Friday, October 29, 2004


Editor's Note: Jason (The League's older and less handsome brother)sent in two entries. The first one is posted last, the second one is posted first is descending scariness.

First Stories

My current home in south Austin once belonged to an elderly lady who bestowed it upon her grandaughter in her will. When I was closing on the house at my realtor's office, we had a quiet moment during which I attempted to make some small talk with the woman selling the house.
"So, is there anything I should know about the house that no one's told me?"
I was kind of thinking of plumbing problems or faulty electrical work.
"Well, it's haunted."
"Uh, what?"
"My grandmother used to live there and she died in that house. She's a friendly ghost, but she likes to open and close things and make noises. We're trying to take her with us when we move, but we're not sure she'll go."
"Oh, it's ok. She'll leave you alone as long as there are good vibes in the house."
I've been there almost a year and a half, and so far, no sign of Grandma. Friendly ghost or not, I think I'm kind of glad. Still, I try to keep things positive at mi casa in order to avoid hassles from Grannie.

I had more problems at my last place. To my knowledge, my apartment at the edge of Travis Heights had never suffered the death of a resident or any other calamity, but as with most apartments, the place had an anonymous history that could seem a little creepy in its own right. Especially because weird stuff would happen there.
On at least 3 occasions, as I was lying in bed and trying to get to sleep, I would swear I heard my name spoken aloud, not in a shout or a whisper, but in a quiet speaking voice. The first two times this happened, I lept out of bed and ran around the apartment with my lacrosse stick in my hand, turning on all the lights. No one was ever there.
The third time this happened, I just pulled my pillow up over my head and tried to get to sleep. I was roused from bed a few minutes later by the sound of Calvin and Hobbes, my 2 pet ferrets, going crazy in their cage. I crept into the other room, and something big and black swooped down at my head. I screamed like a little girl, and grabbing a wine bottle, turned on the kitchen lights.
In the vaulted upper corner of my living room, a large black grackle sat perched on a picture frame and staring down at me with it's little black eyes. It screeched and I screamed again.
I opened the front and the patio doors, and it cirlcled the room a few times, screeching some more and flapping before flying out.
I checked the fireplace, but the flue was closed and the firescreen shut. To this day, I have never figured out the deal with the voice or the bird. Tripped my gourd, though, let me assure you.

Second Story

Hey. I know some scary stories. Remember that time we were watching The Exorcist at like 3 a.m. and it was thundering and lightning outside and you went to look out the window because you thought you heard a noise and you saw your own reflection and you screamed like a little girl and you stumbled backward over Mom's lamp? Oh wait. That's more of a funny story.

How about the time you emailed me a photo of your ass? That was scary.

In all seriousness, I do have one. Eric, lead guitarist and vocalist for the Mono Ensemble, has a harrowing tale passed on by his wife, Stephanie. One rainy night in Austin, Stephanie woke from sleep believing that she had heard some kind of strange noise in their kitchen. She tried to wake Eric, to no avail, and she went to investigate herself. Finding nothing in the kitchen, she assumed that one of their pet cats had made the commotion and she went to the refrigerator to get herself a drink. Standing in the dark, the only light in the room cast by the light of the ice box, she heard a noise and turned to see a young, pale boy with hollow eyes and a white shirt standing by her counter. She screamed and turned to look as Eric came running into the kichen to see what was the matter. The kid was no longer there and Eric was left standing in the kitchen looking on, bewildered.

Stephanie learned the next day that a teenage kid who ran with some of their family friends had OD'ed the night before and died after breaking into a veterinary clinic to steal tranquilizers. The kid had died in his family's kitchen and had been wearing a white, button-down shirt.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

One more cheap shot at Ashlee Simpson!
(courstesy of doug)

The new Ashlee Simpson iPod!

A while back, Jim D threatened to send me a crate of comics in the mail. I had begged him not to send anything as League HQ is even now working out an emergency plan to liquidate old comics which we know we will never read again (anyone want a run of Uncanny X-men from issue 160 - 300?). But th nonetheless, the box arrived last evening, and is filled with interesting stuff. The comics he sent along are a fascinating assortment, and all very new, so I'm surprised he wanted to dump them so quickly.

Most satisfying (and the only issue I had time to read) was that he'd sent along Astonishing X-Men in which Colossus returns.

Leaguers, I fairly much quit reading X-Men when they killed Colossus about six years ago, and if it weren't for the acid-trip, pop insanity of Grant Morrison's New X-Men (which managed to feel more like speculative fiction/ sci-fi than the usual soapy melodrama of the X-titles), I'd have never have picked up another issue. Well, now my favorite Russian comic character is back, and I have the issue to prove it. But this is Marvel comics, so it's entirely possible that Colossus is a clone or an alien replicant or something. But, I'm giving Petey the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, thanks for mailing me what might have amounted to your garbage, old chum! You sent some great stuff along!

And in the: You can't make anybody happy category, the new batsuit for the Christian Bale starring Batman Begins is now being ridiculed by Batfans everywhere.

You know what, comic fans? Gray tights with blue underwear on the outside probably ISN'T the most effective crime fighting ensemble, so I'm not REALLY sure you're moaning about.

Anyway, here's the suit.

There are a lot of complaints that it's no better than the previous Batsuits, but I'm not sure there was really anything WRONG with the previous batsuits. Maybe the guys inside the suits, and the movies around the suit... and, sure... I'd have loved to have seen Batman in a gray body suit... but I also understand what looks good in comics might not look so good on film.

Let the debate begin! And, no bat-nipple comments. THose were already well-covered by the comic nerds.
Halloween Spookiness with The League: Day 4

by The League

In 2000 or so I literally saw an unidentified flying object. The guy I was with also saw it, but we wrote it off as a weather balloon.

But hauntings? Nah. Not really. When I was in second grade we thought a house which was for sale in the neighborhood was haunted. Back then, we would sneak into empty houses before they sold (yeah, even in Houston in Cypresswood back in the 80’s, not everyone locked every door), trudge around, and sneak out. We had rules about not doing any damage, and so we never got caught.

And I don’t know if someone saw something, or we heard something or what… but we knew something was in there. A week later we learned that there was a raccoon in the house which attacked a realtor. Which is funny, but not scary. And we’re all lucky we didn’t wind up with rabies.

After we moved from Houston to Austin, it was reported my dad (who was and is still alive) was appearing as an apparition in the kitchen of our former home. I’m a skeptic of this particular haunting. While we lived in that house, I don’t remember Dad ever appearing in the kitchen except to get a piece of cheese out of the fridge. No, if Dad was going to haunt something back then, it would have been the recliner. They would have seen a ghostly newspaper floating in the air, occasionally telling them to pipe down and clean up their Legos.

After that, I don’t remember much in the way of ghosts popping up in my life. Justin L. told me his front room was haunted by the ghost of a lady who had died there. Apparently she used to run her hands over her jewelry in a porcelain dish beside her bed. At night, he said, you could hear the sound of metal on porcelain, clinking around in the front room.

In college, like 3000 of my closest friends, I moved into Jester dormitory, the 14 story monstrosity designed by a former prison architect. Not long after moving in, I realized that Jester was/ is, in fact, alive. And it was trying to kill me.

Anyone who lived in Jester knows that the building is enormous. Just my tower was 14 floors of more than 90 residents per floor. Not to mention classrooms, a cafeteria, a creepy basement, study lounges, piano lounges…. The building has stood for only a few decades, but I think, and this is my theory, but I think that so much STUFF happens in Jester, that all of that… stuff… leaves a sort of residue. The building has come to expect the overworked, overstressed, oversexed, sleep deprived, emotionally distended lives of 18-20 year olds for so long that… you know… when the building sits empty like it did over OU weekend, that being alone in a building you can hear breathing…

Sounds would materialize and dissipate, occasionally you’d see someone you didn’t know pass by in the hallway and stick your head out and they’d be gone…. All easy enough to understand, I suppose.

And at 4:00am, I wandered out into the elevator lobby, hearing a strange, persistent sound, metal on metal… the elevator doors standing ajar, the elevator a floor below, and when I stuck my head down the shaft to see what was going on, the elevator suddenly plummeted in free fall, the doors to the shaft closing almost upon my head.

And then one night when everyone has left for Dallas for the big game or gone home, or has ditched for the weekend, you’re looking down the hallway, and you’re shouting “Is anyone else here?” because you think you hear music, but you can’t tell from where, but nobody answers. And there’s something in the hallway, and it’s already upon you, and it’s not that it’s creeping up on you, because now it’s surrounding you and seems to almost be giving off a tangible hum, and its density is growing, and…

Danny isn’t here Mrs. Torrence…

Aside from that, I don’t have any real ghost stories. I got attacked by the Creature from the Black Lagoon once, but that was more irritating than scary.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Halloween Entries, Day 3 Part B

child produced by Jill Hermann-Wilmarth

Arden gets pumped for Halloween. Check him OUT!!!! That kid is looking forward to a Tootsie Pop. Luckily, I believe he has no teeth to rot.
Haunted Tales of Halloween: Day 3

by: Maxwell

I generally try to avoid ghostly run-ins. I'm very
committed to the idea of not seeing a ghost, but
nonetheless I've had a few spooky experiences in my
time. My roommate and I were convinced that our
apartment in Austin was haunted even though we never
saw anything substantial. Once in a while I might
catch a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye.
We didn't mention it, but sometimes people who stayed
with us picked up odd vibes. The apartment was
relatively new, in one of those complexes with a pool
over on Oltorf, not typical scary stuff, but for all
we knew someone had died in the place. The worst of
it was, no kidding, sitting and typing on my roommates
computer, I always felt like someone was behind me,
watching me. I cannot abide people reading over my
shoulder, so the constant spine tingling, hair
pricking at the back of my neck made it difficult to
get any homework done. There was a closet in her
room, and when you sat at the computer your back would
be to the closet. It felt like someone was waiting,
watching, always coming from the direction of the
closet. I wrote a couple of creepy plays at that

At the end of the day, we just tried to chalk that
unnerving feeling up to bad feng shui.

