Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Take a Pill, Dear Liza and Henry…

Buckets. Was there ever a more perfect invention? I submit that there wasn’t – and still isn’t!

I’m being serious about this. We went to Target last week and actually purchased a bucket. Now, a bucket is one of those things that you don’t usually go out to buy. You usually inherit them somehow. But seeing as how we’ve had no cause lately to buy 5 gallons of paint or Plaster of Paris, it was up to us, if we ever wanted to be one of the lucky “bucketed ones,” to take some initiative and spend the $6.

So now we are the proud parents of a handy-dandy bucket complete with handle and convenient see-through measuring system. Very state-of-the-art, you know. High brow, if you will.

It’s amazing, if you think about it, that we went this long without a bucket. It’s a simple invention. And it was, at one time, one of the most crucial implements of the home. Why without buckets, people would have had to carry water a mouthful at a time.

The same goes for human waste.

That’s why dear Liza and dear Henry were in such a tizzy once they discovered a hole in theirs. In fact, if Henry hadn’t displayed such bucket fixing proficiency, who knows what he would have made Liza do to raise the funds for a new one. After all, she discovered the hole. And as we all know, we’re always a bit suspicious that the discoverer of the problem actually had something to do with the cause of the problem. It’s not fair, but it’s human nature.

“Hon, the refrigerator door came off in my hand!”

“What did you do!?”

“Nothing, it just fell off!”

“Well, you shouldn’t have pulled on it!”

Anyway, my deep new-found respect for buckets came yesterday when I had to mop the floors. Usually – pre-bucket – I had to prepare the mop in the kitchen sink. But I also needed to mop the bathroom, so I would usually have to get the mop ready and then run through the apartment to the bathroom, trying not to drip ammonia-water on the couch and computer. (Yes, we do have a sink in the bathroom, but it’s too small for the mop, smartie)

Not anymore! My days as an Olympic wet-mop sprinter are over. All thanks to an ancient invention called the bucket.

Also, I no longer have to map out a kitchen mopping strategy in order to leave the room without leaving footprints.

I love you bucket.

Fun Fact: As you may or may not know, autumn is my favorite time of the year. And “harvest mix” is some of my favorite non-chocolate candy. If you don’t know harvest mix, it’s basically candy corn and bigger shapes made out of the stuff they make into candy corn (when it’s not being shaped to look like a spooky kitty or a jug of maple syrup). It’s not that it’s the tastiest candy available, but it’s so tied in my subconscious to autumn that I have to have it around.

(I’m a little weird about Autumn.)

We went to Albertsons, and what did I see? Halloween candy! In August! Yeah!

Oh yes, you can be cynical if you like, but I think we don’t start holidays soon enough. I mean, come on, there are really only two or three great holidays a year, it’s not my fault that they’re so close together.

I mean, does anyone really look foreword to Valentines Day or Flag Day or Memorial Day? No, not really. I guess St. Patrick’s Day is kinda’ cool especially if you live in a city so inundated with the Irish that they pollute the river every year, but for the rest of us it’s just an excuse to drink. And if you need an excuse that badly, it’s time to reevaluate your faith.

And the Fourth of July has turned into a fetish holiday.

So why not stretch Halloween into August and Christmas into September (or August if you’re Costco)? They’re great holidays and they should be celebrated as much as possible.

And no, they aren’t more special if they’re celebrated in small doses.

It’s a fact!

Also, the TAM Cartoon is up! Booyah!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Arrested Development

I hope you all a great weekend. Most of all, I hope that it was far more productive than mine. It’s amazing how little I get done on the weekends around here.

We did buy a new DVD player, but that’s only because our old one just stopped working. I’ve fixed the old DVD player once, all by myself. It was a delicate procedure, and very stressful, I had to crack the thing open to look inside, but it had one of those stickers on it that said if I did, I would void my warranty. My little heart was racing when I ripped that sticker, I tell you. But I fixed it. Don’t know what I did, but I fixed it.

But this was the last straw. We had to buy a new one. I didn’t want to ruin my DVD player fixing ratio. Besides, they’re really cheap these days. You can get a DVD player for less money than you can a VCR! Ain’t technology grand?

But enough about the new DVD player, we’re not here for that.

Did anyone watch the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend? I didn’t. I hate that channel.

It’s an election year, so of course the VMAs tried to do their civic duty by “rockin’ the vote.” P-Diddy’s hypocrite self was on hand to tell people to “Vote or Die.” Interesting choice of words for a man in the rap biz. I think he’s actually serious though. I mean, we all know that he has a gun right? J-Lo knows it – everyone knows it, with the possible exception of 12 people good and true…

Anyway, the presidential candidates sent their daughters to the awards to drum up business for the democratic process. But they were booed! On MTV?! What do these high-minded kids have against democracy?! Anarchists, I tells ya’! Anarchists.

Really, though, what did MTV expect? The audience was there to yell over their favorite performers – and maybe catch a little ass – that’s what the “MYOFB generation” is all about, isn’t it? As far as I can tell, when it’s not an election year, that’s pretty much the MTV corporate dogma. MTV built this monster from the corpses of every irresponsible get-rich-quick, pop-culture junkie of the last 20 years.

See, MTV is like the world’s loser big brother. He wanders in around two o’clock in the morning suffering from alcohol-induced depression with his stoner buds and a couple of half-naked chicks and then proceeds to “save” you and your hopelessly uncool teenaged friends with timely rhetoric about your civic responsibility and the perils of drug abuse, all the while sucking ecstasy tablets from the pierced belly button of an easy, sloppy drunk supermodel. You understand that there are words coming out of his mouth, but the only thing you’re really thinking about is how many more beers will it take for the chick's cut-offs to hit the floor – and would God be so benevolent as to make her pass out on your lap?

I never thought that MTV should mix itself up in the “responsibility” racket. It confuses the weaker-minded people of the world:

MTV will now take the pulpit with a reading from the book of “do as I say, not as I do.”

But remember kids, good advice like this doesn’t come cheap, so please, dig deep and give what you can to further the cause. We need your parent’s hard earned cash in order to spread the good word kids.

Oh, and Puffy wants to hire another butler.

Speaking of MTV and voting, there is a new study out that states that young voters could have a profound effect on the election this year.

Funny, I seem to have heard this story before – oh, that’s right, I heard it every freaking four years for my entire freaking life!

Here’s my guess…the young people vote will be a big disappointment this year.


Maybe Puffy’s threats will do the trick this year?

Fun Fact: The gym continues to be a bastion of pent-up rage. The cops actually had to come today to settle a dispute over piece of workout equipment. Two guys got into it and started pushing each other around.


Where were they when that lady hung her backpack on the cross-trainer so that I couldn’t use it while she went downstairs and stretched for ten minutes?! HUH?! Now that’s an injustice.

Cops are never around when you need them.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Picture Day

They’re finally here! After much eagerness and edge of seat sitting, I’m finally going to let you in on the secret of my family addition.

