July 23rd, 2003

Burn The World

Movies And Such

Actually left the house today, of my own volition. Decided that a little consumerism was in order...and besides, it was nice to go somewhere with air conditioning. Stopped off at redheadevilchiq's place on the way, to drop her off a copy of Bionic Jive's "Armageddon Through Your Speaker" album, and ended up fixing her scanner and teaching her about music ripping and disc-burning while I was there.

Off to Earth's greatest contribution to high culture: the Mall. No wandering for me, though, I know where I'm heading...the same place I'm usually heading: Suncoast. There was a 4-DVD set of flicks I saw the day before, including 'Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' which i wanted. I would have gotten it when I first saw it, but I was too busy keeping a deathgrip on the one copy of the restored 'Metropolis' I had found, and that took priority. Beyond the set, I wanted to try and find a copy of Dungeons & Dragons: Scourge Of Worlds, a sort of video "choose-your-own-adventure", for those that remember them. The D&D I found, but the set was gone, so instead I picked up a set of bad gore flicks, mainly because it included 'Pieces' and 'Kiss Me, Kill Me' (I love Italian horror). Needless to say, that is how my afternoon has been spent.

Speaking of flicks, I haven't done reviews of a lot of the ones I've watched lately, either because they were obscure enough that I doubt anyone but me would like them, or they were just old flicks...but would you believe I saw 'Hair' the other day for the first time? And actually enjoyed it? Me, who hates musicals? Yeah, was not bad at all...not something I think I'll just throw in randomly of my own desire, but not bad, for all that.

One quickie review I'll put up, though, that I saw this evening: 'Phone Booth'. I remember hearing that the release of this got delayed, due to the fact that it was due to come out just after the Washington DC sniper crap...and since it involves a guy trapped in a phone booth by a sniper, they freaked out. I gotta say, this movie kicked ass, IMHO. Simple, but thrilling, and nicely pulled off. I'll definitely own it, just to watch the psychodrama play out again...extremely well-done. Colin Farrell does a great job of being a slimy publicist, Forest Whitaker is wonderful (as he always is), and Kiefer Sutherland was perfect as the sniper...I knew I knew that voice, but couldn't place it until I saw him. If you haven't seen it yet, do so.
  • Current Music
    Prodigy - Breathe
Smackdown (Anger)

Scouting

Ah, feeling much better this morning...and thank the Maker for THAT.

Just a quick note before the wide range of posting idiocy starts again: some of you may remember the job interview I went on, months and months ago, for the Talent Scout job...the company that I have since learned many of my friends in the modeling industry have horror stories about, due to being a big scam. Well, since then, they've gone through a couple different name changes...and today I got an e-mail from some company claiming they received an application from me for a Talent Scout position, and I've never heard of them...but their site looks awfully similar to the original company...

So, anybody that considers working for/with/through the Wilhelmina Scouting Network, please don't. It's not what it seems.
  • Current Music
    Lords Of Acid - Drink My Honey
Typing

1984 NHL First-Rounder, Missing For 14 years, Found Frozen

Associated Press -- REGINA, Saskatchewan -- The body of a former NHL first-round draft pick who disappeared in Austria almost 14 years ago has been found frozen in the Alps. Duncan MacPherson, who was selected 20th overall by the New York Islanders in 1984, was last seen on Aug. 9, 1989, while snowboarding on the Stubaier Glacier. The body was discovered late last week by an employee operating a snow-grooming machine at a summer ski resort in Neustift, near the Italian border.

MacPherson's parents were scheduled to leave for Austria on Tuesday. "We feel very sad," said Lynda MacPherson, who was notified about the discovery Friday by a friend from Innsbruck who met the couple during the first of their seven visits to Austria in search of their son. The family was contacted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Austrian officials over the weekend.

"At 3,000 meters, the body would be pretty well frozen the whole time. His identification was in his pocket," she said. "They didn't have a problem identifying him. His dental records are there and our DNA is there. Even so, I have to see the body. I have to know for certain that it is him."

MacPherson was 23 when he disappeared while on his way to take a job as a coach with a hockey team in Dundee, Scotland. He played three seasons in the American Hockey League, but didn't make it to the NHL. When his contract with the Islanders expired in 1989, he accepted an offer to become a player-coach for Dundee.
  • Current Music
    Darude - Feel the Beat (Radio Edit)
The Mask (Laughing)

Tatu's Trouble

It looks like yet another gimmick group might bite the dust if rumors are true about the controversial girl-girl act Tatu. Reports claim that the dynamic Russian duo could be heading for a major break-up, and it's all because of a brutal power struggle. Word from behind the scenes reveals that Julia Volkova (the dark-haired one) is so unhappy she may walk away from the act, and Lena Katina (the other one) is upset over the idea that Julia's taken on the role of leader of the band. So much for that unconditional lesbian love.

Oh yeah, and speaking of that, get this ... despite their touchy-feely numbers that allude to the two of them being an item, they've reportedly argued over Julia's professional-karate-chopping boyfriend. Boyfriend? Hey, I thought this was a girl-girl kind of thing. What's a dude doing in there? The Russian news service Pravda reports that the two girls became rivals after they realized they liked the same boys -- and since Julia has a steady boyfriend now, jealousy has reared its ugly head.

