Thursday, March 30, 2006

List of Best TV characters ever

I feel like I haven't blogged in five hundred years. I'm sorry. I feel immense guilt about this lack of blogging. (Even though I think it's only really been, like, two days.)

I've had a lot of writing to do the last few days, which is why I've been so unbloggy. (It's not just my blog I've been ignoring--I've been ignoring my Tivo too! You should see the ginormous list of unwatched shows that have accumulated in that thing.) (Holly crap.) (And, yes, that typo was intentional.)

Speaking of TV, I was reading TV Squad and I like the lists they make (things like “5 best television ensembles” and “5 best TV moms” and things like that) and since it’s no secret I like to make lists, I started to make a list of 10 Greatest TV characters ever. This was really hard to do and I haven’t actually winnowed the list down to 10 yet. In fact, I haven’t even winnowed it close to 10. I’m still winnowing. (And still adding to it, too, which makes my winnowing that much more difficult.)

I’m going to post my list below and if you feel strongly that any of the following people should make it to the Top Ten or if you think I’ve made an egregious error and forgotten someone who should be in the running, then please let me know.

(Oh, also, as the list currently stands, there might be more than one character listed from certain shows. However, one of the rules I’ve decided for the final Top Ten is there cannot be multiple characters listed from any one show.) (Which means I'm going to have to choose between Spike and Anya, which is SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than the choice that Sophie chick had to make.)

(Oh, and this list is all over the map right now.)

(And I feel like I should make separate lists for best main characters and best supporting characters, but everyone is lumped together right now.)

(in no particular order)

Agnes DiPesto from Moonlighting
Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties
Angela Chase from My So-Called Life
Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks
Brenda Walsh from Beverly Hills, 90210
Boston Rob from Survivor: All Stars (I know this is stretching it, but he was definitely a "character." Come on!)
Carol Hathoway from ER
Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City
Claire Fisher from Six Feet Under
Clayton Jones from Carnivale
Cristina Yang from Grey's Anatomy
Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks
Elaine Benis from Seinfeld
Emma Nelson from Degrassi: The Next Generation
GOB Bluth from Arrested Development
Homer Simpson from The Simpsons
Izzie Stevens from Grey’s Anatomy
Jack Tripper from Three’s Company
Jackie Harris from Roseanne
Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life
Judy Owen from Homefront
Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years
Kimberly Shaw from Melrose Place
Laverne De Fazio from Laverne and Shirley
Lindsay Weir from Freaks and Geeks
Lorelai Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls
Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy
Mary Richards from The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Nick Andopolis from Freaks and Geeks
Rayanne Graff from My So-Called Life
Ruth Fisher from Six Feet Under
Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap
Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Sydney Andrews from Melrose Place
Tobias Funke from Arrested Development
Trudy Wiegel from Reno: 911!






Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A New Thing triptych: #55, 56, and 57.

A couple New Things I never wrote about:

New Thing #55: I made a cream cheese fruit dip, which I brought to my high school friends reunion. Now, the old me, well, if the old me was supposed to bring something to a pot luck type of party, he would have just gone to the grocery store and bought some pre-made food, like, immediately before the party, but I’ve been trying to learn my way around the kitchen on My Year of New Things so I decided to make something. But the problem was, I was supposed to bring a snacky type of food, and so I signed up to bring”fruit.” Which I couldn’t very well make. So that’s when I decided to make the fruit dip. I actually got the recipe from Jesse, who got it from his friend Kelly, who told Jesse that I did it wrong, but she wasn’t at the party, she was just going off of what Jesse told her over the phone, and I don’t even think he tried the fruit dip. Which is his loss, because I think it was pretty fucking good fruit dip. (Honestly, it was really easy to make. Just get a lot of cream cheese and a lot of marshmallow goo and a little bit of vanilla extract and mix it in a bowl until either it all mixes together pretty or your arm gets tired. Then start dipping your fruit.) (See? Easy.)

New Thing #56: I got a speeding ticket. This was really dumb of me. It happened over the weekend. I have never gotten a speeding ticket before. It was late and I really wanted to get home and then, boom, hello police officer. I felt really lame. She was like, “did you know that you were speeding?” And of course I did, so I was like, “yes, I’m sorry.” I really don’t have anything else to say about this one, except for the fact that it’s never happened before and (knock on wood) I’m hoping it’ll never happen again. But since it was a New Thing, I decided I should report it to the blog. Oh, and then, when she asked me to get my registration and proof of insurance from my glove compartment, this DVD called, um, "Giant Men," which I won at a raffle, like, a year ago, and which then went into my glove compartment for some reason and which has never left my glove compartment, well, it fell out of the glove compartment and then, for whatever reason, I felt even more guilty about the speeding, and I was certain that the police officer was moments away from asking me to "step out of the vehicle, sir," but I guess it's not against the law to have porn in your glove compartment when you're speeding on the freeway.

New Thing #57: I watched the first episode of Deadwood. I have the entire first season on DVD (which I borrowed from Jessica) and I have the entire second season taped on my Tivo and I’ve decided I’m finally going to see what all of the fuss is about. (I generally love everything that HBO does and there was no reason I didn’t watch this show from the beginning other than that I missed the first couple of episodes and with a show that’s supposed to be good as Deadwood supposedly is, well, I don’t like to start good shows late.) I liked the first episode of Deadwood, but I’m not anywhere close to adding it to my list of “favorite TV shows” yet. However, I hear it’s a slow burn and it takes a couple of episodes to really get its hooks into you.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Pray for my pit bull.

Tonight is the season finale of Real World/Road Rules: Gauntlet 2.

Please take a moment right now to say a prayer for Derrick and the Veterans. I want my boy to take home the prize.

Okay, now back to work.

UPDATE: It's over. Derrick lost the final male Gauntlet and then the rookies took it all. I don't really care that the rookies won. The veterans were good losers. It was all kind of anti-climatic after Derrick got booted. Derrick should not have fucking gotten the boot.

It's a cruel, cruel world.


I just re-read this and even though I only used the word "boot" twice (once in the past tense, natch), it feels really repetitive the second time. I should have found another word. Blame my laziness on the fact that I was trying to pick my heart up from off of the ground and stick it back into my chest after watching Derrick getting kicked to the curb.

(As TJ would say, "no words, man. No words.")


I don't know what to do with my life now that the Gauntlet is over. You might think I'm speaking hyperbolically, and maybe I am just a little, but just a little, you know? I really do feel like there's not as much to look forward to on Monday nights. (I'm enjoying How I Met Your Mother, but it doesn't pack the same visceral "I'm alive!" punch that the Gauntlet did.)

Also, my Tivo didn't record the aftershow reunion (I don't watch anything live) and so I think a lot of people (Bonnie, that includes you) got closure at the end of their Gauntlet experience (Uma, did you get to see the aftershow too?), but I didn't get any closure.

I feel hollow.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

New Thing #54: The high school posse reunites

Do you remember that moment in Wet Hot American Summer when all of the counselors are just hanging out in front of one of the cabins on the last day of camp and Susie’s like, “you guys, I’m really going to miss this place,” and Coop’s like, “me too,” and then Ben’s like, “hey, let’s all promise that in ten years from today, we'll meet again, and we'll see what kind of people we've blossomed into,” and then everyone’s exciting about that idea and Susie’s like, “yeah!” and then Ben’s like, “What time do you wanna meet?” and then JJ asks, “you mean ten years from now?” and then Coop interjects and says, “let's meet in the morning so we can make a day of it,” and then Susie’s all, “okay, so what is it? Is it like 9:00? 9:30?” and then Coop says, “well, let's say 9:00, that way we can be here by 9:30” and then McKinley gets all pissy and shit and he’s like, “well, no, why don't we say 9:30, and then make it your beeswax to be here by 9:30? I mean, we'll all be in our late 20s by then. I just don't see any reason why we can't be places on time,” and then Gary says, “okay, then, it's settled. 9:30 it is. All agreed?” and everyone agrees (“agreed!”) and then McKinley says “good, because I have something at 11:00,” to which Gary replies, “you just have like a trapper-keeper full of appointments, right?” and then McKinley finally retorts, “no, I just have something at 11:00, and I can't change it, because I already moved it twice.”

I love Wet Hot American Summer.

Anyway, the reason I bring all of this up is that, when I was a freshman in high school (in 1992), my gang of friends (who were all drama geeks like me) (and who were mostly juniors and seniors at the time) had this raucous slumber party (wherein I wasn’t actually allowed to do any slumbering—my dumb mom made me come home at midnight because my girlfriend at the time, Shirley, was also going to be partaking in the slumber activities and my dumb mom was afraid that Shirley might steal my virginity) (how funny is hindsight, right?) (I don’t consider my mom dumb anymore, I’m just calling her dumb because back then I thought she was so super dumb for not letting me spend the night—I mean, fuck!—and I was mad at her for weeks) (I suppose you could argue that she truly was dumb for thinking that Shirley was ever going to steal my virginity because Shirley was so never, like, ever going to take my virginity) (I mean, I named her boobs Jodie and Michelle!) (if you were dating some dude and he named your boobs Jodie and Michelle—would you have sex with him?) (actually, now that I think about it, maybe my utter ineptitude in The Ways of Women was a turn-on for Shirley, maybe she looked at me as a project, maybe she liked that I had no idea what I was doing, maybe she thought she could turn me into a hunk of hetero burning love?) (maybe my mom wasn’t dumb, maybe she was right to be worried, maybe Shirley was going to have sex with me at that slumber party!) (hmmm) (this calls for a poll).

