Conjuring up Political, Cinematic, Cultural, and Athletic Arcana since the Final Days of the Last Century

5/18/00 - Ok, this is weird. Scientists have engineered spider-goats that emit webs in their milk, which could possibly be used for sutures and anti-ballistic systems.

Rounding the final turn of its 300-issue run, Cerebus gets some press (courtesy of Lake Effect and, of course, Dave Sim.)

"Come on now, I've got nukes up the yinyang!"
Sir, are you suggesting that we blow up the moon?"
"Would you miss it? Would you?"

Under corporate fire himself, MattL, among others, points out Metallica's reply to Napster.

As you can see, Berkeley is starting to settle in. I should hope the plush squirrel chew toy knows to let sleeping dogs lie.

Ugh. Game 5 is still weighing heavily on my mind. I wish Game 6 were today...

Just like the Energizer bunny, Alan Keyes just keeps on going.

R.I.P. Ji Chang 1973-2000 - An old high school friend of Elaine's and mine, Ji passed away suddenly and mysteriously four days ago in his apartment in Boston. An innate math whiz and avid chess player, Ji was in the midst of graduate work at MIT, where he also attended as an undergrad. Some of my strongest memories of Ji were on the soccer field, where he anchored our diamond defense and always played with verve, intelligence, and energy. The team used to laugh every time we heard the Doors' song, "Love me Two Times," as Jim Morrison apparently seems to be mumbling, "Love me Ji Chang." Apparently, an autopsy could not reveal a cause of death. He will be missed.

Aisle 9 notes the trailer for The Cell, a psychothriller starring Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn.

Medley and Girlhacker point out this piece on left-handedness and its origins. I'm terminally left-handed (and left-footed) - I write, throw, play guitar, everything left-handed (which makes me very easy to guard one-on-one). My mom is also a lefty.

5/17/00 - Edward Woodward, best known these days as the Equalizer, is set to play M in the next Bond flick, tentatively entitled Beyond the Ice (perhaps John Gardner's Icebreaker?)

For better or for worse, Fox Mulder will return next season, although he may only be around for the first half. At least now they have the time to tie up the mythology arc and end the show right.

Dr. Dre sends his own list of users to Napster. If said list includes those who downloaded tunes by Dre's prodigy Eminem, I think my time with Napster may be finished. I just couldn't get his new single outta my head.

$@%^! Knicks in seven. Where are you, Allan? Now, we NEED Game Six.

Al Gore decides to change his mind on medicinal marijuana (login required). Meanwhile, Nader trudges on.

Marvel Comics dumps several superhero film properties on Artisan Entertainment, including Captain America and the Mighty Thor.

It seems Will Smith has officially signed on to play Muhammad Ali in the forthcoming Michael Mann biopic. Better hit the gym.

Another day spent habituating the puppy, whom Elaine has tentatively named Berkeley. Thanks to those of y'all who sent in some great names, and a special thanks to the Dumbmonkey for his puppy-training links.

Game 5 in progress. By the way, this guy Denberg is just plain ignorant. Shut up, dude. I can't abide these West-coast basketball-loving snobs. The fact of the matter is, with the possible exception of the rejuvenated Indiana-Philly series, the Knicks and Heat are playing the only interesting ball in the league right now.

5/16/00 - As if getting burned by Jordan for the final shot of Game 6 in 1998 wasn't nightmare enough, Bryon Russell just delivered the most unclutch free throw playoff performance I've ever seen. Down one point with eight seconds to go, Russell missed two key free throws, lost Game 5 and the series for Utah, and effectively ended Jeff Hornacek's career. It's gonna be a long summer in Salt Lake City.

Hey yourself, Vicious. NoVa/Dc blogs unite.

Russell Crowe has a band? (Via Apropos of Nothing.)

A choice nugget of MI:2 Woo for your visual enjoyment, courtesy of High Industrial.

Malaprop redesigns and Barbelith adds rotating pics.

Dubya backs Clinton and disses GOP on the Kosovo pullout, primarily to preserve executive prerogative in these matters.

Hello there. Not too many updates yesterday or today, as Elaine and I and were out choosing and habituating this as-yet unnamed canine companion to the right. We'd been thinking of purchasing a dog for some time now, and we finally decided to take advantage of a Mother's Day special held by a breeder near Harper's Ferry. He's a 12-week old sable and white Sheltie, and so far he seems extremely well-mannered and even - at least to some degree - naturally housebroken. If you have any good ideas for names, send 'em along.

