February 27, 2004
photo courtesy Chicago Tribune

You're looking at over $100,000 dollars worth of string. That's what's left of the infamous "Bartman Ball" after its ceremonial execution last night in Chicago. Don't feel too bad for the ball, though; it was 'fed' a last meal of steak and lobster tails at Harry Caray's. And yes, that is Smashing Pumpkins frontman (and Chicago resident) Billy Corgan, taking about $5 grand worth as a souvenir.

Click here to listen to a WBBM .mp3 soundclip of the ball's demise.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 26, 2004
A Moral Movie Dilemma 
I'm having a little moral dilemma about seeing Mel Gibson's new film, The Passion of the Christ.

My problem is not with the movie, it's with Mel Gibson. I don't know the man, I've never met him, and he could be a perfectly nice guy. I just don't like some of his viewpoints. Specifically, in media interviews he has been very hostile towards gays and lesbians, and for that reason I don't want my hard-earned dollars lining his pocket. Now, I realize that only a portion of my $9.50 will go to Mel, and that some of that money will go into the pocket of people who don't necessarily share his views.

Then again, I went to see Braveheart and Lethal Weapon, so it would be disingenuous of me to say I wouldn't put my money in his pocket under any circumstances.

A little about me: personally, I do not belong to any organized religious denomination, nor was I raised under any particular faith. Although most of my family is historically Christian (as far as I know), family members of my parent's generation onward are primarily agnostic/atheist in identification. That said, I have always had an interest in theology of all colors, both for its mystical element and for its important role in world history and events. You can't ignore its influence.

So here we are. 2004 A.D., anno domini, "in the year of our Lord," and dang, we're still fighting about it. My problem is this: I would like to see The Passion of the Christ because I've heard it's a powerful, unique cinematic work. I've seen The Ten Commandments, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Exorcist, and just about every good and bad movie about religion under the sun. Why? Faith makes for compelling human drama, and gives valuable insights into our origins and what we believe our destiny to be. I'm interested in seeing the movie, but I'm torn about where my money's going. Would I feel differently if I waited to rent it? What if I bootlegged a copy?

Maybe I should take a friend's advice: buy a ticket for another movie, then sneak into an adjoining theater playing TPOTC.

Afterthought: here's what the folks at Metacritic are saying.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 25, 2004
Gay marriage, and the Bible... Reloaded! 
I've just posted this great open letter at Multifarious Musings... From Professor James Kauffman, of the University of Virginia, to our favorite radio talk show host - Dr. Laura Schlesinger.

Ya know, it just doesn't get any better than this!!! check it out HERE!!!

posted by Jon C.  [link] | |

Classic Sax, Violins, and Horn(y) Beasts 
James Lileks has a brand-new section on lileks.com: StagWorld! Classic American Men's Magazines from the 50's and 60's! You know he's been wanting to post these - and he finally has, that kitschy rascal. WARNING: This falls under the below-mentioned "not appropriate for children" category.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

What's Happening? 
We've added another little goodie to the farkleberriesUSA sidebar: an interactive event calendar that reminds you of important dates among the farkleberries Team, and allows you to add your own! Just click on the name of an event to get further details, web URLs, etc. To add a birthday, anniversary, the release date of a movie, sports event, etc. click the 'add your event' link. Hey! It's your calendar!

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 24, 2004
Anyone see this yet? I haven't stared at a screen with so much disbelief since watching a few episodes of that Paris Hilton "reality" show (the name of which, finally, escapes me). I sort of reviewed it (w/ some spoilers) on www.isamonkey.org/sillylibra. Elephant, that is, not the Paris Hilton thing. I also stared at a screen in disbelief when my co-worker Steve got over 1800 points playing Population:Tire the other day, but that's a story for another time. Cheers and happy movie-watching!

posted by Elizabeth  [link] | |

How To Cook Bantha Ass 
...is only one of the things you'll learn from three-handed-extraterrestrial-chef-in-drag Harvey Korman in the long-lost, George Lucas-suppressed 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. Last Saturday we had the experience of watching all two hours, courtesy of a couple of good friends with good media connections (and collections). Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I saw this musical revue on TV during its maiden airing, but my brain knew better and suppressed it as well. Like the Titanic, it was never heard from again.

The first twenty minutes of the program are set on WookkieeWorld, in Chewbacca's family's treetop home. Chewie's wife, his son Lumpy and denture-free father Itchy are waiting for him to arrive home from interstellar space in time to celebrate LifeDay, a holiday UU churches would love. Unfortunately the Wookkiee family no speaka Engrish, and we are left to interpret their grunts and groans without the aid of subtitles, Han Solo or C3PO. So, what does the show have to do with Star Wars?

Little or nothing; scratch that - absolutely nada.

