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Terrible Movies I Saw In The Theater (part V) [20 May 2012|02:27pm]

I was so excited to see this train wreck that I wrote an article for my high school newspaper that was simply a fanboy blathering over how cool "Batman Forever" was going to be. Note the future tense. I still have the text of the article. I casually commented on the presence of nipples on the Batman suit. This didn't seem wrong to me at all? I shrugged this off? And then, there was last lines of the article: "The series has been given a complete make-over; almost every element has been positively altered. This will be the ultimate Batman film, making the other two look like Pauly Shore flicks." How clever of me! How novel and naive! "Don't we usually wait until a movie comes out before we review it?" my high school nemesis quipped. "Fuck you," I probably replied. "It's going to be awesome."

My family was vacationing in Costa Rica when "Batman Forever" was released in June 1995. After enjoying a culturally rich meal of Pizza Hut near the end of the trip, we passed by a giant "Val Kilmer as Batman" advertisement. It'd already come out in Costa Rica and I hadn't seen it yet! But a week later, when I saw "Batman Forever" with my family, I knew something had gone horribly wrong from the first scene in the (strangely neon) bank vault. "Why do I feel like throwing up?" I wondered. Then I realized it was because the camera seemed to be attached to an especially hyperactive squirrel with a personal vendetta against me.

It was one of those bad situations where you will attempt to salvage anything good that you can from it. Like the cleavage of a 28-year-old Nicole Kidman. Or the office chair-pod that transports Bruce Wayne from his office to the Batcave. And a 5-second flashback to the origin of Two-Face that looked like it could have come straight out of an Alex Ross comic. And there's a reference to Metropolis.

And that was about it. We puzzled over all of the neon colors. Had something gone wrong when they'd developed the film? Tommy Lee Jones, who had just won an Oscar for "The Fugitive", seemed like such a good choice for Harvey Dent/Two-Face. His character isn't ignored, but he's constantly shouting, sneering, flipping his coin ad nauseam, and cheering on Ace Ventura: Pet Detective as the Riddler. Many have accused the performance of being a ripoff of Jack Nicholson as the Joker. If this was an actual crime, they would have stripped Tommy Lee Jones of his Oscar.

If you will allow me a short fanboy rant, the movie explains that Two-Face was 'created' due to having acid thrown on his face. This was the result? I never knew acid destroyed your face with such neat straight lines. Yeah, I know. This was the family-friendly Batman. To be fair, the makeup doesn't look that bad in this test shot image (from an interview with makeup artist Ve Neill) in natural light, rather than all of the pink/red lighting they used in the movie. More than ten years later, I understand why the moron executives at Warner Brothers desired a more kid-friendly Batman, but in 1995, we just shook our heads in confusion. What went wrong? "Oh, well," my teenage self muttered, "there's bound to be another Batman movie. Hey, maybe it'll have Bane in it! Or Batgirl!"
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Terrible Movies I Saw In The Theater (part IV) [14 Apr 2012|01:01pm]

I just realized that whenever I've bought a movie ticket in advance, it had either the word "Star" or "Rings" in the title. I was so excited to see this movie, the 7th Trek movie, that I bought the advance ticket for an opening night non-matinee. This was the first time I ever felt the need to buy a ticket in advance. The non-matinee was rare in and of itself, as I was a cheap teenager practicing for his cheap adulthood. I was so excited about "Generations" that I considered skipping a short performance with my musical theater group so I could attend an earlier show with my Trekkie friend and fellow performer, Craig. Craig did skip the performance, despite my token protests. I was so excited that, being naturally gullible, I believed the plot details disclosed by a witty troll on an AOL message board. According to the post, at one point, the android Data would have sex with a female Klingon commander, as a tactical distraction. This was something I accepted as truth.

