Saturday, November 18, 2006

For Her Own Good

More from fun at high school:
An Anderson County teenager has filed a lawsuit over her temporary dismissal from a weightlifting class by a principal who feared male students might try to rape her.

"It was a hard call."

Would they do this to a cute boy if he insisted on wearing biker shorts to Home Ec?
Tom Hanks Falls to Death

Well, this would have brightened at least one person's day.
Dogs and Cats Living in Sin

Cog? Dat? Catdog? Big Joke?

It seems to me than anyone with access to newborn puppies could have taken a picture like this. And doesn't the cat look like it's on acid?
Stan Chick/Jack Lee

You know those moronic religious comic books that jackasses leave under the windshield wiper of your car? Imagine if the king of comics lent a hand:

What If Stan Lee wrote Jack Chick Comics?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Five-Year-Old with Knife

When they say zero-tolerance, they mean it. I thought my step-daughter's school was nuts for going after her for not tattling but this district is handing a kindergartener his head.

I'd hate to own stock in Swiss Army knives.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Snitching is Mandatory

The powers who be in Nagel Middle School gave my step-daughter a detention last week.

For some unknown reason, another girl in her homeroom gave her [the other girl] boyfriend a knife for his birthday. Being a swift thinker, she decided to give it to him at school. Before classes started so he'd have extra time to be stupid.

Showing he was her intellectual equal, he began flashing the knife to everyone he met, including my step-daughter. Not one of the kids described Birthday Boy as aggressive or threatening--he was just mighty proud of his knife.

It looks like he and his girl are on the road to home-schooling. My step-daughter was hauled off to the office for not immediately turning him in. Back in my day, when we rode to school courtesy of Fred's two feet, most guys carried some sort of pocket knife to school. Before the era of plastic pop bottles, soft drinks were sold in glass containers which required a bottle opener--you may have seen one of these in a museum. Everybody carried a knife with a built-in opener. It's a wonder we weren't all killed on a daily basis. With schools' zero-tolerance policies today, I'd imagine a glass bottle could be viewed as a potential weapon.

Back in my day, we had to use our imagination a little to see all school employees as morons. Now adults feel obliged to prove it to them.
I Live Near Most of Them

"Nearly half the U.S. population believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old? Say it ain't so!"

How does the U.S. compare with other countries in terms of belief in evolution? Not so hot. A study of attitudes in 34 countries published in Science in 2006 shows that the United States ranks last in popular acceptance of evolution except for Turkey. Almost 40 percent of Americans in this study flatly rejected evolution, whereas the comparable numbers in European countries and Japan ranged from 7 to 15 percent. That may partly reflect U.S. high school kids' dismal math and science scores relative to other developed countries, which to my mind underscores a home truth: the more you know, the less you take on faith.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Socially Acceptable Jerk?

Two possibly related bits of news: Frat vs. Borat and jerk tricks women into stripping.

I don't feel sorry for the dopes Borat tricked but apparently alcohol was involved. Does that excuse them? I'd say no. Most people feel that Borat just exposed their stupidity and give him a pass.

I've read of cases of con men who trick women in to taking their clothes off in public (one did it over the phone and actually convinced fast food managers to undress female customers). How do women fall for this? There's a subclass of criminals who go door to door, claiming to be doctors or tailors, offering free breast exams or measurements. (Although this might seem so stupid it's funny, it's how the Boston Strangler got started.)

"We don't know what his potential gain is, if it's sexual gratification or he's trying to be funny, but it's a serious crime," [Police Sgt. John ] Konkol said.

If all he's trying to do is be funny, how different is he from Borat? Is it still a serious crime? How could anyone fall for a story like that?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Devilboy Feeling Fine

This morning D-boy woke early and wanted to eat. He pulled out a pack of hotdogs from the fridge and cried for candy. Most mornings he won't touch a bite but today he wasn't allowed anything before surgery. I couldn't find the itinerary or the map to the Mason hospital so I did a frantic last minute search on Map Quest.

I got there quicker than I expected. D-boy forgot about food and played with the hospital toys. They gave him a quick physical. The anesthesia comes in different flavors now: grape, bubble gum, orange, and a few others. I picked bubble gum.

He went under pretty quickly and I only had to wait 15 minutes before the doctor came to the waiting room. He explained everything and said I should be able to go back in another ten to 15 minutes. It was more than 20 before they got me. The normally ever-awake Devilboy was still out. Yes, Karl Marx must have loved religion to compare it to an opiate.

The sutures look stomach-churningly sickening but he didn't seem to mind. He woke up as I changed him back to his clothes but fell asleep on the ride back home.

He threw up once but then kept down two hotdogs and juice. No baths for another five days but everything else looks peachy.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Wish Him Luck

Devilboy goes in for bladder-related outpatient surgery Monday morning, 9:15. Light a candle, say a prayer, what have you. It's pretty much snip, scrape, clean, and stitch but I'm feeling wired.

It's not serious but he's going to be mad/scared/sore all at once.

This wouldn't have been a problem in a female urinary track. If only feminist extremists had been given free reign, none of this would be happening.
Library Review

On Friday, I had to drive to Loveland so I stopped by two of the local libraries. Of the 41 branch libraries, I've checked out books from the following ten:

Mt. Washington: Growing up in the suburban neighborhood of Mt. Washington, this was the only library I knew. Today, after seeing some of the bigger branches, it seems cramped with a terrible parking lot but it has a decent selection of books. The librarians sensibly store media-driven children's books (Scooby Doo, Powerpuff Girls, Dora, etc.) under the children's videos, meaning I don't have to root through the stacks to find McCann, Barbo, or whoever else writes the Scooby series. This cuts Devilgirl-related whining to a fraction.
I don't know how long this will last (it might be gone already) but the librarians keep two aquatic frogs in an aquarium to give kids something to torment. Devilgirl calls the Mt. Washington branch "the Frog Library."

Anderson: When it was first built, the Anderson branch looked big but with a lot of wasted space. Today expansions have bulked it up with a much better selection of books and the most DVDs and media products outside the main library (at least by my gauge).

Hyde Park: I remember going to the Hyde Park branch as a kid and not thinking much of it. Today, they've done a lot with the building (or my memory is just lousy). Although it's fairly small, they make the most of the space with children's books on the first floor and adults' on the second. Near the stairs is a large koi pond. Devilgirl calls this "the Fish Library."

Clifton: I lived in Clifton for eight years before stepping foot in the library. It was essentially a converted store front, next to a barber shop and hardware store. For the neighborhood, with quick access to the main library and with many residents able to use the UC library system, I guess it serves its purpose but overall it's less than impressive.

Oakley: I'd driven by the Oakley branch hundreds of times before actually stopping. It's large with a good children's section but seems like it has a lot of wasted space. For some reason I found more Chthulu books here than any other branch.

Mariemont: Only took the kids there once but it seemed roomy with plenty of kids' material. It's next to the Mariemont High School which looks to be good planning.

Maderia: I don't think I'd ever been to Maderia before I took all three kids to the branch library. The set-up was very similar to Mariemont but the children's section was more elaborate with a special area for story-time reading. A good selection but short on mythology and heavy on Christian "how-to" books. I don't know if pagan-loving residents checked out all the mythology books before I got there, but, while there were many books overall, the subject matter seemed selective. Devil-step-daughter lost her library card there, somewhere in the stacks.

Corryville: I lived in Clifton for over ten years but never went to the Corryville branch until recently when I was driving home from cleaning out the contents of the latest car my wife wrecked. The building looks wonderful from the outside but more space is devoted to meeting rooms and activities than books. Again, for the neighborhood--right across from UC--that's probably appropriate but was a little bit of a let-down.

Loveland: Driving to the Loveland branch, I went by huge churches, McMansions, a skating rink made out to look like a castle, and all sort of other substantial edifices. So where is the library? In a strip mall.
They make the most of the space available but it comes off as more used book store than a library. The most positive thing is that the Loveland Elementary is across the street and while I was there, a class came over for a reading and to check out books.

Symmes: The Symmes branch is also next to the local elementary but the building is actually a stand-alone structure. It's not the biggest branch library but the architectural is probably the most flamboyant. Good selection but a strange layout. I found a book of Persian mythology that I've never seen before.

Why haven't I been to the Madisonville branch? I just haven't had a reason to go to Madisonville. Unless something unexpected crops up, that's the next branch I'd like to check out.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Good Haul

Even in mundane costumes, the Devil children collected an unhealthy amount of candy (of which I have only eaten a little).

God bless the people who gave out full-size Snicker bars.

One of Devilgirl's homework assignments is to sort her candy into different categories. Halloween's not really a religious holiday (face it, my Celtic friends, not any more) but I feel sorry for any Jehovah Witness or diabetic kids in her class.
Two Important Dates

I got a flyer from which started off with:

Two important dates in American history:

September 11th, 2001

November 7th, 2006

I was leaning towards voting for O'Brien for Treasurer, Winkler and Martin as judges, and definitely voting against Issue 3. Congratulations, you shameless ghouls, I'll make the switch.
"Nobody Believed Them"

The only thing I remember about a book of practical jokes that I had as a kid was that you should never try to scare anyone with a ghost or monster routine around Halloween. If I remember correctly, March or April is the best ghost hoaxing season.

Imagine what these kids went through. "No, we're serious. There's a real dead body over there."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Which of these disgusting perverts is sicker?

