Friday, April 23, 2004

I am hoping Mel will soon have a buddy.

Yesterday when i got home there was a bit of commotion in the backyard. I went out to check on my flowers (which, given the state of the yard, are kind of wildflowers), and I heard my next door neighbor chatting with my katty-korner neighbor over the fence.

Still, I figured I wasn't going to stick my nose into their business. Eventually, I did, in fact, stick my nose into their business because, Leaguers, that's what The League excels at. My next door neighbor, Eric, is about 7' tall. He's really, really a great guy... he just happens to be able to see me all the time over the fence. Eric, perhaps due to his stature, is a big fan of Great Danes. Hence, he has a very sweet puppy named Lacy who is somewhat larger than Jamie. Jamie really likes Lacy, but Lacy is a very shy dog and only rarely says "hello". She ALWAYS looks alarmed when i wave to her over the fence.

Lacy has a boy dog over. Apparently Lacy is being bred, which is kind of exciting. Eric and Annette really take care of their dog, and they're big dog people who know all the different details of raising one and all the details about the breed etc... However, two dogs + cinderblock fence + excitement = some blocks fell out of the fence. Whoops. It appears Lacy and her beau took a few blocks out while saying hello to the neighbor kids.

Eric was telling me what was going on, and expalinging he was breeding Lacy, and I blurted out, "If it goes okay, we want a puppy." Jamie was not in earshot, so I quickly said, "Jamie can be convinced. Let me try."

So when Jamie came back to the fence to look over and see the boy doggy, I quickly said it again. "If it goes okay, we want a puppy. Right, sweetie?" She kind of looked nervous. "They're so big..." (seriously, even at 116 pounds, they dwarf my buddy Mel). "No big deal!" I answered. "You'll love it!"

Eric looked concerned about our eager acceptance. "We don't know what color they'll be. Tehy could be either fawn or brindle."

Jamie shrugged. "No big deal. We just like the doggies."

So we may, maybe, maybe, might be getting a Great Dane puppy.
Obviously I don't know the former Arizona Cardinal who fell in Afghanistan. I learned that he played ball and received his degree from my employing University.

“Pat Tillman was an outstanding ASU graduate who understood that we are in a global war, and he volunteered to be part of that,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “He fully understood the risks, yet he went to defend his country, and he gave up his life. Pat was an extraordinary young man who brought credit to us all.”

Flags are flying at half-staff throughout the university and the state. As plans unfold for special remembrances of Tillman at ASU, an announcement will be made. Crow and the university community send their thoughts and prayers to Tillman’s family and friends throughout the country.

Just noticed the name of this show. A few Leaguers may find this amusing.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

You know, after one long night at Club De Ville, I had a similar experience.
So, upon viewing the trailer for New York Minute, Jamie turned to look at me and said:

You know, Eugene Levy is turning into the Samuel L. Jackson of comedy.

She couldn't be more right.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I used to work with Sheldon at UT.

He let me play around the nuclear reactor and he used to buy me lunch at Mother's. An all around square-G, and I guarantee you, he's not happy about all this.
oh, my virgin ears...

I am quite a-twitter that this is going to be in our national archives forever and ever and ever. And I would have loved to have been in the meeting where it was decided what could and couldn't be said.

"How about the c-bomb?"
"Oh, that's on the list."
"Get real, man."
"Well, we have to put fuck on the list, because my mom STILL has conniptions if she sees Eddie Murphy on TV. Even after The Nutty Professor..."
"Oh, fuck is definitely a-number-one on the list."
"After 10:00, it's not a big deal."
"How is crap different from shit?"
"Man, shit is waaaaaayyyyy worse than crap."
"How so?"
"It just is."
"Okay, put shit on the list. We'll take it off later if we change our minds."
"You've got to be shitting me."
"No. I think we need to add piss."
"How about pee-pee. Can we still say pee-pee?"
"Absolutely. Pee-pee is endearing. Piss means, you know... it's bad and stuff. Babies pee-pee. They don't piss."
"Asshole is on."
"Oh, man, yeah."
"You just don't get it, do you..?"

THanks to Randy for this tidbit:

Batman and Robin in the UK?

I suppose it's much easier to emulate Batman than Superman if you're going to go ahead and do the whole cape thing. It would be far less impressive to just see Superman jogging off after, say, opening a jar of pickles for you. Forget about trying to do Green Lantern or The Atom.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I almost forgot.