The only experience that I haven't been able to
explain away happened in the house I grew up in, right
in Cypresswood. Maybe all kids go through a time when
they think they're houses are haunted. We thought so,
even though our house was new. After Poltergeist
came out we speculated that perhaps the house was
built on a graveyard. In all honesty, there were
times when I would be upstairs in the room furthest
away from the stairs, and would feel the driving need
to get out, run NOW NOW NOW down the stairs to be with

One particular night when I was about seven or so, I
woke up and couldn't get to sleep. I was getting over
a cold and I had been sleeping all day, and even
though it was now just past midnight I wasn't tired.
I was lying in bed with my back to the door. My
mother came in. I heard the door open and saw light
pour in from the hallway. I can't remember if I saw a
shadow. I felt my mother come and stand by the bed,
leaning over to turn on the light on my nightstand. I
turned over to say hello, complain that I couldn't
sleep, but no one was there.

I froze, immediately terrorized to paralysis. My
first thought was that I was dreaming, but a few quick
pinches confirmed that I wasn't. The light that had
not been on before was now on. The door to my room
was open. Then I thought, "Mom must have come in and
turned on the light, and I missed her." I didn't
move. I couldn't move. I just waited and waited
until finally I went back to sleep. The next morning
my light was still on. I looked to see if maybe it
could have turned itself on, but it had a dial switch,
the possibility of self illumination
didn't seem likely. I asked my mother if she had come
in the room to visit me, turned on my light. She
hadn't. I asked my dad, he hadn't. I asked my
brother. He hadn't, either. He was also four, not
yet capable of pulling a scary stunt.

Whatever the presence was, it didn't seem initally
frightening. Just terribly invisible. As far as I
know, it has never returned.


Look, Jason! Now you can have a kitty cat of your very own!
-Mrs. League

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

AN S.O.S. for RHPT for his Day of Bliss

Last week, soon to be wed Leaguers RHPT and The Mysterious M, made a plea via

Randy, you see, would like some help selecting tunes for his impending wedding reception. I understand the music during the wedding is taken care of, so he's looking to fill the air at the reception with tunes.

Randy has made a plea to his readership, begging for some help in selecting mood-setting music, but unfortunately, Randy is learning what The League learned long ago. The readership of the average blog is made up of completely unhelpful bastards.

Now, despite the fact that Randy has been pouting in the corner and refusing to help out with The League's past few interactive bits, I thought I'd step up to the plate and see if I couldn't think of some tunes everyone can enjoy. I listed four songs, and it's now in Randy's hands to make his decisions.

But, here's the deal, Randy's bastard-filled readership has otherwise refused to comment. And I am certain some of those bastards are even going to be at the wedding.

Now, it's one thing to tell someone to stick it in their eye on a normal day, but when someone is asking for help with their wedding... Leaguers, you legally have no option but to help them. So pop on over to Randy's site and make a suggestion. And, no... don't make it gross.

If you read this blog, you know that scientists work tirelessly to find new ways in which to play God and to create an unstoppable AI bent on the destruction of all human life.

It appears some eggheads have devised a quasi-artificial brain that sort of makes decisions and stuff. Which is interesting from a Blade Runner/ Isaac Asimov sort of standpoint, but terrifying from a Magnus, Robot Fighter perspective.

The only good side to this I can see is that pretty soon humanity will know it's fate as we all bow down to our robot masters. All hail UNIVAC, MIGHTY CONQUEROR!!!

(That's right! you heard it here first! The League was the first to get on board and officially recognize the evil cyborg intelligence as undisputed ruler of Planet Houston. We bow before your might, oh Great Univac! We ask only that you grant us your mercy and, if it befit you, that you may bestow upon us Lynda Carter, for which we promise to serve you well and carry out all of your malevolent wishes.)

The League must once again point out that it was The Beat which located this information first, and in a much more humorous manner.
If you want to know why I won't be posting for a few nights, it's because this just arrived.

My favorite new comic character I'd never heard of before last night? Captain Compass.
Halloween Entry: Day 2

by Nathan Cone

Alas, I have no scary stories to impart, unless you count horrifically scarring incidents from childhood. So my entry will fall into the costumecategory.

When I was young, I chose some particulary peculiar costumes. Oh, therewere normal years, for sure. I dressed as Batman when I was five. And in 1980, when "The Empire Strikes Back" came out, I went as Luke Skywalker (in the beige outfit from the Bespin sequence).

But pre-kindergarten, I remember going as a T-Rex one year (which was one heck of a costume, and I have the Super 8 film to prove it). Another year, I went as an Exxon gas station attendant, complete with pinstriped uniform. The guys who worked at the Exxon station on the corner of Kuykendahl & 1960 even gave me a cap and name patch to complete the look. Still earlier than that, I went as a traffic light. That costume was pretty much a big whitecardboard box with a red, yellow, and green dot on it. I also went as a motor one year. Yep, a motor. I don't remember how we pulled that one off.

And now we arrive at the attached photo, which was taken just outside the front door of the Cone household, a little later in childhood, probably 1981 or 1982. Obviously constructed in haste, this costume begs the question"Guess what I am?" [editor's note: I have no idea, either]

And is it just me, or does looking at Ashlee Simpson make you wonder what Jessica Simpson looked like before the nose job?
AshleeGate: The Story Which Just Gets Better

Randy sent this little tidbit along from MSNBC.

Ashlee's manager/ father (the combination of which explains oh-so-much) on the incident:

“Just like any artist in America, she has a backing track that she pushes so you don’t have to hear her croak through a song on national television,” Joe Simpson told Ryan Seacrest on Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM. “No one wants to hear that.”

I like how this family operates. EVERYONE does this. EVERYONE. Oh, and she had a tummy ache and never did it before. And it was the band. They played the wrong song... and... and...

And apparently the Simpson family has not learned a simple truth in American culture: if you ignore something and refuse to feed the press with quotes, etc... the issue will go away, and in two months, people will have a hard time trying to remember whether it was a dream or if it really happened.

You know, when Ashlee Simpson was just a small time act, playing bars and clubs, selling demo tapes for $5.00 out of the trunk of her own car, you know... paying her dues... she didn't need a back up track. Ashlee Simpson, is it possible you've sold out?

Read the story here.

Monday, October 25, 2004

As mentioned above, Ashlee Simpson had a little problem on SNL Saturday night.

Ashlee Simpson blames her band for a mistake the technician with the DAT made. Meanwhile, Jude Law is embarrassed for the both of them

And because Ashlee Simpson represents everything dumb about the music industry, The League is doing its part to make sure this snafu gets as much coverage as possible.

Intrepid Leaguer L. Denby has located not only the photo above of Simpson making the situation worse, but she's also located the video of Simpson both (a) inadvertently revealing the man behind the curtain and (b)showing no talent for improvisation.

In addition to the video above, here is Simpson drawing attention to the problem instead of just hoping it will go away. jumped in on the snafu here.

For those of you keeping track:

1) Simpson's first song on SNL went off without a hitch.
2) Her second song began playing
3) Simpson wriggles uncomfortably on-stage. I am told this is her dancing, and not some further gaffe.
4) The lyrics to her 1st song began to be heard over the top of the second song.
5) The hands of the guitarists do not seem to actually move from about 00:04 on the timeline to 00:24. Meanwhile, music is playing.
6) The vocal track cuts out
7) Simpson dances terribly
8) Band looks uncomfortable and thanks God for their over-styled anonymity
9) Simpson disappears from stage
10) go to commercial
11) a few lame skits. Want to find Bear City funny. Impossible.
12) end of show curtain call. Jude Law says something about "live tv"
13) Simpson blames band for playing "wrong song" which means one or more of the following:
a) The band has never before rehearsed with Simpson
b) Simpson's voice is an intangible force able to appear and disappear without her moving her lips/ originates from her belly
c) Simpson cannot improvise and sing one of her own songs when cued by her own music
d) Simpson has hired a magical band which doesn't need to touch its own instruments in order to produce music
e) Simpson thinks owning the DAT makes you part of the band
f) The ability of the band to play should not outweigh the OC'ness of their hair
g) Simpson is a shitty liar
h) Simpson doesn't know when to quit
14) Simpson's career completely unaffected as her pre-teen audience rationalizes the incident and angrily attacks those pointing out why Ashlee Simpson sucks
15) Maybe being the sister of an untalented singer doesn't qualify you as the next queen of rock n' roll

Halloween Spooky Tales! Day 1

By Jamie McBride Steans

Ok, I'm going to attempt to write a Halloween tale for you. You kinda put the kibosh on anything ultra creative by insisting it be true.

