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Friday, December 11, 1998

Of course, there were some inexplicably silly bits too

THE BATTLE FOR PARADISE: Saw Star Trek: Insurrection last night and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. There was a little something for everyone: humor, romance, irreverence and some dig-it space battle scenes. Of course, there were some inexplicably silly bits too (who knew the Enterprise could be steered with a joystick? what was Worf doing there in the first place?) See it...and then start speculating about Star Trek X.

I know, I know: I promised an update yesterday and it wasn't here. I've let you down, faithful readers—both of you—and I feel just awful about it. Really, I do. What can I do to make it up to you?

OK, let's get down to business...as usual, clearing the cache. First, some highlights from other logs:

Jesse Garrett points out a nifty NASA site that tracks our aspirations toward FTL travel in a language even a layman can more or less follow. It's called "Warp Drive When?" [via JJG]

Here's a comprehensive archive of links to bizarre and interesting news stories, The Flummery Digest. [heads up from Camworld]

Jorn has been linking a lot of first chapters online lately, and more and more have been appearing. It's one of the best uses of the Internet to develop interest in a product. Check out The Science of the X-Files. [tip o' the hat to Robot Wisdom]

Finally, Dan Lyke creates the most compelling reason to have CSPAN since Brian Lamb thoughtfully gave us BookTV. It's The Political Hearings Drinking Game!!! [via Flutterby]

Holiday Shopping: It may be a bit late for Christmas delivery without a hefty shipping charge, but there's lots of fun schtuff to be had from Archie McPhee and Edmund Scientific.

Weblog Watch: Steve Bogart is still taking a well-deserved hiatus from updating his News, Pointers & Commentary, but he's already at work on his new webhome, NowThis.

As the year winds down, the voting is on for Cool Site of the Year. In the personal category, it's worth noting that while I'm not nominated, Jamie Zawinski is. And we should all vote for him.

Gentle reader....do you know the do's and don'ts of good e-mail etiquette? [New York Times]
December 11, 1998 at 10:52 PM |
Categories: General

Wednesday, December 9, 1998

All work, no play

COMING SOON: Live@30, ruminations and reflections on the Fourth Decade.

Busy, busy, busy: I'm soldiering through a bout of pre-holiday traumatic stress syndrome, which essentially translates into "all work, no play" making Brad a boy who doesn't have time to properly adorn The BradLands. But fear not: I'm setting aside a whole five minutes tomorrow to disgorge a load of weekend reading.

And, heaven help me, I'm contemplating a site redesign again. Suggestions welcome.
December 9, 1998 at 10:54 PM |
Categories: General

Thursday, December 3, 1998

Black-market Furbies

THUMBNAIL REVIEW: Saw Vince Gill's Christmas show at the Kiel Center last night. He was still recovering from the flu or a cold, but even with a little tickle in his throat, his kick-ass tenor voice wrapped around "I'll Be Home for Christmas" put me in a holiday mood, snow or no snow. (You can read my full review—minus the phrase "kick-ass tenor"—in Saturday's Post-Dispatch.)

Tonight: Neil Diamond, also at the Kiel. (Review appears Sunday.)

@%!@*?!-begone: The TV Guardian, a device that reads the close-caption encoding from TV shows and automatically bleeps "naughty" words (from a list of about 100), apparently still has some kinks in it:
When they ran the program through an old sitcom, "Dick Van Dyke" came out "Jerk Van Gay." "We laughed about it for days," Bray said. The way around it was to program the box to search for certain watch words preceding the questionable language - words such as "a," "those" and "of." It's the same way the box screens out "Oh my God" while leaving "God in heaven" untouched. [Post-Dispatch Wires]
But THIS I want! AppleInsider (nee Macintosh News Network's Reality) has a nice capsule about the fabled Macintosh "Consumer Portable." I hate the name, but LOVE the form factor. It's basically a pumped up MessagePad with a keyboard and an iMac motherboard. No confirm or deny from Cupertino, but I'll be quick on line to test drive anything that's close to this. [AppleInsider]

Where Are They Now? Speaking of Apple insiders, back when I was PEEKing and POKEing around with my Apple ][, I would anxiously await each issue of InCider magazine. The name is such a great pun on "Apple," it's a shame there's no Mac mag or e-zine taking advantage of it. Incider.com exists, but only as an empty directory. Notions, anyone?

Cache-ing up on my reading: Someday, I hope to again have the time to read the newspaper on the very day that it's published. As it is, there's a minimum three-day lag in my consumption of the "dead-trees dailies." Herewith, three gems from last Sunday's New York Times (free registration required):
Sondheim's 'Follies': The Uncut Version: I've waited a long time for this CD, and my personal assessment jibes with Holden's. It's nice to have a seminal recording of this remarkable show, but for pure verve, I prefer my expurgated Follies in Concert album.
Where There's Life After 'the End'
: A look at how end credits ended up at the end after "The End" of modern movies.
Tailoring the Music to Fit Each Late Show Guest
: I've been playing this game for a long time with Paul Shaffer, seeing if I could "name that tune" as guests made their way to Dave's side. Alas, I can't stay up late enough to see Max Weinberg's chops.
Furby mutilation is running rampant on the 'net: Exhibit A, the Furby Autopsy. And Exhibit B, FUBAR Furby, a Shockwave travesty. (Now, watch me start getting tons of hits and then hate mail from folks seeking black-market Furbies — Furbii? — with search keywords. Ack!)
December 3, 1998 at 10:55 PM |
Categories: General

Monday, November 30, 1998

World AIDS Day

"Unless a man has been taught what to do with success after getting it, the achievement of it must inevitably leave him a prey to boredom." — Bertrand Russell

Today is World AIDS Day. Learn more about A Day Without Art, the artistic and web communities' response to the AIDS pandemic.

