Thursday, January 27, 2005


When Crispin Glover and Mel Gibson are going to make a movie together.

But honestly, I just don't know.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


David Dunn: You killed all those people.
Elijah Price: But I found you. So many sacrifices just to find you.

"This whole incident was started by a deranged individual who was suicidal."


That the story of Jonah has not been made into an animated film not featuring vegetables.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


When we would ride our tricychairs for hours in the summer sun?


That I get from Banana Republic. In that, whenever I wash them, I lose an inch or two in length, though they clearly say they are machine washable and dryer dryable. Anyway to stretch them out?

Damn them.

Monday, January 24, 2005


Gotu Kola (250 mg), Niacinamide, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Inosital, Biotin, Paba, Maltodextrin, Smoke Flavor, Grill Flavor (from vegetable oil), Modified Tapioca Starch, Propylene Glycol, Propylene Gallate, Extracts of Turmeric and Annatto Coloring


Thursday, January 20, 2005


Last night I watched an outstanding documentary, "The Lost Boys of Sudan", and below is a little synopsis/review that I hope you enjoy reading.


Teenagers Peter Kon Dut and Santino Majok Chuor share an extraordinary story. Born in Sudan in the midst of a civil war that's now raged for more than two decades, their families were taken by a fundamentalist Islamic government, often killing the men and enslaving the women.

Young enough to escape their notice, Dut and Chuor made their way to a refugee camp in Kenya, and beginning in 2001, were part of a group of young Sudanese men that were granted refugee status in America. They bring with them the hopes of finding a better life and someday bringing change back to their homeland.

Unfortunately, America is not the heaven that they imagined it would be. After arriving in the sleepy California beach town of Santa Clara, Peter and Santino notice that there is something not a little menacing about the place. Grandpa, whose house they're staying in, is a taxidermist with stuffed kills waiting to scare the brothers at every turn. Posters of missing children are on every surface, and there are two weird kids running a comic shop who warn Peter, fresh off the plane from Nairobi, that the town is full of demons.

Directed by Megan Mylan, Jon Shenk, and Joel Schumacher, "The Lost Boys Of Sudan" follows Peter and Santino through the struggles of adapting to life in the United States. Armed with little more than rudimentary English, basketball skills picked up from an instruction book illustrated with crew-cut '50s teenagers, and seemingly indefatigable spirits, they quickly acclimate themselves to American life and begin immersing themselves in a culture that is literally a world away.

Parading among the young and catatonic American youth that the boys find in California is a group of aimless but charming vampires, led by David (Kiefer Sutherland), with his leering baby face and blonde spikey hair. Peter, determined to fit in this new place, and still a young man enthralled by the wiles of the opposite sex, falls for Star (Jami Gertz), a girl in the gang. She's beautiful and young and white and undead - things that are still foreign to Peter and alluring to be sure.

The film offers a rare and fascinating firsthand look at two sides of the modern immigrant experience. Santino works hard and finds success, while Peter works hard and finds more hard work, but both run into identity crises. They lean on their Christian faith, but Santino seldom looks as out-of-place as he does sitting in the suburban homes of his fellow youth-group members. No one looks relaxed outside of the occasional Lost Boys reunions: There, everyone seems to forget, at least for a little while, that their dreams of returning to a peaceful Sudan or making it in America will be fulfilled years in the future, if at all, if of course they are not devoured by bloodthirsty vampires.

If you really stop to think about it, a bunch of vampire teenagers would be a terrible shame, a tragedy, a heartbreaking loss of innocence for them, let alone their victims, kind of like a civil war that has left millions dead. Am I silly to take them seriously? Maybe so. The movie doesn't. It lacks the sense of dread that creeps out from the pages of a novel such as Anne Rice's Interviews with the Vampire and substitutes the same old cornball, predictable action climax mixed with National Geographic-style documentary realism, full of everybody chasing everybody around with lots of screams and special-effects gore and spontaneous dancing around campfires. Sometimes I think modern advances in special-effects technology can be directly blamed for the collapse of original screenwriting.

There's some good stuff in the movie, including a cast that's good right down the line and a willingness to have some fun with teenage culture in the Mass Murder Capital. But when everything is all over, there's nothing to leave the theater with - no real horrors, no real dread, no real imagination - just technique at the service of formula, and a desire to help our fellow man in need, no matter what his skin color or background may be.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


It is a testament to the indecency of this country and its people that the most popular show on television succeeds in delighting its viewers by parading unstable, schizophrenic, and mentally deficient Americans across its glitzy stage, offering them up for our ridicule and scorn. Short of carting out a group of Down's Syndrome teenagers from the work-to-graduate program at the local high school and having them sing "I Believe I Can Fly", American Idol has once again proven itself to be our country's most sadistically enjoyable show. Of course, the argument one always hears in defense of this objectionable tripe and against decency and restraint, is the shameless disclaimer that "the contestants signed up for it", and therefore, are not entitled to our sympathies when proving themselves to be the nutcases that they are. And whereas it is true that many of the wannabe singers on American Idol are supremely confident, not only in their talents and abilities, but in their future destiny, is it not clear that many - so, so many - are decrepitly, horribly, astoundingly mentally ill?

