Sunday, December 30, 2001

Less than 24 hours to go...then 2002! May you all find peace, happiness, and health in the coming year. Thanks for coming to my site and supporting this endeavor . :-)
So many new movies coming out lately. It's hard to keep up! Here are four Two Second Movie Reviews:
  • Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring -- I was never a big fan of Dungeon and Dragons or that ilk. I don't really care much for the imagined creatures and learning of their ascribed "powers". That being said, I still can't hate this movie. It's just very well done. Gorgeous cinematography. Fabulous acting. Great music. Fantastic special effects. Gosh, if it was only a story about something other than the Lord of the Rings, it probably would have garnered an A from me, but because of the fantastic nature, it bored me at times. And yes, it did seem like it was three hours long. B+
  • A Beautiful Mind -- Brilliantly acted by Russell Crowe and the lead actress, Jennifer Connelly. They carry the show and do so quite gracefully. It's disturbing and yet extremely heart warming. Crowe is destined for the Best Actor Oscar. A
  • The Royal Tenenbaums -- Fun and quirky. This comedy is drenched in the pain of the family's history...which contrary to what it may ordinarily seem, makes it even more funny. Great performances by all all of the actors. A-
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch -- I finally caught this one on DVD. It came out earlier this year to the art house theatres. A view of Hedwig's life/career in a silly, over the top, blonde wig wearin', tender rockin' roll show on the big screen. This is another excellent example of how life's pain enriches a movie's comic threshold.B+

Friday, December 21, 2001

Darren B., if you're out there...thank you so much for your holiday gifts. I don't have an address (even email) to where I can send a thank you. I'm on a new computer...aaaack. Please email me. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

The Vanilla Sky review was *supposed* to be posted this weekend, but due to some technical difficulties, it's here now. On a completely unrelated note, I want to share with ya a funny personal story. Well, at least I think it's funny. I particpated in the "Secret Santa" thing here at my work. Ya never know *what* you might get in one of these gift exchanges. It had been a few years since I particpated in one, so I didn't know how much things have changed! hehehe. The idea was to give several small gifts amounting to no more than $15 and the last gift was to arrive by Friday of last week. At that point, Secret Santas can reveal themselves to their gift recipient. Anyway, I received a few different things and while I was away last week, I received a large gift bag from my Santa. Turns out my Santa was the Chief Operating Officer of the firm. Soooo....Wooohoo! I must have scored pretty well in the gift area, right? Well, not so quite. I know to some this may make me sound ungrateful, so please bear with me....the final gift was in a tattered gift bag (tears and old staples on it) and within that bag were three things...some Canadian tea, a bottle of Thai sauce and some Canadian maple cookies. (He's originally from Canada, can ya tell?) Anyway, that's a fine gift. Right? Well, it is until...well, until ya look at the expiration dates on the items. The cookies had no expiration date...I dunno if that's a Canadian thing or not. The tea expired a few months ago (ya gotta know that the tea is pretty old if it expired already.) Oh, and the Thai sauce...well, it expired a YEAR AGO last September. Yes, my Santa is frugal, in fact I'm sure that's why he was hired as the COO of the firm. Dunno, it just makes me laugh...either I get the feeling that he thinks I'm not paid well enough and should be grateful to have expired food from his larder or that I've got a penchant for collectible Canadian foods. heheheheh. I guess I should ask for a bigger raise.
Two Second Movie Review, comin' to ya from Memphis tonight:
  • Vanilla Sky -- A fascinating mind f*ck kind of movie. Is it a dream or reality or just lost synapses? What happened? It'll keep ya guessing during the film and you'll most likely carry some of the film home with you. Yes, again, for me, this film brought strange dreams and day time thoughts of what the movie really wanted to say...a sign of a purty good movie. Cruise was purty good too. B+

Friday, December 14, 2001

Two Second Movie Review: Ocean's 11 -- A pretty decent remake of the Rat Pack's classic. It's hip and fun, and hell, it's got George Clooney lookin' pretty hot....what more do ya want? And for those of you "into" Brad Pitt, he's not looking too bad either. :-) It's all about style, Baby...B+
I survived the worst flight of my flying life last night. It was sooooo freakin' turbulent. It was only a two hour flight to Memphis, but *urp*, at least half of it was a rock 'n' roll adventure. I've never gotten so close to hurling my pretzel sticks before. *urp* I was feeling the effects about two hours after the flight too. *urp* Now I know why there are barf bags available! :-) Bottom line, however, was that I survived! It was my first flight since the Sept 11 stuff. Visions of plane crashes danced in my head prior to departure as I'm sure it does for a lot of people these days. I did appreciate all of the extra security that was around. Even though I dont' think the random screenings are that effective, it was nice knowing that someone cared. ;-)

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Thanks to my anonymous benefactor who choose me to be his Holiday Hooligans "victim." Your secret is safe with me. :-) There's still plenty of time to send gifts to others (not me!!) through the Holiday Hooligans program. Start spreading cheer!!! HolidayHooligans.com
It's freakishly warm here today. 63 degrees on my way in to work. It's December 5th, mind you, where our usual high is 'round 25 or so... Hell hasn't frozen over, but have the glacier ice caps started melting yet? ;-)

Sunday, December 02, 2001

Two Two Second Movie Reviews. Woohooo!
  • Behind Enemy Lines -- It's got some creative visual effects...at points it's almost like watching a funky advertisement for the Navy. The plot line was ummm...ok, a bit on the thinly sliced side. I liked Owen Wilson in the lead...he brings a nice soft spoken war hero quality to the film. It was almost good...then bad...then almost good...then bad. Dropped escape sequences throughout. You had to ask yourself, "How did he get out of that situation?!?!" several times. It's not that I hated this movie, on the contrary, it was a decently entertaining few hours, it just wasn't crafted very well. C+
  • The Man Who Wasn't There -- Another Coen brothers movie. This one is a noir-y black and white thriller. They obviously studied light and shadow useage before shooting this film. The story line was captivating although similar in the vein of Fargo where a man's somewhat simple choice changes his life and the lives of others dramatically. Definitely worth a look! A-

Monday, November 26, 2001

Two second movie review:
  • Amelie -- Fun, sweet, delightful, quirky. Love this movie. I received probably 4 emails and a few web posts from people who thought the Amelie character reminded them of me. There are some nuances of similarity and while I don't think I'm quite as quirky as she is, I'm not offended. heheeh. I did look a lot like Amelie as a child. Anyway, it's a fabulous movie. There are subtitles, so if that's not your thang, wait until it hits DVD. A
I cut myself on the braille numbers on the elevator up to my apartment. Seriously. It's not a huge gash...more of a serious poke. Wassup with that? It got me thinking about how dangerous those things can be. What if I were to trip and hit my head on those things? I could be mangled....lose a nose or something. Oh, and let's not even talk 'bout how many bacteria are hangin' out on the prongs. Aaaaaaaaaaack. I'm sure they can't be easily cleaned. Wait...I can't feel my finger. I'm going to die!! ;-) Ok, it's not *that* bad, but it's hurting and I just needed to vent. :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Two Second, Sobbing Movie review:
  • Life as a House -- Ok, I admit it, this one made me cry quite a bit. Maybe it was a hormone thing or maybe it just was good emotional timing, but I was blubbering. I've never actually cried enough at a movie to make a noise, but there it was like a beacon in a dark sea --"uhcha" It was a short "cry noise". I didn't see it coming. I thought I was just doing my quiet movie cry. Butttt noooooo. "uhcha" came out. I liked this movie quite. It struck a lot of sound emotional chords with me. At another time of the month, would it with me? Will it with you? Who knows... It is pretty soundly crafted. There were a few moments when I felt it was very similar to American Beauty, but alas, it wasn't *that* good...nor that dark/sharp. B

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Obituary: Percy Ross, flamboyant philanthropist -- Sad to see this guy go. I have a fond memory of being a child of about 8 sitting in a mall at Christmas time and waiting for my mom and sibs. In the balcony above my head a guy (Mr. Ross) said something to make me look up. I don't recall what he said, but then he dropped a $10 bill my way. I remember some other kids near me who had seen what he had done for me and went under the balcony and begged for the money. He dropped a couple of bills but seemed to be disturbed by the begging and he quickly left. I was able to buy a nice gift for my mum & dad and my grandma with the money. (Yeah, what do you expect an 8 year old to buy?? $10 was a lot back then! )

What has always stuck with me from that was that giving freely and without expectation of anything in return was a great thing to do. I remember how amazed and greatful I was, at the time, that someone would just give to another they didn't know without being provoked...and without wanting *anything* in return. It didn't matter if I was needy or not. It was just a gift with no strings attached. Well, he probably required a smile, but nothing more. :-) A great memory.

