This is Zach's personal blog. If you're looking for his movies, please click here. Otherwise, have fun!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004


There are two reasons I don't have the heart to write about Edwards. The first, as I've already mentioned, is my son's stomach virus (from which I'm still recovering). The second is that an acquaintance of ours died Friday night.

I say "acquaintance," but he was the brother of one of our best friends, so the word doesn't really do him justice. K and I shared an apartment with D--- (the best friend) when we first moved to Maryland, and his brother actually lived on our couch for a few months. So we knew him well. He had a little boy who is now ten or so.

The funeral was yesterday, and it was my first since my great-grandmother died in 1988 or so. D--- and his mother looked to be strong. But I suppose that's how everyone tries to look.

He was in his early thirties, and died of pneumonia.

An uncle--my father's twin brother, in fact--died last month. My father is sixty-five years old. I thought that was too young, too. It's sad to say, but D---'s brother's death actually affected me more. I have no memory whatsoever of my uncle; one half of the family didn't speak to him, and I never found a reason to get in touch.

After all, life is too short to talk to people you barely know.

Sort of as promised.

I know I said I would write about the John Edwards rally I went to last week. I intended to, really I did. Now, I can only say that the event was standing-room only, and that seemingly everyone in the room was interviewed but me, even though I was carrying my "cherubic" (so said someone wearing a Dean button) son and daughter along as eye candy. And, oh yes, I forgot my Dean sticker. Alas.

He was a great speaker. I still hope I can get to hear Kerry in person before Super Tuesday. I didn't make it when Dean came to speak at U. Maryland a few months back--a great regret.

I still don't know for whom I'll vote. I'm leaning toward Edwards, if only to keep the Kerry juggernaut from rolling him over. I could, I suppose, vote for Dean to ensure his delegates will have clout at the convention; but I doubt he'd hit the 15% needed to get delegates from Maryland.

Of course, according to the specimen ballot we got in the mail last week, I can actually vote both for a candidate and for the delegates themselves, three of whom are committed to Dean. So maybe I'll split my ticket, so to speak.

How can Cheney look his daughter in the face?

Words cannot express how angry I am at the President's endorsement of the Hate Amendment. Mostly, they can't because the words I said to my wife this morning are a federal offense.

Frankly, I find it extremely unlikely that the Constitution will be amended to enshrine bigotry. It is a difficult process, after all, as it should be.

But (to paraphrase what someone else said in a long-ago debate about the Second Amendment) if the Constitution is amended to state that same-sex marriages are unconstitutional, then I will work, for the rest of my life if neccessary, to make interracial marriages unconstitutional. Then I will work to make divorce unconstitutional. And finally, I will work to make pre-marital sex unconstitutional. Then I will move to Canada.

The sad thing is, there are probably some wing nuts out there who would applaud me for doing all this--except maybe the "move to Canada" part.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Today is Grey Tuesday.

EMI Records, which owns the recording to the Beatles' White Album, is seeking to ban DJ Danger Mouse's The Grey Album, a hip-hop remix which combines the White Album and Jay-Z's The Black Album. EMI has ordered the very few record stores which were stocking The Grey Album to destroy their copies, and has sent cease-and-desist letters to web sites which offered the songs for download.

I do not have the space to host the songs, so instead, I am joining in the protest by "going grey" for the day.

This is not neccessarily a protest against EMI asserting their copy right (and yes, I mean that to be two words), although I think their position is ridiculous, especially since they could have asked DJ Danger Mouse to pay royalties. Rather, the current copyright system is broken. It protects corporate rights for ridiculous amounts of time, and supresses new works like The Grey Album. Does anyone seriously believe that downloading this new work will discourage purchase of arguably one of the greatest rock and roll albums ever recorded?

For more information, visit

To download the songs, I recommend visiting Brian Flemming, to whom I am grateful for bringing this to my attention. (Incidentally, as someone who loves the Beatles and dislikes most hip-hop, I can say that this work is actually quite good.)

Today is also my sister's 21st birthday. Have a beer, A--!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Yesterday I was with my son at the emergency room 'til 4 A.M., so no Edwards report until I recover. (He's okay, just dehydration from a stomach virus.)

Friday, February 20, 2004

Talk that funky accent, white boy.

John Edwards is coming to Largo, MD this afternoon, and I plan to be there, although I'll be wearing a Dean sticker (thanks, Medley!). Watch this space for further details.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

"Madam, they may have cancelled it, but BLEEEARGH" all over her evening gown.

