Saturday, December 28, 2002
Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Last year, I moved to Seattle, away from my friends and family. As I left work on Christmas Eve, the homeless people were having a trash-can-fire, plastic-bottle-liquor hoedown on University Avenue. I figured "What the hell?" and decided to join in. I wound up sharing a bottle of cheap vodka with one particularly attractive homeless girl. My judgment eroded, I invited her back to my apartment. Before I could protest, she invited two of her friends to join us.
My Christmas Eves until this point in my life had been Norman Rockwell-esque clichés. This particular year, I had an all-night drunken orgy with three homeless girls. We fucked our brains out, baked cookies naked, and fucked some more. When I woke up in the early afternoon, the girls were gone. So were my wallet, most of my food, my toiletries, and my CDs.
Finally I Love The Holidays
It's an oral history, so we don't get a lot of things they find embarassing, like when Elvis Costello stopped playing halfway through his first appearance and played "Radio Raido." And very little about anyone that makes them look bad, which was probably a condition of secring the interviews. Very uncritical. Comedy fifth wheels like Tim Meadows and Will Farrell are praised as being great utility men. Nary a word about how shitty the movies they've all made have been. Still, some entertaining shit.
Sunday, December 22, 2002
Friday, December 20, 2002
Thursday, December 12, 2002
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
A vicar has apologised for telling children at a Christmas carol service that Santa Claus was dead.
He also told the congregation at St Mary's Church in Maidenhead it was impossible for so many presents to be delivered in such a short space of time.
The Reverend Lee Rayfield, of nearby St Peter's Church, has now admitted he made a terrible mistake.
He based his sermon on joke scientific research from the internet and says it was meant as a bit of fun for older children who already knew Santa did not exist.
He added: "I made a serious misjudgment of the ages of the children. I did not realise how young some of them were and I am sitting here now wondering how I managed not to realise.
"Even when I was there, I did not twig. I am mortified and appreciate I have put some parents in a difficult position with a lot of explaining to do. I love Christmas."
Mr Rayfield's comments came from a joke story that circulated on the internet earlier this year on how scientific research would dispel the myth of Santa.
It says Santa would have to deliver 378 million presents to 91.8 million homes in 31 hours. To do it, he and the reindeer would have to travel 3,000 times the speed of sound.
It says the reindeer would be vaporised within 4.26 thousandths of a second and Santa would be killed by 4,315,000 pounds worth of force.
Mr Rayfield is now writing a letter to parents apologising for the incident.
Story filed: 11:39 Tuesday 10th December 2002
Thursday, December 05, 2002
December 5, 2002 -- Call it trivia. Bond trivia
SO, despite James Bond approaching Medicare, this new "Die Another Day" job was his biggest opening weekend ever. So it brings up 007 lore:
Wardrobe folk claim Pierce Brosnan gained a bit during filming. "We had to let out his pants," said one. "We were calling the shoot, 'Diet Another Day.' "
A while back a private light-aircraft pilot thought Pierce, his passenger, could fly because, the figuring was, if 007 can, then surely Brosnan can. Well, he can't. The pilot offered the controls, asking: "Want to land it?" And the hero-for-hire said: "No, thanks, you can land it."
Anyone know a London crook once used Sean Connery's stolen credit card for a sting? Posing as his rep the sticky-fingered - or goldfingered or whatever fingered he was - con guy hit a New Burlington Street gallery and bought some $300,000 trinket. Scotland Yard eventually nailed him. Double-oh-seven did not.
Connery. Terrified of spiders. The famous "Dr. No" shot of the spider in his bed was first done with glass between him and Spidey, redone with a stunt man then re-redone with a mechanical bug. Still, scaredy Sean suffered a panic attack.
Connery's mechanical tarantula sold at Christie's Bond memorabilia auction for $3,200. Oddjob's hat netted $32,000. "Diamonds Are Forever" fakes went for as much as the real thing - $8,000 a stone. Bullets engraved with "007" from "The Man With the Golden Gun" brought $350 each.
Anyone know Bond's dad was christened Andrew, mom's maiden name was Monique Delacroix, he graduated Eton, Dr. No's first name was Julius, Harold Sakata ("Goldfinger's" Oddjob) won a silver medal in the '56 Olympics light heavyweight weightlifting class, and 1989's "License to Kill" was titled "License Revoked" until a survey showed only 20 percent of the unwashed knew what "revoked" meant.
Anyone know when HRH Prince Andrew made the same Commander rank as his movie hero, he began driving an Aston Martin sports car and kept telling friends: " 'Call me James Bond' and 'I've got a license to thrill.' "
Workers toiling in the Santa Monica home of Lois Chiles, who was 007's "Moonraker" playmate were subsequently handed her 8x10s with, "Hi, I'm Holly Goodhead." They were delighted. They sensed she was a bit of a someone but none could figure who or what.
More. I'm in the mood. Ian Fleming had his hero work at an ornate Empire desk but his modest bookshelf held "Modern Fundamentals of Golf" by Ben Hogan, Tolstoy's "War and Peace" with a gun concealed in the binding which went off if you pressed the end of the spine and "The Bible Designed to be Read as Literature" with its middle hollowed out for a Walther PPK 7-65mm automatic. Also Bond likes drumming, calypso, Wagner and "La Vie en Rose" whilst in the throes of romance.
This is the 40th anniversary of Bond movies. Maurice Binder, who created the film's logo, willed the memorabilia to his niece, New York p.r. gal Joanne Binder. She's been offered big money. She refuses to sell.
And Timothy Dalton hasn't "had one martini since I left playing 007. I'm sick and tired of that same wisecrack in every bar: 'Oh, shaken not stirred, eh?' "
Jerry Springer Opera Gets London World Premiere
Wed December 4, 2002 10:59 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - An outrageous opera based on Jerry Springer's lurid talk show is to have its world premiere at Britain's National Theater.
"It is exactly the kind of work the National should be doing: bold, scabrous, funny and beautiful," the National Theater's new director Nicholas Hytner said Wednesday.
In concert form, "Jerry Springer: The Opera" was one of the biggest hits at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now it is to be given a full-scale production in London next April.
British composer Richard Thomas joined forces with comic writer Stewart Lee for an irreverent take on the American talk show that has become a worldwide hit with such programs as "Pregnant by a Transsexual" and "Here Come the Hookers."
Among the opera's showstoppers are a diaper fetishist confessing all to his true love, a dance routine by the Ku Klux Klan and Jesus launching into a swearing tirade against the Devil.
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
And what's the deal with his children being white? I don't care how much you bleach your skin, it ain't gonna change your chromosones, right? If I took a bunch of tanning pills, would my kids be black? The mind boggles.
Here's my prediction: in a few years, we'll be privy to the Jackson Family Suicides.
Over the edge!
Michael Jackson staged a sick thriller for his fans yesterday when he dangled his baby boy from a Berlin hotel balcony.
Laughing like a loon, Jackson clutched the wriggling tot with his right hand while struggling with his left to adjust a white towel hiding the baby's face.
At one point, Jackson appeared to be losing his grip while the baby banged his bare feet against the metal railing of the fourth-floor balcony.
Jackson's stunt left observers on the ground and others who watched on TV aghast - and forced the Gloved One to issue a statement blaming the reckless behavior on the fandemonium.
"I made a terrible mistake," Jackson said. "I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children."
But no excuse seemed good enough for those horrified by what they saw.
"I expected him to be eccentric, but not to be crazy," said onlooker Jutta Schmidt. "Just one false move and that child would have been killed."
"If I was a cop in Berlin, I'd arrest him for endangering a child," said WLIB radio talk show host Mark Riley, who watched on television. "The child could have very well been killed."
Antje Sigesmund, a spokeswoman for Bambi entertainment, which is handing Jackson a lifetime achievement award tomorrow, said the child was the singer's third and youngest, Prince Michael 2nd.
Wearing a mask over his surgically remade face, Jackson was greeted by about 200 screaming fans upon arriving at the deluxe Adlon Hotel, opposite the landmark Brandenburg Gate.
