Monthly Archives: February 2006

for future ConLaw students

I am disturbed that there is even a slight chance Anna Nicole may be mentioned in future generations of POLI322.

because i missed being in seattle for grunge…

SPIN declares Silverlake the most buzz-worthy scene in America, according to LA.com today.

Only, at the risk of admitting my age, I’m going to have to say…Silversun Pickup are fine and all, but they are no Alice in Chains.

I’m not even going to acknowledge the bit about Steve “My Daddy’s Got Money But That’s Not Why I’m Called Kid Millionaire! Not At All!” Aoki’s “new Hollywood scene”. That’s enough to make me throw up in my mouth a little.

Since I missed living in Seattle in 1993, I’m kind of shocked to find that I’m actually in a SPIN-endorsed buzzworthy scene! Hey, now I’m cool – just twelve years too late!

why it should have been westcot

There is a VERY LONG AND RANTING blog entry due about Why California Adventure Sucks. Except for Soarin’. If this blog entry were a term paper, I would call it “From Los Angel Lies To Sham Francisco: Reinforcement of Mid 20th Century Tourist Propaganda in Disney’s California Adventure” Or maybe I could call it, “Walt Disney’s White Supremacist Legacy: Omission, Selective Perception and Racism In Disney’s California Adventure.” Actually, now that I think about it, that should be an entire chapter in the book I will never get around to writing. However believe me, when I write this blog entry, it will be fucking footnoted and annotated with research materials. Carey McWilliams will be quoted in all his sarcastic glory.

But for now, I have two or three projects that are on the go that I have to toddle off and work on, so that particular entry shall have to wait. And that’s not even counting BarCamp, because I haven’t heard whether or not my proposal for a presentation has been accepted yet. But rest assured, folks – THAT ENTRY IS COMING. And I guarantee I will use the phrase “American imperialist agenda” at least four times in it.

seven years later (from amarillo to l.a.)

This morning, driving to work, I was listening to Joy Division. “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. I bought “Permanent” a week before I moved to Texas. And that was seven years ago yesterday.

a relapse into navel gazing

tower of terror = worst ride ever

So today, we went to California Adventure, because my friend Wendy had a SoCal 2fer pass to use. This is one of the ways Disneyland is getting their per head revenues up. They’re giving out free passes to California Adventure, but only to local residents with purchase of a Disneyland day pass, and with the condition that the pass can only be used on another day. So they get the added revenue from the return visit they wouldn’t get otherwise. Smart.

None of us have spent the kind of time at California Adventure that we have at Disneyland. I visited with my sister last June, but we determined that, with the limited time we had, we wanted to spend more time at Disneyland. So we rode the river raftin’ ride once, Soarin’ over California twice, and called it a day. But today, with a whole day to spend in the park, my friends and I finally had time to check out the other attractions. Including the Tower of Terror, the Twilight Zone themed ride in the Hollywood section of the park.

It should be said, I don’t do well with up and down rides. This includes roller coasters and rides with sudden drops. Especially when I don’t know what’s happening, or can’t see where I’m going. But I thought that the Tower would be like Splash Mountain: a ride with a plot, with one big drop at the end. And I’m such an old sci-fi fan, I thought that a ride based off the Twilight Zone would be awesome enough to make up for the drop.

So we get in line for the ride. And the outside of the building is dilapidated, like a haunted hotel should be. And the inside of the lobby is good enough to cause me to remark that I’m surprised the city of L.A. hasn’t come through to demolish the hotel – it looks that authentic, a glamourous hotel decayed with years, long since abandoned. L.A. tends to knock down places like that. We go into the library, where a girl in perfect, Vincent Price tones, tells us to wait, while an introductory video plays. And I’m really psyched about it, because, even though the buildup is vague at best (five people, who disappear in an elevator when lightning strikes the building), it’s still Twilight Zone. The elevator is going to…the Twilight Zone!

Then we go into another line area, this one in a sort of boiler room. For reasons that aren’t explained, even though we’re supposed to be guests at the hotel, we’re going through a boiler room to service elevators. No matter. We get into the elevators, strap ourselves in, and the bellhop (lacking the creepiness and enthusiasm of the girl downstairs) mumbles some instructions. And the ride begins, and the elevator jerks upwards.

The first scene is a mirror, not unlike the ones in Haunted Mansion, where our images dissolve. Then the elevator goes up again, and we see a hallway, which looks like it’s been abandoned in 1939, with roomservice dishes outside the rooms, and black and white holograms of the ghosts, crackling with electricity. I think this must be the start of the story.

