6.30.2001

My girlfriends

The criteria to make it on this list consists of dating over the course of at least one month. As anyone will tell you, I am terrible with timeframes, so all relationship lengths are usually a complete guess.

Helen

Relationship length: 2 years
Helen was introduced to me by Dave & Jill, who were working with her in a Tulsa play. It took a while for us to start dating, but once we did it was wonderful. Helen was an actress and could sing harmony with anything, including my songs. We had a great time in Tulsa and then I moved to Austin and she moved to Washington, DC (both for work). Now I think long distance is impossible, but we did our best - lots of visits and some amazing trips to Canada. Helen and I were as serious as possible, but distance intervened and we slowly evolved into friends.

Teresa

Relationship length: 2 months
Teresa worked at CITGO and sang in the CITGO All-Star Rock & Roll Revue. It seemed like we had been flirting at rehearsal for years, and after the divorce, she asked me out (that was cool). We had absolutely nothing in common - she was a country girl with two kids, I was a bohemian city boy writing sad poems about the loss of Liza. We did have a pretty strong attraction, but that's all we had. We just faded away nicely without a word.

Colleen

Relationship length: 1 month
I just recently discovered Colleen's first name in an old journal. She was the only "pickup" in my entire life - I actually walked up to her in a coffee house and asked if she wanted some company. We went on a few dates and had a few goodnight kisses (I remember she had huge lips!). Nothing serious at all, but the pickup was significant - it hasn't happened again since.

Liza

Relationship length: 6 months
Liza was a college student in bell choir with me while I was a Methodist, and even knew Cheri and all about the divorce. Somehow we got started in an email courtship, and sent each other hundreds of poems while she was home for the summer. When she returned (just as Karen left for Seattle), we started getting together and lightning struck. Liza was everything I wasn't - extroverted, uncontrollable, and incredibly sexy. We were too perfect together, because when we weren't in love, we were at each other's throats. We actually planned our last date together, and sat there and cried. Her last words to me were "I'm going to write poetry all fucking day." I'm sure she's in Minnesota somewhere reading vampire erotica right now.

Liza's Poem

The most amazing thing about my relationship with Liza was how we told each other we were "interested". We had gone out as friends several times, and I finally got the courage to tell her how I felt by writing her a poem. On the night I gave it to her, she had done exactly the same thing, and presented me with the glorious work of art you see here. I seriously doubt that kind of luck will ever strike me again in my life, but a smile will always come to my face when I think of that moment.

References
  • I had played lots of my own songs for Liza before this was written.
  • The "ripple of bells" refers to us being in bell choir together.
  • The guitar and drum references should be obvious.
  • Yes, I know the rainbow paper is a little much.

    The music of your voice
    Over coffee
    Touches me almost as deeply
    As the music of your songs.
    Amazed, I hear you speak my thoughts
    Almost before I have time to think them
    And our shared laughter
    Echoes in my mind for days.
    Time with you
    Is sheer joy
    Mixed with understanding
    And a pinch of fantasy
    For the hours slip by too quickly
    For this to be real life.
    A ripple of bells
    The vibration of guitar strings
    Or a rhythmic beat of a drum
    Dance through my head
    Borne by your words.
    My day is fuller,
    My life richer,
    My happiness truer
    From knowing you.
  • Karen

    Relationship length: 2 months
    When Cheri and I separated, I begged friends to set me up on some dates (and to all friends reading this, that begging is still valid!). Karen (I don't remember her last name) was a great person - intelligent, tan, and fun. We drank wine, I sang her songs, and then she went on a business trip to Seattle. While she was away, I got extremely lucky.

    Cheri

    Relationship length: 9 years
    Cheri was my first everything - actual dating, actual marriage, and actual everything else. We dated for two years and then got married at the wise age of 20. We had two crazy years while we were both working and still in college, then 4 strange years when we had too much time together, took care of a foster child, and basically realized we would be much happier apart. In the 7th year we had a $65.00 divorce, but I don't regret a day of it. Without Cheri to break me out of so many boring patterns in my life, I wouldn't be half as fun and exciting as I am today.

    Kellie

    Relationship length: 1 year
    Kellie was the younger of two PK (preacher's kid) sisters in Ohio - my cousin was dating the older, and I guess Kellie and I thought it would be fun to be together. We had lots of fun double dating, and learning about French kissing (we had no idea what we were doing, but we would listen to Foreigner and Peter Cetera and kiss for hours). We wrote tons of letters (which were hilarious considering Kellie's age), then faded away.

