27 May 2008

a morning at the opera

Here's a clip from Sunday's journal entry:
I just remembered a funny incident that happened during conference today. A man walked by and Kristen nudged me and said, “Hey, doesn’t that guy look like he could be a broadway performer?” Honestly, the man was short, pudgy, had thin red hair, and wasn’t the type I’d peg as a broadway star. “I don’t see it, honey.”
“I’ve always thought that he looks like he could play the Phantom of the Opera,” she said. I strained my imagination, but I still couldn’t detect anything that would make him a good candidate to play the Phantom. After a few seconds, I think Kristen had an epiphany: “Maybe it helps that his name is Michael Crawford.”
For the Broadway-challenged, Michael Crawford is the name of the original Phantom of the Opera, and he looks nothing like this man. I love that Kristen keeps me laughing.

Speaking of opera, I had a pretty brilliant idea this morning:

O-perah: an opera about the life of Oprah.

Maybe Beyonce could play the role of Oprah. I guess Beyonce isn't really an opera singer, but can you imagine the millions of dollars I'd make if I managed to merge the fan bases of Oprah and Beyonce? I might even make more than Oprah herself. I'm starting the script today. Oprah and Beyonce, if you read this, have your people call my people.

05 May 2008

Goose Gossage + Thundercats = Kids Incorporated

There's a cool post at Kristen's blog that highlights some of the radical things loved by children who grew up in the 80s. This prompted me to dig into the musty pockets of memories that constitute my own 80s experience. Here's what I found:

What 8-year old boy didn't want his own luck dragon to help him get sweet revenge on the local bully? I wouldn't know, because I was the bully, beating up on the little dweebs whose crying eyes looked up to the sky in hopes of finding Falkor flying down to rescue them, but all they found was clouds and my imposing silhouette. Actually, I was a puny little dork. But this clip is the opposite of a puny little dork.

And here's an awesome caption from the site that started the caption craze.

Below is my tribute to the Disney Channel. Kids Incorporated should have done far more damage to my psyche than it actually did. I dodged a real culture bullet there.

And here's my tribute to Saturday morning cartoons. 'Thundercats' is, in my opinion, the greatest cartoon series ever. How it didn't hijack the brain of every breathing organism alive in the 80s is still a mystery to me. Lion-O was pretty fresh, but Panthera, with his screaming nun-chuks, was my favorite. Notice the nice use of dissonance to create tension when Lion-O is summoning the thundercats at 5 minutes 30 seconds. I totally recognized that sound.

And here's a snork.

Sports were a big part of my 80s experience. Only now, however, do I realize that all of my victories were either accidental or confabulated. I swam on a team for 5 or 6 years. The only event I really excelled at was the one I hated most -- backstroke. I did 3 or 4 different kinds of martial arts, too. I have a trophy somewhere that says, "First Place, National Championship". Don't tell anyone, but the only thing I had to do to deserve this trophy was beat up an overweight girl. What can I say? A national championship is a national championship. And then there was baseball. I think it is telling that my fondest memory of baseball was laughing whenever my coach would say, "Good eye, Mike!" every time my teammate Mike would let a bad pitch go by without swinging. It just sounded so Australian. The only home run I ever hit was off a bunt and a bunch of fielding errors, but I still claim it. My coach signaled for me to bunt every time after that. He said I was the best bunter he'd ever seen, and now that I'm older I can grasp the true, cruel meaning of his words.

I collected comics and baseball cards during the 80s. I rearranged my baseball card collection in every way imaginable: alphabetical order, order of value, by team, by rookie year, by how much I wanted to be that person, etc. Thanks to Topps, Donruss, and Upper Deck, I was far too fluent with names like Steve Sax, Floyd Bannister, and Goose Gossage. I developed an irrational obsession with a player who wasn't even that great. His name was Greg Jeffries. He had a few decent, promising rookie years on the Mets, but the greatest thing about him was that he trained by swinging a bat under water. At the time, it seemed to me the absolute apex of coolness.

This last picture technically isn't from the 80s, but I just couldn't resist -- here's one more caption for everyone. This has made me laugh a sum total of over 2 hours, I'm sure. Downloading it was a great investment.