like the heat and are laying around on their backs.

Even though my previous entries make this whole experience seem fun, that was actually a bit of um, hysteria. The storm was PRETTY FREAKIN' SCARY! Picture the worst thunderstorm you have ever been in. Now picture that times 10, going on for two hours. That was the worst of the storm.

There are downed trees and power lines everywhere. It is really hot down here too. At my Mom's house, a tree fell right in the pool (Thank God it missed the house). So they had to haul that out and use the chainsaw to break it up. Then the pool was filled with leaves and branches. The roof has some damage too. Not sure how bad. It will take the claims adjuster a loooooong time to get out to her house.

But everyone is fine and that is all that matters.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Hurricane Update. Friday at 10:07 p.m.

6:09 p.m. This is just like in "The Perfect Storm" when George Clooney says: "She's coming on strong, boys." It is REALLY raining hard now. I have eaten allthe popcorn and some of the cheese.

8:39 p.m. Here we go. Winds picking up. Trying not to be nervous. The tv news is making me nervous. Now watching "Law and Order" instead. Lights keep blinking on and off.

8:48 p.m. Feeling ill. Might have been all that cheese. Plus the Reese's cups. Rain seems to be swirling UP.

8:58 p.m. Cable keeps coming on and off. VERY windy and rainy. Roaring sound outside? Wind or tornado? Okay. Just wind. Not tornado wind.

9:08 p.m. Am watching "Shaft." Mekhi Pfeiffer is in this movie. ANd Toni Colletee. And Vanessa Williams. Rain is flying off the roof, the wind is so strong. Sounds like needles on the door.

9:28 p.m. Mom just called. Their power is out. Mine keeps blinking. There was a huge BOOM a few minutes ago. Turns out a transformer blew up. My stomach is in knots. Will be glad when this is over.

Eye of the hurricane will be here in a few minutes.

I flipped back to Channel 6 - Station of Cheesiness. A reporter named Mike is now being blown around.

9:31 p.m. This is freakin' LOUD. It sound like someone is heaving buckets of raw rice on the windows and doors. Oh the Channel 6 anchors are now in candelight. All their power is out. "The eye of the storm is directly over our studios now," an anchor opines.

Now there are absolutely no lights on Channel 6. The anchors are telling the wind-swept reporter on the scene to keep talking and describe what he sees, even though it is raining so hard he can't open his eyes.

Oops. TV is out.

9:41 p.m. TV back on. The poor Channel 6 guy in the slicker is now shielding his eyes, while he twists and turns in the wind.

9:52 p.m. Is it over? It's quiet. I think it might be over. It is. YEA! And now all you people in North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are going to get it. Get flashlights!

Hurricane Update. Friday at 5:30 p.m.

2:48 p.m. The rain finally hits. The sky was black, inky black and purple. Looked like mountains, but it was just clouds! The rain was blowing sideways! I THOUGHT I was all prepared but then the batteries in my flashlight died. Aiiieee.

Had a brief panic attack. For real. I mean, come on, I am a person with panic disorder and put me in the middle of an approaching Category 4 hurricane. So I called my Mom like 11 times. And then I turned on HBO.

4 p.m. Ran to the 7-11 down the street, in  my raincoat. I found the LAST flashlight! And it takes AA batteries since there are no D batteries anywhere to be found. At this point, the rain has been light.

The 7-11 is PACKED! Loooong lines. Here is what people are buying: cigarettes, cases of beer and pork rinds. And Mountain Dew. I buy cheese and cookies. ANd since I have a flashlight, if the power goes out, I can use it to find the cheese.

Watched some local coverage of the storm. Down here, Channel 6 is the cheesiest station. A reporter named Donald is standing in the pouring rain in Port Charlotte as the hurricane comes ashore. He is being blown sideways. I hope he gets blown into the ocean. What a moron. The anchors are PRETENDING they are concerned.

4:13 p.m. Mobile homes are being evacuated. Why does God wish so badly to smite mobile homes?

4:22 p.m. Donald, the Channel 6 reporter, just got clonked on the head with roof debris. Good. "The eye is officially here," Donald said. Uh, yeah.

5:22 p.m. Oh joy. The hurricane is headed right to us! But it will lose a lot of strength over land. The worst winds will hit us after 9 p.m. and the storm will go back out to sea near Daytona. I can hear the thunder rumbling outside. Will sign off for now.

In Orlando, waiting for the storm

Here I sit at a computer in the Hampton Inn's tiny business office. We are waiting for Hurricane Charley. The storm is supposed to come ashore near Sarasota or Tampa, then sweep across the state. We will probably get rain and wind here in Orlando.