My sister had a little boy. His name is Asher Vance Stewart. My mom says that his name makes him sound like a Wild West gunslinger. Tanya thinks that he sound like a pro skater (skateboarding that is).

Well they’re both right, he’ll be the first Wild West skateboarding gunslinger. Here is a picture of him:

Wait, now that I look at the picture I see that I’ve posted the wrong one. That’s actually a somewhat arty picture of a pink bowl filled with wrinkly peaches.

But Asher is a newborn so you can understand my confusion. They basically look the same. Here is the real picture of him:

He’s huge! Evidently, my sister gave birth to a one-year-old. How’s that for muscle control. He’s not purple like my last nephew, but his face is a little red.

Man, he thinks he’s embarrassed now, just wait until he gets to know his family.

My niece, Lily, was a little apprehensive about her new bro. It’s understandable. She said that the birth of this baby was going to change her life “forever!” She speaks in half-truths, but while I’m sure she was going for dramatic effect, it’s nice to know that she’s planning on living forever. You have to set goals, people.

That's a picture of Lily with her new brother. She doesn’t really have a moustache; I’ve done that to protect her identity. I put one on the baby just for fun and now he looks like a pensive Mexican diplomat in drag.

Asher doesn’t look very big in this picture, but what you have to keep in mind is that Lily is in fact seven feet tall.

But I do need to take issue with Lily’s choice of hat. If you can’t tell, Hilary Duff has a death grip on my niece’s psyche. Lily idolizes Hilary Duff with a fervent devotion not seen since the days of Manson and Squeaky Fromme. I keep trying to explain to Lily that Hilary Duff is in actuality a crazed crack addicted annoying non-entity who beats children and harbors terrorists, but Lily gets mad when I say those things. Kids just can’t handle the truth, I guess.

Anyway, Congrats Mandy and Josh. And Asher, it’s little consolation I know but – welcome to the family.

Fun Fact I hear that there was someone out there who was a little disappointed that I didn’t put any pictures up of my new easel. Here you go…big baby.

Look, there’s Dog in the background again. Everyone wave to Dog. Wave!

It’s not the best easel in the world but it’s well worth the $40 I spent on it. Go to Costco and get your own today!

If you look closely at the picture, you will see that the easel is holding the latest TAM cartoon, which is up! How’s that for synergy?!

Damnit, I had to choose the word “synergy” didn’t I. Now I’ve got the theme song for “Gem” stuck in my stupid child-of-the-80s head! It’s Asher’s Mother’s fault that I even know that dumb song! Thanks Mandy!

Sisters suck.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

In a Family Way

In a Family Way

I’m still waiting for pictures of my new nephew…niece? So now all of you have to just keep waiting. And don’t forget to hold your breath!

There’s not a heck of a lot new going on around here. I know, you’re shocked! No, it’s true. Yes, it is. Yes it is! Look, I don’t want to argue about this…no…yes…YOU ARE! Come on, there’s no need for that kind of language. I mean it.

Really, I could go on like this all day. It takes up a lot of post space. But I’ll stop acting stupid for the time being. Besides, I hate it when we fight. I do. I really do. What? Oh, yeah?! No…you’re right, I said that I would stop acting stupid. I’ll start…


We went to Costco last night. How’s that for excitement?! Actually, it was kind of exciting – well, for a geek like me anyway.

As most of you know, it’s only August. But I was greeted with perhaps the biggest surprise of yesterday when I stepped into Costco.

They had Christmas stuff!

Complain all you want about starting the holiday too soon, it just made my little day I tell you. I love Christmas. I love Christmas stuff. The only thing I hate about the Christmas season is Christmas Day. Only because it’s the furthest day away from the next Christmas season.

Don’t get that way. They didn’t have too much Christmas stuff. Just four things really, but they were big and covered in lights. Perfect. Although I couldn’t convince Tanya that we needed a fake topiary filled with Christmas lights I did get a little something, an Italian folding floor easel – with a drawer – filled with paints! Merry early Christmas to me, say I.

But the easel isn’t just for me; I want Tanya to start using it. I’ll even let her have the free canvas that came with it. Then maybe she’ll become a famous painter, traveling the world to share her gift, all the while giving me huge rolls of one thousand dollar bills. Sweet.

No I wouldn’t use her like that. I’m sure that eventually I would become so embittered and jealous of her success that my alcohol bloated corpse would ultimately turn up under a pile of newspaper clippings.

It’s a win-win for just about everybody. Yeah Christmas!

Fun Fact: Speaking of bloated corpses, Fox has been running episodes of the Family Guy to gear up for the show’s triumphant return to television. All of you Seth McFarland fans drool with antici…pation.

I’ve never really watched the Family Guy. Yeah, I’ve seen a couple episodes here and there, but I never followed the series or anything. But, I tell you, watching the re-runs of the show on Fox, I can say that I now know why.

At the risk of enraging the entire internet geek community, I’m going to say that the Family Guy is just about the most insipid show ever put on TV. Sure, it has its funny moments, even “laugh out loud” some of them. But it’s a dumb show. It’s pretty gross; I can accept that, I like gross things, fried grits and sloppy Joes to name a couple. It’s not the gross-out humor that bugs me. It’s the fact that the show is just so damned…dumb.

I’d rather watch a cartoon show written by me. And that’s pretty dumb. I could write Family Guy style jokes:

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side…penis!

Flashback to me talking about Seth McFarland…poop on Delta Burke!

Bring it on internet geeks! I probably deserve it for being old and crotchety.

And we’ve busted the 6000th visitor mark.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Big News!

Yeah, pretty big news. I’m an uncle…again. My sister had a baby. But I’m not going to tell you anything about this mystery baby until I get some pictures of him…her? Oh, what a cliffhanger! Just be rest assured that the baby is in fine health and has all 20 of its fingers and toes!

If only it had arms and legs…

In other big news, the new TAM cartoon is up! I wish that I could say that it’s funny. It’s not. But that’s okay. It’s a milestone in the world of TAM cartoons. Why, you ask? Well, because it’s the 50th one!

I can’t believe that I’ve done 50 unfunny cartoons! Of course I’ll have to do about 10,000 more unfunny cartoons to catch up with Family Circus. But let’s be fair to me, huh. My cartoons consist of 4 panels where as Bill Keane only draws one.

So really, my cartoon is four times less funny than his! I win!

I know, 50 cartoons, big deal. I only do two a week where as most cartoonists do five. But I went into this thing only planning to stick with it for about a month or two. I can’t believe that I’ve stuck with it for this long. It’s a real pain in the ass. I have a deep respect now for real cartoonists. They have to come up with a lot of ideas. Mostly, I just write mine about an hour before I start drawing them, and even at just two a week, I feel like I’ve got nothing.

With that said, let’s all bask in the genius that was Bill Watterson, shall we? It’s too bad that he has quit drawing Calvin and Hobbes. But it’s been a lot of years later and I’m still talking about his cartoon. I guess it’s good to go out “on top.”