So I'm having lunch with this group from work and a woman I used to work with from another team, and we're talking about the local eateries, and I mention... "hey, yeah, I try not to go to [large chain corporate restaurant] too often. I'm just burned out on it."
"I won't go to [large chain corporate restaurant] either," says Michelle.
"Burned out?"
"Sick of their food?"
"No. I'll tell you when we finish eating."
So i assume it's a barf story, or a story about something she found in someone's plate, or something fun like that.
"No," she says. "My husband went to the bathroom, and he came back white as a sheet. And I asked him what the problem was. And he said he found a dead guy in the bathroom."
"A what?"
"A dead guy. Apparently the guy had shot himself in the head just before my husband walked in. So he saw.. you know..."
"Oh my God."
"So we had to sit there while they pretended to help the dead guy, who was pretty much dead... and then we watched him get carried out on a gurney."
"You have to wonder," my co-worker said, "How he got the cat in there."
We all stared at her quizzically.
"It wasn't a cat," Octavio offered. "It was a guy."
"Oh, well, that makes more sense," she nodded. "I thought you said it was a cat in the bathroom, and I couldn't figure out how you would get a cat into a [large chain corporate restaurant]."
"And so we're walking out the door," Michelle continued. "And the hostess is still asking How was everything?, and the other hostess is, like Shut Up! They're the ones who found the guy in the bathroom!"
"So, did you ever find out what had happened?"
"No," Michelle shrugged. "He had been drinking at the bar a while, and then my husband found him."

So, Leaguers, a little morbid thought for the next time you're feeling like heading down to your corner [large chain corporate restaurant].

and because I have not yet said it: There, but for the Grace of God, go I....

In response to my post below regarding the guy who loves Tron, Nathan C. of San Antonio has offered the following:

"Wednesday morning, after allowing it to dry overnight, I tried it on to see what problems needed fixing: "

As in: "TRON warriors were never this pudgy?"
As in: "I'm still not as cool as Flynn. What's wrong?"
As in: "my head/Master Control Program?"
As in: "I still can't get that orange on the kitchen table to disappear by shooting it with my keychain laser pointer?"
As in: "I still seem to wipeout on my motorcycle every time I try one of those 90 degree turns. Need to work on the suspension."

Check out this ad. I'm totally going to start growing kids of myself so I can harvest them for parts later.

Actually, the website is a fake-ad for the new movie Godsend starring DeNiro. Apparently a number of people who have actually lost their children have found the site while trying to work through their grief, and the site isn't doing them any favors. The web-site doesn't really indicate it's a plant and advertising gimmick for a movie. A strange, weird world we live in. I mean, we actually live in an era where science fiction is blurring with fact. (No, I do not know enough about cloning to know where we actually are right now with cloning a human, but the experiments in the Garage of Solitude are going well.)

It's always a little horrific to see Hollywood try to grapple with new technology or ideas. Anybody else remember the movies The Net or Hackers? A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing and usually makes for a very silly movie about seven years after the fact. Godsend, in particular, looks to be Pet Semetary meets The Sixth Day. And if that one-two combo doesn't do it for you, I can't imagine what would.

I'll be curious to see if the ad changes.
If I could browbeat all of the Leaguers into changing one behavior, it would be to get them to step into a comic shop just once this year. You don't even need to spend any money, but get an idea of the wacky world of comic nuttiness. Breath in the warm, stale air of the local comic shop and be amazed at the nonsense inherent therein.

Somehow, I finally broke Randy. I'm not sure if he ever actually bought anything, but he went back inside. From there, the infiltration begins.

Speaking of comics... (which I occasionally do...)

Superman has officially relaunched with new creative teams for the next year. To get an idea of what you might expect, I suggest you take a look at the website DC has created for those of you curious to see what is going on in Metropolis these days. They've provided very nice PDF sneak peeks.

Here is the preview for Superman #204 coming out in two weeks.

Just when i was feeling a little low about what kind of geek I've willingly become, some things brighten your day. This guy's enthusiasm is contagious.

thanks to Jamie for the link.

Monday, April 19, 2004

I should never go to Vegas.

My first trip to Vegas was, at that point, the furthest west I had ever travelled, my first time in a desert, and my first work related trip. I was travelling with Michael "The My" Young and Derek "G-rated fun" Lee, my co-workers from the multimedia shop we'd set up at the University of Texas.

