By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Sack of Kittens
This week in Sack of Kittens: The Filthy Skanks. Looks like? GWAR with absolutely no production values. Meaning: Instead of, say, an enormous erupting penis, you get a dude in an old Skeletor and/or He-Man Halloween costume held together with duct tape and whatever else he could scrounge up in his mom's attic, along with more bad wigs than a weatherman's convention. Sounds like? A band that spent more time taping together its costumes and figuring out how much red body paint would cover a grown man's torso than learning things such as, oh, we don't know, songs. How they describe themselves? Guitarist Johnny T, bassist Justin Hell and new drummer Miss Pain say "scum rock," and that's probably not far off, though "incompetent punk" and "your cue to leave the club" fit quite nicely. Sample lyrics? "Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it in you?/Do it till we're, do it till we're, do it till we're black and blue," a heartwarming couplet from "Penetration," off the group's Bigger Than the Beatles album. Number of kittens in the sack they're currently standing on? Five, all of which will end up wearing red pleather codpieces and devil horns as part of the act. --Zac Crain
The Filthy Skanks play Trees on August 8.
Who has time to read? Not you, so as a helpful service, we offer the first and last lines of time-wasting tomes.
The Egg Code, Mike Heppner: "It had been years since a man touched her like that...Back to our regular program."
Ash Wednesday, Ethan Hawke: "I was driving a '69 Chevy Nova 370 four-barrel with mag wheels and a dual exhaust...Floating down the front steps, a fresh gust of wind at my back, I felt new, like one or maybe all of us had been resurrected."
Slider, Patrick Robinson: "At 5 a.m. the sun had not yet risen over the long winding Bayou Lafourche...And Natalie Garcia threw herself into the arms of Ben Faber, saying over and over, 'I love you, Ben. I love you. I love you. I love you.'"
Dragons of a Vanished Moon, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman: "In the dungeon of the Tower of High Sorcery, that had once been in Palanthas but now resided in Nightlund, the great archmagus Raistlin Majere had conjured a magical Pool of Seeing...We may not know the future, but as for me, I look forward with wonder to see it unfold."
The White, Deborah Larsen: "Mary had loved the family axe as a glittering extension of her own arm...'And I felt that all that lay outside was ours and that the way it lay was ready.'"
Men in Love, Vittorio Lingiardi: "In our attempts to explain sexuality, we in the modern era have come to rely on models of a biological or psychological nature...Even the hermaphrodite, that symbolic body which unites the opposites, has need of the Other--but what, then, is the gender of this Other?"
Bubbles in Trouble, Sarah Strohmeyer:"This is how Steve Stiletto, drop-dead gorgeous, globe-trotting photographer, finally got me, Bubbles Yablonsky, Pennsylvania hairstylist and occasional newspaper reporter, to break my chastity vow...Oh, if he only knew."
APRIL 1, 2002
[6:35:38 PM | Connie]
Totally sweet news! I got a job! I start at WorldCom in Dallas on Monday in the accounting department. Now all I need is a boyfriend. Sangria time!
APRIL 29, 2002
[8:45:45 PM | Connie]
Job is great, although CEO resigned today. Also weird that we're supposed to do all our accounting work in pencil. But glad to have a paycheck. Co-worker Doug is cuh-yute!
MAY 9, 2002
[9:17:46 PM | Connie]
Boss is GRUMP-EEE today. Something about his stock portfolio. Getting lonely around my cube.
JUNE 6, 2002
[6:31:12 PM | Connie]
Office party was cool, although it's weird that they made me bring party confetti made out of shredded documents. As boyfriend Doug pointed out, "Hey, free Shiner!"
JUNE 24, 2002
[3:48:37 PM | Connie]
Stock at 91 cents today. I can afford some! Supah-sweet! Boss killed himself. That was a downer.
JUNE 26, 2002
[11:51:01 PM | Connie]
News cameras were everywhere today. I don't understand the big deal. So, $3.8 billion? Move a decimal point a few places, and that's lunch at Humperdink's. Doug doesn't agree. He's started going to church again.
JULY 7, 2002
[4:52:07 PM | Connie]
Not a good sign. New boss started today, and already I caught her surfing Monster.com. I'm a team player, though: Instead of a Sprite, I bought a share of our stock.
JULY 14, 2002
[7:23:02 PM | Connie]
SEC guy was here again today. He asked if I had any questions. I said, yeah, SEC guy, how is 'Bama gonna do this season? He didn't laugh. Doug talked to him for a long time, though. Odd.
JULY 21, 2002
[6:54:53 PM | Connie]
Thinking maybe I've been too chipper about this. Boyfriend Doug left me last week and called me a "corporate whore." Whatever. Has HE been on Good Morning America? No.
JULY 26, 2002
[8:56:32 PM | Connie]
Got a call from a corporate headhunter today. Thank goodness! Some company in Houston has been "studying my work," and the execs there "like my style." I interview on Monday. AND my new defense lawyer is single. ME-OW!
It goes by any number of stoner-like names: Ultra Wizard Smoke, Killer Skunk, Stashish, Afganish. It's available in local "lifestyle accessory shops." (Head shops are illegal in Dallas.) It looks and smells vaguely like pot. Call it crapish--a blend of legal herbs that promises a "ride to the stars on a puff of smoke."
But does it work? Full Frontal convened a panel of experts--our staff--on the roof of the Dallas Observerbuilding to sample a few brands. Yep, an afternoon hard at work toking on marijuana substitutes. God bless America.
We tried four: Ultra Wizard Smoke, Krypto, damiana and salvia divinorum. Our panelists' reviews of the first three follow:
"It tastes like pot roast."
"I don't think I feel anything, do you?"
"Uh...maybe. No, wait. Nothing."
"I feel like someone took an herbal dump in my mouth."
Finally, there was the salvia divinorum, which looks a bit like black tea. "Oooh. Look at the colors. Moving colors," one panelist noted after a toke. Another fell to the floor laughing. The effect lasted about two minutes; the headache, about an hour.
The conclusion? There's good shit, and there's bad shit. And then there's just plain old shit. Or, as the clerk at the lifestyle accessory shop put it: "If it were any good, they wouldn't let us sell it."
Wondering where that sticky-sweet stench on your kids' clothes comes from? It's called a sugar smack, and no, we're not talking about the cereal. Sugar smacks are Starbucks-and-sugar-laced cigarettes, and they're the latest high for the under-17 demo, kids looking for a cheap (and semi-legal) buzz. (At raves and dance clubs, sugar smacks have become as essential as glow sticks and pacifiers.) Essentially a portable crème brûlée, the genius concoction mixes and matches dessert with an after-dinner smoke, only we're told it's better than either and twice as addictive. The recipe: one cigarette, dipped in a latte and rolled in sugar. (The slightly more adventurous substitute a mochaccino and brown sugar; that particular mutation is known as chocolate thunder.) Once dry, all you need is a match--and a good alibi when the folks start asking why you smell like the tail end of a three-alarm at the local coffee shop. --Zac Crain
Hey, old people, for the latest hot tips on trends affecting your kids--or not--visit www.gullibleoldfarts.com. Or readNewsweek.