The rumor I hear about ol’ Mr. Watterson is that he’s living on a ranch somewhere in the Midwest, quietly painting landscapes. But here’s the kicker, now I can’t remember my source, but evidentially he’s painted a few hundred of them – and thrown out every one! See, he was told by a professional painter once that the first 700 were just practice.

Maybe that’s what I’ll do? I’ll go out on top and become an eccentric recluse! I mean I’m already a recluse, now I just have to get eccentric. I’ll develop a fetish for toilette paper and dead cats!

Maybe not. It takes a lot of work to get “on top.” And besides, toilette paper and dead cat collecting is its own reward.

No, when I leave the world of cartooning, it’ll be considered “cutting my losses.”

I’m joking. I’m not trying to sound like I’m pathetically soliciting over here. I do think some of them are funny. And I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking to it.

Yeah me! I rock.

Fun Fact: Speaking of unfunny cartoons, here’s a tidbit from anecdotage.com.

”Shoe” creator Jeff MacNelly spent four years at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill without obtaining a degree. “Most kids took notes and doodled in the margins,” the cartoonist once explained. “I doodled and took notes in the margins.”

Man, with sharp wit like that it’s hard to believe that Shoe is so unfunny, huh?

One more thing for personal curiosity: Does Shoe remind anyone else of the old TV show Barney Miller? Or is it just me?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Welcome to Monday

Yes, please step into Monday, feel free to browse, and if you find anything you want, we’ll be happy to gift wrap it for you for an almost unnoticeable papering fee.

I hope all of you had a good weekend. Mine was good. I got to see a couple of good movies, Anchorman and Fahrenheit 9/11. Both of them were good, although Anchorman seemed to be a lot funnier than Fahrenheit. But funnier isn't necessarily gooder.

*We as human beings need to do more to reach out to other human beings. I don’t know about you but I am feeling a lot of pressure from the Americans with Disabilities Act to make this blog more accessible to the world’s differently-abled. Therefore, the rest of this post will be available in closed captions for the hearing impaired.*

Fare Hight mad me feel a little dum#&. I hat bean feeling a little dumb for a wheel before that, but I can belief that I ether supported then war in tic-tacs$#. I mean I was a little weary of the presents decision, I never thought that Sad man whose name ever had nuclear meat ones, but I did think that sad man whose name was an anvil dick taters*@.

Wheel, live an loin, I guess. That was the in tire message of Michael Mores film. He never came out and a tack any of his who hers. He just simply state head that we should try to bee more vigilante in the foot hurt@#. I’m with his. I also stink that we should tic-tac and more act ivy roll in politics. After all I snot that what demon cries is all about?#$.

Present bushes is runes a marker cap! And now we beater bee uneven more vigilante, bee cause he’s trying to tic-tac a weigh hour over time!%# It’s retarded real eels! Tickle down economics are a huge leer! It’s just another weigh that rich carp operations keep the walking man submarines!$$ Present ray gun new this. The program with tickle down economics is hat hay come at the expensive American peep holes! The work hers are they ones hoot cake he brunt of hit. Ands hat money never makes heat hay back to the work hers bee cause the carp operations send all of cough pits over sees!^&

It’s much a fire trucking scam!

I jest hot hat I should rant a piddle a rout am hernias problems. May bee shoe found it a tittles help filled. Grand Am all hays beer to peach.

*Cloned Captures where bought to use by Monday; place steep in go Monday, eels free to bounce, and if they find any hinge he chants, wheel bee hippy to get trapped it for him for an immitigable peppering free.*

Sorry about the closed captions, it’s just that I’m so mad at the greedy politicians who are trying to take away our opportunity to receive overtime, that I thought that I should try and reach out to a larger audience. Mission accomplished I think!

Fun Fact: I have new blue jeans. So you can all stop asking, “Are those the same pants you wore yesterday?”

And yes, they were.

Also, I’ll get killed if I don’t mention that Tanya was the one who wanted me to write this post in closed captions. She’s become very sensitive to the plight of the handicapped. In fact, she hardly ever pushes them into traffic anymore.

Friday, August 20, 2004


Amber Frey Day! I don’t have anything to really say about Amber Frey, I just thought that it would be an interesting title for this post. I’m starting to run out of ideas.

I will say this about Amber Frey. Tanya pointed this out to me. Amber Frey should become the spokesperson for an escalator company, because, according to the news, that’s how she spends all of her time. Don’t believe me? Watch the news and tell me if she’s riding down an escalator.

I know, I know, there’s an escalator leading into the subterranean catacombs that they call a courthouse. Still…

Speaking of courts and law and criminal justice and all that stuff; I was watching the news this morning and it was filled with news of cops either beating people up or killing them.

This woman was killed in Georgia after the police performed a PIT maneuver (Precision Immobilization Technique) on her car. Sure, cops perform the PIT all the time, just watch Real Stories of the Highway Patrol. They nudge the back end of the car to make it spin out.

The problem here was that they did it while the car was going about 80mph (that’s about 128kph for you Aussies).

She flies off the road, hits a tree and dies along with her passenger. Tragic, right? Her father thinks so. He’s mad as hell at the cops. But he refuses to see the video of the incident. We all saw it on the news, and I think that he should too.

I understand that it’s a horrible thing to have your daughter killed. She wasn’t very old. I can appreciate the grief that this man is going through. I don’t know how he feels exactly, but I’m sure that it would be a biblical understatement to say that he’s “bummed.”

But here’s why I think that he should watch the videotape of the incident. Because then he would see his little girl leading the cops on a pursuit that exceeded 100mph (160kph, damn you Aussies)! He would see her weaving all over the highway. He would see her driving in the median and on the shoulder. He would see her almost hit a crap load of cars and even one highway worker who came about 10 inches (25.4 centimeters...babies) from being the gruesome responsibility of some other road workers.

She ran like hell. And when they tried to stop her, she was killed. They way I see it, the cops shouldn’t have done what they did, but the real victim here is her passenger.

I don’t get it. I don’t understand why we should be held responsible for these idiots. You know now there are going to be more laws passed. It’s the stupid people that cause all these laws. Tags on pillows, warning labels on cigarettes etc…

Okay, that last one is probably not the best argument, but what idiot actually thought that breathing smoke would be alright?! I’m a smoker; I know it’s not alright. The wet hacking cough tells me so.

But it’s like this guy here in LA. He stole a car, lead police on a deadly pursuit, then ditched the car a fled on foot. The cops finally caught up with him and kicked him a couple times.

Look, the guy’s an asshole, he should’ve been kicked. They didn’t go all Rodney King on him or anything. They just kicked him a couple times. Oh, and hit him with their batons. But even on the video you can see that he’s resisting.

I don’t want to go into a big thing about it right now. I have things to do. I’m going on an adventure! There’s a telephone pole outside my place with my name all over it!

Hey if they didn’t want people to climb to the top of it and steal the huge transformer, they should have put a fence around it!

I’m only human, which means that I’m not at all responsible for my idiotic decisions. Someone out there has to know better, is it my fault that they didn’t warn me?