Well, I complained in another place that I had missed the first 20 minutes of yesterday's Angel episode (I had set the VCR to the wrong channel). And so along comes the miracle of BitTorrent, wherein the episode is already available in VCD format!

I guess that means I'm a major criminal now, huh? But hey, straw man, how is this different from lending a VHS copy to a friend?

Serious thanks to Godfrey for the heads-up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Hell with it.

Maybe you know, maybe you care, maybe you don't either one, but my son has some autistic tendencies. No one knows what to do about this, least of all me.

In general, he seems like a normal, if somewhat eccentric, kid; he is somewhat delayed developmentally, but in my admittedly subjective opinion, it's not incredibly worrisome--he's just behind the curve, but progressing along at the same rate as everyone else.

I suppose I'm trying to compensate for my own fears and parenting failures when I say this, but is it possible that all the worries about "social etiquette" and "developmental delays" are just fear of deviation from the norm? Isn't it okay for D. to be a little different from the kids around him?

He certainly seems all right with it.

Of course, at his age, and in his school, there really aren't any bullies yet. I suspect he'll be teased mercilessly when they appear. The only thing he may have going for him is that he's all-American-looking, unlike yours truly; I think I read somewhere that blond-eyed, blue-haired kids don't get teased as much. (If not, well, I just posted it on the Internet and that makes it true.)

When do bullies appear, anyway? I remember they were in full bloom at kindergarten, but I don't remember being made fun of in nursery school. What's the trigger? When do these kids get the Mean Gene?

Does anyone else feel like that kid who got pushed around and beaten up all the time? Or, conversely, if you were the kid who beat other people up, HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF, YOU SICK FUCK, AND I HOPE ALL THE PAIN YOU CAUSED ME FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL TO NINTH GRADE IS VISITED ON YOU THROUGH THE END OF YOUR PATHETIC LIFE, YEAH, I'M TALKING TO YOU, BILLY--ahem. Sorry. Got carried away there, but gosh, it felt good.

I used to imagine that at the very least they would have menial jobs and I could meet them later on and say, "Could you look under the Lexus' hood for me, Troy?" But, as has been well-documented in this space, I never had a career I was proud of even before I left the work force. So, so much for that.

Besides, maybe not all the high-school jerks, but certainly all the college jerks were jerks because they were rich and well-connected; so they're the ones with the Lexuses now. And probably the connections to the current administration, too (all the jerks were Republicans, though not all the Republicans were jerks).

I don't even want a Lexus, but it's the principle of the thing.

(Does anyone else think this blog has gotten boring since I went pseudonymous and stopped blogging about the bad times?)

(And why, even when I try to explore my feelings about my children, am I such a narcissist that I wind up whining about myself?)

As close as I'll get to the Frontier House.

I felt like getting back to nature, and enjoying the fresh, crisp feeling of air-dried clothes; that slight stiffness that tells me, "this shirt took time to get this way." In other words, the clothes dryer broke this weekend.

I don't know, I thought last season was great.

This pretty much sums up my feelings with regard to the Joss Whedon oeuvre. And here's what he had to say about it (according to a commenter on Fark):
Some of you may have heard the hilarious news. I thought this would be a good time to weigh in. To answer some obvious questions:

No, we had no idea this was coming.

Yes, we will finish out the season.

No, I don't think the WB is doing the right thing.

Yes, I'm grateful they did it early enough for my people to find other jobs.

Yes, my heart is breaking.

When Buffy ended, I was tapped out and ready to send it off. When Firefly got the axe, I went into a state of denial so huge it may very well cause a movie. But Angel... we really were starting to feel like we were on top, hitting our stride -- and then we strode right into the Pit of Snakes 'n' Lava. I'm so into these characters, these actors, the situations we're building... you wanna know how I feel? Watch the first act of [Buffy episode] The Body.

As far as TV movies or whatever, I'm not thinking that far ahead. I actually hope my actors and writers are all too busy. We always planned this season finale to be a great capper to the season and the show in general. (And a great platform for a new season, of course.) We'll proceed ahead as planned.

I've never made mainstream TV very well. I like surprises, and TV isn't about surprises, unless the surprise is who gets voted off of something. I've been lucky to sneak this strange, strange show over the airwaves for as long as I have. I don't FEEL lucky, but I understand that I am.

Thanks all for your support, your community, and your perfectly sane devotion. It's meant a lot. I regret nothing (except the string of grisly murders in the 80's -- what was THAT all about?) Remember the words of the poet:

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the road less traveled by and they CANCELLED MY FRIKKIN' SHOW. I totally shoulda took the road that had all those people on it. Damn."

