MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2003
returns tonight, after a nasty bout with shingles. That scares me,
because it’s chicken pox-related, and I had chicken pox for the first
time in my life in ’97. Something to look forward to.
TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2003
I have a short interview over at Brian Lewandowski’s very cool Five For The Famous.
SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2003
Just to clarify: the new “bobsassone dotcom” logo on the
main page? Those aren’t Oreo cookies or pieces from the Othello board
game. They’re typewriter keys. Maybe I should redo it…
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2003
If somebody wanted to buy me one of these, hey, I wouldn’t complain.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2003
My roommate, for all intents and purposes, is a breast man.
Every single day he comes home with amazing tales of seeing women with gigantic “_______”.
Now, I’m fan of the female upper anatomy as the next guy, but it has
gotten to the point where I don’t really know what to say.
A typical conversation:
Roommate: What’s up?
Me: Not much.
Roommate: Wow, you should have seen this chick I saw today!
Roommate: She had tits out to here! [Puts hand about 8 inches from his chest]
Roommate: She was awesome!
I mean, if I’m not there to actually see them myself,
how can someone saying to you “I saw this girl today…” really convey
what she was like? It means nothing to me. I am fully aware that there
are women of various shapes and sizes in the world, some with larger
breasts than others.
TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2003
Weight Watchers recipe cards from the 70s.
Many of the pictures are truly horrifying, but so are the names:
Frankfurter Spectacular, Inspiration Soup, Marcy’s Enchilada, Chilled
Celery Log, and…Caucasian Shashlik?!?
FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2003
Is it just me, or does it seem to you that Tommy Lee Jones just keeps playing his character from The Fugitive over and over and over again, in every movie?
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, 2003
MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2003
Steve Jobs: Then and Now. Interesting Newsweek piece.
SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2003
Yesterday while driving from the bookstore to the mall,
I was really worried and anxious about something. Then, while walking
back to the car after doing my shopping, I completely forgot what I had
been so worried about. It was an incredible feeling, knowing that there
was something that made me anxious, but now I had completely let it out
of my head. Maybe this is how people feel when they do a lot of drugs,
at least temporarily. It really made me feel good, and really secure,
in a way, that maybe, just maybe this thing I was worried about wasn’t
so important after all.
Then on the drive back home I remembered what it was. Boy, did that suck.
FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2003
MSNBC just interviewed an official from Mexico about the
goings on at the U.N., and the caption at the bottom of the screen said
“World Reax – Mexico.” I had to look twice. Was “World Reax” this guy’s
name? No, it’s just MSNBC trying to be all hip and X-treme
Sometimes I hate what has happened to the letter X.
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2003
From the “this sounds like an Onion headline” department: Madonna to write children’s books! [Insert your own joke here].
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2003
New issue of Professor Barnhardt’s Journal is up. 18 writers pick their favorite films of all-time. Good list to bring with you on your next trip to the video store.
To expand on what I said below about the new WTC
design…it’s horrid. It adds nothing to the New York skyline, and
seems to be more about disarray and bizarre angles than an actual
building. Look around at the great buildings in New York City: the
Chrysler Building, the Empire State, the hotels, the Flatiron. The new
design looks like it doesn’t know what to be. It has a memorial, which
is something the new building cetainly should have, but it seems to
wallow in it. We don’t need something to stand in and walk around in,
we need something that honors the dead while still looking forward to
the future and getting on with things. We need buildings with a
memorial, not a memorial that has buildings. That tower, which puts the
structure into the “tallest building in the world” category, is odd and
simply a bad idea. Not that the other nominee was much better (was it
just some sort of artwork, with no actual offices, just some structure
that would stand in lower Manhattan like some kids model?), but this
one is just awful.
Let’s hope that as the time comes to build the thing, this design is tweaked and changed quite a bit.
TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2003
I never watched Mr. Rogers. I think that in its 30 year
history I had probably watched, if you combine the bits and pieces I
saw here and there, a total of one episode. I was in the Sesame Street
crowd. Not that you can’t watch both of these shows, of course, but I
think that at the time I would have been the right age to watch Fred
Rogers, I was already on my way to Big Bird, the Zoom kids, and older kids TV (Batman and Mission: Impossible)
But his death (an interesting tribute and profile by Tom Junod here
at Esquire.com) this week is a very sad thing. Not just for the obvious
reasons that need no explanation, but because all of the classic people
are dying. Sinatra is gone, Dean Martin, other veteran actors and
actresses are going every month, WW2 vets are dying by the hundreds
every single day, Bob Hope will probably be gone soon. Carson is
retired and is never seen. Charles Schulz is gone. Who the hell are
going to be the “classic” veterans in 20 years? Britney Spears? Johnny
A generation is leaving us quickly, only to be replaced by…what?
Anyway, Mr. Rogers was, by all accounts, a kind man off
camera as he was on. No irony, no sarcasm, nothing “in quotes,” just a
real person who cared. But it’s almost 12:30 am and I’m starting to
ramble and I’m not even sure if I made my point.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2003
I’d write an entry right now, but the girls on Survivor are about to get naked or something. Later…
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2003
From 1965: This Woolworth’s song
is similar to the McDonald’s audio linked to below, but this tune is
misleading. Listen to it without paying attention to the words, and it
sounds like a bouncy little number. Pay attention to the lyrics and it
sounds like someone took the minutes from a “you better increase sales
or you’re fired!” meeting and put it to music. Lots of odd lyrics about
Woolworth products and bras. Interesting. (Quicktime file).
This entry is for three specific people. One is the insane gentleman who thought he was Steve McQueen in Bullitt,
and decided to cross over in front of me, at 80 mph, before he had even
cleared my lane. Second is the lovely woman with the face like Shemp
Howard, who knocked over the books at Borders, looked down at them, and
left them there, because she was in a hurry to buy the last five
brownies or whatever she was in a rush to buy. And last but not least,
the woman who screamed like a banshee at her 5 year old, because he was
acting, well, like a 5 year old.
I don’t wish that you would die. That wouldn’t be
satisfying. However, I do hope that the one or more of the following
events happen to you:
You are in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet, pained
with a very bad case of intestinal gas and explosive diarrhea, and you
suddenly realize that you are out of toilet paper. And there’s no one
You are reading a magazine, perhaps a wrestling
magazine, and you get a very bad paper cut. Right on the top of your
finger, where it’s hard to place a Band-Aid. Then, through a series of
comical mishaps, lemon juice is poured into the wound.
The automatic bank deposit of your paycheck is lost in a computer screw up, and you have to go an entire week without it.
Your favorite sports team loses, your significant other
breaks up with you, and the guy in your department who never seems to
do any work gets the promotion you were hoping for.
You are the lucky recipient of a tax audit.
Why can’t Ari Fleischer be a little bit more like Alison Janney? Not just in looks, but in overall demeanor. Why? Why?
The newest mid-season replacement show: The Robert Blake Trial! From the state that brought you The O.J. Simpson Show…
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2003
On MSNBC right now: Joe Scarborough. Is this network
kidding? Clearly they hired this guy because he’s a direct clone of
Bill O’Reilly: same look to his face, same hairstyle. His show even has
an opening essay called “The Real Deal,” which is O’Reilly’s “Talking
Points,” except it rhymes. To steal a line from Lethal Weapon,
this tactic is so thin, it’s anorexic. It could be worse I guess.
Unlike O’Reilly, Scarborough doesn’t seem like a humorless dick.
Great to see Keith Olbermann back on TV though. He’s filling in for Jerry Nachman this week on MSNBC.
All this talk of a “Post-war Iraq.” Is that some kind of new breakfast cereal?
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2003
If you’re over the age of 33 or so, you might remember
the old McDonald’s jingle, “Nobody Can Do It Like McDonald’s Can,”
which ran from 1979 to 80 or 81. Listen to this,
a really funny recording that was sent out to all McDonald’s stores in
1979. Of course, when I say “funny,” I mean it in the odd, creepy way.
(The link goes directly to a Quicktime file).
