Secret Pop

Jun 26, 2007

"I came to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life."

Dana Scully and I have the same middle name. Well, she spells it with a "C" and I with a "K." But who doesn't think homophones are fun?

I'm pulling another all-nighter, and Law and Order has become episodes of The X-Files, and I'm dismayed to be stuck with the series finale, which really ranks up there with series finales I despise. Not because the show was ending, but because the finale made the show look like it must have been a piece of crap made by people who are pieces of crap. And truthfully, it mostly wasn't. So that's a shame. And they made Spender look like Odo. With the hair and eyebrows of a Sears model. How do you burn your face beyond recognition and then have eyebrows bushier than when you began? This episode is about as skillfully made as a filmstrip. Remember filmstrips? Remember occasionally being the kid in the class who got to sit and advance the film strip along with the audio cues by turning that black ridged plastic knob? No? Are you sure? How old are you? Oh, that's why.

I really don't want to keep working, do I.

Jun 21, 2007

Anticipation in Disguise

I flipped off a poster of Optimus Prime the other day, and Rob wondered why. "Protect." "Destroy." I'm not sure the world is so binary. This comes from the Persians, you know. Ahura Mazda. Angra Mainyu. The Benevolent One. The Malevolent One. What about the other versions of the universe where bad guys and good guys coexist and are neither all good nor all evil. Where bad guys are sometimes good and good guys are sometimes bad, and there isn't one place that everyone of one kind goes. Like the Hindu gods. Or the Scandinavian gods. Or the Greeks and the Romans. The gods are just powerful. And sometimes they are reasonable. And sometimes they are right pricks. And sometimes they are playfully wicked. And sometimes they are deceptive and self-serving and cruel. Just like the rest of us. They just have the ability to appear to us as a bird and impregnate us if they want to.

This is one of the things that has often been unsatisfactory to me about comic book fiction and Star Wars and all of that. And maybe that's why most comic book heroes end up having an issue or two where they go bad. Maybe I'm not the only one who has trouble buying that the good guys are good because they have to be and therefore they can be nothing else. And maybe this is part of the reason I don't know whether I would be an Autobot or a Decepticon.

I haven't really been looking much forward to the new Transformers movie. I don't expect it to be any good, because of Michael Bay. And, also, I was never that much into Transformers, mostly because I was (and am) a girl. And I only really cared about a robot when at least part of it was being captained by a girl or -- even better -- a small child and when the girl or child and the robot all spoke Japanese. And even then, I only liked those shows because I lived in the Philippines, and we only got one English-speaking television station, and I would watch ANY cartoon that came on. Even Wait Till Your Father Gets Home.

So I haven't been counting down the days till transformation. Although, back in April, I was about to have dinner at Magnolia, and I took this picture of a Christo-esque wrap job promoting the Transformers movie on a building on Sunset.

And then, a day or two later, when it was windier than Los Angeles has any right to be, the entire business was in shreds, as documented by Rob's phone.

Special commendation for having a windshield that clean, Rob. My mom would be proud of you.

Anyway, I was in the gymnasium today, and I saw a commercial for the new Transformers movie, and I have to admit, a tiny, bitter, reluctant, unyielding part of me is mortified that I'm about to tell you that the commercial looked cool. But it did. And I am hopeful that it will be fun to look at it when I can hear people talking in the movie, too. Although I'm almost certain that will be the ruination part. Exciting visual effects shouldn't be enough to get people out of their houses. That shit is run of the mill at this point. You can see fabulous CGI in commercials for soft drinks these days. And wanting to recapture a piece of your youth shouldn't be reason enough, either. Because to be perfectly honest, with very few exceptions I prefer the cartoons I loved as cartoons. Even feature-length animated versions of those stories with the exact same character design and voice acting usually disappointed me. Can't we just love what we loved as it was and stop trying to put it on Burger King cups of the future?

That being said, I am about to embark on an attempt to adapt a novel (or two) from my adolescence into screen fodder. I never said I wasn't a hypocrite. I just said I don't like Michael Bay. And I stand by that.

Time Waits for No Man

A few weekends ago, I missed the Star Wars birthday. But I thought about it and watched a lot of zombies instead. And I began proving my hypothesis that bloody marys make time dilate on the weekends. As long as you drink them in the daytime, and as long as I'm the one who makes them.

I should have gone and bought those American flag cupcakes. They're always a hit.

The Jacaranda trees are in bloom, scattering their lavender blossoms over everything that lines the streets, leaving outlines where parked cars were, like crime scene chalk drawings. The value of negative space.

My father told me about how my mom used to admire our neighbor Pete's Jacaranda trees, and that Pete confided in him that they may be pretty, but they are a pain in the ass. We sold that house. And Pete moved back to the Midwest. And I notice that when you move away from a place, it disappears from the map for you. A great void where once a house was. Or a street. Or a town. That was the house I parked in front of when some kids went along smashing car windows (including mine) on prom night. And the house I parked in front of when I came back from failing my driving test and angrily yanked my hand brake so hard that my mom had to use a hammer to get it to release. I go back to the surrounding neighborhood because Beulah still lives around there, but I've stopped looking off in the direction of that house. The end of the earth drops off where my memories end.

That same weekend, I carried a camera the whole time, but never had much cause to use it. Except for the hours I spent at Tom Bergin's celebrating Tricia's birthday, half of which I spent wondering why my camera kept alerting me that my card was locked. And then I noticed that the card was in fact locked.

Jessie and I stopped for Damiano's after the party. Got the worst table service I've had in some time. But that didn't have the same quality of "it's so bad it's great" as the Taco Bell run we made the following weekend. When the drive-thru attendant handed me our food, the smell in the car was so atrocious, I asked whether one of us had accidentally ordered a Diaper Supreme. That didn't stop us from eating what we ordered. It just made us laugh a lot while we were doing it.

This went over well the other day.