NEW 125

“If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all."
--Carl Sagan

Jump to the Newest of the New


       I bought a pound-sized bin of Temptations cat treats, as it was 50% off. I should've bought more, as that's as cost-effective as it's going to ever get. I did find an advantage to getting the smaller ones in bags. I dropped the bin, it exploded open, and I had to shovel the treats back into it. Of course, I had 3 helpers. One mammal's disaster is another mammal's dream.
      It could've been worse. I could've spilled the catnip.

      Having exhausted all the CDs at two libraries, I went to the next closest. It looked like they had a few--and I mean, like very, very few--I would borrow. They're free, and mine forever once they're on iTunes. It looked like maybe 2 visits worth. I passed on classical for now, as that spinner rack had a very heavy table blocking the lower shelves. Although the Xmas music rack was easy to get to, which is helpful in January. I grabbed about 25, and went to check out. And that's when they slapped the cuffs on.
      I'm a fugitive from Library justice! The one I haven't gone to in over a year claimed I still had 1 CD out. Yeah, I have iTunes, I don't need to physically steal anything. I searched the only likely places it could've gone. I have some vague recollection of getting home after the last time I was there and finding 1 leftover CD that I put in the book drop, which you're not supposed to do. But I wasn't expecting to be liable for $16 for stealing a CD that I have no need to take. The librarian at this place said that maybe they put it on the shelf without processing it. That would mean that no one's checked it out since then. I can't imagine why one of their top rentals wouldn't be the soundtrack to "Pride and Prejudice," 1995 TV version. I think Beyonce was on it, or maybe some other of today's big stars like Mary J. Blige or those guys who did "Lump".
      When I said that I had no problem getting CDs from the 2nd library I went to, she let slip that "They're on a different computer system than we are." A-ha! The flaw in your plan! I'll go to the fourth closest library, and continue my bloody reign of borrowing! I renounce the name Bill the Splut for my new crimes name, Borrowin' Bill Scarface! (although I may still go by Spitball Jones)
      I checked their collection online, and like all libraries, it makes no fucking sense. I was under the vague impression that libraries had this thing called "the alphabet." But Nah, just put 'em in any order you want. I searched under "CD Music" because I had to, and then had to click on "CDs" because Dewey and his decimals were murdered I guess. I tried to figure out how things must be kept in their department. Why, when looking under Rock, do the same titles appear in Pop? And Alternative? And Rap? Why is everything under everything else? Why did a David Halpern CD--which, in my old Lechmere music department would've been in New Age, have EIGHT different categories? Of course, 4 of them were "Relaxation," "Meditation," and "Music for Meditation, " and "Music for Relaxation." One of the categories was for this CD alone. In fact, every CD was hashtagged as "CD," so don't go looking in the 8 Tracks. Things must've been organized in some Mandelbrot set of fractals. Maybe it's Schroedinger's Library, and titles only turn up where you didn't look. Maybe everything was just dumped in one big section, haha!
      (nods) Yep.
      The sections were New, Classical, and Everything Else. And it was handily placed at waist height, except for 2/3s of it, which required crouching on the floor to look through, so sorry about your arthritis Grandma, no Coldplay or Barenaked Ladies for you! (There were a lot of the same artists, over and over. One series: the BBC Sound Effects Library. One was called "Industry," and the tracks are "Brewing -- Milk bottle plant -- Textiles -- China Factory -- Stainless steel making -- Refuse skip -- Grinding -- Water-mill" because who us hasn't needed 8 minutes of fucking china factory sounds on our mix tapes)
      I went in looking for 1 Halpern CD, 3 Mobys, and 2 Enyas. I found the Moby. The Enya wasn't there, unless it was (I'd never seen the cover, which turned out to look pretty much the same as an earlier album by her, so I might've flipped past it). The Halpern, I later learned, went missing in 2017. So sure, keep it listed online. I need to find the guy who has it, so that he can join me in my looting frenzy. Especially as the website listed Halpern not as "Missing" but as "Billed."
      Librarian looks around in a panic at an empty CD section: "We've been--BROWSIN' BILLED!"