Tatu producer Ivan Shapovalov had this to say about the whole mess: "When it's hard, when things do not work, people often have a feeling to quit all that and go. This can happen to Julia too. Even if people do something together, they might always want to do something on their own." Well, then, they better get their fake act together, because they're already set for a tour in Turkey, Hungary and Denmark this August, and their new album should be finished by the fall -- if they stay together that is.
  • Current Music
    Metallica - Die, Die My Darling
Smackdown (Anger)

Open Mic Catches California Democrats Talking About Prolonging Budget Crisis For Political Gain

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Unaware that a live microphone was broadcasting their words around the Capitol, Assembly Democrats meeting behind closed doors debated prolonging California's budget crisis for political gain. Members of the coalition of liberal Democrats talked about slowing progress on the budget as a means of increasing pressure on Republicans.

A microphone had been left on during the closed meeting Monday, and the conversation was transmitted to about 500 "squawk boxes" that enable staff members, lobbyists and reporters to listen in on legislative meetings. Some members of the group, including Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, said if the budget crisis were extended, it could improve chances for a ballot initiative that would make it easier for the Democrats to raise taxes by lowering the threshold for passage from two-thirds to 55 percent. "No one is running" for re-election, she said, according to a transcript made by Republicans. "And maybe you end up better off than you would have, and maybe you don't. But what you do is show people that you can't get to this without a 55 percent vote."

Assembly Republican Leader Dave Cox said that he was disappointed that Democrats would consider using the budget crisis to their political advantage. Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson, a Democrat, tried to brush aside criticism of the meeting, calling it a "bull session" that didn't have much significance. "For anyone, Democrat or Republican, to think there is some political advantage in this crisis, I think they are wrong," he said. Goldberg said her comments were part of a larger discussion about whether it would be better to make deeper cuts this year to give taxpayers a taste of how bad things would be without a tax increase. "It meant whether or not we do the things this year or next year that let the public understand how serious the situation is," Goldberg said.
  • Current Music
    Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight
Flamestick

Tongue Transplant Recipient Said to Be Doing Well

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- The man believed to be the first recipient of a human tongue transplant was recovering Tuesday and showed no signs of rejecting the organ, his doctors said. The 42-year-old patient, who had a malignant tumor on his tongue and part of his jaw, underwent a 14-hour operation Saturday in which doctors amputated his tongue and attached the new one.
Surgeons who performed the transplant said there was no evidence in the medical literature that such an operation had been carried out on humans before, and that they were convinced the procedure was the first.

"The tongue now looks as if it were his own, it's as red and colorful and getting good blood circulation," said Dr. Rolf Ewers, head of the team of nine physicians who performed the operation in Vienna's General Hospital. "The tongue is just slightly swollen," Ewers added. "That's also a good sign which means that probably no transplant rejection has begun." But the doctors added that the patient, whose name was not released, faces risks such as infection. He also could still reject the organ and must take medication for the rest of his life to prevent that.

The team will consider the operation successful if the patient, who could no longer open his mouth because of the tumor, regains his ability to eat and speak. Surgeons worked meticulously to attach the nerves of the tongue to the severed nerve endings. "It's very unlikely he'll regain his sense of taste," Ewers said. "But (regaining) feeling and primarily, movement, would be an optimal result." Traditionally, in cases where patients lose their tongues, surgeons remove a piece of their small intestines and graft that onto the tongue stump, the doctors said. Such patients are never able to speak clearly or swallow again, however, and must be fed through tubes.

The recipient's "new" tongue was removed from a brain-dead donor by a separate team of doctors in an adjacent operating room and quickly handed over for transplantation, said Dr. Franz Watzinger, one of the leading surgeons. The donor -- chosen because his blood type and tongue size matched that of the patient -- was then taken off life support. Ewers said the team of doctors had been preparing for two years to carry out the tongue transplant, but had either lacked a candidate for the operation or an appropriate donor. "And now finally, after long training, we were able to carry it out," Dr. Christian Kermer said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, at least I know I can donate my tongue to science some day.
  • Current Music
    Kid Rock - Cowboy
Worship Chaos

Movin' On Up

Sometimes, the best cooking is experimental or accidental...the upshot this evening was twofold: one, great pasta, and two, my sinuses are very clear.

Just sat through Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights...you know, as much as I like Jackie Chan (Chan's the Man, you know), the 2nd film was such an example of the Great Hollywood Sequal Machine: take the bits from the first film that went over well, throw in twice as many and exaggerate them, and screw the rest of it. I wish Jackie would go back to Hong Kong and make real movies...they were so much better when they weren't about the Hollywood stars. I love his work, but it's just not the same.

On a side note, I swear I'm going back on an icon kick very soon...it would have been tomorrow, but I'll be gone part of the afternoon, so I dunno how much I'll get done, since I also plan on doing the next Tarot card. Gotta go with Di to the doctor...and I don't mind telling you that my mind is pretty occupied with that...perhaps more later.