The freak who decides to get revenge on his brother by...

Or the degenerate who decides sex with a live dog is just too vanilla.
Status Quo Costume

How creative am I at getting Trick or Treat costumes for the kids? Not at all apparently.

Devilgirl picked a princess costume despite my opinion and Devilboy is dressing as a crocodile/dinosaur (which I guess would fall under generic monster) again unless I can find a last minute shark costume. Thankfully I get the day off tomorrow--my first full day off since September 18.

The stores had Crocodile Hunter costumes made before his death. I think D-boy would have liked that but now I don't think it's appropriate.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Three Pair?

Yesterday I made the stunning realization that I only own three pair of underwear. I usually do one or two loads of laundry a day so I've never had a problem. I used to have plenty so I'm not sure if something supernatural is going on or if they're being sold on e-bay. Most people only have this problem with socks.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ask Cecil Adams

Why do all the best questions involve zombies?

What happens when you have sex with a zombie?

I actually started a movie script that involved this scenario. It wasn't pretty.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Police Brutality, Si! Potty Mouths, No!

Okay, say you buy your young son a toy police nightstick so he can practice beating people with it. Would a little cursing negatively affect the mix?

Don't get me wrong--I'm all for violent toys but shouldn't a kid know that when you whack somebody with a nightstick, you're liable to hear a few choice words?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Invisibility Cloak

Everyone is talking about how the kid who plays Harry Potter is going to do a nude scene. No one is mentioning the possibility of a real invisibility cloak.

Of course, this will lead to invisible Homeland Security Agents crouching in the living room.
People Worse Off Than Me

So a 40-year-old woman wants to scare a teenaged boy away from a basketball hoop? Is stripping naked a good option? What does it say about the woman's appearance that the hormone-laden boy took off running to his parents? What does it say about a judge who doesn't understand inclusive pronouns taking masculine form? And she's planning to keep doing it every time he plays basketball? Do I hear a webcam being installed?

When I was in legal editing, San Francisco spent a fortune on their municipal code to replace every "he" and "his" with "he or she" and "his and her," even though they had provisions that clearly stated that masculine form included feminine and neutral forms (and, yes, neutral is necessary--a corporation is legally defined as a person but has no clear gender). Alternates for "him or her."

At the time, I thought SF's job was the easiest, most profitable, and most unnecessary assignment in the history of codification. If Judge Armstrong has his way, it might become commonplace.

And what about this idiot? I'm not sure if I'd want to meet a guy who screwed a pit bull so hard it was "squealing and crying."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

No One Likes The Grudge II

I had no initial interest in this but I made a wrong mouse click and saw this.

A whopping 6% positive reviews from the big names and 8% positive overall. I don't remember seeing anything panned so completely.

Okay, this.
Obligatory Update

Rough couple of days. D-boy finally fell asleep at 3:10 last night. He was literally bouncing with energy a la The Exorcist but without so much vomiting.

I really don't care much more about baseball than curling but I hope the Tigers win the World Series. If I remember correctly, St. Louis has nine World Series wins, the most in the National League. The Reds are four down (1918, 1940, 1975, 1976, 1990) so I'd root for anyone in the American League, even the Yankees. I don't know why it matters but I guess I'm leaving myself the possibility of caring about baseball sometime in the future.

Monday, October 16, 2006

100 Below

The only good thing about the Bengals losing yesterday is that it's another jab at Mike Brown (looks like the webmaster hasn't updated for a while but the forum's still moving).

At one point the Bengals were something like 66-150 under Mike Brown, meaning that one 0-16 season would put him at 100 more losses than wins. Other than the Washington Generals, has any other team been 100 games under?

Is there any other human being who could not have managed the Yankees to the playoffs this year except for Mike Brown?

A student in class tonight mentioned that she was born in 1989--she's lived in a Paul Brown-less Cincinnati all her life. I guess the she's-never-seen-a-decent-season-prior-to-last pity I had for her almost made up for the damn-I-feel-old I felt for myself.
Grosser than the Head on the Spike

We're not eating city rat.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Tale of Two Rails

Over the summer I read three books about extinctions in modern times. I wanted to share a few stories that stood out and one of the most striking is the extinction of two Pacific rails.

The Wake Island Rail (Gallirallus wakensis) is one of the lesser-known casualties of World War II. For the last few centuries, humans--first Polynesians, then European explorers--had steadily wiped out the native birds of the island. By the outbreak of WWII, the rail was the only land bird that remained on Wake Island.

Like many island birds, the rail showed no initial fear of humans. This proved its undoing when hungry Japanese soldiers arrived ashore. If the U.S. had developed the A-bomb just a few months sooner, the Wake Island Rail might still be with us. Sadly, by 1945, the Japanese ate the last member of the species. Today it’s known only from a few stuffed museum specimens and pictures.

Across the Pacific, in the Hawaiian Islands, the Laysan Rail (Porzana palmeri), suffered perhaps a slightly kinder fate. The rail had battled extinction since the turn of the century when rabbits and guinea pigs were introduced to Laysan. By 1911, the rails numbered only 2000. By 1920, they were gone.

A scattered population survived on surrounding islands but they fell, one by one, to rats. By the time only one colony of rail was left, the American government tried to save the birds by forbidding ships from coming ashore to their island. Instead ships were instructed to anchor at sea and only transport soldiers and supplies by small craft. Despite the impact of WWII, the U.S. Navy continued this practice, keeping the rail alive.

Unlike Japanese soldiers, Americans servicemen had a good relation with the rail. Just as its Wake Island cousin had little fear of humans, the Laysan Rail would approach men, out of curiosity or when tempted with food. Soldiers and sailors from the city enjoyed feeding the large bird and apparently overcame any urge to eat them to extinction.

Disaster struck in 1943—by accident, a Navy landing craft drifted ashore, allowing rats to touch land. By the end of the year, the last Laysan Rail was dead.

Without the war, the craft never would have landed. Without the war, it’s likely that scientists would have collected a small group of rail in captivity or would have returned them to Laysan (rabbits had been exterminated in 1924 so their old home would have been safe). Instead, rats killed the Laysan rail just as surely as hungry Japanese soldiers did to the species in Wake Island.

Of recent man-made extinctions, those of island birds are the most common and the rails are really no more tragic than any of the thousand other species we've wiped out. But what struck me the most about them was that their deaths were both caused by opposite sides of the same war, one by direct predation and the other by mistake.


Tim Flannery and Peter Schouten. A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World’s Extinct Animals. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2001.

Jean-Christophe Balouet. Extinct Species of the World. 1989.
Democratic "Values"

Here's a partial transcript of the latest NKU College Republican flier:

Tired of Democratic "Values" like Same-Sex Marriage and Affirmative Action?

Help Defend Conservative Values!

Join the College Republicans!

[symbol of elephant/flag with URL of]

For more information, visit NKUGOP.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Really Bad Class

Normally even with an unmotivated class I can at least get a reaction with the compare/contrast paper. It's relatively simple to understand. It requires little if any research. Students can write about their own interests and concerns. The exercises involve potato chips.

After I give the basic guidelines, I always open two bags of chips and have the class evaluate them, using two to five specific standards. Some classes have polished off both bags in minutes then forgot which tasted like what.

No one in tonight's class ate a single chip. One guy took samples of both bags to compare how greasy they were but threw them out when he was finished. With a single exception, all of the students are younger than 20 (one is 16). Are they that worried about cholesterol? (And I just checked "0 mg cholesterol; 0 mg transfat."

I had planned "Analyzing a Film" as the final paper but now I'm having second thoughts.
Buckwheat Hoax

The Museum of Hoaxes describes this as funny but sad--a guy who just won't stop saying he's Buckwheat.
Cincinnati Lobster Free to Pinch Again

Is the fuel wasted in transporting a lobster from Cincinnati to the ocean really worth it?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My Stupid Life

I remembered to bring my zip-drive to campus tonight but didn't bring my card to get into the adjunct office (presently typing from the campus library).

Two books I ordered from main campus came in: Demons! The Devil Possession, and Exorcism by Anthony Finlay and The Coffee Table Book of Witchcraft and Demonology by Paul Huson (ed). That Huson is a wordsmith, I tell you.
Be on the Lookout

Life imitates Porky's.
Kidnapped Bride

The parents of my cousin's ex-wife actually did something like this.

Later they bought her a $270,000 house (1995 Cincinnati real estate) if she would leave him. She took it.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Children's Hospital made it double-secret-ultra-official today that D-boy definitely falls into the Autistic Disorder Spectrum. On the testing scale, 1-6 is "normal" and 7-10 "autism." He hit with a seven, as mild as you can be and still make the cut.

It really isn't a surprise. The only thing I really learned is that although he does have mild autism, it's not Asperger's Syndrome. Although all cases of Aspergers have mild autism, not every case of mild autism involves Aspergers. Sets and subsets and all that.

I've been calling a whole new bunch of people. I should have a few definite answers tomorrow.
Cursing in Other Languages

Man, I don't think I've linked to the Straight Dope since that column about how long would power stay on after a zombie attack.

But here's a few words on swearing.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Library List

There's an "autism expo" at a local church today so I'm not sticking around my office hours the whole time (the doors at NKU aren't locked but no one has stopped by so far this semester). Looks like 32 hours at the deli this week. Up until 3:35 last night with a 9:00 class this morning.

