No Matter How Exotic Your Destination...   

Sitting in the airport is really, really boring.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, August 28, 2003
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Go Retro   

I'll be away for a week, so posting will be sporadic at best (it is a vacation after all), but I didn't want to go away and leave you all empty handed. You'll have so much fun tripping down memory lane you'll hardly notice I'm gone (you ungrateful *grumble grumble*).

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, August 28, 2003
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Dream of Consciousness   

Pop Culture Boy and I are nocturnal by nature; so although we generally retire to bed at a "respectable" hour for diurnal workers, more often than not we spend hours talking a stream of disconnected topics in the dark until we have murmured ourselves to sleep. Many of these ideas are ephemeral; with us in that strange time between waking and sleeping, elusive and without substance when we awake.

I am telling you this by way of introduction; this is a topic we touched on the other night, and I'm trying to re-find the thread with no particular end in mind. Coherence is like to be less than normal, as I'll be picking around the darker corners of my brain. You have been warned.

We were talking about my Dad's approaching birthday, and something in the conversation brought to mind a recurring nightmare I had as a child. Whenever there was a big change in my life (moving, new school, new sibling) I would sleepwalk and suffer from bad dreams. This particular dream was stark; a gray-scale black and white (I usually dream in color), and (imagine it in theater terms) without sets. There was an occasional door or odd piece of furniture to give me context (a couch, this must be my living room etc), but otherwise it was myself and the other players in a white fog. In the dream, everyone I knew had been turned to stone and replaced by duplicates. In the dream I realized my father had been transformed because his doppleganger came out of the shower wearing a towel around his head, turban style; this was something my mother sometimes did, but never my Dad (in the dream, it may have been this observation that saved me from turning to stone too. I'm not sure).

It was this image that leapt to the forefront of my brain when PCB and I were talking. It gave me a shiver. It reminded me how I became disturbed by a recent screening of The Cabinet of Doctor Calligari because the style reminded me strongly of that dream. Do 5 year old pseudo-suburban white girls usually dream in the German Expressionist style? My brain is a mystery.

Pop Culture Boy reminded me that my Dad and I used to watch Theater Bizarre, a Saturday afternoon horror movie show on a now defunct local TV station (UHF Channel 48. Back when changing channel on the TV meant making that satisfying rat-a-tat-tat noise with the TV dial that made your parents crazy.) He postulized that I might have seen the movie then...but I doubt it. They generally stuck to Hollywood's version of horror. But it's not entirely unbelievable.

This led to reminiscence of the things I was drawn to as a kid, without ever really understanding them. My love for horror was most certainly influenced by my father's appreciation of the same. But more than just enjoying a good scare, I was taken by the films and books that embraced the gothic tradition and romanticized the scary story. I devoured Dickinson and Poe; I was particulary enraptured with the Conqueror Worm. I loved that there was a beauty in the dark...and darkness in beauty. I would go back and forth between picturing myself the beleaguered twenty-something maiden with dark flowing tress and a white flowing gown, and fancying myself the observant, witty hero who solves the mystery and defeats the monster (while simultaneously pitying the creature.) In darker fantasies I would see myself the heroine, running down the spiral stone stairs in a narrow torch lit tower, often looking back for the unseen adversary I was clearly fleeing. It was the looking back that would get me...I would trip (as heroines often do), and would die in perfect beauty, without blemish or blood, with my long dark hair fanned out about my peaceful, porcelain face. There was a brief period in my early teen years when I would go to sleep lying on my back, toes pointed, arms crossed over my chest.

I was Goth before I knew what Goth was, possibly before the sub-culture existed.

But it wasn't all darkness I was drawn too. My local PBS station used to show Monty Python late in the evening. I would often sneak downstairs to watch when the house was dark and quiet. In order not to be caught, I would sit very close to the television, and watch with the sound down painfully low. I had little exposure to British accents then, so between my uncultured ear and the low volume, I often had trouble with the dialogue. And yet I was captivated. I understood that what I was watching was funny, but I didn't always understand why. Often I could grasp comedy from context; I didn't know who Wilde and Shaw were, but I knew they were important men saying wicked things about the monarchy. And I loved it.

