Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Holly Hunter

This is becoming the "what actresses does Rich really like" post du jour but I'll just take a minute to highlight another scene from Living Out Loud (see also: Queen Latifah). It's not a great movie, but it's a movie I rather enjoyed--a good cast, including Hunter, Latifah, Martin Donovan and Danny DeVito, and some great acting from Hunter. Here's Hunter enjoying her first dose of ecstasy in a highly romanticized way. (Kids: don't do drugs. Send them to your uncle Rich and I will make sure they are disposed of safely.)

Hunter used to be married to Janusz Kaminski (a favorite cinematographer of mine and yours, you just don't realize it--he did Saving Private Ryan, and you remember how much you liked the look of that movie). She has an Oscar (The Piano--if I could re-align who got Oscars for what, she'd still have one, but most likely for a different movie),  two Emmys, and a slew of critics and guild awards. She's spent a little time on Broadway, but not as the originator of a role (which is how one qualifies for a Tony).

She's pulled the plug on Saving Grace, which has earned her Emmy nominations for the last couple years. And she's the voice of Elastigirl in The Incredibles and the "Got Milk" ads.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Oh Drat!

So Kansas is out from March Madness.

Lucky for me I didn't go with Kansas. I'm going to gloat while I can. Since many of my coworkers are ahead of me but have little upward mobility since they took Kansas all the way. (Click to embiggen)

 Oh yeah, Georgetown is also out.

Song Of The Day: "Fences"

One more track from Phoenix and their Grammy-winning Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. I'm not sure where it falls, but it's among my top 10 albums from 2009.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Glenn Close

"She will never go out in Parisian society again!"--my ex-roommate Mark's ex-boyfriend, "Barney Rubble" after watching Close's Best Actress clip when she lost the Oscar to Jodie Foster

Apparently my lot in life these days is correcting show business award statistics in Wikipedia entries--I just edited Glenn's to correctly show her with 3 Emmy wins (1 for Serving in Silence, and 2 for Damages; 9 other nominations). She also has 3 Tonys and 5 Oscar nominations.

I hate Andrew Lloyd Weber (and he hates me, it's a long story), but Sunset Boulevard was a great basis for a musical--it's a fucking fantastic movie, with a lot of opportunity for exposition in song. So it was a shame Weber got his hands on it, but hooray for Close getting a Tony (so sorry to Patti LuPone who was unceremoniously dumped after being given the job).

Fatal Attraction broke her out of her good girl/earth mother roles. You've got to admit she was really fucking good in that.

I'm happy FX is giving her a role worthy of her talent with Damages (although, truth be told, I don't watch--I'm going off the critical acclaim and her Emmys). I'm sure competing with Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Helen Mirren, Kathy Bates, Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand and even Sharon Stone for the few good roles for women over 40 is frustrating, so a gig like this has to be rewarding in and of itself.

Here's hoping she picks up an Oscar eventually (seriously, Cher beat her), but if not, she still would leave a legacy of great work.

Happy birthday dude!

Anthony Weiner Smacks Down Peggy Noonan

Hooray! I can't decide whether I love him or Alan Grayson more. It's a great dilemma to have.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Flashback Song: "Dum Dum Girl"

I've been hearing about a newish band called the Dum Dum Girls, who I'm pretty sure pull their name from this Talk Talk song from their 1984 album It's My Life. That album holds up really nicely. I don't know too much about who handled the songwriting, but here's hoping that the No Doubt cover is helping their retirements.

And yet Clinton is the one who got impeached...

Jon Beck

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Song Of The Day: "High Wire"

The Happy Hollows, from Cali.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Queen Latifah

And to Dana Owens, her alter ego.

Holy shit, she's been around for 20+ years now. That's fucking excellent (I guess, technically, Marky Mark has too)--their careers have interesting parallels, but he's managed to drop his hip hop name.

I fell in love with her second album, Nature of a Sista from 1991.

I really liked her in Living Out Loud. It's the first time I saw her straight-up sing, and she's a talented actress. There's a scene where she leans over next to Holly Hunter who is sitting at a bar--one of Latifah's boobs is the size of Hunter's head.