Leads Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hammill (none of whom appear on-screen for more than five minutes, and were probably paid in scrip) appear in hastily-shot keyed video cameos using some leftover sets from the film. For the rest of the show, Bea Arthur (as a Tatooine Cantina bartender), Art Carney, Harvey Korman (a three-armed alien Julia Child in drag), Diahann Carroll (as a VR Wookkiee porn star Chewbacca's dad 'enjoys' - seriously) and Jefferson Starship (wearing purple spacesuits and playing those tweaky keyboard-guitars) sing, dance, and muddle along without a plot, a script, or a clue. It's so awful, it's a gem. Trivia note: one of the show's writers was Bruce Vilanch.

While this exercise in gob-droppingly bad television isn't available at your local Best Buy®, if you hunt around a little on the internet, it's not hard to find a pirated copy.

Afterthought: this person knows the names and history of every character in the show.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 23, 2004
He's Baaaack!!! 
 OK - I'll fess-up, I voted for Ralph Nader in the last election. Ralph in 2000At the time, I was dealing with the fact that I wasn't a right-wing  Republican, like the majority of the rest of my family... I thought Gore was a bore, and quite frankly - I just plain-old like Ralph Nader. I think that I may have perhaps also swung that pendulum a little bit too far to the left also, however: kind-of a knee-jerk reaction to the realization of my political stance.

Yeah, about Mr. Nader, I like the fact that he was looking out for the little guy in the early 70's. Hey, remember Unsafe At Any Speed - his tome on the Chevy Corvair, and the auomobile industry in general?? My first car was a hand-me-down 1966 Corvair and I can attest... everything he said about that car was true. Mr. Nader has ALWAYS been a man of the people: environment, big industry, government - he's always had the courage to stand-up to them, and for the little guy... he's one of my heros because of that.

Well, he running again, and the Democratic party is worried. I can't say as if I blame them - but there also seems to be quite alot of anger toward him, also - this I don't understand. Last I checked, anyone who want's to run for the presidency has that right, right? I wonder if the Democratic party asked him to join their party... they should! I digress, and I wish Mr. Nader well, he's a good man...

Anyways, back to my point...

Sorry, Ralph, I'm NOT voting for you this  time, no way, and I hope like-minded people feel the same as I . I learned my lesson from the last election, the lesson that sometimes you have to vote against, not for, a President. It surely seems sad, and cynical, but even though I didn't vote for "W", I'm in part responsible for his rise to the Presidency. I won't make that mistake again, for sure.

posted by Jon C.  [link] | |

Blood, Guts, and Murder: At Last, a Reason to Enjoy TV Again 
I think I have finally found a new (post X-Files) television show I can sink my teeth into.

About two years ago I watched a couple of episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; they didn't grab me at the time, but to be fair, I was watching the show on a 4-inch diagonal black-and-white set via peripheral vision while washing dishes. Now, I've been renting the DVD box sets, and I'm hooked. Besides, I've been a William Petersen fan since Manhunter, and CSI nicely showcases his enigmatic Shatnerosity.

Blood, guts, murder and cold hard science: I loved it in movies like Se7en, Silence of the Lambs and Manhunter, and now can I love it in easily-digestible 45-minute segments on the tube. I've finally caught on, two years after the rest of the country.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 22, 2004
Tales From the Pointless Forest 
Today I rummaged through the storage boxes and retrieved an old VHS copy of a movie I first saw in first grade: "The Point".

"The Point" (first broadcast by ABC in 1971) is an animated movie set in a world where everything has a point. Everything. The buildings, the trees, and even the people. Except for a little round-headed kid named Oblio.

Banished for his difference (after all, "the law is the law"), little Oblio is left alone except for his trusty dog Arrow. Oblio searches his way through the Pointless Forest, encountering all types of characters and adventures, while back at home the townspeople question the validity of bad laws.

Perhaps it's a stretch, but even through the knee-deep psychedelic symbolism (and some still great and groovy sounding Harry Nilsson tunes) I think it still speaks to today's political/social landscape.

If you get the opportunity, check it out when it premieres on DVD; listen closely for voicework by Mike (Brady Bunch) Lookinland and
veteran voice actor Paul Frees.

Speaking of great tunes, it's worth it to me just to hear my daughters sing along to this song and burst into giggles when the whale, well . . . read for yourself:
"Think about Your Troubles"

Sit beside the breakfast table. Think about your troubles
Pour yourself a cup of tea and listen to the bubbles.
You can take your tear drops and drop 'em in a tea cup.
Take 'em down to the river side, and throw 'em over the side.
To be swept up by a current, then taken to the ocean to be eaten by some fishes,
who were eaten by some fishes and swallowed by a whale,
who grew so old, he decomposed.
He died and left his body to the bottom of the ocean.
Now everybody knows that when a body decomposes
the basic elements are given back to the ocean.
And the sea does what it ought to, and soon there's salty water--
Not too good for drinking. 'Cause it tastes just like a tear drop.
And you run it through a filter, and it comes out from a faucet.
And it pours into a teacup, which is just about to bubble.
Now think about your troubles!

posted by James  [link] | |

February 21, 2004
Life is (almost) Perfect!!! 
It's truly a great day in upstate New York (well, at least for me!) Visit my Musing and find out why!!!

