Thursday, February 27, 2003

One Man's Battle with a Radio-Controlled Blimp

On this occasion I awoke to the sense that there was a large menacing presence approaching me silently out of the gloom, so I opened my eyes, and there it was! A LARGE SILENT MENACING PRESENCE WAS APPROACHING ME OUT OF THE GLOOM, AND IT COULD FLY!!!

So nice.

The Mario Project

Japanese people dressed like Mario for no good reason, in various locations. Also, the Mario guy is kind of menacing in a vague way.

This is the English version, which seems to not want to work.

[via geisha asobi blog, which has naughty pictures on it. Be warned!]

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Today is Johnny Cash's birthday, but I want to make one thing absolutely clear:

Do not, under any circumstances, shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

It may seem like a good idea, and a fitting tribute to a musical legend, but just think what would happen if everyone went ahead and shot a man in Reno. The dry-cleaning bills alone would be outrageous.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Memo

From: Human Resources
To: All Employees of Purgatory, Inc.
Date: 02/24/03
Re: Giving even a little bit of a crap about anything



Good morning!

Please commence giving a good god-damn. If you can't seem to summon up the smallest unit of interest in what you are doing, then at least pretend.

thank you

HR

ps Free shitty doughnuts in the lunch room!

Sunday, February 23, 2003

You know what?

If you're at home on the weekend, and chance to flip around the channels on your super-duper cable system, you may notice something:

Jaws is always on.

It's true. It might be on Superstation WTBS, or Kind-Of-Super-Station WGN or Not-Even-Vaguely-Super-Station USA Network or some godforsaken little regional teevee outpost, but one thing is 100% pure-as-the-driven-snow true: It's always on.

Another interesting property of the Jaws broadcast is that I always seem to happen upon Jaws at one of two points:

a. When Quint, Brodie and whatever the hell Richard Dreyfus' character's name is (I think I'll call him Mr. Holland, because of that movie with the oboes and such*), are just leaving on the boat. (I'm always happy to join in at this precise moment, because I know I am mere moments from Quint's rendition of "Lady of Spain". As far as I'm concerned the rest of the movie is just an excuse to get Quint into position to sing "Lady of Spain", and say "Lifeless eyes...Like a doll's eyes...")

or

2. When Brodie's kid is in the lagoon.

This Ever-Present Jaws theory has led leading Shark-Movie Philosophers to posit that the world is empty and meaningless, especially when you're in serious danger of being eaten by a giant angry shark.

Other theories favored by Shark-Movie Philosophers include the Persistent Jaws Theory, which states that there exists a parallel universe in which you could continuously flip through all basic cable channels on a Sunday afternoon and watch Jaws totally sequentially and uninterrupted by commercials.

The somewhat less popular Non-Random Jaws Theory holds that if you watched Jaws enough times, the shark would eventually win.



*incidentally, a fun game you can play at home is to imagine the confluence of Jaws and Mr Holland's Opus**, in which Mr. Holland, after years of trying to reach a group of difficult students, finally succeeds in the production of one sweet and sad song, imperfect and flawed, but touching in the love and patience poured into its making. Just at the moment the song creshcendoes, he is eaten by a giant shark.

**I should note, parenthetically, that I have never seen Mr. Holland's Opus, and have no idea what goes on in it, except I'm pretty sure there are some oboes.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Skeleton Warrior's memory lives on: Bob the Angry Flower strip.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

The Deer Hunter: Trivia and Fun Facts

When I think of "The Deer Hunter", the first word that springs to mind is not "fun", but there you go.

For his role as Nicky, Christopher Walken expressed his character's mental illness by recalling his own personal feelings of being sent to camp as a young boy. He achieved the withdrawn, hollow look of his character by eating nothing but rice and bananas.

Well, maybe that is kind of fun.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Beans Around the World! Somewhat reminiscent of that Tom Robbins book with Can o' Beans...except that was an animate can o' beans and this is just some guy holding a can o' beans in front of stuff, but there you go. Think of it this way, if it were a Tom Robbins novel it would probably get really self-indulgent and, well, a little goofy. Maybe even you would get to the point where you'd think "If one more new-agey thing happens for no good reason I'm putting this book down right now."

So that's probably a good thing.

