Calling all Leaguers!

Melbotis (Mel-boh-dis) Perkins is a 116 lb. golden retriever dedicated to Truth, Justice and the American Way.

The League of Melbotis welcomes all likeminded individuals willing to use their unique abilities for the betterment of mankind.

Comics, superheroes, giant robots, doggies, space ships, movies, personal journal, schadenfreude.

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Learn marginally more about The League than you already knew.

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    Items of import:
  • Nanostalgia: Collaborative Media Review
  • Melbotis Store! Melbotis items at CafePress
  • Phoenix Suns
  • University of Texas Football

  • Leaguers:
  • Dedman's site
  • Cowgirl Funk
  • Adventures of Steanso
  • Steven G. Harms
  • CrackBass
  • The Social Bobcat
  • Distorted Veracity
  • Michael Scaljon
  • Sugar and Splice
  • Houstonist
  • Digest: TST
  • Natalie

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  • Dangerous Beauty
  • Razzberry Vinaigrette
  • cbgblog

  • Comics!:
  • DC
  • DC
  • Marvel Comics: Home of Spider-Man
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  • Newsarama
  • The Pulse
  • Comic Treadmill
  • The Beat
  • Dave's Long Box
  • Return to Comics
  • Comic Blog Legion
  • Comic Candy
  • Wonder Woman Museum
  • Emerald Dawn
  • Superman is a...
  • Hulk's Diary

  • Some sites worth looking into:
  • Arizona Rollerderby
  • Dames in the Media The League Once Dug
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
  • Why Superman?
  • Texas Public Radio
  • Lunchtime with The League
  • Eddie Johnson's Jump Shot Club
  • Lileks
  • retroCRUSH

  • Blogs taken at the suggestion of others:
  • Mr. Jones
  • NFL Draft Review
  • The Black Table
  • Hammer!


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    The League Totally $@%*ing Sells Out!

    Are You HOT or NOT?

    Friday, March 19, 2004  
    As mentioned here several weeks ago, DC Editor Julie Schwartz passed away at the age of 88.

    Harlan Ellison has written a great tribute to his friend, and I thought it fitting to at least link to it here.

    9:00 AM |

    Item # 1: Batman Begins is currently filming. It will star Christian Bale as Batman. There are also many, many other name actors among the cast (Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Sir Michael Caine). I've heard some basics about the script, and it sounds like it's much closer to the comics than any previous incarnations. (I like the Burton version, too, but it's similarity to anything in the comics is debatable).

    Anyway, view the promo image here. It's basically the new Batsymbol, I guess. I've heard some folks say it's new, but it looks pretty much like a few different versions I've seen.

    Item #2: Robert Rodriguez has shown an unprecedented dedication to his new project, Sin City. Yes, yes... I probably wouldn't be mentioning it if it weren't based upon a comic book. It's based upon Frank Miller's creator owned series Sin City, a ruthlessly aggressive noir/ crime series set in a fictional town where the lives of various crooks, thieves, assassins and crack-pots intertwine.

    Rodriguez is filming in his home-base of Austin, and it sounds like he's pulling in an all-star cast here as well. Goody for him.

    The big news is that he's including Frank Miller, creator of Sin City, as a Co-Director (and possibly Tarantino). Let me re-emphasize that. Frank Miller. Co-Director.

    For anyone who ever read a comic, Miller is a seminal figurehead in the industry. I'd say he was the Beatles, but I think Alan Moore gets that title. He's more of the... Hendrix? I dunno. Give me a good analogy and you could win a Melly Award.

    Now, in order to do this, Rodriguez has had to quit the DGA. Which is HUGE, and has very real ramifications for the rest of the union aspects of the production. Union issues are a whole separate political topic I won't bog you down with here, but suffice it to say, the unions stick together, and this whole movie could wind up being a non-Union indie. Fortunately (and most likely, by design), Rodriguez is filming in a town regularly abused for it's cheap, non-Union labor. In addition, most of the film dorks in Austin would give their left arm to work on a Rodriguez movie with the sort of talent he's bringing in (let alone, work on a movie at all), so it's not an issue of making it happen.

