Friday, February 09, 2007

Edward James Olmos Toy

Okay. It's actually a BSG toy. But that doesn't mean it's not totally awesome.

and for Randy and Reed...

what's up with the painted on boobs?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

90210 Confession

In the Fall of 1993, Peabo and I shared a 10x10 cell in Jester West. My TV viewing habits were significantly different from Peabo's prior to college. Essentially, I never watched TV after 5:00pm. I was not someone who felt they grew up with the Huxtable Family, or who knew every beat of every episode of Cheers. In fact, the KareBear had pretty firm rules regarding TV consumption on week nights when I was a kid, and I consequently never got into the habit of watching "prime time" programming until Peabo introduced me to Seinfeld that same year.

That is not to say I didn't watch TV. In the summers I watched hours and hours of Beverly Hillbillies reruns on KBVO, The Price is Right, and Sale of the Century. I was 12, but I had the viewing habits of a man 7 times my age.

I still think Ellie May is kind of funny.

I remember being vaguely aware of 90210 coming to TV. At the time I remember looking upon the program with the same suspicion that I looked upon any show I felt had pigeonholed me as a demographic. Plus, who could relate to the characters and storylines of a bunch of kids doing very un-High School-like activities, rolling in cash, and for whom life was pretty much already set?

A few kids at KOHS started sporting sideburns in tribute to Luke Perry or Jason Priestly. Fashion dolls found their way to the shelves of the toy aisle at the grocery, and I found out my prom date was a closet 90210 fan.

Now, to be honest, I wasn't exactly free from being hit as a target demographic. I watched more than my fair share of "Saved by the Bell", thanks to my pre-Show Girls interest in Jessie Spano. But when I completed high school, it was my plan to put all of that behind me.

So when Peabo announced it was 90210 night in my first fall of college, and that he would be watching 90210 whether I liked it or not, I packed my bag and headed to the library for a few hours to study for an Oceanography quiz. I was a serious college student with no time for the bobble-heads of the 90210 universe. Where was their angst? Where was their genuine human drama? To my dismay, Peabo was joined by my pals Beno and Julio, who both confessed to knowing quite a bit about the show.

I did not yet understand the genius behind "Donna Martin graduates."

It was a few weeks later that I had studying that could be put off and not wanting to leave my own dorm room when my friends were hanging out that I watched my first episode.

What I had not understood was that 90210 was a soap opera. Whether you liked the characters or felt any sympathy towards a single one of them was incidental to putting the characters in the most abso-ludicrous positions possible and then react with a straight face while making decisions that were (a) absolutely repugnant, but (b) created the most room for TV-soap drama.

Soon the crowd grew to include a few other folks from our floor, and Peabo began to keep a stack of disposable plastic cups on hand. At some point someone (I think Julio) had become so disgusted with the characters, he threw a cup at the screen. And so it came to pass that we all were armed with plastic cups with which to voice our displeasure in a manner approximating physical violence toward the characters for their boneheaded decision making.

What I recall most from those episodes was that character Kelly Taylor was positioned as the heroine of the program, but either because actress Jennie Garth was a passive-aggressive jerk in real life or because Jennie Garth wasn't much of an actress and thusly defaulted to angry at every opportunity, Kelly spent her episodes pouting every time another character disagreed with her. And because the show invariably vindicated Kelly Taylor, it seemed the longtime viewers of the program could not see through her veil of lies, when to eyes unfamiliar with the show she whined until the whinee could not longer stand it and gave in. (Oh, how I hate Kelly Taylor...)

Recently, Jamie figured out that 90210 runs for two hours every day on Soapnet. So there's been a LOT of 90210 viewing going on at my house of late. We're about 2/3rds of the way through the first year of college (the last season any character was seen to crack a book or go to class). And what I've realized is that all of the characters of 90210 are complete sociopaths. These characters inflict untold harm upon each other, and coccasionally complete strangers. They're elitist, snobby bastards who all seem completely put-out when any work is written into the show for them, and they join and drop campus-causes on a bi-episode basis.

In order to create drama, items like the school newspaper are blown up to NY Times proportions, and second semester freshman are seen as a plausible and persuasive voice within the university infrastructure. The show is absolutely awful, and embarassing. And yet, I cannot look away.

Part of the allure of the game now is that I did follow the program for two or three seasons, plastic cup in hand, and I know what drama befalls the characters. So, when the characters (such as Kelly Taylor) get up on their moral pedestal and preach down to the lowlies, you can remind them "hey, you develop a horrible coke habit in two more seasons. How about a little compassion?"

The "teens" of the show are absurdly old, in absurd situations faced by no prior college freshman in the age of man, and are far less worried about academics than even the guys who didn't come back after Christmas freshman year in Jester.

Jim and Cindy Walsh are supposedly successful corporate something-or-others, but theire really there to salute the two Walsh-children characters and to appear bemused but concerned. A thankless role, the two departed towards the end of teh college years.

And, of course, there's always Nat, played by fourth-string central casting bench warmer, Joe E. Tata. I am sure Mr. Tata has lots of credits to his name, but that poor dude had more humiliating scenes bowing and scraping before the teens of 90210 than I am sure he likes to think about.

That, and it's fun to say "Joe E. Tata" every time he appears on screen.

