This is so sad it hurts.
Hey, parents, want to motivate your kids to get good grades?
Promise to take them to Omaha.
At the start of the school year, 16-year-old Michelle Hope of Lake Worth, Fla., made a deal with her mom, Dawn. If she got A's in honors English and history, would Mom take her to Omaha?
Dawn agreed, thinking the chances were slim.
Michelle earned the A's, all right.
"This wasn't supposed to happen," Dawn said this week during a three-day trip to Nebraska's largest city.
So why would a teenage girl leave the beaches of sunny south Florida for the Big O?
Because it's the hometown of another Big O – indie-rock superstar Conor Oberst.
Before flying back to Florida, Dawn and Michelle cruised around town in a silver limousine, visiting places where Conor has been: Creighton Prep; his childhood home, where his parents still live; Sokol Auditorium and a random stretch of Saddle Creek Road. At each stop, Michelle had the driver pull over so she could take pictures.
They went to the Antiquarium, an Old Market bookstore and record shop, where Michelle spent $200 on Bright Eyes records. She already owns the CDs but wanted the vinyl versions. She was thrilled to learn from an employee that Conor bought his first record player at the shop.
They went to Drastic Plastic, another Old Market music store, where Michelle bought five Bright Eyes T-shirts. It didn't matter that she already owns the same shirts. She wanted the ones from Omaha "because they're from his hometown," said Michelle, who wears an "I (heart) Conor Oberst" bracelet around her wrist. From her neck hangs a locket with a picture of – you guessed it – Conor.
OK, by now you might think Michelle is a little obsessed, maybe a little too into Conor. But the soft-spoken teen says she's not a stalker. She's simply a fan.
Other Conor groupies have made the pilgrimage to Omaha, where they wind up on the doorstep of his parents, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 25-year-old. He now spends most of his time in New York when he's not touring the world with his band, Bright Eyes.
It's one thing for out-of-town fans to come to Omaha for a Bright Eyes show or to hunt down the headquarters of Saddle Creek Records while passing through, but it's another to travel thousands of miles specifically to see Conor's hometown, said Jason Kulbel of Saddle Creek Records.
"It's a little weird that they would come this far," he said.
Michelle's mom – who allowed her daughter a budget of $6,500 for the trip – said she would have liked to have seen some of the city's more notable attractions, like the Henry Doorly Zoo, but she's happy that her daughter had such a blast in Omaha.
"I can't even get her to see the big dome," Dawn said, referring to the zoo's desert attraction. "She's only into Conor country."
The trailer for Stay:
Viktor Krum with the Durmstrang cohort. Fella's got a hell of a hairline.
Anyone like mashups? This one is insane.
Finally. Just when we might have given up hope of ever hearing it, The Earl has dropped his Summer Mix 2005. It seems to include the following artists, all at the same time:
Dr Alimantado / David Byrne / Zion y Lennox / The Clash / Ini Kamoze / Mashonda / Damien Marley / Leslie Winer / Erika Badu / Faye Wong / Jay-Z / Brian Eno / Massive Attack / Wong Kar Wai / Mad Professor / 50 Cent / Angelique Kijdo / Gwen Stefani / Miles Davis / Usher / M.I.A. / Robert Fripp
Thanks to the wonders of Netflix, I have been able to consume this gem of cultural history. For those who have never seen it, it is a low budget teen show that is supposed to have a moral message. A serial After School Special if you will. But god, how awful it was. And by awful I mean amazing. Back in junior high school I had a class called "guidance" where we used to watch episodes and discuss them. I love remembering back to nuggets of childhood such as this. The first season revolves around Stephanie, who dresses like a school marm but when she gets to school, she goes to the girl's room and puts on "sexy clothes." And voila, you have some of the relics of the worst fashion of the eighties, including striped bra tops and hot pink leggings that came up about three inches past her waist. When I saw these I thought she was amazing, now it is funny to see she is a gap toothed slut. And there are these two curly haired twins that are so fucking annoying that I want to scream. Anyone else remember this stuff? Onnie?
Lawsuit targets 'Scissors' memoir
By David Mehegan, Globe Staff August 2, 2005
Three years after it was published, a best-selling memoir about a Northampton psychiatrist and his family has drawn a lawsuit alleging defamation, emotional distress, fraud, and invasion of privacy.
Using made-up names in his 2002 book ''Running With Scissors," Northampton author Augusten Burroughs described living several years with a psychiatrist, ''Dr. Finch," and his crazy family in the late 1970s. ''Dr. Finch" was given custody of Burroughs, who was then about 9, by his troubled mother. A movie version of ''Running With Scissors" — directed by ''Nip/Tuck" creator Ryan Murphy and starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin, and Vanessa Redgrave — is due out next year.
Six members of the Turcotte family, whose patriarch was Dr. Rodolph H. Turcotte, who died in 2000, are suing Burroughs, his agent, and publisher St. Martin's Press in Middlesex Superior Court. The suit demands a public retraction of the book and a public statement that it is fiction and not a memoir. The suit also asks that the publisher be enjoined from continued publication and distribution of the book.
The suit alleges that even with the name change, the ''Finches" were easily recognizable as the Turcottes. It also contends that Burroughs ''fabricated events that never happened and manufactured conversations that never occurred" in order to ''knowingly cause harm and humiliation to the Turcotte family." The complaint also says Burroughs identified the Turcottes in media appearances, including an interview in People magazine, and that he presented them as ''an unhygienic, foul, and mentally unstable cult engaged in bizarre and at times criminal activity."
Howard M. Cooper of Boston, the Turcotte family's lawyer, said the prospect of the film, now in production, precipitated the complaint. ''With the forthcoming movie," he said, ''the family is living in fear that there will be utter devastation to their reputations, and the invasion of their privacy will be complete." The suit does not attempt to block the release of the movie from TriStar Pictures.
In the story, the ''Finch" psychiatrist and family members are bizarre to varying degrees. The mother eats dog food, while a pet cat is tortured, killed, buried, and dug up again. A pedophile, who molests the boy, lives in a shed out back. The psychiatrist, described as a Santa Claus look-alike, dispenses pills recklessly and at one point helps the boy fake suicide with alcohol and Valium to avoid going to school. Despite the elapsed decades, much of the action is described in fine detail, including gestures and dialogue.
Reached yesterday by telephone, Burroughs said of the complaint, ''I can't comment at all." Gregg Sullivan, associate director of publicity for St. Martin's Press, said, ''We don't comment on matters under litigation."