Let’s do a little role-playing, shall we? Let’s pretend that you’re a sixteen-year-old girl and you’re dating the fifteen-year-old version of me, Erik, who’s kinda like Sam Weir from Freaks and Geeks except instead of geeking out about things like Star Trek and chemistry, I geek out about things like Batman and Christopher Durang. (Are you with me so far? You’ve got your role down?) Okay…so…now imagine that we’re making out in your bedroom and you’ve gotten all PG-13 on me and shown me your boobs…and instead of progressing to the next base, I name your boobs Jodie (as in Foster) and Michelle (as in Pfeiffer)

What’s your response?
“Take me now.”
“Um, Erik? Get your tongue out of my mouth. You’re gay.”
“Okay, well, then I’d like to name your penis Billy (as in Zabke).”
“I’m your (mom) (dad) (insert other biological relative here) and I feel weird about this role playing game, so I’m declining to participate."
Free polls from

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that settled…when I was a freshman in high school, my gang of friends had this raucous slumber party, and at one point in the evening we were like, “let’s do this again ten years from today.”

And we finally did it. (Sort of.) We held our reunion party a few weeks ago. So, yeah, maybe it took us fourteen years to get the ten year anniversary party to happen instead of ten, but still: it happened. We did it. And, okay, our reunion party didn’t involve any “slumbering,” but maybe that was an ode to my mom. We still got together. (Well, all of us except for Shirley--maybe no one invited her because we were all afraid that I would see her and be like, "hey, I'm not a virgin anymore, but I've still never seen a vagina, so maybe you could help me out on My Year of New Things and I could name yours?") (Oh my god, Erik, you did not just say that.) (Did you? Really?)

Here’s a picture of the way we were (this picture is of the old gang in 1996):

And here we are ten years later (a few weeks ago):

I can’t say enough good things about these people. Honestly, it was great to see everyone. I’m so glad that we’re all back in touch and that we’re all still geeks.

Oh, and yes, we intentionally tried to recreate the first photograph. The fact that we're on a stairwell in approximately the same clump? That shit ain't no accident.

Oh, and a couple fun facts (or three):

In the first photo: Jesse (the guy who looks like a floating head underneath Erik's chin) is bi. In the second photo: Jesse is gay.

In the first photo: Erik is straight. (Despite the bleached blonde dye job.) In the second photo: Erik is gay.

In the first photo: Jen and Sam (back row, to the right of Erik) have been dating for four years. In the second photo: Jen and Sam have been married for three (?) years.

Oh, and Gina (the second from the left) was my second (and last) ex-girlfriend. I never named her boobs.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Oh, goodness, dear Elijah.

Has anyone seen this picture of Elijah Wood?

Okay, yeah.

Anyway. It's an old picture, I think, but I just saw it, and, well, okay, I'm not even going to comment. It's basically self explanatory.

I have nothing new to report, i.e. no New Things. I just wanted to post something since it's been over 24 hours since my last post. (The horror!)

I'm annoyed that Survivor wasn't on last night. I'm rooting for Cirie to win.

I want the nerds to win on Amazing Race. Or the old couple. Or the hippies, they're my third choice. (They're just a teensy bit too quirky for my taste.)

I haven't watched any of America's Next Top Model yet--the episodes are piling up on my Tivo.

This season's Apprentice blows chunks. I miss Martha. (How about them apples, Donald?)

I am SO freaking out in anticipation for the next episode of the Gauntlet. How could they leave us hanging with a "To Be Continued" before telling us if Derrick beat Timmy in the Gauntlet or not??? Don't they know they're killing me?

I apologize. I freaking watch way frickin' too much fucking reality TV.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

New Things #52 and #53: My night of writing at the Boom Boom Room

First of all, let me just say, (and I’m sure I’ve already said it before on my blog), if we were playing the “which of the Sex and the City girls are you” game, I would be Charlotte. You know, the total romantic. Not someone who’d ever meet his future husband in a bar. No, when I meet him, it’s gonna be after he almost runs me over in a cab, or he’ll be my divorce lawyer, or something like that.

But sometimes you’ve gotta be Samantha and grab the world by the balls.

That said, I went to the Boom Boom Room last weekend. (Not to be confused with Boom Boom Becca’s blog). The Boom Boom Room is one of the oldest (and one of the only) gay bars in Orange County (or “the OC” as it’s now known, but as someone who grew up in “the OC,” I refuse to call it “the OC,” because that’s like calling Los Angeles “the LA,” as in “the Los Angeles,” which makes no fucking sense whatsoever) and the Boom Boom Room was recently in the news because it was sold to a new owner and rumors have been circulating that this new owner is in fact two new owners and that these two new owners are in fact George Clooney and Brad Pitt and that they’re going to turn one of the oldest (and one of the only) gay bars in Orange County into a gay Bed and Breakfast. (I don’t think that the rumor stipulated that the Bed and Breakfast was going to be a “gay Bed and Breakfast,” per se, but this is Laguna Beach we’re talking about here—or maybe I should say “this is the LG we’re talking here”—and if it’s in “the LG,” it’s gonna be gay.)

I dunno if I believe the rumors, but I figured I should check out this institution now, in case it’s about to go the way of the dodo bird.

(Full Disclosure: I actually went to the Boom Boom Room once, about a year ago, but I was only there for about two-and-a-half minutes, so I’m not counting it. Here’s what happened. I walked in and ordered a White Russian—this was during my “White Russian period”—and when the bartender handed me my drink, I tried to pay him using my ATM card, and he was like, “cash only, dude,” except I don’t think he actually said “dude,” but it’s a better story if he did, anyway, I was like, “okay, um, right,” and then he was like, “there’s an ATM machine in the corner,” and so then I went to the ATM machine and I tried to take out some cash, but I only had seventeen dollars in my account, and then I ran out of the Boom Boom Room, my White Russian still on the bar waiting for me, but I was too embarrassed and broke to ask someone to treat me.) (Whoa, my finances were in a sad state a year ago—not that they’re that much better today—but at least I didn’t have to run out of the Boom Boom Room without paying for my drink.)

So this time when I went to the Boom Boom Room (my official “first time”) (New Thing #52), I made sure to have some cash on me. I went in with my journal, got myself an Amaretto Sour—because I’m currently in an “Amaretto Sour period”—and then cozied myself up to the corner of the bar with my drink and my journal and started writing.

I’m working on part three of this trilogy of plays—I wrote most of the first two plays in strip clubs and bars because it just felt right and natural for the characters (a few of whom are strippers) and so working on the third play at one of the oldest (and one of the only) gay bars in Orange County also felt like a normal thing to do. Also, it gave me an excuse to not have to try to awkwardly start a conversation with someone—I could just have a drink, write a few scenes, and then leave and I could say I’d done the Boom Boom Room. (Carrie Bradshaw would say that the journal was my Single Person Armor.)

I don’t know what I was expecting, but the Boom Boom Room was so gay. There were, like, all of these go-go boys and strobing lights and gay people.

It was fun. I had a time.

And who knew that sitting in the corner of a bar with your journal and being completely anti-social was the #1 sure proof way to meet men? Seriously. I don’t know how many guys approached me and asked me “so what are you writing?” I left the bar with three phone numbers, though I don’t think I’ll be calling any of them because I was kind of annoyed that all three of these men interrupted me while I was trying to write. (I was in a groove, people!) Still, it was fun to be able to leave the bar and say “hey, I got three phone numbers.”

You know, for this dude who is usually so Charlotte, it felt very Samantha.

(Actually, now that I think about it, I have never left a bar with three phone numbers. Boom boom ya: New Thing #53!)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New Thing #51: I'm hosting a poll on my blog

So, in a previous comment thread, El Anor from Flagstaff, Arizona, suggested that I host a poll on my blog, since hosting a poll on my blog is something I've never done before. I think that the phrase "hosting a poll" is funny and I can't stop thinking dirty things, but El Anor is right, I never have hosted a poll on my blog, and then Joe Chandler (who's back, people!) suggested in the comment thread that my poll ask people whether or not I truly understand the genius that is Gene Wilder, since, in my previous post, I happened to diss the man by mentioning that I would never put him on my list of Top 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.

Am I wrong? How wrong am I? It's up to you, the people, to decide.

(I'm new at hosting polls on my blog, so hopefully this will work.)
Does Erik not understand Gene Wilder's true genius?
Erik is a fool. Gene Wilder should officially change his name to GENIUS WILDER
Dude, Erik's right, Gene is okay and all, but like, whatever
Who's Gene Wilder?
Who's Erik?
I have to poop so badly I can't concentrate on this poll.
Free polls from

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

List of Best Performances

This used to be part of my previous post, but it's really super duper long and so I decided to break the posts up, just to make it seem less long.