For eight years, I worked with The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt at the local, regional and national level. Today, I encourage you to see the Quilt and understand.
November 30, 1998 at 10:57 PM |
Categories: General

November 30, 1998

THE LOT OF ACTORS: Three people die and find themselves lined up at Heaven's Gate confronted by St. Peter.

"Before you enter, I have one question for each of you," St. Peter says. And he asks the first person in line, "How much money did you make last year?"

"About $400,000," the person says.

"Oh, a doctor," St. Peter says. "Please enter through that door there." St. Peter approaches the next person in line. "How much did you make last year?" he asks.

"About $250,000, give or take a little," the person replies.

"Oh, a lawyer," St. Peter says. "That door right there." Then St. Peter turns to the third person. "And how much did you make last year?"

"$5,164," the person answers.

And St. Peter says, "Have I seen you in anything?"

-- the favorite joke of Colleen Dewhurst


Glorious weather! How hard to believe it's the end of November, especially when the temperatures have pushed up into the 60s each day of the past week. I've spent three leisurely afternoons lounging on the back deck, watching the breeze blowing the leaves around (must rake!) and trying to teach myself Perl.

The latter has been an interesting exploration. HTML coding aside, I haven't done anything remotely resembling programming in quite a few years; I mean, dammit Jim, I'm a writer, not a programmer. Turns out, though, UNIX is like riding a bicycle and writing server scripts in Perl looks to be a dern sight less challenging than in C. I can do without a strenuous mental challenge right now.

The eventual goal is to write an online registration hack for COCA Online. Prayers and wishes of luck gratefully accepted.


More reflections on turning thirty:

In other words, thirty is merely one's 10,957th consecutive failure to eat a truly balanced breakfast. [The Finger]


Weblog fun: I continue to discover and enjoy fellow "pre-surfers" through various links and kismet. Flutterby! has been around a while, and is proving an enjoyable mine for interesting reading, including...

Bowers v. Hardwick redux: There is some speculation that the overturning of Georgia's antique "sodomy law" may not stick. [CNN]

Yay! Let's go to the Belt-Sander Races!

A nice website dedicated to the art of Maxfield Parrish.

Weblog fun too: More to explore, including peterme, jjg and Hack the Planet. (The trio is pretty tech-edged, but fun for the layman too.)

Funny Papers: Flutterby! also reminded me that it's been a month or so since I caught up with the folks at User Friendly, a more-Dilbert-than-Dilbert comic set at a small ISP. Recommended daily laffs.


CriticWatch: At least one critic in St. Louis has seen the Dr. Death 60 Minutes segment the rest of the area was denied access to. Rich Byrne sorts out his thoughts. [The Riverfront Times]

Meanwhile, critics across the country are weighing in on the show's decision to run the segment in the first place. [TV Rundown]

My $0.02: I would have liked to have seen the 60 Minutes piece in its entirety. I support the right to choose when one will end one's own life when suffering hopelessly. Kevorkian gives me the creeps. The whole affair is sullied by the fact it took place during the November "sweeps."

November 30, 1998 at 2:30 PM |
Categories: Jurassic Weblog
Tags: humor | television | weblogrolling | Colleen Dewhurst

Monday, October 12, 1998

Special Notoriety Edition

"Sic transit gloria mundi."

Translation: Fame is fleeting.

Or: Gloria is ill, but she's traveling on Monday.

What a surprise! I just happened to check the counter logs for the ol' BradLands earlier today and noticed that a single-day record of 102 folks had dropped by the place. A quick glance at the referers told me dang near all of them came by way of PlanetOut, the wicked neat gay and lesbian news and entertainment site that chose me their Person of the Day!

Woohoo!

As you can imagine, there's quite a bit of celebrating going on in the 'Lands today. You like us, you really, really like us!

So, a hearty welcome to all of you who came to the Lands from the Planet. I'm glad you're here and I hope you'll take some time to explore.

Drop me a line and let me know who you are and what you think of the BradLands. And stop in again...things change pretty often around here!
October 12, 1998 at 11:00 PM |
Categories: Jurassic Weblog
Tags: BradLands

Monday, September 21, 1998

September 22, 1998

"Summer is a time of random magic such as this, of surprising spirits conjured up between the sheets of my bed in a room overlooking Provincetown harbor. Here, stranger's kisses expose souls to me. The uneven scar on one boy's abdomen, the crinkles at the corners of another's eyes reveal more truths than I could ever discover in a more consistent lover.

"It is the last summer in which I am to be young." -- from the opening chapter of The Men From the Boys (q.v. September 17, below)

This sounds like more fun than it probably would be: I freely admit to being a Disney fanatic. The films and feature-length cartoons are great, of course, but what really enthralls me are the Magic Kingdoms, the theme parks in Anaheim and Orlando, DisneyLand and World respectively. I honestly believe if I were permitted to set up housekeeping in one of the World Villages at EPCOT Center, I would be happy. Disney parks are, after all, billed as the happiest places on Earth. But let's consider just the Anaheim park for a mo: Could one man ride every attraction old Walt's kingdom offers in just one day?

And things like this annoy the hell out of me: Jon Carroll rails at the cold efficiency of centralized customer "service."
Tried to call your bank lately? You can't. You can call a woman in Omaha who can give you account information, but suppose you have a different sort of question. Maybe you want to ask if the ATM machine is fixed yet, or if you left your sunglasses behind on your last visit, or even if your branch handles trust accounts.

