Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Jesus Christ seems to be on quite a tear; The Passion of the Christ, South Park: The Passion of the Jew, and Jesus Christ Superstar all come out on DVD today. Of the three, Superstar is the only one I could see some day owning; I like the musical, but the movie version was a tad too hippie-freaky for my tastes. Also coming out today is The Alfred Hitchcock Collection. I was a bit concerned when I first saw it, because it is anchored by Strangers on a Train, which isn't one of my favorite Hitchcock films, and I already have North By Northwest on DVD (the new DVD version has an isolated score, which would be awesome to have, but as great as Herrmaan is, I'm not buying it twice just for that). So I was pleased to see the individual movies are also being sold seperately (and reasonably priced, Amazon has them for pre-order at under $14 a pop). Suspicion is the most exciting one of the lot, but there's lots of good stuff here.

I had thought I had a Criterion DVD of Suspicioin, so I went to their website to confirm this (turns out I was thinking of Notorious--confused Ingrid Bergman with a cup of coffee for Joan Fontaine with a glass of milk). While there, I noticed The Bank Dick is going out of print. DVD Empire has it for about $20, the cheapest price I could find from a merchant listing it as in stock. Free shipping if you order 3 or more DVDs, so check out their $8.99 Universal DVDs sale.

And while I'm on the subject of DVDs, I should mention I finally got around to watching Bubba Ho-Tep last night. The movie was just okay, not up to all the hype, but the audio commentary by "Elvis" heightened the experience ten-fold. Very funny stuff.

Friday, August 27, 2004

I unbandaged my foot this evening. It feels pretty good. No pain to report yet. I go in Monday for an exam, and some pointers on resuming a running routine. He doesn't seem to be pushing for orthotics, so if he doesn't think I need them, I won't press the issue. Save a few hundred bucks if I don't need them.

I booked a room in Vegas for just a few weeks away. Staying at Green Valley Ranch. A little miffed about my treatment by my host last visit, but my up-front comps should cover all my needs this trip, so no worries about needing to speak to my host. In the past, when I've stayed at Green Valley Ranch I've barely left the casino, but this trip, I think I'll venture forth a little bit, maybe stop by the Hilton and play there and the Strip (via the monorail...just hoping this doesn't happen to me).

Speaking of gambling, I'd planned to go play poker this evening, but I got busy doing stuff, and decided it was too late. Long drive, and then a long wait for a seat on a Friday night. So now I'm bored. Lots of reading piling up, Summer is almost over, but I don't feel like reading any more tonight.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I was discussing Freaks with someone the other day, when they called my attention to this charming story. Nice to see such progress is being made. Like someone observed in the Freaks DVD, one of the actors gets a drink thrown in his face; in that actor's final film, Mad Max 2, he gets a bucket of pig excrement thrown at him. Such progress.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Not as much fun as watching the Trampoline, but the Men's High-Bar was pretty exciting. At least Japan came up to the plate and clearly earned their gold, if Hamm had gotten the gold, it could've been ugly, and rightfully so. I have to wonder, every time I hear an American on T.V. arguing that the gold medal controversy is just like a referee blowing a call in a game, and there's nothing you can do about it, what the '74 U.S. Basketball team thinks. (I think our team this year is praying for a blown call to pin their failure on)
I've been enjoying the new Freaks DVD that came out last week. I love that movie. Plenty of reviews are out singing its praises, so I won't bother writing another. But the film, and the special features on the DVD, are both awesome. It's a little disappointing that the alternate ending footage doesn't include the cut footage of Hercules and Cleopatra meeting their fates, but I guess that footage has been lost to history. But maybe it's better to use our imagination. Gooble-gobble.
Anyone been watching the Olympics? I enjoyed watching the trampoline, had no idea it was an Olympic sport. The first two athletes I saw fell off the trampoline. The second one, the favorite, hit the mat and just fell flat, right back onto the trampoline. Could I do better? Of course not. But it seems like, if you're good enough to reach the Olympics, you should be able to stay on the trampoline for the compulsory ten bounces.