Fun Fact: Yesterday in my post about my super-cool new old typewriter, I told you about the fact that it doesn’t have an exclamation point. I’ve since discovered why. It doesn’t have a “1” key either (that's a 35 for you Aussies). And since the “1” (35) and the exclamation point (question mark) are inexplicably linked for all eternity (two weeks)…

It just goes “backspace”, 2, 3, 4…

We may live in a world full of idiots, but at least we now have “1”s on our keyboards (dingoes).

I’m guessing that in 1956 there was a backlash against the extreme patriotism of WWII. Therefore, including a “1” on American typewriters would seem arrogant? Or maybe they just couldn’t be bothered with such a low number (there’s a zero, but that’s not a number)? Or maybe they were just trying to save space on the keyboard by making us use the “I” key in its place?

Either way, you know what 1956?

We’re #1! (35!)

Oh, and the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Bitchin’!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Just My Type…


Actually, if you know me, you’d know that I actually don’t have a type. Also, if you know me, you’d know that by writing that last line, I’m going to get a phone call from Tanya.

Okay, let me revise that first statement. I used to not have a type. Now I do. I prefer blondes. And an occasional redhead. Now don’t get all worried about me, Tanya won’t kill me, by “an occasional redhead,” I mean that Tanya is occasionally a redhead.


Actually, I’m really confusing the issue here. The title of this post doesn’t refer to chicks. Their hair notwithstanding. It refers to something much different. Although I am a little perplexed by the issue of type. Does someone’s hair color really make them a type? That’s a little shallow, don’t you think?

Again, let me revise my first statement. I used to be attracted to...bitches.

I’m kidding, my exes aren’t bitches. Not all of them anyway. Don’t think that I’m bitter or anything. I have better things to do than be bitter about my ex-girlfriends. Unless Tanya’s reading this, in which case…they’re all bitches.

Sorry, I’m going to need to revise the penultimate statement too. I’m not bitter about my exes, but I don’t have anything better to do. In fact, it might help to pass the time.

But none of this is at the heart of this post. Now that I’ve made everyone uncomfortable about my personal life, let me get to it.

The other day Tanya and I were getting rid of her impressive cardboard box collection down at the local Post Office, when Tanya spied something cool.

An old typewriter! Just sitting in the parking lot. So I went to look it over. Tanya didn’t want to keep it at first, but the second she heard the soothing chime of the typewriter’s bell, she was hooked. Well, not hooked, but she did let me put it in the trunk of the car.

How could anyone pass this up?!

Sure it needed a little attention, but it was in good shape, all things considered. Someone had either never used the thing, or it was well loved. That is before they shoved it in front of a dust blower.

With this kind of dust, I suspected that it might have been used as a movie prop. Either that or it was used by the French Foreign Legion. (My second reference to the French Foreign Legion in a week! I think I’m setting a record. Especially since everything I know about the French Foreign Legion was learned watching Bugs Bunny cartoons)

But I decided that I could clean it up. And that’s exactly what I did. It was a dirty business and it took me two hours, but at least it was spider-free.

Spider-free is very important to me. Had it been spider-filled, it would have gone right back to the parking lot. Somehow. Because I wouldn’t have touched it.

Here is the result of my effort:

It’s not the best picture in the world, but you get the idea (interesting background, guitars and liquor, yup, that my cool rocker life pretty much). I’ve since researched my new treasure. The internet being what it is, I could only find out that it is a Royal Typewriter model HH manufactured in 1956. But that’s it. You would think that I could find all that out by looking at the machine itself, but you’d be wrong. Well, I did find the “Royal” part that way.

If you look closely, the typewriter doesn’t include an exclamation point. Maybe in the 50s exclamation points were considered too provocative? Anyway, I found a way around their safeguard against emotion by utilizing the super-huge apostrophe, the backspace function and a period. I’ll show them! Stupid 50s types.

So now I have a 1956 typewriter in my apartment. I don’t type well. But it’s neat looking. And out of all the other knick-knacks littering up our apartment, this one is by far the heaviest. So it has that going for it.

After the big clean, the cute little typewriter wrote me this message:

In case you can’t read that it says, “Thank you for rescuing me! I owe you my life!”

Wasn’t that sweet?

No, it wasn’t sweet. I typed that. I’m a narcissist. 1956 typewriters can’t type by themselves.

But it is amazing that it still works after all these years. I think I’ll keep it.

Fun Fact: You can all rest easy tonight. Paris Hilton’s rat-dog has been returned safe and sound! Oh my God! I was like sooo worried!

Honestly, this was not only on the local news this morning, but also on the national news! The newscasters read the story with a shade of sarcasm, but really, why do any of us care about this woman!? She still can’t stand up straight! She’s still a media whore! She’s still an ugly person. She still has no discernable talent!

And no, being born rich isn’t a talent.

Enough of Paris Hilton! Enough of the crooked hooker! Geeze.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Cartoons Out the Wazoo

It’s Tuesday, so you know what that means?! I mean, now that Last Comic Standing is over. It means that the new TAM Cartoon is up! Huzzah!

But one cartoon can hardly be considered “out the wazoo.” There’s a new addition to the TAM blog empire.

TAM too!

The list at the left of the page was getting a little long. And since I’m no web expert, instead of trying to contain it all, I’ve just gone and added a new blog page to house the complete archives.

That’s right, I’m a franchise. Pretty soon I’ll have taken over the entire internet. If you’re interested in a TAM franchise, let me know. That’s right, now you too can have a blog like mine. It’s really easy. But you’ll need to capture that TAM magic. Like I said, it’s effortless. You just have to use a lot of commas, complain, and overuse adjectives!

It’s as simple as that.

Oh, and don’t forget the exclamation points!!!

That’s really it for today. I just don’t have the time. No really, you’re all just super and you deserve something really cool today. I would love to give that to you, but to tell the truth, I’m in Paris right now. Really I am. I saw fireworks on the Eiffel Tower and tripped on a cobblestone.

Man, I just couldn’t be more in Paris! See you all when I get back. Au revoir!

But while I’m here in the City of Lights, I am thinking about changing the look of the blog. Mike just did it, and since Blogger has added cooler blog page templates, I’m thinking about doing it too. This template just isn’t doing it for me anymore. So take a look at TAM too and let me know what you think of it (that’s the style I’m thinking about changing it to)…

Oh my god, Jacques Chirac just spilled coffee on me! Man, the French…!

Fun Fact: Jacques just apologized to me. And then he told me this story about Richard Nixon!

In 1974, Richard Nixon, not noted for his social graces, visited Paris to attend the funeral of French president Georges Pompidou. “This,” Nixon remarked during the ceremony, “is a great day for France!”

That Jacques, he tells one hell of a story about Richard Nixon.

Monday, August 16, 2004


That’s right, I’m very excited. Tanya and I went to Guitar Center yesterday…twice. She was sweet enough to let me get a couple new cool things.

There they are, my new amp and effects pedal. The effects pedal is actually more of a modeling processor. That means that it emulates the amp and guitar set-ups of those who have enough money to afford the real things.

