Sunday, November 30, 2003

Back from vacation

O.K., I'm back. Miss me? Yeah, I didn't think so. Here's what I've been up to...

I'm married now. Misty and I got hitched on Saturday, November 22 at the Chapel in the Glades. Our minister was a funny-looking little guy with pointy teeth. Apparently nervous, Misty giggled uncontrolably throughout nearly the whole ceremony. We opted out of the video package in order to get more photos, so unfortunately, no evidence remains of her hysteria.

We rented a cabin in the mountains between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for our honeymoon. It was gorgeous up there. Our cabin had all sorts of nifty ammenities like a hot tub, porch swing, pool table, fireplace, and full kitchen. It was very cozy and relaxing.

On Monday, we drove up one of the mountains to Clingman's Dome — the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at 6,643 feet. Weather in town had been cool, but as we ascended the mountain temperatures dropped steadily. We soon had to put on our coats, gloves, and hats to stay warm. By the time we got to the top, temperatures were at freezing, and with the wind chill they were well below that. Misty waited in the car while I made the ½ mile hike uphill even further to the observation tower. The wind made it rough going, but I made it. I took several snapshots of the clouds billowing over the mountains and rushed back down, lest I get blown off the tower. It was several minutes before I could feel my fingers again, but the trek was worth it.

Later that evening, we headed to the Dixie Stampede — a sort of rodeo dinner show. It wasn't the best rodeo I've seen, but it was very entertaining. They had the usual trick riding and barrel races along with chicken chasing, pig races, ostrich races, ice skating, and a Nativity re-enactment. The utensil-free dinner was much fun. I managed to eat everything put in front of me, including a bowl of soup, biscuit, barbecued pork loin, corn on the cobb, potato wedge, apple turnover, and a whole rotisserie chicken.

During the rest of our trip, we mostly just walked about town looking at the Christmas decorations and visiting the various little shops and outlet stores. The candy shops were my favorite. I made sure to get a free sample of fudge at each of the six that we stopped at. I was awed watching them make taffy and roll little candy sticks. I think we wound up buying about three pounds of fudge, and I've eaten most of it already.

The outlet stores were more of a disappointment. We went into a maternity store that had all the same clothes and same prices as at Brookwood Mall in Birmingham. The "outlet" music store had higher prices than most regular CD stores. I guess there's no restrictions on calling yourself an outlet. The Disney store was pretty cool, though. They had lots of stuff I don't normally see at the mall, and the prices were quite low. I just didn't want any of it. Oh, well. Any desire we had to spend money was certainly quenched at the outlet baby store, where we bought more than a dozen little outfits. My favorite is the one with Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar on the front and the words "but he was still hungry" on the back. And at 70% off, it was only around $4! Our baby is going to look adorable.

I tried to get some reading done while on vacation, but I only managed to finish one book. Nick Hornby's Songbook is fantastic. I started on Lost by Gregory Maguire and Dude, Where's My Country? by Michael Moore, and hopefully I'll make it through both of them before I get overwhelmed by the holidays.

I've also been catching up on movies I've been meaning to see. Recently, I've rented and watched Bend it Like Beckham (wonderfuly funny), The Italian Job (thoroughly entertaining) Holes (solid fun, but not a classic), A Beautiful Mind (engrossing and moving), Legally Blonde 2 (dumb), Confidence (swift and witty), Tadpole (enjoyable, but not very believable), and The Santa Clause (cute, but wears thin quickly). Incidentally, I've found that not only does the Blockbuster by the Galleria have a far larger selection than the one near my house, but also almost all of their DVDs are widescreen.

For Thanksgiving, Misty and I headed to Atlanta to have dinner with my parents. As expected, there was way too much food. We brought home plenty of leftovers. Unfortunately, Misty's mom had to work on the holiday, so we brought her a big plate of food, too.