Including an enticing photo of Beans with the Pismo Beach Clam

Beans at Graceland

And, of course, Beans at the Great Wall of China

...and the story behind The Beans
As word of Skeleton Warrior's passing spreads, more and more tributes are popping up:

D/blog shares a personal remembrance
TailorsToday waxes philosophical
Stavros adds a word
Dog Door of Death remembers the artistic side of Skeleton Warrior
Plurp! on "Uncle Skelty"

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Skeleton Warrior Found Dead in Malibu Home



Sometime between February 14th and 15th, the entertainment world lost one of its brightest stars. Police were summoned to the Malibu Beach home of Skeleton Warrior, only to find him floating in the pool, dead.

Police are baffled by the scene, which included a cryptic note on a bathroom mirror in lipstick reading "I hate you Skeleton Warrior! Die! Die! Die!"

Foul play has not been ruled out.

But this is not the time to linger on the tragic end of this superstar. Let us instead look back at the good times.

Skeleton Warrior was discovered in a small production of Shakespeare's "Hamlet", playing the role of Yorick. He brought a real depth and sensitivity to the part, so lacking in many productions.

After that, he really hit the big time, turning in stellar performances in Citizen Kane and Dark Passage, where he played Humphrey Bogart's part, before the bandages are removed. Many felt the film would have been much improved had it been Skeleton Warrior who was there under the bandages. Director Delmer Daves, though, felt that the image of Skeleton Warrior's "fleshless visage" might prove too much for the general public, and would, in fact, not make any sense.

This sort of insensitivity to the heritage of Skeleton Warrior led to many dark, soul-searching nights. Friends reported they feared for his sanity and perhaps his very life.

He fell out with director David Lean on the set of Lawrence of Arabia, and is uncredited even to this day for his role in the film. He would later admit that "all that sand was playing hell with me. Sandstorms are no good for guy who doesn't even have tendons, you know."

Skeleton Warrior was perhaps best known for the role that brought him back from the brink and saved him from himself: his groundbreaking work in "Jason and the Argonauts". He played the part of "Skeleton Warrior #4" with "panache and wit", said critic Rex Reed. "Skeleton Warrior really just acted the pants off those other skeletons. But that was his gift."



And perhaps his downfall.

Skeleton Warrior was too good. Jealousy marked his later career. He had trouble landing roles, and was forced to make guest appearances on game shows and even one disastrous choice, starring opposite Jamie Farr in an episode of The Love Boat. Skeleton Warrior would later remember "Farr was always stepping on my lines. He knew he was just a hairy guy in a dress, and that's all he ever would be. So I stabbed him. Arrrr!"



He was, of course, charged only with community service, but fans felt that such an outburst of violence marred his career. In court, Skeleton Warrior said only "I'm a Skeleton Warrior. Of course I stabbed him."

He got big into the early 80s whirlwind of booze, drugs and fast women. He would recount his exploits with pal Erik Estrada in his autobiography "Boner": "Me and Erik, we were best friends. I told him 'Erik, you're too good for that Wilcox guy.' I even went in for an audition, but I had trouble with the bike. My tibia kept snapping. I'm so pleased for Erik and all his success. You know, the Mexican soap operas and telethons. What a jerk."



What happened to Skeleton Warrior? Was it an angry Jamie Farr fan pushed to the brink? A lover spurned? Estrada himself? These questions may never be fully answered.

But for now, perhaps it is best to remember him as he was: full of life and love. All over the country, vigils are being held for this great actor that moved so many with his graceful and sometimes frightening flights of fancy. Please, stop by The Skeleton Warrior Tribute Site and just leave your thoughts on the passing of a Hollywood legend.



links:
Flash Tribute
BottomDwelling remembers
Jpoulos' Thoughts

Friday, February 14, 2003

While it is not the policy of My Life as an American Gladiator to delve into politics, or indeed to delve in way whatsoever, unless it's into a pie, the world situation calls for immediate attention:

President Chirac of France recently called George W Bush something that translates as "a man with the head of a cow, and not a bright cow." The American president countered by calling Chirac a "varmint" and squinting a lot.

All this rhetoric has led to a dramatic increase in Franco-American tensions, and sources close to My Life as an American Gladiator report that there may be a huge tariff placed on Spaghettios.

A statement released by Franco-American read in part: "It is our goal only to teach the Americans and the French to live together, producing pasta shaped like cute dinosaurs and UFOs. Nowhere in our business plan do we explicitly state that we yearn to see French people hitting American people with pointy sticks. You can talk to our lawyers."

