Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Sure, Christmas is about celebrating this special season with friends and loved ones, but it's also about eating food you can't normally eat in Los Angeles.

Case. In. Point!

Mom's Cheese Potatoes: Ol' Momma Rust one-ups the Irish with this dee-lish-us dish. Everlast is crying somewhere.

Taco John's #2 Meal: Los Angeles may have its fair share of "authentic" Mexican restaurants, but how can you top a wealthy Chicago iron manufacturer's concept of Choco-Tacos? Answer? YOU CAN'T!

Vander Meer's Bakery: Chocolate raised with nuts... as in, you'd be NUTS not to love 'em!

Mom's Spaghetti: The Holy-Grail-of-Missed-Foods in Los Angeles is being served this very night. Bring you bibs and wheel-barrows!

And remember... if you can't stand the heat, the balcony is closed!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Three Similar Events

ONE: Last Saturday, as the spaceship doors slid shut on the Star Tours ride, I quipped out loud, "Star Wars? More like Star Doors!" Surprisngly, it quieted the 30 other people on the ride - except for this 6 year-old girl sitting in front of us who lost her shit. It was ruined, however, by a guy behind me who said, "You actually said that with a straight face?" He then proceeded to stare at me for the next minute-and-a-half. It was uncomfortable.

TWO: Last Thursday, as Adam and I sat in the theatre - waiting for a matinee screening of The Polar Express to begin - I spilled ketchup-and-mustard on me from a Hebrew National hot dog. I said, "Shit." At that point, the mother-and-son pair in front of me turned their heads and glared at me. So, I said, "Oh... I mean... great." Apparently, according to me, cleaning up your dirty language means changing its entire meaning altogether. This was... yes, uncomfortable.

THREE: Last Friday, as Adam and I boarded our airplane in Dallas, we hypothesized what it would be like if Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were your friends. Could you, in fact, talk about Full House around them? Would it be proper, for instance, to ask them to repeat catchphrases from the show (even ones that aren't their own - like "How rude!")? And finally, how would one go about forcing Mary-Kate and Ashley to say "How Rude?" Abruptly, a woman in front of us (who was seemingly eavesdropping) turns around and says to us, "Put it in a box. And sell it on Ebay." Was that a suggesetion? A threat? A psychotic outburst? Adam and I nod - equal amounts of politeness and bewilderment. That lady was weird. She was carrying a 1996 Atlanta Olympics tote-bag. And, of course, this was all... you guessed it! Uncomfortable!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Hearts of love
Reindeer (Rudolph)
Ice maybe on your road
Santa's Wife
All those gifts!
Santa's Wife

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Tomorrow morning, I'm boarding an airplane (AKA "sky turkey") that will magically whisk me away to Oh-me-haaa (Nebraska Country).

There, I will promptly be picked up by my oldest sister Amy Leigh Rust and her beau Scottles P. McPherson.

Then it's to ol' LeMars we go!


And what will I see there?

Well, rumor has it that the town has a new restaraunt, but I haven't received official confirmation on its name. Is it the long-promised Kentucky Fried Chicken (a rumor that has been circulating since... it was still called Kentucky Fried Chicken)? Or perhaps our burg will be afforded another Cyber Cafe? Download!

Until then...

I guess you'll just have to wait and find out!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

You know those bad dreams that feel entirely real, so you keep waking yourself up to re-state that "It's only a dream"... but even that doesn't work? So you lay in bed, feeling bad about all the awful things you may (or may not have) done?

I've had two such dreams in the last two nights.

FIRST DREAM: I got a girl pregnant.

SECOND DREAM: I paid $20 to enter a Butterfly-Catching Society, but I missed the first three meetings.

I'd like to think - nay, I hope - that these two dreams are related.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

As a sign of affection, parents often have terms of endearment for their children.

I recently thought about mine, which both my parents and two older sisters called me from the ages of 0 to 8.

And that term of endearment?



Monday, December 20, 2004


A mother and father with their two children.

Last Saturday, I was at Disneyland for 17 hours. From 8am to 1am, joy and merriment grasped me tightly in its clutches. As you can guess, it was way awesome.

The rides I went on (in no particular order):

1. Splash Mountain
Sitting in our shared log before the ride began, my fellow adventurer Adam and I read a sign that ordered us: "Do Not Stand During Ride." I then proceeded to make the awesome joke of standing up in the log, leaning over, and saying," What's that sign say?" At that point, the ride started and knocked me on my ass. With jokes like these, I realize my father has influenced me far greater than I'll ever know.

