Moonwalker Redux

You want to know what the craziest thing about this statue is:

It's that it's not the weirdest thing Michael Jackson is auctioning off.

You know, I feel sort of wrong for kicking sand in MJ's face, (especially since the news of him selling off a bunch of his crazy stuff is like months old) but man, that dude is totally bat-shiitake-mushroom insane. I hate to say he deserves it, but he sort of deserves it, doesn't he? I mean, if you were accused of molesting children, would you go out and buy like a million lawn statues of naked boys? It's like OJ showing off his pristine collection of decapitated Hummel figures. Does not compute. And furthermore, where does one get *that many* naked boy statues? Does he buy in bulk? Is there a NAMBLA section at Costco that I'm (thankfully) blissfully unaware of?

I mean, how crazy have you become when people remember the good old days when you just collected the bones of disfigured people, hung out with chimpanzees and slept in a iron lung full of oxygen? And its a real shame, because for a while there, MJ was making some great pop music. Now, he's just some pedophile in a surgical mask who looks like an extra from Pokemon and hasn't done anything worthwhile as a human being or an entertainer since (and I'm being generous here) Dangerous. And that was 1991.

And still, he's selling tickets. 50 shows in London sold out. Within hours. It's stuff like that that makes people set themselves on fire in disgust and confusion.

I don't know. Am I right here? Does this bother you like it does me, or am I just a little too wound up today?

Interviewing With the Starz! - Christina Brinkerhoff

This week's victimmmer I mean interviewee is Christina B. We went to school together. She blogs here. She's married to my buddy Brandt, who blogs here. I slept on their couch on my way out to Cleveland a couple years back where they showed me around Chicago and filled me so full of deep dish pizza that I thought I was going to die (in a good way). Take it away, C.B.:

Name: Christina B.

Hometown: League City, TX

Occupation: Account Manager

Favorite type of donut:
Raspberry filled if from Shipley's or Bowtie if from Dunkin Donuts

Would you rather be mauled by a bear, stung to death by bees or eaten by a shark? Why?
D- None of the above. I've been thinking about this one for days. Those are all awful ways to go. I prefer in my sleep, thank you very much. What kind of demented person comes up with those scenarios?

Um, me?

If your life were a song, what song would it be?
Really hard to answer. I don't really listen to music so I can't think of a good one but I would have to say maybe something old and classic, none of this Brittney Spears or Aaron Carter stuff.

If you could only watch one film for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would probably be Dr. Seuss's: The Butter Battle Book. It's a trip and it teaches a good lesson. War on toast … brilliant.

If you had your way, where would you live out the rest of your days and how?
I would live on a transatlantic cruise ship. That way I could eat really tasty and really fancy food, see hundreds of different places and never have to pack my things up.

What would you like your tombstone read? (Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you)
I would want mine to say, "See you soon!"

The Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers?
Ummm… Who are the Marx Brothers again?

What three TV shows can you not miss?
Lost! The Office! My Name is Earl!

If you could erase one social problem with the flick of yr wrist, what would it be and why?
People smacking gum or food because this is one of the most annoying things in the world to me. By eradicating this I would be a lot nicer of a person riding the train in the morning and doesn't the world need that?

Who was your earliest remembered crush?
Brian from 3rd grade. I don't even remember his last name but I chose him to be on my basketball team in P.E. because he was hot and awesome at basketball. We won, by the way. Undefeated.

What five things do you hope people know or think about you?
That I'm funny, that I'm skinny (well, not while I'm pregnant) that I make good food, that I'm fun to be around and that I'm not vain :)

What three things are you terrified that people know or think about you?
That I am scared of:
2.Dead people and
3.People hiding in my apartment

Hold on, I'm just making note: "Dress up like a dead vampire and hide in Christina's closet. This will scare the living bejeepers out of her." There. Okay next question: The Stones or the Who?
Since that's not really my flavor I'm going to say the Who because I know that they do the intro theme songs to the C.S.I. shows and I used to watch the C.S.I. shows. I don't anymore because I made a deal with God that if I stopped watching those shows He would help me to have better dreams and be less scared being alone and the dark. So far I've kept my part of the bargain and He's done a pretty good job too. There was that time when I thought it might be okay to watch it for 1 minute and a dude ended up getting decapitated during that one minute. Never again … never again. Does that answer your question?

If you could have any super power (flight, x-ray vision, the ability to talk to undersea creatures, etc.), what would it be and why?
The ability to breathe under water because I've had many dream where I am trying to escape from a bad guy and am hiding under the water. I always think when I'm in the water that I can't come up for air because he might find me and then all of a sudden, when I think I can't hold my breathe any more and I succumb to breathing in water and drowning, I can breathe! It's the best feeling ever.

What is the deal with airline food?
What do you mean? I've only had it twice and it was good the first time and only bad the second because they ran out of chicken and only had fish right before it was my chance to choose. Plus, you can't be picky … it's not like they have a full kitchen in the back to make you a fancy meal. Frozen food is frozen food.

What is your greatest unrealized ambition?
To open my very own bakery. I would have beautifully tasty cupcakes that only cost $2 instead of $4, I'd have HUGE muffins with HUGE berries, I'd have cheesecake tarts with raspberry sauce, I'd have oatmeal chocolate chip cookies- always just out of the oven, I'd have warm bread with honey … mmm … That would be awesome.

Most embarrassing moment ever. Go!
Now if it was so embarrassing that it was the embarrassing moment why would I announce it to the world (yes, the world reads this blog). Sorry, that moment is staying with me and the 4 people who witnessed it.


And there you have it.