When Jackson got to the Presidential Suite, he shed the mask and then thrust the baby boy out the window for all to admire. The crowd erupted in applause.
After handing the blue jumper-clad tot to a maid, Jackson trotted out an older child - head also covered with a towel - to wave to the fans. He later threw a pillow out the window for fans to fight over, then gleefully strafed them with a yellow water gun.
"I had to fight for the pillow," said Guenter Uebe, 24, as he stuffed the prize into a backpack. "There were a lot of people scrambling, but I got it."
Jackson has two children by ex-wife Debbie Rowe: 5-year-old son Prince Michael and 4-year-old daughter Paris. Little is known about Prince Michael 2nd, who is believed to be 9 months old. Jackson has not identified the child's mother, but has insisted the boy was conceived "the natural way."
The peculiar pop star departed Neverland, his California ranch, for the Fatherland after testifying last week in a $21 million lawsuit by a German promoter over canceled concerts. But Jackson's rebuilt nose made news when he showed up in court with a bandaged schnoz that appeared to have partially collapsed.
A German newspaper ran a contest asking readers to design a new honker for the King of Pop.
"Perhaps they should have picked a new brain for him instead," Schmidt told London's Daily Mail.
BY TAMMY J. OSEID AND BOB SHAW
ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS
No man is an island, but Albert LaFontaine says his strip club is.
The Ojibwe man bought a former pizza parlor in tiny Elko in early October, declared the land a sovereign Indian nation and said he'll ignore any government's attempt to close it.
"There ain't no way on God's Earth that they're going to stop me," said LaFontaine, of St. Paul.
It's not the first time LaFontaine has said that.
The 82-year-old man who in 1959 offered to sell a third of North Dakota to the Soviet Union has put forth a variety of schemes to build casinos on land that he's bought and declared sovereign.
As an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain band of Ojibwe in North Dakota, La Fontaine said he received a document that gives him land rights in place of a parcel on the band's reservation.
He said that -- plus a plethora of laws and treaties that he recites to anyone not quick enough to get a word in edgewise -- entitles him to make the Elko land his own reservation. Elko is south of the Twin Cities, just off Interstate 35.
"It's not up to him to declare it as a sovereign reservation," said Mark Anderson, an attorney with Jacobson, Buffalo, Schoessler & Magnuson, which represents many Midwestern Indian tribes.
The U.S. Interior Department can establish new reservations. But the process takes years, and a state's governor must agree with the plan, which has stymied a Hudson, Wis., dog track proposal for years. The federal government must also find that reservations serve the best interest of the tribe and not be detrimental to surrounding community, Anderson said.
And U.S. policy has not allowed reservations for individuals.
In the meantime, LaFontaine's strip club -- which boasts no name but was formerly known as Circus Circus -- is driving some locals loco.
"It is frustrating," said Andrea Poehler, city attorney of Elko. Managing the typical lawsuits surrounding strip clubs is easier, she said, than "dealing with LaFontaine, who is really coming out of left field."
Until about a year ago, the building that formerly housed Glenno's Pizza was innocuous as things get in Elko, population 472. Then Minneapolis resident Emad Abed began transforming it into what he calls a classy strip club, complete with cushy lounges and a catwalk.
The city shut Abed down on a building code violation.
In October, after LaFontaine bought it for $1 plus "considerations," notices appeared on the doors, saying the owner was immune to laws restricting liquor and gambling. It warned federal and state officials not to interfere. The doors opened Nov. 1.
I didn't really just invite a few friends over and then these other kids showed up. I invited everyone.
I wasn't just prepared to kill him if it became necessary, I *wanted* to kill him.
Remeber when you were rushed to the hospital to get those ovarian cysts removed? I was going to dump you that day, but waited a week until you got out.
I'm sorry I was calling you "Vanessa". I didn't realize she was in the front seat.
I had sex with your sister.
There's more. Much more.
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
She writes stories: "Things had not been all that great for a long time thought Cara, brushing her beautiful blonde hair over one shoulder and looking sadly at the white stuffed bear in the corner of the room. No, they hand not been at all."
She writes poetry:
( I got a lot of crap over this one in English Class)
She was molested at 13.
Nobody knows why.
She was raped at 14.
Nobody knows why.
She was punched in the face at 15.
Nobody knows why.
She hung herself at 16.
Maybe SOMEBODY finally knows why.
She controversial: "I don't think people give Tim McVay enough credit."
But don't tell her dad: "He will kill me and then I will have to go to college. This means you, Ryan and Josh. Jesus Christ."
But she desperately needs a husband.
E-mail Keri and she will do girlfriend things for you.
Superhero for Single Girls
Terrifica, N.Y.-Based Costumed Protector of Women, Is Targeting Lonely Lotharios
By Bryan Robinson
N E W Y O R K, Nov. 5 — New York's comic book alter-ego Gotham has its Dark Knight in Batman, but it turns out the real city has its own caped crusader. Lotharios everywhere, beware, because Terrifica, scarlet-costumed avenger and protector of women, is on the prowl on the city's party scene.
All was calm on a brisk 40-degree Saturday evening around Bar 4 in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. The only things stirring were the breeze-driven mocha-colored leaves skipping and scratching across the concrete and the light traffic along Seventh Avenue.
But skidding leaves soon gave way to the deliberate clacking of red heels. It was a little early for Terrifica to start patrolling; it was only 8:30, and the social scene was hours away from awakening. However, with her red cape, matching leotard and skirt with red boots, she managed to open the eyes of a few onlookers and elicit a whisper or two as she strode into Bar 4.
For the past seven years Terrifica has been patrolling New York's party and bar scene, looking out for women who have had a little too much to drink and are in danger of being taken advantage of by men. She says she has saved several women from both themselves and predators who would prey upon their weaknesses — both from alcohol and a misguided notion that they have to go out drinking to find a companion.
"I protect the single girl living in the big city," says Terrifica, sporting blond Brunhild wig with a golden mask and a matching Valkyrie bra. "I do this because women are weak. They are easily manipulated, and they need to be protected from themselves and most certainly from men and their ill intentions toward them."
Terrifica does not claim to have superhuman powers or to be from a planet like Krypton. By day, she is Sarah, a 30-year-old single woman who works for a computer consulting company. (Sarah prefers not to reveal her last name so that she can protect her anonymity and still lead some degree of a normal life.)
To some, Terrifica may not seem all that imposing — she does not have the bulging muscles of your typical superhero. But she has a superhuman sense of purpose and belief in herself. Terrifica unfailingly refers to her non-costumed alter-ego, Sarah, as if she were another person. The heroine refuses to answer any questions about Sarah while she is working as Terrifica, saying "You are talking to Terrifica, not Sarah."
Sipping a Shirley Temple, Terrifica's voice is strong and forceful. Her brown eyes pierce through Bar 4's red lights as she talks about her mission.
"My inspiration is the need people have in the city to be protected from themselves. That is my inspiration," the heroine says. "I have to act in the most extreme situations. I'm on the front lines, in the danger zone, in the wee hours of the night. There's nothing happening here right now; it's way early. But if I come back here at 2:30, 3 o'clock in the morning, there are people drunk, making out with other people, going home with other people. They don't know what they're doing. They're drunk.
"To feel like you have to go to a bar, to put yourself out there, feeling like you have worth only when you're married, engaged, or have a boyfriend, that's weakness," Terrifica says. "People are happiest when they're alone and living their solitary lives."
To Serve and Protect the Single Girl Living in the City
However, Terrifica's mission is really twofold: she seems driven by both a need to protect all women and her alter-ego, a single girl living in the city. According to Sarah, Terrifica was spawned by a combination of heartbreak and her need deal with her own feelings of vulnerability.
Before moving to New York from Pittsburgh seven years ago, Sarah was heartbroken when she and her boyfriend broke up. Terrifica, Sarah says, was created out of her need to deal with her own anxiety of being a single woman suddenly living in a new city.
"I was living in New York, 23, feeling sort of vulnerable. I created Terrifica I guess to deal with my feelings of vulnerability being young and single in New York City," Sarah says. "I had a couple of run-ins with men that really shocked me, left me feeling confused and really hurt. … To come from a small city where I knew everyone to a bigger city where I did not was quite overwhelming and scary."
