2.28.2000

My friends

I have always been lucky enough to have plenty of wonderful friends throughout my life. It's amazing to think about all the connections that led me to meet these great folks, and even more amazing that I've managed to keep up with several pals who now live far away. I'm happy to have friends in so many states (and even countries)! Of course, I know many more people than you'll read about here - maybe they'll make it on WEBmikey someday.

April

Moore, Oklahoma
April is fun-loving or absolutely crazy, or both. She helped me along in my slow path to a social life. April is working in the medical field, probably making a vampire joke right now.

Dana

Austin, Texas
Dana sings with the Greatest American Heroes and always gets the crowd on their feet. When she belts out The Jeffersons (Movin' On Up), everyone goes all gospel revival while she brings down the house! Travel to the DanaUniverse to find out more.

Ian

New York City, New York
Ian played guitar five years with the Merchants of Venus, then with the Day Jobs, and now is a fantastic classical guitarist. Ian is currently a graduate student, but soon will rule the world with his linguistic powers.

Carlos

Austin, Texas
Carlos is suave gentleman from Columbia who is always cool without even trying. He works with some amazing technology and visits Walt Disney World fairly often!

Dave & Jill

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Dave channels Woody Guthrie and writes the most fantastic folk songs. His most memorable quote is "suffering from secondhand estrogen poisoning". Be sure to read about his fantastic project, The Child, and buy a CD, too! Jill is a Presbyterian minister, sings harmony with Dave, and is an incredibly loving person.

Kristen

Los Angeles, California
Kristen was a Day Jobs fan from the glory days. So dedicated, in fact, that she was the only entry in our Halloween costume contest at the Carousel Lounge (she was an authentic Joan of Arc). Kristen is now working as assistant curator at a giant museum in Los Angeles!

Helen

Washington, DC
Helen is a big-time lawyer but loves saving money on the free museums in DC. She is a fellow geek and addicted to running and water. Helen is married to a great guy named Dan.

Barron & Mariko

Austin, Texas
Barron is a talented artist/designer/photographer who uses obscene gestures at unexpected times. You can read his adventures at Takoyaki (be prepared for lots of pics of their sons Bay and Koa) and see his work at Typhoon Design. Mariko is a fantastic cook and maintains an incredibly kawaii web site called M's Deli (in Japanese).

Conrad

Austin, Texas
Conrad is one of the fine singers in The Greatest American Heroes. He's an amazing pun master and teller of many anecdotes, and loves to sell his bodily fluids for cash. His fantastic kids are cute and really know how to party.

Ann Marie

Austin, Texas
Ann Marie plays standup and electric bass in any style you can think of. She played in the Day Jobs, and now plays with Shelly King and other projects. Ann Marie wishes it were Halloween all year long. Read all about Ann Marie at Bayou Huntress.

Merrideth & Angi

Austin, Texas
Merrideth played bass for the Merchants of Venus, who all become friends of the Day Jobs. When he married Angi, the Day Jobs played at their wedding and had a great time! Angie is a pastry chef artist. She made a chocolate "bass cake" for the wedding.

Nick & Kim

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Nick was my favorite (and only) roommate in my entire life. He plays beautiful alto saxophone and guitar, but not at the same time. Kim is Nick's wonderful wife whom I met at their fun wedding.

Dae

Los Angeles, California
Dr. Dae has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and can answer any science question if it's not too stupid. He was a founding member of the Day Jobs and wrote 95% of their original songs. Dae eats Vienna sausages with breakfast cereal.

Karen

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Karen is a lot of fun to dance with, and has one of the best record collections ever (actual vinyl). She has a beautiful guitar, a beautiful house, and a beautiful dog. Karen may be the only person besides me who can play my songs.

Chris & Eliza

Austin, Texas
Chris is an excellent graphic designer who ate the village pepper. Be nice to him or he may go ninja on your ass. Eliza is a teacher who steals toys from the students she teaches. She enjoys violent movies more than most guys.

Ernesto

Austin, Texas
Ernesto is a hard workin' wood-shedder who blew tenor for the Day Jobs and now heats up the Greatest American Heroes. His tremolo is world renown. Ernesto is also a fantastic cook (yummy enchiladas!).

Kristin

Austin, Texas
Kristin is fellow teacher with Eliza who has lived in more Austin apartments than anyone else I know. She's level-headed in an emergency and always sweet in conversation.

Francis & Cass

Austin, Texas
Francis plays bass and keyboards with the Greatest American Heroes, as well as some other projects around town. He's the only guy I know who can wear a Padawan braid and get away with it. When he's not making new synth sounds with his Borg bass, he's spending time with his sweet wife Cass and their cutie-pie son, Liam. Visit his website for more info.

Matt & Kumiko

Osaka, Japan
Matt melted Austin's heart with his smooth singing in the Day Jobs. He is an honorable fan of anime and Astro Boy and a fantastic photographer as well. Matt moved to Japan to teach English and to spread the gospel of Nova Usagi. Kumiko is a beautiful girl who melted Matt's heart with her magical hats. She is full of energy and loves beer, and takes the best Terminator 2 pictures in the entire world. Kumiko and Matt had a dream wedding in Hawaii in 2003!

