Thursday, February 26, 2009

There's always a fly in the good books being turned into films ointment.

If you haven't read any of Jonathan Ames work, then I pity you and encourage you to immediately run out and pay full price for one of his delightful books. I would probably urge you to buy/read The Extra Man, his 1998 slightly autobiographical novel about a struggling young writer, his obsessions with the trannie community and his relationship with an older man who takes the young writer on as his protege to learn the ropes of being an Extra Man, or walker, for rich, older ladies. Ames has also written several books of comic memoirs, in the vein of David Sedaris, as well as establishing himself as a raconteur/performer in the New York alternative theatre world and on television with his own special on Showtime and with numerous appearances on David Letterman. He is an all around great guy, a terrific writer and possesses a noble, muscular physique that he uses to his advantage in his alternate guise as a boxer named The Herring Wonder. I would marry him if I could.

So naturally, I was delighted when I heard that The Extra Man was being made into a movie, and that Jonathan Ames was adapting his book for the film, AND serving as an Executive Producer, (and hopefully having some control over how his work is adapted into film), AND I was even more delighted when I heard that Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcinki, the directors of one of the best films of this decade, American Splendor, were signed to co-write and direct the film, AND even more pleased to hear that Kevin Kline and Paul Dano, (he played both Sunday brothers in There Will Be Blood) were signed for the two male leads AND modestly pleased to hear that John C Reilly was going to be in it, too.

BUT,then, I heard the name "Katie Holmes" and saw a picture of America's Favorite Bearded Wife in costume for her role in The Extra Man and suddenly the air went out of my tires and I felt very, very, very tired and wanted to talk a long, long nap and hopefully wake up to find that all the Scientologists had been rounded up and sent back to Psychlo...yes, I'm being unfair, and maybe she'll be fine in the film, but really...they couldn't have found a more interesting twentysomething actress than this stick in a pair of Tom's old rolled up jeans? For that matter, there's more interesting alums from Dawson's Creek that would be better suited to a role in this film...

Microsoft circumcises their temps...orders 10% pay cuts

The P.I. has the story and a very lively discussion in the comments section. If, for some reason, this sad situation was in any way related to MY life/career situation, I'm sure I would be running around my office and trying to find a P.M. or someone to clarify the situation and hopefully discover that it DIDN'T affect my career/paycheck situation because I was such a lowly gnat in the Circle of Life.

That's what I would be doing.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Media Meltdowns: Part XXXIV

I just figured out that Defamer has been folded into Gawker...For those of you NOT in the know, Defamer was the Hollywood branch of Nick Denton's blogmedia empire that started with Gawker, the parent New York-centric, media and culture obsessed blog started by Denton a thousand years ago, er, earlier in the decade (I can't find the date it started; Wikipedia has failed me again...). While Gawker Media has prospered more than most other blog based businesses, they've still been hurt by the economic downturn. They've already sold off some of their blogs, (the very popular Wonkette), closed others and late last year announced that Defamer and Valleywag (Silicon Valley/Tech blog) were up for sale, but there were no buyers and both properties are being folded into Gawker.

This is a bummer because in it's heyday, Defamer was a very entertaining way to spend part of your was a snarky, hip take on the usual melange of frivolous Hollywood news and gossip, (call it the anti-Entertainment Tonite if you will), and reading it made you feel like a part of the Hollywood Power Elite and privy to the location of some of the real tinsel that is normally buried beneath all the fake tinsel that is your typical Hollywood based newssource.

Gawker will obviously continue to have Hollywood based stories and news, but it won't be the same...

Long Live Defamer.

Art I Hate

Are we done with the Big Headed, Big Eyed Waif movement in art yet? It's been around for the last 30 to 40 years, and has really taken off in the last 10 or so thanks to several popular artists like Mark Ryden (who's very good at it) and now every other young artist seems to favor this style...well, young artists, we get it; we understand why this appeals to you...people are doll-like, or you, the artist feel doll-like and it looks cool, like a cartoon or comic,'s played out. Tired. Boring. Done to Death.


Dear Young Artists of the World: Unless you can do something NEW and INTERESTING with this shopworn cliche, please do not add any more paintings of this ilk to the Canon of Cliche. The category is closed, for the time being.

Thank you.

The Management.

The artist here is Jennifer Springman. (Note: This is not a bad painting, just a tired style of painting...)

Dawn Dudek

Currently Dawn continues to work on her painting series titled Filmscapes. Recently her painting 'Saving Clementine' was selected for the December 2008 exhibition at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris under the high patronage of Monsieur Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the Republic of France.

The following is a commentary written by the artist describing her filmscape paintings.

“For many years I have liked the look of film stills, and my experience in animation has made me much more aware of how the single can represent the whole.

Conceptually the series has evolved, conveying more personal interpretations of the stills.There is a now a parallel between the still in its relation to the narrative of the film and my experiences. Memories and emotions are used to create themes within the series. The selected image is abstracted from a timeline, but when isolated and reconstructed it opens itself to more diverse interpretations. The juxtaposition of personal memories on cinematic imagery is a theme that I am continuing to develop.

Deconstructing the frame into top and bottom is one of the most interesting aspects of the work. While making the subject matter more dynamic, it also represents the passage of time and more literally the film frames frozen between one and the next.”
from Dawn Dudek's website.
The top piece, Cleo wears a new hat, is very powerful to me...for some odd, unknown reason, it brought tears to my eyes and I'm not quite sure why. I don't think it's a sad piece but it is very evocative. And that big empty bed is haunting and dominates over this domestic scene.

This work, Saving Clementine, is sexy, obviously, but it's also ambivalent. It feels like a light, lusty moment in time but there's a sense of forboding here as well, like something bad is going to happen to one of these young lovers. But you're unsure of who's ultimately going to be cast as victim or victimizer.
Meeting up on a field makes me a little homesick for the Midwest...I think it's all that clear, white/blue sky...and maybe the football makes me think of high school. Or at the very least, a movie about a high school.


Another gay bookstore bites the dust. West Hollywood's A Different Light has announced that it will be closing its doors by mid-April at the latest. This announcement comes only a few weeks after news that NYC's famed Oscar Wilde Bookstore was shutting its doors after 42 years in business. A Different Light will continue to operate its San Francisco branch, and on-line.

