Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Somebody had to do it

The Official Countdown Site to Hermione's 18th Birthday

But isn't that picture from The Onion?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Okay, you know how there's this idea of "Jumping The Shark," supposedly the exact moment when a TV show goes bad. It's a valid idea, even though it means the net is now clogged with people clamoring to be the first to declare a show has done so, sometimes during the pilot.

So how about the opposite? Is it possible to pinpoint the moment when a show gets GOOD?

I've been downloading and watching Smallville from the beginning. I've seen the odd one here and there, and I know it gets better, but good lord, these early ones are ALL stuck within the "kryptonite gives kid powers to get revenge on his tormentors" paradigm. All the stuff that Buffy used up by season 3. It's boring, and it's filler to put off the important plotlines.

The same thing happened when I started watching Angel. By season 3 or so, it had gotten to be one of my favorite shows, and I couldn't wait for the next episode and the next gut-wrenching development; how far will Wesley go to protect baby Connor? Will Fred get with Gunn or Wes? And when will Cordy fucking die already?

But those early ones...oy. Warmed over X-Files.

So...Discuss your favorite shows, and the moment when (for you) all the elements finally gelled and the show went from "meh" to "yeah!"

Oh, and what should that moment be called?

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

So, yeah, haven't done much blogging lately. We live on the top floor of our building, which means the heat rises right up into our apartment, so the guy who's home all day is currently suffering from a lack of ambition.

The final installment of the Rocky Horror thing is coming. I wrote it, but, not to put too fine a point on it, it sucks. I gotta figure out a way to tell the same story with better words. Like the old joke about the guy who bought this great new typewriter; all you need to do to be a great writer is figure out which keys to hit.

I'm starting some video projects this week. Partly to get myself up to speed with Premiere, which I haven't used as much as Final Cut Pro, and partly just because it's been over a year since school ended and I'm afraid my skills are atrophying.

Fuck this. I'm going swimming.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Sunday, June 20, 2004


Save Ferris! Literally!

The Night Ferris Bueller Died is a short film about a subway passenger who gets mistaken for Matthew Broderick. I first heard about this a couple of years ago, but this is the first time I've seen it available online. Check it out!

Thursday, June 17, 2004


The night who died?

So Kirsten Dunst says she probably wouldn't do a fourth Spider-Man film. Fair enough, that's a pitfall of any franchise.

So here's what they oughta do. Be warned, this is entirely fanwank. Feel free to skip.

In Spidey 3, you have Harry Osborn follow in his father's footsteps and become the new Green Goblin (or maybe the Hobgoblin.) And at the end, he succeeds where his father failed--he kills Spidey's girlfriend. Totally go the Gwen Stacy route. And fuck with the audience expectations.

Then, in the fourth one, Spidey becomes vengeful and angry (even donning a black costume), which allows us to contrast Spider-Man against that movie's villain, the "Dark Avenging Lethal Enforcer Guy," Venom.

That's what I would do. But I'm not Sam Raimi.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


The New Voice Of Buffy Speaks

Giselle Loren is the new Buffy. Discuss.

Friday, June 11, 2004

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie is going to be glorious.


Tit tag!

Okay, Mowrer, since you shared "The Sandwich Incident..."

So, the Posies were playing a show at the Moore Theater in Seattle. This was getting to be an early summer tradition, these shows at the Moore, following gigs there at around the same time of year the last two years. This time Chris had another commitment that night (I forget what it was--any light you can shed, Mowrer?) and unfortunately couldn't attend. The good news was that Tara was able to come, and a fine concert it was.

Afterwards I drove Tara home to Lynnwood. When I dropped her off, she invited me inside.

No, ya pervs, it's not that kind of story.

So I went in, said hi to Tara's mom, got offered drinks and a comfy chair, in which I hung out while Tara and her mom said they had to do something in the kitchen.

A minute later, they come out with a cake, candles and all, singing "Happy Birthday." I smiled, and blushed, as they serenaded me and set the cake in front of me.

"Um," I started. "Thank you,'s not my birthday."

I should also point out that there were the wrong number of candles.