      "For Howard, Things Are About To Get R'lyeh Crazy!"
      From a bin at Dollar Tree, "Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom" and yes, it's a kid's movie based on HP Lovecraft. It has the voices of Mark Hamill of "(the Star Wars franchise)", and Academy Award®-winner* Christopher Plummer. If you wonder what the asterisk is for, it's "*2010: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Beginners". Maybe it's a different Christopher Plummer? Little Chrissie Plummer, age 5?
      If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you can watch the trailer and see the fine CGI and productional values and stuff that went into making this. Given the fact that it was marked down from $24.95 to a dollar in less than a year, the thought of watching it fills me with a loathsome, unhallowed, shambling, cycoplean, employee-did-not- wash-hands-after-using-bathroom dread. Well, here we fucking go. I survived "Food Fight!" without being reduced to gibbering madness. There's only one way this could be worse! It could be boring!
      Howard's a bit macrocephalic. Like a watermelon on a toothpick. He has bags under his eyes. He has bags over his eyes. Despite getting plenty of sleep, as he awakens from a weird dream. Which, I bet, sure doesn't mean he's not still dreaming. Oh. He is. There are fish swimming outside his window. He is dragged into the water, grows gills, and meets--CTHULHU! Except he's floating and glowing and named...Spot. Spot is his friend, and calls him Master constantly. Then he wakes up again. Mother wants to send him to school, and she's clearly evil, lusting after Howie's book. Is it the Necronomicon? Then, from the twisted Mythos of Lovecraft, comes an abomination so foul, so blasphemous, so horrifying, that I must shield my eyes! OH NO, NOT--*poof*
      Whaaat the fuuuck? Is this Smurf Village? Some noseless, befreckled cutesy-wootsie kids from the Land of Care Bears? Who talk all wike dis, oh so sweet? I think they're bipedal fish? They're going to see King Didntcatchhisname, and the Littlest Angelfish says "I hope he has something to eat!" Girl Sea Monkey says "I hope it's crispy!" You're a fucking fish person! The last crispy food here was a serving of Your Grandmother & Chips.
      There in the castle, which was "once covered in ice" (there was a first HP movie, involving the "evil king Abdul Alhazred" who was Cold Miser I guess) There are also some Minions or shit, little cute goblin bat clowns doing slapstick--the Slapstick of the ETERNALLY DAMNED! Wait, are these those Mi-go bats? Please tell me no, I beg you, for the sake of my sanity!
      Mi-god-I'm-cute Bat says the King won't see them. Genuine Lovecraftian dialog from the Fish Children: "No way!" Oldest fish, who has no nose but does have ears and earings and sounds like she came from the mall, "No way!" Are you trembling now?
      The King refuses to see them. A kid says "It's Gotha, David, Twat and Innis!" That's what it sounds like. The door bursts open and--CTHULHU!! "SPOT!" scream the kids. Spot hugs them and says "SQUID KIDS!" and hugs them.
      Whaaaaat the fuuuu
      Spot astrally projects to meet Howard, who is still going to school with Evil Possessed Mother. On July 19th, 1898, we are told for some reason. School's in session in July? What unpseakable eldritch horror! Spot goes to some Land of Little Bee Gnomes, sniffing out Howard literally. He ain't there. Maybe it's July 20th? Spot then goes to outer space, where he sniffs some asteroids. Then he goes to Antartica maybe, and the voice actor doing coke? I hope he's on something to get through this.
      HP's at the asylum, dragged by his Mom, and there's Alhazred, and he has HP's real parents, and demands of Howie "All I want is the trout!' What? (turns subtitles on) "All I want is the journal!" Dude, you said trout, I'm sure of it. Spot recommends that they flee, and HP says, in that inimitable way of Lovecraft dialog, "You don't have to tell me twice!" Alhazred says he cast a spell that will turn Howie into a Deep One, which...sure, yeah. Nameless Other Bad Guy doing a clear Darth Vader voice (is this Hamill?) warns that his father will not tolerate failure a second time! Was watching the first movie actually a requirement? Did this crap come with homework? Spot is caught by Al in a fishbowl, and he will awaken him as a Dreamer and Destroyer. So...Spot is Cthulhu? HP's in the Miskatonic U library with Dr Armitage, and Spot's name is Thu Thu Hmong. Does he own a pho restaurant? Howie's journal is part one of the Necronomicon, and Spot is "not yet Cthulhu." Look, we're only 15 minutes into this, I think I'll sit back and just watch this mountain of madness.
      Okay, now we're 18 minutes in, and Howie's got Innsmouth hands. "I'm turning into a fish!!" Nameless other Bad Guy is, you got it, Nyarlathotep. Howie's dad isn't with Al, he's on campus a few yards away. Shoggoths say "Tikeli-li" in the same wrenching, abominable, inhuman voices that one hears only in the depths of gibbering insanity or when someone says "Leave room for cream" at Starbucks. They also have a melodious laugh and only say "Tikeli-li.". Dad screams at HP "LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!" Man, I guess I really don't remember those books at all.
      Finally! A string of Lovecratian adjectives! Crazy-ass Daddy Lovecraft says that HP's being "transmogrified" into "one of those slimy, gill-breathing, web fingered, gross, disgusting little fish men!" I should point out that the adult actors are having fun chewing the scenery, while HP is so bland, I think he won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Beginning to Devolve Back Into a Lungfish, so at least this part of the script he can do.
      Okay, Nyarly has got to be Hamill, because this is such a dead-on Vader. The way he pronounces "insignficant--as a small worm!" and then onscreen, his Cheez-Wiz animation hand makes a teensy lil' "like a worm this teensy" gesture. It's funny. Now, Armitage trains Luke--um, Howie--to levitate boulders. Daddy uses odd diction: "Impatient, he is!" Huh. That seems kinda familiar...
      The next 20 minutes has a bog-standard fistfight with Al and the Shoggoths, which are pronounced shog-GOTH and are hideous floating Beholder-style demons that shop at Hot Topic. Then a flashback to Crazy Daddy's early days with Dr Herbert West. The box says that a voice is supplied by a guy from Re-Animator, so, parents, if your kids like this movie, rent them that next! Crazy Daddy goes to the Distant Planet Yuggoth and meets Dagon, and this drives him so utterly, irretrievably insane that he says "La-dee-da!" a lot. Then they go to the Shunned Circle, aka Crap Stonehenge, and Crazy starts digging with a shovel that I guess was in his pocket, and says some more Lovecraftian dialog: "Time to get DIRTY! LAND HO!" I guess this is where he buried the prostitute's body. Then they're in the Undersea Kingdom, HP gets nabbed by Dagon, don't worry he's a good guy, lots of name-dropping from the Mythos, Azathoth is the real bad guy, they get teleported to the Undersea Kingdom which is where I thought they already were, then Azzy says "outside the ordered universe is an amorphous blight of nethermost confusion, which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity." Surpisingly, he does not add "Badabing! You snooze, you lose, fart-face!"
      Then Howie has to face three Indiana Jonesish challenges, which are so boring I'm skipping them. Although the Fish Men wearing sport coats and matching vests are notable. He and Spot return so that Al can raise Cthulhu, but this doesn't work because only a Lovecraft can do it, so nice fuckin' plan, Al. Dagon randomly appears and Howard, Crazy Dad, Fishy Mom and Spot disappear in a scene they didn't bother to animate. Nyarly hits Al with force lightning while Dagon stands there like a big goofus.
      Back at Miskatonic, Howie gathers all three trout--um, Journals, and binds them into the Necronomicon. The Necronomicon is a Good Guy, too! He saves his Mom, who has become so much of a Fish Lady that her name almost became Mrs Paul. Crazy Daddy introduces "This is Cthulhu, he eats reality! My wife once ate a whole chicken!" The Necronomicon is so powerful that it obviously inspires a sequel (yeah, good luck with that), but the ever bland HP says that his house is protected by ryunes. "Runes" throughout the movie has been pronounced as "roons" or "ruins," so this is a nice change. Cthulhu/Spot returns to R'yleh, where the Squid Kids are having a fucking tea party--but what about the Mi-go Little Ponies? How will there ever be a fandom of Mi-gonies? And then, at home, there's a knock at the door and it's--HP LOVECRAFT ALL GROWED UP! OMG! LOL! POOP EMOJI!!
      The credits inform us that this was a film by Sean Patrick O'Reilly that was produced by Michelle O'Reilly. Then--a post-credit scene! Cthulhu walks a few steps, then gets knocked out by some colour out of space. Wow, sign me up for the next movie! The credits continue, and seven out of the first eight names are surnamed O'Reilly. Hamill actually did Armitage, while Nyarly was done by a guy doing an imitation of Hamill doing an imitation of James Earl Jones. Christopher Plummer did Dr West, who had maybe 10 lines, and Ron Perlman was Shoggoth, with one repeated line, "Tikeli-li." Then, there's a post-post-credits sequence, which is a bunch of Shoggoths saying their unforgettable catchphrase, "Leave room for cream." "Howard Lovecraft will return in The Kingdom of Madness." Sure he will. Sure he will.
      It was worth a dollar. Even if the animation sometimes wasn't that much better than this:




      His feet and wrists heavy with shackles, he struggled into the room of kids in his orange jumpsuit. Smug kids, proud of their crimes. They will soon be...SCARED STRAIGHT.
      "You maggots!" he growled. "You know who I am? I'm...Borrowin' Bill Scarface!"
      They stared in terrified silence. One finally sputtered "W-who?"
      "BORROWIN' BILL! You may know me better as--SPITBALL JONES!"
      The kids cowered in the corner. One pissed his pants. One began to cry.
      "HOW OLD YOU PUNKS?!" he screamed.
      "We--we're in kindergarten! I want...MOOOOMMEEE!"
      "You know what happens to shit like you in prison? You smile at a man, he smiles back, and then before you know it--HE DRINK YOUR JUICE BOX!" He looked each of them in the eye, coldly. "AND IT WAS THE BEST JUICE BOX FLAVORZ!"
      "See this tattoo? This is what you get in prison!" He lifted his sleeve, showing a bleeding, blistered, ragged hunk of skin. "You know what this is?!"
      One child stammered "R-really kinda gross?"
      "YES! It's--eww. Wow. It is kinda gross. Actually, it's Dawn Wells in a bikini riding a robot dinosaur." He sobbed, then choked it back long enough to say "It was my life dream, this tattoo. All I gotta say, if you don't wanna be like me, here in the Library Jail, is 'Don't do the Crime, if You can't DEWEY DECIMAL the TIME!"
      "M--Mister the Spitball, h-how long you've been here?"
      "Huh? Like 5 minutes. I walked in looking for the bathroom. Wait, did I read the script wrong? 'DON'T DO THE CRIME--UNLESS YOU PAY THE OVERDUE FINE!"
      "Huh? How much was the fine?"
      "Oh, nothing. Weren't no crime, so there were no fine. Where's the bathroom again?"

