Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blogorrhea

A guest review by regular commenter Posol'stvo the Medved, Executive Supreme Vice Chancellor of the Independent Republic of Posol'stvia .

Blogorrhea. It isn’t a word, but it should be. And if it were elevated to the pantheon of word-dom, it would certainly be applied to today’s recipient of abject scrutiny: Reflections in the Snow-Covered Hills. For in just under three years, Megan has racked up one thousand seven hundred and fifty one posts. That’s an average of 54.72 posts per month.

Wait.

Make that one thousand seven hundred and fifty two. Yup, she just published again.

I would love to sit here and tell you that I had just finished reading every single word that she had ever written, but honestly, I didn’t have that kind of time. So I had to make use of the shortcuts she makes available. Most of her posts are categorized into one of the following categories: grammar, journalism, her family, Canada, religion, David Hasselhoff, Fleetwood Mac, responses to reader submitted questions or complaints, and being a know-it-all. She provides her readers with a FAQ that I was expecting to be annoyed by, on principle, but it turned out to be helpful, entertaining, and informative. The rare proper use of a FAQ section indeed.

Based on her sheer volume and self-declaration of being a know-it-all, in all candor, I was prepared to dislike her, and to dislike everything that she had ever written. But you know what they say – never judge a book by how far apart its covers are.

As it happens, she is pretty damn smart. And funny. And makes some excellent points without sounding condescending or preachy. In general, I enjoyed reading those posts I was able to get to and through. If I had to criticize her content in any way, I would perhaps suggest that she not rely so heavily on posting multimedia items, especially when that is all the post consists of. Occasionally, this blog seems to suffer from multiple personality dissociative disorder, as one post would be a lucid commentary on journalistic ethics and the next would be about what it’s like to be a mommy. It was at times like reading a mashup of The Atlantic and Parenting. Her regular readers (and she seems to have a great many of those) don’t seem terribly jarred by that, so perhaps I’ll let that slide, and just skip over the posts that don’t cater to my interests.

Where I do see room for improvement is in the template and navigation. To begin with, the header of her template, while very pleasant, visually, takes up enough vertical space that it pushed everything but the title of her first post off my screen. On some devices (ahem, iPhone), in landscape mode, I didn’t even get that. I definitely suggest compressing that vertical space some. The rest of the layout was clean and easy to read, and didn’t feel overly cluttered.

Navigation is this blog’s fatal flaw. When viewing a previous month’s archive or a category listing, I was never able to view all of the items in the view. I kept having to click to see more posts. I didn’t want to. I wanted to skim it all. I realize that the page load might take a while, but I have been warned that October 2006 contains 126 posts. I am prepared to wait.

Once in a category or month view, I could not find a way to return to the top of the site. I kept looking for it. It never showed up. I suggest modifying the header so that the logo image always links to the home.

So for the content, being as this is my first review and I don’t want to completely blow my load the first time out, I’m awarding Megan three stars.


The template header and navigation issues however earn her a big ass flaming finger. I don’t know that WordPress will let her fix these issues, but it should. And blaming it on the platform is a lame excuse – there’s always a way around it.

132 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for your time. I know you put a lot of work into it, and I really appreciate it.

    I'm going to check into the template issues you mention, because I agree with you. I'll see if I can figure out how to fix those things.

    Again, thank you so much for putting so much effort into this. I asked for a review because I know you guys see a lot of blogs and would be able to tell me what I should put my energy into fixing. I love my readers, but I don't always trust them to be totally honest about the things that aren't working well.

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  2. I like her. I have a feeling that Cal will LOVE her. "Grammar nazis of the world, UNITE!"

    (p.s. having said this, I am a bit of a grammar nazi, myself. But, I'm not a PROFESSIONAL grammar nazi like some people. *cough*)

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  3. p.s. I think I like Megan, a lot.

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  4. I like her, I'm afraid she would hate me though, for my colon abuse.

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  5. Also, Pos, your review was rather well done. I won't ejaculate in your coffee anymore. Promise.

