The photo above, which begs to be used in a novel about Empty Suburban Lives, was taken in the parking lot at CompUSA. When I went inside the store, the skies were blue. Came back outside, and this filthy blanket had been unfurled over the entire city. It was the sort of cloud-cover ILM would never make - too disorganized, aesthetically untidy. Can’t imagine a spaceship gracefully emerging from this mess. No great beauty, but fascinating; dark muttering lesions, patches of whiskery white clouds, acres of hard ridges. The rain held off until after supper and kicked in just as I took Jasper for a walk.

He didn’t have a good time. I didn’t have a good time. Back we went, fast. You have to wonder if he resents the baby somewhat - little Nat gets to take ten craps a day IN THE HOUSE, and he gets dragged into the woods in the rain.

Ohmigod! Karen got banished from the house! For real! And her kids were waiting outside and everything and it was like totally sweet and everything but Josh got to stay, so that’s cool, and I don’t think ANYONE will vote out that guy with the one leg? Because they feel like sorry for him?

Translation: was sitting on the sofa with the baby asleep in my lap when Big Brother came on, and I could neither reach the remote nor get up to change the channel. Can’t figure out why anyone would care a whit about this show; the main plot seems to consist of which ridiculous hue the saucer-eyed little lemur with the nosering will tint her hair this episode.

All today, it’s been nothing but inexplicable TV. Earlier today I saw a cartoon called “Dragonball Z,” on Cartoon Network. It was a Japanese import. I don’t like most anime; the faces just bother me. Weird inhuman Bambi-eyes over tiny pointy immobile noses. I’ve seen a few full length features, and they’ve been impressive in an enjoyably incomprehensible sort of way, but DBZ made no sense whatsoever. At all. As far as I could tell, this little big-headed white creature was kicking the krep out of the muscle-bound hero, who was the protector of the planet. A variety of ugly creatures looked on, including a mime, and a bald-headed kid who looked like Henry from the old comic strip. For the first half, the albino creature did the ass-kicking. Then the hero visualized his planet in ruins, and got Really REALLY angry, and drew on Heretofore Untapped Reserves, and beat the other guy. Okay, fine. That’s the plot of every comic book I ever read as a kid; nothing wrong with that. But it was the grunting that bugged me. Very little dialogue. Lots of grunting. And it seemed like dubbed grunting, too. The hero would grunt at the bad guy. Switch to a reaction shot of the spectators, who grunt, fearfully. Reaction shot of hero, who grunts in pain; shot of different spectators, who grunt with trepidation. After a while it all sounded like the soundtrack for a documentary on the role of fiber in a balanced diet.

Finally: having seen one bad Jet Li American movie, I decided to rent “Lethal Weapon 4,” since that was the film that got reviewers talking about Li’s amazing abilities. Having watched 35 minutes of the film, I don’t care about Li, or what he does; I am fascinated by the movie itself, which is unbelievably bad. There’s not a credible moment in it. I’m not referring to the action scenes; I always give those a pass. It’s the way people behave. No one acts in a way that is remotely connected to real life. Pinned down in a firefight? Swap family news. Get your boat blown up from underneath you? Come home to your girlfriend and refer to the event with oblique quips, then change the subject. It’s just bizarre. It’s like some painful reconstruction of earth civilization by aliens who were attempting to reconstruct the entirely of the human condition based only on the first three Lethal Weapon movies.

Since it’s not funny, and it’s rarely interesting, I know this movie bored even the dolts in the audience. They’ll take a few talky scenes if there’s hard bouncing boobs and plenty of cussing, but incomprehensible stretches of unfunny talky scenes bore the groundling, even in an action movie. Something this bad I take personally. Movies like this make me <marvinmartianvoice> very, very angry. </marvinmartianvoice>

Back to work. Busy night. Job one: there’s a dog on his back at my feet. He needs scratching. And I’m just the man to do it. And no, Riggs, I ain geddin’ too ol for thiz shid.