Friday, April 29, 2005

Where the Hell Do You Get the Cake Mix?

Super blast-from-the-past ex-roommate Nate sent me some pictures he took at the video game art show. I figure I should post some pre-Coachella, because I will want to post my Coachella pictures and by then these will seem passé, but these are all I feel like posting right now. So suck on that.

The "Ladies of Nintendo" series by Katie Nice/Katie Rice.


Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, envisioned as grenades by Peter Gronquist.


This cool wall-mounted sculpture based on Tron, by some unknown artist. (And with everybody's favorite shutterbug reflected in the piece's mirror surface.)


This rendering of an Excitebike cyclist, by Sean Clarity.


And ROB, the Robotic Operating Buddy, being his cool self. Artist unknown.


Thanks for the photos, Nate. But a thought: maybe you can find a way to turn off the ugly Bart Simpson yellow numbers at the bottom?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

"The Blob Got Me, Lisa. Don't Touch Me or It'll Get You Too."

Jesus. I'm linking to Sanam's picture of Holly's friend Nick's arm. It is encrusted with the venom of a poison oak monster. Jesus Jesus Jesus. Tell Sanam I say hi.
[ link: yellow blob monster of horrible ]
Or, if you like, you can just look at my smaller, ganked version of the image below. But know that the big version is so much better. And by "better," I mean "worse."


Remember that paper on "Kublai Kahn" that I started at, like, two in the morning? Yeah, that got a big, fat A. I re-read it and I actually think the grade might be deserved. Oh, and I guess I'm going to Coachella this weekend. Wish me sunscreen.

The Laughing Fish

So I'm bored and looking random things up online and I stumble on this official site for the Sutton, Barth and Vennari Talent Agency. (Easily one of the pukiest combinations of surnames I've ever heard.) The exclusively represent voice talent — people to make words for commercials or cartoons or stuff like that. And, so you know what you're getting when you pay, they have sound clips of the various actors showing off their range.

What's cool is that they have people I actually recognize. For example:
  • Nia Vardolos, who apparently does voice work.
  • Patrick Warburton, a.k.a. David Putty.
  • Jen Taylor, the voice of Princess Peach and Toad.
  • Diane Pershing, the voice of Poison Ivy.
  • Jennifer Hale, who's immediately recognizable doing the Ms. Keane voice from "Powerpuff Girls" — and later, Princess Morebucks.
  • Dee Bradley Baker, who does Viewtiful Joe, even though I could have swore it was the guy who does Fry from "Futurama"
  • And Chuck D. (Isn't a little sad to hear a former member of Public Enemy doing voice work for commercials?)
They skip around from one voice to another, so listening to them is a bit like being trapped inside a schizophrenic's head, but it's still interesting because I never really thought about how you'd advertise a person without showing their face.

If You're a Taurus, See Your Florist

Way cool article up about Norman Lear at the The Onion A.V. Club. If you don't know, Lear created a lot of great TV shows, like "All in the Family" and "Good Times" and "Maude." (He also created "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," which no one knows but totally rocks nonetheless. Louise Lasser owns me.) Anyway, it mentioned a show called "704 Hauser."

I had never heard of "704 Hauser."

"All in the Family" has a ton of spin-offs, including "Maude," "The Jeffersons," "Gloria," and "Archie Bunker's Place," but apparently "704 Hauser is one too. So I looked into it. Apparently, Lear developed this show in the mid-nineties. Though short-lived, it starred a then unknown Maura Tierney and centered on a multi-ethnic family moving into Archie Bunker's old house. I never even heard about this show while it was on, but apparently people weren't shocked by a black guy sitting in Archie's old chair.

If anything, I guess that shows people progressed a little since 1971.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Another You So I Could Love You More

I had a dream last night in which I found out that my life had been a delusion. In the dream, I found out that I had died in a car accident I had last summer as I was pulling away from the Nexus retreat in Oceano and I saw the semi just in time to pull onto the shoulder and shit my pants. (Not literally.) It blared at me as it drove by, but I was fine. In the dream version of events, I hadn't been so lucky and the past year had just been my brain's cute little way of fucking with me. I woke up completely awake but not really startled. Strange dream.

What I've Been Working For

New reporters are goofy. The best story I have so far about anything they've done involves the 69-cent lock-in fee A.S. Student Lobby was trying to get students to vote for in last week's election. I tell the new reporters to write catchy ledes, especially for stories people might not read otherwise. The guy we assigned to do the story wrote the following: "Normally when you hear about sixty-nine, you think of dick-to-mouth, mouth-to-puss fucking, but this A.S. Student Lobby is asking students for that much in a new quarterly lock-in fee." Or something like that. The last part actually escapes me, but I'm certain the original draft of the first part definitely used the phrase "dick-to-mouth, mouth-to-puss fucking." Not "pussy." "Puss." Yikes. When we asked him to re-write the lead, he came up with something along the lines of "Normally when you hear about sixty-nine, you think of simultaneous fellatio-cunnilingus, but this A.S. Student Lobby is asking students for that much in a new quarterly lock-in fee."

The Dust of this Little Town

It's been bouncing around like a drunken Slinky bouncing down the steps of the Vatican.

Out with it, then, I always say.

Two stylistic writing devices I have absolutely no tolerance for are rhetorical questions and the use of italics to denote emphasis. I just wish I could come up with a good reason besides "I just don't like them." The rhetorical questions, I feel, are dumb because anything you could pose as an interrogative could just as easily be phrased in the declarative. I guess, then, it's a matter of being succinct. (Watch it, though, because I use a rhetorical question in my column tomorrow.) As for the emphatic italics, I think they're dumb just because the writing should be clear enough that the reader would know what to emphasize. Just sitting there, midsentence, I feel the italics treat the reader like he or she is too stupid to figure that out on their own.

Hail to the Orange Kid

And here's the photodocumentation from the last half of Saturday: Megan and Drew do the fair.





"Yoyo" minus one "yo" equals, apparently, "yo." (Therefore, "yo" equals two?)


— Hi, son! I won you this toy!
— Wah! It's horrifying?
— No it's not! It's jolly!
— Wah! I hate it!
— No! Silly Snake wants to be your friend!
— I hate you! And I hate my new mommy! And I hate Silly Snake!




And then we saw my old roommate Jill at the fair. Apparently she works there now. Jill looks like shit. How ya doin' there Jill!



"Hey kids! Do lots of drugs if you want to be happy like me!"





In retrospect, I see that taking a picture of my first-ever funnel cake would have been a good idea.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Wrong Kind of Lesbian

In order to protect Sanam's ability to be employed, her screenname has been digitally altered.

kidicarus222: so, you know how cynthia nixon is dating a woman now?
thanampootri: I've heard reports that she's married to a man, and that she's been in a long-term lesbian relationship
thanampootri: so I have no clue what's going on with her
kidicarus222: well last night i found a picture of "her" and she is genuinely one of the ugliest women i have ever seen. click here if you wanna see.
kidicarus222: and i found it last night by accident, kind of, and i was disgusted but i was 3 a.m. and i had no one to share my horrifying discovery with
thanampootri: omg!
thanampootri: she IS hideous!
kidicarus222: i know!
kidicarus222: portia de rossi did so much better
kidicarus222: if you gonna become a lesbian, then fucking date a woman who looks like a woman
thanampootri: omg seriously
thanampootri: total man troll
kidicarus222: we can all learn a lesson from cytnhia nixon
thanampootri: once you get famous, dump your unattractive partner?
kidicarus222: but this "woman" is new... she divorced her husband to be lesbians with her
thanampootri: maybe she has a really big... vagina?
thanampootri: personality?
kidicarus222: maybe she rings the bells in notre dame

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Kero Kero Kaboom

Ha. "Exploding Toads Baffle Experts."