She picked up an Oscar nomination for Chicago (she's the second hip hop artist nominated for an Oscar, after Will Smith) and has a solid array of popular movies and some Oscar-bait type stuff. But what's interesting to me is how much she's expanding her realm as an entertainer, including producing some of her movies, hosting awards shows, singing, rapping, and acting. It's refreshing to see a big beautiful black woman in a CoverGirl ad. I expect a Broadway run before too long--it's how she'll get a Tony nomination to accompany her Grammy win and Emmy nomination. It's what we do.

Happy birthday dude! I won't tell anyone you're a lesbian.

Happy Birthday Vanessa (L.) Williams

When the Screen Actors Guild required a unique name for each of its members, she had to use the "L"--another actress had the name "Vanessa Williams" first (who remembers her from the first season of Melrose Place? ... me neither). This Vanessa broke through in 1984, becoming the first woman of color to win the Miss America pageant. Shortly thereafter she became the first in a long line of pageant winners who stepped aside when racy photos (and these days videos) surfaced.

She's established herself as a solid actress and singer, with work on Broadway (a Tony nomination in 2002 and could pick up another when she opens in Sondheim on Sondheim this weekend), a few movies (Eraser with Arnold is her biggest), and a fun run on Ugly Betty for which she's picked up 3 Emmy nominations (so far). My favorite is A Diva's Christmas Carol.

Her music career has earned her 10 Grammy nominations (alas no wins), and several hit singles between 1988 and the mid-90s. Her 1991 album The Comfort Zone got 5 of those nominations, and (pardon me while I geek out) one of the best engineered albums from that time.

She helped Alan Menken win one of his 8 Oscars--she performed at the Oscars, v-e-r-y pregnant and sounding fantastic.

Since Latifah's birthday is also today, I'm gonna save some birthday love for her for later. But happy birthday dude! Break a leg this weekend!

Song Of The Day: "O.N.E."

Yeasayer had my first song of the day for 2010 with "Ambling Alp," a song I continue to love. This is another track from Odd Blood, their second album.

R.I.P. Alex Chilton

I don't know many of the details, but Alex Chilton, of The Box Tops, of Big Star, or inspiring bands like The Replacements, R.E.M., the Lemonheads and the Posies. He was 59.

It's been more than 20 years since The Replacements immortalized him with the song "Alex Chilton" and I can't think of any better eulogy. Rest in peace dude.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Song Of The Day: "Your Hands (Together)"

New from The New Pornographers. There are 3 core members (my beloved Neko Case, Carl "AC" Newman and Dan Behar--they all have separate recording careers also), and a shifting set of guest artists enhances each album. Together will be out in May.

Happy Birthday Kurt Russell

It's probably sad that my first inclination was to put a clip from Silkwood in here. That's the best performance I've seen him give, but there's no denying my love for Big Trouble in Little China.

Someone made a fantastic montage of clips from various comedies, but I can't embed it--so you'll have to go here and watch.

Russell reminds me a lot of Drew Barrymore (or vice versa)--more of a movie star than an actor, and never the most reliable at either, but so incredibly likable that I don't lose esteem for him regardless.

Happy birthday dude! Go watch those clips.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Lauren Graham

No Emmy nominations. No Tony nominations. Sheesh, what a crappy actress.

We've recently discussed my love for Gilmore Girls, and how sinful it was that the show was unrewarded by the Emmy folks year after year (for seven fucking years).

I'm even watching the new Parenthood in part because she's on it.

Here's a bunch of clips, then I'm going to sleep.

And here she is using language that will NOT get her a replacement calendar from Andrews McMeel Publishing even if the one she purchased is defective. It won't.

Happy birthday dude!

Happy Birthday Victor Garber

I always forget whether his first name is Victor or Vincent. I do that to myself a lot, confuse similar first names. I'm pretty sure Pam's husband of 10 years is named Chad, but it could be Chet. I traveled from Seattle to North Carolina for the wedding of Pam & Ch**.

