Friday, November 07, 2008

DITMTLOD: Ellen Greene as Audrey in "Little Shop of Horrors"

I've actually mentioned I should do a post on this person/ character three times here at LoM. Here, here and here, so I figured I owed her a post.

When I was in sixth grade, my middle school experienced a bomb scare.

There was, of course, no actual bomb. But administrators were required to clear the school in the extremely unlikely occurence that we were victims of a Mad Bomber whose only real demands could have been adding a Slush Puppy machine to the cafeteria.

What I remember most is that the call came late in the day, so the principal had to send us home before we could re-enter the school and grab our bags, etc... So no homework. I learned to love a good bomb threat.

That night we were sort of left staring at one another at the Steans house as not having homework on a school night was a completely alien concept. The Admiral, looked out from behind his copy of the paper long enough to ask if anyone wanted to see a movie. Jason by-passed the chance, and so The Admiral and I headed off to Showplace 6 to catch "Little Shop of Horrors".

I grew up going to a lot of plays, and so, unlike a lot of my counterparts, I did not grow up thinking musicals were weird. And that may have been around when I figured out that musicals are not everybody's cup of tea.

To the point of a "DITMTLOD" post, "Little Shop of Horrors" didn't just feature music I liked, or a huge, talking plant (which I recall The Admiral imitating upon occasion after seeing the movie with a "Feed me, Seymour!" non-sequitor or two), it also featured Broadway star Ellen Greene as Audrey, Seymour's love interest.

Somewhere that's green

At age 12, I was not privvy to some of the jokes of the film, but I do recall getting the extended gag of "somewhere that's green" of Audrey's dream of living inside a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I also didn't really understand the coding of Audrey's slinky dress, bouffant 'do, etc... but that didn't mean I did not appreciate the slinky dresses.

It takes seeing Greene in other roles to understand that (a) Audrey is a complete cartoon manifestation Greene put on, and (b) she's actually a talented actor and doesn't just play the same role over and over a la Tom Cruise or Arnie. She popped up in the recently reviewed "Pump up the Volume", ABC's "Pushing Daisies" and a whole bucket of other stuff, including Leon (aka: The Professional).

The character of Audrey, like Seymour, believes herself to be a loser due to the circumstances which landed her on Skid Row. It's kinda non-specific, but it makes the audience pull for her as someone so down, she doesn't think she deserves any better than a nitrous-abusing sadomasochistic dentist (played awesomely by Steve Martin in the film). She, of course, is terribly sweet and doesn't think she's good enough for our film's hero, Seymour (who also thinks he's not good enough for her. Go figure).

Ellen Greene has a terrific voice, which is terribly divergent from the lilting, post-Marilyn voice with a minor speech impediment she affects as Audrey. You might remember this scene:

Suddenly Seymour!

Anyway, I still think Ellen Greene did a great job with the role, which she'd originated on Broadway and would take to LA and, I think, London. And, she may have set in motion an interest in skinny blonds that continues to this day, but who knows... I am sure, as a tuba playing comic dork, I sorta felt that if a dame like Audrey could secretly dig on Seymour, there was hope for me yet. I just was far less likely to uncover those feelings in song.

Greene (who is not blond) continues to perform in TV, films, cuts records and is generally still very busy. Because she is rarely in anything with robots or ninjas, our paths don't often intersect. However, you can hear more of her on her website (beware the automatically loading audio file). The website hasn't been updated in a long while, but I assume that's because Greene is otherwise occupied.


It is true that many League family members (despite the wide array of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Spider-Man and Galactus related goods out there) do not know what to get me come the yuletide gift giving holiday. They often suspect that I'd just get it for myself as I try to calm the OCD voices in my head.

Not always so.

I say:

What better way to celebrate the Holiday Season than with the gift of the 2.5 hour harrowing Dark Knight experience on Blu-Ray?

This two-disc gift set also comes with a model of the Batpod, that motorcycle-y thingy that appears in The Dark Knight's stunning car chase sequence.


Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Batman Begins are always good.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Get Off My Lawn: The League is a Grumpy Neighbor


I awoke around 2:30 AM to the sound of 80's era new wave-ish dance music blasting from somewhere outside. I sort of recognized the song, but it was one that I'd long ago forgotten who performed it. I lay frozen, face down, convinced that the person playing the music had accidentally turned on a stereo and was even now, madly dashing to find the power button to shut it off.