Peak Popeye?

Hm, does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I'm inclined to be skeptical of any doomsday scenario, but a quick Google search hasn't given me any skeptic's pages. Of course, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; perhaps the argument hasn't really begun yet.

Interesting, in any case. But I'll wait for more information, please.
Oh well. The dream was nice. Now it's time to do some more research before March 2.

It was all about the money, for me... lots of people, like me, giving money to a man and a cause they believed in. Maybe I'm misjudging Kerry, but he seems like a $2000 a plate kind of guy.

And I'm not sure I can, in good conscience, vote for a half-term Senator. I mean, beating Bush is a great thing, to be sure, but so is experience.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Goddamn lyrics. . .

Saturday, February 14, 2004


I hate Valentine's Day. Not because it's a fake Hallmark holiday, although it is; not because it's based in Christian lore, although it is. I hate it because it is a day of GUILT for men.

The GUILT began when K's mother sent the entire family and then some a digital photo of the "beautiful roses" her husband bought for her. Then there was more GUILT when K left me a Kit-Kat bar this morning after I had implored her to not get me anything.

Am I missing anything else? Well, I was going to write a song for her (and make it an Almost Daily Song for you wonderful folks). Unfortunately, this is the chorus I came up with:
When we're together, nothing is ever the same
And if they ask me why,
I just reply,
"Because of my dear... um... whatsername?"
I don't think that would go over well, although if anyone wants to use it to facilitate a divorce, it'd probably be quite effective.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

A list of things to do.

In no particular order.
  • Jump up and down.
  • Break pieces of crockery over one's head.
  • Do a handstand while--

No, I'm sorry, that was a list of things to do, but it was a list of things one could do; I don't plan on doing them. What I need to do is send a critique off to Clarence, write more songs, decide who I should invite into the paperback book chain letter. Write a song or two for Valentine's Day. And, of course, the ever-popular sleep.

Oh, and "Baby What You Want Me to Do" was written (?) by Jimmy Reed. There's a sample linked from here (Windows or Real Media only, argh).
I never should have endorsed Dean--after all, it was only after I did so that things started going south for him. And now we're just plain screwed; I'd love to believe Kerry could actually beat Bush, but frankly, W. is a charmer, and Kerry ain't. And charmers always win.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Today's Almost Daily Song.

A techno based on quotes from the old Match Game. MP3 format, 1.5 MB. Find it here, or here if you like context (or want to hear the other ones). You don't get my mellifluous voice in this one, just Gene Rayburn's. This may not be a bad thing.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Mature content to follow; not recommended for the very young or easy queasy.

This weekend was terrible, and I could, I suppose, go on and on about it. I probably should, in fact. But as a corollary to the horrible weekend, I'm really bloody tired.

Ah, what the hell. I don't think there's ever before been a time when all four family members were sick at the same time. There was the food poisoning episode, where D and the wife got sick emergency-room-style, but I escaped because of my strong, principled aversion to spinach-related foods. And since E was born, I hadn't gotten sick at all--new babies are wonderful incentives for continual hand-washing, and that, my friends, is better than Echinachea, Vitamin C, or whatever flavor of the month gets your cold gone in a week while the poor uninitiated have to suffer seven days. (I did get a nasty cough that stuck around for almost a month recently, but that was because E hacked the entire contents of Lake Michigan onto my bare shoulder while trying to sleep one night; and let's face it, there's not much you can do after that.)

The weekend, one could argue, began on Tuesday night (yes, a long weekend, six days of fun! fun! fun! 'til our daughter took the wellness away), when E woke up around 9:30 P.M. with vomit and diarrhea galore. Fortunately she was more stunned than upset, staring out into space, maybe wondering "Did I do that?" Yes, dear, you did. Several changes of sheets later, she finally stopped upchucking, and K and I settled down to bed, making plans as to what we'd do if she was still sick the next day. Fortunately, she was completely over it by Wednesday morning, laughing and enjoying her new-found superpower of Walking On The Dog's Tail. In fact, everything was great all day Wednesday.

On Thursday, the crap started to pass the fan in earnest for me. At first I thought, well, okay, last night's pizza didn't agree with me, and I didn't make a connection with E's bug because I wasn't throwing up. Also, it was manageable; I was able to drop Drew off at school and pick him up three hours later, but by the time I was done with that, I had to call K and demand that she come home. I had a stomachache, a headache, and muscle aches all over my body, and I still had to run for the toilet more often than I'd like.

K takes transit to work, so I was in for an hour and a half wait at least, so we watched the "making of" documentaries for Temple of Doom and Last Crusade, with strategic placement of hands over eyes during the scary bits.