I brought a flashlight and raincoat and purchased the following supplies from the 7-11: C2 soda, Diet Sprite, chicken salad sandwich, popcorn, hard boiled eggs, milk, OJ, cinnamom toast crunch. (There is a little fridge in my room). I COULD go over to Mom's but then I would be trapped with all the cats. So I would be riding out the storm whilst wheezing.

This motel is sold out with evacuees from Tampa and the west coast of Flordia. My plane got in REALLY late last night because of weather delays, so I didn't wake up in time to get the Hampton Inn's free breakfast. Instead, I walked to the Waffle House. The restaurant is the kind of place where you seat yourself and when someone compliments the chef, the waitresses yell: "Compliments to the chef. Surprise!!"

Sarah was my waitress. Very funny. Missing a tooth. Oh well. Called everyone "honey" or "boo boo." The couple next to me had a coupon for $7.50 but forged a 1 onto it to make it $17.50. Then they ordered steak and eggs. Then they said they couldn't pay the bill because the manager wouldn't take the $17.50 coupon.

I ordered scambled eggs and hash browns "capped" (with mushrooms) and "diced (with tomoto). I also could have had them "smothered" (with cheese) and something to do with picante sauce. And they gave me a choice of raisin toast! Yum!

Right now it is cloudy and the sky looks weird. The local tv people are going crazy, of course. They have all done the "Stocking up on supplies at the supermarket and Home Depot" story. I myself have done that story numerous times. Will keep you posted as long as there is power.

My governor is gay. Is yours?

Not that there is anything wrong with that.......

Well! So I was home yesterday afternoon, watchin "Oprah" and waititng to go to the airport when the news broke in. With, of course, "Breaking News." About Gov. Jim McGreevey. All hush hush and weird.

And then there he was, talking about "feelings" and "confusion" and "identity" and I thought, "Oh no. I know where this is heading." Then he says he had an affair with a man (while his wife stood next to him, smiling tightly) and that he is a "gay American."

I almost fell off my couch.

The BEST was watching the Philadelphia news anchors try to spin and explain the whole thing after McGreevey got done talking. They were sort of grasping for words. So they kept quoting McGreevey. "The governor said he is a gay American."

Turns out these rumors had been going on for years and now we find out he paid his boyfriend more than $100,000 to work for him. And WHY drag his two wives and two daughters into his confusion? Oy.

I can't wait till we have an out, gay governor, and it is not a big deal and no one feels it necessary to create this double life.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Kitty in the cockpit

Cat in cockpit leads to paws in flight

August 11, 2004

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- A Belgian airliner made an emergency landing after a cat got into the cockpit and attacked the co-pilot, the airline said Tuesday.

The SN Brussels flight from the Belgian capital to Vienna, Austria, had been in the air about 20 minutes Monday when ''it was noticed'' that a passenger's pet had escaped from its cage, ''although it is not yet clear how,'' according to an airline statement.

The pilot decided to return to Brussels as a precaution, and the 58 passengers departed once more two hours later on another flight.

The cat had been checked in Oslo, Norway, in an internationally approved ''flight transport bag,'' but the airline said it may end up changing its procedures for pets in the cabin once it concludes its investigation.

Tropical storms. Aiiiee!

Aiieee! I am supposed to fly to Orlando on Friday just as TWO tropical storms are supposed to hit. Aiiieeee!

I am already wacky about flying. And then, flying on Friday the 13th (although I will not be at a summer camp). And now, flying into two storms!!!!! Well, I won't know what the weather will be until Friday morning so there is not much I can do until then. Except obsess.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Is anyone else excited about the start of the Olympics on Friday! I am! I love the Opening Ceremonies when all the athletes from all the countries march in. And the announcers say things like: "Here is the ping pong team from Upper Volta" and there is the entire tennis team from Mauritania!"

Monday, August 9, 2004

Bring back their bling!

AOL News

Paris and Nicky Hilton's Home Burglarized

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 6) - Police confirmed Friday they were investigating a burglary at the Hollywood Hills home of Paris and Nicky Hilton.

Someone broke into the house Wednesday night, but detectives haven't identified a suspect, Officer Esther Reyes said. She wouldn't comment on what was stolen, citing the ongoing investigation.

Getty Images Socialites Paris, left, and Nicky Hilton at a party for Maxim Magazine in January.

(Below is my favorite quote of the story...)

"Everything ... Just all my valuables. All my jewelry. All my money," Paris Hilton, star of the Fox reality show "The Simple Life 2," told KABC-TV during a visit to the home Friday.

Hilton, who was not home at the time of the break-in, did not specify to reporters what was taken. She arrived carrying her pet Chihuahua, which was dressed in a pink outfit.

Us Weekly magazine quoted an unnamed Hilton family member who said the burglar took off with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, jewelry and personal items.