However, at some point, Terrifica became more than Sarah's personal therapeutic tool. Her purpose grew to include the protection of all women from the men who would manipulate them — emotionally and sexually.
"The reason why Batman was dark was because he kept seeing his demon [the murder of his parents and his need to avenge them] every time he did what he did," Sarah says. "I guess that is essentially the same thing with me. I experience the same hurt and pain over and over again [as Terrifica]."
Patrolling a Potentially Dangerous World With No Superpowers
Terrifica did not want to reveal how often she patrols or how she decides where she is going to go out on duty. However, different nights have different party scenes.
"Thursday nights are good nights for college students," she says. "Thursdays and Friday night are good nights for the after-work crowd down in Wall Street. Saturdays are good nights for the East-West Village where you have people coming in from the other boroughs."
Despite her persistence and dedication, a costume can be a hindrance to a passionate crime fighter like Terrifica. After all, how many real-life Batmen and Spider-Men does the average person encounter every day? Terrifica's costume could attract gawkers, a degree of ridicule and distract from the seriousness of her task, but she says that's a tactical choice.
"I have undercover clothes that I wear so that I can blend in," says Terrifica. "I wear this costume to bring attention to myself. Imagine yourself the perpetrator, one of the evil men in the world, and then you see a woman in a leotard and she's beautiful. You're going to stop focusing attention on the woman you're trying to seduce and going to try to get Terrifica to pay attention to you. So, it's a diversion tactic."
Still, Terrifica acknowledges that her vigilantism puts herself at risk. She admits that she has found herself in situations that involved physical run-ins with people who did not appreciate her interference. Her sobriety and wits have remained her greatest assets in those situations.
"I really only have my utility belt. I'm not superstrong. I'm from this Earth," she says. "I know I have to be very cautious. But the difference is I'm sober. And drunk people who are hostile are still drunk people. I have a degree of control, and my mission and purpose can usually get me out of dangerous situations."
However, Terrifica does carry pepper spray in her utility belt, which also includes a cell phone, lipstick, a camera to take pictures of alleged male predators, a logging book, Terrifica fortune cards and — last but not least — Smarties candies.
"They taste good," Terrifica says. "I need energy. What I do is very difficult. I need to stay awake long hours, driving around. Sugar helps."
Struggling to Get a Message Across
For the most part, Terrifica says, the women she has saved have appreciated her help. But she hopes to never save the same woman twice.
"That would just be sad," she says. "I get to know some of the women I save and talk to them. … It would just be sad if I would run into some of them again. There is a message I'm trying to get across where I would hope to never need to see them again."
Not everyone is a fan of hers. Some bartenders may hate her heroics, she says, because she potentially drives away their business. However, she conceded that she has some power over bartenders.
"Bartenders tend to be men, and they tend to be attracted to me," she says. "Most men are. That's part of my power."
A ‘Fantastic’ Nemesis
Terrifica has also become somewhat of a nemesis to one alleged Casanova in particular: A man who likes to dress in velvet and prefers to be called "Fantastico." He says that over the years, Terrifica has thwarted his attempts on numerous occasions to get to know women a little better.
"Well, I guess I first met her about seven years ago ... most recently last week in Carroll Gardens [Brooklyn]," Fantastico says. "I was with this woman and she was very lonely, seemed very desperate for attention. We were having a very lovely time, sharing a drink and suddenly I turn around see her [Terrifica] in this ridiculous red cape. She practically drags the woman away."
Fantastico, who says he does not have a day job, says he likes to indulge in the finer, pleasurable things in life and that he likes to bring out the pleasure in people. He is convinced that Terrifica is a miserable, lonely woman who does not want anyone else to be happy.
"She seems to have an obsession with me," Fantastico says. "She seems to have it in for men. I'm convinced she is loveless and would love to have the rest of the city as loveless and miserable as she is."
Fantastico says that Terrifica has never really addressed him directly during their encounters. She has only lectured the alleged would-be female victims about being manipulated and taken advantage of.
"She's just been very cold, very distant," Fantastico says. "But I'm sure if she did address me — her being a pretty attractive woman in her leotard — if she did hear me out, maybe she would change her attitude."
But while Terrifica has never addressed Fantastico directly, her alter-ego Sarah has. Sarah says she was seduced by Fantastico years ago.
However, Fantastico does not even remember Sarah and has no idea that she is Terrifica. He does remember Terrifica, though.
"While I don't know a Sarah, I do know Terrifica. She does exist, and we have crossed paths from time to time," he says.
"What? You mean he doesn't remember me?" Sarah asks, stunned. "You see, that's why Terrifica exists, that's why she's needed."
Fantastico insisted Terrifica has only been an occasional annoyance to him and that he doesn't lose any sleep at night knowing she's out there. "Trust me," he says. "I have no problem doing what I do."
A Heroine’s Advice for Self-Protection
Terrifica knows she can't be everywhere. She prefers to work alone but would not mind if other people donned a costume to help protect others. However, she does have advice to help women help themselves.
"The most important thing is that you do not need another person to give you love," Terrifica says. "And you should not feel that someone who promises love actually loves you, ever. People throw around the term 'love' to manipulate, to get sexual satisfaction. And you should only exist to satisfy yourself, not sexually but holistically. Do not be meek enough to believe the myths society has imposed on us to basically control you.
"And don't get drunk in bars."
Terrifica says she ultimately would like to be able to set up a hotline to help women when they feel like they need advice. It would enable her to more easily spread her message of self-protection and empowerment.
She would also like to have someday have the equivalent of Batman's bat signal. Perhaps, it could be called the "Terrific signal."
"It is my dream to have a 'T' signal going up to the clouds so that I know when I would be needed," Terrifica says.
The End of the Road for Terrifica?
Terrifica says she will continue carrying on her mission as long as there are still women getting drunk in bars, going home with men they barely know and feeling badly in the morning, wondering whether the men will ever call.
However, there are signs that Sarah is wearying of donning the red leotard.
"I'm sure Terrifica would tell you that she is always successful," she says. "But that is not always the case. Dressing in a red leotard, hanging out at bars drinking Shirley Temples is not exciting. It can get pretty dull. … There are nights when not much happens.
"I would love to be able to be at the point psychologically where I don't feel like I have to dress like a superhero to feel safe and empowered in New York City," Sarah says. "It's hard to say under what circumstances [I would stop] with my not looking so hot in a leotard anymore. I had set [age] 30 as the magic number and I'm still doing it. And I'll be 31 soon."
Well, at least one person believes Terrifica/Sarah still looks good in a leotard. As Terrifica left Bar 4, a little girl in a knit white cap and matching jacket saw the heroine and immediately stopped, looked up and smiled.
"You look pretty," the child said with a toothy grin.
"Thank you," said Terrifica, as she allowed herself to smile. "Be safe now."
Terrifica's smile soon faded away as her thoughts turned to the night ahead. "I have to go home now … to my headquarters … to prepare. I have to make some calls and find out where some of the party scenes are tonight."
And with that, Terrifica turned away, red cape lazily flowing behind her. No one else on Seventh Avenue stopped to stare at her.
Thursday, November 14, 2002
I thought Natalie Portman sparkled in her outfits. I liked how the more she was trying to talk Anakin off his crush, the more ridiculous and sexy she dressed. If some woman was giving me the it can't work out speech, I'd have to comment on the form-fitting leather. Just me.
A few months ago, a freind of mine was in town. While waiting for another movie, we checked out Episode 2 around the part of the Obi-Wan-Boba Fett fight. My friend thought the fight itself was totally badass, but based on the love story he saw, announced he would never see the rest of it.
I saw the movie opening night at the Cinerama in Seattle, one of the best movie theatres in the country, and one thing that surprised me was how bad the picture quality was. There was a lot of digital artifacting, like monitor lines on computer-generated elements in a scene. When I saw it again at a different theater in San Francisco, it looked much better.