Although there were some great post-Thanksgiving sales, I skipped shopping on Friday. Unless you're buying a really big-ticket item or a whole bunch of stuff, it just isn't worth the hassle associated with that day. I'm already way beyond the point in my Christmas shopping where I was last year at this time, so I'm not concerned. Of course, last year I sent most of my gifts well after Christmas, but regardless, I'm doing well this year — trust me.

Friday night Misty and I went to the hockey game. I got a call a few days before saying that I'd won tickets. Unfortunately, even with free seats, the Alabama Slammers were a disappointment. Maybe I've been spoiled by living in Huntsville (the ice hockey capitol of the South), but the hockey scene down here is pathetic. The Pelham Civic Complex is far too small to be a respectable venue. There isn't a good seat in the house. Misty insists it was much better when the Bulls were at the BJCC. The Slammers played decent hockey, and the organization as a whole put on a good presentation, but the arena is so lousy that the ticket prices ($12-$25 each) are unwarranted. I'd really like to support the team, but I won't be returning.

Back at work now, I'm thrilled that I don't have any catching up to do. Much of this can be attributed to my line of work — yesterday's news is no longer news, so there's no need to worry about it. My co-workers, too, kept on top of things for me. Supposedly, we're making the move to the new office tomorrow. This line has been dangled in front of us time and time again, but this time it's really true! Probably. We'll see tomorrow.

Oh, and it was almost a week before I heard who won the Iron Bowl. Better luck next year, Chargers.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

A short break

I am leaving in the morning for my vacation / wedding / honeymoon, so there won't be any posting for a few days. For any of you who read Get on with Your Nightlife, I've pre-written several entries, and my co-workers should be posting them each day.

Monday, November 17, 2003

The New Scum

Ooh... I like this one.

You are Spider Jerusalem.
Spider is THE journalist of the future. He smokes,
he does drugs, and he kicks ass. The drugs are
going to eventually kill him but not before he
gets his way. And his way is the demise of the
failed American dream. Although full of hate,
he cares about his city. All he wants to bring
the world is truth. Spider Jerusalem,
conscience of the City. Frightening thought,
but he's the only one we've got.

What Gritty No Nonsense Comic Book Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I suppose I ought to read Transmetropolitan some day.

Cheap jokes are still funny

Here's an interesting commentary by Clarke Stallworth about a cheap shot taken at Alabama...
Alabama is always good for a cheap laugh.

If a comic is dying onstage, a joke about Alabama will revive his act. If a newspaper columnist needs a quick fix, throw an Alabama joke in to get a laugh.

It's a natural for the know-it-alls who know nothing. What astounds me is that a quality institution like the Poynter Institute would take the low road...

The Poynter Web site is ... the home of Jim Romanesko, who does a daily column about newspapers — a sort of newspaper about newspapers and television. Monday, I found this entry in the Romanesko column:

Headline: "Alabamians believe not enogh spent on education."

The headline was picked up from, the Web site of The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press-Register.

And then there was this comment, on the Poynter Institute Web site: They're probably right.

Read the rest...

I can't find where Jim Romanesko made his supposedly inappropriate comment. Maybe it's been removed from Poynter's site; maybe he never wrote it in the first place.

On the other hand, Al Kamen of The Washington Post made a similar comment...
This headline Monday from the online Alabama News [sic] was on a poll showing most people oppose a plan to cut state education spending.

"Poll: Alabamians believe not enogh spent on education."


Clarke Stallworth complains in his editorial that such comments are unfair. He calls the people who make such remarks "snide," "know-it-alls," and "dummy."

I've got a few names for Stallworth: "crybaby," "spoil-sport," and "over-analytical."

It's a joke, for God's sake!

I am fully capable of laughing at my own expense. No harm was was meant by these jibes. These columnists and comedians aren't using a typographical error to make a serious political argument that Alabamians are dumb. They're using it as a punchline. In an article about education in Alabama, having a misspelled word in the headline is ironic — and funny.

When Jon Stewart, as Stallworth says, "went on and on bashing Alabama when the voters turned down a brave new venture by Alabama's heroic governor, Bob Riley," he isn't singling Alabama out. He makes fun of everybody. That's the point  of The Daily Show. If you'll notice, it's not a real news program — it's on Comedy Central.

