January 2010 Archives


A few weeks ago, I wrote about the fates of certain child actors. My Google stats for that post indicate overwhelmingly that people find it by googling Carrie Henn, the child actress who played Newt in Aliens. This, for a post that explicitly mentioned Superman's penis. I see zero hits from people googling the superwang, though.

This, this is why all of my friends are women. Deep down, they're just wired better.

these are definitely not my bananas

If you didn't seen Brendan Frasier at the Golden Globes, by all means...

The first interview I ever participated in was one of my worst. I was applying for a busboy position, the Bic Dispoable Lighter of jobs, but at 17 I didn't yet know that. I had a new girlfriend, hence had commenced the as-yet-unceasing era of needing a constant supply of cash. The manager sat me in the bar of the restaurant, positioning me facing the window such that I was looking into the blinding sun at sunset. So desperate was I for a job, it did not occur to me to move or to ask the favor of shutting the blinds. No, I sat there and suffered through his questions, tears running down my face as my corneas simmered in their own juices.

Interview debacle #2 occurred months later, when I applied a job as a library clerk. My interviewer was a cool middle-aged woman who listened to a lot of Teddy Pendergrass. I didn't know that yet, though. During one of my utterly incoherent, rambling answers, I mentioned having recently moved from home. "...but, you know, I wasn't kicked out or anything, it was more like my mom, um, died, kinda, so it was more like home left me than it was I left home, if you think about it, so it's not like I..."

"Wrap it up."

"Right. Bless you."

I saved my best work for Microsoft. I had just gone to the brink of bankruptcy over a girl, which resulted in the humiliation of my having to borrow money from another girl. And my first interviewer asked me that most original of questions: "Why do you want to work at Microsoft?"

I was confused by the question. "Your checks clear, don't they?"

Over the ensuring years, I would conduct many, many interviews, but two stand out.

Interviewee sitting in my guest chair realizes who I am: "Oh! Were you the contractor who called the manager a 'cocksucker' at the staff meeting and didn't get fired for it?" I've always loved his qualification. Apparently the manager was called that a lot.

Interviewer: "Do you know [name of wretched person]?"
Me: "Ugh, what a cunt."

Yes, I've come a long way since squinting in pain in that restaurant's bar. A long, classy way. And you know what? I was offered every single one of those jobs. Must have been that interviewing class Ohio State made me take.

who dat?

If Haiti or Indonesia had an NFL team in the Super Bowl, I'd root for them. But they don't, so New Orleans it is.

Thank god it's not my team against the Saints in the Super Bowl. Who outside of Indy can morally root against that town getting some good news?

what the kids have taught me

In honor of distinguished Stank troll Tamara's bun in the oven, I thought I'd depart from tradition a bit and reflect on what my friends' kids have taught me.

My 1st through 17th instincts were to leave a bunch of blank space after that sentence. But that wouldn't be honest. Here we go:

  • Juice boxes are kiddie heroin. Well, no, these days heroin is kiddie heroin. Juice boxes are kiddie methodone. First, I started stocking them for my friends' kids. Then one day when I was out of all other beverage options, I drank one. Now I'm blowing transvestites for juice boxes.
  • There's a time and a place for issuing unreasonable demands, and it's when your parents are contextually compromised. In terms of kids, this means shrilly demanding ice cream as an entree...when in a restaurant with your parents' friends. In terms of me, it means asking my boss, Flo, for paid time off...when in front of her new boyfriend. How accommodating she can be!
  • Properly finessed, my friends have no rights in front of their four year old.  This is how it works. If I press all the right buttons, if I embody exactly how they're trying to teach their kid to behave, right in front of the kid, they are morally compelled to play along. Example: "Katrina? May I ask you a question, please? May I please have half of your cupcake? Please? Thank you! Yum! That was very nice of you. Sharing is caring! May Annalie have the other half, please?"
  • Band-Aids cure cancer. The placebo value of a Band-Aid cannot be understated. No abrasion or cut is necessary for it to be the right and only remedy. A kid could have an ear infection and it would still take a Band-Aid to get him to stop crying.
  • The ultimate way to punish my friends for having kids is the kids themselves. A well-planned gift delights and annoys exactly the right people. Have another juice-box, Junior! Have some chocolate-covered espresso beans! Want some Silly String? Here's your drum-set! Here's your empty Star Wars action figure carrying case!
That last one is my "nuclear" response.

i don't wanna miss a thing

"I don't get it. When I'm through with someone, I'm through. I never think about them again."

I had heard this argument before, usually from guys who are surprised that I'm friends with an ex. They not only don't understand why I would want such a horror to happen; they don't understand how it possibly could. I explain my ex-ship rules, to no avail. Once they wash their hands of someone, they very deliberately don't look back.

Pity. They're missing out on a unique kind of friendship. And just as much, they're missing out on a unique kind of closure. For every Allie, who's very much still a grudging participant in my life, there are a dozen Holy Fucking Shit Girls.

They weren't necessarily girlfriends, but I definitely had put some effort into dating them. And long after those efforts ceased, I got a glimpse where their life's arc had carried them after me, and I exclaimed "Holy fucking shit."