Anyhow, K came home and I slept for a week. Or at least a few hours. I didn't feel much better and couldn't even watch the videotape of Angel from the previous night. I do remember that when I woke up at 11 after judicious use of Kaopectate, I almost felt back to normal. I also remember the reason I woke up at 11. D was sick all over his bed.

So, victim three; unlike his sister, D can communicate when he feels the need for bleah, so we placed a bucket by his bed and managed to only have to change the sheets once; but we still got up every few minutes with him, each time he did the deed.

Well, I did, anyway. Soon enough K was just reading in the bathroom. Yep; victim four. I think she may have got hit harder than the rest of us. She didn't go to work on Friday; nor did D go to school, although it had been cancelled due to weather anyway. By this time, the only one of us at 100% was E. I instructed her to take care of us, and I think she did her best, but it wasn't enough. I suppose I ought to cut her some slack, I mean, she is only 18. Months. I was better, but still sickly, full of pain, and witness to the occasional evacuatory need. But things seemed to be turning a corner, and at midnight, I had never been happier to have a constipation attack.

Saturday. (Yes, gentle reader, the actual weekend had finally begun!) This day was an anticlimax, with K and I feeling our way with caution, and D and E grabbing said caution and throwing it to the winds. We got through it mostly unscathed. Sunday was to be the real test; K had to go into the office to make up some of the work she missed, and just as this was about to happen I had a wave of exhaustion and dizziness. She still had to go, of course, even though she was starting to get a bad headache herself, so D took over my care, letting me know that I felt like I needed to throw up and handing me the bucket, just like we had done to him. He even patted me on the shoulder: "It's okay, Daddy, you can frow up in the pucket."

We settled down to watch The Muppet Movie, which my brother had given me for Christmas. I teared up at "The Rainbow Connection." Maybe it was because I saw the movie in theaters, and that would have been just before my parents' divorce; more likely, I was just experiencing my usual Coke-commercial sentimentality times ten. I felt better after drinking a lot of water and grabbing a little nap with the kids. When K came home from work, she saw us all napping and joined us for a half-hour (or so she said; I was deep asleep), and that, my friends, was the only good part of the weekend.

Over dinner I had a panic attack in anticipation of today, when I dropped the cat off for dental work, dropped D off at school, brought E to the doctor for a checkup, picked D up, took care of them alone for much longer than usual because K was in a major meeting (I had actually forgotten about the meeting during my panic attack; probably would have shot myself if I hadn't), made dinner, picked the cat up at the vet, and finally greeted K at home, and now here I am, blogging about it, when all I should do is
Oh, go away.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Support requested.

My body is telling me to not have that leftover pizza for lunch. I generally trust my body's instincts; however, it seems to be telling me to not have anything for lunch. Its instincts may be compromised.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

No entries today, including the research on the original version of Baby What You Want Me to Do, becuase I am incredibly ill in the tummy. And that's as specific as I'll get.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

A lot of left-leaning people (myself included) have wondered whether the Patriot Act and other erosions of civil liberties have a parallel in the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany in the 1930. In order to give us all a little perspective, I recommend an article in today's Washington Post by Anne Applebaum. There are gas chambers in North Korea.

Sharpton and Bush?

Holy shit...

More Singin' Squelch!

Go here, scroll to the bottom, and listen to Johnny Cash spin in his grave.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

V of VJ makes the best argument against the "If Kerry is nominated, I'm not voting for him" school:
If Kerry gets the nod we will have plenty of time to have this argument, but I disagree with many of you. The time for purity of heart and support of the most ideal candidate is now, with our money and time and energy.

If our guy doesn't get the nomination, in November it will be time for recognition of practical realities, namely that all the hundreds of appointments a President gets to make that don't make the headlines but affect people's lives should NOT have Republicans in them again for the next 4 years.

Kerry might well appoint some of the same people Dean would have, or at the least he won't be appointing cracked theologians like John Ashcroft.
Exactly. What are the chances that the next Supreme Court justice will be someone like David Souter--appointed by a Republican, but a closet moderate? (No, NOT a closet liberal. This country has gone so far rightward that all moderates are called liberals.)

I can't speak for John Kerry--but I doubt anyone, on either side, would agree today with Nader's 2000 contention that George W. Bush and Al Gore were the same politician.
A weird, non-Elvis version of "Baby What You Want Me to Do"? You mean, like, the original? Sigh...

Oh, well, I have to admit--it took me forever before I realized the Beatles didn't write Twist and Shout.