I worked Sunday, and missed the Women's Marathon. A shame about Radcliffe, but at least she has her world record to fall back on.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

I returned from Vegas yesterday, tired but satisfied. It was a losing trip, but I lost less than I won last time I was in town, and got plenty of comps to ease the pain. And had a pretty good time, even though I had a friend in tow, rather then the sweet freedom of solitude in Vegas I so enjoy.

The drive to Vegas went quite well. No real traffic to speak of, and even with two stops, made it in right about five hours. Listened to Shakira and Bob Newhart, an odd combination, I will admit. A cold front was moving in, so it wasn't even that unbearably hot, for those mountain passes where they advise turning off one's a/c. Checked in at Paris, and found our room on the 21st floor. Not much of a view, looked out at some timeshares, with the mountains on the side. Hoped maybe I'd get to watch a thunderstorm in the mountains sometime during the trip, but never saw any. Certainly a very nice room, but I still think I prefer Bally's. The room was big enough, but on the small side for a luxury resort. The armoire was a nice touch. Nicer bathroom than Bally's, with separate tub and shower. No separate water closet, but the toilet was set back in a slightly recessed nook, intended I suppose to give the illusion of privacy. Yet it wasn't set back nearly far enough, so that when one sat on the toilet, one couldn't help but watch oneself crapping in the full-length mirror on the door. Not an attractive sight. But they give you bath gel as well as the standard toiletries, the beds were comfortable, and housekeeping kept things tidy. Water pressure is usually the final arbiter for me in judging a room, but since my foot is bandaged and I don't feel like dealing with garbage bags, I've been taking baths. But the tub was spacious, and reasonably easy to enter and exit without dampening my left foot. So all in all, a good room, but considering it is newer and more expensive than Bally's, I think Bally's wins in the comparison (to be fair, I've only had queen beds at Paris, and king beds at Bally's, so maybe it is somewhat an apples-to-oranges comparison).

Overall, the service at Paris is pretty good. I did have one complaint with how the marketing department took care of me and my comped show tickets. The offer I was staying on was for two free nights in the hotel and two tickets to see We Will Rock You, their new musical based on the songs of Queen. First, when I called a few months ago and made the reservations, they tried to book me on some other offer I'd received, and I had to practically argue with the woman on the phone that I'd rather have two show tickets valued at $200+ rather than some food credit or whatever she was pushing. But I got it straightened out with her eventually, and reserved two tickets for the second night I was there. When I checked in, nothing was said about the tickets until I asked, and the front desk directed me to a line at the ticket office. I wait in line, and they have no record of the tickets. After fumbling with the computer awhile, she figures out that it was a comp offer from a room package, and tells me those tickets aren't available until the day of the show, so I should come back around noon the next day. So I do, no line this time, but still no show tickets. The clerk I spoke to this time was quite helpful, telling me that I need to actually call marketing from the hotel and tell them I want to get the tickets that were reserved for me. Seemed odd, but I was glad that the third person I talked to knew what to do. So I called marketing, she said I had tickets reserved for the 7:00 show, and she'd put them right in, and to check the ticket booth a half-hour later. I check about twenty minutes later, and they aren't there yet. Which is okay, so I leave and come back a few hours later, a bit of a line-up again, and again no tickets. The manager comes out, calls marketing, and goes in the back, and comes out again with my tickets. It seems that marketing never got me my tickets until the ticket office called them. It was all a minor inconvenience, but just seems odd, in that I assume most of the people staying in Paris on comps who play at my level or above received the same and similar offers, and how hard should it be to redeem it? Was the marketing person about to put it in the computer, when she spotted a bee in her office, and had to spend the rest of the afternoon trying to shoo it out a window? That's my theory. What stinks about the matter, though, is that I had rather bad seats, and I think if they had gotten my tickets in at the proper time, I would have had much better seats, since I think they lock up good seats for VIPs until the afternoon of the show. So all in all, I was a little annoyed. I was going to complain, but I would be complaining to the ticket booth staff, who did everything they could to help me, and not marketing that dropped the ball. So I just let it go. Like I said, the tickets cost over $100 with the entertainment tax, so I shouldn't bitch about having to jump through a few hoops for two tickets.