I tried to continue that feeling last year with the Holiday Hooligans. Where I (and quite a few others) purchased gifts for unknown people around the country through online wishlist registries. What better way to anonymously pass on the gift that Mr. Ross gave to me? The delight of an unexpected gift, freely given. Ahhhh. Holiday Hooligans is happening again this year. I've got the site *almost* ready for prime-time. It should be up by this weekend. http://www.holidayhooligans.com/ I hope you join me again this year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Two movie reviews, coming up.
  • Mulholland Drive -- A titilating, dark, and fascinating movie. No, it didn't always make sense...even at the end, but what it did do was plant so many seeds of interest through gorgeous cinematography, deeply interesting plot vignettes and lost leads that made me continue to ponder the movie long into the following day. That's a pretty amazing feat! So many movies are quickly forgotten or not interesting enough to even garner a second thought. The intention was to be dreamy...snippets of fantasies peppered with dark realities. There are some fabulous lesbian scenes in this one. No, I'm not a lesbian, but damn, those were some great breasts! OH, the "simple audition" scene was pretty hot too. B
  • Monsters, Inc. -- What can I say? I looooved this movie. It's sweet. It's clever. It's masterfully crafted (ya gotta see the fur!). It's fantastically funny. If ya hate this movie, I'm gonna think less of you. ;-) If you don't have the urge to say, "Kitty." at the end of the movie, I'm gonna have to wonder what happened to the child in you. Don't be late to the flick either...there's a fun movie short at the beginning that's great too. A

Monday, November 12, 2001

Upcoming movie reviews: Monsters, Inc and Mulholland Drive. Two very different flicks. :-)
I went shopping at the new downtown Target in Minneapolis this past Saturday with Justin. I don't believe that there are any other Targets like this in the country. The stores are typically found in suburbia and further out into the boondocks. What makes this store particularly nice in the wintery white north (not quite wintery or white yet, but it's coming) is that the store has underground heated parking. OH MY GAWD. What a wonderful thing for a fat chick who absolutely hates walking in -30F weather with ice beneath her toes. Or even worse +30F and icy slush under her pins. Not good. And ya know, sometimes ya *have to* go to Target to get the necessities -- shampoo, toilet paper, etc. Now I don't have to sweat the wintery walks to my local Target. It's a good day. ;-)

Thursday, November 08, 2001

Financially troubled Sun Country suddenly for sale -- OH NO! Sun Country is the only way for those of us trapped in a hub city for Northwest airlines to get decent fares to other major cities. This is potentially bad news for the Twin Cities. Anyone have a few million to lend me so I can help 'em out? :-)

Saturday, November 03, 2001

Darn it! I had to upgrade the "your comments" sections to the new version of "Blogback." Unfortunately, it appears I messed up the conversion. Aaack. It's almost 2am. Will those of you who posted comments in the past forgive me for deleting your words? *pout* It's not censorship...purely just bad techie skills at this late hour.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Big Fun for the Halloween Holiday! Presenting my annual Halloween collection...http://www.catay.com/cat/halloween2001/. A bit later than usual, but *aaack* work has been nutz! Have more treats than tricks!!

Sunday, October 28, 2001

  • Joy Ride-- Oh, my gawd, what a fabulous suspense movie. Unnerving, spooky complemented with well oiled performances. If you're looking for a movie that will scare ya on Halloween...go to this one! A
  • K-Pax-- It's sweet and inspirational, but not overwhelmingly so. I think I was supposed to be crying at times, but it just didn't move me *that far*. It's not a fantastic movie, but probably worth a couple hours of leisure time. B
On a non-review sidenote about K-Pax...is it just me or do ya think "Kotex?" "Tampax?" "Kotex?" "Tampax??". When I was trying to find the link to the official movie site for K-Pax, I found a television station from Montana -- KPAX. Do you think Kimberly Clark pays them extra advertising dollars when advertising women's hygiene products during the news casts? "KPAX brought to you by Tampax?" :-)

Friday, October 26, 2001

Two-Second movie reviews:
  • From Hell -- It's Johnny Depp and spooky it can't be *that* bad from the get-go. :-) The beginning of the movie seemed quite disjointed and poorly timed. As the film trudged on, however, it was tighter and far more enjoyable. The overall "feel" of the movie was good...dark and gritty. Not a bad selection for a Halloween flick....just don't expect *fabulous* or jump out of your seat scary. B-
  • Bandits -- Billy Bob was a hoot in this somewhat predictable, very funny movie about the "sleep over bandits". Bad guys are nice guys, right? :-) B+

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Blizzard Conditions -- Just so ya know, this is what living in Minnesota can be like at times. Brrrrr. I'm not ready for this sort of thing yet. It's still October, right?!?!

Friday, October 19, 2001

Northwest pulls sweeteners from flights after substance scares -- Ugh. No more Equal or Sweet N' Low on the flights, people. Yeah, as if the worst fear about flying is killer artificial sweeteners...or even the potential for anthrax. Why would a terrorist bother putting anthrax spores on an airplane? Unless he's loaded up the plane with tons (literally) of anthrax spores and is planning on crashing it...that might be of a concern, but really...there's very little that can be done with a sugar packet full of anthrax. C'mon! The scaredy cats are takin' over.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Interactive Pet Robots. They're not available here yet, but don't they sound cool? They "understand" human behavior and respond differently depending upon your mood. I think it would be great to have this for my cat. He could use some daytime companionship while I'm at the office. From what I've heard these things are running about $1500 dollars. Not *that* much, right? ;-)
Oh, another new thing at catay.com -- my webcam is back. It's not the coolio streaming video that I was using. Rather it's the old fashioned "auto refresh every minute" kind of thing. I'll be on from time to time. Watch for me here.
Look! A new feature of the "Cat-a-Blog" thanks to the geniuses at Blogger: now you can comment on my posts, my reviews, my opinions. Think I'm full of shit or freakin' brilliant?? Lemme know. You can add your comments to individual posts when you click on "Your comment?" found at the bottom of each post. Easy squeezy. Remember that these are not private messages, but rather public commentary. Play nice or I'll have to take 'em away. :-)

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

Four Two Second Movie Reviews. You've got better things to do than wade through verbose reviews, right?
  • Training Day -- High stress, high violence (I didn't think it was that violent at the beginning of the film, but by the end, oh yeah, baby...violent!) thriller about a cop on his first day of training to be a narcotics agent. Performances by Denzel & Ethan were fabulous. If you like violent, stressful movies, this one is for you!A-
  • Zoolander -- Silly, fun and a wee bit funny. If you're expecting high brow humor, don't see this movie, on the other hand, if you're looking for a goofy flick at a matinee which pokes fun at stupid people and the fashion world, you'll probably enjoy this one. Scene not to miss -- the gas station hijinks. Pure stupid fun. B-
  • Serendipity -- A simple, sweet, charming romantic comedy. Somewhat predictable, but I'm in favor of well played expectations. Love John Cusack...he rarely disappoints. A-
  • Don't Say a Word. --Tightly woven, but I have a feeling I'll forget about this one and blend it in with all of the other forumulaic kidnap thrillers. Not *bad*, just not oustanding nor particularly interesting.B-

Thursday, October 04, 2001

Popcorn plant workers develop rare disease; artificial butter flavoring is blamed -- ewwww... I always thought there was something not quite *right* about the smell of the fake butter coming from the work microwave. Methinks employers should give gas masks to those employees near the microwave at break time. Oh, yeah...in the article it says, "...no danger to people who microwave the popcorn and eat it at home." Uh...yeah... miraculously fake butter becomes safe when transported to the suburban landscape. If you're looking for butter flavor, people, please use real butter. It's expensive lately due to some sort of milkfat shortage, but c'mon it's better than getting lung replacements later on.

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

It dawned on me earlier today that everything I am wearing has Lycra in it....shoes, tights, underwear, bra, skirt, jacket and top...all containing Lycra. Pretty amazing since Lycra hasn't been around *that long* in the grand scheme of the world...and in the beginning, you'd pretty much only find it in work-out or swim wear. Things have changed! I decided to take a peek at their site to see what was new and *BOING* there was this....Leather with LYCRA. Huh...who'd have thought? No more overstretched leather pants for the rockstar set. Oh, and this: Lycra Gloves Can Lycra condoms be far behind? You could put it on long before necessary and grow with the moment. ;-)

Monday, October 01, 2001

Stop the hatred now! I just received this in an email. I'm sure it was supposed to be funny, but it made me nothing but angry and repulsed:

New York - Year 2032
A father and his son are walking the Manhattan streets when the father stops at a vacant lot takes a deep breath and tells his son: To think that at one time here on this very lot stood the Twin Towers.
The son looks at his father and asked: Dad, what are the Twin Towers?
Father says: My dear son, the Twin Towers were two tremedously tall buildings with lots of offices that was the heart of the United States, but approx 31 years ago, several Arabs destroyed the buildings.
The boy then thought for a minute and then asked his father: "Daddy what are Arabs?"

Ha, ha. Cultural/racial annihilation is oh, so funny. I suppose trying to wipe out the people of Jewish faith was funny to the Nazi's too. Ick. Ick. Ick. I urge each of you to respond unfavorably to humor of this type if you receive it in an email. Silence is acceptance in these matters.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

I was driving along to work this morning when I noticed an odd site. A garbage truck with a huge American flag hanging off the back. It was a cloth flag and as dirty as you might expect a flag hanging on the back of a garbage truck to be. It just struck me as especially odd. I'm all in favor of the flag waving that's going on...more power too ya'll. I don't think ya have to be a flag waver to be patriotic at all, but that's just me.

I do know, however, that there are "proper" ways to display the flag. Recently, for instance, I learned that if the flag is to be flown at half staff and you have a flag that is stationary on a pole, you're to tie black ribbons to the top and bottom of the pole along side the flag, or top the flag pole with a black ribbon. I hadn't heard of that until last week. I did know, however, that the flag is never to be touching the ground as it would be a sign of disrespect. (Ya gotta know that millions of flags hit the ground over the past 200+ years and we're still in business, so ya gotta know there isn't any long term damage being done if the flag were to hit the dirt.) With all of that propriety that is afforded the flag, what are the rules with regards to flying it on the back of a garbage truck? My instincts say that it's wrong. But who am I to say that the garbage hauler's patriotism isn't proper??

Sunday, September 23, 2001

I need to report a major accomplishment. Ok, you might not see it as such, but dammmit, I "captured" all 102 Charlie Browns in my Fat Chick Tours CharlieTown tour this year. YAY! Sooooo much better than last year's Snoopy run. Thanks to Peter for taking all the pics!! Without his assistance and friendship not to mention patience, I would have probably had thirteen pictures of rain soaked statues that wouldn't even be worthy of appearing on the site. Accomplishing simple goals such as this one is the purpose of life, right? ;-)
Two more Two-Second Movie Reviews:
  • Hearts in Atlantis -- A gorgeous slice of life or "coming of age" film, but it unfortunately lacks the strength to enthrall us about the young lives. The acting is superb, but there are far too many questions left unanswered. If you're a fan of the Stephen King book on which this movie is based, I've been told you'll be sorely disappointed...for the rest of us it's an enjoyable two hours. B
  • Startup.Com -- A documentary film about two high school buddies who, several years later, take a chance to start up a .com in the midst of the dot com feeding frenzy of IPOs and huge, charitable(?) donations from investment companies. It's fascinating to see how the two guys change during the short life of this project. They start out as naive young guys with seemingly very little knowledge of how to run a business but possess a lot of enthusiasm and end up as young guys with with the unfortunate knowlege of business failure and over stressed relationships. A-

Friday, September 21, 2001

Arab-Americans kicked off NWA flight because the other passengers were not willing to fly with them. Arrrrgh. This is the kind of thing that will divide this nation. The people unwilling to fly with the Arab Americans should have been put on alternate flights...not the people being discriminated against. Bad NWA, bad.
Gads, I know I'm probably going to get some right wing millitant American breathing down my neck for this, but wasn't President Bush's address to Congress a little bit too much like a high-school pep rally? Yeah, I understand that the statement--lengthy-clapping-pause--cheer thing is standard for the state of the union addresses, but this isn't a time for that, in my eyes. It's not a time to cheer, even if we're saying we're gonna "get 'em no matter what". That just made me sick.
The look on Tony Blair's eyes during the longwinded clapping sessions made it look as if he agreed with me. He looked bewildered at all the clapping, especially when his country was proclaimed as a "good friend". (I don't know him well enough...maybe that's a typical look?) He tried to sit down long before they stopped clapping. I think that was a sign that they should have cut it a bit shorter?!

