less charming and more strange than your average blog

January 30, 2004

No, THIS is the scariest thing 


I understand that, lately, the subject matter covered in this blog has basically consisted of either (a) complaining about film theory, or (b) nun-clowns. And I'm sorry about that. I really am. I understand that many of you do not find this entertaining. I really am trying to find the time to branch out again.


I can't not show you this. Because my shit is so freaked out right now, it could be months before I sleep again. Will you forgive me for giving birth to such a thing?

I want to kill it. But I'm afraid it won't die.

January 27, 2004

2004 Oscar predictions 

The countdown begins!

UPDATED: To clarify: Diane Keaton is "my pick" for Best Actress pretty much because I didn't see any of the other movies except for Whale Rider, and I didn't feel right championing someone whose movie I didn't see. Just for those of you who have expressed outrage at the prospect of Diane Keaton winning this Oscar. I still think she was awesome, though.


Once again I find myself awake at an ungodly hour to hear the nominations announced live. It's the only good thing E! ever did for me. That, and the E! True Hollywood Story. That is some entertainment right there.

But fuck that! THE OSCAR NOMINATIONS ARE HERE! It's nothing but a world of "OH HELL YEAH" over here. Except for Seabiscuit stealing a Best Picture slot from Scarlett Johansson's performance in Lost in Translation. I think you know what I mean.

January 25, 2004

The milkshake that wouldn't die 

While out at a club this weekend, I had the following conversation with a stranger (replete with plenty of exclamation points because we were having to shout):

["Milkshake" comes on]

Eric: I hate this song!

Stranger: No! This is a great song! Why do you hate it?

Eric: I hate it because it doesn't make any sense! What the hell is a milkshake?

Stranger: It brings all the boys to the yard!

Eric: Okay, but what is it?

Stranger: It's her ass!

Eric: There's milk in her ass?

Stranger: Yeah!

You'd think it would be easy to argue with that, but I was thrown by his utter conviction, so I just went somewhere else until the song ended.

January 23, 2004

The Butterfly Effect gets laughed off the screen at Sundance, Ashton Kutcher cancels the promotional interviews for it, and the baby Jesus is finally able to smile again. There is so much "heh" in this story, it's not even funny. Except that it so totally is. From the blurb:

"A spokeswoman for movie distributors New Line confirmed to The Scoop some interviews were canceled, but insists it has nothing to do with the film's reception: 'We've cut down because he's doing so much we didn't have time to do everything,' she says, adding 'we're thrilled with him and the film's reception.'"

She's thrilled with her movie getting hooted off the screen? Also, what does her first sentence even mean?

January 22, 2004

R-E-A-D spells books! 

Yesterday I was so frustrated trying to make sense of my film theory readings that I felt like throwing up. Perhaps that was due to the bad sandwich I had just consumed. That doesn't change the fact that it wouldn't have killed Eisenstein to tighten it up a little. So I asked David to try reading a page to see if he could understand what it meant. This was kind of a heartless thing to do, because it could only have ended in David feeling stupid and me feeling better because David was feeling stupid. But sometimes you just have to put yourself first. He couldn't make any sense of it either, so I took it as a sign from God that I should be taking a nap instead of studying.

Other reading: I'm done with The Storyteller and Yvain, now moving on to One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes. I'm also simultaneously immersed in Naked and I Capture the Castle.

Also, I'm trying very hard to catch up on my Entertainment Weeklys. Reading a cover story on Jessica Simpson is painful, but necessary if I'm not to lose my pop culture bearings while spending so much time with my nose buried in more respectable texts. Hey, how stupid does Halle Berry look as Catwoman on last week's cover? See, I need to study up if I'm going to be able to answer that question if someone asks me. I believe that's easily just as important as French epic poetry.


At long last, the new design is working at least close to the way it's supposed to back at the website. (Yes, it's true -- going to the homepage will actually get you to the homepage again.) Only stuff from last September on is posted right now. The rest is on the way. For the two of you who care.

January 21, 2004

A Public Service Announcement 

Hi, I'm Jerri Blank. And I'm a 46-year-old high school freshman. No, that's not me. I'm Eric. And I'm the creator of such blogs as this one. Some issues have been brought to my attention that I would like to address today. It concerns the banner ads at the top of this very page. "Eric," people have asked me. "Have you noticed that the banner at the top of your page is an advertisement for clowns? Isn't that inconsistent with your crippling terror at the mere utterance of the word? 'Clown,' that is?" Well, I am here today to address those concerns.