But an amp emulator is the next best thing. Especially for me. I doubt that my neighbors would appreciate me getting a huge amp stack. They just don’t appreciate art. They’re fascists.

Let me explain why we went to guitar center twice. I was looking for a cool, yet inexpensive amplifier, mostly to help me complete the new and improved Christmas album. We got something a little more expensive than we had intended. It was a sweet amp I tell you. A good size if I ever decided to get off my butt and actually play for people. The problem was that it had no headphone jack. No way for me to silence it while recording. Again my Pat Buchananesque neighbors would’ve bitched.

But here’s the up-side. I had talked my way into a nice, and moderately pricey, amp. She had already resigned herself to the spent money. So when we returned the mega amp and traded down to a smaller version that was half the bigger version’s price, I had some money left over for an effects pedal (and a new cable).

Not a bad trade. And let’s face it; I’m never going to play in front of anyone anyway.

Speaking of playing in front of people, have any of you ever been to Guitar Center? Or any big music store for that matter? I’m not talking about the cool small music stores that I used to go to when I was younger, I mean the huge ones. The places who specialize in electric guitars and basses. The places where most of the people shopping there can’t actually read music.

It’s a unique experience. And a bit intimidating if you don’t what you’re doing. Like me. I always feel a little stupid shopping for guitar stuff. Saxophones I know, but guitars…I have no real idea what I’m talking about. I know what a metal mouthpiece sounds like on an alto sax, I know the difference in the strengths of reeds, and I even know how to fix a saxophone. But guitars? Forget it. Until I got my first real electric guitar a couple weeks ago (thanks again Tanya), I knew nothing. I thought that a humbucker pickup could help me move into a new apartment.

Oh, I kid. That’s just good rocker humor there.

But back to Guitar Center. It’s a groovy place, sure enough. The people who work there are nice, fine. The problem I have with a place like that is the clientele.

The place lets you play everything in the store so the entire showroom turns into one huge dissonant jam set and audition.

All these “jammers” seem to be under the impression that if they play loud enough, David Geffen will pop his head from around a Gibson hollowbody and hand them a contract.

It’s never going to happen, people.

But they won’t listen; they’ll keep playing the same heavy metal riff over and over and over and over again until they hit the big time. I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on them right? After all, they did practice that heavy metal riff for weeks in anticipation of shopping at Guitar Center..

But I digress, the point is that I got a cool amp and effects pedal and now I’m going to go and play with them before I have to do some real work.

So, if you play the guitar, or bass, or keyboards, or basically anything that you’ve ever seen played onstage at the Whiskey A go-go, I recommend the Guitar Center. Just bring some aspirin.

Fun Fact: Some friends got married this past weekend, so I’d just like to say congratulations to Kathy and David, even though they won’t see this post because they’re in Hawaii. Lucky jerks. Although they did have to get married…


Friday, August 13, 2004


Did I scare you?! I hope not. If I did, then you’re an incredible weenie.

Now catch your breath, you’ll be in for many more scares before the day is through. I’m not just saying that because Alien vs. Predator opens today. It’s Friday the 13th!

I’m sure you felt it this morning. There’s something creepy in the air, no?

Well, no actually. There’s nothing creepy about Friday the 13th. There never is. Personally, I’ve never been assaulted by a machete wielding madman. Not on Friday the 13th anyway.

But enough about my childhood. It’s time to get to the meat of this post. Or should I say the rancid rotting flesh of this post. No, meat…let’s stick with meat.

As I was saying, I’ve never been scared on Friday the 13th – until today!

Oh, yes, in true manic TAM fashion, I’m changing my tune. Mostly because I have a horrifying tale of the macabre to tell you. And it’s all true.

Sit back, dim the lights…if you dare, because here it is. Get ready to be macabred by…

The Thing that Wouldn’t Go Away!

It was Friday the 13th and TAM had just woken from a terrifying dream. He wiped the sleep from out his eye and rejoiced to find himself safe in his bed and not onstage with a forgotten script.

Bet then he felt it. Extra weight. Around his midsection.

Not the normal dead weight of his girlfriend's slumbering, cover-stealing arm. No. This was something altogether different.

There was something attached to the outside of his abdominal muscles. An alien? A Predator?

Worse. 20 pounds of useless flesh.

He tried not to panic. He didn’t want to scare his girlfriend. She might inadvertently hit him in the boys. Again.

He slowly and quietly put his feet on the floor, careful not to rouse the slumbering gonad-crushing machine that lay next to him. It was worse than he had anticipated.

20 pounds of extra fat. Just sitting there. What was it thinking? Where did it come from? And more importantly, what did it want from him?

TAM surreptitiously tugged at the fleshy parasite. Nothing. It would not release itself. And the pain from all the tugging told TAM that this parasite had set its roots in deep. So he did the only thing he could do. He covered it with a shirt. Maybe no one would notice?

TAM’s exit from the bed woke his girlfriend.

“What’s the matter?” She asked.
“We need to go to the gym,” he replied.
“Well, of course, that’s why I set the alarm for 6:00,” she sounded confused.

Of course, though TAM. 6:00. It was all coming back to him. She had set the alarm clock the night before. Had she seen…it? Did she somehow know that he was being overcome by some strange fatty being?

He tried to push it out of his mind. It was the only way he could keep his sanity.

But it was no use; the next 15 minutes were a blur. He remembered something about contact lenses and tooth brushes. But it all seemed like some kind of hygienist’s dream.

His wits came back to him as they drove down the large, mostly-empty city street. They were on their way to the gym. He knew that because it was too early to go to McDonalds. But he still wondered how this…thing…could have appeared. Almost overnight. It was Kafkaesque. But still, he thought, faced with the choice of looking like a big fatty or being a giant cockroach, most people would start searching for a giant cupboard to spend the night in.

They pulled into the crowded parking lot. TAM looked over to his girlfriend. She looked tired, but it didn’t seem as if she’d noticed anything out of the ordinary. He couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

The attendant at the front desk swiped their membership cards with loads of disdain and a insincere “have a good work…” she trailed off.

They found two cross trainers. The sun streaming through the large bay windows seared into their eyeballs. They couldn’t see the TVs, but at least they got to use machines that actually worked. Besides, even in his confused state, TAM could remember one thing…it was weight day.

The 5 minutes spent on the cross trainers seemed like at least six. They worked their way up the steel covered steps to the weight room.

TAM could feel it. Pulling him down with every step. Maybe that was its mission, to keep him from climbing stairs? Could it be that simple?

No, he thought. It couldn’t be.

At the top of the stairs, a rush of memories swept over him like a typhoon. This was the place. This modern torture chamber. This was the place he almost died. It became even more vivid now, provoked by the endless sea of twisted machines. He remembered the trainer, he remembered stretching, but mostly he remembered the week of pain.

Is that why this thing had shown up? Was it somehow a manifestation of his fear of exercise? Could it be that simple?

No, he thought. It couldn’t be.