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  6. Thanks Ghost. I defintitely prefer my coffee black, no sugar.

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  7. Man, I fucking hate wordpress.

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  8. I don't know what's wrong with my world, but I can't even see the header image (it's just white), so right off the bat the template bugs me. And I'm not a fan of the yellow on black type. I found myself squinting, and I don't wear glasses. The recent comments portion of the sidebar I just don't get -- why highlight those?

    BUT.

    I do love Megan's writing. And pretty much all her opinions (unless she has strong feelings about beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions). But I'd like a more expository About page -- maybe it's just me, but I really like About pages to be robust. That said, I'm adding her to my reader immédiatement.

    I don't know why I went all pretentious just then.

    Great review, Pos. Next time, unleash the hounds, if appropriate.

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  9. I did find it verrry interesting that her blog header says more about who she is and what she's about than her About Me page did. But I was already verging on irony going on as long as I did in a review called Blogorrhea.

    And I'm not that hung up on About Me pages.

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  10. I'm impressed by your mad pretensious skills, Cal. I have no idea what you were talking about, but it sounded really smart.

    I prefer my wines and my men to be robust, but I don't really have a considered opinion on the robustness of about me pages.

    Ask me about gangs, though. I can spout off some bullshit that will make you think I'm a professional social scientist. oh, wait.

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  11. I think the term "coordinating conjunctions" left me feeling a strong need to prove my own intellectual ro-busti-ness.

    I'm smart under all of this blond hair! REALLY!

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  12. Re: About pages, I think it's just my personal preference. I tend to go straight for it. There's definitely a happy medium, though. Some go way overboard with too much info, and others give us nothing. I just want a capsule of info about who you are, who the major players are in your blog, etc., you know?

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  13. Also, should you have noticed my intense blog crush on Pos, please pay no attention and do not comment.

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  14. I wish I had something worth saying today.

    Alas, I don't.

    I liked her blog.

    And, regarding About pages. I don't think I would know enough about myself to actually make robust happen. I'm probably not alone in that.

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  15. Niagaran Pebbles, in toto, is my About Me page. And it ain't done yet.

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  16. Booms, you could just link to your post the other day about robots and zombies and Joaquin Phoenix.

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  17. Yeah, but I left off Kenny Loggins and beavers on sticks.

    See? I don't even know myself!

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  18. Yeah, what the hell was that? Forgetting Loggins?

    For shame.

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  19. I know, I'm basically an asshole.

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  20. I loved her blog, what I read of it anyways, there is so much to go through. I thought the FAQ section was pretty funny. I would also like to thank her for opening up the world of David Hasselhoff to me...I had no idea such wonderful cheese existed.

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  21. Don't Hassel the Hoff! Cause I'm hooked on a feeeeeling.

    I've had that fucking song stuck in my head for the last 12 hours, dammitalltohellandback!

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  22. I think that video is by far one of my favourites now. After watching it, I couldn't believe its existence. So much cheese in such little time. I wish I could fly over a motorcycle like Hasselhoff. If anything, I'm totally jealous of his abilities.

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  23. Also, I miss his Baywatch days. Loved that show.

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  24. Bang on review, Pos. She do write well.

    But I think I'll wait for the weekend to read this. Need that much time.

    Also, she writes scarily like my ex, and reading it righ now would be a bad idea, given my state of mind :P

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  25. I was excited to see your name on a review and I wasn't disappointed. Well done, Pos!

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  26. I still don't see what all the video fuss was about. I was under the impression that Hoff was behaving in a rather dignified manner as far as celebrities go. I thought he handled himself rather well. The cheeseburger, however, was being a total bitch.

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  27. I don't really find the Hoff half as funny as Kenny mahfuckin' Loggins.

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  28. You know what IS funny, though?

    This.

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  29. nice review, and nice to find some new reading.

    I´m very much in favor of About me pages. I don´t have all day to look around and find out who a blogger is. I need some key info right off the bat.