I took a blogging break in between writing the last post and this post to go poop, and while I was pooping I was reading the latest issue of Premiere Magazine (the fact that I was pooping isn't meant to be any veiled allusion to what I think of the quality of Premiere Magazine--I love Premiere Magazine--I mean no disrespect) and the cover of this month's Premiere Magazine promises a list of "the 100 Greatest Performances of All Time," and since I love a list, I thought I'd spend a few minutes dissecting this one.

(This sounded like a really good idea while I was pooping. Maybe it's not a good idea. If it isn't a good idea, then just bear with me.)

(I'm in an obsessive compulsive mood, so right now this sounds like a really good idea.)

(And it's raining right now, which makes it sound like an even better idea. I just wish that I had hot chocolate.)

(Of course, I do have hot chocolate in the cupboard, I just wish that someone would actually go into the kitchen and make it for me.)

Anyway, some thoughts:

a) I have only seen 47 of the 100 performances they list.

b) That makes me sad. This makes me feel like a terrible moviegoer. How can I not have seen 53 of the 100 "Greatest Performances of All Time"? I'm sure that the ones I've missed are great and I suck for not having seen them.

c) If I was still a member of NetFlix, I would start adding the movies that contain those 53 performances to my list right now.

d) I can't do that, though, because I'm no longer a member of NetFlix. After holding on to my first three NetFlix rentals (Porky's 1, Porky's 2, and Teen Wolf) for a year (yes, a year) and only watching Teen Wolf (multiple times) and losing both of the Porky's movies (without even watching them!), I finally decided that NetFlix wasn't for me and I should stop paying thirty dollars a month (or whatever it was I was paying) for the privalege of watching Teen Wolf whenever I wanted to (and it was a privilege). I have to give NetFlix credit, though, because when I called them and told them I wanted to cancel my account, they gave me some of the best customer service I've ever received. The woman on the phone was like, "you've been paying for the Porky's movies and Teen Wolf for twelve months?" And I was like (sheepishly), "um, yeah, and I actually lost the Porky's movies, so just tell me what I owe you and then I can wash my hands of this whole mess," and then she was like, "oh, sugar, don't you worry about it. You've more than paid for those Porky's movies."

e) But I've digressed. (I do that.) f

) Since I haven't seen 53 of the performances on this list, and I've already acknowledged that I'm a bad moviegoer for not having seen these performances, here's a list of the performances that made Premiere's list that I have seen:

(moving in their order from least great to greatest) (the performances with asterixes would go on my list of 100 Greatest Performances Ever) (the performances without asterixes are also good, for the most part, but they wouldn't make my list)

100: Malcolm McDowell as Alex Delarge in A Clockwork Orange*
(this performance is harrowing, it freaks me out, it's so compelling, yes)

99: Steve Martin as Navin Johnson in The Jerk*
(one of the funniest performances ever, but the reason it's so good is because it has so much heart. he truly makes you believe that this is a man who would think a sniper was shooting at cans and not at himself, you know? like, he's a true innocent. and when he learns what his "special purpose" is supposed to be used for, and he writes home to tell his parents how great it is, well, how can you not love a person like that?)

96: Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday
(she was great, but she wouldn't make my list. maybe it's because i saw this movie five hundred years ago)

95: Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It
(she was also great, and fierce, but almost too fierce, so she doesn't make the cut on my list either)

91: Jane Fonda as Bree Daniels in Klute

90: Jeff Bridges as The Dude in The Big Lebowski
(I think I'm in the minority, but I hated this movie) (actually, the only person I liked in this movie was Tara fucking Reed) (how sad is that) (and embarrassing) (it's embarrassing too) (really embarrassing) (I can't believe I admitted it) (I have totally just lost so much credibility) (not only as a person with an opinion on films, but as a human being as well) (holy cow) (or, should I say, "holly cow"?)

89: Gong Li as Juxian in Farewell My Concubine
(I love Gong Li, but my favorite performance of hers was the one in To Live)

86: Robert Walker as Bruno Anthony in Strangers on a Train*
(okay, this is a kick-ass performance) (hella kick-ass)

85: Jessica Lange as Frances Farmer in Frances
(I love Jessica Lange, and she's awesome in this movie, but I'm going to make a rule and say that no actor can appear on my list twice, and the Jessica Lange performance I'm going to pick is the one she gives in Tootsie) (she's just SO good in Tootsie) (like, I love when she throws the drink in Michael Dorsey's face after he uses that line on her at the party--it's such a small moment--but you know that she wants someone to cut through the bullshit with her and she can tell that Michael's attempt to "cut through the bullshit" is actually just more bullshit, so she throws the drink in his face and moves on) (if that makes any sense)

83: Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry*
(unfreakingbelievable performance)

81: Kate Winslet as Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
(she's brilliant, but I prefer her performance in Heavenly Creatures)

80: Jeanne Moreau as Catherine in Jules and Jim
(honestly, I saw this movie in college and I don't remember anything other than the fact that I saw it)

79: Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
(um, he was good, but this ain't even close to being on my list)

74: Madeline Kahn as Lili Von Shtupp in Blazing Saddles
(okay, also great, but I think I would pick her performance in Young Frankenstein over this one. am I crazy?)

73: John Travolta as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever
(I want to pick Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing over John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. How weird is that?)

70: Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs
(i'm not actually going to comment on each and every one of these performances, am I? because if I do, this is going to take forever)

69: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard
(I want to be a silent film actor)

66: Holly Hunter as Jane Craig in Broadcast News*
(okay, back to commenting, this is another brilliant fucking performance) (Holly Hunter rocks my world)

65: Jack Lemmon as Jerry/Daphne in Some Like it Hot
(is anyone even still reading this blog entry? i think it's getting pretty long)

62: Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy
(like, really long)

61: Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth in Schindler's List
(like, I wasn't hungry when I started writing this because I had just finished eating dinner, and now I'm famished)

60: Diane Keaton as Annie Hall in Annie Hall
(like, fucking famished) (oh, but I love Diane Keaton) (and this is a great movie) (I think it might be my favorite Woody Allen movie, except isn't it really obvious to say that Annie Hall is your favorite Woody Allen movie?) (it is) (okay, then i'm going to say that Crimes and Misdemeaners is my favorite Woody Allen movie) (which is close to true)

58: Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Aliens
(I always love Sigourney. She doesn't work enough.)

56: Jodie Foster as Sarah Tobias in The Accused*
(I remember watching this movie at my Grandmother's house when I was, like, twelve) (um, hello?) (and when they got to the rape scene, my Grandma was like, "why don't you go stir the soup in the kitchen for about ten minutes?") (true story)

52: Emma Thompson as Miss Kenton in The Remains of the Day
(you know that scene in Love, Actually, when Emma Thompson opens the gift from her husband and it's a Joni Mitchell album and she realizes that her husband is having an affair and she goes into the other room to cry for a moment before pulling herself together and putting on a happy face for her family?) (that scene kills me) (she's pretty good in Remains of the Day too)

48: Bill Murray as Phil Connors in Groundhog Day*
(rock on!)

46: Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland in Cast Away
(gag me with a motherfucking spoon)

45: Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick in Election
(again, rock on!)

43: James Dean as Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause*
(i wish i was cool)

41: Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction
(i'm hungry again. now i want a fucking cheeseburger, thank you very much)

40: Nicole Kidman as Suzanne Stone Maretto in To Die For
(she should do more comedy. she's a great comedic actress.)

35: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote in Capote
(he was brilliant, but the movie left me kind of cold) (that's not supposed to be a pun on In Cold Blood) (maybe they wanted to leave me cold?)

33: Dustin Hoffman as Michael Dorsey as Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie*
(this performance would be in my Top 5)

32: Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's*
(this performance would be in my Top 10)

31: Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray
(this performance would never be on my list ever)

30: Jimmy Stewart as John Ferguson in Vertigo*
(oh, yeah, yes, yes, yes)

28: Rosalind Russell as Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday
(again, I saw this movie 500 years ago, but I remember loving it)

23: Russel Crowe as Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider
(I didn't shower today and I feel really gross) (I am going to shower after I finish this blog post so that I can be all cozy and snuggly as I go to bed and listen to the rain outside) (if I ever finish this blog post)

22: Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands in Edward Scissorhands*
(now this is a Johnny Depp performance I can get excited about)

21: Giulietta Masina as Cabiria in Nights of Cabiria*
(go rent it) (now) (it makes me bawl)

18: Emily Watson as Bess McNeill in Breaking the Waves*
(this one makes me bawl too) (when I saw Breaking the Waves, I had just bleached my hair blonde and I left the peroxide on my scalp for too long and I kinda burned my scalp, like, a lot, and so for the first hour of this movie I couldn't stop worrying about the fact that maybe some of the peroxide had seeped into my brain and that it would somehow get into my brain and kill me, but by the midpoint of this movie I had stopped thinking about my imminent brain death and I was rooting for Emily Watson to live, and dear lord, I wanted to live too)

15: Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin in Big*
(okay, I love that this performance made it onto the list and I think it would be in my Top 10)

11: Daniel Day-Lewis as Christy Brown in My Left Foot*
(i already told you the story about how this movie inspired me to get busy with my feet, so now I got nothing to say about it)

9: Gene Wilder as Dr. Frederick Grankenstein in Young Frankenstein
(we're almost done, I promise) (i miss Gilda)

8: Jimmy Stewart George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life*
(Top 5)

5: Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve*
(also up there)

3: Meryl Streep as Sophie Zawistowska in Sophie's Choice*
(i ain't got any words for how good this performance is) (I read the book before I saw the movie, and I went into the book totally blind--I didn't know what the "choice" was--and when it was finally revealed, towards the end of the book, I literally gasped out lout) (i thought they did a great job of translating this book into a movie) (and how great is peter mcnichol?) (and kevin kline!) (though meryl is the best)

Whoa. Phew. Done with that.