Destined for my "To Read" Pile: D.A. Miller's Place for Us, a contextualizing essay on the Broadway musical and its relevance to po-mo (and possibly even po-gay) gay men. [Salon review]

Compare and contrast: Mr. Starr, Mr. Flynt. Mr. Flynt, Mr. Starr. Both would have probably been impossible under the CDA, but how does Hustler Online really compare to the web-readable special prosecutor's report?

Wicked cool: LEGO is going Asimovian, with neato-mosquito robotics kits that will probably appeal as much to big kids like me as to little ones.

Meanwhile, in TV Land...

It's time to start picking the weak and infirm from the new fall lineups, so head on over and hang with The Vidiots for the latest round of the TeeVee Ghoul Pool!

Of course, everyone scans the fall TV sked and thinks they could do it better. I mean, c'mon, Meego was a joke, right? Something that got blurted out at a pitch meeting while the network execs were high on crack?

Well, maybe some folks can do it better. The New York Times Magazine asked some to try, and a few of the tongue-in-cheek ideas might actually fly. Hell, I'd tune in! Check out what Conan O'Brien and Tony Kushner suggest putting on the air.

Must-She Monday First Impressions:

Suddenly, Susan: Suddenly snoring.
Caroline in the City: Not for very much longer, she isn't.
Will & Grace: First effort was funny, if stilted. If it survives, it could fly.
September 21, 1998 at 11:40 PM |
Categories: Jurassic Weblog
Tags: television | books | Disneyland | Lego | robotics

Wednesday, September 16, 1998

September 17, 1998

"Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play." -- Immanuel Kant

Just finished reading: The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Now in the middle of: Media Circus: The Trouble With America's Newspapers. Added to the to-read stack: Gossip by Christopher Bram; The Men From the Boys by William J. Mann; and The Best Little Boy in the World Grows Up by Andrew Tobias (nee John Reid).

I can't say I'm terribly impressed with The New Hollywood Squares. Whoopi Goldberg is funny, but she's just going through the motions here. She's certainly no Paul Lynde, but then, who is? And, "Rosie O'Donnell to block" is no replacement for Rose Marie. (In St. Louis, you can see the travesty at 11:35 p.m. on Channel 4.) Maybe I should subscribe to the Game Show Channel, where George Gobel lives!

Macintosh columnist and inveterate smart-ass Andy Ihnatko has landed over at MacCentral with a weekly gig. His hilarious supersite Colossal Waste of Bandwidth is still homeless, but promised to return soon.

A problem for the Information Age: What happens to your files after you die? A surviving daughter contemplates what to do with her dearly departed dad's disks.

Burning Man 1998 is now a memory, and Halcyon, one of the Internet's most compelling egos has his own photo album and reflections from what passes for the counterculture this decade.

Another empty promise? The Daily Instigator sez it's finally going live on Monday. Will it be worth the wait?

<SITENEWS> The Ice Rhapsody page has been updated, with new photos and news of the team's exciting win at ISI. </SITENEWS>
September 16, 1998 at 11:36 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: quotation | television | books | Halcyon | Burning Man

Monday, September 14, 1998

September 15, 1998

"For six years I was a visitor to a distant celestial body, the planet Television... Six years later I left, awed by the peculiar wonders I encountered on this voyage... I learned that even if they lose money... the networks will preen when they win the prime-time ratings race, like three vain toughs battling for bragging rights to a street corner. I learned network officials can sound like cancer patients, who, after a rare peaceful night of sleep, delude themselves into believing their long nightmare is over." -- Ken Auletta, Three Blind Mice

Quote quoted from a quote on TeeVee.

Television commercials often disturb me. It's not simply the worship of the mercantile they practically demand, it's the gol-darned lack of common sense too often displayed. Have you seen the Enterprise Rent-a-Car "Pick Enterprise; We'll Pick You Up" spot? Doesn't it seem odd the car speeding to pick up the stranded motorist is completely wrapped in Kraft paper? Does this strike you as safe driving behavior?!?

I taped the Emmy Awards Sunday night (all four hours), but I still haven't watched most of the tape. The first few minutes with Costas were tedious and the first few video retrospectives enormously unsatisfying. But David Hyde Pierce's acceptance speech was quite moving. I'll soldier on.

I'm visiting Los Angeles and Las Vegas later this month, and I'm taking suggestions for places to enjoy a quintessentially cheesy Vegas experience. I'm already planning to stay at the Excalibur Hotel, resplendent in its Arthurian camp. A visit to the Liberace museum is on tap. And, of course, I'll be taking in the Star Trek thingy at the Hilton. But I'm open to any and all suggestions of classic Vegas cheez.

I mentioned a few days back that I'd discovered James Lileks' site on the web, and I bring it up again because I'm thoroughly enjoying my exploration of it, particularly his memories of his youth and hometown. Latest fave: a gentle, annotated photo memoir of his father's filling station.

If any restraint at all has been demonstrated in the whole MonicaGate (and why the hell did "gate" become the suffix of choice to denote "scandal"?), I think it's been on the part of The Gap for not immediately running a big sale on little blue cocktail dresses. But maybe it's just that they are making enough money -- piles and piles, in fact -- on the Old Navy side. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
September 14, 1998 at 11:34 PM |
Categories: Jurassic Weblog
Tags: television | Lileks | Emmy Awards | The Gap | Las Vegas

Saturday, September 12, 1998

September 13, 1998

If only just for today, The BradLands is a safe space on the Internet, free of discussion regarding Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr or even hometown favorite Mark McGuire. I can't take anymore. Can you?

I saw Clay Walker in concert at Six Flags last night, maybe the most fun I've had at a show all year, despite the sucky comp seats I was assigned and the fact the show started 35 minutes late. This kid is gonna be better and bigger (in the fame sense) than Garth maybe someday really soon.

