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MONORAIL: MONTHLY VIEW [current]   [random]
WEB (permalink) 05.31.2001
barnes and noble, here i come
First Volvo, then Chips Ahoy and now Amazon. What is it with these successful companies that have a good thing going and then have to go and wreck it by changing some major aspect of their business? With amazon, I agreed to look the other way when they announced the revision of their privacy statement, which essentially stated they would maintain your privacy unless someone was willing to pay them to not maintain it. I will not be so forgiving on this annoying ad box that pops up every time I visit their page now. I?m glad to see one of the most popular and usable sites on the web de-evolve into a less functional utility after defining the model to so many e-business efforts. Keep up the amateur dot work amazon dot com.

FILM (permalink) 05.30.2001
still not done
pearl harbor is superficial, melodramatic and too long -- and that's the good news.
toronto sun

would WWII sailors use a phrase like "you the man!"?

call it WWII lite.
palo alto weekly

the dialogue is so unrelentingly banal as to make one reconsider whether...titantic was really all that bad.
kansas city star

I had to take a shower after the film just to get all the damn sap off of me.
michaelcosm reviews

sure, it'll be this year's titantic. funny, 'cause it sinks just the same.
e! online

perhaps they should have called this bore-a, bore-a, bore-a.
washington post

the kind of crap that deserves to be slapped silly.
flick filosopher

Pearl Harbor could be viewed as educational, but only by the same people who were surprised to learn, via Schindler's List, that many Jews died in camps during WWII.
jam showbiz

now i'm done.

FILM (permalink) 05.29.2001
I'm not done yet
Let the lambasting continue.

FILM (permalink) 05.28.2001
Oh Ben, Ben, Ben. Whatever were you thinking?
Pearl Horrible was as much about the historical event it's named after as Leprechaun was to good acting. I'm afraid to launch into a discussion about the insulting nature of this film because I have to be back at work in two days and don't want to be late. But then again, why choose now to start showing up on time.

Historical Accuracy: Had to look at my movie ticket to even remember what the subject was.

Character Development: the show Small Wonder bested this film's finest moment.

Storyline: I kept waiting for Maverick, Goose, Viper and Iceman to round the corner.

Special Effects: Very good but they would have had to dunk you under water and whiz bullets past your head to compensate for all the other flatline areas.

Equation: (((Days of Thunder / 10) + (Independence Day x 2000) + (Halloween x 2)) x 3.14) - ((Saving Private Ryan x 4000) - (JFK / 100) - (Das Boot + (infinitiy))) = Pearl Harbor

Best Moment: When someone in the theater pulled the fire alarm forcing an evacuation.

Worst Moment: That they didn't pull the alarm five minutes into the film, instead of five minutes from the end.

Good Gracious!

FILM (permalink) 05.27.2001
don't crazy people take showers anymore
I watched Girl Interrupted tonight. I found the movie disturbing on multiple levels. While it is unreasonable to be bombarded with images of Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie running around in slumber wear and being chastised in bathtubs by an afro-sportin' Whoopi it is entirely unreasonable to have them exchanging an adolescent kiss while riding in a VW Vanagon. Come on guys, no hitting in the face.

On a less serious note, this was one of those sequentially disjointed films I know many of you abhor. But, don't sweat it because the networks know your pain given the tv version of the Godfather II where they cut all the interspersed flashbacks and put them in sequential order to ease the wear and tear on their living room audiences. You can't sell ad time if the viewers don't understand the picture show. Conversely though, I think it would be interesting to take a film that was presented normally and muck it all up, turning it into one of these time-challenged pieces. How many whos in whoville could follow Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time if the mall scene came after the sword fight...It was worse than I imagined.

I also wish my first name was Wings.

COMPUTER (permalink) 05.26.2001
gut rehab
Gave my palm and email environments an overhaul tonight. Blew everything out and started from scratch, upgrading all the way. PalmOS 3.50, Palm Desktop 4.0, Eudora 5.1, HackMaster v09, MiddleCaps Hack, PadLock Hack, Select Hack, Big Clock, Space Invaders, Pocket Chess and best of all Showtimes. Man do I love having a clean palm in my palm.

PERSONAL (permalink) 05.25.2001
this toothbrush is hardly used
It?s kind of lonely around my neighborhood now that Washington University has let out for the summer. We live on a major student thoroughfare and typically see a steady stream of kids traveling to and from the campus, but have the place all to ourselves in the steamy months ahead while the student body returns home to summer jobs and hometown friends.