As an adult, well-read and more well versed in culture, I can watch Monty Python whenever I'd like, with the sound up or down, and still laugh hysterically at the Prince being compared to bat piss.

I told PCB that they should use Python fandom as an IQ indicator. (THEY being the sorts of people who test people's IQs). Because although Python does move rapidly between the sophomoric and cerebral and therefore can be enjoyed by anyone for one or two sitting, I find the true Python fans are generally people with higher IQs. Geeks, nerds, call them what you will. Do you know any less-than-intelligent people who can quote Python? I didn't think so.

What does it mean that in my youth I was enraptured with Gothic ideas and British comedy? Am I a reincarnated Victorian soul, yearning for my dusty inherited summer home that never did see sunlight? Does it indicate that as a child I had some higher, undeveloped sensibility that allowed me to recognize higher forms of comedy, and subtle undertones that are woven into the horror of popular culture? Could it mean I am simply a bigger weirdo than I ever imagined?

Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, August 27, 2003
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Surprisingly Accurate   

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Sprinting on the candy store, clutching a jeweled meat hammer, cometh Sarcasmo! And she gives an ominous cry:

"Brace yourself, oh human speck of dust! I hereby snap and go berzerk!!!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, August 27, 2003
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What Do You Know   

There really is a word for everything.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, August 27, 2003
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Yes, I know the new layout is acting weird in some browsers. Sorry about that. Teaching myself CSS. Please stand by for repairs....

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, August 27, 2003
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Leavin on a Jet Plane   

Pop Culture Boy and I will be flying to Japan on Thursday to visit my sister and brother-in-law. We are giddy with excitement.
No word yet on how the Japanese are feeling.

In honor of this auspicious trip, here are some Japan-related links:

(And they say Americans are culturally insensitive...)

Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, August 25, 2003
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Vampire Slaying Messiah vs. The Hillbilly Clown   

When looking for something fun to do on a Saturday afternoon:

Do watch Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter and eat pizza with friends. The movie is fun, fantastic, and irrepressibly enjoyable.

Do not watch House of 1,000 Corpses. In fact, do not do this on any day under any circumstances. How anyone could take a movie that features murder, mayhem, and an evil clown and turn it into such a mess of banal drudgery is beyond me.

88 minutes of our lives wasted in pain, confusion, and (worst of all) boredom. We will never get that time back, and Rob Zombie is to blame. By means of restitution, we have determined that Rob Zombie must provide us with 88 minutes of his life. (88 minutes a piece, mind you. He doesn't get to spread a mere 88 minutes out among the 10 of us. Oh no.)

During this approximately 15 hour time span, Rob Zombie will perform the tasks and functions which we wish. Duties to be assigned may include (but are not limited to):

My people will be expecting to hear from Mr. Zombie's people any day now. I will be taking suggestions for possible additional duties.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Saturday, August 23, 2003
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Normally, I'm Against the Shot-by-Shot Remake   

But this is pretty darn impressive.

- thanks to the B3ta newsletter.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, August 22, 2003
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A Bevy of Linkage   

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, August 21, 2003
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"Where is fancy bred, in the heart or in the head?"   

It's no secret that I hate remakes. I am especially against film remakes, especially of classic films. The many rumors surrounding a possible remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory have given me plenty of fodder for complaint.

I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kid, and thought that Gene Wilder was a wonderfully dark Wonka. Understated, mad, and just a wee bit evil. I can't see one good reason to remake this movie. Really, I should boycott the remake all together, and not reward Hollywood for rehashing and destroying the classics. Bad enough I took a chance and saw the remake of Psycho.

But now Bloody Disgusting is reporting that Johnny Depp has been officially offered the role of Wonka.

What's a girl to do?

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, August 20, 2003
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Too Cool   

Simulators for classic handheld video games.

I can finally play D&D again.

found by the fine folks at Small.To.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, August 20, 2003
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Go Dogs!   

Meet the Western Bulldogs, my adopted Aussie AFL footy team. Rae at Where the Wild Thoughts Are is a devoted fan, and I've been following their season through her dedicated coverage.

