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My step-daughter's father's family visited near here a few days ago. J. drove here there and she got to hang out with relatives on that side of the family (of which she has many, they're mormon) for a couple of hours. They're friendly people, and are quite accepting of C. as an honorary family member, and gave J. a lot of shit about how his father must be a lot cuter than their brother.

R.'s biological father is the only one who didn't come to visit.

She's been a bit of a basket-case the last few days.

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I had a statue of the Brain, from Pinky and the Brain, on my desk. It was about a foot tall, and stood on my desk for six years.

Now, thanks to the clumsiness of in-laws, it's smashed to pieces.

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Thanks to netflix, I've now rented some movies.

Soldier - This is one of my favorite movies. Notably, it got completely panned by just about everybody. Reading the reviews, it becomes obvious that most people who have seen it haven't the foggiest idea what happens in this movie. Apparently the general public is so completely brainwashed by military propoganda that it can't even occur to them that the military might treat its soldiers like disposable slave labor, or that being trained to be a killer might make someone into a worse person, even when it's spelled out for them in painstaking detail. Note to self: never write a script which hits on these themes, people won't understand it. In particular, never suggest that you can have soldiers who exercise judgement when told to mow down unarmed civilians, or you can have soldiers who always obey all orders, but not both. That one makes peoples's heads explode.

Hellboy - One of the most visually gorgeous movies I've ever seen. Rent it.

50 first dates - A very sweet love story. J. likes that I sometimes cry during movies now. The premise was way too abstract for my daughter to follow though. Apparently 5 year olds, even smart ones, need really simple plots. I told J. everything which was going to happen in this movie a third of the way in, but the details of how it was carried out were creative and enjoyable.

I'm enjoying netflix. Queueing is a good way to watch movies even without the mechanical demands of inventory. There are now 37 discs in my netflix queue, so I should be set for a while.

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I did some web searching for an old co-worker of mine, and it looks like his life has taken a bit of a wrong turn. He was riding his bicycle one day, got pulled over by a cop, refused to show ID, and his ordeal began.

And this guy is a white jesus freak. He can be a bit obstinate, but is hardly anyone's image of the declining moral values of america. He's a little bit of a hippie - his web site used to contain information on recreational drug use. But come on, his home page goes on and on about how his business is all 'faith-based', and he has seven kids, two of them named Chastity and Faith.

It looks like he got screwed out of the chunk of a former employer he owned as well. Such things are common in the bay area, but it's always sad when it happens to a hard-working family man whose main fault is being naive.

The person I'd really like to have gotten screwed was our old boss. That guy seriously needed a bullet to the head.

Movie suggestions

I just got a netflix subscription, and now need movies to queue up.

Horror films bore me to tears. We prefer things our daughter would be interested in watching. I'm not inclined to watch anything too disturbing because if I wanted that I could read a newspaper.

Oh, and I'm a writing snob so unintentionally predictable sequences and bad dialogue really, really get on my nerves.

Anybody got any suggestions?

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The other day spawn was looking contemplative, and I commented that he was thinking about "The Church-Turing Thesis, the second law of thermodynamics, the foundations of probability, and when am I next going to get boo-boo".

"Just like daddy!" J. said.

Getting undressed

Back when I lived in NYC for a while I went to a bdsm-related night at a club called mother once a week, where I went to soak up atmosphere. It was the one thing I'd actually dress up for.

Most dressy fashions are, to my eye, completely inane, hence my lack of owning a single suit. Although I did wear a Prada vest for a photo shoot recently. I asked if Prada was the name of a russian newspaper. Someone later told me that on such occasions one should declare 'I'm keeping this' and refuse to take it off, and it will just get expensed, but I'm not enough of an asshole to do that. Ahem. Anyhow, I do seem to have opinions about dark fashion clothing, although why that's any different from suits I can't tell you (except for the irritating way in which all american fashions are completely inferior to european fashions, but there's already been one excessive tangent for this paragraph).

Boots are both fashionable and practical, as long as they aren't pointy or high-heeled. Pants can get a bit more interesting. I'm rather fond of leather pants, and will wear them regularly once I get mine hemmed, although at this time I only had one pair of leather pants and they were skin-tight. Skin-tight leather looks good without being completely slutty, but unfortunately when you seriously dance and sweat in that stuff it disintegrates quickly, so I recommend getting pants which are a bit looser.

The most interesting piece of clothing I got was a latex shirt. It was hand-made by the baroness, back when to get stuff made by her you'd visit her house where she'd measure you and then custom make it. Her custom made stuff was much higher quality and barely more expensive than the crud you get at Mr. S. and the like, so I highly recommend it.

The Baroness thought I was too skinny for skin-tight latex to look good, so my shirt fits more or less like a regular t-shirt (although a friend of mine has had it for quite a while now. harumph.)

Latex, you must realize, is one of the most impractical clothing materials ever devised. It costs a lot, breathes about as well as a latex balloon, because, duh, that's what it's made from, is extremely hot in hot weather and freezing in cold weather, and gets easily damaged if it comes in contact with a cigarette or is stored improperly. But worse than any of those is that it's darn near impossible to take on and off. Doing so requires pretty much the same techniques as one uses to take on and off a straightjacket (literally, not figuratively). Some people claim that it's easier if you put baby powder on the inside. That's all hooey. If you want to wear latex, you need either a design which has zippers, some skilled and intimate friends, or some serious dressing and undressing technique.

The Baroness thought I was too skinny for skin-tight latex to look good, so my shirt fits more or less like a regular t-shirt (although a friend of mine has had it for quite a while now. harumph.) Skin-tight is actually easier to take off, because you can sort of peel it off by turning it inside-out.

Around the second or third time I wore the shirt out I got home at around 3am. Faced with the difficult problem of taking the shirt off, I decided to be clever and pull the front of the shirt up over my head and simply shrug it off my shoulders. A seemingly reasonable plan, and I got the front of the shirt over my head very easily... and then found that the shirt was now a very firm rubber band lodged around my shoulders.

After a few minutes of messing with it it became clear that my original plan wasn't going to work. So instead I tried to pull the front of my shirt back over my head to get back to square 1. Unfortunately back then my hair was very long and poorly cared for, and had gotten thoroughly tangled in with the shirt, sticking it in place. After a some unsuccessful struggling with plan 2, the situation got serious. I'd now been trying to get undressed for an hour, and my arms felt like they were starting to lose circulation. At this point, I was seriously desperate, but my roommate was on vacation, and there were no scissors to be found (trust me, I looked).

Some people claim to think clearly in a crisis situation. I think about the same as when I'm deciding what flavor of jam to put in my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So here I was, tired, aggravated, frustrated, and desperate, and to top it off, the whole situation was humiliating. I could just imagine starving to death in this position, and my obituary reading 'starved to death after getting stuck in a latex shirt'. Let this be a lesson to you kids. Fashion kills.

With no better idea, I started trying to pull the back of the shirt back down again, figuring that then I could inch it over my shoulders. After a while of doing that, the shirt was still firmly lodged against my shoulders, but the lumps had been straightened out enough to free my hair. I pulled my hair out of the way, pulled the front of the shirt back over my head to get to square 1, then removed the shirt as a whole using an altogether superior technique.

I got better at taking the shirt off after that.

See, twistedwithin, I actually posted :P