1.31.2002

Ocean's 11 / Original Soundtrack : 4 of 5

This was a gift from Ernesto, who remembered how I was grooving along to the soundtrack when we saw Ocean's 11 together. Overall the CD is really cool - the original music is great and has some of the best funky snare brushwork I've heard in a non-jazz situation. My only small complaint is that there is a lot of movie dialogue on here - at first it's cool to recall the plot, but later on you just want to hear the good music, you know? Oh well, thankfully most of it is isolated in tracks that are easily skipped.

PEZ birthday

I have the best friends in the world! Ten pals plus myself just had a fantastic Italian dinner with 4 liters of wine (whoopee!) - I received some wonderful gifts of CDs, gift certificates, a book, a cigar, and an incredible PEZ dispenser (a Captain America from the 70s, now looking proud next to Spiderman and the Hulk where he belongs!). Now I have the perfect reason to update my PEZ page on WEBmikey with my latest dispensers. After dinner we went to my place for some DDR fun, which was a blast as usual. I can't tell you how thankful I am for good friends!

1.30.2002

Already?

Happy birthday to me!

Mikey's Birthday 2002

Mikey turns 35 (really 8 years old) with friends, food, wine, and PEZ.

View photos: Mikey's Birthday 2002

1.27.2002

Everything But The Girl / Amplified Heart : 4 of 5

Since I fell in love with EBTG based on their lush electronic sound of late, I was a little worried about moving into their older acoustic work. But all of the reviews I read were so glowing, I had to give it a try. This is a much different sound, of course, but a truly heartfelt and wonderful experience! I'm sure you've heard "Missing", which is great, but there are also some good tracks where the guy sings as well. A very nice, relaxing album.

Ze Round Midnight is no more

At last, some overdue WEBmikey updates: links to new photo albums, lots of Last 5 reviews, and even a silly little slide show movie of my DDR buddies. Enjoy!

In other WEBmikey news, my jazz combo has disbanded. However, I predict many members of Round Midnight will be forming a new jazz project soon, so keep your eyes peeled. On top of that, the Greatest American Heroes are looking for a bass player - if you play bass and love TV show themes and other cheese, please let me know!

The first quarter of the year is full of birthdays - on Friday I went to party for my pal Ian, and then last night there was a party for Eliza. And yes, WEBmikey himself will be moving to the next survey age bracket this coming week. I've decided that Mikey-years are about 1 to 4.5 regular person years, which means I'll be turning 8 years old (that feels about right).

1.26.2002

Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Rose Collection Vol 2 : 3 of 5

Six more episodes of pink-haired Utena dueling with other Student Council members who want to "crack the world's shell". Yes, it's as bizarre as it sounds! Of course, I got hooked after watching the first volume, so I had to make my way through this one, too. There are lots of aspects that I enjoy, though, especially the segments with the gossip girls in shadow that are so funny. This volume ends with a nice recap episode that goes over each of the seven battles so far and starts to hint at when the prince will finally appear, but I'm not sure volume three is available on DVD yet!

1.24.2002

Propellerheads / decksanddrumsandrockandroll : 5 of 5

OK, I know it's corny, but since that silly iPod commercial is what made me buy the iPod and an iBook to go with it, I had to get the CD with the song that goofy guy is listening to (it's "Take California"). Actually, I'm so glad I did - Propellerheads are fantastic! They do quite a few single chord songs, which generally I am not a fan of, but the way they mix other instruments and counterpoint in and out keep it interesting and high energy. The bizarre and funny voice samples don't hurt either. This is some major cool dancing groove, man!

1.22.2002

Day Jobs Reunion

Our huge reunion show at Chris & Eliza's, featuring Matt and Dae and a slew of fans.

View photos: Day Jobs Reunion Party

1.21.2002

A Streetcar Named Desire : 4 of 5

I was a little concerned about seeing this Andre Previn opera, since most operas from modern works seem a little silly to me (plus I had just seen a stage production of Streetcar last year). My concern was unnecessary - ALO did a fantastic job! Not only was the music exciting and the acting great, but the set and lighting was absolutely amazing - the entire stage was angled and built with a series of doors that responded very well to colored lighting, making the stage transform easily and highlight Blanche's journey to insanity. The final scenes were stunning and left the audience breathless.

Day Jobs Hangin' Out

Rehearsing, eating, maxin' & relaxin' with everyone's favorite former swing band.

View photos: Day Jobs Hangin' Out

1.20.2002

Round Midnight Gigs

Some loyal friends listening to our mellow jazz, featuring Matt and Dae.

View photos: Round Midnight Gigs

Dancin' calories

Ah, so nice to play DDR again after being too busy to play for a while. I just burned a nice 325 calories and had a blast! I played with the little boy character on 5th Mix for a change, and noticed that he licks his ice cream cone while he dances! So kawaii. (He also has a pink heart on the butt of his pajamas, but we won't mention that.)