But not done. Nope. Not quite.

Okay, so, of these 47 performances, 29 of them would not make it to my list. That means I've whittled Premiere Magazine's list of 100 Greatest Performances down to a measly 18! Which means I've gotta come up with 82 more performances to fill out my list! Which means, well, it means I'm not going to finish this list tonight.

I'm gonna need to think about this for awhile before I get the list back to 100, but here are just a few performances I would add, off the top of my head:

(and I'm trying to think of truly great performances here, so as much as I loved Seann William Scott in Dude, Where's My Car, I'm not going to list his performance in this, my [not-yet-definitive] list of 100 Greatest Performances)

(in no particular order) (and this is subject to change)

--Roberto Benini in Life is Beautiful
--Bjork in Dancer in the Dark
--Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch
--Laura Linney in You Can Count on Me
--John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and the Angry Inch
--Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off
--Albert Brooks in Defending Your Life
--River Phoenix in Running on Empty
--Mercedes Reuhl in The Fisher King
--Robin Williams in The Fisher King
--Cory Haim in Lucas
--Toni Collette in Muriel's Wedding
--Catherine O'Hara in Waiting For Guffman
--Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates
--Ed Harris in Pollack
--Marcia Gay Hardin in Pollack
--Shelly Long in Irreconcilable Differences
--Annette Bening in either American Beauty or Valmont (I can't decide)
--Julianne Moore in Boogie Nights

I understand that some of the choices on my list might seem weird (um, Corey Haim?) but I'm a weird man.

So there you go.

Monday, March 20, 2006

New Thing #50: A new attitude--and it's off the hook, yo. This shit's gonna make me a more well rounded individual or I ain't your babydaddy.

Sorry, but I don't know why I decided to be all gangsta and shit with the title of this post. I don't even know what the title of this post means.


New Thing #50:

I've decided to read fewer entertainment/gossip websites, like Defamer, and to read legit news sites more frequently, like, so that I can be a more well-rounded individual.

(Okay, actually I'm not reading any fewer gossip sites, but I am trying to read more legit news sites. It's all about balance, people.)

So that's what I've been doing. I've been gettin' my news groove on. And I wanted to share a few stories with you from the last week or so that I've found particularly interesting:

(in no particular order)

1. This man gets my vote for "Worst Father of the Year."

2. Have you heard of It's a networking website for mothers who have conceived via sperm donation, and through this website (which I like to think of as MyDonor or Spermster) , they're meeting up with other mothers who've conceived using the same donor's sperm. I honestly don't know what to make of this. Part of me thinks it's pretty rockstar, but it freaks me out too. If you potentially had a dozen (or more) half-siblings spread across the country, would you try to reach out to them or would you let well enough alone?

3. Hey, if I ever heard an example of dramatic irony, this would be it. (Okay, this is so weird, but as soon as I finished typing that sentence, "Ironic" by Alanis Morisette began playing on my Ipod.) (True story.) (If Alanis ever redoes this song and decides to up the ironic quotient, as she's been advised to do by millions before me, I would suggest she use this news story as an example in her song instead of the thing about only having spoons when you really need a knife.)

4. I may have mercury poisoning (and that's just speculation on my part, of course), but at least I'm not the victim of "backward evolution." However, when I was, like, fourteen, after I saw the movie My Left Foot, I decided that it would be really cool to be able to use my feet like they were hands and I spent a summer trying to teach myself how to be a really good artist using my feet. The problem was, I wasn't even a very good artist with my hands, so there was little hope for my feet. I did, however, get really good at opening doors with my feet and I've trained most of my little toes to move back and forth on their very own (without their brothers and sisters moving with them), which is actually a pretty difficult thing to do. (Go ahead! Try it! Just try moving your middle toe without moving the other ones! Try it now.) (Okay, did you try it? See. I told you it's difficult.)

5. I don't sleep nearly enough. I mean, my average is probably seven hours a night. Some nights I get eight and some nights it's more like six. Apparently, we're supposed to get eight hours a night, and those of us who don't get eight hours a night might be killing ourselves via lack of sleep. Okay, that's probably over-doing it a little bit, and the fact that we all need to get more sleep is hardly newsworthy, but this article gave me another reason to be paranoid about my health.

6. I haven't even talked about Iraq or anything, like, truly newsworthy, but I'm tired of this new attitude. I'm just going to go ahead and say it: I'm a shallow person.

7. This isn't news. I'm just sad that Joe Chandler hasn't posted a comment in my blog in, like, months, and I needed to express my sadness somewhere and I figured that this was as good a place as any. Joe used to post comments on my blog all the time. I don't know what happened to him. Where did you go, Joe?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

New Thing #49: I talked to Bonnie on the phone.

(If anyone knows anything about DSL and why my DSL hates me, please throw me a bone? Seriously. I need help. Help me.)

(My DSL decides to stop recognizing my computer every five minutes or so, so I'm always being thrown off of the internet and then having to reconnect all the time. It's super annoying. It only happens when I'm at home--whenever I'm anywhere else using wireless, my internet connection is brilliant.)

(I just wrote this blog entry and added, like, thirty links to it, and then my DSL booted me and the entire post was gone, baby, gone.) (So now I'm starting over and I hope it'll be as good as it was the first time.) (No, scrap that. I hope it'll be better than it was!) (No, scrap that too. I don't just "hope" it'll be better. That's wishy washy. That's milktoast. I'm just gonna fucking make it better.) (Hells yeah, the post I had been writing for the last hour was hogwash compared to the brilliance that's gonna spark outta my fingertips the second time out of the gate.) (This time!) (Now!) (Here goes.)

(Fuck yeah.)

(Okay, now I feel like I've set myself up for failure.) (I may not get a book deal out of this post or anything like that, but that's fine because it's my favorite New Thing I've done in a long while and, well, okay, sorry, wait, no more talking about it, I'm just gonna go ahead and rewrite the fucking post already.)


So if you read my comments, you know that I have embarked on a (totally non-sexual, more of a mutual-admiration-society type) cyber love affair with a woman named Bonnie. She's my NBFF. ("New Best Friend Forever," for those of you not hep to the lingo.)

Bonnie and I met via blogland. (Bonnie was actually introduced to my blog by Colleen, or communicatrix as she's known in the blogosphere, so thank you Colleen for igniting our love fest) (Bonnie's pet name for Colleen is Coco, but my actual pet for fifteen years was named Coco and so I can't call Colleen "Coco" because then I might run the risk of having too many Cocos on my blog and people might be like, "wait, is he talking about his dear departed miniature dachshund or is he talking about the communicatrix?" And I don't want that to happen.) Well, anyway, the other night Bonnie and I talked on the phone for the first time.

Hello? New Thing much? Exactly.

Bonnie is the first person I've ever "met" via my blog in which the relationship has progressed from "I'm reading their words on the screen" to "Holly cow! I'm actually hearing their voice on the telephone!"

It was definitely a New Thing. It was New Thing #49.

It was surreal because we both knew so much about each other, but we didn't know one incredibly basic thing: what the other person's voice sounded like.

Which is weird, if you think about it. Weird in a really cool kinda way. It was like, okay, um, it was like this: imagine if you were suddenly on the telephone with one of your favorite literary characters. This person who you've spent hours and hours getting to know and falling in love with is suddenly *bang* *boom!* alive.

That would be kinda weird, right? But amazing at the same time.

Talking to Bonnie was like...
It was like talking to Owen Meany.
Like talking to Peter Pan.
Like talking to Sookie Stackhouse.
Like talking to Arturo the Aqua Boy.
Like talking to Amelia Bedelia.

These fictional characters are some of my favorite people and I think that if I met any of them in real life, my head might explode.

But while I was talking to Bonnie on the phone, I felt like I could have been talking to one of these fictional characters come to life. That's how fantastical it was. (When we meet in person, which is an upcoming New Thing I'm looking forward to, hopefully my head won't actually explode.)

It was like we were both so freaking freaked out that we were actually talking to each other and actually hearing each others voices that we didn't actually do that much talking. We mostly just giggled and screamed things like "I can't believe we're actually talking to each other!"

It was, like, hella cool.

When I get a robot, I want it to fan me and feed me grapes while I watch the Gauntlet on MTV

Um, is this a joke?

