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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Jenni vs. Predator Part One: Illumination

One day, Jenni felt a small tugging at the sleeve of her soul.

"I have a soul?" she thought to herself, and to no one in particular. (Jenni believed other people could hear her thoughts, and while sometimes she addressed them to someone, this time she was just too genuinely surprised to get specific about it.)

"Ahem," said the soul-tugger, "Down here."

In the dimly lit realm of the metaphysical, Jenni's soul looked down past its woefully stretched-out sleeve and gasped. Before it sat a moderately brainless and dangerously lonely child, its helpless face and large-eyed, blank stare artfully--yet ominously--illuminated by the glow of its computer screen.

As Jenni's soul watched, the scene shifted. There was the child in its own cheerfully lit home, looking for companionship and attention in unmoderated chat rooms, innocently typing and LOLing away, when what can only be described as an appropriately dark metaphoric shadow shaped like a hulking, creepy-ass, pathetic man holding a four-pack of a malt beverage appeared in the doorway, severely compromising the once cheerful lighting in the room.

"Help me," the child said.

"Fuck yeah, I'll help you--help you out of your virginity!" the shadow shaped like a big ol' nasty predator said.

"Dude. The kid was talking to me." Jenni's soul asserted.

"ROTFTNLAABIS," the child sputtered. (That means rolling on the floor totally not laughing at all because I'm scared. Seriously, these kids and their secret codes.)

"Don't worry. I got this!" Jenni's soul bellowed.

"You don't really strike me as a virgin, but shit, I'm obviously lookin' for it any way I can get it, so, yeah, all right, baby. I want to hug u and touch u naked and put my thing in u. Ur so pretty," the predatory shade said. "U like Mike's Hard Lemonade, right?"

"Shuh shuh she was talking to me," the child managed to stutter.

Just as quickly as it began, it was over. Jenni's soul tried to make sense of it all by speaking out loud.

"Huh. I wonder what that meant?" Jenni's soul pondered, "An oddly genderless child...a grown-ups' beverage in crowd-pleasing flavors...a talking shadow that shaped like a guy who wants to fuck kids...hmmm. This one's a puzzler."

Back in the physical world, Jenni read a story about Miss America bravely luring internet predators as part of her "internet safety for children" platform.

"I know what I must do," Jenni and her soul said, at the exact same time.

"You owe me a Coke," Jenni and her soul said, at the exact same time.

Two Cokes later, it was ON.

To be continued...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

R.I.P. Sanjaya's American Idol Career

January 16, 2007 - April 18, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

R.I.P. Don Ho and Some Other Guys

Hawaiian entertainer Don Ho died of a heart attack on Saturday, despite having pacemaker surgery last September. A star of music and TV, Ho was known for crooning "Tiny Bubbles," a song that, as it turns out, doesn't happen to be about farting in a bathtub. The song will never quite sound as classy without Ho.

And sadly, with Ho's passing also comes the end of me being able to use the word "Ho" so indiscriminately without referencing Don Imus.

Don Ho
August 13, 1930 - April 14, 2007Don Ho has gone on to the big luau in the sky.
Rest assured, he won't be buried with an apple in his mouth.

They say that death comes in threes, so as an added bonus (if there's such thing as a death bonus), here are two extra recent dead guy tributes!

Kurt Vonnegut
November 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007Insert Cliffs Notes version of some sort of snarky yet literary remark here.

Johnny Hart
"B.C." Cartoonist/"The Wizard of Id" Co-creator
February 18, 1931 - April 7, 2007
If you're to believe the Geico cavemen ads, cavemen would
probably forego comics like "B.C." for Kurt Vonnegut.
Freakin' nerds in loincloths...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Grinding Halt

Quentin Tarantino is doing an autograph signing right now at the Virgin Megastore at the end of our street, and the line of fans is going around the block. I wonder if all those people in line are the same folks who didn't bother to see his new film Grindhouse, which he codirected with Robert Rodriguez (currently, no one's waiting in line for him, wherever he is).

The Z-grade homage to 1970s drive-in schlock had everything you'd want to see on the big screen... Fast cars! Melting genitalia! The living dead! Open sores! A jar full of testicles! Zombies feasting on Fergie's lovely lady lumps and declaring that she really is Fergalicious!

Last weekend, the film underperformed, bowing in fourth place with only $11.6 million. Even if you were to multiply its box office receipts by two for each of Grindhouse's movies, the double feature would've barely taken the top spot.