My parents saw Lord of the Rings and loved it. I think that's so cool!

Gasaraki Vol 2 : 4 of 5

The war in "Belgistan" continues and ends (or so it seems), and our strange Noh dancers from opposite camps finally meet. There is still so much to be revealed - this volume has great action, but not much in way of answering questions. There's a truly amazing sequence where they hang an AT from a plane by cable to destroy pursing fighters - extremely exciting! Thank goodness volume three is currently on the way to me - thanks, Netflix!

1.19.2002

Gasaraki Vol 1 : 4 of 5

This series was recommended to me by Shelly (plus I had seen the trailer on other DVDs and liked the theme song), and it's starting off great. I kind of like anime plots that reveal what's going on very slowly, so you are left with lots of questions after each episode (which is why I enjoyed Lain so much). This story is a combination of piloted mech action and mysticism, plus government intrigue (involving the UN and US governments along with Japan) - the mechs (TAs, for Tactical Armor) are very realistic in design, too. The crazy stuff involves a Noh dance routine and a strange power waiting to be revealed!

1.18.2002

Busy and sleepy

The blog word for tonight is: sleepy. I've been pretty busy lately with all of the reunion fun with Matt and Dae, lots of Round Midnight gigs, and some hectic days at work on top of that! Tonight I'm enjoying relaxation at last, kickin' around the web on my iBook, and watching some cute Japanese pop videos that Matt brought me. I predict an early bedtime tonight. Hopefully there will be some fun and overdue WEBmikey updates tomorrow!

News flash! The ever-popular surfer word "stoked" may be replaced! Tonight I was watching some surfer footage on OLN and most of the dudes were using the word "amped". Do you think it has a different meaning? Anyway, it's fun to say, so try to work it into your vocabulary, everyone! I'm so amped to be relaxing tonight.

1.12.2002

Martha Stewart

I've always had a little addiction to Martha Stewart. One morning after watching her show, I wrote this spoof song (which is in waltz time and required to be sung with a country drawl) to include most of the things I just saw Martha do. She really did call her pie a "mile-high meringue"!

Chorus
Oh, I want a woman just like Martha Stewart
To wrap up my heart in wire and twine
And can up my love to stay fresh all winter
And bring some good things to this life of mine

Verse
She'll bake me a mile-high meringue
And wreaths on the walls will hang
Everything has a place
In burlap and antique lace

Chorus
Oh, I want a woman just like Martha Stewart
Someone to make the garden tools shine
And cook me a dinner on parchment paper
And sew up the holes in this life of mine

Verse
She'll keep all the photo albums full
And stir up some taffy to pull
She measures her fabric twice
And makes everything so nice

Chorus
Oh, I want a woman just like Martha Stewart
To wrap up my heart in wire and twine
And can up my love to stay fresh all winter
And bring some good things to this life of mine

Reunion planning

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately - Mikey has been busy planning for this exciting weekend! Two of my great pals, Matt and Dae, are visiting Austin at the same time (traveling from Japan and LA, respectively), so we're having a weekend of frolicking and remembering our beloved days in The Day Jobs. Dae arrived last night and Ernesto, Dae and I hung out at Ocean's 11 and told stories and gulped mohitos. It was a fantastic time! Matt arrives today - it's going to be so fun to have the old gang back together.

1.07.2002

Stunt plane ride

My friend and former employer Michael Cook is a pilot and trained in aerobatics. He had given me a few rides in small planes, which were a lot of fun. Michael ended up buying a Pitts S2B - a very small "stunt plane" designed for aerobatics, and one day he took me on a wild and wonderful ride. The takeoff was extremely fast - we were in the air in seconds. He did lots of fun maneuvers, including a complete loop! We also did spins and other G-inducing things. On another occasion, Michael took up a few of my friends (one at a time) for some even more dramatic rides. Michael still flies regularly, and even competes in aerobatic competitions.

Planet of the Apes: The Complete TV Series : 4 of 5

Way back when my bedtime was 9:00 PM, I always loved the last TV show before I had to hit the hay. I had two 8:00-9:00 favorites - the Logan's Run series, and Planet of the Apes! Now the entire Apes series is available on DVD, and I got it for Christmas. Wow, this was so much fun to watch! The overall plot plays havoc with the time line of the movies, but fans have figured out a way to reconcile the two. Each episode involves two humans and a chimp named Galen (Roddy McDowell yet again) going from town to town helping people - very Kung Fu. The makeup effects are so-so, but the cheeseball action is wonderful.

1.06.2002

College paper

I finally got around to typing up a college paper (of sorts) for you - it's a little Greek Tragedy I wrote that's surprisingly interesting (at least to me). Check it out under the What's New column to the left.

So far this has been a relaxing weekend of movies, hanging out, shopping, and recovering from my cold or sinus infection, whatever it is. Next weekend my pal Matt will be visiting from Japan, along with Dae from LA, and there are tons of festivities planned! Should be a blast!