After a brief, exciting array of awkward moments, I got it out of them that Mr. Chris Mowrer, my best friend, had told them that my birthday was June 20th, 1971, when it is, in fact, July 21, 1970.

So I thanked them profusely even as I apologized. I felt like such a twat, because there they were with presents and everything, including a handmade beaded pendant (very far-out and ethnic), with 6 20 1971 hand carved into the beads. They were mensches about it; They still insisted that I open all the presents, just since they're here, and have some cake, so it doesn't go to waste, and take the rest home, where I shared it with my roommate Kim. I think Chris had some too.

A month later, when my birthday actually did come, we had a party at the apartment, and once again Sue dropped Tara off with another cake, and another big whack of presents, including a corrected beaded pendant, which I still have.

So I guess the point to this story could be that things worked out okay. Or that at least his intentions were good. Or any number of things, but most of all, what I want you to take away from this, is the date of my birthday.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen



I need to change my habits. I'm close to becoming spherical.

For a while, when I first moved up here, I was doing great. I was off my vices, I was in a new setting that I wanted to explore, and I was walking Shelswick to and from work every day, just under two miles there and back, twice a day. I was in...well, I was pretty fucking far from fighting trim, but at least I could get dressed without having to put on my pants, then take a rest and catch my breath before I attempt to put on my shirt.

Even while I was in film school I would have a bit of a walk to my bus, then a bus ride, then another walk from the bus to the school. And at least I'd be moving around, doing stuff.

Since graduation, though, I seem to spend most of my time in front of the computer, not feeling any urge to go out because, let's be honest, there's fuck-all to do in Richmond.

We have one of those dirty, evil exercycle machines, and I occasionally hop on that. And most days I force myself to go for a walk, though a lot of times that ends up not happening because I just HAVE to burn a new CD to listen to as I walk, so I go through all the preparations, defragging the hard drive, restarting, closing my antivirus program--and then the fucking thing STILL doesn't burn, and I end up listening to an old CD, mentally railing against a universe that finds me and disk-based digital data storage incompatible.

(give me a break. it's late and my brain's not working properly)

But on the plus side we may be moving in July or August. Slightly more space, by the beach. Smores every night! Plus it has a gym that I can find new excuses for not using.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


me coming off like a tit again...

What can I say? I live to entertain you people.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Okay, the Cybertronic goodness can now be found at

Must have bittorrent installed.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Yer damn skippy.


sharing my energon

Okay, it looks like the Breakdancing Transformers video is still down. Luckily, I was a smart boy and saved a copy, which I want to share to keep this awesome clip available. Anyone know where I can post a 21mb file?

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

From Chris, in the comments:

"And in the interest of making Rich look like a tit, a few years later I remember we hooked up with Danetta and I needled Rich until he asked if she could shed any light on the blackout. Which unfortunately she couldn't, but she was quite flattered that it still mattered to him after all this time."

And the next time I saw her, I went ahead and kissed her, just to put the matter to rest. And, y'know, so I could kiss her.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


Let There Be Lips

Part 10: My love of a certain dope

There was one problem with everyone thinking I was cool and wanting to hang out with me. And that was that, once you get to know me, not only am I decidedly not cool, I can be a bit of a tool.

I think Vicky was the first one to find this out. Vicky was a cute 19-year old who inherited the part of Columbia from Dena not long after I took over as Brad. One night we ‘hooked up’ as the kids say, while drunk at a party. Can you see a pattern emerging there? I found out that she had actually been crushing on me for a long time.

So it should have been the beginning of a long, happy relationship, right? But once I found out how she felt, I instantly became afraid of suddenly doing or saying the wrong thing. As a result, I hardly did or said anything around her. Despite this, I thought things were going okay, until one night her old boyfriend came to Rocky Horror, and she spent most of the night holding his hand and kissing him.

That began another pattern—I was always the last to know when I was being broken up with.

Jessica was my next victim. After being a longtime audience member, Jessica took the plunge into the cast as Columbia, then later as Janet to my Brad. One of her signature jokes as Janet was, when Brad and Janet kiss at the end of “Dammit Janet,” Jessica would throw herself at me, knocking me to the ground even though I was roughly four times her size. You know how Brad puts his arm around Janet’s waist during Frank’s song “I’m Going Home?” She would press her small, lingerie-clad body against me, setting off small explosions in my bloodstream.

