Here's what I love: BellSouth insists that internet woes are a problem on my end, despite the fact that my internet is slow or out at the same time every day (with additional, random outages), which would suggest to me that it's THEIR PROBLEM, and THEIR NETWORK, because it's not like my modem's just going to be like, "I don't like afternoooooons, you guyyyyyys." So I call to complain yet again, and the BellSouth guy just sort of casually mentions that they're going to be out in my area working on the line, so turn off the computer and unplug everything and then reboot "at some point in the afternoon," but it is, in fact, still my modem that's the problem.
At some point, I need to carve another pumpkin this afternoon/evening--it's been tempting to just leave the one I did last Sunday out there, but it's half-covered with black (and red) mold on the inside, and the long fangs I cut for it have now completely curled under, making it look toothless. Also, it keeps asking when Jello's going to be. Really, we need another jack o' lantern. I think I'm going to do a Jack Skellington face, but I hate gutting the pumpkin. I mean, I don't mind the goo; I mind that it takes me so frickin' long to do it. Also, I really wish I had one of the little sawwy knives that Valkyrie and Dr. Typo had. But really, our honor in the neighborhood is at stake. A new jack must be carved.
Tonight on TV: In Prestige-related programming, Christian Bale and Michael Caine in Christopher Nolan's previous film, the movie that set up our Wolverine vs. Batman feud, on HBO. On TCM: Vincent Price movies. Since I own Batman Begins, I have a feeling I'll be spending Halloween with Mr. Price.
Speaking of The Prestige, I put the icons up over at m15m, with the addition of a Gollum & Goblin King icon I finally realized I had a picture for. And now that we're speaking of Gollum, I should add that my mother was sort of nonplussed by the "Hey! That's David Bowie!" factor. She just seemed sort of dazed by the whole Prestige experience, really, and we've been discussing the movie for two days straight now. I mean, she loves it, and she's teetering on the verge of actually going to see it again, but it's a lot to take in if you go in knowing only a few spoilers (she guessed the most apparent twist the week before we went). Also, I think David Bowie is probably just a vague cultural figure to her--I mean, she's aware of him well enough to howl with laughter at six-year-old Cleo who sees Bowie on TV and says, "I know him! That's the Goblin King!" But, ironically, it's six-year-old Cleo who grew up to be the Bowie fan and actually know his music beyond, let's say, "China Girl." Also, I think it didn't impress her as much because she seems to have a blind spot regarding the Tesla character as a whole, because she can't ever remember his name, or recognize it if you say it.
But "Hey! That's Gollum"? Impressed the hell out of her. "That's Gollum? He played Gollum? Gollum was played by someone? Wasn't he animated?" "Mom, we have been through this, you have seen the DVD extras, he was played by someone and then animated over, plus he did the voice, and so... yes, Tesla's assistant was Gollum." "Who's Tesler?" "David Bowie!" "What?" "The guy Gollum was assisting!" "Assisting! Who was he assisting? All the assistants were girls--" "THE ELECTRICITY GUY!"
I swear to you, my mother is not senile. She is a crack benefits expert. She just... has blind spots. My blind spot is advanced mathematics. Hers is apparently Nikola Tesla.
Okay, one more thing about The Prestige--about the icons. I'm always amused to see that there's always one icon, one single icon, that gets snagged above all the rest whenever I do a parody set. (With Phantom of the Opera, I seem to remember it being the one about taking off his mask. I can't remember which one it was for V for Vendetta, but I suspect it was the one that ended with "I love music!") And I always feel kind of bad about it, because you know people are going to get sick of seeing that one icon. But the thing that amuses me is which one it is that gets taken. The Batman vs. Wolverine line, in this case. It's not even a particularly original thought, but for some reason, that's the icon everyone wants. Heh.
A particularly juicy set of linkspam, with first looks at The Golden Age and His Dark Materials, and some choice Cruise and Federline schadenfreude:
First official pictures: Her Cateness, Elizabeth I! Lyra and Mrs. Coulter! (Heyyyy... I don't like their Lyra's hair. MORE TOMBOY, PEOPLE. They do seem to be going more period-look with it than I expected, which may account for that.)
Rock Hall of Fame names nominees for '07. Biggest names: Van Halen and REM.