Now, I had heard it was being digitally projected "the way it was MEANT to be seen" at a number of theaters, and looked much better. So I check. Turns out I saw it digital at the Cinerama, and on film in SF. And the digital was much worse, clearly showing the seams in the effects, looking like a tacky computer game (well, more than is usual for a star wars movie). Looks like the digital revolution won't be putting film to the firing squad for a while. What bugs me it the constant parroting of the party line, that digital is better. Of course, the digital print is much better looking on television. Nice how television is the future of Star Wars films.
Last night we stuck around for an extra forty minutes after rehearsal. The director had a vision where the stage would be entirely dark at the end of the second act. He wanted one of the actresses to take the last candle from the stage as she rushed outside to go on a date. The actress disagreed, saying that someone rushing outside to go on a date wouldn't stop to tidy up a candle on her way out the door for a carriage ride. The disagreement went on for forty minutes. The actress burst into tears and we agreed to table it.
I agreed with the actress. I didn't take sides during the argument itself, because I've spent about a third of my rehearsal time arguing with the director myself. The director put it this way: what happens when the director's vision disagrees with an actors? I would have put it another way: what happens when the director has a surface vision, and wants to accomplish it expediently, regardless of the logic?
I direct, myself, and I suppose there are two responses to when actors have a problem: Tough, and Shit. But I act as well, specifically to give myself insight into these situations. I don't know.
Monday, November 11, 2002
Heading the ball killed Astle
By Wayne Veysey, Evening Standard
11 November 2002
Former England soccer star Jeff Astle died from a degenerative brain disease caused by heading heavy leather footballs, a coroner ruled today.
Astle, who played in the 1970 World Cup and enjoyed a successful club career with West Bromwich Albion, died as a result of "industrial disease", an inquest heard.
South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh said it was likely to have been caused by "repeated small traumas to the brain" - related to heading a heavy, often wet, leather ball.
Astle died aged 59 in January this year. He collapsed at his daughter's home and died after being taken to the Queen's Hospital, Burton.
Lorraine Astle, his wife of 38 years, told the inquest: "He underwent a brain scan last year and it revealed Jeff had suffered an injury to the front part of his brain.
"It was known throughout the game that he was one of the hardest headers of a football and this was in the days when a ball was made of leather - it would have been like heading a bag of bricks."
The striker, who won five England caps, enjoyed renewed fame in the Nineties with regular appearances on the Fantasy Football League television programme. Every week, hosts Frank Skinner and David Baddiel invited him to sing on the closing credits of the show, often in fancy dress.
He then toured around the country reminiscing about his career while dressed as Tina Turner.
Throughout a 20-year professional soccer career Astle's trademark was his powerful headed goals but this ultimately killed him. It has been claimed for some time that older footballers have been at risk because the balls they played with were of a type of leather which absorbed water and made them very heavy.
Critics claimed that heading this type of ball was akin to being punched in the head.
Today's ruling is vindication for the Astle family, who have always maintained that his death was caused by repeatedly striking a football with his head.
They said they had finally received "justice" thanks to the coroner's verdict of death by industrial disease.
Dr Derek Robson, a consultant neurological pathologist, said there was evidence of brain injury consistent with "repeated minor trauma".
Astle scored 137 goals in 292 league appearances for West Brom and scored the extra-time winner in their 1968 FA Cup Final win over Everton.
His greatest claim to fame was when he became the first player to have scored in every round of the FA Cup in the same year.
The goal against Everton sealed Astle's reputation as more than just a target man, only good in the air. But he failed spectacularly in the most high-profile game of his career only two years later.
During England's first-round match against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup Finals, England were only one goal down when Astle was brought on for Francis Lee with half an hour left.
Soon he spectacularly missed England's best chance of the match and England lost to the eventual winners. Astle's mistake was destined to be remembered for years to come.
He retired from football in 1977, to run a successful industrial cleaning company. His van was emblazoned with the legend "Astle Never Misses The Corners".
FACES are red at the Daily News because reporter Bill Egbert has taped a personal ad playing on cable TV in which he displays his collection of fur handcuffs, "tickle toys" and a radio-controlled vibrator.
Egbert, 34, who covers The Bronx for New York's "hometown newspaper," makes his appeal for kinky women on "Strictly Personal," a show on the MetroChannel station.
"I take great pleasure in giving great pleasure," Egbert says. "Foreplay is sexy, but foreplay when you're tied down on the bed is even sexier."
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound man identifies himself only as Mesmereyes - "I've gotten good reviews on my eyes" - "a reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper."
The three-minute segment on the show, a joint venture with New York magazine, shows Egbert giving a tour of his bare-brick-walled apartment overlooking Central Park.
"This is my pimp hat. It was a gift," he says, trying on a gaudy, oversized fedora. "This is my prized possession, five pounds of hyper-color silly putty. It changes color with your body heat."
But the high point comes when he gets to his "arts and crafts box" and explains, "I make toys, some of which are fun, and some of which are really fun, and not for kids."
Holding a large black feather, Egbert says, "This is going to be a tickle toy." Then he holds up some black leather straps. "I've made a selection of restraints." Egbert says he sells them on eBay: "They sell like hotcakes."
Egbert then holds up a contraption he describes as a radio-controlled vibrating egg, a pair of fur handcuffs and a blindfold.
The reporter is also featured on the newyorkmetro.com Web site, where he lists himself as hazel-eyed, agnostic and Scorpio. In the section on "my habits," he says he never smokes cigarettes, but as for booze and drugs: "Sometimes."
His favorite on-screen sex scenes are "Monster's Ball," "Wild Things" and "91/2 Weeks." The celebrity he resembles most? "Jim Carrey, Pierce Brosnan and 'Michael Stipe with hair' are the most complimentary."
As for what he looks for in a woman, Egbert says, "A bit of kink would be a plus, but a measure of hedonism is a must. I'm definitely most compatible with a sensation-seeker and a thrill-junkie."
"We don't comment on our employees' private lives," a spokesman for the News said.
Estate has right to body found in deceased English painter's studio: coroner
LONDON (AP) - The embalmed body of a tramp - found hidden in a deceased portrait painter's studio - should be returned the artist's estate and could be placed on public display, a coroner ruled Monday.
The body of Edwin MacKenzie was found in a chest of drawers in Robert Lenkiewicz's studio in Plymouth, southern England, 10 days after the artist died of a heart attack in August.
MacKenzie, a friend and sometimes the subject of the painter, had died in a hospital of natural causes on Nov. 2, 1984, at age 72. Lenkiewicz, who took custody of the body, had refused to tell authorities where it was.
An inquest heard that MacKenzie had no living relatives to provide a burial, and on Monday Plymouth and South Devon Coroner Nigel Meadows said the body should go back to the executor of the Lenkiewicz estate.
He said the executor could have the body cremated or transferred to the Lenkiewicz Foundation, the charity responsible for the artist's paintings and books. It would be up to the foundation to decide what to do with the body.
"Provided they comply with health and safety regulations and don't outrage public decency, it is possible that they could retain the body on some sort of public display," he added.
MacKenzie had left no will. A death certificate gave his profession as "artist's assistant (retired)."
The pair met when MacKenzie, who was widely known as Diogenes, was living in a concrete barrel at a garbage dump on the outskirts of Plymouth. The tramp featured in a 1960 series of paintings by Lenkiewicz entitled Vagrancy.
Lenkiewicz had refused to tell the local council where MacKenzie's body was, insisting his friend had wanted his body to be embalmed and preserved.
After Lenkiewicz died, executors of his estate gave officials information which led to a search of the studio.
One of Lenkiewicz's paintings featuring MacKenzie - The Four Tramps and Jacob's Ladder - sold at an auction last month for the equivalent of $108,000 Cdn.
© Copyright 2002 The Canadian Press
Wednesday, November 06, 2002
My favorite part of the news coverage of this case has been the repeated references to Winona's "waiflike" beauty. It's like all the press members of the Winona Ryder Fanclub fought for the assignment. And who can blame them? She looks so helpless and delicate, there in the court, like a doe in a trap. It's heartbreaking.
