Scott Hardie | August 7, 2001
I tried to come up with something interesting on which to base a new entry, then I realized that I had a whole lot of mini-topics. Here is a list of random thoughts from me based on what I've thought and experienced the past few days.

- You know that phenomenon where you spend too much time in the presence of a person and the two of you become hostile towards one another? Well, it holds true for Kelly and I. We've been in near-constant contact with one another for the seven days of our vacation and many days prior to that, and we're reduced to hitting each other for interaction. I try to be romantic, but there's no feeling there, and I think Kelly feels the same way. (And yes, I know you're reading this, Kelly.)

- Today I was subjected to five minutes of a Jenny Jones makeover episode, and ten minutes of a Maury Povich makeover episode. I know this is like saying that one kind of toxic sludge is superior to another, but Povich actually seemed to demonstrate class in his, unlike with Jones. Both featured the shitty colored light display and the beat-driven music and the low camera angles every time someone came out. But Povich staff videotaped their subjects at home in their lives, sometimes even making humorous little scenes, while Jones just had them on stage. And the family members on Povich's show who requested makeovers for their loved ones actually seemed to be doing it for legitimate reasons. They loved and respected their sister/husband/wife/child, but wanted to get them to try something new. On Jones, it amounts to "My girlfriend looks so bad, please help her." If Jones is going to pay her guests, do you think they could act a little better?

- Kelly and I rented "Wonder Boys" and watched it with Jason. It's still as hilarious as ever. Now, with Kelly already on the list, I have officially talked two people into seeing that movie. For some reason, nobody will see it, even when I tell them that it was the best movie of last year (imo of course). I also now want to play the game in which Tripp and Crabtree invent "Vernon Hardapple," though I don't think I'll be as good at it as they are. After the movie was over, Jason and Kelly and I talked about pretentious English major assholes that we've known, and my own stories dominated the conversation of course. :-) Tastes differ, but few people seem to like pretentiousness.

- I've eaten at Colonial three times this past week (four if you count another location), and twice there was a really attractive waitress there. She looked like Björk but normal weight and not quite as scary. It's quite rare when a woman strikes me as attractive like that, and this one struck me like lightning. I talk about women so infrequently that I've found it to be amusing (among other things) to mention when I occasionally find one "hot." And I left my second big tip of the week. :-)

- Speaking of Colonial, on the wall behind Kelly earlier tonight was a picture that offended me. The decoration theme of the Route 38 location is black and white pictures that (I think) celebrate Americana. Anyway, this picture was a still photograph from "Easy Rider," a film that I hold in rather high regard, except that Wyatt had been replaced with a smirking Bugs Bunny, and Billy with a typically disturbed-looking Tazmanian Devil. Both cartoon characters were clad in cartoon leather outfits that bore slight resemblance to the movie characters, but the rest of the image, including the motorcycles, was straight out of the movie. Warner Brothers does have a right to do that, but I'm sorry: "Easy Rider" is a cultural and cinematic masterpiece, while Bugs Bunny and the Tazmanian Devil (fuck "Taz") are cartoon characters. As far as I'm concerned, they could have been pissing on actual reels of film from the movie. You just don't do that. It doesn't help that I hate Bugs Bunny and the Tazmanian Devil to begin with. They think they're countercultural, but they're more like the rednecks at the end of the movie.

- "Rush Hour 2" opened to a $66 million gross this weekend, according to early estimates. How much do you bet it drops to $15 million next weekend, and $5 million the weekend after that? Fuck, "Planet of the Apes" opened two weeks ago and it's already forgotten. Tim Burton and his many talented crew members poured months of hard work into that project, for two weeks of national consciousness. Sometimes I hate modern cinema. (Do I sound negative? See my "Fucked Up" entry from earlier today.)

- The past few days, I've been reading Ghosts by Hans Holzer, a 600-page book on Kelly's parents' bookshelf. Chop the intro, and it's roughly 525 pages of supposedly true ghost stories, all of them featuring names and places and dates. I don't believe in ghosts but I love ghost stories, and Holzer's decidedly scholarly approach has a certain appeal: It replaces the drama of a spooky story with enough evidence (true or false) to lend weight to the tale, making it feel more real and thus more scary, but in a different way. Anyway, Holzer writes about "real" scholars (as he calls them) with such disdain that you can tell he's gotten his ass stung on more than one occasion by somebody who thought his favorite subject was rubbish and had the grasp of reality to prove it. For instance, he has a section on the Viking settlement sites in New England and Greenland from about A.D. 1000. This section is prefaced by a long and detailed verification of the Vikings' presence there, despite the claims of "real" scholars and "real" historians who allegedly refuse to believe that any European got to this continent before Columbus did. Last time I checked, it had been generally accepted by the public at large that Vikings did indeed settle here first, though their settlements died out before Columbus's arrival. Why then does Holzer feel so persecuted by "legitimate" scholars? His book was published in the mid-nineties; it's not like it was in the early days of the Viking revisionist history or anything. And by the way, he likens Vikings to lemmings in that both are driven to leave the land and see what they can find in the ocean. One other difference between Holzer and "real" scholars is that "real" scholars know that the whole lemmings-jump-into-the-ocean legend is false. It was perpetrated by a Disney nature film in the 1950s and has entered mass consciousness since. Holzer spends 75 pages defending the existence of ghosts but not one sentence verifying the legitmacy of the many psychic mediums that he uses to invesigate haunted sites and even to converse directly with spirits, so I guess he's trying to choose his battles wisely.

- Damn I'm sleepy. I honestly haven't gotten a full night's rest in about two weeks now. I think this is what it's like to have a career. Or a baby. I have neither; I just stay up way too late writing dumb things for my web sites. :-)

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