My dodged bullets tend to fall into one of these categories:

The bun warmer said she never wanted to have kids, and now she's surrounded by four children on her Facebook picture.

Defining characteristic then: incredibly fun

Defining characteristic now: incredibly religious

The ticking bomb was arrested two weeks after I broke up with her and consequently fired from her civil service job. She moved back in with her mother.

Then: seemed kinda nuts

Now: kinda nuts

The innocent bystander spent her time before and during our courtship complaining about all the guys in her orbit, guys she'd never, ever led on. They could handle neither her unambiguous message nor proximity to her radiant beauty. And then she spent her time after our courtship saying the exact same things about me. Oh.

Then: constantly fending off the "unwanted" advances of men

Now: zero healthy adult relationships with men

The navel gazer spends all of her time analyzing why her obviously atrocious choices tend to reveal themselves, over time, as atrocious choices. A big fan of being told it's not her fault, she single-handedly keeps the self-help book industry afloat.

Then: "God, she's deep and introspective."

Now: "God, she never learns."

The herbalist spent most of our relationship assuring me that except for pot, her druggie days were behind her. This was a lie.

Then: making herself a pipe out of my Diet Coke can

Now: running a skanky nightclub

The professional victim is incapable of making good choices. For whatever reason, she is hopelessly incompetent. She never plans, she gives the wrong people too much credit, and she's confident everything will work out just fine, my heart attack notwithstanding.

Then: wholly dependent on me

Now: wholly dependent on someone else

The day planner is always concocting grandioise schemes. Her Indian name is She Who Talk'm Shit. At any given point in her life, she's got seven different five-year plans. School, career, motherhood, marriage, divorce, relocating, home ownership, business ownership, tap-dancing lessons, ponzi schemes: all of her much-discussed dreams have exactly one thing in common.

Then: babbled endlessly about plans on which she would never actually follow through

Now: babbles endlessly about entirely different plans on which she'll never follow through

The lily-padder insisted that the guy I thought was trying to get into her pants was just a friend. Moreover, my irrational jealousy was indicative of some serious issues I should attend to in therapy.

Then: me in her pants

Now: him in her pants

The goody-to-skank was downright virginal when we were together, but afterward started banging firemen, personal trainers, and bartenders.

Then: kinda clingy

Now: asks me to lend moral support by accompanying her to her AIDS test

I wouldn't miss seeing that for the world, hon. That's pure gold.

long painful boring death

Response to yesterday's post had a clear "winner:" The English Patient was definitely not a crowd pleaser. I concur. I didn't actually walk out, but I did zonk out. Sleep much improved the experience.

In this same category for me: Howard's End and Gosford Park. I also fell asleep during Analyze This, but I think that was more the tequila/vicadin combo than any sin of Robert DeNiro's.

these boots

Heading into Oscar season, The Hurt Locker seems to be gathering the most momentum. It's universally loved by critics, scoring a gaudy 97 on RottenTomatoes.com. All of the people I know who've seen it profess to like it. Both of 'em. Yes, everyone acclaims, it is one damned fine movie.

It's also a movie I walked out of. With about 20 minutes to go.

Not that it was horrible. It was not. It's well-crafted, well acted. It just bored me. About the fourth time our protagonist was slowly defusing a bomb that might or might not go off, the ritual had for me become dull routine. And I reached a tipping point: with 20 minutes left to go, I realized that my lack of interest had reached such a state of inertia, the movie wasn't going to be able to budge it. "I'd rather get to bed early," I thought.

And then I watched the adoring reviews roll in. Those must have been some 20 minutes.

Hurt Locker was unusual in that my hooks are usually much, much faster. Take the latest Sherlock Holmes. Thirty minutes in, I found my mind wandering. For as unusual as this take was on Holmes, it was far from a unique take on modern bombastic CGI crapfests. Seen 'em. Next.

Prior to that, I think Shrek 3 was the last film I'd bolted. I loved the first two Shreks, but the third one was a nonsensical, empty-headed cash-in. By the time frogs were singing "Live or Let Die," I was thinking I'd really rather not sully my memories of the first two films any further. End scene.

Ah, Natural Born Killers. I found it a heavy-handed and unbearable piece o'crap. I don't remember much, other that not being able to afford the price of the ticket and afterward feeling positively nauseous about having wasted the money.

I ran out of Moulin Rogue about a half-hour in, during the intolerably shrill and stupid scene with Ewan McGregor hiding from the Duke in Nicole Kidman's bedroom. It made me want to claw my eyes and ears off. Later, I gave the film a second chance at home. I still hate that scene and, indeed, skip it entirely. But man, did that film rebound afterward. I'm fond of it now.

I'll never forget that Fucking Amy's Dad walked out on Sleepless in Seattle because of its obvious moral decay: "John, you won't believe this, but they...they...they showed a girl lying sleepless next to her fiance...in bed!"

Can you top that inanity? What films have you walked out on?

"What the Fucking Fuck?" awards 

  ed koch

Says the former NYC mayor:

"Of course the vast majority of Muslims, there are 400 million, are not terrorists. But there are hundreds of millions who are."