ADL's owner is blaming construction on Santa Monica Blvd and a devasting fire next door at a popular bar for the demise of the West Hollywood store, but I don't think he's being entirely honest. Queer bookstores are dying because queers don't NEED to go to a GLBT bookstore to buy queer themed books; the bigbox book stores now all have a GLBT aisle and means you don't even have to leave home to buy your latest erotic coffee table book or Armistead Maupin novel. And all queer bookstores relied heavily on sales of porn mags/books/media and gay tchotchkes and postcards to offset the low profit margins on books. But the problem there is, hard copy sales of porn items are declining across the board, regardless of sexuality, as people either buy these items online, go digital or make do with free imagery from the internet. And, no one sends postcards or greeting cards anymore, and the few people left who desire a rainbow flag, t-shirt, bumper sticker or necklace will either buy it online, or wait and buy it at the next Pride event they attend. Without porn and postcards, the GLBT bookstore is doomed to die.

And, it's too bad. In their day, these stores were an important community resource for news and information; a place to connect with the queer community. I think there is still a need for such places and if I had the money, I'd open one up in a heartbeat. But, I'm smart enough to realize that you just can't open a books only type of business and hope to succeed. I'd either combine books with some other kind of retail, or do a joint book/food/coffee/maybe booze type of establishment. It would be the only way to survive and thrive in our economic climate and in the way we've learned to do business.

Tonite on Lost: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Locke's mission off the island as Jeremy is revealed.

Guest List
Guest starring are Malcolm David Kelley as Walt, John Terry as Christian Shephard, Alan Dale as Charles Widmore, Lance Reddick as Matthew Abaddon, William Blanchett as Aaron, Said Taghmaoui as Caesar, Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana, Ammar Daraiseh as Hajer, Grisel Toledo as Susie, Stephen Scibetta as foreman and John Jamal Bradley as kid.


John Locke has always been a character that gets on my nerves, (he's such a gawdamned idiot!) so I have some trepidation about an entire episode devoted to him, but I also have to admit that Locke-centric episodes tend to be GOOD episodes with lots of information revealed and tonite's episode looks especially promising. The promos and coming attractions have already revealed that Locke "wakes up" on the Island after presumedly being dead, (that they revealed this in the promos, is pretty shitty in my opinion), so I'm not being spoilery when I mention this. And I doubt if we find out much about Locke's post-death condition on tonite's episode, whether he'd really died back in the states and was just in a comatose state or if he did die and now exists as some post-mortem, Christian Shephard-ish, ghostly Island tour guide. I think the title of tonite's show makes it pretty clear we're going to find out what happened to Locke after he turned the Frozen Donkey Wheel and probably spend more time off Island, than on Island; after all, Locke/Bentham has a lot of ground to cover in tonite's show...

Judging by the cast list, we already know that Locke/Bentham visits Walt and it stands to reason that Charles Widmore would be interested in spending some quality time with John Locke as well, if only to compare notes, (at some point, Widmore has been forced to leave the Island). And, Lance Reddick returns as the mysterious Matthew Abaddon, a character we've only briefly and enigmatically encountered in previous episodes but according to the actor who just gave an interview with TV Guide, tonite's episode will reveal a considerable amount of information on who Abaddon is, and what role he plays in the grand scheme of things.

Also note, Caesar and Ilana return from last week's episode...Ilana was the mysterious woman that was escorting the handcuffed Sayid on flight 318 and Caesar was the only other passenger in First Class with the other Losties. Will we find out who the hell they are and most importantly, who do they work for?

And, here's my favorite quote from one of the released promo scenes:

Locke: Why are you helping me?

Someone: "Because there's a war coming, John."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Conservative Sex Scandals, Part XVII

I didn't comment on it on here, but I'm sure most of you are aware of the sex scandal involving Aaron Bruns, the Fox News producer arrested last month on charges of possession of child pornography and if you're a liberal, you were probably doing the Dance of the Schaudenfreude that yet another stupid conservative type was exposed as a hypocrite.

Well, there's more to the story. Kenneth Walsh of the blog, Kenneth in the (212) has discovered that Mr Bruns has had a lot of interesting jobs that he may or may not have included on the resume he submitted when he was hired on at Fox News. Apparently, Bruns has also done some modeling, which isn't that unusual for an attractive, well-built young person interested in media-centric careers, but what is a little unusual about it, is that Bruns did nude modeling and appeared in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Supercharged Kama Sutra (Illustrated!) and the art reference book, Virtual Pose Duo: The Ultimate Visual Reference Series for Drawing the Human Figure. The Kama Sutra book doesn't feature full frontal nudity, (apparently, Idiots aren't interested in genitals) but the Pose Duo book does feature non-sexual, full-frontal nudity so it's probably NSFW at most workplaces.

Isn't it a bit ironic that Fox News has lambasted the President for not properly vetting some of his cabinet picks, when apparently Fox News doesen't do much of a background check on its own employees?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Win an Oscar and go to Disneyland...

While the rest of Hollywood was either on the talkshow circuit discussing their Oscar win, or at home nursing a hangover and/or walking up to find a seat filler in bed next to them, the young cast members of Slumdog Millionaire got to go to Disneyland and celebrate with Mickey...but without leads Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto who were probably busy with the talkshows and/or lining up their next gigs.

also not pictured, Mickey Rourke who had to return his tux to the Hollywood Wax Museum and host Hugh Jackman who left for Palm Springs to rest and recuperate from his onerous hosting duties...

Real Gay Man and One Who Pretends to be Gay Win Oscars.

Both Dustin Lance Black, the screenwriter of Milk and Sean Penn, the star of the film, won Oscars last night and both gave moving acceptance speeches that addressed the issue of gay marriage rights, but Mr Black gets all the brownie points because he didn't fail to thank his beautiful, long suffering, "I've sacrificed my career for you, you two-timing, cheating, sumbitch!" like Mr Penn did...

Also, small children of South Asian descent are adorable and a welcome addition to the red carpet, especially if they're an aid in tripping up dimwitted red carpet interviewers like Ryan Sechrest.

And, I don't think I'm the only who left watching the Oscars last night convinced that Hugh Jackman might just be the gayest non-gay on the planet, and also wonder how long he can keep up the pretense that he's just an old-fashioned song and dance man who can't help it if everything he does on stage seems to be in distinct hommage to the man he portrayed on Broadway in The Boy From Oz, Peter Allen...

