Friday, September 02, 2005
It's been a long time since I read a review that was so unabashedly ANGRY about having to sit through a movie that I wanted to plunk down my $8.00 to see exactly what all the fuss was about.
The film is based upon a short story of the same name of the film by Sci-Fi Statesman, Ray Bradbury. It's considered a sci-fi classic and has spun a thousand bad time travel rip-offs in comics, TV, film, etc... But the original short story pretty much boils the concept of why time travel is a bad idea right down to its essence.
Anyway, Jamie will never let me see this film.
10:58 PM |
This quiz is funny, and I have no idea how I got this result. The League is as scary as a slow moving tortoise. I apologize about the language in advance.
You're Avante Garde Indie. You listen to abstract music like free-jazz and Krautrock. You drink too much coffee and you scare the fuck out of the rest of us. We're afraid to call you pretentious because we know that we all just don't get it. There are few of you out there, and most of you will probably die soon.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
The story is growing all the more bewildering as each hour passes.
Sniper attacks on hospitals? People firing on rescue vehicles?
The Chertoff had to be told by the reporter on NPR that the New Orleans Convention Center had been abandoned by the police, National Guard and the City of New Orleans. Thousands were inside with no food, water or information.
We're a country with stores stocked to the gills with bottles of water and food that won't go bad for decades lining the shelves.
It's almost inconceivable how the food and water couldn't be air-lifted, air-dropped or somehow delivered to the peopel who can't get out.
And you just keep wondering, where will the millions go in the months to come?
I can't imagine. And I can't imagine what the next several months will bring for any of them.
Dude, you know, when The League started out we had this little circle of blogs with Jim D's blog, Randy's blog and a blog by intrepid American in Japan, Molly.
Molly disappeared first, never coming back to Osakatomebaby after she'd had a move. To this day, I have no idea what became of Molly. Not only did the blog end, but e-mail communiques also disappeared.
Jim sort of started sputtering out, and this summer more or less ended his long-running blog of political and pop-culture commentary. Sure, he's risen like a Phoenix elsewhere (dig around, he's out there), but Jim's original blog is dead, andI am struggling with the notion of removing Jim's blog from the blog roll.
Randy, who had routinely threatened blogicide, has gone so far as to just re-route his readers to The League just a few weeks ago.
Cowgirl Funk is still around, and she's been here for years now, so you have to give Maxwell some mad props.
Sure, Adventures of Steanso, Steven G. Harms and others have joined in the fun, but it is a sobering thought that The League is the last of the original mohicans.
Jim D. had suggested I start a blog due to the length of the e-mails I was sending him, and, eventually, I took up the challenge. I've now wasted thousands of hours on this blog and travelled to Beaumont in celebration of our mutual blogging.
Oh, if only Randy, Jim and Molly would return.
10:28 PM |
Mrs. League interviews: The League
I'm shy on content this week, and you guys seem to stay awake a lot more when I don't drift off into discussions upon how totally bad-ass Detective Chimp is, I thought I'd force Jamie into helping me keep you guys entertained.
Jamie's written 5 questions for The League. Next week we'll interview Mrs. League. Also, hopefully, we'll get an interview completed with Reed T. Shaw.
Don't forget, if you want to be interviewed, just let me know.
On to THE INTERVIEW!!!
1) Some Leaguers may be unaware that in your younger years you enjoyed creating your own comic characters. Describe your first superhero creation.
Ah. I believe my first superheroic creation which I am willing to discuss publicly was probably “Hi-Fi” (which should date him nicely). Hi-Fi was supposed to be a rough and tumble teenager who wore a motorcycle helmet (because I thought motorcycle helmets were cool) with weird fox-ears on top. I think the fox ears were supposed to give him super-hearing or something.
Hi-Fi’s origin, as retold on college-ruled notebook paper in 5th grade, was that he’d fallen into a vat of radioactive chemicals. This had somehow given him the ability to generate concussive “sound blasts”. It’s not much of an origin. The entire supporting cast consisted of a bald police chief with a mustache who whole-heartedly supported Hi-Fi’s vigilantism.
Anyway, I don’t think Hi-Fi ever really got into any serious adventures as he only made it to page six or seven (including a splash page on page 3).
All of this was trumped by Peabo’s highly unorthodox take on the adventures of Batman and Robin, in which the caped crusaders used the Batmobile to drive around and pick up trampy girls.
