In Cars

There are some weird cars out there. Not like I have any right to an opinion on automotive aestethics since I don't even have a liscence, but some cars just seem wrong.

It all started with the New Beetle. But, while at the time, it seemed like it might run the risk of being a very "in the moment" design, I think its held up well. The design is very classic in its own way, while also anticipating design trends. Now, it seems everything is designed like that, but the New Bug still feels individual. It also ushered in an age of inventive car design. Odd that something that started with the beautifully round Beetle has yieled so many annoying boxy cars.

I've kinda warmed up the Honda Element. I hated it at first. Those plastic side panels just put me off. But, its grown on me. The new Scion cars from Toyota, however, are just dreadful. I wanted to like the Element right away, I just didn't. The Scion cars are just obnoxious. They are litterally boxes on wheels. It hurts me to look at those things. Someone in my neighborhood drives one, and he looks very intetionally trendy, which seems to be the target demo. I don't get it, though. Its just an ugly looking car.

Also ugly are the new PT Cruiser convertables. That's just a car which shouldn't be. I was never a huge fan of the PT, but I didn't really hate it, either. But the idea of an SUV-ish, station-wagon-is convertable? Who the hell thought of that? Its not like they made the unlikely work, either. It is just disturbing. It looks like some weird West Coast chopped car with its top up, and just generally seems out of place. Its just not a car meant for the convertable treatment. I'm amazed that wasn't obvious.

But its not just car makers coming up with ugly cars. Drivers get in on the act, too. I saw the most amusingly absurd car accessory today. A boxy, older, grey Honda Civic with a full-fledged racing spoiled tacked onto the hood in defiance of all logic and purpose. Not even one of those understated spoilers often seen on newer sedans of a more pedestrian design. (hehe, get it) No, this thing was jacked up a good foot, flaring out for all the world to see. Honestly, how does that make sense when you own an old, grey Honday Civic? Bizarre.


there must be a word for this.

My life has been oddly sychronized the last few days. I'm sure there must be a word for this phenomenon that I'm just not clever enough to know, but 3 times in just the last two days I had a weird moment where something came up that I had been talking about earlier. Not ordinary things, either. Let me explain...

So, I'm chatting with a nice young woman the other day and she expresses her love for Karaoke. A unique passion, for the most part. It was probably the only time that karaoke came up on conversation for me in over a year. And then last night, I was talking with my ex-girlfriend and she mentioned being at a BBW dance and some guy kept bugging her about whether she liked Karaoke. Seemed funny at the time, but probably just coincidence.

Then last night, I was talking about my Orange Coverse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers and was asked by a friend if they made plaid ones anymore. So, I checked out their website. Failing to find plaid ones, one pair did catch my eye. A really cool pair of black Chuck Taylors with a cool flame design. A very unique design that I've seen before online I liked, but have nevery actually seen. I liked them enough to send the specific address for those sneakers to my friend. So what do I see this morning on my way to work? Yep, a guy wearing those very sneakers.

Also when talking to my ex last night, she recommended the moving company she used and I figured I'd finally look into it just in case my friend flaked out on helping me move. So I contact them for a quote. She'd mentioned them before, but I never really paid attention. They are a biggish moving company, but I don't think I'd ever heard of them or seen them. So they got back to me pretty quickly to let me know that they were booked for this weekend. And what should I see parked across the street from my office? A truck from this moving company.

None of these were too bizarre and probably all just coincidences, but still odd in their repetition. Is coincidence the right word for this? Doesn't seem quite right to me. Just thought I'd share.


Now I know. Now I don't wanna know.

Okay, I'm the last person to participate in self-pitying for fat admirers, but one little stat in Paul Campos' book stuck out at me. I've always been told how easy it is for FA's because there are so many fat women and so few FA's. Its funny, because this is about the only thing I don't think works out in the FA's favor. Everything else FA's complain about just strike me at non-issues. But, the breakdown of FAs and BBWs just didn't feel quite right to me. Why was I having such problems finding the right woman if this were so? Was I some kind of a loser or something?