Pixel Pixies

I found some more images from the i am 8-bit show. They're posting in a gallery at IGN. Again, I gotta direct attention towards the work of the artists who drew the "Women of Nintendo" series, which included the Samus drawing I posted on Thursday as well as a Peach, a Daisy and a Zelda. According to the official website, the artist's name is Katie Rice, which sounds a lot like the name of last year's sex columnist. But they're almost 100 percent not the same. But I can only find a website for a Katie Nice, whose work seems to consist solely of stylized cartoon women not unlike the ones she exhibited the show.

If anybody knows the difference between Katie Rice and Katie Nice, I'd like to hear about it.

Shoot Your Mouth If You Know Where You're Aiming

I've been listening to Beck's Guero almost exclusively since I bought it. Just as I predicted, the album that initially seemed foreign and strange and not so good quickly grew on me and I now heartily recommend it to anyone with even a passing affinity for Mr. Beck Hanson. Once you get past the hollow poppiness of the debut track's chorus, it's a solid album. Also, that shitty chorus is easily compensated by the similar but so-much-better chorus on "Rental Car."

Bonus trivia: According to Rolling Stone, the role of the Japanese waitress on my personal favorite track, "Hell Yes," is played by Christina Ricci.

Bonus bonus trivia: Apparently, the original title of Beck's "Devil's Haircut" was "Electric Music and the Summer People," which he later used for a track on his album Mutations.

Some Graphics From the Eight-Bit Era

Just imagine the art was cool too. (It was.)

Here's Megan and Woody playing Super Mario Bros. with the giant NES controller.



And here's me.



And here's one of the deocrations they had on the windows. Again, not nearly as cool as the artwork they had for sale, but it's what I got. I believe that's supposed to be Pauline's purse from Donkey Kong resting on Mario's head.



I was supposed to meet up with Nate. He never showed, so I settled for a fake old friend. It sounds lame, but it was nice seeing somebody from my past.

A Thousand Eyes Turning Blue

And it turns out I enjoy the weekend a lot more when I do things I don't normally do. At the same time, doing these things apparently give me a stomach ache

I think it's strange that we celebrate the late Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, under whose council the United States moved towards civil rights, with a fairgrounds in Santa Barbara. I like civil rights and all, but I doubt many people were thinking about Earl Warren the man when they were at Earl Warren the showgrounds, stuffing their face those wonderful carnival foods-on-a-stick: corn dog, candy apple cotton candy, roasted corn on the cob.

In any case, I saw the Violent Femmes. They did a great job — way better than I would have expected from guys who have been performing for the past twenty years. They played a nearly two-hour set. Highlights: the xylophone solo in "Gone Daddy Gone" and the conch solo — yes, conch solo — in a song I had never heard before. Also worth noting: the lead singer looks like George Costanza with hair. Lowlights: Kristen's roommates turning into a drunk girl hive mind and feeling gross after ingesting so much junk food.

The next morning, I woke up sober and non-hungover and met the Nexus art crew for a day trip to Melrose to see the i am 8-bit show. Good stuff. Turns out a lot of people think about video games as much as I do. Wish I had pictures of the actual artwork, but I'll post what I snapped later.

Not so good: Pink's, the high-end hot dog stand we ate at afterwards. In retrospect, I can't imagine how ordering something called the "pastrami burrito hot dog" could have ended well. Picture grease soup with two hot dogs, melted cheese and shredded pastrami poorly contained in a tortilla and you'll get an idea of why I had another stomach ache later. (Honestly, whoever thought putting hot dogs, pastrami and burrito into the same entity is a madman, Frankenstein-style.)

Then, defying all logic, I returned to the fair. Megan gave me my first funnel cake experience — stomach ache, later — and wondered how Tiny the not-so-tiny ticket vendor might have ended up as a carnie. (My guess: "I was sniffing nail polish remover with my friends and when I woke up, I was here.") And then getting a shrimp platter at Carrows, which turns out to be fairly deadening while sober. Also, I went to bed with a stomach ache. Bleh.

I'm not going to eat anymore.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Kirby, Take Me Away!

And remember how I said I was happy someone was finally making movies that appeal to me?

Okay.

Check out this art show: i am 8-bit.

Finally, someone has made something that specifically suits my interests. Even better, it's in LA. Nate, Megan, Geo, Batalla, Franzese, associated nerds — we must go to his. Now. I am particularly impressed the following:

the super-deformed Samus by Katie Nice


a very Genndy Tartokovsky-looking Blanka by Jorge Gutierrez


and Mario power-up madness by Thomas Han

Jill's Secret Double Life

All this recent talk about Jill — to the feds, to Meghan — reminded me about a special glimpse into the life Jill's been hiding from us all this time.
[ link: the sick, sad world of Jill Andres ]

The Hills Are Alive

Holy shit.

Remember when I saw "The Happiness of the Katakuris"? That musical about the family living on the foothills of Mount Fuji? And their first guest commits suicide and they bury the body because no one would want to stay in the suicide suite? And then all the other guests die? And it's a musical? And it begins and ends with claymation?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ack-Ack

Up for more than thirty-six hours straight. Whee.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ack

And the second worst thing is that I waited until 1 a.m. to even start my paper for 103B, at which point I realized I left the sheet with the prompts in my cubbyhole at the Nexus, drove from my cozy Bath Street bungalow to the newsroom to retrieve this piece of paper and finally returned at 1:30 with it, as well as two orders of Jack in the Box 99-cent tacos and a large coffee.

And the number one worst thing is that I chose to write this rather than write the paper because I am really that bad of a procrastinator.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Why Roy G. Biv Ruined Everything

A conversation, reproduced more or less verbatim.
Guy I know: So I guess you're not voting Student's Party, huh?
Me: Why would you say that?
Guy I know: Your shirt. It's orange.
Me: So?
Guy I know: All the Student's Party people are wearing green.

[I stare blankly.]

Guy I know: And orange is the opposite of green.
Me: No, red is the opposite of green.

[Guy I know stares blankly]

Me: You know. Like on the color wheel.

[ Guy I know stares blankly. ]

Me: Like how in the spectrum, every primary color's opposite is the combination of the two other primary colors? Like blue and orange? And yellow and purple? Like that?
Guy I know: Ah, but there's the problem.
Me: What?
Guy I know: What about indigo?

[ I bite the inside of my cheek. ]
Oh Roy G. Biv. You fucked us all up. You, whose name would appear to be a handy mnemonic device for remembering the colors of the rainbow, actually trick people into forming some very deluded ideas about the spectrum and colors in general.

The biggest problem with old Roy lies in the middle of his last name. Indigo really has no place in the spectrum. I've heard different theories on how indigo got there to begin with. Some blame Galileo, who observed the chromatic spectrum and balked when he counted six visible frequencies of light because six is number of beast — it approaches the divine number seven but falls just short, much like how Satan challenged God. Other people blame Isaac Newton, who arbitrarily stuck indigo in there to make the colors match up with the other neat groups of seven: seven days in a week, the seven notes in an octave (counting the repeated start-and-end note as one note, not two), the seven planets known at the time, the seven wonders of the ancient world and silly lists like these.