      My life as a fugitive from Library Justice was brief. As the Ellington librarian thought, my overdue CD was sitting on the shelf in Rockville. I took out maybe 50 CDs once I knew that was cleared of all library crimes. Not in Rockville, of course; I'd tapped that place out a year ago. And now, for the edification of exactly nobody, my reviews of central CT library CD collections!
      Rockville: I was not explicitly told "All we have are the CDs that no one could be bothered to steal," but it was heavily implied. Your only source for that Crown Jewel of CDs, the 1995 BBC soundtrack to "Pride and Prejudice." CDs in pretty bad shape, so expect that weird chuff chuff noise when they play. This is not a sound I've ever heard on any CD before. I would soon learn that it's the "borrowed too many times" sound.
      South Windsor! Insane collection of truly sprawling styles. Most libraries don't even have ONE Eno CD. CDs in generally good shape; some chuffing. So many odd and differing CDs that it's the only library that I couldn't use up in one go (excepting the ones with strict borrowing limits)
      Manchester. The fuck. I don't even know how you could scuff a CD like this, unless you were involved in some secret Pentagon CD-scuffing project. Were they cleaned with steel wool? Used as pucks in street hockey? Good place for Indigo Girls CDs, if that's what you like. I mean, like every Indigo Girls' CD. You can often tell what the CD-budgeting person likes. Also, in the impossible event that you ever borrow the Manchester High School 2003/04 Instrumental CD and put it in iTunes, I PUT THE TITLES IN, BEEYOTCH! Immortality at last!
      Ellington: Whoa, whoever decided to get rid of the fragile jewel boxes and go for these cases is a genius! I assume they have a name; I've always called them "2-button" as the center that holds it in has 2 buttons, and not that "plastic starfish asshole one that breaks into tiny shrapnel so that the disc falls out" kind. Not a single scratch on any one! Also, they let me take out 50+ in one go, despite being the ones who caught me not returning that CD that I did return.
      Warehouse Point: Dunno, Copper! I never went there. The catalog lists 148 CDs of fucking utter blandness, the newest being from 1998 and 50 of them are Xmas. East Hartford: catalog defaults to Manchester's. Huh? This is like going to D'angelos and being told you can only pick up your food at Subway.
      I'm going to drop off my CDs at Ellington, as we have a Three Strikes law here, and I'm think I'm done with library CDs. And I'm going into the Witness Protection Program. From now on, I'm Spitball JOHNSON
      After this, I went grocery shopping and Airline Food, Amirite?! When you go to the store for one thing, and then buy everything but the one thing you came for? I remembered just as I was about to leave--wet cat food! Funny that I only just thought of that, thinking how Killsy would be disappointed if I didn't get any! As I went, I noticed that the music playing was the Eurythmics' "There Must Be an Angel." The Fantastic Plastic Machine's version of this was playing the night I brought tiny Kill Kill home. I began crying that day, knowing that there was an angel playing with my heart, and she was what I'd never had in 40 years of living. Coincidence that I thought of her that second?
      YES! I ain't no gay fag looser who tears up about kitten memories! I'm so manly that I just flushed my Gillette razors down the toilet, and will now exclusively shave with only broken shards of glass from Bud bottles! Hey, why's my toilet overflowing?!

      I've been reading Jason Colavito's blog. I'm aware that cable has things like the Ahistorical Channel, Moron Discovery, and TA-LC (The Anti-Learning Channel) and other cable networks based on "How stupid are Americans?" like Fox. I didn't realize how prevalent these shows are until now. Did you know there's one hosted by noted scholar of Transformerology Megan Fox?
      Colavito's headlines include "Andrew Collins Claims Native Americans Were Ruled by Hybrid Denisovan Giants Who Masterminded Mound Building" and "David Wilcock Tries to Link Q-Anon Conspiracy, Space Aliens, and 'Hamlet's Mill' While Promoting New Documentary" about “the Cabal, a coalition of Reptilian extraterrestrials, Democrats, and Jews working to destroy the conservative white Christian lifestyle." And you wonder why the country's so dumb it's run by Trump!
      A thing I never heard of, but apparently is a big deal, is "The Curse of Oak Island". This is where all the treasure in the world is buried, starting with Captain Kidd. Who fled the Indian Ocean to fart around Nova Scotia. "These have included pirates, Inca, Romans, Vikings, Israelites, and of course Knights Templar. For more than two centuries men have dug holes in the ground trying to prove that Oak Island conceals some fabulous treasure of myriad faces, everything from Spanish gold to Shakespeare’s lost plays to the Ark of the Covenant." I can only picture all these guys there at once, with a pirate screaming at an Incan "HEY! I WAS GONNA BURY THERE FIRST!! Hey, Francis Bacon! I CALLED DIBS!"
      "He comes dangerously close to (accurately) accusing the show’s producers and guest stars Kathleen McGowan (the widow of Ancient Aliens star Philip Coppens who thinks herself a descendant of Christ and Mary Magdalene), Alan Butler (who once wrote that future Freemasons built the moon when time traveling), and Janet Wolter (wife of America Unearthed host Scott Wolter) of intellectual fraud by pushing discredited claims and outright hoaxes to play to the Da Vinci Code audience." Dude, that's not how you build up! "Wife of Scott Wolter," who cares? How about "Wolter, on their wedding night, ripped off his Bigfoot mask to show that he was actually the Loch Ness Monster! Janet then ripped off her mask, proving that she was Amelia Earhardt and also the clone of Kaiser Wilhelm! Then, their wedding bed ripped off its mask, and it was the Bermuda Triangle Wolfman or some shit, I don't know. The bed ate them."
      (And if you want to back up there--yes, there are people who think the Moon is hollow and made by time travellers. And why is there not a show about trying to find the Secret Fish-Mines of Moncton?)