Samurai X: The Motion Picture : 4 of 5

At first I though this would be a combination of the two DVD series by the same name, but I was entirely wrong. The movie takes place after the DVD series, and has a much different style of storytelling (more humor), while keeping the drama (and some of the gore) of the series. Once again, Kenshin is trying to leave his assassin life behind, but he's confronted with another cause to fight. There are some beautiful romantic scenes, too, though not as many as in the series. This is an excellent movie, but I would definitely watch the other two DVDs first.

Walt Disney Imagineering / The Imagineers : 4 of 5

This book is a history of the folks with the best jobs in the world - designing and inventing theme park attractions for Disney. Some of the text is a little goofy (pardon the pun), talking about sparks of ideas and such, but it still reads well. There are some really interesting sections about the differences in the castle between the various foreign parks, but most of the joy is in the photos. It's worth reading for the pictures alone! This is a nicely sized book, so there's plenty of detail to see, including all of the fantastic attraction posters from Disneyland that I love so much.

1.05.2002

Dumbo : 5 of 5

I love jam-packed Disney DVDs, and the new release of Dumbo is no exception. Of course, the movie is wonderful, and yes, I cry everytime I see the "Baby Mine" scene (actually, that's the first time I remember crying at a movie). There are some excellent bomus materials, too, including a long documentary, a piece showing the creation of sound effects for the Casey Jr. sequence, sing-along songs (I love those), and of course, lots of drawings to peruse. How did they get away with that crazy pink elephants drunken-dream sequence? It's amazing how older animated features often contained the most bizarre psychedelic imagery!

1.04.2002

Ocean's 11 : 4 of 5

I wasn't sure what to expect with this film, having seen the original so long ago that I barely remember it. Plus, I hate Julia Roberts as much as I like George Clooney, so I was a little cast-leary. I'm happy to say that I was surprised - Ocean's 11 is a totally fun and enjoyable movie! The plot is full of great twists, all slightly tongue in cheek, and it's fun to root for the "bad guys", since they deserve to win anyway. Thankfully, Julia doesn't have to do too much, so there's no worry of another highway robbery at the Oscars. George and Brad are cool, of course, making all guys in the audience aspire to be thieves.

1.01.2002

Non-alcoholic Drinks

At Home: Ozarka Natural Spring Water, Tropicana Pure Premium Original orange juice, Einstien Bros. Coffee (whole bean), Bigelow Japanese Green Tea
Dining Out: Coke (not Pepsi), Sprite

Wine Drinks

At Home: Coppola Rosso, Sterling Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Black Opal Shiraz
Dining Out: Usually a Merlot or Cabernet

Beer Drinks

At Home: Newcastle Nut Brown Ale, Bellhaven Scottish Ale, Celis White, Heineken
Dining Out: Fosters, Tsing Tao, La Fin du Monde (my favorite!), any of the At Home beers

Liquor Drinks

At Home: Glenfiddich or Glenlivet Scotch, E&J Superior Reserve Brandy, Finlandia vodka
Dining Out: Lagovulen Scotch, Drambuie, Amaretto, B&B, various cocktails (vodka martini, Mai Tai)

New Year's Eve 2002 with Chris & Eliza

Great food, a Christmas tree, and a big DDR crowd.

View photos: Happy New Year 2002

Breakfast Foods

At Home: Quaker instant oatmeal (Maple & Brown Sugar flavor), Eggo blueberry waffles, two boiled eggs, poppy or sesame bagel, Dannon Fruit on the Bottom yogurt (raspberry or strawberry)
Dining Out: Eggs Benedict (every time)

Lunch Foods

At Home: Top Ramen noodle soup (oriental flavor), tuna on crackers, Tyson chicken breast patty
Dining Out: Subway 6-inch turkey sub, Thundercloud 6-inch tuna sub, Hang Town Grill cheeseburger, Twin Lion broccoli chicken

Dinner Foods

At Home: Pasta, Van de Kamp's fish filet with rice, chicken breast with baked potato
Dining Out: Ichiban sushi (Philadelphia roll), Castle Hill anything

Snack Foods

At Home: Swiss cheese on crackers, microwave popcorn
Dining Out: Starbucks triple venti nonfat latte and maple scone

Compulsive Foods

At Home: Cap'n Crunch cereal, peanut M&Ms, Tostitos and cheese dip

Jedi Apprentice 16: The Call to Vengeance / Jude Watson : 4 of 5

At last the epic Qui-Gon romance trilogy comes to an end - a tragic one, of course. This particular story does a great job of alternating between the viewpoints of Obi-Wan, worried about his vengeful master, and Qui-Gon, doing his best not to let the dark side slip in, which nicely ties together the last two books. Our favorite Mon Calamari, Bant, appears, along with Mace Windu! Even though there is quite a bit of action and intrigue (all of the political stuff is finally solved), the real enjoyment of the book is found in the minds of our Jedi heroes, which makes for a great story.