Anyway, the clapping became as annoying as a laugh track on a sitcom. Once you're aware of it, you can't help but be annoyed. It just seemed to eliminate the seriousness of the situation. I'm sure the attempt was two fold...try to rally the sinking stockmarket into believing that the Union is a happy, healthy one and also to help assure the simple minded folks out there that the world isn't coming to an end even though we haven't "nuked the hell" out of them yet. Ughhhh. Unfortunately, for those who seek substance over cheerleading, it didn't work.

Oh, and who was doing the cat calls at Mayor Giuliani? It was like he was a woman crossing a construction site. Way wrong. I have complete respect for the guy. He's an amazing leader. He didn't deserve cat calls, however.

Maybe David Letterman should have delivered the speech that Dubya gave? Did ya see Dave's opening speech on his Monday show? It was moving, powerful stuff delivered with intensity and warmth....far more than I knew he had inside him.

One last complaint...I was watching CBS's coverage of the Presidential address. Why, why, why did they open the coverage with overly productioned graphics and music with a voice over that made it sound like it was the start of a fabulous movie? I know it's ratings month, but c'mon, this is a Presidential address regarding potential war moves for godsakes. Boooo for CBS. I turned it to ABC to view the address in an appropriate manner.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Two Two Second movie reviews...don't waste your time with those verbose reviews:
  • The Glass House -- It could have been good...it could have been a fun thriller, but it wasn't. It was predictable and boring. C-
  • Rockstar -- Mark Wahlberg's performance was the reason this movie really "made it" for me. He was compelling to watch, and no, it wasn't just his chest that was worth of viewing, although that didn't hurt. The film fell flat a few times during underdeveloped moments in the midst of the newfound star's career. Aside from that, the movie rocked. B+
I was in the office until 3:15 last night...fighting a cyber war against the virus "NIMDA". If you're out there with a Windows 2000 machine going unprotected, please make sure you protect yourself with a cyber-rubber. Information about NIMDA. Can I sleep yet? ZzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzz

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

What day is today?? 9-11-2001. What do you call in an emergency in this country? 9-11. Coincidence? Not likely. Significant? I would bet on it.
It's a sad day. Just witnessing the tragedies through the television makes it seem surreal. A movie? Unfortunately not.
My heartfelt condolences to all of those immediately touched by this tragedy. For the rest of us, be safe out there.

Monday, September 10, 2001

I saw Moulin Rouge again this past weekend. Aaaaaahhhh...I love it even more the second time around. If you haven't caught it in the theaters yet, get out there quick! It's still hanging around the second string theaters. The one we went to was almost packed....with a normal movie at that place, we're usually one of two groups.

Friday, September 07, 2001

Round for a Reason -- Fat Chicks and Cars -- a new photo collection with me and my Bug. Slug Bug...no backs.

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

Two Two Second Movie Reviews:
  • Jeepers Creepers -- It was a forgettable, kind-of-spooky movie full of lots of story holes and useless story filler. It started out spooky and a wee bit creepy, but fell flat on its behind. C-
  • "O" -- Powerful movie...it's based upon Shakespeare's Othello, so I guess there would be no doubt of it's nature. I was only vaguely familiar with the Othello storyline, so most of what took place was a shock. (I know, I ought to read more...). The movie started a bit slow, but by about an hour into it, I was hooked and then blasted with the resulting outcome. Yeah, I cried, so sue me. ;-) Home town boy, Josh Hartnett, as well as the rest of the cast acted their butts off. Bravo! A solid A.
More Charlie Browns to view. Wheeee! I've got over half of them now. This coming weekend there's a "Block Head" party where I *should* be able to capture most of the remaining elusive Charlies.

Thursday, August 30, 2001

We've got a new cleaning guy here at work. Doesn't speak a stitch of English, well, except that when he says good bye to me, he says "Hello". It just makes me giggle. Think I should tell him? Nahhhhh. :-)

Monday, August 27, 2001

Two Second Movie Review, a hidden jewel! --
  • The Deep End -- Wonderfully stressfull, gorgeous psychological thriller. I know most of ya'll probably haven't heard of this movie. I know I hadn't until I the titles started rolling. The lead actress, Tilda Swinton, is phenomenal as the uber-mom. There are a lot of stinky movies in the theatres now...if you see this one in the movie listings near you, buy a ticket! A

Sunday, August 26, 2001

Sad news to report....I did not win the Powerball lottery. Yes, I thought for certain the 300 million dollars were going to end up in my bank account. Not so. I did, however, get two numbers and the Powerball which nets me $7.00. Wooohoo! Anyone for a latte?

Thursday, August 23, 2001

Minnesota State Fair -- New at the Fair Sure, you think they couldn't top the fatty foods offered at the fair. There's no way they could get unhealthier foods than the deep fried cheese curds. Well, I think they topped themselves -- battered and deep fried candy bars on a stick. Yum! ;-)

Monday, August 20, 2001

Ever have one of those moments where a tidbit of "fact" or statistic passed onto you by your parents several years ago suddenly makes you go "duh...". Well, I had one of those the other day. My dad told me many moons ago (10+ years ago) that he read that the majority of speeding tickets are given to those traveling in the left hand lane. I didn't question it and always was very aware that my speeding in the left lane was potentially dangerous...when ya can, speed in the right hand lanes. Then and epiphany! Well, duh, the left hand lane is *supposed* to be the faster lane. It's the passing lane. It's the lane in several states that is reserved for "faster moving traffic". Duh. Duh. Duh. It's not the lane that causes speeding tickets. It's the excess speed that causes speeding tickets. Well, actually, police officers cause speeding tickets, but that's another story.

Sunday, August 19, 2001

Shhhh...don't tell anyone, but I've started my CharlieTown page. Charlie Browns everywhere!
Here they are...what you've been waiting for... The Two Second Movie Reviews! Yay! --

  • Planet of the Apes -- Not a fabulous movie, but not a complete stinker either. Some of the ape costumes were believable, others were just comical (maybe intentionally so?). I liked the way they moved about and were able to jump much like real apes. What was the dealio with the blonde woman's character? The angry/jealous looks and no basis to have 'em. I got the distinct feeling that a romantic storyline was cut from the film yet the actress was contracted to be in the film, so they left in the confusing remains as some added cheesecake. Really no purpose for her other than cleavage. The story line was fairly predictable, but there was a nice surprise at the end. C+
  • The Others -- Love this movie. It was simple yet very suspense filled. Nicole Kidman was fabulous...and the kids seemed like real kids, not the prepackaged Hollywood kids here, no sir. The movie convinces you of one possible explaination then dispells that idea at the next turn. Good fun thriller/horror and no gore. A-
  • American Pie 2 -- Pretty much as I expected...funny, sometimes gross, and a wee bit heart-warming. Not as good as the first, but I'll bet they make a #3. B+
  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin -- Great storyline ...I should have been crying my eyes out if the movie was more emotionally connected. Unfortunately, It was a gorgeous movie without the emotional stuffing. Oh, and the sound seemed poorly mixed, although that could have been the theatre's fault. Also, I looove Nicolas Cage, but his Italian accent was nothing but a distraction. B

Saturday, August 18, 2001

I just received a catalog from Catherine's stores. You see, this is one of the reason's why I think their parent company buying the Lane Bryant chain of retail stores is a bad thing -- appliques. There were only 5 things in the entire catalog that weren't either 1. appliqued or 2. embroidered and three of the non-embroidered items were prints! I'm all for small touches of that, but come on...there's a sweater in the catalog that looks like Halloween blew up on her. *blech*. All I can figure is this -- that fat women like to have the extra embelishment to *hide behind* or that the buyers from Catherine's believes that fat women need to hide behind *something*.

Oh! Another thing. When looking for interview suits, there really is only one game in town with suits that I can fit. You guessed it....Catherine's. Unfortunately, their suits under the idea that extra beading and ribbon trim will get ya the job. Aaaaaaaaack. All of the suits are mother of the bride or church suits. Aaaaaaaaack. Listen...we have real jobs. Give us suits that are attractive, feminine, cut properly and WITHOUT THE FUCKING BEADS AND SEQUINS.

*ahem* As you were. :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

I decided last night not to attend the NAAFA Convention even though I bought my plane ticket already. I just need some time to do my own thang and vacation days are ever so few in any given year. Although I really wanted to float in the pool for hours, I think my time and money are better spent elsewhere -- with myself! :-) With any luck, the following couple of days will bring about some clarity and accomplished tasks that are outstanding. I will miss meeting and greeting old friends, but with any luck, we'll all be around for future events. :-)
Outstanding movie reviews to come: Planet of the Apes, The Others, and American Pie 2. Not a rotten apple in the bunch.
You're My Inspiration Submissions -- If you haven't stopped by this segment of my site in a while, please do. It's amazing how talented my audience is, isn't it?? I'm continually impressed. :-)

Sunday, August 05, 2001

Stop the insanity! Message board after message board in the size acceptance world, there are protest calls over the movie "Shallow Hal". I don't think that anyone can protest any move without having seen what they're protesting about. A trailer is *rarely* what a movie's main message is. How many times have you been all excited to see a movie after seeing its trailer and then ya see the actual movie and it's NOTHING like you had expected? Sending protest letters and such before having *any* knowledge is highly reactionary and short sighted....a certain way to get the Hollywood industry to see that all fat people *are* nuts. Oh, and get a grip on yourself...some fat jokes are *actually* funny. I kinda liked the tilted canoe shot in the trailer. How many of us haven't gotten into a boat and caused a major list?? Being fat *is* different than being thin...the physical world *does* react differently to our girth. If you're not willing to accept that, then of course you're not going to find it funny...but also you're not able to see reality either. 'nuff said.

