Monday, May 30, 2005

Muppets Gone Wild

Who rox? Cruftbox.

About 6 months ago I heard about an upcoming TV movie, "Muppet Wizard of Oz". The Muppets are cool, and they had a great teaser line in the commercial: Pepe the Prawn says "What happens in Emerald City...STAYS in Emerald City." Good stuff. So I was looking forward to seeing it, knowing full well that most of it would probably be kind of corny or silly. Didn't care. It finally aired last week and I got it on my TiVo but dind't watch it right away. Then the season finales hit and my Tivo needed to get 24 and Alias and American Idol and Lost and all these other 2 hour shows and it erased Muppets. Horrors! But Mr. Cruftbox had a copy on his Tivo and made a tape for me. Huzzah!

These are not the same muppets we grew up with. Sure, some of the names are the same but the attitude is completely different. For starters, we have Fozzie Bear (The Lion) introducing the gang as "We're friends of Dorothy." OK, not too bad. But then I believe this movie is the first time a muppet ever says "I think she's gonna get bitch slapped!" Then there's Gonzo as a robotic Tin Man: Pepe is fiddling with some knobs on Gonzo's chest and asks "what do these buttons do?" "Nothing, those are my nipples."

Gay muppets, nipple fondling and bitch slapping. We truly aren't in Kansas anymore.


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Friday, May 27, 2005

Note to self: When boiling chicken, be sure to remove the meat BEFORE all the water evaporates.


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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

New Blog

Mister P. is spinning off a new blog, Neoprene Wedgie. This new site will focus specifically on the triathlon I'm training for, which may not be of general interest. Rest assured, if I get attacked by a shark or cause a 10-car-pile-up with my bike, I'll post about it here. You won't miss any of my adventures.

Neoprene Wedgie


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Monday, May 23, 2005

Vertically Challenged

How many times a day do you step into an elevator?

For many of you the answer is simple: zero. For others, it may be four. I live in a tall building, I work in a tall building, and one day last week I decided to keep a tally of how many elevator trips I made: Thirty.

Thirty elevators rides in one day. That probably came out to a half hour of waiting for or riding in these machines. Waste of time.


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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Episode III

Just came back from the midnight showing of Star Wars. I have to get up in 4 hours to go to work. I am getting too old for this.

Previously, the Star Wars saga was thought of in terms of having two parts: the original trilogy, and the prequel trilogy. I believe it should now be thought of as having 3 parts: the classic trilogy everyone loves, the stupid pairing of Episodes I and II, and then Episode III standing alone. Although you need the other 5 movies to complete III, it is far superior to its prequels, is better than Jedi, and probably gives Empire a run for its money.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I went to Best Buy today, and it was packed. There were hundreds of people lined up outside. Apparently the rock and roll music group Down Syndrome was there autographing record albums. Or Down System. System of The Down. Something like that. Anyway, there were all these poor angst-ridden people dressed in black with pieces of metal sticking out of their skin in places it shouldn't be. A news helicopter was overhead, filming the event. Normally, this would be a time for the crowd to excitedly wave at the camera; instead, some of them chose to give the chopper the bird. Lovely.

Back in my day, our record signings were much cooler. Here's the autographed copy of Samantha Fox I got when she appeared at Record Town in Colonie, New York. Oh yeah baby.


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Monday, May 16, 2005

Five otherwise good songs with bad endings

1. Mr. Roboto, Styx: So this isn't exactly the highlight of their career, but it was still a fun, poppy song. Until the end. You say you're Kilroy? OK, I get it. I heard you the first time.

2. Hotel California, The Eagles: This song breaks into a mellow chill-out guitar solo... Ah, so relaxing. But then it goes on, and on, and on. It's boring and repetitive. It wouldn't be so bad if it cut back to one last chorus (and it does, in an extended version) but instead it just drones on and then fades out arbitrarily. There is no closure to the song.

3. Fly Like an Eagle, Steve Miller Band: You need to be smoking weed to fully appreciate this song, but you need to be on acid for the ending. It sounds like some guy stumbled upon a synthesizer for the very first time and just started making all sorts of weird outer space sounds. I don't get it.

4. Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith: This is a good rock/pop crossover, with a few parent-disapproving lyrics and nice harmonies in the chorus. But then they seem to channel The Who at the end and the song breaks apart as if they are smashing everything on stage.

5. Blinded By The Light, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: This is a very up-tempo song with lots of whimiscal wordplay going on. It has all this energy and then it just smashes into a brick wall with a suddenly-mellow ending (it also slams to a halt in the middle.) You need to put the clutch in to avoid grinding gears that badly.


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Friday, May 13, 2005

A Great Lunch

Mr. Coney Island
6016 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles


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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Happy Proletariat Day!

Today all of our bourgeoisie masters are away at some sort of management training. Now is our chance! Rise up, workers! Remove the shackles of oppression!

Or not. We'd probably lose our 401k benefits.


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Tuesday, May 10, 2005


It's hard to print white.


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Neoprene Wedgie

I went shopping for wetsuits again - ALONE.

Each suit is probably a 10-15 minute ordeal to select a size, squeeze into it, and then find out all the reasons why it doesn't fit. There were two salespeople in the store, and then another customer came in. He was a large Australian guy who obviously knew the salesguys- he was telling them about the Megathon he did the day before, swimming across the Pacific and killing a dozen wallabies with his teeth.

I came out of the changing room wearing suit #2, and the salesguys start picking and prodding at me trying to see how it fits. As it turns out, I didn't have it pulled up far enough. The Australian comes over and says "ya need to be wearin' it up, mate". He then goes behind me and grabs onto the suit, not-quite-inappropriately but still beyond my comfort level, and just lifts me off the ground like a ragdoll. He does a little shaking thing and then I drop about 2 inches inside the suit. It helped, but I still didn't fit in the suit properly.