Because April Fools Day isn't for another few weeks.

If it's not a joke, then the future is here apparently. We are being replaced by robots. Unfortunately the robots aren't cool lookin' like they usually are in the movies. And as far as I know, they aren't sassy like that robot maid was on The Jetsons. And they probably won't have sex with you like they would in Blade Runner. (Yet.)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Me and my problem with colors

Since when is this shirt not a green shirt?

Oh well. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

(I guess if you see me you can pinch me.)

I'm totally writing this post as bait to elicit another comment from Boom Boom Becca

Okay so, I did a really exciting New Thing last night that I will blog about later. I have to run so this will be a quick post.

In the spirit of my new favorite blogger, Boom Boom Becca, whose posts often include very funny anecdotes about her kids, (or her MONSTERS, depending on your point of view), I have to share an anecdote I just heard about my 5-year-old uncle (you read that right) Bobby.

(Who, let me just say, is the best 5-year-old uncle in the world.)

So Uncle Bobby just got a dog. Who he named Credi. (Yes, you read that right, too.)

Which is short for IncrediDog.

(INCREDIDOG. How funny and awesome is that name for a dog? I want to name my first born child INCREDIBOY.)

Anyway, Uncle Bobby took Credi to the vet for a check-up the other day, and at the vet he saw a snake. He turned to his parents and asked them: "Can I get a snake?"

His parents told him: "You can't get a snake, you just got a dog."

So Uncle Bobby stopped and reconsidered his question for a moment: "If my dog dies, can I have a snake?"

That's the anecdote. I just think it's funny that he just got his dog and he's already got a contingency plan in the case that the dog dies.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Burps and obsessions

I am so disgusted with my body right now.


Because I can't stop burping. I am serious. I have had so much gas today (all up top, none down below) and I'm afraid it's never going to stop. I started burping when I woke up and I'm still burping right now as I write this post. I'm like a freakshow straight outta Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But I don't remember eating a whole lotta glorious chocolate or anything like the golden ticket kids. So, I'm left wondering: WHERE IN THE HELL IS ALL OF THIS GAS COMING FROM?

I am totally grodied out.

I am going to change the subject because (1) I don't want to subject you to any more of My Day of Burping and (2) I don't want to think about burping anymore anyway and (3) maybe if I can stop thinking about it, the burping will actually stop.

So my new blog friend Rebecca told me (in a previous comment thread) that she was obsessed with my blog, which got me thinking about obsessions. Because I'm an obsessive person. Like the thing with my uncontrollable burping today. I know I said I would stop talking about it, but it seemed like the perfect example because I AM OBSESSED WITH MY INABILITY TO STOP BURPING TODAY.

I started making a list of Things I Am Obsessed With in this previous comment thread that I mentioned, but since I know some people don't read comment threads (huh?) I thought I would continue my list in an actual blog entry.

So. Here is a completely non-complete list of things that I am (or have been) obsessed with (in no particular order):

1. Making lists (have I told you about the journal I found from elementary school that is filled with lists, including lists of things like "Secondary Disney Characters"?)

2. Michael J. Fox (my first love)

3. Google (this obsession is well documented)

4. Chocolate (who isn't obsessed with chocolate?) (besides Uma?)

5. Getting A's (obviously this is an old obsession, since it has been years since I was graded on anything) (I sucked so hardcore at math, which made me hate it. I didn't even want an A in math, that's how much I hated it. But then I got a math tutor, I forget what her name was but she was the nicest woman ever. And then I wanted her to feel good about her tutoring skills so I studied my ass off not so that I would do better in the class and actually learn something but because I wanted to be able to tell her that her tutoring was working.)

6. Being on time ("Early is on time, on time is late, late is dead")

7. Wet Hot American Summer (go rent it now)

8. Pooping (this obsession is also well documented)

9. Richard Brautigan (I even wrote a play about my obsession with RB, that's how obsessed I was with RB)

10. Bloggers named Sheila (two of them)

11. London (I found a web deal for roundtrip tickets for $169! I have this fantasy of just flying out on a Friday, arriving on a Saturday, going to the Curly Dog cafe in Primrose Hill for a tuna and sweet corn sandwich for lunch, then going to the Spread Eagle Pub for some tea, then going to Wagamama's for dinner, then going to a play at the Royal Court, then dancing all night at PopStarz, and then getting back on a plane on Sunday morning and finally sleeping on the plane and then arriving back in Los Angeles on Sunday night and being able to tell people that "I went to London for the weekend.") (How cool would that be?)

12. Getting into Northwestern (a school I ended up not even applying to)

13. Comic Books (only DC universe) (I stopped collecting 13 years ago)

14. Tootsie (I have seen it over 100 times. No joke.)

15. Lucy (obviously)

16. Cult TV shows (Twin Peaks, Freaks and Geeks, Buffy, Degrassi, MSCL, etc.)

17. My health (I'm not really obsessed with being healthy, I'm more obsessed with worrying about how unhealthy I am) (which is fucked up)

18. Updating my address book (this a weird super-anal-retentive obsession)

19. Alphabetizing the books in my library (I kinda gave this one up awhile ago, because I have too many books, but it pains me to see my books unalphabetized)

20. Writing haiku (2000 was my haiku year)

21. Jeff Probst (hottest man ever)

22. Bjork (don't even think about dissing her swan dress)

23. Updating my blog (hello)

Okay, I'll probably add more obsessions to this later, but the coffeeshop I'm at is about to close so I'm done for now. Toodles.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New Thing #48: If you needed more proof that I am a total geek, here it is.

Dear Cara,

You know how I'm always like "I hate MySpace" and "MySpace is so lame" and "oh my god I love MySpace" and things like that?

Okay, I actually had a point with the whole MySpace thing, but I'm feeling scattered right now, and I forget what the point was.

When I was a kid, I used to enter contests all the time (like "Enter to Win a Trip to Hollywood, CA to see a Taping of Growing Pains!" and "Win a Shirt Signed by ALF!" and other such inane contests, from the backs of magazines like Teen Beat and Alf Comics).

Well, my friend Jessica is obsessed with Harry Potter and she just entered a contest to meet the cast of Harry Potter in London and since she knows I am just as obsessed with London as she is obsessed with Harry Potter (she's obsessed with London too) she agreed to take me if she wins. So instead of entering the contest myself and splitting the vote, I'm throwing my weight behind Jessica's ticket and that's my New Thing for today. I am totally geeking out and asking you to vote for Jessica on the Harry Potter website so that we can win and go to London.

Right now Jessica has 6 votes (thanks to my AWESOME MySpace friends who have already voted) (MySpace is AWESOME). But the person who's winning--probably some idiot twelve-year-old or something like that--has, like, 4000 votes. SO WE NEED YOUR HELP.

If you feel like doing a New Thing today and registering on the Harry Potter website (it takes, like, two minutes and it's kind of annoying) then would you mind voting for Jessica so that she'll win and take me to London? I will love you forever.

The name you need to type in when you vote is "JessicaS3506".

Vote for JessicaS3506 is the new Vote for Pedro.

Love you forever!



P.S. I cannot believe I even posted this as a blog entry.

P.P.S. But I really want to go to London.

P.P.P.S. "Cara" is the fake girl I made up in a comment thread months ago. I felt like this blog entry would be less geeky if I addressed it to her instead of my regular blog readers, but maybe that makes it even MORE geeky. I dunno.

P.P.P.P.S. I'm not even really a Harry Potter fan. I mean, I've seen the movies, and I liked them and all, but I've never read any of the books.

P.P.P.P.P.S. I don't know if I intented this (on a subconcious level) while I was writing this post, but the post feels like it's spam. You know what I mean?

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Sorry for spamming you.

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. I think the reason I type so many typos in general is that I type too fast. I also have a crappy keyboard, which I think deserves some of the blame. Some of the keys occasionally stick. (Don't ever buy a Toshiba laptop.)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Today's Top Ten Ipod Shuffle. What on earth does this say about me?

There was this "bulletin message" on MySpace that I read the other day (it was one of those lists that people add their own two cents to and then forward on) (if you're on MySpace, you know what I'm talking about) (and if you're not on MySpace you're my hero) (because I hate MySpace) (and I love it at the same time) (we have a complicated relationship) and the "bulletin message" asked people to grab their Ipods, hit "shuffle," and then write down the first ten songs that appear (and it warned you not to cheat and alter your list in order to appear cooler than you really are) and forward your list to the rest of your friends. If the music we listen to is a reflection of our personalities, then I guess the idea of this "bulletin message" list was to give people an unadulterated peek into Who You Are via What You Listen To.

Well, I didn't add my list to the MySpace bulletin (because I hate MySpace) (and I hate it) (I meant to say "and I love it" but I accidentally typed "and I hate it" instead) (that's how complicated our relationship is), but I was writing all day and listening to music on my Ipod and I thought I'd play along and let my blog readers peek into my head via The First Ten Songs that play on my (random) Ipod shuffle.

(Obviously, the "shuffle" feature gives you a different playlist every time you use it--hence the concept of the "shuffle"--but these are the honest-to-goodness First Ten Songs that played in today's shuffle.)