Oh, and the following:

Is Beyonce the go to person for every single gawdamned awards show?

More Tina Fey/Steve Martin partnerships, please!

I don't think the actors from Slumdog will get much of a boost from the movies success, (Frieda Pinto will end up as a second string Bond girl and Dev Patel will get some gawky, horny teen roles) but I'm thinking that composer A.R. Rahman will line up plenty of work, both in film and colloborating with other music just know that Madonna has plans to suck him dry...

and, Waltz with Bashir was robbed.

That is all.

Friday, February 20, 2009

5 Reasons to watch the Academy Awards...

1)Host Hugh Jackman might accidentally fall out of his clothes.
2)I want to see Waltz with Bashir win Best Foreign Film...hopefully
3)The emotion of Heath Ledger winning a posthumous Oscar
4)The production numbers for the two nominated songs from Slumdog Millionaire might actually be entertaining.
5)All 9 of the young actors who play the three various stages of the three primary characters in Slumdog will be there. The charm of these 9 performances, (esp the youngest three) is one of the primary attributes of this sweet, but slight and overpraised film. Here's a story about the two young actors who actually are Mumbai slum dwellers preparing for their trip to Hollywood. And, here's a link to the best scene in the entire film, the big ending credits/traditional Bollywood dance number and the Oscar nominated song Jai Ho. (You might not want to watch if you haven't seen the film...)

Picture is of the youngest actors accepting their SAG Awards for best ensemble in a film, in Mumbai (all 11 principle actors got an award, but 7 of the 9 young actors didn't attend the ceremony in Los Angeles, last month.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Does anyone care?

I mean, seriously does anyone believe in all these "Angie vs Jen" covers we've seen week after week after week on the covers of the tabloids for the last, what, five years? How many times have they confronted each other, or almost confronted each other or threatened to confront each other? I really can't stand either one of them, or Brad Pitt for that matter, and I think they both are a little crazy, in the whole, everyone in Hollywood is a bit crazy/self-absorbed way, but I have my doubts that Aniston spends every waking moment agonizing over her loss of Pitt or Jolie's role in that. I mean, Aniston is kept very busy filming vapid movies, appearing on Oprah, hanging out with best buds, the Cox-Arquettes and romancing mega-talent John Mayer to have time for that kind of ca-ca, right?

Giving Republicans props when they are due...

1)Gov Sarah Palin's 18 year old daughter Bristol who recently had a baby, gave an interview where she stated that telling young people to be abstinent is "not realistic at all."

2)Arch conservative leader of the Religious Right, Pat Robertson denounces asshat Rush Limbaugh for hoping President Obama fails in all his endeavors to save the economy.

3)President Bush refused to give in to Dick Cheney's persistent demands during the final weeks of the Bush Administration that Bush pardon Cheney's disgraced chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

Meanwhile, failed Republican presidential candidate Sen John McCain continues to be a complete and utter douche and an obstructionist to President Obama and his administration's attempts to save the American economy.

Tonite on Lost: 316

The members of Oceanic 6 discover how to get back to the island, but not all of them want to return

Guest List
Guest starring are Fionnula Flanagan as Eloise Hawking, Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, Sai d Taghmaoui as Caesar, Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana, Mary Mara as Jill, Raymond J. Barry as Ray, Kavita Patil as Rupa Krishnavani, P. D. Mani as Nabil, Rebecca Hazlewood as Nalini, Patti Hastie as barfly, Glen Bailey as magician and Ned Van Zandt as Mr. Dorsey.

Hmmmm....might 316 refer to a flight number? And, there are so many South Asian names on this cast list...I wonder if someone is planning a trip on Ajira Airlines? And do you think that Frank Lapidus might be working for that airline?

Other casting to note: the characters of Caesar and Ilana will recur in more than one episode, (it's thought to be at least 4); Jill is the name of the lady butcher that is keeping John Locke's body on ice and Raymond J Barry is rumored to be playing one of the main character's grandfather but we don't know if it's a contemporary scene or a flashback...

Coming up next week: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham featuring the adventures of John Locke after he turned the Frozen Donkey Wheel and was evicted from the island. Oh, and it looks like Locke DID fix the Donkey Wheel and the Time Shifts have ceased or at least slowed for the time being...there are leaked shots of the actors in specific costumes related to a specific time of the Island's least parts of 5 or six episodes are set in that particular and very, very interesting period of time...on that note, I'll have to say Namaste.

The photo is of a much, much, much younger Jeff Fahey, aka, Frank Lapidus...I'd forgotten how pretty he was...

High Speed Rail: Coming Soon to a neighborhood near you?

The Republicans were convinced that Harry Reid was pushing for money in the stimulus package to go towards high speed rail in order to get a high speed rail line built between L.A. and Las Vegas which would obviously make Reid constituents very happy. Yet, the feds have been working on plans for high speed corridors for several years, and L.A.-L.V. is not one of those designated as a high priority project. Here's a map of projected projects that would serve the greatest good:
It's nice to see that the Pacific Northwest hasn't been left out, but this plan seems confusing. There are tiny gaps between some of the corridors; why not fill in those gaps to make fully functional regional systems? That seems most apparent in Texas where it would seem to make sense to have the triangle of Dallas/San Antonio/Houston linked up.

And, obviously, this will cost billions and billions of dollars to realize and take years but at least it's a high speed step in the right direction.

Douchebag of the Month Club

Beau Breedlove, the May component of the scandalous May-December relationship with out-gay mayor of Portland Oregon, Sam Adams has done an "erotic photo session" and will be the cover story of the May issue of the gay men's magazine, Unzipped, an adult publication that features full frontal nudity and stories that focus on gay sex, erotica and porn films and their stars.


I thought Breedlove was supposed to be the innocent victim of all this? The poor, young, naive gay youth corrupted by a nasty, predatory, much older gay "child" molester and pathological liar...shouldn't Breedlove be sobbing somewhere, tearfully confessing to a love gone tragically wrong? Or am I being too harsh? Maybe exposing your wing-wang for cash because you're a media celebrity as a result of a sex scandal is an accepted form of therapy and a vital ingredient in the recipe for self-improvement! I mean, Breedlove's female equivalents have done the same, or similar, for the last 40 years; why should gay men be exempt from cashing in on their notoriety? Fair is fair, after all.