I've got a lot in mind to post soon but until then, here's my library list (50 items):-

Devilboy’s Shark Books
Little Shark. Rockwell, Anne F.
Sharks : Voracious Hunters of the Sea. Sánchez Sánchez, Isidro.
Sharks and Rays : underwater predators. Sharth, Sharon.
Sharks. Evert, Laura
Great White Sharks. Markle, Sandra.
Great White Sharks. Levine, Marie.
Scary Sharks. Landau, Elaine.
Great White Shark / in danger of extinction! Spilsbury, Richard
Shark. MacQuitty, Miranda.
Giant Shark : megalodon, prehistoric super predator Arnold, Caroline.
Sharks. Resnick, Jane Parker.
All about Sharks. Arnosky, Jim.

Devilboy’s Other Books
Deadly Reptiles. Solway, Andrew.
Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises. Carwardine, Mark.
Owls. Gibbons, Gail.
Octopuses. Hirschi, Ron.

Devilgirl’s Scooby Doo Books
Valentine's Day Dognapping. Herman, Gail
The Christmas Cookie Case. Barbo, Maria S.
The Catnapped Caper. Barbo, Maria S.

Devilgirl’s Other Books
I Can Read with My Eyes Shut. Dr. Seuss
Barbie: Star for a Day : a picture scrapbook. Miller, Mona.
Halloween. Rosinsky, Natalie M.
Dinosaur roar! Stickland, Paul
Boo! to You, Too!
Mouse Paint. Walsh, Ellen Stoll.
Hello Kitty, hello Halloween!
PhD phantasy degree. Son, Hee-Joon.

Kids’ Videos
Pokémon. 3, Charizard [videorecording]
InuYasha [videorecording]
InuYasha [videorecording]
Pokémon advanced battle. Volume 1, Gaining Groudon [videorecording]
InuYasha [videorecording]
Miracle of Mozart [videorecording] : teaching your child—ABCs

Kids’ CDs
Here come the ABCs [sound recording] They Might Be Giants (Musical group)
Cold spaghetti western [sound recording]
Wiggles Playhouse Disney [sound recording]

My Books
Right, Wrong, and Risky : a Dictionary of Today's American English Usage. Davidson, Mark
Life as We Do Not Know It : the NASA search for (and synthesis of) alien life. Ward, Peter Douglas
Shakespeare in the Movies: from the silent era to Shakespeare in love. Brode, Douglas,
Writing Metrical Poetry : contemporary lessons for mastering traditional forms. Baer, William
Faust, a tragedy : backgrounds and sources : the author on the drama, contemporary reactions, modern criticism. Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Questions of Possibility : contemporary poetry and poetic form. Caplan, David
Shakespeare. Wood, Michael
Reel v. real : how Hollywood turns fact into fiction Sanello, Frank.
The Doomsday book of animals. Day, David
Encyclopedia of Artists
Myths & Legends of the Polynesians. Andersen, Johannes Carl
The Poetry Dictionary. Drury, John.
A History of the Devil : from the middle ages to the present. Muchembled, Robert
The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life. Haines, Tim.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Looks Like I'm on Hold

I didn't bring my passcard to get into the offices tonight and my wife needs the car to go out to her parents anyway.

My home computer is cut off and nothing else is working well. D-boy has had nightmares for the last two nights.

I was looking forward to just sitting here after class. I'll have to settle for Saturday.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Why Am I Here?

I have no problem staying after class for "office hours," even if students virtually never come to them.

I didn't have a huge problem last week when I found that my office (shared with 40 other people during the day) was locked and I wasn't issued a passcard.

I didn't mind that I nearly had to miss my first class tonight because I had to wait for security to give me a card.

But it just occurred to me (and it probably should have much earlier) that if the university locks the main doors to the office area, how are students supposed to get in? I'm currently in a room four cubicles deep in both directions, in the closest one to the door but, the way this place is designed, I don't think I'd hear anyone knocking.

I guess I won't feel guilty if I leave early.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Superhero Recognition

A while back I read about superheroes as icons. Comic book fans, like all fanatics, usually over-estimate how well known the objects of their devotion actually are.

If you have a minute, try to answer four questions about ten supertypes:

1. Do you know the name/can you picture the character?
2. Know the superpowers (flight, super-strength, explosive flatulence)?
3. Know the secret identity (if any)?
4. Know how the character became super?

1. Superman

2. Batman

3. Wonder Woman

4. Spiderman

5. The Hulk

6. Captain America

7. Spawn

8. Aquaman

9. Wolverine

10. Plastic Man

If you're remotely interested, I'll put the answers in the following post.
Answers to Above

It should go without saying but read the other post first.

1. Are you kidding?
2. Super-strength; speed; invulnerability; heat, x-ray, microscopic, and telescopic vision; cold breath, super-ventriloquism

The old (1960s to 1986) Superman was more powerful than the God of the Old Testament. It took Jehovah six days to make a planet but Supes could whip one up in a matter of seconds (seriously). Nothing could hurt him but magic, other people or animals from his homeworld, or kryptonite (and, brother, was there a lot). Back in the day, he used super-ventriloquism to save his secret identity and, in at least one case that I know of, defeat a supervillian.

3. Clark Kent (Kal-El on Krypton)
4. Alien from planet that exploded. Absorbs energy from sunlight.

1. I'd be shocked.
2. Technically none. Master of martial arts, disguise, and detection; hundreds of bat-gadgets; loads of cash.
3. Bruce Wayne
4. After his parents were murdered, young Bruce dedicated his life to fighting crime. It helped that he inherited millions.

Wonder Woman
1. I've met a few who haven't.
2. Super-strength and fighting abilities; magic bracelets to deflect bullets; magic lasso that forces whomever she ties up to tell the truth (the writer who created her also HELPED invent the lie-dectector and was heavily into bondage...seriously).
3. DC Comics keeps switching this but last I heard, she had no secret identity but was called Diana in her homeland. At one point (and in the Linda Carter TV series) she had a secret identity by name of Diana Prince.
4. From Amazon tribe of Greek mythology. In various retellings of her origins, she was sculpted out of clay and magically came to life...lots of bondage makes this easier to swallow.

1. Do you live under a rock?
2. Annoying jingle--"Does whatever a spider can!"

Spiders are not really very strong and, as far as anyone can tell, don't have a sense that warns them of danger (if they did, they'd be a lot tougher to squish). Most spiders are not particularly fast and only certain species can jump impressively. Not all spin webs or can climb walls. All true spiders have some degree of venom...the one thing Spidey lacks.

3. Peter Parker
4. Bitten by radioactive spider (genetically engineered in movie and Ultimate Spiderman comic book).

The Hulk

1. Probably the easiest one to draw.
2. Super-strength, including ability to leap into orbit; invulnerability up to being able to withstand a direct hit from a nuclear weapon; ability to see into astral plane (extra-credit for knowing last one).
3. Robert Bruce Banner (David in tv show)

The first issues of the Hulk gave the puny scientist's name as Bruce Banner. Stan Lee used alliteration for most of his early creations--Peter Parker, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Scott Summers, Matt Murdock, etc. As sole writer, this helped him remember them all but the trick backfired when he had the Hulk fight the Avengers. Greenskin changed back to human form who referred to himself as "Bob Banner." Lee explained the mistake by saying that "Robert Bruce Banner" usually went by his middle name but inexplicably started using his first for a short time.

Either because "Bruce sounds too gay" or to avoid "comic-booky" alliteration, the television show changed his name to David (see comments at the bottom of the last link).

4. Just before his creation, the gamma bomb, was detonated, Dr. Banner ran onto the test site to save Rick Jones, a stupid teenager who later became sidekicks to the Hulk, Captain America, and Captain Marvel. Initially he changed to the Hulk at night, but later whenever he became angry. "You won't like me when I'm angry."

Captain America
1. Just picture the flag. Soon the U.S. Constitution will forbid destroying the likeness of Captain America.
2. Super-strength (not as super as the Hulk's but still pretty super), speed, fighting ability, indestructible shield, wears chainmail under costume.
3. Steve Rogers

One often repeated claim about early comics was that the creators who were usually Jewish or Italian Catholics, tried to come up with the most white-bread names and characteristics for their characters. Joe and Jerry, a couple of Jewish kids from Cleveland, made Superman as average as they could in all non-super-characteristics (explaining why he's Episcopalian). Critics saw this as the result of an oppressive society crushing minority culture.

I don't completely buy it. Ian Fleming named his secret agent "James Bond" because it was the dullest name he could think of, and Fleming sure as hell wasn't an oppressed minority. I see it much more as a marketing tool than oppression.

4. Shortly before WWII, scrawny Steve Rogers was turned down by the Army but was given the chance to take the "Super Soldier Serum." This transformed him into a walking, Nazi-smashing machine. Sadly a Kraut spy shot the Super Soldier Serum scientist before he could make a whole division of super soldiers.

After the war, demand for superhero comics dropped like a rock and Captain America faded away. In the 1960s, when they came back into style, Stan Lee brought back Cap, explaining that due to Nazi trickery, he had been frozen in a block of ice since the end of the war.

