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Friday, October 08, 2004
I'm at a friend's house and we've turned tonight's presidential debate into a little snarkparty. The following is a semi-official transcript of some remarks and observations from the night, updated live throughout the evening. Shoot me an e-mail during the debate if you want to contribute a line or three. [Note -- the e-mail lines are now closed. We'll see about Debate #3.]
9:41: Lots of spinning happening. Consensus seems to be that Bush did a lot better tonight, but then Kerry didn't exactly drop trou and poop on the stage either. Hey, is there still pizza?
9:37: Good God, it's over. Whew. The ritualistic hand-shaking begins.
A haiku for Charles Gibson:
Bush, he smacked you down,
But they never saw you cry.
Don't cry out loud, Chuck.
9:36: Bush: "Jobs are growing." Poor guy on the street: "Yeah, I got six!"
9:33: Kerry: "I have a plan to find and kill the terrorists. Come on, guys! Grab some torches and an Uzi! We're going a-HUNTIN'!"
9:31: Closing statements. Bush is the only one getting laughs. Can't figure out if that's a good thing or not.
9:28: A lady asks Bush about three mistakes he's made and what he did to correct them. Stop the presses: Bush is human. He makes mistakes. No, wait he doesn't. Just one. Iraq was RIGHT. Not wrong. Not a mistake. Wait, what was your question? Mistakes? Yeah, well, lemme see here. I... oops. Sorry. I'm outta time.
9:25: You may not agree with him, but Bush was a lot clearer and consise on abortion. And he's not giving anybody counseling. Or federal money. You're on your own, sluts.
9:23: Kerry is given another bombshell question -- on abortion. Kerry brings up religion, then offers what sounds like 1-on-1 abortion counseling. Ladies: make sure to book your appointment with John Kerry, c/o Planned Parenthood ...
9:22: Kerry nails Bush on the Supreme Court question. Bush missed his chance to make a good stance on this one.
9:20: On picking a Supreme Court justice: Bush is flailing, bad. He just contradicted himself on interpreting the Constitition versus personal issues. Get it together, man! There's only like 10 minutes left! Don't implode now!
9:17: Bush got out of his chair and is creeping up on Kerry. He's gonna clobber him!
9:16: From a funny reader: "Bush invented the hydrogen fuel cell. He's the president, he's an engineer. Is there nothing the man can't do?"
9:15: Stem-cell research. Ooh, tough one. Watch your step with this one, Catholic Kerry. Celebrity name-dropping's not gonna answer the question alone.
9:13: Come on, question askers! Pick up your cues! This isn't community theater, dammit. This is the big time!
9:10: Something about timber? Something funny? Totally missed it. Now there's a really sweaty dude asking a question. This debate has become 98 percent conflagration, 2 percent perspiration.
9:07: The debate has officially entered the Boring Phase. Come on, guys. Whip out a baseball bat or something. Let Cheney out of his cage. Tag-team! SOMETHING!
9:01: Bush gets asked about whether he's an environmentalist. Hoots and hollers from the peanut gallery as Bush leaks oil from his left leg all over the stage.
8:58: Bush on Kerry: "No, YOU the liar."
8:55: Kerry to America: "My priority is you." Cool. Just don't hug us, okay?
8:52: The recession was the shortest in U.S. history. You mean the one that's still going?
8:50: Bush on the deficit: "We're gonna spend, people! Whatever it takes! We're at war! Who's got a MasterCard? We're goin' SHOPPIN' at Bloomie's!"
8:49: Bush to Kerry: "You should have showed up and voted for it!" Ow. That one's gonna leave a mark.
8:48: "John Kerry is a liberal! You guys HATE liberals! Dontcha? Well? Dontcha? WHO'S WITH ME!?!" says Bush. Crickets from the audience.
8:47: "He's gonna tax everybody here." On your way out. Empty your wallets to the burly guard by the door.
8:46: Kerry says "Tort reform" and gives out a Web URL in the same answer. Zzzzzzzz, says the audience.
8:45: Bush winks at a member of the audience. Don't be stealing Bill Clinton's moves, now!
8:42: Bush to Kerry: "Did you just call me a liar? Now I know you didn't just call me a liar. Me? Liar? Sir, you hath besmirched mine good name. Beeyatch. I'm gonna bitchslap you like I did Charles Gibson."
8:41: I wish my wife were here. She'd totally school these fools on prescription drug programs.
8:40: If we lose the war, Iraq will become a haven for terrorists? Holy crap! We have to do something! That would be way worse than what's happening now with... the... uh... terrorists that are... uh... using Iraq as a haven.