I did take time off from my busy new-dog schedule to pick on P.T. Anderson.

"Don Giuliani, Mozart's next - and blackest - opera..."

Surprise of surprises, voters don't seem to personally like Al Gore very much.

MJ lays the front office groundwork for a possible Lenny Wilkens-coached Washington Wizards.

The embarrassment lives on - Bobby Knight stays. I can't believe the Prez of the University couldn't muster the guts to kick him to the curb.

Dylan dates are announced - he'll be in the DC area at the end of July. In other music news, The Artist formerly known as the Unpronouceable Symbol has come back home to Prince.

The Boston Globe calls for a timely and graceful end to The X-Files. Nevertheless, it's coming back, with or without Duchovny.

5/15/00 - Is everyone's favorite wookie in Episode 2? Actor Peter Mayhew speculates.

Ugh. I am ensnarled in the vise-like grip of a serious bout of malaise at the moment. The fear and loathing are coming on strong.

Salon examines (and applauds) the low-key pro-choice declaration buried within High Fidelity, particularly in contrast to the explicit moralism of The Cider House Rules.

The New York Times assesses the current bleeding of the Gore campaign, and calls out the vice-president for stealing online jokes (login required) from Top Five. Meanwhile, columnist Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe explains how Gore is using movie-review-type splicing to misquote him.

On the other side of the aisle, it seems Dubya may be choosing his favorite philosopher as a running mate, although Jake Tapper nevertheless takes the time to handicap pro-choice Governor Tom Ridge as a potential Bush veep.

CNN explores the marijuana economy of impoverished Appalachia.

Every underdog had its day. While the Knicks battled back in Game 4 to tie the Miami series at 2 apiece, Philadelphia, Utah, and Phoenix all managed to avoid playoff elimination this past weekend. Nice going all around, with particularly big ups going out to Heat-killer Charlie Ward (login required.)

By the way, Phil Jackson's timeout shenanigans at the end of Game 4 were just too ridiculous to be discussed. For a reputed Zen Master, Big Chief Triangle always seems to pull some ridiculously crybaby stunts whenever he loses a playoff game. Anyone remember when he actually invoked Munich '72 to explain a Chicago loss in 1988? I tell ya, if the guy hadn't supported Bradley I'd have absolutely zero respect for him.

Elaine and I went to check out Center Stage this past Saturday, and while I definitely see how it might not be everyone's cup of tea (or even mine, under normal circumstances), I thought it successfully captured some amazing dancing on film and was a fine diversion in the teen film tradition. Not to mention it was a kick to see Ethan and, for however fleeting, Gillian on the big screen.

5/13/00 - Bad news for Al Gore - The alien is back and it's endorsed Dubya! (via Pith and Vinegar.)

Redesigns abound, including great new looks for Phish, Kestrel's Nest, and Digital Swirlee.

Color Wheel update: Of 101 blogs listed, blue (cool, collected, contemplative) still leads the pack at 33, while yellow ("sunny disposition and cheerful outlook") remains the most rare at 5.

It's official. Hayden Christiansen is Anakin.

Agh! The Miami Heat beat the Knicks 77-76 in overtime, thanks to the second game-deciding blown call of the 2000 playoffs. (I must confess, at the time of the shot Elaine and I were in the midst of great conversation with Jonathan of Phish, so I didn't notice how badly the refs had blown it until multiple replays later in the night.) It looks like the series will probably go seven now after this malarkey, but I'm confident the Knickerbockers will still prevail.

Meeting Phish, and discovering he's as fun to hang out with in person as he is in cyberspace, was a much-needed respite from a truly terrible day. Unlike The Other Side, whose automobile repair appeared to have ended happily enough (so far - good luck to you, Scott), I wasn't so lucky.

You see, Elaine had told me yesterday that the battery light had come on in our hand-me-down Pontiac Bonneville and that it (the battery) might need replacing. So, this afternoon, I decided to take the car to the local Sears auto center, which is a short ten minute drive away. Nine minutes later, I'm nearing the Landmark Mall when the battery light starts beeping like a madman and the power starts sputtering like a unknown alien lifeforce attack on ST:TNG. Sure enough, not a quarter mile away from my destination, the car goes dead in the middle of an intersection.