1. Hot during the 1990s. Losing steam for years.
2. Demonic armor, strength, teleportation, energy beams, fighting ability.
3. Al Simmons (I had to look this one up).
4. After Al, a professional mercenary, died, the devil gave him the choice: eternal damnation or come back to life to lead Hell's army against God. Al picked "B" but the devil tricked him. Instead returning immediately and in his old shape, he was brought back years in the future, after his wife married his best friend. To rub it in even worse, the devil didn't bother healing his body a la "The Monkey's Paw." Deciding that agents of Hell didn't have his best interests in mind, Al defected to the side of Good.

1. Even DC comics changes his appearance every so often.
2. Strength, telepathy with fish and other marine life, at one point had a hook for a hand which was replaced by a magical hand made of water. Pretty much anything to lose the "talks with fish" image.
3. It used to be Arthur Curry but in the newer versions he doesn't have a secret identity.
4. Originally the son of a sailor and a maid from Atlanta, er, Atlantis. This has been changed several times to make the character seem cooler.

1. Although the most popular character among comic fans, he's probably the least well known to the public.
2. Fights like a human-wolverine (strength, speed, and stamina); healing factor allows him to quickly heal from any non-fatal injury.

Marvel Comics has been unclear about Wolverine's strength. Although he has repeatedly done things that only super-strength would allow, for a long time the official word was that he was no stronger than a typical human.

3. James Howlett

Initially he was supposed to be a real wolverine that was "evolved" into humanoid shape. Later a leprechaun referred to him as "Logan" and he was only known by this name for decades. Eventually Marvel Comics hyped up the story of his true origins and sold a comic series based on his early life.
4. Born with them. As a mutant, Wolverine naturally has his healing, strength, etc. but military tests later gave him unbreakable bones and razor-sharp, metal claws.

Plastic Man
1. Children of the 1970s should remember his Hanna-Barbera show.
2. Can stretch into any shape or form with minor color changes. In other words he can transform into Godzilla, a bulldozer, a tree, a naked woman, the Empire State Building, a lamp, or conceivably a full-sized planet but only colored with red from his costume, black from his hair, or Caucasian flesh tones.
3. Patrick "Eel" O'Brien (with variants including Ed O'Brien).
4. Like the Joker, Eel was surprised in the middle of a robbery and was knocked into a vat of chemicals. Saved and treated by an order of monks, the career criminal decided to join the FBI and fight crime.
More in My Stupid Life

Devilboy was asleep when I got home around midnight but woke up about 5:30. He couldn't find the middle segment of his Thomas the Tank Engine model and raised hell over it. He has a few million Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars but can randomly fixate on any one of them.

On Wednesday, I was supposed to go to the new adjunct offices at Clermont College but the powers that be decided to lock them in the evening. Either I'm going to have to drop office hours or meet with students in the parking lot. Instead of Monday/Wednesday/Saturday updates, I might be restricted to weekly.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

D-boy had a rough night so I only got about three hours of sleep last night. I let class out an hour early but have to work a full shift at the deli, 3-11.

On a much more interesting note, Snopes says this is legit but I'm still wondering: microscopic art.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Wicker Man

I haven't seen the remake of The Wicker Man and probably never will. A weird way to start a review but after this, I don't think I'll waste my time.

When I watched the first Wicker Man, I remember thinking, "This is one movie that they can't remake." The whole concept of pagans is so different now that it would lose any sort of sinister atmosphere and just seem silly. That must not have stopped the director.

Recent pop culture, like Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost treat Wiccans as Tolkien's elves, not just a religion but an entirely different and superior species. One character refers to herself as one-fourth Wiccan on her mother's side and it's not meant as a joke. It's hard to make a horror movie about of somebody who doesn't even scare Shaggy.

The original Wicker Man treated pagans and Christians as flawed but strong. Early in the first movie, a hippy-type, Christian cop is treated almost as the moral center: he upholds law and order to the extent of not letting people murder each other but wouldn't hassle that Detroit Lions coach who drives in the nude.

The pagans get the definite upper-hand but even the up-tight, virginal, Christian protagonist is presented fairly. He never loses his faith, never yields to the pagans' gods, and in general comes off as stiff and prissy but also intelligent and tough. I can't say for sure but according to the reviews, none of the characters in the remake are this developed.

Even the original wasn't much of a true horror movie or a mystery. You pretty much figured out what was going to happen by the first 25 minutes and the rest of the movie was just about creating a sinister mood. I guess Hollywood could make a deliberately understated movie like that but that's not exactly the industry's strength.

With so many other stories along these lines that could have been adapted for a modern audience, I don't know why they remade this one. It's not like the original was a blockbuster. God forbid having to come up with a completely new idea but I certainly wouldn't have spent millions to make this one.
Almost Knocked Off May

This day will eliminate May 24's post about Purpose of Envy with only one day more to finish May entirely, bumping the earliest post to July 10. Not much of an accomplishment but I guess it means I'm getting some free time.

Last night I slept one hour before 5:00 a.m. and two after. D-boy wouldn't take melatonin and apparently was in a really bad mood. Two different departments of Children's Hospital's Sleep Center are set to examine him by October 31. Maybe I'll sleep Halloween night.

Unless we have a very slow night, I'm set to break 40 hours at the deli (I'm scheduled two hours after office hours). Only one week until UC starts again. 253.5 hours. 15,210 minutes. 912,600 seconds. 912,599. 912,598. . .

Saturday, September 02, 2006

What to do with Them?

When I hear people say that Liz and David Carroll should be put to death, I can't help but think that it wouldn't be a bad idea.

Everyone who has spent time in prison tells me the two will be tortured beyond the scope of human imagination, even if they are given protective custody (most of my sources are now mothers themselves--one met her future ex-husband in a correctional facility--and this case is a hot topic). There's been much speculation how many times old Dave will be raped per night. I didn't break into the discussion but if even a fraction of what they're saying is true, Mr. Carroll won't walk out of prison HIV negative. . . and, once out, he doesn't seem like the type of guy to practice safe sex.

I'm trying to be as objective as possible but a Soviet-style bullet to the back of the head immediately following the trial might be the most humane option.

I know I'm a minority of one but I think about the other inmates who will spend time with either Carroll. I know it's corny but I remember an old illustration of Johnny Cash when he gave concerts in prisons. In the picture, among the cheering inmates, a voice balloon from one prisoner shouted out, "He's giving me hope!"

Maybe that's an overly sentimental depiction but I'd like to think that Cash made a difference in some of the convicts' lives. The Carrolls, even if they are sequestered in an isolated cell, would have just the opposite effect. The consensus is that David Carroll is going to spark intense sadistic sexual violence. Not that I truly feel sorry about him but, if it's as intense as everyone of my sources says it will be, we'll be looking at a new circle of hell.

I don't know if the legal system has an option for the Carrolls or other child molesters/killers. I remember when one of the Boston priests under Cardinal Law was killed in prison, I thought he got what he had coming. But isn't that just a de facto death sentence so the rest of us can feel virtuous about not condemning him directly?

I don't know what to do with people like this. What the hell can we do with them?
Slim Pickings

Wow, with this I've doubled the number of posts from August and just need one more to equal July. I'll still got stuff on the bottom of the page from May 25.

Just 18 days until UC starts and I'll have more office hours than I'll know what to do with.
Second Class

I would have loved to have canceled class today and slept another four hours but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

It's been over six and a half years since I've slept well, a full seven years in 152 days. I used to think my daughter was a problem sleeper (and she was) but she paled before the non-sleeping power of Devilboy. Earlier this week I talked to the Children's Hospital's Sleep Center about possible treatment but they haven't got back to me yet.

I'm scheduled for 39 hours at the deli this week plus the NKU class and office hours. I'll report how many fingers I've lost next Saturday.

Monday, August 28, 2006

How Things Are Going

On Friday we had a two-hour long evaluation for D-boy at Children's Hospital's Autism Center. We've done things like this before but this time feels like it might put us on the right track.

D-boy stayed up until 3:41 on Friday night and 4:05 on Saturday. Last night he woke up briefly for a drink but went back to sleep, granting me a whopping six and a half hours of sleep.

My Saturday schedule is NKU from 9 to 1, then the deli from 3 to 11. I'm heading for the grave but I have to maintain enough hours to keep health insurance.

D-girl started a study at Children's Hospital called "Growing Up Female." It's geared for young girls with a family history of breast cancer (both her grandmothers had it). I think it's a great study but the name's a little funny.

With NKU and the kids' school starting (D-boy doesn't go until September 11), it looks like I'll have a little free time soon. I'm so glad summer is almost over.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pretty Good News

One of D-boy's kidneys is larger than the other (but not beyond a standard deviation). He has minor reflux from his bladder to one kidney (I didn't think to ask if it was the big or little one) which is causing his infections. Apparently this is almost entirely a male problem--with female plumbing, things just work themselves out.

He's going to a specialist soon but unless he gets another dose of bacteria, he should be fine.

He hasn't slept more than fifteen minutes at a time for the last three nights so it's nice to know that at least one part of his body is working half-way decently.
A Break in my Melodrama

Here's a meme from Nathan's page Not the greatest but it got my attention.

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?

Only my car and only a quick eyeballing. All my cars have been so bland that I can stack dead bodies in the back seat and drive through an FOP picnic without getting stopped.

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?

I don't think so. It's been a while.

3. When’s the last time you’ve been sledding?

Years and years. And around here, we say sled-riding.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?

With Devilboy around, the best I do is doze.