2. Jungle Cruise
Unlike most rides at Disneyland, this one's guided by a real-life, flesh-and-blood human (AKA "feel-loves"). The Jungle Cruise tour guides are the best because they can crack wise-apples. Our morning tour guide was particularly hi-lar-i-ous. After the ride, he personally thanked me for my unabashed laughing. That's Disney magic for you!

3. Innoventions
At this technological exhibit, Adam and I got to see what our faces would look like... 50 years in the future! The result? Cranky!

4. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Hidden Eye
One of the few "thrill rides" on the Disneyland University campus, this li'l tiger packs all the punches of a real Indy movie. In fact, Adam earnestly ducked twice during this ride. I guess he thought a rock was gonna' hit his head. Little did he know that ol' Walt's ghost wasn't gonna' let that happen. Not this day.

I did not envision him as Indiana Jones.

5. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
We saw a group of raver kids in the line. They sure wear a lot of bracelets!

6. Pirates of the Caribbean
On our second journey of this swashbuckling ride, Adam and I (along with Chris - who gracefully joined us in the afternoon) noticed that someone stole a set of keys from the automatonic dog's mouth. Later, Chris and I determined - rightfully so - that possessing this set of keys in your apartment would be "really cool."

7. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
It's like a rollercoaster... except tame and for 4 year-olds. In fact, the 4 year-old girl behind us was yawning through the whole thing. Afterwards, I asked her what she thought of the ride and she just shrugged and rolled her eyes. That's Gen-Xers for ya'!

8. Gadget's Go Coaster
A rollercoaster made for young'uns... that actually delivers the goods! Later, I asked the same 4 year-old girl what she thought of the ride and she gave me a big THUMBS UP. It turned out the baby was Roger Ebert (denim vest and all).

9. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
You know what I want most out of a Disneyland ride? One that ends with you going to Hell. Yeah, I think that would be the best. Weird shit.

Why, I do say - that is some weird shit!

10. Haunted Mansion
In celebration of Christmas (which is not spelled with an "X!"), the Haunted Mansion was remodeled as Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas (no "X!"). It was so scary that a baby cried. Fortunately, a WASP-y teenage girl overstepped her bounds as a citizen/human being/complete stranger and told the parents how to raise their child. It made us all feel uncomfortable.

11. Star Tours
Afterwards, as we exited the ride, Adam, Chris, and I spotted a Yoda figurine in the gift shop. At this point, Adam shared his best quip of the day: (in Yoda voice) "Short and boring - my ride was." Ha ha.

12. It's a Small World
The second ride remodeled in the X-mas spirit (rules were made to be broken). This is, I think, my favorite ride at the park. Being so, it deserves an entire blog entry to itself and I will not slander it with a mere summary. Cope, America.

13. Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
Halfway through this dark-ride, a Disney employee reached out from the darkness and put their hand in front of our car's headlight. After a moment of sheer terror, however, I realized it was just Adam sticking his hand out in front of the car. Regardless, I still managed to scream like a prepubescent boy and punch Adam in the arm, squealing thatI hate him.

14. Matterhorn Bobsleds
The ride attendent offered us the opportunity to ride together as 2-and-1 (which would mean I'd sit tightly within the crotch of Chris or Adam). I honorably declined.

15. Autopia


Only 9 miles left until we reach Suck-ass! Wait. We're already here.

16. Snow White's Scary Adventures
The biggest scare of the day (excluding those admission prices!) was the evil witch spinning around and gettin'-all in my face. I was so scared, in fact, that Disneyland employees later had to use the wet-dry vac for where I sat. Apparently, I had spilled some sand on it.

Needless to say, the entire day was amazing.

Later that night, at 1am (after a very loooong day), Chris, Adam, and I boarded the tram to take us back to the parking lot. In a perfect moment, Chris sat down, sighed an exhausted sigh, and speaking in the third-person, said: "This is dad's favorite ride."

It certainly was, Chris. It... certainly... was.

Friday, December 17, 2004


This is a kid with a cool racecar bed.

This is a kid whose parents misunderstood "cool racecar bed"

on their son's Christmas list
I just got back from work. Did you know I'm working? I'm working. I log footage for a reality series entitled Brat Camp. And sadly, no, it is not a television version of Up the Academy - as much as I've prayed for one.