And, on a personal note, I'm hoping Mr Breedlove has been working out; I don't think he's unattractive or unhealthy but while he might be young and trim, he is not exactly personal snap shots of Breedlove posing in a brief Speedo swimsuit taken at a beach that have been leaked to the media, he didn't exactly display the stereotypical toned and well muscled physique of your average American Gay Twink/Pin up Model...and while it doesn't bother ME in the slightest, and I consider such attention to the importance of physical perfection to be abhorrant, I also know how vicious many Geighs can be about such perceived physical imperfections like badly receding hairlines or flabby body shapes.

Or, character imperfections, for that matter...

O.K., O.K....I know I'm coming off a little harsh, and like I'm some bitchy, old, prim, puritanical prude and I'm trying too hard to be arch and "funny" but this little twerp is pissing me off with his hypocrisy. Initially, Breedlove did take the high road when the scandal broke and said all the right things in a prudent manner, and generally acted like a "gentleman" and a grown-up. But, gradually, he kept on talking and commenting and adding more and more to the story and he quickly exited off the high road and merged onto the Highway of Trash Celebrity. It became obvious that Breedlove realized he liked the attention and the possible perks of being a media whore. Yes, I understand he's young and the young tend to be foolish and callow, but Breedlove is starting to roll around in the filth of his shallowness. And what's going to happen when the celebrity is gone? The media circus of any scandal is always ready to move on to the next big thing in the next big town...and let's be honest...a minor gay sex scandal involving the mayor of a minor American city is going to quickly get overshadowed by something newer and bigger and juicier. Our boy Beau is getting some attention and a little money for his fame NOW, but it's not going to last much longer and the money he's getting is minor. And when the end seems to be in sight, is he going to be able to withdraw from his celebrity heroin habit or will he crave more? Is an exclusive deal with Michael Lucas or Chi Chi LaRue or Titan Studios for Breedlove's porn film debut very far off? It wouldn't surprise me but it would also sadden me that this kid feels compelled to make foolish choices to extend his 15 minutes of trashy, unearned fame.

The photo is credited to Zach Sire and I found it HERE.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Did the President sneak this into the stimulus package?

From Politico: Obama plots huge railroad expansion

$8 Billion is a drop in the bucket, but it's a good start and makes it clear that Obama is in favor of high speed rail. Bush approved $1.5 billion last fall to expand rail, but that was funding designed to last through 2013. Obama wants at least a billion dollars MORE to be funded EVERY year. That's very good news, but only if they manage to spend that money wisely.

And, since the Right is convinced we're becoming a Socialist state, we might as well embrace it and have a practical, efficiently run, environmentally friendly mass transit, inter city/state, rail transportation system like Europe's....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Makes Patrick Dempsey look like dog poo...

The real Dr McDreamy is Dr Frank Spinelli the author of The Advocate Guide to Gay Men's Health and Wellness. Does former Slogger, Mr Poe know about this Silver Foxed DILF?

I would never go to this guy as my doctor...I would stammer and blush the entire time he was examining me. My own GP is cute, and gay for that matter and I already feel awkward enough around him, (primarily because he's so ridiculously young). Going to the doctor is supposed to make you feel BETTER, not lower your self-esteem...

Be a Good Neighbor and Give Generously to the Dutchmen Fund.

I was asked by a good friend to post this story over a month ago and I never got around to it and feel quite guilty. For those of you unaware, the Dutchmen is a very historic place not only for the Seattle music community, but for anyone who's a fan of rock music and grunge in particular. Nirvana, Tad, Mudhoney; they all recorded there. Here's the gist of the story:

On the morning of Thursday January 8, historic rehearsal studios the Dutchman and Calleye recording studios were destroyed by a tragic fire. Gary Mula, founder and proprietor of this Seattle music landmark, was away when the blaze erupted and fortunately was not injured. He is however terribly shaken and unsure of his future.

The Dutchman Fund has been organized in response to this catastrophe. The intent of the fund is to provide an opportunity for Gary's friends and colleagues to assist him in a time of dire need. This website has been set-up as a channel to receive donations (which are payable directly to Gary via PayPal) and to promote upcoming benefits. It is also intended to serve as a resource to communicate developing news on the event and its aftermath, as well as serve as community forum to remember and celebrate the Dutchman and Calleye.

UPDATE: January 23, 2009
The Seattle Fire Department has determined that the cause of the fire was accidental and has handed control of the building back to the owner's insurance company who are in the process of conducting their own investigation. At present Gary has limited, escorted access to the studio. He was able to determine that Jules-studio cat extraordinaire-unfortunately did not make it out of the building. He was a fantastic cat who will be greatly missed. As for Gary's personal belongings, a few items have been salvaged, but all of his instruments and studio gear have been totally destroyed. On the brighter side, his data archives and most of his hard discs miraculously survived the fire and a great deal of data has been recovered. His main recording drive however, did not survive and we're hoping to raise funds to recover the data. There's a lot of wonderful music on this drive and it would be tragic if it is lost forever. If anyone out there specializes in data recovery and would be willing to donate their services, please contact us immediately.

Here's the link to the website.

I'll beat Slog to the punch on Dick Day and post this:

TV Time

1)I forgot that The Amazing Race started a new series last night and I missed it.

Damn it.

2)Since getting a digital converter box for the tv, I've noticed that ocassionally the sound will be very slightly out of sync with the picture. I watched a few minutes of Good Morning, America this morning and it happened and it looked like Diane Sawyer had wandered into a Japanese monster movie from the 60' was a little off putting.

3)I put on a dvd of one of the seasons of Strangers With Candy late last night. That show is fucking brilliant, acutely politically incorrect, (Jerri calls her brother faggot constantly, which makes me wince until I remind myself that Amy Sedaris is beyond reproach), twistedly perverse and always manages to stay on target with its agenda, (great satiric comedy with a not so subtle message).

Also, it's amazingly filthy. How can you not love a show where the heroine professes to love both the "pole and the hole" and delights in telling prospective dates that she's "moist as a snack cake, down there"...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I love the Stranger and I hate it.