2) You spent many a childhood summer touring the country in your conversion van. What were your favorite and least favorite road trips?
Well, in truth, we only took one extended road trip which took us from Austin to NYC to Canada, to Michigan to Missouri. We stopped at every single road-side attraction, saw every relative in the extended family, and listened to only one tape, Huey Lewis and the News’ “Sports” for six weeks straight.
I think I would have enjoyed the trip more if I hadn’t gotten very sick in the middle of it and had to share a bed with Steanso for six weeks. Plus, at age 10 I was too old to be cute (especially the Bros. Steans who both were about a foot to tall for their age at any given point)and too young for anyone to really want to talk to, so I spent most of the trip sitting in a corner reading comics. Mostly Spider-Man and ElfQuest. Yeah, ElfQuest. Shut up.
At least I saw family, saw Washington DC, made my one trip to Canada, and read a heck of a lot of comics. For some reason what sticks out most was the stop at Robert E. Lee’s tomb (and museum! This is certainly something I want to achieve post-mortem. If you can’t get a t-shirt or League-themed chess set at my tomb, I will know I have failed). It was also the first time I realized my dad had relatives outside of my grandparents and uncle.
Probably my least favorite trips were the forced marches when Steanso was playing club soccer and we would all pile in the van and go somewhere all weekend to stand in a field all day in the glaring sun to watch soccer games. Even when my parents had mercy and left me at the hotel to read and watch hotel cable, it was still all day in a hotel room.
It wasn’t bad, just horribly boring. Eventually my folks let me stay with Peabo when Steanso had a tournament, but that was pretty late in the game.
3) Austin has some kick-ass restaurants. What is your absolute favorite Austin eatery? What is your favorite menu item (need not be from same locale)?
My favorite place to eat was probably Rudy’s Bar-B-Q. You have to order meat by the quarter pound, they give you a half-loaf of white bread, and they have the best Bar-B-Q sauce in the 3rd Dimension.
That said, my favorite menu item in Austin may have been the taco dinner at Serrano’s, especially at the Red River location (probably my second favorite place to eat in Austin).
I dunno. I also loved Casa Garcia’s on S. Lamar, which Steanso, Jamie and I may have had no small hand in keeping afloat in those early days.
4) What has been your least favorite job?
Oh, God. Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza.
It just wasn’t a good job. There’s nothing like kids given money, filled with sugar and pizza, surrounded by singing robots and video games to create high-octane nightmare fuel for your $4.25 an hour.
Look, people are generally really awful parents. I learned this on my very first job. One of the other interesting bits is that, at the time, they served beer at Chuck E. Cheese’s, which meant the parents would come in, drink, give their kids money to run away, and then toss their infant in the ball crawl. This wasn’t a portion of the parents. This was most of the parents after 7:00pm.
You’ve probably forgotten, but at some point when you were a kid you thought that adults were sort of boring because they had figured out how to do all the boring crap that makes you an adult. Get a job with a tie, pay taxes, raise kids, etc… The summer when I was 16, I learned that was a horribly misguided notion and that most adults were no smarter than the morons I knew in high-school.
In my time at Mr. Cheese’s, I was almost electrocuted about a dozen times attempting to “fix” the wiring on the pin-ball machines, had to kick bums out of the restaurant (as they were trying to take crusts off the tables), had to lemon-oil every inch of rubber along the walls, and spend countless hours cleaning and re-cleaning the glass doors to the place.
I was frequently on ball-crawl duty, which could last for hours, and required you to be IN the ball-crawl (parents, the ball crawl is the least sanitary place on earth. Seriously. Never let your kids in a ball-crawl.)
5) If we ever leave Arizona, what will you miss most about the Valley of the Sun?
I am going to miss… Nothing is coming to me. I dunno. I'd say The Suns, but hopefully I'd have Spurs and Rockets games in Texas, or another team to follow where ever we might land.
I do have some good co-workers, a nice parking spot, and lots of good places to eat lunch.
9:53 PM |
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Click on picture for full screen puppies
11:22 PM |
THE NATHAN CONE INTERVIEW
I met Nathan in 1993 sometime toward the end of his senior year of high school. I had seen him play at the 1993 Klein Oak High School battle of the bands, affectionately known as "OakStock".
Nathan played in a band with my fellow actor, Frank, and at some point we were introduced.
