Thursday, March 31, 2005

Twisted and e-vil Posted by Hello

Faces of Darth

Remember how I said I've been waiting years to see Obi Wan battle Darth in that magma maelstrom on Mustafar? Do I need to explain how giddy these pics make me? Do I have to tell you that part of me hopes George Lucas sends me a curt, no-nonsense notice soon, telling me to take these unauthorized images down? Would it surprise you to learn that if I got such a notice, I'd be strangely-compelled to run to Target and buy every last Revenge of the Sith action figure they had in stock? It's like that when your God rejects you, y'understand... you just gotta' make the offering....

Holy shit these pics rule.

More machine now than man Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bungle in the jungle Posted by Hello

Body Blow! Body Blow! KNOCK HIM OUT!

I spent countless hours playing Punch Out at the Cloverleaf Family Bowl ("The Hillman family welcomes you!"). I bobbed and weaved... I jabbed and swung... ahhhh, the seductive dance of that sweet, sweet science....

Of course, it paled in comparison to my one, real fight. That stand I took for my locker-mate's honor, behind the gym... on a sunny afternoon not entirely unlike this sunny afternoon... except that I had hair then. Parted.

That was cool.

But I digress.

I was sharing a locker with an unfortunate girl who had been forced to flee her own locker, on accounta' her ex-boyfriend who clung to that metal estuary of hers like Depends to Larry King's flaccid ass. She couldn't get her books between classes; she couldn't drop off her dioramas... he was always there. What's a girl to do?

"We could share a locker," I remember saying to her while she paced the hallway.
"Would that be a problem?" she replied.
"I'm sure it... I mean, it shouldn't... well no. Not really." I answered cooly.
(Cool answers are kinda' my thing. Ask anyone.)

And it wasn't a problem... 'till Captain Dickless started coming around our locker, and harassing her... and getting between me and my calculus book.

Now, history had already proven that I was a pretty easy-going guy. Even growing-up in the asphalt jungles of Fremont, CA I'd managed to keep my head, and to keep my fists of fury unclenched at my sides. It was dog eat dog in those hellish suburbs, make no mistake... and if this dog didn't always come out on top, he at least never got blood all over his PF Flyers courtesy of the bully dujour.

That was cool.

But see, easy-going as I was, even I had a limit... plus, I'd been reading a lot of Spider-Man comics that year... and I'd picked-up a few things. First, of course, was that with "great power comes great responsibility." You'd think I'd have gotten that message already from Nick Barkley or Steve Austin... but God bless his two-dimensional heart, it was Peter Parker who finally drove that point home for me.

The second, key thing I'd learned from Spider-Man? In life, you can never be dramatic enough, and there's no point in living a dramatic life that no one notices. 'till that Fall I'd been happy to be a decent -if quiet- kid. After reading countless back-issues of Spider-Man though, I started spouting phrases like "I won't be your whipping boy!" and "Be strong for those who aren't..." and, fatefully, "Not on my watch."

"Not on my watch...." The last words I uttered to that guy; the phrase that drew the ire that lead to the fight that scarred the house that Milt & Bev built.

One afternoon he was harassing her at our locker; I was almost late for AP Math. He threatened her, and in my righteous rage I stepped in and announced that no, he wouldn't touch her, "not on my watch." Next thing I remember, my knuckles were bleeding... the scar is cool.

I'd like to think I did it for her... but the truth is I was not doing well in that AP Math class, and he was between me and my math textbook. I had this idea that just appearing in public with that book scored me points with Mr Strausser (our accomplished -if slightly insane- AP Math teacher), and that -seeing my dedication- he'd blithely give me at least a "B" and I wouldn't have to run home and intercept any more progress reports to my parents in the daily mail.

Still, I wanted to look out for her... she just wanted to start over in a new locker... sometimes pathetic dreams are the most profound... she at least deserved that... right?

Thing is, if I did it for her, or for me, it amounted to two hits: me hitting him, and him hitting the ground. I may not have avoided saying "Not on my watch," but I did manage to choke back the "two hits" quote before I swung at him... another senseless Breakfast Club-inspired tragedy averted... and then? I stood over him, triumphant... and really, really late for that math class.

