Saturday, November 26, 2005

Mr. Scoop Would Like To Share...

...tonight's edition of "Amandarama" finds Mr. Scoop filling in for me. Because he loves me and, he's funny and, as far as you know, I'm too drunk in the other room to stop him from posting this...

Hi. Mr. Scoop here. You may remember me from such classic Amandarama posts as, “Children Are Scum And Must Taste My Turgid, Foamy Beer,” and “Lawrence Welk Must Douche” (granted, she chose more reader-friendly titles than I originally suggested, but I still love her). Anyway…

Scoop has made quite a writing sport of my ranting at the television. Granted, for mostly good reasons, but what such posting glosses over is: there’s a reason we are together. And that reason is we feed off each other in the "bad television ranting" area of performance art (which is a new area of performance art. You don’t get an NEA grant for it, which is tragic, but then again, NEA grantees don’t get rabid monkey love with Scoop. I’m pretty sure I win. At least that’s what the friction burns on my nether-regions tell me).


As misanthropic as Scoop portrays me as (which, I’ll admit, is almost totally deserved. Although that last skank of a syphilitic hooker was ALIVE when I LEFT), you need to understand that I can’t do these things in a vacuum. She laughs when I do these things, and it’s because she does the same Goddamned thing. She’d rather you didn’t know about that, because she reads literature, and she teaches your children, but make no mistake: she finds dead hookers just as funny as I do. Case in point…

Tonight, Scoop and I were watching a Comcast on-demand program, courtesy of Discovery Health, called, “Medical Incredible.” It featured a variety of people who, confronted with some of the most bizarre and esoteric medical maladies known to mankind, were not only able to confront those maladies, but, rather, overcome them. Which is a lot of syllables for “Freaks" - but who am I to cast aspersions while on my one-hundredth beer this long holiday weekend?

To the point:

The first subject was a boy who was cursed with a malady named Progeria. Progeria is a genetic disease which causes people to age prematurely. This young man, named Orny, was eight years old and had the body of a fifty-six year old with the rheumatiz. He was doomed to be dead within five years. The narrator of the program described the disease as being caused by a single gene that was, by nature, just wrong.

I said, “How can there be a wrong gene? I’ve seen Gattaca. There’s only, like, four genes. G, A T, and C.”

Scoop said, “Yeah, but somewhere this kid’s got a Schwa. His chromosones go: ‘G, A, T, ə,’ and whammo! Not only does he drool and totter, he’s pissed over his stolen BMX and his Medicare prescription benefits.”

Within the next five minutes, Scoop and I were introduced to another poor soul with the same condition, but who had managed to hold on until the ripe old age of nineteen. She was three feet tall, with a fat stomach, mediocre breasts, and skinny arms and legs. However, since she had made it to high school, her classmates had voted her prom queen. Because her condition was incurable, she posited that, “I think the high point of my life was being voted prom queen. It’s not going to get better for me than that.”

“Bullshit!” exclaimed Scoop. “The world will always need new Oompa Loompas.”

After we managed to get the elderly out of the way, we were introduced to a woman from Illinois who was a low-rent radio personality before she, well, stroked out. And when she recovered, she was miraculously able to speak without a Kirk-Douglas-slur, but she did have an English accent. Even though she’d never been to England. Granted, it was the shittiest English accent since every Goddamned actor in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, but regardless…

This woman had a therapist testing her to see if her accent was genuine, or an excuse to not have to announce the Traffic and Weather On The Threes. So they asked her, “In America, we say, ‘We’re going to the pharmacy to get our prescription. What do you say in England?’” And she said, “We say, ‘We go to the pharmacy to fill the script.’”

Scoop (who spent about six months living in London) yelled, “Christ! They say, ‘We go to the chemist for the fucking script!’ If they want to test this right, you need to turn it around! Ask the bitch, ‘In England, we say: “We’re going to the chemist to fill the script.” Translate that to American.’ And if she doesn’t say, “GIVE ME ALL THE OXY, OR I SHOOT!” then you shut off her disability..or maybe stab her’”

The point of the above story is: I’m not a monster in a vacuum, okay?

Plus, my girl’s funnier and more fun than yours.

Mr. Scoop

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Reading (and re-reading) Is Fundamental

Literature, to the best of my knowledge, is best experienced through the lens of the reader.

I have certain books that I re-read about every four years.

I re-read Less Than Zero because I wonder at what point I'll stop caring that I left my hometown/high school friends, viewed them as inherently flawed because they stayed "home" (with all the crap that comes with "home") and start to just see them as normal people without my own, self imposed baggage.

And the book is better than the movie.

Although I watch the movie often.

I'm not a perfect person...

I recently re-read The Great Gatsby.

I want to hit nearly every person in that book.

I feel bad for Nick. Mostly because he's too poor to get the hell out of what can only turn into the most soap-operatic of situations.

But, that's about it.

