Jun 00


in addition to a mild site redesign (okay, one new page) i have set up a mental hygiene mailing list for discussions, rants, and miscellanea. to subscribe, send an email to MH-subscribe@mentalhygiene.com or MH-subscribe-digest@mentalhygiene.com for digests.

once i get it all together, there should be a form to put in your email address somewhere on this page to subscribe. look for that in the next couple of days.

Jun 00


you will see that the format of mentalhygiene has changed somewhat.

i have decided that, too often, i think to write something in this space, but decide it is too short or undeveloped to call a full-fledged rant.

and so, to make this more like a typical weblog, i’m going to start putting minirants in this space on a more regular basis. longer rants, and submissions by outside contributors will still appear at the rant page the most current of which will be linked above.

Jun 00

mission unpalatable 2

today turned out to be a nasty, muggy, rainy day. so, i went to see a movie.

tom cruise, ving rhames, and a bunch of other folks i’ve never seen before, in Mission Impossible 2, directed by John Woo.

on a scale of 0 to Pi, I give it e. it was a pretty good way to waste a couple of hours, though i’m not sure about the almost $20 i had to spend to get in, get a drink and some popcorn. and this was a matinee.

to wax nostalgic, i remember when movies were 5 bucks, 3 for a matinee. and on a good day, you could smuggle in your own food.

note to the theatre owners: what is all this money paying for? tom cruise’s hair and makeup? aren’t you guys getting anything out of all this? honestly, the theatre’s only a couple years old, and it’s getting pretty ragged. one thing i will say, no matter how crusty the rest of the theatre was, the bathrooms were clean

and after two and a half hours of movie and half a gallon of cherry coke, i needed the comfort of a clean bathroom for a little while

and another thing, guys. don’t try to make a terrible sound system sound like a million dollar THX system just by doubling the volume.

when i leave a movie, i don’t want a headache unless it’s from the light outside suddenly stabbing into my retina.

i don’t want to be nauseated, either. damn.

note to john woo: how, in an age where we have digitally enhanced post production, computer-generated effects, and mechanically guided camera shots, can you make a movie that gives people motion sickness? how is it that the camera spent half the movie shaking like in an old star trek episode? were you shooting on a fault line?

now, i’m not usually traumatized so by a movie – i can get on any ride at the fair with a hot dog and a funnel cake sloshing around in my stomach, and not feel a thing – but i’ll be damned if john woo’s earthquake camera work didn’t pull it off.

and, finally, mr. woo, i understand you spent a lot of money on the action sequences in this film, probably paying off tom cruise’s hazard insurance for doing his own stunts, but did you really need to show every sequence four times (the first time at full speed, the second and third in slow motion, from different angles, and the fourth without sound. ooh) the motorcycles blew up, but the riders didn’t. i could have gotten that with one shot.

and, to whoever cast this thing (or, instead, to whoever decided it was all to happen in australia) even an ignorant american like myself can tell the difference between an english, irish, and australian accent. either a: cast australian actors, b: train your english and american actors on what an australian accent sounds like (hell, lucy lawless can do a decent american accent, and she’s straight out of Oz), c: have the action take place somewhere in europe – to explain all the anglo accents, or, finally, d: let everyone know up front that the population of australia, for the purposes of the movie, will consist of ten americans, a half dozen british subjects, and a couple of real australians, just for local color.

this is, of course, to say nothing of the overbearing exposition and heavy handed plot. pause a moment to let the implications of one scene to sink in before you have a character go off analyzing it and making the details that the intelligent members of the audience appreciate noticing so shallow and obvious the giggling ten-year-old girls in the front row that snuck into the R movie can understand it.

and, as for tom cruise’s hair – i think it’s the best he’s looked since Top Gun (answer your question andy?)

Jun 00


Was today Friday? I forgot. It seemed like a Tuesday, because tuesdays are the days I usually get BEATEN SEVERELY

It all started this morning, when I awoke to the sounds of the North American Ruby-Throated-5-A.M.-bird, whose birdy thoughts were something along these lines:
“It’s 5 AM, the sun’s not up, but I sure am.”

perhaps in a past live it was an alarm clock.


and, since my bedroom window was open, I couldn’t help but hear and wake up.

CHIRP CHIRP that loud enough for ya? CHIRP CHURP

Reluctantly, I open one eye and look out the window. It’s not even light out yet, and the clock has some weird number on it. Is that a 5?

And, once I’m awake, no matter how early in the AM it is I can’t get back to sleep, oh no. Since I’m already up, and it’s almost light outside, every sound is amplifyed, even through the window I just closed.

(softly, but still annoying) CHIRP CHIRP you think that will stop me? CHIRP CHIRP

and the neighbor’s dog, which hasn’t shut up in literally three days, chimes in


it barks at the air. it barks at the moon. it barks at the sudden quiet it notices when it’s not barking. It’s the stupidest dog I have ever seen, and his owner’s not much better. Keeps the poor, stupid animal on his back porch chained up all day.

Between the chirping and barking, and all the other aplified sounds of the early morning, I’m awake, staring at the ceiling fan, hoping I can just shut my eyes and get the three more hours sleep I deserve. Then I decide it’s futile and head to the couch to watch a couple hours of informercials before starting the day.

“At least it’s Friday”

And when I get to work, all the crap I’ve had to put up with all week long (thought it’s only been a 4 day week, it seems like a lot longer) just gets worse in front of my eyes.

Tom, whose not my boss, but thinks he is, lets me know that everything I’ve done for him this week has been wrong wrong wrong, and even though last week it was his top priority, this was the first chance he had had to look it over, and by the way it was WRONG WRONG WRONG. “Fix it. Now.”

“And while your at it, this is my new top priority, and will be for the next five minutes. Can you do this for me now? And this? And this? Because I’m incompetent and can’t do it myself, I’m delegating it to you. That’s what I do around here. Delegate.”

But, no matter what WAS his TOP PRIORITY, something else is NOW, and that other thing was done, thanks ever so fucking much, but it was done wrong, and will have to be done again. “Sorry I wasn’t very clear last time when I totally ignored your questions about how it should come out, but I was distracted by something shiny.”

And, of course, it was my fault. Everything was my fault. Everything that ever went wrong was my fault.

THAT’S RIGHT, I’M THE REASON YOUR WEBSITE IS A MONTH LATE GOING LIVE. even though you were the one that never had the time to look at it

THAT’S RIGHT, IT’S MY FAULT YOU’RE IMPOTENT AND YOUR WIFE LEFT YOU (though nobody will say so to your face)





and then, it’s 5. Friday. 5 PM. Fuck you, Tom, I’m going home.

PS – Thanks, Chuck. This rant thing rocks. I feel a lot better now.