His girlfriend continued to move from machine to machine like nothing was out of the ordinary. But he could feel it. There was something strange about this place today. This Friday the 13th. It was almost unnoticeable. A weirdness.

TAM wove his way through the machines too. From one to the next. The thing followed. Silently sitting there. Carefully working against him. Slowly feeding off his energy.

Finally they walked back down the steel steps to the ground level, passed the plastic smile of the desk lady, and into the parking lot.

His girlfriend hadn’t noticed a thing. But TAM did. He felt a strange sensation earlier on the weight-assisted pull-ups. A sensation of floating. As if somehow he was lighter.

He still felt a little lighter. Maybe it had left him? Maybe he could finally rest easy? Maybe he could fit into the half of his wardrobe, now cover with a protective layer of dust?

His girlfriend got into their car. TAM followed, taking his seat behind the wheel. He felt better somehow. Lighter, free, like he had accomplished something.

As TAM shoved the key into the ignition, he looked down. Just for a split second. But that’s when he saw it. It hadn’t gone...

It was IN THE CAR!!!!

Whoah! That was scary! Did I startle you with the yelling at the end?!

It was all true.

Well, mostly true.

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

Fun Fact: The new TAM cartoon is up! Yip-yip-yipee!

I know, this fun fact is a cop-out, but what do you want from me? I told you a story!

Thursday, August 12, 2004


It was another annoying news day. So, of course, I have a few bones to pick. Sure it’s just a bunch of whining, but let’s face it, isn’t that what the internet is for?

My latest gripes are of the legal variety.

First, I’ll start with the Scott Peterson case. Amber Frey took the stand yesterday. She’ll be back again today. So the morning news was full of accounts of her testimony and those silly courtroom drawings. Do the drawings really add anything? There’s no drama. They’re just pictures.

But I can appreciate the artists; I’m sure they’re just happy to not have to make the all day trip to the Santa Monica Pier. I’ll bet courtroom money is way better than caricature money.

So all morning we had to listen to what a big fat fatty liar Scott Peterson was. No, really? You mean to tell me that Scott Peterson lied!? Come on people, we knew he was a liar, right? He was having an affair! He’s supposed to lie, that’s how it works. It’s smarmy, sure. But after all, a marital affair with no lies is called an “open marriage.”

The newscasters went on to make a big deal about how Scott said that his favorite movie was The Shining. See people; let this be a lesson to you all. Never tell people what your favorite movie is. Some day you may be on trial for double murder and you wouldn’t want it to came back and bite you in the ass.

“His girlfriend is missing, he said that his favorite movie was Casablanca, I say we call the French Foreign Legion and start combing the Moroccan desert…”

The Shining is a good movie. It doesn’t make him a psycho because he liked it. I know a lot of people who really liked that film. They don’t scare me. But I have to tell you, I’d run for my life if anyone ever answered with Species 2.

No, Scott Peterson isn’t a psycho because of the kinds of movies that he likes. He’s a psycho because he nonchalantly killed his wife and unborn baby. Allegedly. I have no proof. Personally, I hope he’s innocent, I mean, come on, he already looks like the world’s biggest ass. World’s biggest ass and cold blooded killer is a little much don’t you think?

My gut tells me he’s guilty. Lucky for Scott Peterson, although my gut is expanding its territory, it still hasn’t been named “Grand High Dictator of the World.”

Here’s my second legal gripe of the day. Mike Wallace was arrested yesterday for disorderly conduct. For those of you who don’t know, he was fighting with the parking Gestapo.

Sure, pick on the old guy. Mike Wallace is 86 years old. You know what. Who cares!? In my humble opinion, Mike Wallace deserved it. He was double parked. In a limo! They asked him to move, he said no, they said yes, he said no…

Screw you, Mike Wallace. So you were just going to run in to grab your dinner. So what?! None of the rest of us gives a rat’s ass.

You know he gave them the old, “do you know who I am?!”

Double parking is annoying; it blocks up traffic and causes a headache for those of us unfortunate enough to be stuck behind you. No one likes a double parker, Mike.

And when you have a driver it’s unforgivably heinous. Unless he used his hazard lights, then it’s okay.

But you’re going to hear a big old sobby story from Mike on 60 minutes. Don’t believe it for a second. He’s just mad that those parking Nazis didn’t want to give him special treatment. Jerk.

Fun Fact: On a non-legal and happy note, I got paid yesterday for my first personally commissioned song. I was compensated with a big box of Frango Mint Chocolates! Yummy! They came all the way from Chicago. Yummier!

I don’t why Chicago makes it yummier. But I do know one thing; I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate since last night.

And I’ve been overpaid.

Thanks Lisa!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


I don’t have much to say today, I have to get to work on my “new” job. Oh sure, I’m still freelancing for that “Big Online DVD Rental Place,” but now I get to do new releases! Hey, hey!

Same old s#it, different pay.

But don’t ye fret, don’t ye fear, the new TAM Cartoon is here!

Fun Fact: Political genius is 1% inspiration and 98% perspiration.

*There is a 1% margin of error.

Monday, August 09, 2004

I Went Medieval

No asses were harmed.

That’s right; we went to Medieval Times on Saturday. A good time was had by all. By all, I mean Tanya, Julie, Vince, Rachel, Keith and I.

Identities protected to avoid unwanted embarrassment:

Most people only know of Medieval Times as that place Jim Carrey took Matthew Broderick in The Cable Guy. Or, more recently, as the place the Knight worked in Garden State. It’s unfortunate, really. You probably think of it as a place where a bunch of Renaissance Faire geeks ride ponies and swing swords at each other.

And, that’s exactly what it is. But that’s why it’s so fun. Sure, they’re a bunch of Ren-Faire nerds, but really, would you want it any other way? Personally, I would feel a little cheated if the people involved didn’t actually want to be real-live knights. A group of disillusioned Gen X-ers just wouldn’t be the same. All those sarcastic line readings and eye-rolling and such.

If you haven’t gone, I recommend it. Sure, it’s not for the faint of heart. It costs a little bit. But you get a lot of food. I mean a lot of food (vegetarians need not apply), that’s surprisingly good. You get to see frustrated long-haired actors swing maces at each other. You get to see dancing ponies. You get to watch the hopeful faces of the “suires” as they dream of working their way up from crap-wrangler to Knight. But more importantly, you get to wear a paper crown.

And, I ask you, if you’re a Falconer by trade, where else can you hope to find a steady job?

That’s right, I’m saying it. Medieval Times is cool. I’m not ashamed of it.

I do, however, have a few criticisms:

1. The paper crown (which astonishingly, 95% of the people wore) gives one heck of a case of “Crown Hair.”

2. The wizard refused to move his mouth to his pre-recorded dialogue. Even Brittany spears at least tries to make it look convincing. And don’t give me that Fantasy-Nerd crap about “communicating via telepathy.”

3. The “Princess” was horrible. She was pretty enough, sure. Well, “theatre pretty.” But when she said her lines she sounded like Charlie Brown’s Teacher on helium.