5. Do you believe in ghosts?

I can't improve on Nathan's, "No. I don’t disbelieve in them either."

6. Do you consider yourself creative?

I'd like think so.

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?

Technically, weren't they divorced at the time?

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?

Technically, I'm still married.

9. Do you stay friends with your ex’s?


10. Do you know how to play poker?

Yes, but lately it's been Go Fish and Old Maid.

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?

Whoever wrote this meme obviously didn't have young children.

12. What’s your favorite commercial?

"Where's the Beef?" I just watch DVDs anymore.

13. What are you allergic to?

Cats, ash tree pollen, some mold, and some flowers. Possibly latex.

14. If you’re driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around do you run red lights?

I guess I would but I've never been in the position since God knows when.

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?

Yes, and, like Patrick Star, I keep it in a secret box.

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?

I'd like a comet to strike the stadium they're playing. I haven't really followed baseball since the strike.

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?

Only once and I was surprisingly good.

18. How often do you remember your dreams?

I usually remember them for a few minutes after waking up and then they fade. Except last night when I had a dream I was back in high school and went on a secret mission with the female president of the U.S.'s daughter and another teenage girl-spy. Maybe that was the only dream I've ever had worth remembering.

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?

It's happened but I can't pin it down.

20. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles?

I could probably name 50 but I won't.

21. What’s the one thing on your mind now?

Why I'm doing this when it's the last day of class.

22. Do you know who Ghetto-ass Barbie is?

No but I know who Aaron from Titus Andronicus is.

23. Do you always wear your seat belt?

Yes. And strap the kids in their booster seats. I even strap down the bodies in the trunk.

24. What cell service do you use?

I think my wife cancelled my cell phone because I never used it.

25. Do you like Sushi?

No but my wife does.

26. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?

I can't prove they'd have been fatal but I suspect.

27. What do you wear to bed?

Anymore, regular clothes. That way when Devilboy starts crying six minutes after I close my eyes, I don't have to get dressed.

28. Been caught stealing?


29. What shoe size do you have?

My shoes are 14 but I think they should be 15.

30. Do you truly hate anyone?

If you define "hate," as "wishing eternal damnation upon someone," I'd say no. But I'd like to see a few bastards in Purgatory for a couple billion years.

31. Classic Rock or Rap?

They only rap I've heard in the last year is "When Worlds Collide" from Spongebob (performed by a caveman and a robot). I'm not sure if that's really rap.

32. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?

I'd just like to sleep.

33. Favorite Song?

"Marvin, I love you" by Marvin the Paranoid Android.

34. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror?


35. What food do you find disgusting?

Most fruit.

36. Do you sing in the shower ?


37. Did you ever play, “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours”?

I was an altar boy, you know.

38. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?


39. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?

Not as often as I should have.

40. Have you ever been punched in the face?

Yes, lately just by my children.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Not As Bad As I Thought

Well, the ultrasound went almost supernaturally well. The tech said he was the best patient she saw all day. That was after waiting (translate--running wildly) from 12:25 to 3:10. You'd think if a kid was tearing the waiting room apart, they'd actually page the appropriate doctor. My wife took a half day without pay and only God knows how much of the three hours was wasted because the receptionists kept calling the wrong people. The ultrasound tech said that she could have seen us much earlier but she was never notified.

The kidney/hell test was rough. Lots of screaming and crying plus a catheter and high doses of radiation. When he finally got through it, he was supposed to give a urine sample but he refused for the better part of an hour. Finally they gave up and we have to hope that it won't be necessary to do it again.

It should be a few days before the results are finished. I should have some sort of a life by that time, I hope.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Finally a New Post

My head is spinning and my guts are churning. Devilboy has a new bladder infection, causing disgusting, pus-filled urine. Next Monday at Children's Hospital, he's having radioactive dye injected into his bladder to see if anything is being forced back to his kidneys. Should be real fun. Yep, it involves a catheter. Real fun.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


This was a first. I had a class called on account of tornado warning.

Our classroom has no windows but it's on the top floor so maintenance sent everyone to the basement. Once there, a forgotten science experiment turned terribly wrong burst from the laboratory on a bloody trail of terror.

If only.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Purpose of Envy

If anybody is still hanging around, an old friend of mine is working on a new web page. It's still under construction but if you wouldn't mind checking it out and providing any feedback that I can forward to him.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More Bomb Threats

Nagel Middle School is up to seven bomb threats this year despite having bathroom monitors who allow only two students inside at one time and inspections of the walls after they leave (in our new world order, just writing "bomb" is enough to bring the bomb squad and police dogs).

I know I risk the paralyzing irony of having this bite me on the ass but I hope the parents of the kids responsible have to pay back the tax money for the bomb searches.

On another note, has a mad bomber ever left just a one-word message, "Bomb" or anything else, in a real bombing? The Unabomber's manifesto went on forever. I know the defense is "We can't afford to take a risk" but would they call the dogs for "bom" or "bobm"? That would make Robert Miller think twice before writing bathroom graffiti.
More Gator Bites

Old woman fights back.
Check out

Nothing much to report so here's my current library checkout list:

Terrible Videos

Pokémon. Adventures on the Orange Islands 2 [videorecording]
Pokémon advanced challenge. Vol. 6, Go go Ludicolo! [videorecording]
Pokémon advanced. Volume eight, Jump for joy [videorecording]
The Muppet movie [videorecording]
Yu-gi-oh! [videorecording ]
Yu-gi-oh! [videorecording]
Yu-gi-oh! Enter the Shadow Realm [videorecording]
Thomas & friends. Steamies vs diesels [videorecording]
Power Rangers Ninja storm. Lightning strikers [videorecording]
Looney tunes. Reality check [videorecording]
Hamtaro [videorecording] : little hamsters, big adventures

Kids Books

Valentine's Day Dognapping, Herman, Gail
Blinded by the Light, Torres, J.
Eency Weency Spider, Wang, Margaret.
Scooby-Doo! and the Sunken Ship, Gelsey, James
Humpback Whale, Bright, Michael
Red-eyed Tree Frog, Cowley, Joy.
Crocodiles, Robinson, Claire
Scales, Slime, and Salamanders, Miller-Schroeder, Patricia.
Scooby-Doo! and the Secret Admirer, McCann, Jesse Leon.

Devilboy’s Shark Books

Sharks, Parker, Steve.
Sharks, Gibbons, Gail.
All about Sharks, Arnosky, Jim.
Sharks : shark magic for kids, Corrigan, Patricia
Scary Sharks, Landau, Elaine
The encyclopedia of sharks, Parker, Steve. (I’m putting Steve Parker’s kids through college)
Sharks, Evert, Laura
Sharks, (no author listed)
Sharks, Lopez, Gary.

My Books

Babylonian and Assyrian Religion, Hooke, S. H. (Samuel Henry)
Sumerian Mythology : a study of spiritual and literary achievement in the third millennium B.C., Kramer, Samuel Noah
The Oasis Guide to Asperger Syndrome : advice, support, insight, and inspiration Bashe, Patricia Romanowski
A Short History of Myth, Armstrong, Karen (I always wanted to read Armstrong but I didn’t care much for this book)
Breakthrough parenting for children with special needs : raising the bar of expectations, Winter, Judy

Would you convict? : seventeen cases that challenged the law, Robinson, Paul H.
Voodoo : past and present, Bodin, Ron. (Includes a voodoo love spell that involves “gutting” live hummingbirds)

The Asperger parent : how to raise a child with Asperger syndrome and maintain your sense of humor, Cohen, Jeffrey
Myths and Monsters : from dragons to werewolves, Buller, Laura
The Mythology of Dogs : canine legend and lore through the ages, Hausman, Gerald.
The Roots of Desire : the myth, meaning, and sexual power of red hair, Roach, Marion.

The Book of Lost Books : an incomplete history of all the great books you'll never read, Kelly, Stuart. (Books that have been lost to the ages or never finished—I got it for Shakespeare’s lost plays)
Art of the Avant-Gardes

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Forest Hills School District

On the day of a crucial school levy, a student in Nagel Middle School made another bomb threat in the girls' bathroom. This is the third in the last few months. Is my stepdaughter the culprit? I sincerely doubt it (when Devilboy is in seventh grade, I might not be as confident).

The levy passed 7,306 to 5,746 but God knows how many voters might have went against it due to this stupidity. What really steams me is that kids don't even really have to make a bomb threat today. In most of the local bomb threats, some idiot just wrote the word "BOMB" in the bathroom and the entire school shut down. In the 80s, the janitor would have just washed off the wall. And before any wiseass tries to say today is more dangerous, there were more school shootings in the 80s than in the last ten years. (Can't find stats about bombings.)

The same thing happened today. You'd think it would be cheaper to hire bathroom monitors (although I'm afraid of who might apply).
"Florida Cracker Culture"

Heroic alligator attempts to increase the average American I.Q. by a few decimal points.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Local Discipline

A while back a member of Cincinnati City Council beat his son with a belt for giving a teacher an inappropriate look at school. People of the area applauded him, pointing out that "spare the rod, spoil the fun."

Here's the new hero.
Mermaid's Breasts Too Big for Florida

This story seems great until I saw the actual sculpture.

I guess they're pretty big.
Cincinnati to Lead the World to Peace
via museum of Hoaxes

Devilboy hasn't been sleeping any better. There was another bomb threat at my stepdaughter's school. Drivers are just as big as idiots.

