Saturday, May 17, 2008

Why Can't You Resist This Woman?

She has emotional baggage, a Xanax habit, and daddy issues. But, no matter how many times you've been burned, you're powerless against a hot crazy girl. PLUS: Have you ever dated a Crazy Girl and are still alive to tell all? Share your horror stories in the comment section below.

-By Ian Daly
-Photograph by Peter Rad


For Lawrence, 35, a real-estate investor from New Jersey, it was Hannah. Hannah (her name has been changed) was a publicist in New York City—tall, model-thin, with a bad eBay habit when it came to mod vintage dresses and a near-fanatic obsession with Friedrich Nietzsche and Britney Spears, in equal parts. She was stunning and brilliant.

She also had a dark side.

Hannah was paranoid—convinced that strangers were plotting her demise—and a chronic liar obsessed with men in positions of authority. She was also prone to random fits of crying. Lawrence remembers pulling into the parking lot of a CVS to buy a toothbrush one day. He returned to find her in his car with the radio set to maximum volume, blasting My Chemical Romance and sobbing in great, heaving spasms for no particular reason. None of this made Lawrence think that he should be investigating easier romantic prospects. On the contrary, he was hooked.

"It was the sort of thing where you see this wounded bird and you just want to constantly repair it," Lawrence says. "You never knew when she was going to cry and when she was going to perceive somebody to be after her. It was like the Stockholm syndrome—you become sympathetic toward your captor instead of realizing Oh my God—I'm a hostage!'"

You've dated a woman like this. In all likelihood, your friends sounded alarms that you willfully ignored. Your parents pleaded with you. Looking back, you realize that even you knew it could only end badly. She's the Crazy Girl—the one who made everyone wonder about your sanity and fear for your future. She may have taken the form of the smoky-eyed goth brooder, the tortured heiress, or the unhinged sorority girl. Whatever her identity, chances are she was intoxicatingly sexy, intense, unstable, mercurial, and impossible to be at ease around in social settings. She was completely and debilitatingly exhausting. So why the hell was she so compelling? And why are you still thinking about her?

"I think whenever you're taken by someone, be it male or female, who has the potential to lose themselves or to transform in front of you, there's something very attractive to that," says actress Parker Posey, who's played her share of Crazy Girls onscreen (Nora Wilder in Broken English, "Jackie-O" Pascal in The House of Yes, and the title role in Fay Grim, to name a few). "It has the ability to transform you. Because someone has just thrown the marbles on the floor and you don't know when they're going to do it again. It's not a relationship based on trust."

Of course it isn't about trust. This is about lawlessness. Chaos. Escapism and unpredictability—a balls-out, soul-affirming what's-nextness that is so rare and so powerful that you completely forget to give a shit about consequences and personal sacrifices. That kind of relationship has the potential, as Posey says, "to take you down roads." And whether you're the kind of guy who drives a Prius or the kind who drives a chopped-out vintage Harley, at some point, you can't help taking that ride.

"I think a lot of guys, if you've dated a bit, have the benchmarks," says Adam Fulrath, 36, an art director in New York. Fulrath's came in the form of a savant-smart, busty blonde named Sharon. Sharon painted abstract watercolors of flowers, played guitar, drank with the liver-macerating zeal of Tom Waits, and liked to drag Fulrath on spur-of-the-moment road trips to sleazy motels—and bring a camera. But her control over her tidal emotions was tenuous at best. When Fulrath finally decided he'd had enough, Sharon decided she'd get him back by showing up at his apartment in only her underwear. But it was cold, so she slipped a pair of lace-trimmed aqua panties on over her jeans, and proceeded to walk the mile from her apartment to his doorstep. Fulrath was mortified.

He immediately took her back.

"We all like danger and spontaneity," Fulrath says, eight years later. "In this attention-deficit world, where you're constantly looking around, she would keep me on the ball—she would challenge me. I was never bored with her."

Let's be honest with ourselves about what's going on here: It's an undeniable fact that if Sharon hadn't borne such an uncanny resemblance to Jenny McCarthy, as Fulrath claims she did, she would not have had the same currency to expend on her eccentricities. This phenomenon only serves to emphasize that point: Would Zach Braff's character in Garden State have sat through an elaborate hamster funeral if his hostess didn't look like Natalie Portman?

