The Reader's Eye on Television

Scrawled in my notebook during Comic-Con

Wednesday July 13, 2005

1:21 p.m.

Eating lunch downtown with Kip and Renee before walking to the convention center. On the street outside the restaurant are two men waiting to cross at the light. Both are late 30s with beards, balding, and what's left of their matted brown hair is pulled back into stringy ponytails. Thick glasses. Both average height. They would look like twins except one is 50 pounds overweight and the other is 50 pounds underweight. Pale. Both have khaki shorts pulled up to two inches below their nipples. Each has a belt AND suspenders to keep their waistbands six inches north of their navel. One is wearing a Yoda T-shirt. The other has pin-on buttons up and down his suspenders including one mid-chest on his left suspender that bears the Star Trek insignia.

Kip says, "Huh? I wonder if those guys are going to Comic-Con."

Thursday July 14, 2005

2:03 p.m.

Spent all morning watching Ren and Stimpy cartoons. And I've noticed that for every 20 women who are in their 30s and still battling acne, and for every 20 smashed down, watermelon-shaped trolls with a mushroom-cap mole on their face, there is one or two. Smoking. Jiggly. Porcelain-skinned. Red-hot chick(s) in some kind of fantasy get-up -- like the slave girl gold bikini from Star Wars, or a leather-trussed corseted vampire outfit. This place ain't half bad.

Friday July 15, 2005

11:24 a.m.

The line to get into Exhibit Hall H is the entire length of the convention center; zigzags through the garden and then comes back to zigzag inside the hall. There must be 4,000 ahead of me. I get into the hall and have to sit near the back. I am 6,000 people away from Natalie Portman when she walks out onto stage. Her white face looks like a shiny distant star. There's no way I can get a photograph from back here. I might as well just leave. On my way out I figure, to hell with it, I've got this press pass, let me see if there's some sort of privilege I can abuse. I ask a security guard, "Is there a place for the press to get pictures?" "Of course. The press corral to the left of the stage."

In the press corral I am ten feet from Natalie Portman's fuzzy, shaved head. It's taking everything I've got to not scream, "Hey NATALIE!" and wave my arms like an idiot.


Thursday, July 21

My quest to obtain a key to the new Ocean Beach Subway shop is one step closer -- and thus, one step closer to making drunken midnight sandwiches. I've chatted up a fine young woman who works there. She kept mentioning her husband, I'm assuming because she thought I was coming on to her. I assured her my interests are not libidinous. My interests are purely sandwichal.

A note from riding the trolley down to Comic-Con this week: Ladies, please, if you're following the latest trend and wearing those low-rider jeans you have to complete the look by shaving the area around your bellybutton and corresponding area of your back above your crackola. Nobody wants to see that when it's all a mess.

Friday, July 22

Some say dressing kids up like superheroes or Star Wars characters should be criminal. I disagree. I loved Batman when I was a kid, and dressed like him three times on Halloween. What is not cool is putting your kid in a Pink Floyd T-shirt. Your 7-year-old really understands the message of Dark Side of the Moon , huh? Has he ever gotten stoned and listened to it while watching The Wizard of Oz ? Then get that shirt off of him.

Saturday, July 23

The word "rumpus" is funny because it sounds like hyperactive play with a hint of naughtiness. A room designed and built for the sole purpose of rumpusing never fails to make me smile and blush a little.

It's the stink. The stink that doesn't wash off in the shower the next morning like the black and red stamps on your hand and wrist. The stink clings. The stink permeates and nauseates. Desperation smells like stale booze, cigarettes, and other people's cologne.

Sunday, July 24

STOP! Stop standing in front of your mini-van, pushing the button on your key ring until the horn barks and the lights flicker 17 times. It doesn't require three minutes of noise and light to lock a vehicle. Here's another hint: nobody cares. Nobody's going to break into your Honda Pilot to pilfer your latest copy of Chicken Soup for the Soccer Mom's Soul. Forget the alarm. Just lock it and walk away.

Monday, July 25

Rock Star: INXS

CBS 9:30 p.m.

What about INXS is so interesting that it could fill up half an hour? I'll give you the Reader's Digest version. U2 wannabe. Hangy hangy. Rubby Rubby. Chokey Chokey. Done.

Tuesday, July 26

I Want to Be a Hilton

NBC 9:00 p.m.

Good lord. What is this? Do they need another damn TV show? I blame Twiggy. In '68 she called a press conference to expound on how she did her eye makeup. It was all downhill from there.

Wednesday, July 27

So You Think You Can Dance

FOX 8:00 p.m.

They'd need a lot of bourbon to get me to do it, but I could win this show easy. On a packed dance floor I like to throw my arms up in the air, make claws with my hands, and chase people around and go, "RAAAWWWR!" Like I said, bourbon. Lots of it.

Thursday, July 28

Date My Mom

MTV 4:00 p.m.

I like the resurgence of "your mom" as a viable answer to any question. The most innovative I've heard lately is, "What time is it?"


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