Sunday Comics - Where Is My Mind?

So a little while back I went through my comic book bookshelf (I refuse to refer to comic books as "graphic novels," cuz I'm a snobby nerd) and pared it down a bit, selling the volumes I thought were no longer necessary.

At the time, I thought I had just gotten rid of the non-essential stuff (Millar's run on The Authority), stuff I'd read once and forgotten about (that Batman Elseworlds OGN by Motter and Lark, Darwyn Cooke's Batman: Ego) or stuff I'd rather have in bigger, better collected editions some day when I'm like totally rich and jetting around Venus in a silver zeppelin while drinking saber-tooth tiger milk from the jewel-encrusted skull of a sea monkey (Ellis' first two Authority trades, which are available in the beautiful Absolute edition). And I was okay with that. At the time, I needed the cash and if it comes down to having four volumes of the Essential Uncanny X-Men (turns out it's not all that "Essential") or my family's well-being, well, I choose the latter gladly. Cuz I'm hardcore like that.

But it seems that in my haste to lighten my load of collected comicbookery, I may have disposed of some good stuff that I probably should have held on to. Stuff that, when I scan my shelf and find it is no longer there, causes the palm of my hand to collide swiftly with my forehead and a whispered "Oh, duh!" to pass through my clenched teeth. These are The Ones That Got Away:

Batman: Year 100 - Dude, I must have been flying high on angel dust or something because it's Paul Pope + Batman which always = really excellent. Actually Paul Pope + the phone book = really excellent, so yeah, I'm not sure what happened here.

Alan Moore's Supreme - I had a few Tom Strong trades, as well as a couple of volumes of Top Ten and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the whole lot of Moore's collected Swamp Thing run, all of which, while great stuff, was not really going to be read again any time soon and could be liquidated pretty guiltlessly. There's always the library if I feel the urge to re-read, right? But Supreme, for some reason, resonates with me a ton. It really is the proto-All-Star Superman (and if Grant Morrison ever reads this, I fear he will put a hex upon me for saying such), with its loving look at the totality of a Superman-esque character (let's just cut the crap and admit that this is Moore writing Superman, mmmkay?) and how to make him work in a late-20th century/millennial world. It's just really great comicbookery, despite the preponderance of Liefeld-esque house art that plagues the book for the first volume and a portion of the second. (I like to squint a bit and pretend that Chris Sprouse drew the whole thing, sort of like I do with Frank Quitely on Morrison's New X-Men run.)

Superman: Secret Identity - And speaking of great Superman stories, what was I thinking when I got rid of this one? There aren't many people who really "get" superheroes in general and Superman in particular, but Kurt Busiek is one of them. (See his excellent Astro City books for undeniable proof.) This tale of an alternate-world Clark Kent is really touching and beautiful and it's got some amazing Stuart Immonen artwork, to boot. I may have given this to my buddy Chris, now that I think of it, which is a sacrifice I'm willing to make but if I sold it, is completely unconscionable. Seriously, Dylan. Pull yourself together, man.

Pop Gun War - Again, I may have loaned this one out and never got it back/given it away in a fit of comic book evangelism, because I can't imagine any scenario where I would have gotten rid of it. I met (very briefly and awkwardly) Farel Dalrymple at a semi-depressing Las Vegas comic convention years ago and bought the second or third issue of this series as well as an issue of his Supermundane book. He seemed really cool and I really wish I'd talked to him for a little longer (which is to say, "more than two seconds") instead of mumbling something about how cool his stuff was and scurrying off to scour bins for missing issues in my Doom Patrol run. (This was before DC finally got around to collecting the run which I still need to purchase cuz, man, that is some good stuff.) Pop Gun War is the kind of comic book I would love to make if A) I were more talented and B) less lazy. It's a lyrical, surreal and seriously ambitious/ambiguous work that floats along on its own dream logic and says a lot without saying much.

Planetary - Basically, I was holding out for the series to finish off and for it to be collected in some sort of Absolute format, but still, I wish I had those volumes here right now beside me. I could sleep easier, I think. It's some dang fine stuff that will make your head explode if you're not careful with it. And that, as my girl Martha would say, is a good thing.

Cerebus: High Society & Church & State - Sure, Dave Sim's a crackpot and a mysogynist. So what. So's John Byrne, but John Byrne never single-handedly (okay, Sim had Gerhard to help out) finished a 300-issue magnum opus starring a barbarian aardvark that deals with religion, politics, gender, art and death. Some day I will sit down and read the entirety of Cerebus. It may make me crazy, but I will do it. Because if Dave Sim risked (and arguably lost) his sanity to make it, it's worth my time to at least read it, right?

Anyway, so that's my list. What comics do you still kick yourself for getting rid of? What do you still need to procure?


Things To Do Before I Die

1. Eat 100 tacos in one sitting.
2. Scrawl the word "poop" in a secret place on all of the seven wonders of the world.
3. Two words: time travel.
4. Give hugs.
5. Kill Dracula. And this time, make sure he's dead.
6. Perform on Broadway. And by "perform" I mean "vomit uncontrollably."
7. Defeat negativity through the power of interpretive dance and also samurai swords.
8. Not get Bubonic Plague.
9. Three words: boneless buffalo wings.
10. Never grow a mustache. Not even as a joke.
11. Survive being gored by a moose.
12. Live forever.