Recently, Rae sent me some Dogs' paraphenalia to make me a real Dogs fan.

And, as if that weren't enough to make me a fan, she sent me these too. Woof.

*Sigh* Why don't they show Aussie football here?

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, August 19, 2003
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A New Inmate for Arkham?   

Seems like Batman recently attacked a random man in Oxford.

Who can say what drove billionaire bachelor Bruce Wayne (Sorry to name names, Bruce, but the gig is up. The police spokespersonwas quoted as saying "It was really a case of 'Kapow!'"...They've done their research. They're on to you. Get out of the Batcave while you still can. Maybe give Harvey D. a call, too.) to this desperate act. Maybe he was tired of losing his sidekicks. Maybe he broke his favorite, wonderful toy. Maybe he read Frank Miller's DK2.

Maybe he had a bit too much to drink.

It is a sad day for my favorite costumed vigilante indeed. Pity he knocked the victim unconscious, though. I'd have loved to hear his bon mot.

-from the journal of Neil Gaiman.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, August 19, 2003
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"Dude, that goalie was pissed about something" (or "Welcome to my nightmare, b*tch!")   

I have a new hat.

My friend Lyn and I went to see Freddy vs. Jason this evening. Lyn and I make it a point to see horror movies together whenever we can; especially good, old-fashioned slasher flicks. We go together because we are great friends, we love horror movies, and we think slasher flicks are a good time.

Mostly we go together because no one else will go see them with us.

Freddy Vs. Jason is a fun movie...if you a fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th series. Despite the brief attention to back story and heavy-handed narration by Freddy himself, it is not a movie for the Elm Street and Camp Crystal Lake un-initiated.

However, full of camp and brimming over with nods to the films that preceded it, Freddy vs. Jason is a veritable love letter to those faithful fans who have winced, screamed, laughed and cheered with them all these years (then went home and slept all night with the lights on.)

Lyn and I walked in to a packed theater only to discover a man dressed vaguely like Freddy Krueger (read: wearing a striped sweater and fedora--no makeup) asking trivia questions to the audience. His lovely assistant rewarded correct answers with movie-related prizes. I raised my hand several times, and grew increasingly more frustrated at not being picked. I knew what director had created Freddy Krueger, what state Cape Crystal Lake was in, and which Elm Street movie featured 3-D effects. But did they call on me? No?

How did I win the hat, then, you ask? Well, when the man asked "What famous actor made his acting debut in the original Nightmare on Elm Street, I yelped, "Ooh!" and raised my hand so high and so fast that it nearly pulled me out of my seat (think less Arnold Horshack and more Hermione Granger). I think the lovely assistant was afraid not to call on me.

The answer of course, Johnny Depp.

Now that I am home with my cool new hat, I must ask myself this: Why do I always go see scary movies when Pop Culture Boy is out of town? Will this hat be able to protect me from my imagination when things go Ch-Ch-Ch-Ha-Ha-Ha in the night?

Posted by Sarcasmo on Saturday, August 16, 2003
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"I am afraid, or possibly proud or ashamed that the answer to your questions is 'no'!":   

One fateful Christmas, Jason Whiley had an argument with his father, prompted by a picture of British politican Enoch Powell on a pogo stick. Jason's father claimed that today's politicians just weren't as intersesting as the politicians in Powell's day. Jason, and enterprising young man about to take his Politics A-Levels, started a massive letter writing campaign to prove his father wrong. Jason sent his letter to various Lords, Ladies, MPs and other political figures asking them if they had ever ridden:

  1. a skateboard

  2. roller skates and/or blades

  3. a space hopper

  4. a go kart

  5. a death slide

  6. a non-motorised scooter

  7. a BMX bike

  8. or any other locomotive child's toy

He got a surprisingly large response. The result is Statesman or Skatesman; a glorious way to waste an hour or so.

The photos are amusing, but the real delight here is reading the letters, both positive and negative, he received in response. They vary between slightly witty, strangely formal, astute and insightful, insistenly masculine , near tragic and just plain scary.

Most responses, however, seemed determined to prove that although the politicians in question didn't participate in any of the listed activities, they do tremedously interesting things all the same.