      One of the Fifteen (you are one as well) mentioned in the Comments that he's reading this page again because of a dream, in which he undoubtedly bolted upright in bed covered in sweat like they do in every movie, although he might've not screamed but just muttered something about the bottom 6 inches of his tie. (Fun Fact I just checked: that single-slice toaster would cost $195.54 today) Jay has a has a blog about fried chicken that I mention because why wouldn't I? And this becomes something I was going to talk about here anyway, the terrible way my blog doesn't work.
      I found out that, because my shitty web editor saves every fucking way it wants that doesn't work, the old News from 30 to 102 are impossible to access. Unless you change, say, to Likewise, every newer old New can only be read by changing, say, to whatever the number is supposed to be, such as last year's being Sometimes, you have to add an "l" to ".htm" I tried fixing it, but the editor made new/new into new/new/new. I'll figure it out someday...



       Yes, you can finally see, in all its 150 minutes of splendor The Swarm! Now you can find out how little I exaggerated it!
      Plan Nine! Voyage Into Space! Gymkata! King Kong Lives! There truly are very few movies that really are "so bad they're good, that being because Holy Shit, they sure think they're good!" You don't need wisecracking robot puppets to laugh at this movie. There is no way it could be any funnier, with its terrible acting, ludicrous story, and lousy effects! Unless--
      "Ja kunde aldrig dromma om att edet skulle vara bina! De har alltid varit vanner." Unless it's subtitled in Swedish. Did you know that Swedish for "Alert" is "Varning"? That was the first subtitle, when I didn't know it was subtitled. I thought it was a joke, and the next title would be "Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretti nasti..." but no, it's actual Swedish. Which has words like "fart" and "slut" and my favorite, when Crane yells "TITTA!" and General Dick says "Doesn't look like a bee to me!" Dude, he just told you it's a titta.
       If this is your first time viewing it, try to ignore the subtitles and focus on just how bad it is. And it most likely will be your first time, as I don't think it was ever released on anything but VHS in the USA. Maybe this is because of the whole "Kill the Africans!" dialogue, which is sometimes screamed. Richard Chamberlain calls them "Colombian," and Michael Caine shrieks "It doesn't matter what we call them! They're a mutant species of AFRICANS!" so apparently it does matter what you call them. Later, as they begin to exterminate them, "Tomorrow, there will be no Africans, at least in the Houston area!" Note that there are exactly 2 very briefly glimpsed POCs in this movie.
      Along with all the other insanity, and the fact that there is not a single character you care about because they're all either assholes or morons, you get the language lesson. "Vi vet inte mangastick de har fatt Africanz bis!" Okay, I forget what that meant, but it's fun to say! It weirdly adds to the movie that it has subtitles like a profound Bergman film. As when Paul, the Eee-Whee-It's a Bee Boy yells "Det ar ett BI har inne! Hjalp!" at the giant imaginary bee. That quote at the start of this was, of course, about the impossibility of imagining bees not friending us. Next time you're in Stockholm, you can solemnly intone "HOUSTON--brinner. Kommer skulden att laggas--pa MIG ELLER BINA?!" Or inject yourself with bee venom and say (while sweating--My god, I was sure not joking in my old review about all the sweating in this movie) that your blood levels are rising to "Laskiga navaer!!" Was that blonde skiier a rude SOB? No, en ortig typ! Or just mention in some cafe "Och arden forste officeren i historen som far stryk av en mass insekter!" even if you are not getting your butt kicked by a mess of Scandanavian bugs. Then spit your coffee out, declaring "Det ar farligare an giftet den Australika kubmanetin!" Or just listen to the dopey English words, like the total evacuation of Houston being helped by the fact that "Most people stayed indoors, or went to church." Or the accents, which sometimes change during the same sentence. Or the way Crane eats sunflower seeds, which is to shove an entire fistfull down the back of his throat, swallowing them without chewing.
      I imagine that this will be online until someone finds out, so make sure to use this chance to finally see "KATASTROFPLATZ HOUSTON"!