Ryan & Jennifer

Austin, Texas
Ryan is an enigma who is as excited about the Powerpuff Girls as he is arena football. He is certain that XBox will crush Playstation. Jennifer loves smiley faces and buying things to stay even with Ryan's die-cast NASCAR purchases.

Shelly

Portland, Oregon
Shelly is a fellow otaku and master of all obscure subjects. When he lived in Austin, he hosted Box of Bugs, a cable access call-in show. You can explore Shelly (he'll enjoy it) at Synaesthetic.

George

Austin, Texas / Online Agency
George has lived several exciting lives in several countries and still ended up as a genius software developer. George and I think so much alike that we sometimes even come up with the same variable names in our code. He loves jazz and calypso music.

Trey & Susan

Texas
Trey is a counselor who is as wise as he is kind. Our adventure in California marked a fantastic change in my life. Susan is laid back and organized at the same time. She teaches school and keeps track of her boys (her two sons and Trey).

Scott & Carol

Grand Prairie, Texas
Scott was my best friend from 7th grade all the way through college. We shared similar geeky interests and ineptness with women, which made our friendship strong. Scott survived the demise of my Mazda GLC! Carol is Scott's wonderful wife whom I've never met.

2.24.2000

Fritos Burritos

I just saw a commercial yesterday for the return of the Fritos Burrito, the most amazing food ever available for 99 cents. When I lived in Tulsa, Taco Bell started making Fritos Burritos for a limited time, and during that time I ate hundreds of them, especially at the mall with Tina when we would shop during CITGO lunch breaks. I even have a photo that Nick took of me eating a Fritos Burrito and drinking a Shiner. All it is a standard Chili Cheese Burrito with Fritos in it, but maybe they taste so good because it's so much fun to say "Frito Burrito" (try it!).

Sick rituals

I was thinking about "sick rituals" the other day (since as I write I'm recovering from a chest cold) - meaning, something you tend to do when you are sick that makes you feel better. My sick ritual is to watch Mary Poppins and eat a jar of applesauce. I don't know how it started, but when I feel lousy, the urge is incredible. I was talking to some folks at work about sick rituals, and they thought I was crazy, but I know for a fact that many people observe these hallowed sacraments.

2.22.2000

Scary Movie : 3 of 5

I don't see a lot of goofball movies, but this one looked pretty good - and it was. My pal Chris tells me it's mainly the plot of Scream (which I didn't see), but even without that knowledge this is a funny show - including three (count 'em - three!) jokes involving wangs! What more could you ask for?

X-Men : 4 of 5

There have been so many bad comic book movies (the Mikey award for the worst is Batman and Robin, which not only had fucking Jim Carrey in it, but they decided Batgirl was Alfred's niece!) that I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. The results are in - X-Men is fantastic. Focusing mainly on Wolverine (which everyone likes most anyway) and Rogue, we still get to know the main group of heroes without any long drawn-out flashbacks. The action is cool and the effects are great. If you haven't read the comic, you'll miss very few inside jokes.

2.21.2000

Jedi Apprentice 7: The Captive Temple / Jude Watson : 4 of 5

The Jedi Apprentice series is excellent - once again a kiddie series (sitting in a cafe with this huge typeface can be embarrassing), but the stories! Wow! The series involves a 13 year old Obi-Wan while he is being trained and traveling with Qui-Gon, so these occur many years before Episode I. In the first books of the series, each stood alone quite a bit, but now that they are up to 9 (expect to read about those in the near future), we have a real serial novel going on. Anyway, so I didn't tell you a damn thing about this book, but you need to read the entire series, period!

2.15.2000

The Connells / Still Life : 4 of 5

I was introduced to the Connells way back in Tulsa by some pals who liked them because their lyrics were so depressing and self-destructive. It's true - sometimes you just want to hear sad songs. Recently I decided to buy some of the CDs that I had taped from Tulsa buddies, and I also picked up this CD, which is the latest. Excellent music with a lot of play again and again value, but no lyrics that wrenched me like their previous efforts (see below).

2.10.2000

2 Days in the Valley : 3 of 5

I don't remember how this ended up on my Netflix cue, but this was an enjoyable movie. The structure was very similar to Short Cuts, which I think is a fantastic film, but much shorter with a few less twists. There are too many separate plotlines to really mention here, but of course, they all come together neatly at the end and coincide wonderfully. There's also some nice scenery of Southern California if you like that sort of thing (I do). Recommended if you like movies with tons of main characters!

2.09.2000

Lain: Navi : 4 of 5

After renting and enjoying the entire series of Lain DVDs, now I'm buying them and watching them again slowly to savor them. The story is far too weird to even begin to describe here, and the more you watch, the more you have no idea what's going on. Yet somehow this story grabs you - the animation is quite minimalist, but it has an elegance that makes the imagery quite spectacular. So many details are perfect (Barron says the scenes in Tokyo are of real places), and the soundtrack is compelling. Can I praise this anime any more?