Sunday, July 22, 2001

At a party yesterday, I had the most amazing, healthy (fat free!) dish -- Fruit Salsa w/ Cinnamon Tortilla Chips. It's freakin' amazing...oh, and of course, nummy. Give it a try:

CINNAMON CHIPS
  • 4 (7-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
FRUIT SALSA
  • 2 med Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup strawberries -- sliced
  • 1 kiwi fruit -- peeled and chopped
  • 1 small orange
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple jelly
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For cinnamon chips, lightly spray tortillas with water. Combine sugar and cinnamon in flour/sugar shaker; sprinkle over tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges; place in single layer on round baking stone. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove to cooling rack; cool completely.

For salsa, peel, core, and slice apples. Cut apples into quarters; chop with food chopper. Slice strawberries and chop kiwi. Place fruit in 1 quart bowl. Zest orange and juice. Add orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar and apple jelly to fruit mixture, mix gently. Serve with cinnamon chips. From what I know, this recipe is from Pampered Chef.
I just had one of those *city moments*. I was sitting here working at my computer on a not-yet-revealed website when I looked up through the windows and looked at a guy sitting on his balcony. I was compelled to pick up the binoculars and look. Lo and behold, he had his binoculars up too...methinks he was looking this way as once I picked up my binocs and looked his way he quickly left his balcony. Kinda funny. I've never really noticed anyone peeking over this way. I don't use curtains or drapes and only use the blinds when the sun is far too glare-ish. I'm sure I've put on a show on more than one occasion. ;-)
Two "Two Second Movie Reviews":
  • Jurassic Park III -- If you can get past the stupidity of the decisions that the characters make, you'll probably enjoy this movie. It's a fun thrill ride. To me, it was much better than the flat JPII. The ending was less than dramatic, but what do ya want? All dinosaurs on the islands to be obliterated by an atomic bomb? ;-) B
  • America's Sweethearts -- It was a cute yet vacuous movie. If you're looking for a light hearted comedy with little intellectual involvement, this is your movie! There were a few genuinely good jokes in this one too....worth quite a few giggles. B-
This afternoon...I got it...I got the "Notice of Status and Amount of Immediate Tax Relief". It's the 21st of July and I get this notice..or is it an advertisement for the Bush administration? The first sentence makes sure to mention that GWB signed the act into law. BFD. This is a WASTE of paper. A WASTE of money. A WASTE of manpower. Why send out this freakin' letter aside from the fact that GWB wants to gain a few popular opinion points prior to the checks hitting the street. The ridiculous part of my letter is that my check is supposed to come this week. Wooohoo. I wonder if my employer is going to learn from this? Sure, they could send me a notice on Wednesday that I'm going to get a check on Friday, rain or shine...it would make almost as much sense. Bah.

Thursday, July 19, 2001

Fazzino -- I saw some of his work while I was in NYC a few years ago. The site doesn't do the works justice. They're fun, whimsical, very detailed, 3-D paperworks that just bring a smile to my face.
If you're an AOL web-mail user, take note...your security may be compromised. I use it fairly extensively so that I don't have to sign on to AOL while writing email. Anyway, the other day while checking my email, I wrote a message to someone, clicked "send" and at that point *normally* a message pops up indicating that the email was sent. Well, this particular day last week, instead of the you've sent mail message, I had another inbox pop up on my screen. Yes, someone else's email box was in my face. Someone from AOL Brasil had his email privacy compromised by me. Good thing I don't know Portugese. :-) I could even open, delete and send emails from his inbox. (Yes, I tested it to see how serious of a security breach this was.) Here's the view of this guy's inbox that I received.

Being the dutiful techie, after hunting for about an hour for an appropriate email address to which I could send a complaint, I sent off a message simply describing the issue. I sent it twice...and guess what? I got two form letters that said, and I quote, "It is always a great pleasure to assist you regarding any issues you may have. From what I understand on your recent e-mail, you have a comment regarding the security in the AOL Mail on the web. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Your opinion makes a difference." heheheh. As if my feelings were somehow at issue...or that it was an opinion?!?! Arrrrgh. I wrote back a message and attached the file I linked above and thanked them for their "touchy feely" response, but that there was a serious issue at hand that NEEDED to be escalated to someone who knew something beyond customer service.
If you don't own the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, what are you waiting for?? I'm listening to it now and it's just phenomenally moving. Ahhhhh... makes me want to see the film again too...and dance...and well, lots of things. :-)

Monday, July 16, 2001

I received a voice mail message yesterday at my home. Not an unusual occurrence, but what it said piqued my interest. Simply, "It should be used for testing purposes only." That's all it said. Nothing more, nothing less. It didn't sound like a recording, rather just a woman telling me in no uncertain terms of "its" purpose. :-) Strange.

Sunday, July 15, 2001

Here's a plethora of 2 Second Movie Reviews:
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence -- I liked this movie, but I think I really would have loved this movie if I had evacuated the theater at the time when the movie *should* have ended. If you happen to see this movie, please leave the theater when it seems the movie is over -- the camera pulls out and the narrator starts to speak. It's not a happy ending, but it really seems that this is where the film should have ended. The last 20 minutes or so is Spielberg fluff. The tone of the film shifts from time to time reflecting the two influences of Kubrick and Spielberg, but it works pretty well in reflecting the inherent conflicts that will arise with artificial humans.B+
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within -- Amazing computer generated movie and an OK story line. Go for the graphics. B
  • The Fast and the Furious -- Lots of souped up cars, overly testosteroned guys and trophy girls. What more could ya want in a movie? During the first part of the movie left me wondering why we picked this movie. *help, get me out!* About half an hour into the flick, however, I was a convert. I actually got wrapped up in it. B
  • Scary Movie 2 -- I had low expectations for this movie and wasn't disappointed. More low brow humor than you can possibly hope for. There were a few good jokes, however. One of my favorites was when two women were being chased by a skeleton. The one chick says to the first chick getting chased, "Girl, would you run from Ally McBeal? No, I think not..." and she turns around and rips the skeleton's head off. :-) C-
  • Legally Blonde -- It's pink and it's fluffy fun. This movie had tons of giggles in it and a decent message. I had no idea I'd be sharing the theater with teenagers when I went to the movie, but it's not just a teeniebopper flick. It definitely works for all ages. B+
  • The Score -- A good movie even though it seemed a bit predictable or forumulaic, but all in all, a good choice for a full price admission. What is up with Marlon Brando being touted as a "good actor". Granted, I've never seen the Godfather movies, but every other movie I've seen with him, he plays the same guy. Is that acting? Don't think so. He's strange and has an annoying screen presence. There, I've said it. The movie: B+ Brando: C-

Thursday, July 12, 2001

Outstanding 2 Second movie reviews (coming soon!) -- A.I., Final Fantasy, The Fast and the Furious, and Scary Movie II. So many movies, so little time to review...

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Charming Shoppes - Acquires Lane Bryant Stores -- This is NOT a good thing. Charming Shoppes now controls almost all of the fat chick clothing market niche of retail shopping. Wanna know what to expect from this? The same crappy clothing choices that you find at Fashion Bug Plus and Catherine's. Much more poly-cotton knit and other cheap-ass clothing choices. This is bad news for fat chicks 'round the country. Hey, can Ulla Popken please come to our rescue? Or any other shops out there that deserve such expansion??

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Welcome to Suite Home Chicago -- The "official" exhibit site for the Chicago furniture tour. No definite date as to when I'll get down there, but most likely sometime in August.

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

It was a very hot night last night, as I suspected. I've been doing something different in my wee world, however. Recently, I decided to try not to use air conditioning. I figured that my little trickle in the energy savings might help *someone* *somewhere* and I'd like to "get used" to the heat so that I wouldn't find it so oppressive when going out to do outdoor activities. Well, everything was going very well. I hadn't used A/C all year (not that it's been 6 months of hot, hot days or anything...this is Minnesota!) Well, it worked well until last night. I was fine until I went to bed. I tossed and turned for a few hours in the sticky warmth. I would fall asleep and wake up about every 5 minutes and then look at the clock and then hope for a cool breeze to drift across my body. No luck. At about 2:30 in the morning, I could take no more. It was 84 and humid and my head was sweating. *pout*. I did it. I turned on the freakin' A/C. I have central air, so the cold wasn't quick to come as a window airconditioner on my head may have been. I lied in my bed and slowly felt the wafts of cold air drop on me from above. Ahhhhhh. I'm not proud of my weakness, but hell, I had a lovely sleep last night. Thanks for asking. ;-)

Monday, June 25, 2001

The In a BIG Way 2nd Annual Luau went off without incident aside from some additional flood waters that made their way onto the park grounds. A bit of mud, but by far more good company and treats than anything. :-)
It's hot outside...my WeatherBug says 99 degrees. I don't think the poor thing can read above that. In Windows machines, the WeatherBug sits in the systray and chirps if there's a warning about inclement weather also, if you're constantly connected to the internet, as many of us are at work (and play), it reports the current temperature. Kind of handy in the event you have no windows in your office like me. Yes, while at work, I live in a very cold, fluourescent cave. But, I'm happy to report that my cold cave is no where near 99 degrees right now, so I'll happily sit here for a little while longer. :-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

I've got two mediocre movies to review this week. *yawn*
  • Tomb Raider -- What is up with the stryofoam boobs? The breasts were the leading ladies and offered more interest to the film than any other aspect. There were a few cool scenes that saved this one from being a complete flop. C
  • Swordfish -- Lame. *yawn*. Is Travolta's career finally over? I thought that Battlefield Earth and Lucky Numbers were the nails in the coffin. Maybe Swordfish is the final nail? I heard that there may be a Battlefield Earth sequel. heheheh. Just say no. C-
charlietown -- I have a lot of Charlie's ahead of me. Wheee! They've been popping up all over town now. I think they're more adorable than the Snoopy's. Something 'bout that big Charlie Brown head, I think. :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

I mentioned the Big Girl, Big Stuff Tour below, but I don't think I've mentioned it here in the Blog before. It's a project that my friend Kim and I dreamed up. We are going to try to get photographs of large roadside attractions such as the muffler men or the ball of twine with big girls aka fat chicks. The eventual idea is a website with tour photos of the groups of the fat chicks with the large attractions. Campy. Fun. Silly. Yes, all of those. :-) Here's a preview picture from the tour that took place June 1-3.

