Saturday, October 14, 2006

A little football

UT wins! Well, it's Baylor.

Colt McCoy is not as dazzling to watch as Vince, but it will be very interesting to watch this already solid quarterback mature. He's not throwing any more interceptions than Simms, and he seems to have a better head on hsi shoulders... But when things go south on him in the pocket, he just isn't Vince Young. That's okay. He's good.

Of course, my favorite player this season is Limas Sweed. Limas looks like he's planning to get UT into one of the big bowl games all on his own if he must.

I am very tired of UT looking like deer in the headlights in the 1st quarter, but they do seem to wake up in the second quarter... I just can't believe UT gave up so many points. To Baylor.

A moment for OU's Adrian Peterson and Sooner fans. Geez... well, he'll be back maybe before end of the year. Maybe.

A&M, well done again this week.
Picture Parade

Recently, the in-laws came to town. Jamie's Dad (that's Dr. McB to you, mister!) took some photos and sent them our way. We're not really done with the house, but this might give you an idea of what we're up to.

If you're looking for a house in Austin, btw, I totally recommend our realtor.

Why, look! It's a comforting suburban street in Anytown, USA!

This is our house. There are many like it, but this one is mine. You will note the upstairs and downstairs patios. A big selling point.

These are the shelves we painted red. Now many Supermans and Batmans dwell upon the shelves. It's probably a little overwhelming, but not nearly as much as my office will be when I finish. Yes, these shelves are in one of the two living areas which comprise the downstairs.

And there's me with my giant Spider, Mr. Spider. He was a gift from the in-laws. Mr. Spider used to adorn the walls of their home every Halloween, but Judy decided to give Mr. Spider up so now he has a new Halloween home. And given the number of spiders we've found in the house, Mr. Spider will have lots of friends.

the photo was taken before Jim Deadman had been constructed. photos of Jim Deadman will hopefully be forthcoming.

Friday, October 13, 2006


-Leaguers, I often remind you to take my opinion of your favorite programs with a grain of salt. I am but a deeply opinionated and intellectually bankrupt blogger trying to find television programming which appeals to my own particular brand of amusement. Keep in mind, I still giggle and clap when someone turns the key for me on one of those wind-up cymbal monkeys.

With that warning, I've been watching a lot of Sci-Fi Channel's original series "Ghost Hunters".

It's October, our spookiest month, and I feel I can ponder the supernatural a bit. "Ghost Hunters" is all about attempting to debunk ghostly evidence while simultaneously creeping you out. Honestly, The League is not one to believe much in ghosts, flying saucers, the Loch Ness Monster or most traffic laws. I confess that I do believe in El Chupacabra. Too much damn evidence.

If you have basic cable and a free Saturday afternoon, you really can't miss all the programs which bring us re-enactments of mysterious visitations, hauntings and horror. You may have seen one of the programs such as "Most Haunted", "Secrets of Area 51", "World's Scariest Places" or "Bigfootville". Basic cable has a made a mint out of promising to present compelling evidence of the mysteries of our childhood, but the programs never really deliver. After all, it seems unlikely at best that if someone WERE to capture video footage of The Yeti of Norman, Oklahoma, the first place you might stumble across it would be on a Saturday afternoon rerun of a two-year-old one hour basic cable show.

But, what the heck... I like "Ghost Hunters." Mostly, I like the fact that two blue collar dudes have parlayed their otherwise cynical nature and problem solving skills into a successful Ghost Hunting business (whose services may be, I think, available pro bono). Each weekend these gentlemen jump in the car with some friends and go videotape old, creepy houses. But I DO think they try to be skeptical, and I do believe them when they see something they can't explain (I've seen things I can't explain, such as Jamie's ability to put away a 1 lb. bag of Skittles).

As you may know, The League is currently jobless, and we think Ghost Hunting may be the next exciting career opportunity we should explore. Jamie has already declined to join me in my investigations, stating, "You know, I don't believe in ghosts, but there's no way in hell I'm sitting in a dark house all night waiting to see if something jumps out at me." So, looks like I'd be flying solo if I were to pursue this to its logical conclusion. That's where Mel comes in. Mel with a flashlight strapped to his head.