After the short show with the musical group, I sped to the movie theater. I did make the movie, just in time to join the line when they opened the doors. I laughed when a group of guys yelled out "Engage!" at the opening shot of a star field. I applauded the title and the entrance of Kirk. I'm sure I exited the movie in an equally ecstatic mood, from the experience alone. You can see a bad movie with a great audience ("Titanic") and not realize you're seeing a bad movie. But christ, it's a mess. Considering that they must have taken the fans into consideration by choosing to make a movie where new (Captain Picard) meets old (Captain Kirk), it's staggering to consider the degree of their failure.

A mad doctor, Dr. Soren (Malcolm Macdowell), is obsessed with entering the Nexus. The Star Trek wiki describes the Nexus as a "non-linear temporal phenomenon capable of delivering an individual to a non-corporeal Utopian existence. The entrance into the Nexus was a temporal flux energy ribbon which crossed the Milky Way Galaxy every 39.1 years." If you enter the Nexus via this (pink lightning-like) energy ribbon, you go to your eternal happy place, specific to each person's greatest desires. We meet Soren in the beginning of the movie, when, much to his overacting dismay, he is transported out of the Nexus by the Enterprise-B. Enterprise-B is on its maiden voyage, joined by special guest Admiral James Kirk. While saving the ship, Kirk is apparently sucked out into deep space, and no one bothers to search for his body despite his being the greatest hero in Earth's history.

Much later in the movie and 110-something years later, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) is Nexus'ed after failing to stop Soren's mad scientist plan -- it involves a supernova and the destruction of a solar system. His happy place is a fictional family on Christmas in what appears to be Victorian England. I guess it's always Christmas Eve in this universe? His real-world nephew is a part of this family, and the whole idea is that Picard's most intense regret is spending his entire adult life alone, married to his Starfleet work, without a family of his own.

Why is this nephew included? We saw this nephew in exactly one episode of the series. He lived in a vineyard in rural France. Well, because near the beginning of the movie, we have an amateurishly written scene with terrible mistake of editing and writing that left me believing that the director and producers never watched the whole movie. When Counselor Troi visits the Captain and asks him what's wrong (he's clearly upset over something), he tearfully informs her that his nephew Phillipe "burned to death in the fire."

Not "a fire," but "the fire," as if there was a mention of a fire earlier in the movie (which there wasn't). Of course, Picard is an emotional wreck as he says this, so you can say "Oh, he forgot that he didn't tell anyone about a fire at the house in France," but damnit, it should have been "he died in a fire." This is the sort of error I'd expect from a fan film, not a major Paramount release with an estimated $35 million budget. The line might have even got past the audience -- if it wasn't in a room full of rabid Trekkies. I'm frankly bewildered that there's no mention of it on the IMDB. I fast-forwarded to the scene, courtesy of Hulu, to verify that it was how I remembered hearing it. It is exactly how I remember it.

Picard, in the Nexus, meets up with a "shadow" of spirit guide Guinan, (Whoopi Goldberg). It is not adequately explained how she got into his vision. Then again, they never did explain anything about Guinan's mind powers. Guinan tells Picard that he can find help via another occupant of the Nexus: Kirk! So what happens when these two sci-fi icons unite for the first (and only) time? It must be something incredible. We've been waiting the whole movie for this. Hell, as soon as the Next Generation series hit its stride, we were waiting for this! It's going to be great when they're on the bridge of the Enterprise together, yeah? Yeah! So what do they do when they meet?

