Monday, June 27, 2005


There is a kind of forced relaxation involved when one is lying upon a table while assorted-long-yet-thin needles are strategically sticking out of the skin surrounding one's delicate eye area.

Bet that got your attention.

Okay, stop screaming. Just so we're clear on what I mean when I say needle, and that it is not in fact a euphemism for something far more sordid yet pleasurable,

I bring to you the word of the day: NEEDLE

Please peruse the following definitions and adopt the one that appeals best. Please use in a sentence later. I am particularly fond of the final informal definition, which involves alcoholic beverages, surprise, surprise.

1. A small, slender implement used for sewing or surgical suturing, made usually of polished steel and having an eye at one end through which a length of thread is passed and held. (May I simply add - DUH)

2. A slender piece of jewel or steel used to transmit vibrations from the grooves of a phonograph record. (Anyone too young to know what a phonograph is needs to get off the computer and go outside to play. Right now.)

3. A slender pointer or indicator on a dial, scale, or similar part of a mechanical device. ( It goes up to eleven.)

4. A magnetic needle. (Ru-Roh?)

5. A hypodermic needle. (Ru-Roh!)

6. Chiefly Upper Northern U.S. (You Southerners will have to simply accept the following as fact)
a. A narrow stiff leaf, as those of conifers.
b. A fine, sharp projection, as a spine of a sea urchin or a crystal.
c. A sharp-pointed instrument used in engraving.

7. Informal. A goading, provoking, or teasing remark or act. (I'm intimately familiar with this one)

v. needled, needling, needles
v. tr.
To prick, pierce, or stitch with a small, slender, sharp-pointed implement.
Informal. To goad, provoke, or tease.
Slang. To increase the alcoholic content of (a beverage).

For those who have managed to read this far, get through the first sentence while managing to refrain from blurting out a most girlie and undignified scream followed closely by the act of jumping upon a chair while knocking over the computer monitor and neighboring lamp; muttering "Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew..." incoherantly - it's actually quite refreshing. I started having acupuncture done on a weekly basis - oh - about a month and a half ago for the purpose of tapping into my inner Uma Thurman. (In the Acupuncture world, that is usually referred to as one's qi (pronounced CHEE). I prefer to call it Uma Thurman. It sounds far more dramatic and glamorous. I know I've mentioned in the past the importance of tapping into my inner Sharon Stone, but I'm blonder and wiser now and I have decided to move on.

Now, I did a bit of reading and I'm sure you'll find this FASCINATING - it turns out that the primitive society of China is divided into two time periods - The Old Stone Age(10,000 years ago and beyond) and the New Stone Age (10,000-4000 years ago). During the Old Stone Age knives were made of stone and were used for certain medical procedures. During the New Stone Age, stones were refined into fine needles and served as instruments of healing. They were named bian stone - which means use of a sharp edged stone to treat disease. Many bian stone needles were excavated from ruins in China dating back to the New Stone Age.

So this whole needles-in-the-face-thing has apparently been going on a while.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

2nd Post Today? What's Up With ME!?

I know, I know, - I write nothing for weeks, and then two in one day. What gives?

Hello out there. I was just introduced to a Blog that I feel compelled to mention. I was, for want of better words to describe my experience reading it - moved. Take a look when you have a few minutes at: POST SECRET


So, according to the up-to-the-minute-hard-hitting-news on Lindsay Lohan - the actress-soon-to-die-of-Consumption – she is quoted as having said during an Access Hollywood exclusive interview that “You will never see me in a nude scene,” and goes further to state that showcasing her [bones] ahem, body, is not the way to achieve her goal of winning an Oscar. Alrighty then. And to think I was not even aware of a consumer demand to see something like that. Silly me.

Which brings us to the word of the day and appropriate contextual usage:

Consumption: A progressive wasting of body tissue.

Use it in a sentence. If you live anywhere near Los Angeles, that should be easy.