8:35: Bush's eyelashes are receiving signals from the planet Cheneytron.
8:34: Ooh, watch out, Kerry. Bush is taking some notes. Wait a minute. Why is he writing it in Crayolas?
8:33: Bush to Gibson: "Shut up, bitch! I'm talking! You see me talking, Gibson? That's right, I am. So shuuuuuddddup!"
8:30: "All-volunteer Army". Seriously? We have one of those?
8:29: The question-asker who dresses from The Gap? He's totally scared of the draft. He knows he's totally going to get toweled in the shower if he gets pulled into the Army.
8:28: Kerry's hair is made of clay!
8:27: Bush already looks tired. "That answer almost made me want to scowl." That's pretty good, Bush. Pretty pretty pretty good.
8:26: This lady asking a question is so nervous. She was like, "I.. with.. ISRAEL! Missiles and oh god, my husband's gonna kill me."
8:25: Did Bush just do a Shoulder Take? He did something with his shoulder. I think he stole a Janet Jackson move.
8:21: The candidates have water under their podiums. Good for them. Bush on Arafat: "He's not on my speed dial! I took him off my Friends Fly Free! I don't send him Christmas cards... or, uh, Hannukkah cards. Or, you know, those get well cards. Or those cards with the kitten hangin' that says 'Hang in there'. Heh heh heh, I love that card."
8:20: What's that lady got under her shawl? Everybody, RUN!
8:20: "I hang out with world leaders all the time! I know how they think! Me and Tony Blair play golf! Sometimes, we rub sunscreen on each other's backs. I shared a locker with him once! Come on, people! I got cred!"
8:17: "I'm gon' do this. I'm gon' do THAT." You ain't gonna do a GODDAMN thing. Well, maybe that doesn't apply to the debate, I just really like it when Sweet Dick Willie says that in Do the Right Thing.
8:16: Pizza break!
8:15: Bush sounds mad. Kerry is sticking it to him. "Global test?" Didn't they, like, decide that was taken completely out of context. That memo must not have gotten very high up the White House.
8:14: Kerry: "Let me tell you STRAIGHT UP!" Straight up? "Straight UP!" Never has a candidate made a Paula Abdul song sound so politically relevant.
8:13: First party guest says of one of the candidates, "That's such bullshit."
8:11: A man in the audience has DEVIL EYES!
8:09: Bush on Kerry: "He does! Blah blah... He does!"
8:07: When they take the mic, I really want one of these guys to say, "Phyllis Bradley, COME ON DOWN!"
8:05: "I'm not a flip-flopper GODDAMMIT!" says Kerry.
8:04: Bush's campaign a "Weapon of mass deception"? Ouch!
8:01: Kerry: too much blush? You decide.
8:00: Charles Gibon -- massive toupee wearer.
7:59: This is the set from The Weakest Link. Totally.
7:57: Teresa's wearing light blue despite Laura's admonition not to wear blue! Holy crap! Catfight!
7:50 p.m.: MSNBC is showing snippets of past debates is if it were Best of SNL night. Next up: Chris Farley does the Chippendale's dance!
7:45 p.m.: We're watching MSNBC. I swear Dick Gephart looks like a character from Team America.
One up, one down
The new comic is up. The new XL Blog is not. So... go read the comic. And tune in tonight for Debateyblog.
Much for a Friday
Several things happening today, just stick with me, 'kay?
There's a Li'l Floaty Omie Head blog that's going to be posted, I just don't know when. I'll link to it when it happens, but it'll probably be this afternoon. I know, I know. Nobody's around Friday afternoon.
Also, the new Space Monkeys! comic is late, but will be up today. I know, I know.
AND -- tonight, I'm going to a friend's house for the debate and I'm going to be posting comments as it's happening here. So come back tonight and if you have some stuff you want me to add (maybe some zingers from your OWN party or just watching at home), drop me an e-mail during the debate and I'll add it on. It'll be like live and interactive and shit! Fun.
I've also got some house photos -- I'll post those when the XL blog entry goes up. It sorta goes with that.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Our domain is official! The new URL actiongravy.com is now the official home of Space Monkeys!
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Cheney vs. Edwards
On the issue of gay marriage: AWK-ward!
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Suck it Veronica Mars: Chloe is back
New Smallville recap: Clark and his new friend Lois Lane go looking for clues to Chloe's supposed death. Lana returns from Paris and brings a bland new boyfriend with her. Papa Luthor goes down. All the way to prison.
Monday, October 04, 2004
ACL Days 2 and 3
Only about five gajillion weeks late.
But whaddaya gonna do? Here's Day One if you missed it.
It was a Saturday. We kind of knew it was coming. The day before had been a Friday.