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  30. Danger zone: Here I come Mr. Loggins.

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  31. I think "About me" pages are hard. I'm not happy with mine. I can't figure out how to give functional background without being all self-glorifying.

    The only one I really LIKE is Rassles', but she's the only person who could pull that off.

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  32. You know what you do? Do one of those "100 things" about yourself things, and then pick forty and turn them into an essay.

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  33. I'm shortening mine to read:

    I Share My Meat. A Lot.

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  34. Fuck it, pick ten. After you list 100 things, and one begets another, it kinda starts rolling.

    (But thanks.)

    And did you guys seriously check out that website, because I've been memorizing it and crying all day.

    http://www.museumofbadart.org/collection/recent01.php.

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  35. Ghost, you're think king of the double entendre.

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  36. Why did Ronon the Pug's lips fall off?

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  37. Oh no. Did the husky's lips fall off too?

    It's a damned canine Leprosy epidemic.

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  38. Did anyone notice who Megan's regular commenters are?

    *cue dramatic music*

    And yet, I don't find her annoying the way I do the rest of the cluster of fuckheads.

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  39. I bet that Key could turn this painting into a double entendre.

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  40. Lucy is my favorite, BY FAR.

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  41. She's just so carefree and saggy-titted, with that glint of a cane under arm...

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  42. In the cat's mouth?

    Rebirth.

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  43. About me pages can be a little intimidating to write, I´m currently trying to write my own for my new blog and it is a bitch of a task. But I get really turned off to blogs when I want to check them out, I look at one of their posts and they are posting as if I already knew who they were and what they were talking about. They are yapping about their kid and their spouse with names I don´t fucking recognize because I´ve been giving no background as to what their story is, but they´ve already been blogging for 2 years and I don´t feel like starting at the beginning.

    Unless they are really entertaining and somehow pull me in with the first couple of sentences, I´m gone.

    On the other hand, About Me pages also serve to let me know that I don´t want to read any further.

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  44. Lepers? Patsy Cline was a leper.

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  45. Speaking of Danger Zones, Kelly McGillis came out of the closet. No one was surprised.

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  46. I don't notice anything untoward about her commenters. What am I missing?

    Also, that museum is perfection. Except this. This belongs in the Museum of Holy Fuck I Crapped Myself When the Terrifying Clown Touched Me Inappropriately. You'd be surprised at the breadth of that collection.

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  47. Man, I can't wait until Blue has her new blog up. Complete with About page with revealing and illustrative tidbits.

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  48. As for that cat painting?

    It's clear to me, from the artist's use of color, that he has recently contracted gonorrhea.

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  49. I thought Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise were the weirdest pairing ever.

    It felt he was kissing his mother or older sister through the whole movie. Decidedly not hot. Chemistry? What chemistry?

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  50. God, no kidding. Tom Cruise had more chemistry with Val Kilmer. Which is probably not surprising. And now I can't get the volleyball scene out of my head. Not that I'm complaining. Hmm... what time is it? Let me check my watch while flexing every possible muscle.

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  51. Boomer, you take my breath away.

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  52. That volleyball scene was really the only great thing about that movie.

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  53. And that handslap windmill manshake? Love it when guys do that.

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  54. Rass, it IS hard to breathe near my danger zone.

    No, the part wear Val Kilmer chomps his gum is pretty freaking rad as well.

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  55. There need to be more movies focused on hot men playing volleyball.

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  56. I despise that movie. Despise! Throw it away. Now!

    And while we're at it, get Dirty Dancing out of the cupboard and toss it on the fire as well. "No one puts Baby in the corner", MY ASS!

    And throw Footloose on the pyre as well.

    The three worst things to come out of the 1980's. And yes, I am aware that Valley Girl came out in the 80's.

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  57. Did I hear you ask what Val Kilmer's best role ever was? I thought you'd ask.

    Easy. Gay Perry in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Followed by whatever his name in Real Genius was. Can't believe that Uncle Rico was in that movie.