4. The actual “story” of the “tournament” is a bit convoluted. I’m all for exposition. But, honestly, at Medieval Times, we shouldn’t be getting lost in the plot. If I wanted to be confused, I’d go and see Code 46 again.

5. Medieval Times, if you insist on having such a complicated back-story, then don’t let the annoying photograph guys bug the audience while you’re telling it. From what I could gather, the reason for the tournament was because the King’s brother was killed in battle and they needed to replace him with a commemorative picture that cost about $12. Am I close?

But those are all small criticisms. Again, if you live close to one and have never been, go to Medieval Times. Like I said, it costs a little bit, but as any of you who have gone out for a nice dinner lately can testify to, it’s highly comparable. Plus you get two beers with dinner.

And where else can you watch kids shovel horse crap while you eat a half a chicken with your dirty fingers?


You don’t get that at Palomino Restaurant. Even if it is named after a horse.

Fun Fact: This piece of Medieval Trivia comes from here:

Here’s the provenance of the saying, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water"?

In medieval times, the man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.

I mean, really, who needs clean babies? They’re just going to poop on themselves anyway.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Fat Boy…Slim?

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful birthday wishes. Of course, none of them made me any younger…

I’ve decided to embarrass myself a little today. I know, you thought I did that every day. No, today I’m going the extra mile.

Brandon commented that he would like to see some “fat Robb” pics. Ask and ye shall receive. Unless you’re asking for money, then you’re SOL. I don’t have any. Talk to Tanya.

So here they are, specially selected by yours truly for maximum embarrassment.

Anatomy of a Fat Kid

Identities properly protected.

I couldn’t find any good pictures of me when I was a little kid, so I’ll have to start with Junior High. This one’s a gem:

As you can see, this is embarrassing on a couple different levels. I’m fat, sure. But the saxophone is the kicker here. Yes, I was also a band geek. So what. I’m not ashamed of it.

Many years after that picture was taken I graduated from High School. How’s that for a transition? Here is one of my senior pictures taken back when I only had one “B” in my first name:

Not a very good picture. I’ve always been a procrastinator. I waited until two days before the yearbook deadline to get this taken. I had it taken at this place at the mall. There was no touch-up. See, that way they could get it to you in less than two hours. Besides, I always felt that if you had a bad complexion, you should document it in the yearbook so that you can look back and remember that you once had a prescription for Retin-A (and it wasn’t for wrinkles).

Also, from the picture, if you look closely, you can see that I have that horrible ponytail and I’m wearing two – count ‘em, two – button-up-the-front shirts. But it was cool back then…really. In the early nineties we liked to layer. I guess we figured that if we spent the money on the wardrobe we might as well wear it – all at once. I still wear shirts similar to that. But now I wear them one at a time.

Don’t make fun, people. Let anyone who has never wanted or worn a pair of British Knights cast the first stone…

Anyway, I graduated and went to community college. I put on even more weight. I gained the freshman 15 alright. But, remember that I went to college for eight years. That means that I had about three freshman years.

Here’s a picture from that time:

This picture contains an added bonus. It’s me (on the left…the fat one) and Mike (visit the Filthy Scarecrow) in Seattle.

I’m fat, fat, fatty-fat-fat.

When I finally went to a “real” college I decided that I’d had enough of being a fatty. I lost a lot of weight, really quick. 110 pounds in about three-and-a-half months.

Diet and exercise. No, I didn’t have an eating disorder. But you’d never know it from looking at this next picture:

I call this my holocaust survivor picture. It also contains an added bonus. The dude with the “sexually correct” shirt on is Jared (visit Burritotime.com). And no, it wasn’t taken on our honeymoon. We were in a play called Angry Housewives.

My arms look like they’re about to snap off.

And who exactly does Jared think he’s kidding with that shirt?

So, there you have it. My fatness in all it’s fatty glory. I’m a little embarrassed, but what the hell, I didn’t have anything to write about today anyway.

Fun Fact: Tanya hijacked my post the other day. In her fun fact she mentioned that my car doesn’t have door handles. She was mistaken. My car does have door handles.

They’re just in the trunk.

And, the new TAM cartoon is up! Hoorah!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Older and Wiser plus Vacation Photos

I’m not really wiser, but I do have vacation pictures for you. Lucky you!

I had a good time on my mini-vacation yesterday. It was more driving than anything else, but we visited a few places.

The first stop on the Orange County tour was Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It’s a mall. These are the times in which we live people. We vacation to malls. So what. Plus, it answered that age-old question ”what is new wave rock group the FIXX doing these days?”

Why they’re playing at an upscale mall in Newport Beach, of course.

We didn’t get to actually see the FIXX play a set, but we did see them do a sound check. I tell ya’, it’s nice to see such notable and legendary musicians doing their own sound check. I guess even roadies won’t make the mall circuit.

Some pictures of Fashion Island.

This place has changed since the last time I was there. I guess it would have to, because the last time I was there was in 1990. Incidentally, I acquired my first pair of quality sunglasses at this mall. Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Tortoise shell. I found them on the ground. I was the coolest fat kid at Pasco High. Back then, Wayfarers were cool. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd wore them as the Blues Brothers. But, though I may have been fat, I was no John Belushi. He may have been high most of the time, but even he wouldn’t wear a pony-tail. I was tortured by 80s fashions.

I kicked the expensive sunglasses habit, but only after I broke six pair of them.

Anyway, after we left Newport Beach, it was just a short drive to Laguna Beach.

It’s a nice place. We only stayed an hour. See, the Laguna treasurer counts the city’s income 25 cents at a time and we didn’t have a lot of quarters.

If you’ve never been to Laguna, the town is overrun with parking meters. Parking meters and art galleries. Both of which are overpriced.

So we did our beach thing, we walked, we talked, I got mad because Tanya made me get too close to the ocean and I got my pants wet…

Next, it was back up the coast to Huntington Beach and Chili’s.

It was a fine dining experience. Tanya, as per request, I’m taking this time to remind you never to order the fajita quesadillas again. There.

That’s it really. So…bye.

Fun Fact: In Newport Beach, at Fashion Island, hanging from the side of a Robinson’s May is one of the great wonders of the world.

”The world’s largest WIND CHIMES!”

As you can see by the picture (if you have really good vision), it’s actually just a crap-load of the “world’s most average sized wind chimes.” But the effect is good. I mean, I took a picture of it didn’t I? Of course I have 10 pictures on my computer of my dumpster…

But it was still cool. An unexpected treat.

Now, we just need to find the world’s largest rattan chair, bamboo screen, novelty windsock, and hibachi!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


So it’s Robb’s birthday today. I drew him the lovely picture you see above. This morning he commented that in the 9 years we have known each other (I know, 9 YEARS, don’t talk about it, I am already freaked out enough) he has NEVER seen me draw anything.

And now everyone knows why.

Oh yeah, I should point out that this post is brought to you by The Anthropomorphic Girlfriend, aka Tanya. Robb has informed me on several occasions that I am welcome to post here, but there is just so much pressure that comes with that. I have to live up to his reader’s expectations.