So I got my tickets and saw the 7:00 show of We Will Rock You on Wednesday. The show opened on Monday, so I was one of the first to see it, which is exciting. I was looking forward to it, though also nervous, whether it would be a travesty or a loving tribute. I must say I was disappointed in it, but still felt it had a lot going for it, and certainly by no means hated it. For the first half-hour or so, I did think it was awful, but it improved markedly in the second half. I knew very little about the plot, and was a bit chagrined that the story blatantly ripped off from the classic Aerosmith video game Revolution X, though with less blood. It's the future, and real rock has been replaced by computer-programmed pop pablum called, of course, GaGa. And our hero is Galileo Figaro ("Bohemian Rhapsody" surfaces in fragments as a sacred texts of the inevitable rebellion), a dreamer who channels snippets of rock lyrics (apparently with no filters--everything from "Who put the bob in the bop-shu-bop" to "Who let the dogs out?") and therefore in the only one who can revive rock and roll. The musical, in other words, postulates the novel notion that rock and roll, as it were, will never die. Or die and then come back, like Jesus.

We Will Rock You uses this message of the primacy of rock to attack pop culture, in particular American Idol, which makes it unfortunate that some of the more over-produced numbers sound exactly like a Queen cover on American Idol. It criticizes pop culture, yet jumps at any opportunity to appropriate it for a hackneyed joke. I'll avoid a minor spoiler, and just say one joke that actually was amusing, stemming from the fragments of our culture that made it to the future without context, was unfortunately repeated about a dozen times until the humor was long gone.

But perhaps I'm being too harsh. Musically, the production was pretty good, if a bit over-produced at times. The band was good, as were the on-stage talent. A few numbers involving the whole company were a bit muddled, "Radio GaGa" in particular (which was almost a blessing, as I nearly missed the fact that they changed the lyrics to insert a lame reference to the internet). But "It's a Kind of Magic" just really came together well, early in the show, and was the first hint the show might have some life in it. Unfortunately, the staging of this one, with dancers in some lame "futuristic" uniform, and with the Killer Queen and Khashoggi twirling slowly on some platform, gesticulating wildly as if their spinning was supposed to be a thrilling sight. Sorry, but twirling does not a spectacle make. And it closes strongly, with "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" ending the show. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is tacked on to the end, which is odd, since they seemed to be building to it, then decide that "We Are the Champions" is a more logical closer. But I suppose it's better to throw "Rhapsody" in as a sort of encore then to stretch the story even more to accommodate it.

Let's see, what else to complain about. "Under Pressure" is tacked on in a truncated version, just to advance the plot a little and bring the two love interests together, and seemed a bit too perky. They used, I believe, "No One But You" for a moving musical tribute to musicians who died young. A good choice, and of course it's vital to acknowledge Mercury's passing somewhere in the show, but the decision to also acknowledge practically every other musician who ever died made it feel more calculated and manipulative, offering something for everyone. The musical's casual equating of Freddie Mercury and Elvis is also questionable, no offense to Mr. Mercury. On the plus side, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "I Want it All," and "Seven Seas of Rhye" were all well-done, and the unnecessary references to the Paris Casino thrown into the show didn't do much damage. To summarize, there were lots of problems I had with the show, but musically it was fairly sound, and hopefully will improve with time (it opened on Monday, though I understand this is the London cast, at least in the major roles, so I don't know if that's an excuse). If I paid $100 for a seat, I'd be very disappointed, but for free, it's worth seeing.

