Monday, April 10, 2006

Melbotis Mailbag

Well, you guys were supposed to get another taste test this evening, but Blogger is being weird and I can't seem to upload those all-too important photos.

So, a little bit early we're going to do something new. You guys sent in some questions and whatnot as part of the 2006 Melbotis Awards. We're going to re-route those e-mails to this new experiment: Melbotis Mailbag.

If you have questions or comments, send them on in. We'll do what we can to answer your every query.

Let's see here.

CrackBass asks: Why does the League obsess about Burger King and/or Jones Soda?

Well, Burger King fascinates me as it is the #2 or #3 fast food franchise, certainly well behind McDonalds, and yet BK seems to have better items on the menu than McD's. Note how every Leaguer had an opnion on what's worth chowing on at the BK, but I am guessing the reaction to a question about McDonald's would have met with disdain.

Plus, BK has a kick-ass mascot.

Not only is McDonald's food not considered to be as good, McDonalds has never had an entertaining commercial in it's storied history. Their mascot isn't even amusing. It's madness.

My fascination with Jones Soda's Holiday Feast? Well, it's soda supposedly flavored like items which were never meant to be had in soda form. How can you not want to at least see what these dudes were thinking? It's a sort of stupid thing to do, turning brussel sprouts into soda. And we at the League are always curious about the intentionally stupid.

All right... what else..

Nathan says: Why does the League obsess about how un-hip Chandler is? Of course it's un-hip, just like most of America! It can't all be Austin, LA, NYC, etc. I used to dog San Antonio all the time, but now it's home, and there's plenty of things I love and hate about the city.

Randy asks: Why does The League obsess about Austin. Stop living in the past, dude.

I felt these two questions were interrelated as they both tie into my dissatisfaction with my current geographic situation.

Why not Chandler, AZ? Well, there's nothing to do in Chandler. That's not to say there's nothing to do in Phoenix or Arizona. There's just nothing to do in Chandler, and, moreover, nobody to do it with.

I don't think that because Chandler is un-hip like the rest of America is a good reason to roll over and accept boredom as my fate. In fact, I think that's a fairly terrible idea. Why on earth would I compromise my idea of an ideal place to live because other people live to go to Target, buy minivans and play golf? I am not bagging on Phoenix (and I well could, but I don't). I'm bagging on Chandler because it's exactly the kind of suburban nightmare I always swore I would avoid winding up living in. I can't reiterate enough: there is absolutely nothing to do here. And nobody to do it with.

We live a forty five minute drive into town, for those of you keeping score at home. It's about thirty minutes just to get to Tempe.

Look, a big night on the town on Chandler is grabbing dinner (nothing wrong with that) and going to a movie. Again, nothing wrong with that. But after four years that wears a little thin. And doing much of anything else usually has significant dollar signs attached. Yeah, we went to rollerderby this weekend (an hour drive, btw), and are going to a Diamondbacks game this weekend (to see Nathan's Astros). Hopefully we can continue to find things to do outside of Chandler.

Four years in and the only people I know out here are my co-workers, and that's a mixing of business and pleasure which really doesn't work out so well. Especially when you have to be "the boss" again on Monday. And the few other folks we've met out here sort of ended up with kids. Sorry, new parents... you will abandon your childless friends. It's true. I think the childless couples are just creepy to the kids, anyway.

We're not completely blameless in the whole ordeal. Jamie and I tend to keep to ourselves sometimes.

On a different note: One big reason we're ofter seeking a return to the Lone Star state is that we're now far enough away from family that Jamie has a support structure of one (moi). I don't know how many of you have folks in your house who could need hospitalization at the drop of a hat, but after a while, you kind-of/sort-of wish that you were a car ride rather than a plane ride away from folks who would be all too happy to assist.

A LOT of people are always telling us to skip town and go see the desert, etc... And to be truthful, that's a little tough for us to do. At least for me. I always hate being more than an hour from Jamie's hospital unless we have parents or a working knowledge of an area (do you know where your ER is? The average wait times?).

So am I being misty-eyed about Austin? Probably. I did live there for most of my life, so I'm biased. And I'm also probably spoiled. I miss having non-chain restaurants to go to. I miss living four miles from work, working with my friends and having an endless array of opportunities every night of the week, all withing ten miles of the house. There's a pretty good reason Austin has the reputation it has, both good and bad.

Chandler does not have:
Any decent record shops
Barton Springs
Alamo Drafthouse (or any independent cinema)
decent touring bands
decent local bands
coffee houses not crawling with seniors
Bar BQ
decent bars
Spam-o-Rama (and dozens of other nonsensical events)
A great comic shop
Any of my terrific friends or family

I don't particularly feel the "hipster" attachment to Austin (I did move there when I was 10, after all). But I do think the lifestyle there in Austin was something I'd become accustomed to.

It's not about living in the past, team (and thanks for putting it in such a classy way, RHPT). It's about how you want to spend the rest of your life. I'm not ready to throw my hands in the air and decide the rest of my life should be reheated leftovers from Chili's and trips to the mall to buy sneakers. That's just not how we'd prefer to wind up here at The League.

Whoops. That wound up a little heavier than I intended the first Melbotis Mailbag to end up. I'm not really sure I completely answered your questions, but I gave it the old League of Melbotis try.

Feel free to send in questions. We'll see what we can do.

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