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July 2000

At Home Spa: The Final Word

I almost made my high-end goal of a 10-pound weight loss last week; I lost eight pounds. The trick of course, is to keep it off, to exercise regularly and eat right. Well, all I can say is that it's true what they say, the weight goes on easier than it comes off. Thanks to all of you who offered email and telephone support. If you see me eating something you think is inappropriate (either quality or quantity), feel free to tell me.

Rae's Coming Home!

Marlow's been in Syracuse since last Friday, and Rae's been in Oregon since early June. I miss both of them, even though Marlow's just on loan for the summer. Rae returns just in time to start up Shakespeare camp, of which more anon. I am excited at the prospect of her return, and of the summer before her sophomore year.

The Top 15 Other Benefits Of Smoking Pot

After a long drought, the kid is back, scoring a solid No. 5 on this list:

June 22, 2000


According to a news story in, researchers in Madrid have supposedly destroyed incurable brain cancer tumors in rats by injecting them with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. Here at TopFive, we did a little research of our own, and here are our findings:

15> Gets babes so wasted that even geeky research scientists have a shot at scoring.

14> Combats hyperactivity. Or activity, for that matter.

13> Even decades after episodic non-inhalatory usage, subject is inspired towards adventurous sexual encounters and visions of bridges to the 21st century.

12> Share quality time with your children, because Pokemon cartoons become fun for the WHOLE family!

11> Constant giggling is great for the abs.

10> Magically renders sports slo-mo replays indistinguishable from the original.

9> Enables Frito-Lay stockholders to purchase much nicer cars and homes.

8> Relative harmlessness of a cool, mellow buzz allows an ex-stoner to take the moral high ground during presidential debates against an ex-cokehead.

7> *Really* pisses off Nancy Reagan.

6> Transforms complete noise into beautiful, enchanting music (Grateful Dead fans only).

5> Drastically reduces your risk of becoming a Supreme Court Judge.

4> Allows for long enlightening chats with Isaac Asimov on the wonders of the universe -- even though he's dead.

3> Expiration dates on household food items rendered instantly meaningless.

2> Almost makes "Saturday Night Live" funny again!

and's Number 1 Other Benefit of Smoking Pot...

1> Without pot: $10,000 home entertainment system with 50" high-definition TV, 12 speakers and THX Surround-Sound.
With pot: $20 lava lamp.

[ The Top 5 List ]
[ Copyright 2000 by Chris White ]

Selected from 167 submissions from 59 contributors.
Today's Top 5 List authors are:
Peter Rogers, Austin, TX -- 1 (8th #1)
Chris Irby, Dallas, TX -- 2
Paul Lara, San Antonio, TX -- 3
Jeff Rabinowitz, Denver, CO -- 4
Larry Baum, Hong Kong -- 5
Paul Schindler, Orinda, CA -- 5
Chris White, New York, NY -- List owner/editor
Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley, Los Angeles, CA -- Ambience
-> Ambience explanation:

Telling Someone Their Fly Is Unzipped

Normally, I don't run Top5 lists I don't have an entry on, but this one was so good, I couldn't resist.

June 26, 2000

17> You've got Windows on your laptop.

16> Sailor Ned's trying to take a little shore leave.

15> Your dork is ajar.

14> Quasimodo needs to go back in the tower and tend to his bells.

13> I can see your Gap dancers.

12> Paging Mr. Johnson... Paging Mr. Johnson...

11> Your pod bay door is open, Hal.

10> Elvis Junior has left the building!

9> Mini Me is making a break for the escape pod.

8> Ensign Hanes is reporting a hull breach on the lower deck,

7> Captain, sensors detect a wormhole in the forward quadrant!

6> Lil' Shaq's at the free show line.

5> You've got your fly set for "Monica" instead of "Hillary."

4> Your closet door is open and Donato's peeking out.

3> You've got a security breach at Los Pantalones.

2> I see you have an opening in senior management.

and's Number 1 Way to
Tell Someone Their Fly Is Unzipped...

1> Our next guest is someone who needs no introduction.

[ The Top 5 List ]
[ Copyright 2000 by Chris White ]


Shaft. Can you dig it? Well, Samuel L. Jackson will be laughing all the way to the bank on Oscar night next year, because I'm sure the fat paycheck he cashed for this action film will more than make up for his lack of statue action. Actually, I hope it makes up for his lack of any kind of "action" if you know what I mean. The original Shaft was a ladykiller; this shaft is just a killer. The excitement is exciting, the bullets fly, the revenge is sweet, and the badge past the judge's head bit, which most of you have already seen in the previews, is a lovely piece of cinematic special effects.

A real popcorn movie, that will not enlighten you in any way, or make you feel like a better person, but will entertain you from start to finish. No pre-teens, please; too much violence and bad language.

Chicken Run

Escape or Die Frying. Funny tagline, hysterical movie. If you like Wallace and Grommit, you'll love Chicken Run, brought to you by the same people and in the same clay animation format made famous by other Academy-Award winning Aardman studios projects. A spoof of WWII prisoner of war films, it is inspired, brilliant and funny from start to finish. The dark parts may be too intense for children under 10, but all children older than that will have a rousing good time at this film. It deserves an Academy Award or two, and I hope it wins one.

Boys and Girls

Opposites Attack. Andrew Lowery and Andrew Miller (the Drews) wrote this movie about love in college. It has a lovely, dreamy, unreal feel (the geography is certainly unreal--you'd be really sweaty after walking from Berkeley to the outlook at the Golden Gate Bridge, and you certainly wouldn't be headed north on the bridge to go to the airport from the Cal campus), which is why, I guess, they decided on such a dippy set of trailers. You can't get any idea of what this movie is about by watching the previews. It is a sweet, gentle, coming of age movie with minimal sex and maximal talk, as it tries to answer the age old question of, "Can friends be lovers? Should they?" Of course in the movies, the answer is yes. Freddie Prinze Jr. is a good actor. Time for him to move on and find a new schtick.

Catfish In Black Bean Sauce

Chi Moui Lo wrote and directed this film, whose tagline, we're told, is "raised by an African American couple, a Vietnamese brother and sister are reunited with their birth mother." Sounds more like a plot summary than a tag line. It ain't no, "Escape or Die Frying," that's for sure. But then it isn't a summer blockbuster. It has a nice independent feel, and frankly, it is such a pleasure to see Paul Winfield working again, that I'd enjoy the film even if it wasn't good. It's a little slow, but it is also excellent.

Quite nice.

Meretricious Garbage

Imagine my surprise, when discussing movies with a reader of this column, when he told me he thought American Beauty was meretricious garbage. As many of you know, I thought it was the best film of last year. On the other hand, he said, my reaction to Topsy Turvey, which left me cold, indicated to him that I don't know much about Gilbert and Sullivan. I am hoping to get him to share his opinions in writing with the rest of you, but if not, when he and I continue the discussion, I'll share the fruits of it here.