I work from 7pm-5am, so it's around... 6am. The only other person awake right now is that hooded-sweatshirt guy who stands on the corner of Bellevue and Silver Lake every morning as I drive home from work. I think he's waiting for someone to pick him up. That or he's shadowing me. Yes. Hooded-Sweatshirt, P.I.

Hm. I want to go to sleep. I'm very tired. I've been up for 37 hours. Does that deserve an explanation? Maybe later. I'm tired. Although, honestly, I could have explained why I've been up for 37 hours in the time it took me to write: "Does that deserve an explanation? Maybe later. I'm tired."

And that.

And this.

And I'll have you know I re-wrote that whole "Does that deserve an explanation? Maybe later. I'm tired" line. Twice. I didn't just copy-and-paste. I work hard for my money.***

So this begs the question: If you're so tired, Pauly Dangerfield, why don't you go to sleep?

My response (in TWO parts):

A) As tired as I am, I always need to relax before sleep-time. I can't just walk straight from my car and into bed. Unless , of course, I had one of those racecar beds (like I wanted when I was a youngster****) If I had a racecar bed, I could both sleep and drive to work in it. Although I'm sure the sheets would get oil all over them. And bird-shit.

B) Why don't more people call me Pauly Dangerfield? Only a couple of people in my whole, entire life call me that and I like it. CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR ME: Start calling me "Pauly Dangerfield." CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU: My eternal adoration.

So, I'm writing this blog to relax. So I can fall asleep. Even though I'm very, very tired.

*** Is the song "She Works Hard for Her Money" about being a waitress or a prostitute? I've heard both arguments. Where do you fall on this issue?

**** Dammit, I'm an adult now. I'm working. I'm making money. Why haven't I bought myself a racecar bed yet? *****

***** Oh yeah... because I'm 23 and even as a kid, if I saw an adult man with a racecar bed, I would feel sad for him.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Although Fireball Deluxe (the sketch-comedy group I'm in) is takin' 5 for "The X-mas"... that doesn't mean we cease to entertain you!

Our website
will continue to be the "digital feather" for your "Matrix-funny bone."

On the website, you can read Neil's new, hilarious essay Film Flubs as well as Chris' equally hilarious I'm Pretending to Write for a Furniture Catalog! Finally, there is my Topanga Files, but I've already posted about that, so maybe you've read it already.

And I say that... to quote this...

"What's your thoughts on the chapter of over 300 degrees? Have you ever tipped over a Port-a-Pottie; come on, really? Some things in my second book are silly, others are really serious. Books are more serious, though I haven't gone to school to write a book. Did you enjoy it? Would you go to a movie about my books or life stories?" - Socrates

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

And yesterday's year-end survey marches on...

19. Did you fall in love in 2004?

No. But there's 16 days left, lady-bird. (wink)

20. What was your favorite TV program?
What are you asking, stupid survey? A favorite show I began watching in 2004? If so, Curb Your Enthusiasm was cool. And marathon viewings of The Office broke in me and Adam's apartment quite nicely.

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
The only thing I hate... is hate itself. Oh, and this jerk.

22. What was the best book you read?
"The Devil's Candy" by Julie Salamon. Alternate title: "Satan's Twix."

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Another dry year. And I love music. Somebody help me.

24. What did you want and get?
Initially, I had no desire for University of Iowa President David Skorton to drop by Public Space One unannounced, wondering why our sketch-comedy troupe Saturday Night Live 2 heavily promoted that he'd be hosting our show - as a "funny joke." But after he did, I can't say I didn't not want it.

25. What did you want and not get?
The opening scene from The Big Chill. Or the new ad campaign for Coke C2. BONUS: If you "get" this "joke," be the first to sign my guestbook and you'll win an 8x10 glossy of Kevin Kline wearing a 7-up t-shirt.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
Too close to call, Malone! Front runners: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kill Bill - Volume 2, Anchorman, I Heart Huckabee's, Sideways, The Incredibles, and The Life Aquatic. Roger Ebert watched every one with me - denim vest and all.

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Hung out with friends - eatin' pizza and goin' to Kill Bill - Volume 2. Roger Ebert gave me a denim vest as a present. It was wrapped in another denim vest. And oh... 23!

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Something exactly like this:
29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
The one question in all surveys that I loathe! Blah, blah, blah shirt. Blah, blah, blah pants. Blah, blah, blah my-fashion-sense-demonstrates-who-I-am. Mur.