They cook eggs and ride horses. ... ... ... Yep. Granted, after Picard is able to convince Kirk to leave the Nexus with him, they also stop the mad doctor from activating his missile in a clumsy comedy of errors/fight, but the majority of their time is spent in and around a rural cabin. Shatner is an actual horseman, and I fear that this was probably written into his contract when he signed on for this turkey. "Mr. Shatner wants a scene where he rides his prize horse Daisy." "Consider it done." Kirk dies, but William Shatner brought him back in a series of (presumably ghost-written) novels. I read a couple of them. I've read worse fan fiction.
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[23 May 2011|06:09pm]
I watched "A Streetcar Named Desire" recently for the first time. It's not as funny as the Simpsons' 'Streetcar!' musical led me to believe.
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morbidity [04 May 2011|07:32pm]
Has anyone ever Rickrolled a memorial service? "He never gave me up. He never let me down. He never ran around or deserted me." I've asked my friends and loved ones to promise that they will do this at my funeral if I pre-decease them. Also, zombie jokes please. Other requests: please make sure that the buffet at the wake is a table full of various awesome pies. No other food. Just pie. Everyone must come dressed as their favorite Marvel villain. No heroes. This isn't a wedding. It's a funeral. I want to see Thanos and Sebastian Shaw in the audience. At my graveside service, instead of flowers, please throw Triscuits. That way if I'm not really dead and I have to scratch and crawl to the surface, it'll be delicious.
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Google Chrome's spell-check dictionary doesn't know the word 'Duckverse'? [11 Feb 2011|10:37pm]
In Duckburg and indeed, the entire Duckverse, gold coins lack the density that they have in the otherwise 'normal' universe (our Earth) and therefore, a person (or, rather, a duck-person) can dive and swim through them.

In the animated short "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (1983), the young Scrooge McDuck's fiancée was portrayed by Daisy Duck. Daisy Duck is the girlfriend of Scrooge's nephew (Donald). Scrooge and Daisy had only one scene together in the short, and as in the original novel, they do not kiss or show any affection toward each other. Despite this, this seems like tremendously awkward casting unless, of course, the short took place in an alternate parallel universe where the characters all lived in Victorian England. I would ask native Oregonian Carl Banks about this controversy, except he died in 2000.
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On watching game one of the World Series and my beloved San Francisco Giants [27 Oct 2010|08:21pm]
"Hey, Nolan Ryan is there."
"Isn't he dead?"
"Yes, they dug up his casket and put it in the chair and it's covered in worms and beetles." 
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my email to the author of famous webcomic xkcd [25 Sep 2010|08:09pm]
(No, seriously, I actually sent this email to internet celebrity Randall Munroe.) 

Dear Mr. Munroe,

Let me preface the body of an email with a statement: I have enjoyed your comic for a couple of years now, ever since being introduced to it by my computer programming doctorate friend who will often explain to me the jokes that I do not immediately understand.

Now ... I met a woman at my friend's bar on Monday, Sept. 20. She complimented me on my zombie t-shirt as I was walking past, and I ended up sitting down to converse with her (Tiffany Ann) and her married friend. We ended up talking for the next 90 minutes or so. But I did find out that she's a big fan of the Beatles (as am I), she has a small dog named Gandhi AND ... when the subject of comics came up (!!!), Tiffany Ann brought up xkcd as I opened my mouth to do so.

I would love to be able to talk more with Tiffany to see if she is indeed as awesome as she seemed at first meeting. I did not find out if she is single and I did not acquire her phone number or email. I don't know there was ever a good opportunity for exchanging info.

Now, since I have no way to contact her (other than to hope with all of my brain that she comes back to my friend's bar), is there any way you would be willing to play matchmaker? I'm sure you don't do "requests" and I don't think you draw inspiration from fan email, but I thought there was no harm in asking. I would be willing to donate to your favorite charity in exchange for this favor. On the off off off chance that you can help, my email address will be meet.me.again.tiffany.ann@gmail.com.

I totally understand if you do not want to get involved. I will still love your comic.

Portland, Oregon
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Terrible Movies I Saw In The Theater (part III) [19 Aug 2010|11:10pm]
"VOLCANO" (1997)

Christ. When it comes to my cinematic taste, I have more than a few sheepish vices. For example, I love disaster movies -- which resulted in my seeing this movie in the theater and watching most of the first part of "10.5" on NBC in 2004. Even by the low standards set by disaster movies, "Volcano" is awful. Thank goodness I saw it alone because I would have hated to be responsible for inviting another soul to this silly tripe. But, on the other hand, how many movies can you name where a minor character sacrifices his life to save a fallen comrade, and as a result, he melts in a large pool of lava? He melts. What about "Raiders of the Lost Ark"?, I hear you asking. That melting was caused by ghosts. And those ghosts only melted the Nazi's faces. This is lava, Kyle.