<SITENEWS> As a consequence of my crazy schedule, The BradLands hasn't seen much except perhaps weekly refreshing lo these many months. The infrequent summer entries have been moved to the archives (see BradLands Backwash below). I'm trying to do better. Really I am.

I've also adjusted the parameters so that any links you select from this newspage will open in a separate window on your browser for (I think) more convenient surfing.</SITENEWS>

Reminder: St. Louis International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival continues through Thursday at the Tivoli Theatre. COCA welcomes comedian Reno and her film Reno Finds Her Mom today at 5 p.m.

For now, short takes on a few links of interest I've been accumulating...

How long do we, collectively, spend waiting for web pages to load? [New York Times]

<DIGRESS>For various reasons, a significant slowdown in web and general Internet response times was predicted for last Friday. I didn't notice any untoward pauses; did the network strain actually materialize?</DIGRESS>

A nice review of the new Sondheim biography that, IMHO, is a surprisingly sterile treatment that goes pretty far but often not far enough. [Washington Post]

Now here's a sport you don't see on ESPN! Hey kids, let's all go squirrel fishing this weekend (now with RealVideo)!

What?!?! Orlando is still standing? Hmmm...I guess it's OK for gay people to visit DisneyWorld after all. Robert Kirby gives the right-wing a ribbing. [Salt Lake Tribune]

"Idea moguls" sounds like something you'd want to avoid while skiing your id, but it's also the headline on this look at the young turks behind the TV scenes these days. ("Skiing the id?" Jeez, I'm tired.) [Forbes]
September 12, 1998 at 11:27 PM |
Categories: Jurassic Weblog
Tags: humor | BradLands | television | Reno | Clay Walker | SLILAG | Sondheim

Friday, September 4, 1998

September 5, 1998

"While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior." -- Henry C. Link

(Quote thanks to the A.Word.A.Day listserv.)

Ch-ch-changes: I'm contemplating a redesign of The BradLands, primarily to better integrate some new on-going features. Given my schedule, it may be awhile coming, but I welcome suggestions.

I mentioned the St. Louis International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival last update, and they refreshed the site the very next day. Check out the diverse lineup of films coming to the Tivoli Sept. 9-17. Also noted, Lileks.com is back up and with a wonderful re-design.

Holiday weekend reading:

Don Marsh, possibly St. Louis' finest broadcast journalist (in an industry where that's increasingly an oxymoron), called it quits at KDNL a few weeks back. In this RFT interview, he candidly reflects on the status quo in local TV news. [The Riverfront Times]
Within the past week, two things have happened --- and I can give you 1,000 of them. Just before I left Channel 30, I was asked, "How do you spell 'Maryland Heights'? Is it M-A-R-I-L-Y-N?" And I went, "What?" And this is by somebody who's been in this community for four years. Another one of our reporters asked me, "I did an interview and a name came up that I didn't recognize. Have you ever heard of someone named James Michener?"

When James Reston died, I said to the 10 o'clock producer, "We ought to have something on that - a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner." And he said, "Who is James Reston?" And this is a graduate of the journalism school at the University of Missouri at Columbia, and didn't know who James Reston was, but could make a graphic sing on the air.

Is it possible that purity remains in America's pasttime? The Arizona Diamondbacks' Travis Lee, profiled in the long piece, seems almost too good to be true. [Phoenix New Times]
He's as innocent as a saint. He is devoutly religious. He doesn't smoke or drink. He rides his bike to the field and lets his high school buddies crash at his apartment. He bakes chocolate chip cookies for his family. He chews Dubble Bubble gum, which he frugally buys by the case at Costco. Although he's a multimillionaire, he calls home only on Fridays when the rates are lower. He'd like to meet a nice girl and settle down and buy a house with a couple of golden retrievers in the yard. He volunteers to work with children at middle schools -- though he calls it "hanging out" and not "work."

And what of the fast life and death of Philly dentist Stephen Grosse? The former frat boy and party doyen met with an appropriately dramatic end. But did he have to? [Philadelphia Weekly]

(These last two links courtesy of the ever-fabulous Obscure Store & Reading Room.)
September 4, 1998 at 11:20 PM |
Categories: Jurassic Weblog
Tags: quotation | television | media

Monday, August 31, 1998

September 1, 1998

"Friendship is like money, easier made than kept." -- Samuel Butler

Yay! I just discovered one of my favorite humorist-columnists has a piece o' the web. Of course, with my usual incredible timing, I run across the site just after he's suffered a catastrophic server crash, but he promises to re-build. Check out the daily ruminations of the author of Notes of a Nervous Man and Fresh Lies, James Lileks.

Who knew? KMOV-TV (Channel 4 in St. Louis) has a website? Looks to be mostly CBS-stock content, but it's nice to welcome another local station to the web. (KETC, I note with some vestige of former employee pride, was first among St. Louis teevee to stake out a website, followed shortly thereafter by KPLR. Perennial ratings leader KSDK's site has been "under construction" and devoid of content ever since it went up. And where, oh where, is KDNL? KTVI? KNLC? Huh? Hmm?)

Speaking of sites under construction, the 7th Annual St. Louis International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival comes up September 9-17. The film lineup hasn't made it to their site yet, but I've scanned a bunch o' stills for the webmistress, so it should be there real soon now.
August 31, 1998 at 11:19 PM |
Categories: Jurassic Weblog
Tags: quotation | television | SLILAG | Lileks

Wednesday, August 26, 1998

Young and sexy recreational drug users encouraged to apply.