Upon re-watching the episodes, it seems that the writers were alternately not really trying, or had a mountain of contempt for their own characters. And who can blame them? Why not send the whiney DJ/ wanna-be hip-hop Beverly Hills dork on a whacked out Crystal Meth spree? Why not let the eye-brow wiggling Kerouac-dork get ripped off by his former step-mom? It's a soap opera, and nobody stays happy for long on a soap.

So I say, huzzah for 90210. You set out to fulfill a certain vision, you set the bar incredibly low, and you still failed to in many regards. But you did bring the world Tori Spelling, and for that, we are all eternally grateful.

Comic Posts

I know you care, so I thought I'd share...
There's some comic reviews up which are beyond compare.

Thanks to Jim D.'s suggestion I went ahead and posted on the Action Comics Annual released yesterday.

Also, see Part 1 of my amazing, rambling series: A Masters in DC Universe, a Minor in Wildstorm

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

End of an Era

As of Monday, The League returns to the drudgery of the work force. My status as a hobo has been rescinded.


No more staying up until 3:00 AM reading funny books and teaching Jeff the Cat how to Flamenco dance. That's gonna have to happen between 10:00 and 11:00 from now on. Nor shall there be any more getting up and watching News8 and Headline News throughout the morning as I eat my Grape Nuts, check e-mail and hit the job boards. (I confess, I am not going to miss hitting the job boards.)

The position is one heck of an opportunity. Longtime Leaguers will know that, as a rule, I don't talk about work. But is it okay to say really good things? I can say the job is outside of the realm of public institutions of higher education. It's relatively close to League HQ. The folks seem really nice who I'll be working with, and I'm going to be only a small hop from Rudy's BBQ. The job let's me do what I like to do, with an eye on growth. I know who my customers are, and there's no question of how I'm reaching them. The organization does something I think serves the public interest, so I get to be a tiny cog in that machine.

In short, I'm really looking forward to my role as a lion tamer at the Austin Zoo.

(are there lion tamers any more? How do you train for that? There seems to be little room for error.)

So, you know, a job. That's the dream, isn't it? I like money, and it turns out that you really need it to get by in our post-industrial society. Apparently the city of Asutin talks a good game, but at the end of the day, they want for me to pay for water and trash collection. So much for them being MY representatives.

Stupid money.

Anyway, it was a good run of unemployment, and I really fulfilled my Office Space dream of doing absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, my dream was somewhat hampered by the NBA not playing daytime games during the week. Nor was the World Cup on. And baseball doesn't start until late spring.

Still, it was a good run.

So, yeah. I got a job.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

space love

Coming up, find out how Lisa Nowak went from operating a robot arm in space to driving 900 miles in a diaper. - what I woke up to this morning on CNN.

Ah, love.

This is just one more reason we should consider using more robots for space exploration.

Robots do not know the pain of love. Or do they? Do they, indeed?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Updated Terror Threat Color-System

found at The Beat


Yesterday was kind of kooky. Jamie is finally feeling better after a few weeks of being down. It was nothing too serious, but I think we're both glad she's back up on her feet and peppy again.

We did some tidying in the morning, then grabbed lunch with Jason at Jason's Deli (no relation). It's becoming kind of a thing to make sure Cassidy gets some face time each weekend with Mel and Lucy, so we got the dogs in the car (Dog is my co-pilot) and released the hounds to the backyard.

The Admiral and Karebear are considering moving to Austin when they retire (which will only enhance the power of The League), and so were in town to think a bit about their future plans and look at homes. We grabbed a quick drink at Trudy's, then went and looked at a development they'd checked out on 71. Neat stuff, but I have no idea if that's what they'll end up doing.

Saturday night we headed over to Juan D's place for a grown up dinner party. I made excellent friends with Juan's bat-eared dog, Levi, by feeding Levi pieces of bread and ham all through the night. Got to see Beta-Juan Garcia, his lovely wife Letty, Matt and Nicole, Candian Sarah and her Canadian friend. We're now apparently too old to just show up, start drinking beer and get in vicious debates over operating systems as we did in years of yore. Now it's civilized. Sort of.

Woke up, had brunch with Cousin Sue and the folks at Hyde Park Grill South. Said our good-byes, then Jamie and I came home and tidied-up some. Did some minor yard work and stood around in the front yard with the other guys on the street, all of us in awe of the amazingly good weather (it was 70, sunny and a bit breezy). I think I committed to going in on a bunch of grass pallettes with a few of us, but that's okay. We need new grass for the backyard.

We did our Superbowl Shopping Trip (I bought frozen White Castle burgers for the first time). We were invited to a Superbowl Party, but I knew Jason was en route and probably didn't want to sit in my neighbor's garage to watch the game.

Steven and Lauren joined us after the Prince half-time show, and we chatted through the second half and into a repeat of Puppy Bowl III.

Anyway, it's been a long, good weekend.

Inbetween all that, I talked to Jim D on the phone, talked to RHPT via e-mail (it's a long story, but I now own I just can't make it work with Blogger until Blogger updates some features. nonetheless, RHPT gets mad props.)

I was cheering for the Colts, so the game was fun for me. Jamie cheered for "points", so she cheered when someone almost scored or did score. I don't think anyone else had much invested. Except Cassidy, who loves The Bears.

Weird game. That one will probably have Superbowl Committees looking toward domed stadiums for future selections. What a wet, icky mess of a game for the first half.

I have been staying up working on my weekly reviews for Comic Fodder (now! With pictures!).

It is late. I am tired.

Hope you had a good weekend.