Despite all this, I was still surprised to hear from Leah that Jessica had a crush on me. But hey, I was all for it. She was adorable, smart, and funny as hell. Unfortunately, she was also sixteen.

One night, though, when some of us went out dancing, we threw caution to the winds and spent most of the night making out. I stopped fighting my impulses, I surrendered to our forbidden desires, and all that romance novel shite. Then—oh, I’m so proud of this—when I dropped her off at home, I gave her one last kiss…then I blurted out “I love you.”

She bolted from the car.

Literally. Took off running.

So that breakup followed the pattern of the previous one, in that, a couple of weeks later, Chris, who had just come back from college and was oblivious to all of this, informed me that he and Jessica had started a thing.

That was also the beginning of a new pattern in my breakups, with the girl dumping me for Chris.

I dated a couple more girls, but never managed such a spectacular flameout. With Katy, it was the same as with Vicky—I was too afraid of my spazzitude being discovered to enjoy it. At least with her, we had a proper breakup before she ended up with Chris. After that was Alexis, our most recent Magenta. She was, I found out, quite into me—while all I could think about was how to try to get Katy back.

Usually when I tell these stories to people, Chris ends up looking like the bad guy. But I should point out that it’s been at least five years since I’ve seen any of the girls I’ve talked about here, while Chris is still my best friend. And we’re both happily married.

No, not to each other.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

From Chris, in the comments:

"And in the interest of making Rich look like a tit, a few years later I remember we hooked up with Danetta and I needled Rich until he asked if she could shed any light on the blackout. Which unfortunately she couldn't, but she was quite flattered that it still mattered to him after all this time."

And the next time I saw her, I went ahead and kissed her, just to put the matter to rest. And, y'know, so I could kiss her.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Monday, June 07, 2004


Truth, Justice, and the Canadian Way?

Okay, I found this website with that PSA about Joe Shuster, the Canadian half of Superman's creators. After watching the thing again, I see that I was mistaken before; a caption sets the vignette in Cleveland, 1931, making Shuster 17. So I retract my earlier trashing of the piece.

And now comes the brand new trashing.

First of all, when I was searching the site, it lists all the people in alphabetical order by FIRST name. Oy. Then, when I got to the J's, I found no mention of Joe Shuster. Until I got to the S's, and there was the listing for "Superman."

Bad enough these guys got screwed out of the royalties for their character, now this?

Second of all, there's STILL no mention in the commercial of Jerry Siegel. That's like honoring Walt Disney and ignoring Ub Iwerks.

Oh, wait...

Third, the website quotes Canadian author Mordechai Richler describing Superman as, "a perfect expression of the Canadian psyche...a hero who does not take any credit for his own heroism, a glamorous figure in cape and tights who is content to live his daily life in horn-rimmed glasses and brown suits."

People, Superman, in his 30s and 40s heyday, was not a metaphor for the Canadian psyche, he was a metaphor for Jewish immigrants, coming to America, blending in to American society, and using his unique talents in the service of America.

THAT'S what Superman is, not some idealized expression of an imaginary "Canadian psyche." You leave Canadians to come up with their own superheroes, they come up with crap like Captain Canuck.

Though I did not know that Joe Shuster was related to Frank Shuster.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Okay, the Transformers thing appears to be gone. I'm guessing too many people followed the link from and killed the bandwidth. Is there a name for that? Farking?

Try the link again in a few days. It really is teh cool.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Someone needs to move to Vancouver. I need a social life. Going to marketing surveys with my father-in-law is not a social life. It's a cry for help.

But at least I haven't had any high school dreams lately.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

So, about a year ago I get this thing in the mail, inviting me to a "Television Preview." Supposedly showing a couple of pilots to gauge audience reaction. I figured that while our feedback would be pretty much ignored, it would still be kinda cool to see a couple of unaired pilots.

So I go. First we take a survey on our preferences for stuff like dishwashing liquid and diapers, followed by a drawing for same. Feh. Finally they get to the pilots.