-Today I assembled my new front porch decoration. I have named it: Jim Deadman.

Jim Deadman is my latest version of The Great Pumpkin. I took one of the artificial Jack O' Lanterns from Target, drilled a hole in the head, put an eyelet in the porch roof and attached string. I attached two "skeleton hand" gloves to a beige bed sheet and then suspended those from some eyelets. All of this creates a nice "ghostly" motion for Jim Deadman and allows Jim to sway in the breeze. Unfortunately, I was trying to be careful and removed the bulb from Jim's artificial head, and in the process of replacing the bulb, I dropped it. So. I need to go buy Jim's head a new bulb.

Home-made decoration construction tip #1: Zip ties. Everything can be solved with zip ties.

-I decided to go out and hang Jim Deadman today as the weather finally broke. It's cool outside. It feels like Fall. I am inclined to put on jeans tomorrow. And maybe take a shower if Jamie is lucky. I have not lived somewhere that has Fall in a few years. I plan to enjoy it.

It was so nice out, in fact, that Jamie and I sat on our upstairs patio and ate dinner. I tell you, Leaguers, you cannot go wrong with an upstairs patio. Add an upstairs patio to your home today.

-I spoke with an old pal from years gone by. Some of you WW Warriors may remember Shauna C. from the checkout line at K-Mart circa 1991. I remember Shauna as a mean dancer and the person who pointed out that a McDonald's cone is less than a dollar (circa 1994). Anyhoo, Shauna has landed on her feet in sunny LA and is doing quite well for herself as a bit of a writer.

You know, normally The League loathes hearing success stories about people with whom he once shared a cafeteria. After all, The League is currently unemployed and hasn't bothered to shave in a week (we've decided that The League's outward appearance must match the grimness of his career prospects). So it's nice to hear a success story about someone to whom you don't want to immediately respond "That @$$hole? His own plane?"

Those sorts of conversations inevitably end with the League standing on a cliff overlooking the pounding surf, staring into an empty bottle of wood grain alcohol while contemplating the injustices of being born into this meaningless existence.

Then you hear one of the good ones did well for themself and it's punch and pie all over again. Good for Shauna C. Hopefully she'll be willing to spend her hard-earned monies funding my ghost investigations.

-This evening I cracked open my first Halloween movie, finally attached the DVD player to the TV and enjoyed. In a fit of Elvira love, spawned by my post from earlier this week, I watched my recently purchased copy of "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark". It was nostalgia and my memory of Elvira's final dance number that got me through the movie. In some ways, the movie was a lot funnier now than when I was 13 and watching it for the first time, but in many ways... well, if you want to borrow it, you know who you can call.

-Also, I watched an Elvira hosted original version of "Little Shop of Horrors". I've been a fan of the film musical starring Ellen Greene, Rick Moranis and Steve Martin since the mid-80's (Ellen Greene as Audrey probably deserves her very own DITMTLOD). However, this was the black and white original, which I'd never seen.

Film legend has it that the entire movie was filmed in two days for a few thousand dollars, but is probably just as famous for including a very young Jack Nicholson in one of his first roles (he plays the masochist part you may recal Bill Murray took on in the musical). It's worth noting that the movie is actually pretty funny in parts, and certainly never seems concerned with being taken seriously. I'm not sure if the characters were each given business and a base personality by Roger Corman (the film's director and producer), or what happened, but in a lot of ways, the film almost reads like the actors were entertaining themselves as much as trying to get the film made.

Occasionally, Elvira pops up in the movie (it's a menu selection before you start the movie), and while her comments are welcome, the technology isn't as seamless as it should be to make this work.

-You may note a lack of Halloween Contest this year. Sorry about that. I'm a little pre-occupied. Maybe next year.