30. What kept you sane?
Friends, family, and loved ones.

31. What political issue stirred you the most?
Allowing skunks the right to graduate... with high di-STINK-tion!

32. Who did you miss?
Friends, family, and loved ones.

33. Who was the best new person you met?
In a way? Myself. Yeah. Yeah. Myself.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
Change is progress. Stupidity is... CON-GRESS!

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Cuz I have friends and that’s a fact/Like Agnes, Agatha, Germaine, and Jack." - Biz Markie

Bye-bye, 2004. Welcome to the chili party, 2005!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

11 months and 13 days in the making...

2004: The Survey!!!

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
a) Went on vacation for Spring Break. Panama City Beach will never be the same!
b) Moved into an apartment. Panama City Beach is indifferent to the issue!
c) Worked a full-time job. Panama City Beach wonders how much I get paid!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't dig New Year's Resolutions. Why can't people be cool all year 'round? Quit beating your wife in August, asshole!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friends, Mr. and Mrs. John and Denise Muller, had a daugher Annora Muller in May. And if you got the time, visit John's other aesthetically-pleasing creations: JohnHenryMuller.com and PatheticBird.com

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Suck it, Grim Reaper!

5. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
A job that pays me to be creative - like the guy who designs this t-shirt:


6. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
a) January 30th (opening night of Bubblegum Brigade)
b) April 30th (last No Shame performance)
c) August 7th (LeMars premiere of David Mows Yards)
d) August 20th (first day of my voyage to Los Angeles)
e) December 14th (the fabled night I filled out this survey).

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating with High Distinction. Did you hear about the skunk who sat beside me at the ceremony? He graduated... with High Di-STINK-tion!

8. What was your biggest failure?
Keeping people at arm's length. That or Ishtar.

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing too damaging, but if somebody were to ask me if I wanted canker sores on my uvula for a second time, I would have to respectfully decline, thank you.

10. Whose behavior merited celebration?
People who voted.

11. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
50.2% of those people.

12. Where did most of your money go?
To Keith, my landlord. Mind you, I'm not paying him rent. Keith's my smack dealer. But don't worry, readers. "Smack" no longer refers to heroin. It means "unprotected sex."

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

THEME PARKS! Six Flags with Michele in July; Universal Studios with assorted friends (three times in one month); and soon... Disneyland with Chris, Neil, and Adam this Saturday!


14. What song will always remind you of 2004?
Float On by The Modest Mice

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
This survey's got a lot to learn about the delicate ebb-and-flow of life's joys and sorrows. I, apparently, also have to learn how not to dodge questions.
b) thinner or fatter?
The same. Everything else is in my head. You hear me, Cosmopolitan?!
c) richer or poorer?
In the checkbook, I am richer. In spirit, I'm a goddamn billionaire!

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Writin' ditties and lullabies.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Not writin' whistlin' ditties and lullabies.

18. How will you be spending Christmas?
Awww, yeah! Hangin' with the Rust fam, of course! You know what I'm talkin' 'bout! And don't forget about li'l niece Lexie and Amy's beau-friend Scottles P. McPherson! We's all gonna' watch da' shit out of Meet the Fockers! Truth!

The survey's not done yet!

Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion. Same Meow-time. Same Meow-channel.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

I'm magic.


1. Dave "Gruber" Allen (Monday, August 30th, 2004)
2. Gedde Watanabe (Tuesday, September 14th, 2004)
3. Joey Pantoliano (Sunday, September 19th, 2004)
4. Patrick Renna (Monday, September 20th, 2004)
5. Randy Jackson (Tuesday, September 21st, 2004)
6. Richard Riehle (Monday, October 4th, 2004)
7. Dwier Brown (Saturday, October 16th, 2004)
8. Betsy Randle (Saturday, October 16th, 2004)
9. Michael J. Anderson (Saturday, October 16th, 2004)
10. Rider Strong (Monday, October 25th, 2004)
11. Heather Graham (Monday, October 25th, 2004)
12. Andy Berman (Friday, October 29th, 2004)
13. David Spade (Tuesday, November 9th, 2004)
14. Henry Winkler (Friday, December 10th, 2004)

I sighted Henry Winkler (most-famous as Chuck Lumley in 1982's Night Shift) at the Grove Theatre during the Life Aquatic matinee on Friday. If only I had my copy of Strong Kids, Safe Kids with me for Hanky to autograph!