Maybe the film was too squarely aimed at movie geeks, and viewers didn't want Tarantino and Rodriguez schooling them in a precious crash-course on Retro Exploitation Flicks 101. The only way the film could've been any more self-indulgent would be if Kevin Smith had joined the party and contributed a segment. I'm sure he would've, but I think there was a "Hot Donuts" sign lit up at a Krispy Kreme somewhere. He's fat.

But here's the real skinny: maybe movie fans would just prefer to see Nicolas Cage or Tim Allen on a motorcycle instead of Rose McGowan. Apparently, that's a double feature that people would line up around the block to see.

DNA Tests Conclusive: Howard K. Stern Is a Jackass

In what could've been the best paternity episode of Maury ever, the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby was finally revealed today. After dozens of random potential fathers admitted to sleeping with Anna Nicole some time around January 2006 when the baby was conceived, it was Larry Birkhead who won the title of being the dude who managed to knock up the chick who slept with over a dozen guys in the span of a month. Way to go, bottom feeder! So much for my previous theory that Anna Nicole had an incestuous affair with her own son. That totally would've made an awesome Maury episode.

Howard K. Stern changed this baby's diapers for nothing.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Saladgate - An Official Hands in the Air Boycott

We at Hands in the Air HQ like ourselves some take-out. We're busy people and at least two of us work late more often than not these days, so we partake in a fair bit of delivered food. And like everyone, we have our favorite haunts and eateries. But something has happened that has crossed one local restaurant off of our favorites list forever--in permanent marker--then tore up the list, burned it, ate it, shit it back out, peed on it and buried the ashes on each continent. This is the tale of Saladgate--behold and despair.

Jason at dinner. Not pictured: Salad.

It was down to Jason and myself this evening, because Jenni is working late--y'know, on the stroll. I decided to order from a local Brazilian place called Bossa Nova. I like it because it's named after my favorite button on a musical keyboard. I ordered an appetizer, a sandwich and some fries. I ordered Jason some pasta and a fateful dinner salad. I placed the order by phone and all of the items were read back to me. The food showed up about 45 minutes later and I paid the delivery guy--left him a good tip, too.

A couple of minutes later, I'm going through the bag with the food, and I notice there's no dinner salad. I tell Jason what's up and I call them, expecting that they'll send one out and Jason will just have to wait a little while to eat his leafy greens. I call, and my call gets handed to the manager. "All right," I think in that cocksure way I tend to--not really, I just wanted to use the word "cocksure." Anyway, the manager starts talking and informs me that I got one salad, and if I want another one, I need to pay for it. Fair enough, but that implies that I indeed got the ONE salad I ordered and, checking the receipt, was definitely charged $3.49 for. I inform the manager that he's misunderstanding me--I don't want an additional salad, I just want the one I ordered and was charged for.

He tells me to look at the receipt. Guessing his next question, I inform him that I was indeed charged for the veggie side-dish. But he KNOWS that. No, he's curious if there's an ink mark on the receipt over the salad entry. There is, just like there is for the other items I ordered. He then informs me that that is difinitive proof of some things. 1) I got the salad I ordered. Apparently by marking the receipt by each item, that magically, unequivocally forces the marked item to reside within the confines of the attached bag. 2) I'm a thieving liar who desparately wants to rip him off for $3.49-worth of dinner salad. And 3) If I want "another" salad, they'll have to charge me. Obviously, I've had enough of this guy's bullshit and I hang up on him. I tell Jason what's up and he tries to reason with them just as I did, but he got the same result.

Jason put those a-holes on notice over the phone that we would no longer be frequenting their establishment as we do not enjoy 1) getting charged for stuff we didn't get and 2) basically being told we're lying salad thieves. I'm not sure what kind of mocking, dickish retort that restaraunteur replied with, but I'm sure it would stifle in his throat knowing that we are not just boycotting on our behalf, no no, we're invoking a full-on Hands in the Air Official Boycott. If you live in the Los Angeles area and say you're a friend of HITA or freedom or democracy or salads, you will NOT order ANYTHING from Bossa Nova until Jason is given his salad. Until that day, we will be maintaining a solemn vigil in our sidebar, informing you, the decent, honest, hard-working, salad-eating people of the world how long it's taking for the REAL salad thieves to give us what is rightfully ours.