A curious sideshow to this annual rite can be found in the local dumpster divers who use this changing of the guard as an opportunity to furnish and modernize their own homes with the remnants of these transient residents. These not-too-proud opportunists range from the lowly homeless guy who routinely visits these receptacles to the gaggle of Asian cooperatives who descend upon these unmanned garage sales like the Sand People of Star Wars. This latter operation proves a greater spectacle given the orchestrated nature of their process. They move in bands and make quick work of a bounty but unfortunately, like copulating squirrels, these projects are a not often witnessed given their skilled and organized methodology.

TELEVISION (permalink) 05.24.2001
you want it so bad, you can have it.
I may have spoke to soon on the tv boycott. A friend filled me in on buffy's last show of the year. I guess after the WB lost the show to UPN they decided to make the season finale a series finale by killing off buffy. Ahhhh! What kind of resurrection spell is willow going to have to craft to raise miss buffy from the grave? Good luck UPN writers.

TELEVISION (permalink) 05.23.2001
i don't need no stinking picture box
Our tele gave out the other night. While we have sound there is just one line of pixels painting across the center of the screen. After a brief discussion, walt and I decided to try life sans television for awhile and see what came of it. This agreement was partially based on the very lackluster season finales of Friends and Will and Grace, the last shows to occupy our screen.

In attempt to wean ourselves off the teat of sitcom-mania we?ve tried just listening to shows. This experiment has only proven moderately successful. While some shows lend themselves to this design (news or talk), action shows (i.e. buffy, x-files) do not transfer with the same efficacy. We?ll see. If we do opt to pony up for some new digital digs, I personally want to be the first person on the planet to own a phillips flatscreen plasma television and tivo running off of rabbit ears.

HUMOR, ART (permalink) 05.22.2001
paint by prime number art
I spent last week up in St Paul on a work gig. In the facility I was located they threw gobs of art up on the walls to lessen the Orwellian effects of the cube city these folks work in. Before this trip I've heard tell of those starving artist shows but never thought anyone went let alone purchased the stuff. The majority of the pieces represented here could have been painted by your grandmother or the shut-in next door.

One work in particular caught my eye. I passed it, stopped, took a few steps back and found myself studying it for what could have been three minutes. I later called a colleague over and asked what he thought was going on in this scene. He proclaimed ignorance but was pretty sure they were standing on the cheek of the guy in the Norelco commercials.

HUMOR (permalink) 05.21.2001
Laughing out loud once a day is good for your heart
If Kathleen Madigan stops at a town near you, consider her a must see. I caught her show Saturday night and the woman who is often called the funniest 'female' comic in the country, may very well check in with the top 10 comics, gal or guy, in our illustrious and demanding nation sharing slots with the likes of carlin, miller, rock and seinfeld. Her unique delivery leaves you feeling as though you've just hung out with her at a party for an hour and she floored you with her valley drawl and self-deprecating tales.

The opening comic of the night, whose name evades me, actually painted the best image of the evening when he compared the water in a hot tub at a strip joint to the liquid aftermath of making a hot dog. If you've ever gazed into the murky swill left behind one of these phallic shaped burgers, you know exactly what he means.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 05.15.2001
The New Tony the Tiger
Isabella Walter DeArmitt

SOCIETY (permalink) 05.14.2001
Kill em all!
I was reading an article about what to do when squirrels are devastating your lawn by digging holes in the quest for nuts. This piqued my interest a touch because as of late I?m finding myself wandering around my front lawn muttering to myself about these evenly distributed divots in my otherwise well manicured turf as result of these cuddly tree warriors. Anyway after the problem was posed the very next sentence read: ?Squirrels are not an endangered species.? Aaaahhhhh! I hate that. First the Indians, now the squirrels. Murder out of inconvenience truly revolts me.

FILM (permalink) 05.13.2001
I want my five dollars
What has Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gandolfini, Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore and successfully achieved what Heat could not?

If you answered True Romance, you?re not half the slouch one would think given your practice of reading this website. While not for the sleight of heart or those who did not enjoy films such as The Bad Lieutenant or Blood and Concrete: A Love Story this modest work successfully made use of its preverbal who?s who of Hollywood?s more unique brand of player.

SOCIETY (permalink) 05.10.2001
and a look of serenity painted her face
So this person posed a question to me the other day. You?re leaving to head home on what should be about a 15-minute drive. Approximately halfway there you get stuck in a gridlocked traffic jam. One problem, you really had to go to the bathroom, number one, when you left but figured you could make it home in a reasonable time. Now you find yourself stuck here in this traffic. All the major obstacles apply; no facilities, no cover, no receptacle in the car and no sign of relief on the congestion. What do you do?

In honestly assessing the scenario, I wouldn?t have the gumption to stand next to my car or on the side of the road in plain sight and attend to my need; I would therefore have to loose the torrent in my britches. I was relieved to hear that this was this young woman?s solution as well. Man, do you know you took a wrong turn, when as an adult, you are purposely spreading that warm sensation in your lap. I really, really hope it never comes to that and going forward will always ensure I have a stale McDonalds cup rolling around in one of my foot wells.

