Friday, June 20, 2003

Oh, for the love of Mike.

Insert your own nightmare scenario here. ------>

Once again I missed the annual Superman Festival in Metropolis, Illinois. One day I will attend, one day when Jamie has no idea what I'm up to, I will go. Anyway, here are some photos of this celebration which I did not get to go to. I'm not bitter. It's not like Noel Neill was there or anything... And how cool is this? Harrah's designed their local casino to look like The Hall of Justice...

RHPT has joined in the swirling ranks disgusted with my attack of Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. It's now time I reconsider the issue, so this weekend I plan to hole up in my subterranean bunker in classic Cheney style, get a tub of Frito's bean dip, some blue corn chips, and a 6 pack of red soda and watch DTMTBD. And I will enjoy it, dammit.

RHPT would have you believe that I claimed DTMTBD is the worst movie ever. Not so. I simply stated that in years to come, when we're standing around in rags, hoping our Ape Masters are not listening to us speak whistfully of the past... thru bleary, mud encrusted eyes we will look back and try to figure out where it all went wrong... and we will know it was with the release of Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. or when it ran on HBO all summer. I'm not sure which release window is really responsible.

I have to join Dedman in defending our useless film degrees from UT Austin. I also have a useless degree in history, but defending that would just be shameful. I have a degree in film from UT RTF, and therefore, I simply must have better taste in movie than all of you useless mongrels who flock to the theaters to stuff your gullets with "popping corn" and "Diet Coca-Cola" and gleefully squirm your way thru the latest Renee Zellwegger claptrap. Clearly, you must rely upon ME to tell you what is a good movie and what is not. Best movie ever? Godzilla 2000.

Look, it's pretty clear Randy is going thru some difficult times with the house and eyebrows thing, and he needs to work off some steam. If he really, really needs to believe DTMTBD is a great movie, vaya con dios.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

One of the great things about being a manager is that people have to listen to you. Even when you're not discussing work. And when I'm not discussing work, I have very little else to talk about aside from Melbotis, comics and pornography. I can't talk about porn all that often at work, and Melbotis doesn't do much to speak of, so I often find convoluted ways to drag the conversation kicking and screaming back to comics.

It strikes me that trivia I obtained in my youth about staples of the superhero comic book medium is not common knowledge. For example, during a discussion about earthquakes I abused my authority and used the opening to leap into an explanation of the ending of Superman I. I was also able to sneak in the counter-revolution/ time-travel sequence as well. (yesterday i made an attempt at explaining Crisis on Infinite Earths, but after 20 years, I'm not sure I understand Crisis, so it didn't go so well...)

At any rate... I have come to realize that most people recognize Spider-Man, Batman, the Hulk, Superman and Wonder Woman, but most people don't really know much about them. Which is okay. But the other day one of my co-workers said about the Hulk movie, "and did you see him throwing around a tank?! Whatever..." Indicating that essentially many, many people think of the Hulk as a green pro-wrestler. While this is an interesting idea, too, I assure you, the Hulk throws tanks very, very far.

It's not necessary going into The Hulk or Superman to understand that the Hulk can lift and throw tanks, or is so light but so strong, he can propel himself for miles at a time with a single leap. It's not necessary to know this, but I imagine it helps. Hopefully the story of the Hulk movie will explain all of this, but I know that there will still be a large portion of the public who will see the trailers and still say "did you see him throw a tank? whatever..." This may be the same population which sees trailers for Alex & Emma and wonders if they ever find love with one another... but that is not for me to judge.

I hope this movie is okay. I also hope Marvel stops making movies now before we all get stuck with a Dr. Strange movie we're all going to regret.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

John Mellencamp came to pop music prominence in the early 80's with the release of Uh-huh (1983) and American Fool (1982). Hits included Authority Song and Pink Houses and Jack and Diane.

My brother has never been much of one for birthdays, and so in 1986, I opened a solitary present from Jason on what had to be my 11th birthday. 1985's hit Scarecrow. Another birthday meant another John Mellencamp album. To the best of my recollection it was either American Fool or a greatest hits collection. 1988 brought me The Lonesome Jubilee.

That was pretty much it, as far as I can remember. That was the end of the John Mellencamp birthday era, when every year I would open a single present, and every year, it would be yet another John Mellencamp record. The peculiar thing is that I don't really like John Mellencamp, and neither does he. I don't dislike Mellencamp, and like a sport, I gave the tapes a whirl, but Mellencamp is not so much my style.

Jason's birthday apathy is well documented in the Steans Family oral history, and, in fact, from 1991 to 1996, it's safe to say nobody actually received a birthday present from him.

One dark day in the mid 90's I asked him "why Mellencamp?"

He didn't remember.

"You DON'T like Mellencamp?"

"No. He's fine, I guess."

"You had Mellencamp records."

"You gave those to me."

"I did?"


"I'll be damned. So you don't like John Mellencamp?"

"He's fine, but I never was really a big fan."

And he had a good long laugh at my expense.