Franco-American's arch-nemesis, Chef Boyardee, could not be reached for comment.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

My position, which is not a popular one, is that the whole McDonalds character ouevre went downhill irreparably with the introduction of the "Fry Guys".

Gone are the halcyon days of Mayor McCheese, replaced by the vacuous titterings of... of... what the hell were the Fry Guys anyway? Weeples? Koosh-balls? Dust-Bunnies?

And where's the Filet-o-Fish charcter? I ask you!

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Wow! All this time I thought The Space Giants was just a fever dream.

See, there was this gold guy and he was named Goldar and he was married to Silvar and he fought really dumb looking monsters.

No, really! And the lightning bolts! And this weird old guy! And there was this weird evil guy, and the robots could turn into rockets!

Wait, where are you going? Come back!
Thoughts from My Ten Minute Commute

Oh god oh no oh shit it's raining! It's Raining! In Southern California!

I will not fear. Fear is the mindkiller.

These people are imbeciles. They can't drive in the rain. What? What are you doing? You can't stop on the freeway! Why are you stopping on the freeway?!

Oh man, please stop, guy-behind-me-in-an-Escalade who is eating a breakfast burrito, talking on the phone and oh my sweet christ is he shaving? Aiiiee! Stop, I implore you!

Ah. Tindersticks. Good song. What is this song about? It sounds like it's about masturbation. It's 7:45 in the morning and I'm listening to a song about masturbation. No wonder I'm so twitchy.

And we didn't have any coffee this morning. I'm going to die in the rain, smushed into a pile of goo by cretins who can't navigate in a light drizzle and I won't even be able to react because I had to drink tea this morning.

This is the fast lane. You are going 35 miles an hour. Oh great. You've got a fish on your car. Get in the Jesus lane.

Oh man, and you want to go 90, Mr. Nissan? OK, fine. Go ahead. You can block for me.

Remember, maintain Zen Driving. Be at one with the cosmos. Do not curse or make that gesture that you always make where you shrug angrily at people. This will just confuse them and heighten the chance that they will hit you.

Ah. My exit. Why does it smell like soup here? And onions and blueberry muffins? Why?

I'm turning right! I'm turning right! I have the right of way, not you! Aaaaaagh! Get out of my way!

*exeunt*

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Monday, February 10, 2003

This home-buying thing is turning out to be more expensive than we thought. Luckily, we've found a couple of great deals:



LARGE TREE ADDS TO THE BEAUTY OF THIS RARE 4 BR 2.5 BA TRACT HOME!
FREE CABLE! SWIMMING POOL! GREAT CUESTA VERDE NEIGHBORHOOD!
WON'T LAST! SELLER HIGHLY MOTIVATED!
built on graveyard. haunted by unquiet spirits of the dead.

________________________



LOVE THE BOATHOUSE!
HUGE 5 BR, 3 BA VICTORIAN FIXER-UPPER ON THE LAKE. HANDYMAN'S DREAM!
RECENTLY FUMIGATED! NO FORCED-AIR HEATING, PLUMBING UNPREDICTABLE, SOME COSMETIC DAMAGE TO CELLAR.
FREE NANNY SERVICE FROM LIVE-IN DEVIL-PIG!
gateway to hell included.

________________________

I don't know. Maybe I'll just take the caretaker job at that hotel in the Colorado Rockies and save up some cash.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Mojito:

Ingredients: Mint, Sugar, Lemon juice, Light rum, Club soda



I really just wanted to show off this nice picture I took.
Parking Spots

Super cool site with pictures of toy cars photographed to look like real cars...hmm. hard to explain. Go have a look.

[via iconomy]

Saturday, February 08, 2003

I just heard Morphine's "Buena" on a Miller Genuine Draft ad.

I'm not going to bemoan the selling-out aspect of hearing good music on teevee ads, or the "songs that are about drugs being used to sell legal products" thing (see "Lust for Life" in cruise line ad), but I just want to say, couldn't we at least have made it Guinness?

Friday, February 07, 2003

I feel like I'm really missing out on a great thing by not playing my car stereo at high enough volume.

I want to join in the fun. I'm going to trick my car out with the biggest, baddest sound system around. My subwoofer will actually engulf my entire car. And this is the genius part: I'm going to drive around late at night playing only Whalesongs, preferably from those old black plastic 45s that came with National Geographic.