P.S. - I tried to leave feedback on their official webpage and got an error that wasn't even in English. I didn't even use profanity, the fuckers.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Can We Get Back to Anna Nicole Yet?

Out magazine has been making some headlines over the past couple of days for their "bold" decision to run models holding cut-outs of Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper on their cover for a feature called "The Glass Closet." I'd encourage you to read it because, while I don't agree with everything it has to say, it's at the least well written. I'll quickly summarize in saying that the article is about those celebrities, like Foster and Cooper, who "we" all know to be gay, but won't come out and admit it, why, and why they should. This point is hammered home by the cover image, which I'll say is ballsy in a "they can't possibly sue because it'll either make them look homophobic or even more gay" way. For a magazine for gay people, a pretty persecuted group the world over, this surprisingly smacks of voyeurism and intolerance.

Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster just doin' what comes naturally. Or, not. Whichever. It's really none of our bidness. But, it looks kind of hot in toy form. I'm just saying.

Quick--someone asks if you're gay or not. What do you do? You might say "no," since it could happen to be both true and socially acceptable pretty much anywhere. But the correct answer is "none of your goddamn business," because it's not. For a town with its fair share of gay people and even more people who claim to be tolerant of gay people, Hollywood and the tabloid industry it sustains sure seems awfully interested in who is and who isn't. My question is, "why"? I would certainly count myself as a gay-friendly person, but I also feel that inquisitive urge to know when some A, B, C or Z-list star is caught in a gay bar. My point is that's an urge we should be fighting, because it's disrespectful. It's none of our goddamn business.

I also don't get what the magazine and the author of the article hopes will happen should someone like Jodie Foster or Anderson Cooper come out of the closet. Do they think that gay-bashers and other people intolerant of homosexuality will suddenly be like, "shit, the guy who reads the news on CNN is a queer? Maybe they ain't so bad!" No. The people who really hate gays refer to people like Jodie Foster or Anderson Cooper as "filthy, Hollywood liberals." They EXPECT them to be gay, because to them, anyone living within 300 miles of an ocean is a devil-worshipping sodomite. They don't relate to Jodie Foster. Shit, homegirl hasn't made a good movie since Silence of the Lambs. Have you seen Contact? That shit's boring even in the heartland.

If you want to blow some gay-haters' minds, put a fatty with a Rush Limbaugh cut-out over his face on your cover. There's some circumstantial evidence for his gayness, because no 100% straight man is this attracted to Mary Lynn Rajskub, I don't care how much 24/geek cred she has. Or what about Pat Robertson? He claims to love God a whole lot, and I'll bet if you ask him, God's a dude.

Is it that they think gay people will suddenly feel assured that they have more "spokespeople" for their lifestyle? I'm sorry--being a white, heterosexual male in America, I don't know shit about being persecuted, but I know that if I was, I wouldn't want a movie star or a cable news personality to be my figureheads. They're people with lives--go find poster children someplace else. It's not their jobs to inspire or lead anyone, so Out needs to stop acting like they're entitled to it. Lots of gay people face intolerance every day. Lots of gay people face losing their jobs, their friends and their families if they come out. Are these people any less inspiring because they don't risk losing a multi-picture deal or an exclusive cable contract? Because that seems to be what Out is saying.

I don't know if Jodie Foster or Anderson Cooper are gay, and I kinda don't care. If someday they come out of their "glass closets," good for them. If they're fine where they're at, that's just as good. Sometimes not caring how someone else chooses to live their life is about as tolerant as we human beings get. But I do know that, for now, people like Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper aren't allowing themselves to be pressured by a hungry media and our insatiable, sick curiosity. They're saying, albeit in a much more subdued, polite manner, their personal lives are none of our goddamn business. That's pretty inspiring, too.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Favorite Spartan

Special thanks to Brad B. for letting us borrow his King Leonidas figure. That Spartan is tough to find in stores.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Up Your Nose with Keith Richards' Dad

In the live-fast/die-young industry of music, there are only a few infamous acts of excess that truly qualify as being "rock-n-roll": Led Zeppelin violating a groupie with a mudshark; Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a bat; Sting getting tantric with 14 straight hours of boinking; Phil Collins relieving a dry spell with a month-long session of nonstop masturbation; Enya and Celine Dion shooting Oates "just to see a man die" while Hall looked on in horror.