Either way, indigo doesn't belong. Indigo is a stupid color. Scientifically, it only occupies 20 short nanometers in wavelength — specifically 440 to 420. (Violet, conversely, occupies nearly twice that range.) It gets its name from the indigo dye, which itself is a poorly defined additive that can be extracted from a variety of plants — specifically woad and dyer's knotweed, according to the Wikipedia.

But I feel like any person who looks at the matter logically would conclude that indigo doesn't belong, even if they didn't know its history of lameness. The six-color spectrum makes more sense, at least superficially. It accounts for the three basic colors — red, yellow and blue if you're talking about pigment and red, green and blue if you're talking about light — and the three secondary colors that result from mixing two of the primaries — purple, green and orange if you're talking about pigment and cyan, magenta and yellow if you're talking about light. If you include indigo, you might as well include turquoise, chartreuse and scarlet too, because they're just as spectrum-worthy. Like indigo, these are just subtle variations along the spectrum.

The funny part about Roy G. Biv, however, is teaching it to kids as a means of remembering the rainbow prevents them from thinking about color in any other way. So while the six-color spectrum works, it in itself can be deconstructed as an arbitrary system of classification.

First of all, because color is a spectrum, you don't actually have to start at red. You can start anywhere. Hell, go nuts and start with fucking indigo. It doesn't matter because as you move from color to color you eventually end up back where you started. (I realize, of course, that "Oyg B. Ivr" doesn't mean much to English-speakers, but please disregard that for a moment.)

Furthermore, "red" itself is actually poorly defined. Where does red end? When does it yellow or blue overpower it and turn the hue into orange or purple? Is maroon a variation on red or a color in its own right? Depending on what the context or the viewer, it's no so easy to say. Scientifically, red's wavelength range spans from 630 to 670. It comes first because it's one of the lowest frequencies of light the eye can perceive, but red doesn't really have to end where red ends. If the scientists studying light and color — chromaticians? — so chose, they could have just divided up the visible spectrum into five sections instead of six. red would stretch just a little bit farther than we're used to used to, and then the other four colors could claim an equal share. We could eliminate a whole color — I nominate purple — though I would suppose that the old system of color names could just as easily be ditched for five new nonsense words. I nominate floop, blorp, sanam, hasan and aemon.

For example:


All the colors edge out just a little bit more than they normally would. You have to mentally accept a different "middle color" for each label and then remember how far the variations on that color go and you're all set with your new five-color spectrum. (The color aemon, for example, spans from what we would call true red all the way to deep maroon.)

This isn't really a revolutionary idea, however. I remember learning in a linguistics class that a lot of cultures don't use our model for color. (The more likely a culture is to study light waves scientifically, however, the more likely they would use it.) Some peoples only use a four-color model, and I remember one Native American group that just lumped all hues into two categories that best translated as "earth color" and "sky color" but means something along the lines of how we think of warm colors and cool colors. As a result, our words for color often don't translate well when dealing with certain groups. (In English, for example, the sun is yellow. In Drewspeak, the sun is sanam, but so is, say, an apricot or the inside of a lime. In English, an apricot would be a lighter shade of orange and the melon a light shade of green.)

Anyway, my point with all this is that the divisions along the spectrum in any context are basically arbitrary. My dad, for example, can't spot the difference between purple and blue and as a result will sometimes purchase some truly hideous "blue" shirts. He's the product of the apparently color-challenged New Zealand school system.

For practical purposes, maybe Roy G. Biv shouldn't be abolished, but I do think people should realize that Roy represents just one way to look at it. And, also, that indigo is a stupid, stupid color.

Conversations With Sanam

In order to protect Sanam's ability to be employed, her screenname has been digitally altered.

zanampitri: I just got your message
zanampitri: like, a half hour ago
zanampitri: I'm assuming you left it yesterday, yes?
kidicarus222: yep
kidicarus222: way to break my heart, sanny
zanampitri: it's not me! I swear! it's my phone!
zanampitri: my phone HATES you
kidicarus222: i guess i can't blame you for having a faulty phone
zanampitri: yes!
zanampitri: omg I'm in such a weird mood
zanampitri: I keep typing all these really odd things to you, then deleting them because I realize that if I act this way, you'll totally freak and totally stop considering me normal
zanampitri: or whatever you consider me now
kidicarus222: you're not normal
kidicarus222: you're sanam
kidicarus222: you're from marin
zanampitri: omg you are
kidicarus222: all your friends have weirdo names
zanampitri: what does marin have to do with it?
kidicarus222: weird city, usa
zanampitri: chuh, NOT
zanampitri: compared to hollister?
zanampitri: holl? is? ter?
zanampitri: marin is like Everytown, USA
kidicarus222: "oh my god, you guys! let's all be best friends from childhood and then go to college together and live our whole lives together with our supercool marin hivemind"
zanampitri: you can be self-loathing without hating your childhood.
zanampitri: you wish you were in the cult.
zanampitri: renaming yourself LeDrewSha and signing the pact with your blood
kidicarus222: droux
kidicarus222: drough
kidicarus222: dru with an umlaut
kidicarus222: over the r
zanampitri: derioux
zanampitri: mhahchey
kidicarus222: exactly
kidicarus222: hey, you're not just using me as a morgan lite, are you?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Old Drew, Young Drew

I finally found a picture of The Other Drew With My Last Name, the villain who seems to be outnumbering me in terms of Google hits. They mention here that he's the old guy in in the center of the picture, which you can enlarge. Not what I expected. One day I hope to eclipse this British Drew. The internet will be mine, old bean.

The Capital of Vietnam is Annoy

If anyone can think of a better way to spend my Sunday afternoon than reading assorted blogs, sorting zoo pictures and listening to downloaded music, I'd like to hear it.

Gibbon Racial Harmony



Slutmingos



Anywhere He Wants To



And finally, the good anteater picture I was unable to take the last time I went to the zoo. The baby is getting big, as you can see. He no longer rides on mom's back all day, though the zoo has taken to calling him Mochila, Spanish for "backpack." I insist that these animals are the strangest, most beautiful ones I have ever seen and I vow to kidnap them and raise them like puppy dogs — that eat ants.



And I'd also like to here if anybody knows a way I could post this awesome video of anteaters wrestling. Anyone?

Taint Misbehavin'

Drew's weekend link round-up — installment one of one.
  1. The Number of 'Fucks' in "Deadwood" — or, Do You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth, Pardner?
  2. A Roshanda by Any Other Name — or, The Difference Between Sean and DeShawn (an interesting theory on Caucasian names and African-American names, courtesy of Mr. Valles
  3. Eureka! Extraordinary Discovery Unlocks Secrets of the Ancients — or, Why Being a a Classics Major Just Got More Complicated. (Or, alternately alternately, It Turns Out Sophocles' Lost Plays Were Lost for a Reason.)
  4. Preparing a Living Will — or, God Bless The Onion.
  5. What's out at the Cereal Box: searching for "Moesko Island." What's in: searching for info on "Melissa Duck" or "Shirley the Loon." (God, I love people who use the internet.)
  6. And click here to see a picture of the gayest gay that ever gayed.

Scarecrow's Only Scaring Himself

Crashed at Roommate Meghan's because I had enough to drink that I didn't trust myself on the 101. Slept in little sister Ashley's bed and got the best night's sleep I've had in weeks. Realized that the futon has got to go. Chatted about the good old days of the Pasado House like we were forty already and referenced people like Jill and Moe and Nate and Taryn like they've been dead for a decade. Learned about the selfish gene and cowbird parasitism in the process.