After five minutes, I realized that, no... this was, in fact, their game plan. They were going to rock their backyard at 2:35 AM. And I knew exactly who it was as I'd looked out my blinds and could see my rear window neighbor was up and moving around, his lights on, the back door open, the stereo he keeps outside rocking the hits of 2 decades back. It looked like he had a visitor.

We'll call him Ted... But I was quite excited when Ted moved in. Prior to Ted, a family of five had lived behind us who home-schooled their kids. If, by home school, you mean "mom kicks the kids outside all day where their only toys are those pool noodle things, which they use to spend all day whacking each other in the weakest duel ever".

This, by the way, was busily driving nails into the coffin of how I think the State of Texas manages home schooling, but that's not really relevant. But we kind of grew a serious dislike of those kids because, well... why weren't they in school instead of whacking one another with noodles while the toddler did nothing all day but walk up and down the precarious staircase from their backdoor to the backyard?

That's relvant, too. We live on a hill. The hill slopes downward from the back of their house to our house. So if you stand on the backporch of their house (now Ted's house), you're about 7 feet higher than our back door and can look directly in on us at all times. Not really a worry, but it makes the privacy fence seem sort of ineffectual. And we can kind of see into their yard back up the hill.

Anyhow, right before the noodle whackers moved out, I was surprised to let Lucy back into the house on a completely clear day and find her dripping wet. About six months before that, I'd seen Dad Noodle Whacker throw a bowl of water over the fence at Mel who was being a dog and barking a bit, but who we rarely let out for more than 20 minutes at a time as Mel much prefers the comfort of the end of the couch. I stared for a minute from inside, then decided "hey, I'm neighborly. If he's been having a problem with Mel and Lucy, I should talk to him about it." So I opened the door, at which time Dad Noodle Whacker dashed back inside and did not come back out.

Seeing Lucy dripping, and knowing the Noodle Whacker kids ALSO often played with the hose, spraying each other, I decided to not be mad, but I could probably get a lot of mileage out of the kids and parents if I went ahead and talked to them. I went out into the yard to see if I could get their attention, but no dice. So I wandered around the block, rang their doorbell and waited. I could hear them inside talking about me, but nobody answered the door.

"Hey," I finally said out loud, "I know you're in there."
And then things got very quiet. I rang the doorbell a few more times, pondered the likelihood of them opening the door for a 6'5" dude they probably believed to be irate, and then headed home.
It was, in my opinion, all pretty cowardly on their part.

They moved out a week later. I don't know what the story was, but my guess is they knew they were leaving, so why talk to this guy? I'm not sure that was the best option for the Noodle Whacker family, but that's not for me to say.

Ted moved in shortly thereafter. Incredibly nice guy. But he couldn't work his sprinkler system. As I mentioned, we live on a hill, and every night one zone on Ted's system was going off for an hour and flooding our yard. The dogs were consistently covered in mud during a drought, and the whole thing was just dumb.

"Hey, uh... could you take a look at your sprinkler system?" I said upon meeting Ted over the fence. "It's running for an hour every night and flooding my yard. See how high and green my grass is?"

"Wow. Yeah, it's pretty complicated. I never lived in a house of my own, so I'm figuring all this out."
"Well," I nodded. "My grass is growing like crazy, my yard is flooded all the time and my dogs are muddy. If you could just take a look, that'd be awesome."
"It's pretty complicated..."
"I can look at it. This is my second system."
I found out later Ted finally took a look at his complicated system when he received a $400 utility bill.

When I was in college I lived in an apartment near 290 and I-35 (where we had a police shootout this morning, btw). We lived in a standard apartment block. My bedroom touched three other apartments, and every night for a month, one of my neighbors would play The Vapors' "Turning Japanese" on repeat. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but PTSD will do that to you.

I don't mean they played it once a night. I mean, they turned it on repeat and played it, like, 10-15 times every night.

I banged on the wall in the classic apartment house style, but I began to suspect that they weren't listening to the song in their bedroom, but in their living room, and it was just on that loud. Loud enough not to hear the neighbor banging on the wall between 12-2 AM. I sincerely couldn't tell if it was the person above me, their neighbor, or the person on the ground level next to me. Anyway, I still don't hate the song, but it does conjure up some nights of frustrated disbelief.