I'm not sure if this local praying for peace experiment is working.

If a new age of peace would suddenly cloak the globe, where would it start? The Promised Land? New Zealand? The Playboy Mansion?

Cincinnati isn't top on my list of peace cities (or piece cities, for that matter).

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Movie List

Here's Roger Ebert's list of movies you have to see to be able to talk about movies (thanks Katie)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Stanley Kubrick
The 400 Blows (1959) Francois Truffaut
8 1/2 (1963) Federico Fellini
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Werner Herzog
Alien (1979) Ridley Scott
All About Eve (1950) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Annie Hall (1977) Woody Allen
Apocalypse Now (1979) Francis Ford Coppola*
Bambi (1942) Disney

The Battleship Potemkin (1925) Sergei Eisenstein
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) William Wyler
The Big Red One (1980) Samuel Fuller
The Bicycle Thief (1949) Vittorio De Sica
The Big Sleep (1946) Howard Hawks
Blade Runner (1982) Ridley Scott

Blowup (1966) Michelangelo Antonioni
Blue Velvet (1986) David Lynch (Funny, Ebert gave this a bad review when it came out)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Arthur Penn
Breathless (1959 Jean-Luc Godard
Bringing Up Baby (1938) Howard Hawks
Carrie (1975) Brian DePalma
Casablanca (1942) Michael Curtiz
Un Chien Andalou (1928) Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali

Children of Paradise" / "Les Enfants du Paradis" (1945) Marcel Carne
Chinatown (1974) Roman Polanski
Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles
A Clockwork Orange (1971) Stanley Kubrick
The Crying Game (1992) Neil Jordan
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) Robert Wise

Days of Heaven (1978) Terence Malick
Dirty Harry (1971) Don Siegel
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) Luis Bunuel
Do the Right Thing (1989 Spike Lee
La Dolce Vita (1960) Federico Fellini
Double Indemnity (1944) Billy Wilder
Dr. Strangelove (1964) Stanley Kubrick
Duck Soup (1933) Leo McCarey
E.T. -- The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Steven Spielberg
Easy Rider (1969) Dennis Hopper
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Irvin Kershner
The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin
Fargo (1995) Joel & Ethan Coen

Fight Club (1999) David Fincher
Frankenstein (1931) James Whale
The General (1927) Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman
The Godfather & The Godfather, Part II (1972, 1974) Francis Ford Coppola
Gone With the Wind (1939) Victor Fleming
GoodFellas (1990) Martin Scorsese
The Graduate (1967) Mike Nichols
Halloween (1978) John Carpenter

A Hard Day's Night (1964) Richard Lester
Intolerance (1916) D.W. Griffith
It's a Gift (1934) Norman Z. McLeod
It's a Wonderful Life (1946) Frank Capra
Jaws (1975) Steven Spielberg
The Lady Eve (1941) Preston Sturges
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean
M (1931) Fritz Lang
(best serial killer ever)
Mad Max 2 / "The Road Warrior" (1981) George Miller
The Maltese Falcon (1941) John Huston

The Manchurian Candidate" (1962) John Frankenheimer
Metropolis" (1926) Fritz Lang
Modern Times (1936) Charles Chaplin

Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975) Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam

Nashville (1975) Robert Altman
The Night of the Hunter (1955) Charles Laughton
Night of the Living Dead (1968) George Romero
North by Northwest (1959) Alfred Hitchcock
Nosferatu" (1922) F.W. Murnau
On the Waterfront (1954) Elia Kazan
Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968) Sergio Leone

Out of the Past (1947) Jacques Tournier
Persona (1966) Ingmar Bergman
Pink Flamingos (1972) John Waters
Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock
Pulp Fiction (1994) Quentin Tarantino

Rashomon (1950) Akira Kurosawa
Rear Window (1954) Alfred Hitchcock
Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Nicholas Ray
Red River (1948) Howard Hawks
Repulsion (1965) Roman Polanski
The Rules of the Game(1939) Jean Renoir
Scarface (1932) Howard Hawks
The Scarlet Empress (1934) Josef von Sternberg
Schindler's List (1993) Steven Spielberg
The Searchers (1956) John Ford

The Seven Samurai (1954) Akira Kurosawa
Singin' in the Rain (1952) Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
Some Like It Hot (1959) Billy Wilder

A Star Is Born (1954) George Cukor
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Elia Kazan
Sunset Boulevard (1950) Billy Wilder
Taxi Driver (1976) Martin Scorsese
The Third Man (1949) Carol Reed

Tokyo Story (1953) Yasujiro Ozu
Touch of Evil (1958) Orson Welles
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) John Huston

Trouble in Paradise (1932) Ernst Lubitsch
Vertigo (1958) Alfred Hitchcock
West Side Story (1961) Jerome Robbins/Robert Wise
The Wild Bunch (1969) Sam Peckinpah
The Wizard of Oz (1939) Victor Fleming
Waiting, Waiting

I'm supposed to have 16 students in my class at NKU (starting with 24). Of them, only about ten have been attending regularly. I'm waiting for final papers and only have eight. Devilgirl whined about going to school today so I let her come along and she's tearing up the office as I write.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

More Info Than You Ever Wanted to Know

I got this from Ron and spent a large chunk of my life filling it out:

MEME: 157 QUESTIONS (was supposed to be 200, but the people at Myspace apparently can't count)

1. My middle name is: Gregory
2. I was born on: March 27, 1968 when dinosaurs roamed the earth
3. I am: filling out a meme
4. My cell phone company is: cell phone-less
5. My eye color is: hazel/brown
6. My shoe size is: 14/15 (16 with skis)
7. My ring size is: back in high school when my mom insisted on getting me a class ring, I think it was 9. I think I wore it two times to make her happy but have never worn a ring since (except for skull, bat, or spider rings around Halloween)
8. My height is: it used to be six three, but as the disks in my back crumble, I’m getting progressively shorter
9. I am allergic to: cats and ash tree pollen
10. My bedtime: whenever all my work is done and Devilboy is asleep (2:30 last night)

11. One thing I know for sure about the opposite sex is: they spend lots of money
12. I am glad I'm me because: that matches the name on my drivers license
13. It sucks that I'm me because: I have no sleep or money
14. If I could be anyone else for one day: a narcoleptic millionaire
15. My celebrity dream date is: the basis of a future episode of Divorce Court
16. My favorite day of the week is: Monday (my one day off)
17. My favorite color is: tangerine/puce
18. My favorite fairy tale is: The Children who Played Butcher
19. My favorite holiday is: Leif Erikson Day (no real favorite)
20. The perfect kiss is: the sole property and trademark of the Hershey’s Chocolate Company

21. The last CD's I bought: Dire Straits Brothers in Arms (Death, where is thy sting?)
22. Last song that made me cry was: “I Will Wait for You” (or whatever the name of the song on the Jurassic Bark episode of Futurama)
23. My most treasured possession(s) are: my stories and I’m obligated to say my kids
24. What did you do last night: got home from work, cleaned up the mess, read Midsummer Night’s Dream (for class), and took the dog out.
25. My skin's reaction to the sun is (tan/burn): burn then tan
26. Last time you were at the beach: June 2000.
27. What kind of car do you drive: A Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV

28. Do you believe in Santa: If my kids are listening
29. Do you believe in love at first sight: If you mean physical attraction that blossoms into something more
30. Do you believe in luck: If you mean being on the plus side of a statistical event
31. Do you believe in fate: no
32. Do you believe in aliens: I believe in the possibility of aliens (which is pretty much how I believe in anything)
33. Do you believe in heaven: see above
34. Do you believe in hell: Did I mention I was married?
35. Do you believe in ghosts: Not in the traditional sense but I’m open to the possibility of some sort of psychic energy or force not yet detectable
36. Do you believe in horoscopes: at last, an unequivocal no
37. Do you believe in soulmates: you’d have to define soulmate
38. Do you believe in dinosaurs: How can you include dinosaurs in this crop of questions? It’s theoretically possible that dinosaurs are all an elaborate hoax but you could say that about WWII.
39. Do you believe in miracles: It depends what you mean by miracle
40. Do you believe in the death penalty: I’m pretty sure it exists (do I believe it’s morally acceptable? in limited circumstances

41. Hugs or kisses: I’m going to fall back to the chocolate joke and say both
42. Drunk or High: drunk in the past tense
43. Phone or Online: online
44. Red Hair or Black Hair: for me, black; for wife, red
45. Mohawk or Mullet: uh, male pattern baldness
46. Hot or Cold: cold
47. Summer or Winter: winter
48. Coffee or Tea: me
49. Chocolate or Vanilla: vanilla
50. Night or Day: night

51. Oranges or Apples: I don’t look this way from eating healthy
52. Curly or Straight Hair: straight for me; curly for wife53. Gloves or Mittens: gloves
54. Abortion: If I ran the circus, I’d spend as much on birth control R&D as the current crew spend on Iraq. If I could put it in the drinking water like Brave New World, I would. My goal would be no abortions or unplanned pregnacies in general. But I wouldn’t make abortion illegal or restricted.
55. Backstabbers: uh, are bad (is anyone pro-backstabbery?)
56. Parents: I guess I’m pro-parents
57. Children: very noisy, destructive, and expensive
58. Animals: the sensible alternative to children. They’re also good to eat
59. Leashes for kids: I have one for Devilboy but have never used it yet
60. School: I wish I were back