I like Meghan. Not only is she the only other remaining member of Team Pasado left in the area, she's also a fellow recovering Catholic. We hit Cajun Kitchen and discussed some childhood realizations we both came upon at various points in our young lives.
  1. Everybody is not Catholic.
  2. Protestants are actually a majority.
  3. Protestants are not actually bad people.
  4. Most of the nationalities that are traditionally Catholic — Italian, Irish, Portuguese, Mexican, Filipino — are often considered among the "bad" immigrants that came to America, as opposed to the English, French and German Protestant types who, as I just discussed, are not necessarily bad people.
I just realized that for the last five years I've used the phrase "last quarter" to refer to my previous quarter at UCSB. Now, though, I've been using it to mean my last quarter — my last last quarter. And I guess I'll be using the phrase in that sense for the rest of my life.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Untold Coolness of Shirley the Loon

"Besides, in your next lives, you're all coming back as avocados. So there."

For reasons I could never explain, I can't stop thinking about Shirley the Loon today. You remember her, of course. She's the psychic waterfowl from "Tiny Toons." She has blonde hair and a pink shirt and she meditates and levitates and speaks like a valley girl.


Shirley is also the romantic interest for Plucky, the Daffy Duck analogue, which is strange because the metaphysically minded loon seems to have little in common with the petty Plucky. (Less often, I remember Shirley being pursued by Fowl Mouth, the Foghorn Leghorn analogue, who'd lace everything he'd say with bleeped profanities.)

Anyway, I can't imagine how the creators of "Tiny Toons" ever conceived of Shirley as a good character for a children's show. She was, it turns out, but the idea of her kind of baffles me. A psychic bird who likes to shop and talks like a ditz. When you really think about it, it's interesting social commentary that the character who cares most about materialistic matters and who peppers her speech with teeny-bopper jargon is the one who best understands the workings of the world. It's a mashing of extremes that's actually interesting from a literary standpoint — and all the more impressive because she's on a cartoon.

But Shirley is also an inherent inside joke that most kids probably never got.

I can remember that once or twice the characters on the show referred to Shirley not as "Shirley the Loon" but as "Shirley McLoon." This, of course, is a reference to Shirley MacLaine, the "Terms of Endearment" actress who became a bit of a new age guru in the 80s. MacLaine led some self-actualization seminars and wrote a book in which she discussed her past lives. Or something like that. I actually only put this together after flipping through a "Far Side" collection years ago and becoming puzzled by a cartoon in which a lizard sitting on a rock in the desert says to another lizard something like, "There it is again, that weird feeling that somehow in a past life I was somebody named Shirley MacLaine." My mom had to fill me in on MacLaine's unusual extracurriculars.

Making a reference to celebrities that children might not recognize certainly isn't unusual for Warner Bros. cartoons — "Looney Tunes" does it a lot and "Animaniacs" revived the tradition — but I still think it's odd that a fairly central character on "Tiny Toons" would be such a clear homage-parody to Shirley MacLaine, who wasn't especially popular at the time and certainly not as upfront about her new age beliefs.

On top of that, I like that her name is a pun on her "out there" status. She thinks she's psychic. She's a loon. She's Shirley the Loon.

I did a little research on Shirl and found out something else interesting. She was voiced by Gail Matthius. Matthius doesn't have an extensive filmography, but what's there is interesting. Apparently, when all the founding "Saturday Night Live" cast members left the show in 1980, Matthius took over co-hosting duties with Charles Rocket. That makes her the second female "Weekend Update" host and a kind of forerunner to Tina Fey, whose glasses I want to lick in a sexual fashion. (The other female "Weekend Update" hosts are Jane Curtain, Mary Gross, Christine Ebersole and, of course, Amy Poehler.)

Aside from "SNL," though, Matthius' work has consisted almost exclusively of doing cartoon voices — stuff like "The Tick" and "The Snorks." She's also the voice of Martha Generic, the valley girl sister on "Bobby's World," who, if you'll remember, talked exactly like Shirley the Loon. It's interesting, I guess. She can introduce herself at parties by saying "Hi. My name is Gail Matthius and though I used to be on 'Saturday Night Live,' I've made a career almost entirely out of my perfect valley girl accent."

I also found out that Shirley doesn't, as I have long suspected, suffer from "Skeeter Syndrome." You all might remember Skeeter as the other female character on "Muppet Babies." She's basically Scooter in drag and she doesn't really do anything besides balance out the nursery room gender ratio. (Honestly, you'd think Miss Piggy alone would have been woman enough. I will also point out that Mario Kart racer Toadette suffers from Skeeter Syndome and I hate her for it.) I had always suspected that Shirley had been born in a similar manner because she rounds out the corresponding group of girls — Babs, Fifi, Elmyra and herself — that matches up with the show's main male characters — Buster, Hampton, Montana Max and Plucky. The handy-dandy internet, however, teaches me that Shirley actually does have an analogue in the proper "Looney Toons" universe, albeit one of the most obscure ones: Melissa Duck.

No one has ever heard of Melissa Duck. She hardly even pops up on Google — and she's nowhere to be found on Google image search.

This makes sense, though. The She only appears in two episodes, "The Scarlet Pumpernickel" — an Errol Flynn parody — and "Muscle Tussle" — a short about the politics of dating on the beach. Both feature Melissa as Daffy's exasperated girlfriend. (And in that way, Melissa is kind of an avian Petunia Pig.) Like Shirley, Melissa 's a light-colored waterfowl with blonde hair, which is really about as much most of the Tiny Toons have in common with their antecedents.

The Warner Bros. people recently saved Melissa from total obscurity by including here in "Baby Looney Tunes,"a downright abominable show that I watched part of while coasting through a hungover weekday morning. It's basically "Muppet Babies" with bland, large-pupiled versions of Bugs, Daffy and the rest. (The toddler toons also wear diapers, which I find hilarious since most of them never wore clothes to begin with.) And, as you can imagine, Melissa's only there to balance out the gender ratio.

So, there's that.

Finally, all the online rummaging I did today turned up this, the character breakdowns that the applying voice actors read when the various roles in "Tiny Toons" were being cast. (Annoyingly, you have to navigate by clicking "next" to scroll through the various profiles.) A highlight: a description of Elmyra as "sweetness to the point of dementia." This whole post might seem like ridiculous overanalysis of something completely insignificant — and it probably is — but if you actually read about these characters — these variations of "Looney Toons" characters, obscure or not, that some people decided to repackage and offer to children not old enough to remember the original animated antics — you'll realize people put a lot of effort into creating these characters. They drew on Bugs Bunny and that group, but they pulled on Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Even though the backgrounds didn't always manifest in the final versions of the characters, the people who thought them up took the time to explain why the characters should be funny.

Read Shirley's profile and it's all there. "A juxtaposition of extremes," the text reads. Even though it's only a children's show, there's a lot going on beneath the surface. There are motives and thought and a creative process that leads me to believe that these things I remember from when I was younger actually have a certain value. They're not just vehicles for jokes. They're not just stupid cartoons. There's more there and thinking about it isn't a waste of time.

Now I'm thinking about that.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Rara Stereotype

And, finally, here's an email I received from a girl who answered the question I hadn't realized I posed in the second paragraph of my column.
I read your article in the nexus and you rhetorically asked if anyone could think of a question which would have fulfilled all the party themes you mentioned. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader = RaRa Stereotype, funny twist on the cowboy theme, athlete, if you wear a blonde wig you could pass for barbie, you pick a specific cheerleader and you're a D list celebrity, and of course, there's those girls on Made who want to be cheerleaders.. now you'd have to be down with the whole cross dressing thing, but that is usually a crowd pleaser if a guy can pull it off... so ya... that's what I thought of while sitting in psych today... thought I'd share.