I first saw him on The Days And Nights Of Molly Dodd (a fantastic show that's in DVD limbo because of issues over music rights... ugh), as Molly's married boyfriend/boss.

In addition to Alias, he's adding to his fan-boy appeal by playing a Klingon in last year's Star Trek (in a scene that was deleted--which makes it PERFECT for fan-boy enthusiasm) and voicing the part of Sinestro in Green Lantern: First Flight.

Here he is singing part of "Freedom 90" from Eli Stone. Why wasn't a show based around the songs of George Michael a success. We'll never know...

I was looking for a clip of him in The First Wives Club--he plays Goldie Hawn's ex-husband--but alas, he's only in like 5 seconds of the trailer, and nothing else I could find. I definitely need to check out Alias from the library--him, Lena Olin and Bradley Cooper? Here's a scene.

Anyway, a little aimless, but it'll do. Happy birthday dude! I won't mention that you're gay.

Happy Birthday Sananda Maitreya


Terence Trent D'Arby decided to make his hotel reservations more difficult and changed his name back in 2001. Whatever.

I saw him in concert back in 1988 or 1989 at the Center Stage in Atlanta, with a woman we'll call Jane, since that is her name. Watching the very white Jane dance at the Terence Trent D'Arby concert in Atlanta (a city with a substantial urban population) was like, well, I'm reminded of Elaine dancing on Seinfeld. Ah Jane...

Oh, and it was one of the best live shows I've ever seen. This is a day late, but here's to a memorable night 20+ years ago dude! Rock on, whatever your name is.

And here's a recent collaboration with Ben Watt.

This is cool

I added a counter to my page a few months ago, and today I discovered some other tricks that it does (by the way, if you have a blog go check out statcounter). Here's a map showing where my recent site visits are coming from (click to embiggen).

Now somewhat less cool is the fact that 70% of my site's visits last less than 5 seconds. That's not nearly enough time for me to offend you (well... okay, yeah it is, but just in case, I will try to figure some way to shift more folks into the 5 to 30 seconds range, perhaps by forcing people to scroll. Or by adding nekkid photos of hot people.

But the most interesting thing is the various words/phrases entered into search engines that brought total strangers here. Apparently the 419 scam email from Elena (here)--remember her, she likes Sheron Stone and Will Smitt and the movie Glacial Age--is a pretty strong attractor.

And Helen "Sparkie" White has been good for traffic as well (here).

These things I understand. But "god help me win the Powerball tonight"? I guess my world renown winning of countless lotteries worldwide has people coming to me for advice.

Or Google thinks I'm God.

Okay sports fans, I need a sanity check

How does this look for the NCAA Basketball Tournament final game?

Syracuse... really? Not Kansas? Not Duke? I heard a dude from Syracuse is injured and won't play against Vermont on Friday. So apparently Vermont has a basketball team (or maybe it's their Ultimate Frisbee team suiting up for this).

Also I've currently got Ohio State over Kansas for the Final Four. Insane? Or perfectly sane? Or why am I asking you, if you're here to read about the Tonys?

Not the tsunami!

Tue, March 16, 2010 8:44:01 AM
Add to Contacts
To: info@info

Alvin John & Partners
No. 311 , Block C, Phileo Damansara 1
No. 9, Jalan 16/11
48350 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Malaysia TEL: 011 60173905385 +60173905385.

I am Alvin John,an attorney at law, A deceased client of mine that shares the same last name as yours died as the result of a heart-related condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all the members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia. And in the record there is no known successor to this deposit of the deceased who died without a will.

My late Client has a deposit of Seventeen Million Five hundred Thousand Dollars (17.5 Million dollars) left behind.

I can be reached on ( for more information.