Also, eagle-eyed Celebrity Cited readers may notice that one Topher Grace has been taken off this famed list. After lengthy discussions with others, I have decided that Mr. Grace did not fit the suitable criteria for the Celebrity Cited list (since the sighting was not a spontaneous run-in, but rather, one that was pre-planned and could be anticipated beforehand).

Our editors regret the error.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Today, I'll be attending a matinee screening of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the highly-anticipated new movie from director Nora Ephron.

The movie's playing this weekend in "limited engagements" in Los Angeles and New York. By "limited," they mean one single theatre in all of Los Angeles. It'll open across the country on Christmas Day.

These early screenings are, by far, one of the biggest highlights of living here in Los Angeles. I've been able to see movies like I Heart Huckabee's and Sideways (films which I had been looking forward to for over a year) much sooner that if I had been living in, say... I don't know... Ethiopia.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get ready for the movie. I'm wearing my new jacket.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

That's The Way The Cookie Crumbles... In My Mouth!

My mother sent me Christmas cookies! In the mail!

The parcel included:

Sure, you knew the chocolate star in the center would taste good, but then this woman (my mother) actually goes out of her way to make the surrounding cookie taste even better. It's like going to see the Stones play the Staples Center and finding out Beethoven's opening for them!

There's a reason scientists call these "classic." Because they're deeeeeee-licious (TM)! When I eat 'em, I imagine myself as a massive giant feasting on ever-greens. Hey, if I eat enough of them, I may get my wish! From these lips to these hips, you-know-what-I'm-a-sayin'?

My sweet tooth thanks you, mother!

But let us not forget about Poppa Bear! It's Bob's birthday today! Happy Birthday, dad! Blow out all the candles for ol' Pauly, will ya?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Dee Wallace Found Her Keys
Ladies and gentlemen... I had lost my keys.

Naturally, I was worried. How would I drive my car? How would I enter my front door? How would I open my mailbox?

I searched my entire apartment for half-an-hour.

Finally, out of exasperation, I made a silly plea and wished that I could page my keys. Whenever I misplace my cellular phone, for instance, I call it. I simply follow the rings to their source and - presto - I have my phone back.

So, dear god...

"Why can't I call my keys?" I asked myself. "Dammit. Why can't I call my keys?"

At that moment, my cellular phone rang in the other room. And for a brief second... I thought my keys were ringing.

What a shit-head!

Monday, December 06, 2004

I filled out a survey. It goes from #13 (bad luck) to #1 (foam fingers at Vikings games). Let's do this already!

THIRTEEN random things you like:
1) donkey brown (the color)
Louis CK
3) sleep/naps
4) drawings of wolves
5) kissing
6) "The Concept" by Teenage Fanclub
7) Northridge, California
8) Springtime
9) Roger Lyons
10) audio commentaries
11) Magic Star Traveller
12) girls
this picture

TWELVE movies (it's unspecified what kind of movies this survey wants, so I'll just write down the last 12 I've seen - from most recent to most not-recent)
1) Gremlins
2) It's a Wonderful Life
3) Jurassic Park 3
4) 1941
5) The Day After
6) Used Cars
7) Melvin and Howard
8) Kinsey
9) Who Framed Roger Rabbit
10) Amadeus
11) Poltergeist
12) Rear Window

ELEVEN good bands/artists:
(this also functions as your next mix-tape)
1) Big Star ("The Ballad of El Goodo")
2) Gerry and the Pacemakers ("I Like It")
3) Pavement ("AT&T")
4) Velvet Underground ("Candy Says")
5) Michael Jackson ("2000 Watts")
6) Chad and Jeremy ("World Without Love")
7) Quasi ("Poisoned Well")
8) Jonathan Richman ("I Must Be King")
9) Pixies ("Wave of Mutilation")
10) The Beatles ("This Boy")
11) Bettie Serveert ("Palomine")

TEN things about you ... physically:

1) zits on left temple
2) scar on right eyebrow
3) chewed fingernails
4) scar by left eye
5) zits on jaw
6) scar on right pinky
7) poofy hair
8) zits on shoulders
9) large nose
10) hung like a bear

1) Neil "Neilerdude" Campbell
2) Mike "Cassa-role" Cassady
3) Scott "Scottles" Ferguson
4) Brian "B-max" Kessler
5) Mickey "Cap'n" McKeon
6) Adam "Madam Ovary" Pash
7) Amy "Big Sis" Rust
8) Chris "Crispy" Stangl
9) Emily "Yo Shutterbug" Yoshida