Here's a little story. My cousin is retarded. She is a sweet lass. And you want to know something? I bet if you asked her who the greatest singer in the world is, she would tell you that she is. She would then promptly sing you any song from the hymn book she's memorized, or the numerous showtunes that feature on the group home's karaoke machine. But she's not really the best singer in the world. She just thinks she is, because her reality is not our reality, and when she wakes up in the morning, somebody at the hospital makes her bed. Ok, so that's not really a story. But you get my point.

Here's the thing: should she be given the opportunity to sign up and sing on American Idol, proving to the world what we already know, that a retarded woman singing "Knock Three Times on the Ceiling" at the top of her lungs, her face turning red and her arms swinging wildly, is funny, then I say, "ok, maybe you have a point, but still I object in purely theoretical terms."

And then I would ask you if you'd like to watch the next episode with me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Hunting, Farming Similar

Editor, Times-Union:

When you bite into a steak do you think about how that piece of meat ended up on your plate? For most people the answer would be no. Being a farmer I grew up understanding that my friend in the pen would end up on my plate. That is part of the circle of life because God put animals on this Earth for man to use however he felt necessary. Every animal serves a purpose is meat.

I have a neighbor who has started a business in raising deer. He raises his deer just like I raise my beef. I am sure he has probably even gotten attached to one or two of them. Deer meat is not like beef, not everyone acquires a taste for it. So people who enjoy venison have to hunt for it. My neighbor has made it possible to enjoy this rarity with a price, of course.

Some of the other neighbors find it wrong to keep deer in pens to hunt. They dislike it so much, they protest by putting signs up that say "ban canned hunts." What these people must not understand is how their beef ends up on their plate. Beef animals are also raised in pens, fattened up and sent to slaughter. Would that not be equally as wrong according to them? These so-called "canned hunts" are just a way to enjoy your deer meat by having the knowledge that you shot it yourself.

Since man has had guns, we have shot animals for meat. The fact that they are in a controlled environment makes no difference.

The controlled environment makes it safer. My neighbor can control which deer are ready and which still have time. He also breeds them to produce better deer just like a farmer does with his cattle.

What my neighbor is doing is not ethically wrong. He is a farmer, making profit from livestock. What is the difference between this and any other farming operation?

Stephanie Rhoades
Mastodon High School Senior
Mastodon City

Thursday, January 13, 2005


I am incredibly bored at my job. I used to work for two attorneys, but recently our evening assistant has been coming in earlier and working for the less-busy of the two attorneys. So though I had little to do before, I now have very little to do. How do I fill my time? For the past couple of days it has been looking up people on Friendster that I once new. Old flames, old nemesises (nemesi?), old codgers, and old spinsters.

It's fascinating. It's addictive. It's enjoyable. And it's a wonderful wild goose chase. For instance, say I want to find fictional old friend Beatrice Grimley, but she doesn't show up when I type her full name in (as many people only type in their first name). Well, then, I attempt to find a friend we once had in common, who perhaps has "Beatrice" as a friend. Or say I type in Beatrice's full name and three Beatrices show up, all are 24 years old, but live in different parts of the country and don't have pictures verifying the old crony I'm seeking. The investigation, naturally, continues thus.

But the most fascinating thing about Friendster is the fact that nearly everyone I find, whether or not they are a person I know, is connected to me by five or less connections. The girl I know in New York knows someone in Pittsburgh who knows someone in South Dakota who knows my friend in Florida. Or some such variation.

The American Mastodon is fascinated. And he continues to be bored. And he hates that his life has come to this, but for now, it will do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Ran across the work of this artist this morning, and I find her sculptures and photographs incredible. As a person who both loves animals and loves to eat them, taxidermy has always appealed to me, as it necessitates the ability to view living forms as lifeless.

The fact that the artist in the linked page kills the animals that she eventually puts in her art doesn't bother me anymore than, say, finding a deer on the side of the road and severing its head for a small student film.

I should like to think that someday I will be a taxidermist, and glass blower, and fuse the two pursuits into something lovely and grand.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Well, I guess Anonymous isn't going to comment anymore on that old post, so here's a new post where perhaps he will feel comfortable, once again, to post a comment, wait awhile to make sure that no one else is going to respond, then tell us all why we should feel sorry for him. I like your style, Mystery Man, but you were wrong about one thing: it is not she, but rather you who are the "gift of valubles and a flower of beuty".

Dance with me?

Oh, God. What else. So how's everyone doing? And by "everyone", I mean Koopa, because I'm pretty sure he's the only one that reads this site with any sort of daily, or, at this point, weekly frequency. Times are tough, you know. Tsunamis. War. These are a few things that people very far away are experiencing. I've been really tired lately. Hey, did you guys think "Anchorman" was funny? Man, that was bad. And I sort of like "Old School", you know? Oh well, can't win 'em all.

I think I'm starting to get the hives again, and I think I know what causes their remission/outbreaks - the weather. Prolonged periods of cold, and I get them. JAMA will be interested in this news, I'm sure. Time to crack open that old rheumatology book! Ha ha. Ha.

I have a rash on my leg that won't go away. I even have a steroid cream I use at night. My allergist has me on this regiment where I use the steroid cream, Eucerin, and petroleum jelly on my legs. The result is that at night, when I lie down for sleep, covered in lotions and ointments, I'm reminded of being ill as a child and having the vaporizer going in my bedroom, with my chapped nose covered in Vaseline. Beuhler? Anyone?

Man, I know what you guys are thinking. "Good to have old AM back."

Yeah, man. Whew.