12 Things I Love About Cleveland

1. The state abbreviation is "OH!" which makes me smile. I like a state that's continually surprised.
2. The RTA. We could not survive as a one-car family back in Vegas. It would be a nightmare.
3. The massiveness of Lake Eerie and the fact that it affords the opportunity of a beach despite Ohio being firmly ensconced in the Midwest.
4. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo!
5. When spring finally breaks. It's like the world is alive again. It feels like "Here Comes the Sun" sounds, if that makes sense.
6. The fact that I can see a great band on almost any night of the week if I were so inclined and not so lame.
7. The Westside Market.
8. The food. Seriously, there have to be more great restaurants per square mile here than anywhere else in the Yoo Ess Uv Hey!
9. Birthplace of Devo and Guided By Voices. I'm drinking all the water I can, but so far whatever it is that's in there isn't rubbing off, osmosis-wise.
10. The Cleveland International Film Festival. It's my first year, really, but man, I'm loving it. It's like an independent film buffet.
11. The Cavs & the Indians. It's great to have home teams to root for.
12. Ghost signs painted on all the old buildings.
13. I feel really skinny in a town this full of fat guys.
14. The solemn-faced guys holding various forms of transportation that stand guard over the Carnegie/Hope bridge.
15. The fact that I can get all of this big-city-ness for about half of the price of a comparable, more snooty/kewl city. I'm looking at you, Portland.


Interviewing With the Starz! - John Kendall

John Kendall is a myth. Well, mythic at least. He's the sort of person who, had he walked among the ancient Greeks, would have had epic poems written about him about how he wrestled the wind or had a baby with a swan or killed a minotaur with the jawbone of a whale or something. The bottom line is that he's a pretty cool guy. John and I met at BYU-I. He blogs here where sometimes, if the wind is just right, he posts paintings of salty old sea dawgz. Here's his interview:

Name: John Kendall

Hometown: I don't really know anymore...

Occupation: Graphic Designer

Favorite type of donut:
Gotta be the Jelly Filled. Raspberry, please!

Would you rather be mauled by a bear, stung to death by bees or eaten by a shark? Why?
Well, I'm not particularly allergic to bees. It would probably take a swarm of bees so thick it would blot out the sun to kill a normal person. I would totally want to see that happen, even if it meant being at the center of the swarm.

Second pick is the shark. I like the idea of drowning and being torn to pieces at the same time. It's like two for one deal. The BOGO of deaths.

Bears are just terrifying. I'd probably be dead long before he got his chompers on me.

If your life were a song, what song would it be?
"Feeling yourself Disintegrate" by the Flaming Lips.

If you could only watch one film for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably The Royal Tenenbaums.

If you had your way, where would you live out the rest of your days and how?
On an expansive ranch in the jungle coastal range of central Brazil. It will over look hundreds of miles of mountains and banana trees. All of which I own. Including 17 islands in the surrounding area. There will be incredible fruit and berries year round and Llamas for transportation. I will wear a loose cotton tunic and no one will make fun of me. I will have a swimming pool shaped like Paul Rand's face. There's a pretty killer guesthouse, if you'd like to visit. But you have to wear a tunic.

Or L.A.

What would your like your tombstone read? (Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you)
I don't really care as long as there is a glaring typo on it.

The Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers?
Please. Marx Brothers. Did you know that Groucho's moustache wasn't even real? That is pure Hollywood movie magic! Suck on that, Industrial Light and Magic!!

What three TV shows can you not miss?
The Office/30 Rock (come on ... they're back to back! It only counts as one show, right?), Chuck, The Mighty Boosh.

If you could erase one social problem with the flick of yr wrist, what would it be and why?
The SBD. If you're going to cut one in public, at least have the decency to warn us of what's coming!

Who was your earliest remembered crush?
Michael Jackson. But in my defense, I thought he was Michelle Jackson...

Wow. That's just ... wow. Well, I admire your candor.
What have I got to lose?

Nothing really, it's just the internet. It's not real. It's like the Matrix.
That's what I figure.

What five things do you hope people know or think about you?
1. I'll bet that guy could fold steel like butter with that finely tuned bicep/tricep combo!
2 I'd really like to buy that guy an iPhone!
3. That guy looks like my worst nightmare on performance-enhancing drugs! (This one only applies to people that I don't want around: criminals, those people that stand on street corners and try to get you to give money to save the salmon - just Oregon? - etc.)
4. That guys know lots of different ways to make fire!
5. Even though he's super tall, I'll be he's no good at basketball. I don't think I'll pester him about joining a church team...

You know, my first impression of you was "I bet that guys know lots of different ways to make fire."
Really? I'm so happy!

What three things are you terrified that people know or think about you?
1. There's a 90% chance that I'm dyslexic.
2. Or at least ADHD.
3. I really have no idea what's going on most of the time.

The Stones or the Who?
Stones, I guess. I don't really have a solid opinion on this one.

If you could have any super power (flight, x-ray vision, the ability to talk to undersea creatures, etc.), what would it be and why?
Probably being able to breath under water. Then I could walk all the way around the world. I probably wouldn't, because that would be pretty pointless. But I COULD do it, if I wanted to.

What is the deal with airline food?
I think it's there to distract you from the fact that you could at any second drop from the sky like a terrifying, flaming, explody stone! (I just started watching Lost, can you tell?)

What is your greatest unrealized ambition?
Some day I will build a house out of bales of hay.

Most embarassing moment ever. Go!
Last year the tire on my road bike exploded on a crowded commuter train. I think the lady next to me peed herself. Turns out people don't appreciate loud explosions as a part of their morning commute.

Who knew?


And another great installment of IWTSz! comes to a close. Until next week, cats & kittens.