Which, I guess, is an upgrade from finding it tremendously boring about 10 years ago.

I know this is not necessarily a popular viewpoint.

I just don't see anybody I can identify with in this book. Gatsby's obsession with Daisy ultimately is not romantic, but rather creepy. Who spends all their time and money becoming someone they are not and getting a house on Long Island to be near the person they "love"? J. Lo in the 90's? Kevin Federline? Daisy is the most vacuous, undeserving love object every put to paper - which is unfortunate as Fitzgerald was inspired by his own wife, Zelda.

Re-reading this in your 30's, you recognize every person who gets screwed over in this book in your own life. None of them got out of the way either. You don't roll your eyes looking at them any less.

Which, again, might be an upgrade over being bored by it.

I understand about the wanting and the not having and the wishing in the book, both emotionally and materially. But I still think everyone in the book needs to be punched in the neck.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday...

Love that dirty water...To begin with, the Ladies' Room of my favorite Irish bar smells like Big Red gum and mold. At the beginning of the day, more fake cinnamon. Later in the day, more mold.

I know this because we spent about 5-6 hours there today.

After last night's "to the wall" marathon of booze and general debauchery, punctuated by threats of restraining orders, we rolled out of bed at a respectable 10:55 AM.

On my suggestion, we went to the local Irish pub for breakfast. It was filling and good. Then we took a walk by the river and meandered over to the comic book store.

At the store, I was disturbed to note that such a creature as "Elektra Barbie" exists.

I understand that we're trying to teach our girls that you can be anything you want to be, but really - an assassin for hire?

Is there going to be a "Daredevil Ken"?

I'm very disturbed by this.

Barbie and Ken realize that they can have all the ninja properties they want and it won't save them from me backing over them with my car on general principle, right?

As long as we're clear on that.

So, we went back to the Irish pub with this week's take of comics in hand and then spent the next four and a half hours there.

I read the last "House of M" (issue 8) and have a theory about where it's going to go.

I suspect the return of Jean Grey and the Phoenix.

And I'd call someone to ask, but, as I learned last night, they get really mad when you call all unsolicited and stuff.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

That thing I did? Don't do that...

Here's some advice:

Don't call your favorite comic book writer out of the blue.

Sure the title is behind in production. Sure you've spent a lot of time with whiskey and Google looking for phone numbers. The call is still really out of the blue, you know, to him.

Especially after midnight.


And his wife gets really...pissed.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Force Is Strong In My Wine Rack

What you can't see here is the port that is ready to go in 2014.  Which is just fine, because, if I saw it I'd drink it too.

It's finally happened.

This is not the drunkard you are looking for.  You can go about your business.

Mr. Scoop and I now have light sabers on site.

This evening, we both learned that the dark side is tempting. Especially in a poorly lit parking lot after a 12 pack or two of Coors Light.

We also learned that the cops don't seem to care if you know Chewbacca. Not even a little bit.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Bendy Wood

I have new neighbors. I know this because last night Mr. Scoop met them. He met them because they needed the door held open for them as they tried to move a Wal-mart build-it-yourself entertainment center (that apparently they bought off e-bay for $5) that was too tall to clear the staircase up the stairs. They were stuck there trying to move the thing for about a half hour before realizing that the particle board is not particularly bendy, but will shatter nicely if enough force is applied.

I don't understand why people do things on purpose that will only bring them pain. It cost $5. Take the damn thing apart and rebuild it or have a new one delivered. I will give you $5.

Curious as to Mr. Scoop's whereabouts, I wandered outside my apartment, the evening's cheap bottle of grenache/shiraz blend in hand. I found him alternating attempts to offer advice on how to best get the beast up the stairs with other offers to simply "torch the bitch and call it a day". The ensuing spectacle distracted me from the E! True Hollywood Story of Andrea Yates, which was a good thing as all the show was doing was making me angry. Not at the woman for killing her kids (which, yes, is a tragedy) but at her husband, Rusty - who had whored himself out to the show for commentary. He just sat there and talked about how Jesus (and Michael Woroniecki) didn't want people to get caught up in material things and that's why they'd been living on a bus with their four toddlers. Sure she was a little depressed, but she loved Jesus (and Michael Woroniecki).

Let me get this straight - you leave a depressed stay at home mom on a bus with four kids for weeks at a time and don't. see the potential for a psychotic episode coming?

I can't imagine Jesus would want anybody to "go Greyhound" on any kind of permanent basis. Jesus would understand that it's bad enough when the homeless guy you're sitting next to pukes half way through the trip. At least you can get off the bus and go home and shower. Choosing to live on the bus is like saying you'd like to live in hell when you're not already dead. Then again, I don't understand why people do things on purpose that will only bring them pain. But, I do think she killed the wrong people. Oh my God!  I actually said it!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ever Have A Night Like This?

I'll kill Whitley Strieber for this...later...when my ass is safe from probing...


