enormous beaux

WEEKEND RECAP

FRIDAY
After packing and a few pre-funk drinks, Brugos and I met Alex at the Capital Hill Block Party to see some bands I’d never heard of. Even though most of the bands that WERE playing were kind of crappy, I’m glad we stuck around for a band that Alex came to see called The Cops. They played last and they were REALLY good. Alex compared them to The Clash, which I didn’t quite see, but they definitely had that classic punk vibe to them and a young John Fogarty on guitar.

SATURDAY
Brugos and I had to get up fairly early to hit the road. We were on our way to Larrabee State Park (just south of Bellingham) for Roxy’s birthday camping. We got a slightly later start than we’d intended on account of me forgetting things, but we still got to the campsite in time for lunch. I’ve never been camping in designated campsite area before. It felt kind of weird driving in, like we were entering a commune or something. We found the Brunswick’s lot and unloaded our gear, and then drove off to find a parking spot. As we drove through what appeared to be a family reunion, a small, dead-eyed blonde child stepped in front of B.’s car. B., naturally, stopped the car and waited for the child to move. The child did not move. He stared at us with an empty face. What was this child’s deal? Was he retarded? Extremely inbred? World-weary? Who knows. B. didn’t honk because he thought that would be rude, but he gestured for the child to get out of the way. The child did not budge. Finally, his older brother ran into the road and carried the child out of the way, and we were able to drive forward. But…if these are our neighbors, I thought, it’s going to be a weird day.

We drove to what we thought was the parking lot, but a sign clearly warned us that all cars parked there after dark would be impounded. We drove back to our lot to ask the Brunswicks where they thought we should park. There were only two parking spaces per lot and they were already occupied. Luckily, the cars were small, and someone was kind enough to move their car over and let us squeeze in.

Our lot was conveniently situated spitting distance from an active train track, and the trains were on a regular schedule. Sleeping would be fun. Our neighbors, apparently, had a predilection for dance music.

We set up the tent and then it was clearly hot dog and Franzia time. After lunch, I finally caught up with the rest of America and learned how to play Texas Hold ‘Em. It was fun and I didn’t entirely suck, but I still have no interest in playing for money.

The sun came out and it seemed like the perfect time for a hike. The hike that Larrabee boasted was a two mile hike to Fragrance Lake. Provided this wasn’t an ironic name, this sounded like an extremely pleasant hike. What the signs neglected to tell us was that this was some miracle lake that resided on the TOP of a MOUNTAIN, after hiking straight up. And sure, perhaps the distance from ground to lake is two miles, but from all the meandering we were doing, we surely went farther than two miles. I’m guessing 4, actually. Now, no one present was particularly sporty and we had all been drinking, so the complaining began early on. For whatever reason, however, we carried on. It became evident to me that the hills were going to be murder on my knees coming back down, but something kept me going as well. Perhaps it was my frustration over being so out of shape (the knees weren’t a problem going up…the lungs were). Perhaps it was that no one else, despite complaints, seemed to want to give up. Perhaps none of us gave up because we kept coming across OLD PEOPLE AND CHILDREN happily passing us on their way down the mountain. Did these people actually complete the hike?

Seemingly an eternity later, we came across a sign that said “Fragrance Lake 1.1 miles”. It was then that we determined we were actually in some kind of REI Hell dimension and we had no choice but to see what this “Fragrance Lake” looked like.

We finally made it to the lake, and it was indeed pretty. We sat down for a bit and watched dogs come and go. Rocko skipped some rocks and eventually went in for a dip. After a rest, we turned back.

The way down was indeed painful for me, but B. was kind enough to escort grandma down the mountain at her own pace. I wonder if doing this kind of thing more often would be better or worse for my knees. All I know is that there were a LOT of old people hiking that thing.

When we returned to camp, we broke out the Apples to Apples and were serenaded by some wood nymphs playing what I swear was “Age of Aquarius” on the pan flute. This was indeed a strange camp site. The others had arrived on Friday and told us that they’d taken an evening stroll to the beach and happened upon a Western Washington University performance of Godspell, which they hilariously crashed during the crucifixion scene. We were hoping that they did a different musical every night.

As we played, a small child lapped the roundabout on his scooter. He did this for an impressive amount of time without getting bored. It became rather maddening for some of us.

Dinner time came and, sadly, two of the party had to return to Seattle. After dinner, we broke out the Totally 80’s Trivial Pursuit and asked each other questions. They questions were disappointingly lacking in kitsch value. This was mostly disappointing, I imagine, because most of us didn’t know the answers.