First up is this gawdawful thing called Soulmates, about a past-life regression therapist whose latest client was her own lover in a past life. They fall in love, and out of love, and back in love, and back out of love, in the course of the half-hour (halfassedly edited down from an hour). There's also something in there about some kinda secret organization he belongs to--it's a pile of shash, with about four different genres thrown together badly. Lots of historical "irony" with lines like, "no way would Tojo attack a major american airbase on a sunday morning!" Feh.

Second was a pilot shot in--I kid you not--1990. City, starring Valerie "Rhoda" Harper. They explain to us that VH is looking for a new vehicle and wants to get a sense of what audiences want to see her in. It's pretty standard workplace stuff, a few good lines, a few good characters, nothing we haven't seen before.

This is followed by more marketing and demographic surveys. A LOT more.

So, all in all, there were worse ways to spend a couple hours. Better ways too.

This week Shelly's dad got an invitation to one of these, so he invited me along. Why not, I figured, maybe I'll get to see a couple more unaired pilots.

So, first up, after the first survey about laundry detergent and diapers? A little something called Soulmates. Followed by City, starring Valerie Rhoda. And the exact same marketing and demographic surveys, right down to the part where the MC says "and we're going to break with our standard format to ask you some questions..."

So, basically, the pilots are irrelevant. Hell, they probably found them in some studio dumpster. The only purpose the pilots serve is (A) some pretty colors to pacify the sheep in between the commercials, and (B) because no one would come if they were honest and said "please come take a marketing survey."

Despite all this, I'm actually curious to go to one more of these, just to see if they have any other shows they show, or if they're going to keep playing Soulmates and City until the tapes collapse to dust, which looks to be imminent. Just know, if anyone ever asks you to watch a pilot called Soulmates, run away. And maim that person with a harpoon.

A big fucking harpoon.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Saturday, June 05, 2004


Do the robot!

Check out the Decepticon Soundwave kickin' it G1 style. Bah weep grah nah weep ni ni bong, y'all!

Friday, June 04, 2004 Harry Potter and the Unbelievable Timing

Click here for an amusing anecdote from the new Harry Potter film. Beware of spoilers, if you haven't read the book.


Let there be Leah!

This is not an official part of the story, just a fun reminiscence...

As I've said, Leah spent a good portion of 1992 being shuttled back and forth between her mom in Tacoma and her Dad in California. When she was out of town, her part would be played by Katy, or Alexis, or a couple of times by Gyeni. But when Leah was home, the part was hers, no question.

Now, we gave Leah no end of shit over the stuff that would come out of her mouth. Once, some of us were at the beach, picking up rocks and watching the crabs scuttle out from underneath. Leah, bless her, asked us, "do they walk sideways or are their heads in the wrong place?"

Then there were this pair of shoes she had, called "Clicks." Well, somehow she got that confused with a certain sexual term that she had heard but never understood, and referred to these shoes as "Clits." Lots of jokes about "clits on my feet.

Then there was the stuff that would issue forth from her mouth late at night, as I'd be driving her home and she was falling asleep in the car, when she would start muttering about "the carrots with the stringy stuff, and the teeth were all around me." Even she didn't know where the hell that came from.

But despite all that, it was understood; you mess with Leah, you would have a whole theater full of big brothers coming down on you.

So when we found out that Leah's Dad was letting her move back up to Tacoma, it was big news. And what, I wondered, could we do to make it even more special?

So I came up with a plan; me and Chris, at the end of the month, would take a weekend, drive down to California, and bring her back ourselves.

It was going to be a big deal. EVERYBODY in the cast and audience knew Leah. We all wanted her back. We were even going to call the theater from California to give updates.

Unfortunately, almost as soon as I had the idea, other people wanted in. "Can I come? Can I come?" Pretty soon, at least seven or eight other guys had pledged to come along in my five-seater car. Where would Leah sit?

Then I heard from Leah herself. She didn't want to wait til the end of the month. Her dad had given her the money for a Greyhound, and she wanted to come up NOW.

So she came home. Privately, I was a bit relieved at not having to find out whether my '86 Hyundai would survive the trip. Not to mention having to spend an entire weekend in that car with six teenagers. We came up with a new surprise.

Only me and Mike knew that Leah was back. So we snuck her into the theater and told her to hide in one of the stalls in the ladies room.