Most of my time on the Strip, I never left the Paris/Bally's complex (both because of my foot, and because I like to gamble there). So I ate there a lot. The buffet at Paris was good as usual. I had it for breakfast my last morning at Paris, and wasn't very hungry, but after eating one plateful of food, already felt I'd justified the price. The crepes later were just icing on the cake. It is also the first time I ever saw Nutella at a buffet. But the best meal I had was at the Paris coffee shop, Le Café Île St. Louis. I'd often heard it described as over-priced, and after seeing how over-priced Bally's coffee shop was, I had concerns. But for the quality, I found it remarkably reasonable. Sandwiches for about eight dollars, with generous portions, and plenty of both American and French entrees at under fifteen dollars. Chad had the French Dip (I suppose that marginally fits the casino theme), and could barely eat half. I had Coquilles St. Jacques, and it was wonderful. I'd never had it before, and thought the potatoes were a garnish, but it was actually served on top like a pot pie crust, sort of. But it was delicious, and more then made up for skipping the Paris buffet for dinner and never getting their delicious bouillabaisse. I had a banana split for dessert, which was quite big and good, though it only had chocolate sauce, and no fruit toppings, save the banana. The service was great, and though it was a bit noisy being right by the casino, it had a nice atmosphere. I made fun of what they call outdoor seating, which is seating underneath the canopy painted on the ceiling of the casino, but it actually did have some of the charm of actually eating al fresco. I'd highly recommend it, though the wait for a table can be long (I had a line pass, fortunately).

I spent two nights there, then spent one night at the Fremont. I believe the last time I stayed there, I said I would never stay their again, but this time, I mean it. Unlike last time, there was nothing horribly wrong with my room, it was just small and cramped, and the air conditioning was noisy. I was on the tenth floor, with a view of a parking garage. I only stayed there because my friend wanted to stay downtown. I gambled about a half-hour before I decided I'd had enough of that and drove back to the strip. Downtown is okay for low-rollers, but I think even those with a modest budget can get some good treatment on the strip. I was surprised by how many comps my friend got, just playing Pai Gow and some slots for fairly reasonable stakes. Downtown has some old-school charm, but a lot of it just stinks. I do regret that I never got around to watching the new Fremont Street Experience light show, or getting a $0.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate, but I don't think Downtown has much to offer me anymore.

I won't bore you with all the details of my gambling. I'll just say I lost money, but not an unreasonable amount. I lost a ton my last night at Paris, when I gambled until 4 AM, just digging the hole deeper and deeper. That session is the reason why I didn't leave a winner, and so I learned a lesson, not to throw good money after bad, and accept a modest loss rather then going broke. But the Stardust was very good to me, as was the Las Vegas Hilton. It was the second time I gambled at the Hilton, and I enjoyed it, and found comps reasonable to get. I didn't consciously gamble there with this in mind, but I realized later it could be good to get in their good graces; if Harrah's merger with Caesars goes through, and they ruin Caesars properties as I'm sure they will, I'll need a new place to gamble. I hear good things about the Las Vegas Hilton, and the new owners seem to be doing a good job of improving the place. There were some real characters gambling there. And the monorail makes it a much more convenient location than it used to be. I could certainly do worse.

So all-in-all, it was a good trip. I lost money, but I saw a show, ate some fine meals, came to realize that Downtown blows, and realized that as long as the other members of your party understand that you came to gamble, going to Vegas with someone isn't too bad. I'm going back in November, though I'd love to work out a quick trip before that.

Monday, August 16, 2004

My foot feels better, the splint seems to be doing the trick. Stopped by the office and got the bandages replaced, so it would hold up okay on my vacation.

