7/23 -- Scattershot, Don't Do Drugs, Don't Buy Overpriced Crap, Amen.
Street light melted from the heat of Monday's fire.

Okay. Just a little bit more about the fire, and then I'm over it. Pinkie swear. Up there is a street light that, as you may have guessed, got a little too close to Monday night's fire. I somehow missed it during my picture-taking spree on Tuesday night; I first saw it in Wednesday's Washington Post article. (Nothing new that I'm aware of on the cause of the fire, by the way.) Bill and I headed out with our cameras on Saturday night. The light looks much more striking at night, anyhow. You really get the full "wounded soldier spilling its guts" effect.

I'm amazed at how quickly that side of the street has been cleaned up. The Dali-esque street sign is no more; the fence has been replaced too, although I think I saw some crispy trees remaining. And that area is much more quiet than it was on Tuesday. No drama queens whining about the gawkers and the indignity of living there. But even as Bill and I were snapping photos in relative peace, a group of people approached. "Look. You can see where the trees are still singed. And look at the melted barrels! Seven million dollars worth of damage!"

This is something that nobody who was there is going to forget soon. It was the summer of ought-one when the fire came. Nobody knew how it started. People could see the glow from as far away as Reston, or so my Grandpa told me ...

On Friday, Bill and I finally watched "Requiem For A Dream." Both of us had insanely high hopes for this movie because we're rabid fans of director Darren Aronofsky's previous effort "Pi." I started having misgivings during the opening credits. "Okay. Ellen Burstyn ... she was nominated for an Oscar for this. Jared Leto ... don't really know him that well. Ugh, Jennifer Connelly -- always giving new dimensions to the term 'vacuous'. And Marlon Wayans.

"Marlon WAYANS? What the HELL!?"

I decided to try setting my rather unfair preconceptions aside. I wanted to like the movie. Really I did. And it starts off pretty well. I like Aronofsky's chaotic visual sense -- it suits the drugged-out characters and storylines. When the movie started dragging, Bill and I amused ourselves with a game of "Spot the 'Pi' Cast Member." I thought it would be okay.

But then it just turns into Every Depressing Substance Abuse Movie You've Already Seen Hundreds of Times. If you've seen "Sid and Nancy," "Leaving Las Vegas," and (especially) "Trainspotting," you've seen this movie. If you've seen the Very Special Episode of "Facts of Life" where Helen Hunt got the girls to smoke pot, you've seen this movie. Good Christ, we get it already. Drugs are bad, nnnkay? Ow! Stop hitting me with that sledgehammer! Put that Nancy Reagan mask away! I'll never even take an aspirin again, I swear!

"Requiem For A Dream:" Just say no. No way. Though in all fairness, I have to say that Marlon Wayans was actually okay. Jennifer Connelly was just as bland and unconvincing as she is in every movie I'd like a lot more if she weren't in it. Why does she keep getting cast in these things instead of in "The Bold and the Beautiful" where she belongs? She couldn't act scared if she fell off a cliff. Yeah, she's pretty and she's got big boobs. Hello -- I just described most of the female population of Hollywood. What's the attraction?

On Thursday night, I went to Hecht's after work with the full intent of wasting some of my paycheck on an extravagant cosmetics purchase. I haven't had a good Creme de Jeunesse Tres Expensif fix in a while.

I left with one measly bottle of Estee Lauder facial cleanser that didn't even set me back $20. I have to give it to Estee -- she finally devised the one product so ridiculously useless that even I couldn't justify it. I already had an eager-beaver saleslady who wanted to blast me with that stinky nasty Liz Hurley perfume. "Please don't. I'm allergic," I said, and I wasn't completely lying. The stuff makes my eyes sting and run. As she got my facial cleanser, she caught me eyeballing a little bottle set inside some extravagant "New Product" display.

Thinking she had a sucker, she sprang into action. "It's a pretreatment. You put it on under your moisturizer."

"Moisturizer you put under your moisturizer? Huh?" I said.

"It makes your skin much smoother and more youthful." (At my advanced age of 32 I look just like the Crypt Keeper, to hear various hairdressers and this woman tell it.) "Just use a small drop before you put on your moisturizer," she said, putting a small drop on the back of my right hand. The "small drop" felt like an oil slick. If I actually used this stuff the way she recommended, two things would happen:

a. My makeup would slide down to my boobs by lunchtime; and,

b. After a couple of weeks of this "treatment," my zits would be visible from Mars.

The punchline? The small bottle cost $45. (A large bottle would have set me back $70.)

"Shall I get you some today?" she said. I know she was just doing her job, so I resisted the temptation to tell her to fuck off. Besides, I really needed the facial cleanser.

Blog 2001: I finally gave up on Blogger when it wouldn't even delete my damned blog without a whole lot of hassle. I'd had the idea of setting up a new one with one of their new wowee-zowee templates, but that got screwed up, too. Can't kill the old blog, can't start a new one. That did it.

Viva Greymatter. I've moved the blog here. Bill and I will both be posting the occasional link, and you can post a comment about the links if you're so moved. I like this idea -- hope you'll like it too. If you turn it into a flame war junkie's paradise like Metafilter I'll act like I'm all disappointed in you, but inside I'll be secretly pleased.

Indulging my inner hit slut

(It's probably about time to declare Clix another failed experiment...)

The next entry.

Previously, in Insomniaville ...

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