    Read about Rodriguez's decision here.

    But why go to all the trouble because of some comic guy? Why is Miller this important?

    If you read comics in the 80's, 90's or now, Miller's work has been the fulcrum that moved comics from the world of kiddy entertainment to being an aggressively adult medium. Miller wrote and drew some of the most groundbreaking works in comics, and when his work is brought to the big screen, invariably, it gets turned to mush. Case in point: Last year's Daredevil took a perfectly good story and made it really, really stupid.

    However, one can credit Miller with stories like Item #1 above for even occuring. Batman was still considered to be the Adam West version in the public's mind (despite the 70's work by Neal Adams), until Miller gave Batman the story he needed in the comics again with Year One and DKR. In fact, originally, the movie you see mentioned above was supposed to be an adaptation of Year One (and may yet contain elements of) written by JSA and Hawkman scribe David Goyer.

    It may be you LIKE Frank Miller already... you just don't know it's Frank you like.

    So it sounds like Rodriguez wants to bring in Miller's perspective for fear he might accidentally muck up the material. I, for one, am amazed and excited. The Sin City comics always had the potential to be a storyboard for the best modern crime movie never made. For folks who STILL, for whatever reason, think comics are all kiddy fare... I encourage you to check out the many, many collections of Sin City available at your local comic shop as well as at Borders and Barnes & Noble, depending on their selection.

    Other Frank Miller works of note include:

    Ronin - published by DC Comics
    Batman: Year One - DC Comics
    The Dark Knight Returns (perhaps the most important super hero comics ever) - published by DC Comics
    The Dark Knight Strikes Again - DC Comics
    Daredevil: Man Without Fear - Marvel
    Daredevil Visionaries Vol. 1 -3 - Marvel
    Daredevil: Born Again - Marvel
    Sin City (there are several volumes, but each story is collected in a single volume) - Dark Horse
    Elektra: Assassin - Marvel
    Frank Miller's Robocop - Avatar (Frank wrote the orginal screenplay to Robocop 2, which was turned into mush by the rewrites. Steven Grant and the team at Avatar Press are turning the original script into a comic. It is decidedly more violent and paints a significantly different picture than the film of Robocop 2)
    300 - Dark Horse

    There are also a lot of other works I won't spotlight here. Suffice it to say, Frank's influence and reach has been vast.

    If anyone knows anyone working on this movie in Austin, I will give my left nut if you can get my beat-up copy of Dark Knight Returns from 1988 signed. Seriously. Left nut.

    Complete works
    Fan Page
    An Onion AV Club article with Miller is here.

    8:30 AM |

    Thursday, March 18, 2004  
    Here's a bit of cheery news.

    1:06 PM |

    bad ass

    Jamie, we can put one INSIDE the house, can't we?

    11:28 AM |

    I thought I posted this yesterday, but it must have flubbed up in the ftp.

    Anyway, for the single WORST movie trailer I've seen in years, check out Garfield. One can assume the movie will suck based solely upon the fact that the PR folks insisted on putting Ray-Bans on the cartoon cat, a gag last employed with success in 1984. And how many more homages do we really need to Risky Business? Was it that much of a cultural milestone for us as a nation? I'll admit Rebecca Demornay was permananently etched in the back of my mind's eye for at least 6 weeks after seeing the movie, but was the "dancin' in my undies cause the folks are gone" scene really that seminal? To Oprah fans, I suppose it was.

    Apparently the producers decided to avoid actually reading any of the strips from the past 30 years in order to make something lousier than Cats and Dogs. In the 90 seconds or so of footage, there's nothing to indicate this movie has anything to do with the actual comic strip, which, lets face it, isn't all that complicated.

    I can almost pick out the folks from my office who will go see the movie and LOVE it. When I ask if it was like the newspaper strip, they will look at me quizzically, as if to say "What is this.... newspaper... of which you speak?"