The Stranger is an immensely entertaining publication that I enjoy reading that can ocassionally produce some strong journalism. Slog can be a fascinating, frustrating, lively public forum of ideas, information, humor, stupidity and infantile dribble, (and I fully acknowledge that I contribute to both intellectual discussion and childish snarking and quipping...). But the Stranger and its staff are cursed by the fact that they're neither fish nor fowl. They want to be the popular, funny, snarky, witty, cool kids with the satire and the cursing and the mocking and the hip, "ain't we cool" street cred. They also seem to want to be serious journalists that report serious news and get treated with dignity and respect by their readers, the community and most importantly, their peers while serving as a valuable resource for the community. But is it possible to put out a publication that wants to be both "The Onion" and "The New York Times" simultaneously? That seems to be their goal, but they frequently and alternately succeed and fail at each endeavor. And the staff has a tendency to pout if they don't feel they're appreciated enough as journalists or humorists. And, I think a lot of people have the attitude that this schizophrenia is ok or normal or justified because after all, it's only a dumb alt weekly run by a bunch of stupid hippy/snarky/druggy/faggy kids, but the fact is, the Stranger is run/owned by men and women in their mid-forties and up, and only a handful of staffers are actually twentysomething kids. I think The Stranger is a great example of what the New Journalism COULD be, but I'm also thinking that if they want to really become leaders of the New Journalism movement and realize their potential, they're going to have to pick a direction and stick to other words, decide to be the witty, funny journal of entertainment and satire with an arts focus, (like The Onion's AV Club) or be a legitimate news organization that publishes factual, well-written and even witty reportage, (like, well, no one actually does that).

Oh and Dick Free Day is a pretty "funny" idea from a website where all but about two or three of it's writers frequently ARE dicks (I don't always love what they write but Jen Graves and Paul Constant are very seldom dickish or inspire it), or write things that very frequently and very intentionally incite dick like responses, (ECB and Savage).

I'm a bit bitter,

after 5 days of being raked over the coals during Stancl/Frizzelle/StrangerGate. Apparently I'm a monster for suggesting that people accused of criminal acts are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and for suggesting that gay people and gay teenagers and gay teenagers involved in a sex crimel MIGHT not always get fair and just treatment from society, the law, the media and public opinion. I must be wrong because gay people are always justly treated in our society, and the police and the court system never have an agenda, and the media is always fair and impartial, and innocent people never go to jail, and the punishment always, always, always fits the crime....right? And even though I've made it quite clear I'm not saying that Stancl is innocent, or that it's ok to rape, or molest anyone, or that it's ok to blackmail people or call in bomb threats or that I'm in favor of child pornography, I've been accused of all those things because either I haven't made myself clear enough, or because people refuse to see any other viewpoint than the one they've already formed, or because people are just a bit stupid and awful or more likely, a combination of all of the above.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The roller coaster ride of human sexuality...

I thanked Chris in the Couv for pointing out the fact on Slog, that the nature of gay teens and how they react to their sexual natures is an important component to the Stancl case. He was referring mainly to Stancl and his sexuality, but I think the nature of the victim's sexualities could well be a major component of this case as well.It's not something people want to think about and I'm NOT, in any way suggesting that victims in sex crime cases "ask for it" or if they enjoy it, it didn't really happen, or any of that bullshit but I am going to go out on a limb here and say that in some cases and some situations, what appears to be the truth, may not be the truth and when a case involves gay issues, it can be even more complicated especially when it involves young adults.

I think part of the problem is, no one has bothered to really think about, HOW this happened; what was the process from start to finish and what seems logical and likely. Think about it: Stancl poses as a cute teen girl on Facebook (we'll call her Lucy)and makes tons of friends and starts flirting with the boys and emailing them and lures them in and at some point asks for naked pictures, and GETS quite a few, then apparently introduces a theme of "her" having a gay male friend and then the possibility of some sort of sex event involving all the parties involved. Well, obviously the majority of the boys who've been flirting with "Her" are going to drop out of this conversation, in disgust, and they do, but not all the boys appear to be that disgusted...

At least 7 of the boys don't back away, they keep going even though the element of homosexuality has been introduced. Does this mean they are gay? No, but it does mean that there might be some curiousity there, however small or otherwise why would they proceed? And, why would a blackmail threat from Lucy at this point mean anything? More than likely, "Lucy" has sent the boys a naughty picture of her, and since nothing "gay" has taken place "she" really can't hold THAT over their heads as a form of blackmail can she? So, we don't know exactly how Lucy/Stancl worded things but at some point, they have to agree to meet in person; we don't know how this came about but it had to be somewhat gradual because at some point Stancl had to make the reveal, "oh, there is no Lucy the Slut; I made her up!" This would seem to give the boys an out; "Fuck you man, I'm out of here!" but it doesn't seem to happen. And we don't know exactly what happens next, but somehow Stancl is able to convince them to do something sexual. We don't know how long it took or how harrassing it was, or how intimidating or how abusive, or not abusive it was, but it happens...and according to some of the reports, at least some of the encounters take place in the school bathroom, which seems a bit odd.. But how difficult was it? Why did the boys give in? Why didn't they go to teachers or parents or cops? Was Stancl, a peer who was their age or two or three or four years older, (and in at least one case, Stancl was apparently younger) have enough authority and power to control them? In most other similar situations, it's usually a much older authority figure OUT of their peer group that is able to manipulate and control their did Stancl pull this off?

Now I know this goes against prevailing wisdom. I think the majority prefer to think of this as a pornographic melodrama: an evil pedophilic villain twirling his moustache, luring young boys into the bathroom and blackmailing them into blowjobs, but it can't be that simple can it? These events didn't happen over night; there had to be some sort of gradual reveal. They apparently occurred over a series of months, if not years. Also, I'm not trying to excuse what happened, but it doesn't seem like it could be quite as cut and dried as it might appear. And I'm not impugning these boys or their reputation but there is some strong evidence that there had to be some degree of same sex interest on their part. It would seem to be it's either that or they were very emotionally immature for their age and easy to manipulate. Again, we don't know.

But I know what some of you are going to say; Stancl forced them and threatened them!
Perhaps, but since when do teenagers respect or bow to the will of other teenagers? Physically, smaller, weaker kids are always scared of the bigger, stronger and meaner but we haven't had any evidence of this. And threats of blackmail can't be ignored, but even the majority of frightened, immature, not very rationale thinking kids are going to be smart enough to say to a peer threatening to expose their naked pictures to the world, "uh, yeah, Tony and if you do everyone's going to know you're a big fag plus you're passing around naked images of minors which is against the law and you'll go to jail..."