Future-schlock? "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." — Alvin Toffler

Sorry, sorry, sorry. Lately my brain just hasn't had all the RAM it needs to run many applications simultaneously, and this website is the process that got dumped. I'll try to do better as my life settles down appreciably for the fall. Your patience over the past couple of weeks is, as always, appreciated.

So, let's clear the cache (short takes on links I've been accumulating):

This web-based guide to, well, everything fancies itself the Earth-bound equivalent of The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but in recent weeks, it's become less promising as a concept and more of a geek-clique inside joke club. Oh well.

A nice gathering of short pieces and essays by progressive writers, performance artists and assorted others, all bearing Witness.

Esprit descalier gotcha down? Coulda, shoulda, woulda-pangs? Come up too late with the witty or bitchy retort to the devastating personal affront just dealt you? There's hope! So There.

A nice, short profile of writer David Sedaris, bard of the bitter. [LA Weekly]
It happened in Nashville, where he recently appeared on a local variety show. "I was on with somebody who made fish out of scrap metal," he recalls, "and an elderly couple who had just won Fabio's I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Romance Competition. They were in their mid-80s, and they got up there, and they said, 'When we were first contacted with the news that we had won the Fabio's I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Romance Competition, Curtis and I were just floored!' And then, 'We're going next weekend with the other four finalists of the Fabio's I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Romance Competition on a cruise!' And 'On the following Sunday we will announce the final winner of the Fabio's I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Romance Competition!' I was just beside myself. I wanted to ask them, like, 'How many times are you going to say I can't believe it's not butter?'"
From the Department of Ridiculous Double-Standards: A Sandy-Eggo newspaper rejected an advertisement for a new movie because the ad contained a picture of two guys apparently about to kiss. Puh-leeze. [San Francisco Examiner]

What's the deal with all of these dreadful lesbian hairstyles? [Washington Post]

I've said it before and I'll say it again (and apparently Jon Carroll agrees with me): the best way to get people to watch local TV news is to make it local and to make damn sure it's news. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Quite fun: A top-notch Matt Drudge parody-portal, The Drudge Retort.

Monica, Schmonica: You want an interesting practicum? Try interning for the King of the Gonzos. Fear and Loathing, indeed. [P.O.V.]
Wanted: Editorial Assistant job description: Must enjoy late-night hot-tubbing, chain-smoking, binge dessert eating, drinking hard alcohol, mixing margaritas and driving large cars in a reckless manner. Should be able to withstand frequent yelling and loud noises, unintelligible rantings, and handle firearms and exploding targets with ease. Knowledge of soft porn a plus. Curiosity about the limits of sleep deprivation helpful. Knowledge of housecleaning and faxing imperative. Young and sexy recreational drug users encouraged to apply.
I WANT MY WTV: The Brunchers look at the line-up on the new cable web, White House TV. [Brunching Shuttlecocks]
August 26, 1998 at 1:44 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: humor | quotation | television | David Sedaris | Hunter S. Thompson

Tuesday, August 4, 1998

On what? On fire?

"Some women hold up dresses that are so ugly and they always say the same thing: 'This looks much better on.' On what? On fire?" — Rita Rudner

Oh, where to begin, where to begin? Well, first off, an apology to both of my faithful readers for the long hiatus. Work, work and rehearsal for the play have intruded on the time I'd alloted for writing pithy intros to weblinks this past week or so. The show goes up on Thursday, so things should calm considerably. Stay tuned!

Big news on the TV front: I've seldom laughed harder than when watching the British comedy improv "game show" Whose Line Is It Anyway? which used to run here in the States on cable's Comedy Central. Now Drew Carey is bringing the show (and a chunk of its cast) across the pond for a summer tryout on ABC. Woohoo! (Since many of the cast will be Brits, this English-to-English translation guide might be helpful.)

Toaster oven, anyone?: As you know, we homosexuals are a wily breed (ahem!), and hell-bent on converting as many hapless heteros as we can. There's even an incentive program — sort of like S&H Green Stamps. And now, someone besides Ellen DeGeneres has taken note: '98 Homosexual-Recruitment Drive Nearing Goal [The Onion]

Of course, our competition is equally keen on converts to "their side," and it appears their message of E-Z change sexuality is gaining some currency, too: Juice: Make Me a Lesbian [Orlando Weekly]

Wrong Answer: Has this ever happened to you? [Brunching Shuttlecocks]

Philip Michaels is the hands-down funniest smartass on the Web (present company excluded, natch. He even manages to stand (barely) above the rest of The Vidiots, the zany crew who produce TeeVee. You can follow his travails at Philip Michaels: The Loser Chronicles — where his current essay, "Service Economy, My Ass!" is rocking the house, or browse vintage Philip in this early Intertext Your Guide to High School Hate.

Electronic "books" are a bad idea, at least in their current conception, writes Jakob Nielson. I agree that the whole book metaphor is wrong for electronic distribution of literature, but — metaphors aside — you will never get me to give up real live books! Jean-Luc didn't! [Alertbox]
August 4, 1998 at 1:43 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: humor | quotation | ebooks | improv

Monday, July 27, 1998

Buddy Cole does not go quietly

Some new additions to "Cute Guys With Cool Webpages": Xzigboy, Mark Chou, Eric Powers.

