On a cold night, sound carries, and as you stand on the porch looking down the hill, hearing the hideous shrieks from up the street, you realize that the sound of a child having too much fun is almost indistinguishable from the sound of someone being murdered.

Then there’s a strange hacking sound.

Then there’s laughter. Whew.

Might as well just pull the trigger, then: the new version of the site is up!

(Silence; tumbleweeds)

You know, the new version! The overall look-and-feel interface! Of the site!


Oh you people. But you’re right. No one cares. (sniff.) You’d care if you knew how much I agonized over this, though. This lousy, same-old-same-old design, or this one? It never fails – I spent a lot of time on a design until I hate it, then I do another one in an afternoon, and that’s it. The problem is always the font. When you have thousands of fonts, and each speaks to you in a particular way, it’s hard to choose. To make it worse, no matter what font I choose, I have the most boring characters to work with: L and I.

I chose Gleeburger, a freeware font designed by someone named “Etherbrian.” His home page 404s, alas. It’s a font taken from a 1950s LA coffee shop. Much different from the old retro script font I was using – which was League Night, by House – but it’s about time I retired that one. It shows up everywhere. Pottery Barn Kids used it for Christmas. It’s on a Hello Kitty valentine Gnat got. I think I’m alone my gleeburgery for a while.

That’s gleeburgery, in case someone is reading this aloud to you. BURGERY.

Went to the Mall with Gnat to give my wife time to relax. And I have nothing to report!

(drumming fingers, looking around)

What’s that you say, surely I must have some Charming Anecdotes?

Not really. Standard trip: the Hello Kitty counter at Marshall’s, the coin-op rides, no we can’t have ice cream, a trip to the dollar store (“If your purchase doesn’t stink of mothballs, it’s free!”\ ), a trip to the Apple store, and an unexpected detour to the lingerie emporium. Gnat wanted to go to the Victoria’s Secret store to look at the pink polka-dotted dog statutes. Once inside she wanted to look at everything else. She runs over to a rack of bras, pulls one down, puts it up to her chest and says in a fake voice “look at me, I’m all grown up.”

It was quite amusing to me, since the entire point of Victoria’s Secret is <abe simpson voice> SEHHCHS and the natural end result of SEHHCHS </abe simpson voice> is little kids running around Victoria’s Secret mocking the lingerie. But little kids at VS are still a buzzkill, especially for the lummox who’s holding up a thong at eye level and mentally filling the empty space with his wife. And Gnat’ a buzzkill for the thin young fillies who walk their purchases to the register with a metronome sashay. If Victoria’s Secret had a McDonald’s-like tote board – over 3,423,459 children produced as a result of the unions inspired by our scant wisps of fabric – the chain would collapse in a year.

Life as an anal-retentive person: I’m installing the update for Final Cut Express 2. It wanted the serial number for the old program, which I bought a year ago. I found it in a trice, and why? Because all my original program discs are in blue CD cases. The serial numbers are printed on adhesive strips, so I put the strip on the case. Voila. Instant access.

But it just struck me. What’s the part of a CD case most likely to fail? Right: the cover. The little hinges snap right off. So if I put the sticker on the front, I could lose it. But! If I start putting them on the back, this means that I’ve changed the scheme. Solution! Put them on the back and the front, since you get two stickers. But! That means putting all the eggs in one basket; usually I put the other sticker in the manual. Solution? Have a drink, for God’s sake. Chill out. Jeez.

But not before I spin all the Panther install discs so the big silver X is aligned just right . . . there.

Oh, you laugh! But if this machine went down in flames today I could have it completely restored in no time. Backing up: it’s flossing for dorks.

Watched “Wonderland” as I worked – it’s a charming tale of John Holmes’ post-porn career as a cokehead murder-enabling lowlife. It’s the kind of movie whose IMDB credits have lines like

“Barbie . . . Paris Hilton.”

I’ll say this: Eric Bogosian has somehow morphed into a younger Elliot Gould. Alas. Congrats to devilishly handsome Brit Dylan McDermott, who does a great job as a scumbag tat-festooned jailbird Yank. And it had Ted Levine, an old favorite from Crime Story, with his trademark yokel-mumble intact, if out of place. But. BUT. The point of this movie, exactly, is what? Coke-addled porn stars with AIDS have unhappy endings? Lesson learned. Note to self: avoid capping my career as an exhibitionist sex addict with needle drugs and gunplay.

The DVD extras had a documentary on Holmes’ life, and it had some of the best unintentional comedy you’ll find at your Blockbuster. They disinterred the director of the “Swedish Erotica” series, and had the old ghoul recall Mr. Holmes’ glory days. Lots of clips edited to get a PG-13 rating, and for that you were mightily glad. The repeated image of this scrawny guy grimacing like he’s trying to pass a walnut through his urethra - well, it all looked like dry-heaves time in the tuberculosis ward. If you saw “Boogie Nights” – based somewhat on Holmes’ tale – you will be familiar with the tone of the documentary: ahhh, the good old days of feelthy pictures! Sorry. The clips show you what a sad thing it was – scary guys, damaged women, ugly rooms, whackachicka music, and laughable dramatic pretentions incompetently executed.

We’ve now made more movies about John Holmes than, say, John McCain. Or John F. Kerry. You guys want Hollywood’s respect? You know what to do.
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