PS... A Column

on Things

By Paul E. Schindler Jr.
Vol. 3 No. 22

Some things are impossible to know, but it is impossible to know these things.

June 19, 2000

Wish Me Luck

I have a day job, so I need to make it clear to anyone who comes here that the opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent those of my employer, my family, or your great-aunt Mathilda. Offer not valid in Wisconsin. You must enter to win.

Table of Contents:

General News

  • At Home Spa
  • Father's Day

Computer Industry News

  • Free Keyboards

Web Site of the Week

  • Tracking Failures


  • Blew A Seal Redux
  • Reporter Joke
  • What I've Learned About Life


  • That AFI List
  • Titan AE
  • Love's Labour's Lost
  • American Pimp


  • None

General News

At Home Spa

Well, I say wish me luck in the headline, but I don't think it's luck I'll need this week, it's discipline, as I attempt to do four hours a day of exercise while limiting my food intake to 1,800 calories a day. Yes, it is here at last, at-home spa week, with daily massages (and a pedicure and manicure later in the week) and a rather precise and formal exercise regimen.

My goals: 10 pounds, changed eating habits, and a sense of well-being. Plus a lot of rest and a few books finished., I'll share some of those books (as well as the other results) with you next week.

Father's Day

I've been a pretty good father up until now, if I do say so myself, and I don't have to say it myself, because my wife and daughters say it for me. I got wonderful cards for both girls, Marlow made me breakfast and bought me a journal (which I will use to record my thoughts during Spa Week). Vicki, knowing of my predilection for plaques (I can't pass one without reading it) got me a brass plaque that says "On This Spot In 1897, Nothing Happened." Everyone things it is funny that I want one of those roadside plaques made up:

"(Profile bas relief of my face)

Paul E. Schindler Jr.

Husband, Father, Journalist

Born on Sept. 17, 1952, Paul E. Schindler Jr. was raised in Portland, Oregon, educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. and lived most of his life in Orinda, California. He was husband to Vicki Marlow, father of Marlow Schindler and Rae Schindler, and a lifelong journalist who worked for United Press International and the Associated Press. His most notable employer was CMP Media, which covered the computer and electronics industries. The world is a better place for his having been here."

Marlow said, "You're not dead yet." I riposted, "Who says you have to be dead to have a plaque?" Dad suggested I could buy or lease some land next to a highway, with room for a rock to put the plaque on, and a turnout. Now if only I could figure out how to get the state to post a sign, "Unhistoric Marker, 100 yards ahead" on the road.

Computer Industry News

Free Keyboards

Richard Dalton forwarded me a copy of the Red Herring email newsletter which contained this item; I reproduce it here on the assumption that, if I include the byline and the URL, I am providing the very publicity Red Herring wants. Oh yes, and I'm also reproducing it because I think the idea it describes is very clever.


Web Site of the Week

Dead Companies

Eddie Frager sent me this one. He and Dave Sims have the most amazing capacity for finding really cool sites. Dead Companies isn't really the name of the site, but that's what it's about. It's really a dead pool for all the stupid IPOs of the last few years. What attracts me about it is that it's the passionate work of an individual. I think that always produces the best web sites. Like my own journalism movie site, for example.


Blew A Seal

None of you rose to the bait set out here last week. The punchline is,

"No, that's vanilla ice cream."

Reporter Joke

A man walks into a bar. He sees a beautiful, well-dressed woman sitting on a barstool alone. He walks up to her and says, "Hi there, how's it going tonight?"
She turns to him, looks him straight in the eyes and says, "I'll screw anybody any time, anywhere, any place. it doesn't matter to me."
The guy raises his eyebrows and says, "No kidding? What newspaper do you work for?"

What I've Learned About Life

This comes with a credit line, although, as usual with the Internet, I don't know if it accurately identifies the real author: wrote:
I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just assholes.
I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.
I've learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better have a big penis or huge boobs.
I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others --they are more fucked up than you think.
I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.
I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades, and there had better be a lot of money to take its place.
I've learned that we don't have to ditch bad friends because their dysfunction makes us feel better about ourselves.
I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.
I've learned to say "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke" in 6 languages.
Pass this along to 5 me, they'll appreciate it. Who knows, maybe something good will happen. If not...tough shit


That AFI List

You want the facts? Go to the AFI Site.