The house I grew up in, a 2 story with large attic and basement, was built in 1905 (Aught-5!) by early Lawtonian William H. Quinette. This was a great house for kids and my older brother and I spent hours playing in the vaulted-ceilinged attic (complete with large wasp nests and large wasps) and three roomed basement. The only place I refused to go was the storm cellar, which had no light and to my recollection harbored a spider convention.

When I was about eight years old, my dance instructor revealed to me that when she was in high school she had been friends with a girl who used to live in my house.

Dance teacher: "You know it's haunted, right?"
Me: "No it's not."
DT: "Yeah, the guy that built the house died in the master bedroom. [Dance teacher's friend's name] saw his ghost on the front stairs once."
Me: "No she didn't"

But it was too late. Even though I didn't believe in ghosts, my dance teacher had successfully managed to totally freak me out. For five full years not once did I use the front staircase after dark, terrified that I would meet face to face with old Bill Quinette. For five years after that I would only use those stairs on occasion at warp speed (yes, I did this well into my teens. shut up). I never did see a stupid ghost and it's a miracle I did not fall and bust my ass on the stairs while fleeing the imaginary Mr. Quinette. Maybe he liked us and didn't want to scare us away. I can only hope he appeared to greet the next owners after they felt it necessary to paint my old room orange.


This is the 998th post on The League. Can you believe it? Sometime tomorrow, I reckon we'll be at 1000, depending on how funny the news is.

In reality, we've already passed 1000. In the beginning, I almost gave up the ghost a week or so in. Luckily, Jim D. was there to slap me back to my senses, AND he still had my postings in his cache. I reposted, and I think if you look, my "first day" of posts is about a week's worth.

So 1000 postings. Should be cause for some sort of celebration, but, instead, it kind of makes me feel a little weird about all this. I mean, I've probably got 2-4 times more posts than most bloggers who've been around a similar duration. And my readership is still completely unknown. That, and it's actually a little bit of work, and ain't nobody paying me to do it.

The hits I get come mostly from people either looking for nude photos of Ann Coulter (a creepy past-time, not to mention... do you REALLY think anyone ever got their hands on nude photos of Ann Coulter?) or else they come from Jim tends to take my posts regarding movies, TV, etc... and then do my legwork for me, linking IMDB back to The League.

The rest of my hits are either people looking for images I happen to have, the occasional creepy search for "ryan steans", or "melbotis". But at least 50% I have no idea who they are. If it weren't for the comments section, I'd feel I was completely howling into the void.

So where does the League go from here? I have no idea. More of the same, I'd guess. Probably less Britney Watch. That's been unpopular.

I guess you can continue to expect a lot about Superman, comic books, movies, TV, Superman, Arizona, Austin, Superman, the cat, the dog, parental visits, Superman, Halloween, Christmas, bad lunches, bad pop stars, Superman, etc...

As always, Loyal Leaguers SHOULD be the driving force behind The League of Melbotis. We aren't shy, and we certainly welcome topics of all shapes and sizes. So, you know, if you have a topic you'd like to see batted about here, speak up.

I do feel bad there wasn't some profound 1000th anniversary post, but, you know, I've been busy and this kind of snuck up on me. Maybe on the actual third anniversary.

So as a sort of 100th post anniversary thing, let's see how many of you will pop up in the comments section and say "aye". I'm just curious about my readership.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The Weekend in Review (post 997)

So, let me start by saying Garfield: The Movie really, really sucks. Really, really, really sucks. Even my planned cackling at the career dips of Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt didn't pan out. I mean, I just... felt... sorry for them. They looked permanently stuck in a toothpaste ad.

The truth is, Garfield can't really withstand a review, because I really don't have enough time nor do I know enough words to eviscerate this flick properly. But suffice it to say, look... this movie, like so many adaptations, had nothing to do with the original material. And one wonders, short of fulfilling a contract with Jim Davis, why on earth this project ever received the green light.

I laughed exactly once during the 80 minute movie, and that was Garfield's homage to Apocalypse Now's "Never get off the boat" scene. The movie sort of half-lifted the story from "Here Comes Garfield", but took so many turns for the worse, you'd really have to know what you're looking for to draw the parallel.

Clearly the film's producers had two ideas in mind in making the movie (1) children's movies are so idiot simple, characters should in no way be funny, or interesting or developed (2) Whatever made Finding Nemo, Shreck and Toy Story so popular with adults and children... let's do the opposite and make sure the parents' brainwaves only become engaged when counting product placements (and for the Daddies... whenever JLH appears in a tiny dress).

The final scene of the movie looks like a demo real showing Garfield dancing. And this was the second time I laughed. By this point, the movie had broken my spirit, and it was either laugh or cry.

"It... it just... sucks... so... bad"

This weekend also has marked the arrival of the Christmas Season. I saw my first Christmas present commercial this evening on ABC Family (yes, I am watching "The Hollow"), and then they ran an ad for ABC Family's 12 Days of Christmas. So, 2 Christmas commercials in 30 minutes.

That isn't to mention that the lights are going up on Mill Avenue, or that Bath & Body doesn't already have up its Christmas display.

But this is Halloween Week, and so I've been trying to keep it Halloweeny up in here. In that spirit, we watched 1932's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Which is way creepier than I remember the version I read as a kid being.

Also, the in-laws were here. We watched some football, got lost in downtown Phoenix, and spent a few quality hours at the Arizona State Fair (turkey leg.... mmmmm).

And did anyone else catch Ashlee Simpson go into meltdown on Saturday Night Live? man, if there were any justice... But, of course, nobody will care. is it any surprise she's lip synching and playing with a band which clearly hates her? Bwah ha ha ha ha

And Jim e-mailed me story of interest to Texas Exes.

TEX is being retired.

It's a little like hearing the dog you played with in college died. I'm kind of sad about it. Sure, registering online is 10x more efficient, but where's the thrill of the hunt? Where are the 7:50 A.M. alarms so you can roll over and start calling? Where's that screaming, "F**k you, TEX!!!! F**k you!!!!" when you can't get your class? Where's the shout of "whoo-hoo!" when you do get it? Man, the kids today will never know.

Friday, October 22, 2004


Did I care if John Kerry or W were here for the debate last week? No.

But how could I have known that by avoiding the debate, I would accidentally sidestep the greatest interview journalist of the last 20 years?

Click here to download a series of interviews on Spin Row at the Tempe, AZ Presidential Debate.

This takes a while to download if you aren't on a high speed connection. And if you aren't on a high speed connection, GET WITH THE 21st CENTURY, YOU TROGLODYTE!!!!

Thanks to Jim D. for the link.
Okay, you lazy bums!

One last outstanding call for Halloween-themed stories!

I have only three stories submitted and cooling in the freezer.


The only thing scary about this contest is how my flagging readership refuses to participate.

Elvira knows submitting a story to The League is the patriotic thing to do. You don't want to be un-American, do you? Well, do you?

Look, I know a lot of you are putting a lot of extra pressure on yourself and thinking your story won't be scary or funny enough or whatever. Well, by jiminy, we think you're plenty funny and plenty scary, so quit psyching yourself out, roll up your sleeves and pound out a tale on the old keyboard. We're a-waitin'.

The Crypt keeper at last year's closing grand-prize ceremony. He over-dressed and ate all of the brownies.

The deadline (which is today) is greatly flexible, and we will be taking stories right up until Halloween. But, Leaguers, the idea is that every day when you click on over to The League all week next week, there's a fresh story awaiting you, and getting you in the spirit. Now, that story could be YOURS!!! And you know you've got a creepy tale in you.

Did you cross paths with a black cat? Did an old gypsy woman put a curse on you? Did you see something which, even after all these years, you still can't quite explain...? (and, no, I'm not talking about The Magic Johnson Show).

That this is thriller, thriller night
'cause I can thrill you more than any ghost would dare to try
Girl, this is thriller, thriller night
So let me hold you tight and share a killer, diller, chiller
Thriller here tonight

So click on over to the guidelines for the contest and follow them or don't follow them. Let's just get some interaction!
Here is a photo of the guy they cast as Superman for the upcoming Bryan Singer directed film.

As long as Routh's voice doesn't make him sound like Urkel, and Singer takes the time to make sure he's nailing every scene, I am happy. I am especially happy that they didn't cast anybody under 6'0", nor some flavor-of-the-week actor to bring in the 14-year old girls.

Singer was able to make two X-Men movies work with only a handful of name actors, and those flicks made a star out of Hugh Jackman.

I heard Topher What's-his-name from That 70's Show might be up for Jimmy Olsen. Personally, I think after seeing him in Traffic, it would be a good choice.

Here's to hoping nothing awful happens to Bryan Singer before production ends.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Hey all, Mrs. League here. Blogger is totally pissing me off today. First it copied my post over the Leagues and then when he reposted, my post went away. Grrr.