Did you know that 12 million people die of clowns every day? I don't know if that's true, but it probably is. We don't know exactly what they're capable of. And is that a risk we really want to take? Ask yourself that question right now. Then turn to the person next to you and ask them. I think I know what their answer would be: "Are we supposed to turn to the person next to us on the right or the left? Because the person on my left doesn't have a partner and I should probably ask him instead." And after that, they would say that clowns are a menace that must be stopped.

What I'm trying to say is, I am not responsible for the content of those banner ads. The idea of a clown college makes me want to cry. Film theory is hard enough. Can you imagine how much more stressful my life would be if it was being taught by a clown? As for ordering a clown for my child's birthday party, well, even I don't hate my child enough to do that. And I hate my child a lot. Wait, do I even have a child? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I don't. Which is good, because that explains why I feel nothing when I think of him or her.

Clowns are evil. Don't let them take over the planet. Thank you for listening.

UPDATED: Okay, seriously? This can't be happening to me. If you click on the link in the banner ad, you get taken to a site for Speedo the Clown. SPEEDO. THE CLOWN. And below that link in the banner ad, it says "Related searches: 'bozo the clown,' 'testicles.'"

I inserted a break here to indicate that I am speechless.

January 20, 2004

Birthday, birthday! 

Go shorty, it's my birthday! We're going to party like it's my birthday! We're going to sip Bacardi like it's my birthday! And you know we don't give a fuck about...my birthday? Well, that's a fucking downer. The point is, the long wait is over: I'm 21 years old today! HOLLA!

This is arguably the most significant of the age hurdles, the kind where you get new privileges just for being a certain number of days old. Let's see: when you're 16, you can drive; when you're 17, you can see R-rated movies and I think buy cigarettes; when you're 18, you can...what can you do when you're 18? Buy porn? 18 is when you're old enough to star in porn, so I should think you'd be allowed to buy it by then as well. How tragic would it be not to be old enough to attend the premiere of your latest adult classic, Rack-uiem for a Dream? No, you have to be allowed to buy porn by 18. And when you're 19, you can head up to Canada and experience what it feels like to be carded when you order a drink and have it result in actually receiving a drink, instead of being laughed at and spit upon by the waitress. Now I'm 21 and never have to worry about being spit upon again unless I hold hands with my boyfriend in public!

There is such a big fat line between being under 21 and being 21 or over. It becomes such a big deal the closer you get to the end of this excuciating waiting game that I cannot yet comprehend the way people over 21 seem to take their privileges for granted. Here's what I feel like ought to happen:

34-year-old man: Look! Look! I'm ordering a drink! I'm about to do it! Okay. [orders a drink] I DID IT!


But it makes perfect sense that they do, of course. I mean, it wasn't SO long ago for me that the age of 17 was the big dividing line, between those who could buy a ticket to an R-rated movie and those whose hearts pounded with the fear that they might be carded at the box office. Now, the idea of not hanging out with someone because they couldn't get into an R-rated movie makes me laugh harder than Mena Suvari's career. It's silly to even think about. We'll see how long it takes for me to feel that way about strolling into a bar.

January 18, 2004

Extreme makeover 

I worked for hours and hours on a new look for my site and I'm still ironing out the kinks, so bear with me if it looks defective and ugly for a while. For some reason, I can't get the homepage to actually be my homepage, but you can still get there and take a look at it by clicking here. Yay!

"Pure bump 'n grind exhilaration" 

How wrong is this? Why would they do this? While Bring It On is arguably the best movie ever put on celluloid, a straight-to-video sequel is probably one of the more ill-conceived ideas of this young century. And wow, what a terrible title. Perhaps the franchise will continue with such gems as:

Bring It On Yet Again
Bring It On Til the Sun Comes Up
Bring It On Til the Cows Come Home
Bring It On Or I'll Kill You
Bring It All Over My Face
Bring an Umbrella in Case It Rains
You Can Bring Whatever You Want, But I Slept With All the Judges So You Might As Well Go Home

Breaking news 

I am the one and only website that comes up in a Google search for the phrase "hot female villains."

UPDATED: Fucking message board, stealing my only claim to fame.

January 16, 2004

Shopping dread 

In which I wax bitchy and negative about the horrors of clothes shopping. Has anyone who has ever been to Old Navy actually found those fucking tote bags a big convenience, anyway? Or do people just take them because those people are like crack dealers who won't leave you alone?

January 15, 2004

If I can creep out just one person, it's worth it 

I got an email from Pam today, detailing an encounter she had with a co-worker who saw a picture of Nun-Clown. It made me laugh. A lot. Here's the transcript she made for me:

Her: Who is that over there, the grim reaper?

