Friday, March 28, 2008

How I Know I'm Getting Old

So this weekend we're going to a 2 day plant festival in Gainesville where Christie is selling jewelery. I'm about as excited for the plant festival as I would have been 10 years ago if you had told me about a 2 day record swap where Angelina Jolie handed out free drinks and the Fat Boys played "All You Can Eat" at the buffet line.

Well, maybe not that excited, but pretty close.

Some of you might be laughing now, but when I take home the trophy for "Most Improved" at the first annual Murray Hill Garden Contest, we'll see who laughs the loudest.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Music News From 1985

About a month ago I'm sitting at a stoplight when a car starts pumping the bass behind me.

"Goddammit," I think. "I can't even listen to my Dadrock* in my own damn car."
Then I realize they're blasting out "La De Da Di" by Doug E. Fresh like it was 1985.

Coincidentally that same week some friends and I were discussing the awesomeness of early '80s electro funk. You know, that synthesizer-heavy early hip-hop that would get everyone on the floor at the skating rink. Think of "Rockit" or "Freakazoid." Or better yet, think of Jonzun Crew. Check 'em out.

You know you're getting some bad jams when the band includes an outer space dandy.

Deducing I had somehow slipped through a hole in time to the mid '80s, I rushed home and fired up MTV hoping I'd catch the video for "Somebody's Watching Me," "19" or perhaps the latest Billy Squier jam. After that I figured I'd go through my high school revenge list and settle some scores. That's right, 17 and 18 year olds. You don't look so tough now that I'm in my thirties. After that I'd make sure I passed algebra the first time, ensuring a future full of big money, and then bet on a few Superbowls just to make sure.

Oh yeah, and I'd totally kill Hitler, too.

Sadly, after watching a bunch of people I'd never heard of show off their houses and cars I realized that I had not, in fact gone back in time and would have to make the best of things here in the present. Hitler didn't know how close he came.

* Dadrock in question was a best of ZZ Top CD I took home from work. "Just Got Paid?" "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide?" While handicapped by the absence of outer space dandies, those are some bad jams indeed. For more information on this topic, wait for my hard-hitting 'more music news from 1975' post.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Overheard Madness!

Overheard in the parking garage elevator last week:

"I don't care. It has a weapon called 'anal probe.' I don't think that is something a teenager needs to have."

Overheard in line at training day:

"Do you see that woman with the shirt that says 'voodoo?' That's just too much."
Cluck of disapproval from other person in line.
"And have you seen next door (museum of modern art)? They have a portrait of Satan in there."
"I wouldn't doubt it."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Back on the Radio

The Man figured out I was getting just a little too close to the truth, so they shut down my motherboard. Now, I'm not comparing myself to the Kennedys or Malcolm X, but you have to admit the similarities are uncanny.

Not only am I back, I have a new laptop with wireless ...juice running all
through it. That's right, no longer are your wires of oppression chaining me to my computer room desk. In fact, I'm writing this from the living room - that's right, the living room, conventions be damned!

Naturally, like everything electronic or mechanical I own or come in contact with, I'm sure this laptop is gonna be broken within two weeks. I got a solar pump for our pond out back which worked twice before it just stopped, giving me a nice mosquito breeding swamp in the backyard. And that has like, what, two mechanical parts total? The plate thing the sun shoots her magical rays on and a little pump that squirts out water?

I already spent two hours on the phone to Bangladesh last night to determine the DVD player was missing a part, so I'm just hoping I can keep this laptop running through the warranty so I can keep broadcasting the truth until The Man shoots another one of his poison death rays at my motherboard.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gainesville Commercial Help

While pulling weeds in the backyard yesterday, I had a commercial stuck in my head on repeat. I haven't had occasion to recall this commercial in years, and I actually managed to stump Google with it. It used to run in Gainesville on Fox, one of the 3 channels I got (the other 2 being PBS and The Box, where you'd vote on the videos that played; "Pop That Coochie" had something like a 3 month winning streak that year).

So there's this guy walking through a parking lot full of mobile homes. He's giving out prices and whatnot and telling you how awesome his lot is. At the end of the commercial he looks straight into the camera and points. Then, in a tone I'm remembering as a little more angry than determined, says, "I still wanna sell you a mobile home." Some of you might remember it as the ending of the Radon song "Chinese Rednecks," and it is entirely possible that I'm basing my memory of the guy's phrasing from Brent's version.

I'm also picturing the guy as looking sort of like an evil Kenny Rogers, which might not be right at all, but it makes me happy.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Natural Mystics

I had "Mystics in Bali," this Indonesian horror movie at the top of my Netflix queue for about 2 months. I pretty much gave up on ever seeing it when it arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago. After a period of quiet reflection, I understood why it took so long to arrive.

Netflix was testing me. Would I give up after a few weeks and pick another movie for my top pick? If so, then I wasn't really worthy of watching the awesomeness of "Mystics in Bali." Luckily, I persevered, and Netflix noticed and rewarded me.
I am so very, very glad I passed the test.

In the movie, an American woman is writing a book on black magic. She learns that Indonesian Leyack magic is the strongest magic in the world so she goes out in the field to complete her work.

She meets a witch who can extend her tongue about six feet and speaks like an evil Yoda. The witch agrees to teach the woman her secrets, but of course, this knowledge comes at a price.

I've seen some crazy stuff in movies. Back in Gainesville, I would regularly walk over to my friend Keith's apartment, where he had all sorts of wonderful and strange VHS tapes. Kung fu movies where vampires enlist the aid of Dracula and eat placenta and urine to grow stronger. Another kung fu movie scene in which a group of turtles get on their hind legs and dance to Roxy Music. "For Your Height Only," featuring Weng Weng, a two foot tall Filipino midget as a James Bond superspy. A movie about a lady who fell in love with a corpse and keeps his pee-pee in the refrigerator. All sorts of Jackie Chan or John Woo stuff that is pretty commonplace now, but at the time was pretty mind-blowing. After a lot of these movies or scenes, whoever was gathered in Keith's apartment would sort of look at each other to make sure that, yes, we really did see that.

But the scene in "Mystics in Bali" where the woman's head pops off her body and flies away with her lungs, heart and entrails attached flapping in the breeze? That just might be the damndest thing I've ever seen.

Oh yeah, the head/guts fly around looking for blood to keep the witch young or something. In one scene, the head throws a midwife through a wall like Popeye, then gets down between a pregnant woman's legs to suck out a baby.

Luckily, there are some good monks who agree to fight the black magic, who also give all sorts of information on Indonesian magic. If anyone walks in on you watching "Mystics" and accuses you of watching trash, you can always select one of these scenes and you can say you're working on an anthropology degree in folklore.

So yeah, "Mystics in Bali." You might have to wait a while or prove your worth to the gods of Netflix, but it is totally worth it. Now if I can just appease the gods to send "Flash Gordon," which has been number one in my list for like a year, I will have all the secrets of the universe.