Let me try to remember: I wanted to appologize to Jim D. and RHPT -- obviously I do not hate you and I acknowledge that RHPT had little to no involvement in the Garfield incident.

The League's post about my hatred of Garfield is wrong and he knows better. We have often shared childhood memories of the cool cat and every time we visit parents-of-the-League's house I can be caught reading old copies of Garfield books 1-10. I was quite the Garfield fan in my youth, even collecting the fabulous "Garfield's Nine Lives" and Garfield telephone.

What I was upset with was the movie, which is different. This character bares little resemblance to the lovable fat cat we grew up with. And I was content in the knowledge that I would never have to view this shameful piece of crap. But last night, as GCI Garfield struck a pose on my kitchen counter and the League exclaimed "Awesome!", my stomach dropped. Leaguers, I am doomed.
Okay, this was posted earlier, but due to Blogger working in mysterious ways, I lost the post. So, below is an edited version of the post from early this morning.

Regarding Mrs. League's protests and pronunciations:

Before anyone runs off thinking Mrs. League is evil and vindictive, I just want to congratulate you on your astounding insight.

No, no, no... I kid because I love.

My explanation for the post above is as follows:

Mrs. League has always had it in for Garfield. League archives reveal a troubling visit to the the McBride household years ago when The League and the Impending-Mrs. League were but starry-eyed kids.

I don't know what started it, but I was sitting at the kitchen counter drinking coffee and reading the Lawton Constitution, and the McBrides went, jointly, into a tirade regarding both The Family Circus and Garfield.

The League sat in stunned silence. You see, The League always secretly loved Garfield (but decided The Family Circus has outlived it's usefulness in 1977). The League used to have Garfield books strewn about his bedroom, an Odie doll perched atop his "Return of the Jedi" bedspread, and owns, to this day, the vinyl to the Soundtrack to Here Comes Garfield (the title song of which is sung by the amazing Lou Rawls).

It didn't seem like a big deal at the time. The League kept his mouth shut, and let the McBrides air their Garfield related grievances. He thought, at the time, that this really wasn't worth breaking up over. At least, not until he got home again.

And through 5 years of marriage, The League has kept his head down, only occasionally fessing up to thinking Garfield strips were really, really funny back in about 1978-1983.

But Mrs. League... Mrs. League has it in for Garfield. We don't know if its the lasagna bit (which still kills, by the way), or the fact Garfield hates Mondays, or that he won't eat raisin toast or Garfield's hilarious fear of spiders. We don't know.

The movie was oddly NOT a polarizing moment. Mrs. League hates Garfield anyway, so hating the movie was a logical extension. The League was upset to see the strip sucked dry, its simplicity tattered, and Odie not looking remotely like Odie. And the League kind of wishes plagues of locusts upon both Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt (even as he wishes to ogle Ms. Love Hewitt).

So, RHPT and Jim D, please do not take Mrs. League's moment of rage personally. Its just that you have brought an unspeakable evil into her house. An evil which The League's morbid curiosity will surely force her to endure. While The League is aware RHPT and Jim D did this primarily to taunt The League, Mrs. League knows the League's capacity for enjoying awfulness all to well (see the multiple viewings of From Justin to Kelly). And she knows that the DVD player is housed in a central location at League HQ, and she will not be able to escape. No matter how hard she tries.

So, once again, thanks to RHPT and Jim D (or, as I am learning, mainly Jim D) for their generous and unexpected gift. The League will at least enjoy ogling Ms. Love Hewitt, even as she delivers a less than stellar performance in what is sure to be a crap-fest of a movie.

In the meantime, we will watch the film and try not to think too hard upon what might have been.
Mrs. League on Jim D. and RHPT:

"I hate them. I hate them so much. I hate them down to the marrow of their bones."


"And you can quote me on that."

Well, goodness, me. But quote her, I have!

Now, what would draw the ire of Mrs. League to such a degree? Well, Leaguers, after Tuesday night's wild goose chase in the front yard of League HQ looking for a package Jim D. insisted should have arrived, this evening I arrived home to find a box awaiting me on my kitchen counter.

And what was in that box? What drew such venom from my lovely wife?

My friends, The League is now a proud owner of the DVD of Garfield: The Movie!

Yes, Leaguers, RHPT and Jim D. have conspired and pooled their hard-won money to see to it that The League spend the requisite 90 minutes groaning his way through this summer's schlockiest money-grab. And Mrs. League is all too aware that The League IS NOT one to suffer alone, nor in silence. So soon enough, The League, Mrs. League and all of The League Proper will be sitting down for a showing of Garfield: The Movie.

Watch this space for updates.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Special thanks go out to Nathan Cone, who used his NPR connections to get me a copy of the story from This American Life from a little bit back.

The story detailed the life of a Seattle-area man who likes to dress up in a Superman outfit in his spare time. I had actually read about this guy at some point a while back. I think he'd been profiled on The Superman Homepage about a year ago.

I'm not really sure what to think about the story. I think the journalist went out there with the best of intentions, and did the story as much justice as he could. I mean, what are you going to say about a guy with, let's face it, a recent tragedy in his life. And how he reacts is by putting on a suit?

But, you know, isn't that what always happens in the comics?

I found the story fascinating, and as much as I think the Superman guy needs to talk to somebody (a counselor, anybody), he's trying to work through his life in the only way he knows how.

Anyway, thanks again, Nathan!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


The League's brother has sent in a true tale of Halloween horror that might.... just might... be enough to keep you from sleeping at night. And it doesn't involve the time he wet himself in 10th grade.

BUT.... all I've got are two stories. Two! Surely The League's readership has surpassed two.... but maybe not.

Here's a gruesome tale for your pre-Halloween fun. After not having been to the gym in untold weeks, inspired by, I returned last night. Holy crap, is it easy to get out of shape quickly.
Is the cute criminal chick from ABC's Lost the new Lois Lane?

The League throws its support behind this casting decision. It is much better than many of the names which have tossed about in the past two years.

Lost's Evangeline Lilly

Thanks to Maxwell for drawing this uneasy comparison

Sesame Street's genial gameshow host, Guy Smiley

Massachusetts' genial senator, John Kerry

Monday, October 18, 2004


I've actually learned to say "NO!" With this newly found freedom, its like people don't know how to act around me. Should we talk to her like we did when she was 16 or like the Icon everyone says she is?

hell, yes.

Read the letter here, ya'll.

Ms Federline is now officially biting the hand which feeds her, and her wilting self-doubt barely taps the unchecked insanity which she has been force fed since 1999.

Unintentionally turning on her fanbase, and the entertainment pseudo-press in one poorly structured sentence, Ms Federline had this to say: My prerogative right now is to just chill and let all the other overexposed blondes on the cover of Us Weekly (magazine) be your entertainment.

Her prerogative? And, yes... she did, in fact, just cover the late 80's Bobby Brown hit. Will she see the path Whitney and Bobby took as an admirable one, or the Scarface-like ridiculousness it has become?

A note to Mr. Federline:

Dear Mr. Federline,

Will you please quit teasing us? Please cut to the chase and ask Britney to cut off all contact with her family. We all know this will happen, and we do not have even 4 months to wait for it. Please expedite this step so that we can reach your ugly divorce as soon as possible.


The League of Melbotis

Britney continues her own letter, appealing to, I guess, Hilary Duff: It's amazing what advisors will push you to do, even if it means taking a naive, young, blonde girl & putting her on the cover of every magazine.

Clearly Ms. Federline has visited the Wallace Theater by my house, which is little more than a temple to Duff.

The League wishes Ms. Federline an enjoyable vacation, and expects that, when done chillin', her legion of 12 year-old fans will have placed themselves in carbon freeze so as to ensure they do not move on to the next blonde pop sensation, nor shall they emotionally or intellectually develop to a point where they may not enjoy Ms. Federline's musical stylings.

I leave you with this bit of theological insight from Ms. Federline, whose wisdom knows no bounds... Truly, He works in mysterious ways.

I know now that my knee gave out on me this past summer so that I would have no choice but to stop. My body was shutting down and needed rest. It's funny how the Man upstairs works. Right now, I have to go-- I really want to watch "Saved" with Mandy Moore and re-runs of "Sex and the City."

John Kerry... madman or genius?

Is this guy the superhero who is going to fill Christopher Reeve's red boots?

We have no opinion on this guy here at The League, but every word we hear about Singer's take on the new Superman movie makes us more excited. It sounds like a genuine continuation fo the Reeve-starring Superman films, complete with a crystal-based Krypton and Fortress of Solitude.

I wouldn't start putting hard money down on this guy getting the role. After all, dozens of names have been floated. But if this guy IS the selection... well, fine. Looking forward to hearing more details.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Slow weekend here at League HQ. Movie watching, etc... was the word of the day.

Spent Friday night remembering Christopher Reeve with a memorial viewing of Superman. It may be the 50th time I've seen that movie, but I can watch it from beginning to end every time. Even the "Can you read my mind..?" section in the middle.

I did take time out to see Team America on Saturday, but I'm not going to bother to review a movie which is already being reviewed so much in so many places that, honestly, I knew too much about the movie going in. As much as I DID laugh, I think I would have laughed harder if I hadn't been told so many of the punchlines ahead of time. Stupid reviews.