61. Life: if it’s so great, how do you explain the stunning success of the virus?
62. Bangs: I’m honestly not sure what exactly bangs are in hair style.
63. The name Bernard: good for a large breed of dogs
64. Beer Pong: at UC, I got to the semi-finals in intermural Ping Pong and consistently placed well in Chug Offs but I never saw the need to combine the two
65. Alcohol: God, I miss it
66. PDAs: I’m too old to know what this means
67. Last time I kissed someone: Earlier today
68. Last time I hugged someone: Earlier today
69. Seen someone I haven't seen in awhile: No one comes to mind. I did just see an old picture of my wife’s dead cat today.
70. Missed someone: I’m going to have to make an obligatory snow ball fight joke

71. Grew: ear, nose, and facial hair
72. Drew a smiley face: I can’t remember
73. Ate something: about half an hour ago when Devilboy and I had chicken tenders
74. Took a Shower: this morning
75. Tripped Over Something: last night at the deli
76. Saw a play or movie: (#82 makes me think that this includes anything on DVD) within the last couple days
76. Read a book: last night
77. Traveled: in 2001 when I went to Context in Columbus
78. Filled out a survey: since this is defined as a survey in question 178, now
79. Who's the ditziest person I know: probably my stepdaughter
80. Who makes you laugh the most: all in all, Devilboy

81. One thing I'm mad about now is: Devilboy is spitting popsicle juice after I steam cleaned the carpet today
82. The last movie I saw in the theater was: Fellowship of the Ring, five years ago or so
83. The thing I don't understand is: there are many, many things
84. The most unsatisfactory answer I've ever recieved (sic) was: on a poetry test
85. The one thing I love about the opposite sex is: it’s been too long to remember
86. This summer: I will probably work nights at the deli
87. Something I really miss when I leave home: this question was not written with me in mind
88. The thing I'm looking forward to the most: sleep
89. Tomorrow: I’ll show Midsummer Night’s Dream in class
90. Today: I didn’t have to work but watched Devilboy
91. Next Summer: I have no idea
92. Next Week: NKU will be over
93. This Weekend: I’ll pick up final papers at NKU
94. Next Weekend: I’ll finish grading

95. People Call me: on the phone
96. The Last Thing I Bought: Chicken tenders, a case of diet Pepsi, a box of Cascade, a half-price off bag of Easter candy, an Eye-Spy book (for Devilboy), and a toy car (for Devilboy)
97. My favorite place to shop is: I don’t like shopping
98. In my wallet I carry: so many cards and crap that I’m not going to bother listing them all
99. The person who knows about the most about me: I’m an enigma
100. The person that can read me the best is: no one stands out
101. The most difficult thing to do is: that which is physically impossible
102. I have gotten a speeding ticket: when I was 19
103. I have the following siblings: Jane and Chrissy
104. Something about my siblings: Jane lives in Tennessee; Chrissy is expecting a baby

105. My Zodiac Sign: the ram
106. Brand of Computer: Hewlett Packard
107. The one person who can't hide things from me: I draw a complete blank...the Penguin?
108. Cook or Eat Out: eat out
109. Right now I am talking to: Devilboy
110. I wish I were talking to: the guy who hands out lottery winnings
111. Favorite Vacation Spot: same as question 85
112. I have a job at: UC Clermont, NKU, and the Kroger deli
113. I have these pets: a dog, seven hamsters, and a fish
114. I hope: I make enough to quit the deli
115. The worst sound in the world: would be inaudible in space
116. The person that makes me cry the most is: Devilboy
117. The last time you cried: when watching the “Jurassic Bark”
118. Why did you cry: because I was half-mad with sleep deprivation

119. Favorite Food: chocolate covered cashews
120. Favorite Breakfast Food: chocolate covered cashews
121. Favorite Lunch Food: chocolate covered cashews
122. Favorite Dinner Food: chocolate covered cashews
123. Favorite Dessert: chocolate covered cashews
124. Favorite Drink: real Cherry Coke
125. Florida or Hawaii: Florida
126. North or South Pole: South
127. My favorite piece of clothing: anything that’s clean
128. My favorite sport to play is: Minesweeper
129. My favorite sport to watch is: pole-dancing
130. My favorite sports figure: that guy from the April’s fools issue of Sports Illustrated who was supposed to be able to throw a 130-mph fastball

131. The school I went to: Walnut Hills then UC
132. Last person I got mad at was: Devilboy (see #81)
133. Worst Drinking Experience: getting tossed out of a bar/arrested/taking my shorts off, throwing up in them, and carrying it home (although now it seems strangely appealing)
134. All Time Best Song: “Timothy” by the Buoys (“Joe said that he would sell his soul for just. . . a piece . . . of meat.”)
135. All Time Best Band: I can’t decide and I’m losing interest in this
136. All Time Best Painting: Salador Dali’s Corpus Hypercubus
137. All Time Best Movie: Satyricon (you have to wait for the ending)
138. All Time Best Thing In The World: zinc
139. What tattoo would you like and where: I like tattoos on other people

140. Most annoying person I know is: too many to pick
141. I lose all respect for people: all the time
142. The movies I have cried at: usually involve dogs (My Dog Skip for instances)
143. I have a scar: my most prominent scars are from my dog biting me on the shoulder and when he yanked his leash and caused me to jam my fingers in the opening mechanism of a gate (they would have to ask those questions back to back)
144. The last time I skinned my knees was: I was cleaning the carpets and tried to scrub out a stain. The chemicals ate through the skin of my kneecaps and disolved the leg hair in a larger circle around the wounds.
145. My hidden talent: is well hidden
146. I have a craving for: sleep
147. The worst pain I was ever in was: physically, probably having my wisdom teeth out
148. My favorite quote: “Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless, peacocks and lilies for instance.” John Ruskins (not really my favorite but the best I could come up with.
149. My room is: nonexistent--I’m married.

150. I love: all that is good
151. I hate: the Care Bears
152. My life: is more than statistically half over
153. My weakness: multi-tasking
154. What I look for in a mate: I might not be the best person to ask
155. Who broke your heart: My dog Snoozer when he died
156. I filled out this survey: on a computer
157. Name the one person you trust the most: Devilboy. . .I trust him to destroy in mindless rampages.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Shark Petting

If this is true, he puts Timothy Treadwell to shame.

In the book Devil's Teeth, a great white shark researcher strokes a shark as it swims by, but this doesn't look particularly scientific.

Here's something more sane--whale saving.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Why I Hate California

I guess two words say it best: Orange County.

Nothing but good feelings towards the rest of the state. San Francisco and L.A. have deeply troubled municipal codes but I'm overall positive about them, the general people of California, and the state as a whole.

Californian city officials and politicians do stink. Sure, they stink all over but California gave Nixon, Bob Dornan, and Reagan. I'm sure some of the city officials are perfectly nice people but the ones I dealt with were complete idiots (which is fairly common) but they were proud of being idiots. Here's a few examples of what I had to deal with:

9.12.545. Amerige Park Carnivals prohibited.

No person shall use Amerige Park for any carnival, circus, tent show, fair, rodeo, horse show, elephant race or similar activity, or for any ferris wheel, merry go round, or other mechanical device for amusement rides. (Ord. 1440, § 1, 1965).

(Fullerton, CA--included in the Index as "elephant races")

Ordinance 2001-05, § 4, 3-27-2001

D. Location of Drive-Thru Window. The drive-thru window shall be located on the same side as the driver's side of the car.

(Monrovia, California)

There's more. Lots and lots more. I don't think you have to be considered an economic conservative to think that maybe Adam Smith's invisible hand would clear up any problems with elephant races and passenger side drive-thru windows. In most states, including North Carolina (but not Indiana), a municipality upon reviewing obviously outdated provisions would agree to rescind them or at least not include them in a basic municipal code, saving taxpayers a bundle.

Californian city officials wanted everything. Yes, Massachusetts does the same thing but in Massachusetts, most of the outdated stuff has a real history. California keeps spewing this out nonstop.

In California's defense, it's home to over a tenth of the U.S. population, is geographically a huge state, is diverse in population and industry, has a constant influx of out-of-towners moving in, and has changed national governments a number of times. This is true of Florida and Texas but the cities I dealt with were quick to point out, "Dang, we're stupid." Just admitting the problems eased things with me. And for the record, the Bush boys are not Texans or Floridians--they're Connecticut millionaires who set up shop in states without an income tax.

Carmel, Indiana, was worse than all California and the rest of the country combined (with the exception of Monroe, North Carolina, the home town of Jesse Helms). These were the two worst municipalities in the nation and, right or wrong, prejudiced me towards their states. Actually Rising Sun and Lawrenceburg (both with casinos) were good to work with but my limited experience with the rest of Indiana and North Carolina wasn't good. No state, not even Texas, willfully ignores the Constitution like Indiana.

Unlike Nathan, I will defend Ohio on one level--they paid really well. Bowling Green, Ohio, still has Section 139.02

(A) No person, without privilege to do so, shall purposely deface, damage, pollute, or otherwise physically mistreat any of the following:

(1) The flag of the United States or of this state;

(2) Any public monument;

(3) Any historical or commemorative marker, or any structure, Indian mound or earthwork, cemetery, thing, or site of great historical or archaeological interest;

(4) A place of worship, its furnishings, or religious artifacts or sacred texts within the place of worship or within the grounds upon which the place of worship is located;

(5) A work of art or museum piece;

(6) Any other object of reverence or sacred devotion.