You know why people make jokes about Alabamians being dumb? Because Alabamians are dumb. The Irish are drunks, the French are rude, women are nags, gays are flamboyant, Jews are stingy, and everyone in Texas wears a 10-gallon hat.

Do people really believe those stereotypes? Yeah, they do. But, as Stallworth points out in his article, those people are the ones who're ignorant. I'm willing to believe, though, that the sort of people who read newspapers hold intelligence of a higher caliber.

Jokes about a misspelled headline aren't hurting Alabama's image. Unlike Clarke Stallworth, most people can appreciate irony.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Iron Bowl, schmiron bowl

Further evidence of how little I care about football: Yesterday, one of my co-workers pointed out that I am getting married on the day of the Iron Bowl. I had no idea.

I hope the Chargers win.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Homeowner's association meets just to spite me

Exactly one week after I complained in my blog that my neighborhood association has no meetings, my neighborhood association had a meeting. Is it coincidence? Am I psychic? Or does Impending Distractions have such a strong influence that I can bend my neighbors to my will?

Anyway, last night's meeting was a fiasco. We had guest speakers from the fire department. Their presentation was quite interesting, and within ten minutes, they'd convinced me to pay the $75 annual "fire dues" (we're not taxed for a fire department). Unfortunately, they kept going. And like the Energizer bunny, going and going and going... They had two main points: they need money, and they need volunteers. They spent more than an hour and a half telling us this in as many ways as possible. And even though it was freezing as we sat in someone's open garage, and most people were clearly anxious for things to move along, every goddamn person felt the need to ask them a question (whether it had been answered three times already, or not). I had a strong urge to "move to table this discussion," but I figured no one would know what I was talking about.

The fire department guest speakers were only the first item on the agenda. By the time we finally got around to item 2, half of the meeting's attendants had left. We then got to hear a lecture about how many people haven't paid their RMHA dues. The president talked about projects that RMHA is hoping to be able to pay for when they have enough money. Budgets were distributed so we could all see just how much upkeep of various neighborhood things costs. Then, they distributed a handout detailing exactly which homes didn't pay this year, last year, and the year previous. How crass! My address was on the delinquent list (all three years), so now my neighbors can think I'm a cheapskate even though I've only lived there for five months. I tried to explain to the president that the reason I hadn't paid my dues was that, before last night, I'd never seen any evidence of a neighborhood association. He didn't seem to pay attention, though.

Next item on the agenda was a review of the RMHA "covenants." Apparently, the covenants are a set of rules we were supposed to have received when we closed on our house. We didn't. So, we got to hear about a bunch of rules we didn't even know existed that people supposedly aren't following. When I asked for a copy of the covenants, however, no one had one to give me.

Finally, discussion of neighborhood regulations and desired projects led to several people volunteering to help get things rolling. However, nearly every suggestion was met by the president with, "We'll get to that in the spring at our next meeting." Exasperated, I called out in response, "Why do we have to wait until spring? Why don't we have a meeting every other month?" The president started to deliver an evasive answer, when everyone else chimed in with agreement. They all wanted to meet more often. We decided, therefore, to meet again in two months.

Like I said before, I have no problem paying my membership dues (and I paid them last night). But I want a neighborhood association that actually meets with some regularity. I want a forum to address grievances, I want projects to get done, and I want social activities so I can meet the people who live around me. Simply put, I want a neighborhood association that fosters a sense of community. Don't get me wrong — there's nothing bad about my neighborhood. It just doesn't feel like a community, and I think a lot of my neighbors concur.

I'm not one to sit around idly complaining, though. Last night's 2½ hours of shivering at least pointed me in the right direction of how I can do my part to achieve the sort of community I'd like to live in. I see no reason why we can't make things better.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Sequential pause

I haven't bought any comics for more than a month now. I've been keeping busy with other activities so I haven't had time to miss my usual Wednesday fix too much. Nevertheless, each week I tell myself that I need to go sign up for a subscription box at Capt. Comics. I hesitate, though, because I'd get a way better discount if I went to Haven.