I did feel lonely... so lonely... in the theater, as I am not entirely certain the other folks in the theater were enjoying the movie. Specifically, the group of high school boys sitting behind us. I'm not sure if they 1) understood the political context of some of the jokes, or 2) the trappings of action movies which Team America was having fun with. I mean, yes, some small bits of this movie do require you to know who folks like Hans Blix are. Its not all just funny puppet sex.

Well, Jamie and I thought the movie was funny. And we have been singing the Team America theme song around the house (America, F**k Yeah!). It's that kind of movie. And, by jiminy, I'll be picking up the soundtrack.

I also watched The Bourne Identity this evening, which was okay. Matt Damon (MATT DAMON!!!!) is pretty good. And that girl (German-fake-Claire Danes) was okay. And I always like Chris Cooper, and should try to find Matewan on DVD sometime. I'm actually very curious to see the sequel, The Bourne Supremacy.

Altough I don't exactly recall seeing this exact movie plot before, the beats were that of a by-the-numbers actioner, and there was something complete ridiculous about the romantic subplot. I will say, the flick did leave some interesting questions in the air at the end, so I'd like to see how they resume the storyline in Part Deux.

And you know who is a powerfully mediocre actor in The Bourne Identity? Julia Styles. Man, there were chairs with more presence in that flick.

After a two month delay, I finally finished The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, of which I figured out I had only fifty pages left to go (the rest being notes and appendices). I have Theodore Rex on tap, but I think I'll wait a little while. I need to read some fiction which is not comic book related.

And I watched a documentary on the 1931 version of Dracula, as well as the 1931 version of Dracula with the audio commentary overlaid. Both were terrific. I love my Universal Monster movies box sets. I need to read Dracula as I've never read it. Maybe that's my next book. I'll see if I can find a cheap hardcover at Barnes and Noble. They always have junk like that out at Christmas.

Anyway, after weeks and week away, I've been inspired by RHPT to return to the gym. That, and I want to be able to crush those who oppose me when I go to Oklahoma for Christmas.

Friday, October 15, 2004

hey, Leaguers...


The 2004 Horrifically Hasty Halloween Heckstravaganza!

Even this undead abomination is getting her story in.

Time is running out, and I've gotten but a single reply thus far. The lovely and talented Madalina H. has given us a creepy tale sure to curl your toes.

he may be insane and invisible and on the run, but The Invisible Man STILL makes time to send in his spooky story

But what about Randy? Dedman? Harms? Nord? Cone? and last year's winner, the indominitable Maxwell? Maybe even Jill will return to the fold and grant us a creepy tale of child delivery.

Jamie, who is a sissy, will surely not send in a story. Because she is a big sissy.

Do YOU want to be a big sissy like Jamie? No. No you don't.

So review the rules and then send in your tale. Don't forget... each person who enters gets a spooky treat from The League, and the person who tells the best story gets the grand prize!

To review the guidelines, go here.

There's nothing creepy about Elvira, but I like to post pictures of her.

Howdy, Leaguers. I'm out of ideas, so it's time for another rendition of


Our first selection comes from the minds at Factory X. THis group used to do full-scale props from Marvel Comics... Iron Man's helmet, Nick Fury's pistol.... that sort of stuff. And they never seemed afraid to make somethign which might potentially put out an eye.

And thusly, they have brought us a full-scale model of the axe used by The Headless Horseman in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. I remember enjoying the movie quite a bit. The story of Sleepy Hollow is always scary, and the imagery of the Headless Horseman is always a good one to make you get that Halloween chill.

And I watch TV at 3:00am, so i know there's lots of dudes in Kentucky who buy swords off of late night home shopping programs. So, hell, why not a huge, dangerous axe?

Our next entry is not for the squeamish. Remember the Elizabeth Bathory figure I mentioned not so long ago? How could the crack team of researchers at League HQ find something which would make me squirm in my seat even more?

From the realm of What-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you? come the line of collectibles known as Toxic Teddies. I'm not sure what else to say about these other than that they make me very, very uncomfortable. And I deeply suggest that if you're thin-skinned or want to avoid bad-dreams or don't want to relive personal crisis, that you not take a look at these toys at all.

Possibly the least disturbing of the Toxic Teddies. Oh, by the way... Welcome to the site, Dad!

They truly are TTSNB.

Toxic Teddies can be seen here.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Omega Supreme update.

Okay, I think I thought the classic Omega Supreme was Metroplex, the transforming Autobot City.

You can check out the truly awesome classic Omega Supreme here.

Here is the much ballyhooed Astrotrain (whose name sounds like a 1980's post-Star Wars spin-off of Soul Train, I might add...)

And here is Metroplex, the weird Transformer city.

I don't recall anybody ever having the Metroplex toy.
Apparently, there's now a Voltron-like Transformer named "Omega Supreme".

To The League's ears, Omega Supreme sounds less like a Transformer and more like the item on the Taco Bell menu you simply want to avoid.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

If you wanted proof positive that the President and Would-Be-President are important people, you should have been in Tempe this afternoon. Never before have I been so annoyed. And all of my predictions about the afternoon sucking..? Shockingly accurate. And of all the folks in my office to actually suffer through the worst of it? The League.

Dammit, Leaguers. The League has been personally inconvenienced once again.

I tried to get out of the office early, but after the meeting I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a lot of work to do, and I was also hangin' with Rahim. Hangin' with Rahim. I think I have a new sitcom on my hands.

Point being: I left dead last, and got to know the interior of my car intimately this afternoon.

Anyway, at 4:30 I kicked Rahim's butt out the door and headed AWAY. As I left the parking garage, some shirtless dude in an orange car was making the sign of the devil at me and honking his horn. I have no idea what that was about. Then I saw a riot crew of about a dozen, dressed in full gear and lazily walking the direction fo my car. I sped off.

At each corner were two more cops, (totalling about 8 per intersection) and the freaks were starting to make their appearances.

I KNEW the street running alongside campus was closed, and so I tried an end run around, popping out safely past campus in my pursuit of the 101. While crossing Mill, the street upon which the debates took place, I could not help but notice a crew of bicycle cops numbering about a dozen or more, pedaling furiously in unison, doing God knows what.

I reached my semi-planned escape route. However, University was closed about a block up. Some rent-a-cop security detail had closed down the street and was staring stupidly at the tremendous line of cars piling up. All traffic was stuck in a jam which literally could go nowhere but into a parking lot. Some of us were pulling a U-turn mid-road, and there was a motorcycle cop blaring lights, zipping up and down the road, not really doing much of anything. No idea what he was doing other than enjoying the shiny lights.

Undaunted, I tried my only other alternate road to reach the main freeway. This, too, was blocked. And turning around and going back the way from which I came meant turning back into the traffic jam built up for about a mile.

While Bush's team had checked out the Bank One Ball Park for their after-party, the Kerry folks had rented Tempe Beach along my second planned escape route. What I am saying, leaguers, is that all East/West traffic in Tempe was now impossible. Literally. And I couldn't go North because there's a man-made river (thus the beach), and my Southbound path was blocked by the auditorium holding the debate... so not really an option. And East/ West... closed off at Rural.

At this point, I kind of freaked out. But screaming at hippies only makes you feel okay for a short amount of time. Similarly, screaming at the Izod and Loafers crowd.

So, my only option... scratch that... the only option for everyone in TEMPE was to go WEST. The opposite direction from my house, I might add. North West.

My usual 45 minute drive took an hour and a half.

And I understand the need for security. I really do. But...

Can't they just hold these debates somewhere in the middle of the desert? Or on the moon? Or someplace where the mere presence of these two clods isn't going to turn the whole area into a police state?

I now wonder what Crawford, TX must be like whenever the President arrives. They must have a secret service detail for every citizen of the town.

Did I watch the debates? No. I think I've heard everything these guys are going to say. And, surely if asked why the need for all the crazy security, America would bristle and mock the questioner. But, no, seriously... what's up with all the security?

With terrorism being such a hot button issue, all this security doesn't make me feel more safe. The cops are there for riot control and to keep the anarchists from sneaking in behind the hippies and smashing up the Starbucks at 5th and Mill. But what, exactly, were the 8 cops stationed at Mill and 7th going to stop? Looting? A sudden invasion from foreign powers? What supercop maneuver are they going to pull if somebody DOES have a bomb or a car full of dynamite?

Its hard to describe, I guess. Lots and lots of cops, but they're being cops, and are looking for rowdy drunks and crackpots. The cops are not looking for somebody staying cool until they begin their wily scheme.

And then Kerry holds his after party in an open-air pavilion? Bush surrounds himself with 35,000 people he doesn't know at the BOB? But, for some reason we can't drive our cars East-West a mile from the auditorium?

I know, I know... its just one day, and you can't complain about this because its a necessary precaution. But this is how both of these guys are travelling across the country right now. This is what the experts feel is necessary in order for these guys to be protected. Or at least to feel protected.

That doesn't make me feel safer. Not by a long shot.
I know what the League is getting for Christmas.

Yes, singing sensation William Hung has blessed us with this Christmas miracle -- his Christmas CD entitled "Hung for the Holidays".