    Anyway, the annoyance level of the trailer far surpasses any dissonance with the strip. It just looks like an absolutely stupid movie. My apologies to the CGI folks who had to slave away over this nonsense for the past few years.

    And wouldn't it have made more sense and been cuter if Odie were a cartoon, too? I can only imagine the production meeting which spawned that brain drizzle:

    "Well, uh, the cat is a cartoon."
    "So why does the dog have to be a cartoon?"
    "Because it looks stupid having an obviously cartoon cat with a real dog looking off camera at it's trainer all the time."
    "I don't see your point."
    "It's going to not make sense. THe cat is a cartoon, but the dog is real."
    "Which looks... weird."
    "Well, if we make the dog a cartoon, it's going to double the budget of the movie and we can't afford all the cocaine and hookers we've already put in the budget."
    "Ah, screw the dog. Let's go do a speedball and green light another Hillary Duff project."
    "Let's go get some hookers."

    11:07 AM |

    Leaguers, I have to express my hearfelt disappointment in each and every one of you.

    Not a single e-mail reached League HQ to wish my brother a happy birthday.

    Well, you know what? He hopes all of you have TERRIBLE birthdays. Seriously. He's vindictive like that.

    10:15 AM |

    i gotta be honest, this is the most excited I've been about a movie's release in about a year.

    This looks like the kind of stuff Justin Lincoln and I were trying to make in film school that nobody but us thought was funny.

    8:53 AM |


    It looks like the real Supergirl is going to be back in the DC Universe of Comics. As any true comic geek knows, Kara (Supergirl) was killed at the conclusion of Crisis on Infinite Earths back in 1986. For those who don't know, Crisis wiped out all previous stories of DC Comics so the company could start fresh and not worry about 50 years of history. Since then, Supergirl has enjoyed at least two major reincarnations which had little or nothing to do with the character launched in the 1950's.

    Now, superstar Jeph Loeb has written Supergirl back into the comics as Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin.

    This being the world of comics, she could be a plant by a nefarious villain, but i have high-hopes that she is the real deal as existed in the comics for thirty years or so.

    Hurray for the Maid of Might!

    8:41 AM |

    Wednesday, March 17, 2004  
    And today is not just St. Patrick's Day, it's also the 31st Birthday of my big brother, Jason. Jason Steans was born in 1973 to Rick and Karen Steans.

    He's now a practicing attorney in the Austin/ Travis County area. His specialty is making sure criminals, like Martha, are put back on the street.

    Jason reflects upon being 31.

    I have no idea what suprises are in store for the big galoot, but I sent him a card and a present in the mail. Hopefully they will reach him before week's end.

    If you wish to e-mail my brother a birthday greeting, send it here to The League, and we will happily post all birthday greetings.

    E-mail address is over there

    9:04 AM |

    Oh, yes, by all means...

    Proving that Alexis will learn and grow from her mother's mistakes, and proving she understands the fragile infrastructure which is our stock market and the ramifications of the continued abuse of the kind Ms. Stewart has been convicted of, Alexis Stewart says: Everything she did is ignored over something ... trivial

    Not something important, like, say, folding napkins or making tasteful wreaths for that Holiday open house.

    8:58 AM |

    In my post from last evening I forgot a crucial event. I am sure Jamie will bring up several more major incidents. Anyway, i forgot about Jamie's amazing transformation via jaw surgery. Jamie looks nothing like how she looked as a child, which is weird, and (when viewing old photos or videos) gives the illusion that the McBride's once had a very pretty daughter who is no longer with us.

    While Jamie is even more beautiful today than she was even yesterday, nonetheless, she might, at best, pass for a cousin of herself. It makes returning to Oklahoma fun as nobody has a clue as to who the heck she is.

    So, yes, i need to insert that surgery.

    8:24 AM |

    Randy is struggling to find a theme to his blog of late, but I think it's abundantly clear that the theme of Randy's blog is his own insecurities about blogging.