Di, Lu and Mackiemu

And as long as I'm linking to articles of Nexus past, here's the whole of the Michael Jackson series we ran last week:

Needs Salt!

So weekly Humper Dave Franzese decides to write a column about on-campus sex and to drop my name in the section on gloryholes. That's always an association I've wanted to make. But good ol' Dave left out the interesting part. The infamous art complex mensroom — that's where Dave Franzese and I first met.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Antechamber of Hell

I just watched the most disturbing movie I've ever seen.

Late last quarter, I couldn't decide what write on for my final paper. I eventually proposed a comparison of the "orgy of blood" aesthetic in Dario Argento's giallo films to the "cinema of repulsion" that Pier Paolo Pasolini employs in his film "Salo." Pasolini had once been a controversial yet beloved director in Italy, but following his "trilogy of life" films — "The Decameron," "The Canterbury Tales" and "1001 Nights" — he became disgusted with mainstream cinema, the Italian public and life in general The result: Though I watched the whole thing, I kind of which I hadn't. It's just awful — finely filmed and acted and all that, but just so genuinely appalling. I feel like I couldn't have sex for a long time without remembering some of those depraved a"Salo," a loose adaptation of the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom.

The film's claim to fame lies not only in its depravity — though that's certainly a quality to be considered — but also in that Pasolini died shortly after he completed filming it. Conspiracy theories abound as to what lead to the death of Pasolini, a Catholic Marxist homosexual cultural icon, but officially he was murdered by a male prostitute who hit him with a car. Several times.

The films concerns the finals days of Mussolini's fascist rule in Italy. The small lakeside town of Salo became the Republic of Salo in late 1943. It was Mussolini's last remaining territory, and I've read that even today the name of the town is associated with debauchery and mass execution.

The plot is simple. Fascist soldiers kidnap Italian youths — male and female — and take them to a countryside villa. The film then splits into three parts: "The Circle of Obsession," which concerns sexual violation of the youths; "The Circle of Shit," which concerns the actual eating of feces; and finally "The Circle of Blood," in which all the remaining youths are systematically executed.

I never got to write the paper because the DVD of "Salo" came too late in the mail. I promised the professor for my Italian film class that she could have my copy, since I didn't have much use for a film so widely reported to be a reduction of humanity to its basest impulses.

cts I couldn't stop myself from watching. It's worse than "Irreversible" or "I Spit on Your Grave" or "Last House on the Left" or "Audition" or any of those. I think I even hated this movie more than "The Passion of the Christ." This actually stung my mind. I can't believe I watched this. I can't wait to get this movie out of my possession.

Though I watched the whole thing, I kind of which I hadn't. It's just awful — finely filmed and acted and all that, but just so genuinely appalling. I feel like I couldn't have sex for a long time without remembering some of those depraved acts I couldn't stop myself from watching. It's worse than "Irreversible" or "I Spit on Your Grave" or "Last House on the Left" or "Audition" or any of those. I think I even hated this movie more than "The Passion of the Christ." This actually stung my mind. I can't believe I watched this. I can't wait to get this movie out of my possession.

Jesus — what's wrong with me?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Carole King, You'd Better Watch Your Step

So a few weeks ago I freaked Spencer out when I likened Emily Dickinson to Cassandra, the character from Greek mythology whom I once wrote about in a paper for Professor Waid entitled "Hexed, Vexed Prophetess." If you think about it, Dickinson and Cassandra are both repressed female artists figures. Both have a talent for creating words, but both are denied a real audience. Cassandra has her curse; anyone who hears her prophecies immediately doesn't believe her. Only after the events she predicts come to pass does anyone realize that she's right. (And, eventually, Clytemnestra murders her.) Emily Dickinson writes all these poems, but she hides them in hat boxes in crazy spinster style. It's only once she's dead that anyone reads them and then they say, "Hey! Some of these are pretty good." So, in that sense, I think they're just a little similar.

And then I did it again.

I decided today that Medusa is another symbol for the female artist. Think about it: she's a woman who can turn any living thing she looks at into a statue representation of that thing. It's especially appropriate when you think about how the statue was a popular art form to show the human body. We still look at carvings in museums today and marvel about how well the artists depicted the tiniest human details.

Anyway, Medusa also works in the sense of the female artist being demonized. Female artists are often maligned in classical thought because the Muses — the spirits of artistic inspiration — are female and the whole process of creation is likened to sexual metaphor. The beauty of the Muse inspires the artist to make something, almost like creation itself is sex and the child of that copulation is art. Anyhow, a female artists throws the whole thing out of whack, because women shouldn't be producing viable offspring with Muses. Medusa reflects this, too. She may be a powerful artist that could have conceivably turned real-life people into highly detailed stone reproductions of them, but she's also one of the most famous, most fearsome monsters in Greek mythology.

Anyway, just a thought about that. (And honestly, I have no proof that either of these notions are Drew originals. I could have very well read about them or learned them somewhere, but I still think they're kind on interesting.)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Gnaborretni

This comes as a surprise.

I searched for "kidicarus222" and was surprised to find what would appear to be a formal proposal to add the inverted interrobang — otherwise known as the gnaborretni to UCS, the universal character set codes. And boy was I surprised to see that the document's author had sited me and my piddly little blog. Once the PDF opens, just CTRL+F my name and there I am. Random.
[ link: me, officially ]
And it's especially weird since I only posted that information a few weeks ago. Apprently, I'm not the only one thinking about obscure punctuation.
[ link: the original post, "The Etymology Round-Up" ]
According to the document, the idea was put forth by Michael Everson, whose job title is listed as "fontographer." That has to be the coolest job I've ever heard of. Well, Mr. Michael Everson, fontographer, if you ever read this post, thanks for citing my blog. And please tell me if the gnaborretni proposal ever went through.

Earthquake Weather

I found this neat little photo essay about Isla Vista. The shots are good — they're sunny and they make Isla Vista look ten times more pleasant than what it usually looks like. Worth a look, at least. It's generally a solid read.
[ link: The Other Other Drew ]

Even Sinister Trees Can Have Tire Swings

Friday, April 08, 2005

Semi-Sweet and Nuts

I'm a posting machine, today, I know, but oh my God — look at some of the promo posters for the new "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movie.
[ link: Wonktastic ]

The Hermaphrodite Who Has to Sit Outside

I amused Franzese, I think. Late last quarter, he proposed a joint venture for the Nexus comics page. He'd do the art, I'd write the script. I liked this, and even though the idea may have sprung out of a moment of hazy stoniness on his part, I didn't let him forget it. I really wanted to do it, but I unfortunately couldn't think of a single good idea. All the everything else going on — finals, the talk of talks, the concussion — have kept me from thinking about what I want to think about. Beyond that, the novella drained me of any creative energy. (The novella, by the way, has hardly changed form its original state. I can't bring myself to look at it since the quarter ended.)