Another unnamed source told the magazine that a laptop computer, several designer purses, video tapes and photographs of Paris Hilton with ex-boyfriend Nick Carter were also taken.

Burglars appear to have cut a window screen and entered the modest Hollywood Boulevard home.

Hilton said she was renting the home and planned to move into one she had purchased next month that will have more security.

Friday, August 6, 2004

Clinton will be on the "Daily Show" on Monday!

Bill Clinton to Appear on 'Daily Show,' but He's Skipping 'Saturday Night Live'

The Associated Press
NEW YORK Aug. 6, 2004 — Bill Clinton has been all over television promoting his new book. But one show he won't be visiting is "Saturday Night Live."

The former president has turned down an invitation to be guest host of the NBC sketch-comedy series next season, spokesman Marc Liepis confirmed Friday. No reason was given for Clinton rejecting the offer, first reported by TV Guide Online.

But far from going into retreat, Clinton will sit down with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's "Daily Show" Monday at 11 p.m. EDT, presumably to say more about his best-selling memoir, "My Life," as well as global affairs and the presidential race.

This appearance comes on the heels of Clinton's guest shot on CBS' "Late Show" Tuesday, when he brought a copy of his book as a birthday gift for host David Letterman's 9-month-old son. Meanwhile, Clinton gave Letterman a rare ratings win over NBC's "Tonight Show," delivering the biggest audience for "Late Show" since last March, when Janet Jackson drew a crowd for her first post-Super Bowl interview.

Fueled by Clinton's ongoing publicity blitz, his book has sold more than 1.5 million copies since its June 22 release.

Not politically correct. But fun!

Thursday, August 5, 2004

John Kerry's Maniac Flash Dance


Build a better Bush!

Tigger got acquitted!

All is right in the 100 Acre Wood once again...I think.,0,3183772.story?coll=orl-home-headlines

Jury acquits Tigger performer

Michael C. Chartrand has been cleared of molesting a 13-year-old girl at Disney World.

By Anthony Colarossi | Sentinel Staff Writer

August 5, 2004

August 5, 2004 Making his case.
Aug 5, 2004

ORLANDO - A jubilant Michael C. Chartrand celebrated his freedom Wednesday night after jurors quickly acquitted him of molesting a 13-year-old girl while he was dressed as Tigger at Walt Disney World.

Jurors, who tried on the costume's paws and head during their deliberations, took less than an hour to clear Chartrand.

After hearing the verdict, he hugged his attorney and members of his family. He later thanked the jury.

"I just want to thank them for spending their time to do what they did, and sorry they had to waste their own time," said Chartrand, 36, who has been suspended without pay from Disney.

The girl who told police Chartrand touched her breast sat with her mother and other family members in the courtroom's front row. They gasped at the words not guilty and were hustled out of the courthouse away from reporters.

Asked whether he was bitter, Chartrand said, "I was brought up to be a gentleman and a scholar the English, old-fashioned way, and so I have no animosity to anybody. I have values that most Americans would probably wish to have." He moved to Central Florida from England last year.

His acquittal ends a three-day trial that gained international attention and became the subject of jokes on late-night television.

Disney, wanting to preserve what it called the "magic" of the storybook character, had asked the prosecutor and defense lawyer to disguise the costume during trial.

But Chartrand's lawyer, Jeffrey Kaufman, refused and made the costume a central piece of his defense. Kaufman, who portrays Tigger and other characters at Disney part time, argued that the costume is too bulky and cumbersome for anybody to grope a park guest easily.

During his closing argument, Kaufman climbed into the costume and spoke to the jury through the feline's oversized head.

Afterward, he said Chartrand should have never been charged.

"He was falsely accused, and he took the risk that very few of us would take to . . . to clear his name," said Kaufman, who took on Chartrand's case for free.

Before the trial, heard by Orange Circuit Judge Bob Wattles, Assistant State Attorney William Jay offered Chartrand a deal to plead no contest to misdemeanor battery in exchange for one year of probation.

But Chartrand refused and went to trial on a charge of lewd or lascivious molestation of a child 12 to 15 years of age. He could have faced more than four years in prison. The maximum is 15 years.

Jurors said afterward that the state didn't make its case.

"The state did not present enough evidence,"juror Kathy Bohn said.

One of the jurors, who asked not to be named, said Kaufman's theatrical closing did not influence the decision.

"It had no affect on our decision," he said. "It [the decision] was based solely on the evidence or lack of evidence."

On Wednesday, Chartrand called his brief time doing character work "a very magical job" but wasn't sure whether he would be able to wear a costume again. He suggested he might like to be a character greeter and remain out of costume.

Later, Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Polak would not comment on the trial or Chartrand's future with the company.

Chartrand took the stand Wednesday and denied rubbing the girl's breast.