Chris was totally oblivious, having been at college all week. But as midnight approached, he was becoming very vocally hysterical about our lack of a Magenta. I told him that one of Dagmar's friends was playing the part.

Dagmar almost blew the ruse a few minutes later. She had seen us smuggling Leah in, and when Chris asked her if she would play Magenta, she innocently asked, "Isn't Leah here?" I stood behind Chris and frantically shook my head, mouthing "play along," to Dagmar. "Oh, right," she corrected herself. "My friend is playing Magenta."

The show started, and in the darkness we snuck Leah into the theater, into the hallway behind the screen. Chris was panicking now, convinced he would have to do the Time Warp with no Magenta. He did his part of "Over At The Frankenstein Place," then began asking girls in the audience if they could play Magenta, before I ushered him back to the stage for the next scene.

The anguish was visible on Chris' face as he admitted Brad and Janet into the castle. He perfunctorily exchanged the dialogue with Brad and Janet, right up until Janet's line, "Lucky him."

Suddenly, Leah emerged from the hallway, putting gusto into her line, "you're lucky, he's lucky, I'm lucky, we're ALL LUCKY!"

you're lucky, he's lucky, I'm lucky, we're ALL LUCKY!

The applause was deafening. The look on Chris' face was priceless. Don't believe me? Here it is:

Chris, getting got good

Leah eventually met a guy named Boris and they became Deadheads, and later Phishheads. I think she eventually settled down in Southern California, though I know she drifts around. Leah Cox, I hope you Google yourself and find this page, and know how much we all love you.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


Let there be tits

Since Chris was complaining that I don't make him look like a tit enough...

"Oh wow...memory flood. During Riff's opening for the Time Warp, I'd do this thing where I jumped at the wall and bounce back off it. Once night I got a bit too rambunctious, jumped a bit too high, and ended up landing wrong on my ankle. But the show had to go on and I finished the night. And I distinctly remember later that night being in my space suit outfit with a HUGELY swollen ankle at the University Place Denny's. Good times."

That was before you plunged an X-Acto knife into your kneecap, yes?

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Thursday, June 03, 2004


Dreamin' it old school

So, those of you who know me (okay, all of you reading this) have heard about some of the bizarre dreams that have issued forth from my diseased subconscious. Lately, though, my dreams have, with depressing regularity, involved high school in some way.

At first, they would involve having to go back to school, for some reason. I could never figure out why, but there I'd be, a man in his thirties, suddenly having to worry about getting enough credits without having to drop an extracurricular activity.

I figured it was just residual awkwardness from being the second-oldest person in my class at film school. Then things got weird.

Lately, the dreams have been evolving. Now instead of being a thirty-three year-old surrounded by teenagers, I'm a teenager again, and I'm back at MY old high school. This new set of dreams has been full of people I haven't thought about since 1988 (Randy Foley? Jesus, why not throw Kristine Kancianich in there, you know what I'm sayin'?), set to a depressingly standard late-80s soundtrack.

Anyone know anything about dreams? What repressed psychological issues am I repressing this time?

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


Let There Be Lips

Part 9: Some insects, called the human race

The high point of the last half of 1991 was, for me, the Halloween show. We had the biggest audience we’d had in months, with a surprisingly low proportion of Video Virgins. That made for a great game of Fake An Orgasm. We started the preshow with a lip-sync to “The Time Warp.” I even jury-rigged a PA system with a Radio Shack microphone, a secondhand mixing board, and a portable stereo, allowing me to shout down the hecklers. On that night, the first anniversary of Rocky’s arrival at Lincoln Plaza, that mic was well and truly rocked.

The awesome flyer Chris designed for the Halloween show.  Note the cool 'Halloween lips'
As 1991 gave way to 1992 (with a party where I set a personal best for beer consumption), the crowd was evolving again. But this time, somehow, I, along with Chris, was at the center of it all.

Me and Chris had discovered a mutual love of Star Wars (which was still on the cusp of its mid-90s revival), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (a bold choice; most John Hughes fans will stick to safe picks like Pretty In Pink or Sixteen Candles), comics (I forgave him for being a Marvel zombie) and other, deeper, geek obsessions, leading to a friendship that thrives to this day.