Ryder Found Guilty on 2 of 3 Counts
By Linda Deutsch
AP Special Correspondent
Wednesday, November 6, 2002; 3:08 PM
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. –– Actress Winona Ryder was convicted Wednesday of stealing $5,500 worth of high-fashion merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue last year.
The jury found the star of "Girl, Interrupted" guilty of felony grand theft and vandalism but cleared her of burglary, a count that required proof of advance intent. The panel reached the verdict after 5½ hours of deliberations over two days.
She faces anywhere from probation to three years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 6.
The two-time Oscar nominee, who marked her 31st birthday in the defendant's chair, was arrested last Dec. 12 as she left the Beverly Hills store, her arms laden with packages.
Ryder did not testify during the trial, which lasted two weeks.
The prosecution told the jury that Ryder came to Saks with larceny on her mind, bringing shopping bags, a garment bag and scissors to snip security tags off items.
"She came, she stole, she left. End of story," Deputy District Attorney Ann Rundle said in her closing argument. "Nowhere does it say people steal because they have to. People steal out of greed, envy, spite, because it's there or for the thrill."
Jurors were shown videotape of Ryder moving through the store laden with goods, and Saks security workers testified that after she was detained she apologetically told them a director had told her to shoplift to prepare for a movie role.
Her attorney denounced the security guards as liars even before the trial began.
At the start of her shopping trip, she paid more than $3,000 for a jacket and two blouses. The defense said Ryder believed the store would keep her account "open" while she shopped and would charge her later. But there was no evidence of an account.
In closing arguments Monday, defense attorney Mark Geragos suggested that the store, trying to avoid a lawsuit, conspired with employees to invent a story that would make Ryder appear to be a thief and vandal.
Geragos ridiculed the charge that Ryder vandalized merchandise by cutting holes in clothes when removing the security tags.
"This woman is known for her fashion sense," he said. "Was she going to start a new line of 'Winona wear' with holes in it?"
He carried a hair bow that she allegedly had stolen over to her, placed it on her head and said, "Can anyone see Ms. Ryder with this on top of her head? Does that make sense?"
Settlement talks between the defense and prosecution failed, but just before trial the district attorney's office agreed to dismiss a drug charge after a doctor said he had given her two pills found in her possession when she was arrested.
The 12-member jury included several people with Hollywood connections, including producer Peter Guber, head of Mandalay Entertainment and a former head of Sony Entertainment Pictures.
The town raised a collective eyebrow at the inclusion of Guber, who presided over Sony when three successful Ryder films were made there.
Ryder has made some two-dozen films since 1986, including "Beetlejuice," "Heathers," "Mermaids," "Little Women," "The Age of Innocence," "Edward Scissorhands," "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "Reality Bites" and "Mr. Deeds."
She received her Academy Award nominations for "Little Women" (best actress) and for "The Age of Innocence" (supporting actress).
Ryder was raised by parents who were part of the counterculture revolution in the 1960s. Her godfather was LSD guru Timothy Leary.
In 1993, Ryder posted a $200,000 reward in the kidnap-murder case of a 12-year-old girl, Polly Klaas, in Petaluma, Calif., where the actress grew up. When Ryder was charged with shoplifting, Polly's father, Mark, came to legal proceedings to support her.
In recent years, Ryder has been featured frequently in fashion magazines. Her delicate beauty and waiflike persona were on display at the trial along with a wardrobe of appropriate trial clothes – dark sweaters and skirts, soft dresses and, on the climactic day of closing arguments, a cream silk suit with a pleated skirt and short jacket.
Tuesday, November 05, 2002
Why he died before he got old
Kurt Cobain was adored, addicted and angry - the rest of the rock myth followed from there. Pete Townshend suffers as he plumbs the depths of Cobain's despair in his Journals
Sunday November 3, 2002
by Kurt Cobain
Viking £20, pp288
'I hope I die before I become Pete Townshend,' wrote Kurt Cobain in his journal in the middle of one of his rants against the rock press establishment. Why? Because I had become a bore? Because I had failed to die young? Because I had become conventional? Or, simply because I had become old? In fact, in the early Nineties, when Kurt was struggling with himself over whether or not to do an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, I was not boring, neither old nor young, and I was not dead. I was, unlike Cobain, hardened. Tempered, beaten and subjugated by all that rock had delivered to me and via me over 30 years. Rock is, I think, particularly hard. And in this statement Cobain appears to be hard on me. But perhaps he is sad for me?
Nirvana, and their principal creative architect Kurt Cobain, are considered by many in the UK to be the most important band in the history of rock. The publication of Cobain's journals is considered, then, to be a major event and has been anticipated with a mixture of trepidation, curiosity and excitement.
As a songwriter and rock architect, I was interested to look behind the creative process of Kurt Cobain. Nirvana's second album, Nevermind was a breath of 'punk' fresh air in the musically stale early Nineties. So I picked up this book searching for connections. Where might a particular lyric idea have begun? What, for example, is behind the smart, striking and ironic wit of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'? If this sounds rather professorial, that's me, the first proprietor of the rock academy of lyric analysis.
Now here I have before me a sober and distinguished hardback. The word 'Journals' is quietly inscribed under the author's name. The inner jacket is deep purple. The first facsimile page is like a piece of pop art. It is an expensively and reverently reproduced photo of a page from a spiral book, the cheap kind sold in American drugstores. There are 11 marks on the torn sheet. 'Booze' - the first mark - is recorded in ballpoint, a light blue. On the same line, in a darker pen, is the second mark, the number '30'. Another mark is 'Records/watch', followed again by a number - obviously the cost - '50'. 'Food' and 'ticket' follow. The total sum is '200'.
What follows appear to be the scribblings of a crazed and depressed drug-addict in the midst of what those of us who have been through drug rehab describe as 'stinking thinking'. That is, the resentful, childish, petulant and selfish desire to accuse, blame and berate the world for all its wrongs, to wish to escape, or overcome and, finally, to take no responsibility for any part of the ultimate downfall. Me? An expert? Of course. Been there, done that. Back to the academy.
If the first draft words for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' are here somewhere, I'm not sure I could find them without help. I believe that there are actually three drafts in this book. But the song on the CD is clear, outstanding, dark, ironic, amusing and disturbing at once. It occurs to me that somewhere along the way, in the business that passed between his first infantile scribblings and the rehearsals and recording studio sessions with his band members, Kurt Cobain had a lot of help to reorganise, focus and realise his ideas.
Most of these pages are facsimiles from what appears to be four or five other notebooks. The tatty front covers are sometimes themselves displayed. Apparently, there were actually 20 notebooks. It's a pity the entries are not dated, and that no attempt has been made to provide a chronology. The entries are not uninteresting. It is simply that they are devastatingly hard to contemplate. They actually hurt. These are the scribblings of a once beautiful, angry, petulant, spoiled, drug-addled middle-class white boy from a divorced family who just happened, with the help of two of his slightly more stable peers, to make an album hailed as one of the best rock records ever. I sometimes get letters from people who write and draw like Cobain. I put them in a file marked 'Loonies', just in case they try to sue me in the future for stealing their ideas.
Incidentally, Kurt was obviously a very good graphic artist. He drew artwork for early posters for his band. But what is reproduced here is gothic in its grossness. What is obscured behind the striking but puerile, classroom-brat drawings here is the ambition and excitement, the sheer energetic drive that was behind Cobain's youthful desire to become a rock star, to change the music, to sweep away the old and replace it with the new. That this should be muddled with his resentments, his political naivety and his extraordinary self-obsession (he worried at one time that he was lactating because his nipples were always sore) is simply sad.
There is some insider interest generated by some of the images. On page 139, there is a small cartoon of a baby swimming underwater, obviously the inspiration for the cover of Nevermind . But that art was redeemed because the face of the child was happy and free. Cobain's cartoon is captioned: 'Sell the kids for food'. No irony here. In a world plagued by the abuse of children, it is depressing, because what troubles Kurt was and is still real.