"Have you ever touched a woman's breast intentionally while working for Disney?" Kaufman asked him.

"Never," Chartrand responded. But he said he might have touched the girl's breast accidentally.

But Jay told jurors, "It's an accident that happens an awful lot with this defendant. It was no accident and no mistake."

Earlier, Jay showed Chartrand about 20 pictures of Tigger and other Disney characters posing with guests. Chartrand, who said he collected the photos to show his family and supervisors, provided the pictures to the sheriff's investigator.

Many of the pictures showed characters holding young women under their armpits with their paws around their rib cages. With many of the pictures, Chartrand couldn't say for sure whether he was the person in the costume.

Jay asked whether the character was holding breasts in some of the pictures.

"I would say it's in the breast area, but not exactly on the breast," Chartrand said.

"What's the breast area as opposed to breast?" Jay said.

"I don't know. I'm not a doctor," Chartrand said.

Jay also showed Chartrand a picture of the 13-year-old and her mother with Tigger. The girl appears to be leaning toward Tigger, and its paw is not on her breast.

But Tigger's left paw does appear to be resting close to the mother's left breast. She also had complained to police that she was fondled, but Chartrand wasn't charged.

Earlier Wednesday, the mother testified that her daughter has suffered at school and become withdrawn since the February incident.

She said she reported the incident to get the person playing Tigger "removed in case another child was touched."

After the verdict, Chartrand was surrounded by family members.

Linda Chartrand, who flew in from London to watch her son in court, said she initially had some doubts about the American justice system but then changed her mind after hearing the verdict.

"Now I have hope and faith that justice worked," she said.

"There's no way on this earth he would have done such a thing. I absolutely know it."

Wednesday, August 4, 2004


Why is Ashlee Simpson's song No. 1 on the charts? Really, why? Why does she have a strange, shag hairdo? Why are the Simpson sisters even part of my consciousness? Why?

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Nightmare Vacations

The Philadelphia Inquirer

South Jersey Neighbors section

Aug. 1, 2004

A cruise seemed like the perfect vacation for my boyfriend and me in August 1992. We were in our early 20s then and didn't have a lot of money. The travel agent at the Oxford Valley Mall convinced us that a cruise would be a good bargain because meals and fun activities were included.

A cruise ship seemed big and safe. My boyfriend at the time, Jamie, had been on a cruise before and talked about how much fun it was.

Too bad we didn't know our cruise ship would sail right through Hurricane Andrew, a Category 4 storm that caused death and destruction across Florida and the Bahamas.

I lived in Bucks County back then and was not too concerned about storms. But when I heard something about the looming hurricane, I called the cruise line. They assured me that the ship would still set sail from Florida and would steer far, far away from the storm.

Jamie and I flew to Florida and boarded the cruise ship after getting the obligatory picture taken on the ramp. Our room was small but clean. We set out to have some fun.

The first night on the ship seemed a little choppy, but not terrible. The crew mentioned the hurricane only in passing. As in, it was passing us by. Nothing to worry about.

But on the second day, the ship started pitching and rolling, and the sky looked really weird. We were off the coast of Florida, near the Bahamas. The cruise director told us we would not be stopping in the Bahamas the next day, but instead, would be going "out to sea" to stay out of the way of Hurricane Andrew. He made it seem like no big deal. This was before the Internet and wide use of cell phones, and there were no up-to-date newspapers on board.

But the weather started getting rough, and the not-so-tiny ship was tossed. Up and down. Up and down. The crew started lining the railings of the ship with barf bags. Then a bunch of them got seasick. This did not strike me as a good sign.

It was a tough night. The next morning, I was green. I found the ship's doctor. He gave me a shot of something. I don't know what it was. But I loved that doctor.

Eventually, I felt less green. Eventually, the rolling got less and less. The cruise director mentioned that Hurricane Andrew had passed over Florida. He didn't mention the death and destruction. Instead, we played bingo. I won $50.

It wasn't until we came ashore in Florida that I realized something bad had happened. I called my answering machine, and there were about 25 messages: from my mother, my father, my boss, my friends. All wondering how I was and if we were in the path of the hurricane. Oh yeah. We were. But at least I won $50.

Will scream

If I have to hear that song by Hoobastank, "The Reason," one more time, I swear I am going to scream!!!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2004

My weekend in NYC

I spent Saturday and Sunday in NYC visiting friends and seeing the FABULOUS Broadway show, "Hairspray."

I LOVED the show. It is based on the 1980s movie by John Waters that starred Ricki Lake and Divine as a family in Baltimore during the turbulent era of the 1960s. The musical has such energy and sweetness, even as it tackles the topic of desegregation. I could only afford a cheap seat so I was waaaaaaaaay up in the nosebleed section. But it was great from up there. So bright and funny.