"We prefer 'the Butt Buddies,'" said Matt, upon my referring to my group of gay friends as the Fudge Pack.

Once you start, you don't want to stop. Not even when being strangled. Trust me on this.

The Dick Clique.

The Pink Posse.

The Man Mafia.

The Seat Warmers

The Future Farters of America.

The Washington State Fairies

Swishers with Fissures

H.R. Poof N'Swish

I'll stop now. Throat chaffing.

child, please

It all started with Superman's wang.

Watching 1978's Superman, I couldn't help but wonder what the emotional consequences were for the child actor who, playing a newly-arrived Kal-El, proudly bared his member for posterity. If this isn't what the Internet is for, I don't know what is.

Aaron Smolinski, 3 then, is now a creaky 36. I searched for references to any trauma caused by him exposing his wang, which led me to creepy gay sites that I will never, ever be able to unsee. (Plus a discussion of how really, Superman shouldn't be circumcised and that we should "really look closely at his penis.") As for any childhood trauma, well, he majored in child psychology. That might be telling. Then he moved to L.A. to become an actor, and he's been in nothing you've ever heard of since. Fun fact: he had cameos in Supermans II and III.


More. I want more. Some child actors, like Anna Paquin and Ron Howard, never went away, so I know what happened to them. But whatever happened to, say, Newt?

Ripley's sidekick in Aliens, played by Carrie Henn, never acted again. Now 33, she's an elementary school teacher married to a cop. She presumably cautions him that criminals mostly comes out at night. Mostly.


Once I started this, it didn't take me long to recall loathsome Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch, and here he is. Now 45, Robbie Rist never left the Hollywood scene, and he's been the Cousin Oliver of several music, film, and music projects you've never heard of. To his credit, even he admits he killed the Brady Bunch.


This one made me feel genuinely old. In A River Runs Through it, we see the very young versions of our protagonists lying on a bank. One kid, played by Vann Gravage, says he wants to be a professional fly fisherman. Gravage made one more movie, 13 years later. The other kid fared a little better. His character said when he grows up, he wants to be a preacher. Apparently he went into numerology. He was Joseph Gordon-Levitt, of 3rd Rock, 10 Things, and 500 Days fame.


Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu in It's a Wonderful Life, acted for another eight years, until she was orphaned. Much hardship followed, including divorce, widowhood, and the suicide of one of her seven children. At 70, she seems happy enough now and lives in my old stomping grounds of Carnation, WA, where the hardware store also sells guns and liquor. (I always wanted to walk in and say "Gimme a chainsaw, some barbed wire, some armor-piercing bullets, and a fifth of JD.") Here she is fishing the waters of Puget Sound.


Hadley Kay, who seemingly took three minutes to plunge down Niagara Falls in Superman II, is now 37 and the voice of the Cheerios Honey Bee. Moving on.

Midichlorian sac Jake Lloyd, now 21 (!), acted only one more time after slaughtering the Star Wars saga, two years later in a movie of no consequence. He is now trying to become a film editor. "I want to work with film footage because it would enable me to work with the results of other people's genius." Good call.


The Poltergeist kids are, of course, largely dead. "They're here." girl Heather O'Rourke died of cardiac arrest at 12. Dominique Dunne, who played the older sister, was strangled to death at 23. But what of Oliver Robins, who did battle with the evil clown doll? He was last seen as the character "Customer" in Man Overboard, which was probably eligible to be nominated for some award, but wasn't. Thanks for the awesome suggestion of actors, Allie.


I am amazed that it took this guy's death for me to hear his story. A mere two days after my own zen koan—when falling eagle crap misses you but lands in your hot tub, is that good luck or bad?—I have been humbled by the master. Gentle readers, I give you Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who survived the Hiroshima bombing and then returned to his home. In Nagasaki.

Same question, different scale: is Yamaguchi the luckiest person in all of human history—or the unluckiest?

it all started with superman's wang

I'm working on a post that's requiring more research than I can slog through this morning, so I'll just share its first sentence (above).

This morning I awoke from my slumber, such as it was, and unloaded the dishwasher. The dishes were still quite warm. Is there a more certain indicator that a day is going to suck?

eagle.JPGFiguring there was not, I cut a cigar and went outside to soak in the hot-tub and contemplate my lot. Just as I was considering whether Microsoft would take five years to collapse or ten, a majestic bald eagle soared twenty feet over my head.

"Please don't shit on m—"

My eyes followed the parabolic arc of the bird poo. It was a John-seeking missile. I flinched and protected my head, bird poo on my arms being marginally preferable to bird poo on my head and shoulders. Instead, the projectile plunked in front of me, right in the middle of the tub. I couldn't help but admire the accuracy.

And thus did my contemplations shift: is eagle poo missing you but landing in your hot-tub good news—or bad?

i often suspected as much

Ladies and gents, I have a new favorite referrer. According to Stank's hit stats, someone came directly here from this page. I can only hope it was the right reader.

time off

In response to the two, count 'em, two of you who asked, I didn't post during the holidays because my hits plunge 90% when your reading this drivel isn't an alternative to your working.

moron taxonomy
stupid church signs
super bowl xl officiating
percy chronicles

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