Sincerely yours.
Barr.Alvin John
(Attorney at Law)

Song of the Day: "Giving Up The Gun"

Vampire Weekend were on SNL last week and they sounded great, really tight. I've been ambivalent about them in the past, but I think I'm going to go ahead and officially like them. I'm sure they're thrilled.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy birthday David Cronenberg

"I can think of at least two things wrong with that title."--Nelson referring to the movie Naked Lunch, in The Simpsons "Bart On The Road" episode

I'm way behind on Cronenberg's recent movies, and I've missed most of the early horror movies. But I totally think he is an incredible film maker, and were it not for his focus on horror, he'd be respected as much as Ridley Scott or Jonathon Demme. Sam Raimi's in the same boat.

Dead Ringers is my favorite, and as incomplete as I feel I will just leave you with that.

Happy birthday dude! Note to self: get movies from the library.

Song Of The Day: "In The Sun"

Okay this is awkward. I am on record at finding Zooey Deschanel to be over-exposed: she's an okay-ish actress, but given the ages of the actors she's been paired with in the past, I can't help but think she's taking roles that could have gone to more talented women over 30 or even 40 (I'm sure that Samantha Mathis could have pulled off Elf). 500 Days Of Summer was her first age-appropriate romantic pairing, from what I can tell.

And now she's got commercials for cotton. Where she sings. And her singing is fine it's just, not, particularly, what's the word. Interesting? Rich? Warm?

And she's NOT Selma Blair. I mean, I think she's not Selma Blair, but I do think they look a lot alike. And I've never seen them in the same place at the same time.

Anyway, imagine how weird it is for me to like this new song from her second collaboration with M. Ward as She & Him. And to like songs that Deschanel wrote? (She also plays piano and banjo--Beyonce can't play the banjo... I don't think.)

Is this just a halo effect from learning that her dad is Caleb Deschanel? Probably. (He's a cinematographer, duh--The Right Stuff, The Natural, Fly Away Home.)

Anyway, here's the first single from Volume 2.

If you see just one movie trailer this year...

(h\t to Eric)

...make it this generic trailer for prestige movies. It covers all the bases.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oh snap! Legislative edition

I'm paraphrasing here: "Palin deserves credit for getting through the entire hour without quitting."--Rep. Alan Grayson (D, FL)

Palin was in Florida recently, and took a little time to attack Alan Grayson for having a "disconnect from the people of America"... which is awesome because if anyone's in touch with the people of America, it's Sarah Palin. Who doesn't know a gay person. I'm not saying the gay thing is hugely important, it's just something she acknowledged and, hello, 10% of the population (and if you're thinking it's closer to 3%, let's just say you don't get out much).

Grayson also complimented Palin on having a hand large enough on which to fit his whole name, and noted she was wearing clothes she paid for herself.

Actually if Grayson had just picked 3 great barbs it would have been more effective, but the whole response loses traction. Read it here.

Timmy, do you like movies about gladiators?

You might know Peter Graves from the television series Mission: Impossible, or as the voice of A&E's Biography, but you definitely know him from Airplane--a coworker who is almost 20 years younger than me once asked if I'd ever seen Airplane.

Graves passed away a few days ago, and I just updated his Wikipedia entry to show his Emmy win for the special Judy Garland: Beyond the Rainbow (Outstanding Informational Series). Apparently I've started to "get" the whole "edit it yourself" aspect there... hooray me.

Rest in peace dude.

If you say so doctor

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Oh snap! Judicial edition

(h\t DailyKos)

"For many Americans, the current version of the Pledge is the only version they have ever known. Some individuals not familiar with our political history may even be under the impression that its language dates back to the founding fathers."--Judge Stephen Reinhardt, Circuit Court Judge for the US Court of Appeals, in his dissent in Newdow v. Rio Linda Union School District

How does this qualify as a snap?

"If [the Pledge] was good enough for the founding fathers, its [sic] good enough for me . . . .” Sarah Palin in her Eagle Forum Alaska, 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire, July 31, 2006

And now I'm wooing a Russian girl


Hello my new friend!!!
Thanks you for a prompt reply!!!
You the married person whom age at you, you have children???
I very much hope, that this letter becomes the beginning of our big friendship!!! You liked my photo??? Your electronic address, to me allowed in " Marriage Agency Albatross" my city which cooperates with sites of acquaintances. For the certain payment of money to me electronic addresses of the foreign men, wishing to get acquainted with girls allowed. I have written to several men, but you have answered me only!