So I was thrilled when a quick trip to the UCen bookstore yesterday somehow bore three separate ideas for a Dave-Drew venture. These are those three ideas, more or less how I presented them:
"Okay. This is an idea that begins with a funny title. I haven't thought through a plot yet, but just think what could come out of The Hermaphrodite Who Had to Sit Outside. You know, because I'd imagine if you were a hermaphrodite, you'd be asked to sit outside quite often."
It didn't grab him.
"Okay. This works in my mind as a single panel cartoon, but I still think it's really funny. You know those t-shirts that say "Someone at UCSB Loves Me"? Picture someone wearing one of them, only their dead and slumped in a gutter or something."
It didn't grab him.
"Okay. Something that always struck me as funny is a guy walking into his house or apartment or whatever and being savagely attacked by his furniture. Like, everything in his house in animate and just goes at him. What I can picture most clearly is a chest of drawers popping out the one draw that's at eye level repeatedly, hitting the guy in the face. And this all happens because objects we think are lifeless actually can think and feel and they deeply resent being used and abused by humans."
He went for it.

So now I'm working on thinking up situations in which this might be funny. I don't think it will be a linear story, so much as a series of vignettes dealing the uprising of objects. So far I have the following plots to work with:
  • Man brings new toilet home. Toilet does not realize he's a toilet. Other furniture explains the deal and the toilet becomes angry and sad.
  • For soda vending machines, producing a single can is a painful process not unlike childbirth. On top of this, the a machine must suffer the indignity of watching humans tear open her children's heads and drinking their blood right in front of her. This is why soda machines can be so finicky about accepting coins.
Big things, people. I promise big things — and then I deliver.

Red-Headed Little Girls Make Good Food for Sharks

And for god's sake, zoom in on the little dog's face.


Eudorigins

Though I was really rooting for her, Eudora Welty couldn't hold my attention. Sitting on the bench at Fiesta Laundry, Welty's musings on the history of the Natchez Trace lost out to a mosquito hawk that seem to be stalking an older black lady in a big hat. The lady never looked up from the pile of clean clothes she was folding, but I swear that mosquito hawk saw her as a big, juicy bloodsucker. That's how I saw it, anyway.

I can remember the first I ever heard about Eudora Welty. It was that episode of "The Simpsons" that has Jay Sherman, the critic from "The Critic." It's also the episode Matt Groening had his name removed from, because he felt FOX shouldn't use his show as a tool to boost the popularity of "The Critic." ("Simpsons" fanboys, by the way, hate the episode. Most hold at as the second worst episode ever, the first being with the one with the racing horse and the jockey gnomes.) Anyway, Jay Sherman lets loose this wall-shuddering burp at the Simpsons' dinner table in an effort to further trump all of Homer's skills. "How many Pulitzer Prize winners can do that?" Lisa asks. Sherman responds, "Just me and Eudora Welty. (Later, I think, we hear the burp again and Krusty makes a remark about meeting Welty for a date.)

And with that memory, it strikes me as funny that I have to read her for a class. She's quite good, really, but my mind is other places.

Rain on the Bolsa

When I called my parents, they were on the Bolsa already. Their flight left an hour ago. By the time I go to bed, they'll be in London. When I spoke with them, they said it was raining again. Now, it's raining in Santa Barbara too. I wonder what the weather will be like in London.

Ah! It's a Scary Hallway Monster

I almost forgot I did this. I'm taking Sorapure's advanced Flash class now, but pending my final project please have a look a The Freaky Tiki. (And make sure your sound is on.)

My Busy Weekend

Things to do before Sunday night:
  • Pay power bill
  • Laundry
  • Send sword to sword polisher
  • Write grocery list, novel (maybe both?)
  • Clean stovetop
  • Take haunted ice cube try to priest/rabbi
  • Interview possible entertainment for Cubby's birthday party: the magician, the clown, or that contortionist from the Philippines, "The Manila Folder"
  • Solve mystery of the Old Clock Tower
  • Patrol for robot attacks
  • Make antidote for that super poison I accidentally invented
  • Tune instruments for my reunion concert on Tuesday
  • Read!
  • Rescue Junie from Dr. Scorpion
  • Get crab recipe from Mrs. Blankenship
  • Kill Mrs. Blankenship
  • Bury Mrs. Blankenship
  • Make crab recipe
  • Tape "SNL"
  • Determine if ghosts from haunted toaster have spread to microwave

Thursday, April 07, 2005

A Styrofoam Brick Cracking in Half

And my post-concussion opnion article. You knew it was coming.
The Artful Dodger: Drew’s Concussion Follies
And Why Themed Parties Don’t Bode Well for his Sanity

If you give yourself have a concussion, don’t do it at a theme party. Concussions, the doctor tells me, can cause a person to feel disoriented. Coincidentally, so can lying down in a room and looking up at otherwise normal people dressed as a farmer, a diehard Avril Lavigne fan or a finely mohawked punk rock superstar.

Theme parties have spread throughout Isla Vista like a bad case of mono. This last weekend alone, various party hosts and hostesses expected me to be a cowboy, a celebrity, an athlete, a character from the Barbie universe and a protagonist from an episode of MTV’s “Made.” If anybody can think up a costume that would have dressed me appropriately for each of these alternate persona bashes, I’d love to hear it. The point, however, is moot, as my swift and involuntary movement to the floor prohibited me from ever progressing beyond my first stop, a dress-as-your-favorite-stereotype extravaganza.

Now, my memory cuts out during this part of the story somewhat, so I’ll have to relate the incident based on the testimony of the bizarrely dressed other people attending this fateful DP bash. I’m told my body went from standing perpendicular to the ground to lying parallel to it in a short amount of time. I’m told I wanged my noggin a good one. And I’m told I genuinely freaked out those standing around me, as people suddenly losing consciousness often tend to do.

Truthfully, there’s little I’m sure about. I remember being pulled up from the party floor moist with beer and shoe sludge. And I’m fairly certain the experience allowed me to realize what a meaty blow to the head sounds like from the inside. (Think of a Styrofoam brick cracking in half and you’re pretty damn close.)

I can attest, however, that the fine attendees of the stereotype party bravely and selflessly shed their alter egos and jumped into action. Once they had verified that I hadn’t actually broken my crown, they helped me outside, away from thumping bass beats that surely would have only compounded my confusion. They talked to me. They determined just how far I had knocked myself away from an A-OK mental state. And they managed to keep my mind on important matters and not the question my brain was straining to ask: “Why the hell are you guys all dressed like that?”

In the end, my Friday night headbonk did not, as I had feared, leave the back side of my brain with a permanent concave curve. The doctor eventually gave me a clean bill a health. After he related his college hijinks - various acts of intoxication that can also promote contact with the floor. I have to imagine, however, that none of Dr. Youthful Indiscretion’s feats were performed before an audience that included a trio of stewardesses and a white trash princess.

Clearly, UCSB students love their theme parties. Something about getting loaded in costume just appeals to our Halloween nostalgia, I guess. But the next time you think about making your friends don a wacky get-up, just imagine what you’re doing to me, the guy who apparently falls down and gives himself a concussion as an alternate means of getting myself fucked up. Think about my initial shock and confusion when I looked around the room, saw everybody dressed in a ridiculous fashion and thought, “Holy shit. I finally did it. I finally broke my brain and am now insane.”

In my opinion, theme parties and debilitating head injuries just don’t mix. Of course, that could easily be the concussion talking.

Daily Nexus training editor Drew is getting his appendix taken out next weekend as an ample substitute for Jack Daniel’s.
EDIT: I eventually received a response to this column, via Facebook, explaining how one might dress appropriately for all listed theme parties. It's it the post "Needs Salt!"

Every Back Alley Shadow

My Artsweek review for "Sin City," nearly ruined by some lazy editor's terrible title.
Sinfully Delightful

An icy blonde dame stands on a balcony outside some swank party. From the shadows emerges a man who, with the manly curtness characteristic of so many strong and silent types, instantly sweeps her into his arms. She’s his. They kiss. Then, silently and discreetly, the man fires a single bullet into her - before she can reveal her secret trouble and before she can become the femme fatale in anyone’s detective novel. Welcome to “Sin City.”