As he emerged from Law School, birthday presents reappeared, and eventually, they even showed some knowledge of other's preferences.

Yesterday I opened a final and belated (by 2 months) birthday present from Jason. Thanks, man.
Jim D. has gone on the defensive. After yesterday's well-deserved pot shot at the modern movie business, Jim is now trying to fill your cottony brains with the notion that Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead is not as bad as it first appears. Clearly, Jim is a sick, sick man. I have posted my response and comments on his site and see no reason for you lazy bastards not to click over and read Jim's site today.

I had a telephone conference with Intel people in Malaysia, Singapore and God-knows where else at 7:20 this morning. I hate phone conferences. It's like delivering a presentation to a rock that occasionally asks a question.

Melbotis Update

Two weeks ago when we took Mel in for a shave and a haircut (two bits!), we then detoured him thru the PetsMart to select a new toy. Last night, in an act of animal aggression and over-sized puppy hyper-activity, Mel completely tore apart his toy frog. Hopefully I can get photos up soon. That's what $6.98 and a little teasing will get you. Now I have to find him a new toy with far, far fewer seams.

We are looking at adopting another dog in July. I hope he realizes this behavior is only accpetable with fluffy frog toys.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I feel inclined to blog, but nothing of significance has occured within the past 48 hours. But other folks have blogged, and blogged well. I would point you to the blog of Crazy Jim D. He's blogged an enormous amount recently. He blogged recently about cameras on campus at the Univ. of Texas.

Well, Jim, once again you've inspired me. I've declared my shower a public place (as is my constitutionally guaranteed right, I am sure), installed a camera, and will soon be posting images of myself in the raw on this site. You may mistake me for a bald panda, but I assure you, that's me.

The site's name will be changing to I will also be charging a $20 monthly membership fee to the site. Looking forward to all of you joining!

Also, Jim rants about how bad movies have become. But, my friends, I have seen the movie so vapid, so insidiously awful, that it may actually been the point at which the Shining Light of American Culture finally Jumped the Shark. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead.

I like bad movies. I have Big Trouble in Little China on DVD. But this movie surpasses funny bad and heads straight for depressing. If this is what American culture has to offer, I will spend my days grovelling in the streets of Myanmar.

The 80's brought us a common theme to comedy: a complete lack of motivation for any character to act in any sane way in order to advance the nauseatingly convoluted plot. This isn't just limited to Michael J. Fox movies and anything with Kirk Cameron in it. Usually, at least those guys were chasing some tail. No, these movies had characters acting in ways which make my 2nd grade Christmas pageant look like a Tony winner. THis movie makes so little sense, has characters acting with such little regard with care to themselves or others, that each twist and turn drives the viewer inches closer to the abyss. Truly, truly, truly, this may be the single dumbest piece of shit ever devised. I advise you to see it for yourself before we throw stones at American Pie.

Monday, June 16, 2003


I'm a little sad the Admiral is going, but bon voyage to you, sir! The NBA will be a poorer place for your retirement.

I also watched a good chunk of Bare-Assed Fine Arts Majors, this evening. It was an intriguing show, especially the sections which included Alec Baldwin introducing different branches on the cladiogram. If ANYONE is clearly a leading authority on human evolution, it must be a Baldwin. One may trace humanity from slithering gastropod to homo-Sapien just by looking at the Baldwin brothers.

This weekend I bagged and boarded comics, put them in their proper boxes and once again noted "I own many, many comics. Perhaps too many?" Really, I have a run of Uncanny X-Men from 168-312, and I'm never going to read it again. This is at least a recognizable title I am proud to have in my collection, but I also have crates of early DC-Vertigo titles, single issues of Avengers and tons of black and whites from whenever my inability to collect indie titles weighs upon my soul.

But here's the deal... the archivist in me (which is an ever exapnding portion of my being) wants more. I want them all. Given a million dollars and no parental supervision, I would build a Fortress of Solitude which would allow me to house an infinite number of comics at below room temperature, in low humidity, and still allow me access to the Lois Lane pimp bed from Superman 2.

Here is my review of last week's Adventures of Superman by Joe Casey: It was crappy. If you're looking to read Superman, do not start here. For the love of God, do not start here.

We spent all weekend looking for a coffee table. Our living room has no coffeetable to speak of, and so our coffee is forced to float suspended in mid-air. This was the 3rd or 4th weekend we'd spent looking, and I am happy to say that at the last store we looked, at the 11th hour, Jamie finally found a coffee table which she believes will fill the nagging void in our non-existsent feng-shui. Like everything in our lives, the table is dual purpose. Our kitchen is our family room (all too true), our living room is our dining room, and our bedroom is our bathroom. Our architect was a madman. At any rate, the table is also an enormous clock. In 6 weeks (or sooner! they tell us) the table/ clock wil descend into our lives and be an uncomfortable novelty piece which will pursue us until the end of time. (oh, hey.. a pun!)

Anyway, sorry I've been away. It's been a busy week. Next week looks just as grim. Hopefully I will post more.