This morning something occurred to me that I hadn’t thought about before. I was watching Wonder Woman, as I do every morning before I go to work. The Chinese Communists had captured Diana Prince and were tying her up. Diana had to just let them tie her up because of course she couldn’t turn herself into Wonder Woman right there in front of them – it would give away her secret identity.

Or would it? Wonder Woman’s golden lasso compels people to tell the truth, but she also uses it to make people forget things. Why not turn into Wonder Woman, make them forget that they just saw her turn into Wonder Woman, and then kick their commie asses?

Is there an ethical issue? Is it against the rules back on Paradise Island? Is Diana Prince extremely modest? Or would doing that eliminate the requisite scenes where Diana escapes, runs behind a tree and turns into Wonder Woman in “privacy” and then kicks their commie asses. This sequence is formulaic and yet always awkward and never quite believeable – even in the TV Superhero Universe. Changing the forumla would have required the writers to come up with more – and different – scenes to fill out the episode and would have thrown everything out of whack, I guess

I missed the ass-kicking scene since I had to run and take a shower. When I came back Diana Prince was having dinner with the Chinese Communist leader and the couple who had captured her in the first place. They were having a fine time and the leader, General SomethingOrAnother had given his blessing for the couple to disappear into Chinatown and not be commies anymore.

I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on at the end of the episode and neither could Husband, who was stupified, sitting in the lazyboy sucking down coffee and looking totally perplexed. And he’d seen the whole thing. Some things are better left a mystery, I guess.

I think part of the problem was that our resistance was down. We tried watching back-to-back episodes of the Love Boat last night and I believe we may have actually injured ourselves in some way.

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“A German couple was watching a Formula One motor racing duel between Michael Schumacher and his brother Ralf on television so intently that they didn’t hear burglars who broke into their house at the same time.”

And yet you still make fun of our love of NASCAR. I can say, without question, that this has not happened to us. Ever. That we know of.

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I ventured into a brave new world yesterday. Wallpaper. I’m not Martha and it wasn’t a pretty scene. It was just a border – prepasted at that. It wasn’t hard once I got the hang of it, but it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had either. When I was first looking at wallpaper a helpful fellow shopper assured me that her 8 year old twin daughters had put up their own borders without incident. (This has nothing to do with anything, but I want to point out that the woman with the 8 year old twin daughters had infants – triplets – in a stroller. The whole fertility drug thing is out of hand.)

I was skeptical of the 8 year old story, having once been a participant-observer for my neighbor’s wallpaper adventures. But they used grown-up wallpaper – the kind that covers the whole wall and requires that paste stuff. My job was to keep the greyhound out of the paste. I was highly succesful. Unfortunately, I somehow ended up coated in paste.

But my task was going to be easy, right? 8 year olds can do this. Here are the things I learned you need for a succesful and fulfilling pre-pasted/wallpaper-for-idiots experience: a damp, clean sponge, a bucket of water (or some other nearby watersource), a stable stepladder, and a well-developed vocabulary of obscenities. Add a very needy and spoiled housecat to that mix and you’ve got yourself a whole afternoon of fun. I want to point out that I needed 3 packages of paper to do the whole office. The first package had no instructions so I improvised.

Then I found that in each of the other 2 packages – which were otherwise identical – there were completely different (and conflicting) instructions. Completely. One package said to immerse the paper for 6 seconds and then let it set up for 10 mintues before sticking it to the wall. Another said wet it down with a damp sponge and then press to wall.

At that point I decided that the method I improvised worked out okay so I stuck with it. My method: cut section, preferably in a straight line; run section under faucet in bathroom sink; race back into room without dripping paste onto upright bass laying in middle of floor; climb ladder while cat tries to make you fall; hang up section; smooth out airbubbles with sponge; swear a lot as you match seams; retreat from ladder; drink beer; repeat. Using my method the process just gets easier and easier the farther you get around the room. The hangover the next morning, however, is a bitch.

Tomorrow: why naked housecleaning really is the superior method!

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I’ve come to the realization that I have a problem. Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery, right? Well here goes…

I was very nearly late for work today because I got sucked into a movie on TV. Not an edgy new Film by an edgy new director on the Sundance channel. Not even a poignant and witty (and edited for TV, I hate that) Film on Bravo. No. This was a movie. A plain old, theatrically-released movie.

Deep breath. I can do this.

I was nearly late for work this morning because I had trouble tearing myself away from BLACK SHEEP. I was sitting on my couch, drinking coffee, and laughing at a movie that starred Chris Farley and David Spade.

Okay. Now this is the part where you all gather tearfully around me and embrace me and tell me everything is going to be o-kay, right?

Wait! Where are you going? Why are you backing away? Come back! You must embrace me! I’ve admitted I have a problem. It’s time for our Tearful Moment Together.

That didn’t go so well, did it? I guess I’ll just finish my lunch break and slink on back to work.

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I enjoyed the Jaws reissue on DVD so much the other night that I felt compelled to watch the Jaws 2 reissue. I rented this one, I did not buy it. Let’s be clear – I may be crazy but I’m not stupid.

Jaws 2 was pretty awful. I knew it was bad going in, but I really didn’t remember it being this, well, awful.

There’s a fine line between bad and awful. But if you can transcend mere awfulness, you can reach the sublime state of Bad, which is more good than bad, really.

I believe I’ve explained all this to you before. My problem was that I had 4 mixed up with Jaws 3/3-D (the one at Sea World) which was was a bad/good interlude bordering on Bad before the franchise descended into bad/awful territory in Jaws 4D, wherein our hero pursues Brody’s widow and a drunk pilot played by Michael Caine to the ends of the earth.

