Many Mikeys

My life seems to be easily divided into phases, each one quite different from the next. I guess I have always enjoyed reinventing myself, so there have been many Mikeys. I think Mikey today is just an acceptance of all the Mikeys that I have been - I'm proud of all of them (and of any other Mikey lurking in the future).

Childhood Mikey

About a year ago I realized how lucky I am - I really have very little to worry about. So, I finally decided to enjoy and celebrate all of the things I really love in life, no matter how silly they may seem! Childhood Mikey embraces all of the wonderful things about being a kid - Disney movies, theme parks, toys, and having fun! All of the Mikeys of the past are still inside me, and all of them come out now and then, but for the most part you'll find me in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt, playing Dance Dance Revolution, and dreaming about my next trip to Disneyland.
Childhood Mikey in the Happiest Place on Earth

Mod Mikey

When I became single again and started dating, exploring spirituality, and reading and writing poetry, I transformed again. Even though I was balding, I let my hair grow long in the back. I wore rings and bracelets (even with my Corporate Mikey suits!), turtlenecks, flannel shirts and vests. I was now Mod Mikey, the guy in the corner of your local cafe scribbling furiously in my notebook (with a big sticker of a rose on the cover). I was also writing songs and singing for friends every chance I could get. Lots of Mod Mikey still lives in me and my writing, but the surface has evolved into the "normal" Mikey you see today.
Check out the wad of hair on the back of Mod Mikey's head

Corporate Mikey

I was able to get hired by CITGO Petroleum Corporation before my last semester of college, so when I graduated I moved to Tulsa right away to become Corporate Mikey. Now my world was full of suits, briefcases, meetings and conferences - on the day I requested my nameplate I decided I was "Michael", since I had usually been "Mike" before that (and "Mikey" started in Austin). Corporate Mikey was so corporate that I took notes at every meeting and then typed them up on my computer afterwards!
Corporate Mikey in his interview suit

80s Mikey

Don't ask me what happened here, but I guess dating and starting my first band had a weird effect on me. Either that, or the perm that Cheri gave me fried my brain and made me love all things 80s! This is 80s Mikey - lots of hair, skinny ties, bright clothes, and lots of New Wave music. I know I was pretty silly during my Freshman and Sophomore college years, but it's out of my system now.
Nothing says 80s Mikey better than FineLine

Valedictorian Mikey

Somehow it's true - there was a Valedictorian Mikey. I've always been able to study and take tests without really trying (especially in high school), and I was completely shocked when I got the announcement letter from the school - I had never even considered my grades that seriously before (but I loved making As, of course). The Moore High School Class of 1985 had 1,024 students, so my speech had to be fast (I basically wanted to say that grades meant nothing, but they edited that out!). I guess being valedictorian looked nice on my resume, but it didn't make college any easier.
Valedictorian Mikey sporting the white gown

Geek Mikey

Call it whatever you want - geek, nerd or otaku - there always has been (and always will be) a Geek Mikey. Who knows why, but I have always gravitated to science fiction TV shows and movies, fantasy books and games, super heroes and comic books, and everything in-between. My parents have a home movie of me watching Star Trek (when it wasn't a rerun!) while I'm learning to walk. I memorized the entire script to Star Wars (and still know most of it). And yes, I've even been to conventions. Now that I'm older and nostalgic, I'm totally proud to be a geek!
Geek Mikey wears his Captain Kirk uniform at his Star Trek birthday

Spoiled Mikey

As you may have guessed, I'm an only child. My fantastic parents have always been great at actually knowing who I am and the things that I like, and buying them for me! No matter how you look at it, there was a Spoiled Mikey. This was especially true at Christmas, when I would haul in so much stuff that I never knew what to play with first. The worst part about being spoiled was cleaning my room after my friends and I played with just about every toy in the place.
Spoiled Mikey gloats over a Star Wars Christmas



My pal Billy (whom I only see occasionally, unfortunately) is burning up the blogging scene - take a peek at PublicRealm.com. Now I have to check out Zannah, Barron, and Billy everyday! (Thanks for the link and happy anniversary, B-Dog.)

I've realized that I don't have a "focus" to my life for the first time in quite a while. I'm not talking about anything spiritual or philisophical, just a "primary activity" to consume and define me. During my big 3 committed relationships, the relationship itself made me who I was. When I was obsessed with writing/reading poetry, that was me. When I took two years of intense guitar in Tulsa, that was all I thought about. I've even been defined by my "getting out of debt" period (which worked, I'm happy to say). But now, I'm just a jumble of toys, cartoons, gadgets and short-term goals. I love my job, but work has never really obsessed me enough to stop looking for other things to do and learn about. I guess this isn't a bad thing, since I'm not discontent about it. I'd just like to be inspired by something again, to the point where I have to create to express how I feel about it.


