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Thursday, October 27, 2005
Feat of clay
A new Space Monkeys! comic, alluded to earlier, is now posted. It's in a medium new to us, clay. Hope you like it.
PJ and I are working on a new comic that's proving to be a bit of a technical and communications challenge being that it takes place in another medium that is not specifically cartoon. But we started working on it a month ago, which is a good sign. We usually wait till the very last minute (and add a week) on some of these ideas...
We had a close call. A relative-in-law was not doing very well and we thought we'd be traveling tomorrow. Turns out they got better and we're still waiting, but so far, so good. It's a relief, really...
Tonight on Smallville: Lesbian vampires. I absolutely shit you not. Between this and the Teutonic Aquaman of last week (his nipples like Navy jet rivets), it's like the show is daring me to rip it to little tiny fucking pieces...
Working on a Katrina recap for TWOP that's taking a little longer than I anticipated, in part because I chose something double the length it needed to be. But that's my fault, and it's going well. I'm hoping to have it done in the next week...
Rehearsal's cancelled for me tonight, so... guess I'll cook a nice dinner and catch up on some things...
I'm sort of in the mid-20s level funk in World of Warcraft. I missed the boat on doing a VC run between levels 17-22 when it would have been fun and I don't seem to be progressing very speedily since I haven't had much time to play, though my blacksmithing and mining skills are, I'm hoping, above reproach. I can make you a nice Ironforge Breastplate if you like. I do realize that for most of you, I'm speaking absolute goddamn gibberish...
I finally ordered Arcade Fire's album Funeral after hyping it relentlessly to anyone who would listen. I'd only heard it in its entirety online, but the thing is worth mad $$$ and I was happy to pony up some Amazon.com credit for it. Also ordered: a cake cooling rack on the advice of my online pal Andrea and Still Holding by Bruce Wagner, which was gifted to me at one point, but never delivered. Next on my list: the new Fametracker book. We installed some shelves in our house recently (more on that in a photo I'll post soon) and it makes all the difference to the joy of buying books knowing that you'll actually have a place to put it when you finish reading...
Tracy (Pineapple Girl) and I should just spend a week doing nothing but writing online mash notes to each other. She is one of those rare friends who can simply do no wrong in my book. And we're both plenty wrong people under the right circumstances. Yeah, we miss her, too. Austin sucks without her (and without Rob, for that matter)...
Listening to my iPod. I don't give a shit what anyone says, I like Liz Phair and whatever she does, even when it sounds syrupy sweet. Get over it, Exile in Guyville purists.
Ditto Erykah Badu...
I'm not sure why it took me more than a year to put Siamese Dream on my iPod, but I'm glad I finally did...
Thinking about songs for a Terribly Happy Best of '05 CD compilation. I enjoyed putting together last year's edition and I just bought a ton of new CDs that I'm only now listening to. (Franz Ferdinand, Fiona Apple, John Legend, Arcade Fire among others.) I am going to work hard not to just fill it up with songs by The Unicorns, because I find myself listening to them all the damn time. (Though there will be songs by their offshoot, The Islands, on the disc.)
We're going to see Luis Miguel in concert next week. I'm hoping not to turn into a weeping woman while there. Willpower, Omar!...
I was at a journalism speech thing recently and another editor told me that when he worked at the Associated Press, they didn't hire a very qualified person based on the fact that she's written some political stuff in a blog that bashed Bush. So, yeah. Something to think about...
Haven't seen any decent movies lately, but I'm still loving Veronica Mars and of course South Park is back, which is always good news...
I don't know how they could have made the World Series any more interesting to me. I think if they had actually held all the games in Austin, I still would have found a way to not watch them. When I found out the Astros lost the series last night (while playing World of Warcraft: someone in Chicago mentioned rioting up there), I think I devoted maybe three neurons, tops, of brain activity to the subject...
I made a two-layer version of the chocolate raspberry cake, and as predicted, it wasn't as good as the four layer. Simple numerical progression should have warned me, but despite the great taste, it just didn't have the same moist "Oh my God!" texture. Plus I couldn't find fresh raspberries at the grocer (I know!), so I used thawed out frozen fruit and they were really squishy and not very visually appealing. And they leaked juice something awful...
I have a very funny entry I wanted to post, but there are some problems. 1. It's about poop. 2. It's about my poop. 3. It's really, really gross, even for me and I'm not sure if it's a good idea to put it out there. Give me some time to think about it.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Chick-Magnet of the Sea
New Smallville recap is up of 5-4, "Aquaman":
Finding Nimwit -- Part fish, part square-headed body builder, part Matt Damon, Aquaman comes to town to save all the little fishies from Lex's Weapon of Bass Destruction. Is he ready for action? Oh yes. He's "Wet and ready, bro."
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Where to begin.
It's the last few minutes of the five-year anniversary of the day this site began, in an entry about a trip to Toronto I'd just taken. It was a trip that today seems as mythical and fun as anything I saw in those Lord of the Rings movies. I can barely believe I was there, seeing the things I saw, and that my instinct was to return to this desk and write as much as I could about the experience.
I've been thinking about this entry for a few weeks now with increasing intensity as the day approached. I thought I would write something Sunday, something long and with lots of funny photos and graphics, and post it today. That turned into Monday, then it turned into, "I'll whip something up at work and post it tonight."
And then I went to work and things were busy, plus I had a recap to finish and… well… the more I thought about it, the more disingenuous it seemed, like posting a nice new menu for a restaurant that doesn't really serve dinner anymore.