For a while I tried to sleep in the hallway, but could never sleep well on the floor. I don't know if I eventually tuned out the Vapors or if they got tired of the song or what... but it did stop.

I went out to the backyard and leaned over the fence. Ted's backdoor was open, and so when the album hit a quiet moment between songs, I yelled for Ted over the fence. I don't know where he was, but neither he nor his visitor noticed me yelling. A few neighborhood dogs did notice and began barking.

Defeated, I went back inside.

I lay there for a few more minutes, really, really not wanting to call the cops. And eventually decided... Oh, screw it. I put on my walking shorts and wandered around the block, hearing the music most of the walk. I also saw several neighbors had lights on, which is unusual for 2:40 AM in my neighborhood.

2 factors here:

1) The band factor: Hey guys and gals in bands! Did you know that when you play music loudly, not everyone wants to hear your music? Be it all the neighbors of your house party or a patio at a restaurant, I may not have signed up to hear your noise. Musicians will, of course, be angry to hear this. You are wrong.

2) Living in the Burbs is Tricky: We're surrounded by, I'd estimate, 1/3rd rental properties. Part of the real estate boom in Austin translated to people dashing into new neighborhoods and buying houses for rent. We bought our house. We have a lot of money sunk into that house. If the neighbors are jerks, we can't just move when our lease is up. Rental houses also means a lot of houses in Austin go to younger folks who see a house and the first thing on their mind is: I shall have many parties.

I am just grateful I don't live about four blocks over where a bunch of frat dudes have set up shop.

Ted is actually older than me, but as I mentioned, its his first house on his own. He was in a band and toured. He loves his music. But, oddly, has no understanding of acoustics and that sound does not stop at a fence post, or even at a wall or window. And the areas between houses tend to act like an echo chamber.

I made it around the block and identified Ted's house by the rocking tunes as I got closer. All of Ted's lights were on, and I could see through a window and straight through the house. He and his guest had moved to the back porch now, and couldn't hear me ringing the doorbell. So... I had to go around the side of his house and through his gate, which, I think, scared the shit out of him.

"Hey. Can you turn it down?"
There was kind of a slack jawed silence.
"It's 2:30 in the morning and I have to go to work tomorrow."
"I didn't realize it was that loud."
"It's waaaay that loud," I was really snippy. "Look, it's 2:30 in the morning, and I don't want to call the cops, but I can hear everything through my window."
He looked confused.
"Where do you live?"
I have talked to Ted many times. I have loaned him my fire pit. But I imagine as a shadowy figure in glasses at 2:30, I may have looked kind of spooky.
I pointed Grim Reaper-like at my own home.
"The sound goes right into my house."
Ted turned off the stereo.
"It's off."
"I just... it's 2:30 in the morning."
"It's off," now it was his turn to get snippy. I couldn't tell if things were about to get ugly or not, but, yeah... the stereo was off.
I turned around and exited through the gate.

I thought about all those lights on in all of those houses. I know his next door neighbor has kids. I know Courtney next door is not usually up at 2:45 or whatever it was with her lighst burning. And I often wonder, are people just unaware of the problem their causing? Do they really not care if they're ruining a night's sleep for the people they live beside?

And why was I the only one pointing out the obvious? You do not play a stereo full-blast in suburbia on a Thursday morning between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM. It's bad form.

Am I a jerk? A bad neighbor? Ted seems like a decent guy, but why do you know in the back of your mind that when you ask someone to do something that's so obviously and totally okay, you have to be ready for an argument, if not a fight of some sort?

After college, Jamie and I lived very close to campus on the edge of the conveniently located Hyde Park neighborhood. After a year of living under a girl who walked on her heels (we called her "stompy") a bunch of dudes moved in. Within two weeks, they were starting to throw a kegger on a Thursday night about 10:00. I know this, because Jamie had dialysis at 4:30 AM the next day.

I knocked on their door and pleaded for mercy. "It's a week night. She has to get up at 4:30. I have to get up at 6:45."
I was given assurances, returned downstairs, and immediately heard the chanting begin: "chug! chug! chug!".
I banged on the wall.
"chug! chug! chug!"
I called the cops.

For about a month the guys gave me dirty looks, but... screw 'em.