Bad Lieutenant : 3 of 5

I had never heard of this early Harvey Kietel film, but rented it anyway after a recommendation from Chris. A really dark film, Bad Lieutenant is fascinating because as you continue to watch all of the religious references (and visions of Christ), you start to understand what's happening with Kietel's character - it's just a matter of waiting to see how it's carried out. There are some pretty disgusting (but kinda funny) scenes in the film - including Harvey's fat, drunk, and nude full-frontal self. I was worried this would be a disturbing film, but it was more than redeemed by a good story and a plot that never gets stuck.


Shrek : 3 of 5

Computer generated animation gets better with every film, and Shrek is proof - I have heard that the film makers actually toned down some of the realism that was possible in order to keep the audience in the fantasy world. So, beyond the exquisite animation, what else is good? The story is a fine one, the voice actors are great (especially Eddie Murphy), and some of the jokes are fantastic (the absolutely best scene is the torturing of the Gingerbread Man - who sounds like he was voiced by Devil Doll), but there is one glaring flaw - the music. I think the film makers were trying so hard to make a hip movie that they felt they had to fill it with Top 40 hits. Come on, the opening credits set to Smashmouth's All Star? How tired can you get? I would have enjoyed Shrek at least twice as much with appropriate incidental music. Oh well, you should see it anyway - just be warned.

The Pallbearer : 2 of 5

I only rented this one as an homage to Gwenyth - I had seen it on TV long ago, but thought it might be nice on DVD. This movie was intended as a vehicle for David Schwimmer of Friends to break into film, but it was totally schizophrenic - billed as a comedy, but the story involves a bizarre affair between the lead and the mother of a dead friend. There's not a laugh in the whole thing, really. Gwenyth looks lovely, of course, though she is a little plain in this one. It's kind of difficult to make it to the end - I was just trying to catch Gwenyth's scenes without dozing off. Only recommended for fans looking to "collect 'em all".


Mom's star

Venus and Mars are so bright in the morning lately! I always see them when I take Stanze out at dawn. My mom likes to call Venus "her star" - when I was in a photography class I took a nice photo of it in a purple sky (using a very long exposure) as a gift to her. I wish I could see more stars and planets, but I've always lived in a city with too much light polution (and always will).

Barron's blog at Takoyaki.org is getting interesting! Blogging is so addictive. I find myself wanting to mention every passing thought. (For example, being lactose intolerant is such a bummer - I used to love to drink huge glasses of milk when I was a kid. I remember gulping them down when I was hot from playing frisbee or riding my bike. Now, did anyone really want to know that?)

I am a target market. My opinion is for sale. I've earned over $40 bucks in Amazon.com coupons in recent days by completing surveys on the web. I evaluated the Nordstom web site last night - you can zoom in on clothes to see the texture of the fabric!


Philosophy grade

If anyone's keeping score, I made an A in Intro to Philosophy at ACC. Now that class is over, I actually miss it - going to a lunchtime class was such a great way to break up the workday. It's fun to continue to read books on philosophy, now that class has boiled down so many topics for me - the reading just makes more sense now. One thing I realized is that I'm not a very critical thinker - almost everything we read in class seemed "right" at the time.


Riverdance : 3 of 5

My friend Tom wins radio tickets all the time, and Riverdance was his latest reward. Although this is a show I wouldn't make an effort to see (way over-hyped), I completely enjoyed it. First off, over 20 beautiful Irish women on stage is a good time. Next, the band was very talented (although so John Tesh-inspired it was embarrassing). Finally, the dancing really was incredible - especially numbers including street dancers and a Russian troupe (who actually outdanced the Irish, if you ask me). All in all, a high quality and entertaining show.


Sideways rain

Last night there was a huge storm - I came home in the rain from a birthday dinner with friends to find a mess at the condos. There were tree limbs in the street, screens blown off windows, and even some roof tile scattered about. The rain must have been blowing absolutely sideways, since it managed to get under my patio door and on my floor! (It was easy to clean up, thankfully - I originally thought it was a Stanze accident, but it was Mother Nature's fault instead.)