Rebecca was in town and ready to join my brother and I in the outdoor funness. Here's something you probably don't know about Rebecca: she's Latina, but very light-skinned. She used to be really tan back in her tennis-playing high school days, but now if you put her out in the sun for more than a few minutes, small fires erupt all over her body. It's awful. We have to live indoors with all the shades drawn like with those kids who get sick from daylight.
So I had no idea how Rebecca was going to handle the stultyfying, sperm-frying heat of the Austin City Limits fest. If she'd gone the day before, I would no longer have a wife: I'd have a toasted marshmallow. So part of our strategy for Saturday was to go a little later in the afternoon. We'd be missing Big Head Todd and the Monsters and a few other bands (bands I wasn't too familiar with and who sounded like, as my former boss would have called them, "The Flaming Butt Monkeys."), but we'd be there in time for Modest Mouse, which was a band PJ really wanted to check out.
Still, she was game. We packed our bags full of tons of bottled water, sunscreen, the blanket, tickets and even some hand towels to wipe the sweat from our brows. We were prepared. We met up with Rebecca's brother and his girlfriend (my girlfriend-in-law?) and parked back at the Statesman.
It was hot again. We walked and walked and walked and in mere minutes, the back of my neck was like Lake Wannawipeme.
We noticed a lot more people out this time. It was a Saturday. Even sandwich artists and methwhores were taking the day off to visit the festival. As we were walking up to the gates, we heard people announcing that one-day passes for Saturday were completely sold out. My brother and I cheered each other for being so fucking brilliant in buying tickets two weeks before. Well, actually I bought the tickets. And nobody cheered for me. Maybe I was having a heat-induced fugue-like episode.
We stood in the bag-search line. Rebecca got her wristband. We went inside.
The first thing we noticed was how crowded Zilker Park looked. The day before, when PJ and I had gotten there, it was pretty wide open with lots of places to sit and a lack of real crowds. This late afternoon, you could barely walk. Coleman chairs and their masters were everywhere, like suburban locusts with Caucasian body fat. We were running a bit late for Modest Mouse and the show was about to start. We scooted toward the Cingular Stage where they'd be playing. There were people parking their asses for miles, folks. It was disgusting! You could start to smell the stench of sweat, sunscreen and Heineken. And everywhere you turned everybody was trying to find each other, screaming into their cell phones:
"Naw, we're by the flag... The flag. The big orange flag. Yeah, orange. The fuck you mean which orange flag? The BIG one! Orange! It has like that Marvin the Martian dude on it. No, by the Bank of America stage. By the speakers. The left speakers. There's a guy in a purple shirt. You can't miss him. Just go toward the Jamba Juice stand. No, LEFT of the Jamba Juice stand."
We tried to find a place to lay out our blanket. We had to double back toward the far edge in the back to do that. Rebecca whipped out an umbrella and parked herself underneath it. PJ and I tried to hear Modest Mouse, but three things kept us from succeeding. 1. There were some jackasses behind us that kept complaining they couldn't hear Modest Mouse, but their incessant, loud complaining about the soft volume was what was keeping everyone around them from hearing Modest Mouse. We kept scooting up every inch we could to get out from under their vocal pollution. 2. We were very, very, very, very far from the stage. I thought they were showing Antz on the big screen. 3. Modest Mouse sucked anyway. They played all soft and with no energy and they stopped right at 45 minutes with no fanfare or goodbye. Well, hey, excuse us for attending your concert, you stuck-up pieces of shit. Let's see if you have an audience this big for any show you do four years from now.
Their set ended, as I said, abruptly. In fact, we didn't know when that happened. People started wandering off and everyone was asking, "Is that... it? Are they done?" Nobody could figure it out. Then they started playing some house music and we all decided Modest Mouse had melted or the lead singer had had an embolism from popcorn grease or something.
We moved on.
Los Amigos Invisibles
I had no idea who Los Amigos Invisibles were supposed to be. I knew they were the only true Latin American band on the roster (Los Lonely Boys don't count. They're about as Latin American as Erik Estrada). But when I mentioned them in passing to Rebecca, mere hours before we were to go hit the fest, she squealed. SQUEALED!
Apparently, I married this woman not knowing that she has two of their CDs and is a big fan. I'm a bad husband.
So we went to see them, PJ and I, with absolutely no expectations whatsoever.