I don't remember much about the actual fight, but I do remember my Punch-Out training rising to guide my blows: upper-cut... swing... knock him out! I heard that synthesized "DING!" as he fell; I'm pretty sure I bobbed on my toes in victory. I was a man then... a man who wound-up with a "C" in that AP Math class, largely as a result of missing that day's surprise test... and as a result of miscalulating the importance of just carrying around a textbook I never actually opened but to scrawl Dark Side of the Moon lyrics in its inside-cover.

Punch-Out helped shape that moment... its tutelage helped me best another man on the field of battle. Dramatic? Sure. Pretentious? Perhaps... but bested he was. Punch-Out made me the man I am today, for better or worse.... It taught me how to go mano a mano with otro manos, sure... but moreso with life. Punch-Out was a metaphor for how to live... it taught me to respect the struggle, to hold my ground, and to keep my metaphorical gloves up... it helped mold me. Moreso, it helped mold a generation.

Now? Now it teaches kids to beat the shit out of a breakfast muffin.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

On the Third Day...

He never buys any smokes Posted by Hello

Find God. I double-dog dare ya'.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Send in the clowns Posted by Hello

Great Moments in Comic Book History!

New, ongoing feature... or just a one-shot? You make the call!

Either way, I have to say I'm simply stunned that entering the keywords "Kissinger" and "Captain America" yielded anything at all in Google... never mind this epic, 4-color conflict!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz? Posted by Hello

Unturn My Stone!

I have no idea what that means.

Anyway... I mentioned -during my anti-Sarah Jessica Parker diatribe- that I didn't know who Joss Stone was. Well, it turns out Joss Stone is that girl everyone compares to Janis Joplin.

Now, I'm a huge Janis fan, and even I'm not sure that comparison is flattering. Does The Gap really want us to watch while Joss screws Pauly Shore and Trey Anastasio into sodden submission and drowns herself in vente triple-caff lattes? If so, then... Janis lives! Move over baby!

If not? Turns out I don't much care. 'cause even still, knowing what I know, Joss could come to our house and nail "Stress-free Relaxfit Pleated Khakis" to my ass... with rusty nails, a lemon juice chaser and a shaky aim so poor that half of those rusty nails end up in my gums... and I'd still find her less annoying than Sarah Jessica Parker.

Plus, come on... those pants look good, don't they?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

It's the bomb that will keep us together Posted by Hello

This Week on Mercy High's Marquee!

I know, I know: it's been longer than a week since our last (and first... irony's fun!) installment of "This Week on Mercy High's Marquee." What do you want me to say? I don't personally post messages on the damn thing. If I did, I can tell you this: I'd center my friggin' messages, and I'd make damn sure not to mix capital and lower case letters up haPHazaRdLy. I have to have a chat with that kid....

Anyway... here you go:
"Easter Blessings"


Two weeks we waited for that?

You'd think, what with two weeks to consider their Easter message, they'd have done better. I mean -again- if I was their marquee master, I could have at least come up with "Happy this-month's co-opted Pagan holiday!" Or "That's right, we own the Vernal Equinox. So?"

But no one asked me. No one ever asks me. Why is that?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I am the Lizard King... you want fries with that? Posted by Hello


"Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain And all the children are insane, All the children are insane Waiting for the summer rain, yeah There's danger on the edge of town Ride the King's highway, baby...."

Oh, Mr Mojo Risin'... such pathos, borne of such pain... FSU reject... alone at the roadside... stupid, stupid sweater... we have no scholarships for you today... only death.

Thank you, Florida State Board of Education... thank you so much.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

No Joy in Weemawee Posted by Hello

What Would Patty Do?

God I hate Sarah Jessica Parker.

Joss Stone got Sarah's Gap gig. I'm sure Sarah's fan is beside himself, and whining about how she's "uncommonly beautiful" and crap. Well Scooter? You know what? She's not "uncommonly beautiful..." she's friggin' Margaret Hamilton with bleached skin and capped teeth. She doesn't care about you, Scooter, just like she doesn't return Jamie Gertz's calls, and pretends she wasn't that "Girl who isn't Lori Singer" in Footloose. She's horrible, Scooter... ask Matthew Broderick... man... he should have stuck with Mia Sara... idiot.