But, a ha! The stats didn't tell the whole story. Because most fat women are chronic dieters and not likely to be interested in someone like me. And besides, I'm not interested in dating a chronic dieter. I believe in fat acceptance, even if not in the movement, and thats something I want to share with whoever I'm with. At least on some level. According to statistics Campos cites, as many as 93% of fat women are dieting at any given time. That leaves 7% remaining that I could be a match for. 7% out of 31% of women who are fat. By my math, that means just over 2% of women are potential matches for me. That's not even getting into more general compatibility issues. (I said I was going to write a post about what I'm looking for in a woman, didn't I? Might still get around to that). Now, I've seen it quoted that 10% of men are attracted to fat women. I suspect this number to be less than perfect, especially since it probably comes from Dimensions Magazine. Let's be generous and say its closer to 7%. So, that's 7% of guys interested in 2% of women. Self-accepting women enjoy a 3 to 1 advantage in finding a mate! Quite a different story then the annecdotal observations of male/female rations at BBW dances.

I kinda prefered not realizing that. Oh well.


Wedded Bliss

And in happier news, a hearty congratulations to all of the couples getting Married today in the Commonwealth, who couldn't have done that yesturday. Even if our Governor is being a complete asshole about it, you have my best wishes as you join the completely screwed up institution of marriage. Hope you folks have better luck with it than we heterosexuals.

Advertising Graffiti Artists of the World Unite!

So, I'm on the train this morning and I look up and see that someone has affixed a sticker onto one of the ad posters on the train. Then, someone else had written onto of the offending sticker with a Sharpee. I didn't think much of it until I realized the writing was very carefully positioned only on-top of the sticker. I figured it'd be worth my while to bother to read the darn things now.

The sticker was promoting the Workers World Party, a Communist orgnazing group. The graffiti atop it was "Trotskites". I found that impressive. Who even knows to use Trotskites to go after Communists any more? Moreover, its apparently quite accurate. The WWP is ideologicially linked to Trotsky. On the one hand, I believe in the free exchange of ideas, but on the other hand the WWP had put up graffiti of their own so its hard to feel too bad for them, and besides that I really strongly oppose communists and was impressed with the graffiti artists knowledge of Communism. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big supporter of Socialism as it exists in the US Government or in some of our good allies like Canda or Brittain, but Communism and Marxism were just plain wrong. So, horray for intellectual graffiti artists on the subway!


What happened to "The Practice"?

There is basically nothing I watch Sunday's at 10pm, especially with Cartoon Network offering nothing worthy in the slot. So, I was flipping and caught the start of "The Practice", the first I've seen of the show since it jumped the shark when it made its two leading characters into murders in the span of a year AND let them both get away with it.

When the hell did this show become a sitcom? Honestly, I'm a 20 minutes in and its been all comedy, mostly from people who never had anything to do with this show. Mafia comedy. Sex perversion comedy. Drug Comedy. Violence Comedy. Disability Comedy. William F'in Shatner Comedy. I'm not sure a show has ever devolved like this before, while having the audacity to still call itself by its original name. Supposedly, they are remediying this next year with a "spin off" that presumably just picks up where this leaves off but without the whole "The Practice" bagage. Though, it does sound like they are keeping up the flimsy pretense of a drama when the show is so obviously a sitcom.

Though, I hear someone actually from the original cast is trying to angle her way into an honest to goodness sitcom. Has that ever even happened? I know a couple of sitcoms have spawned drama spin-offs, but never the other way around.

Turkey Ham

Okay, weird thing. I just turned on the TV and saw some comedian on Showtime at the Apollo. He started in doing a routine on the absurdity on turkey ham. What I actually wanted, though, was Comedy Central. So I change the channel. What do I get?

A completely different comedian, just starting in on a routine on the absurdity of turkey ham.



Catching Up

Yeah, I know I haven't been posting. Though, no one is probably reading so it all evens out. So this will be a bit of a random assortment of stuff post as I catch up.

First off, I will never buy scented Fabreeze again. Well, actually its pseudo-Fabreeze from ALL. God, it stinks. I sprayed it two hours ago and I'm still sick from the smell.