10 Really Great Album Covers

1. Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde

2. We Are Scientists' With Love & Squalor

3. Frank Black's Teenager Of the Year

4. Suburban Kids With Biblical Names' #3

5. R.E.M.'s Reckoning

6. Dump's A Grown-@ss Man

7. Talking Heads' the Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads

8. Harry Nilsson's Nilsson Schmilsson

9. Jens Lekman's Night Falls Over Kortedala

10. The Beach Boys' Smiley Smile


Haiku Friday - Dodge It

Parallel parking
A Dodge Caravan is way
Harder than it looks.


If You Haven't Watched "Namaste," Yet, You Should Probably Not Read This

* I like Frank Lapidus.
* "Dude, your English is awesome."
* Carlos is awful eager to start exploring the Hydra Station, don't you think?
* Sun: "Where are you going?" Ben: "Back to our island. Wanna come?"
* "I vote for 'not camping.'"
* What is it with Hurley and dog-themed apparel?
* Aaah, the old "Oar to the Back Of the Head" trick. Well-played, Kwon.
* "Based on your aptitude tests, you'll be doing janitorial work."
* Duh! Why did it take me like half of the episode to figure out where I'd heard the name "Radzinsky"?
* Also, Radzinsky's a bit of a jerk, isn't he?
* That wreckage on the docks is from when Locke blew up the submarine.
* Dude! Otherville is haunted by Christian Shepherd! Who can pick up stuff, so is he not an apparition or whatevs?
* Okay, ABC, you got me curious about The Unusuals. Shut up now.
* "I'm sorry, but you have a bit of a journey ahead of you."
* What's Sawyer reading, I wonder.
* Jack is such a b-hole. Srsly.
* Basically, Sawyer is rad.
* Awww, look at little Ben, bringing Sayid a sandwich.
* I love this freaking show.


Questions To Ask Yourself

1. What if, after the everything falls apart, it all gets better than before?
2. Am I part of the problem?
3. If a tree falls in the forest while a deaf bear is pooping there and clapping his one hand while meanwhile, the Pope wears a funny hat, will the universe implode?
4. When will I realize that I will have to make the time to do all the awesome things I want to do?
5. It it totally uncool to admit that Coldplay's not that bad?
6. Am I ready for the new golden age?
7. Who put the "bomp" in the "bomp-sha-bomp-sha-bomp."
8. Is it the same person who put the "ram," in the "ramma-lamma-ding-dong"?
9. Am I beckoning the doom or bringing the sunshine?
10. Why can't Ewoks be real?
11. Is there a more boring show on television than The Sarah Connor Chronicles?
12. How come french fries gotta taste so good?


Actors Whose Involvement In a Project Piques My Interest

1. Nathan Fillion
2. Simon Pegg
3. Patrick Warburton
4. Bill Murray
5. Any Wilson brother: Luke, Owen or Andrew
6. Sam Rockwell
7. William Shatner
8. Emmanuel Lewis

Interviewing With the Starz! - Leanne Lawson-Stanley

This week's Interviewee is Leanne Lawson-Stanley. We were friends in high school. She blogs here. She also knows judo and once got into a psychic battle with Anthony Michael Hall so severe that half of the residents New Jersey forgot how to do math FOREVER!

Read on, readah...

Name: Leanne Alise Lawson-Stanley (if I were a boy, my name would have been Lilburn Andrew Lawson...no joke)

Hometown: 2 years in Newburg, OR. 5 years in Redding, CA. 7 years in Durham, CA. 17 years in Las Vegas. Vegas is my home.

Occupation: Sales & Marketing Director/Office Manager of Persyst Enterprises, Inc. (riveting stuff)

Favorite type of donut:
No nuts, no sprinkles, no jelly filling, no coconut.

Would you rather be mauled by a bear, stung to death by bees or eaten by a shark?
If the outcome is death in all cases, I would rather be stung by bees. Why? Being mauled by a bear would be incredibly painful, as they try to rip apart your soft parts first. Having my stomach torn open and my face ripped off just doesn’t seem like my cup of tea. And who knows how long you would survive while it was actually eating you. The bear is definitely last on my list.

The shark might not be too bad because I’ve heard that some people who are attacked by sharks don’t realize that they are missing a limb right away and I could hope that I’d bleed out quickly and lose consciousness before I drowned. But if I was pulled underneath the water and chomped on, I would have a problem with that. Drowning would not be my choice way to go.

My number one choice would be to die by bees! Again, this is just based on what I’ve heard but I would hope that I would be attacked by a large swarm (over 1000 bees) and that they would pump me full of enough venom that I pass out, stop breathing and then my heart would stop. I’ve been stung by a bee before and it hurt like crap but I’ve also been tattooed (which feels somewhat similar) and it is like being stung over and over again. Eventually, you become kind of numb from it. And I’m sure that my adrenaline would help out some. I might be swollen in my casket but at least my whole body would be there and I’d still have a face.

If your life were a song, what song would it be?
Oh my! I’ll have to think about that one [8 days later] Honestly, I haven’t been thinking about it much and this is the last question I am answering, so I will just put down the songs that popped into my head when I first read this question 8 days ago. What a Wonderful World, The Way I Am and Good Day Sunshine. What can I say? I’m a happy-go-lucky, positive chick.

If you could only watch one film for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Too hard to name one, so top five (in no particular order)
1) Groundhog Day (to laugh)
2) Lost in Translation (to see pretty scenery and listen to people talk)
3) Before Sunrise (same as above)
4) The Color Purple (to cry so hard I feel like puking)
5) Say Anything (to love Lloyd Dobler)

If you had your way, where would you live out the rest of your days and how?
If I had MY way, back and forth between Mexico and the mountains. How? Um, chillin’.