Driving up to Huntsville isn't the most practical thing to do, obviously — especially just to save a few dollars. It just seems like a betrayal to get my comics from anywhere besides Haven. I still have a few loose ends to tie up in Huntsville, and I wouldn't mind visiting my friends there, so I'll head up there sooner or later and catch up with back issues.

I probably won't be able to keep doing it that way, though. Eventually, I'll have to resign my allegiances and subscribe down here.

Hopefully in waiting such a long time, I can at least whittle my list down, crossing off titles that I haven't missed while I've been out of the comic loop. I'm considering even going to an all-TPB subscription list. If I can wait this long between issues, I can wait for the collected editions.

Well... we'll see.

God is nowhere / God is now here

I finished reading Douglas Coupland's latest novel, Hey Nostradamus!, last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The book has an atypical structure, each of the four chapters being narrated in first person by a different character. The first part of the story is told from the point of view of a victim of a high school massacre that is obviously patterned after the Columbine incident. Her recounting of that violent day sets the pace for the rest of the book, as the subsequent characters are, in turn, effected by its events. Each of them is lead, at some point, to question his or her religious convictions — some are strengthened and others are lost.

By the time the novel reaches its fourth segment, it has morphed into a completely different tale than what is expected from the beginning. The transitions can be jarring, but then, so can life itself.

I found myself sympathizing with each character as he or she took hold of the story, despite the fact that they were each capable of some pretty horrible or foolish acts. The moral flaws of the individual characters don't seem to matter though. It's the rest of the world that's a mess, and they're just trying to get through it.

Blog Meetup Day, part 2

My confusion over the Blog Meetup Day has finally been cleared up. Here's how it seems to work...

  • First you join the Birmingham Weblogger Meetup list — basically, this conveys "I'm interested in this sort of event. Let me know when it happens."
  • If you want, you can vote for a venue. Doing so it not necessary, and it does mean that you're confirming your attendance.
  • A week before the event, you'll receive an e-mail informing you of the location of the meetup, based on member votes. The e-mail also ask you to RSVP with either "yes, I'll be there" or "no, I can't make it."
  • You can then go to the Birmingham Weblogger Meetup list again and see who has confirmed, who has sent regrets, and who hasn't answered yet.

    It's still too complicated a process, in my opinion, but at least I understand it now. Anyway, for all you local bloggers, go sign up and meet the rest of us at The Garage Cafe, Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 12, 2003

    Concealment vs. censorship

    The Onion has a story today that's bound to get linked all over blogdom, so I'll go ahead and be one of the first...
    Mom Finds Out About Blog

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN — In a turn of events the 30-year-old characterized as "horrifying," Kevin Widmar announced Tuesday that his mother Lillian has discovered his weblog.

    "Apparently, Mom typed [Widmar's employer] Dean Healthcare into Google along with my name and, lo and behold, PlanetKevin popped up," Widmar said. "I'm so fucked."

    In an e-mail sent to Widmar Monday, Lillian reported in large purple letters that she was "VERY EXCITED :)!!!" to find his "computer diary," but was perplexed that he hadn't mentioned it to her.

    Upon receipt of the e-mail, Widmar mentally raced through the contents of his blog. He immediately thought of several dozen posts in which he mentioned drinking, drug use, casual sex, and other behavior likely to alarm his mother...

    Of course it's funny because we can identify with the guy in the story.

    How many of you out there hide the fact that you've got a blog from your parents, your kids, your employer, or anyone else? What about the other way around? How many of you self-sensor your blogs because you know those same people are (or might be) reading them?

    It's sort of a catch-22. If you feel that you must hold back in what you write, it defeats the purpose of this medium — or, at least, it diminishes your work. On the other hand, it seems odd to keep a personal journal, which would only be of interest to those close to us, and then share it only with strangers instead.

    Is there a third option that works?