posted by Jon C.  [link] | |

February 20, 2004
Housewives! You Do Not Need a Ballot to Clean Out... 
...Your Sink Spout. So said a Massachusetts journal in the days before the women's vote. What does that have to do with the price of hamburger in San Francisco? Er...well, you'll just have to read it to find out. I've posted another rant on the same-sex marriage issue on farkleberries Original Flavor®, spurred by today's comments by Gubernator Ahnuld.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

Should We Rebuild the Twin Towers? 
There's a part of me, as a re-located New Yorker, that would love to see the Twin Towers rise again over the Manhattan skyline. When my family first came to the U.S. we lived in Manhattan; the towers were then beginning to rise, and in my lifetime those two buildings became part of the essential definition of 'New York'.

Some people say that rebuilding the World Trade Center towers would only throw salt in the wounds of those who lost friends and family on 9/11; others contend our country would be 'asking' for another terrorist attack by doing so. I disagree on both counts.

An advocacy group called Team Twin Towers proposes setting aside the Studio Daniel Liebeskind "Freedom Tower" design for the new WTC, instead rebuilding the site as it was. From the Team Twin Towers website:
Building anything shorter, or smaller than the Twin Towers is tantamount to kneeling to terrorism. No terrorist organization has the right to dictate building heights or what a skyline should look like and how ideals, hopes, and dreams should be compromised. Whatever is built at the WTC site will send a message around the world. What message do we want that to be? The world is watching how we choose to move forward.
Team Twin Towers also does include a proposed memorial to those lost on 9/11 in their design. You can sign their online petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/rebuildtwintowers/.

What do you think? Should we rebuild the Towers, or move forward with the new SDL Freedom Tower design?

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 19, 2004
Happy Birthday, Nate! 
How time does fly. I hope your day is fun, even if you have to spend it with people who were born after the Iran Hostage crisis. There is a sublime pleasure that comes from being able to say, "when I was your age...." - even if you don't have to say it out loud.

It's the joy of curmudgeonhood. :)

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 18, 2004
1) I think Gain™ is the best-smelling laundry detergent around. Normally, I wouldn't feel the urge to post that on a blog, but we just got a humongous jug of it at Sam's Club, and I've been smelling my shirts and sweaters all week. Usually no one is around, but I've been caught sniffing publicly a couple of times. Damn, that's fresh.

2) Yesterday, after about twenty years of working with computers in one form or another, I finally discovered the true function of the PrntScrn button. I never knew that pressing the button copied an image of the screen to the clipboard. I'd been pushing that button, only to be disappointed time after time again after a page failed to emerge from my printer. I was convinced that button was a big practical joke Apple and IBM were playing on us.

3) After hearing lots of recommendations, I finally got adventurous yesterday and downloaded Mozilla™. It's not bad; it's fast, and the rendered web pages seem to look better than they do in IE, but that's probably my imagination. One silly question. Why does it look like Netscape Navigator?


4) From Geoffrey at Dog Snot Diaries: "If facts were bullets, insults would be the hollow point. They don't add to the weight of the lead, but they sure make one hell of a mess. Without the rest of the bullet, though, they aren't shit. That's where most people make the mistake."

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

Last Friday I was in Mexico, and I found an American dime in a restaurant parking lot. A month ago, I was in the Target parking lot, and I found a Mexican Peso. There is some Deep Significance at work here.

That, or I have WAY too much free time on my hands.

posted by James  [link] | |

February 17, 2004
Yeah, here's what's happening in OUR neck of the woods - READ ME!

posted by Jon C.  [link] | |

Cracked Windows 

Now that a portion of the source code for the Windows NT platform has managed to escape the tighly clenched fingers of Microsoft - I suspect that it won't be too long before yet a new and exciting flurry of really nasty viruses begin to invade the sanctity of our PCs.

Have you ever wondered why there just doesn't seem to be the quantity of security issues with other operating sysems... I have.

You hardly ever hear about security leaks in OSX, or Linux. I always though that this is bacause Microsoft Windows is so prevelant... it's such a big, tempting target... but I could be wrong here.

People like to poop on Windows!Hundreds of millions of computers use Windows worldwide - so by hacking Windows - you can do the most damage to the most computers, with the least amount of effort ...More "bang for the buck", so to speak. Besides, people love to hate Bill Gates, Mr. Microsoft. He's soooo rich, so the pirate spirit in hackers want a piece of that booty. Now that Mr. Gates has done-pulled a Janet Jackson, hackers have a real opporuniy to beat-up the big guy.

I had an interesting conversation with a new friend the other day, and he had a really different, and I feel, really interesting take on the "Kill-Bill" attitude towards Windows, with all it's security holes in particular - it really makes a lot of sense.

He's a real fan of open-source programs - his theory is, you'll never see security issues with an open-source operating sysem, like Linux, because people (would-be hackers?) actually have a stake in the program, and everybody is watching everybody else anyways, so there's more opportuniy to make a "bullet-proof" operating system, with all those eyes looking... The open source community probably wouldn't accept something as flimsy, and that needs the quantity of patches as Windows needs.