But there's a certain gloss on these big-screen depictions that leaves out a key component of the Crazy Girl appeal: The closer to the edge she skates, the more enchanting she becomes. There is a gulf of difference between the quirky (She wears a helmet! She likes the Shins!) and the mad (Oh, fuck, oh, fuck. She's cutting herself again.)—a place inhabited by self-damaging ticking time bombs like Amy Winehouse. This is a dangerous place. It's in these rocky outcroppings that we find ourselves contemplating what it might be like to crash at a roadside motel with Lisa Marie Nowak, the diapered astronaut charged with attempted kidnapping. For your average repressed, career-driven shlub, the terra incognita that these women represent seems vaguely—liberating.

"I think underlying it all is sex," says David Rabe, playwright and author of Hurlyburly. "The sexual state seems more present, more up-close in that type of woman. There's something in that disheveled personality that says they're going to make that state more available somehow—deeper and more intense.

Long after Lawrence has shaken Hannah's spell, and his mom has confessed her secret fear that his muse would have one day "suffocated the children" had they ever gone down that road, he still can't stop thinking about her.

"[All the girls] I've met since her, in some way or another, have been the most spectacular girls on earth," Lawrence says. "Before I met Hannah, I would have died for any one of them. I met this girl who was a commentator on cable news—super-brilliant, very cute. We got into this relationship, and I all of a sudden found myself thinking, Why isn't she doing it? Why isn't she enough for me? I mean, this girl is successful, makes hundreds of thousands of dollars, travels all over the world, has half the U.S. Senate in her Rolodex, and that's not enough. Because she's not crazy."

Original here

Rush Limbaugh berates 10th grader’s school essay

The best story I’ve heard this week by far was told today over lunch. Apparently, a co-worker of mine named George listens to the Rush Limbaugh show in his car, and yesterday heard him discussing Barak Obama’s comments about similarities between the recent housing crisis and the lead-up to the Great Depression. I imagine the comments were referring to the obvious similarities between those who obtained ridiculous sub-prime loans and those in the 1920s who bought stock they couldn’t afford on margin. However, Limbaugh decided that Obama’s comments were the result of a crazy “liberal education” - and even remarks how “lucky” he is that he didn’t graduate from college, thus allowing him to escape the perils of actual knowledge.

To prove his point, Rush says he did some Google searches for “Great Depression” and then proceeds to attack each of the results as liberal propaganda. Because we all know that college professors teach straight off of Google results pages. So my friend is listening and hears something rather striking… the name of one of our mutual colleagues - Paul Alexander Gusmorino (”The Third!” - I love the way Limbaugh says that).

Limbaugh found among the top results an essay written by Paul, entitled “The Main Causes of the Great Depression.” He quotes Paul’s essay and refutes each of its claims, dissecting them as if they were part of a Harvard professor’s lecture on the subject. He doesn’t pull any punches either. “Mr. Gusmorino, you better check Karl Marx and see if you plagiarized him in putting this piece together.”

Ouch. Those words would be harsh if they really were for a Harvard lecturer. But that’s not who wrote this essay. It was my friend who works as a Program Manager at Microsoft.

When he was in 10th grade.

Original here

San Diego Zoo, Prison Merge

Newer inmates report having a difficult time making friends.

SAN DIEGO—Plagued by a lack of funding and growing staff shortages, the San Diego Zoo and Ironwood State Prison were combined earlier this week, bringing local inmates and wildlife together for the first time under the same roof.

The new state-of-the-art facility—which will house 12 separate cell blocks, a reptile house, two weight rooms, and a primate sanctuary—is expected to save the state of California up to $5 million in operation costs over the next year.

"It is with great pride that I announce the opening of the San Diego Maximum Security Zoological & Convict Reserve," director David Hennessey said at an opening ceremony Tuesday. "From southern white rhinos to repeat offenders serving 20 years for drug trafficking—you'll find them all here at our amazing new facility."