    My warped sense of evolution

    I had a busy day of housework yesterday. I went grocery shopping, vacuumed and steam cleaned the carpet, changed out the litter box, washed three loads of laundry, and raked the leaves in the front yard. It would make sense to use today as a day of slack, but I probably won't.

    Believe it or not, I enjoy housework (but no, I don't want to do yours). It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I get chores done. As I cross items off my mental list of things to do, it feels like I've had a productive day.

    However, it doesn't have to be the completion of chores, per-se, to satisfy my productivity quota. It can be watching a movie that I've been meaning to get around to, reading a book, progressing in a video game, or taking the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. In fact, yesterday I managed to find time to watch Holes and read for a while, too — both of which added to my sense of accomplishment.

    The completion of projects is better than the completion of standard chores. I prefer to do something beyond the day-to-day grind in order to feel like I'm moving forward. Laundry and vacuuming are things that need to be done every week. They're perpetual chores that will never be finished. If I skip a week, they may build up the point where they seem like a big project, but really, accomplishing those tasks is just the struggle to remain at zero. Cleaning out the guest bedroom or reading a book, on the other hand, are goals that, once attained, don't need to be repeated. When I finish one of those sort of projects, I feel like I'm moved a step further in my life.

    It may sound like it doesn't take much to keep me content. I suppose that's the case, even on a broader scale. I like my life where it is. If I can maintain the status quo, I'll be happy. If I can push it one notch higher, though — even with something so insignificant as finally hanging the pictures in the bedroom — I'll be that much better off. It's evolution at its least dramatic, and its most satisfying.

    Sunday, November 09, 2003

    Locked open

    I've been having a problem with the rear passenger-side door of my car lately. It doesn't want to open. The lock gets stuck and it takes some effort to get the latch to release.

    Yesterday afternoon, as with most days, I drove over to the animal clinic where Misty works to meet her for lunch. I had a few minutes to kill, so I thought I'd take a look at my car door to see if I could figure out what was making the lock stick. I poked around for a minute, comparing the uncooperative door to the other three. In doing so, I managed to lock the door again, while it was open. So now, it wouldn't shut.

    I tried for several minutes to undo the lock. I pried at it with my fingers. I used a screwdriver as a lever. I pulled both the inside and outside handles while doing so... But my efforts were to no avail. Reluctantly, I decided to call VW roadside assistance. I spoke to two VW dealers and a woman at AAA, each of whom suggested that I try all the things I'd already tried.

    The woman from AAA said she'd send a tow truck (since I couldn't very well drive if the door wouldn't close) and wanted to know where I wanted to have it serviced. "Wherever the closest place is will be fine," I replied. "Well, the closest thing I've got is [such-and-such] VW in Mobile, will that be OK?" Mobile? Uh, no. "Mobile is about four hours from here," I told her. "OK, well, the next closest place I've got is Pensacola..." What the hell? "That's crazy," I said, "isn't there somewhere in Birmingham?" "Birmingham?" she asks, exasperated. "You said you were in Homewood." Unfortunately, yes, I was in Homewood (home of the famous Homewood Can Kiss My Ass Day Parade). I explained that Homewood is a small city that is a suburb of Birmingham. Having cleared that up, she managed to find me a tow truck that could be there within "89 minutes" (in a city like Birmingham, this is understandable, as there are probably only 59,000 or so tow trucks around).

    I waited the requisite 89 minutes, and the truck showed up right on cue. Before towing my car, though, the driver with the pierced tongue decided he'd see if he could just fix the problem himself. While he prodded at the lock, I tried to help him by pulling the handle. He asked me not to do that, though. "I'm not trying to say anything about you — I'm just paranoid about that sort of thing," he told me. For a moment, I thought he meant that I might have caused his fingers to get crushed or something, but that didn't seem to make sense. Then I realized that I had been standing behind him. Oh, I get it! Watch out, buddy — I might try to sodomize you while my fiancée is looking the other way.