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  58. Not to be confused with Easy Gay Perry, who has yet to make a major motion picture.

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  59. Real Genius is in my top ten list for greatest movies of all time.

    I think it's weird that none of the guys playing volleyball in that movie had any body hair. I hate it when guys shave, that is so the ghey.

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  60. Have you seen Side Out? Peter Horton and C.Thomas Howell?

    Man, best delivery of a line involving the words "Spalding tattoo"!

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  61. Do not denigrate the glory that is Footloose. Do you know how badly I wanted to be Ariel, with her smoking hot red boots? And the dancing. OMG, dancing!

    I'm sorry. I was/am totally one of those girls. A Chorus Line, Fame, Footloose, Flashdance, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Dirty Dancing (shut up), Strictly Ballroom, jumpin' Jesus even Saturday Night Fever. Love them. Oh, holy christ, do I love them. I want to go find some leg warmers right the hell now.

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  62. Pos, I'm on your side with that Dirty Dancing crap.

    And Boomer, I've never even HEARD of Side Out, and I've heard of fucking everything.

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  63. "Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?"

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  64. Calamity, I'm sure you must have good points too, right?

    I don't like musicals. I would rather donate a kidney than sit through most musicals. Only two exceptions that I know of, and they're sort of oddities...

    My Fair Lady
    Across the Universe

    I guess you could argue that Pink Floyd The Wall is a musical too, but I see that as more of a really long music video.

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  65. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE? ACROSS THE UNIVERSE??!!!! Are you fucking kidding me?

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  66. I only have one good point. And I'm not allowed to talk about it.

    I love a musical, too. I can't help it. It's in my wiring somehow. Right near the part of me that believes in unicorns and fairies.

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  67. Oh my god, Pos, I just lost all respect for you, because Across the Universe was a pile of dogshit.

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  68. Rass - Seriously? I've seen something you've never even heard of?

    Hells yes.

    On the not so bright side, it is however a decidedly horrible movie that I enjoyed the shit out of on a Sunday afternoon.

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  69. LB -- I know. I know. I don't like the beatles. Evan Rachel Wood skeeves me out. And yet... there's something about that.

    Oh crap. I think I may have a crush on Ewen McGreggor. I loved Trainspotting too.

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  70. RAS -- ALL respect? You musta not had much to begin with.

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  71. I suppose none of you have any guilty pleasures. You who say with a straight face that you loved Dirty Dancing and Footloose?

    Give me a fucking break!

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  72. Cal, as we speak I was putting in a disclaimer in my About me page for those of you that expecting me to reveal my funktified shit now that my family isn´t reading.

    The truth is, my life is boring.

    Strictly Ballroom fucking rocks.

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  73. And I definitely straight faced say that I loved Footloose AND Dirty Dancing.

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  74. That movie infuriated me. Stupid bitch with her stupid voice, shotty directing. Taymor could have done way better, I mean, Titus was crap, but at least it was beautiful. The only good part was Eddie Izzard, and that I'm still a little pissed off about.

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  75. It's okay, because I'm obsessed with She's the Man.Love it.

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  76. Saturday Night Fever is one of my all time favorite movies.

    I don´t consider any of these musicals though. The dialogue itself has to be in song for it to be considered a musical.

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  77. Grease 2?

    Love Grease 2.

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  78. I don´t know, i don´t dig on musicals.

    There´s just some unbelieveable element in breaking out in fucking song in the middle of a dilemma.

    Now, breaking out in dance, I can believe that shit.

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  79. I liked Sweeney Todd, except for when they were singing. Nothing like a musical to take a 5 minute song to tell us what twenty seconds of dialog could have done.

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  80. I'm just going to settle this.

    Musicals blow.

    Sorry, Cal.

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  81. I only like Eddie Izzard in stand up videos. Every role I've seen him play n TV or in movies has been boooooooring. What was that show he had with Minnie Driver? (YAWN). I even disliked his role in A.T.U.