EIGHT favorite food/drinks:
(If I'm ever executed, this will all be included in my last meal)
1) chocolate ice cream
2) Coke
3) sweet peas
4) Grilled Stuffed Burrito (TM)
5) tuna fish
6) cheeseburger
7) peanut butter toast
8) reuben sandwich

SEVEN people you’ve kissed:
(Geeze Louise. This survey's got a bad case of the "nose-ies")
1) Michele Thompson
2) Jill Schipper
3) Allison Reid
4) Merideth Nepstad
5) Julia Miller
6) Stephanie Hinton
7) Leah Dugan

SIX things that annoy you:
1) the government
2) the taxes
3) the neighbors
4) the kids
5) the rock-n-roll
6) the death

FIVE things you touch everyday:
1) steering wheel
2) the sink's "HOT" knob
3) cellular phone
4) the hearts of America's elderly
5) your ass

FOUR shows you watch
1) Freaks and Geeks
2) Joy Junction
3) Full House
4) The Simpsons

THREE things you wear every day:
1) socks
2) underwear
3) chainmail

TWO celebrities you have a crush on:
1) Sandy Dennis
2) Glomer

ONE thing about yourself that you want everyone to know:
I got it goin' on! (And so do you!)


Friday, December 03, 2004

Mark your colanders...

Comedy Underground
320 Wilshire Blvd - Santa Monica, 90401
Saturday, December 4th - 8:00pm

All are welcome in this place.

Email me at strangelove45@hotmail.com if you want reduced admission (i.e. pay 5 samolians instead of 10 scagnettis).


If you've ever been curious what it feels like to be "God's Lonely Man," might I suggest going to Von's Grocery Store by yourself at 3am on a Wednesday night?

For it is there that you will understand pure, non-negotiable solitude as you try to find the perfect orange in the produce section as "Silent Night" plays over the PA. This, of course, will be the first Christmas song you've heard all year. And if you're not feeling pangs of "melancholia" yet, the Gods-That-Must-Be-Crazy follow it up with the one-two punch of Charles Brown's "Christmastime is Here," the most heart-stabbing song this season has to offer (next to "New Kids Got Ran Over by a Reindeer").

About this time, you will hear the produce section's own stereo system (seperate from the greater store's PA) as it begins playing thunder sound-effects. Sure, it's eerie at first, but it gets even more eerie when piped-in water pours over the vegetable bins. I suppose this is Von's novel way of watering their produce. Boy, wasn't it fun remembering thunderstorms as those gorgeous summertime events - you lying next to a loved one in bed... windows wide open... curtains blowing in the breeze? But wouldn't it be even more fun having that memory replaced with a stale, grocery-store procedure during the dead of winter?! Yes. I think so.

To complete your journey of Von's-Is-Slowly-Trying-to-Kill-You, pick up your three bags of groceries at the register (containing this week's supply of tuna, canned pears, and peanut butter) and then remember that scene from Home Alone. You know, the one where Kevin is walking back home for his Christmas dinner - grocery bags in hand? And they split open? And groceries scatter all over the sidewalk?

Then realize how Home Alone is actually one of those rare children's movies that teaches the virtues of self-reliance. Most kiddie-films stress the importance of friends and family and teamwork and cooperation, but Home Alone actually had the balls to let kids know that: 1) yes, your loved ones will disappear (often by your own hand), 2) you will be all alone, and 3) yeah, you better get used to it.


In Home Alone 4, the kid floods a mansion. It's pretty funny. You should rent it.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Rob Morrow wishes he was there last night.

To my surprise, last night's Real Gilligan's Island party was an authentic premiere. At first, I thought it was just going to be a shaggy get-together with Little Caesar's Pizza and TBS playing on a 10-inch TV/VCR combo.

But no.

Red carpet. TV Crews. Fancy-food trays. Open bar. And lots of attractive-looking people in expensive clothes.

It was neat.

Of course, my trademark insecurities (TM) kicked in and I got a tad self-conscious about how I looked. Folks' faces were better-looking than mine. You know the tune.

At one point, I walked by a group of stunning people and right when I passed, my cell phone fell out of my jacket.

It had slipped out through the hole in my pocket.

Yes. I am the poor, poor vagrant living among the show-biz elite.

But I got a free CD player as a "crew gift." So that's pretty cool.