-Hope all Leaguers are doing well.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Because I can think of just too many Leaguers who might find this amusing...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

From Television Without Pity regarding the Season 3 Premier for "Lost"

Closeup on an eye, which turns out to be scanning a CD rack. A hand reaches out and grabs what is recognizably the case for Speaking in Tongues by the great Talking Heads, and since I am one of those guys who have to know these things and let everyone else that I know these things, I immediately announced, "Cool! Talking Heads!" to everyone watching with me. Much to my chagrin, Petula Clark starts warbling "Downtown," instead. That is not a song I hate. But it is not Talking Heads. And I can only surmise that either a) Lost planned to use a Talking Heads song but couldn't work out a deal or b) this person is a natural enemy to music geeks like myself: that person who takes CDs from the player and puts them in the case of the CD they now want to listen to instead, such that none of the discs match up with the cases in their collections, and when you want to listen to something, you have to work your way backwards until you suddenly find the Talking Heads CD in, like, the My Bloody Valentine case or some such. And forgive me if it sounds like I'm exaggerating, but those people are the greatest evil mankind has ever known.

Besides, for this show, the Talking Heads album you want is Stop Making Sense.

I went through almost this exact same inner-monlogue while watching the opening scene, going so far as to blurt out "Talking Heads!" when they exposed the interior of the CD case. The person in my house with no respect for CD's v. CD Cases? Jamie, and her blase attitude toward making the two jive.

Her acquisition of an iPod saved our marriage.

For those of you who've never been there: Television Without Pity

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


On the coattails of Lost's success, several would be contenders have leapt aboard the "One Hour Drama Mystery Train" this season. Kidnapped. Nine. Heroes.

Well, Hollywood, The League would love to make an easy buck, and will be happy to let you buy my idea for a show. My show is called "Nonsensical Mystery @#$%".

On "Nonsensical Mystery @#$%", several people who seemingly have nothing in common come together in, oh, say... Cincinatti. And really bad stuff happens to them. It is key that nothing is ever explained as to why these bad things happen, but we will hint that there is a mysterious agency at work which will always have seeming omniscience. And make the protagonists (who seemingly do not have any common bond) really upset alot. Too bad they can't get along. Or just walk away when they smell trouble.

To spice things up on NMS, the agency will occasionally kill cast members and find ways to beat them up. As a rule, all members of the agency will spend a lot of time looking off camera and refusing to blink. Oh, and they will have a seemingly decent pretty one who will play traitor to our "heroes".

It is of the utmost importance that absolutely nothing anybody, hero or villain, ever says be the truth. Why, what better way to keep our audience guessing than to make sure whatever they THINK they understand to be what is happening is actually a tremendous fib. THAT'S how you keep folks coming back week after week. You THOUGHT you were watching a show about people in Cincinatti? You're so stupid! The characters only THINK they're in Cincinatti. They're actually on a huge floating platform built to resemble Cincinatti in every way! Suckers. Or are they actually in Cincinatti? You can't tell? The mystery deepens...

The great thing is, we'll keep dropping "clues" for the audience to figure out what the "Nonsensical Mystery @#$%" means, but as the writers, we won't actually know what the clues mean ourselves. Or remember what half of the big clues pointed towards.

Don't worry, when the show limps into it's final season and we have to finally poop out a conclusion, the writing staff (most of whom will be new to the show by this point, the original writers having left before season 4 to chase new projects) will have a retreat in Vegas. As a "producer", I will lock our hung-over staff in a ballroom until we find a way to tie most of the major plot points and clues together. No, it does not matter how weak the "big reveal" shall be. When a lot of the conclusion makes no sense to die-hard viewers (who helped buy our mansions and Mercedes) we'll post internet interviews making fun of them for taking a TV show too seriously. Dorks.

In case you can't tell, I thought the season premier for Season 3 of "Lost" was pretty awful. Granted, I only watched a few episodes of Season 2, so I don't actually know what's going on, but I don't think that really matters at this point. Tonight I watched the three characters I do know get treated inhumanely for an hour by people I was unfamiliar with. It was the "Saw" of TV shows.

Is it too much to ask for characters on a TV show to occasionally answer a question anymore? Yes, it's MYSTERIOUS when people walk out of a room after being asked a question like "what's going on?" or "where am I?", but, to me, it's lazy writing. How long can I be expected to care about what's happening when I have no idea what is motivating a character? Even our creepy island people? And, really, what can they possibly be doing other than taking extreme measures to protect their perfect island intellectual retreat... blah blah blah...