Good guy or bad guy. Friend or foe. Dead or alive. It’s entirely appropriate that Robert Rodriguez’s version cloaks Frank Miller’s Sin City books in black and white for their transformation onto the big screen because the residents of the titular dystopia live in a polarized world. In classic noir style, you’re either with someone or you’re against them - and if you’re against them, you’d better be packing heat.

As every other article on “Sin City” has noted, Rodriguez has translated the series to the big screen with a faithfulness that approaches that of a religious zealot. Every panel, every word bubble and every back alley shadow that slinked across the pages of the original graphic novels becomes realized in the film in a way no director has tried before. The result should surprise no one: If booze, broads and bullets ring your bell in literary form, then “Sin City” will tickle your death-wish vendetta fantasy.

In a conspicuously Tarantino-esque fashion, Rodriguez’s adaptation ties together several plot threads about the lives of America’s most armed and dangerous. Each of the segments existed as its own volume in book form, but since Miller originally wrote all three stories to overlap chronologically, the film feels like a cohesive whole. Hartigan (Bruce Willis playing a grizzled version of Bruce Willis), a hard-boiled detective, searches for Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba), the grown-up version of the little girl he once saved from a vicious child killer. Brutish Marv (Mickey Rourke) searches for the killers of an angelic prostitute. And Dwight (Clive Owen), an ex-con with a Lancelot complex, fights to protect the delicate balance between the city’s police, the mob and a deadly band of self-empowered hookers. And with that potent ammunition in place, the plot of “Sin City” fires forth with deadly accuracy. Bang bang.

The only fault one can find in such a film — which does everything a gritty, noir-ish film about bad things and bad people should do — is that its bang often comes at the expense its female characters. While the universe of “Sin City” is generally polarized, its women generally are not. They’re prostitutes. They’re strippers. They’re objects to be leered at or groped, kidnapped or shot. Even the empowered women — like badass leather goddess Gail (Rosario Dawson) or valiant parole officer Lucille (the often-overlooked Carla Gugino) — often need to be rescued by their male associates. It’s a misogynist world, but then again the genre almost demands it. After all, no one ever said Sin City was an ideal town for a young lady.

Greed, lust, wrath: Miller and Rodriguez pack them all in. For what it is, it’s an ode to human vice — and it’s as pitch-perfect as sin can be.

My Mass-Published Manifesto

If I were you, I'd pick up the April 7, 2005 issue of the Daily Nexus, as it features more Drew than it or any other publication ever has. In addition to a post-concussion opinion article and my review of "Sin City," you can see my contribution to the Michael Jackson trial coverage here.
[ link: Jackson Fans Reflect on Star’s Beneficence ]

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Distant Planet

I just now uploaded the pictures I took over spring break. Here's one. Expect more.

Who Throws a Shoe?

Something cool Professor Waid taught us in lecture yesterday: One take on the etymology of the word "sabotage" is that it comes from the Luddite practice of tossing an old shoe into machinery in order to cause a malfunction. The French word for "shoe" is sabot, from whose last syllable English gets its word "boot."

The Adventures of Constance Crunch

Readership for this blog has doubled. Kinda. Since I put up the "Ring"-related post titled "Moesko Island," I have had about thirty people a day popping onto my blog. They're using all manner of search engines to do it, but they're all searching for "moesko island" or "moesko island ring" or "moesko island samara." (The most frequently appearing one, however, is some foreign gibberish called Seznam.) Some people are trying stuff like "samara sadako" and I'm getting hits for that, too. I have no idea why that many people care about this movie or a fictional lighthouse island featured in it, but at least some of them are staying and reading stuff once they get here.

Other interesting referrals to the Back of the Cereal Box:
People have also been clicking links on the following websites:
  • Brentdevries.com (under "locals")
  • Kathy's blog
  • Josh's blog
  • Stinkstankstunk (a girl from Ontario who likes socks and is allergic to carrots and celery)
  • Super Mop (a very confusing blog that has been sending me a lot of traffic, though I can't find the link anywhere)
  • Ex-Mormon (another blog where I can't find the link but nonetheless seems to be sending me a lot of traffic)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A Special Moment in One Giant Women's Life

I snagged the text of the two April Fool's articles that I — as Pervis Leftarm — wrote for the Nexposé and I've posted it here, since I wouldn't expect anyone to slog through PDF hell just to read my stuff.
200-Ft. Woman Marries Storke Tower

She came to destroy. But when 200-foot amazon Teresa Kugelstein laid eyes on Storke Tower, the architectural centerpiece of UC Santa Barbara, she heard wedding bells.

“When it’s true love, you just know,” gushed the hulking bride. “I’ve always gone for the strong, silent type, and this is about as strong and silent as you can get.”

The victim of what doctors call “a berserk pituitary gland,” Teresa had been stomping northward though California’s institutes of higher learning, leveling campuses beneath her size 250 stilettos. But as she stepped out from the ocean and spotted Storke Tower on the horizon, she knew she’d be rampaging in the throes of love.

“The way I see it, there’s no reason for all the horror,” she said. “Instead of just stomping this second-rate university flat, I think I’ll settle down here. I’m ready to be Ms. Teresa Kugelstein-Storke. Or Kugelstein-Tower. We haven’t really discussed that one yet.”

When Teresa abandoned her plans for destruction and threw her arms around Storke Tower, the students of UCSB knew they were witnessing a special moment in one giant woman’s life.

“I was coming out of my comm section and I looked up and I was all, ‘Aw, shit! That big lady’s gonna squish me!” said student Lacey Sugarman. “But then she got all freaky with the tower, and I was all, ‘Damn, girl! You finally found love!’”

The National Guard had been deployed to Santa Barbara, as she had already flattened UC San Diego, UCLA and UC Irvine. (Notably missing from this list UC Riverside — “UCSB was the obvious target. No one wants to go to UC Riverside. Not even giant women,” said a National Guard spokesmen.) But when Teresa’s plans for death and malevolence turned to love, they knew not to call in reinforcements — they called a minister! UCSB staff promptly escorted Reverend Albert Meechum to the roof of Storke Tower, where he conducted an impromptu wedding ceremony through a megaphone.

“I’ve married a lot of couples,” Meechum said. “But these kids — they’re the real deal.”

Teresa said she her taste for destruction developed from an unsatisfying love life — but we all hope that will change!

“Dating was hard,” Teresa said. “I’d take out personal ads, but guys would always get scared off when I’d show up and be taller than they were. They tell me, ‘Teresa, it’s hard to see your pretty face with all those clouds in the way.’"

So now that Teresa finally found her man, there’s one question people won’t stop asking her: So how do you guys do it?

“Oh, that’s not a problem,” said Teresa without a hint of shame. “He’s really open to alternatives to sex. There’s a lot of foreplay and a lot of thrusting on my part. And people tend to forget that my pituitary gland made some things… disproportionately big, you know?”

Oh, we know, Teresa! The students of UCSB have become accustomed to seeing Teresa climb atop Storke Tower and pop a squat that they won’t soon forget. Not everyone’s happy about the happy couples’ sex life, however. UCSB maintenance worker Harold Tagalono was cleaning Storke Tower’s bells when Teresa decided to get busy with her hunky husband — and he barely lived to talk about it!