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  82. Pos, we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I loved The Riches.

    I don't care how much musicals blow. They make me happy. Entirely, completely, ear-to-ear grinning happy.

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  83. I will go but I have to tell you.

    I'm in love with Eddie Izzard. Especially in make up.

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  84. Cal, I'm with you a little.

    Some musicals just make everything better.

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  85. Musicals, dance movies, Disney movies, Bond movies, country-western singer biopics, and sweeping costume dramas: these are a few of my favorite things.

    Also, anything on BBC America up to and including Mistresses.

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  86. Boomer: Need I remind you of Rocky Horror? A musical.

    Pos: Hate Dirty Dancing, loved Footloose. "Let's Hear It For the Boy" still finds it's way onto my playlists.

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  87. The first two cassettes I ever owned were the Footloose Soundtrack and a Huey Lewis and the News. The album with New Drug on it.

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  88. Where's the Father, because I need to make a confession:

    I've never really enjoyed Rocky Horror.

    Whew, I feel surprisingly better. Mostly because Tim Curry looks better in make up if he's playing Pennywise.

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  89. I've never been a big Rocky Horror fan, either.

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  90. Doesn't Tim Curry look like the Grinch?

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  91. I saw Tim Curry walking down a street in Florence, looking dapper and swinging a large umbrella like a cane. No one but me recognized him, and when he saw me, goggle-eyed and drop-jawed and speechless, staring right smack at him, he nodded politely in a way that said, "I see you know me, but please, be discreet."

    And that's pretty much my only celebrity encounter. I'm disappointed I didn't shout, "I see you shiver with antici... pation." Alas.

    Also, Fame (which includes a trip to view Rocky Horror) and Rocky Horror in one thread: my life is complete.

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  92. I'm gonna live forever! I'm gonna learn how to fly!

    Finally, earcandy that is deserving of being stuck in my head (this thread has been painful).

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  93. My life was supposed to be like Fame, dammit. It really, really was. I fucked up royally somewhere along the line. Or I could blame my parents. That always works. For a while.

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  94. I used to dance around the house and pretend like I was on Fame in mismatched clothes which drove my mother nuts.

    I now hate the soundtrack to Fame too.

    Wow, I'm being really honest and dislikey today. Sorry.

    At Rassles didn't like Rocky Horror too.

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  95. I'll tell you what I dislike: Crash Test Dummies, Say Anything (yeah, hate it!), Twilight, sushi, PT Cruisers, those enormous scarves people are wearing these days, Grey's Anatomy (even though I've never watched it -- talk about judgmental), American Idol, and broccoli.

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  96. My encounter with fame? I met Rutger Hauer a couple of years ago. He's a bit of a sensitive sort. Not what I would have expected.

    I'm also related to a fairly well known actor -- my mother's cousin -- but I've never actually met him. I'll not name him, but the most recent film I saw him in was W.

    I know people who are related to Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

    I was once on AM Philadelphia, in 1984.

    That is all.

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  97. That's a good list.

    I refuse to watch any of those shows everyone else watches.

    Like I'm pissed off about my purse today.

    I just don't want to be like all of "you" or have things to talk to "you" about.

    And by "you" I, of course, don't mean you... I mean "them".

    Nice mood I'm in.

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  98. A guy I know was walking down some random street in NYC. Down the sidewalk he could see Bill Murray coming the other way. He was looking at him, trying to give him his space, just like Calamity and Tim Curry. Just as they finally got close, Bill Murray grabbed this guy around the neck and started giving him a noogie yelling "Your friends will never believe you!"

    It's true. We don't.

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  99. My dad and Bill Murray went to high school together. They were buddies.

    Yup. Yearbook pictures to prove it and everything.

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  100. But Pos? Your story is better.

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  101. I am not a fan of pointy shoes. Nope, don't like 'em at all. Skinny jeans. Paris. Parrotheads. Twilight (Cal, I'm there with you). High school. Plagiarists. Apathy. Desperate Housewives. Forrest Gump.