What would your like your tombstone read? (Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you)
I would like my tombstone to read: She lived by the Golden Rule.

The Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers?
I’ve seen more of the Three Stooges than the Marx Brothers. But I think the Marx Brothers were more clever (although it may be more clever to inflict mass amounts of pain on one another and recover quickly without a scratch ... hmmm).

What three TV shows can you not miss?
Lost, The Office, 30 Rock. (Honest answer, I’m not trying to kiss up, promise.)

You have excellent taste.

If you could erase one social problem with the flick of yr wrist, what would it be and why?
“Social problem” is a very broad statement. I think that many of the world’s problems would be solved if I flicked away playground bullying.

Who was your earliest remembered crush?
Fourth grade, Caleb Donahoo. He eventually became my boyfriend on and off for 4 years. We always said we would go to prom together. Even after I moved to Las Vegas, we kept in touch for a few years. We lost touch eventually and didn’t go to prom. I ran into him while I was cruising the streets of Chico during my bachelorette party and we hugged for a really long time. I always loved that boy.

What five things do you hope people know or think about you?
1) I love my son more than anything else on this planet.
2) I’m kind.
3) I’m funnier than anyone else they know.
4) I’ll do anything for my family.
5) I’m an excellent driver.

What three things are you terrified that people know or think about you?
1) I bite my nails somethin’ fierce…yuck.
2) I got rid of my cat (who I rescued from death) when I had my son because I couldn't stand the thought of him getting into the litter box one day. And he tracked kitty litter around the house and the thought of Cole crawling through it made my skin crawl. He was a really cool cat and I feel terrible about it. He was the only cat I ever had.
3) Ugly people make me uncomfortable.

The Stones or the Who?
Based on ... which band came first? The Stones. (I think?) Who had a greater influence on music? The Who. Who’s uglier? The Stones. Who I can name more songs from? The Who. It’s a tie.

If you could have any super power (flight, x-ray vision, the ability to talk to undersea creatures, etc.), what would it be and why?
I would like the power to travel through time. Although the ramifications of such a power would be astronomical, messing with the space-time continuum and all, I still think it would be pretty cool. I would like to be able to travel through time, so that I could see if it is indeed possible to travel into the future (to see if it is already written). I would also like to see if changing certain major outcomes in history would better or worsen our current present. Like stopping the assassination of Kennedy or killing Hitler before he got too powerful. I would probably always go back again and let things happen as they did because I think things do happen for a reason. But it would be fun to see the “what ifs”.

Who knows, if things were better, I might leave things alone. I would of course only want this power if I was alone (no family). Who knows where I would be or who I would be if I changed the past. Then again, I might not even be born and then I wouldn’t exist to have the power in the first place. Maybe this would be a terrible power to have ... oh well, it would be fun and I would definitely try not to step on any butterflies.

What is the deal with airline food?
It’s not really food. It is a gelatinous mass that is formed to mimic actual food and then painted with grill marks and such.

What is your greatest unrealized ambition?
I wish I knew how to play the guitar, piano or fiddle. I can play a mean bass clarinet.

Most embarrassing moment ever. Go!
The only one I can think of was when I was 11 and I was visiting my dad for the summer here in Las Vegas. I met a Cuban boy named Jose Ricon (he was one of my dad’s neighbors) and I fell in like with him (and he with me).

My older sister Sarah had a plan so that we could kiss each other (which would be the “first kiss” for both of us). It was nighttime and she put us on the side of the house. Sarah, her boyfriend, Jose’s brother, my step-sister and three other neighborhood kids were all waiting for us on the other side of the gate. Jose and I were being flirty and talking about how silly this whole thing was, even though we both really wanted to kiss each other.

Next thing I know ... Jose is leaning in and my DAD pops his head over the fence and asks, “Hey guys, what’s up?”. I was MORTIFIED!! Apparently, my dad came outside to see what we were doing and when he saw the crowd around the side gate, he knew something was up. Needless to say, I did not get my first kiss on the side of my house that night. My dad opened the gate and we both emerged, rosy cheeked and freaked. I did kiss him the next night though, sitting on the bumper of my uncle’s van, and it was magical. My dad is awesome. My kids better not kiss anybody until they are 20:)


And that's this week's installment. If you still have a questionnaire, fill it out and get it in to me. Also, I still need photos from Christina, Ben and Allen, so get those to me. Give them to me or else. And if you want to be interviewed, let me know and I'll sent you some questions. Because I am a total professional, like that French guy in that movie with Gary Oldman and Natalie Portman.

Till next time, the balcony is closed.


Movies I Want To See At the Cleveland Intenational Film Festival This Year

1. Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie - A documentary about two unemployed guys who hunt Bigfoot for fun.
2. Tokyo! - The first part is directed by Michel Gondry. 'Nuff Said.
3. Between the Folds - A doc about origami.
4. The Chaser - Asian crime/chase movie.
5. Tricks - About a young boy who tries to use magic to improve his life.
6. A Deal Is A Deal - A British film with Colm Meaney and the guy who played Gareth (you know, the Dwight guy) on the British version of the Office.
7. Art & Copy - Doc about ad agencies.
8. The Wrecking Crew - Doc about Phil Spector's crew of studio musicians who also worked with Brian Wilson.
9. Sparrow - Hong Kong caper movie.
10. Moon - Stars Sam Rockwell as a unraveling astronaut. Directed by David Bowie's son. Should have just called it A Movie Dylan Would Totally Want To See.
11. The Brothers Bloom - Playing at the same time as Moon, it's the most recognizable film at the fest, as it stars Rachel Weisz, Adrian Brody and Mark Ruffalo. If it came down to it, I'd see Moon instead, though it's most likely a moot point as they're both showing on a Sunday.