OK, so maybe some of those incidents never really happened (Phil Collins didn't limit himself to just a mere 30 days of vigorous self-pleasuring), but Keith Richards' latest revelation also turned out to be a big wankfest. On Monday, it was reported that the Rolling Stones guitarist mixed some cocaine with his late father's cremated remains so he could snort a noseful of dad and smack. Yesterday, Richards said he was just joking.

A junkie tries to score a kilo of dead guy from Keith Richards.
Yes, that's Keith on the right and not the aforementioned "dead guy."

So it was all a lie. With his admission, Richards instantly loses his rock-n-roll cred, and it has simultaneously put the kibosh on our up-and-coming side business of pushing baggies of dead guy ashes and manufacturing urn-bongs. That would've totally rawked.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sure, Dad. I Swear.

The other day I got an email from my father, full of family news and all that. It was so nice, 'til I got to the end. And then...ugh. Lemme just show you:
Hi, Sweetheart--how have you and the guys been?
(personal stuff excised)
Let me know all about you and the guys. All the latest gossip.
Love, Dad
Your blogs are great, just cut down the swearing, you can write above that.
We all have parents, and we all know how they can be. But my Dad isn't usually such a priss. I dunno, it was unexpected. Usually my parents are kind of realistic about the type of person I am. It's not like I've changed much...ever.

So I wrote back.


Write above that? Uh, no thanks. That's an embarassingly "Bill Cosby" sentiment but you know, it would mean more if you didn't ever ever ever swear yourself. But um, you do. So. How 'bout you leave the writing and entertaining to me, and I'll leave the selling cars to you.

Look at that. Whole paragraph without swearing. And it SUCKED. You are getting old and weird on me. Stop it. If you start wearing Bill Cosby sweaters, then I'll probably disown you.

Anyway, I'm glad you had a good time at Momo's birthday, and that your health is ok. I've been mostly supergood myself on the health front, eating salads and vegetables and stuff so I can get knocked up and get you people another grandbaby. That too blue for ya? Huh?

There's nothing really going on here, I have been working a whole lot, and you know, cussing every other word. I got a new boss I like, and I'm working on more game development, which is great, but I also have to do some of my old stuff, which isn't any fun. I got you a t-shirt, but it's only an XL. Pretty big one tho. I'll try to send it. If my cussing doesn't get me kicked out of the post office, that is.

The boys are ok, Jason is working a lot, maybe even more than I am. He is such a hard worker. Steve's office is moving but that's about it. He's a hard worker, too. We're a very hardworking bunch. We did a ton of cleaning and all that. Except for our rooms which are as dirty as our mouths. The place looks good.

I hate my couch and want a new tv, too. We're looking for a new place to live, so we can spread out. We need a couple of rooms for our toys and video games. And, all those cuss words take up a lot of space.

I think I might post this on the blog. Because it's squeaky motherfucking clean.

Oh applesauce, I messed it up.

P.S. I really am going to post this on the blog. I'll edit your letter. That will get us both something, I'll get an easy post and you'll get a mostly clean post. Thanks, Dad!!!
He replied. I'll spare you the details, save these few--quite ironically, my Dad's reply includes (Da da DUH!) cusswords. The evidence:
"a couple fu---, screw ups"
"These as---- gentlemen would give it to you in the as----"
"they can kiss my Mexican ass"
"take the damn pills "
Yeah. I got on my total high horse for my reply, and again, I'll take out the personal details:
Think of how much better your response would have been if you just could have used the cusswords. We both know which words you meant there. So, what was saved with the dashes? Do you see how these words are necessary and useful? How they add meaning, punctuation, emotional heft, gravity and style to what you're trying to express? Plus, they drive right to the point and everyone knows exactly what you mean--so many other words are so easily misinterpreted.

Yeah, you can write without them, and usually when I'm getting paid to write, I do without, but for my own stuff, why would I want to limit myself? Maybe as an interesting challenge, if those words were something I didn't think I could do without.

But honestly, I can turn it on and off since I've had to write clean so often. My personal voice happens to include the dirty words I grew up hearing daily. It's me. It's honest.

(personal bloody details excised)

On that up note, I'll say goodbye, and thanks for being a sport about being on the blog.

Yeah, I think we've all learned an important lesson here--old people are fucking weird. Parents, doubly so.

(For non-dorks, the image above is of Helena Wayne, the Huntress, who also happens to be the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. She so feels my pain.)