Do or Do Not.

Archive for March, 2007

Bouncing Boy: Bouncing Bastard!

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As a follow up to Wednesday’s post about (among other topics) Legion of Super-Heroes’ own Round Mound of Rebound, Bouncing Boy:

Thanks to some random, poking around of the archives at while avoiding work, I found proof positive that fat, greasy, annoying teenage geeks 1,000 years from now will have the same revenge-on-the-popular-kid fantasies that contemporary fat, greasy, annoying teenage geeks do. (Yes, I’m speaking from experience here.)

You just know Bouncing Boy’s gonna blog all about this later.

Written by Allen

March 30th, 2007 at 1:55 pm

I do not think that means what you think it means.

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Up there at the top of my site is an banner ad. It’s the type of ad that Amazon theoretically populates with products based on the Amazon browsing preferences of the person viewing the page — it’s supposed to show you products it thinks you’ll like given what you’ve looked at while browsing around Amazon previously. But those recommended-just-for-you products are mixed in with products it thinks will be appropriate for the site based on the content on the page.

I don’t know if it’s because of all of the Def Leppard talk in my post from Wednesday, or if I don’t realize just how much hair metal I’ve looked at on Amazon, but… yesterday I got an ad for The Best of Britny Fox up there.

The Best of Britny Fox??!? I had no idea there was such a thing! Nor, honestly, did I care. Nor, honestly, can I see why anyone would. I’d imagine that a great number of you reading these words have never even heard of a “Britny Fox” (yes, that spelling is correct), and I’ll tell you right now that you’re not suffering a damn bit by lacking that information in your head. I mean, sure, I liked a lot of terrible one-hit-wonder hair metal bands during my misguided teens-through-early-20s, but Britny Fox were too lame even for me… and I dug Trixter.

I had to know more, of course. Was this “album” really just a single? Was it, as Timmy B. theorized, just the a repeated loop of the chorus from “Girlschool,” the only song of theirs anyone might possibly remember? [1]

Well, now I know: a little research turns up the fact that the entire Best Of album, unsurprisingly, was culled from their first two major-label studio albums. A full half of each of those two wholly unremarkable records were thrown together to make a tasty Best Of Britny Fox casserole. That’s right, folks: two albums and then a “best of” for a band whose career makes the descriptor “best of” seem more than a wee bit ironic. I do believe that this album is what the music industry refers to as a “contractual obligation album.”

(Apropos of almost nothing: one helpful user on the Amazon page for the album tagged this album “buttrock.”)

Still, the inclusion of that particular album in the Amazon ad makes me question their algorithms for product selection. Yes, sure, fine, I had some Def Leppard references in Wednesday’s post (and OK, yes, one other recent post was all about my ill-advised youthful love affair with hair metal), so I can understand why Amazon thinks I have such love for this sort of material. But of all the related products their matching processes could have found, that was what it came up with? A six-year-old compilation album for a band who hasn’t sniffed a major record label in sixteen years? That strikes me as bizarre. (My best guess is that Amazon picked up on my Britney Spears posts from late last year and combined ‘em together into one big icky talentless melange.)

But the really terrible thing? Now that I’ve clicked through and looked at that product to do research for this post, and now that I’ve got the words “Britny Fox” splashed all over this page, I’m betting I’m going to wind up with more and more briefly/dubiously successful metal bands showing up in the ads. Hey, who knows — maybe I’ll get a Danger Danger ad soon! Or Bulletboys, maybe. Or Steelheart! Oh, or Vixen! Little Caesar? Bonfire? Salty Dog? Kix?

PS: Clearly I’m going to need a “hair metal” post tag now.

[1] Timmy B. gets props of some sort here — or perhaps mocking shame and derision — for remembering the name of the song… bless that boy, his ridiculous knowledge of stupid music trivia puts mine to shame.