There's a whole lot of really great open source apps out here, also - OpenOffice is a very nice office suite (people complain about the database - but to be honest, I rarely use Access anyways, so the suite is just perfect for me!) Resistance is futile!You'll probably be able to find an open source application for pretty much anything you'd ever need.

It's too bad that Bill has so many enemys - the leak could have acually helped improve Windows, had he been better-liked - I have a feeling that the only thing the leak will do is make it a bigger target for hackers... Who knows, maybe the giant can be slain after all.

posted by Jon C.  [link] | |

No Faint Praise 
From PerversionTracker:
"...fills a much-needed gap in the fossil record. Yet another offering from that odd little country to the left of Belgium, this malformed application is clearly a product of the mild climate, abundant farkleberries, total lack of competition, and intense radioactivity that characterize its tiny volcanic island.

This crusty app fails in its obvious quest to attain the coveted 11.0 rating only because it may someday prove useful in the emergent scientific field of evolutionary coprology. Climb on board the tumbrel, Gordon Worley, and enjoy a surprisingly cake-like 10.7. "
Okay, so they're not really talking about us.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

Happy Presidents' Day 
"Father, I can not tell a lie. I did chop down the Channel 5 tower." Here is the most recent of a long series of Model™-inspired works. Don't spend it all in once place, you lucky devils.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 15, 2004
The Rake Is In League With The Vacuum and the Broomstick 
Yeah, I know that gleaning life lessons from observing your dog is probably dangerous behavior, but nonetheless...

I have to wonder how much the psychological baggage we carry into our adult life had its origin in seemingly harmless circumstance. When our dog was 8 weeks old, a kitchen broomstick slipped from its position against the countertop and thwacked her on the head. Now a robust 13 weeks (and growing), she has emerged unscathed . . . physically, that is. However, observation shows that the falling broom toppled a series of dominoes that are still cascading within this canine's cranium.

Any attempt to sweep the house in her presence is now met with hair-raising (hers, not ours) barks, and a frenzy of defensive posturing. In her braver moments, she will lunge bravely toward the business end of the broom, and attempt to chomp off a mouthfull of bristles. Apparently, in her mind, the garden rake is most likely engaged in an unholy alliance with the broomstick. I assume so, from her behavior, which alternates between rake handle gnawing and territorial pacing while I attempt to do some backyard landscaping. And of course, the whisk broom and the dust pan would have you believe that they are innocent bystanders, but the dog knows better. And don't get her started with the vacuum. They're all in on it. She wouldn't be so paranoid if not for the fact that they are all against her.

So, the next time you suddenly feel an aversion or fear of someone or something that you simply can't put into words, consider . . . it may have started with the broomstick.

posted by James  [link] | |

Vile Spammers Strike Again! 
While posting a comment on a friend's blog recently, I came across a strange-looking entry from someone named "human growth hormone" that read, "I want to tell you I enjoy blog very much."

You probably know where this is going, but after I innocently clicked on the link - thinking that the comment was posted by some clever sap for whom English is not a first language - I later realized the commenting bin was filled with dozens of similar spam entries containing similarly generic bland 'comments', all linking to pages selling the usual spammer's array of weight loss pills, penis enlargement patches and money-making schemes.

One question: who exactly are the people that make these spamming efforts even remotely worth the effort? Are there people really stupid enough to trust and give money to a marketer who had to get their attention by spamming a blog's comment box? If you're thinking that mine was the blog spammed...er, no. Fortunately it wasn't.


I hope whoever wrote the app that spams commenting bins (which would bypass the "unsolicited mail" objection, since asking for comments is by implication consent to receive a communication!) gets a permanent scaly rash where the sun doesn't shine.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 14, 2004
I've posted at my place... 
I'm rested - and feeling pretty good... and I'm asking for trouble. Take a spin over to Multifarious Musings, and pick a fight over my latest musing - Gay Marriage Revisited.

posted by Jon C.  [link] | |

February 13, 2004
Psych Class: Neutered 
Last night, my Loyola psychology class viewed a five-minute videotaped interview with "Toby," a genetically neuter person.

Toby was not a hermaphrodite - an individual having both male and female genitalia in some form - but a true neuter, born with neither male or female gonads, and had no secondary sex characteristics to speak of.

Lacking both androgenic and estrogenic hormones, Toby's appearance was generally what you or I would consider "female," but his/her facial structure and voice had a slightly male 'edge' resembling that of some M-F transgendered individuals. S/he also self-reported to be completely lacking a sex drive throughout life. (Our language at this time simply does not have a pronoun that will adequately and respectfully refer to a gender-neutral person) Toby did not desire fitting into the role of either "man" or "woman," an successfully fought a lengthy legal battle to be declared neuter on 'her' birth certificate (in Kansas, of all places), something that must have taken far more courage and intestinal fortitude than I can imagine. Here is an actual, out-loud conversation three students had after we watched the tape:

"You know who I think is a neuter? Michael Jackson!" said a young lady, who happened to be African-American.