While we stared at the fire, we were approached by a couple in matching beige outfits. “We noticed that you have an extra car. We are going to need to charge you for that,” they said. B. forked over the $10. “Also, we wanted to point out that it’s quiet hours now. Your neighbors are trying to sleep. We had some reports that you were noisy last night. We don’t know if it was you or that other group, but we would appreciate it if you would watch your noise level tonight.” We, of course, agreed and our camp R.A.s left.

The Brunswicks decided to walk down to the beach again and, perhaps, enjoy some more musical theatre. The rest of us stayed behind and stared at the fire. The Brunswicks returned with no tales to tell, and we all turned in.

Almost immediately after having settled into our tent, it began to rain. The rain didn’t let up the entire night. The trains, thankfully, stopped running after 3am.

SUNDAY
When we woke in the morning, it was still raining. It sounded like it was coming down pretty hard. This is why I put off going to pee. Of course, the rain only made it more difficult to put this off, so eventually B. and I conceded. When we got outside, we found that the tent made it sound worse than it was. Still, it seemed prudent to pack up everything and go into town for breakfast, rather than try and wait out the rain.

B. managed to get a fire going to make some tea, so that we could have the extra energy needed to pack up. Before long, we were on the road to Bellingham for some delicious, dry breakfast.

We went to the Ranch Room in downtown B-Ham. I’d been to this place with the GadZookies during the Projections Film Festival and really enjoyed it. This morning, the service was rather neglectful, and the B-Ham townies were certainly eccentric, but the food was delicious.

Our bellies full, we hit the road back home.

I think this is the last time I want to camp in a heavily populated and designated camping area. Sure, it’s nice to have a toilet and running water nearby, (thought that becomes less convenient after dark, because I would really rather just pee in the woods next to my tent than find my way to the bathroom) but having to deal with weird children, loud trains, dance music, squares and watching your noise level seems counter to the whole spirit of camping to me. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time. But there’s something very freeing about being the only people in at least a mile radius.

After unpacking and getting cleaned up, B. and I finished off Deadwood Season 1 with the Boobergs, followed by 2 games of Settlers of Catan at Brugos’. I played poorly. I’m still getting my bearings in this game and while I certainly find it fun, I haven’t yet mastered all of the rules, making strategy impossible. My theory is that one day it will hit me all at once, and I will henceforth become an unstoppable force.

Here are some pictures from camping!

The Con in Pictures

Faye's pictures of the con are awesome!! I hope the stupid link works!

COMIC-CON 2006 RECAP: PART III

SATURDAY
I didn’t wake up hung over, exactly, but I still felt weird on account of having had nightmares the night before. Faye noticed this, as I was apparently twitching in my sleep. I don’t remember details of the nightmares but they were disturbing enough to keep me in a strange mood for several hours after waking. The world felt a bit surreal for a while. Continue reading

Meme Break

Another wonderful meme from MarkTapioKines!

1. What movie most represents everything you dislike about Hollywood?
Forest Gump. I only recently came to understand that it’s a re-imagining of Being There, as done by people who didn’t get that movie at all. But before I realized that, I despised this movie. I hated its insulting tone that both simplifies and romanticizes the life of a mentally challenged person. I hated the hype surrounding the special effects technology of splicing newsreel footage with new footage to make the film erroneously more important. I hate that actors ALWAYS win awards for playing retarded characters. The characters who aren’t Tom Hanks aren’t likeable people. I hate the clichéd “humor”. I hate that the dialogue was written by Hallmark and basically the whole damned thing was constructed to pander to the fucking Academy. And I hate that it worked.

2. What's the last city you visited for the very first time?
Sequim, WA.

3. Name a trait, physical or non-physical, that you inherited from your mother:
Physical: Skin as white as the snows of Hoth, chub.
Non-Physical: Packratedness. I’d like to think I have a better handle on it than she does though.

4. Name a trait, physical or non-physical, that you inherited from your father:
Physical: Fine, light hair, babyface.
Non-Physical: Sense of humor, OCD.

5. Name something that you love doing, even though you're not good at it:
Singing.

6. Name something that you hate doing, even though you're good at it:
My current day job.

7. What's the lower form of life: a journalist or a standup comic?
I really like stand-up comedy. There is, obviously, a lot of bad comics out there, but I can’t possibly say that Patton Oswalt is, in any way, a low form of life so I will go with journalist.