That fall, Nathan attended Trinity University in the Alamo City, where Steanso was going (after having refused to move with the rest of the Family Steans when we picked up stakes and moved to Houston). Nathan, Frank and Steanso played in uber-band "The Stray Toasters". After Frank and Steanso disappeared, Nathan transmorgified "Stray Toasters" into an all-purpose jazz-rock-funk-everything but the kitchen sink sort of band.
Jamie also ended up being pals with Nathan at Trinity, and so all of us continued to hang out a great deal.
It came to pass that Nathan's days in the booth at the Trinity radio station qualified him for a career in broadcast. He became a popular DJ on Texas Public radio in San Antonio. He's still the voice of TPR, but he's also involved in programming for the station and the film festivals sponsored by the station.
Nathan once appeared eyeball-to-eyeball with Regis on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" during the height of the program's popularity. Nathan missed a very, very difficult question regarding the geography of Myanmar or something.
I went to Nathan and Renata's wedding several years ago, which was an amazing affair. You sort of had to have been there, but it was really lovely.
Not so long ago Renata and Nathan had a lovely daughter, Samantha. She's already a proud Spurs fan.
Since 1993 the enigmatic Nathan Cone has always been around. Somewhere. Usually listening to Miles.
And now, THE NATHAN CONE INTERVIEW
1) You're known to occasionally enjoy some music. What was the first album you spent money on? When was the last time you listened to it? Really? Why has it been so long?
ANSWER: The first album I remember spending my very own money on was the J. Geils Band's "Freeze Frame." I haven't listened to it in ages since I lost the cassette long ago and never replaced it. Other than the singles from the album (Freeze Frame and Centerfold), I really don't remember at all what the rest of the album sounded like. The next oldest cassette/album in my collection is probably Buckner & Garcia's "Pac-Man Fever." The first CD I ever bought was Def Leppard's "Pyromania," in 1987. I sold it a few years later. The oldest two compact discs that are still in my collection are Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and Iron Maiden's "Somewhere In Time."
2) You're suddenly 17, a senior at KOHS, and guitar player for OakStock favorite, The Barnyard Commandos.
a) Who is your hero? b) What is your goal when you reach Trinity U? c) Can you explain Frank to a stranger on the street?
ANSWERS: a) As a Barnyard Commandos guitarist, my musical heroes at the time would probably be the Ramones and the Beatles. I'm not sure I had a hero outside the music world at the time. b) My goal when I reach Trinity is to get on the radio station ASAP, and to start up a new band with Frank and Steanso. c) gffrtenfk3. fndklL~~!! CDNFC(#cdnjkcsn0cew.
3) You're a new father of a darling young girl. It's now 2018 and young Samantha has just arrived home from eSchool on the Hover Bus.
She is a huge fan of the latest boy band craze, "The Sugar Laddies".
What do you do?
ANSWER: Why does she need to leave the house if she's going to eSchool?
Ah, but to answer your question. She will be eight years old. Hmm. (editor's note: She will be 13. But I also called Samantha "Meredith" in my first attempt at this question)
Either wait for her to grow out of the Sugar Laddies phase, or show her "A Hard Day's Night" and watch the magic happen.
4) Amazingly, you've been transported through time to 62 A.D. Sadly, you were captured wandering around outside of Rome, and are being forced to battle in a gladiatorial arena in a fight to the death.
Luckily, those Romans aren't totally stone-hearted. They've given you a choice of what sort of animal you shall fight to the death.
Ostrich Tiger Crocodile Rhino furious badger
Why? Do you think you'd win? How long do you think the fight would last?
ANSWER: Gosh, as much as I hate the idea of slaughter, I must ask, do I get a sword? (editor's note: I'd prefer a trident and net, but, sure... you get a sword and dagger)
If so, I think I would choose the ostrich, and go for the legs as it charges me. Of course, I'm not as speedy as I used to be, and I could get trampled. I'd give the fight five minutes, either way. Then if I survive, I'd congratulate Caesar for providing a convenient way to let folks know whether a movie is bad or good.
5) I first met Renata on December 31st, 1999. She's a nifty chick. But that's not when you met her.
Renata: How and why?
ANSWER: Like many others around the nation, I met my future spouse at work. We talked, and I learned that she is a smart, strong-willed, lovely woman. I have learned much from her. Oh, and she's super-purty. And as I suspected, she's a great mother.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sitting here in Arizona, with 22% humidity and 112 degrees, it's a little tough to fathom the devastation occuring hust a few hours' plane ride away.