One (Caucasian) wiseacre quipped, "Are you kidding? He has sex with all those kids. And monkeys!" The overcrowded classroom erupted in nervous laughter.

"He's the King of Pop, for God's Sake!!' yelled another goateed, bespectacled young man who appeared to have sprung from a Los Bros Hernandez page, fingers adorned with no less than eight bulky silver rings.

There's nothing like sex - of the threatened lack thereof - to bring out the inner adolescent in people...

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

Why Didn't I Think of That? The GrooveTube! 
Gracias to Invincible As Long As I Live (aka Rockin' Your Ass Since 1985), for linking to farkleberriesUSA!

Sometimes, the most amazing inventions are the simplest; take the *Ronco® Showtime Rotisserie™, for example (I jest). J-Walk's Blog (a 'classic' blog, in the purest sense of the term) tips us to the GrooveTube™, a rectangular grid of translucent plastic cubes that suction-cups to your television screen (provided it does not measure more than 22" diagonal) and transforms the realistic (ok, semi-realistic) image on your TV into a soothing, pixelated ever-changing interplay of colors.

For example, look at the image at the left. It's a GrooveTube™-ed version of Janet Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl Halftime Show!

No? Ok, I admit, I lied. It's really Ted Koppel in the desert at the beginning of war in Iraq.

"Ooooh! Aaaah! Look at the colors!" It's probably wonderful for nurseries, sickrooms, mental hospitals and crash pads. *Note the ad blurb next to the Showtime Rotisserie that proclaims, "I LOST 26 POUNDS IN 30 DAYS!! and other Amazing Weight Loss Stories." Someone lost 26 pounds in a month eating braces of roast chicken?

What were they eating before? Pound bricks of lard?

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 12, 2004
Another blow for the sanctity of marriage 
Feeling a bit under the weather today*, so I'm not going to ponder the ramifications of this story... all that I will say, is that you'd think after 43 years together - they'd be able to work-out just about any problem they should run into, ya know?

...I mean - Geeze, what kinda message are we sending to are kids here?

Man, I'm depressed...

I'm tired....

I feel like poo.....

The couple, during better times.

Oh, well!

*Upon pondering - I've come to realize that, when you get right down to it - unless you're, like, on the space station, that we're ALL are under the weather - so I guess I should stop using this term, eh?

posted by Jon C.  [link] | |

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: Killer Website 
First reality turned fiction, now fiction turned reality: South Korean police arrested a 25-year old college senior on charges of conspiracy to commit murder after he was tracked down through his "murder for hire" website.
From CNN: "...the student, identified only by his surname Kim, received the equivalent of $8,600 from a 22-year-old woman who wanted her ex-boyfriend and his wife murdered, said Chung Dong-yul, a police investigator in the city of Daegu.

None of the killings were ever carried out and Kim will not be charged with attempted murder because he had no concrete plans to fulfill the transactions. Kim told police he opened the Internet site because he couldn't find a job and needed to repay a $1,724 loan...other requests made to Kim's online service ranged from changing grades to rape and gun smuggling"
What, did he forget to put a disclaimer on his site?

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

"The Perfect Husband": Wagging the Moneyhog by the Tail 
Something is very, very wrong here.

An upcoming trial jeopardized by a cable-television movie (The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story airs on USA Network tomorrow) that will "hit air" before the trial begins?

Does anything about this scenario strike you as more than a little odd? What exactly did the creators of the movie base their plot on, since the Scott Peterson trial hasn't happened yet?
The movie only focuses on the time Laci disappeared to the time Scott was arrested," said a USA spokesman, who declined to be identified. "We didn't go into any of the court proceedings that have followed. Everything that's in the movie is already out there."

The movie is told from the point of view of two fictional characters, Tommy and Kate Vignatti, who are composites of Laci's friends. Jeff Wachtel, USA's executive vice president for original scripted programming, outlined the movie's focus when the network announced its production plans in October.

"The Perfect Husband is not just a movie about a specific crime, it's also a movie about our culture -- how someone can gain and then betray the trust of a woman, a family, a community," he said
Really, what is the point of a fictionalized version of events when the whole story hasn't been told - and the true account of the murder events as they unfolded is 'out there', by the channel's own account? Why waste your time on a fake when you can have the genuine article? Maybe that's naive of me, and I'll be the first to admit I've enjoyed post facto dramatizations of true crime like Helter Skelter (Charles Manson played by Steve Railsback, later known as X-Files abductee/kidnapper "Duane Barry"), for example; but the key difference to me is the illogic of watching the drama before it unfolds. You know what I think?

"Wagging The Dog." Andy Warhol's nightmare. Krreppp. Whatever you call it, it's worse than Christmas decorations before Halloween. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 11, 2004
Today's Musing - Wright's rights 
If you're all "farkled-out" for now, and need just a small break, why not view my newest Musing - over at my place, Multifarious Musings ...Tell me what you think!