But don't take my word for it, here's what her people had to say just after The Gap dropped her as their spokespersonanongratis:
"Joss is not only a teenager, she's also a virtual unknown. Had her replacement been a big star, perhaps Sarah wouldn't have minded so much."

Now, I'm not entirely sure who Joss Stone is, but I am sure that even if Stone were, say, a quadruple-amputee tree sloth, who had a habit of spinning in frantic circles on my sunburned head while grunting out the theme to McCloud and dribbling gummed-up peanut butter Ritz Bits flotsam down on my face from between the gaps in her giant, brown, tree sloth teeth she would still be way less annoying than that sanctimonious, stuck-up Sarah Jessica Parker.

Man alive... of all the issues to get riled up about today, this is the one I find blog-worthy?

Just don't get me started on Basil Hoffman....

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Y Kant Tori Use a Comb? Posted by Hello

Separated at Birth!

Nancy recently posted a link to something that got me thinking...

Diamond David Lee Roth & Robert Picardo!
Saddam Hussein & Victor French!
Lassie & Every Other Collie You'll Ever See!
Darth Vader's Light Saber & an Antique Flash Gun!
Sarah Jessica Parker & Dee Snider!
Bruce the Shark & a Non-Robotic Great White!
Art Carney & Kid Rock!
This Charming Man & True Colors!
Luke Skywalker & Leia Organa!
Bob Keeshan & Clarabelle the Clown!
John Stewart, Green Lantern & Jon Stewart, Not!
Justin Guarini & Sideshow Bob!
Don Ho & Herve Villachez!
Mick Jagger & Don Knotts!
Kirstie Alley & Emperor Palpatine!

UPDATE 3/26: Can't... stop... adding... these...
Paul Shaffer & Bruce Willis!
Ted Kennedy & Cartman!
Dabney Coleman & Dr. Phil!
Vin Diesel & JD Salinger!
Colonel Klink & Mr Peanut!
The Batmobile & a 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura!

Now, here's Nancy's aforementioned link. Go. I'll wait here... don't worry, I'll be fine.

Tall and tan and young and lovely The girl from ipanema goes walking And when she passes, each one she passes goes - ah When she walks, she’s like a samba That swings so cool and sways so gentle That when she passes, each one she passes goes - ooh(ooh) but I watch her so sadly How can I tell her I love her Yes I would give my heart gladly But each day, when she walks to the sea She looks straight ahead, not at me Tall, (and) tan, (and) young, (and) lovely The girl from ipanema goes walking And when she passes, I smile - but she doesn’t see (doesn’t see) (she just doesn’t see, she never sees me...)

Oh, hi! Welcome back!

So... it does answer the age-old question: "How come Kate Bush never appears with Tori Amos? Not on stage, not on The View... not in cameos on Who's the Boss... not in the bulk-foods aisle at Ralph's... not anywhere... ever?" Obviously, they simply can't meet. It cannot be allowed. They're clearly positively and negatively-charged particles of the exact same matter... so if they met... KABLOOEY! The end of everything. And that would suck on so many levels... not the least being that "Kablooey!" is a pretty disappointing sound for the end of everything. But that's the way the world ends... not with a whimper, but with a kablooey.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Wonder Twin Powers... ACTIVATE! Posted by Hello

It's a Stick-Up!

I think what disturbs me the most about this commercial for Pocky is this: all I can think now is "It's pronounced 'POE-KEY?'" I don't know what's wrong with me.

UPDATE 3/18: There's more! You know you wanted it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

It's the new black! Posted by Hello

Will & Grace

The fashion of the Christ... this is probably sacrilegious... or maybe it's just... just... Man alive... I can't... I can't reach this itch on my back... this is driving me nuts!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Batman... whatever.... Posted by Hello

Holy Priceless Collection of Etruskan Snoods!