A selection of headlines from the NY Post newsletter, which was on fire today:
>> "In the mail yesterday, we received a little box with the image of a guillotine on the cover. Inside were two pictures of Marie Antoinette - one with head, the other without - plus a little poem by Laren Stover, the brilliant author of The Bombshell Manuel of Style [my note: "Manuel"?] and Bohemian Manifesto. Titled 'A Minuet with Antoinette,' it goes, in part: 'I've lost my diamond necklace/ And 600 pairs of shoes/ I've lost a thousand orange trees/ And beguiling garden views . . . I've lost my hall of mirrors/ And its crystalline reflection/ I've lost my Swedish diplomat/ Who swore to me protection/ I've lost my husband and my king/ Who shared my marriage bed/ It's Halloween, I'd like to scream/ But it seems I've lost my -- '."
>> "Masked and Famous," a list of Halloween remembrances from various celebrities:
Before he made it, Hugh Jackman worked kids parties as a clown. He remembers a 6-year-old screaming, "He's not a clown, he's just a man." Hugh says, "I resorted to smashing eggs on my head and letting 15 boys jump all over me. The hardest $50 I ever earned.">> "I Didn't Realize How Much People Love to Hate Me!" by Kevin Federline: "You know, I'm a guy that's out to have a good time. My record, 'Playing With Fire,' out today, was just to get people to understand a little bit more who I am. There's no real, like, message..."
Nicolas Cage may not need anything to celebrate All Hallows' Eve because, per something I read somewhere, his home once housed a dead bat, two live lizards, a pet octopus and a human skull named Vincent.
And then there's Colin Farrell, who has stated: "I like '80s disco and can be found in my own place dancing naked."
>> A review, just below this headline: NONPHAT VANILLA ICE.
>> And, finally, a longer piece on the Redstone/Cruise/Paramount brouhaha. I guess I just find it fascinating that Redstone is willing to say these things in public, and damn the torpedoes--and the day after MI3 comes out on DVD! "Sumner Redstone has had many unkind words for Tom Cruise over the past months - and he's still not finished bashing the couch-jumping Scientologist. 'He was embarrassing the studio. And he was costing us a lot of money,' the outspoken Viacom chief tells the December issue of Vanity Fair. Confirming a Page Six exclusive, Redstone admits it was his wife, Paula, who first soured on Cruise, which resulted in his decision not to renew Paramount's megabucks deal with Cruise's production company. 'Paula, like women everywhere, had come to hate him. The truth of the matter is, I did listen to her . . .' Redstone says. [My note: I believe he is referring to the Brooke Shields fooforaw here.] 'His behavior was entirely unacceptable to Paula and to the rest of the world. He just didn't turn one [woman] off. He turned off all women, and a lot of men.' Redstone estimates that Cruise's antics - acting wacky, ripping into psychiatry, firing his professional publicist - were the key elements in the star's downfall: 'When did I decide [to fire him]? I don't know. When he was on the 'Today' show? When he was jumping on a couch at Oprah? He changed his handler, you know, to his sister [LeAnne Devette] - not a good idea.' Redstone estimates that Cruise's bizarre behavior cost Paramount '$100 million, $150 million on Mission: Impossible III. It was the best picture of the three [my note: I have to agree with this assessment, and I saw the first one in the theater three times], and it did the worst.' He isn't sorry he embarrassed Cruise publicly: 'The explosion was good. It sent a message to the rest of the world that the time of the big star getting all this money is over. And it is! I would like to think that what I did, or what we did, has had a salutary effect on the rest of the industry.'"
Oh, and if you play Kingdom of Loathing, make sure you log in for Crimboween today.
And finally, this_quiet: "Hi. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to link Light a Million Candles in your next linkspam. It's a website advocating against online child pornography, and I think it's really important that we get the word out there, that it's really happening, one of the more unfortunate products of the internet. Anyway, it would mean a lot if you did. Thank you!"
ETA: Cookies of Win go to sabinelagrande for not just deciphering the coded passage in Borden's parody diary, but for also catching a mistake I made. (I'm surprised I only made one.) (Yes, that was a functional cryptogram. Again: the kind of quality you have come to expect from this journal.)