Probably it is destiny?!

With the help of the Internet I try to find the partner in life as in real my life I do not have time for acquaintance.

And how for a long time you use the Internet for acquaintances????

I am interested in search foreign men as I do not like mentality of Russian men!!! And you like mentality of your women?????

I was not outside the country, but I always would like to visit many countries of the world. I think, that the true love does not know borders and consequently I done not frightened with distance between us!!! Me interest only serious relations, therefore if our interests do not coincide, the request to not spend and my time simply!!! I hope you interest serious relations!?

For me color of the person, and his religion is not important. For me it is more more important, that the person was decent and fair.

For me the age and appearance of the person are not so important, for me the private world of the person is more important!!! To me 30 or 60 years are not important for the person, I think that each person should be interesting that with him it was not boring, and age in it not a handicap. It is interesting to know, and what for you it is more important????? At me will fail to write to you frequently as I write to you from work, at home I have no access to the Internet.

I done not interested with a financial position of the man, but it does not mean, that the man should be the poor person, not capable support the family. And you are capable to support the family???? In the future if our acquaintance will proceed, and we learn each other better, I would like to hear your voice by phone. My telephone number on mobile phone is registered on firm of my father. From this number I cannot call in other countries and accept bells from other country, therefore in the future I could call to you from the payphone. I very much would like to communicate with you with the help yahoo messanger, msn, skype, web-camera, but unfortunately on my computer these programs cannot be used, as the network manager has closed access to these programs.

I think, that the Internet does not give full representation about the person and consequently in the future if we shall like each other, I would like to visit you, to look at your life, to listen that about you your relatives, the friends familiar speak, and it is possible to remain with you for ever!!! The last year I have received the passport for travel abroad, and now I can travel to any country of the world. I can forgive much, but only not treachery and lie!

And you are capable to forgive treachery and lie???? [NOTE: Hells no!]

I want at once you to warn, that I do not search for long correspondence!!!
I know, that on the Internet many false people and consequently in the future when we learn each other better, I shall send you a copy of the passport that you could be convinced of my reality. And I also would glad, if you can send me your too. But only if you want it. well?

I hope you will not offend my requests, and you will understand me?!

Now it is a little about myself:
I from Russia, live in village Kuzhener.
I was born January 22, year 1981, my growth of 169 centimeters, in family I the unique child. I was not married, children at me are not present. I have two higher educations, economic and legal.

I studied the English language at school and at universities.

I talk in English much better, than I write.

In 2006 my mum was lost in accident, and my father married in second time.

I the provided person, well enough earn for a life.

I work as the bookkeeper, in firm of the parents.

My working day begins from 9:00, comes to an end at 21:00, sometimes I remain for the night on work to prepare some documents for the new working day. I have the own automobile. My favourite actors Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Sheron Stone, Will Smitt, That Cruise, Bret Pitt, Bruce Uillis, Dzhulija Roberts, Richard Gere. My favourite cartoon films it is Captain Nemo, Underwater friends, the Glacial age, Madagascar, Shrek. My favourite music Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Sting, Madonna, Milen Farmer, Deep People, Gipsy Kings and many others.... Mine favourite kitchen Russian and Italian. My hobby, collection of ancient coins, and also I write poems. I very much like to sunbathe on a beach, to leave on picnic. Sometimes I like to run on fresh air. I love all seasons, but most of all I like Winter and Summer. Sometimes I like to sit at home near a window, listening to noise of a rain.
I very trustful person and consequently many people use my trustfulness in the mercenary purposes: ( My favourite holiday Christmas, my favourite colors green, blue and pink.

I very much love animals, but unfortunately the I have no, as there is no time to look after them. In the childhood I was fond of art gymnastics and consequently I have beautiful appearance.

I do not smoke a cigarette, alcohol I use in small dozes, I love red wine and cold champagne.