Then the first drop happens. In freefall. I’d expected a drop, but a slowed one. Not something this sudden. I realize, I really don’t like this ride. And then elevator pauses for a moment, and drops again, another story. And I feel a twinge of panic as the elevator starts to go up. And when I realize, it’s going to drop again, then the twinge becomes total panic. The ride is going to keep going up and down, sharp ups and sudden downs, and I want it to stop. When the doors open at the top of the ride, and sunlight pours in, and then we drop again, I almost start screaming.

By the time we’d gone up and down twice more, I was praying for the ride to end soon. I didn’t know how long it would go on, how many drops I would be subjected to. When the doors opened, and we got off, I was shaking, and I literally ran out of the ride, through the gift shop, to sit in the sun outside and shiver.

In retrospect, I should have known better than to get on that ride, knowing that I just can’t handle drops. But I thought there would be more plot, less drops. A sort of vague hint that the elevator was going to, “the twilight zone”, followed by four terrifying elevator drops, is not the sort of all encompassing ride I expect from a Disney park. Who were those people that were in the elevator? Did they haunt the hotel now? Were they ghosts? Had the hotel been abandoned so suddenly that the dishes were still in the halls? A ride with a Twilight Zone plotline and a drop or two,, I could have handled. But this had a hint at a vague plot which it never delivered, and then just scared people by dropping them into freefall.

It was the ride equivalent of premature ejaculation. If I hadn’t been panicked when it stopped, I would have demanded it deliver, dammit!

Still, although I will probably get over it, I couldn’t go on “California Screamin'” after that. I was afraid all day of getting on another ride I couldn’t get off, and even the little drops on “Mullholland Madness” made me sick. If the ride had been as dedicated to a Twilight Zone story as, say, Temple of Doom is to Indiana Jones, I would have been OK with the drops, even though I hate them. Replacing the story and content with extra bouncing that pushes me to panic, is just inexcusable. The ride I’d actually wanted to ride for ages, was such a disappointment.

I have much more to write up about the park, but that will wait. Now, I need sleep. That park always wears me out.

general public service myspace related announcement

The other night, I received an email from some random kid on MySpace. As we all know, this isn’t unusual: I get random email from 21 year olds ALL THE TIME.

However, this one read as follows:

    What’s up ‘july19’?

    Dare I ask if that password is, simplicity speaking, the day of your birthday? … anyway….

    I was checking out your messages and… HILARIOUS

    “Do you like younger guys?” “You have such a great smile.”

    Oh man… worst pick up lines EVER. Funny when some guys leave their phone numbers, though.

    Did your tarot cards say I’d be reading your myspace messages like the Americans after intercepting the Zimmerman Note (there’s some history for you)?

    Have fun with that marketing thing.

Uh-huh. I wrote back in light spirits, concealing my indignation until I found out how this punk-ass cracker got into my account.

    Yeah… I didn’t hack something wireless from illinois to get your password. Actually, there’s a website (which I will not be giving out) that publically lists over 1000’s of myspace login’s and passwords. You were some how added to this website.

So there you have it. Someone out there is a tacky, ill-mannered jerk. I mean, WHY WOULD ANYONE COMPILE THAT KIND OF WEBSITE? What possible good could it do to publicly post other people’s logins and passwords? What kind of socially retarded, lifeless loser would do that for MYSPACE, a social networking site, which isn’t even real email, or banking, or something that might, conceivably, have some hack value?

And really – how little is there to do in Illinois that this particular 21 year old wannabe cracker needed to entertain himself going through a complete stranger’s emails? You’d think, in America’s exhibitionist culture, there would be enough dramatic material on TV and in blogs to fill that sense of voyeuristic entitlement.

So there’s the warning:
CHANGE ALL YOUR MYSPACE PASSWORDS IMMEDIATELY

I had to change passwords in multiple places, myself. I used ‘july19’ (my birthday, minus a month, as to not be TOO obvious) on lesser security accounts. Monster. Myspace. Friendster. Et al. I use more complex logins on blog sites and on e-mail, and especially for online banking and credit card sites, but that will learn me to not change my passwords. For an internet veteran like me, this is inexcusable, and I only admit to it as a lesson.

the secrets to jillian’s marriage proposal gumbo

I started making gumbo last night. This is a two to three day process, because, out of respect to the city of New Orleans, I do not fuck around with my gumbo. I have worked long and hard on this recipe, and have it almost perfect – and I think this time, it will be.

The secrets to great gumbo:
warning: this information may cause you to eat too much gumbo!