Construction on the resource-sharing project concluded last Wednesday, after which felons and fauna were carefully transferred to their new joint living space. According to Hennessey, the 40-acre facility features one of the largest collections of migratory birds, hoofed mammals, and hardened inmates in all of North America.

"This is, without a doubt, the only facility of its kind," said warden Jeff Thurston, noting the zoo-prison's authentic natural environments and thick bullet-proof glass. "At any given time, visitors may be able to spot as many as three parole violators and up to five adult black bears in the same holding cell. During scheduled feedings, that number may be even higher."

The San Diego complex is open to schoolchildren on field trips, family members of convicted felons and state-appointed defense lawyers, and is expected to help boost the city's struggling tourism industry. Thurston said that visitors have so far responded favorably to the new facility, with many citing the "Emperor Penguin And Death Row" exhibit as their personal favorite.

The complex will reportedly also feature a number of "Scared Straight" talks each week, during which young visitors will simultaneously learn about the dangers of breaking the law, as well as what happens when a male lowland gorilla suddenly feels threatened.

"I got to see the little baby pandas, and the monkeys, and the zebras," said 8-year-old Michael Nayman, who was taken by his mother to the part-zoo, part-prison compound. "And then I went and saw Daddy. But he wasn't as much fun as the pandas. He just sat in his cage and cried a little."

Despite a positive opening day, officials admitted that the San Diego facility has experienced a number of setbacks. On Tuesday, a scuffle in the shared cafeteria forced officials to fire a series of elephant-tranquilizer shots, leaving three inmates unconscious for days. In addition, a red-tailed Indonesian peacock was found stabbed to death on Thursday, after a group of prisoners accused the three-foot-tall bird of flashing colors of a rival gang in their direction.

"We've been forced to expand our infirmary unit nearly tenfold in the last week," chief nurse Margaret Hodge said. "Unfortunately, the arrival of rhinoceros mating season has made things worse, leading to the gruesome deaths of almost 50 inmates in our communal showers."

According to officials, the institution has also suffered from three recent breakout attempts, including an ill-fated effort last Friday by Enrique Gonzalez, 36, to scale a reticulated giraffe up and over the compound's barbed-wire perimeter fencing. In addition, a 280-pound Bengal tiger was accidentally granted parole after its file was confused with that of mail-fraud convict Cole Bucholz, 47.

Since the merger, officials at San Diego Zoological & Convict Reserve have received a record 600 requests from inmates wishing to be transferred to another maximum-security facility. In addition, officials have received 20 requests from inmates begging to have the dates of their execution pushed forward.

"I've been in a number of prisons in my life, but nothing compares to this," said inmate Casey Ingersoll, who despite previously committing violent murders was still horrified after witnessing a fellow convict ambushed by three Komodo dragons. "If I stay here much longer, I'll have to join up with either the Anteaters or White Supremacists for protection."

While many local residents support the new facility, particularly due to the large number of jobs it has created, some have recently spoken out against the Zoological & Convict Reserve.

"To see all those poor souls forced to live in confined living quarters, with little to no sunlight, and no hope of freedom, it's just so inhumane," San Diego housewife Carol Wurster said. "Those otters deserve better."

The San Diego Zoological & Convict Reserve's formation has been the most controvercial merger since Orlando's SeaWorld and the Ryan E. Puttnam Mental Asylum were hastily consolidated earlier this year.

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Baby subpoenaed for unpaid chiropractor bill

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) - A Harrisonburg court has dismissed a case against a baby boy summoned to appear in court for an unpaid bill.

Richard White said he was shocked when he got a subpoena in the mail requiring his 1-year-old son, Jacy, to appear in Rockingham County General District Court next Tuesday over a $391 chiropractor bill.

Neither of Jacy's parents was named in the lawsuit, which has been dismissed at the request of the plaintiff.

Shortly after his son's birth in April 2007, White says he took Jacy to the chiropractor. He suspects that when the family moved, the office updated records for everyone but Jacy.

White says his insurance didn't cover the $391 and only recently billed him - about the same time the residents of his former home forwarded the subpoena.

(Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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