You can see the full slate of films here. I'm excited.


Sunday Comics - 5 Comics You Should Read

1. Seaguy & the Wasps Of Atlantis (aka, uh, Seaguy) by Grant Morrison & Cameron Stewart
2. Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley
3. Curses by Kevin Huizenga
4. Planetary Vol. 1: All Over the World & Other Stories by Warren Ellis & John Cassady
5. Madman Vol. 1 by Mike Allred

And Now, An Important Announcement From BRRHQ

Hi. My life has been busy lately. It sucks, but it's better than the alternative I guess. Something had to give, and the regular posting of things of substance on this blog was what gave. It's been a source of guilt and shame; the amount of neglect I've heaped on this site.

Because of all this, for the last month or two, I've considered killing off this blog, or at least letting it go dormant until I can find something to inspire me to post regularly. This idea makes me sad. I've been blogging here for five years and in that time have created almost 1000 posts, three of which have been worth your time. I have met and reconnected with a lot of wonderful people and been able to share my life and thoughts and fart jokes with all y'all. It would be a hard thing to just walk away from this little shanty shack I've built for myself near this offramp rest stop on the Information Superhighway, where I sell my bags of oranges and slightly used turquoise jewelry on an old Navajo rug while listening to Grand Funk Railroad's greatest hits on a cheap AM radio.

So, what do I do?

Here's my plan: for the foreseeable future, my posts will most likely be lists of things I've thought of during the day. Just five to ten things that have crossed my mind as I blunder my way through my life like a more developmentally challenged Forrest Gump or a less developmentally challenged Jimmy Fallon. I will still post the interviews I've conducted and the monthly mixtapes and and will hopefully start this Woody Allen project I've been cooking up with my homie Ryan for a while, but by and large the contents of this blog will be lists. Lists lists lists. Hopefully this truncated format will mean I can update daily, but I know myself better than to promise that. We'll try. How's that?

Anyway, so there's where we are. Thanks for your readership and comments. Keep it rizzle, my internizzles.


Haiku Friday - Funeral Face

I came across a
Long funeral procession.
Should I be stopping?


Interviewing With the Starz! - Rose Aliverti

This week's interviewing With the Starz! victi... um, participant is Rose Aliverti. Rose is a blog buddy from way back. She blogs here. She also doesn't capitalize anything, so if a couple of words slipped past me, it's all her fault. Take it away, Rose...

Name: Rose Aliverti

Hometown: Monroe, Washington

Occupation: Mom who is reinventing herself into some kind of totally awesome superstar.

Favorite type of donut:
Top pot old-fashioned glazed.

I have no idea what that is. Is that a donut or a figure skating trick?
Top Pot is a local donut maker here in Seattle and they really do make a good donut.
But while I was growing up I used to say my favorite type of donut was Hurts, so that I could follow it up by slugging my little sister and saying, "HURTS, donut?"
Ha ha ha. That joke is still funny. (Just ask my sister.)

Would you rather be mauled by a bear, stung to death by bees or eaten by a shark? Why?
That's easy: stung to death by bees. Why? Because it reminds me of Macaulay Culkin's character in My Girl. That is how Thomas J. dies... (I hope I didn't ruin it for anyone...)

You did.

If your life were a song, what song would it be?
It would be a medleyy of songs: "Clocks," by Coldplay, "Lost!" by Coldplay, "She Just Wants To Be," by R.E.M., "Wonderwall," by Oasis, "Bittersweet Symphony," by the Verve, "What A Wonderful World," by Louis Armstrong, "Lovesong" by the Cure and ... "Lullaby," by the Dixie Chicks. YES the Dixie Chicks. Honestly, this is the only song I know by them. I'm not a country music fan, but the words are so pretty: "How long do you wanna be loved? Is forever enough?" Sweet, sweet words.

If you could only watch one film for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This answer would be different every day you ask me. Yesterday I would have said It's A Wonderful Life. Today I'm going to say Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Tomorrow it might be Forrest Gump or Donnie Darko or Little Miss Sunshine or a movie I just saw last weekend, Slumdog Millionaire. I'd have to have all of my favorites listed on a Twister board in order for me to choose because I am very indecisive!

If you had your way, where would you live out the rest of your days and how?
In a cute little town on the beach, living in a pimped-out cottage filled with books, music, games and movies, with all my peeps nearby.

What would your like your tombstone read? (Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you)
Devoted mother, beautiful wife, beloved sister, darling daughter, true friend. I added 'beautiful wife' because (hopefully) by the time I die, I will have a husband who would say that about me.

The Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers?
The Three Stooges! Although when I was a kid, they really scared me. Specifically, mo. SCARY man!

What three TV shows can you not miss?
1. 30 Rock
2. The Office
3. How I Met Your Mother and The New Adventures Of Old Christine. It's a tie. I could not choose.

If you could erase one social problem with the flick of yr wrist, what would it be and why?
Child abuse ... for the obvious reasons, but also because of the effect it would have on other social problems.

Who was your earliest remembered crush?
All the 5th graders I knew had a crush on a boy in my class named Josh. But I bet I was the only one who officially named their Cabbage Patch Kid doll after him!

What five things do you hope people know or think about you?
1. That I have a good poker face, because I don't. But if everyone thought I did, then I would, right?
2. I hope people know that yes, I really do now how to capitalize words.
3. That I'm looking for a good job - in case anyone out there can hook me up! (Oprah, are you reading this? Because if anyone can hook me up, it is Oprah.)