"Volcano" stars Tommy Lee Jones as a Los Angeles emergency official and Anne Heche as a geologist. Gaby Hoffmann plays Tommy Lee Jones' daughter, and in the movie's last act, she's babysitting several youngsters in an emergency shelter. They're passing the time by playing "Rock-Paper-Scissors" --which is not a game that you use to pass the time, even with very small children. The only reason for their playing this game is so a little boy can ask "What beats lava?" and so Gaby Hoffmann can reply, "My dad. I hope." This is just a sample of this movie's absurdity. The movie even ends with a racial allegory when the same little boy observes that with everyone covered in ash, "everyone looks the same." From the mouth of babes. See how horrible disasters bring the city together? There is no romantic subplot in this movie. Thank god for small favors. I think Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche casually hug at some point. And we get to see that if the city of Los Angeles suffers through a volcano crisis, they will almost immediately set up an emergency animal hospital and just as immediately cover it on the news.
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how I know I'm a giant dork, explained [20 Jul 2010|09:30pm]

Um, shouldn't the Human Torch be saying "Nick Fury is going to kill ADOLF HITLER!" instead of "Nick Fury is going to KILL Adolf Hitler!"? It's not surprising that Nick Fury is going to kill someone, even a famous insane genocidal dictator. Nick Fury has killed probably hundreds of people. Johnny Storm should be surprised that it's Hitler. It's not like Hitler is hanging around New York City in July 1986, when this issue was published. If we want to be totally accurate, the statement should really read "The commander of SHIELD apparently time traveled to GERMANY IN 1940! And I'm there too with She-Hulk and my older sister! And Nick Fury is gong to kill comedian Harvey Korman impersonating ADOLF HITLER!"
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[21 Jun 2010|04:56pm]
I was looking at myself in my office's restroom mirror and realized that I have a giant head. I'm surprised my neck can support this thing. I should have to sleep in a special way, like the Elephant Man. I was walking through the forest the other day and these two people tried to put a saddle on me. I'd say more, but it's time for me to strap on a feedbag for my dinner.
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never what you would call a charming bar patron [02 May 2010|12:41am]
A lovely woman asked me for my phone number while we were sitting next to each other at my favorite/only bar, the Tugboat Brew Pub where my friend LG works. This was after an excellent and amusing conversation with her and her friend/sometime more-than-friend from Rhode Island. We, in fact, exchanged phone numbers.

Um, what just happened? Who am I?

To say that I do not have the foggiest idea of what to do would be a gross understatement.
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the economic turmoil of Oz [22 Apr 2010|04:11pm]
How can the Emerald City possibly maintain any sort of financial health when (by their own admission (by song)), they "get up at twelve and start to work by one / take an hour for lunch / and then by two [they're] done"? I wouldn't call that jolly good fun.
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staged kisses [06 Apr 2010|11:32pm]
When I was still acting regularly, back in high school, I would liked to have a stage kiss. I've had real kisses. Plenty. But I've always wanted to have a kiss on stage. In high school, I was invariably cast in small roles, but like the nominee for Best Supporting Actor who stands no chance of winning an Oscar, I was just happy to be there. I also participated in a musical theater revue group where I regularly got to dance with girls, sometimes with my arms around their waist, but never close to getting kissed. Maybe a pantomime kiss once.