2.08.2000

Lain: Knights : 4 of 5

Just finished the second DVD in the Lain series, again watching one episode a day - it's nice watching at this pace, since I have more time to digest the plot. In these three episodes Lain really goes techie and fills her room with a huge, multi-screen, liquid cooled computer (Navi), complete with a psyche chip that allows her to experience the Wired anytime she likes (or at least it seems that way). We get to meet many more characters, such as the men in black, though we really don't know what they are after at this point. We also see that Lain is fully aware of her split personality, and for some reason her sister Mika starts to go bonkers.

2.07.2000

Lain: Reset : 4 of 5

I'm finally finished with my "relaxed" re-watching of Lain now that I own the DVDs, and I'm still impressed. I get the feeling that each time I watch it I will find more interesting things. In this final volume, Lain pretty much discovers who or what she is and mentally defeats Masami, who thinks he's God. The scenes in which Lain expresses her love for Arisu are so tender - both when they are young and feeling heartbeats and in the future when they meet "again". The statements about memory and the collective consciousness are fascinating, too, so of course I recommend the whole series.

2.06.2000

Laserblast : 1 of 5

In 1977, just after Star Wars hit it big, every skanky studio with a half-finished science fiction film released them all at once. I remember seeing Laserblast as a double-feature with Star Crash (my favorite bad science fiction), so I thought I would watch it again to compare it to my youthful memory. My god, this movie sucks ass. A worthless teenager finds an alien weapon that turns him into a monster so he can spend the rest of the movie blowing up five cars in mind-numbing slow motion (plus a pinball machine, for some reason). Poor Roddy McDowell, needing some cash after the Apes went out of style, appears as a doctor who gets whacked like everyone else. There are some interesting stop motion effects, but basically this is a plotless mess that's only entertaining because I actually thought this was cool once!

2.05.2000

The Last Starfighter : 3 of 5

The first movie to use "photo-realistic" computer generated effects, this was a landmark movie for the early 80s. Actually, they don't look too much better than Tron, even though they used a freaking Cray XMP, and the images were so complex that they didn't even have monitors that could display them - they had to print directly to film without previewing the results! The story is fun, about a boy who is a whiz at the Starfighter video game, only to find out it's a simulator to test future pilots for a war in outer space. There are some interesting battle sequences cut with goofy scenes of the hero's replacement "beta unit" on Earth to lengthen the story. A lot of the shots are totally Steven Speilberg, with wind and smoke and little small-town details. A little unimpressive for today's eyes, but still a fun movie that helped pave the way for the cool stuff we get to enjoy now!

2.04.2000

Life is Beautiful : 5 of 5

I knew this would be a great movie, but I didn't expect it to be giving it five stars. Life is Beautiful is fun, sweet and sad, and even though it has many unbelievable plot twists, it's just too special to let these get in the way. Under normal circumstances, I don't think I could take much of Roberto (I have seen portions of his other films and they were terrible), but the mix of his goofiness with a love story (not to mention the concentration camp of the second half of the film) tempers his Italian Jim Carrey-ness so I could handle it. The plot does a great job of giving us little details that later become important in the plot, without beating the viewer over the head. The end seemed a little quick, but I suppose there was nothing left to say. Life is Beautiful is heartwarming, and I hadn't watched a movie like that in quite a while.

2.03.2000

The Little Mermaid : 5 of 5

One of Disney's best, which unfortunately continued the "restless daughter" plot rut, but remains my favorite of the "Disney Renaissance" (my term) films. A nice story with very well integrated songs that are obviously not written to be radio hits - it just doesn't feel right to sing Part of Your World if you aren't a mermaid, though that scene is absolutely touching and gets me crying in the first half-hour of this movie. My only complaint is that the villainess, the Sea Witch (who is an octopus) isn't developed at all, and I think she would be even scarier if we knew more about her. Still, The Little Mermaid is nearly perfect, and Ariel has some of the best animated hair in history. And don't forget, when she transforms from a mermaid into a human, she isn't wearing pants!

2.02.2000

The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea : 3 of 5

As WEBmikey readers know, I love Disney movies and I'm a big fan of The Little Mermaid. Disney has a new habit of making cheaper sequels for direct to video release, and this was my first experience with that type of production. Well, the animation is better than Saturday morning, but just by a hair - basically this movie is nicely-scripted with better than OK songs, but animated with lots of corners cut. The story is pretty fun, though, about Ariel's daughter Melody wanting to be a mermaid (a reversal of the original, of course) and they managed all of the original voice talent, too. A new Timon and Pumba-esque team called Tip and Dash (a penguin and a sea lion) add quite a bit, and Tip the penguin sports an excellent character design. No tears in this sequel, but the story kept me interested. Too bad it couldn't have had a bigger budget, but I'll take what I can get when it comes to Disney!

2.01.2000

The Lost World : 3 of 5

The Lost World is Jurassic Park 2, of course, and can you believe that I missed this one in the theater? I would say that this movie is good, but only about half as good as the original. It just moves too fast and shows too much, since they were trying too hard to top the first film. The bonus materials reveal that the original ending, which remained set on the island, would have been so much cooler than the rather silly "rampage in San Diego", which just turns The Lost World into a plain ol' monster flick (something Steven said he was trying so hard to avoid in the original).