Written by Allen

March 30th, 2007 at 9:20 am

Posted in Music,Pop Culture

Tagged with ,

Waiting for Rain

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The evening was warm for late March, but we knew it wouldn’t last much longer; the weather was due to take a turn for the much worse that night. We sat outside on the patio on the plastic furniture we’d borrowed for our daughter’s birthday party, and we talked about the kids and my career and where we saw ourselves in five years, where we thought we’d be once we’d made it past the financial disaster we were facing thanks to the implosion of the real estate market. Both of us sat with our backs to the house, facing west and our large, empty backyard and the copse of trees and the large pond beyond. The muted oranges and reds of the sunset in the western sky bled into a purplish-gray bruise of thick cloud cover rolling in to the north. As we talked, the wind started to pick up and we felt that first sharp, sudden drop in temperature that signaled the leading edge of the storm.

We gathered up the plastic furniture and laid it down so that the wind wouldn’t take it, and we picked up those few items in the yard we might not expect to see again if the winds came through as roughly as we knew they could. (Shortly after moving into the house, the winds which tear violently through the piedmont in which we live actually blew over our grill. We don’t take chances anymore.) We stood on the small concrete slab of patio for a few moments, my arm around her waist, and we watched the sun set and felt the breeze pick up a little more.

I feel like King Lear, I told her, except that I only have two daughters and I’m pretty sure they both love me.

She went inside then to get the kids ready for bed. I told her I’d be just a few minutes. I walked out to the middle of the yard, planted my feet (I wasn’t wearing shoes, only socks) and faced due north.

And I waited for the storm to come.

I stood there for quite awhile just being, a somewhat unusual condition for me: I’m not a nature person by nature. I’m more air conditioning and Internet than tent and campfire. But for now, I simply stood and let the elements play across me. The occasional strong gust of wind would whip through the yard, blowing my long hair and pressing my shirt and jeans tight against my body. I watched the lightning off to the north, sometimes quick flashbulbs and other times floodlights illuminating every detail of the soft gray clouds hovering over the neighborhood.

I’m going to stand right here, I thought, until it starts to rain.

A train roared past to the west, the thunder of its wheels rolling along the track commingling with the thunder in the sky to create a baritone rumble I could almost feel as well as hear, a rumble which soon gave way to the shriek of wind whipping across the wide, flat expanse of yard running behind the houses on my street.

I quickly discovered that the expectation of rain carried its own surprising emotional weight. As the wind continued to gain strength and the air continued to cool, I began to feel an intimate connection with the weather, each increasing gust further ratcheting up the tension within me — much the same way each of a lover’s touches aren’t disconnected experiences, but rather each builds on all of the touches which have come before it. And like the stroke of a lover’s fingers, particularly strong blasts of wind would touch me just so, wrap around me just right, would make my jaw drop open just a little and let a small sigh escape.

After half an hour of my standing alone in the dark of my backyard, she came out to check on me just as the wind swirled tightly around me. I felt both a little embarrassed and a little violated, as if she’d found me in bed with someone else. When I tried to speak, my voice came out as a croak.

It’s time to put the kids to bed, she said.

Just a few more minutes, baby.

But I didn’t know how long I would be, not really. I wanted the rain. I wanted my moment of poetry.

Nature owes you nothing, you know. Nature could care less whether you want it to rain, need it to rain or pray to god it doesn’t rain. It’ll get here when it gets here.

I wanted it, though. I wanted to feel whatever I was going to feel when those first drops of cold rain hit my face. The storm would reach my yard, it would lash me and soak me and hold me and rattle my teeth with the rage of its thunder…but I would face it down and I would stand solid and I would come through the other side of the storm in one piece. Slightly worse for the experience, perhaps…but perhaps slightly better.

But then I turned toward the house and I saw her, now in the living room in the warm blue bathrobe which perfectly matches the color of her beautiful blue eyes. She carried our younger daughter, who had two fingers in her mouth in her reflexive who-me-tired? gesture, towards the stairs. Our older daughter bounced after her.