And they rocked the fucking park. They're Venezuelan and have this kind of sexy, throbbing, disco-Latin beat. The crowd completely ate it up. I went to go get a Jamba Juice while we were waiting for them to start. We managed to camp out our little blanket area very close to the stage and when I got back, my wife had ditched the umbrella, stood up, and started dancing like a lot of the crowd. I wiggled my way back in there, trying to balance two Jamba Juices and a funnel cake that nobody ended up wanting. I jammed with my wife (it's okay: we're legal). The band just sounded completely fantastic, their rich sound filling up the area around the Heineken stage. I leaned over to PJ, who was grooving equally and said, "If you'd told you yesterday that these guys would blow away Modest Mouse, I never would have believed you." He concurred.
Some white dudes next to us started yelling the dirty lyrics drunkenly, to the point where we couldn't hear the band. My sweet wife told them to shut the fuck up. They did. My wife rocks!
The show went on for a while with the band keeping the groove going long past the time they had to, and right after, we went to the Waterloo tent where the band was giong to sign autographs. Rebecca bought their new CD and we got the entire band to sign her copy. When we got to the lead singer, I got a photo. Dude tried to lick my wife!
I learned a valuable lesson: Don't let hot, sweaty Venezuelan lead singers of cool disco bands get their tongue anywhere near your spouse.
For the next few hours, we got food, hung out and stood in line for bathrooms, which were kind of ... well, disgusting. I heard glowing reviews of the bathrooms this year, but my experience was that there were still lines and that they weren't surfaces I'd ever put MY ass on.
It got dark really fast. We were still waiting in a bathroom line when we could see the masses converging to get a good spot for The Pixies. I told our gang that I didn't care if we sat or had blanket space or whatever. PJ and I wanted to get as close to the stage as we could and we didn't care if we had to stand the whole time or not.
We trekked and trekked, slipping between chairs and over people's outstretched legs. We came in from the right rear and we could heard the Neville Brothers on the nearby stage finishing up their set. We actually ended up having a little bit of space to sit for a while before they started.
Soon, The Pixies came out. A huge whoop went through the crowd. PJ and I started screaming. Everybody stood.
I can't really describe the show that well. My brain stopped doing the thing where I write stuff out in my head as it's happening. I didn't even try to take any photos. I just remember lots and lots of really good songs. I knew lots of people around me were way more familiar with the band I am. I didn't care. I may not have known all the words, but I got into it just the same. This was the reason PJ and I had decided to be here in the first place and it was completely worth it.
And before we knew it, it was over. I don't know if everybody else had as good a time as we did, but when the whole crowd was singing along with "Where is My Mind" or in the opening crunches of "Bone Machine" or during "Monkey Gone to Heaven," you could really believe just for that hour or so that your rock idols never really have to die, or go away never to return.
We went home. We'd had a lot of fun.
Check out PJ having fun with H.E. Buddy:
I'm going to give you the very short version of Day Three, because it was just Rebecca and I and we only went for a few hours because of an LCP audition we had that afternoon.
We went to try to catch Cake and the sound was awful. Not the band, the way Modest Mouse had been. The band sounded fine. But there were so many people and we were so far back that everything sounded muddled and faraway. People start chanting, "TURN IT UP! TURN IT UP!" After about five minutes of that, we said, "Fukitol" and went looking for David Garza instead.
We weren't disappointed. We got a (sitting!) spot very close to the stage. It was dark. It was breezy. Rebecca laid down with her head in my lap and David played his heart out. We caught up with Rebecca's brother and his girlfriend, Marisa, and everybody just had a great time.
We saw some other friends, Andy and Jeff and Raul and Karinna (who shared a cab with us to and from the fest). There were 70,000 people there each day, but I still managed to see just about everyone I was looking for at the festival at one point or another.
Rebecca and I were tired. We snacked on some last minute bites (two for five tacos!) and wandered around the shops as Ben Harper started his festival-closing set. While other acts had had audio problems, Ben Harper was on the SBC stage, which you could hear for miles. I'm not a huge Ben Harper fan, but he sounded fantastic. We walked and held hands. We left the park midway through Harper's set, but we could still hear it way past the gates and down toward the taxi trail. We left in the best possible way; with the music still floating toward us in the thin, warm summer air as the clear Austin night sky sheltered us home.
Different tastes, that's all
I'm talking to my dad on the phone and we get on the subject of movies. My brother had just bought Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and had shown it to my folks.
"What did you think of Eternal Sunshine?" I asked.
"Eh. It was all right. We didn't like it too much."
"Really? That was my favorite movie this year."
"Naw. We did see a really great movie, though. What was it called... The Punisher?"
"Yeah! That was was great. We also saw one with that guy... The Rock. It was... Walking Tall!"
"I gotta go."
Bobbo springs eternal
New comic up, prompty this time. If it isn't obvious, PJ and I like us some movies.
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