1. Golden Years by David Bowie

Every time I hear this song I think of that Stephen King six-episode mini-series called, um, Golden Years (they used the David Bowie song as their theme). According to imdb users, Golden Years was "DULL dull dull!" But I was loved with it. It ran in the summer of 1991, the summer I turned 14. That was also the summer that I read every single Stephen King book ever written (up until that point) (obviously) (the last Stephen King book I read was Gerald's Game--he totally burned me with that one and like a scorned lover I refuse to ever read him again) so I was obviously pretty "into" Stephen King at the time. My mom and my step-dad and I went on a cross-country road trip that summer. We drove from California to Florida and we took our pretty time. Whenever a new episode of Golden Years was going to be on, I made sure that we were back in whatever motel we were staying at so that I could watch Frances Sternhagen (don't you love her?) and her getting-younger-by-the-minute husband run from the law or the government or rogue scientists or whoever they were running from (basically, the plot in a nutshell was that he got zapped with some sort of nuclear chemical and then he started aging in reverse, i.e. getting younger, while his wife remained sadly Sternhagen) (fifteen years later, I acknowledge that the mini-series might have been "DULL dull dull!" but at the time it spoke to me). Anyway, I LOVED THIS SHOW, and then, somehow, for some reason, we weren't able to make it back to whatever damn motel we were staying at on the evening of the final episode. Which I missed. Which to this day I still have never seen. Which I still hold a grudge about. (I'm serious.)

2. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by the Dream Academy

This is the acoustic version of the Smiths song--it's the song that plays underneath the museum sequence in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. This song makes me miss Chicago and I’ve never even been there. (Okay, actually, I’ve been there once, when I was in high school, on another road trip—this one was across the country to visit all of the colleges—and I know we went to Chicago when we visited Northwestern, but the only thing I could think about on that road trip was whether or not I would get into college at all and if I didn’t get into college would I be destined to have a miserable life and ohmygodwhatwasgoingtobecomeofme? So Chicago kinda got the short end of the stick.) If I went to Chicago now, I would make my friend Stephanie come with me so that she could show me "the real Chicago" from someone who knows it, and I would go see everything at Steppenwolf, and I would hound The House Theater excited to finally see what all of the fuss is about, and I would have a drink with my blog friend Jenny, and I would go to go to the top of the Sears Tower and I would hang out at the Chicago Museum of Art.

3. Forecast: Rain by Tina Poppy
Of the ten songs that my Ipod randomly selected for this blog entry, this is the only one sung by someone I know, and by someone I know well, no less. Since Tina's a close friend of mine who I haven't seen in awhile, just hearing her voice sing into my ear reminds me of so many moments, and it makes me miss her. This song in particular makes me think of all of the nights we used to drive around Los Angeles aimlessly. We would put one of our favorite tapes in the tape cassette of my shit brown Mercury Topaz and we would sing along (usually to the Counting Crows) and we would just drive. I loved nights like that. I guess I've always been a bit of an insomniac, but now when I can't sleep I sit in front of the TV or my computer--back in the day, when I had insomnia, we used to drive all over Los Angeles in the middle of the night and it didn't feel like insomnia, it felt like living or something. (I totally sound like Angela Chase right now.)

4. Wannabe by The Spice Girls

Tina, don't you love that my Ipod chose Wannabe by the freaking Spice Girls to follow your song?

I lived in France the summer between high school and college with this guy named Archibald. Archibald was a friend of some family friends and we worked out an informal exchange deal—he had stayed with me in California the summer before and now it was my turn to stay with him. I dreaded this trip for a year because when Archie lived with me we didn’t get along at all. Which is saying a lot because I’m really easy to get along with. But all Archie wanted to do was be contrary and French and make out with my female friends. And his only mode of transport was in the passenger seat of my car, so it was a long summer. So then when I stayed with Archie in Avignon, we didn’t spend very much time together. You don’t need to have a car to get along in Avignon, so I spent most of the summer on foot. I would walk to castles on hillsides and I would meet random young people who smoked packets of cigarettes and chat with them in coffeeshops and I would go to the cinema and I would go to the theater and I would watch the Spice Girls sing Wannabe on MTV Europe. Yes, I can honestly say that watching the Spice Girls sing Wannabe on MTV Europe was something I did often enough for it to merit a spot on my “list of things I did often while living in France.” The song hadn’t yet hit America—it was just breaking in Europe—and it was HUGE. I remember so many nights falling asleep with Archie’s cat Nuggetin sitting in my lap and the Spice Girls singing me to sleep on the TV in front of me. (They played that video at least once every ten minutes. No joke.)

5. Wet Hot American Summer theme by Peter Salett

I like to think that I am the only person in the world who has seen this movie on the big screen NINE TIMES. It played on two screens in Los Angeles for about a month (one of them on the Promenade in Santa Monica and the other one was that theater in Westwood that used to have a great midnight movie series but I forget what chain it was or if it’s an independent theater or what) and then it disappeared and found a cult following on Comedy Central and DVD, but before everyone else discovered the movie, I saw it NINE TIMES on the big screen. (Once in Santa Monica—with Tina Poppy, from above—and seven times in Westwood, and then once, on my birthday, when they revived it for one screening at that theater on Santa Monica Blvd. right by the 405 (wow, I’m really bad at remembering chain names—but branding doesn’t work on me in general) (like, for instance, I love that Kate Winslet credit card commercial—like, I LOVE IT—but if you held a gun to my head I couldn’t tell you if it’s an advertisement for American Express or MasterCard or what). The first time I saw Wet Hot American Summer, I saw it because my friend Fefe is in it and I went out to support her. And then I got obsessed. I couldn’t get over it. I had to keep going. Again and again. It was a sickness.

6. So Yesterday by Hilary Duff

Yes. It’s true. So Yesterday by fucking Hilary Duff. I LOVE THIS SONG and I am SO not ashamed to admit it. Hilary Duff isn’t nearly as hardcore kickass as Kelly Clarkson, but she still speaks to my inner twelve-year-old girl and I cannot listen to this song without singing along.

7. Time After Time by Cindy Lauper

This song reminds me of Prom which makes me feel bad for Lolita Wang. Most of my blog readers don't know Lolita Wang. She was the girl I took to Prom my junior year of high school. It was her senior year. I'm pretty certain she didn't want to go with me, but I kind of put her in a position where she literally had to say yes to my proposal. (Either that or become, like, one of the least popular girls in school for turning me down.) Let me explain.

There was a contest. Whoever asked their date to Prom in the most creative manner would get two free tickets to Prom. I wanted to ask Lolita Wang to prom and I wanted to win the free tickets in the process. And I won. Rightly so because no one else at my high school could top what I did. I had Lolita arrested. By my aunt. Who was a police officer at the time. My aunt came to school in her full-on police uniform and she walked around campus during the lunch period with a photograph of Lolita asking people "have you seen this young woman?" Lolita always ate lunch in the Drama Quad which was separate from where all of the non-Drama kids ate lunch, so she wasn't aware that any of this was going on. Within thirty minutes, my aunt had created quite a scene. Word spread pretty quickly that the cops were looking for Lolita and several dozen kids were following my aunt around campus so that they could see what was going to happen when the cops finally caught up to her. Finally, my aunt found Lolita, who I think had heard by now that she was a wanted woman, and my aunt started reading Lolita her miranda rights, and then, finally, because things had built to such a dramatic crescendo, my aunt said something along the lines of..."or you have the right to go to the Prom with Erik Patterson." And then everyone realized what was going on and people started cheering and it quickly became apparent that I was going to win the "whoever asks their date to the Prom in the most creative manner gets free tickets" contest.

Now, in retrospect, I'm certain Lolita didn't want to go with me. I'm certain there was someone else she was hoping to go with. But she felt trapped by the incredibly elaborate scheme I had concocted. So she said yes. And then, as soon as we got to the Prom, she promptly ditched me and I didn't see her all night.

(I have no regrets, though. Watching my aunt whip the entire school into a frenzy as people wondered why in the hell Lolita was wanted by the law--that was an incredible experience and one I will never forget.)

8. Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears

More proof that I am, apparently, a twelve-year-old girl. I have non-teenybopper songs on my Ipod too, I swear.

9. Sweet Child of Mine by Guns 'N Roses

For me, this song will forever be associated with the death of Lucille Ball. How weird is that?

It was April 26, 1989. I was in sixth grade. I hadn't yet heard the news. I was a huge I Love Lucy fan. Even though I was only, like, twelve, I had already read several biographies of Lucy. I had this one book called The Complete Guide to I Love Lucy that had write-ups on every single episode--I used to keep that book by the TV set and each time I saw an episode I would put a check next to its write-up in the book so that I would know how many times I had seen each individual episode. All of this is to say that I was a big fan. So anyway, on April 26, 1989, I remember going out to the field during recess and I was hanging out with these kids who I wasn't even really friends with but one of them had brought a boom box to school and that was cool so I was hanging with them listening to Pirate FM. I remember that Sweet Child of Mine was playing on the radio and we were grooving 'cuz it's a kick-ass song and then this one kid, Jeff, suddenly said, "hey, did you guys hear that Lucy died?" I remember it like a punch to the gut. I didn't want to cry in front of these cool kids who had brought a boom box out to the field behind the handball courts and were listening to Guns N' Roses wailing Sweet Child of Mine, so I pretended that Jeff hadn't really said anything about Lucy and I waited until I got home that afternoon after school to cry.