Tonight is completely different - a fantastic evening. There is a cool breeze in the air, so I've got the patio door open wide. Now I'm enjoying reading a little of each of the books I'm working on (The Philosophers, Glamorama, Best American Poetry 2000, and the latest Jedi Apprentice story), listening to Jazz on digital cable and smoking my pipe (kind of nasty tobacco, unfortunately - I need to restock my supply).

I have always loved extreme opposites. My two favorites are warming my feet by a fireplace while the rest of the house is completely cold, and feeling cool ocean surf on my feet while my head is baking in the sun. Tonight is the extreme opposite of last night, and it all balances out - everything is worthwhile.

Jedi Apprentice 12: The Evil Experiment / Jude Watson : 4 of 5

Remember when I complained about the last book being a two-parter? Now it's a three-parter! What injustice! I have to stop griping there, though, because the story is very good and intriguing - Qui-Gon is captured by a scientist doing terrible experiments to discover the nature of the Force! Sometimes it's just as interesting when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are split up, even though their interaction is great when they're together. The plot keeps taking Obi-Wan all over the place, from Coruscant to nearby worlds with other cool cultures (Jude does a nice job of fleshing out species only mentioned in passing in the movies), while Qui-Gon shoes us Jedi patience and resolve. Alas, the book ends just as Qui-Gon is released, but they still need to escape the lab and the bounty hunter! I wonder if Jedi Apprentice 13 is out yet.


Romeo's : 3 of 5

I forgot to review Romeo's when I ate there a while back, but I took my parents there recently, so here's the review. Romeo's is on the cool Barton Springs row of restaurants, so it gets a nice crowd of folks ready to hang out in a semi-dark place and drink wine. The decor is kind of stereotypical (hanging vines, trellises), but still inviting, and the service is fast. The food is good - very standard Italian (nothing out of the ordinary), though I would call it a bit spicy (more so at my second visit than the first). The ravioli are excellent (you can get a mixture of meat and cheese), and the ceasar salad is refreshing. A nice place to go for a change or for conversation, but not if you're looking for something unique.


Mikey is a monkey

The best part about searching for WEBmikey on Google is at the top of the results list it says:

Did you mean webmonkey?


Don't talk to strangers

I was having drinks with friends at Oceans 11 last night (doesn't that sound sophisticated?), and someone mentioned how much they enjoy striking up conversation with strangers. I commented on how I never do that (I'm the guy wearing headphones at the airport) - I just always assume that the stranger in question has better things to do than listen to me babble. That was about all that was said. Anyway, tonight I just had an experience that seared that little maxim of mine even deeper into my brain!

I went out for a quick bathroom break for Stanze, and some guy (I guess he lives in one of the condos - never seen him before) sees Stanze. I guess he automatically thinks, "A guy with a dog! I'll bet he would love to hear 20 minutes of boring dog stories", because he starts going on and on about attack dogs and animals that understand commands in German and professional animal trainers and how his friend killed three guys who broke into his apartment. The whole time I kept trying to turn around and go inside, but this guy wouldn't take the hint. Eventually he walked off and said "Nice talking with you" (he should have said "at you"). I was flabbergasted. So, that's why I don't strike up conversation with strangers.

I suppose that goes against what someone at work called my "need to communicate" (a la WEBmikey), but the difference is no one makes you read this stuff (and who knows if you do).


The Umbrellas of Cherbourg / Original Soundtrack : 5 of 5

When I watched The Umbrellas of Cherbourg on DVD, I was impressed with the movie as a whole, but the music haunted me for quite some time. So, I broke down and bought the soundtrack, and I have been listening to it religiously. My freshman French only gets me every 10th word or so, but the melodies and instrumentation are enough. The two CD set also includes some other spin-offs based on the melodies, including an unbelievable jazz number based on the love theme.


Good advice

Perfectionism, while noble in intention, is generally evil.
Taking things too seriously is the downfall of most people.

The Onion in print

I'm a big fan of The Onion, that fantastic fake newspaper that keeps me laughing week after week. Even though you can read it for free on the web, I subscribe to the printed version because to me it's even funnier if you can kick back and flip through the thing, filled with actual advertisements, and get those black ink fingers and everything (I would never subscribe to a "real" newspaper!). Anyway, if you've been following my TiVo madness, check out The Onion's infographic! It's all true, I tell you!


Honor Among Thieves: Tom Fleming

Over the course of two years worth of weekends, Tom Fleming created his incredible film noir masterpiece, Honor Among Thieves, starring just about every friend I've got (including me!). Here's the exciting trailer, featuring scenes you won't see in the movie, such as the Beetle Song and the Sleazy Bar Fly sequence (which ended up on the cutting room floor).

