Active Blather: October 2003

November 4, 2003
This past weekend was a big, fat, lazy, do-nothing weekend for yours truly. I really didn't get much accomplished, but I sure watched a lot of TV!

For the heck of it, let's do some TV reviews!

The Simpsons
With Halloween over, it means it's time for "The Treehouse of Horrors"! In previous years, The Simpsons' annual Halloween episode was often one of the highlights of the season, but this year's "Treehouse" continues a disturbing trend of being rather blah. I believe this is the third year in a row where the Halloween episode failed to capture the fun and creativity of past efforts.

I admit there were a couple of chuckles (More Kodos and Kang!), but no pure laugh-out-loud moments. The potential of having Jerry Lewis play the part of Professor Frink's father was squandered on a so-so story.

Overall, a rather disappointing Halloween for The Simpsons. Hopefully, next week's episode, which features the return of Mother Simpson (and Glenn Close), will do a better job of kicking off the new season.

Malcolm in the Middle
The family heads for Las Vegas in their season's opener. The episode has it's moments and I found the rabbit storyline to be funny, but there wasn't much to crow about. I'm glad to see they finally established the baby's sex (It's a boy!) so we're spared the "is it a boy or a girl?" gag they established in last year's final episodes.

Arrested Development
I wasn't planning on watching this new sitcom, but lack of will power prevented me from getting off the couch and turning off the TV. So I ended up watching it and it wasn't that bad. It's basically the story of a rich, eccentric family that loses their fortune and their father when he goes to jail for Enron-type behavior. Jason Bateman plays the only sane member of the family, Jeffrey Tambor is the dad, and, surprisingly, David Cross (of Mr. Show fame) plays the brother-in-law. 

I laughed a few times during the show and it had some interesting quirks to it. I think Wes Anderson's film, The Royal Tenenbaums, is an obvious influence, not only in character, but in tone and style as well. As a big fan of Wes Anderson and of Tenenbaums, I don't consider that a bad thing so I'll probably give the show a chance to worm its way into my viewing habits.

Adult Swim
Boo! They pulled Home Movies off their schedule! Boo!

Okay, time to turn the TV off!


Arlo in his boo-boo cap!
And, finally, my niece Keeley hasn't been feeling that well the last few days. Get well soon, Keke! 

November 1, 2003
For some reason, it is hard to write at the moment. Everything I type reads like crap on a stick. Even "crap on a stick" reads like crap on a stick.

 Stupid words, fit nicely in paragraph forms!

Hey, have I mentioned that today's my grandma's birthday? Happy Birthday, Grandma!

I was a witness to a crime today. Well, sort of a witness, I guess. I shall explain in the next sentence. I went to get some gas (The Brits call it "petrol") at a local Village Pantry and, as I was pumping up, the guy at the next pump apparently drove off without paying! I learned about this when I went up to pay and the cashier asked me if I got a good look at the truck beside me. I admitted to her I didn't really notice the truck, but I thought its color was gray. She nodded her head. She thought it was gray, too, and that's when she told me the guy took off without paying. That's when I apologized to her for not being a better witness.

I apologize a lot. Sorry about that.

Anyway, that's my big crime story for today. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Speaking about tomorrow, My friend Christy Hiday is leaving for Winnipeg manaña. Touchie-Feely Fotos is sending her up to the wilds of Manitoba so she can train the natives to retouch. She seems to be looking forward to going even though she has to travel with a higher level ass (Remember my advice, Christy: Play loud, scary music!). Bon voyage, Christy!

I saw Kill Bill last weekend and it was a sweet experience. The movie is a sugar-coated, Saturday-morning-cereal treat that has plenty of snap, crackle, and pop (With strong emphasis on the "pop")! Those looking for fiber and grain, please look elsewhere because your needs will not be met!

In Eric Whetsel News...
Eric says he won.

October 23, 2003
Here's a few things I encountered on the web...

Fred "Rerun" Berry is dead at 52.

A family of four lives in a truck and bottles urine.

Muncie is captured in a documentary and it can't get out!

October 20, 2003
Does anybody really have a favorite M&M commercial? I say "No". I say "Hell, No!".

Feel free to disagree.

October 19, 2003
I'm proud to announce that I am an uncle for the third time! This past Friday (October 17) Nolan Thomas Cherry was born. The young Mr. Cherry came into the world weighing six pounds/nine ounces and he is twenty inches tall. Nolan and his proud mama Carrie are currently resting at Ball Hospital. Congratulations to Carrie and to my brother Todd on their new addition to the family!

Behind the camera with Tim
Behind the Camera: Tim Richardson

As I write this, our very own Tim Richardson is in Washington D.C. where he is helping to tape a documentary about the Wright brothers for television station WIPB. I know you probably won't see this during your stay, Tim, but I hope you're having a good time in the nation's capital!

As for me, I did something different yesterday. After many years of thinking about it and never doing it, I finally volunteered to answer some phones for Indiana Public Radio during their fall pledge drive. I have been a listener and supporter of public radio for many years so I wanted to help out the great folks at WBST during their time of need. I admit I was a little nervous (What else is new?) as I drove to the station, but any fear or misgivings evaporated when I met the station's personnel and my fellow volunteers. Fortunately, the other volunteers were veterans of many previous pledge drives and were of great support to this neophyte. 

I was there for three hours (7 am to 10 am) and I took three calls. The callers were pleasant and extremely patient as I talked them through the pledge script.  I fumbled a bit with a credit card number (Sorry about that Mr. Uggem!), but, other than that, I think I did well as a beginner. I guess I'll have to wait and see if they invite me back before knowing if my presumption is right or not.

So thanks to all the volunteers and everyone at WBST for their help and support! I'm hoping that the pledge drive is a big success!

October 12, 2003
I attended the Humpback Barn Festival today and it was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful fall day with temperatures in the 60s, the perfect climate to hear some poems read outside under a big tent. Turnout was pretty decent in my estimation. I saw some familiar faces and some friends (Hello, Christy, Karen, and Marguerite!) among the attendees.  

 Besides reading my poem, I helped man the sales table for a bit and I don't know if I did such a good job or not. I didn't really sell many things during my tour of duty which is a shame since some talented poets were selling books of their work. I was tempted to pick up a couple books, but my limited funds prevented me to do so. I did purchase a copy of this year's collection of poetry though and it contains some quality work.

As for my reading, I think I did okay though I may have been too close to the microphone. On the positive side, I was surefooted this year and managed not to tumble off the stage.

Watusi the Talking Dog #5

This Saturday I was happily surprised to find a couple of Watusi comic books in my mailbox. For those not in the know, Watusi is a talking dog and the creation of cartoonist Dale Martin. Watusi stars in several jam strips that feature the talents of different cartoonists. I have participated in a few strips as well. In fact, issue # 5 (The cover of which you can see up above) contains my second Watusi jam strip. Thanks to Mr. Martin, you can also check it out right here! 

I have mentioned it before, but do yourself a favor and check out Dale's site. He's a top-notch cartoonist and a nice guy, too! 

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