I leave for Vegas in the morning. Two nights at Paris, one night downtown at the Fremont. Hope my room at the Fremont isn't as shitty as last time, but hey, free is free. This is my third trip in about as many months, and hopefully I can keep the winning streak going. And I have tickets to see We Will Rock You, which has the potential to be either great or awful, either, as it were, the champion or a big disgrace. This is the first time I've been to Vegas with someone in awhile, which kind of sucks. I don't really enjoy having someone cramping my style while I'm at my real job. Not to mention someone else draining my comp balance at the casinos with their pesky demands for food and stuff. And the need to find mutually-agreeable music for the desert drive. I figure Shakira is pretty crowd-pleasing, as is my Bob Newhart compilation CD. But regardless, I'll be in Vegas in less than 24 hours, so I can't complain about anything.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I was kicking myself last night, when I realized I forgot about Freddy Fender's free concert at the Golden Acorn Casino. But after bitching about it last night, I got a phone call this morning pointing out that the concert is actually tonight. So I'll soon be driving out to Campo. A bit of a drive, but well worth it, considering how disappointed I was when I had to miss him at 4th and B a few months back. He's performing with a comedian and with Highway 101, whom I'm not familiar with, but looking forward to hearing. And I think I have enough in my player's club account to eat free (unless they've deleted me, I haven't been in about a year). Should be a fun night.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I finally got a chance to watch a few documentaries I'd been meaning to see. First there was Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story, a gentle look at the song-poem industry and the people who submit their poetry to be transformed into something resembling music. It's a gentle movie, for better and for worse, allowing you to laugh at the people who wrote some truly embarassing lyrics, without feeling that you're being mean-spirited; the film is equally gentle to those who take their money, trying to avoid the issue of whether these people are serving a market, or are con artists. In fact, after watching the documentary, it's hard to fret over the ridiculous claims of royalties galore in their ads, when it becomes obvious no one sending in their songs really believe they're going to get rich; their actual motive, in absence of financial incentive, isn't always clear, but by-and-large you can see a universal desire to find one's voice at work. And yes, the freak factor here is high (and not just on the submitters side), lots of songs are featured (ranging from the horrid to the hilarious to the absolutely transcendent), and some nice bonus features are included on the DVD. Highly recommended.

Even more highly recommended is How's Your News? I'd heard nothing but good things about this, and I figured it was something I had to see, but I had my qualms. Can sending a group of retarded people cross-country to do man-on-the-street interviews possibly be in good taste? An "as seen on Howard Stern" sticker on the package was hardly comforting. But once you've seen it, questions of it's tastefulness seems to evaporate. Watching the film, one can clearly see the evolution of this project, from films made at Camp Jabberwocky for their personal enjoyment, to a short film shuttled around film festivals, to the finished product. Even with a somewhat larger budget (meaning they got an RV instead of a Volkswagon bus), it still feels like a home movie, and watching it feels, not like an act of voyeurism, but like being admitted into an extended family. I was made uncomfortable at times, when the members of the How's Your News team with the most difficulty communicating vocally are put into awkward interview positions (and it's supposed to make you feel a bit uncomfortable at times, as the liner notes note, "confusion, awkward moments and humor are important parts of living with a disability"). But ultimately, it's clear that they are getting as much enjoyment from the How's Your News experience as anyone, and as Larry takes in the vista of the Grand Canyon or enjoys the dancing of passers-by at Venice Beach, one can't argue this isn't a valuable experience for him.

Ultimately, it's hard to explain what this movie is. But it isn't exploitation, and at the same time, it isn't the Pollyanna-ish, disabled-people-are-just-like-you-and-me message Hollywood likes to package, just in time for Oscar season. As one blogger notes about Camp Jabberwocky, "No one pretends that the campers are just like the rest of us. The campers are who they are. But for much of their lives, they've been treated as less than what they are...." And this film, like the camp, lets them be exactly who they are. And you really, really need to see this film.