I fail to understand how Jason failed his A-levels. Certainly this should have counted for some credit?

Via the B3ta Newsletter

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, August 15, 2003
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Everybody's Workin' For the Weekend   

Geeze, and I thought the power outage here the other day was bad.

For those of you still connected, here are some Friday diversions.

  • I'm Too Tired To Pun This One (Sorry): Great word play with Tom Swifties. Via Idle Type

  • Wait? What? Argh! *Crumple*: I've got a growing interest in Cryptic Crosswords, British style crossword puzzles where one must solve a riddle to get the clue to solve the puzzle. I really wish I could wrap my brain around these.

  • It's a Babylon 5 Reunion Party Right Here on My Phone: Have a celebrity phone you or your friends. I am disturbed by the number of science fiction actors on the list. Via Metafilter

  • Having that kind of Friday?: Decide Who To Kill. Via B3ta.

  • If My Email Address is in Your Address Book: Please Watch this. Via The Presurfer

  • In other news, I just got finished watching Billy Elliot. Could they have found a more endearing actor than Jaime Bell? Sarcasmo says no. That earnest smile is going to break some hearts.

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, August 14, 2003
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    City of Darkness   

    s you may have heard, 26,000 homes and business in Center City Philadelphia were sent back to the technological stone age yesterday when a water main broke in a power sub-station, disrupting electrical service. Without electricity they were forced to live without air conditioning, the internet, or day-time TV. Many Philadelphians found themselves having to read books, go outside or (*gasp*) interact face-to-face with other people. A very quiet chaos most certainly ensued.

    Easy for me to be cavalier, of course. Despite living within affected area, Pop Culture Boy and I had no interruption of service. Our cable TV, internet modem and wind robots functioned without interruption. But it did throw a monkey wrench into our evening plans.

    Before the power outage, PCB and I had planned to have a late dinner at Jones, then go see Bend it Like Beckham at the Ritz at the Bourse. However, both venues were in the affected area. Despite much trying, we were unable to reach either place by phone to confirm they were open. Other plans had to be made.

    While looking up the number for Jones on their website, I clicked the link for Pod, which is located west of the problem area. Despite PCB's fear of Asian Fusion, we decided Pod was the way to go.

    Part 1: Hello, My Name is Barbarella, and I Will Be Your Server

    Pod is one of the many Stephen Starr restaurants peppered around the Philadelphia area. For those of your who are unfamiliar, Stephen Starr specializes in theme style restaurants, where the food is second to the atmosphere. Other Stephen Starr restaurants include Morimoto (I've never been inside, but the Iron Chef Morimoto is the executive chef for this very severe looking Sushi restaurant), Buddakhan (which boasts the largest statue of Buddha I have ever seen), The Continental (ultra-hip martini bar when everyone wears black and it's always too crowded to make your way up to the bar for a drink) and, of course, Jones (traditional comfort food (even Duncan Hines cake and milk) served in 70's influenced decor).

    Pod's shichkt is Asian Fusion served in a 60's-style, ultra-mod futuristic atmosphere, complete with geometric shapes; colored, inset lighting; rubber furniture and lots of smooth white surfaces. Disappointingly, the wait staff uniform consists of plain white t-shirts, powder blue pants and sneakers, and not plasticine mini-skirts, go-go boots, or gold lamee sashes.

    A cool feature at Pod are the dining pods..private cylindrical dining rooms with an array of colorful buttons. Press a button, and the lighting in your dining area changes to the corresponding color. I'm determined to get enough folks together to sit in one of those next time I go.

    And I think everyone in the group should dress like characters from Barbarella--including someone with that gravity-defying Jane Fonda hair.

    Part 2: I Love the Smell of School Supplies in the Morning

    Since going to the movies was out, we instead wandered into the local collegiate bookstore near to Pod. This was a mistake.