But now it's come to light that one of the kids, did eventually go the police/his parents, though it seems unclear if this was BEFORE or AFTER the accusations against Stancl who was discovered after he made his moronic bomb threat against the school. Did the kid come forward because he felt he had to, to expose the crime committed against him, or did the kid come forward because he was scared of being labeled a fag? It's happened many, many, many times before. Young guy, (or not so young, for that matter) has gay sex for the first time and either his parents or his friends or some authority figures find out, OR, he has second thoughts about the whole incident and wants to come "clean" to relieve his conscience...Yeah, that happens a lot. I don't think most heterosexuals realize how traumatic the coming out process is for the majority of gay men and women. We've been programmed since birth about the evils of same-sex love; even modern kids who've been raised in liberal homes have issues with this. We're surrounded by images and words that tell us either our sexuality is bad, or at the very least MANY people think it is bad. So, the first time we have a same-sex is very emotional. It can be a joyous experience and an erotic experience but it can also be very troubling when you've realized that you've become a sexual outlaw. I don't know if this happened with one, or two or all of those 7 kids who had sex with Anthony Stancl, but I certainly think it's a possibility. And regardless if Stancl was a monster who abused his peers, or just a twisted little shit playing mind games, or a misunderstood gay teen using creative ways to get laid, he at the very least should have on his conscience that he might have fucked up these 7 guys, regardless of their sexuality, and complicated their lives and damaged the process of young humans coming to terms with their own sexual identities.

New Topic: I had a great meal last night at Senor Moose

in Ballard, (I had the Chicken Livers again) but there was one glitch...I did find a small piece of rubber in my entree. I think it might have been part of a rubber spatula that was in the process of decomposition. I didn't complain because the meal was fine and I like the place and I didn't want to cause a scene but it was a bit off putting...

Wow, when Frizzelle wimps out, he really wimps out...

Was he pressured? Or just a puss? 'Cause dude, you could have apologized for the tone of your original post, or the dumbass "Schaudenfreude" comment that straight jocks might deserve it, but you could have defended your original stance that this guy might be getting a bum rap because of his sexuality. I was under the impression you were concerned with the sexual politics of this guy being unfairly tried and convicted due to a bias against him because of his sexuality or for at least raising the point that such injustices do occur all the time in America when it comes to issues of sexuality, but maybe I was wrong to believe that...

It's very, very tiresome when people either,

don't GET what you're trying to say or refuse to LISTEN what you're trying to say.

Let me clarify:

Anthony Stancl has allegedly done some bad things. At best, he needs therapy. At worst, he needs punishment. Personally, he seems pretty douchy.

Anthony Stancl is also being unfairly judged because of his sexuality, his age and the age and sexualities of his alleged victims.

The definition of a pedophile is sexual attraction to a pre-pubescent child.

People attracted to post pubescent teenagers are not pedophiles. And, teenagers sexually attracted to other teenagers are not guilty of anything except of being human and desirous of contact with their own peers. Sort of like a 42 year old wanting to date a 36 year old, or a 27 year old getting married to a 32 year old. Why should it be thought odd that a 17 or 18 or 19 or even 20 or 21 year old would be attracted to someone who was 2 or three or four or five years younger than them just because those individuals hadn't turned the magic age of consent?

Turning 18 doesn't magically make you an "Adult".

Most people accused of most crimes ARE probably guilty to one degree or another of the crimes of which they've been charged.

Quite a few people accused of crimes are not treated fairly because of various mitigating factors: their age, race, religion, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, etc.

Victims of crimes deserve our sympathy for what they've endured. But not all victims tell the complete truth and not all victims are blameless. Just because you are a victim of a crime doesn't make you free of any culpability for that crime.

American Society hates ambiguity. We like things cut and dried without any gray areas.

Despite great strides, society doesn't like, trust or respect people who are non heterosexually inclined. For that matter, society doesn't care much for anyone who is "different" or outside what is perceived as normal.

Sexuality makes people nervous.

The sexuality of teenagers makes people very, very nervous.

We like labels.

We like excuses.

We like not having to take responsibility of our actions.

The law isn't always just.

The majority isn't always right.

"Good" and "Bad" are ambiguous labels that mean very little. A truly horrible person isn't all bad, (Hitler was an anti-smoker, a vegetarian and an animal lover) and a truly great, "good" person isn't perfect or free of imperfection, (Gandhi slept, not fucked, with young girls).

Being judgemental is easy. Being impartial is impossible.

Sexual politics is the hottest button you can push.

and, finally:

Resistance is Futile....The Borg

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lost was brilliant last night!

I just have to say that any episode that can feature the Smoke Monster, the first sign of it's Lair, the first sighting of The Temple, appearances by Christian Shephard, Ms Hawking, and Team Teen Rousseau, an arm dismemberment, close-ups of a crazy looking Lady Vengeance channeling Sun, a petulant Ben and a fantastic Time Flu deathbed scene by hot ginge Charlotte, is A-OK in my book...It was the best episode of the season so far, in my opinion and I'm really looking forward to next week's episode, titled 316.

Also, we bought a digital converter box at Target with our government issued $40 coupon, (we had to pay $5 to make up the difference)and went all digital last night and the difference in picture quality is pretty amazing...the pictures were clear and crisp and the only weakish signals were for Q13 and with a little adjustment of our cheap-ass rabbit ears, it came in fine. And now we get 28 channels but wonder why Seattle needs so many Spanish language options; are there really that many Spanish speaking people in Puget Sound? And, if so, where ARE they?

Flame Wars are exhausting...

I've been involved in a huge flamefest over on Slog for the last 24 hours. Christopher Frizzelle posted a piece about the 18 year old Wisconsin boy who blackmailed 7 of his male classmates into having sex with him. Christopher pointed out that all the hyperbole may not fit the crime, (the post is titled, "What He Did Was Wrong, Yes-But...") and he was immediately bombarded with a slew of crazy hatred basically insinuating that Frizzelle was supporting a pedophile and insensitive to those poor children/victims, blah, blah, blah. I had to defend Christopher against that dumbass, judgemental, holier than thou shit, and I got the mud slung at me...(in a nutshell, Frizzelle and I being stupid faggots of course wouldn't know any better since if we aren't actually pedophiles, by being gay we're the next best/worst thing). At first it was fun having a good old fashioned discussion/shouting match about something you feel impassioned about, ie, the stupidity of people in general but of course you're never going to change anybody's narrow, rigid little mind so in the long run you just exhaust yourself and end up wasting most of your day. I suppose, as an obligation of one's civic duty, it's good to take part in public discourse, even if it seldom, if ever, changes anyone's mind. But, my blood is still boiling and I'm bad about not having the final word so I'm going to have to force myself to quit responding and continuing to feed the flames of that thread. Plus, I'm going out for a pleasant meal tonite with a good friend and I need to release the anger so I can enjoy my margaritas...