The only thing I could ever make out of Legos was a single-car garage. A single-car garage that held one very rectangular, wheeless car. A single-car garage that always had its door up. At least, that's what I told myself... have you ever tried to build a functioning garage door out of Legos? It's impossible, lemme tell you. You might as well try to make this.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Holy F***in' Sh*t. Posted by Hello

You Wanna' Know What's Up, Doc?*

I thought this was a terrible idea when I first read the article... but now, I'm not so sure. Got any crack?

*This may take a few moments to load, but it's cool... that'll give you time to make sure there aren't any kids in the room... or in front of the building... or in that minivan across the street... or on the block. Seriously. This is the kind of thing that could put 'em off cartoons forever, and that's just messed up.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I can see your house from here! Posted by Hello

This Week on Mercy High's Marquee!

It's a new weekly feature kids!

I drive past Mercy High School at least four times a week, and it occurred to me that the least I could do for that poor kid* I always see changing the sign is post the Mercy message for the untold few who visit this blog.

So, without further ado... this week on Mercy High's marquee:
"Doing great things with the women God sends us."

Stay tuned!

*Well, there is something else I can do: Kid? Suck it up, and tell a grown-up you lost all the "L's," okay? Those upside-down sevens just aren't cutting it.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I DO believe in spooks... Posted by Hello

Greetings from Hell!

How did I come to this? Eagerly counting down the days to the end of an era? I'm eagerly awaiting the final Star Wars movie... how is this even possible?

We all know Episodes I & II had their weaknesses... okay, the dialogue often sucked. I admit it already! Uncle Owen! I give! I can rationalize it away... and be happy doing so, but Nancy's right: the dialogue often sucked. What, is Lawrence Kasdan just too busy writing Mo' Better Grand Canyon to help a Jedi out? George is stuck scripting his own films to the tune of "I'm a person and my name is Anakin!"? At least Johnny Williams' score lends these triteisms the gravitas my 11-year-old self expects....

Yeah, my hopes are high. I remember standing on the playground at Millard with Bryan -that kid who was born IN the sun- deconstructing the tiniest details of Obi Wan's light saber battle with Darth Vader on the rim of a volcano. Neither of us had seen that battle... Lucas! No one had seen it... but we both read Starlog, and we both knew that it was at that moment on Dante's satellite that Obi Wan defeated the dark Lord of the Sith, and left him for dead....

Of course, then we didn't know that Darth was Luke's dad... I'm still not convinced George knew that back then... but that's a whole 'nother blog entry kids. But that battle? Good George! I've been waiting almost 30 years to see that battle... so don't think for a second that seeing even the briefest glimpse of those clashing sabers on Mustafar doesn't give me chills....

George says that Episode III "ends in Hell." Man, I hope so... it'll have to to live up to 30 years of expectations.... I wanna' see Vader on the bridge of a Star Destroyer clutching Padme's floating heart necklace in a quivering gauntlet and blubbering into his mask. I wanna' see Jedi driven into Scientology. I wanna' watch as Artoo leaves Threepio for an Imperial Mark IV Sentry Droid. "No, no Threepio," Artoo would bleet. "It's me, not you." I wanna' see what Darth wrought.

So, here's the trailer. I'm sorry I can't include Seth -"The Chosen One"- Cohen's brilliant introduction... but watch it anyway, and bring balance to the force.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Shred of the Month!

How does a person pick the "shred of the month"? It must take the wisdom of Solomon... the strength of Hercules... the... the... holy shit! SHAZAM!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Fight the Future

The thing is, Star Trek was never that great. Don't get me wrong, I love all things Trek... but honestly: "No Kill I?" What the hell was that? 50 minutes of television built around a shambling scab? Or what about all of those Bajoran orbs? You'd think someone coulda' dug up the "Orb of coherent writing that's consistent within the universe of it's own creation and not mired in technobabble" by now. William Shatner?