The first tour was a huge success and good fun. We (Michelle, Claudia, Kim and I) made the nearly 1,000 mile trek viewing and photographing over 30 roadside attractions throughout the northern half of Minnesota. We plan on hitting the rest of Northern MN later this summer and hopefully Wisconsin in the early Fall. The website will also solicit photos of other fat chicks and their roadside attractions. I know that the upper midwest as well as the rest of the country (maybe the world?!) is FULL of these hideous yet wonderous things. Here's a link to help you find attractions in your area. The list isn't inclusive of everything...we found many not even mentioned: World's Largest Roadside Attractions Also see: Roadside America. Again, you can't beat the campy nature of this stuff. All good fun!

Welcome to Cereal Adventure - Where your favorite cereals come to life! -- Is there any wonder why I love living in the Twin Cities? hehehe. Oh, and don't forget...just a few hours away from Cereal Adventure, we have "Iron World" . During the Big Girl, Big Stuff Tour, I got a chance to see the outside of Iron World. Unfortunately, it was closed. Maybe next time. I really do want to see dancing iron pellets! ;-)

Thursday, June 07, 2001

Two second movie review:
  • Moulin Rouge -- What a bunch of fun! This musically charged love story combines many of the things that I appreciate about movies -- decent acting, fabulous cinematography, a good script, humor, and wonderful eye candy. The movie is jam packed with dreamy visuals and music. I had high expectations for this film, but unlike Pearl Harbor, this one delivered far more than I expected. A

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

I don't know if I ever shared this in my blog before, but I came across this link again and thought I'd share it. This is my submission into the Webmasters 98 competition. It was a competition where individuals or groups had 24 hours to create a site with a given set of criteria. This was wayyyyy back in November of 1998. I don't believe that they had any subsequent competitions. I was pretty proud of how my little site turned out especially since I had only me and my limited webby knowledge at the time. If I remember right, I spent about 12 hours on the beast. So, anyway, just thought I'd share this piece. It's not as clean as my In a BIG Way site which was created in about 4 hours time, but the IABW site is pretty simple in design.

Sunday, May 27, 2001

Two two second movie reviews to start off the Summer movie season:
  • Pearl Harbor --- I had really high expectations for this movie. I loved the trailers that they had in the theaters for months. Emotional, romantic and historical looking. Well, I was disappointed. The quality of the art direction is high, so it's a "pretty" film, but it's lacking in character development and there is far too much "cheese" in the movie. I couldn't help but laugh at Captain Cheese, Alec Baldwin himeself. His delivery of the overly staged lines was ridiculous. The love story was painfully predictable. The actual attack scenes were decent. The post-attack hospital scenes were much too "artified"...blurry vision, lack of color, etc. There wasn't a focal point with who had the bad vision...it just kicked in every so often to shield us from the true gore (gotta keep that pg-13 rating, don'tcha know?). Anyway, it fell flat. Flat. Flat. Pretty, decent story, but really, you felt the flatness for THREEEEEEE LOOOOOONG HOURS. I think they tried to cover too much ground and din't have a clear vision...hence a long movie with a dulled vision. B-
  • Memento-- A brilliant film that is completely staged backwards. It starts with a murder...and then you find out what happened prior to the killing. The main character has a short term memory problem and he photographs key elements of his life with a polaroid so that he's not completely lost in the world. Does it work? Absolutely one you should not miss this summer. Catch it when you can...I have a feeling it will be buried by the blockbusters that are overly advertised. Don't discount this one just 'cuz it doesn't have a huge advertising budget! A

Thursday, May 24, 2001

I am soooo excited. The U Film Society has started utilzing the Galtier Cinema in downtown St. Paul. When it closed a couple of years ago, I always said that it would be a perfect theatre for independent films. Now....VOILA! Yay! Yay! Yay!

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Urban Legend Machine -- Make your own Urban Legends. This is a hoot! Give it a try.

Sunday, May 20, 2001

Two second movie review:
  • Shrek -- What a fabulously fun movie. The personalities of the characters were adorable. The animations were pretty amazing. A few too many fart jokes for my taste, but aside from that this is a masterfully crafted funny film. I laughed and giggled my way through the movie. A
  • Friday, May 18, 2001

    Fun Facts about Minnesota -- Contrary to what this page says, the mosquito is the Minnesota state bird. I had the pleasure of getting bit by one last night. Yes, it's a sure sign that summer is here. Yay!

    Monday, May 14, 2001

    Loooks like my pal Blogger is working again. Yay! I've been trying to get my words out for a few days now....

    Sunday, May 13, 2001

    Two two second movie reviews:
    • A Knight's Tale -- I really enjoyed this film. I liked the use of classic rock music peppered throughout, but especially the "We Will Rock You" tune used at the beginning. The actors were fabulous and adorable (can't beat that!). I especially enjoyed the portrayal of Geoffrey Chaucer. He played the role with lots of rock n' roll flair. (The costuming didn't hurt either!) It wasn't a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination, but it was enjoyable. Can't say that about many movies these days. A-
    • The Mummy Returns-- Boring. Boring. Contrived. Boring. Some especially BAD special effects. This one should have skipped straight to video. I didn't care for the first one, but in comparison, the first Mummy movie looks like an academy award winner. D
    A little bit of heaven -- Cracker Jack's new French Vanilla Almonds. Nummy with a capital N!!! If you like almonds, you can't go wrong with these.
    Well, it happened. My first letter from an incarcerated man. Yes, "Tim" has written to me from his cell pleading to know more about me. He saw me in the Pioneer Press article and just *had to* write. I'm betting that Tim writes a lot of women from the newspapers. What better way to find out about chicks and their last names?!? Anyway, the funniest thing about the letter? He wrote, and I quote, "I read the story about you in the St. Paul Pioneer Presss about a month ago but haven't had time to write to you, until now, although I've been thinking about you ever since that day." Yes, an incarcerated man who has nothing BUT time on his hands didn't have time to shoot of a letter even though he had been thinking about me every day since. hehehe. Gotta love that. He claims to be a changed man and he lets me know that he isn't in prison for a sex-offense. As if a sex-offense is the WORST thing that you can be jailed for. Gads. He's probably just killed 10 people. That's all. No worries about rape however.

    Tuesday, May 08, 2001

    Attention all lead foots in the Minnesota area: be aware that not all State Troopers drive Crown Victorias or similar model cars. I spotted an unmarked dark green mini-van pulling over a speeding motorist. The flashing lights are installed in the front windshield. Purty clever, eh? No one would suspect the mini-van!!

    This is in no way an endorsement for exceeding the speed limit on Minnesota highways. No, that would be wrong. Remember 55 saves gas and lives!

    On a similar yet unrelated note, gas prices are rediculously high right now. 1.90/gal is pretty average near where I live. If you'd like to find cheaper gas while in the Twin Cities, check out this site. It's a listing of the highest and lowest price gas at local pumps.

    Wednesday, May 02, 2001

    Gotta do this one too...also in Chicago...City Critters from around the country will be at Lincoln Park Zoo. Wheee! Hey, how come none of the cities used "rats" as the city animal of choice to be decorated by local artists? Hmmm..It seems that the vermin have been overlooked.
    Dept. of Cultural Affairs: Suite Home Chicago -- I have GOT to get to Chicago for this. It's like the Snoopy's around St. Paul or the artsy cows in NYC. This year Chicago is doing living room furniture. I think it just screams "photo shoot!". :-)

    Tuesday, May 01, 2001

    It's May Day! Go out and buy a stranger some flowers! I remember as a kid picking dandelions and violets and making cute paper baskets in which to deliver 'em. I brought 'em to the neighbor's door, rang the doorbell and ran. Ahhhh, sweet youth!

    Monday, April 30, 2001

    I've tried blogging a few times in the past couple weeks, but with poor results (obviously!?!). It's been a busy couple of weeks. I just returned from the Chicago BBW bash held in Elgin, Illinois. 'twas a fun time with friends old and new. I'll attempt to blog or post on the site more about that later. If I forget, please remind me to tell ya'll about the heavy shoes in the women's bathroom. :-) My friend Ronda took some fun pool photos for future pictures of the week. Yay! I was in need of some new ones.

    Last week after the photo shoot, I held the first In a BIG Way dance in about two years and with great success. 67 people came out to boogie with us. Yay! By and large people seemed pleased with the Moon & Stars dance. I hope to be having another dance in July and again in September. Fun stuff. Watch the IABW site for details about those events. More later. I apologize for the silence.

    This is a PDF of the "Fat Kid" article that I've mentioned several times. It finally ran in the paper yesterday. Yay!

    Thursday, April 19, 2001

    I'm meeting with the Pioneer Press tonight. They're sending a photographer to take my picture for the story about fat kids that I mentioned several weeks ago. The story should appear sometime in the next week. From what the writer mentioned, it sounds as if it will be a positive piece. Wish me luck -- Please, don't let me look like a doofus in the newspaper!