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure how comfortable I am with strangers coming up behind me and tossing me around while I'm wearing rubber suits.

(thanks to Brad for coining the phrase "neoprene wedgie")


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Monday, May 09, 2005

I lost my ATM card.

I lose things all the time, so this doesn't worry me. But it's been over a week and I suppose I should get it replaced. I've been charging purchases, using up all the loose change in my desk and relying on the kindness of strangers to buy me lunch.

This weekend I was with DJ, Mark and Callaroi and I had DJ buy me everything. Lunch. Dinner. Cookies. I apologized for having to mooch off of him, but I've been without cash all week because of the missing ATM card. He asked me "why didn't you just bring a check to the bank?"

It never occurred to me.

As it turns out, the buildings behind the ATMs have "humans" inside which you can speak with and they will give you money. Isn't that cool?


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Friday, May 06, 2005

I brought my bike back to the store to be fixed. The guy fiddled with it for 10 minutes, then said “OK, you’re all set.” I asked “can you show me that it’s working?” He looked at me like I was crazy. I wanted him to put it up on the rack and demonstrate that the gears were working. “I fixed it, should be fine.” I had to explain to him “well, when I picked up the bike yesterday I was told it was fine and obviously it wasn’t.”

He put the bike on the rack and started jumping through all the gears. The front gears have 3 sprockets: small-medium-large. I watched the chain jump from the large to the small, then middle, large, small-middle-large, small-middle-large. It was never going from large to middle, which was one of the problems I was having. So I asked him “can you put it on the large sprocket? Now go to the middle.” The chain went to large, jumped down to small and back up to middle. “There you go” he says. “No, it skipped right over the middle sprocket to the small, then went back up.” He did the same thing again. “There.” “No, it should be able to go directly from the large sprocket to the middle.” AGAIN he demonstrated the large-small-middle transition and tried to tell me that it’s working.

He took the bike for a small test ride, came back and asked “can you leave the bike overnight?” So at least now I knew he was having trouble too, and it wasn’t just that I didn’t know how to shift gears properly I really didn’t want to leave the bike; It’s a 30-45 minute drive each way, and this was already my 3rd trip to the shop. I told him that I’d rather not have to come back again, but if there’s something wrong with the bike, it needs to be fixed.

I swear, this is basically the conversation we had.

“So you can fix whatever’s wrong with the bike?”
“Oh, there’s nothing wrong with it.”
“But you want me to leave the bike, so you can fix it?”
“Well, if it needs to be fixed, that means something is wrong.”
“The bike isn’t broken.”
“How are you going to fix something that isn’t broken?”
“These cables are too short, so I need to run new wires through the gearing mechanism.”
“OK, I get it, the cables aren’t broken, they’re just the wrong ones.”
“So these are the right cables for the bike?”
“But you need to replace them.”
“Because something is wrong with them.”
“Nothing’s wrong with them.”

It’s not me, is it? I’m not the crazy one, right? Right?


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Thursday, May 05, 2005

I bought a bicycle.

I don't know much about bikes, but I do know a lot about Mister P. And Mister P. is neurotic about gear shifting. I'm one of those people who has to shift gears all the time because "maybe this isn't the absolute perfect gear for this moment". And I hate, HATE it when gears don't shift properly, or make that little rattling noise against the chain. Drives me crazy. So I spent some extra money to make sure I got a bike with better shifters. (On a scale of 1-10, mine are still just a 3 instead of a 2).

Well they don't work.

I'm sure it's just a calibration issue, but I think that when you buy a brand new bike, it should be in perfect working condition leaving the store. I've had bike "experts" tell me "well, shifting gears can be tricky. You just need to get used to them." No. I ain't buying it. These aren't the same gears we had on our 10-speeds growing up. For all practical purposes, you shift with buttons. You press one button to go up a gear, you press another button to go down. Imagine stepping into an elevator to go to the 10th floor but it doesn't work, and the building manager tells you, "oh, it's just a little tricky." Would you tolerate that? No.

I also got a wicked-awesome speedometer. It is completely wireless: a small sensor detects a magnet spinning on the wheel, then transmits data wirelessly to the display on the handlebars. Looks really cool on the box.

Well, it doesn't work.

I'll get the speedometer set up properly, I'll get the gears re-adjusted, but it's just very frustrating to have to deal with this. I don't think I'm asking too much to expect these things to be working when the bike is brand new.

There is one component of my bike which is working flawlessly: I got a killer whale squeeky horn.

Click to hear the horn in action.

Oh yeah baby, you are jealous.


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Monday, May 02, 2005

Puny Gurly Man

Loyal readers know that Mister P. is not one to hide his humiliation.

Dutch and I signed up to do a triathlon in September. It involves some cold ocean swimming, so we needed to get some special swimsuits. They are basically full-body form-fitting wetsuits that look like something your neighborhood superhero might wear.

We went to the store and the salesman was looking us up and down, sizing us up. He first says to me "hmmmm... I'm not sure what we're going to do with you." He then turns to Dutch and, noticing his more sophisticated stature, says "now as for you, YOU we can put in the Men's 'Ironman'" and hands him a suit. He turns back to me and says "why don't you try this one... it's a unisex."


These things are supposed to be form-fitting, and my bodytype is UNISEX?!! He might as well have said "go over there and look in the little girl's section".

We tried on our respective superhero suits: Dutch was Wolverine and I was Jean Gray. His suit fit perfectly but I'm too skinny in some places and too fat in others and it just wasn't working. I tried on a second suit which I could hardly breathe in and the salesman says "no, that suit's way too big for you." Great.

I will never be a superhero. Stupid Dutch.


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