It was strange enough seeing the hotels from the plane and then from the tarmac... like tiny little sets built out in the middle of nowhere for some post-apocolyptic envisioning of the world, or maybe Brainiac's playground after he's miniaturized city after city. But then you draw closer, and you realize that was just a trick of the light, a matter of perspective. Each hotel is a city unto itself. Your brain lied to you, simply because it had never seen anything like it, and couldn't process the insanity.

We checked into Circus-Circus (actually... funny story... somehow Circus Circus did not have us listed as guests despite the fact we were holding reservation confirmations in our hands. These were the early days of online hotel reservations, kids...). Jamie's family was in Vegas for some reason at the same time. So while we were sorting our mess out, there's Dick and Judy waving to me from across the very crowded lobby.

One's first view of The Strip is overwhelming, but inconsequential to my point here. My point here is that I should never go to Vegas.

Because after several days in Vegas of wandering the NAB showroom and sitting through hours of presentations and visiting the Coca-Cola museum and all that good stuff, one morning I woke up, took a shower, put on my socks and turned on the TV while Michael "The My" Young brushed his teeth.

"Jesus," I said. "Some kids just opened up with a bag of guns at their high school out in Colorado."
"Oh," said The My. "That's where I grew up."

We watched the TV for a while, not saying much. We went down to a cafe and got some eggs, and didn't really talk. And that was that. My hadn't gone to school at Columbine High School, and he didn't know the kids... but, still.

And if you've been reading here for a while, you may remember that my second trip to Vegas began on September 9th, 2001 and ended a few days later when planes started flying again, and everybody was painfully polite to one another.

So, yeah... I shouldn't ever go back to Vegas.
Jim informs me that the Hellmouth is not in Sunnyvale. It is in Sunnydale. Which would explain why there are so few vampires here in Sunnyvale. Instead, we're plagued by CHUDs.
It's been several years now since I watched Buffy, but as the Buffy-geek community often interbreeds with the comic geek community, I can't help but keep tabs.

Chandler is making an effort to be Sunnyvale for a day. I'm almost tempted to go down to the library and see what's going on.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Not much to report from Melbotis HQ. Slow weekend, not much happening. Beautiful weather. Etc...

I'm skipping the Punisher movie. For those of you who don't know, The Punisher is a Marvel character from the mid-70's who was originally a Spider-Man villain, and later became an anti-hero. He was cut from the same cloth as some Bronson movies (think the Death Wish series... in which you get to see Jeff Goldblum playing a "tough.) The Punisher's popularity soared in the mid-80's in the era of "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" action movies, and killing everyone in your path seemed like the most direct way to resolve a conflict.

Now, this may be surprising, but watching a dude in black pants kill every human being who crosses his path gets a bit stale after a while. So the Punisher's popularity waned in the early 90's.

Around 2000 The Punisher was relaunched as a dark, dark comedy about a guy out to kill everybody who ever committed a crime, and the very silly ways people try to stop him (not to mention a police force who secretly roots for him to take out the scumbags). It starred insane roid-infested Russian assassins, goofy nebbish cops and a slew of other characters trying to make sense of The Punisher's quest for vengeance.

My understanding is that the new movie uses these characters while refusing to be a comedy. Which is an odd choice, but I'm no genius of a producer. Furthermore, for reasons probably related to budgeting, the Punisher has moved from the "anything can happen" shadows of New York's underbelly to the tropical clime of Tampa, Florida, where one can, presumably, soak up the ocean air while acting as an unstoppable killing machine.

The truth is, we've all already seen this movie. There's no point to it if they weren't going to do something new (which is also why the black comedy series worked so well). After Commando, what the hell is there? Commando is the template for the video game action movie. You move up and up, collecting weapons until you fight the big boss. One could point to bruce Lee movies as pre-dating the concept, and I imagine they'd be right, but those movies had a certain grace and panache utterly lacking in testosterone bonanza's exemplified by Commando.

I don't really love Commando the way I did when I was 13, but it's brutal simplicity must have really struck a chord with people, because they've remade that movie a few hundred times over since it was released. As an interesting side-note, Jeph Loeb, one of my favorite comic writers, is also responsible for Commando.

Speaking of comics... Did anybody else see this week's epsidoe of Simpsons (entitled My Big Fat Geek Wedding)? Truly, a day of shame in the Steans household.