Anyway, I was getting very gung ho about going to NYC, but my enthusiasm is plummeting. After doing everything but buy my bus tickets, I started realizing that I really didn't want to spend 9 hours on a bus in a single day. I really do want to visit the Whitney, but I'm just not sure I can justify that. I usually can't justify the 45 minute train ride into Boston unless I'm going to work. The idea of spending 9 hours on a bus, an additional 2 hours waiting for buses, ANOTHER additional 2 hours getting two and from the bus station in Boston, and I'm looking at spending 13 hours just so I can get 6 hours in New York. Not sure my rate of return is high enough there, no matter how much I want to do it. And I was finally going to walk through Central Park and everything! Oh, well.

In mundane personal news, I've got a part-time job. Not the interesting part-time job I was hoping for, but rather sales floor work in the Women's Clothing section of Target. Eh. Its a living. And I'm getting paid more than I expected, so that's a small (very small) comfort. Plus I get the employee discount, which should come in handy enough.

I've also found a place to live. Woo hoo! Great apartment, great roommates I know I'll get along with, nice neighborhood, great view from my bedroom, just a lot to feel positively about. I'll probably post more about that eventually.

Its also been a banner week for the couple of video game franchises I enjoy. The good folks at EA Games/Maxis released a neat utility for their upcoming Sims 2 game. Basically, it allows you to create characters for the game and is mostly a test drive for the new character creation tools. I'm really impressed. I was able to create a computer character that looked very realisticly like me, right down to the details of my face and nose. I just hope I can go in and add some of my scars and birthmarks, because I get geeky like that. One thing I loved is that they thought to put in a tool that would allow you to add a double chin. Its damn realistic looking, too. I've never seen this before, as usually you just have to blow up the face to get a "fat" look, but I'm very impressed. I'm less impressed that the game's "fat" bodies are still noticably not fat. Especially the woman's body. My virtual doppleganger deserves a VBBW! Oh, well.

Speaking of fat video game characters, a torrent of news has been released about the follow-up to Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, GTA: San Andreas. One minor tidbit is that the game requires you to eat to keep up your stamina, but if you eat too much, you can get fat and this will slow you down and result in you getting verbally attacked when you walk down the street. *groan* The solution, of course, is going to a gym and working out. Its an interesting twist on video game's stamina regulation, and the fattened character looks more realisticly fat than most fat characters in video games, but I'm really annoyed that dieting is getting built into a video game. Sims 2 may have the same thing, actually, and I'll be more annoyed with that. Other than that, the new GTA game looks very cool. Set in early 90's California, the game deals more with street gangs than the earlier use of conventional organized crime. They are also seriously pushing the evelope on what a game like this is capable of. If you've played Vice City or GTA III, you're no doubt impressed with how expansive and open-ended the environments are. GTA:SA goes much further. Instead of playing out in 1 city, its not spread across a whole state with three distinct urban environments, each larger than the whole of Vice City. Plus, you have to drive through the country side to get from town to town. How cool is that? The game takes you from a psuedo Los Angelas to San Fran to Las Vegas. Its also the first GTA game to feature a black main character, and I'm curious to see how some of the white suburban fan base takes to that. Early word is that there is clearly some racially motivated distaste going on, which is ironic since it sounds like the game will deal head-on with race issues in the inner city. It also sounds like the plot will deal more with the noble crooks of GTA III instead of the Scarface inspired drug dealing of Vice City, which is a nice switch. The screenshots look gorgeous and engrossing, and I can't wait for its October release.

Hmm. What else. I haven't discussed TV lately, which is a shame since there are several things I wanted to talk about, including the end of Friends and the return of the Dick Van Dyke Show and the impending end of Angel. For another day, perhaps.


A Hell of a Town

I think I mentioned here that I'm looking for an apartment and a 2nd job. Still looking for both, but hoping for an answer soon. Hoping to, actually, as a dearly want to get down to New York City in May.

Couple of reasons. Most importnatly, I want to go to the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial Exhibition. I went to the last one in 2002 (part of the post 9/11 NYC tourist boom) and I really loved it. Didn't even expect to go. Just something I did on a lark. It was in the right place, essentially.