      Yeah, or maybe not watch The Swarm from that link, as something gave my computer a minor virus. Malware removed it. All I saw was occasional freezing, and every few hours, MSN insisting that I connect my wifi to Xfinity. Which I don't use. Not sure what was going on there.
      To make up for it, here's some more bad translations!
      Also... Maybe don’t turn real-life racist H.P. Lovecraft into the cuddly star of an animated kids’ movie? Yes, guess which beloved franchise THIS is! It's Tikke-li Elmo!


      She's home. She's comfortable. But I don't think Kill Kill is going to last the night.
      But it will be at home, safe, surrounded by her loved ones, and in her sleep.
      But...please don't. Honey, please--even one more day...


      6/16/1999 to 2/18/2019

      I almost wrote here the good news that Kill Kill's thyroid was in remission. Her health is great!
      10 days later, it was morning wet food time. She's normally first in line, that day she wandered off to the side. She only ate a little. I guess she doesn't like that flavor.
      The next day, she did it again. Then DJ started freaking out. He stood right above where she lied, and began almost hopping up and down, crying at her for attention. And it went on for a long time. That's when it hit: she's not eating, and I can't remember the last time I saw her drink! She had discharge around her eyes.
      Of course, this was Sunday and the vet up the road was closed. Now it was my time to freak out. I called Cat 911--Jessica--and had a panic attack that I was watching her die. She thought that I was overreacting. She calmed me down.
      The next time, Killsy was a little better, but still barely eating and very listless. I'd gotten so upset the night before that I made myself sick. I decided to wait another day. Since any time there's a cat disagreement, someone gets scratched near the eye, maybe she had an eye infection. I decided to bring her in the next day, because if this was something that could be fixed with a vax, it should be done.
      The vet had a "This is bad" look the second he walked in the room. She was dehydrated, hence the discharge. She'd lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks. Her temperature was 5 degrees below normal, and her blood pressure very low. My hopes of a quick cure faded instantly. "She is effectively a 20 year old cat," he said. "It's probably systemic; maybe her kidneys." They gave her intravenous hydration and forced some high-calorie food into her mouth.
      I called Jess again with the bad news. Kill Kill did seem to recover some strength after the visit, but the vet said she may have at most 2 weeks. She wasn't in Pain.
      Then she began to slide. Every day, ate and drank less. Slept constantly, but with her rheumy eyes open. My plan was to let her pass at home. But she got so weak...Then yesterday I woke up realised that I hadn't been eating either. I spent the day stress-vomiting stomach acid. She would get up, walk a few feet, plop back down, trying to get comfortable. Finally she staggered into the room, fell to her side, and began making tiny, weak cries.
      I called the vet and asked to come in. I called Jess one last time. Tragically, just 2 days before she'd lost her cat Paul without warning. I asked her if I should bring her in. "I got up and found Paul had passed! I would've wanted it to happen in my lap! You're doing this for her because you love her!"
      She was too weak to fight it. She was so dehydrated, they couldn't find a vein on her back leg, so they had to shave her front one. Yes, it took two attempts. I was handed a flyer for the cremation, and it wanted me to choose the tyle of tin for her ashes. I'm thinking of home decor right now?!
      Both boys noticed she didn't come home. DJ spent 10 minutes circling every room in the house, no doubt looking for her. After sunset, Byron suddenly began screaming every hour all night for...something. I think he'd figured it out.
      I thought I'd be a pool of tears. Instead, I puked. Now it's just so weird to not have her here. I guess I'm still in shock--she went from perfect health to the end in 9 days.


      I knew it would be bad. Just not this bad.
      I don't eat, I don't sleep, but I also barely leave bed. I now wish I hadn't had her cremated. Picking up her ashes was horrifying. Looking back on it, it's like trying to remember a nightmare.
      I never noticed that when I leave a room, even the bathroom, I do a quick mental survey for where each cat is. That was hard, as she was always the first I thought of.
      DJ is extra affectionate to both Byron and me. (Maybe a little too much--I know my personal hygiene has taken a hit on some days, but I don't need a face bath at 3AM) Byron stills screams at night for her.
      I saw my mother this week. That helped. After almost 20 years, she still grieves for my Dad.
      The dam still hasn't burst. It came close when I got her ashes. Then there was a card in the mail, from the vet. I thought it was generic, like the "happy birthday" postcards they send. No, it was signed by the whole staff. I got my Cat-a-Day calendar late this year, and today it finally turned over to her last day. The text ended with "Any extra days BB gets to spend with his owner, Lisa Young, are automatically great ones." Her name was KK, mine is Young...
      When I got home on the day I was told her time was short, I called Jess to break the bad news. I suddenly realized that iTunes was playing a song by the Temptations: "My Girl." That was one of our songs! "Talkin' bout my girl, Kill Kill!" A few songs later, it was more Motown: The Supremes, "My World is Empty Without You Babe." 24,000 tracks, and both have played themselves since.