It’s not that we were cool, necessarily. But within that crowd, the unapologetic misfits, we wore our obsessions proudly, and I think that’s what attracted people. We were the coolest of the uncool.

For me, the first sign of this new status came from a local BBS. One of the younger guys in the cast had just had his first sexual experience, followed immediately by his first pregnancy scare. When everything turned out all right, he posted to the board with, “thank Rich I’m not a father!” I emailed him, rather confused, and said, “um, thanks, but what did I have to do with it?” He responded that, since he didn’t believe in God, I was the next best thing.

Talk about feeling inadequate.

Along with me and Chris, there was Mike, Jessica, Gannon, and, as ever, Leah. We were the inner clique of the cast. We were the ones who ran the show, who selected new cast members, and—most crucially—decided where to go after the show.

This could get to be a problem. Oh, it had once been simple; pick a place (usually the University Place Denny’s), let the word spread, and anyone, cast or audience, who wants to come, comes. But the first problem with this principle was that we could end up with up to thirty people, waiting for up to an hour while an entire section had to be cleared.

The second problem was that we would all still be on a Rocky high, many of us still in costume, and unwilling or unable to quickly return to the norms of socially acceptable behavior. Quite aside from my list of inside jokes, I could do an entire section just on the hooliganery we used to get up to at Denny’s.

Third, there would always be at least one shitbag—usually one kid named Jason--who would skip out before the bill came. And if there’s one rule of thumb for situations like this, it’s that, if you show up with a bunch of people in silly costumes, make lots of noise, and piss off the other customers, then you damn well better pay your bill, and leave a bigass tip to boot.

Then there was the problem of getting people home. I didn’t mind driving Mike and Leah out to the wilds of Spanaway. But some drunk teenager I’d never seen before would always seem to slip into my car while I wasn’t looking, and I’d spend the wee hours of the night driving out to Fort Lewis, or Puyallup, or one time as far as Auburn, praying I’d be able to pull over in time if they started chundering.

So eventually we got tired of playing Moses to a tribe of kids who acted like a bunch of lemurs on meth. One night, then, we formulated a plan. “We’re going to Denny’s on Bridgeport!” we announced—and then we went to Shari’s on Hosmer. Yeah, it was devious, and a little mean-spirited, but it meant that the core cast members got to eat in peace, without a bunch of hangers-on hanging on, and I could continue in my (ultimately futile) efforts to be the meat in a Leah-Jessica sandwich.

Fortuitously, my parents went on a long road trip around that time—down south to visit my brother in Alabama, my sister in Arkansas, a reunion of my Dad’s Air Force buddies, and all the Air Force museums they passed along the way—giving us a handy gathering place. It was perfect. My parents kept a well-stocked larder, so we saved money on food, and Mike brought over an endless supply of vampire and slasher flicks for us to mock.

The precedent for this had been set the previous summer, when they went out of town just in time for my twenty-first birthday party. That was a truly epic event, in which, after a dozen or so tequila poppers, I experienced a blackout during which I may have kissed Danetta. Chris, meanwhile, was playing around on the computer in my parents’ room, and was surprised to turn around and find Dena and her boyfriend having sex on the bed. They didn’t seem to mind him being there—Dena kept grabbing his ass, possibly so that she could count it on her purity test score as a threesome.

Despite how it may sound, we were not exclusionary. We hung out with almost everyone from the cast and audience, and enjoyed their company greatly. Jason was the only one we actively wanted gone, and he fucked off after Mike, during the preshow one night, took the mic and announced, “Jason, would you please fuck off?”

So that worked out all right.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Let There Be Lips

The following comes from the comments section, posted by Jack, who was a regular audient for the most of my time at Rocky Horror.

"So, how I remember the night when John left..."

"As I was the person dating Dannetta at the time I think I'll have a decent memory of that night..."

"As I remember there were a few things happening that night. I seem to remember that Danielle had been playing Columbia and the night before John's last night she had stared at me through her whole floor show and it PISSED Dani off to no end. She wasn't mad at anyone but me. (She was a bit unstable and had quite the temper."