Let me just say that if the League insists on screwing with Mrs. League's car radio by constantly tuning it to the Christmas Station this year, he can fully expect the Krypton Kruiser's CD player rigged to have the "Hidden Bonus Track" from Hung's album on repeat.

--Mrs. League
Damn our democratic process.

The streets of Tempe are barricaded, and not even a greased up Bill O'Reilly will be able to slip through the steely grip of the laser-eyed Tempe police force. Our very presence has been met with surprise by event organizers, who suggested those of us working on the same street as the auditorium holding the debate not even come to work today.

I'd wanted to go down to campus and eyeball the press (oh, Judy Woodruff... why do you elude me, you sly fox?). Chris Matthews has been down by the Union throwing gas on the fire, from what I hear. Good for him. Tempe, for being a college town, is some serious political deadwood. I hear Brendan, a kid I know, actually made it on Hardball.

I can't go down there during lunch, as I've been scheduled for a lunch meeting (hey, free lunch). And I can't get out of here early as my boss can't make it to his 2:00, which puts me and Al in there as his back-up until probably 4:00.

No signs of protestors yet. But the place we're going for lunch has a balcony overlooking Mill, so maybe I can see the sign-wavers while I eat some noodles.

But the buzz in the air is not particularly positive. People don't talk politics in my office (thank God), and everyone is wondering how they're going to leave work today as the fuzz is closing down most of the streets near campus. These streets are also the main thoroughfares to get in and out of downtown. So, terrorists, you're going to either have to take a sidestreet or walk. Those are your fiendish options.

I was told yesterday that Gammage, the site of the debate, was originally designed by Frank Llyod Wright for some Saudi nobility who didn't pay up, so Wright gave the plans to ASU. I need to take another look at the building, because I never looked to see if there's any eastern flair to the building. I don't think so, but you never know.

***update*** Turns out the building was designed for Iraqi officials in the mid-1950's. Unfortunately, the monarch of Iraq was assasinated, and the approval for the project didn't go through. Apparently, my source for the originally story was not ot be trusted. ****

Anyway, I'll be spending the morning running up and down Mill looking for snipers and dudes with ear pieces and sunglasses. Good-bye relaxed workplace, hello peek into a police state.

By the way, the reports regarding Bush's "hidden" Wi-Fi pack are true. Using the bleeding-edge resources available only at League HQ, we've tapped into the President's transmissions. He's listening to all of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" on a loop. Those odd pauses..? Flute solo.
Britney Watch!

Hello, and welcome to a new feature here at The League.

"I'd love to have a baby already. But I've got to take care of some things first ... I want to become a mother. I'm crazy about children ... next year, when I'm 23 I'll be ready."

Yes, life is pretty much over for America's little sweetheart.

This segment is dedicated to observing and enjoying the rapid descent of former teen-pop marshmallow, Britney Spears. I first became aware of Britney Spears when my co-workers downloaded her "one More Time" video (legally, I am sure) for viewing.

The Spice Girls were almost already a bitter-sweet memory, and the world was craving something newer, fresher, and less classy. And so many options! Christina Aguil... Aguila... Aguil... the slutty girl whose name I can't spell... Jessica Simpson, Shakira, and whomever the hell else. I don't know. Anyway, suddenly, no matter where you looked, there were annoying people with Pepsi contracts.

Hell, even Bob Dole wasn't afraid to make a buck from Pepsi and allow America's Britney-lust become a public joke.

Looking back, could we have predicted a child raised in show-biz and worshipped for her teen-age sex-kitten status would begin to flail a bit the second she was free of contractual and parental control?

Yes. Yes we could. But we never do. It's the hilariously tragic story of American celebrity, Leaguers.

We all remember the first signs of Britney cracking... the abrupt ending to her Mexico City show a few years back. The stupid snake thing at the MTV Video awards, the Madonna incident(s). But now... now Ms. Federline is 22, a millionaire many times over, and has already had the best day of her life she's ever going to have. So where does she go from here? Full-on celebrity implosion, my friends.

We don't need to relate the belabored wedding ceremony to car-wash refugee Kevin Federline, or the fact that she picked him up from his girlfriend (8 months pregnant with their second child). But we MUST get onboard this runaway train here at The League for the sheer entertainment value.

We're now taking bets on how many weeks/ months Ms. Spears will remain Ms. Federline, both professionally and legally.

In the meantime, we celebrate Mr. Federline. He has shown himself to have no character, but has still steered himself into marrying a millionaire. I can only suggest he enjoy the short and bumpy ride before he makes that final, crucial mistake, and Mrs. Federline begins reviewing her pre-nup.
Nothing this good ever happens in Arizona.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Love Pulp?
Love Shatner?

(the answer to that second question better be yes, or I disavow any knowledge of your existence...)

If you love these two pop culture icons, I can only recommend you go here.

For a whole album of Shatner ROCKING THE F**KING HOUSE, go here. And then go buy the album, you bastards.
Several cartoons appeared in newspapers yesterday in tribute to Christopher Reeve.

You can see a collection of them here. Link is from The Superman Homepage.

Monday, October 11, 2004

"But most will remember this sad day as the day the proudest, most noble man they ever knew finally fell. For those who loved him -- one who would call him husband, one who would be his pal, or those who would call him son -- this is the darkest day they could ever imagine. They raised him to be a hero: to know the value of sacrifice, to know the value of life. And for those who served with Superman in the protection of all life comes the shock of a failure: the weight of being too late to help. For a city to live, a man had given his all and more. But it's too late. For this is the day that a Superman died." - Superman #75, 1992 (written by Dan Jurgens)

--Mrs. League

Christopher Reeve has died at the age of 52.

As you've doubtless heard, actor and social activist Christopher Reeve died of complications on October 11th, 2004.

Mr. Reeve spent the past several years working tirelessly to help the many victims of paralysis by fundraising, encouraging research and working with congress. The loss of Mr. Reeve should only memorialize that which Mr. Reeve spent the latter part of his life working to achieve.

It would be dishonest of me to say that I didn't take a special interest in this cause due to Mr. Reeve's association with four Superman films and his appearances on Smallville. I suggest that, as a nice reminder of the joy he put into his work, that you watch one of the films this month. I'll be taking time out to watch Superman this week.

Out of respect for Mr. Reeve, I won't be posting for 24 hours. I ask that you take some time, instead of reading here, to visit the website for the Chrisopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, and consider sending in a donation sometime this year.

Spent this weekend stripping paint off of the submarine so that we can add that nice chrome finish to the hull before we launch from Los Angeles and sail on to claim Catalina Island as our own, renaming the place "La Isla delos Bobos". Also bought a blue lightbulb and a mask. Tried to entertain Isaac, but it was past his bedtime. I established 3 towns and two cities, but in the end, my inability to have a good wheat crop was my downfall. And, also, my foolhardy plan to build a cross-island freeway was frought with peril.

Am intrigued with the inability of the Arizona Cardinals to win in the best of circumstances, disheartened at the loss of the Cowboys, and am proud UT didn't go down in a Hindenberg like mess as they have done in so many appearances at the Cotton Bowl. Ah, there's always those troglodytes from Bryan to beat up on when we're feeling low.

Fed up with politics and all political ideas, I am trying to avoid the debates, which come to ASU and the Frank Lloyd Wright designed structure a block from my office this coming Wednesday. Luckily, I no longer have a window, so those Secret Service bastards won't be able to shoot me without blasting a 2 foot crater through the damned hair salon. Not that the hair salon and I don't deserve it, for surely the secret service is aware that I've read the Majestic 12 papers and I'm on to those filthy swine. How dare they make a secret pact with Alien/ Nazis just to get the secret of rocket technolgy? Like they haven't had anti-megnetic drives whizzing home made saucers all over the upper atmosphere since 1951... Were we in that kind of race to the moon? Nonsense. We could have made it on the backs of a sea of disposable labor and by squeezing some ideas out of Irwin Allen and reading the latest from Julius Schwartz. I suspect those aliens duped us, anyway. Who ever heard of placing a man in a thimble at the top of a tube full of liquid explosive? Its foolhardy and only works as a party trick.

I am not voting. The democrats keep calling, 6 times a day. God bless caller ID. They'll get neither my money nor political support, for this year we put an end to the vote and select an emperor. The states become fiefdoms and we're kept under an uneasy truce by the emperor, who consolidates his/ her power by ensuring there's a low-level of constant bloodshed between his many fiefdoms. I'll work as a samurai in The Shining Land of the Enormous Hole in the Ground, protecting villagers and chasing off the barbarian hordes from Utah. It'll be great. I'm gonna wear a helmet and everything.

This webpage stinks, but if the commercials are any indication, My Big, Fat Obnoxious Boss is going to be EXACTLY the reality show I've been waiting for.

Thank you, Fox.

Friday, October 08, 2004

I really like this idea, although I have no verification from a legitimate entertainment news source.

Comicbookresources reports:

According to Latino Review, Steve Martin cut out of preparations for his stage play "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," playing in Palo Alto, CA. Why is this important? The allegation from a cast member's spouse is that he left to meet with Bryan Singer about taking on the role of editor-in-chief for a certain major metropolitan newspaper ... the Daily Planet's Perry White.