    So it's my recommendation that Randy just accept that the official theme of his blog is self-destruction on a blogoscopic level.

    At any rate, I find it interesting that Randy is fairly certain getting married and finding stability in his life will lead to the demise of his blog (and Jim echoed this same sentiment). Having been married long enough, and cohabitated with before that, I have ONLY the context of being married, etc... fresh in my mind. Indeed, The League more or less represents the lack-of-adventures of Jamie and R. Steans.

    One wonders what Dedman and Randy foresee marriage doing to them. Because for me, it's like living with somebody, only you can make them do most of the work on your taxes.

    8:15 AM |

    Hey, Kids!

    If one allows their eyes to drift down the left hand side of the blog here, one will see links to other people's blogs. I have linked to a handful of them now. My newest addition is a fellow named Daniel Loyd who is apparently a former Longhorn out in LA. Well, really, he's Jim's old roommate from college. But Daniel has been kind enough to link to The LEague, completely without any pleadings from me, so we're tossing back the favor.

    Take a look and see what he's up to and get some appreciation for the hard work which goes into video and film production. All that stuff you watch for free comes from somewhere, and that somewhere is this Loyd guy. So show some respect, you miscreants.

    8:05 AM |

    Tuesday, March 16, 2004  
    So, admittedly, I flipped out today.

    I had planned to take the day off from work as my employing university is currently enjoying Spring Break. So, Monday I sat and stared at my hands all day, cleaned my desk and desk area, ate some lunch, blogged some and kind of spaced out.

    By 4:00 I didn;t think I'd be coming into work, so I kept saying "Shhheeeeeyooot, I do not think I'm coming in tomorrow."

    See, I have a school project to do which I haven't done either jack or shit on, and I really need to get rolling. So I was to stay home today and work on it, and maybe run out and do some stuff I can't usually do when Jamie tags along. I had a full day of nuthin' planned.

    At 7:00-something, Jamie, ignorant of my plan, shook me and asked if I was going to work. "Nope!" I barked and fell back asleep. A moment later she shook me again.
    "I'm going to drive myself to the ER."
    roughly translated that means: Hey, chubby, I'm about to spew chunks from my migraine. Get your lazy ass out of bed and get me to the ER.

    Jamie's medical history, in brief:

    1992: bops head on ice while skating
    1992: diagnosed with FSGS, a nasty kidney disease
    1993: has jaw surgery, changes identities
    1993: begins college, sleeps most of time, avoids drunken League at party as he tries to pick up future Mrs. League
    1994: kidney transplant
    1995: League bags future Mrs. League
    1996: first trip to hospital with Jamie. Much confusion. Delighted to discover chairs fold out into beds. With free food from hospital, League doesn't get up for two days.
    1997: Jamie in hospital repeatedly, goofy Christmas in San Antonio, Plasma pheseris is weird and reminds League of reel to reel player
    1998: cohabitation, Jamie sick with alarming frequency from migraines
    1999: Jamie being sick old hat for League.
    1999: DIALYSIS. Jamie gets up at 4:30 am to go. Must never drink too much soda. Perplexes League.
    1999: Heart attack? When the hell did she have a heart attack? Weird...
    2000: Wedding. Spend good deal of time of honeymoon reading National Geographic in waiting room of Dialysis clinic in Orlando. Jamie is trooper and allows multiple rides on Space Mountain.
    2001: New kidney for Jamie. Transplant is exciting. Forced three weeks off work. Get opportunity to read all of Kavalier and Clay while at home. Grow to resent Montel Williams.
    2001: Jamie loses job. God bless Medicare.
    2002: Arizona?

    In between the major events, we've just had her migraines to deal with, which hasn't been much fun. I suspect the heart attack occured during 1998 when she was getting sick from them a lot. It's called a "silent heart attack" when you never knew you had one. A Dr. McMinn just mentioned it in passing after an EKG.
    "So, you know, because of the previous heart attack, you're going to want to be careful..."
    "Previous what attack?"
    But there was a time we were doing this so often, I got kind of casual about it and the one time I left Jamie at the ER so I could (look, you can't hate me for this) go home and get some shut eye, she came home in a cab, bright pink like an easter egg.
    "What happened to you?"
    "They gave me something new. I'm allergic. I itch inside my skin."
    "Well I'll be dipped."