    Normally, visiting a bookstore is an expensive trip for me. (I am a bibliophile; I have a book addiction. I love to read books, talk about books, and be around books. I love the heft of them, the feel of the pages when turned, the way they smell. Working in a bookstore has been my favorite job to date. I am not a well woman.) Last night, however, I was determined not to spend too much on books, as I recently made a costly trip to the bookstore, and a friend just dropped a large shopping bag of books she thought I'd like to read at my apartment. Reading material is not in short supply for me.

    And were books the only danger to be faced, I (and my bank account) would I have been fine. I picked up a new paperback copy of Lolita to replace the one I leant out and never saw again. (Lolita is one of my favorite books, although less for the story and more for the language. Nabakov was a Russian author writing in English, and some of his turns of phrase are heartwrenchingly elegant and unexpected.) Also, I purchased a copy of the Writers Journal magazine. Then, I went upstairs.

    Silly, silly me.

    This was a college bookstore, so besides text books and books written and edited by the faculty, the floor was populated with new school supplies. Something in my brain snapped. I don't know what it is about unopened pens and pristine notebooks that elicits my desire to shop, but it came over me like an unstoppable wave.


    I tried very hard to be good. I looked through all the lovely writing implements, the piles of paper, ringed notebooks, and marble-covered copy books. I told myself determinedly that I had several empty and half-empty notebooks at home. I didn't need any of these things. It would be a waste of money.

    So instead I attacked the music and dorm supply parts of the store.

    The spree was disturbingly easy to justify. The Twin Peaks, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Casino Royale, and Casablanca soundtracks were perfect for work. I've been on Petula Clark, and besides, they were Super Savers! And PCB and I had been talking about needing a touch light for our closet and a laundry bag. The lucite, candy-colored towel holders were for additional storage in our bathroom, and the cell phone stand from the same set...well I just wanted that.

    But I didn't stop there. I also purchased a Superman poster (depicting the old Fleisher cartoons Superman) and a sweatshirt from this college which I did not attend. Granted, I work for them, in a manner of speaking, so it's not completely ridiculous for me to have one. At least that is what I told myself at the time.

    Today I am exhausted, worn and a bit confused about this shopping extravaganza. Who was that woman spending so freely?

    And when she can get back to that store?

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, August 13, 2003
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    Hey Pop Culture Boy...   

    If we ever renew our vows, let's do it this way.

    I'll wear a veil with my space suit.

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, August 11, 2003
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    Has anyone heard anything about this? The movie and Classic TV lineup has me wondering if it might be worth the $12 month, but I'm hesitant to sign up without some testimonials.

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, August 11, 2003
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    Celebrate Your Inner Child   

    To honor my results in the Monday Morning Quiz, here are a few items to amuse your inner child:

    Just because it's Monday doesn't mean we can't play!

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, August 11, 2003
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    Curse You, ABC!   

    Are you only televising all 700 episodes of Dr. Who in Australia this September?

    What about the rest of us?

    Update (or Friends Don't Let Friends Post Before Coffee): It occurs to me that the ABC referenced in this article is probably the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, not the American Broadcasting Company. Still, can't the Aussie ABC talk to the US ABC?


    Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, August 08, 2003
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    Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, August 08, 2003
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    Drink What I Drink (and You'll Be Just Like Me)   

    During my dinner with the handsome young men of Ninja Bacon last night, we got to pondering what products we would be asked to endorse if we ever became famous.

    It's a more difficult question than you think.

    If it were merely a question of what you would like to endorse, it would be easy. You would pick organizations you support, or products you enjoy enough to accept a lifetime supply. (For me this would probably be Coca-Cola (regular and diet cherry), Starbucks (to who's coffee I have an unholy addiction), Squaresoft, Lucasgames, RIF,the ALA (I would love to be on one of their posters!), DC Comics, and any bookstore that would have me).

    Trouble is, the questions is what would you be asked do endorse. This, of course,
    depends on your personality and what talent, trait, or act most likely to garner you fame.

    Hah, see. Not so easy now is it? (I mean, no one sells Sarcasm in a Bottle now, do they?)

    My options:

    I'm also open to suggestions (my agent isn't very good). Feel free to share your endorsement dreams too, I'm not above stealing them for myself.

    And of course, anyone needing Sarcasmo Brand Sarcasm to give their product an extra zing! (Mmmmmm, tasty), you know where to find me.