I went to the podiatrist this morning. I was dreading it a bit, but it went pretty well. He put a splint on my foot, so I've got a bit of a limp now, and I'll be hobbling around Vegas next week. And I have another appointment after I get back from my vacation to get fitted for an orthotic. They're submitting an insurance claim to see if Blue Cross will pick up some of the expense, but I doubt it. So I'll be out three or four hundred, which is no chump change, but a small price to pay for the precious gift of the ability to walk. But the doctor seemed to think my case wasn't very severe, so I'm confident a few weeks witht the splint will help. The splint is interesting, it's not like a splint that would hold a broken bone, with a board and all, it's just athletic tape, run over the base of the foot, and pulled up with more tape, so that my arch is held tightly up. Puts a notable kink in my walking, but seems to serve it's purpose in keeping the tendon in place.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

"My philosophy is that one shall not resort to violence unless one is resolved to become the subject of violence at any time:" The Onion's Takeshi Kitano interview.
Where are you now, when we need you most, Rage Against the Machine?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I just saw Oscar Goodman on CNBC. What a jackass. Facing questions about how seriously he treated the matter of terrorism, he just went off on the reporter, refusing to answer questions, claiming it was a pack of lies, and just basically showing off the skills he no doubt utilized as a mob lawyer. He even denied that liability issues had ever been raised by anyone as a possible reason for Goodman ignoring possible terrorist threats, just about thirty seconds after a clip was shown of that exact allegation being made by a federal prosecutor (albeit the one who apparently muddled the Buffalo terror prosecution). I'll admit I wasn't a fan of the man before this, but I thought it was probably one of the most damaging things I've seen on T.V. for Las Vegas' reputation (which is saying something).

Monday, August 09, 2004

So I again find myself in a bit of a funk. No big news there. I'm sure part of it has to do with my reverting back to my sedimentary lifestyle. I have an appointment to see a podiatrist on Friday, something I should have done at least a month ago. I imagine he'll tell me I can't run for a little while, but at least it will be a step back in the direction of running again, since I always seem to have a better outlook when I'm mobile. I suppose my funk is also partly due to a bit of malaise, not really having anything to do this week. Of course, I'll be in Vegas next week, so I have that going for me. I'm also in a funk due to an odd conversation I had today. One of those things that seems funny at the time, and then in the cold reflection of solitude, seems oddly tragic. Just one more thing to lump into the "wish that had stayed buried" file. But I won't bore you with my troubles. Who am I to complain, after all. I just started Johnny Cash's autobiography, and at least I didn't have a brother eviscerated by a table saw at the age of 14. And at least I'm not Fay Ray; I'd like to think that my obitiuary will not be met by a nation exclaiming, "You mean he didn't die decades ago?"

Sunday, August 08, 2004

If you have previously had trouble viewing the photos I put up recently, I should mention that I fixed the problem with the 2004 Comic-Con photos. So enjoy!
I finished reading Armadillo by William Boyd last night. A noir-ish dark comedy, with a very British feel. Like Double Indemnity meets Dickens. Lorimer Black is a loss adjuster for an insurance company, whose job is to get his company out of paying large claims. When the book opens, he arrives at an appointment to find the claimant has hung himself. But that ultimately just seems to be for atmosphere, as soon enough he's on the main case, an over-insured hotel striken by fire. The ensuing web of inexplicable conspiracy could be called Kafkaesque, if it didn't seem so petty. More an example of the office drone viewing his workplace antics as Kafkaesque. It isn't really enough to carry the novel, and the sub-plots aren't quite enough to jazz it up (one involves a pop singer, named David Watts, who suffered a mental breakdown right before a world tour; some critics suggest Boyd misunderstood the Kinks song from which the David Watts pseudonym was taken, but it seems to me the point was that the newly-named David Watts is the one who missed the point). The conspiracy takes a more menacing turn near the end, as the story races to a conclusion a bit hastily, leaving lots of loose ends. And Boyd's symbolism (changed names, collecting armor, lucid dreams) is a bit heavy-handed. But I enjoyed the little touches in the depiction of London life, and the gently satirical humor of the novel was enjoyable enough to carry it when the plot wouldn't.