Latino Review has but one fault... usually they're so far ahead of the game, they're reporting meetings, etc... which DO happen, but usually its so early on that whatever they're reporting isn't definite yet, and things change after they report them.

I loved Michael McKean as Perry on Smallville, but I'd like to see Steve Martin in suspenders, too.
In case you missed it, the Scaled Composites group has claimed the X-Prize.

More importantly, civilians have taken the first step toward punching beyond Earth's gravity and taking us to the stars. I'm sorry. I can't believe this isn't the biggest news of the year.

Instead of a booster rocket, SpaceShipOne is carried into the air by this interesting craft before separating and launching from high up in the atmosphere

A crew of a few dozen people with private funding built and successfully tested a spacecraft capable of reaching space twice in a week. That's engineering. That's the kind of achievement we should be throwing parades for and fiestas and whatever the hell else.

While I'm a huge fan of NASA and government led space exploration, the fact that we live in a country and a time in which a small company can put together the technical know-how and ability to safely place a man in space and return him twice in a week? This is Wright Bros territory.

SpaceShipOne prepares to land

And yet the press treats these guys as if all they've done is eaten 50 hot dogs in a minute, or tied the land speed record or something. I mean, why don't we already know the names of these civilian astronauts? Shouldn't they be on the front page or be getting their face on Wheaties boxes or something?

SpaceShipOne returns safely to Earth

Read more about SpaceShipOne here.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I am literally having a bad hair day today. My hair is sticking up everywhere. My boss actually brought my co-workers into my office to come check out my bad hair.

I told them I didn't need their ridicule at a time liek this. I need their support. I got the ridicule instead.
So... if you've been avoiding watching the WB's "Smallville" because it seemed to hinge too much on being a Dawson's Creek show... The League has got both good and bad news.

The 4th season of Smallville shall henceforth be dubbed "Nakedville".

In the first two episodes, we spent an undue amount of time seeing a naked Clark Kent, and capped the episode with a naked moment from Lana Lang (craftily using a body double. Kristin Kreuk is lovely girl, but if that was her body in those shots, I'm Slim Goodbody).

Now that's either good news or bad news, depending on what you want out of your TV.

This evening's episode didn't feature a naked Clark, but it did have a naked Freak of the Week and wet and half-naked victim-guy. And there were some other various and sundry naughty scenes which are breaking new ground for Nakedville.

But here's the thing about the show which is making me uncomfortable this week, and maybe this happens all the time on the WB. You tell me. This is the only show I watch on the network.

Lana Lang is secretly dating one of the coaches at the high school. The character, 17 year-old Lana Lang, is dating a member of the faculty.

Now, she met Mr. Coach when they were both backpacking in Paris, as complained about LAST week. So, really, I didn't think much about what age the guy was supposed to be. I did think Lana's aunt is moving into criminally negligent territory for 1) leaving her frequently hospitalized niece behind in a town where she spends as much time in the hospital as out 2) letting her accident prone legally-a-minor niece go off to Europe without any supervision 3) abandoning her legally adopted niece because she met some dude who had no problem splitting legal guardian from legal liability.

Okay, so the aunt's not important, but what is creepy is that this ex-star of the Univ. of Metropolis football team is picking up high school girls in Europe and then moving to their po-dunk town and getting a job at their high school. Which makes him at least 22. Maybe 23.

So Mr. Coach is young and stupid, and he gave up Europe for Armpit, Kansas. But I think he'd at least have the common sense to know that a) this is a small town. Sooner or later, people are going to put 2-and-2 together and figure out he's dating Lana. b) this isn't just The League's prudish ways here. Faculty+student+smoochy = going to get him fired and blacklisted. And, depending on Kansas law, it could be construed as statuatory.

Begin tangential rant here: And we're supposed to believe there's a forgotten "drama room" in the school which the drama kids aren't already hiding out in to smoke cigarettes during study hall? Especially with all that cool junk in it? And what kind of budget does Nakedville high have, anyway, where they can have a room ful of props and costumes that isn't being used?
End tangential rant

Okay, League, you're tiredly saying to yourself. It's a TV show. And you're willing to accept that the guy from outer space can shoot fire out of his eyes, and yet you have a problem with the logic behind Mr. Coach?

Right, but it's dumb writing. There were a million ways to get this clown back to Nakedville from Paris. And its not that weird to have, say, a college guy dating a high school girl, or a guy working at the coffee shop, or the guy doing mime on the street or whatever... But a coach and a student... that's lazy. And the guy is going to be rich, anyway. Just watch.

Stalking your girlfriend from Paris doesn't make this guy appear romantic. It makes him the weird guy who's trolling for high school girls. Which, as my brother's criminal record can attest to, can get you in trouble.

To add to the mayhem, this season Lex (the already twice married Lex) now appears to be pining for Lana. Lex has got to be... what? 25? His Lana-love and tendency to hang out with high school kids pretty much makes Lex the billionaire Wooderson of Nakedville High.

I have to give the writers props, though. I am enjoying the Lois and Clark chemistry they're developing, and I still think that Erica-girl is making a great Lois.

Next week's Nakedville preview has hard-nosed reporter Chloe dressing up as a cheerleader and then more than likely getting naked. The League is setting the TiVO now.

I guess Nakedville is going for a lighter, sexier tone, but having a sexy plastic surgeon named "Dr. Fine" just drives the whole show toward a sort of campiness that isn't going to serve them well in the long run. I am enjoying the lighter touch for an episode or two, but after a while... let's say I hope this isn't indicative of the entirety of the rest of the season.

To make matters worse, I think I may be giving up on ABC's "Lost" already.

Given an opportunity to discover a major character's dark, dark secret, the writers used a dumb soap opera dodge so they can drag this out until I utterly don't care anymore.

Spoilers begin

Not a damn person alive would have told a wanted criminal that they didn't need to hear what the wanted criminal did wrong. Not after an FBI agent warned repeatedly about how "dangerous" the wanted criminal was. But our supposedly responsible friend the doctor tells criminal-Kate that "it's all in the past" or whatever horse hockey... That, my friends, is just stupid writing which not even the guys over at Passions would try to pull. I guarantee you, if Kate were a 400 pound dude in a Luchador mask, he would have been asking what happened.

Spoiler end

And that blonde girl is supposed to be annoying, but its working a little too well, if you know what I mean.

I am just getting a bad feeling about the way this showing is spinning into Soap Opera Island. I want to see some monsters, or I want my money back.

next time: The Legion of Super Heroes.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A special belated Thank You to Randy (who recently described The League as kooky...).

Randy located a DVD of the 1940's era Superman cartoons at Wal-Mart.

These cartoons were created by Fleischer Studios, and are a hallmark of animated achievement. In fact, the 1990's Bruce Timm/ Paul Dini batman series tried very hard to emulate the original quality of the these Fleischer cartoons in the art-deco style, dark atmosphere and Golden-Age America feel.

For my dollar, I'd just as soon catch these one-reel adventures as watch nearly any other motion-picture version of Superman. This is pure, unaltered, Seigle/ Shuster era Superman, when Superman was a sci-fi idea with limitless potential. In these cartoons, the Superman insignia (the familiar yellow and red "S" shield) is still black, yellow and red. Superman CAN'T FLY. He can jump astounding distances, but he's not really, truly airborne (ever wonder why "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound" was part of the Superman intro...?)

For more info on the cartoons, check out this link and this link to the Superman Homepage.

Thanks again, Randy! And I encourage all you folks who might see these DVD's on sale to pick them up. Cool stuff.
Hey, kids...

here's some Halloween fun!

Retrocrush presents The Top 100 Monsters of all Time
I think The Admiral has found my website.

This could be the end!

Ah... Halloween is just around the corner, my creepy little minions of morbid mirth!

And as such, The League must prepare!

Already at League HQ the decorations are in place and costumes are being planned for the annual candy dispersal. Pictures shall be forthcoming of the many chilling tsotchkes Jamie and I have dug up. We've already gotten the annual viewing of Frankenstein out of the way and will be moving through the League Library of horror favorites.

Salma Hayek atop a pumpkin is not just a good reason to celebrate Halloween, its a good reason to go on living.

This year The League has decided to try to slap together a Green Lantern outfit, just to see how many of the kids recognize who The League is. We think kids will recognize us. Jamie will once again go as perennial favorite: a bee.

A Batman-cape has already been slected for Mel. We shall see how this goes.

We haven't yet settled upon a candy to dispense, but those are details.

Because, my ghoulish guests, it's time for a little interactivity!

It's the 2004 Horrifically Hasty Halloween Heckstravaganza!

That's right, Leaguers. It's time for another creepy contest here at League HQ!

It seemed like such a swell idea at the time, just like this contest...

So what is this year's spine-chilling challenge?

It's Halloween storytime!

So dig deep into the spookiest place in your mind, slap on your writer's cap and submit a story in one or all of the following categories:

1) Best/ worst Halloween costume. Don't forget: Who, what, why, when and how.
2) Real life creepy stories, personal experience (must be SPINE TINGLING!!!!)
3) Real life scary stories, happened to someone else (must be TERRIFYING!!!!)