I about much still would like to write to you, but I am compelled to finish this letter, I should continue the work. It would be desirable to trust, that you very good and decent person who has the big and kind heart! Please tell to me more about the life, about the friends, about the family, about your work, about culture of your country, about your traditions.

It will be very interesting to me to know all this! I hope you will interest my letter and you will answer me!

Please reply only to my personal e-mail:

With impatience I wait your answer, your new familiar of Russia!!!

My compensation check is ready

Dear Friend,

How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition. I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you. But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund out of my bank to someone else account who was capable of assisting me in this great venture through the help of the diplomat i told you about. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness' you showed at the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $750,000.

I have authorized my new lawyer who is now also my legal adviser to issue you international certified bank cheque cashable at your bank. My dear friend I will like you to contact the lawyer for the collection of this international certified bank cheque.

The name and contact address of the lawyer is as follows.

Mr: Richard Morgan( Lawyer)
E-mail :
Address: Bangkok, Thailand.
Tel #: +66 89 211 0087
Fax #: +66 86 635 2753

At the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which I and my new partner are having at hand in Paris France. Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to the Lawyer on your behalf to send the bank cheque to you as soon as you contact him without delay.

Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart. Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hope to hear from you soon.

Your Friend,
Mrs. Rose George

Happy birthday Quincy Jones

As previously reported, his middle name is Delight. I've been pushing Trouble or Danger as a middle name for friends who are expecting (actually, anyone who's expecting, since no one has taken up the idea), but clearly someone was way ahead of me. Maybe it's a Jones family trait.

I'm not a huge fan of his biggest works, but in his more than 50 years as a musician/producer/dude he's done some cool and interesting stuff that doesn't include Thriller. Let's start with "Soul Bossa Nova," a track from his 1962 album Big Band Bossa Nova. Even if you hate the Austin Powers movies, you've got to recognize the genius of this song.

Among his 27 Grammys (suck it Rick Rubin) is one for Best Instrumental Arrangement for "Summer In The City" from You've Got It Bad, Girl.

Jones learned early the key to being financially successful as a musician: "We had the best jazz band in the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That's when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business. If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two." I wonder if Jones ever actually did anything to change the way that label worked with their artists (the word "exploit" comes to mind), or if he just learned the system well enough to take full advantage of it. After leaving Mercury he focused on composing for films, and in the last 35 years he's padded the hell out of his resume through music, movies, television, magazines, philanthropy (he won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 1994 Oscars).

He's been nominated for all 4 awards in the Grand Slam (aka the EGOT), but only won Grammys and an Emmy. Still at 77 he's still got plenty of life in him, and I can see him producing (as in money) another Broadway musical premiere and/or Best Picture nominee at the Oscars.

Jones's 1981 album The Dude, earned 5 Grammys, launched James Ingram's career and served as a showcase for Patti Austin. Here's Patti with Q doing "Razzamatazz" back in the day.

He won an Album of the Year Grammy for Back On The Block, featuring performances by jazz icons like Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald (her final recordings), Miles Davis, and George Benson, R&B artists like Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick and Ray Charles; and hip hop pioneers like Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T, Melle Mel and Kool Moe Dee. A cover of the Brothers Johnson's "I'll Be Good To You" featuring Khan and Charles was its biggest single.

Oh, and he hooks up with hot women, including Ulla Andersson, Peggy Lipton and Nastassja Kinski. And hottie Rashida Jones is his daughter. And my cousin. Probably distantly.

Happy birthday dude.

Song of the day: "Out Of The Blue"

Julian Casablancas of The Strokes ended up on my top 10 songs of 2009 list with "11th Dimension." Based on that song, I wouldn't have identified him as a Stroke, but I might from this--it's another track from Phrazes for the Young (sic).

I got confused a few months ago when this was out around the same time as a solo album from a guy from Interpol, using the name Julian Plenti (real name Paul Banks)--"Casablancas" just sounded like a stage name, but it's not; he's a son of John Casablancas who founded Elite Model Management, and the John Casablancas Modeling and Career Center (which is totally why I figured the name was a fake). This won't help you appreciate the song any more or any less, but I needed to get that off my chest.