I can also take you right over to Wright's rights, if you want.

...But don't forget to get "re-farkleberried" afterward!

posted by Jon C.  [link] | |

I Dream of Bugwiches 
This is what I get for eating leftover Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice at midnight before going to sleep:

I was dreaming I was late for work, and I had get a cab to take me there...for some reason it's summertime outside, and the landscape looks suspiciously like my old hometown, Plattsburgh, NY - or perhaps Route 9 on West Chazy. Rural and green, in any case. {Ever notice how the day seems to unravel itself backwards sometimes in your dreams, like it's regurgitating the events back out into your dream-consciousness? No? It's rather strange.}

So I get into a cab; not just any cab, mind you, but a huge white 1940's 'Woody' sort of thing that looks like a giant PT Cruiser. {In dreams reality is often telescoped, omitting little details like actually hailing the cab, getting inside, and telling the driver where to go.} The cabbie is a chatty, plump, forty-something woman with a strong British Cockney accent. As we're riding down to work, suddenly I realize the taximeter is reading $58.01, but I only have two crumpled 5-dollar bills in my pocket because I forgot my wallet at home. $58.01?

"Well, luv, it's a historical vehicle, y'know." she says, as though that would justify this highway robbery.

I ask her to drive me back home to get my wallet so I can pay this outrageously expensive fare with a credit card. What a fool I am.

"Carn't do that, luv, it's a shift chainge." Whatever.

Even though it's "shift chainge" we manage to arrive back home, which for some reason looks like my old TV-station workplace - and, it's time for an outdoor barbecue! (We used to have those once a year) The odd part is, several of the University of Chicago economics professors are there, munching on the products of the grill in front of me: large roasted insects that looked like pillbugs, and falafel balls, served on hot dog buns with spicy sesame tahini sauce.

I realized I was hungry, so I proceeded to fix myself a bugwich, for some reason undeterred by the nature of the "mixed grill." I woke up before I had a chance to take a bite. And, I did wake up late for work.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

A Welcome to Our Newest Bloggers! 
I'd like to welcome the newest members of farkleberriesUSA (in chronological order), Elizabeth, James, Todd and Nate!

Elizabeth lives in the Burlington, Vermont area, and has a delightfully twisted sense of humor and a singularly superlative music collection. Want to hear the best new music from anywhere on the planet? Ask Beth: she knows. Plus, she's a fellow Ultravox fan.

James is also an old friend from the Creative World, and a fellow fan of sushi, anime and unusual music. He recently moved to the Southwest and is learning to appreciate the unique delights of the desert, such as horchata.

I've known Todd for over almost fifteen years - he's a great friend who is a "Earthly Wizard" in many senses! He also now resides in California. {I miss Daphne and he a lot!}

Nate and I go back a long way as well...we're "serial co-workers" as well as friends! We first met at our old college radio station in the late 80's, then worked together at commercial AM/FM station for a few years, and then eventually worked together again in television commerical production! Truly a small world.

I am truly honored and so pleased that they've joined the farkleberriesUSA project: welcome aboard!

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 10, 2004
I'm over there.... 
I have camped out for now at sillylibra.blogspot.com.

posted by Elizabeth  [link] | |

February 09, 2004
When good logic turns bad... 
I've come to realize that most interesting conversation comes from issues that have "right" answers that rubs against what is logical, and what we intuitively want to do... The Associated Press has a perfect example - you can read their story here, or take my word for it, and let me weave it into my own...

There's this teeny-tiny town in upstate Maine, with a weird name... Township 15 Range 15. Living here is this guy, Richard Albert, who lives about 30 yards from the Canadian border. Now, the town of Township 15 Range 15 doesn't have a lot happening in it... in fact, Mr. Albert usually crosses the Canadian border (at his own discretion) to shop and go to church... has been for over 40 years. The town is so small that the border is sometimes unmanned when he went across - remember, this distance is the equivalent to you and I going out to our mailbox - mine's farther away then that!

Enaways - Along comes 9-11 and tighter security along our borders. Up goes the gate - locked at 9:00pm, opened at 6:00am M-F. Remember - Mr. Albert has been crossing the border to go to church on Sundays, when the border is "closed". Mr. Albert also has family that lives over the border, in Canada, Mr. Albert now has a problem! The next border crossing (yeah, if it's open, that is!) is quite far away - his travel goes from 30 yards to, like 200 miles!!!

So Mr. Albert did what you and I would probably do (c'mon, be honest here!!!)... the logical thing - he crosses the locked border that's 30 yards away. Well, he got caught (twice), and is now facing 2 $5,000 fines.

I can really empathise with Mr. Albert - I almost feel a-kindred to him. My family and I live in New York, right on Lake Champlain, just a stones-throw away from Vermonts largest city (OK - I'm exaggerating a tad on the distance, but I can see the city from where I work). My wife and oldest daughter need to visit endocrinologists, for diabetes... but there aren't any on our side of the lake... there are endocrinologist in the aforementioned Vermont city, however.