Their Biennial is essentially an overview of whats going in Art in America. It is incredibly expansive, but I enjoyed that. It was a deep retrospective that sort of intimidates you if you don't, well, introspect. Its more of a sampler of what's going on. That just really worked for me. I especially enjoyed the installation art, which is simply something you can't enjoy from a book. Its not usually my thing, but I really did enjoy it. So I decided then that I wanted to make going to the Biennial "my thing". But alas, its just not worked out too well and I'm running out of time. Funds have been short, work has been busy, and I always planned to do it in May but now everything is in flux for me and I want to get that all settled first. Even still, I'm not sure I've got the money.

But, then I remembered that May is the month when FleetBoston allows their bank customers free admission to a slew of museums in the northeast. Including the Whitney! Well, actually no, the Whitney wasn't on the list. BUT the Met was, and I do enjoy the Met, too. So, now I'm thinking about going in early on the cheap bus, then getting out late (though, it probably won't need to be too late) after hitting the Met and the Whitney. Just have to figure out how much it will cost, but I'm frankly pretty detirmined to do it.

$10 bus to Boston, get to NYC at 11:30
$5 lunch in NYC at some conveniently cheap location
$7 Metrocard for the day
$12 Admission to the Whitney
$10 cheap dinner
$10 bus back to Boston, leave NYC at 7:00pm

Total: $54. And frankly, dinner should only cost me $5. But that gives me room to pick up som H&H Bagels.

I can do that. I think. A lot of traveling for one day, though. But, I think it'd be worth it. Something to think about.

Broken Record #3

So, have I mentioned going to Amazon.com to review "The Obesity Myth" yet?

Promise, last time. I just wanted to stress that its important to check the site regularly AND to encourage others to do the same. The word is out in the anti-fat crowd and they are bashing the book early and often, obviously without reading a word. Its really important right now to keep on them and make sure others see that these uninformed negative attacks do not reflect the book's value. I'll be getting the book next week and can't wait to write my own review. Until then, vote the positive reviews as helpful and the negative reviews as unhelpful. Thanks everyone!


Great Minds Thinking Alike

Well, okay, so maybe I don't really have a great mind, but two bonafide great minds on fat acceptance, Marilyn Wann and Jennifer Portnick, had the same idea I did about running to Amazon.com to post reviews. Predictably, the anti-fat folks are out front on this, too, so its all the more important to go there and post your own reviews of the new Paul Campos book as soon as you've read it. And go right now to mark the fat haters' reviews as unhelpful.

The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos
Fat!So? by Marilyn Wann
Big Fat Lies by Dr. Glenn Gaesser

And while you're at it, Barnes and Noble does customer reviews, too, so swing on over there and offer your opinion.

The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos


Earthquake's gonna get you!

So, I'm watching NBC's ratings gimmick, er, TV Movie, 10.5 because I've got a thing for disaster movies. I missed the start when they destroyed Seatle, but I caught the start of the destruction of Northern California. Some of it has been watchable, but other parts have been absolutely embarassing. Especially as it can't seem to stop adding side stories which keep collapsing back onto themselves. The silliest thing though was a scene shot like a chase scene from a monster movie as the Earthquake follows a train and eventually catches up to it and takes it down. The "earthquake" was the old fashioned tear in the earth style which trailed exactly along the train tracks and then conviently stopped once it ate the train.

Another thing I've noticed is that President Beau Bridges is remarkably Bush-esque, focusing more on strong leadership then getting the facts right. The movie is pushing this as a strength, but its not hard to see another side to it.

Also, I'm officially declaring John Schneider a "movie star" style actor. Which is funny because he's not a movie star, but I'm sticking to it. For me a "movie star" style actor is some who basically doesn't act. They just go out and be themselves and rely on the strength of their persona. Ever think of an actor who's performances are all the same? They aren't an actor. They are a "movie star". Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck are two of the most noticable examples. Think about it. Isn't Alec Baldwin always basically doing the same thing? Its always just Alec Baldwin mugging for the camera, which is enjoyable enough.

Schneider has just enough star power to pull it off, but only just enough. But its fine, because he's settled into the world of television. His work in 10.5 is so identical to his work on Smallville that's almost tough to keep up. Its all the same schtick. I like it an all, so I'm willing to look at it as "movie star" acting instead of a lack of ability.

More later.