OK, I let the American Film Institute list of the 100 best movies pass without comment, because, while I am a cinephile, I am not so arrogant as to say that I can offer an intelligent opinion on every movie made in this century.

I am, however, sufficiently arrogant to protest the blatant injustice of ranking the best film ever made, Groundhog Day at No. 34. That's just wrong.

Here's the AFI's top 10:

1. Some Like It Hot
2. Tootsie
3. Dr. Strangelove
4. Annie Hall
5. Duck Soup
6. Blazing Saddles
7. M*A*S*H
8. It Happened One Night
9. The Graduate
10. Airplane!

Certainly, Mel Brooks belongs in the top 10 (and placed three movies in the top 25, including Young Frankenstein and The Producers). I realize that this list was voted by members of the film industry and a few critics, but I mean who voted really--Monty Python? I mean , drag movies in the top two slots? Two Dustin Hoffman films in the Top 10? And It Happened One Night, like The Graduate barely qualify as comedies. To place them on the same list as Blazing Saddles and Airplane is just… well, as Newt Gingrich would put it… bizarre. You know what film I would have put in first place.

Well, it could have been worse. They polled the public at the web site and came up with this list:

1. Clerks
2. Blazing Saddles
3. Airplane!
4. It's A Gift
5. Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying
6. Caddyshack
7. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
8. National Lampoon's Animal House
9. Dumb & Dumber
10. A Christmas Story

If that first place finish for Clerks isn't the result of a stuffed ballot box, I'll eat the ballots. The appearance of Dumb and Dumber and Caddyshack in the Top 10 as chosen by the public makes me despair for the future of our great republic like nothing other than a George W. Bush victory in the fall could.

Titan AE

You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.

I heard them say on CNN that Hollywood has been allergic to animated science fiction. Well, this film should serve as a big dose of antihistamine. It's good animation and good science fiction.

Drew Barrymore and Mat Damon turn in excellent performances as the voices of the two main characters, and Bill Pullman plays against type in a way I can't reveal without giving away too much of the plot.

It's post-apocalyptic, half computer-animated, and has an advantage over most summer blockbusters: it has a plot (as most good science fiction does). The comic relief is actually funny (thank you Nathan Lane and John Leguizamo).

It runs 94 minutes and you'll never once check your watch.

Rated PG for action violence, mild sensuality and brief language. I wouldn't bring anyone younger than 12 or 13 to the film.

I'm interested in what you science fiction fans think of it.

Love's Labour's Lost

You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.

They spell the title British-style, which made it hard to find at the Internet Movie Database.

You'll spell it fun. Kenneth Branagh is at it again, interpreting Shakespeare for the masses with song (Pole Corter), dance and Alicia Silverstone. The reviews were uniformly awful in San Francisco, but frankly I rather liked it. Yes, the audience at the Embarcadero Theater laughed when people broke out into either song or dance, but as far as I was concerned, it was simply because we have lost the habit of watching movie musicals in a movie theater. His selections fit the text, his actors and actresses were easy on the eye, and the movie proved once more that Shakespeare's language, delivered in context by competent actors, need not be hard to follow.

It runs 93 minutes and is rated PG for sensuality and a brief drug reference, but frankly it is very mild sensuality in my opinion. Nothing in the film is quite as racy as the poster, so judge accordingly.

If you enjoy the bard and don't mind seeing him in a cut version, have a look.

American Pimp

You want the facts? Go to the Internet Movie Database.

OK, we were going to see Groove (a documentary about the rave scene in SF) when Marlow spotted this documentary, part of a series showing at the Lumiere in San Francisco, the same theater where I saw The Girl Next Door a few weeks ago.

This is definitely adults-only fare, for language and implied sexuality. From this film, you learn that most pimps are black, that they beat their women occasionally and constantly abuse them verbally, and that some find religion, some go to jail, and all the articulate ones think the field is being ruined by hot-tempered, stupid young people.

An odd look into a subculture that will probably always exist, whether prostitution is criminalized or not.


None This Week


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