Until one night about 10:00 they started in with a stereo at full blast. I banged on the ceiling to no avail. Then I headed upstairs.
The four of them met me at the door, clearly ready to get into a fist fight. "Seriously?" I looked at them. "She needs to sleep. What are you doing?"
That moment of "oh hell, here we go..." was quickly disappated, but was playing their stereo at full blast at 10:00 really such a defensible act that it was worth kicking my ass?

These guys thought so.

That's the nature of living amongst people. My Psych 301 class taught me one thing: we're all the heroes in our own stories. That is why we have such a hard time understanding when someone points out that we're wrong. To the point, yeah, of violence.

So weird that we would fear not just the consequences of our own requests for civility, but the long term results of ruining a relationship that was already so non-existent that the other party didn't think anything of waking you up for an hour in the middle of the night. Let alone getting dressed and semi-illegally entering their yard.

What I find interesting is that when I mention that I have no problem asking people to turn it down, or calling the cops at some point, people look at you like you're a bad guy. You ruined someone else's fun. I'm used to that reaction now, and I've quit trying to justify my actions. I guess many people associate asking for civility with old man stuffiness and/ or imagine themselves on the other side of the door when the fuzz shows up.

But I'm also the guy who dreads going to the movies because I get sick of asking people to turn off the iPhone which is putting light in my eye, asking them to get off the phone, quit talking, what have you... it's just a pretty wretched experience most days. I simply get tired of getting to that point where if I don't take some action I know I'll miss 90% of the movie thinking about how that dumb guy won't shut his yap. This way I'll simply not enjoy the movie because I had to go through that whole routine of the perpetrator's disbelief and defensive posturing that always follows after asking someone to shut their pie hole for an hour and a half.

And whenever you do ask, you have to know that no matter how unlikely, you're playing a game of Russian Roullette. Sooner or later, someone is going to decide he's just embarrassed enough to be angry and start a fight. Sooner or later, its going to happen.

But that isn't what happened with Ted.

This evening I reached the house, and Ted was in the driveway. He'd stopped by before heading out to meet some friends. As I said, Ted's a good guy.

"What were you guys up to?"
They'd been out. Sounds like maybe there was a recent break-up. A friend had come home to hang out with him. They made a few more drinks.
Anyway, we exchanged numbers. He felt simply awful, and I felt pretty badly for making him feel so awful, but, yeah...

I'm glad we resolved it. I'm glad I didn't just sit up losing sleep and fuming. Sometimes you realize that other person isn't just being a jerk, and its just one of those things. We'll be better neighbors for it.

And it makes me glad that sometimes things do sort out, that some of those folks really are okay, and that asking is sometimes all you really have to do.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Day After

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Obama's election

"In a new historical era, I look forward to taking our bilateral relationship of constructive co-operation to a new level."

He just feels too deeply. That's Hu's problem.

You can read more reactions from world leaders here.

I would especially point to the quote by European Commission Chief Jose Manuel Barroso:
This is a time for a renewed commitment between Europe and the United States of America. We need to change the current crisis into a new opportunity. We need a new deal for a new world.

I sincerely hope that with the leadership of President Obama, the United States of America will join forces with Europe to drive this new deal - for the benefit of our societies, for the benefit of the world.

I find it telling that Barroso conjures up the image of FDR and The New Deal, and completely understandable. Perhaps Obama's situation is different from that of FDR (history buffs will no doubt come up with a million ways in which I am wrong), but there are certain parallels, and certain challenges which are much the same. A spiralling economy, a world which seems on the tip of global conflict.

FDR did not live to see the conclusion of the war or the prosperity which followed. But he did live to see his policies and programs help his fellow Americans (my own grandfather supported his family with, I believe, NYA work). But I guess the point is that he used his position to try to prop up the economy on both macro and micro-levels, and perhaps we can learn from that.

He was also a great friend to Allied Europe (obviously), and understood international cooperation, and negotiation. Including doing as good a job as I guess one could have done working with a crackpot like Stalin in order to achieve victory in Europe and Japan.

If Barroso is hoping for another FDR... Well, let's give it a few months before we start calling the man a failure.

But he's also asking that Obama, America and perhaps Europe see opportunity in our current multiple crises. Opportunity, one assumes, to not go back to what led us into these messes in the first place, but a way back out. That perhaps with that whole "leader of the free world" tag comes some responsibility to act the part.