“I saw things people shouldn’t see,” said Harold, who gave an interview from his hospital bed. The marital ruckus shook the tower’s foundation enough that it rocked him right off his ladder. “I sure wish that woman would exhibit a bit of restraint, but what are you gonna do? She can crush you like a grape and I don’t think anyone’s about to tell her what’s for.”

Student Keith O’Keefe had a different perspective.

“I guess you could say she really rung his bells,” he said.

And what does the erstwhile Storke Tower have to say about this marriage business?

“Bing bong. Dong,” said the lucky groom.

In this reporter’s opinion, that’s one small step for man and one giant leap for one giant woman!
And the other one:
Face of Christ Found on Facebook!

It’s the online sensation that’s sweeping the nation — and even God’s getting in on the action!

UCSB students were awed when their daily sweeps of the online community at thefacebook.com revealed the face of Jesus Christ himself! That’s right — apparently the Son of God has jumped on the Facebook bandwagon to help spread the Good Word! Emily Van Pock, a sophomore religious studies major, was the first to spot big J.C.

“I was looking at who was in my History 4A class last quarter and there He was! And then I looked at my other classes, and He was in them, too,” said the devout student. “It’s true what they say — God really is everywhere.”

Jesus' surprise appearance came as no surprise to Father Patrick Kilpatrick, pastor of Isla Vista’s Church of St. Thomas. Kilpatrick said Jesus has a history of popping up wherever he can best reach believers and non-believers alike.

“If you think about it, He shows up where it’s accessible — like in a tortilla. People love tortillas. And people love the Face Book,” Kilpatrick said. “If he can reach students, He’ll be there. That’s what God’s all about.”

But what’s stunned students more than anything else is what Christ has posted in his profile. His favorite movies include obvious titles like “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Ten Commandments,” but also surprises like “Garden State,” “Zoolander” and “Mean Girls.”

“I don’t get it,” said student and Gaucho Christian Fellowship member Pedro Robles. “I’m not one to question God, but ‘Mean Girls’? I don’t know about that. I found that movie trite and poorly written — and I think Jesus should have too.”

Jesus Christ’s posted favorite books, however, include no surprises, as He’s simply listed The Bible. But perhaps what’s puzzled students most is His appearance.

“I know Jesus didn’t look all blonde and blue-eyed and like on of the Beegees, but — I don’t know — I just thought he’d be better looking than what I saw,” said Van Pock. “I always thought Jesus would be divinely hunky. This guy is totally not.”

Student Erin McGill disagreed.

“I think He’s dreamy,” she said of the online Jesus. “I’d be His Mary Magdalene any day.”

Rebekah Kalderdash, a junior chemistry major, said she was steaming over Christ’s picks for “favorite music.”

“I can understand that he wouldn’t put Creed. I mean really — who would? But I can’t believe that the savior of humanity would list Sum 41,” she said. “And he didn’t say anything about ‘Joan of Arcadia,’ either. Maybe I’ll just be Jewish.”

Perhaps the most puzzling of Jesus’ online activity is his creation of a most exclusive Facebook club — “I Died for the Sins of Humanity and Rose Again Three Days Later,” for which He restricted membership to only himself. He’s also joined every group from “Fellowship of Christian Athletes” to “Jesus is My Homeboy.” Time will only tell what history will make of this momentous discovery. Could it one day be appended to the pages of Bible — as the Book of Face?
So I have to ask myself — you know, because I'm lame — if I could have written these articles before Friday. If I'd attempted to write them today, would they come out entirely different? Would the concussion even be the deciding factor?

The Broken-Head Follies

My brain is processing things more easily and more quickly. I'll assume that the retardity I suffered after my much talked-about headbonk on Friday has passed, to now be remembered only by the people attending Geo's stereotype party, the people Spencer called and the people who read this journal. I have to wonder, though, if my regained clarity is a result of my brain having returned back to normal or if the sudden contact of the floor permanently changed it — Scrambled Gray Matter on the breakfast platter, please — and I have simply adapted to life with my new brain.

I looked it up. Like I thought, there's no verb for "concussion." "Discussion" shortens to "discuss," but there's no such word as "concuss." As in, "Dude, you concussed pretty badly there. How's your head feel?" There's an adjective, "concussive," but not "concussy," which I like better because it sounds dirty.

My Wife, the Zucchini

I'm glad Terri Shiavo isn't in the news anymore. Now people can stop feeling bad about seeing her "before" pictures and realizing how much pretty she was before her brain died. "Oh, and did you see those pictures of her? She was a looker, too — before she became a vegetable." It's as if the tragedy weren't tragedy enough by itself, but that she was good-looking makes it so much worse.

Monday, April 04, 2005

She'll Never Go to Hollywood

kidicarus222: i'm listening to juice newton
alkiehorn0307: Ive watched her fall off a horse
alkiehorn0307: I know her daughter

Feeling better, by the way.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Symptoms

Retroactively, I guess, I'd say my stereotype was an epileptic.

I have a noise echoing in my head. It sounds like a styrofoam block cracking in half. My mouth tastes like a nosebleed — you know, that vaguely acrid taste-smell you get in that region right after you get hit in the face with a ball? I'm still just a little twitchier than normal. Concentrating on anything seems really hard. In that sense, I feel slightly high. Typing strikes me as especially hard, so please forgive any typos I don't catch. When I talk, I repeat myself a little.

My head should hurt, it seems, but it doesn't. I can't even feel a lump where they tell me I hit it on the floor.

This will be an odd Saturday.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Homicidal Asian Jailbait

Saw "Sin City." Not for everyone. In fact, most of you would probably hate it. I loved it. All of it. I want my own little Miho. She can follow my own personal Gogo and all my enemies can die violently at the tiny hands of homicidal Asian jailbait. Artsweek review pending.

The Guy I Thought I Didn't Know

This: Sanam started me on this website: Yesterday's Faces Today. It's something worth remembering.
[ link: old friends, looking worse for wear ]

I Dong

The Nexus April Fool's issue turned out pretty nicely, I'd say. It's posted, but lamely only in PDF format. I'll probably post my articles — the lead story about a 200-foot woman marrying Storke Tower and another about the face of Christ popping up on Facebook — later this weekend. In the meantime, savor the wonderful photoshopping magic of our coverpage:



Please note that Ms. Kugelstein-Storke's bouquet is a handful of uprooted palm trees. Is it just me, or does the blushing bride resemble Maya Rudolph? I'm especially proud at the return of some of my parody article mainstays: Pervis Leftarm, Teresa Kugelstein and Keith O'Keefe.

EDIT: I finally snagged the text a few days later. It's posted in "A Special Moment in One Giant Woman's Life."

The Season of SPF 45

Drew and fellow Nexites Dina, Lu and Lauren hopped in the Silver Bullet and motored up to Santa Maria to interview some of the loyal Michael Jackson supporters who stand outside the courthouse. It's for a five-part series I'd like to see called "Whacko for Jacko." A late start, faulty directions and a fundamental misunderstanding of Santa Maria courtroom proceedings, however, have relegated us to returning on Monday to witness the Moonwalk March — a parade protesting what I suppose is the injustice being done to Michael Jackson but what would actually seem to be the process of justice. He is, after all, still a free man — just a free man who has to spend the day at his trial. (Like he had anything else better to do.)

The absolute lowlight of the adventure would have to be each one of us getting cited for jaywalking. Do you know what this crime will cost you in Santa Maria? $125. No April Fool's joke, though I wish it were. A close second: hearing about the girls' sex lives discussed in a way that people usually reserve for, well, their blogs.