I know this is a TV show and this was but a single episode, but if this were a movie, I would have walked out after half an hour.

Also, "Lost" producers, 110 pound girls cannot knock out muscle bound dudes with a single punch to the jaw, especially when they're thrashing around in the water. And especially when the punch leaves no visible mark in the next scene occuring a few hours later.

All sci-fi shows should be 22 episodes. And there should be a moritorium on anonymous, omniscient evil government agencies on TV for at least the next five years.

Remember when Lost wasn't about unlikely people living on an unlikely island under unlikely circumstances acting in a completely unlikely fashion for unlikely reasons?

I miss the possibility of a giant monster on the island. As much as the idea now seems almost quaint, it now seems insanely original, even if it did parallel Land of the Lost.

Sleestacks! Now that was a show...

Monday, October 09, 2006


It took the words of Randy to remind me I needed to update the poll. I have now done so. This month is particularly lame. C'est la vie.

Here are the results of last month's poll.

Based on these results, I suspect we must all take Randy's word as Truth with a capital "T". I am saddedned more people do not want to send me money, or that we can't fit McDonald's into our religion, but I am excited by the prospect of wearing a Commodores outfit.

Obviously Melbotis is a higher being and The League is but his mouthpiece. - 24% 4 votes

Randy worship. - 24% 4 votes

It is not we who read the comics, it is the comics which read us... - 0% 0 votes

we're not sure, but we not only will we dress like 70's era Commodores, we'll also take the lyrics of "Brickhouse" to heart - 12% 2 votes

We're just really, really, really not giving up on Pluto being a planet. - 18% 3 votes

all we can tell you is that it involves party hats, an unsuspecting cat and a trebuchet - 18% 3 votes

The true path to enlightenment involves mostly watching TV and sending large, unmarked bills to The League - 0% 0 votes

...his name is Ronald and we, like his apostle Grimace, bear witness to his hamburgery truth.. - 0% 0 votes

Behold the Oprah! - 6% 1 vote

What do you mean you don't like Superman...? - 0% 0 votes

17 votes total

Sunday, October 08, 2006

UPDATE: We are not having the party. Apparently we got our dates mixed up. We will actually be attending a wedding that weekend. A wedding we knew was coming, but, for whatever reason, we thought was the 21st.

Soooo.... no party. Sorry, Leaguers. It was going to be a good one.

I assure you, getting an e-mail asking "But aren't you coming to the wedding?" from Loyal Leaguer Shannon L. was not how I wanted to begin my morning.


Hey, Leaguers...

So Jamie sez to me: Are we having a Halloween Party?
So I sez to her: I don't know (translation: I'd love to, but I am one lazy League)
So, she sez: We are.

Both fascinated and horrified, two who dared to witness the Spooktacular...

So! Leaguers, come one, come all to the 2006 League of Melbotis Halloween Spooktacular!

Here's the dealy-o...

what day is good for you? Friday the 27th or Saturday the 28th?

We're really trying to figure this out as we suspect we may be a bit late in trying to match everybody's Halloween and concert-going schedules. We are not having a party both nights. We just can't afford that much candy corn.

Ladies, this guy may corner you and ask about your major...

What you can expect:

-Jamie in her official League of Melbotis "Iron Butterfly" costume (plus, a demonstration of Iron Butterfly style kung-fu)
-Melbotis trying to get attention
-Spooktacular movies sort of playing in the background
-Some nifty Halloween decorations
-I suppose we may provide some food and drink
-Maybe Shoemaker will spin a record or two if I can get him to committ
-In the spirit of Halloween, Steanso will kill and eat a party-goer before our terrified eyes

Heck, it's really just a house-warming party, but it befits the League to make it a costume party. When are you available?

Post here by October 19th so we can make a formal announcement!

We guarantee this guy will be all partied out by midnight...

IMPORTANT NOTICE: official by-laws of The League of Melbotis state that if we do not receive enough or appropriate responses, no party shall occur