WEB (permalink) 05.09.2001
Talk to you later (blech!)
One of my life mantras states that if it's memorable, it is your friend. Such was the case with an email I received last night in that it possessed one of my favorite sign-offs I've read in recent history.

Its 2:00am, so I'm going to go back to studying. Troy, as Alabama Worley once said, "I'm going to get hot and soapy and then watch x-rated movies 'till I get you back in my lovin' arms".


Thanks for the added thought j-man and in the immortal words of one Sailor Ripley I reply, "Ahh, hell peanut."

PERSONAL (permalink) 05.08.2001
The next fugative
One time while getting my car fixed a guy sat down next to me in the waiting room and started talking to/at me. While this is not a noteworthy event, what made this exchange odd was that this gentleman thought I was dating his daughter and asked me about an outing that apparently took place a few nights previous. He was working on his second question before realizing that I was not his progeny?s suitor (I?m real certain the dumbfounded look on my face clued him in). Now, while this fellow represents the guy who most thought I was someone else, he is definitely not alone in that I am often confused or likened to people who are not me.

Given the frequency of these sightings and a comment from a guy last week at lunch, I have compiled a list of the people that I have most commonly been compared to.

TRAVEL (permalink) 05.04.2001
Can you move a little to the left Sir?
Walt, Bella and I are off to Chicago for a few days. A few years ago Walt and I headed up there with some friends to do that whole biking Lakeshore Drive deal. We stayed in a youth hostel that had no hot water or sheets on the bed, almost knocked my bike off the roof of my car when entering a parking garage and got fleeced by a ticket scalper for Cubs tickets. Man, I love that city. And, I'm not being facetious here. I truly do love the city.

If you get a chance to ever bike Lakeshore Drive, I'd highly recommend it. Talk about a spectacle; grandiose skyscrapers, muscle beach, private airport, hippie entertainers, sand volleyball and suits eating lunch, this little jaunt truly contains it all. At one point in the ride I spied this pier deal which ran out into the water quite a way. Being the photo buff, I thought it would make for a great shot of the city with the water in the foreground, so I mounted my two-wheeled steed and peddled my way to the jut's precipice. Upon arriving there, my beautiful shot was mildly marred by what had to be a chi-town native.

STORYTIME (permalink) 05.03.2001
Is Turtle Wax in the hair care isle?
When I was 13 I found myself at the pool with several friends. We were at that annoy everyone else in the water age where we?d perform cannonballs and engage in bewildering splash fights without regard for other pool-goers. Upon arriving at our destination and losing our non-swimming garb, the first challenge of the day was to see who could swim underwater the furthest. So we all charged to the side of the pool and performed awkward dives over the little tikes hanging on the side and began a frenzied race along the pool floor, weaving around the legs of the less active.

Near the other side, contestant?s heads started surfacing, immediately looking around to see how they fared. I popped up a respectable second and was grinning at my accomplishment when one of my cohorts pointed at me and said, ?You were supposed to swim underwater DeArmitt.? I looked at him startled thinking some deception was at hand to pilfer my silver. ?What are you talking about, of course I swam underwater?. His reply was one I would never forget and that would haunt me for many school pictures to come. ?Then why?s your hair dry??

I raised my hand to feel my head only to find he was right. While everyone else?s hair was matted cleanly to their foreheads, mine still leapt wildly away from my skull. It was at that precise moment that the discovery process began, a process that ever confirmed that I was not like all the other boys in that I, unlike them, had water repellant hair.

SOCIETY (permalink) 05.01.2001
Summer School News
I hate the news. And, because I hate the news, I never watch or read the news. Well, that's not entirely true, I will occasionally catch myself watching the 10 o'clock atrocity or reading the front page of the times. Each exposure leaves me curious how so many people regularly subscribe to this poison bullet. It's grotesquely depressing and 95% does not even pertain to the general public, weather representing 4% of what is applicable and what are you going to do about that anyway. Now before you start tisk tisking me too much allow me to reveal that I'm not a total dullard living under a rock of voluntary ignorance.

I treat news like many people treat viewable television. I wait for a show to receive national buy-in, or friendly buy-in at least, before committing my time to it. I wait to hear what's hopping and then bring it up in passing to one of my more scholarly friends. What then transpires is an individual and personalized telling of the tragedy of the week complete with hindsight analysis as well as the speaker's speculatory impressions. Today, I received my update on this row we're having with China. If that's not a Clancy novel in the making, I don't know that hack half as well as I think I do. Almost simultaneously I stumbled upon this letter to China, which certainly proved more humorous given my 12-minute crash course on the topic.

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