Now far be it from me to jump on the band wagon of intense curiosity (even the intellectually respectable political blog The Cranky Liberal has managed to comment) about everything and anything having to do with the life of one very confused and tormented young actress in need of a milkshake, but there are actually people out there who seem to believe that achieving the physical attributes of the comic book character, SKELETOR, should be defended as being “regular” or “normal weight.” Look at the pictures that you cannot escape seeing in every formerly-reputable-at-one-time newspaper. Okay, now consider that the camera ADDS TEN POUNDS. Okay, now that you’ve taken that important detail into consideration, now visualize what one really looks like with that additional ten whittled off. Anybody want to see naked pictures of that? Ew.

There is a bit of a sexist bent to the whole weight-loss/weight-gain of the stars lust for news that we Americans seem to crave, far more than knowing how the soldiers might be faring in Iraq or the recent news that the Federal government has now voted that yes, they CAN take your home that you have owned for 30 years to build a strip mall if they so desire. Pish tush, who wants to hear about that? Anybody see the enormously talented Christian Bale in The Machinist? He dropped 63 pounds to look like a walking skeleton which is what the script called for. And he did. He simply stopped eating. He looked positively repulsive. That’s what walking skeletons look like. Not necessarily something one wants to jump in the sack with if the consequences mean cutting yourself on the person. And definitely not something one wants to see naked. We didn’t really hear much about Mr. Bale though, because despite his talent, he’s not really Hollywood news in the Tom-and-Katie, Brad-and-possibly-Angelina way. Low Q rating. No, in Hollywoodland, we hear about Rene Zellweger gaining a paltry 20 pounds for the Bridget Jones sequel so she can finally weigh a normal amount only to be considered FAT. Her weight gain for that film put her at a bovine 135. Just recently, another “news source” quoted Elizabeth Hurley as stating that she would want to kill herself if she got as fat as Marilyn Monroe. Now there’s something to put in print for the teenage girls to read.

This is our news though, so we must develop an interest in it since there is apparently no interest in anything else. The lack of care or respect for anything happening in the world other than the hedonistic pleasures or eating disorders of the stars and/or what designer label they might be wearing during said pleasures or disorders is what we Americans truly care about. It shapes our values accordingly. Which brings me to a lesser known news item . . . anybody hear about a little high school party about a month ago in the O.C. where about 300 students organized a home invasion of an elderly couple? Nope. Not until a month after it happened.

According to KNX 1070 News Radio and the lesser known Daily Pilot of Newport Beach, the crime was not given press until an anonymous letter went out to residents of the community. Again I say, one month later. What took place was that, "apparently, fliers, e-mails and a website advertised the party, thrown by teenage children of a caretaker who worked in the elderly couple's home, police said. The children's mother -- who cares for a woman in her 70s who is confined to a bed -- was not home at the time, police said. One of the homeowners' cars, with a pass to get into the gated community, ferried partygoers from a nearby parking lot into the home, [the police] said. The elderly woman's husband had gone to get something to eat and returned to find the party going on, the letter says. "Upon returning he found, by police estimates, 300-plus kids inside/outside his home," the letter reads. "Inside, his home was in the process of being vandalized. Furniture was upended and broken. Alcohol and drugs were everywhere.... Some of his personal belongings were sitting in the bottom of his pool," the letter reads. The letter also alleges that students were in the disabled woman's bedroom, blowing marijuana smoke in her face.

300 children. From white, well-to-do Republican Orange County households. Invaded, terrorized and trashed the home of a pair of senior citizens. This is something that I think should have gotten far more press than it did, criminal charges against the parents for being, oh, I don’t know, LOUSY PARENTS, and certainly not a small news item one month after the fact. I wish there was some witty or funny quip I could make about this, but I’m too disgusted.

Guess I’ll go look up more news about what Lindsay Lohan’s wearing. There, that’s better.

Monday, June 06, 2005


This morning is still rather a blur. Due to studying for finals and the resulting insomnia prompted by unsolicited algebraic expressions invading my brain followed by oversleeping due to Dramamine ingestion to cure the aforementioned insomnia and arriving at work minutes late with make-up artfully applied over severe mattress face, I open my e mail this morning to find that I had been


by a few of my fellow bloggers.

Some strange non-English speaking tongue was used and the word “MEME” kept creeping into the content. I don’t know what MEME is and it is more than likely yet another word invented by some poor kid with broken glasses who has yet to lose his (or her) virginity that will no doubt find its way into the lexicon of the English speaking world thereby managing to force its way into the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. . .if “BLING” can make it in, one can be reasonably sure MEME is soon to follow.