      Not to make this all darkness, here's a thing that came out of me, on a Brian Eno Facebook page. I thought it came out good, although you may not get any of the references

      This is the only thing that's made me laugh since this nightmare began:Terrible Pictures Taken By Real Estate Agents

      And to anyone who left a comment here or on Facebook about My Girl, thank you. Especially for not saying "She was only a cat."


      I'm better. Not good, but better.
      I got cards. One from Pat (the Cool Sister). One from Jessica. As one would guess, it was covered in her handwriting. All kind and reassuring. "I remember the moment she came into your life. 'Her name is Kill Kill! Isn't she the most beautiful cat you've ever seen?' I said in return, 'She is an angel.' And so, the passion of our feline friends ignited. She loved you as much as you loved her. Death is just death, but love is forever."
      And there was a handmade suncatcher in her honor. It hangs now on my monitor, from the Shrinky Dink portrait our Disney artist friend made me so many years ago. Sometimes it just lays there very still. Other times, it moves constantly. Just like a cat.

      Well. Let's just write something then.

      Hey, how about the movies I've seen since...(checks Netflix) December? There's a thing.
      Alien Planet: I've seen this many times. It's from Discovery Channel I think? It's based on a good book that was much better than this. Downside: it's from Discovery or History Channel, so every time there's about to be a commercial break, it tells you EXACTLY what will happen next, so you don't change channels. Ever be sitting in front of one of those guys who saw the movie, and HAS to give every plot point away to his GF who keeps saying "What happens now?!" very loudly? I fucking hate that. But it's well worth watching, if you want to see something where the aliens are alien, created by a biologist, and not just some Star Trek biped with a goofy forehead.

      Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey: The Sub-subtitle. 2 dogs and a kitty go home, in a bound ward way. I liked it. But why, in this kind of movie, do the dogs always get it easier than the cats?

      ALIEN JELLY! No wait, Space Jam. This was only on my list because I have the magnets. When the VHS came out, at Lechmere we were giving away a 4-pack of fridge magnets with each purchase, as advertised on the front of the flyer. I let anyone in the music video department take ONE set, but told them to never give out any to the other depts. Because when we ran out, we'd be the ones getting screamed at. Hey, guess what! Every person from every other dept wanted them, but refused to buy the video! Hey, guess what happened when my coworkers gave them out anyway! (It was screaming)
      Oh, also, Space Jam isn't very good.

      The Rocketeer: This was based on a comic book that was inspired by the old serial "Commando Cody," or as long time MST viewers will say "Nipple Nipple Tweak Tweak!" This is a great movie, and I rented it because I came across a review of Rocket Ranger, an old computer game that was literally unplayable. You didn't fly by nipple tweaking, you had to run at the exact right pace to launch. Then you fought a Nazi zeppelin, "Big balloon" doesn't sound hard, but it killed you instantly...and you were right back where you began. Running to fly and chase a gasbag. If you beat the zeppelin and died...Yep, right back to running to fight a blimp again. The Rocketeer is actually awesome, so if you haven't seen it and are in the mood for something Indiana Jonesy. With dead Nazis, which is always a plus in my book.

      Incredibles 2: aka, It took us 14 years to make a movie with the exact same plot.

      Annihilation: It was very good and you should see it, but...The Hell?

      Avengers: Infinity War: The Third Viewing. How did Nebula know to send the Guardians to Titan? She doesn't know Thanos is going there! Why did Team Stark go there? They didn't know Thanos was going there! Thanos only went there, as far as I can tell, because Dr Strange went there, so he could get the Time Stone! MOVIE IS RUINED

      Teen Titans Go Oh Fuck No! I ain't going there. Maybe I shouldn't rent movies where the entire audience is expected to have not hit puberty for 2 more years?

      The Third Reich: Rise and Fall. This was interesting--all home movie footage from Germany from those years. Also: History Channel telling you at every fucking ad break "YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!" and then telling you what happens next. Not how clickbait works, assholes.

      Tangled. I'm sure everyone watches this after they rented a documentary about Nazis. I kinda liked it. There was a frying pan. Okay, I really don't remember that much. Imagine how clogged her shower drain must be! (I have long hair so I can make that joke)

      Twin Peaks: The Other One. Oh fuck no, this was awful. I made it 90 minutes in. I almost didn't make it 30 minutes in, when there was this big glass box, and there was this guy staring at it, and this girl stared at it with him, and I just sat there thinking "And then some monster in the box kills them," and then some monster in the box killed them. I was expecting creepy and weird, I wasn't expecting BORING.

      KEDI! I needed to refresh my palate, so that wonderful doc about kitties in Turkey. Note: Kiterally nothing happens in this movie. Just kitties! (and proofing this--I spelt it "kiterally" and it was unintentionally)

      Gidget. I made it maybe 15 minutes into this. I wanted Yvonne Craig in a bikini, and I got that, but also one of those 60 year old movies where the high school students are in their 30s and talk like no human being ever has.

      Mad Max: Fury Road. Oddly, this did not have Yvonne Craig in a bikini.

      Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Okay, I liked it, but even at 90 minutes it was long. The songs always did what movie songs should do, advance either the plot or the characters. But there were way too many songs. I'm still unclear on what exactly happened in the ending.