We're fortunate to have an HMO for our family health coverage - I won't say which, but I will tell you that we have a pretty Blue card, and it has a very nice Shield imprinted on it - Anyways, here's the rub...

Because Vermont is, well, in Vermont, and not in New York, a visit to those doctors are deemed "out-of-network", and instead of a reasonable co-pay, we get penalized, and have to dole-out some pretty-darned serious cash. The HMO has it's solution - the nearest endocrinologist that's "in-network". Hey, sounds like the logical answer, until you realize that their nearest endocrinologist involves a 350 mile round-trip drive, over the Adirondack mountains (not so much fun in the winter, I tell you!).

So I try to appeal to the HMO's sense of logic, in the form of both verbal (phone) and written grievances, to see if they can bend the rules a bit - yeah, right!

Thing is - I can really understand the position that my HMO has taken, they've made their deals, and got the best prices they could for the "in-network" medical services, but for me as an individual, it's illogical, very wasteful (in gas and time) and I hate it. I also understand Mr. Alberts' dilemma, and that of the US Customs also, there simply aren't simple, elegant solutions here.

Oh, Mr. Albert - I really, really feel for you! I see a future with some sort of Universal Health Coverage as the simple, logical and elegant solution for my issue, but for you - I just don't know - but I do wish you well!!!

posted by Jon C.  [link] | |

Disgusted With Television, Part 1 
For the past few years I've had a love-hate relationship with television, especially with the rise of "Reality TV." Normally, I avoid this genre of programming like the plague, but last Thursday I got sucked into watching an episode of Extreme Makeovers, where each week a couple of quite-plain-to-reasonably-attractive individuals subject their bodies to a massive plastic surgery and body-modification assault in the name of homogenized beauty and advertising revenue.

The program has a bizarre Brave New World aspect {cheery people going under the knife, displayed on a 3D computerized layout} that makes you rub your eyes and wonder if you're not watching some awful sci-fi show about a dystopian future, where everyone looks like Sigfried and Roy. And I mean everyone.

Then it hits me: I've seen this before - in the movie Logan's Run.

The particular episode {of Extreme Makeovers, not Logan's Run} I watched featured a couple who had been dating for about 3 years; each of them had been very obese until a recent massive weight loss, and had apparently never dated anyone until they found each other. He was in his early thirties, she nine years older and obviously very insecure about her aging. At a joint birthday party for the couple, they were surprised with the news that they had been selected for a His'n'Hers Extreme Makeover® - with Matching Fairy Tale Disneyland Wedding™!.

Don't get me wrong, they were both rather normal-looking geeky folks in love, and I'm not against plastic surgery per se, but the array of surgeries they each had performed equalled a serious car wreck: nose jobs, chin jobs, cheekbone implants, full-body liposuction, breast reduction for him and matching implants for her, hair extensions and implants, dental veneers and laser hair removal and vision correction surgery. Of course, the entire show is liberally sprinkled with infomercial-style plugs for the "surgeons to the stars."

Result? Both ended up looking like department store mannequins. At the "grand unveiling" at the Disneyland altar they didn't recognize each other, and for good reason.

Her face looked like a cross between Cher's tucked-n-pulled puss and Sissy Spacek's, and he looked like...well...I can't say what he looked like. Let's just say with his new highlighted hair, neon-bright tooth veneers, pancake foundation and fresh-out-of-the-box cheekbones he wouldn't have looked out of place in a Disney cartoon. The parents of the intended were stunned at how their kids looked, and you could have knocked them over with a feather. The father of the groom appeared to be reaching for his champagne glass every few seconds afterwards: Is it my fault? Is it my wife's? This is what we get for letting him sing "Copacabana" in that 5th grade talent show. My God, what will the neighbors think.

If my kid underwent that much surgery to looklike that, I'd have asked for the whole bottle: screw the Veuve, give me the Bourb.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 06, 2004
Dammit, Janet: or, you deserve nothing but the very breast entertainment 
Will it be the breast that broke the camel's back...er, eye (not to be confused with threading a camel through the eye of a needle, a task probably more difficult than trying to remove a silver sun-shaped ni-...oh, never mind.)? You've got to hand it to those Jacksons: they know how to get publicity.
"This particular event might be, for the moment, the straw that broke the camel's back on the patience of the audience," said talk show host Carson Daly, a veteran presence on MTV, which produced the offending halftime show. "Tolerance of this sort of sexual imagery may have reached its peak."

Unlike other milestones of indecency -- rock star Bono using the f-word on the 2003 Golden Globes, or Madonna and Britney Spears tongue-kissing on MTV -- Jackson chose to reveal herself before the largest TV audience of the year. And she did it precisely when federal authorities are mulling a crackdown on broadcast indecency.

The Jackson case could have a "galvanizing effect" on the move to toughen standards, said FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who has complained his commission has been toothless in responding to complaints
Even NBC is reacting to the threatened crackdown, by cutting a scene from ER where a woman's breast appears.