    Monday, April 16, 2001

    IRS Fill-In Forms -- I finished my taxes. Yay! Fill in forms are pretty groovy..who needs a pen anymore? Oh, yeah, gotta sign the things, but that can be done in blood. ;-)

    This has got to be the biggest waste of paper in my tax forms: Payment Voucher aka Form 1040-V. Basically it just lists the same crud that's on your check. What's the point?!? Maybe if I was sending pennies, this little ditty might be important. Good thing it's not required anymore. I did send it off, but only 'cuz I wanted to see form 1040-V in action.

    Three two second movie reviews. Are ya ready? Can ya stand the anticipation?!
    • Bridget Jones's Diary -- Absolutely LOVE this movie. It's great for women and men. Full of fun laughs and some serious thoughts about relationships and self acceptance. Go, go see it now! A
    • Blow -- I love Johnny Depp. He can do no wrong...well, except wear long pubic hair-like side burns. hehehe. The movie isn't phenomenal, but it's a pretty good flick about a guy (played by Depp) and how his life goes from bad to worse during the course of his life. The poor guy makes some stupid decisions just trying to do his version of the right thing...of course it always backfires. On a fat positive note, near the beginning of the movie, Depp's best friend is portrayed by a BIG guy. Ya know what? Not one joke about his weight. Amazing. B+
    • Along Came a Spider -- Love Morgan Freeman...he can almost do no wrong too. Of course he's not as cutie patootie as Johnny Depp, in my humble opinion, but he's a wonderful actor. I thought this movie was pretty lame. I hated the female lead played by Monica Potter. She was the antithesis of the Clarice character from "Hannibal". Of course that was supposed to be part of the mystery of the film, but trust me, she was lamer than lame. If you see this film, she has the exact same voice as Julia Roberts. Really! The concept of the "experienced cop" taking the "no-nothing idiot" under their wing has been done TOO often in recent years. And, I just didn't buy the Freeman character doing it in this film...it just seemed WAY to contrived. Since that was a LOT of the time spent in this otherwise OK movie, I'm giving it a C
    See ya at the movies and save me a big butt seat!

    Sunday, April 15, 2001

    Click Here. I want it, I want it, I want it. NOW! :-) Gorgeous and in custom made fat chick sizes. Did I say "I want it now" yet? It's only $600 dollars. That's all. heheheh. I do want it though... *pout*

    Thursday, April 12, 2001

    False alarm at the White House: Unattended bag prompted security action -- Associated Press
    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A brief scare at the White House is apparently over. CNN reports that the Secret Service says a pink backpack outside the White House fence poses no danger. The bag had been left against the fence, prompting part of the White House grounds and nearby Pennsylvania Avenue to be cleared.

    Tell me ya'll aren't dying to know what was in the pink backpack.. :-)

    Sunday, April 08, 2001

    While I was at the movie on Friday, a guy two down from me got a cell phone call about 5 minutes into the movie. Not a big deal. I hear beeps and rings from time to time. Well, this time, the idiot took the call. Not only did he just answer it...no...he went into a full conversation with the person on the other line. Annoying as hell. Anyway, a guy in the row behind us tapped the guy on the shoulder and said, "Hey, turn your phone off." Well, Mr. Rudedog jumps up out of his seat and starts screaming (yes, screaming) "Yo, man, don't you touch me. Fucking asshole. Don't you fucking touch me.." etc, etc. A real class act. Of course I think the audience, me included all thought that the altercation was going to turn physical. Someone from a few rows up ran out the door and got the rent-a-cop. Rudedog's girlfriend kept saying "Come here, come here and sit down." Rudedog didn't respond to her he just kept screaming at the other guy. Anyway, Mr. Rudedog went out the door and the altercation was pretty much over. He did end up coming back, but only after a few kind words from the policeman. So, what happens at the end of the movie when everyone was walking out? We talked about the idiot...and not the movie. Yes, it doesn't bode well for this film, which was pretty bad. "Along came a Spider." was the flick. I'll do my full 2 second review at a later date.
    Anne Geddes - her roadkill inspired piece. hehehhe.

    Thursday, April 05, 2001

    I'm fully into my first full day of being 33. Funny...the sun was shining yesterday. ;-) A couple of birthday resolutions -- 1. Do all that I want to do. No more of this choosing between projects. Time is of the essence. ;-) 2. I'm already working on being more active and loosing a touch of weight. Nothing drastic, mind you...just enough to get back into "fighting form". 3. I'd like to put an end to some of the negative voices in my head. Second guessing my talents and decisions has been a bit of a stress within my own mind the past couple of years. 4. Keep up with the incoming email box. (Yeah, like that's ever gonna happen!) 5. Try to be a bit more spontaneous in a social sense. I seem to really relish my "Caffin" time more than I should. Don't get me wrong, I socialize a goodly amount, but I feel I'm still stifling my engagements. 6. No more procrastination on doing the laundry. (Again, yeah, that's gonna happen.) 7. Be a tad bit more financially frugal. The need to get a tax break (like a buying house) is of the essence. Well, that's all I can think of right now. I'm sure more will come to me... Have a good day!

    Tuesday, April 03, 2001

    Two two second movie reviews:
    • Someone Like You -- A cute romantic flick staring Ashley Judd. It's not heavy, it's not the best film in the world, but it's worth a couple of chuckles and a few heartwarming moments. B
    • Heartbreakers -- Again, not a bad flick. I enjoyed the characterizations and got quite a few chuckles from this film about a mom and daughter team who scheme men out of their money. It was enjoyable, and what more can ya ask for from a Spring movie these days? B

    Wednesday, March 28, 2001

    So, I was putting on my underarm deodorant this morning, and it occurred to me that the new scent called, "Ambition," really leads me to believe that I could be selling myself short. I mean I now have "ambition" under my arms, "confidence" in my underwear (thanks to panty liners), "vibrance", "vitality" & "bounce" in my hair (thanks to shampoo) and "sparkle" & "healthy" in my mouth (thanks to my toothpaste).(Not to mention "energy" from my morning's energy drink!) If all this isn't a reason to become a politician, nothing is. Well, hmmm...maybe I should find a product that will grant me "deceit" also? Yeah, that would make it complete. ;-)

    Sunday, March 25, 2001

    Just got done watching the Oscars...it was nice that the awards were spread out. There was no clear overall "winner" as there often is. Yay!
    Ivan of Utah...I've lost your email. I've got a thank you to send... Help!

    Wednesday, March 21, 2001

    Ok, time for some catch up on some Two Second movie reviews. I'm not even sure that they're all still in the theaters. Maybe it's just better that way. ;-)
    • Hannibal -- I'm sure most would agree...this was no Silence of the Lambs. I loooved Silence of the Lambs. This one, well, not so much. It wasn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination. I think the unsettling part of the movie aside from the brain scene was Hannibal being a sympathetic character. It was unsettling, but also one of the reasons that made me enjoy the movie...that uncomfortable feeling of being manipulated into appreciating a gruesome person. Not many films are able to do that successfully. This one did a purty good job of it. B
    • Monkeybone -- I'm just not a huge Brendan Fraiser fan. I think he does a fair job in his roles, but rarely do I believe his portrayals as anything beyond superficial facial manipulations. Anyway, this flick wasn't a complete bomb...just a partial one. The film seemed disjointed as if there was a major directorial switch or the film company ran out of money half way through. The special effects ranged from fantastic to lame-o high school film work. For the FAs in the audience, there's a monkeybone cartoon at the beginning where a little boy gets turned on in a class by watching his teacher's flabby upper arms. In class erections are never a good thing from what I hear. :-) C+
    • 15 Minutes -- One of the local movie reviewers in town gave this film 0 stars. Of course when a review comes out like that before I see a flick, I figure I'm in for a boring night. I didn't find that to be the case with this movie. I actually thought it was a pretty finely executed movie. The characterizations were believeable. The stress of corruption by money and fame was feeling pretty strong...and to me that was an important element that made my two hours well worth the price of admission. I give it a solid B
    • The Mexican -- A solid enjoyable film. Performances were all well done. B+

    Tuesday, March 20, 2001

    Mir News -- Yes, EVERYONE will get a free Taco @ Taco Bell if the Mir hits this spot. Cross your fingers. heheheh. Chances are slim to none, so maybe you'll have to make your own run for the Border.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2001

    Oh! I forgot...Monkeybone too. Hopefully I can get to all the review s later today.

    Monday, March 12, 2001

    Sorry 'bout the lack of communication here of late. I've received several emails asking where I'm hiding. I'm here, just not very *bloggy*. I actually tried to blog a couple of days ago, but the blogger.com system was down.

    I've got several movie reviews to do -- Hannibal, 15 Minutes, and The Mexican. There may be one other too. Stay tuned!

    Friday, February 23, 2001

    On Highway 94 between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St Paul, there are several traffic alert signs hanging on the sides of overpasses. The signs say nothing unless there is something that the drivers need to be made aware. For instance, yesterday morning the sign read "Crash at Cretin-Vandalia. Left lane closed." That sign was probably 2 miles before Cretin-Vandalia...plenty of time for people to make smart traffic decisions, right? Unfortunately, there's a problem with the "smart" decision making. A great many people moved over into on of the non-left lanes. There are 4 lanes at some points, so there was plenty of room for everyone. Of course then there were the numbnuts who read the sign as "Crash at Cretin-Vandalia. Left lane open for about 2 miles for those who wish to 'get ahead'" Any one who understands traffic patterning knows that there will always be idiots on the road who use the pavement as their sole method of getting ahead in life. By doing so, unfortunately, they often are the root cause to the slow down at the crash site. They're the ones who have to stop suddenly at the road's end and then try to squeeze into the other lanes thereby slowing down traffic for *everyone*. If they followed the sign advice when given and moved into an alternate lane, traffic would not have been delayed 15 minutes as we tried to squeeze the numbskulls into the other lanes. The flow of traffic would have been heavier and potentially slower, but there wouldn't have been the idiotic bottleneck at the crash scene. Ahem. I guess it doesn't surprise me that such behavior exists on the road as thoughtless and selfish acts are not only viewable from behind the wheel. We see 'em everyday.

    Wednesday, February 21, 2001

    Children's sunglasses can release potentially lethal substance What numbnut at Barbie/Mattel thought this was a good idea?? Petroleum distillates in a child's toy. Yum!