But yeah, I love the damn franchise. The shows, the films (even Star Trek V: Kirk vs GOD")... the friggin' cartoon! Star Trek was my first real exposure to scifi. The first episode I ever saw was Catspaw... you know, the one with the witches from Hamlet, and a giant black cat that turns into Eartha Kitt's not-so-pretty cousin? I was on my way out of the house; my mom was gonna' drive us to Taco Bell. I loved Taco Bell, and rarely got to go there... I was 10... 10ish. I was riveted, standing there in front of the TV... Kirk toying with that puppet posing as a flamingo posing as an actress posing as a bored sorceress? Priceless. I was hooked. I knew right then what we all learned years later: when Kirk and God finally, inevitably, threw down? Kirk would smote some ass. Oh yeah.

But come on... it's crap.

That's just part of why I was so pissed Star Trek: Nemesis got such bad reviews from fans. "It sucks!" they wailed. "Of course it sucks!" I replied. "It's built to suck! It always sucked! Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick! Have you been watching at all these last 40 years?" I thought Nemesis was great -within the accepted parameters of Trek suckyness, of course- and sadly underrated. What it did too well, was... well, be true Trek. It had the classic Trek storylines (man vs man; man literally vs himself; man vs God); the classic Trek camera tricks (remember Troi's tortured empathic search for the Reman Viceroy and the cloaked Romulan "Fist of Unseemly Death" really, really big bird of prey? The light that fell squarely on her eyes?) and the classic Trek "funny, but in no way an ending" ending. It understood Trek's history and respected it. It had it all... and even the fans hated it... 'cause it turns out, Trek is hard to like. Love it all you want... I dare you to like it.

Trek is ham-fisted. The effects tend to suck (but they're still better than any episode of Dr Who... for what that's worth. They make robots out of toilet paper rolls on the BBC). The acting -unless it's being delivered by Patrick Stewart or Brent Spiner- is lame at best. Don't get me started on Enterprise's theme song. I mean... words? What the hell?

So... yeah. I'm not so surprised Enterprise was cancelled. Fans had built the franchise up in their fevered imaginations into something it never really was: credible scifi. Meanwhile, the Great Bird of the Galaxy's error apparant -Rick Berman- just seemed to stop caring, while taking himself and the franchise far too seriously. This last season, when he passed the con to Manny Coto (and have you seen Odyssey 5? Holy shit that show was great... for one season on Showtime, anyway), there was some little hope. The show basked in self-references again... Manny was trying to tie this era together with Kirk's era in a way no one had really bothered to try yet... and succeeding. Manny was having fun... the show was fun... but by this fourth season only Manny's agent was watching anymore... so the Lirpa fell. Color this show boldly went.

You wanna' know how little Rick actually cared at the end? Rumor has it that after almost 750 episodes... after four years alone of this latest chapter in the Trek saga... that the last episode of the last flight of Trek fancy we're likely to see for a very long time... shows us that this entire Enterprise saga was nothing more than a holonovel adventure on the Enterprise D's holodeck! It's a St. Elsewhere ending kids! WOOOOOO! Now who's the autistic son of a janitor in this senario?

I love Star Trek. I'll surely miss Star Trek... but maybe it's time it got back to its roots, you know? Maybe it's time for some simple wide-eyed wonder again... that can't be so hard, right? In fact, that should be no tribble at all.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Music Poll Thingy: Special, Limited DiviMax Edition

1. Total amount of music files on your computer:
On my computer at home? None. However, I have an emac at work (the bookstore is the house that Jobs built), and there? I have over 6k songs… whatever that translates into as far as memory goes… what? 10 jellywatts? 5 mooglybits? I dunno.

2. The last CD you bought was:
Oh, you have NO idea how happy I was when Nancy told me that my beloved Hoodoo Gurus had just released a new album. Years after they hung it up, and the album only available in Australia… but yes, Mach Schau –the latest, and if not greatest, the coolest release from the Gurus- is my most recent –and most giddy- CD purchase. Stomp the tumbarumba!

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?
Cast Your Fate to the Wind– Vince Guaraldi

4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.

  • Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd: This has been my favorite song since I first heard it on KOME in 1979. Great day in the morning! Has it been that long?
  • Mutineer, Warren Zevon: Warren wrote other songs I actually like more (Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner… Poor Poor Pitiful Me... Lawyers Guns and Money... Gorilla You’re a Desperado... Carmelita), but since Warren played this that night on Dave… bringing his last public appearance to a dignified close… this song moves me like no other. I didn’t know Warren, but I miss him, even still.
  • Crazy, Patsy Cline: Come on. Patsy. Willy. The tragedy works on so many levels… and who isn’t instantly transported by Patsy’s mellifluous tones?
  • The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash: Man I loved Johnny Cash. I loved his TV show; I loved his concept album… I even loved him when he sang “All the Gold in California” with the Gatlin Brothers. I was ecstatic when he first teamed up with Rick Rubin… but I’m here to tell you, that entire partnership built to this one song. I miss you too, Johnny… thanks, man.
  • Be Mine, REM: Nancy and I picked out all of the music for our wedding. One thing that has always been unbelievably cool about sharing a life with Nancy is that we often worship the very same things, but for entirely different reasons. I know this song appears on her list too, and she quotes a line that certainly touches me, but here’s why I knew our first dance as extremely-lucky-man and wife had to be to this song: “I’ll be the drawing of your breath/I’ll be carpet you should weave/I’ll be the sky above the ganges/I’ll be the vast and stormy sea/I’ll be the lights that guide you inland/I’ll be the visions you will see.”*
    I listen to this song at least once a week, and it makes me cry every time.
5. Who are you going to pass this stick to? (3 persons) and why?
Absolutely no one. I never participate in these surveys. This time it only seemed fair ‘cause Nancy sent me the survey, and she answered –with typical wisdom and wit- each question, so I thought I’d throw in my two cents as well. Sorry to break the chain kids, but there you go.
PS: If I was gonna' pass it on to anyone, I'd pass it on to Scott... he's forgotten more about music than I've ever known. And I guarantee you he forgot it in a really cool way, and that he has a really cool story about how he forgot it. Too bad I don't pass these things on.

* I didn't want to break the mood, but seriously: does anyone remember those days when REM didn't suck? Man those were good times. Someone owes me a band. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Friendly Fascism Indeed.

I’m not saying that conservatives are idiots, but I can’t honestly believe that even the most Neoconny of Neocons could look at a short story, written by a kid, for school… and arrest him for making terrorist threats.

I’ve heard the talk about that slippery slope… and the debate… you know, “Where do we draw the line? Gee, in this war on terrorism, perhaps we should expect to sacrifice... perhaps losing just a few civil liberties isn't such a high price to pay for liberty and justice after all.” I tell you what; I’m not so sure there is a line these days. I mean, this kid wrote a story about a fictional school in a fictional town being overtaken by fictional zombies. This kid is trying to find a way to sleep in a jail cell as I type this. This kid's bail was increased because of the "seriousness" of his "crime." This kid will go on trial for a felony offense. No matter what else happens, I doubt this kid will be writing any more stories any time soon.

I wonder if he’s thinking back on Stephen King’s The Stand, or Tom Clancy’s Sum of all Fears. Both books depicted the detonation of thermonuclear devices on American soil; both could just as easily be seen as threats against this nation… right? Or Roger Corman’s Rock 'n’ Roll High School? Is it honestly worse to envision a high school being overrun by zombies than by the Ramones? Which would pose more of a threat? Are these scenes playing in his head to the Boomtown Rats I Don’t Like Mondays do you suppose? That was a musical retelling of an actual event... the Bobbies didn't round up the Rats, or hang Sir Bob Geldof in Trafalgar Square when that song hit the top of the pops. Are these artists gonna’ be cooling their Dingos in the cell next to his before his trial date? Has it really come to this?

All evidence to the contrary, I am speechless. Evidently it's safer that way.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Say hello to my little friend! Posted by Hello

Little Buddy!

It's a wonder I pulled myself away long enough to post this link!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

This explains so much!

Won't you fight for me? Posted by Hello

Where's your Jesus now? Posted by Hello

Bush Shoot-Out

I'm literally terrified to make a single remark about this.