You think the shark isn’t our hero? Oh baby, you haven’t seen all 4 of these in a row in a while have you? Yikes.

This took a deeper toll on me than the time we watched all of the Planet of the Apes movies – in their entirety – more than once over the course of one weekend. I thought I was made of stronger stuff but clearly I was mistaken. How do I know this? Because after I finished viewing Jaws 2 I got it into my head that watching a series of inferior sequels in one stretch was a good idea.

I not only watched Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, but I laughed. I didn’t laugh nearly as hard at Ace as I did at my next selection, the unintentionally hilarious Halloween 2.

I swear to you Donald Pleasance is method acting and has apparently been given the instruction to feel the pain of Cornelius in Escape from the Planet the Apes. He delivers a line and then shuffles off in this lurching way I can’t describe. Why does he walk that way? We never see his feet, maybe he’s wearing McDowell’s Ape-suit feet, necessitating the otherwise illogical loping/shuffling gait but still not explaining why he swings his arms that way. I simply don’t get it. Neither does Jamie Lee Curtis, which may be why her character spends the whole film hiding not only from her brother, but everyone else in the cast.

Do not try this at home, that’s all I have to say.

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I still hate Sex and the City as much as ever. I struggled through a whole episode the other night, sans martini no less, and barely lived to tell. My dislike of this show goes back to my desire to avoid annoying people. If I expend this much energy avoiding them in real life, why would I want to waste my precious TV-watching time on them? On this subject, see also: Seinfeld, Will and Grace and 60 Minutes. Also, Wolf Blitzer Reports.

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“Indy Chief Apologizes for Anthem” [link dead]

I saw this headline and I was so pleased. I thought that they were actually apologizing for allowing Steven Tyler to sing the National Anthem in the first place. I had my hopes up this would lead to an apology from the entire music business for inflicting Tyler’s voice on an unsuspecting public for years.

Tyler, for those who missed it, proved that O-Town’s rendition of the Anthem at the start of the Daytona 500 could in fact have been much, much worse. I don’t have any particular attachment to the Star-Spangled Banner and even I find these little celebrity appearances revolting.

Sadly, it wasn’t what I expected. According to Reuters Indy 500 official Tony George was only apologizing to individuals who may have been offended by Tyler’s decision to change a phrase.

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You know who scares me more than your garden variety True Believers? Converts. I don’t care if it’s Weight Watchers, Religion, smoking, alcohol, you name it. The people who’ve Seen The Light are the ones you have to watch out for, and the ones who are often most difficult to avoid.

On the other hand, they can provide you with a lot of entertainment bang for your buck. John Travolta’s tribute to scientology (aka Battlefield Earth) was so ham-fisted and awful that it was awe-inspiring. And it pleased me no end that other people finally realized why this guy’s career tanked the first time around. He sucks! Holy crap! How come we didn’t notice that before?

Here’s my new favorite example, “Prince Swears off Cursing”. [link dead] The article ends with the sentence “Jehovah’s Witnesses are an apocalyptic group that interprets the Bible differently than traditional Christian organizations.” That’s a pretty good spin on the whole JW thing. That statement shows some journalistic craftsmanship that’s been pretty lacking lately. I’m not sure what I expected to be at the end of the article.

It could have gone a couple of different ways. Usually, reporters take the snarky post-religious tack and write something along the lines of, “Jehova’s Witnesses are raving nutcases who have ridiculous beliefs, dress badly, and are fun to torment on Sunday morning when they show up at your front door to witness to you.” Or, they engage in old-fashioned fear-mongering, “Jehova’s Witnesses plan to sacrifice your virgin daughter on Halloween in anticipation of the second coming of Jesus.” Frankly, I was more prepared for the doomsday/lock up your daughters scenario.

Maybe we’re done seeing cults – satanic or otherwise – under every rock? Maybe someone finally figured out that you give a group power by demonizing them and giving them an “us against them” mystique to build up their believer base? Maybe mocking religious choices will loose it’s appeal as a journalistic hook? No, all of that sells papers. Prince supplies such an abundance of material for mocking that religion doesn’t even need to enter in to the equation.

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Not the book, the disease. I’m like an old lady in West Palm. Let me tell you about my aches and pains.

It was, to say the least, an unproductive weekend. Still sick. TV viewing choices spiralling into a black hole. At one point Saturday I even watched Lifetime. Yes, Lifetime. Lifetime: television for women. Television for women who find sexist crap “empowering.” We tried to watch some crappy Made For TV movie starring Shannon “Don’t Call Me Brenda” Doherty and Kevin “I’m Not Matt” Dillon.

Sadly, it was merely crappy and not, as I’d hoped, truly craptacular. It was called Gone in the Night and let me tell you it should have been. It was one of those missing-children movies. We had to turn it off after Husband turned to me and said “I don’t even have kids and this crap stresses me out. Why do people watch this junk?”

Thankfully, we were able to tune into HBO, which was showing Arlington Road, a good old-fashioned “your neighbors are terrorists” movie that the whole family could enjoy.

Sunday, we spied on the neighbors. They seem to buy a lot of charcoal. And they sing show tunes in their backyard. We’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Last night we were able to pull ourselves up out of bad-TV hell by popping in the special edition DVD of Jaws. Isn’t it amazing? That movie doesn’t have a single flashy actor in it and yet it’s one of the greatest movies of all time. Go figure.

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