    Anyway, after a couple minutes he managed to get the lock to release. Apparently, you need to engage the child-safety lock and pull the outside door handle while simultaneously prying at the door lock. Weird, but whatever. I was pleased that I didn't have to get my car towed, since that would have been an extreme response to such a small problem.

    While this episode was unfolding, Christina, one of my co-workers showed up at the clinic with her cat. I chatted with her after getting things situated with my car. Christina also drives a Jetta, and she said she's had the same problem. She told me how to fix it — just the way that the bigoted, pierced-tongued tow truck driver had told me. Next time, instead of calling roadside assistance, I'm calling Christina.

    Thursday, November 06, 2003

    It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood

    Over at Cap'n Ken's Homespun Wisdom, the Cap'n has been talking about the homeowner's association in his new neighborhood. They want him to cough up $200 so that they can hold emergency meetings about neighborhood dogs. At least they have  meetings.

    Over in my neighborhood, there's a sign at the entrance stating that RMHA (Russet Meadows Homeowner's Association) dues are now past due. That message has been up there since we moved in five months ago. It's not as if the sign board is neglected — it gets updated every month with the new yard-of-the-month winner. Whoever maintains it just never takes down the part about dues being past due.

    After a couple months in our new house, we finally got a flyer in the mailbox informing us as to what our $75 dues actually cover: upkeep of the entrance flower beds, upkeep of the street signs (some are wooden instead of the standard metal), and the yard-of-the-month competition. I don't know exactly how many homes there are in my neighborhood, but I'd guess they number around 150. So, that's more than $10,000 a year the RMHA is expecting for these small projects.

    However, since we've lived there, we've seen no indication of any association meetings. What's the point of having an assocition if it doesn't meet? I have no idea who the board members are, so I don't know who to contact if I did have an issue I wanted addressed. Furthermore, no one has welcomed us to the neighborhood*, formally or otherwise. That doesn't seem very neighborly to me.

    I like the idea of a neighborhood civic association. I'd like to have a forum to address complaints, organize projects, and interact with my neighbors. But it doesn't seem like such options are offered by the RMHA. Because of this, I haven't paid my dues. I'm not inclined to join a club that just wants its members' money, but doesn't care who they are.

    * Our neighbor across the street did greet us, but that was because our moving van ran over his mailbox. Our next-door neighbor introduced himself, but he's new, too — moved in the same time we did — so that doesn't really count. Our next-door neighbor on the other side finally acknowledged our existence with a brief wave from his car just two weeks ago.

    Wednesday, November 05, 2003

    Matrix: Revolting

    I went to see Matrix: Revolutions this afternoon. The verdict: It is thoroughly infected with suck.

    The first movie blew me away — both with its action and its story. The second was competent, and there were enough cool new action sequences to wow me again. This time, though, it was sooo boring. Most of the action and special effects sequences were the same thing we've seen before — there's the shootout in the lobby scene, the martial arts scene, the Trinity pausing in mid-air scene, the hoards of Agent Smith scene, the Smith infects someone scene, the sentinels coming at the heroes scene... nothing really new. But worse, it's strewn with cheesy sentimentality. Whereas the first installment was philosophically provocative, the final installment degenerates the trilogy into intellectual drivel.

    More fun at the movies... I got carded today! The girl at the ticket window looked embarrassed when I showed her my license and told her that I was almost 30.

    Monday, November 03, 2003

    Milk drinkers, unite!

    Fragrant Lotus has a great post from last week regarding company memos about the kitchen.

    Her comments lead me to wonder: Why will our employers supply us with coffee at the company's expense, but never with milk or juice for non-coffee drinkers?

    We milk dinkers need to stand together and defend our rights against the oppressive coffee drinkers!