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, August 07, 2003
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    She Can Have all the Tang. I Never Liked it Anyway   

    t the end of this month, Mars will be closer to the Earth than it has been in almost 60,000 years, and will be visible to the naked eye. It's a bit sad to me that this astronomical brush with Mars is the closest I'll get to the Red Planet, or any other planet I don't currently reside upon.

    When I was younger, (and despite being an urban, Yankee, and female), I was obsessed with the space program and becoming the first American woman astronaut. Among my prized possessions was a set of Funk and Wagnall's encyclopedias. They must have been geared towards younger readers because they were interactive; well, as interactive as things were in my day. The encyclopedia set included posters as well as a set of photographic stamps, which were meant to fill in blank spaces inside the encyclopedias. (Think of it as a very long, nicely bound, educational sticker album.) I hung the solar system poster on my wall and ravenously devoured the short informative paragraphs about the Apollo missions. I would painstakingly tear the corresponding stamps along their perforations, lic them to moisten the glue (I still remember the taste--it was like the glue on an old envelope you find forgotten behind a desk; dusty and dry, it stayed in my mouth long after the stamps took rigid hold of the page), and try to put them into the books as straight and neatly as possible. When I was finished, I would go downstairs to recite facts about the Apollo missions to my parents, as though I had discovered some great secret. I couldn't understand why everyone didn't talk about this all the time. The fact that they lived through this exciting time in history never even occurred to me. (But again, they were my parents. At that age I had a hard time understanding that they did anything prior to my existence.) I'm sure they humored me, though. They're good like that.

    I must have been the only American female not celebrating the day Sally Ride was launched into space and the annals of feminist history. Instead of being a day of sisterhood for me, it was the day I took my poster of the Solar System down, the day I started forgetting trivial space facts. I was proud, certainly. But proud and bitter. I don't know why it was so important for me to be the first American woman in space, but once the Challenger lifted off on June 18,1983, I lost all interest in being an astronaut.

    Twenty years later and I still haven't forgiven Sally Ride for leading the way for American women in the space program.

    Although my direct pursuit of the stars died that day, my interest in space and space exploration wasn't so easily extinguished. There is simply too much out there for me to turn my back on.

    Granted, my interest has turned away from the scientific, and focuses instead on fantasy and wonderment. I will go out in a darkened field to be eaten alive by bugs in to watch a meteor shower. I will stand on a shadeless roadside in the Florida sun to watch a shuttle launch, miles away from the Cape. I will look at the sky in wonder whenever I leave the city and enter true electrical darkness; where stars obscured by technology explode into view and demand their rightful place in the sky. That is when you can really understand what a small part the Earth plays in the universe. And what a tiny part of the universe I we are, just specks upon a speck. I don't find that depressing, I find it delightful. Amazing as we (and this blue marble) are, I rather hate the thought that mankind is the best the universe has to offer. If this it is, it was hardly worth the trouble of the Big Bang, really.

    One thing that struck me in the above referenced article was the mention of a prevailing theory about the origins of life on Earth. It suggests that the original Earth lifeforms originated on Mars, incubated on a meteorite, and thrived here. It's not so much the idea that we are Martians that tickles me, although the sci-fi dork in me (and she has a rather large share of the personality) thinks it would be rather cool if it were true. For decades now Mars has haunted our cinema nightmares, our comic book pages, our literary landscape and our pop culture pantheon. Imagine that instead of these stories being borne out of cultural fears about communism and the unknown, we were merely responding to a subliminal call from our universal birthplace. Move over mtEVE, now there's mtMartian.

    Hey, I said the sci-fi dork had a controlling share, didn't I?

    What does tickle me (from a sociological standpoint) is the idea that we earthlings all share an common ancestor. I'd like to think that if it were true, we would all be kinder to one another, less likely to point out our differences as we would all be aliens. Idealistic and naive about human nature? Of course. I didn't say I believe it would happen, I just think it would be a nice change.