Sorry Rose, I can assure you that Oprah does not read this blog. I'm not sure *anybody* reads this blog, but I can say with some assurance that Oprah does not have any interest in reading my thoughts on comics, movies, deer poo and dino peen.

4. I hope that the people I love know that I love them, and that I'm a better person because they are in my life.
5. And I hope they think I'm a good person, otherwise #4 wouldn't sound like much of a compliment. And also because I want to be a good person. "Beeeeee goooood" as E.T. would say.

What three things are you terrified that people know or think about you?
1. OK ... I'm just going to say it ... I'm not as graceful as you might think. And if you know me you'd never think that, anyway. If there is something to trip over or slip on, I usually find it. Proof: Today I slipped on black ice on a busy street, even though I was walking slow because I knew it was icy. But, alas, it found me. it always finds me.

This is why I run everywhere. Every. Where.

2. I will always have a place in my heart for 80's pop radio. You don't even want to know what is in my collection (but i will someday make a playlist to share with the world).
3. I'm terrified of rats. I am terrified that someday, someone will use that against me.

The Stones or the Who?
My reasoning has nothing to do with their music. I'd say the stones because Mick Jagger's lips could just run away by themselves and you'd know who they belonged to. But then again, i like the name of the band The Who better ... "The Who?"

I pick the Beatles. Like I said, I'm indecisive.

If you could have any super power (flight, x-ray vision, the ability to talk to undersea creatures, etc.), what would it be and why?
Photographic memory along with not needing more than 4 hours of sleep each night. There is so much I could do if I possessed those two abilities simultaneously. (I was going to say never needing any sleep, then remembered that I actually do like sleeping. So, that would just be cRaZy!)

What is the deal with airline food?
I KNOW. Can the bag of pretzels GET any smaller? (Is that how it goes? I don't remember if Seinfeld used pretzels or peanuts...) Airline food is disgusting. Over-processed, germ-infested food. Jerry and I have something in common ... I can be a real germaphobe if I put my mind to it. Someone (a normal person) left a bottle of ibuprofen over at my house and I gross myself out anytime I think about taking one from that bottle. I gag over it. And I gag over airline food. Plus, HELLO! I'm not an astronaut...

What is your greatest unrealized ambition?
I have two:
1. Someday I want to write a book. About what? I don't know yet.
2. I want to play piano. I took lessons when I was about 12 or 13, had one recital where I messed up SO bad I thought I was going to start crying right there. (Aah, the middle school years ... see next question!)

Most embarrassing moment ever. Go!
Is 'middle school' an embarrassing moment? I hope so, because these days I don't embarrass so easily. I fell smack down on a busy street today, and I'm still going with middle school.
In middle school, I had huge, thick glasses and braces. I wore my hair like a whale spout on top of my head, and tried to get my bangs to be big but it never really worked out the way I planned. I went through a phase where I wore shorts with sweatshirts almost every day, no matter what time of year. I developed a crush on a boy, and the only thing I remember about him is the one day I saw him at the grocery store and got so embarrassed that I pushed open the automatic doors, leaving the store. I cried a lot, in public. I fell asleep in my U.S. History class. A girl that I'm now friends with on Facebook tried to beat me up after school, so I told a teacher really fast in-between my tears, and ran away ... but got on the wrong school bus home. I collected teddy bears. I went to a Tiffany concert. Need I say more?


Wow. Excellent stuff, right? Thanks a bunch, Rose. You're a trooper. Tune in next week for another installment of interviewing Withe the Starz! Maybe we'll interview Oprah? What do you think?


Haiku Friday - Spring Tease

You always forget
How good a warm breeze can feel
Instead of the cold.


Why I Don't Watch the Night-Time News

"Hey, man. It looks like you're getting a little sleepy and you're thinking about going to bed. Hittin' the hay and stuff. That's cool. I'd be doing the same thing if I weren't out here, you know, reporting the news and whatnot. 'Just the facts.' You know how I roll.

"But real quick, before you go to bed, I just wanted to let you know there's a dude out there wearing a hooded sweatshirt and he has a gun. And he's just runnin' loose and stuff. Very dangerous guy. Stone cold killer. And sneaky, too. This dude is sooo sneaky, he's like some sort of psychopathic, hoodie-wearing, gun-toting ninja who wants only to hurt people. The cops are lookin' for him, but so far, he's like ... disappeared. Poof! Gone. Just thought you might like to know. Anyway, goodnight.

"Oh, and also, we're on the verge of total economic collapse and could be obliterated at any moment by rogue nuclear weapons or bird flu or teen-aged drivers.

"Anyway, just thought you might want to know. Sleep tight."

The Little Prince

I'm fairly savvy, music-wise. So when my boss brought in a vinyl copy of Prince's self-titled 1979 sophomore album, I was familiar with the cover, a weird, Glamour Shots-esque photo of a shirtless Prince staring wistfully out at you, as if he were peering into your very soul and making sweet love to it. You know, this one:

It's a little unsettling, but what about Prince isn't? It's part of the experience. It's like not liking the Pope cuz he's Catholic. I mean, sure, Prince is more than a little creepy in a "sexually ambiguous dude in a pirate shirt, slouch boots and a Speedo," type of way, but dang! he makes some fine music. Seriously, "1999"? "Little Red Corvette"? "Raspberry Beret"? "Kiss"? And don't even get me started on "Purple Rain." That song is freaking brilliant.