    So this morning was trip number 40 or so to the ER for this business. And we were in and out in a few hours and Jamie is fine.

    But I left her to sleep and went and ran my preplanned errands and wound up at Best Buy. Where I bought a ton of CDs, because I realized that I had been telling myself for ten years I was going to replace some of these from tape, or others were albums which disappeared, or just records friends used to have.

    So screw it. I am now the proud owner of Public Enemy's Greatest Hits.

    8:01 PM |

    Monday, March 15, 2004  
    Hey, Supernerds!!!!

    DC Comics is having a big to-do about changes in the Superman titles beginning in April.

    For those of you keeping track, that's:

    Adventures of Superman
    Action Comics

    other titles include JLA, Superman/ Batman, Superman: Birthright, Smallville, Justice League Adventures, and a scad of others...

    You can download a Superman screensaver for free at this site, and while you're there, read up on the upcoming art and stories in the core Superman titles.

    So if you drift past your local comic shop, now's the the best time in a few years to be taking a peek at the Superman comics.

    11:54 PM |

    Thanks to Jamie who had to be the bearer of horrific news. Yes, the true cause of democracy is dead in the eyes of The League of Melbotis.

    Somehow, we will soldier on. But don't be surprised if a disaffected League decides to become a monarchist so that the League will never face this sort of disappointment again.

    2:44 PM |

    BTW, I noticed that the high school on the WB's new season of "High School Reunion" is not only my year (1993), Round Rock was also the rival school for the brief year I was a Westwood Warrior. I looked at the website. I don't know any of those people.

    I'm a little disappointed, but, it was 13 years ago or something the last time I saw anyone from that school. I'm actually more curious about if they tried to get any of the people I did know. My buddy from that school eneded up going to MIT and does financial modelling for a big international bank. Apparently being smart enough to go to MIT also tells you to be smart enough to not volunteer for a show like High School Reunion.

    12:57 PM |

    and this, my friends, is why The League did not pursue a career in the sciences

    12:11 PM |

    Sunday, March 14, 2004  
    If The League ever needed a reminder that The League lives in bum-fuck Arizona, it is surely The Chandler Ostrich Festival.

    The dirty little secret of Chandler is this: just because all the trolls in their SUVs (myself included) moved into Chandler, does not mean the indigenous lifeforms moved out. And the even uglier secret is: really, despite the $40K cars and the golf clubs, you get the feeling there is a very thin line separating the newbies from the local yokels. It takes something like a State Fair or Community Festival with $3.00 admission to make folks put down the crytal meth for long enough to locate their kids and force them into a family bonding experience such as The Ostrich Festival (an event even the organizers now seem fairly embarassed of).

    I like to think that events like this which used to happen in rural communities were the glue which held these places together. But I'm a suburban kid, and this isn't the 1930's dustbowl, so when I'm not worrying about whether the carnies are stealing the hubcaps off the Forester, or why the technicolor movies like "State Fair" always star people much more attractive than what I ever see at the actual State Fair, I'm usually thinking about how obvious it must have been to dream up Something Wicked This Way Comes after a trip to the carnival.

    Anyway, I'm a sucker for staring at people, mostly because it provides an ego boost like none other. And there's no better place to feel good about yourself while looking down your nose at your fellow man than at any place with a portable Ferris wheel. So Saturday, after we'd been out doing yardwork all morning, Jamie and The League took our showers (a futile gesture, considering where we were headed), patted Melbotis on the head and took off for the Ostrich Festival.

