Thursday, August 05, 2004


Before a late-night screening of The Village on Tuesday, we saw a trailer for Meet the Fockers, the disastrously titled sequel to the so-so Ben Stiller comedy Meet the Parents. (By so-so I mean it was not as good as Flirting With Disaster, not as bad as Envy.) In Meet the Fockers, Robert De Niro reprises his role as Stiller's father-in-law, and the new film also stars Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand as Stiller's parents.

As you may know, I'm an incorrigible fan of the game that has you connect actors to Kevin Bacon. Some call the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon and impose a six-connection limit; I've always called it the Kevin Bacon game, and I strive to play it for style points. Films that star more than one really famous actor are important to the Kevin Bacon game, and the joint appearance of De Niro and Hoffman made Meet the Fockers seem like an important new hub. But just now I went to the Internet Movie Database and learned that not only have Hoffman and De Niro already been in movies together; one of their films was Sleepers, which starred--Kevin Bacon. (Without looking it up, can you name the other major release that featured De Niro and Hoffman?)

As for The Village, how's this: Joaquin Phoenix was in The Village with Sigourney Weaver, who was in Ghostbusters with Dan Aykroyd, who was in The Blues Brothers with John Belushi, who was in Animal House with Kevin Bacon.
Huff puff

I think I finally get it. I've been a runner off and on for the last six years or so, and the whole time I have wondered about the endorphin high: the fabled, exercise-induced euphoria that I half expected to be like a two-tab acid trip. I kept waiting for the buzz and wondering why running left me not ecstatic but merely sweaty and tired.

But yesterday morning, something finally clicked. I was sitting in my home office and fretting about this and that work obligation, and finally I said to myself: fuck it, go for a run. So off I trotted, my mind racing with anxious thoughts. As is my wont, I flipped through stations on my little radio as I ran. I reached my turning point, did an about-face and headed home. My mind was still racing.

After a couple of miles, though, the anxious thoughts subsided. I tuned in the oldies station and heard the opening notes of the Beatles' "Day Tripper." I began marvelling at the hooky brilliance of the song. I felt great, beatific--ecstatic, even.

I'm convinced this was endorphin-related. As evidence, I offer the fact that I was similarly awed by the hooky brilliance of the song with which the oldies station followed "Day Tripper": the Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes."
Food for thought

Yesterday's fortune, courtesy of the lucky fortune scales at Michael's Frozen Custard:


Correct me if I'm wrong, but these days it's not always easy to tell the difference.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

This calls for a two-piece

It seems the Miss America pageant has axed the talent competition.

Guess I'll have to rethink my strategy.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


For those of you following along at home, this is the third anniversary of the day I stopped drinking. Life sure has gotten better.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Good word

"Cinema--as an entertainment, an art form, an academic topic, or an institution--is addicted to melodrama. What greater contrast of chiaroscuro is there than that between burning screen and darkened audience? . . . And what are the abiding themes of cinema but glamour, sexuality, fear, horror, danger, violence, suspense, averted disaster, true love, self-sacrifice, happy endings, and the wholesale realization of those hopes and anxieties that we are too shy to talk about in the daylight?"

--David Thompson