"That night I dealt with a crazy jealous person because I "seemed to enjoy the attention too much". So the next night she was still a bit pissed about the night before and it was a day of change. When it came time for the bedroom scene she looked right over at me before she "went down". The scene started and I was fine with it. John, however, was not. He was a few feet away from me when it happened. I didn't look at him at first, of course, because I was watching my girlfriend in a teddy (with a swimsuit under it)."

"Well, John let out his line and I looked over at him and his face was twisted in agony. Now remember that John had a thing for Dani that was beyond unhealthy. She knew it and because of that she wouldn't be physical with him as to not lead him on (err... Well, she did enjoy the attention). He never, to my knowledge, spoke of this, but she knew and she'd sometime discuss some of the things he'd do for her."

"Anyway... He wasn't happy about it and tried to play it off as a joke. He came over to me and said, "Your girlfriend is violating that man." or something similar and I was like, "Yeah. It's her part to play."

"He wanted ME to get mad. Oh well. I wasn't going to. I was fine with it. Plus, it looked a lot better than kneeling beside someone. "

"Duh-netta and I never really talked about that night, but needless to say she wasn't pissed about Danielle anymore."

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


Let There Be Lips

Part 8: I have never been a quitter

Maybe it was that I had taken over all John's other duties, or maybe it was just that I had been there so long, or just that, as the MC, I was the most visible of the cast. Whatever the cause, I began to be seen as the leader of the cast. The decision-maker, at least. I didn't mind, since by and large we were an agreeable bunch. Until someone got a bug in their britches about something. Then it would be full-on drama.

Frequently, it had nothing at all to do with the show. Dawn was constantly calling cast meetings--at which she would start in on Chris over some bit of ex-girlfriend business. And with all the teenagers in the group, there would be the attendant hookups and breakups, with all the ensuing tears and recriminations at inopportune moments.

Then there were the people who were just...well, not quite right in the head.

If you've done any reading up on the origins of the Rocky Horror phenomenon, you've undoubtedly heard about some people who just take things a little too seriously. Fandom is replete with people like Dori Hartley, who become so spiritually fixated on Frank N. Furter that they change their appearance, get tattoos, or in one extreme example, change their sex to be more like him.

What is it about Frank? Well, of course, he's the main character of the movie, the one who drives the plot, and gets the best entrance. He smokes, he drinks, he fucks who he wants to fuck, and does it all in three-inch heels. He can seem quaint in this age of (yawn) Marilyn Manson or (double yawn) Slipknot, but back in the day, he was just the thing to inspire rebellion against...well, whatever you can find to rebel against. As personified so magnificently by Tim Curry, Frank N. Furter becomes an androgynous force of nature.

We had our own Dori Hartley, a woman named Valerie.

She seemed okay at first. She would come to the shows in costume. Great. Seriously, we encouraged people to dress up. It didn't even have to be from the movie--if I wasn't performing, I would often dress up as Alex, from A Clockwork Orange. Valerie would come in a very faithful reproduction of Frank's costume, right down to the 4711 tattoo on the thigh (thankfully, drawn on with a Sharpie).

Our Frank at the time was Dawn's friend Rae. Rae did a damn fine job as Frank, even though her costume consisted of little more than a black teddy and fishnets. None of us held that against her; a perfectly accurate Frank costume can be quite spendy. But in Valerie's eyes, to give anything less than your entire being to the part was an affront to the Rocky Horror gods. And she would call me several times a week, complaining how (to her) Rae was hogging the part; Frank, she argued, was Tim Curry's gift to the audience (this is actually how she used to talk), and anyone who tried to claim it exclusively as their own (which Rae had never done) was being selfish.

That view changed, of course, when Valerie took the part. Suddenly it was as if she was chosen from on high to play Frank, and she would brook no suggestion that anyone else could even fill in for a night. God help anyone else who dared come in costume--they were obviously schemers, come to steal her part, and couldn't I, as cast leader, make them stop?

I should have told her that wasn't how it worked. I should have pointed out her hypocrisy. I should have put my foot down, lived up to my position as de facto cast leader, and told her that it's just a silly camp musical, people are supposed to come in costume, and to knock it off and just enjoy herself.