Of course, all of this is academic until January, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be paying close attention to what the President-elect begins to line up for that first hundred days.

I don't want to come across as a negative nelly, but I think since my ill-fated Nader vote, I'm usually fairly pragmatic about politics (but maybe not my ideals). I stumbled across this article by an historian discussing the inevitable disappointment in Obama as he attempts to tackle the challenges ahead and is unable to magically create 100K-earning jobs, free energy and unicorns to cart children to wizard school.

Here you go.

I am reminded of the Clintons' attempts to re-design healthcare, and the roadblocks tossed in their way by their own party. Or Bush's attempts to outsource social programs, etc... Sometimes, things just don't happen.

Obama is in a good place. He carried a lot of people in with him on his coattails. Hopefully Pelosi and Co. can do more with the next two years than the past two they've sort of squandered, and/ or done things that were expedient rather than wise.

But its also a narrow window. Clinton was in office for a short period before Newt and Co. rode into town with their Contract with America, creating a voting majority with a very different agenda from his own. I wouldn't encourage the same monarchy-in-all-but-name status Bush enjoyed from 2001-2006 as both houses rolled over for the man, but no doubt its going to be less of a deadlock than one might see with legislative and executive branches bumping heads.

When you boil it down, I'm not feeling celebratory. Today I'm feeling pretty sober about the responsibilities handed to President-Elect Obama.

I'm not one of those people who says "Gee, this is the toughest time humanity ever had it", because, really... we're humanity. The way we treat each other is abysmal and we're generally our own biggest enemy unless you want to talk influenza or marauding bears or something. Losing value in your house sucks, but not as much as, say, the Black Plague or the Spanish Inquisition. It feels big because it is.

But we are sitting on a pile of pickles right now that it'd be handy if we could sort them out without bankrupting the nation or causing a 2000 year vendetta war. What's key is that we pick a direction (a new direction, because, seriously...) and go with it, while being agile and wise enough to change course when what we're doing isn't working. And a person who will see their role and service as a privileged responsibility.

We won't know until our President-Elect takes office.

But I am optimistic. That's the value of change, in many ways. It provides an opportunity (there's that word again) for progress rather than trying to trying to merely maintain the status quo. Especially when you're looking at a whole big pile of pickles awaiting you on Day 1 of the new job.

What I was glad Obama called out (and which I'm not sure was heard, but, you know dude's gotta try) was that he needs for the citizenry to step it up. He won't be able to do this alone. He asked for service and sacrifice, something we have an odd relationship with in the US (and I do, in particular).

Going beyond the rhetoric, can a person inspire others to greater deeds?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama wins

Well, it's done with. I mean, as of this moment, Obama has not yet taken the stage, but John McCain has given an amazing conciliatory speech. It was a reminder that despite the sturm und drang of the election cycle that McCain was more than worthy of his party's nomination and the nation's consideration for leadership.

It's not a secret that I've been no fan of the administration that's been in place for eight years. I've felt that we made a lot of mistakes and much of the recent past doesn't reflect the principles of the America in which I wanted to live.

Whether McCain or Obama, tomorrow would have meant a moment for change to what I believe would have been a better America.

Obama campaigned on more issues upon which I agreed than any other candidate from his first days on the trail. I can only hope that he is able to carry out some of his planned policies. I am truly happy he won.

Well, I just took a break from blogging to watch Obama's speech. Transcript here.

As Obama said (and I'm paraphrasing here) the campaign victory isn't the real victory. Perhaps its a cliche, but now the real work of the next few years begins. Obama himself outlined the challenges ahead for the nation and for himself as the torch is passed. Here's to hoping we're (all of us) up to the challenge.

Perhaps appropriately, while I had just seen Obama crest 297 electoral votes on my laptop, the first person I saw on television announce Obama's victory was Jon Stewart (if you missed this evening's Daily Show/ Colbert Report broadcast, it was by-and-large very good).

That's enough for tonight. I'm tired. You're tired.

Tomorrow is a new and different day.

Here's that line:

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

Vote for REAL change

Vote your conscience. Vote for a more Haley Mills-rich world. Vote Sleestak.

this ad paid for by Citizens for Ultimate Power for Sleestak

Monday, November 03, 2008


Someone isn't going to enjoy tomorrow evening. Make sure its not you. Get your voice heard. Vote your socks off.