Imagine the swell of pride and ego I'll feel as I broadcast the majestic yowling of a Humpback to my neighbors at 4 in the morning on a Thursday.

That would rock.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Oh man! So much great Murakami stuff (while I wait for the English publication of "Kafka on the Shore"):

Probably in violation of all kinds of copyright laws, some hero has put the full text of Murakami's Pinball online. But hell, you can't get an English translation of it anywhere else, so thank you, kind stranger!

Download a film short of Murakami's Second Bakery Attack.

All of this is from the truly fantastic Elephant Still Missing, which includes all the Murakami you could want, including collected short stories.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Some thoughts about wrestling:

If I was a wrestler, I'd be The Baby (or El NiƱo for our south-of-the-border friends). Whenever any of my mighty foes came near me I would begin to cry, vomit and possibly soil myself.

Every single wrestling match I've ever seen (which is not a whole lot, in the interest of full disclosure), one of the fierce combatants inevitably picks up a folding chair from the crowd and hits the other guy over the head with it. My question is this: Why not just bring the folding chair into the ring with you? It would save lot of time.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Updated the Music Trading List

New Arrivals:
Modest Mouse
Spoon
Dead Can Dance
Death Cab for Cutie
Underworld
The White Stripes
Marc Ribot

Monday, February 03, 2003

It's the third of February, and you know what that means, right?

No, it's not time for our annual seafood brunch. That's March, right? What do you mean it was last month? I missed the seafood? You couldn't call me and let me know? I guess you just ate all of the Ocean's Rich Bounty yourself, didn't you? Oh hell.

Anyway, it's time to grab links from Cardhouse. Because we all love Cardhouse.

1. Museum of Food Anomalies: Small, but good nonetheless.

2. Cardhouse's own The I Don't Like Hard Things in Soft Things Manifesto: The hard, the soft, and sometimes both, but not usually.

3. National Pie Day: Like you, Mr. Cardhouse, I also missed National Pie Day. But isn't every day really National Pie Day? Don't we all hold a little Pie Party in our own imagination every single day that we are granted on this beautiful planet, where wondrous things like pie are possible? Yeah, maybe not.
I'm feeling guilty about the lack of updates on the site, so here's something weird I found in the "drafts" section:

If I ever go back to school for a graduate degree, I think I'll enter the exciting field of Nerf Studies.

The Nerf people never really did take Nerf as far as it could go.

Nerf Prostheses: Cheap and way more flexible than organic tissue, Nerf Limbs are the medical miracle of the future. Bound along on your new Nerf Legs! Got cirrhosis? Get a low-maintenance Nerf Liver.
The Ongoing My Life as an American Gladiator Life-Skills Quiz

Question 47

Name the next item in this sequence:

Carrot Top
Pestilence
Balki
Famine
Gallagher
War
Dorf on Golf
Death
Waylon Flowers & Madame
_______________________

Saturday, February 01, 2003

When I was young I told my mum
I'm going to walk on the Moon someday
Armstrong and Aldrin spoke to me
From Houston and Cape Kennedy
And I watched the Eagle landing
On a night when the Moon was full
And as it tugged at the tides, I knew deep inside
I too could feel its pull

I lay in my bed and dreamed I walked
On the Sea of Tranquillity
I knew that someday soon we'd all sail to the moon
On the high tide of technology
But the dreams have all been taken
And the window seats taken too
And 2001 has almost come and gone
What am I supposed to do?

Now that the space race is over
It's been and it's gone and I'll never get to the moon
Because the space race is over
And I can't help but feel we've all grown up too soon

Now my dreams have all been shattered
And my wings are tattered too
And I can still fly but not half as high
As once I wanted to

Now that the space race is over
It's been and it's gone and I'll never get to the moon
Because the space race is over
And I can't help but feel we've all grown up too soon

My son and I stand beneath the great night sky
And gaze up in wonder
I tell him the tale of Apollo And he says
"Why did they ever go?"
It may look like some empty gesture
To go all that way just to come back
But don't offer me a place out in cyberspace
Cos where in the hell's that at?

Now that the space race is over
It's been and it's gone and I'll never get out of my room
Because the space race is over
And I can't help but feel we're all just going nowhere

The Space Race Is Over
Billy Bragg

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