8. How do you feel about Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut?
Ridiculous and tedious.

9. Name an item that you keep a large – maybe even unusually large – supply of in your house:
Proactive Solution. I’m in The Club and they keep sending me more bottles before I’ve finished the ones I have. Every once in a while, I tell them to stop altogether and then deplete my supply. And then it starts all over again.

10. How frequently do you have to fill up your car?
N/A.

11. What's your favorite Spielberg movie?
Raiders.

12. What's your favorite Hitchcock movie?
I don’t feel qualified to answer this because I have seen precious few Hitchcock films. (Pathetic, I know). However, I have Strangers on a Train from the library and I will watch it in the next couple of days.

13. What's your favorite REM single?
I’m not a fan of REM at all. That said, I don’t particularly mind “Fall On Me”…And I'm actually not even sure if that's what the song is called!

14. Did you go to a public high school?
No.

15. Have you ever successfully played matchmaker for anybody? (Success need not be measured in the long term.)
I don’t think I can count Faye and Borgia since they purposefully didn’t get together when Elyse and I were trying to get them together. They waited until we had all given up hope. So I suppose not.

16. The average American eats 200 pounds of meat per year. How many pounds of meat – including fish – do you reckon you eat per year?
Less than 1. I can’t say 0 for certain because I reckon that some meat sneaks in there occasionally.

17. If you brought home 50 million after-tax dollars from a lottery win, name three somewhat frivolous things you would spend some of that money on (i.e. not paying off debts or giving money to your friends, family or charities).
-A pinball machine.
-A juke box that plays 45’s (and some 45’s).
-A mini-golf course in my backyard (of the house that I suppose I would first need to buy).

18. If you could remake one movie, which one would you choose?
Since I’m against re-makes on the whole, this is difficult, but going along with Mark’s answer of re-doing a film that shouldn’t have been so disappointing, I’m going to go with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

19. If you had to live either without a television (meaning you also couldn't watch DVDs – no, not even on your computer) or without the Internet, which would you go without?
I suppose television, since if I chose the internet, I would immediately be cut off from so many people and so much information. I would miss my Whedonverse horribly, however.

20. Finally, what's the nicest thing you've ever done for a friend?
I’m not really sure. I guess you’d have to ask them. I try to do nice things for friends whenever possible and help anyone who is in need, but I always assumed that was really what true friendship was all about.

pictures from older events

Emolee's Johnny Depp-Themed birthday party.

Faye's Birthday.

Elyse's Birthday.

My Housewarming.

Trip to Tacoma.

Pictures!

Pics from Comic-Con are here! I will send links to other people's pics as I receive them. Enjoy!

COMIC-CON 2006 RECAP: PART II

FRIDAY
On our way to the convention center, Dom, Faye and I encountered one of San Diego’s eccentric derelicts. As we waited at a cross walk for the signal to change, an older, unwashed gentleman walked into the middle of the street. There weren’t any cars coming so he wasn’t in any immediate danger, but he noticed us standing on the corner and walked over to us. “So we’re waiting for the light to change, is that the way it works now?” he asked. We said that yes, that was what we were supposed to do. “Back in the Texas days, we could just get on our horse and ride across,” he mused. So apparently this guy is not just a tramp, but some immortal from a parallel Old Western universe wherein San Diego used to be Texas. Fascinating. He then, of course, asked us for money.

Back at the convention center, Faye and I continued our previous game of “Punch Trench Coat.” It never ceases to amaze me how many kids (and adults who should know better) insist on wearing an ill-fitting black trench coat in NINETY DEGREE WEATHER. Of course, “Punch Sensible Outfit” wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun to play.

Faye also came up with a hand gesture to illustrate a phenomenon we had been noticing amongst the geek population. The geek fart all-too-frequently puffed into the atmosphere not unlike that of a time-released air freshener. Unfortunately, the gesture merely serves as an observation, rather than a warning.

The ONE panel we were determined to attend that day was the Battlestar Galactica panel. We knew that this year’s con was much better attended and therefore surmised that such a panel would be quite popular. Therefore, we elected to stay in the room where BSG would be several panels ahead of time and simply move forward toward the stage as people left. It was by enacting this plan that we sat through the Hood of Horror panel and the Superman Through the Ages panel.

Hood of Horror is a new Tales From the Crypt type film staring Snoop Dogg as the Hound of Hell (i.e. the Crypt Keeper), Diamond Dallas Page, Ernie Hudson and a cute guy named Pooch who, for some reason, used expressions from the 40’s. Danny Trejo was supposed to be there too but he wasn’t. Snoop Dogg was apparently stuck in traffic so he answered questions via cell phone. It looks like a renter.