    (sorry, Kara)

    Sunday, November 02, 2003

    Welcome, confused Google searcher

    People stumble across Impending Distractions for some strange reasons. In checking my referal stats, I found many Google searches that made sense and many more that did not. These are some of my favorites...

    resizing pvc pipe sink (1st result!)
    Ah, yes... I can see why my site popped up as the first result. I am the master of resizing pvc pipes.

    how to hurt Superman by Brian Azzarello (6th result)
    Answer: Give Lex Luthor an untraceable gun and 100 kryptonite bullets.

    attentiveness at work (8th result)
    No, no, no... You've got it backward. Impending Distractions is the opposite  of attentiveness at work.

    get paid to advertise on my Volkswagon Bug (12th result)
    Only because I spelled "Volkswagen" incorrectly on my site.

    Chinese symbol for Superman (17th result)
    More of this Superman crap. I hate Superman! Apparently this is what happens when you blog about things you don't like. Although the Chinese symbol part does sound amusing.

    They're right to cancel most of these titles (19th result)
    This one's kinda creepy. If you already had the exact text— that I wrote, then why are you searching for it?

    funny incorrect sentences journalism (136th result)
    This sounds like something I'd enjoy reading, though I don't have it on my site. The real question is, though, who scrolls through 135 results before clicking on mine?

    And some more that I couldn't find results for (though somebody did)...

    halloween pumpkin patches in New Jersey
    Nope. I went to a pumpkin patch in Birmingham. Advance Internet,'s parent company, is located in New Jersey. Two totally different things.

    belly dancing restaurants in San Diego
    Again, it was Birmigham where I saw the belly dancers. I was in San Diego for Comic Con International. Sorry for the confusion.

    draino test for gender
    It worked for us!

    Do daughters cause divorce?
    Yes, they do. I'm in big trouble.

    my brother finally made it to a Cubs game last night
    My brother lives in St. Louis, so I doubt it.

    I remember Matt the electrician grapefruit
    Damn. I was hoping no one would ever find out about that. I'm never drinking again.

    Saturday, November 01, 2003

    Batman teams up with the Magic Pickle

    Scott Morse is doing a Batman story!

    cover image from 'Batman: Roomful of Strangers'

    Kick ass.

    More local bloggers

    17 new links have been added to the Alabama Bloggers page this week on Note that that these are new links, not necessarily new blogs — several of them have been around for a while, but I just now found them.

    Celluloid ramblings

    There are several interesting things going on in movie news today...

    The good:
    Montgomery hooks 2 'Big Fish' screenings
    Montgomery will have two screenings of "Big Fish" on Dec. 12, making it the first city in Alabama and one of the first handful of cities in the country to show the film that was shot almost entirely in the tri-county area.

    The bad:
    'Matrix' trilogy's final installment to skip Huntsville IMAX
    Just a month or two ago, the Space Center found out it would join other IMAX theaters nationwide in hosting the final installment of the "Matrix" trilogy, "The Matrix Revolutions," opening Wednesday. It would mark the first time a live Hollywood live action event film was released concurrently in 35 mm and IMAX's format. And, to tease viewers, the Space Center got the second installment of the trilogy, "Matrix Reloaded," which has drawn good crowds to the Spacedome Theater.

    In the last few weeks, Space Center officials got wind that big theater chains nationwide were upset IMAX theaters were going to show "The Matrix Revolutions" concurrently and wanted Warner Brothers to delay the film in IMAX formats. And, unfortunately, that's just what's happened.

    Of the 200 or so IMAX theaters nationwide, only the ones in commercial theaters will be allowed to unveil "The Matrix Revolutions" Wednesday.

    The ugly:
    Fans have waited 13 years (so far) for an "Aliens vs. Predator" movie, and it's finally coming out in August of next year. However, its teaser trailer doesn't leave me tingling with anticipation.

    The confusing:
    Disney's new animated feature, Brother Bear opens today. But today is a Saturday. Since when do movies open on Saturday? Considering studios' drive for high weekend box office numbers, this seems a very odd move. Why not open the film yesterday? Because it was Halloween?

    And speaking of Halloween, why is Disney releasing The Haunted Mansion the day before Thanksgiving? Wouldn't it make more sense to release "Haunted Mansion" for Halloween and "Brother Bear" for Thanksgiving?