I played Frances Nurse in a high school production of "The Crucible" because ten male students auditioned, and, fortunately for the director, there were ten roles for men. This might have been a blow to my ego, only being cast because our director needed to fill a quota, but like I said, I was happy as a un-chowder'ed clam. Frances has the fewest number of lines than any other male character, beating out Cheever and Willard. On the bright side, I got to be on stage for long stretches of Act I and Act II, looking concerned and/or distraught. The character was in his 70's and married, but he never appears with his wife on-stage. I mention this because I tried to weasel my way into a cameo in the last scene, when we see Rebecca Nurse being taken away to her execution, but ultimately, I had to concede that there'd be no reason for him to be there in the jail cell.

The stage kiss in high school would have presented a bit of a situation, since I didn't kiss anyone at all until college. (Imagined exchange (in high school): Me: "I've never kissed anyone before." Her: "Don't worry, we'll go slow.") I imagine it would have confused my vulnerable/brainless heart if I'd kissed someone during a play, since it was a kiss that didn't mean anything outside of our performances. But since I hadn't ever been kissed or ever kissed anyone, I must have relished the idea that not only was this kiss prescribed by the script, we'd have to rehearse the kiss... several times a day, once the play was blocked. I'd learn how to kiss (it does require practice) in a "safe" setting. My co-star wouldn't be able to break up with me. Perhaps it would have made me less neurotic and the actual real-life romantic first kiss would have come sooner and easier.

Going back to "The Crucible", there was only one major kiss in the entire play. It was scripted by Arthur Miller as an embrace, but from the situation, it seems clear that it should be a kiss. It comes at the very end of the play, twenty brief lines before the conclusion. I was curious about what went into this passionate kiss so I asked my friend M. about it specifically. M. played Elizabeth Proctor. She said that the actor who played John Proctor 'A' encouraged their meeting up for rehearsal on weekends, but she began to wonder if he had actual romantic intentions. Knowing the sort of clueless guy that I was/am, I probably would have tried something similiar if I'd been cast as John Proctor. ("We've already kissed, why not make a pass?") 'M' was decidedly not interested in 'A'. What she said to me was when it came to that passionate kiss, "part of me wanted to slap him." This wasn't said in a mean way, more as a matter of fact. Apparently, perhaps a by-product of his tendency to overact, his passionate kiss was a bit too passionate.

"Perhaps a stage kiss would have made me less neurotic and the actual real-life romantic first kiss would have come sooner and easier"? Or perhaps not.
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never what you would call a "party-goer" [05 Mar 2010|08:52pm]
For most of my childhood, from age six until my graduation from high school, I was involved with the Music School in Sunnyvale, California. Every spring, the school would produce a massive musical revue, starring all the students from all the age groups. After the last performance, there would be a cast party, usually on the patio of the auditorium/basketball court where the productions took place. Cake, ice cream, several thousand cookies, soda, kids running everywhere, lots of posing for photos. The party would last well into the night and finish with the set being disassembled. However, the summer production parties were even more awesome because the casts were smaller and that meant the school's director (Mrs. H) would host a cast party in her Cupertino backyard -- where there was a pool. Not incredibly unique for the San Francisco Bay Area, of course, but no child or young teen in his or her right mind will say no to swimming and eating junk food way into the night. It was marvelous. There would always be a table stacked with chips, candy, cookies, crackers, cake, and pieces of Jello cut in the shape of musical notes. I don't know which parent decided this was a staple, but I always ate several.

When I progressed to the teen group ("The Entertainers"), we also had our cast parties at the house. We also had plenty of junk food, but there would be a main course (pizza, burgers, fried chicken) that would eventually distract us from the pool. I don't remember ever being neurotic about taking off my shirt around these teen comrades. This is odd because at various times, I was swimming with Kathleen, Janette, Katy (Janette's sister) and Jennifer, four girls who were all the objects of strong crushes. No, I take that back. It's not odd at all. We were already performing "Rockin' Robin" and songs from "Cats" and "West Side Story" together, complete with choreography. Our musical theater bond rendered us embarassment-proof. But I was always very self-conscious about changing into my swimsuit in a strange bathroom. I was found that I could finish the whole change very quickly--sort of like Adam West in the Batman TV series.