    Kristi

    Relationship length: 2 months
    Kristi was this gal in 7th or 8th grade (I can't remember which) who liked me because I was into Star Wars as much as she was. The Empire Strikes Back was big then, and she kept giving me doubles of this bubblegum card of Han and Leia. She also drew me lots of pictures of horses (I have no idea why). On the last day of school before she moved, she kissed me in the breezeway, much to my surprise.

    Circle of friends

    Tonight is the closing night for the play, which means a great performance and then a late night cast party. I'm really thankful for this play - mainly because it has reconnected my regular circle of friends with old friends I didn't see very often, namely Ian and Jonathan. Now we're seeing each other all the time, and our happy family is larger - everyone benefits! Now Jonathan is rehearsing with my band, The Greatest American Heroes (and is sniffing up gig leads for us), so the entanglements continue - and entanglements are what keep friendships strong, in a way.

    6.28.2001

    Cruel Intentions 2 : 1 of 5

    I read somewhere that this was an enjoyable movie, regardless of the fact that it's a cheap sequel of a so-so original, but let me tell you - whatever I read was wrong. This movie is barely entertaining at all, It tries to be a prequel, but only wraps that up in the last 30 seconds of the film. The rest is just a bad high school rich kid farce, with none of the delicious snobbery (at least nothing convincing). The cast is also fairly boring to look at, and they even repeat a few of the same tired jokes from the original. To top it off, even the music is poorly integrated. I actually enjoyed the original Cruel Intentions, but this time around, the only thing good was the wine I was drinking.

    6.27.2001

    Atlantis: The Lost Empire : 3 of 5

    It's been awhile since I saw a Disney film in the theater - most of the animated productions I've seen on DVD for the first time. Atlantis was a great way to get back into the theater for big screen animation, but it could have been better, I'm afraid. Not that Atlantis isn't full of great stuff - the general animation style is right out of 101 Dalmatians, and the CG effects are beautiful (though too stark against the traditional animation). The characters and story are fun, too, but what's missing is heart-stopping action. Of course, there is action, but where is the moment when I should be gasping with excitement? Oh well, it's still a beautiful movie, just not an awe-inspiring one (which for Disney should be a requirement).

    6.22.2001

    Good reviews!

    Another smashing review of Le Petomane, this time in the Austin Chronicle! Tonight we start our second week of shows - it will be interesting to see how the reviews affect the audience size.

    6.21.2001

    Moulin Rouge : 4 of 5

    I really enjoyed the MTV cartoon style of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet by the same director (it was so refreshing to see the balcony scene in a swimming pool), so I was prepared for the quick camera movements and other special effects of Moulin Rouge. I really enjoyed this film on so many levels - it was wonderful to look at, was filled with sadness and comedy, and best of all, combined dozens of eras of music seamlessly and with fantastic results. Nicole and Ewan are great vocalists (young Obi-Wan even more so), so it's a blast hearing medleys you never dreamed would ever exist. The simple plot is bold enough to end tragically, as it should, and completely preaches truth, beauty, freedom and love, just as the characters do in their lives.

    6.20.2001

    TiVo bliss

    After 19 nights away from the couch, tonight I stayed home. Believe it or not, I was tempted to go out just to keep the streak going, but the gentle beeps of TiVo lured me into an evening of escapist bliss. So, with a pipe and a pot of coffee, I managed to watch:

  • 2 episodes of Batman Beyond
  • 3 episodes of Cardcaptors
  • 2 episodes of the classic 60's Batman
  • 1 episode of South Park and
  • Sabrina (with Audrey Hepburn and her caterpillar eyebrows)

    Whew! That should do me for the weekend, which once again is full of rehearsals and music. I guess I love both worlds (the world of vegging and the world of living), but I've been a little unbalanced for some time. I think the best thing I (or anyone) can do is keep everything in moderation (including moderation).
  • 6.18.2001

    Swordfish : 2 of 5

    The best thing about hacker movies (for those of us technically inclined) is watching the incredibly silly computer screens they come up with - Swordfish at least managed to flash a few "real" commands on screen (though I saw traceroute a few too many times) along with a ridiculous Rubik's Cube worm building application. Anyway, this is a fast-paced so-so movie with shallow characters but fun explosions. The opening blast, while gruesome, is a fantastic 360-degree sweep around a slow motion cataclysm. Not sure if it's worth the price of admission, but it was entertaining at least.

    So much performing

    Day 18 and no vegging - but I don't mind. The play opened Friday, so we've done three performances so far, with four more to go. I'm really enjoying it - especially watching the can-can girls! We had a great review in the Austin American Statesman (no longer online, but I'll post it here soon)!