It is terrible that someone so obviously sick, so mentally deranged, so angry and unstable, should not have been helped further and beyond his wonderful work with his band. It might be that those around him will maintain that these scribblings were private and that at other times he kept such strange outpourings to himself. But if that is the case, I wonder at the result of publishing them now. It has the effect of unfairly accusing everyone around him of ostrich-like denial or ignorance.
When Cobain was in deep trouble with heroin addiction in 1993, I was visiting New York regularly in connection with my own child-abuse story, Tommy , which had hit Broadway. I met Michael Azerrad who had written Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Azerrad asked if I would contact Cobain, who was in constant danger of overdosing. I had chosen this year to give booze another gentle try after 11 years. When Azerrad approached me, I was not drunk, nor unsympathetic, but I did not make the necessary judgment I would make today that an immediate 'intervention' was required to save his life.
It is desperately sad for me to sit here, 57 years old, and contemplate how often wasteful are the deaths of those in the rock industry. We find it so hard to save our own, but must take responsibility for the fact that the message such deaths as Cobain's sends to his fans is that it is in some way heroic to scream at the world, thrash a guitar, smash it up and then overdose.
Read this book to see that the human spirit, even at its most sublime, can effect monumental damage on itself and its fellow souls if addiction enters the story. I mourn for Kurt. A once beautiful, then pathetic, lost and heroically stupid boy. Hard rock indeed.
Monday, November 04, 2002
As a side note, can anyone tell me why all these dating shows' web site are pretty much online dating services?
Friday, November 01, 2002
Barry White Seeking Kidney Donor
Soulful singer Barry White is fighting back against his health problems - and is on the lookout for a kidney donor. The Walrus Of Love, 58, suffered kidney failure and a stroke in September and reports recently suggested his condition was worsening. But the "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe" singer's manager Ned Shankman says White is recovering well. Shankman says, "I see him every day, and he's doing better every day. He's a candidate for transplant. We're still looking for a match." Potential donors include White's own children, Shankman said.
Great news for Christopher Lee!
The Official Christopher Lee Web is very proud to announce that Mr. Lee will be receiving tomorrow in Vienna the highest distinction of his acting career. You will hear about it in the World’s media on Saturday night, but here is the first official and authorised press release. Mr Lee is the only winner allowed to announce his award before hand due to the fact that his is very special. Our most sincere congratulations, this is really greater than we have anticipated.
Vienna. Tomorrow Saturday 2nd November 2002, the Annual World Awards will be hosted for the 3rd time by President Mikhail S. Gorbachev. He will be presenting Mr. Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE with The Lifetime Achievement Award for his work and contribution to drama over the last 56 years, up to and including 2002. The voting assembly is composed by 8 committee members and an international jury of 250 voting members. Mr Lee was chosen by all 8 committee members and approved personally by the President himself. This year’s jury include Maximillan Schell, Steven Spielberg, José Carreras and many other prominent figures. Past winners in different categories include Steven Spilberg, Lucciano Pavarotti, Sir Richard Branson and other world greats.
Thursday, October 31, 2002
Scene: Westfield NJ
Emily and two female co-workers jaywalk through traffic to get to the Jolly Trolley Tavern. For lunch. Polite man in car rolls down his window and asks "Do you know the way to the Garden State Parkway?"
Emily: We do not have sex for money.
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
VH1 has pulled the plug on the "Liza & David" show after weeks of frustration trying to deal with David Gest - a svengali who continually restricted access to his new bride, Liza Minnelli.
"We discovered what a lot of people already knew: David Gest is impossible to work with," said a source close to the aborted reality show. "David Gest redefines the term 'control freak.' He was almost insane."
The heavily hyped cable show was originally supposed to debut Dec. 8, then was pushed back to January. Yesterday, VH1 lawyers wrote to Gest's lawyers informing them the deal was off because Gest had breached the contract repeatedly.
"In light of your . . . inability to cure these breaches, it is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you that we have no choice but to terminate the agreement," the letter states.
Rob Weiss, VH1's head of East Coast programming and development and one of the show's executive producers, told PAGE SIX:
"We've made the decision not to move forward with the 'Liza & David' show on VH1. Although we continue to believe that Liza is an amazing talent, we were not given the cooperation that we were promised."
Weiss would say no more, but insiders said Gest:
* Kept Minnelli locked in their apartment. "She'd want to come out to shoot, and he wouldn't let her," said one source.
* Banned Liza from watching dailies.
* Made the crew take off their shoes and wear surgical booties inside the apartment.
Gest was such a "neat freak," insiders said, he once ordered a female member of the VH1 crew to stick her head in the oven to examine some dirt.
Another time, Gest made a crew member stand with a portable vacuum cleaner while a hole was drilled in a plaster wall.
But the worst problem was lack of access. "This went beyond creative differences," said our insider. "He canceled us about 20 times. He had a bodyguard stand outside to keep the crew out."
Gest would call producers as late as 2 a.m. and everything would be worked out, "but he'd break every promise in the morning," our source said.
Producers didn't get inside to start setting up until three days before an Oct. 21 party Gest threw, and never saw the guest list - Dominick Dunne, Isaac Mizrahi, Lynn Wyatt, Sandra Bernhard, Liz Smith and Cynthia McFadden - in advance.
Ray Charles and Luther Vandross both performed, but Gest refused to give the microphone to chart-topping teen Michelle Branch or Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child.
"Gest refused to listen to our producers," our source said. "He thought he knew best."
Monday, October 28, 2002
I saw The Ring on Friday. It's an urban legend piece, sort of like Candyman, in this case featuring a video that after you watch it, the phone rings, telling you you have seven days to live. And then you die a week later. The delightful Naomi Watts, who didn't even get nominated for an Oscar for Mulholland Drive, stars as a reporter on the story, and who must have a death wish to want to pursue a story like that.
It scared the shit out of me. I practically spent the whole film on the lap of the guy sitting behind me. Having a beer with my friends afterwards felt like one long group exhale. And that was despite some of the more ridiculous parts of the movie. The video in question was art-school goth crap, and the idea of a spectral dead girl waiting for the answering machine and leaving a message was silliness up there with Hannibal Lecter's job search in Hannibal.
I hear the original Japanese version of The Ring is much better; if I see it I might end up giving birth.
Maybe I'm just whimping out in my old age or something.
Monday, October 28, 2002 Posted: 3:36 AM EST (0836 GMT)
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- A reckless driver killed six people when he hit a group of mourners, prompting surviving funeral-goers to stone him to death and try to set fire to his body, police said.
The driver crashed his BMW at speed into the group, which had just attended a funeral in the northwestern Limpopo province town of Klipgat on Sunday, and then tried to drive on, police Inspector Tyron Seate told Reuters on Monday.
He said four people were killed instantly and two more were pronounced dead on arrival at hospital, adding to the toll of thousands who die through reckless driving on South Africa's roads every year.
The mourners were so angry with the BMW's driver, who tried to drive on after the crash, that a crowd of about 500 hauled him from his car, stoned him to death by the side of the road, and attacked police who tried to stop the mob burning his body.
"When the police arrived on the scene to arrest him, we were also stoned by these people, and they fired shots towards us," Seate said.
"They didn't want police to intervene and rescue the driver. They had put him inside the boot of the car and were about to burn him...We had to use rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them."
Seate said members of the mob were too angry with police to answer questions about the crime. "We can't even talk to the witnesses because they are so furious with us."
An investigation into the incident was underway.
"A case of murder has been opened, as well as one of culpable homicide...I think the investigating officer will try and make a case against those who killed the driver," Seate said.
Friday, October 25, 2002
The people at Stuart's Coffee House remember John Allen Muhammad as a quiet chess player who never wanted to be apart from his big, stuffed, heavy U.S. Army duffel bag.
At this point, nobody can prove that the bag Muhammad was lugging around contained the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that police found in his car when he and 17-year-old John Lee Malvo were arrested at a Maryland rest stop early Thursday. By the end of the day, ballistics tests had tied that weapon to the bloody East Coast sniping spree that left 10 people dead.
But federal court records filed in Seattle indicate that Muhammad owned the weapon in question in May 2000, well before he and Malvo arrived in Bellingham.