10. In the Waiting Line by Zero Seven

I have nothing to say about this song other than "it's good."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

More things to clink, bizzotch.

First of all, this is a recent picture of Eddie Van Halen:

I found this photo via The Sheila Variations. I have no comment.

Now for some random thoughts and some links I want you to clink:

--My second (and last) ex-girlfriend, Gina, wrote an awesome post on her blog encouraging me to be more gangsta. Check it out. She posted a picture of me with Snoop that is one of my favorite pictures ever. (Thank you, Gina. You're my favorite ex-girlfriend ever.)

--After a bit of research, I've decided that everyone from Vermont is hot.

--Have you seen the Sky TV promo for the next season of The Simpsons? It's been linked to on, like, thousands of blogs already, but I'm linking to it as well because if you like the Simpsons and you haven't seen this, then your life isn't complete. (This is more proof that England is the place to be.)

--I have been really bad about returning emails lately. If you've sent me an email in the last six months or so (no kidding) and I haven't replied, please know that every single day I at least think about replying. (And I am talking to you specifically.)

--I'm sad that Mr. Furley is dead.

--There's a certain phrase that Colleen told me to put on my blog if I wanted to start getting an inordinate amount of hits from all over the world, and my new BFF Bonnie told me that if I put the phrase in one of my posts, then she would tell me a really good story, but, um, here's the thing: the phrase is already in a couple of my comment threads and that alone is getting me many random hits from all over the world and I am scared. Very scared. I do not know why so many people all over the world are googling this two-word phrase and maybe it's because I've never seen this two-word phrase in reality with my own two eyes, but still, I don't want to repeat it here on my blog anymore because I'm already reaping the google hit rewards, if that makes any sense. (Bonnie, do I get to hear the story now?)

--I need someone to give me an HTML lesson: How do you make it so that, when someone holds their curser over one of your links, a floating box appears with a fun little comment that you want to pop up when someone holds a curser over one of your links. You know what I'm talking about?

--I know the band Goldspot through my Tuesday night writing group and they're starting to get big and in the spirit of New Things you should check them out (and if you want to see their new video, clink.)

--After a bit of research, I've decided that there are very few hot people in Orange County. (I refuse to call it "The OC.") (And yes, of course, there are exceptions to this rule, especially if you read my blog and you're in Orange County; I'm just saying that you're few and far between.)

--I was supposed to have a slumber party with Urp tonight and I cancelled on her because I had a crazy amount of work that I needed to do and I just wanted to publicly acknowledge that I suck.

--Oh, and one last thing: Next time a friend or a loved one tries to talk to you through the bathroom door while you're doing your business, the best way to get rid of them is to politely ask them: "Do you think we could have this conversation when poop isn't literally coming out of my butt?"

Friday, March 10, 2006

Never Forget the Hug (New Thing #47)

This blog entry isn't really about a New Thing I just did. It's actually about a New Thing I do all of the time. That might sound like an oxymoron. How can you do the same New Thing more than once? After the first time you've done it, it ceases to be a New Thing. But not this New Thing. No, this New Thing just gets more and more new every time it gets done.

But before I explain what it is, I need to give you a little backstory.

In the spring of '99, I went to the Carnegie Melon Leagues at a hotel in Burbank. Leagues are basically this thing that Carnegie Melon does (several other schools do it to) to showcase their graduating seniors for agents and managers and casting directors. In the fall of '98, I had studied in London, where I met my friend Sian, who was from Carnegie Melon, and so when she came out to LA for Leagues, I went to check it out and see her and give her my support, and she introduced me to several of her friends who I had heard about while we were in London, and when I met her friend Brigid, we hugged each other hello and it was one of those awesome, really fantastic, I-wanna-hug-you-again-and-I-wanna-do-it-right-now kinda hugs. When Brigid and I separated, we looked at each other and ackowledged that we had just had a truly amazing moment. I'm sure we said something like "wow," or "that was a really great hug," or "where have you been my whole life and why haven't I hugged you before?" Later that evening, as we said goodnight to each other, Brigid and I made a promise to each other:

"Never forget the hug," we both said.

And then we didn't see each other again. I can't remember if Brigid moved to New York for awhile, or if she stayed out here--but Sian moved to New York, and Sian was our bridge, so to speak, so even if Brigid was out here in LA, for whatever reason, we weren't in each other's circles and we never saw each other.

Until this one random day. Like, a year later. I had just finished eating dinner at Fred 62's on Vermont Ave. and as I was walking to my car I saw her standing on the street, talking with some friends. I immediately recognized her as the girl who I'd had the really great hug with a year earlier, but I'm not sure I remembered her name. (In fact, I'm really bad with names in general, so I'm pretty certain I didn't remember it.) (Sorry, Brigid.) (But I don't think she remembered my name either, so we're even.) I think I spent about thirty seconds debating whether I should approach her or not because what if my memory was playing tricks on me and this wasn't the girl who I'd had the great hug with? Finally I decided it had to be her. Probably. Most likely. Definitely. But I didn't remember her name, and I didn't want to just walk up to her and be, like, "!" So I walked up to her and said:

"Never forget the hug."

And Brigid looked at like me a deer in headlights. Her mind was racing. I don't think she recognized me, but the phrase immediately opened up a drawer in her memory banks and even if she didn't quite remember the hug (though I'm sure she did), she definitely remembered that she wasn't supposed to forget it. All of these thoughts were going through her head and then suddenly it all clicked and we hugged again and we promised we would "never forget the hug where I came up to Brigid on the street and reminded her never to forget the hug we'd had a year earlier."

That was the beginning of our friendship. Now, every single time we see each other, we make sure to have a good hug. A strong hug. A long hug. A hug worth remembering. And then we'll name the hug. Like, we'll remind each other never to forget "the hug on the streetcorner in the middle of the night" or "the hug where we were both sitting and Erik's breath smelled like garlic" or "the sideways hug in the kitchen at the party we were both late to." Things like that. We try to define each hug, to mark it, to make it an occasion. To make it New.

Since this is My Year of New Things, I just wanted to pay a little bit of tribute to this ever-evolving, always New, always as different as a snowflake, hug thing.

I understand that I can't count each individual New Hug that Brigid and I share this year as a New Thing (because that would get ridiculous), but I feel like I can count it once this year, so the other day, when Brigid and I saw each other and promised to "never forget the hug that soothed Brigid after she almost got into a car accident," well, that was my New Thing #47.

P.S. I should have washed the bottom of my foot before I posed for the photo at the top of this post.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Red fucking shirt post

This is the fourth time I've written this blog entry. Last night, I wrote it and then fell asleep in front of my computer before hitting the "publish" button and then, somehow, in a half-sleeping/half-awake moment, I deleted the post.

Then, this morning, I wrote a really really really long version of the post. Like, really long. Super long. Ron Jeremy long. And then when I went to hit the "publish" button, my internet went on the fritz and I got one of those "not connected to the internet" screens and when I finally got back online my post had, yes, been deleted.

Then I wrote it a-friggin-gain and blogspot freaked the fuck out and said it was “experiencing problems.” El deleto.

So now I'm writing this post again, for the fourth time, and I'm not gonna bother trying to recreate the magic of the previous three versions. The first three versions has lots of words and three photos, but this time I'm just gonna let the pictures speak for themselves.

Here’s a picture of me holding up a red shirt that I’ve had for years and that I occasionally wear to meetings:
Hey, look, here’s another picture of me holding up the same red shirt.
Wait, harooomph?
Um, when did that happen? Like, how do I have two copies of the same exact shirt and I've never known that I had two of 'em? How can I be that unobservant when it comes to clothes? I'm the worst gay ever.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Google your mother (And New Thing #46)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, just so we're clear: I google everyone I meet. It's, like, one of my tics. I just do it. I mean, I do it, you know?

I do it, therefore I am, so, like, live with it, okay? If we've met, then I've googled you and maybe I've even googled your mother.

Okay, that's a lie. I don't google everyone I meet. Like, for instance, I don't google the boring people (sorry boring people) (if you're reading this and we know each other and you're like "i wonder if erik has googled me or if he hasn't googled me because he doesn't think i'm an interesting person," well, don't worry, because the truth is: I don't meet too many boring people and if you read my blog then I'm narcissistic enough to think that you're hecka interesting, bar none, and I've totally googled your ass), but I do google almost everyone I meet.

The reason I'm a big old googlehead is that when I meet an interesting person I want to know more more more about them. I wanna know everything! And now!