For whatever reason, nightswimming lost its appeal in our teens. Too cold? Movies were included instead. We watched "LA Story" and a spontaneous balloon fight started during the end credits, accompanied by "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy" (1964) by Manfred Mann. During another party, the girls and boys separated. While boys watched "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (the first one), the girls watched "The Blue Lagoon" in another room. I had nothing to do with choosing the movies. When the group was at its apex (with the greatest assembly of performers and the best direction), we took trips to the beach (foggy, cold, but fun, many sand crabs captured and released) and the nearby Great America theme park. These were the only parties I attended that were not somehow connected to someone's birthday. And I always had an amazing time, which was not always a guarantee with a birthday party. It's a shame that no one thought, at the time, that we'd want to organize a reunion when we reached, say, our early 30's (as we all are now).

As a small postscript ... right around the corner from Mrs. H's home, where a lot of these parties were held, was the home of the girl who would be my first serious girlfriend when we were in both in our early 20's. It's more likely than not that our family's cars passed by each other. We met in Syracuse, New York -- not California, while her family had since moved to Illinois. The Music School's spotlight was borrowed from her junior high school in Cupertino. At different times, we operated the same spotlight. I always thought that was cool when we discovered this.
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greatest idea (today) [23 Feb 2010|01:14pm]
Ideas for the most famous dishes at the Pete Townsend-themed restaurant: Let My Love Open-Faced Sandwich and Let My Love Open the Orange Chicken.

So topical! Referencing a song from 1980!
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farewell Jack [20 Feb 2010|01:55am]
The last known surviving World War I veteran in the Canadian military, John Henry Foster "Jack" Babcock, died on Thursday Feb. 18, 2010. Jack did not see any action, due to his age, but he was enlisted and trained with the Young Soldiers Battalion. I did not know this, but there are only three verified World War I veterans still living. Two are from the UK, one is female (she served as a waitress with the Women's Royal Air Force), one served in both world wars, and one is from the United States (link). Strange to think that eventually, there will be only a few remaining World War II veterans.
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recurring dream [07 Feb 2010|12:04pm]
I wanted to write about my most common recurring dream. As a child, I used to have a recurring horrific nightmare and thankfully, that one hasn't emerged since 2002 when I was sick and fell asleep on a futon in the middle of a summer day. I'm pretty sure that my fever and the warmth of the afternoon temporarily boiled my brain and this old piece of flotsam rose to the surface. The other one (benign and relatively peaceful) has become increasingly common to the point where I might start dreading its unoriginality--but that won't happen. It's set in a fictional metropolis. Only recently did I figure out that I designed this city as a perfect locale where everything is created with my preferences in mind. There's no plot to the dreams set in this city, I'm simply wandering around. Sometimes I'm in a car or on a bike, but usually I'm on foot. I've been there so often, I can describe the city in detail.

The video store still deals primarily in VHS and I seem to have invented most of the titles out of whole-cloth. This store used to have an adults-only area and you had to crawl through a short door to get to it. Although I seem to remember that there was (softcore) pornography in this room, the adult-only horror movies were also stored here. They have since renovated, and this area no longer exists. A few miles outside of town is a lovely (albeit foggy) beach, a river, and forest trails. For some reason, the river has crocodiles and water buffalo. The zoo seems to be poorly staffed and poorly maintained, but the animals seem happy enough. The staff at the hamburger joint are consistently rude -- but the food's so good.