    People who hate on things just to be contrary. Friends who are just now watching Arrested Development and Greg the Bunny and reacting with surprise at how good they were (if those assholes had watched when I told them to watch, my shit might not have gotten canceled. They don't seem to understand that concept.)

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  102. Cal, that was for you, because I liked your list so much.

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  103. I like pointy shoes (wear them all the time), Twilight, Grey's Anatomy, Parrotheads, apathy, sushi, Say Anything, and Rocky Horror.

    I do not like snarky housewives, Anderson Cooper and people who rave about how fabulous he is, wife beaters (on anyone), large colorful purses, well-intentioned liberals, 24, Lost, or graphic novels (except Persepolis). I also FUCKING HATE local coffee shops staffed by overly pierced, tatted, dreaded and unbathed people. HATE THEM. Give me a nice, clean, fully-sanitized Starbucks any day.

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  104. Also loathe hippies of all types.

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  105. That was for the three of you because even though we disagree on what we dislike, I really like all y'all.

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  106. And, I SERIOUSLY hate french pedicures.

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  107. That's funny, because I hate french prostitutes.

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  108. It's the lack of hygiene that gets me. Shave your fucking pits, you parisian swine!

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  109. For me, it's the annoying language and the creamy sauces.

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  110. Too much rouge, yammering on and on about Ben Franklin.

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  111. Yeah, Ben Franklin was a fucking cunt. A beer loving cunt, but a cunt, nonetheless. Quota.

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  112. Rass--I'm really sorry to hear that you don't like parrotheads. There goes another fantasy up in smoke.

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  113. Jimmy Buffet just ain't smooth.

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  114. It's ok--I'm not a Foriegner fan. Not sure I can even spell it.

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  115. Things I don't like: beaches, salt water, dancing, brussel sprouts, liver, squash of any sort or variety, modern country & western music, most hip-hop or rap, romantic comedies, sushi, days with high humidity, people who would rather sit in a puddle of shit and whine about it then get out of the puddle and clean themselves off, most television shows, tart berries, Elizabethan poetry, Fords, my crazy neighbor, loud parties...

    For starters.

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  116. I didn't think I would like France, but when I went, I can't imagine being more wrong. We weren't in Paris. We were in the Dordogne, near Bordeaux and the caves at Lascaux.

    I'd definitely go back.

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  117. Fuuuuuuck, I always pick the wrong day not to keep up. Back to the comment where someone (rightly so) pointed out that Tom Cruise & Kelly McGillis had no chemistry? Yeah, she totally just came out today.

    Also? I grew up with some famous people. And I can't talk about it. Because it pains me greatly. In the part of me that hates douchieness.

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  118. I don't know what I dislike anymore.

    Things I love:

    my hair.

    Okay, I'm actually going to stop right there.

    Mostly because I love the beer and it's in full effect.

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  119. To comment on the musicals. I love musicals. One of the best musicals I've ever seen is Repo! The Genetic Opera. It was fantastic and even anti-musical people would love it. Also, if any of you are Buffy fans, Giles is in it. He's my secret crush. Love his voice.

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  120. Pos, you're my long lost twin.

    Is There Anybody....OUT THERE?

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  121. Umm, Crowley, if we were actually twins, that would have meant some pretty painful childbirth for mom, as I am 14 years older than you.

    Also, are you named after the Ozzy Osbourne song? (There is a correct and an incorrect answer to that question -- FYI).

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  122. Slow week around these parts, eh?

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  123. Yeah, having stomach flu and traveling over the weekend fucking things up for me, at least, in getting the reviews assigned. And then we had a couple of unavailable people.

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  124. Pos: In a purely metaphorical sense, friend.

    You could say I'm named after the Ozzy song in part. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman also have some role to play in the baptism. And, of course, the original Mr. Crowley.

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  125. That was 2/3 correct.

    But I will take a metaphorical twin over a literal one any day, as I am literally one of a kind, and would not brook the competition well.

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Grow a pair.