I want to know their tics, their foibles, their favorite movies, and if I can dig deep enough, I wanna know their social security numbers too. (Just kidding.) (Or am I?) I think it's because I've always had a collector's mentality. When I was a kid, I used to collect comic books, garbage pail kids, key chains, and numbers from Carl's Jr.; now that I'm an adult, I collect books that I probably won't ever read (but which I never let go of the hope of reading) and I apparently also collect information about my friends and their friends via google. If it's not about the collector's mentality, then maybe it's because I'm just plain curious. Or I'm obsessive. Or I'm anal. Or I'm weird. Or I'm crazy. Or I'm ducked up. "Or I'm fucked up" is what I meant to type, but after I accidentally typed "or I'm ducked up" I left it there because I so fucking want to be ducked up.

Don't you wanna be "ducked up" too? I mean, not to brag or anything, but I think my dumb fingers accidentally stumbled on a crazy brilliant phrase right there. I can't even begin to imagine what it could possibly mean to be "ducked up," but I want to be ducked up nonetheless. (Wait, okay, yes I can imagine what it might mean, but hold on just a second, I'll get to that in, like, five sentences.)

How could we embrace this new phrase? (And it is a new phrase, so I'm going to claim it as New Thing #46.) What could we decide it means? (And we must decide what it means because the phrase has gotta make it's way into the Urban Slang Dictionary.)

Okay, let's see: maybe we could say it's derived from the phrase "well that's just ducky," which essentially means something is awesome. Therefore, if someone is "ducked up," then they've got a preponderance of good--no, not good, awesome--things going on in their life.

To use the phrase in a sentence, you might say something like: "Now that he has an Academy Award, Philip Seymour Hoffman is totally ducked up." Or you could say something like: "I've got three beautiful kids, seven awesome grandkids, and a loving husband/wife. What more do I need? I'm ducked up." Or you could say: "Holy fuck, I won the Mega Million Lottery. I am so completely totally ducked up it's not even fucking funny." Or you could be like: "Sheeeit. I gots me a roof over my head, food in my belly, and enough love to feed an army. My life is ducked up."

How's that for a definition of "ducked up"?

Oh my god, I just got more tired than [insert an example of a really tired thing here] (oh my god! i'm too tired to come up with an example of something really tired!) (and apparently i just got too tired for capitalizing the letter "i!") and I haven't even nearly gotten to my point--you know, the thing I set out to write about when I started this blog entry? My eyelids are gaining weight as I type this sentence. Soon they will be hearvier than my belly and we'll all be in trouble. Fuck. I typed "hearvier" but I'm toot ired to go back and correct it. And now I'm too tired to go back and correct "toot ired." What I'm trying to say is that I'm really fucking tired, people!

Really. Fucking. Tired!

What was my point? Gosh. I'm sitting in this awful coffeeshop right now. Psychobabble. They're about to close. My barista, whose name is Erik, (like my name!), but I'm not sure if he uses a "c" or a "k," well, anyway, he keeps walking by me and cleaning things really loudly to let me know that he's trying to close up, but doesn't he realize that I haven't gotten to my point in this blog entry? And if you really want me to leave, then you should say something, because I'm going to ignore this passive aggressive loud cleaning until I get to my point.

Do you know Psychobabble? On Vermont? Do you ever come here for your coffee needs. (Did you notice the missing question mark there? I noticed it, and yet I didn't go back and fix it because I'm trying to get out of this coffeeshop, I'm trying to get to my point.) (Seriously Barista Erik, I am trying to leave!)

I hate Psychobabble. The floor is so dirty here it reminds me of a floor you might find in a truckstop bathroom. And they put espresso in their Hot Chocolate which is wrong on so many levels I can't even freaking believe it. But they have free wireless (with minimum purchase, or course) (or course??? what is wrong with my fingers?!? why can't they find the right keys!?? ack!) so I come here all the time.

Anyway, let's steer this puppy back to its point. I think I was talking about how I google people a lot. Oh, right, and I think I was gonna say that if you googled me, you might find some hideously bad essays I wrote for a math class in college, and if you googled one of my best friends (I won't call her out by saying her name, but you might say we're married if you were going to say anything about us), you might find a happy birthday message she wrote to her favorite soap opera actor that was printed on his website (they used her full name, which is very unique and pretty much all her own) (she's going to be so mad that I am telling this to the world, so I'll use this parenthetical statement to admit a little factoid of my own and bring myself back into focus as the person to be the blunt of embarrassment: I love One Life to Live. I can't help it. This woman who wrote a happy birthday message to her favorite soap opera star--she got me hooked on OLTL and now I swear by the stuff. I don't watch the show every day, mind you, I just watch it on Cliffhanger Fridays, or when the description of today's episode on my Tivo alerts me to a very Todd/Blair-centric storyline) (because Todd and Blaire are the shit) (but this blog entry is NOT supposed to be about my love of One Life to Live) (talking about Todd and Blair is so NOT steering this puppy back to the point) (so) (um) (right) (okay).

Let's sum up the above really quickly and then I'll move on: I google everyone I've ever met all the time because I'm a nosy busybody google whore, and if there was ever a movie about my life, the character based on me would be played by either Edie McClurg (circa The Hogan Family) or Liz Sheridan (circa ALF).

So now that we've established that, I remember what my point was. I wanted to tell you a little anecdote from this evening. It involves google, obviously.

Tonight I went to Tuesday's @ Nine (this reading group I used to go to all the time which I haven't gone to in forever) (since December!) (I really like exclamation points tonight!) (blame it on my ultra high level of tiredness, which I'm going to stop talking about right now!) (i swear!) and, okay, wait, before I talk about how I went to Tuesday's tonight, I have to say something else in case any of the writers from my other writing group read this.

Oy, so: I was supposed to go to my monday night writing group tonight (which was moved to tuesday night this week) but I was feeling kind of sick so I decided to ditch my monday night writing group (which I love and totally wouldn't have ditched if I wasn't feeling sick) and just curl up in bed all night, but then, around 8:30, I started to perk up, and I decided I wanted to go out and be writerly, but I didn't want to be two hours late to my monday writing group, so I decided to bip on over to Tuesdays @ Nine instead.

Since I hadn't gone to Tuesdays since December, I had a lot of catching up to do with a lot of people, and no one at Tuesdays knows about my blog (I started this thing in January and, like I said, I haven't been to Tuesdays since December) and I thought it might be fun to let a few people know that I'm pooping my brain all over the internet if they ever want to give my brain a gander.

I was talking to these guys Blake and Brendan (who I don't know that well, but who I respect and enjoy talking to whenever I go to Tuesdays) and I mentioned to Blake that I met his friend Bonnie through my blog and that Bonnie and I are super tight now and then Brendan was like, "you have a blog? You should read my sister's blog."

Now, naturally, I've already read his sister's blog because I googled Brendan, like, a year ago--his sister's blog is actually, like, one of my favorite blogs and I read it every day. It's awesome. Stop reading my blog right now and go read The Sheila Variations (particularly her Diary Fridays) (though it's all good) and you will know what I mean. Anway, I wasn't sure what to say to Brendan because I've seen him almost every Tuesday night for the last year and I've never told him that I read his sister's blog because I've never wanted him to know that I found it by googling his name lest he think I'm a weird google freak. Which I am, but unless you read my blog and you know the full-roundedness of my freakitude, then I don't want you knowing I'm a google freak.

I mean, Brendan doesn't know me very well, which means he doesn't know about my obsession with google and he doesn't know about my obsession with reality TV, and he doesn't know about my hypochondria (speaking of which, I think I have mercury poisoning) and he doesn't know about the flaky poop I had that one time (I haven't pooped at all today and that totally weirds me out--I'm usually good for at least two bowel movements a day), and since he doesn't know about all of these little neuroticisms of mine, then he most certainly might think I'm crazy if I tell him I've been reading his sister's blog for a year and I haven't mentioned it because I don't want him to know that I googled him this one time.

Finally, I just decided to go with the truth because the truth is always the smartest choice.

Here's how the scene played out:

BRENDAN: You should check out my sister's blog.

ME: Actually, um...I already have.

BRENDAN: Really?

ME: Yeah, I kind of, um...

BRENDAN: Did I tell you about her blog?

ME: Yeah! That's totally how I know about it and I love her and she's so funny and I can't believe she saw that dead body in the street while she was out here in Los Angeles and she totally has the best taste in books and ...

(okay, so I chickened out at first and lied about how I found out about it and then we talked about how Sheila is one of the coolest people in the world and I'll skip the next few minutes of our conversation because it was just us gushing and you should read her blog yourself and then you'll figure out that it's great on your own)

ME: ...and that's why I love her blog so much. And, um, you didn't tell me about it.

BRENDAN: Um, what? (look of confusion)

ME: You never told me about your sister's blog. I googled you about a year ago and that's how I stumbled across it.

And this was when I was expecting him to look at me like some crazy weird google freak, but he didn't even bat an eye. He just smiled. I think he thinks that all of us bloggers are a little bit touched in the head anyway, so why would it be weird that one of us would google him?

Which just goes to show that the more you worry about something, the less likely it is to be a problem.

As we said good-bye, Brendan told me to "say hi to [his] sister for [him]." So, Sheila, your brother says hi.