The mall (several stories tall) is impossible to navigate and I regularly get lost trying to find my car. The mall's toy store carries toys that are variants on toys that I enjoyed when I was very young (Star Wars), its video game arcade is filled with games that I seem to have invented myself... including one where Hulk Hogan fights crime... The amusement park has a monorail, a log flume ride with a drop that lasts something like five minutes, and terrifying rollercoasters. (I don't even like rollercoasters (but apparently I do)). There's an Eiffel Tower-like structure in the middle of the city's ocean, and while you climb ladders to get up it, you have to jump off of it (into the water) to get down. The library and the used bookstore has (fictional) LPs that I never purchase. The last time I "visited" this bookstore, I was with my father and I commented to him that the last time I was here, I was with my ex-girlfriend. (I can't remember ever doing this.) Also, the owner of the bookstore immediately pointed me to the section where he thought I wanted to go (graphic novels). I resented his assumption. Another time I woke up cursing myself for putting the records down and not putting them "on hold."

Some of these places seem to have been pieced together from other real-life examples in my mind, which makes sense. For example, the CD retailer resembles the one where I used to work in Mountain View, Calif. There are teachers I recognize working at the elementary school. The student lounges on the college campus are a lot like the ones from my four years at Lewis & Clark College, but the dorms are gigantic and the hallways are so narrow that one is constantly bumping into people. The residential areas have elements of Portland and elements of my hometown in California. A few times, I've entered the homes of strangers. I can't remember why, but I never have any "In Cold Blood" intentions. It's like I'm just passing through.
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Shame! Oh, wait! [10 Jan 2010|08:45pm]
At the beginning of the The Simpsons anniversary TV special, narrator/director Morgan Spurlock mentioned "NW Lovejoy St" as one of the things influenced by the Simpsons phenomena. Nice research, Fox writers.

Edit: oh wait, they just spoke at length at the fact that Portland influenced the Simpsons. Not the other way around.
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oh, the things you find when you're looking through old computer folders [07 Jan 2010|07:30pm]
This dates back to probably 2000 or 2001, when I was living with college friends:

My best friend loves his girlfriend
and I asked him, does he love his girlfriend as much as, say,
he loves cheddar cheese? Because he does love that:
he buys large blocks of cheddar every time he goes to the grocery store.
Is his girlfriend good with crackers? I continued.
You should ask her, I said, or
you could slice her into small cubes
and buy some Wheat Thins
and eat crackers with her.
Or you could buy the Wheat Thins first.
It's a different kind of love, he said, and turned on the TV.
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What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him [24 Dec 2009|12:57pm]
In downtown Portland, there used to a billboard advertising two State Farm insurance agents, one male and one female. They smiled down on motorists accompanied by their phone numbers in case you want to call them while you drive toward SW Burnside to get a drink at Mary's Nude Revue (or wherever you're going). I don't know if insurance agents and realtors have indisputable data that proves that plastering their mugs on bus stop benches and large signs along major roads increase their revenue, but that's not why I'm mentioning this. I'm mentioning this because the female insurance agent's name was Angel Devllin. I have added an extra letter in this name so that Ms. Devllin and her family/friends/clients do not find this blog when they're bored and Google her name... because I plan to go off a little.

If she was born with this name, did her parents think that they were being funny? When parents include a pun in their child's name (we all have our (least) "favorite," no need for examples here), do they understand that they are naming a human being and not a guinea pig? If Ms. Devillin's parents were responsible for this name, I want their sense of humor surgically extracted from their brain. With a rusty spoon found on a beach. Imagine Mrs. Devillin speaking to Mr. Devillin while holding their still bloody newborn: "Let's name her Angel! That will be funny!" "You're right!" Mr. Devillin replies. "This clever joke will be with our daughter for the rest of her life, until she dies, when it'll be etched into her headstone." "What about all of the lame jokes she will get about her name?" "It will build character, my darling."

Adult film starlets weren't around when Ms. Devillin was a child in the mid-1950's, but strippers existed. You could imagine someone named Angel Devillin working at Jack Ruby's Carousel club in Dallas, circa 1962. And tell me, with a straight face, that you wouldn't circle this name if you were playing a rousing game of "Guess the Actual Porn Star Names" in an issue of Maxim.
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