[Let me note here that ALL of my replies are done very matter-of-factly] That's the nun-clown.

Her: Oh.
[pause] Is that you? [Why does everyone ask me that?]

Me: No, it's a guy whose website I read. He's really funny. That was his Halloween costume and it's just turned into a thing. I love the nun-clown.

Her: Oh.
[pause] So she cleans up AND kills at the same time?

Me: Yeah, well the nun-clown is into the multi-tasking.

Her: Oh.
[awkward pause before she walks away]

Deepest boob 

We watched some more avant garde films in class today, including Stan Brakhage's Mothlight (1961) and Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon (1943). They were both pretty preposterous. I also saw Dziga Vertov's Man with the Movie Camera (1929), which I fell in love with for reasons that are still unclear to me considering my hostility toward the whole surrealist philosophy of filmmaking. So maybe I don't hate it so much after all.

The guy who made Mothlight was ideologically opposed to the whole idea of narrative cinema, and the way people assumed that the image captured by a camera (still or motion picture) was the objective reality, because he didn't believe that that's how people's eyes actually saw the world. Or if they did, that they were just conditioned to, and that disgusted him. Anyway, this led to him going into the woods and collecting a bunch of dead moths, pasting them onto some film stock, and THAT'S THE MOVIE, FOLKS. It was the stupidest thing I've ever seen. Saying that makes me sound like the dense one, but IT WAS DEAD MOTHS. And it didn't even look like dead moths, which might have looked semi-interesting, it looked like static. When it was over, I was like, I'll never have that five minutes of my life back again. That's five minutes I could have spent watching the "Milkshake" video and throwing up in my mouth.

When I told David about Brakhage's assertion that the image a camera makes is not the way human eyes see the world, and the concept behind Mothlight, he said, "What the hell does he see?"

In some ways, the problems I had last quarter are carrying over into this one: I'm afraid that I'm not "deep" enough for this department. I see films like Mothlight, and I get nothing out of it. It's not just that I think this film and others are stupid -- it's that nothing comes to mind after seeing them. No thoughts either way. It's the same even when I love the films they show us. I read dozens of pages of film theory every night, and it's like reading another language. The interpretations all seems so far-fetched to me. Even when I do get it, fine, but my brain is empty afterwards. I try to write my response paper and I have nothing to say. My mind is blank. What did I think of what I read? Nothing, really. I feel stupid.

Meshes of the Afternoon was much better, but still silly because it's EXACTLY LIKE MY MOVIE. The same thing happened with Man with the Movie Camera: there were shots and edits in both of those films that were nearly identical to ones we made for Guns of Religion. There are overarching themes of avant garde filmmaking (fixation on the human eye, for example) that we put in our film without even knowing about them. (There's even something near-Nun-Clownage in Meshes of the Afternoon) We set out to make a big fucking caricature of the genre, and it turns out that we fit in perfectly. Our film is funny, but no funnier than actual avant garde films. Guns of Religion got a freakin' 4.0. WE'RE ACCIDENTAL GENIUSES. I'm officially speechless.

There's no way they're not up to something 

David: Why are dolphins always smiling?

Eric: Is that a joke?

David: No, I just want to know.

Eric: If that was a joke, I was going to guess, "Because they're on the ecstasy."

David: Heh. But it really creeps me out that they're in this constant state of smile.

Eric: That's why I've never trusted Julia Roberts.

David: Everyone talks about how dolphins are smarter than humans. It's that element of intelligence that makes me wonder what the hell they're all so jazzed about.

Eric: Maybe it's because they know something we don't.

David: Like what?

Eric: Like we think we're so superior because we build cities and shit, but in reality they're just using us to build those cities and soon they're going to take them and use them as their own.

David: Oh my god!

January 13, 2004

The scariest thing I've ever thought of 

The laughing cow, except with human hands for feet, so that it can turn your doorknob and come into your bedroom and tap you on the shoulder (human hands!) until you wake up and then laugh with a human voice right in your face until you die. Then it prank calls everyone you know, because it has HUMAN HANDS FOR FEET AND IS ABLE TO DO THINGS LIKE OPERATE A TELEPHONE.

UPDATED: And then it uses its human hands to write a note that says, "There are no such thing as laughing cows with human hands for feet." It sticks the note on your front door, and now when your family comes home, they will have no idea that danger lurks inside because they will think that laughing cows with human hands for feet don't exist!