    Tuesday, February 20, 2001

    Daily Radar Peepshow - Daily Confusing Yet Somehow Sexy 'Woman' -- Ya know, I don't think I ever shared this with anyone online. Peter found this when he went to one of his regular web stops a little over a year ago. And, hey, it's still accessible. I remember when he showed me...he was worried I was going to be upset that they used a picture of mine in that manner. Nah. I was kind of flattered. Kind of. hehehe.
    Fall from bed caused death at 'U' It's a sad story about a kid, 19, who died in a college dorm at the U. In a media frenzy immediately after this kid's death, there were special reports about "alcohol use at colleges" and survey results about alcohol usage all over the local media. Yes, kids drink in college, we all know that. It's not a surprise to anyone. Why over report on it after a kid dies in a dorm after a drinking party? What about all of the kids who die in drunk driving accidents? Should there be lots of media play about kids drinking in their parents homes and what could possibly be done about it? That story could run every night, I'm sure, and still be topical.

    I wonder now, if after the autopsy is realeased whether or not the television stations will be running stories about how bunk beds or "lofts" are dangerous in college dorms?? Should bunk beds be banned?? No, they won't do a story like that. It's simply not sensationalistic enough. Bah.

    Monday, February 12, 2001

    For those of you who have seen the movie Hannibal, my joke as follows, will make sense:

    Why did Hannibal know to use Rubbermaid brand storage containers?

    He knows a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

    Geez, I should be in comedy writing. Anyone got a gig for me? ;-)

    Thursday, February 08, 2001

    Well, I was briefly interviewed again by the Pioneer Press. Apparently I didn't sound *too* stupid last time. :-) This time the interview was regarding the In a BIG Way, Out and About Section for a section of the paper called "The Skinny". It's called the skinny because of the column width of the paper. :-) A fat story in the Skinny column! :This one should run sooner than the "Fat Kid" story as the reporter, Richard Chin, is still investigating an angle on that feature. Again, I'll let ya know when to look for it. :-)

    Tuesday, February 06, 2001

    I was contacted the other day by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. They were doing research for a story arising from a report from the Minnesota Attorney general which stated that fat children were much more likely to be victims of violence in schools than their thin counter parts. I know you're all surprised right now, right?! Anyway, the reporter happened upon my Fat Kid site and also the In a BIG Way site. He contacted me for a phone interview and I obliged. Every time I've ever been interviewed by the press I feel like an idiot. Maybe it's the pressure of the situation and I am an idiot or maybe it's that I'm too hard on myself? Not sure. Maybe the main problem is that I can't give blanket statement answers without giving 15 other reasons why the blanket statement doesn't apply to everyone? There is so much grey in the world and when we discuss human behavior, there's even more grey. "Why do some educators condone taunts and teases? Why do kids tease other children?" I don't know why they do it...and then I give 20 different personality profiles.... all or none of which may or may not fit. Ya know? For every individual, there's a different reason why they do the things they do. Maybe that's the problem why I felt like an idiot in the interview. I really cannot answer why others behave the way they do. I can only account for my own actions and reactions. The reporter did ask me a couple of questions to which I had to say, "I don't know, I can't comment on that...you should probably talk to _____" Anyway, I'll let ya know when and if I appear in the story.
    It was a slow movie weekend. I saw one movie...here's the two second review:
    • Sugar and Spice -- I know...I wasn't expecting much. I wanted to see a lighthearted film on Sunday afternoon...nothing too harsh, nothing too violent, nothing too thought provoking. I just wanted happy, silly or funny. It's not a bad film but it's certainly not good either. Just so-so. There were a few funny lines combined with the "Betty" doll masks which made it worth my matinee entrance fee. C+
    I've been having horrible reliability with my internet connection lately. I don't know if has anything to do with the PPP from bridging switch or what. It sucks rocks, that's all. Thanks for letting me whine. :-)

    Thursday, February 01, 2001

    On a similar but non-AOL note, make sure that you have your computer set up to see true colors. I can't tell you the number of times I've received emails from people complimenting me about attire and they tell me the color is red or blue when I wasn't wearing that color. Why do they see things so differently? If you right click on your desktop (this is for PCs...I don't know how one would change it in a Mac), and then go to "Properties", and then select the "Settings" tab, you will see the options for your PC & monitor viewing options. The options will be different depending upon the video memory, the monitor, etc, but you should set up your computer to *at least* see "True Color" or "High Color" and the monitor screen area to be at least 800x600 . Obviously the latter will depend upon how BIG you want to see things. Some people have difficulty seeing and need the lower setting. If you were previously viewing the web through 256 colors, you'll be AMAZED at how gorgeous everything looks when set to "True Color". You'll probably wonder how you could have lived with the previous setting all this time. :-) If ya need some assistance with this or the AOL fix below, drop me a line. I'd be happy to help.
    Do you use AOL to browse the internet? You might not be seeing the internet as it was meant to be. AOL's set up default for graphics is to download as "compressed" images. Because of that things will needlessly look more blurry than they should. What to do? Here's a quick step by step to change it. This is from AOL 5.0, so those in lower or higher versions, the steps might be different. Go to the "MY AOL" button near the top of your screen. Click on it. Select the "Preferences" menu option. When that dialog box appears, select the "WWW" option. Once in there, select the "Web Graphics" tab. De-select the "Use compressed graphics" box. Your world will suddenly be clearer!

    On another AOL note, I've noticed that the Photo Selection of the Week is always delayed. They're caching last week's photo for about 24 hours or so. This week's picture is me with penguins. :-) If for some reason you find that the same photo as last week appears and you want to see the newest version, you can swap out the "Catay.com" with "Fat-chick.com" or "BBWArt.com" or "inabigway.com"...they all point to this domain and caching isn't the same on all of those domain names. It's probably because those names get a lot less traffic than catay.com. Such is life. I'm sure AOL is trying to save some server bandwidth.

    Tuesday, January 30, 2001

    Symantec Security Updates -- find out if it's a hoax BEFORE you pass on virus warnings to me...PLEASE?!? As you were....

    Sunday, January 28, 2001

    Two second movie reviews --
    • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- What a phenomenal film. I'm not normally a martial arts film fan, but this movie was fabulous. The fight scenes were brilliantly coreographed and fanciful. The characters have the agility and ability to ~~fly~~. Gorgeous scenes. It's a strong love story filled with honor, duty and respect and strong feminist overtones. The flick has subtitles, but don't let that stop you from seeing it. I'm going to wager on this being an Academy Award nominee for best picture. I'd bet about 50/50 that this will win too. Do not miss this one. Oh, and if you see it, let me know what you thought about the fight scene in the bamboo trees. Amazing! A
    • The Gift -- Psychic premonitions, murder suspect twists and some haunting images make this normally categorized as a "horror" movie more of a mystery for me. I think I changed my guess as to who I thought the murderer was about 5 times. Obviously it was the skill of the director/plot that made me second guess my suspicions. There's some dark reality in this movie...child molestation, infidelity and murder. Definitely not a kids movie! I have nothing to complain about with this one. It took me in and kept me interested without fail. A-
    • Thirteen Days -- Cuban missle crisis. I really thought all of the characterizations in this movie were fantastic. The Kennedy's looked and acted like the Kennedy's. My major complaint was the star...Kevin Costner. His accent just didn't seem *right*. I just don't think he's a strong enough actor to carry off an accent *and* act. The film took a hard look at the politics of war decisions and really made me hate politicians and army generals even more than I do now. :-) I suspect it was fairly *real*, but obviously we'll never know the full truth. We're only told what they want us to know. In any event, the movie told a great story..and did so quite well. B+
    • Oh, Brother Where Art Thou -- Loved this film. It's a rare Coen Brothers film that I don't like. They're always a bit nutty yet warm and fuzzy, and ugly at the same time and funny without a doubt. I adore the films even more when I hear the "catchy tune" that each film has too. The main song, "I am a man of constant sorrow," from this one will surely make ya hum or sing out loud...especially when George Clooney is singing it near the end of the film. Which reminds me...I have to make a trip to amazon.com to buy the soundtrack. A
    • Family Man-- I love Nicholas Cage. He was a real treat in this film. I don't have a strong opinion about this movie. I liked it, but it wasn't a fabulous movie...just enjoyable. B

    Thursday, January 25, 2001

    Funeral home director discovers woman in body bag was still alive. Tell me this isn't a nightmare idea for any one of you. Oh, take it one step further...burried alive. Yeah, that would suck even more.

    Wednesday, January 24, 2001

    I've got a few movies that I don't have time to review yet. Soon! Here's the list of movies I've seen recently: "The Gift", "Thirteen Days" and "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou" and "Family Man". No rotten tomatoes in the bunch, you're safe seeing any of 'em. Check back for my reviews a bit later.
    The Tax Man Commeth. It's that time of year again. I get my W-2 from my employer and I figure out how much tax I've paid during the previous twelve months. This year including social security and all that jazz, I've paid in nearly 20,000. That's dollars in case you were wondering. No matter how you slice that, it's a boat load of cash. I realize that there are a lot of people who make much more and make much less and even far more people who have little tax deductions. I may whine a bit, but I know, for the most part, my tax dollars are paying for worthy things...roads, schools, child support, financial aid, national defense, etc, etc. What bothers me is that I know because I'm single, have no dependents, have no deductions whatsoever that I'm paying far more than the typical person making what I make. OH! and I can no longer use the 1040 EZ form because my income exceeds the form's limit. Why? Why? Because they expect that I have a load of deductions to apply to the amount of tax that I pay, that's why. *sniff* *pout* *sniff* The real kicker in the end, however, is that all this whining and I *still* owe another couple of hundred to the feds.
    I realize I haven't gone into the horror story about my calls to Qwest when my DSL line went down this weekend. Here are my calls in brief form:

    Call #1. "Hi, my DSL isn't connecting and hasn't since yesterday afternoon. I'm not getting an IP address. I've tried running winipcfg, but I can't connect the DHCP server." Yeah, I kinda know what I'm doing. To which the help person says, "Looks like you're locked up in training mode on your port. I know this is going to sound like a line, but turn off your modem for three hours. That should clear ya up." I say something to the effect of "ooookkkkkay...yeah, that should do it...uhhuuuuh." It was early in the morning, and I needed more sleep anyway, sooooo...ZZZZZZZZZz.