(NOTE on a Redaction from this entry: Frizzelle was irritated that I implied I was quoting from what he wrote me, so I've removed it and apologized to him for publicly stating that he had personally replied to a commment I had made on Slog.) But I am keeping quotes from the reply I sent him:

Obviously, Sex Hysteria and Phobias, New Age/Post Modern Puritanism, the hypocrisy of Old Media and American Society's infatuation with the Blame Game, ("Hey, I'm a fuck up because I was abused/have attention deficit/I'm gay/I'm a woman/I'm a minority/I'm a white man of priviledge/my parents spoiled or ignored me/it's because of the Liberal Media, or the Jews, or the Conservatives or the Liberals or the Coloreds or the Fags or the Arabs") are some of my favorite topics...

and this:

and regarding your (Christopher's)critics on that thread:

(1)just remember that all people are kind of stupid, in a variety of degrees, about one thing or another and the majority of people are very stupid about a great many things.

(2)and that very, very few "heterosexualists" and a surprisingly large number of same-sexualists don't really understand the politics of sexuality, hetero, homo or otherwise because sexuality scares the crap out of most people, their own as well as others. Also, very, very few people are able to be honest about their own sexual instincts and desires.

(3)Refer again to #1

and the final thing I've posted on the thread:

Finally, All I'm gonna say is that I think that all of you who are having a fucking conniption because Christopher, myself and other people expressed our opinion that this kid may or may not be getting railroaded because of idiotic perceptions of sexuality need to step back and remind yourselves that you're guilty of assuming that this kid is guilty of the crimes of which he has been charged before any trial or any release of information about the particular circumstances of what happened, as well as assuming you know the state of mind of the victims, (and like I said before, since this case involves minors, we may never know the particulars).You weren't there, we don't have any facts or information and I don't care if you or your sister or your grandpa were the victim of any kind of sexual attack or offense; the tragic experience you or a loved one had doesn't make you an expert on the experiences of ALL victims of sex crimes. People need to stop being so idiotically judgemental and realize that NOTHING in the world should be looked at in black/white or either/or terms.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tonite on Lost: This Place is Death

Here's the official ABC synopsis and guest cast list for tonite's episode:

Locke shoulders the burden of ending the island's increasingly violent movements through time; Ben is stymied in his efforts to reunite the Oceanic 6 and bring them back to the island.

Guest List
Guest starring are Rebecca Mader as Charlotte Lewis, John Terry as Christian Shephard, Fionnula Flanagan as Eloise Hawking, William Blanchett as Aaron, June Kyoko Lu as Mrs. Paik, Melissa Farman as young Frenchwoman, Guillaume Dabinpons as Frenchman #1, Marc Menard as Frenchman #2, Bruno Bruni as Frenchman #3 and Jaymie Kim as Ji Yeon.

Note the presence of Sun's mom and daughter and add to that the fact that at last week's cliffhanger, Sun was getting ready to go all Lady Vengeance on Ben's ass at the marina, is leading some to speculate that this could be a Sun-centric episode. From coming attractions, we do know that Ben tells her that Jin is alive. And from photos released, we do know that we see more of Jin interacting with Team Teen Rousseau circa 1988 back on Topsy Turvy Island...

Also, ABC promos from the show are making it sound like someone dies tonite...of course, on Lost, that doesn't really mean anything; a large chunk of the cast is dead and still continue to appear on the show in some form or the other. My vote is for feisty, British ginge scientist Charlotte...her violent attacks of Time Travel Flu have left her battled and bloodied...other clues include the fact that the actress, Rebecca Mader, is still listed as a guest star this season while her fellow Freighter folk Miles and Faraday were upgraded to fulltime cast members...and Mader spent at least part of last fall/early winter off making the new George Clooney movie, Men Who Stare At Goats. But, if she does croak, there's still a good chance we haven't seen the last of Charlotte. There's evidence that the producers might have put out a casting call for a child Charlotte for flashback scenes. Previous casting calls this season have been for younger versions of Sayid, Miles, Faraday and even two different ages for Ms Hawking, so it wouldn't be that large of a surprise to see a tiny Charlotte in a scene explaining why she seems to have had previous experience on the Island.

And, things to look out for next week: more Ms (Old/Original) Hawking, a new, previously unseen relative of Jack's shows up, and a guest cast list that includes several South Asian actors which leads to the conclusion that we might be seeing some interaction with Ajira Airlines which might explain why Ajira Airlines water bottles were in the canoe that the Losties found on the beach last week and used to travel to the other side of the Island, only to be attacked by some mysterious folk in the other canoe...

Oh, and in two weeks, the adventures of Jeremy Bentham which includes a visit to Walt...
And, where the fuck are Rose and Bernard?!?!?!? Apparently, they are still Sam Anderson recently did an interview where he talks about filming he did recently, including scenes with Juliet, which made me happy because I was getting worried that SHE might be the one dying tonite...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This will make you cry.

The koala moved gingerly on scorched paws, crossing the blackened landscape as the fire patrol passed. Clearly in pain, the animal stopped when it saw firefighter David Tree following behind. 'It was amazing, he turned around, sat on his bum and sort of looked at me with (a look) like, put me out of my misery,' Tree told The Associated Press on Tuesday. 'I yelled out for a bottle of water. I unscrewed the bottle, tipped it up on his lips and he just took it naturally. He kept reaching for the bottle, almost like a baby.' The team called animal welfare officers as it resumed its patrols on Sunday, the day after deadly firestorms swept southern Victoria state. 'I love nature, and I've handled koalas before. They're not the friendliest things, but I wanted to help him,' Tree said."

I got this from Towleroad and I'm assuming they got it from the AP.