    Held once a year, the festival must have been founded in the 90's when some mastermind behind a pyramid scheme convinced struggling farmers and ranchers to invest in Ostriches. Surely, they would be the next white meat, and we could look forward to a golden future of an Ostrich in every pot. Or something. But those plans went awry (which I could have predicted given the demeanor of the "Ostrich Lobby" I sat with when visiting the Texas State Capitol in the Spring of 1995). And, alas, Ostriches have not yet taken off as the meal of choice in American households (of course, if Atkins said it was good for you....).

    At any rate, I've lived in Arizona for roughly two years, and The League had not yet borne witness to a single Ostrich roaming about. I hear one can see them between Phoenix and Tucson, but so far, not a single one has reared his tiny head in the greater Chandler area. Cows standing knee deep in their own filth? Certainly. Tens of thousands of them (screw you, EPA!). But, no. No ostriches.

    Last year when we attended the festival, there simply were no Ostriches. Newcastle Disease had caused such a ruckus that nether man nor beast wanted to be near a huge, snotty bird, and so the Ostriches were conspicuously absent. (Jamie still has a t-shirt bearing the Silhouette of an Ostrich with the "no" circle around it.) So, this year, with dozens of the grotesque monstrosities on display, the motto of the show was "The Birds are Back".

    Perhaps because the birds were back (ho ho!), or because Chandler is, I am told, a town on the move, the Festival seemed much bigger this year. I found it odd that neither Jamie nor myself could recall if last year's festival had the midway and carnival rides. All either of could remember were a half dozen or so demonstrations by local karate schools. This year, those demonstrations were conspicuously absent, but what the festival lacked in Kee-Yopping 7-year-olds, it made up for in inflatable Hulk dolls. Everywhere one looked, there was another booth hawking inflatable Hulks, Spider-Mans and cartoon mallets.

    We first made our way down food alley, and Jamie selected a gyro and water and I got a churro (a food suspiciously absent in any environment outside of a carnival) and some tea. And I think that was about as much carnival as Jamie wanted to take in.