The picture above is Rockwell's "Vote for Casey". No matter the election, by 8:00 on election night, this image is always at the back of my mind.

random bits


I keep forgetting to download Girl Talk's latest. Someone remind me to do so (JAL).

Also, I have not yet purchased the new Byrne/ Eno album. I need to do so. Well, NEED is a strong word. I will live to see tomorrow without the record, but... do I really want to?

TAL and Public Radio:

I have not downloaded This American Life to my iPod in MONTHS. Last night I did so, but it seems it only took a few podcasts to my iPod. I am missing the one Randy mentioned to me, I think, which includes a story on a guy who dresses as Superman every single day.

That's commitment, Leaguers. Or commitable.

TAL is one of the greatest programs in any medium. I feel I fail myself when I do not keep up. But I also know I need a full hour of my life to give to the show without any reading, visual or auditory distractions, and finding the time is often very difficult.

Ira Glass, btw, was hilarious during the recent KUT pledge drive. I guess he did this for public radio in general, but he called people he knew hadn't ever pledged to public radio before and confronted them as only Ira Glass can, in his unmistakable voice.

Great radio.

BTW, if you didn't pledge to your local public radio affiliate, get on the stick.

A win for TPR over KUT, btw. My in-laws were getting both in San Marcos, but sunspots or some damned thing are interfering with their TPR reception, so my father-in-law was plotting the installation of a new antenna solely for the reception of TPR as, apparently, John Ailey is not his cup of tea.

Well played, Mr. Nathan.

Election Night Coverage

The GOPers in the readership will groan, but I may stick with NPR's coverage of the election results Tuesday night. And probably the Colbert/ Stewart hour long live thing.

I believe the Comedy Central show ss called Indecision '08 and will begin running at 10:00 Eastern.

Otherwise, I may eschew television as... seriously, John King, I know what a SmartBoard is. Quit touching it and writing on it. It's obnoxious. You're like a five year spazzing out at the science museum.

And by the way...

How sad that Obama's grandmother passed away prior to the election results (provided he wins, which I'm guessing he might based on recent polls).

I was going to write a long thing here about the paranoid conspiracy nuts and Obama's recent return to Hawaii to see his grandmother... but mostly, I just feel bad that Obama has been robbed of his mother and father already. And then to lose the grandmother who cared for him so close to the election...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Election Day Eve

Michael and JAL's candidate of choice

Hoo-Boy. It finally draws to a close in the next 72 hours somewhere (if we're lucky and don't get a repeat of the Waking Nightmare that was the 2000 election).

I was reading Mere's blog and had, what you humans call, an eeee-moh-shun. Mere's post demonstrated the spirit I think we all could consider from this moment forward regarding the election. Here's a link to the original post. You should click over.

So as we approach the election, I thought I'd discuss my rather rudimentary understanding of SCIENCE (which, Leaguers, you can never have enough of).

But... it seems to me that we are all but cosmic dust, coming from The Source, be that of the Big Bang or the Divine or both, depending upon your interpretation (your parsecs may vary). We're cosmic particles, wandering about the mass of particles that happened to congeal at just the right place beyond the sun, and with just the right mixture of Nitrogen, Oxygen, Hydrogen, etc... to spawn a planet which could sustain life.

In short, we're made of the same stuff. We carry around roughly the same chemical make-up, we all depend upon oxygen and water and food. We're born, we live, we rock out, and, eventually, we return to the infinite. As important as something as pro and con evidence is regarding Supply-Side Economics, etc... at the end of the day, if we can simply agree to disagree and somehow do it without forcing one another back into the dirt in making that decision... we're one step closer to being more than well coiffed chimps with combustion engines. And, in many ways, that's the real magic of democracy.

Randy and JimD's candidate of choice

There's a lot that shuffles out from that ideal of not throwing a coup because Our Guy lost the popularity contest. There's a suggestion of being better than our nature would have us... and that means we move beyond grudgingly accepting our political fate for four years, and gracefully accept the choice of others as best we can, as equals, even as we plan for another try. And, again, there's a lot that shuffles out from the concept of equality that we're still working on, I think. And sometimes we willingly work against that ideal.

Well, maybe most of the time.