    I'm going to be playing with a jazz combo on Saturday at an private art opening, so I have yet another rehearsal tonight. So much for my Monday ass-time. Some evening soon I'll find the time to post some more Last 5 reviews and such, until then, go see Le Petomane!

    6.15.2001

    No vegging until Monday

    It's now been 15 days since I've been able to stay home at veg in front of TiVo - my life is full of play rehearsal, having fun with visiting Dae, and catching naps when I can. For the past week I've been up until about 1:30 AM each night, and I'm requiring another coffee session around 3:00 PM each day. Finally, the end is in sight - the play opens tonight, so rehearsals are officially over. This weekend will be full of Dae-related activities, but Monday is going to be ass-planting time.

    Regardless of the hard work, I'm excited about the play - here's a blurb about the opening in the Austin Chronicle (scroll down about a third).

    6.10.2001

    Target Earth

    During the summer before I started 7th grade, I made my one and only movie - a devastating tale of global destruction brought about by a mysterious man in black who travels to earth from a blue Nerfball planet. Dad shot the whole thing on 8MM, and I was the special effects wizard who scratched laser rays onto each frame of film.

    Watch video: Target Earth

    6.07.2001

    Le Petomane Version 1

    Just because I know you want more information, check out the review of the original production of Le Petomane (which I saw and enjoyed). I'll be playing in the new expanded production, now featuring two acts and more songs!

    6.06.2001

    Fun theater people

    I just counted 110 DVD reviews on WEBmikey! Holy fat-ass, Batman - I've been watching a lot of DVDs (and really exercising my Netflix subscription)! Someday you'll be able to find just about any ultra-obscure geek movie in existence.

    The play rehearsal last night was fun - I had forgotten how crazy theater people can be (at that I used to be one in high school). Any group of folks who sing "Powdered Toast Man" for a vocal warm-up is OK with me. Oh, how I miss Ren & Stimpy.

    6.05.2001

    The Beach Boys / Beach Boys Party/Stacks of Tracks : 3 of 5

    Another fantastic double CD import of old Beach Boys albums. Beach Boys Party is just the boys sitting in a room full of girls with acoustic instruments and bongos - kind of Unplugged before MTV (but not nearly as polished - sounds more like a campfire). There are some fun covers of Beatles songs and others, but when they sing their own stuff it's simply terrible. Stacks of Tracks is like a karaoke record - lots of songs without vocals (mostly hits, but weirdos like Salt Lake City slipped on there somehow). Tons of fun to listen to and sing with, though I immediately learned that I sound a lot better when I sing with the Boys, rather than without them.

    Razzoo's : 1 of 5

    My pal Ryan and I decided to try this over-boistrous Cajun place close to the office, but I won't be going back. The decor is silly with lots of those "cute" misspellings on the menu, but otherwise comfortable at least. I had a fried shrimp po'boy, which seemed pretty safe, but the lettuce wasn't fresh and the shrimp was just passable. The fries, while covered with great seasoning, were cold. The only thing Razzoo's has is stunning waitresses (they should have no trouble finding another job when this place closes), but unfortunately we had a guy waiter who wasn't so speedy. Razzoo's gets the razz-berry.

    6.04.2001

    Time to get out

    Last week I stayed in every night Monday through Thursday - thankfully I had a busy and fun weekend! To make up for last week, I'm planning to get out every night this week. Tonight I'm heading out for some jazz, and tomorrow is my first rehearsal for Le Petomane. I've been asked to play in the on-stage band - I'm very excited to be doing something theatrical again (without the pressure of acting)!

    I wrote about 15 short reviews of stuff for Last 5, but I haven't had time to add them to the site yet. Be sure to check out Pets while you wait.

    Being a semi-fan of Haiku, I have to post a set I just heard on Space Ghost Coast to Coast (thanks to TiVo):

    Smell the burning flesh
    Taste the tangy sulfur air
    Volcano season
    Moltar

    Mantis green and strong
    Deadly pincers razor sharp
    Waiting for his chance
    Zorak

    Floating asteroid
    Need to buy some school supplies
    You're soaking in it
    Space Ghost

    Cibo Matto / Viva La Woman : 3 of 5

    I heard a cool song by Cibo Matto on internet radio, and I thought they were kind of like Shonen Knife. I checked out the reviews on Amazon.com and decided to buy their first album, since everyone seemed to like it the best. Well, Viva La Woman is OK - maybe I should have bought the one with the song I heard. This one has some cool songs - Beef Jerky is by far the best - but most of it is just indulgences in sound, which aren't very fun to listen to on the freeway. A little too esoteric, not enough pizzazz.