Oh my god! What if that's what mad cow disease is? The cows go crazy and grow human hands for feet (!) and put on some earrings made of cheese and enter the bedrooms of the innocent? If your hamburger starts laughing with a human voice, put it down immediately. That's all I can tell you.

January 12, 2004

More Moviepie "best of" lists 

Linda and Frank have their own ideas about what the top 10 best films of 2003 are. At least we can all agree on one thing: being whores for Lost in Translation.

January 07, 2004

It's going to be one of THOSE quarters 

So, I hated my new film instructor before I even met him.

Before our first class session, he sent out an email saying, "I've scheduled required weekly meetings for essential film screenings, in addition to the hours listed in the course description you signed up for." So he totally fucking ambushed us with this, which might even be okay with me if this additional class session wasn't scheduled for the same two hours that I'm in one of my comparative literature classes. I'm actually required to be in two places at once.

When I called him on this, he pretty much said, "Too bad. You're in the minority, so you'll have to rent the movies on your own time, and by the way, some of them aren't available to rent, but have I mentioned you're in the minority and don't matter?"

After sitting through one of his classes, I can already tell that this is going to be one of those classes that I tell horror stories about later. And during. This is another problem with majoring in cinema studies: you could cut the pretentiousness in the room with a knife. No, that's wrong. The pretentiousness in the room was so thick, you couldn't cut it with a knife. You couldn't cut it with a diamond. It was like a whiteout: I couldn't see five inches in front of my face. The pretentiousness was obscuring my vision.

Also, the instructor kept stating his interpretations as fact, telling us that it would be "almost impossible not to see it that way," inviting the class to share their thoughts, then responding by treating them like they're such lunatics for seeing it that way. I think it's because he's so young (probably not much older than me). I think he's so pleased to have been given a class that has to listen to his analyses that he's forgetting to do the whole "there's no 'right' answer" schtick that older professors who are more secure in their knowledge remember to do.

That's just my interpretation. But I think it would be almost impossible not to see it that way.

January 06, 2004

Ugly on the outside 

Okay, so I'm looking at the new Entertainment Weekly. The one with Naomi Watts, Jennifer Connelly, and Charlize Theron on the cover. The article is about the physical transformations they underwent to get "into" their roles. And whoever wrote this article doesn't seem to get that it's about more than just "looking terrible = Oscar gold." Here are some quotes:

"So you want to win a Best Actress Oscar? Here's a tip: Get ugly."

"First things first: Here are some photographs I found of each of you in character from your current films. So, who's the ugliest?"

"These roles won't get you Revlon contracts, though."

"Speaking of which, all three of you do nude scenes in these movies. Is that scarier to do when you're not looking your best?"

Also, especially with the second quote, it strikes me that Jennifer Connelly didn't get ugly so much as unlikable in House of Sand and Fog. So when the EW interviewer breaks out those pictures and is all, "HOLY SHIT, you're all so hideous!" it seems a bit wrong to me. But also kind of funny. Like, how great would it be if that's how they interviewed someone like Nicole Kidman for Cold Mountain? "So, Nicole. You wore a fat suit to play Ada. How did that make you feel? Ugly? Do you smell Oscar? We do!"


If you're in the Seattle area, you may have noticed that it snowed several inches today. If you're not in the Seattle area, you probably don't care that it snowed several inches here today. Every year, I pray for snow (to whom, I have no idea -- who do I worship? Parker Posey? Is she responsible for this?) and this year, my prayers have finally been answered.

So, oddly enough, here I am sitting snowbound at home on the second day of the quarter. Yesterday was the shortest day of school I've ever had -- one of my professors cut the class short because he had the flu, and the other didn't show up at all for the same reason.

I'm experiencing some alarming urges to be productive, after spending three solid weeks with my mouth attached to either a junk food or a bottle of some alcoholic beverage or another. I'm also experiencing some unfortunate consequences of spending those three weeks that way, such as the fact that I'm down to two pairs of pants that I can still wear and not cry.

I'm reading The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa for one of my classes, and so far it's excellent. I should read more books.

January 05, 2004

10 more weird phrases people have gotten here by searching for on Google 

1. strange anus
2. Renee Zellweger bloated body
3. pokemon having sex
4. nurses examination men balls anus
5. jimmy neutron porn [!]
6. all about natasha who play in the species free naked picture
7. blogspot my breasts his cock
8. noose testicles
9. Trudie Styler whore
10. Angels in America boner


Happy 2004, everyone! My first entry of the year involves snow, Nun-Clown, Sean Connery in a red diaper, and so much alcohol.

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