After four (!) years on the New York Times bestseller list, John Berendt contemplates life and another novel after Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. [Washington Post]

Rating the Willie Wonka kids. [Brunching Shuttlecocks]

A few years ago, I read a compelling book — the title and author of which escape me at the moment — about the birth and subsequent ascendance of CNN. Of course, this was before the Gulf War when the network really took off. Now, a similarly compelling cable success story might be spun about kid's web Nickelodeon. [Philadelpha Inquirer]

Talk about "portals" on the Web is all the rage right now, megasites that are mere launch sites to other parts of the great untamed net. AOL wants to be one, and so do Snap! and the Mining Company. But portals work best when, like this weblog, they're free — or relatively free — of commercial interruption and influence. And so concurs the Net Skink with this look at alternative portals. [San Francisco Examiner]

Speaking of commercial interruption, I am thisclose to boycotting GeoCities. Don't get me wrong: providing free webspace is a great thing and there are tons of worthy sites thereabout, but their stupid pop-up Java windows with ads seem to perpetually crash whatever browser I'm using. Let me know if this happens to you.

The Kids in the Hall are more or less splitsville, but Scott Thompson is doing his best to make sure Buddy Cole does not go quietly, and tells about Buddy's latest adventures in Salon. (Also, check out Scott's very own domain, the ever-amusing ScottLand.) [Salon]

Plenty more links to add, but so little time, so little time. More soon!
July 27, 1998 at 12:47 PM |
Categories: A/V Club | Cute! | Reading
Tags: Geocities | cute | Scott Thompson | Kids in the Hall

Sunday, July 19, 1998

For the last time

"I'm not into working out. My philosophy: No pain, no pain." — Carol Leifer

"Don't spend two dollars to dry clean a shirt. Donate it to the Salvation Army instead. They'll clean it and put it on a hanger. Next morning buy it back for seventy-five cents." — William Coronel

"I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else." — Lily Tomlin

For the Last Time: Yep, the skeptics—which included just about everyone except some of the more gullible on-line and traditional media—were right. The "Our First Time" soon-to-be-former-virgins were hoaxters after all. The site's host ISP posted a wrap-up. (On the other hand, we may yet discover that even the hoax was a hoax and all a publicity grab by the ISP. Wouldn't surprise me in the least.) "Mike" is still a hottie, though.

Incidentally, the controversial site's supposed brain-man was Ken Tipton, a former St. Louis area actor (or, as his bio avers: "[He] grew up in the small St. Louis suburb of St. Charles, Missouri.")

Meanwhile, Time Magazine finally got around to running the look at Missouri transgender politics that reporter John Cloud visited here months ago to research, featuring fellow PREP board member Shannon Ware. [Time]

There may be redress for we spam-drenched wretches yet: Seattle man makes spammer pay [Seattle Times]

Sam Williams suggests Hollywood take on the potential armageddon behind Y2K. Let us hope that Sandra Bullock is available. [Upside]

MacWindows has turned out to be a particularly useful site for helping my marketing Macs survive and thrive in the realm of COCA's peecee/Novell network. Props, too, to Three Macs and a Printer.

Site News: Some added info on the bio page, the reprise of a popular sidebar from the original BradLands site, and general tweaking all around. Oh yeah, and despite the fact I want to keep these pages quick to load, I'm experimenting with the graphic header and other bits here and there. Thoughts?
July 19, 1998 at 12:58 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: BradLands | Macintosh | quotation | spam | transgender | Our First Time

Saturday, July 18, 1998

David Remnick is in

"Brad is kind of hard to describe. He's like a cross between Nathaniel West and Mae West." — someone describing me at a recent party, to which I was not invited.

Maybe there isn't a First Time for everything: New revelations about Our First Time fortify original suspicions that the planned public deflowering of two "teens" is, in fact, a big ol' hoax:I will say this, though: But for the black box covering his head, that "Mike" is kind of cute. <grin>

I'm a bit behind the curve on this, so by now pretty much everyone who cares knows that senior writer David Remnick is in as the new editor of The New Yorker. [Washington Post]

This is a good thing. While I was intrigued to imagine what Spy's Kurt Anderson would have done at the helm of "maybe the best magazine that ever was" (Harrison Salisbury), and I'm fairly overjoyed that weasly Michael Kinsley didn't get the nod, I think Remnick will bring some of the literary cachet and edgy zip the magazine's been missing in the Brown years.

I mean, I liked most of the pop accessibility Tina Brown brought to The New Yorker, but the pendulum had begun to swing too far. And while Remnick promises "some radical changes" and the buzz that we may be facing fortnightly publication rather than weekly (as has been expected for some time), I'm fairly hopeful about the long-term prospects.

Some random weekend reading:

I recently rewatched the movie Clue (Madeline Kahn is great!), but—musical theatre fanatic though I am—I had no idea there was a stage musical. The plot is quite different from the movie (some would say thankfully), but it looks like fun.

Only 18 months remain until we see if the Y2K problem is much of a problem. Forbes wonders if, in addition to our ATMs going wonky and the national power grid suffering some glitches, we might have to worry about the former Soviet Union raining nuclear death upon us for want of a couple of digits. [Forbes]

The Vidiots are gearing up to present the best and worst of the 1997-98 TV season, as only they can. The fun continues all next week. [TeeVee, multi-part episodic]

The Education of Little Geek: I spent a fair amount of my adolescence noodling around programming Apple ][, Texas Instruments and (God help me) TRS-80 computers. Greg Knauss recalls his days as a starry-eyed game writer with dreams of fame and fortune in this on-going 8-bit memoir. [An Entirely Other Day, multi-part episodic]
July 18, 1998 at 1:00 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: musicals | Our First Time | The New Yorker | Clue

Friday, July 17, 1998

NewHoo debut

Sign of the Times? Spotted on a Methodist church in the Central West End: "Sun Worship 11 am"

I'm Re-reading Sedaris: "Snowball just leads elves on, elves and Santas. He is playing a dangerous game." — from "Santaland Diaries"

The Daily Instigator Watch continues. ("Not as late as Windows 98")

...and The Loser Chronicles seem to have gone AWOL. Any sightings?