    Pop Culture Boy recently told me that there is a movement to stop manned space flights and move towards using more automation in space exploration..robots, high powered telescopes, unmanned rockets, and so on. On the one hand, I can respect the desire reign in the space is dangerous and expensive. Besides, these days people seem to take our ability to travel in space for granted. How can we expect them to shell out the big bucks?

    But on the other hand, what a sad way to explore and discover. These devices are able to record but not observe..the human senses can catch nuances that machinery might miss. A human viewing a new landscape on a video screen simply can not make the same detailed observations someone can make in person. If you think this is an exaggeration, try watching a video of someplace you've been. It is a flat experience; you miss the smells, the intensity of the sounds, the buzz your skin gets from the mere proximity of other people, that amazing piece of architecture just outside the cameras range. Imagine missing life on another planet because the equipment wasn't aware enough to know something was standing just to the left of the camera's lens.

    More distressing however, is the loss of pioneers; the distancing of discovery from passion. Could the idea of pushing a joystick around in a lab environment (no matter how important the discoveries made) ever inspire young children to sit in their room, pour over space history, study the stars and dream of the walking among them?

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, August 06, 2003
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    The electrician is finally done working in our new apartment. This means we have exciting new features like:

    He did a great job. The only downside...

    "Hey, I make the holes. I don't patch 'em."

    Will the parade of workmen never be done?

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, August 06, 2003
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    "2,592,000 Seconds for One Man's Dream to Come True"   

    Does filming your celebrity stalking make it art? Meet Brian, who is filming his quest to date long-time crush Drew Barrymore. The catch? Brian has no video camera (and no money), so he has only 30-days to complete his task so he can still take advantage of the 30-day return policy at Circuit City.

    I must admit, if Brian is actually doing this to take the big risk and pursue the big celebrity crush (and not, say, merely trying to gain notoriety and start a film career at the cost of Ms. Barrymore's name and peace of mind), I find this project rather endearing. After all, we all have our celebrity crushes. And who doesn't want the hope that the everyman can succeed? If there is a chance for him, then there is a chance for the rest of us.

    How will it play out? Here are my votes:

    Sarcasmo the Cynic Says: Brian will be slapped with a lawsuit from Ms. Barrymore for invasion of privacy and using her name and image without her permission. He will have to cease and desist, and maintain a distance of 300 feet from her at all times. Furthermore, he will be sued by Circuit City for fraud and abuse of their 30-day return policy.

    Sarcasmo the Realist Says: The project will gain enough press that Brian will get to meet Drew in a public setting, with lots of cameras present. Drew will say how flattered she is, and Brian will get a smile, a hand shake, and a kiss on the cheek. Once the press conference is over, so is their association. Good press, no date. His consolation gift? A free DV camera from Circuit City.

    Sarcasmo the Romantic (who secretly likes to watch cheesy Hollywood love stories even though they are predictable and comforting) Says: Drew hears about the project, but is hesitant. After all, she is a celebrity and people have used romance to take advantage of her status before. However, spurred by her agent (who sees this as excellent publicity) Drew agrees to one date. Although the date is a media disaster, Drew sees how charming Brian is and continues the romance. Six months from now, they split up because Brian can't take the paparazzi and never seeing Drew because of her work schedule. In the end, they realize they need each other too much to stay apart. Brian works for her production company, and eventually they become the most-powerful married couple in Hollywood.

    Truly, I'd like to see Brian at least get his shot. I don't know Drew Barrymore, but if one of you do, why not help a fella out?

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, August 04, 2003
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    It's Monday...Again   

    After a night of high theater with SarcasMom, I'm too beat to put together a neat list of related linkage for y'all. Instead, enjoy this random sampling of nifty things (sadly for you, nary a penis nor puppet in the bunch):

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, August 03, 2003
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    Pscyhoanalyze This   

    This study claims what we have known all along: a person's taste in music reflects their personality. This is why, when visitings someone's home for the first time, we all check out their music (ditto DVD and book) collections. We're not looking for common ground, or conversation fodder. We're trying to see inside that person's soul. (Ok, it may be the common ground thing.)

    Why kind of person am I? Here's a list of the CD purchases I made yesterday:

    I can only imagine what this says about my personality.

    Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, August 03, 2003
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