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2003
I just tried to open the front door and I can’t get it open, there’s too much snow against it. At least I have enough hot cocoa, booze, and TV to keep me happy.
It’s still snowing. 11 hours and counting. I had planned
to shovel a bit tonight, just so I didn’t have to go outside tomorrow
and find 16 inches of snow covering the long flight of stairs that
leads up to my front door. I would attack it in two stages: while the
snow is still falling, to get a head start, and then tomorrow when the
snow has ended and I can clear it all away and cover the ground with 4
inches of rock salt. That was the plan anyway.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17
Daredevil is every bit as good as Spiderman.
In some ways, it’s better, especially when it comes to special effects.
While I enjoyed the webslinger flick, the computer-generated effects
just looked too phony and silly. There’s some of that CGI here too, but
most of the film is set in Hell’s Kitchen at night, with almost a film
noir look, and you don’t notice anything bad. Affleck is fine, Garner
and Colin Farrell are terrific, and Jon Favreau nearly steals the movie
(I sense he wrote his scenes himself, since much of the dialogue in the
rest of the movie is pretty standard). The backstory is interesting,
the action is kinetic, and I like the whole look and tone. And why are
people dumping on the guy’s red suit? Gimme a break. It’s what a
superhero suit would really look like: lots of straps and buttons, snug
but comfortable, made with care to look a little different. Very 40s
comic book-ish. Do you think you’d really be comfortable in Spiderman’s
suit, or Superman’s, so tight and thin you’d worry about rips or
getting an erection? You couldn’t run in Batman’s armor chest. Aquaman?
What the hell is going on there?
It did big box office, so I hope there’s a sequel.
Britney Spears, in the current Time (coincidentally, also on their “Notebook” page):
“Sundance is weird. The movies are weird – you actually have to think about them when you watch them.”
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2003
Red Meat is funny. And a little disturbing. Odd and funny and disturbing
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2003
You know what’s wrong with this color-coded warning
system? Can you imagine the day when Ashcroft or Fleischer or Ridge
comes on television and says we’re lowering the warning to blue
or green? The “safe” levels? Wouldn’t that be seen as rather
irresponsible and risky, especially if something bad happens? What
would have to happen for the government to decide that things aren’t as
bad as they have been for the past year and a half? Not that this
warning system is useful anyway. Right now the “Terror Alert: High”
icon is on the CNN screen. Right next to the time and Dow Jones
numbers. How handy! But how can I use this? When I see it there, am I
supposed to think, “that’s right, I gotta remember to get some duct tape when I pick up the milk and return the videos?”
OK, OK, I give up.
My best friend (who works at this cool place and wants you to visit and bookmark the new and improved HotBot)
and I were talking recently about blogs. Tripod has started a blog
service, and while I never really had the desire to do one, preferring
instead to do more of a long-form journal-type thing, I’m actually
going to start one. Let’s call it an experiment. Maybe I’ll do it for a
week and hate it and then I’ll go back to (not) updating my journal
every week. I don’t know: updating almost every day, posting the time,
providing links to everything? Let’s see how it goes.
I do know this: since it’s updated a lot, and quickly, it will be filled with typos and grammatical errors.
I think what made me take the plunge is that there are
many things I want to comment on, but those things aren’t necessarily
worthy of a full article or essay. Besides, since pop
culture/tv/film/books/current events and other media matters is what I
talk about 99.44/100% of the time anyway, a blog seems like a natural.
Regardless of what some clueless people think, blogs are a good thing.
It’s all about the words. There are good ones and bad ones, like any
form of writing. Hey, if Dave Barry and Neil Gaiman can do one, why can’t I?
Hey, look at that: LINKS! See? I’ve started already. Official launch is this weekend. (But what to call it? The Bobg!)
The book: I am currently handcuffed to my
computer (two computers actually), working feverishly to get the damn
thing out. Reason for delay: a complete overhaul of the book’s design.
Thanks to everyone for the patience, especially those who prepaid many
moons ago. It’s coming, it’s coming. Sign up for the newsletter for
full updates on that and other things, including what’s new at
Professor Barnhardt’s Journal.