The Rev. Al Archer, director of the Lighthouse Mission where Muhammad lived off and on for months, remembers him as a guy who made a good first impression - too good.
"On the surface he was squeaky clean," Archer said. "He was almost too good to believe. I kind of quit believing."
After he got to know Muhammad better, Archer grew so suspicious of his odd behavior that he suspected him of being part of a terrorist organization, and he called the FBI. But that was in October 2001, in the aftershock of the World Trade Center massacre, and Archer doesn't think he got the feds' attention.
"I felt they probably threw the note in the trash," he said.
At Stuart's, 1302 Bay St., suspicions were never aroused to that extent. Quirky people are hardly a novelty there, employees said.
Nobody ever got a peek inside Muhammad's duffel bag, but singer Hannah Parks, who often performs at Stuart's, said it seemed a lot heavier than it would have been if it only contained clothes. She also thought it sometimes made a metallic sound when Muhammad moved it around.
Mark Wendover and Ellie Savage, who work nights at Stuart's, said Muhammad wanted to take the duffel into the restroom with him, even though that's against the rules because of management's concerns about drug dealing. That didn't deter Muhammad.
"He snuck it into the back bathroom where we couldn't see it," Wendover said.
Although Muhammad spent time at the homeless shelter, he sometimes flashed a wallet thick with currency, and showed off expensive-looking watches and gold bracelets, Parks said.
At the mission, Archer said, Muhammad would stay for a few days and then leave, saying he was traveling to Denver and New Orleans, among other places. The odd part was that Muhammad was traveling by airplane. Archer learned that when an airline ticket agent called the mission asking for Muhammad.
"At the mission, not many airline agents call and ask for residents," Archer said.
Muhammad's frequent flier status seemed odd to other people. One of them was Greg Grant, a real estate agent in Bellingham who owns and manages an apartment complex about two miles south of Sumas on Highway 9. Last year, Grant said, he would often drive residents of Lighthouse Mission - including Muhammad on several occasions - to the apartments to do yard work and other chores, then back to the mission once the work was done.
Once, Muhammad told Grant that he had to travel a long distance, possibly to Jamaica or the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, to sign some papers on a land sale, Grant said. Grant said he wondered why Muhammad would fly to do that when the job could be handled by mail.
In the post 9-11 climate, Archer felt it was worth a call to the FBI.
"I felt like he was part of an organization. I felt like he had some connection with terrorists. ... I said he's got connections somewhere with somebody who's got money," Archer remembered telling the FBI.
He also contacted Bellingham police with his concerns.
"We both agreed there was something not right, but there was nothing they could nail him with," Archer said.
Archer said he can't help but wonder what would have happened if his concerns had been taken more seriously.
"I always figured we would read about John in the news," he said. "He was involved in something. He wasn't just an average, ordinary guy. ... If he had been stopped at that time, a lot of people would be alive who are not."
Visit by mother
Also in the fall or early winter of 2001, Archer said he first made the acquaintance of Una James, who told Archer that she was Malvo's mother. Archer said she arrived in Bellingham with five packing crates of belongings.
"She said she had come bag and baggage to Bellingham to try and get her son back," Archer said.
But James had immigration problems. When she tried to check into Agape Women's & Children's Home, the mission's lodgings for homeless women, immigration agents were waiting to take her into custody. She eventually got back to Bellingham and was reunited with Malvo, Archer said. But it didn't last long.
He was sketchy on details, but at some point James and Malvo were arrested again in Seattle, and Malvo eventually was released and wound up with Muhammad again. James eventually made it back to Bellingham to reclaim her five packing boxes from the mission warehouse, but she then left the city for good, without her son.
Another indicator of possible danger arose when Muhammad and Malvo reportedly began talking to people about violent plots. Bellingham lawyer Patrick Lackie said a client of his, Harjeep Singh, met Muhammad and Malvo and struck up a friendship while exercising at Whatcom Family YMCA.
But Singh was soon put off by the men's "anti-American statements," Lackie said. They also spoke of violent plans, but offered few details, the lawyer said.
"At some point, they had told him that they wanted to make a silencer and wanted to know if he would help them," Lackie said. "And they had said they had plans to shoot police.
"He didn't know if it was real or not, or if it was just talking big," Lackie said. "He really didn't know them. They seemed like decent guys on the outside."
Singh told the men, whom he knew as John and Lee Muhammad, that he didn't know how to make silencers for guns, and didn't want to be involved in their plans, Lackie said. He then distanced himself from the men, Lackie said.
In June, when Singh was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge, he told police about the conversations with Muhammad and Malvo, Lackie said. The police told the FBI, he said.
"They never told him they were going to do what they have just been accused of doing," the lawyer said. "They never told him of any specific plan, they basically conveyed ideas to him about things that they wanted to do or thought about doing.
"He didn't know if they were just huffing and puffing and mad at the government. But they said some bad things and obviously he thought enough of it that he told police about it."
Singh didn't think Muhammad and Malvo had anything to do with the sniper shootings near Washington, D.C., until he saw their photos on television Thursday, Lackie said.
According to federal court records, Muhammad told a former Army buddy four months ago that he tried to equip an assault rifle with a silencer.
Bellingham Police Chief Randy Carroll confirmed that Singh told police and FBI agents months ago about conversations he'd had with Malvo and Muhammad.
"It was pretty much just general information and certainly did not give us any indication that Mr. Malvo or Mr. Muhammad's future would lead them to where they are today," Carroll said. "The information he gave us did not lead us to a criminal investigation and in fact did not lead us anywhere."
The FBI and police went back and talked with Singh on Wednesday, Carroll said. He said Singh gave different information from what he said earlier, but would not elaborate.
"I think that Mr. Singh is trying to position himself in this community to be a bigger part of the totality of the circumstances than he truly is," Carroll said.
Kept to themselves
Besides the occasional issues with the duffel bag, Muhammad and Malvo didn't cause any trouble at Stuart's Coffee House, employees said. They mostly kept to themselves; they played chess, often until midnight closing time; and didn't mingle much, even with other chess players.
"I don't think I ever saw either of them smile," Savage said.
Muhammad was quiet and Malvo, whom Muhammad referred to as his stepson, seemed almost speechless.
"I thought (Muhammad) might be beating up his son or something because he (Malvo) was so intimidated by everything," Parks said. "The kid did not talk."
Some of Muhammad's ex-in-laws told the Associated Press that Muhammad was keeping the teen-ager on a diet of crackers, honey and nutritional supplements, and had earlier kept an older son on a similar martial regimen of exercise and spartan diet.
While Muhammad seldom called attention to himself, Parks also said Muhammad gave her some unwelcome attention. He almost seemed to be following her around, she said. Whenever she was at Stuart's, he would be there. When she moved her singing act out onto downtown streets, Muhammad would nearly always appear a few minutes later.
Muhammad also pestered her for her address and phone number, telling her that he was a music producer and he wanted to help her career.
"I asked him for a business card and he said he didn't have any," Parks said. "He said he played the trumpet and he had all these connections ... but he looked like a homeless guy, so it was sketchy."
Parks also said Muhammad tried to get her into conversations about politics and religion, subjects she said she prefers to avoid. He seemed even more interested in those subjects after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she said.
Although Parks wasn't interested in hearing his views at length, she does remember that "he definitely talked about how he wasn't into America."
He also passed out pro-Islamic fliers on the street from time to time, she said.
While local authorities have said they believe Muhammad and Malvo left Bellingham for good about nine months ago, after his last stint at Lighthouse Mission, Wendover and Savage are nearly certain the pair were at Stuart's around April and May. And Parks insists they were there as late as June.
She remembers Muhammad trying to convince her to drive cross-county with him. But her interest in that proposition was zero.
"Anybody with that much money who's roughing around on the street, you gotta wonder about," she said.