So much to read this summer, and I haven't gotten through nearly as much as I hoped. And now I got it in my head to read Don Quixote, which will be rather time-consuming, so I'm trying to get through a few essential reads before that. And I hope to re-read the Series of Unfortunate Events books before the new one comes out. And, as ever, the stack of magazines in my room now requires its own sherpa.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

It's been about two weeks since I got back from Vegas, and I won't be in Vegas again for about two more weeks (I remember planning a non-Vegas vacation for sometime this Summer, whatever happened to that?), so of course I was deep in the grips of withdrawal this evening, and for a chance of pace, I decided to feed the need at Sycuan. Unfortunately, I unwittingly chose to do this the same night Crystal Gayle was performing. I'm not sure if she had any trouble with air marshals on her way to the gig, but she seemed to have brought in a good number of people. And if you've ever seen the Sycuan parking lot, you understand why this might be a problem. I briefly considered valet as an alternative to their lot, which never really advanced from the temporary lot back when Sycuan, a typical Indian casino, was basically some trailers. But I don't think I would trust any employee of Sycuan with the keys to my car. So I drove out to the far end of the lot and picked a row. I drove about half-way down the row, not finding a space, when I came upon one of many twists in the road accommodating a tree (I suppose it is nice that they apparently built their lot around the foliage). Thanks to some big trucks parked a bit too close to the tree, it didn't look like I could fit through, and backing up would have required maneuvering a twisting path for about 350 feet. So I seemed to be stuck. I stopped for about two minutes, thinking the conundrum over, finally deciding to go forward. I thought I was going to have to drive right into the planter with the tree, but all that ended up being required was driving up onto the curb a bit. A very tight fit, but I made it. I found a space not much further down, and enjoyed the walk to the casino, observing the broken glass littering every third space or so. Gotta love El Cajon.

It is stunning the dramatic drop in class in the clientele of Sycuan versus the other casinos in town. We're not talking about Western-level clientele, but some real freaks are easily found. Unlike previous visits, no one tried to sell me anything (I always enjoy trying to decide if they need money to gamble or need money for meth), so maybe they're classing up the joint. Played blackjack for an hour or so, won a small amount of cash, just enough to make it worth my time. They do have an okay blackjack game, not the best in town, but good enough. If they did something about the parking, it might be worth the occasional visit, but as things stand now...I guess it depends if they send me some good offers in the mail or not.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Interesting side note to the previous post: An egg cream contains neither eggs nor cream. Discuss. Actually, it might have cream, but I think it was just milk.
Traffic was awful coming home yesterday. Tried several alternate routes, all of which were backed up, so I ended up just stopping for dinner. Ate at the Studio Diner, which opened a year or two back next to Stu Segal's studio. Sadly, I did not run into Lorenzo Lamas or any of the major talent that works there. Bud I did have an egg cream. Can't say I cared for it, exactly, but I could see how some might. Maybe the problem was that ordered it for dessert, while it, being significantly lighter than a milkshake, is more suited to enjoy with a meal.
I finally uploaded pictures from Comic-Con. Nothing too exciting, but you will want to check out the photo with me and Xena, pretty sweet.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Robert Smigel interviewed in The Onion's A.V. Club. The Best of Triumph DVD comes out next week, I think. I also enjoyed Smigel's characterization of Adam West: "You always wonder 'Is he a genius?' when you see this performance, or is it just his voice, and somebody manipulated him like a marionette, and edited around his bad takes? I don't know. I can't figure it out, even after having worked with him. When you meet him, he's this very odd combination of literate Renaissance man and oafish uncle who says embarrassing things that you wish your girlfriend hadn't heard."
Deadbeat Dads March on Las Vegas
If Henny Youngman had played Hamlet.