A new weblog appears, nice looking and substantive (although not recently updated). Say hello to Pigs and Fishes. [Heads up from Robot Wisdom]

Apple Computer is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch, with 3rd quarter profits that have even former naysayers ceasing their search for adjective synonyms for "beleaguered." Meanwhile, it looks like Tom Hanks is gonna play Steve Jobs in the movie! [Daily Variety]

The proprietor of the impressive Obscure Store & Reading Room has an equally impressive account of his observations at the Jeffrey Dahmer trial. [Obscure Store]

An Internet Directory to Watch: The volunteer-built NewHoo. (Editors wanted!)

A concise and cogent debriefing of the recent Supreme Court decency in the arts ruling, by a writer who clearly "gets" Karen Finley. [Kansas City Star]

Build your own supercomputer, for fun and profit. [Lotus.dev, heads up from my buddy Chris]

Assume the missionary position with these wacky tracts. [Brunching Shuttlecocks]

And speaking of the missionary position (ahem!), have you heard the brouhaha about Our First Time? Smells like a really slick publicity stunt: Two "teens" plan to lose their virginity live on the Internet.
July 17, 1998 at 1:03 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: Apple | arts | Our First Time

Tuesday, July 14, 1998

Shuckin’ my duds for a Party

There's no 'M' on MTV anymore. I think they took it out about the same time there stopped being 'N' on CNN.

Salon weighs in on the Tina Brown departure: Brown and out in New York.
During the decades-long editorship of the monkish William Shawn, the New Yorker had assumed the status of the summit of American letters, with all that "summit" entails — the immutability, the arid beauty, the dizziness and hypoxia after the long trek to the top of a Ved Mehta essay.
A nice summation on alternative publishing, AKA the history of 'zines. [via Obscure Store]

OK, I promised the story: Yes, the rumors are accurate...your's truly will be returning to the stage in St. Louis this August. I've agreed to take a part in New Line Theatre's "Out of Line" production of David Dillon's Party.

It's the story of seven friends who get together one night to play a wild version of "Truth or Dare," and let's just say that both prospects get the best of them. In the process, they learn a great deal about one another, drink quite a few shots of liquor punch and end up dancing naked as the evening winds down.

I'll pause while you re-read that last paragraph and ponder the implications.

Good, you're back. So, for those of you quick on the uptake, that means that yes, in fact, I will be appearing nude on stage. Think very carefully before you choose to make wisecracks. I have already heard just about every variation of whatever joke you intend to tell. Believe me, I did not consent to take on the part without getting past my trepidation about proving the show-biz maxim, "There are no small roles, only small actors."

The fact is, while Party will not be mistaken for high art by any viewer with half a brain, it's a fun, fluffy way to spend a couple of hours and I think I've got a great part. I play Ray, the show-tune lovin', acerbic yet witty priest.

Again, a pause to consider that notion.

Ray and I have a lot in common, as those friends of mine who dare to come and see the show will attest. Except for the priest part.

So am I nervous about the show? You betcha! But my anxiety stems less from the fact that a (hopefully) packed house every night is gonna see my dangly bits paraded around on stage....frankly, I'm more concerned about flubbing one or more of the many lines I have to commit to memory in the next week.

Party runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in August at the St. Marcus Theatre. Tickets available through MetroTix. If you've been saying to yourself, "Gee, I just don't see enough of Brad these days...", well, here's your chance.
July 14, 1998 at 1:06 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: theatre | Party

Friday, July 10, 1998

Who’s next?

MacWorld Expo continues in New York, and it's (almost) all about iMac. Check out major web coverage:And, of course...Coming soon: Why Brad is trodding the boards in St. Louis once more...and why viewer discretion is advised.

Brown Out: Certainly not something a lot of folks didn't see coming, but yesterday, Tina Brown went and made it official—she's stepping down as editor of The New Yorker. The former Vanity Fair editor weathered her share of criticism, some of it valid, some of it petty. I, for one, enjoyed the mag under her leadership. Here's some coverage:So...who's next? Well, Graydon Carter—who succeeded Tina Brown when she left VF is near the top of everyone's armchair short-lists, but reportedly turned down the gig last week. The speculation about Spy's Kurt Andersen is intriguing, no?

Free food alert: My friends and former co-workers at the Times are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a picnic bash come Monday.

Buy vintage stuff on the Web at Po' White Trash! (I haven't had time to completely browse, but this could be a lot of fun!)

An interesting exercise in hypertext (and a fairly good read, too) debriefs The X-Files. [Feed]
July 10, 1998 at 1:28 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: Apple | X-Files | The New Yorker

Thursday, July 9, 1998

Sez Ms. Tucker

"From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents, from 18 to 35 she needs good looks, from 35 to 55 she needs a good personality, and from 55 on she needs cash." — Sophie Tucker

Oy! What a busy week...rehearsals, work, more work, social obligations, yet more work. No time for a proper update, but there'll be plenty to discuss tomorrow, I promise.

Meanwhile, it's MacWorld Expo time, or—as it's turning out—iMacExpo. Check in with MacAddict or Macintosh News Network for all the latest poop. (No new zippy CPUs announced yet, but some pretty spiffy Q3 profits. Yay!)
July 9, 1998 at 1:30 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: quotation | Sophie Tucker

Monday, July 6, 1998

Bike right and keep yer pecker up

Disquieting Homemade Bumper Sticker Spotted in my Neighborhood: "God is with you, so drive safe."

I'm going into rehearsals for a play (about which more later) this week and I'm in the middle of major publication project at work. If I suddenly disappear for a while, that's why.