    "You want to ride on the rides?"
    "How long have we been together?"
    "Have I ever wanted to ride the rides?"
    I looked about at the sort of activities made available to us. Carnival rides, check. Midway games, check. Inflatable Hulk, check. Stare at freaks, check. Eat questionably prepared foods, check. Avoid Jim Belushi's band, check.
    "So, uh, wanna go on a ride?"
    "NO! I could get hurt."
    Looking at the rides, I could not deny Jamie could well get hurt. In fact, I suddenly wondered what minimum safe distance was myself.
    "Wanna play a midway game?"
    "If you want to..."
    "Do you want to?"
    "But I wanna see the ostriches."
    So we trudged through an inordinate number of chubby people and headed for the rodeo staging area, complete with metal bleachers and a corral fence and all that. And we parked ourselves on the bleachers in some kick ass seats and proceeded to watch a guy drive a tractor in slow circles around the corral while pulling a log or something.
    "What is he doing?" I asked.
    "It's like a rodeo zamboni," Jamie answered.
    Another guy followed behind him with a hose, and sprayed down the corral where the rodeo zamboni had circled.
    "Any idea...?"
    "it's dusty."
    And dry and getting hotter.
    "How long have we been watching this guy?" I asked Jamie.
    "Maybe twenty minutes."
    "Do we know when the race starts?"
    So I turned to the girl sitting nearby.
    "Hey, any idea when the race starts?" she shook her head politely. There was a moment of silence and then the girl and her friends became speaking to one another excitedly in what was not English, nor did it appear that this girl spoke any English whatsoever. Which made me wonder how she had found the festival, but it was not a mystery to dwell upon. At any rate, I let is slide and returned my attention to the rodeo zamboni.
    Slowly fat people began drifting in. Seriously. I don't know what the story was, but as I looked around, the morbidly obese community of Chandler, Arizona was slowly trickling in to the bleachers, sweating badly and groaning with relief as they placed themselves on the straining aluminum seating.
    A matching set of a fat family sat down in front of us, the only non-obese member a small baby, destined (as DNA is a cruel bitch) to be just one more of this amazing team before me.
    And, morbidly obese teen-agers, a little advice from Uncle Ry: Just because the trend of the day says to wear skin-tight belly shirts, save yourself a lot of aggravation. Be your own person and forego the Christina look.
    But it wasn't just the family in front of us. There was a family who (one hoped) had participated in a karate demo who were all busting the seems of their uniforms. And, of course, many, many other variations.
    I kind of wished I had beer. In fact, I wished I had a lot of beer, because it was hot out and the churro was certain not to absorb up as much beer as I thought was going to make my wait better. But this is Chandler, and not Texas, and so no beer was to be seen.
    Music began playing from a crappy tape player over an even crappier sound system. The first song was from Bonanza.
    "Hey," I said to Jamie. "What's the name of the ranch on Bonanza?"
    "No. It's not. It's something else."
    "I have no idea."
    "Lorne Greene was in it. Michael Landon was Little Joe."
    "Have you ever seen Bonanza?"
    "Well, no."
    For the next fifteen minutes or so I stared into space and tried to remember the name of the ranch. It's Ponderosa (not that I remembered that then). So we can all thank Bonanza for being the show which launched two family steakhouses with groovy salad bars.
    Eventually a guy dressed roughly like a 1950's movie cowboy (think retired Roy Rogers) wanders out and reveals that the "animal amusements" in this show (and already I was hoping nobody from PETA was around) are from Kansas. Except maybe the Ostriches. He never clarified.
    And I wasn't really sure who this guy was, because, despite the printed program in his hand, the show seemed to be a complete mystery to him. At least four times before the animal races, he failed to press "play" on the tape deck to play the crappy rendition of a bugle tooting out the start of the race. He also improperly identified his wranglers, called a llama a camel once or twice, botched several other musical cues and didn't turn off his mic (nor take it away from his mouth) when making asides to his staff.
    Maybe he was old and confused. Maybe he was drunk. Maybe the sun was getting to him. I don't know, but, people... rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal... it's the key to success.
    Ostriches raced, chickens raced, we saw a trained Zebra sort of do about half of the tricks he was supposed to and a trained Palamino refused to play ball on a few tricks as well.
    Someone made the curious decision to strap the ostriches to chariots made of barrels (which made more sense than you'd think), but didn't strap the ostriches down very hard, because only 1 in 3 chariots ever remained attached to the birds.
    The cowboy MC also dropped a few questionable comments of a sexist and racist slant, but sometimes you got to let things slide with dudes in their 70's wearing a silk scarf and a cowboy hat.
    Inexplicably, the family in front of me suddenly rose to their feet and wandered off. It seemed the heat was overcoming them. And so, like a Russian doll collapsing back into itself, the family disappeared from view, no doubt, to find a less sunny and less dusty place to rest their bones.
    But these folks missed the part where our erstwhile/ anglophile jockeys donned Arab head scarves, renamed themselves "Ali", "Mohammad" and something else, sported some classy accents and proceeded to narrowly miss an international incident by repeatedly referring to themselves as Camel Jockeys (which was a literal minded interpretation in this case, but nonetheless...). The camels raced, we all cheered, and I guess we all learned an important lesson about what is and is not funny in Chandler, Arizona.
    By this time the sun was getting to me, but the show ended somewhat anti-climatically.
    Jamie and I went and fed some goats, stared at a kangaroo, tried to figure out what a gnu was if that thing was a yak, and then walked down the row of booths where you could get an air-brushed T-shirt. I wanted to get one that said "Jamie's Man" in baby-blue, but Jamie was holding all of our money, so I didn't even ask.
    I tried again to get Jamie to agree to go on the rides, but she showed no interest.
    Alas, with no inflatable Hulk or Spider-Man, but with a bag of cinnamon glazed almonds secured, Jamie and I bid the Ostrich Festival a teary-eyed adieu. Until next year, Ostrich Fest.
    Man, I can't wait for Chandler Jazz Fest 2004.

    11:50 PM |

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