If you want to make a donation to aid the victims, both human and animal, of the horrifying Australian wildfires, go to The Australian Red Cross site.

If you're a misanthrope and don't care to help people but want to help the koalas and their burned out kin, give money to the Wildlife Victoria organization.

Here's a less stressful picture of another koala seeking aid from the heat. And here's a link to more koala pix:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Best Film of the Year

Go and see it, immediately.

Here's an interview with the director, Ari Folman.

Waltz with Bashir is nominated for Best Foreign Film but not Best Animated Feature...they chose to go with Bolt, Kung Fu Panda and Wall-E, and it was deemed ineligble for Best Documentary Feature because it hadn't screened in both L.A. and NY before the deadline. Lame.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Art I Like

I haven't posted any thing in this category for a long time and I'm feeling arty today so here are a couple pieces by artist Linnea Strid. I found them at Juxtapoz and you can check out more of Strid's work there, ( or at her website: ( is in Swedish but art websites are pretty self-explanatory.

I like her stuff because it tells a story, or at least it offers a small vignette from a much larger narrative. Is the birthday guy alone because he seems a bit weird, or has his loneliness contributed to his seemingly odd lifestyle? Why does the boy have blood on his hands? Was he a witness, or a good samaritan trying to help a victim, or did he have something sinister to do with the incident that caused the blood to be spilt? I don't know the answer to any of these questions but I like thinking about what led up to the moments depicted in the paintings. And, I always think it's a good idea for an artist to create work that leaves you wanting just a bit any good book or movie or piece of music.

As for Bush and Hitler, I just think it's funny in a dry Scandinavian sense of humor way, like some of Bergman's movies, or at least, moments in some of his movies.

Which reminds me, I'm past due for my semi-annual viewing of Fanny & Alexander...I usually try to watch it around Christmas, but I never got around to it. I'm way overdue.

Maybe I'm just in a rotten mood,

but, it seems like the comments and the commentators on Slog have gotten very douchy lately. It's like all those dumbass, provincial, conservative, Fox News watching, whitebread junior high school kids suddenly took over. I don't enjoy watching Slog turn into 98% of the other big blogs out there with dumb comments from dumb people. I want it to be full of dumbass comments from relatively smart people, like it was before.

Another sign of getting old:

missing the good ole days...

To improve my mood, here are two completely gratuitous photos of Jon Hamm, who started his guest star turn on 30 Rock last night, and was absolutely adorable...And, I'm putting all my faith in Tina Fey that she'll write at least one scene requiring Mr Hamm to wear a Speedo.

Things that make you go, HUH?

Crappy Subway and not quite as crappy Kelloggs have announced they're booting Michael Phelps from endorsement deals because he was caught smoking pot from a big ole bong at a college party last fall.


Wow, it's such a shock that a 23 year old college student smoked some pot...what next: are we going to find out that he likes to drink beer and eat pussy?

What's funny about this is, I guess that means they'll replace Phelps's image on the Corn Flakes box and replace it with the original mascot.

In other words, they're taking off the photo of the pothead and replacing it with a picture of a big ole cock.


(I don't eat Kellogg's cereal, so I can't boycott them, but I'm boycotting Subway which I do occassionally eat, only because it's one of the few restaurants close to where I work...also, they suck in general, so it's not much of a hardship...)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tonite on Lost: The Little Prince

Kate discovers that someone knows the secret of Aaron's true parental lineage. Meanwhile, the dramatic shifts through time are placing the lives of the remaining island survivors in extreme peril.

Guest List
Guest starring are Susan Duerden as Carole Littleton, Tom Irwin as Dan Norton, William Blanchett as Aaron, Emerson Brooks as Tony, Stephanie Niznik as Dr. Evelyn Ariza, Melissa Farman as young Frenchwoman, Guillaume Dabinpons as Frenchman #1, Marc Menard as Frenchman #2, Bruno Bruni as Frenchman #3 and Ane Tranetzki as bellman.
from many French people on tonite's show....interesting. AND, Claire's mom.

Is Aaron the Little Prince, do you think?

IS this a reference to the children's book and horrid movie?

Will we see Claire tonite, in some form?

Has Matthew Fox grown back his chest hair?

Will Richard Alpert explain why he seems ageless or why he wears mascara?

Hopefully, these and many other questions will be answered on tonite's episode of Lost.


He makes me feel funny...

down there...

Didjaknow, Actor Magnus Scheving who created the show "Lazytown" and plays Sportacus is Icelandic? And, the show is produced in Iceland?

and he is married with children and a grandchild!?!?!?!?

and he's only 44?

and, he was an Aerobics Gymnastics champion winning the European title in 1994 and 1995 for Men's Individual Champion?

Well, you do now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stange(ways) but True...

A guy in a bigass Oldsmobile pulled up along side my car yesterday, rolled down the window, and bellowed to me, "Hey, dude; just thought you should know, one of your brake lights is out!" I stammered my thanks and the dude went on his way...this story doesn't seem that remarkable, or, for that matter, very interesting but I haven't mentioned the fact that the Good Samaritan in question had huge mutton chops, a pompadour and black aviator short, it was an Elvis Fan/Impersonator apparently out for a leisurely drive on a gloriously beautiful winter afternoon. Well, that or perhaps it actually was The King...

So, once again: Thanks, Anonymous Elvis Man! You might have saved my life! Or at the very least, a traffic ticket!

(Note: how meta would it be to dress up like Elvis for Halloween and call yourself an Elvis Impersonator Impersonator?)

Monday, February 2, 2009


My weekend was sort of a very little accomplished, someone I consider a friend really pissed me off, and I pulled a muscle in my back and I'm in considerable discomfort this morning. I've messed up my back before; it tends to go out every two or three years in varying degrees of unpleasantness. This time, using a 1 to 10 scale, it's only about a 4 but I'm paranoid it's going to ratchet up to a 9 which is what happened to me the last time my back went out, three years ago. That's how I lost my job at the effin' Seattle back went out and I missed a couple days and they canned me because I had missed too much work and was still in my probationary period. (and those two days were the only days I had missed, and to My Worst Enemy, it wasn't for any other reasons; in fact, I had gotten a commendation from my boss a couple weeks before my back went out...)

Soooo, I'm now debating on whether or not I should go the doctor to see if we can do anything to prevent my back from getting worse; hopefully a steroid shot, and a bottle of muscle relaxants...