The day after the *JJSBBI, I wrote a rather simple post on farkleberries about the whole boob-bra-ha. Well, Margaret Cho has her own mordantly politic take on the whole bouncy affair; vive le poitrine!
"The world that we have created that goes against the truth, the natural order of things...you know what it says? Life must be dirty. Existence is obscene. The fact that we have bodies and exist inside of them should be under investigation. Well, that is the scandal of the century. We have no respect and no accountability. We use women's bodies when it serves the purpose of selling our bullshit back to ourselves, but when an artist uses her body, in a manner of her own choosing, to express her womanness, her sexuality, and most importantly ON HER OWN TERMS - then it is something to be punished, then it is something to be angry about, then apologies are demanded, invitations are retracted, and the system chokes on its own misogyny and injustice.

This is just a witch hunt in tit hunt clothing - and it makes me want to start a c*nt hunt revolution my own self. Please - prime time television has been assaulted by Dennis Franz' bare ass for years - and I love that "NYPD Blue," but he did not have to burn at the stake for it."
Okay. I agree with some of what she says there; but on the other hand, Dennis Franz didn't bare his ass during a halftime Super Bowl duet.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

Welcome, Daphne and Jon! 
I'd like to introduce two new farkleberriesUSA bloggers (from opposite sides of the country), Daphne in California and Jon from upstate New York; I have known both of them for many years, as both friends and co-workers.

Daphne is a talented visual and sculptural artist, and is currently developing a new website in addition to her graphic-intensive and creative wotatopia site, which was a major inspiration for me to start my own website two and a half years ago.

With years of experience in website design, computer programming and media production (including television and advertising), Jon has also recently started his own blog, Multifarious Musings.

I'm very happy to have them join me on this venture - please join me in giving them a hearty welcome!

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

February 04, 2004
One Small Step for Bloggery, One Giant Step for farkleberries 
It's a new farkleberries project: farkleberriesUSA, featuring friends and guest bloggers from around the country, each with their unique point of view and politics. After reading a number of fascinating group blogs and discovering how having several contributors can work synergistically, I thought it might be fun to give it a try.

The project was designed as a way for a group of old friends scattered far and wide across the country (all three coasts!) to utilize a common place to share news, pictures and ideas from our respective parts of the country - it'll be a fun experiment, I'm sure, as people chime in. If you'd like to be a guest blogger or would care to join us as a contributor, please click on the contact admin link at the left.

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

 Atom Syndication

February 27, 2004
That Damn Ball. by Lenka Reznicek
February 26, 2004
A Moral Movie Dilemma by Lenka Reznicek
February 25, 2004
Gay marriage, and the Bible... Reloaded! by Jon C.
Classic Sax, Violins, and Horn(y) Beasts by Lenka Reznicek
What's Happening? by Lenka Reznicek
February 24, 2004
Elephant by Elizabeth
How To Cook Bantha Ass by Lenka Reznicek
February 23, 2004
He's Baaaack!!! by Jon C.
Blood, Guts, and Murder: At Last, a Reason to Enjoy TV Again by Lenka Reznicek
February 22, 2004
Tales From the Pointless Forest by James
February 21, 2004
Life is (almost) Perfect!!! by Jon C.
February 20, 2004
Housewives! You Do Not Need a Ballot to Clean Out... by Lenka Reznicek
Should We Rebuild the Twin Towers? by Lenka Reznicek
February 19, 2004
Happy Birthday, Nate! by Lenka Reznicek
February 18, 2004
4 by Lenka Reznicek
Flipside by James
February 17, 2004
Poopi-Gate by Jon C.
Cracked Windows by Jon C.
No Faint Praise by Lenka Reznicek
Happy Presidents' Day by Lenka Reznicek
February 15, 2004
The Rake Is In League With The Vacuum and the Broomstick by James
Vile Spammers Strike Again! by Lenka Reznicek
February 14, 2004
I've posted at my place... by Jon C.
February 13, 2004
Psych Class: Neutered by Lenka Reznicek
Why Didn't I Think of That? The GrooveTube! by Lenka Reznicek
February 12, 2004
Another blow for the sanctity of marriage by Jon C.
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: Killer Website by Lenka Reznicek
"The Perfect Husband": Wagging the Moneyhog by the Tail by Lenka Reznicek
February 11, 2004
Today's Musing - Wright's rights by Jon C.
I Dream of Bugwiches by Lenka Reznicek
A Welcome to Our Newest Bloggers! by Lenka Reznicek
February 10, 2004
I'm over there.... by Elizabeth
February 09, 2004
When good logic turns bad... by Jon C.
Disgusted With Television, Part 1 by Lenka Reznicek
February 06, 2004
Dammit, Janet: or, you deserve nothing but the very breast entertainment by Lenka Reznicek
Welcome, Daphne and Jon! by Lenka Reznicek
February 04, 2004
One Small Step for Bloggery, One Giant Step for farkleberries by Lenka Reznicek



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