My gay side is ok, mmmkay.

I’m not a big fan of America Online, but I use it for dial-up while I’m at work. It offers the easiest connection and a few *extras* (of which I never partake…), so I chose it to “be my company’s internet provider”. Translated, that means tax deduction.

Recently, I read an article in which the author mentioned that he uses AOL for the same thing. In parentheses, he mentioned that he used the UK version of AOL. I didn’t know this existed, but I had to have it. So I downloaded it.

This version is infinitely better than the American version. The voices are cooler, the software is easier, and the gossip is smarter. Point one was my pre-download reason for this software. Reason three is my post-download reason for keeping it. Instead of “my house done blowed up from ther tornada”, I get “more violence likely on Big Brother”. Somehow, that seems to be more intelligent. The writer is winking with me, knowing that this isn’t news and it’s ok to laugh at the ridiculousness of the story. The American version just wants me to feel superior, which is useless since I already feel that way. I don’t need reinforcement.

Now that I’m using the UK version, I’d like to add reason four to the mix. How else would I know that someone offered one million quid for Bros to reunite? (I voted “yes”.)

Sadly, it seems as though it will not happen for more than a little bit of touring, according to Matt Goss.

“I know for a fact we’ll never reform, that will never happen, never in a million years. I know that I’m not for that, Luke’s not up for it and I know Craig isn’t.”

“But one thing I would be up for is doing a one-off summer gig and having a good old sing song.”

Please, please, please let that happen. That would rule! “I Owe You Nothing”, “When Will I Be Famous”, “Life’s A Heartbeat”, and “Chocolate Box” are etched in my brain forever. At a reunion tour, I’ll be the little 12-year-old girl in the front row, singing along ever so sweetly with every word. I might even get braces again just to complete the look. I have enough British Airways Executive Club miles for a free flight, so I can pretend I’m using my allowance money for the trip. Seriously, say the word.

Thank you, AOL UK.

P.S. Did I mention that I’m going to see Hanson in two weeks?


On Sunday night, I put a book into my shopping cart. I put a book in my cart that I’d seen at the International Spy Museum. When I looked at it, I had four items in my cart. I realized I’d never buy one of the books, so I deleted it.

These are normal occurences for me because I heart I store everything in there that I want to remember to buy. I can save items for later, of which I had more than twenty, and will keep them until I buy or delete them.

After doing this, I thought nothing of it and browsed around the internet. I went back to order the book and found that my shopping cart looked like this:

Everything was gone. I logged out, cleared my cache, and logged in. This didn’t fix it. After some colorful verbal jousting with my monitor, I gave up on it for the night.

I e-mailed, explaining that everything was gone. They responded within hours, with a list of all items in my cart. My items still haven’t shown up for me to view, so I don’t know how I’ll resolve this. It’s very spooky.

Which made me think of my trip to Prague in May 1999. On that trip I visited Berlin, Krakow, and Prague. Prague was last on the trip, so I may have been nearing exhaustion by then. I do remember my journey onto the Charles Bridge (Karluv most). It was the last attraction I had to see in Prague before I returned to Berlin. I’d read that it’s impressive and overwhelming, which it is. I took a slow stroll across the bridge, viewing each of the 30 statues.

I remember being impressed with this statue at the time. I was ecstatic when the picture captured the feeling I had at the moment I saw it.

That statue is near the beginning of my journey on the bridge. I stopped every three or four statues to watch the street merchants, the tourists, and the river. I began to speed up a little as the sun set further. I wanted to see the remaining statues with sufficient sunlight, but darkness had set in by the end of the bridge.

I snapped pictures of the remaining statues in rapid succession of the statues that sparked my interest. This picture is a perfect example of the last pictures and the lighting.

I don’t remember snapping a second picture of this statue, but my developed film revealed that I had. I flipped past it quickly, assuming it was the double print. Once onto the next picture, a thought jumped into my head; something was different. I went back to the second picture of the statue and couldn’t believe what I saw. Look closely at both and compare.

I’ve looked at them numerous times, and it always makes my heart stop and my brain hurt. There is an explanation, but in nearly five years, I have yet to figure it out.

Selling Communism

Reading a travel website today, I came across a link to the Museum of Communism in Prague. I was searching through some of the photos and other information for a little insight into how the topic is presented. Ignoring the imported American “icons of capitalism”, I adore the discovery of marketing in former communist countries.

I visited Prague in May 1999, but it’s a large city and it had almost a decade to emerge from its former communist shell. Signs of the capitalist grip were everywhere, so I suspect that the material is presented well, in the typical (usually boring) museum style. There are only a few photos on the site, so I can’t get a feel for the whole museum.

The photos sparked a memory, though. They have the drab feel of someone trying to market information without unihibited creativity. Citizens of the former communist countries are learning marketing, but at distinctly different paces. Roaming the streets of Maribor, Slovenia in early 1998, I came across two distinct window displays. A clothing store display depicted two women kissing, while a department store display featured boxes of soap.

I would love to traverse the brain of someone who walks by that department store window and thinks “Ooooooh. Soap!”.