And then the realization came: I could stand out here in the dark by myself and wait for the coming storm to drench my clothes and crack my cheeks — or I could go inside and put my children to bed, read them a story and kiss them goodnight. I could wait for the storm, or I could live my life and know that I had prepared as best I could for the storm’s arrival.

I closed my eyes one last time and felt the air brush past my face, and I went inside.

Written by Allen

March 29th, 2007 at 10:06 am

Posted in General

Tagged with

In Which I Am Helpful

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Time now to play a fun little game I call “Going Through My Referrer Logs To See Which Search Engine Phrases Brought Users To My Site In The Last Week.”  Honestly, though?  I think I need to come up with a better name for the game than that.  I like to feel that I’m doing a public service here, providing answers to those questions that Google seems to think I’m uniquely capable of answering.  It’s a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’ll do my best to help soothe the mental anguish and sleepless nights these answerless questions must be causing to the questioners.

opening band for adrenalize tour

This one came to me in several different forms, all from former metalheads like myself desperately yearning to know which band or bands opened up for Def Leppard on their Adrenalize tour in 1992.  Well, Google led you people to the right place.  I’m gonna give you the answer right now.  You ready, my fellow headbangers?  Here goes:

No one.  That’s why you’re having such trouble finding the answer.  Def Leppard didn’t have an opening act that time out…they played a three-plus hour set without any supporting bands on the bill.  You shelled out all of that money hard-earned by busing tables and selling pot for a 100%-all-damn-Lep set, bay-bee.  Did you wanna get rocked, the Lep asked you?  Oh yes, you answered.  You wanted your asses rocked into near cataonia by a three-hour syringe full of pure grade-A Leppard.

(This was the case for the American portions of their tour, anyway; it’s possible the answer’s different in other parts of the world.)

A Love Song for Bobby Long spoiler

You want a spoiler for the mostly-wretched movie A Love Song for Bobby Long?  OK, here goes:  John Travolta sucked mightily in it.  How’s that do you?  OK, fine, here’s a bonus spoiler for you:  yes, it’s true — you do get a nice side-shot of Scarlett Johansson’s boob. give me a warm enema daddy

Um.  Sorry, can’t help you there. “inflated boy” superhero

My best guess here is that someone was trying to find out some more information about Chuck “Bouncing Boy” Taine, storied member of the Legion of Super-Heroes (and nowadays featured on the cartoon about said futuristic teens) and role model for fat kids the world over.  Well, unknown person, now that you know his actual name (though I honestly don’t think “Inflated Boy” is any less ridiculous than “Bouncing Boy”), you can read up on his heroic legacy at the Wikipedia.  Always remember:  Chuck might have been the fat kid in the Legion, but he still ended up with a smokin’ hot wife…two of ‘em, technically.

layer cake+what is his name

Another one which came to me in a number of permutations, all of which wanted to know the name of Daniel Craig’s character in the excellent film Layer Cake.  I don’t think this is a spoiler, so I’m going to give you the answer:  we don’t know.  And not only don’t we know, we’re not supposed to know.  The character himself said as much:  “If you knew my name, you’d be as clever as me.”  Whatever the character’s real name was (he’s referred to in the credits only as “XXXX”), it wasn’t revealed within the movie itself or the novel on which the movie was based.  Any site which tries to tell you his name, unless it comes directly from J.J. Connelly, the novel’s author, is lying to you.  This particular bit of information is one you’re going to have to get used to not knowing.

fuzzy storytelling guy

Yup, that’s me!  (Though I hope the “fuzzy” refers more to my propensity for hirsuteness than to my storytelling techniques, else I’ve got a problem.)

actress who did not wear panties to the oscar

Can’t help you there, either, though I must admit I’m more than a little curious to know the answer myself.

im into fuzzy rabbits.  kind of smart i have a big

Ladies and gentlemen, this week’s winner for the Search Keyword Which Causes Me The Most Mental Discomfort Award!

Written by Allen

March 28th, 2007 at 7:51 am