Immediately, other vehicles begin honking, flicking me off, yelling, what-have-you. After figuring out it wasn't going to start, I abandoned ship and scoured off in search of jumper cables. Twenty minutes later, I discover that the battery is now so dead that it can't run even with a jump. So then, being under the impression that Elaine has a AAA card, I go off to call her. She wasn't in, but when I get back I discover a police officer has surrounded the Bonnie with flares and called a tow truck of her own "who would be there in the next twenty minutes." Ninety minutes of roadrage attitude from all comers later, the cop is gone, the flares are spent, and the tow truck finally arrives. He takes the car and me the final 300 yards to the Sears Auto Center (for only 50 bones), whereupon I discover, despite the cop's statement to the contrary, the trucker doesn't take credit cards.

So, after sprinting to the nearest ATM and back to pay off the tattooed towing fella, I purchase a new battery from Sears. They tell me everything checks out, so I thank them, exhale, and get on my way. Not three minutes later, the car starts doing the Poltergeist bit again, whereby I swing it around and make like a bandit for the Auto Center. I make it just as the car dies again. They charge the battery again and say the problem must be with the alternator. Well, I got the alternator replaced nine months ago, so it seems a little early to get another one. At any rate, I then took the car to the Precision Tune where I got the alternator last year (thankfully, it's across the street). They said it's probably out of warranty, but they'd take a look at it tomorrow. So I had to walk the twenty-five minutes to the Metro.

Did I mention our AC is busted, and it's hotter than Georgia asphalt in our apartment? Did I mention the Knicks lost on a blown call? It seems entropy is having its way with me today.

5/11/00 - Re: Knicks-Heat Game 3. What Phish said.

Today may be your last chance to send something in time, y'all, so don't forget Mother's Day. And, mothers, by all that is sacred, don't forget your child when playing pinball. This story is truly horrible.

The Farley Dance is the chance to do the hump...when you're living in a VAN down by the RIVER!! (via Firda.)

Elaine and I finally caught The Virgin Suicides last night. A moody meditation on lost innocence, unexplained tragedy, and the way memories can grow more powerful and enthralling as they begin to fade and merge with dreaming. Overall, I'd recommend the film, although having read the book and knowing not to expect much in the way of plot, I think I had a distinct advantage in enjoying it.

My sister's boyfriend Ethan is profiled by CNN on the eve of the Center Stage premiere. I'm not sure what the market is out there for a film about ballet, but I do know they couldn't have picked a better weekend than to open against Plan 9 from Battlefield Earth (ably dissected by today's High Industrial.)

While witnessing an alignment of two spiral galaxies, Hubble manages to shed some light on elusive dark matter.

What a scumbag. I would think attacking a 64-year old woman will probably be the last straw, but you never know.

Zannah asks, "What is the Matrix Wassup?" The joke is well beyond tired, but the editing in this one is commendable.

In case anyone is interested, I've moved the weblog color chart to its own page, and I'm still taking additions.

Something to ponder as you raise your boot for the killing blow. Reading this article brought to mind quite a few classic Bloom County strips.

More summer trailer fun. Up today is the trailer for The Hollow Man, a Paul Verhoeven update of the Invisible Man starring Ubitquitous Man Kevin Bacon and Elisabeth Shue.

Welcome to the 20th Century...too bad you couldn't make it to the 21st. On a count of 63-56, the South Carolina House voted to take down the Confederate flag and - alas - move it to a prominent location elsewhere on the State House grounds. Coincidentally, the decision came on South Carolina's first official Confederate Memorial Day, a compromise "holiday" created this year when my home state finally decided to recognize MLK day. Pretty sad, isn't it? In related news, Virginia Gov. James Gilmore promises to reconsider the idea of Confederate History Month and thus sidestep a similar NAACP boycott of Old Dominion.

The Lake Show barely squeeze by Phoenix 97-96 and take a 2-0 lead in the second round playoff series, thanks to a dazzling last shot by Kobe Bryant and a controversial no-call on Shaq (at least for me and the TNT crew) with 26 seconds to go. Also, the Sixers lost too.

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