Uh-Oh! Bicyclists, take note. Because of the design of seats, prolonged riding or certain patterns of activity can lead to impotence. [Bicycling Magazine]

Herb Moses and Rep. Barney Frank are calling it quits, and some gay activists are calling it the end of an era. Maybe. All it really is, though, is the end of a long and, by all accounts, happy relationship. (I wouldn't wish the pressure of being "role models" on anyone.) [Boston Globe]

Got any romantic missteps or my-man-done-done-me-wrong deathless prose to share? Consider rhapsodizing at bittersweets.org.

Charles Taylor says Armageddon is an apocalyptic bore. [Salon]
[Billy Bob] Thornton defends his decision to keep the public in the dark by saying that word of the impending collision would cause "a total breakdown in social services, mass religious hysteria." Try scaring anyone who lived through the Reagan administration with that.
July 6, 1998 at 1:32 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: Barney Frank

Friday, July 3, 1998

Independence Day weekend notes

"Every moment, big or small, is of moment, after all. Seize the moment! Skies may fall any moment." — Into the Woods, Sondheim (natch!)

Looking for something? Old entries moved to the archive.

Looking for a quotable? Here's a nifty site to find wit and wisdom: Aphorisms Galore!

I guess when you're trying to take over the world, you try to make sure you have decent maps? Well, Microsoft is giving it a go, with what they claim is the world's largest image database. (The St. Louis maps are awfully outdated too, but real-time might be just a tad too scary.)

Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss could either be really cute or mind-jammingly dumb. We shall see. Cute boys, though.

It's satire...for now. The Vatican may be rethinking its philosophy in hopes of gaining more lucrative market share. [or so sez The Onion]

I finally saw The Truman Show Wednesday night and really liked it. I probably would have liked it even more if I hadn't read so much of the advance press. Early reports revealed just a bit too much about the nuances of the production. Anyhow, The Atlantic Online has a clever take on the ersatz "protest" website that the studio put up to front it. [Atlantic Unbound]

OK, this is just weird: A social disease education site with a coffeehouse metaphor? Um...ick.

Allegations of on-set misconduct have grabbed the spotlight from what sounds like it might be a fairly credible Stephen King movie, Apt Pupil. But, quelle surprise, the whole affair may not hold much water. [LA New Times]
The boys' suits say that although they'd been promised their roles wouldn't involve nudity, once they entered the set, Singer and other crew members "commanded blaringly and screamingly" that they strip. The youths were then forced to stand naked for more than four hours as the cameras rolled and an "obviously homosexual" set photographer snapped pictures of them in "indecent positions," their lawsuits allege.
This one's for you, Jeff: Who needs the Drudge Report? When it comes to salacious gossip, no one tops (ahem!) Billy Masters. In the latest romp through the Hollywood gutter, he avers that E! talk hunk Steve Kmetko and Greg Lou(openly)ganis are gettin' serious.

Collectors, take note: After 45 years, TV Guide covers are a hot property. [New York Times]
July 3, 1998 at 1:34 PM |
Categories: General
Tags: movies | movie marketing | Sean Hayes | TV Guide

Wednesday, June 3, 1998

June 3, 1998

"28. I will meet somebody nice, away from a bar or the tubs or a roller-skating rink, and I will fall hopelessly but conventionally in love.

29. But I won't say I love you before he does.

30. The hell I won't."

-- three of Michael "Mouse" Tolliver's "Valentine's Day resolutions" from More Tales of the City

What I'm reading now: Goodnight, Nebraska: A Novel by Tom McNeal. [A taste of chapter one, courtesy of the San Diego Union Tribune]

Another addition to the 'To Read' pile: A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir by Frank DeCaro. (I'm also planning to re-read David B. Feinberg's Eighty-Sixed in the next week or so, and it's about time for my semi-annual re-reading of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City sextet, apropos to the airing of the new mini-series adaptation on Showtime.)

Speaking of which, props to Showtime for producing and airing the latest installment of Maupin's Tales for the screen, but what programming genius decided to debut this as counter-programming to the Tony Awards? Are they honestly expecting a massive gay exodus tuning out Broadway in favor of Barbary Lane? We shall see.

Monday, June 1, 1998

June 1, 1998

"This is the theme to Garry's show, the opening theme to Garry's show. Garry called me up and asked if I would write his theme song. I'm almost halfway finished. How do you like it so far? This is the theme to Garry Shandling's show." -- Randy Newman, It's Garry Shandling's Show theme song

Look, ma! I'm a domain! It's official: The BradLands now have a home of their own. Starting here, starting now, this site and all its descendents make the move to www.bradlands.com. Put it in your bookmarks and come back often. (Along with my new domain name comes a new e-mail address. Please direct your correspondence to sitemail@bradlands.com.)

Here's something cool: The history of Apple Computer, told through the tee-shirts made up for each project team. Almost even cooler than the website is the pricey coffee-table book it's hawking. I'm saving my pennies.

On a related note, the (non-tee-shirt) history of the Apple ][ computer, the platform on which I cut my programming teeth.

What I've added to the 'To Read' pile: Cavedweller by Dorothy Allison, the subject of this Salon Magazine interview.

Have a little fun with consumer culture at www.placing.com. You can even play along. (You've heard of Carl Steadman, haven't you?)

What I Believe In, #23: I don't believe in cavernous monster-chain bookstores with contrived-to-be-hip coffeehouses tucked in a corner. I do believe in friendly, locally-owned, small bookstores with genuinely hip coffeehouses next door.

June 1, 1998 at 4:05 PM |
Categories: Jurassic Weblog
Tags: BradLands | Apple | tshirts | beginnings | The Carl

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