Notice, it's illegal to mistreat the flag of Ohio. Ask the next ten people from Ohio what shape the state flag is and see how many get it right (hint: it's not rectangular).

Kentucky and Illinois were my two favorite states. Kentucky didn't pay very well but they realized that despite being near to larger states, there's no reason to over-regulate themselves at tax-payers expense. (This is on paper--in real life, the state government is incredibly corrupt.)

Same is true of Illinois but once I screwed over the people of a small town in Illinois and have felt bad about it ever since.

I noticed that two ordinances from the town--a utility rate increase and something else--had the same number and passage date so I called the town clerk to see what was the matter. Unlike a clerk in Indiana, she didn't blame me for the problem but was incredibly apologetic and shortly found out what had happened. During a meeting, the council passed the rate increase but somehow forgot about it and passed another unrelated ordinance and used the same number, effectively erasing the rate increase from their records. When I pointed out the problem, they put the increase in action and possibly, I never found out, made the citizens pay for the months it should have been issued.

Somewhere in Illinois, some poor bastard has a huge utility bill and I'm to blame. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I wish it had happened to Carmel.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bubonic Plague is Not Contagious?

But the bad news, it hit L.A.
Worst States

Moved from an insanely long comment, my list of worst states (and Florida doesn't even make the cut):

1. North Carolina--idiots, racists, very screwy state laws. In the 1990s, one municipality still had a curfew exclusively for black males on the books (to their credit, they didn't seem aware of it and immediately repealed it when notified).

2. Indiana--no offense to Wes but Indiana is surrounded by much larger states and state legislators somehow think that Hoosiers need as many state regulations as Illinois, Ohio, or Michigan. This makes their legal system unnecessarily bulky and complicated. Plus, they're all idiots, especially everyone in Carmel.

3. Idaho--I've only had minimal dealing with Idaho but it's been all bad.

4. Wyoming--same as above.

5. California--big states with big populations, multiple climates and landscapes, a wide range of industries, and several national governments have loony state laws. Texas, under Spain, France, Mexico, itself, the CSA, and the USA, has law books that read the junior jumble. But Texans practically fall over themselves apologizing for the problems. To a lesser extent (but less of an initial problem) so do Floridians.

Californian politicians and governmental employees take a perverse pride in the terrible way they run the state. Half of the L.A. charter is devoted to police and firefighter pensions (important, but why in the charter? And why half the provisions of the charter?) San Francisco once paid to change every instance of "he" to "he or she" in its 17 volume set of municipal law even though "he" was already legally defined to include masculine and feminine uses. (On the brighter side, it was the easiest and most profitable legal publishing job in history.)

6. Georgia and Tennessee (tie)--no professional experience with them but just driving through is enough.

7. Mississippi--I wouldn't mind it so much if it didn't suck down tax money the rate it does.

8. Arkansas--Once was enough. Bill Clinton really was the best person ever to come out of this state and I hate him.

9. Oklahoma--all the nitwits of Texas without any reasons to rationalize them.

10. Oregon--sure, they love trees but dealing with their officials is almost as bad as the Hoosiers (but, in fairness, not as bad as the Tarheels). Plus, they don't let you pump your own gas.

Yeah, technically that's 11 but I really wanted to include Oregon. Where's New York? I've never had to deal with New York so I couldn't conscientiously include it.
My Municipal Codes

This is a partial list (I lost part of my files) of the municipal codes I worked on over the years. Some (like Pompano Beach, Florida), I worked on repeatedly). Others only once. I know I edited one Alaskan code but I have no record of it. From my memory of it, the code was easy-going, straightforward, nothing blatantly unconstitutional--in other words, the anti-Indiana.

These experiences heavily influenced my worst states list.

Arkansas (1)

Arizona (1)

California (11)
Baldwin Park
Culver City
Santa Paula

Florida (8)
Boynton Beach
Lake Mary
Pembroke Pines
Pompano Beach

Illinois (37)
Carol Stream
Coal City
Crest Hill
Du Quoin
Henry Co
Orland Hills
Palos Hts
Sauk Village
South Elgin
Will Co
Winthrop Harbor

Indiana (29)
Beech Grove
Cass Co
Crown Point
Fort Wayne
Lake Co.
Mt. Vernon

Kansas (1)

Kentucky (17)
Beaver Dam
Boone Co.
Bullit Co.
Forest Hills
Fort Thomas
Grant Co.
Jefferson Co.
Taylor Mill

Louisana (1)

Michigan (7)
Mt. Pleasant
White Cloud
White Hall

Minnesota (1)

Missouri (1)
St. Charles

North Carolina (16)
Caswell Beach
Davie Co.
Holden Beach
Southern Pines

North Dakota (1)

New Mexico (1)

Ohio (10)
Beach City
Bowling Green

Oklahoma (1)

Oregon (3)

Pennslyvania (1)

South Carolina (2)
Mt. Pleasant

Texas (20)
Gun Barrel City
Harker Heights
Runaway Bay

West Virginia (1)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Down South

Here's some news from where my parents live:

Naked girls moon motorists; mother arrested; alcohol believed a factor
Cat target

Brass buckles

This is actually miles south but ughh

This is a little south too
Witches to Disrupt American Policy

On May 5, a global-conspiracy of witches (or this) is planning to thwart American destiny.

Actually I just wanted to write "thwart."

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Top Fantasy

According to David Pringle's 100 Best Modern Fantasy:

Titus Groan, Mervyn Peake
World of Ptath, A.E. van Vogt
The Well of the Unicorn, Fletcher Pratt
Darker Than You Think, Jack Williamson
Seven Days in New Crete, Robert Graves
Silverlock, John Myers Myers
The Castle of Iron, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
Conan the Conqueror, Robert E. Howard
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
The Sound of His Horn, Sarban
Conjure Wife, Fritz Leiber
The Sinful Ones, Fritz Leiber
The Broken Sword, Poul Anderson
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
Pincher Martin, William Golding
The Shrinking Man, Richard Matheson
Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury (I can remember reading it but can't remember what it was about)
The Once and Future King, T.E. White
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathon Hoag, Robert Heinlein
The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson

Titus Alone, Merlyn Peake
A Fine and Private Place, Peter S. Beagle
Three Hearts and Three Lions, Poul Anderson
The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything, John D. MacDonald
Glory Road, Robert A. Heinlein
Witch World, Andre Norton
Same as Bradbury. I can remember the cover but not the story.
The Magus, John Fowles
Stormbringer, Micheal Moorecock
The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon

Day of the Minotaur, Thomas Burnett Swann
The Eyes of the Overworld, Jack Vance
The Owl Service, Alan Garner
Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin
The Third Policeman, Flann O’Brien
Gog, Andrew Sinclair
The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. LeGuin
The Swords of Lankhmar, Fritz Leiber
Black Easter and The Day After Judgement, James Blish
The Green Man, Kingsley Amis
The Phoenix and the Mirror, Avram Davidson
A Feast Unknown, Phillip Jose Farmer
Fourth Mansion, R.A. Lafferty Same.
Red Moon and Black Mountain, Joy Chant
Time and Again, Jack Finney
Grendel, John Gardner

Briefing for a Descent into Hell, Doris Lessing
Jack of Shadows, Roger Zelazny
Watership Down, Richard Adams
The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman, Angela Carter
Sweet Dreams, Michale Frayn
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Patricia A. McKillip
’Salem’s Lot, Stephen King
The Great Victorian Collection, Brian Moore
Grimus, Salman Rushdie
Peace, Gene Wolfe
The Malacia Tapestry, Brian Aldiss
The Dragon and the George, Gordon R. Dickson

Hotel de Dream, Emma Tennant
The Passion of New Eve, Angela Carter
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Stephen R. Donaldson (started buy never finished)
The Shining, Stephen King
Fata Morgana, William Kotzwinkle
Our Lady of Darkness, Fritz Leiber
Gloriana, Michael Moorcock
The Unlimited Dream Company, J.G. Ballard
Sorceror’s Son, Phyllis Eisenstein
The Land of Laughs, Jonathon Carroll
The Vampire Tapestry, Suzy McKee Carnas
A Storm of Wings, M. John Harrison
White Light, Rudy Rucker
Ariosto, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Cities of the Red Night, William S. Burroughs
Little, Big, John Crowley
Lanark, Alasdair Gray
The War Hound and the World’s Pain, Michael Moorcock
Nifft the Lean, Michael Shea
Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin
Soul Eater, K.W. Jeter
Tea with the Black Dragon, R.A. MacAvoy
Cold Heaven, Brian Moore
Anubis Gate, Tim Powers
Who Made Stevie Crye? Michael Bishop
The Digging Leviathon, James P. Blaylock
Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter
The Businessman, Thomas M. Disch
Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock
The Glamour, Christopher Priest
The Witches of Eastwich, John Updike
Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd
The Dream Years, Lisa Goldstein
The Fionavar Tapestry, Guy Gavriel Kay
The Bridge, Iain Banks
The Hungry Moon, Ramsey Cambell
Replay, Ken Grimwood
The Unconquered Territory: A Life History, Geoff Ryman
The Day of Creation, J.G. Ballard
Aegypt, John Crowley