I detest all things that smack of Chain Letter, because I see them all as a low-fi form of marketing designed to frighten, a.k.a. bilk me of my nonexistent millions or get me to sign my life insurance policy over to someone who needs to know how many books or DVD’s I own and if I don't send that same inquiry to five other people within X number of hours I am surely to keel over from some horrible thing that makes me die instantly while still leaving me attractive. . .like Joaquin Phoenix in LADDER 49...isn’t he just the cutest?

I got a little interested in the history of this locust plague on the serenity of millions who trustingly open their mail and or email each day only to be threatened with DEATH.

Turns out, it has a religious beginning.

Religious: The first form near the beginning of the 1900’s were Letters from Heaven which claimed to have been written by God or some divine agent, commanding observance of the Sabbath to ward off “various misfortunes.”

Luck: These were also called “prayer chains” because many would start with either a Prayer or Bible verse, and appealed to superstition to encourage their copying or circulation. Beginning around 1900, copy quotas and deadlines were added, and claims of divine authorship and magical protection were removed.

Charity. This letter requests money or some item be sent to a particular address, ostensibly for charitable, political or memorial purposes.

Petition. I think we saw a lot of these during the last election. Chain petitions request their own reproduction, circulation and delivery of signatures. A early example was an attempt to draft Calvin Coolidge as the Republican nominee for President [1927], but their use in political campaigns goes back at least to 1912 (NYT).

Money. Money chain letters urge the recipient to send money to one or more prior senders, claiming that one can likewise benefit in the future. Money chain letters originated in the United States in the spring of 1935.

Exchange. The exchange chain letters ask that an item small value, such as a recipe or postcard, be sent to one or more prior senders, promising that if the chain is not broken the sender will in turn receive many such items. They first appeared in 1935, modeling the infamous Send-a-Dime money chain letter [1936].

"World Record". In the 1980's (as if the 1980’s didn’t have enough on it’s plate what with the president, the hair, the hyper pigment shirts, ya da ya da) a certain postcard exchange chain letter specialized to circulate among children and falsely claimed that its faithful continuation would soon result in a Guinness world record for chain letters [1985]. By the new millennium the request for postcards had been deleted and the letter is now motivated solely by its promise of a world record (crediting each sender!) and the threat that anyone who breaks the chain will spoil this effort and be identified [2000].

Parody. Very soon after the first publicity (April 19, 1935) of the Send-a-Dime craze, parodies appeared that mocked both the language and the geometrical progression of Send-a-Dime. Examples mentioned in the press include "Send-a-Pint" and the "Drop Dead Club" (shoot the first person on the list).

Chain E-mail. For "chain e-mail" (frequently forwarded e-mail) there are a large and growing number of motives for replication. Hoaxes, humor and expressions of friendship are prominent. The following is an alphabetic list of some of the many topics observed since 1993: admonitions (duty to friends, sobriety, safe sex), anti chain letters, aphorisms, ASCII art and scrollers, communication experiments and demonstrations, consumer warnings, friendship, hoaxes (virus warnings, charity, giveaways, false quotations), human rights alerts, humor (single jokes and lists, office humor items, stories), inspiration, Internet protection (modem tax, phone charges, anti-censorship), good luck (often in sex or romance), missing children, money chains, number guessing tricks, parodies, patriotism, personality tests, petitions, poems, political commentary, practical jokes (especially April Fools Day), prayer requests, protests, rumors, school & exams, seasonal (Christmas, St. Valentine's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving Day), speeches, surveys, tag (snowball fight, mooning), urban legends (warnings, humor), Web page suggestions and voting recommendations. Many of these topics appear in combination, such as a humor item with a short luck chain attached.

Okay, so now with that little history lesson – I feel safely confident that I can, with all the sincerity that one finds within the contents of a chain letter or e mail, let the next person who sends one know, and I deliver this message with the utmost of respect and love, that their genitalia will disappear and never return. I promise.

Feel free to pass this along to five of your closest friends.

source: Chain Letter Evolution, Daniel W. VanArsdale ©1998, 2002