Thursday, May 01, 2003

Today I am in mourning. Trenyce has been voted off of American Idol. I have no reason to go on.

You might recall I was mentioning the 80's nostalgia craze in comics a few entires ago. Well, next Wednesday, Voltron is making a return, but this time in comics.

why do robots need noses or mouths?

My head has been swimming since yesterday when Jim D. compared me to both Paul Lynde and John McCain in his pitch for my blog, which you're currently reading. This gave me a moment of pause as I don't follow politics all that closely, and my knowledge of Paul Lynde is mostly associated with a conversation i had in an elevator about how a Hanna Barbera character sounded just like him, but was it Snagglepuss or that fox guy? I always saw myself more as Yogi Bear, although I often fancied myself to be a bit like QuickDraw McGraw or Ted Kennedy.

Anyway, I was forced to ask myself, what do Paul Lynde and McCain have in common? And then it struck me... Both McCain and Lynde spent YEARS trapped in enclosed spaces (McCain in a tiger cage, Lynde in a Square). One had a horrifying experience which led him to decide to make a run at becoming the most powerful man on earth, and the other became a US Senator who did some finance reform thingie.

Like most folks, once I hear what people think of me personally, I obsess over the how's and why's of their opinion, read way too much into it, and then do nothing to actually change my more annoying habits. I now see my blog as the rantings of a near-broken Snagglepuss trapped in a tiger cage in Vietnam. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Jim D. Has been kind enough to advertise my blog. I think that was what he was doing, anyway. Either that or he's pointing me out to the NSA for immediate termination. It's hard to tell from the analogy.

In his honor, I point to this link.

Thank you, Jim.
Everyday between 7:55 and 8:10, my whole building rumbles once or twice with a low, rolling "boom." I work in a second floor office of what is essentially supposed to be retail space, just off Mill and University in Tempe. This rumbling has long been a mystery to me as it genuinely feels as if a bomb has gone off, but the sound never quite lives up to the catastrophic "boom" I thought an explosion should sound like. So I thought, well, maybe something explodes everyday across the street, and nobody has told me. Yet, I also assumed that if someone were detonating explosives beneath us everyday, sooner or later the property manager would let us know for our own safety.

Yesterday I found out it's just an enormous loading door on the side of the building slamming shut. What a let down.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Toys That Should Not Be

Here's the crackalackin' shiznizzle.

Wow, no sooner have we secured Iraq, than the toy guys are ON IT!!!

Went to a very strange place today for lunch. It's a new place in Tempe called eJoy. It's a freaking cybercafe. It felt so very 1996, and I felt old and unoptimistic. It was also dead empty and playing ambient techno. They're charging for computer usage by the minute. All in all, a weird scene, but my sandwhich was good, and I enjoyed my Berry Fruitea. I wish we were still in the bubble economy. That was a fun time, wasn't it?
Hurray for PBS. Last night was the premier of PBS's short-run reality series: Manor House. It's one in a series of PBS shows documenting modern folks trying to recreate a lifestyle of a bygone era. Manor House takes on the realities of the British Costume Drama and attempts to look at life in the world of Upstairs, Downstairs. A family has been selected to play the role of Lords of the Manor, and several others have been selected to act as chef, scullery maid, butler, footman, etc... in an authentic manor house somewhere in England. Resources are limited to items commonly found in 1906, or those less commonly found in 1906, such as phones, cars, etc...

It's not a show with winners and losers, but a social experiment to see how 21st century folks can deal with the very real details of existence of yesteryear. It makes for very interesting television.

They've done previous versions of the show, with Frontierhouse (the show which made me feel like I am but half-a-man), 1900 House, and they did one on being in London during the Blitz, but I can't find the name of the show nor the web-site. All were imminently fascinating.

When you're done watching American Idol tonight, flip over to Smallville (Hurray, Superman!), but when that's over, consider flipping over to PBS to watch some of Manor House. They're currently running it in 2 hour episodic chunks, which seems like a lot of TV, but it goes by very quickly.
Happy 3rd Wedding Anniversary to Jamie and me. It's been 3 magical, fun-filled years. No, that is not me. That is Melbotis. Note the attention payed to the tennis ball in the corner of the frame.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Ahhhh.... The Suburbs.

Jamie and I, in our eternal voyage to find something resembling entertainment in the Greater Chandler area, went to the Chandler Jazz Festival this weekend. The event kind of highlighted everything that's more or less wrong with Chandler.

The event was put on with the gusto of an elementary school carnival, complete with the little light up necklaces filled with carcinogens and radium. We arrived some time around 7:15, wandering down Arizona Avenue across from the City Municipal building. There were swarms of middle-aged white folk, and we heard not a note or lick of music, and for some reason, there was a hot-air balloon being set-up in the little park area. For a split second I feared we'd stumbled into some sort of AARP riot, but as we passed Razzleberry's, I finally heard some yokel singing.

We were assaulted by someone I assumed was a bum (although, honestly, i've yet to see any bums in Chandler) who then tried to get Jamie and I to buy a CD. For some reason he had decided i must be a musician (probably because I was under 45 and had no children with me.)

Chandler is to children as New York is to
a) Pidgeons
b) Roaches
c) Rats
d) Would-be-actors/ waiters
e) All of the Above

The answer is: A) Pidgeons. The only difference is kids can't fly out of the way when you really hit the gas. The answer is not E) because that would encompass answer d) and as we all know would-be-actors/ waiters have hope, and hope is not a commodity that springs forth freely in Chandler, AZ.

Anyway, I don't know much about Jazz, but I know it generally has little to do with hot-air balloons or children or the single worst faux-Mardi Gras parade knock-off ever. Baptist churches probably do a better job than this at emulating the genuine Mardi Gras experience. 10 Golf carts with fat suburbanites throwing beads at old women (whom I was PRAYING would not do the usual to collect their beads) somehow didn't make me wonder if I were lost on Bourbon street. Or maybe it did. It was like someone had once seen Mardi Gras on TV and had spent 10 years dreaming up how to make it worse.

At 8:00 we retired to the Kikko-something Winery/ Bistro where I tried to get drunk, but not so drunk I couldn't drive home. A trio was playing inside to little or no applause. Solos were met with round indifference, and eventually the drummer started purposely banging really hard just to annoy people. The desire to own my own drum swelled within my heart.

At 8:15 they knocked off, and, curiously, no one replaced the band. At 8:40 Jamie and I stepped out onto Arizona avenue and across the street once again to Razzleberry's where we had a rootbeer float to soak up the booze. We re-emerged onto the street, and at 9:00pm, I realized that not only had the Jazz festival already ended (with a whimper), but they were closing down all of downtown Chandler.

I don't know what I was expecting out of the Jazz festival, but like everything else in Arizona, there was a concept and absolutely no follow-through. And is it really that good of an idea to schedule against the New Orleans Jazz Festival? The concept of a desirable headline act clearly eluded the organizers as well as the concept of any actual venues or artists.

I'm not saying I didn't have fun, because I did. And I found out the San Marcos hotel is an historical landmark where luminaries such as Jimmy Stewart once golfed and vacationed. I just wish that just once, something in Arizona would appear to have been thought out with a little more strategy than a 3rd grade play.

Apparently we missed Queen Creek, Arizona's "Country Thunder", a two day musical event where lots and lots of white trash tends to get arrested. Next year I'm going to that.