It was my trial by fire, and I whizzed it right down my leg. Thanks to my inability to grow a pair, we were stuck for most of the rest of my run with a borderline sociopath as Frank.

That wasn't my only blunder. I could be petulant and childish, especially if people were interrupting while I was trying to get through the preshow. There was one night when, prima donna that I was, I walked off stage when one girl just would not shut up while I was trying to get through my vitally important, life-affirming "Viking buying underwear" joke.

Then there was the time I thought Patty was hitting on me.

Patty was an affectionate woman. And as Janet, playing my fiance, there were more than a few times when, as Janet kissed Brad at the end of "Dammit Janet," she would go ahead and plant one on me.

I had a friend I'll refer to as RK, who had gone off to college in my pre-Rocky Horror days, and who I only saw when he was home for the summer. He came to a few shows, and when talking to me afterwards, insisted that "that Janet chick is all over you, dude!" Of course, RK was drunk, was known as an instigator, and a bit of an asswipe. And Patty was also known to flirt with other cast members, most notably Rocky during "Toucha-Toucha-Touch me." Never mind all that, the seed of doubt had been planted in my head.

The following weekend, I suddenly became hyperaware of her every move. Every playful kiss, every "accidental" brush of her breasts against my hand, that just fed my irrational belief that she was warm for my form. A smitten kitten. Trying to get with my good stuff.

My bad mood that night became noticeable. During the show, Valerie came and asked me why I was looking so pissed off. So what did I do? I shot my mouth off. "If Patty touches my ass one more time...," I blurted.

I should have known Valerie would blab. It was probably revenge for me letting other people come in costume.

As I was getting dressed for the floor show, Patty came up to me, almost in tears, and told me that if I had a problem with her I should take it up with her.

So I kind of checked out for a while. I left as soon as I had finished my verse in the floor show, and didn't come back until the following Saturday. I came in after the movie started, sat in the back, didn't shout any lines or get up to do the time warp, and snuck out before the lights came up.

I sat in my car, about to drive off, when I suddenly had one of those moments of clarity. Yes, I had fucked up, and when I had been called on it I panicked and ran away. Now was I going to admit defeat and give up all my friends, or suck it up and try to make amends?

I got out of the car and caught up with Patty as she was leaving the theater. I apologized and told her the whole stupid story about RK's drunken blithering, and how my imagination had gotten the better of me. Then I apologized some more, just for good measure.

And you know what? She wasn't mad. Yeah, she felt hurt that I had talked about her behind her back, but she was also kind of flattered, and found RK's behavior rather funny.

Ultimately none of the drama mattered. We were all friends, and in difficult situations we got each others backs. Even the crazy ones.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


The Drew Carey Show returns!

Tonight, with new episodes.


A lot of people, if they've given it any thought at all, thought TDCS had quietly buggered off sometime in the last two or three years. Well, yes, it did, but it's due more to some unprecedentedly bad treatment by ABC, than to any decline in quality.

Yes, the show took a blow when Christa Miller left to join her husband Bill Lawrence's show Scrubs (though it was very good news for Scrubs, where she's been doing some great work). Around that time, ABC started moving them around the schedule, always a sure sign that they've lost faith in a show.

Sometime in 2003, The Drew Carey Show finally went off the air, but--and this is the unprecedented part--new episodes continued to be produced. The show was never officially cancelled, since there was one more season left in the show's contract. For the last year, the Drew Carey Show has still been in production, with the ninth and final season scheduled to be burned off two at a time, starting tonight.

Now, I've seen some of the recent ones repeated on TBS. The premise has changed, with Winfred-Louder going out of business and Drew going to work for a post-bust internet company. And the changes take some getting used to, but you know what? It's not bad. Worth a look. And, I'll wager, so is the final season.

Check it out.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Okay, I've got a few more installments written of the Rocky Horror thing, but every time I try to post them (by copying from Word and pasting) blogger refuses to let me post. This is getting infuriating.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Buffy, Faith, and Kendra, drawn by Bruce Timm

Because sometimes life is good.


News from home

Fark has a link to this set of delightful vignettes of life in good old Tacoma. Seriously, just drop the fucking bomb on the place.

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