With the stories coming in, it's not hard to believe that relief and rescue workers are going to need assistance once the storm has passed and emergency workers will be able to go into the many communities affected by Hurricane Katrina.
If you have some extra to spend this month, I ask that you consider making a donation to the American Red Cross.
This probably isn't going to be too exciting for a lot of you, but the Jack Kirby Museum is now open. The museum is currently only online, but it's being invested in by a lot of folks who will be sure to make it go.
The guys from ToMorrow Publishing, who print the "Jack Kirby Collector" magazine, Jack's daughter and Mark Evanier are all involved. It's going to be a neat project, bringing Kirby's work to a central db for viewing by the public. I hope that DC and Marvel play ball and let the museum use as much Marvel and DC content as possible.
Kirby is responsible for most of the Marvel Universe and a good chunk of the characters in the DCU. His dynamic style broke the mold for comics, teaching artists not to rely on static shots, but infusing each panel with ACTION.
His work looks a little odd and dated to folks just taking a quick peak, but I like to think Kirby's work holds up under study as some of the finest draftsmanship and dynamic craft in the industry.
Anyhoo, check out the new Jack "King" Kirby Museum. Heck, join up. They could use the funding. The League must check in with Mrs. League before throwing money at such a useful cause.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
I've been watching some of the shows on E! or VH1 or one of the entertainment networks, and the latest trend seems to be a return to the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", without the charm and wonder of 80's gadfly Robin Leach.
Instead, the format of the new shows sort of uses the "I Heart the (Decade's)" with Q-level entertainers sort of waxing unfunny about the bizarre goings-on of celebrities. The basic trend I'm now noting, no doubt late tot he party, is that basic cable spends an inordinate amount of programming celebrating the mundane luxuries of the unfortunately privileged. And the only two things which keep the have-nots from freaking out and having France 1789 happen in the here and now are 1) the fact that we've got TV to keep us warm and happy, and 2) we have a deep seeded belief that, with the right lotto ticket or if someone saw our real potential, that would be us with the fleet of Hummers. And WE don't want to be executed for installing an HDTV in our bathtub.
The shows highlight the bizarrely extravagant parties thrown for rich people's kids (at, like, age 2, when they'd be just as happy playing in a tub full of mud), how they spoil their pets, their opulent beach homes, etc...
The show which really makes me really start reconsidering Marxism is "Filthy Rich Cattle Drive". A program in which 19 year old kids are complaining about the thread-count of the linens they get at a cattle ranch and threaten to involve attorneys when asked to do the dishes.
Look, I'm a privileged suburban kid, too. But there's definitely a point at which you sort of aren't just saying, "Boy, I wish I had their money." Instead, you start saying, "My GOD, this person is a moron. How did they amass this wealth to begin with without blowing it all on gum and pinwheels?," or, alternately, "Can't this freak's parents see what a moron their kid is?"
My new resolution for the upcoming Fall is, when the show I am watching on E! (usually The Soup) ends, I will locate the remote and turn off the TV instead of writing off the show as background noise while I do whatever. Obviously I'm watching these shows enough that they're bugging me.
Anyhoo, we had a good weekend. It was hot as a bastard here in the Valley of the Sun, which was fine. I had to actually do some work over the weekend, and we're watching our pennies these days. Today we went to the first birthday party of Isaac N., Ryan "Good Ryan" and Trisha's kid. It was really my first kid's birthday party, and it was actually a lot of fun. Take cake, add baby, plus sheet of plastic, hilarity ensues. Anyway, we got Isaac a Richard Scary book, a book which investigated the various sounds farm animals make (from their mouths, people), and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I sort of want my own copy of the Richard Scary book, but I can't find a good way to justify buying it. It's actually a pretty neat book, and I like Richard Scary's very busy illustrations.
I just realized I never wrote Nathan's 5 questions. Gotta run.
10:30 PM |
Hey, what could trump the great Pepsi Holiday Spice Challenge, or the CHicken Fries Extreme Taste Test?
Oh, boy... 'Twas Randy who located the proper taste test to end all taste tests.
Folks, check out "Steve, Don't Eat It!" from weblog, "The Sneeze".
To try to recount Steve's trials and tribulations here would only be a disservice.