And then she got sick. And then she died.

      And then Bedknobs and Broomsticks floated to the top of my queue, like that one turd that won't flush. I'd heard it described as "the worst Disney movie" so of course I had to see it. In fact I had, about age 11 or 12, and all I remember from seeing it in the theater was kids squirming in their seats, or falling asleep and then waking up crying "It's not over?" It's about as long as an Avengers movie! Now I just watched it numbly (I was pretty numb then, and it was like 3AM, I hadn't slept for days, girl) Yes, it is very bad. It begins with the Bayeaux Tapestry, which you know even if you don't think you do, and there's Angela Lansbury riding her broomstick on it. Ha ha, I thought, are you gonna show the NAZIS next and they showed the Nazis next. Nice detail work on the armbands. Because this is the Disney movie where a witch fights the Nazis!
      I could've edited this movie down to a reasonable, kid-friendly length. First, get rid of the songs. They advance the plot no more than 20 seconds of dialog could. You know how you sometimes exit a movie humming the songs? You'd be humming the sounds coming from a Taco Bell bathroom before these. There is one kinda good dance number about the mixing of cultures in World War Two Britain--oh, did I leave that part out? It's set in that charming moment in Britsh history, the wonderful Blitz when the Luftwaffe was bombing everyone to death! True fact: the English government ordered all families to send their children from London to the countryside, because separating young children from their parents couldn't possibly be traumatic! The main characters are 3 children, a boy about 13, a girl about 11, and a boy about 8. They can also be described as Horribly Awful, Girl Who Is Kinda There, and Idiot. You know what? Cut them out too.
      There is my god, the longest song in history from some street charlatan. Cut him out. Roddy McDowell, pretty obviously looking for work before there's a planet of apes, is a horny pastor who...literally, I have no idea. He's in 2 brief scenes, maybe Disney had a contractul obligation to run out. There's a cartoon visit to a cartoon land, and it's literally just recycled animation from Disney's fox-based Robin Hood. It's about a soccer game! YES, it's that interesting!
      At the literal two hour mark, the Nazis invade. It's about as entertaining as this movie gets. So. The movie could've been 20 minutes long, featuring Angela Lansbury fighting the most dorky, incompetent, American-accented Nazis ever. And it still would've sucked!
      I gave it 3 stars out of 5. There are a fraction of movies so bad they're good, a vast majority so bad they're bad, and there's this occasional turd that's just..."So WHY is this movie?! WHO DECIDED MAKE MOVIE"

      I only saw 2 Oscar candidate movies. Both had "Black" in thir titles. One was an MCU punch-em-up. The other was BlacKkKlansman. Wow, that should've won. (Based on the 2 movies I saw) It's funny and exciting, although KKK members in the real 1970s would never have had facial hair or long hair! It's almost like Lee was trying to compare them to how modern racists look oh right.

      Captain America: The First Avenger. THIS is how you fight Nazis! With a garbage can lid!


      It's on Youtube, so hopefully it won't give your computer a virus, or worse, give it an autism vaccine. You know how I sometimes yell "I watched FOOD FIGHT for you people!!" Here's Food Fucking Fight. I can guarantee you will not make it to the end. Even JonTron bailed halway through, and watching garbage is literally his paying job.




      I gathered up the last loose end: her insurance claim.
      For some reason the PDFs of her vet receipts didn't make it to them. But ASPCA Pet Inusrance emailed me that they'd contact my vet. A week later, they said the claim was being processed. Then that it was completed. I got about a third of the expenses back, right up to the cremation. Now I had to face cancelling her insurance...
      Their next communication was a phone call. It was conolences over my loss of Kill Kill. The caller was reading from a script (she named DJ and Byron), but had real emotion in her voice. She either had the job--which would be a terrible job to do every day--because she was a good actress, or because--more likely--every operator has to do this at some point. Yes. I cried. You would've cried when her voice cracked.
      The next day, Discover sent me notification of a refund to my account. What? It was the ASPCA again. I didn't have to cancel. They did it for me, and refunded my last month's payment.
      If you ever want pet insurance, call the ASPCA.
      As for me, I've gone from the horror of watching her waste away, to the shell-shock of her not being anymore, to just a dull ache that I accept. This is the new reality.

      I'm not even going to attempt a segue here, just say--WOW Food Fight! really sucks! If you made it through that whole thing, congratualtions and I'm sorry you hate me now.

      A movie that did cheer me up: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It tried to be a comedy, a superhero movie, a family drama, and succeeded on all counts. The plot was kind of "teenager finds out he's the Chosen One," but I sure enjoyed the journey. Two major reveals I didn't see coming. And it really was funny! Make sure to see the end of credit scene, which plays as a dopey parody of all of the Marvel post-credit scenes, and features a Spider-Man that will never get a movie. And then follows it up with a cartoon about a talking pig. Yes, a post-post-credits scene.

      Silly and Cruel Beauty Gadgets That Were Destined for Failure       


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