Anyway, so as mind-blowing hilarious/amazing as the cover is, the real treat comes when you flip it over. You're greeted by this gem:

Yes, that is Prince, naked, riding a white pegasus in a field somewhere, probably somewhere in Middle Earth or Narnia or something. THAT JUST HAPPENED! I mean, can you imagine coordinating that shoot? To be all, "Um, Prince, the oversized purple blazer, neck bandanna and turquoise jodhpurs just aren't working. Can we try one with you, I dunno, naked riding the horse? Just to see what it looks like?" And didn't that hurt his, you know, "stuff" to be riding, I dunno, bareback like that (pun intended)?

But the crazy part of this is just how not crazy it ends up being. It's just so ... Prince-ish, isn't it? After the initial shock, you're just sitting there going "Yeah, okay. That makes sense." It perfectly fits in with the Prince brand: mildly ridiculous, but so assured that somehow, improbably, it works. Maybe a little too well.

So yeah, Prince riding naked on a pegasus = pretty rad. You heard it here first.



Interviewing With the Starz! - Dave Larsen

It's that time again. Time for Interviewing With the Starz!, where the questions are tough and the embraces are tender. Today we're talking with Dave Larsen who was in my ward in Rexburg and blogs over here about all kinds of stuff. Did you download his Rainy Day mix yet? You should. Anyway, here's Dave:

Name: David Joseph Larsen

Hometown: Rupert, Idaho. Never really thought I would be living here again but I am while the whole med school application process is going on.

Occupation: Psychosocial Rehabilitation. I work with "at-risk" youth. You know, "at risk" of getting kicked out of school or put in jail. A lot of them have aggressive tendencies, are on probation and have a crazy home life. It might sound tough but mostly we talk a lot about what to do instead of punching people and then play a game of Uno. I am the Uno King.

Does that position, as Uno King, come with some sort of crown and authority, or is it mainly a ceremonial office?
Basically, all who oppose me are crushed. I guess you could call me the evil dictator of Uno. Some call me the Uno Nazi because I have memorized all the rules and I enforce them. I win more than everyone else at the office.

Sadly, there is no crown.

Favorite type of donut:
Mostly whichever type is in front of me. I like maple and pudding filled, just not at the same time.

Would you rather be mauled by a bear, stung to death by bees or eaten by a shark? Why?
I going to have to go with being mauled by a bear. Being stung to DEATH or EATEN by a shark doesn’t really leave a lot of room for survival. Plus, I am pretty sure if I watch The Office enough I can learn key bear mauling survival skills from Dwight.

If your life were a song, what song would it be?
Hard Choice. "The Master Plan," by Oasis. I heard it was Noel’s favorite song he had ever done. If this is my song then it’s almost like I am his favorite too.

If you could only watch one film for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I don’t love watching most movies I have already seen. Comedies seem to be the only exception to the rule. Maybe Cool Runnings or the Princess Bride. I can’t commit.

If you had your way, where would you live out the rest of your days and how?
I would live them out in my own comfy house with occasional trips to my other comfy homes in Chile, Europe, etc. I think it would be cool to be financially secure enough to spend a lot of time giving free medical care to underserved populations (if they ever decide to let me be a doctor). I’ll want to be busy when I am an old man.

What would your like your tombstone read? (Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you)
As long as it is something with good grammar I will be happy. Erin will probably choose it.

The Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers?
Stooges. You may all hate me for this but I don’t even know the Marx Brothers. Maybe I am missing out.

What three TV shows can you not miss?
The Office and Lost. Those are the only two that I honestly don’t miss. I like 30 Rock too but I miss it sometimes. I always miss the Simpsons but I love it dearly and own a few seasons.

If you could erase one social problem with the flick of yr wrist, what would it be and why?
I would make everyone feel a great sense of personal responsibility for their actions. I believe that would help fix a lot of different things at once. I think every kid I work with blames everything wrong they do on everyone else. I could go on and on.

Who was your earliest remembered crush?
Kristin Meyer. I don’t know if it was a real crush but I remember telling my friend she was my girlfriend in kindergarten or first grade.

What five things do you hope people know or think about you?
He is...
1. Trustworthy.
2. Dashing. (I thought about listing off the Scout Law, but it doesn’t say anything about being dashing)
3. I love my family a lot.
4. I think a lot about what other people are thinking. Not necessarily what they are thinking about me, just what they are thinking in general.
5. I don’t have great phone etiquette. And I kind of like the awkward moments sometimes.

What three things are you terrified that people know or think about you?
I really really really don’t want people to think I am arrogant. I hate that.
I don’t want people to think I am lazy even though I am sometimes.
I don’t want them to think untrue things about me in general. I am mostly OK with what is true.

The Stones or the Who?
The Who.

If you could have any super power (flight, x-ray vision, the ability to talk to undersea creatures, etc.), what would it be and why?
Flight would be awesome, but only if I could fly enough to carry Erin with me. I could start my own super exclusive courier business.

What is the deal with airline food?
I have only flown a few times but I would rate the airline food just above the cafeteria food I had in elementary school. I didn’t like it too much. But I did have some Bistro chicken in the Atlanta airport and it was pretty dang good.

What is your greatest unrealized ambition?
To get into heaven.

Most embarassing moment ever. Go!
So, my wife and I were about a week away from getting married. We were standing outside her apartment before saying goodbye for the night and we were talking a little about what all engaged people surely think about constantly (there was no one around, it was late). When Erin went inside she realized that her roommate heard everything we were saying through her open bedroom window. Wow. Glad I got that off my chest.


And that was Dave. Who will be the next BRR reader (or, BRRR) to be interviewed? Find out next week, cats & kittens.


Sunday Comics - In the Future

An excellent page from Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe. Which is excellent. If you don't have it, get it.