Superman Through the Ages was basically just a celebration of the release of the new Richard Donner director’s cut of Superman II (in my opinion, despite it’s problems for Donner, the best Superman movie). They showed the original opening of the film as well as an alternate scene of Lois figuring out that Clark was Superman and then testing him to save her life. This version was a lot less silly than the theatrical scene wherein she throws herself in the river and screams for 5 minutes. Donner himself was there (to a standing ovation) as well as the original Lois Lane from the TV show, Jimmy Olsen from Supes Returns, and Jimmy Olsen and the brut from Superman II. I’m still not a big fan of the Superman mythos, but I have always enjoyed the Donner movies so I must say the whole thing was pretty exciting. If Terrence Stamp had been there, I might have misplaced my proverbial shit.

Next up was the much anticipated BSG panel. Everyone in the audience was very excited as the introduced Ron Moore, the producer dude and the actors: D'Anna! Gaius! The Old Man! And…well, we were told it was Apollo. But it WASN’T! Imagine my sheer joy when none other than THE CHIEF walked on stage, replacing Jamie Bamber for whatever reason. I HEART the Chief! He was adorable and obviously, unlike his character, the biggest goofball of the group. It was a really entertaining panel. They all seem to have a very good time and, despite Eddie’s persistent comments about how this is the darkest show he has ever been apart of, and his digression about the Bird Flu, it was all very lighthearted. The audience questions weren’t even ALL THAT annoying. Unfortunately, my pictures didn’t come out too well, but you can still make out who’s who. CHIEF!!!

After BSG, we hit the floor to find Ben and Jump Street and happened upon the table wherein Brian Poshen and fellow creators of “The Last Christmas” were signing. I finally was able to buy my copy of the first issue (sold out of every comic book store in Seattle) AND have everyone sign it. They were very friendly and cute and make small talk with us. They also, apparently, sign messages for the ladies but not so for the gents. I love being a girl at Comic Con.

After that we were definitely ready for some food. We went to a pretty tasty Thai restaurant and then back to the con for Pitchin’ Impossible, a supposedly “useful” panel about pitching a cartoon. We had thought that perhaps its usefulness could be translated to pitching feature films. There were two main issues with this panel. One: They specifically stated that it COULDN’T really be translated to pitching a film. Two: Regardless of what medium we wanted to pitch, it still wasn’t all that useful. There was no mention on how to get a pitch meeting. No notion of how to get your foot in the door if you aren’t already in the business. THAT’S what we need to know, people. If they don’t even take our damned phone calls, your advice won’t help us.

The con was done for the day and so we hooked back up with Ben and Jump Street. Earlier in the day, they had received free passes to a sneak preview of Accepted, a new comedy starring the kid from the Mac commercials and the actor who is stealing Ben’s career. Their pass also invited them to a kegger on the lawn in front of the Hilton. We thought that perhaps we could tag team with the passes so that everybody could take advantage of the free beer. Well, my friends, the scam was even EASIER to pull than that. As you went in with your laminate pass, and they checked your I.D., you were given a wrist band to indicate your 21+ status. They did NOT take away the laminate and they only checked the wrist band for re-entry. So Ben and Jump Street came back out and gave us their passes. Then I went in and got a wrist band and Jump Street came back out one more time with the passes to get Faye and Dom in. Soon, we were all enjoying free “beer” (Miller Light) and ice cream bars on the lawn. Since it is now apparent to me that Comic Con won’t help my career, THIS is why I come to these festivals: for the scamming of the free booze.

As the party wound down, we snuck into the Hilton to use their bathroom. It was there that Ben MET Jonah Hill, a nice enough kid with an entourage of cute girls, and took a picture with him.

We weren’t ready to stop drinking, so we walked up the street and went into the first bar we saw that had seats for us. It was a sports bar and despite the host saying that they were expecting a huge crowd, the place was rather empty. We were seated and waited on by a very cute, Tina Majorino-esque waitress who brought us way too many drinks (apart from Dom, of course, who instead enjoyed a cone of chicken).

The place remained pretty empty so our service was top notch. A random guy sat at our table and talked to us for a while. Most of us got drunk. Ben was absolutely hammered. Eventually, we closed our tab and returned to the hotel. I made a phone call and Ben walked around our room in his underwear before we all passed out.

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!