I don't want to talk about it either.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Wunnerful, Wunnerful, Wunnerful...

...And Mr. Scoop Learns The True Meaning Of Fear...

“Why is this happening to me?” I was in the bathroom, but I heard Mr. Scoop’s plaintive shrieks through the door.

“What?” I yelled through back.

“It’s gone horribly wrong!!!”


“Holy Christ! Is that an orange polyester blazer? Oh, holy fuck! This show has sketch comedy! Oh! Oh my God!” Mr. Scoop screamed from the other room.

“What?” I yelled back. We were having this conversation as though we were old people, yelling across the house to one another.

“This guy…was pretending to be a wizard…and he said he had too much time on his hands… except he was clearly reading off a card and it said “thyme” but he mispronounced it “thime”…and now these women are singing a song about “time” dressed as witches and he stepped all over their punch line”, he shouted to me, horrified.

As though I could hear him.

“The one saving grace to this show is that I know that everybody that I hear applauding for this shit right now is currently dead”, he continued. “George Romero saw this and decided to write “Dawn of the Dead”. But with fewer shitty musical acts!”

“Um. I’ll be out in a minute?” I tried to stall for time.

He would have none of it: “Why am I seeing this? This band appears to be employing Nancy Reagan and Richard Dawson seems to be on flute. And the conductor! In the baby blue polyester double knit? That man isn’t conducting the band. He just has the DTs!”

“I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me”, I yelled back.

“Your mother hated you. She wanted you to die. And if she could’ve gotten a good grip on the clothes hanger…”, he screamed.

“What? I can’t hear you”, I yelled back.

“Jesus! Is that supposed to be ‘Ghost Riders in the Motherfucking Sky? You are raping the Outlaws only hit with your goddamn treacle!”

I finally emerged from the bathroom.

“The bubble machine is full of heroin!” Mr. Scoop gestured at the television helplessly, his eyes wide with terror.

“What are you watching,” I demanded.

“The Lawerence Welk Halloween Special. On PBS. From 1976.” As he said the words, a numbing wave of cold passed through me.

We held each other for the rest of the night, shivering when we thought of the orange polyester horror.


Saturday, November 05, 2005

Grammar God

Again, not really a meme junky - but I thought I'd pass this little quiz along.

As an English teacher, if I got less than this I'd really have to kill myself.

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

Congratulations! If your mission in life
is not already to preserve the English tongue,
it should be. You can smell a grammatical
inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is
revered by the underlings, though some may
blaspheme and call you a snob. They're just
jealous. Go out there and change the world.

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Look What's Happened To Rosemary's Baby!

I have a penchant for crap horror movies. I think it's because my parents wouldn't let me rent them as a child. I love to watch them. Sure, they don't scare me, but the important thing is that I got to watch them.

The picture in the corner is from the ill advised tv sequel to Rosemary's Baby. No one believes me when I tell them that the movie had a sequel. Sure, being on Sunday afternoon tv is kind of like never having happened, I realize that. But the movie, following the travails of poor Adrian - who wants to be a rock star but the whole "having to be the Antichrist" thing keeps getting in the way - was only memorable to me insofar as I remember having seen it after some Creature Double Feature on a far distant Sunday afternoon. I also remember watching some movie that involved turning people into giant mushrooms on an abandoned island. I remember exactly about as much from that movie as well - which is to say that I apparently watched it. Some Sunday.

Anyway, the important thing was that I got to see it. God bless UHF. I felt the same way about Audrey Rose even though it was dubbed over in French because it was broadcast from a Canadian station out of Northern Maine.

Loves me some cheesy horror.

I was disappointed by the line up of movies that my cable provider put together this Halloween. A lot of emphasis on family friendly Halloween fare: "The Haunted Mansion", "Hocus Pocus", "Batman and Robin". The previous weekend we'd been treated to the entire "Ginger Snaps" trilogy. That's some damn fine tv well before Halloween. What gives?

Here are my current favorite horror movies:

The Ring

The Grudge



Ginger Snaps

Cabin Fever

They are in no particular order. I've also watched the Japanese versions of both The Ring and The Grudge and they hold up, if not surpass the American remake. I've discussed why I like these movies very much at length here.

Audition is just brutal. Mr. Scoop, through mighty web-fu, finally scored us a copy. Words won't do justice trying to explain this movie. You just have to see it. However, you will never go on a blind date again after watching it though.

Saw I liked because I actually didn't call the reveal of the bad guy.

Ginger Snaps, the first one, is as much a coming of age story as a straight ahead werewolf flick. The sequel is pretty good too (and involves a 12 year old pyromaniac sociopath - and you don't get enough of those, in my opinion).

Cabin Fever is enjoyable because it is an homage to great horror movies past in addition to being an excellent movies in and of itself. And watching teenagers die of the horrible creeping ick is never a bad thing.

Sure there may be better horror movies, but these are the ones I really like right now.