Like many sons, Kim didn't always want to follow in his father's footsteps. What he really wants to do is direct. Kim's video library reputedly contains between 15,000 and 20,000 films, and in 1973 he wrote a 300-page book on film, titled On the Subject of the Cinema. In a less academic vein, he authorized the separate kidnappings of a South Korean movie director and his wife in 1978. After keeping them apart for five years (with neither knowing of the other's whereabouts), Kim reunited them and explained that he hoped to turn North Korea into some kind of East Asian Hollywood with their help. The three made six movies together before the two captives escaped, including one that won a best-director award at a Czechoslovakian film festival. In a 1994 interview with the Los Angeles Times, the liberated actress-wife said Kim could have been a top-notch movie producer had fate not led him down the path of totalitarian dictatorship. "We nicknamed him 'micro-manager,' " she said. "He pays attention to everything. He keeps track of everything. He is simply amazing."
Oct 23, 9:13 am ET
BERLIN (Reuters) - A German policewoman snared a wanted criminal after she arranged a blind date with him, police said Tuesday.
The policewoman found the 29-year-old man's mobile phone number and landed a date after flirting with him, said a police spokesman.
"It all began as a wrong number call, which then turned into a conversation, and eventually a date in a bar downtown," he said.
The criminal -- wanted in the town of Recklinghausen, north of Cologne, for crimes worth a total of three years behind bars if he is convicted -- not only fell for the ploy, but turned up "all dressed up," he said.
The policewoman arrested the man at the end of the date, surrounded by other police officers who had been posing as fellow revelers.
The police spokesman could not confirm whether there had been mutual attraction. He said: "In any case, it was all purely professional."
Things overheard at the STD clinic
by Paul Demko
The quotes below are complaints reported by clients of Room 111, a public health clinic in St. Paul that treats people for sexually transmitted diseases. Nurses at the clinic began creating the list two decades ago; it now includes several hundred comments.
"I have reason to believe my penis was exposed to LSD. When I ejaculate I have flashbacks."
"My hair is falling out and the sun hurts my crotch."
"I went to a party, had a few beers, woke up in a closet later on and my face stunk and my dick hurt."
"My last period looked like meat."
"My balls feel soft and mushy."
"I be messin' with these nasty women from Minnesota and they don't tell you they got something unless they mad at you."
"How am I supposed to do lap dances smelling like a dead fish?"
"I got the dripper."
"I have food chunks in my urine."
"Had sex with my daughter's fiancé and then douched with Lysol--feelin' a little raw down there."
"Scabs on my butt and I'm losing my mind."
"I'm releasing semen when I take a crap."
"I was poked in the rectum with the infected finger of a 70-year-old homosexual man."
"I live at the VA and my roommate has his girlfriend from Minneapolis over. They throw ticks at me that bite my neck and when I pop the sores, they smell like vagina juice."
"Can't you put the swab in further?"
"I had sex with my baby's momma, sex with my other baby's momma and my other new baby's momma has disease."
"Last time I had sex I passed something that looked like Cream of Wheat before it's cooked."
"My cervix hurts when I jiggle."
"The seam in my circumcision split open."
"I be messin' with my ex-wife and my girlfriend and I don't trust either of them."
"My whole body smells like a menstruating woman, especially my armpits."
"From the looks of my penis, I believe they are sucking the adrenaline out of me."
"I think they hypnotized me and put implants and poltergeists in my brain and had sex with me."
"I think my boyfriend knows what's going on. He's been calling me a 'chlamydiahoris.'"
"My pee smells like ham."
Thursday, October 24, 2002
CAKEByte - The G-Money Shot
For the past generation getting the word out on female sexual pleasure meant unveiling the clitoris as a primary female pleasure spot and thus the surest way to orgasm. In emphasizing its inherent usefulness, there arose some heated debate about the difference between orgasms that came from external stimulation vs. internal stimulation - with some going so far as to refer to the internal orgasm as a myth. CAKE is here to tell you that there is no reason to mythologize the truth...but then again, why spend your time looking for the proverbial unicorn when you can find the white horse.
Though there has not been nearly enough research to announce groundbreaking results that will change the face of human sexuality - there has been a bit of research done on the g-spot since it was "found" by Dr. Graftenwhosehisname in 1950. In present times, the most recent hypothesis by some is the proposition that the external clitoris that we all know and love is actually, anatomically a large (4 or 5 inches) internal organ that wraps around the vaginal canal and stems all the way down the thighs! A figurative wishbone structure begging to be handled correctly. Who knew? The clitoris is an animal waiting to be stroke from the inside!
But don't fret - you don't have to choose. Further research shows that the g-spot - elusive to some and well known to others - is not entirely unrelated to the clitoris and that stimulation of one can mean stimulation of the other. Some experts have gone so far as to say that it is time, again to focus on internal stimulation and discover how the g-spot - and ejaculation as a result of g-spot stimulation - is the primary pleasure goal.
Hey, we're not here to fight. In fact, these recent developments in female pleasure mean a girl has got some options. And if you don't know the facts, you can't get the job done.
The medical profession has accepted the g-spot or as they like to say the 'female prostate' as a real and functioning female organ that ejaculates. The g-spot itself is commonly known to be a bean-shaped area on the front wall of the vagina, about 1.5 inches above the opening.
It is known that the main component of the g-spot is the urethral sponge tissue, which surrounds the female urethra and which swells during sexual arousal. When swollen, this tissue can, in some women, be felt and stimulated through the vaginal wall in the area described as the g-spot.
The urethral sponge develops from the same embryonic stem tissue as the prostate gland in men (which is the organ affected by stimulating the "male g-spot"), and some of the secretions observed in female urethral ejaculation during g-spot orgasms are chemically similar to male prostate secretions.
The tissue swells during arousal. This may stimulate nerves in the area, and may also involve the internal portions of the clitoris. So the swelling of the tissue can produce pleasant sensations. Stimulating the tissue, commonly by pressing it through the vaginal wall, can further stimulate it
"Since the prostate in most women is ramp shaped and located just at the opening to the urethra and runs along the urethral canal about 1/3 of the way in, one can easily claim they are 'clitorally stimulating and ejaculating', when in fact they are also stimulating their g-spot." - Says Deborah Sundahl (aka Fanny Fatale) in her new book, 'Female Ejaculation and the G-Spot', due out from Hunter House in December.
How to find your G-spot:
Using a finger (or two,) go inside and feel along the front wall of the vagina. Once inside, rest your fingertips on the slightly ridged area just behind the pubic bone and press upwards lightly. Move your fingers subtly until you start to feel a small bean-shaped swelling. Vary the pressure, speed, and pattern of movement. Try moving your fingers side to side or in small circles. Point your fingers more sharply upwards and rock them forward and back. Use your thumb to rub the clitoris, and the first two fingers to simultaneously stimulate the g-spot. Repeat often, alone or with a partner.
Tip: When the g-spot is stimulated, it swells. You can see your g-spot, even its ridges, by getting a clear plastic speculum and turning it sidewise once it is inserted into the vagina. One of the best positions for many women to stimulate the g-spot with a partner is the classic - wheelbarrow position on your back with your legs over your head.
How to ejaculate:
According to a random study, supposedly 20% of all women have the ability to ejaculate. However the actual mechanism and physiology is not definitively known. More research is undoubtedly needed....In any case, yes, women have the potential to ejaculate. (No blushing boys.)
"Women can learn to ejaculate by themselves without an orgasm by stimulating the g-spot with their fingers and then pushing out the ejaculate. Most women will feel an urge to pee, but that urge is ejaculate knocking on the door, not urine! Strong and healthy PC muscles (pelvic muscles), amount of stimulation, and ability to relax and not fear one will pee will allow a woman to ejaculate and often determines its amount."
- Deborah Sundahl.
Again, knowing our bodies and learning and exploring its potential should be the message here.
The clitoral truth? Well no one really knows for sure. Much more research needs to be done. There are scores of women out there who tell us that all they need is a few strokes on their external clitoris (can take as little as 30 seconds!) and boom - a mind blowing 10 second orgasm that rocks their world. Other women like to stimulate the clitoris and g-spot at the same time for maximum pleasure. As far as CAKE is concerned, it is not an either or situation, but rather it's all about YOUR pleasure - so figure out what gets you off and explore your orgasmic potential. Go seek out your own "G money shot."