Watch video: Honor Among Thieves Trailer

Crazy eating

I realized today that visiting LA and stuffing myself with food (mostly cooked by Dae's mom) really alters my eating habits when I return. I've been eating larger meals, and then still having those snacking urges afterwards! What gives? It also doesn't help that we had a big dinner party at work yesterday either. Oh well, gotta learn to change that metabolism somehow.

At my condos, there is a guy that loves to play guitar (either acoustic or electric) on his second floor terrace. He's not bad, and it doesn't bother me (I only hear him walking to the mailbox), but the idea rubs me the wrong way. It's just so overtly extroverted - I can understand that playing outside in nice weather is fun, being with nature and all, but he knows that folks walking by or having a swim are forced to listen. He sings, too - loud. Looks like a college student - I say he should grow up and realize that strangers don't care about his art as much as he would like them to (I say as I type for "strangers" to read - but at least web sites are just a way for introverts to pretend they're extroverted).


No TiVo today

I've tried to make this a TiVo-less day, and so far it's going well. I needed to spend time studiying for my Philosophy final, and I knew the temptation would be too strong if I even turned on the TV, so I just listened to music today instead. Granted, the reason why it's so easy not to watch is that I know TiVo is recording everything I would want to watch anyway, so look out tomorrow - oh boy!


I'm a blogger

Welcome to a very different WEBmikey home page! I've decided to join the revolution of mundane rantings by starting my own weblog (or blog) using Blogger. This means that I can update my blog in the blink of an eye, anywhere, anytime, without any pesky site maintenance, which means more frequent ramblings for you to read (and I know there are a few folks who check WEBmikey quite often!). It also means that my Random page will probably grow static, since I intend to just blog any passing thought that strikes me as something fun enough to post. So, welcome to the future!

So, after over a year of thinking about it, I finally bought a TiVo (Sony 30-hour model). Holy couch-potato, Batman - this thing is sucking my time away! I'm sure the newness will wear off, but right now when I come home from work and I have episodes of Batman Beyond, Superman and Big O ready to watch, I can't stop myself! It's true that TiVo changes the way you watch TV - I haven't watched anything "live" since I bought it. I'm going to have to set some rules for myself, though - how am I going to find time to read, or worse still, keep up my feverish pace of Netflix rentals? Anyway, I love this blasted box - I just have to master my TiVo appetite.

Speaking of Big O, this is the coolest anime I've seen in a long time. Really fun melodrama and giant robot battles to boot! I have no idea why the robot (or "mega-deuce") is called "Big O", though - I can only think of one thing people call the "Big O", and I'm pretty sure robots aren't involved.

I took a trip to LA last weekend and visited Disney's California Adventure. I don't want to waste your time telling you all about the park, but I have to say the Soarin' Over California ride is awe-inspiring. It's basically a gentle motion simulator with a full field of view IMAX screen (along with wind and scent effects), but it just blows the audience away - when the clouds part and you are suddenly flying over the Golden Gate Bridge, the audience literaly breaks out in spontaneous applause! Amazing.


Disney with Dae

Mikey and Dae spend 13 hours at the new Disney's California Adventure!

View photos: DCA with Dae


Huntington Beach with Dae

Fun in the sun, plus a tour of the Queen Mary (bigger than Titanic).

View photos: Queen Mary


I have to thank my work pal Scott for this one. Dublab is a cool music site that features streaming music mixed by live DJs! The interface and look of the site are very cool, and while you are listening to the live mix, you even get a streaming video window where you can watch the DJ in action, spinning the records you're listening to. You can also chat with the DJ to find out what's playing, and listen to archived mixes from your favorite DJs. This site has really opened my eyes to the art of mixing, along with some excellent obscure music that I never would have heard otherwise.

Visit site: Dublab

Cowboy Bebop: Session 1 : 4 of 5

Just hearing the idea of this series was intriguing - stand-alone stories set in space (there are continuing characters, but not in a soap opera format), great action and battle, all set to jazz. After borrowing this disc from Barron, I was glued to the screen watching the opening titles - some of the coolest you've ever seen with incredible music! The disc includes five episodes (more than your average DVD), and each one is a little better than the last. The spaceships are well designed and thankfully the use of CGI is sparse and integrated well. Barron is hot for Faye Valentine - she's a little tall for me. I can't wait to see the next disc!