Steanso's reason for being such an ardent Obamamaniac

So on Election Eve, we can pause for that same, quiet night that pre-sages the dawn and the chaos of Election Day as, say, Christmas Eve. Perhaps its to a lesser degree, but if we play our cards right, it could be a night of waiting and Hope, in much the same way that Christians embrace the night to such a degree that the warring factions in the trenches of the Western Front in 1914 ceased hostilities, sharing carols and small gifts (and surely there's a lesson here regarding what we really want, what's truly important, and how we get into these pickles to begin with).

We're not in trenches of a battlefield, but what political pundits see as the excitement of the election trail does seem to plow its own trenches in the psyche of a nation that was probably diagnosable as paranoid schizophrenic to begin with.

So Happy Election Eve, Leaguers.

Go out there. Vote. Be at peace with the election results as best you can. I promise, neither of the Big 2 candidates will intentionally drive the country off a cliff (but I'm not promising anything about Nader).


The Peanuts characters are running for office on iTunes (I am so downloading these videos)

Apparently Obama does not know the difference between The Green Hornet and Green Lantern. Which is but one part of a many-fold geek gaffe.

a) The Green Hornet's partner was Kato. Originally played by Bruce Lee. If he's comparing McCain to Kato, he just made McCain 10 points cooler by accident. Poorly played.

b) Conjuring up the Green Lantern's side-kick invokes the silver-age image of Tom "Pieface" Kulmaku. It's a bit of stretch to get to the nickname (Tom is Inuit, thus an Eskimo, so "Eskimo Pie", thus... "Pieface"), but I assure you, its that casual racism that used to creep into comics back in the day. Oddly, Tom was never portrayed as much of a stereotype, because I'm not sure there are any stereotypes of Inuit people.

Oh, well. While it's always weak to see a candidate botch a pop culture reference (even one 40 years old), it's not really an area in which I hope Obama has much expertise. That said... if you're going to botch a Green Hornet reference, why bother?

The wacky Obama-poster stuff came from this thing at the Village Voice. I admit, I saw it first at Randy's site.

The League reveals his Candidate of Choice

Long Weekend

Howdy Leaguers,


First things first. Yes, UT lost to Tech on Saturday night, dropping them from the top of the BCS heap to a lower position. 6, I think. Yes, I am disappointed. On the other hand, UT's defense wasn't exactly phenomenal, UT's offense looked lackluster, and Tech looked amazing from beginning to end. So, yeah, you lose games that way.

If Tech doesn't get cocky, they have a real opportunity this season. Huge.

I love my Horns, but... stuff happens.

Anyhow, we're not completely out of it yet. There are a few games left for everyone, and as long as we don't wind up in the Alamo Bowl, I'm happy.


Hanging with Parents

Saturday the In-Laws drove up to our place, then we all jumped in Jamie's car and drove northward to my folks' new house in N. Austin.

The Admiral and KareBear recently closed on the house they'll be retiring to in a few years. It's a great place, and I'm very happy for them. I've already said here that I look forward to having them here, but it's no less true now that the deal is sealed.

We then went out to The Oasis, Austin's own "great view, mediocre food" tourist destination. I actually think the food is fine, and it is lovely out there if you're not there in late summer.

Anyhow, it's always good to get the parents together, and I have visions of Holidays to come with Jamie and me sitting at the head of the table of family members as I carve a turkey (for some reason I am wearing a red bow-tie and blue sweater vest in this vision).

This morning we drove down to Jamie's folk's place in San Marcos for breakfast. This is the first time I'd been down there since they had moved in. They're pretty well squared away. Boxes unpacked, etc... a few pictures to hang and I think they can call it a move.

And the rest

I de-Halloweened the house this afternoon. We are now officially into the fall and winter Holiday season if the Christmas ads during the NFL pre-game shows were any indication (Jamie did not appreciate my caroling).

Our five Thanksging decorations are out and we're moving into the end-of-the-year hoo0hah.

When we got home from Jamie's parent's house, I looked down at Lucy and thought she looked really fat. I went so far as to inform her she looked fat, before Jamie noticed she'd gotten into the crate of Milkbones and eaten them all. So for the entire afternoon, I've been dealing with a bloated, gassy lab. Seriously, she stinks. Twice I've walked around thinking she left me a present somewhere downstairs. But... it's just post-Milkbone feast gas.