“You know… well, you know…I mean…”

There, done. I’m pretty sure I captured the essence of this blog.

I’m just kidding. I think it’s a fine blog. Well worth not having a job for. Just kidding… again. Sorta…. Half kidding. Not that I am bitter. I have a job that let’s me take the day off for Robb’s birthday! So we will be heading off to Laguna Beach just as soon as he gets his 10 synopses done for today.

I don’t know what else to write…

I saw “Garden State” last weekend. (See how I’ve mastered this blog thingy?!)

Fun Fact: Robb has come a long way since college. He used to have a ’79 Honda Accord Hatchback and the only thing keeping the passenger side door closed was a sock tied from the door handle to the emergency brake.

Now Robb’s car doesn’t even have door handles.

But it does have a stereo. Bought and paid for with a loaf of Banana Bread. Thanks Jon!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Following the Herd

It’s Tuesday and the new TAM cartoon is up. I want to thank Julie and Brandon for their input. Now, I don’t want to be accused of lying so I’ll just tell you that the reason that I didn’t use their great suggestions is that they were getting a little ahead of me. There, I said it.

Thanks again.

Today’s post is going to be short. It’s my birthday tomorrow and I have to get 20 synopses done today so that I can enjoy it.

Besides, I don’t have anything interesting to say. When other blogs run dry, they usually post movie reviews. Who am I to buck the trend? After all, no one’s ever accused me of being a pioneer or anything.

This past weekend I was privileged enough to get to see two films, Harry Potter…, and Garden State.

Yeah, I know that Harry Potter came out a billion months ago, but it was free, so there.

You know, a lot of people I know have given Harry Potter a bad review. They complained that it didn’t follow the book closely enough. See, that’s why I don’t read.

Let me rephrase that. I do read, but the books that I read have little hope of ever being made into major motion pictures. Unless anyone out there is dying to see the “Screencraft: Cinematographers” movie or the amazing adventures of the “Word Detective” as he “solves the mysteries behind those pesky words and phrases?”

Yeah, so what, I read textbooks. I went to college for eight years, some habits are hard to break.

The only “novel” I’ve read lately is “The Da Vinci Code.”

And the dialogue read a lot like a textbook.

Enough about my illiteracy. And my poor punctuation. Let’s get back to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I liked it. I thought that the direction was a lot better than the first two in the series. But then again, I’ve never really been a huge fan of Chris Columbus. (Insert “discovering America” joke here). I just felt that the overall mood of the third film was superior. Not only that, but the story was a lot more focused. By focused, I mean that there was only one of them. And the production design was far better.

All in all, I found it entertaining. Sure, I’ve learned that there was a lot of backstory missing, but really, it’s not real life. It’s okay to take creative license. I mean, if you can’t take liberties with art…?

Now for review number two, Garden State, the directorial debut from Zach Braff. It’s a good movie and I recommend it. It’s not perfect, but that’s part of its charm.

However, I do get a little annoyed with the label of “first feature.” Sure, he’s never directed anything like this before, but there’s a world of difference between the resources that someone like Zach Braff has and, let’s say, you or I. When you’re rich and connected, I think that you should have to forgo the hype of the “first feature.” Let’s face it, none of us nobodies are gong to get Ian Holm to be in our first movie. I mean, I had enough trouble just trying to get my college peers to show up for mine.

But, that said, Zach did make a fine movie. It was stylish without being terminally hip. And, I’ve got to tell you, Natalie Portman was excellent. I was very impressed. Peter Sarsgaard was also good, although he didn’t have to do much more than look stoned the entire time. And he’s a natural when it comes to looking stoned.

So there you go, two space-filling reviews from TAM. Both positive. Amazing.

Now I have to go and write a crap-load of movie synopses. Don’t worry, I write synopses way better than I write reviews. Not that it really matters to you.

After all, why should it?

Fun Fact: Speaking of first time directors, most people (and by most people I mean the people I went to college with) think that the first movie I ever directed was “Norman,” a suspenseful tale about a meek computer hacker who disposes of his recklessly philandering wife (yeah, I know, it’s sounds way better than it actually was. In fact, if I had been that clear about the plot in the action of the movie, it would have been a lot more successful).

In fact, the first movie I ever conceived and directed was entitled “The Haunted Hotel.” A three minute silent short shot on super 8mm film. It was outstanding I tell you. I think I was about seven-years-old when I did that one. Here’s a synopses:

In Wheeling West Virginia, there sits a horrific hotel, terrifying, deadly, and laden with treasure. The lure of the majestic riches draw a motley group of preteens to the hotel where, in the hopes of making a quick buck, they intern for the night. But at the Haunted Hotel, those who check in, check out – for good, but not really, actually they just run around and yell a lot for two-and-a-half minutes, in this chilling tale of terror.

Man, I’m getting all goosebumpy just thinking about it!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Hello Los Angeles! Are you ready to ROCK?!

Well, it was fruitful weekend for me. My birthday is coming up way too soon, and Tanya got me the coolest present ever.

There it is, my new electric guitar! A shining deep red beacon in a world of beige! Rock on! It wasn’t the most expensive guitar in the world. Sure, it’s a Fender Stratocaster. But it’s a Fender Stratocaster Squire. For those of you who don’t know much about guitars, “Squire” is Olde English for “Hecho en Mexico.” I think it can also mean, “poser.”

But I don’t give a rat’s behind, because it’s MINE! And it’s not like it’s not a fine guitar. Nice and versatile, so that I can make the Christmas album this year even better.

Besides, it’s much better than the electric guitar that I was using. I’ve been borrowing it from my sister for the last three and a half years. My sister’s guitar is groovy and all, but it’s nice to have a guitar where the pickups don’t hit the strings when I tip it forward.

Oh, and the constant buzzing was getting on my nerves too.

No problems now! Now I’m looking for a kick ass amp (for under $150). Because, as you can see from the picture above including the presence of my first-ever stuffed animal, named “Dog,” I like to ROCK HARD!

My sister’s guitar also came with an amp. Like the guitar, it likes to buzz incessantly. But that’s only when there’s actual sound coming out of it. It’s a Gorilla amp. The amp’s overall quality leads me to believe that the name was misspelled. But Central American sweatshop kids can’t be expected to be able to spell Guerilla, right. But you got to love an amp with an agenda. Even if that agenda is to be the worst amp ever produced by man (or child).

So, to sum up – yeah me! Thank you Tanya.

Oh, and be sure to keep your ears on the radio. Not for me. But if you hear something cool, let me know.

For those of you in the Southern California area, I recommend 1260 am, K-Surf, or 88.1 K-Jazz. Nothing inspires pure Rock and Roll like great Jazz and nice and cheesy 40s pop!

Fun Fact: I can’t think of anything for the next TAM cartoon! And I have to draw it this morning!

If anybody reads this and has any suggestions, give ‘em to me. I’m desperate. So, if you can get the suggestion in before I start drawing (in about an hour or so), and if it’s a good one, I’ll use it.

Who says this site isn’t interactive?!

Well, no one actually.