You may submit a story in each catgory. All entries WILL be published at The League, with a few stipulations.

1) Stories should be kept clean for the most part
2) Writers should avoid writing entire stories intended to make The League look like a jerk (this rule applies mostly to Mrs. League and Brother of League)
3) Stories MUST BE TRUE (as far as you know). False stories can be submitted to some other low-rent blog, but NOT this low-rent blog.

The Phantom contemplates what scary story HE might want to send to The League of Melbotis

Here's what's going to happen. This is your chance to get published here at The League with a truly scary story of your own. I'm going to cut and paste your story/ies and then publish. It's up to you to spell things correctly and have excellent grammar.

Try to get submissions in by Friday, October 22nd so we can spread the stories out throughout the week prior to Halloween. On the Friday before Halloween (October 29th) I will publish my favorite entry in each category. The winner will receive a grand prize worth almost $5.00 (or whatever is in the League treasury these days). All other entries will receive, oh... hell, I don't know. But if you send something in and include your snail mail, I'll send you something via USPS.

Does that sound good?

Drac waits for this Leaguer to wake up and begin her entry.

Submit all entries to Melbotis, who has our shared e-mail address over there on the left somewhere.

<------------- the arrow points to your left

This should be a frightfully good time!



Monday, October 04, 2004

Gordon Cooper, one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, dead at the age of 77.
The League is always looking to cultivate comics readership. Shamelessly campaigning for comics is one thing, but shamelessly campaigning for Superman is a little easier to slip under the radar.

Associates of The League who recently had themselves a kid may have found The League trying to win friends and influence people with the power of The Man of Steel.

Below is Isaac, seen here chillin' with Kal-El.

I think Jill sent me a picture of Arden w/ Superman, but I can't find it.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

A Grand Day Out

That's one small step for a cat...

Mrs. League here. Jeff the Cat made his way into outer space (the backyard) yesterday for the very first time. What a brave, brave kitty. He didn't even barf or poop (his usual reaction to being removed from the safety of League HQ).

Outer space is tiring.

Mel doesn't know what the big deal is. Stupid cat.

Friday, October 01, 2004

A lot of people are going to want to talk about the debates. Not The League.

The League is going to want to talk about something ultimately more important, and that is: The new Burger King commercial where the dude "wakes up with The King."

This is The League's new favorite commerical. Why? This commerical:

1) Includes the return of the old 1970's Burger King mascot, The Burger King.
2) Has character in a plastic head
3) has a pleasingly disquieting way of selling breakfast

I always wonder why companies abandon mascots, but I like it even better when they bring them back. For example, I love the burger-headed guy McDonald's uses in its retro-style ads when they pretend to be a classic burger joint. So the return of the Burger King is timely and welcome.

When I think of the Burger King, I think of one of the final places I saw him before BK ditched him for... I guess Herb the Nerd.

In 1984, the Steans clan moved to Austin and frequented the BK at 183 and Anderson Mill Drive. Inside, they had free ballons for the kids, and regular air filled ballons not being good enough, they had a helium tank. It helps to know that the helium was dispensed from a mold of the Burger King's head. I believe it may have come from the mouth, but that can't be right.

Anyway, Jason and I had placed our order and were waiting for Dad to pay, and, hey... free helium, right? So Jason was just sucking back helium to make funny voices. And, so, with a brain full of helium and deprived of oxygen, dude just kind of flopped over on the floor. Which was funnier than I'm making it sound here. But all I can remember is looking for help and seeing that menacing frozen smile of The King as the curious looked over to see what that "thud" was.

Jason was okay, btw... he just went from being an honors student to being one of those kids in the back of class who doesn't talk much, likes to light things on fire and always smells like syrup.

On an unrelated note, I finally watched last night's episode of "Lost." The League is still somewhat skeptical even after two episodes, but we may have found a new show. Funny how it airs at exactly the same time as Smallville. Last year, this would have been a problem. God bless my DVR.

And, just to tease me all the more, the kid on the show was flipping through a DC comic a few years old starring the once profiled Green Lantern, Alan Scott and Flash 1, Jay Garrick. Kind of cool.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

So Smallville has gotten off to a fairly good start this season. And since it's Clark's senior year in high school, someone at the WB corporate office has decided to up the nakedness level by a factor of five. It's nakedness, ahoy! on the USS Smallville.

I'm neither for nor against the nakedness, but it's an abrupt change and far more interesting than my senior year of high school.

I have to say I've been thoroughly impressed by the girl playing Lois, Erica Durance. I don't know if it's the scripting or the actor or the combination of both, but they seem to have finally breathed enough life into one of Clark's potential romantic interests for me to believe Clark would actually dig on her. From the publicity stills, I admit, I rolled my eyes and thought... "ah, another WB ingenue." But this dame is okay.

Unfortunately, Clark's previous romantic interest, Lana, has now been to Europe. And if high school and college taught me one thing: beware the folks who've just been touristing in Europe, for they will now spend endless hours (1) insisting they are now more cultured and refined and no longer recognize Mequite, TX as their place of origin (2) telling you stories that are exciting only to them (3) not seeing the irony that much of what they tell you about would seem silly if the exact same situation had happened in the States, insisting it's better because That's How They Do It in Europe (4) affecting some idiotic accent that's not really from the US, but it's not identifiably European, unless there's a secret land of Pretentiovia, and that's the secret accent of all who dwell there.

I'm being a little harsh, because The League never had funds to make it to Europe, and The League is, admittedly, a little bitter about that one. But The League has decided when he finally DOES go overseas, he's going to Tokyo. He thinks he's seen most of Europe on TV now and he's ready for some Japanese fun. And, Leaguers, I wanna eat a squid.

In addition to Lana's post-vacation sure-to-be-silly-and-who-cares-? subplots, she's now ditched pink for a more continental black. Actress Kristen Kreuk has decided that the new Paris-infused-Lana is going to be cranky. Whiney-Lana was bad enough, but now we've got three years of whiney under our belt, so I'm not sure dumping cranky on top of that is going to win me over as a viewer. Especially if we're to understand being a tourist in Paris justifies a turn to crankiness.

Anyhoo... after Smallville, I watched Nova from beginning to end. I know. Nova! I hardly ever watch Nova unless it's Sunday afternoon and I'm avoiding homework.

This episode was about the likelihood of finding intelligent life out there somewhere in space. And, unlike the video we watched when I was in 8th grade science with the the evil Ms. Napper, this video was actually fairly encouraging about our chances of finding intelligent life. You know... eventually.

The show's producers didn't suggest we're going to be palling around with awesome aliens tomorrow, but in the past 15 years, it appears that astronomers and astrobiologists have come to some new conclusions based upon mounting evidence that there could be many more planets out there like our own Earth than they once believed.

Using our own planet's history, they did plug a lot of reality into the situation, and did point out we ARE the only iPod slinging species on the planet, so I can see why the presence of life on a planet might not necessarily suggest that every planet teaming with life is going to sprout a SETI dish. Nonetheless, this program was better than that video in 8th grade which basically said: we are alone on our dinky little rock. We're a cosmic hiccup. Quit looking, you morons.

Luckily, Virgin Galactic will be there to take us to our new friends when we find them. (thanks to for the link)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Hey! Guess who just tracked me down? High school and college chum Madi "Mad Dog" Hinojosa.

God bless the magic of ego-driven/ self-delusional weblogging for making me dangerously easy to locate.

Last I saw of Madi, she was an English Major at UT. Well, I also thought I saw her once at a movie a few years later, but the movie was just about to start, and I didn't want to yell across the crowd. I also always think I see people I know, but then I'm wrong. It's invariably a complete stranger.

Madi is most famous for:

-reading a lot more than me (she reads those books WITHOUT pictures of people in tights)
-actually joining Amnesty International, and not just because she thought she might meet Bono
-Having a peculiar love of the original art from the AA Milne Pooh books
-Locating booze for me in college more than once
-Being the single most patient human being alive
-Is somehow related to Tish Hinojosa
-Having a perfectly formed plan to overtake North America which she just hasn't enacted yet

It's good to hear from Madi once again! Let's hope she replies to MY reply, and I get to catch up with my pal.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Smallville may tell the story of a young Clark Kent as he comes to terms with his destiny as Superman, but it also tells the story of a young Lex Luthor on his way to becoming a criminal mastermind.

For a quick look at WHY Lex turned evil, let's review from the pages of Superboy comics...

Yup. For years, Lex's early hairloss was the entire motivation for his criminal activity. Prior to that, he'd been Superboy's pal. I'm not really sure a lot of thought went into that one.

All you Wallace & Grommit fans will be happy to hear that Shaun the Sheep is getting his own show!

Yay Shaun! -- Mrs. League
Today will see the release of Smile, the lost Brian Wilson/ Beach Boys project.

It's taken 37 years, but the album is finally available.
How about them Cowboys?

Damn you Monday Night Football. You have swiped my Monday night away from me once again.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Mrs. League here. If you have a cat, you might be interested in:

The Infinite Cat Project

The most bizarre thing I've seen in quite a long time, and I have *got* to get Jeff the Cat involved. I wonder what they would do with a Mel picture looking at all of the kitties?