Because really I'm not sure what Terribly Happy is right now. I know what it once was, and what it once was I was pretty proud of at the time. It went from its original intent -- just a place to house my writing -- to a site that had its own personality and voice, a voice that wasn't, incidentally, entirely my own. The things I wrote for Terribly Happy were not like the things I wrote for TWOP or for work or for anywhere else I scribble for, really. The Omar of Terribly Happy was his own online personality, a person who maybe thought a little too much about trivial things and spent hours three nights a week putting together little graphics and clip art with cute captions, and having imaginary conversations with rap stars and magicians.
And that was really, really fun. I had a blast doing it. I lost sleep and I spent less time than I should have with friends and loved ones, but it was what I wanted at the time. It was time well spent.
But Terribly Happy is something else now, maybe what it originally was to be before it got wrapped up in the online journal world, its associate cliques and the attendant community I suddenly felt I was a part of. I made some wonderful friends, confidantes I respect and admire beyond the kinds of words I can share here. But I also made a lot of "friends" whom I don't really talk to much anymore. We don't read each others' sites anymore (if we ever even update); we don't really know each other now. We passed each other on URL street corners and had nice conversations. But we've all moved away to new homes in new cities. We are new neighbors to others now.
I've heard it more than once in the last two years, a few times from very close friends who would rather be honest than polite (I do value that in them) -- that this was a better site when it was a journal than what's happened since it morphed into a blog. And I don't disagree with that. I liked it better when it was a journal. But I don't know how to live the life I'm living now -- one that includes a marriage, a full-time job, a comic that I love working on with my brother, other writing gigs, three cats, a house, a long commute, a sketch comedy group, a videogame site and free time for fun stuff -- and do what I was doing four or five years ago. I'd have to not live my life, and right now -- despite minor frustrations, little disappointments and occasional brick walls -- it is my life. It is also full to bursting, joyous and incredibly rewarding a lot of the time. I can't trade it for nights in front of the computer trying to be cute and funny for the Internet. I won't trade it for that.
Which leaves Bloggystyle, which is always incomplete, always a little fractured and attention-deficited (spell check just suggested "attention-defecated," which also works). It's as close as I'll likely ever come to my friend's site Blackbough which has always charmed me with its concise, thoughtful beauty. I don’t do beauty well. I write and I write and sometimes I'll kick a flower out onto the open sidewalk with my big shoe.
I have been rewarded with wonderful readers, people who are curious and funny and write me nice things (even when they're mean) and illuminate me far more than I illuminate them. This site would never have continued if people hadn't kept reading, and my writing engine usually needs fuel to run. If I made any of you laugh or think or anything like that in the last five years, thanks. It meant more to me than it likely did to you, I promise.
This is all to say, in a backward sort of way, that Terribly Happy isn't going away. It ain't what it used to be -- that I know. But who of us is who we were five years ago? If you haven't learned and changed, sloughed off the needless things and pushed yourself ahead, much to the disappointment of those who liked the old you better, might I suggest you do a little more living, and maybe just a tiny bit less online reading?
I don't know where this site is going any more than I know where my whole life is headed. But I know that despite marriage, two homes, the three cats, the age of 30, commitments, responsibilities, and everything else, that the world doesn't feel any less narrow to me than it did the year I stayed with friends in another country and saw Radiohead at an ice hockey stadium. It all still feels full and blood-rushed with possibility, staggeringly open and wide as the sky, hopeful and happy and terrible, all at the same time and ready for an attempt.
Monday, October 24, 2005
So, I was watching SNL the other night and Catherine Zeta-Jones was the host.
Now I will tell you that I have a sort of complicated relationship with Ms. CZ-J (she is a Mrs.; we'll get to that in a second). I used to have a pretty big crush on her as many men (and probably more than a few women) will admit to when pressed. This was post-Entrapment (where she writhed between lasers and was shut down in the love department by the withered Scot Sean Connery; it was hard to figure which was more improbable), but pre-Michael Douglas.
When she married that saddle-ass, it was pretty much all over. Sure, it was hard not to be impressed with her Welsh beauty, but her marriage, subsequent multiple-baby-having and ubiquitous phone commercials made it easy to forget about her. She was just another celebrity aging remarkably well.
So then she goes on SNL and does this opening singing/dance number (she can do both well) where she basically throws her clothes off and shimmies around in this Chicago leotard thing that shows not a small amount of thigh, inner-thigh, ass and, well, her jimminies. We are seeing what Michael Douglas gets to see as often as their hectic schedules (and the hectic schedules of their live-in house help) will allow.
All of a sudden, it was like she never left us. But it was important for this societal reason: Mrs. Catherine Zeta-Jones has thrown down the gauntlet as the current Queen of the MILFs. If you are an aspiring MILF, you'd better prepare to run a race against Mrs. Jones because she has raised the bar for all of MILFdom. The MILF formula, as it were, has changed and it is no longer enough to be a good-looking woman who has shown resilience from having kids. Now you have to shimmy on stage and wear something see-through and then still look glamourous and posh in a phone commercial where you let people know exactly what idiots they are for not having the right cell phone and/or cell phone plan.
So, potential MILFs get to work. Get on those pilates. Take tap lessons. Because Catherine Zeta-Jones is setting the bar pretty high for all MILFkind.
Side note: Tomorrow marks the five-year anniversary of Terribly Happy. Just so you're aware how far we've come.
Close Encounters of the Turd Kind
The Space Monkeys! make fun of the TV show Invasion in today's new strip, which imagines a world where an alien invasion is not so much an act of scary hostility, but one of practical efficiency. It also imagines it to happen with monkeys.
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