    6.03.2001

    Brunch with Eliza's Parents

    Mimosas and merriment with Chris and Eliza in honor of a parental visit.

    View photos: Sunday Brunch

    Buca di Beppo : 4 of 5

    As soon as I walked in Buca di Beppo and saw the menus hung on the walls, I remembered I had eaten at one in Los Angeles about a year ago, not knowing it was a chain. Austin's version is very cool, with 2,000 hilarious photos on the walls, special tables (such as the kitchen table and the Pope's table - complete with a cheesy bust of John Paul in the middle of a lazy susan!), and huge, huge portions. Everything is family style - you must eat with a group, unless you want to bring home pounds of food. My friends and I had good ol' spaghetti and meat balls with chicken parmesan, along with a side of amazing mashed potatoes, then a huge tiramisu that we could barely touch - all of it entirely tasty. Buca is definitely a place for pigging out and having fun (too boisterous for a date, if I had one).

    Almost Famous : 4 of 5

    No, I didn't see Jerry Maguire, and I completely avoided the music scene depicted in the film (I couldn't even name an Alman Brothers tune). Even with those strikes against me, this is a fantastic movie - a really great story with flesh and blood characters (not to mention Kate Hudson - meow). Almost Famous does a great job of having what is basically a kid as the lead without crossing into the mystical E.T. wonderment feel - the autobiographical Cameron Crowe is awed by the music and musicians, but he manages to stay real about it all, which is so refreshing. So who cares if I don't know the lyrics to Tiny Dancer?

    Jedi Apprentice 13: The Dangerous Rescue / Jude Watson : 3 of 5

    Finally and end to the three part saga! This third installment reads very quickly, even though the characters keep piling up - eventually we are dealing with around ten characters all moving in and out of the narrative, so there is hardly time for any of that cool Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan interaction. At least the action is good and gets to the bottom of the story, but it still feels rushed - there isn't even a conversation with the elder Jedi who they rescue! Guess I'll just have to look forward to a slower pace next time (I hope).

    6.02.2001

    Cowboy Bebop: Session 3 : 4 of 5

    Cowboy Bebop continues to be an excellent series (even though I haven't seen Session 2 yet). This volume really seemed to break away from the "jazz and action" format, but made up for it with a little exploration into the characters. They could have done more with Faye, though, but I'm happy they at least focused on her lounging around in hose a lot. There is a two-part episode called Jupiter Jazz here that features a she-male - I wonder if that's an anime first? I also liked the hyperspace jump junkyard, full of high hippies floating around in zero-G. Hilarious!

    Kingdom Come / Mark Waid/Alex Ross : 4 of 5

    A fantastic graphic novel (loaned to me by Shelly) illustrated by Alex Ross - each page is a work of art. The story is stunning as well, weaving apocalyptic themes with a huge battle between factions of superheroes - just about everyone you can think of is in this book. Set in an alternate future, we get to see our heroes as older men and women - Superman with gray temples, Batman propped up with an exoskeleton, and Wonder Woman bitchy as ever. The epilogue is precious, with the big three eating at a "Planet Krypton" and ordering from waiters dressed as their own alter-egos. Brilliant!

    6.01.2001

    Friskit

    Quick! Listen to Friskit before they get sued! Friskit is the Napster of streaming music, and wow, it is cool! Friskit somehow scours the net for any and all music streams, and then has them categorized by artist and genre. What this means is that you can pick an artist, say Matthew Sweet, and listen to him all day long while Friskit keeps switching streams from site to site in the background! It's like listening to just what you want without having to dig around - Friskit does it for you. The technology is great, but these boys are gonna get in trouble for re-streaming all this stuff - I was even able to hear audiobook samples from an e-commence site!

    Visit site: Friskit

    Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 Vol 1 : 4 of 5

    Whenever I look for new anime to rent, I am always bombarded by Bubblegum Crisis everywhere I turn, like it's an important phenomena. So, I decided to give it a try with the Tokyo 2040 series. The plot is fairly interesting - a renegade team of women who have high-tech "hard suits" that fight robots ("boomers") who have gone mad. We don't really find out why in the first volume, but I think it's pretty Batman-esque, since the leader's family or friends were killed by a mad boomer (and possibly her father invented the technology). The assortment of women (four) is well-diversified, of course, and it was fun to watch them interact. The action was pretty good, too - when a boomer goes mad, it actually changes shape and becomes some kind of monster (these are bio-robots, I suppose). The animation is sparse as far as background action goes - basically nothing moves but the main characters (which looks funny when there are "parked" cars on the streets), but it's definitely worth continuing to watch.