    Call #2. About four hours later, I call Qwest again. This help guy tells me that the Minneapolis office was making a change to the servers from bridging to PPP and that they made some sort of error and it might take until tonight or tomorrow morning to get it fixed. Great. I ask why the guy earlier didn't tell me that. He said, "I dunno.". He then said, "Try your line when you get home from school tomorrow. It should fer sure be ready by then." Silence. Silence. I think he realized that I probably don't attend school. I didn't want to embarass him further...well, much. He came back with a, "Well, you know, whenever you get home." Of course I'm upset because yahoo number one didn't tell me the line was down because of a change they made and secondly because if it was an upgrade or change, what kind of decent techie doesn't have a "roll back" plan just in case of a boo-boo like this?!? Lame techies, lame!

    Call #3. Ashley is helping me this time. I'm calling at 11:30 at night. I just was curious to see if the line was still down. Ashley informs me that the line has been up since about 4pm. Great. I've tried many times to see if I could connect since that time. I tell her this and then I have to re-tell my entire story about the past two calls. Even with case numbers and call numbers given to them, they love to hear customers whine, apparently. She looks at the line through her magic ball and tells me, "Yup, it's still locked in training mode. You should probably unplug the Cisco modem *AND* your computer and keep them off OVERNIGHT. You should be able to connect after that time."
    "Ashley, I know a fair amount about networking, could you please explain to me what is locked and how turning off my machine *AND* my modem will help alleviate this problem."
    "You're locked in training mode...at the port."
    I said, "How does turning off my machine and my modem help to clear your port? Can't you run a flush at your end?"
    "Well, we can put a call into service, but that can take two to four days."
    "Well, let's start that request, shall we?" I pleaded.
    She says, "Let's turn off your computer *AND* modem overnight and then see if it works first."
    I said, "Ashley, my DSL has been off for over 30 hours...if I wait overnight and then through my work day tomorrow to wait to check it again, we're adding another 20 hours onto that 2-4 days. How about if we start the ball rolling on your end. I'll even turn off my computer overnight on my end even though I know that's not going to do anything other than keep me from calling you back for the next 10 hours."
    I added, quite frustrated at this point, "Do you think my line going down has anything to do with the changes being made at the Minneapolis office?"
    She quickly says, "Oh, no...that must just be a coincidence."
    "Uhhuh. Ok, well, let's start the ball rolling on that request." So, we go through the form that she needs to fill out in order to get the service technicians moving. She silently fills out most of it until she asks, "When is your due date?"
    I didn't think I was pregnant. Maybe Ashley is psychic? "Pardon??"
    "Your due date...oh, I mean when did you have DSL installed?"
    "About two and a half years ago. I don't know specifically."
    "Ok. Probably don't need that anyway." "Yeah, probably not."
    After asking her a few more times to explain the locking thing, the call ends with Ashley.

    As a somewhat technically minded individual, the previous three calls kept humming in the back of my head. Little details that the help desk people drop finally start to make a little bit of sense. During call #2, the guy mentions that they switched from bridging to PPP. During call #3 Ashley mentions that I'm locked in training mode. Hmmm...I quickly open up Hyperterminal to see if I can talk to the cisco modem as I had to do when I set it up. Hyperterm has a built in "memory" feature that allows you to see what was typed in during the last communication session. Sure enough "Bridging Enabled" was in the memory's text. Ahah!

    Call #4 Robert. Robert seemed to know what he was doing. He actually read through the call tracking and said that my account was saying "bridging all over the place." YAY! He asked if Ashley had walked me through configuring the modem again. "No!", I said. He said that in her notes she said that she did just that. Bad Ashley! Anyway, he asks if I've got he commucation cable for the modem. "Not handy, but I'll go get it and call back."

    Call #5 Robert again, Yay! He walked me through configuring my modem to PPP. Easy squeezy up until the point we get to the password for my account. Password?! I never log in to my DSL nor do I use my Qwest mail box. He give me a new password. Yay! PPP configured. He tells me that now the PPP is enabled, I should have no problem. It will just take about half an hour for the password to propegate throughout their system. thank Robert profusely and wait about an hour. Didn't want to push the half hour piece. It's about 12:45 now. At 1:45 am, I'll give it another whirl.

    Call #6. Lyle. For some reason I pictured his name initially as Laisle. Maybe I'm psychic? Nah. 1:45 am. Help! I explain to Lyle all of the problems up until this point. He then asks me if Robert ran the programs at his end that would convert me to PPP. "I have no idea," I say. "Well, it looks like he hasn't run the programs. Hang on a minute." *hang* *hang* Lyle comes back a few minutes later and says, "Well, I've got good news and bad news. Good news is that I've successfully run the PPP update programs. Your account is ready to go. The bad news is this: It's about two in the morning, the servers are getting backed up and some are resetting. My guess is that it will take about two hours for the change to take effect globally." "Fine, I need to sleep anyway. Thanks for your help."

    ZZZZZzzzZZZZZZ ZZZZZ I try the computer in the morning. Yahoo would pop up as it usually does when it detects a connection, but it couldn't connect....

    Call #7 It must have been early for this guy 'cuz he couldn't get my phone number punched in correctly. I reiterated it about 4 times. "700 Selby?" "No, that's not my address. My phone number is...." "Uh, Ma'am, what is your secret word. It's usually your mother's maiden name or birthplace or.." "Secret word? I have no idea. I signed up for DSL nearly three years ago. Look, I called several times yesterday. Do you want call numbers!?"
    "I don't see any calls from yesterday. Is your phone number XXXXXXX?"
    "No."
    "Oh, what is your number?"
    So, he finally finds my information. He puts me on hold for about 15 minutes. During this time, I rebooted my computer several times...and voila! a connection. YAY! He comes back and I tell him it's working now.

    So, that's my horror story in brief. Good thing I didn't write up the long one, eh? :-)

    Monday, January 22, 2001

    I was without an internet connection the majority of the week. The horror of it all! I could go into the actual horror of having to deal with technical support about the DSL, but I'll save that for later tonight.
    Glowing Monkeys -- I kind of like the idea. I've always had a fondness for things that glowed in the dark. I'm thinking that someday I'd like to have children that glowed in the dark. Is that so wrong? Think of it...they couldn't hide in dark corner during a game of hide & go seek, so I'd always win. ;-)

    Monday, January 15, 2001

    In honor of today's holiday, I present -- Martin Luther King Day -- My flash presentation The photos are super compressed so they don't look as sharp as they do on my intranet version. Even so, the presentation is about 300K. Hold on to your hats, it's going to be a slow download. Oh, and I don't yet know how to put in a "please wait -- LOADING" so you'll have to see it the first time at a choppy rate. Hey, I'm new to Flash...gimme a break! :-)

    Tuesday, January 09, 2001

    I've got a twin in California! Take a peek.

    Monday, January 08, 2001

    I'm way behind in my two second movie reviews. Let's see if I can remember all of 'em. It's been a busy holiday movie season, don'tcha know?
    • What Women Want -- I wasn't expecting a lot from this movie. The trailers made it look cute, and it was. Mel Gibson was perfectly cast in this light hearted flick. Not a lot of substance, but who needs substance all the time? Sometimes a fluffy movie is great on a Sunday afternoon. B
    • Cast Away -- Certainly the kudos for this film will have to go to Tom Hanks. He really does carry the film. Of course without him, the time on the island would be just a ball named Wilson. The floating around in the ocean sequence near the beginning of the film was fabulous in making one feel the vastness of the ocean. There was a keen predictability to the film where you *knew* that items were being highlighted so that they had more meaning at a later point in the film. This object foreshadowing was a wee bit too heavily done, but I still liked it. The ending is pretty anti-climactic and probably far more realistically portrayed than the typical survivor type movies. This one is definitely worth seeing despite my minor whines. A-
    • Miss Congeniality-- Another one of the "cute" holiday season movies. Not a lot of surprises in this one...the acting was mediocre, the script was mediocre, but the overall piece was pleasant. B-
    • Finding Forrester -- This is a solidly good movie. The script was interesting, the acting was good (excellent in the case of the guy who plays the lead teen!) and the pace was decent. Some may find the pace of the film a bit slow, but for me it was a gentle unraveling of the multi-level plot tones -- generations, cultures, interests, and lifestyles all clash at some point in this film. A-
    • Traffic -- Wow. Great movie. It was stressful, dark, thought provoking and depressing...yet enjoyable. My one complaint would be about the use of colored filters to let us know which location was being shown...blue filter in Ohio, yellow in Mexico, etc. Yeah, we got it already. It was a tad bit annoying after a while. One of the actors, Benicio Del Toro always causes me to pause. I look at him and say "handsome...no...ugly...no...sexy...no...hideous". He's got such an interesting face...an odd mix of Brad Pitt and John Wayne and somebody else I can't put my finger on. Anyway, the film itself is excellent...thought provoking, compelling, sad and gritty. A
    • Chocolat -- Everybody loves chocolate, well, that is unless you're in a conservative French village during the lent season. Well, of course a wandering chocolatier played by Juliette Binoche happens to set up a chocolate shop in this little village. Chocolate is the devil's candy, don'tcha know? I'm sure you can figure out that some of the townspeople want her out and others find that she and her chocolate are an asset to the community. There's more to the story, but I'll let ya figure that out on your own. The film is gorgeous. That is thanks in part to Juliette Binoche...quite possibly one of the most alluring, timeless actresses around. Yeah, I want to be her when I grow up. Until then, I want her wardrobe. If you take a peek at the Chocolat movie site, and you head toward "The Process" you'll see the designs that Ms. Binoche wore including the captivating portrait collar red dress. It looks much prettier in the film than in the drawing...believe me. Chocolat is definitely a chick flick, but it's so wonderfully crafted that I'd bet most men would enjoy it too. No complaints except that Johnny Depp, a gorgeous creature in his own right, sports a poorly shaved chin which ruins his otherwise *hubba-hubba* face. A-