Friday, December 22, 2006

Smell ya later

Dr. M and I are about to embark on our annual holiday road trip and family fun fest, so Spacebeer will be taking a break for a week or so. If you live in Lincoln or Western Nebraska, perhaps we will see you, although we will only be in each spot for a couple of days, so if we don't see you, don't get too sad. It just means we don't like you as much as we like our families.

If all goes as planned we will be back in Austin on the afternoon of New Year's Eve, and not stuck in the snow in a dry county in Oklahoma or something lame like that. If you are doing something fun on NYE, write me an e-mail and let me know. I would love to ring in the New Year with each and every one of you crazy cats.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Heads will roll

My latest random-book read is one of Josh's childhood favorites, Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In by Joe Bob Briggs [aka John Bloom] (1987), a collection of reviews of drive-in movies that originally ran as a weekly column in The Dallas Times.

Joe Bob Briggs is the chauvinistic and non-politically-correct alter-ego of journalist John Bloom. His reviews of drive-in movies are interspersed with a running narrative of the fictional girls and good-ole-boys in Joe Bob's life, and always end with a count-up of the number of breasts, killings, rolling heads, and kung-fu moves featured in the film.

The reviews of the movies are really fun to read, and I appreciate the handy statistics at the end of each column. Even the running gags with Joe Bob and his series of girlfriends are entertaining -- and almost read like a novel when you put all the pieces together in a book like this. Sometimes the dumb humor is funny, but most of the time it reads like bad Jeff Foxworthy or Larry the Cable Guy jokes (are there any good ones?), and kind of falls flat. Joe Bob's constant bating of NOW and the entire city of San Francisco also gets a little old. As you might expect, since it was originally published as a newspaper column, many of the references in the reviews are very dated, and reading the book takes one back to the 1980s with constant referrals to the Communists, Vidal Sassoon, and We Are the World.

Overall the book is worth reading, and the most disappointing thing about it is that hardly any of Joe Bob's beloved drive-ins have survived in the 20 years since this volume was published.

As Joe Bob would say: Check it out.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

SBW: The Senior Correspondent Edition

Since I work at an enlightened institution that gave us a reduced schedule on Monday and Tuesday (9 to 4, dogs, with plenty of long lunch Christmas party action), and the rest of the year off, I've gotten to watch a little of the Today show this week, which I usually miss since I'm out the door by seven. Matt Lauer is apparently on vacation, and my SB David Gregory has been filling in. Nice.

You would think it would be easier to find pictures of Gregory, but there are apparently a lot of people out there with the same name. And if you are the senior White House correspondent for NBC, almost all the pictures of you will be the same press photo or a series of grainy screen shots from someones television. This does not make for compelling viewing.

If Wikipedia is to be believed, Gregory was actually being considered as a replacement for Matt Lauer in 2007, but apparently that has been dropped and Lauer's contract continued. So for now, all we can hope is that Matt goes on many more lengthy vacations on the days when I can catch a few minutes of Today.

[As you might expect, You Tube has many clips of David Gregory animatedly interrupting Bush and making him look stupid. It also has a clip of Gregory imitating Bush on the Tonight Show. I love it when I can find live-action SB shots...]

Monday, December 18, 2006

Josh and Kristymas 2006

We held our private Xmas celebration this weekend which included opening stockings, drinking a bunch of egg nog with brandy, and listening to our Christmas music compilations (including my personal favorite, the New Wave Hits of the 80s Christmas CD).

After our Josh and Kristymas weekend and tonight's Very Whisky Christmas party at our friends' house, we will probably have drunk enough Christmas cheer to see us through to the new year.

More pictures here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Watch it

I bought myself this new watch as a special present with a small part of the big check I got when I cashed in my unused vacation from my last job (I had a little over three weeks, so it was almost a whole other paycheck! Yay!). My last three watches have been $9.99 watches from Walgreen's, and when their batteries ran out, I just got another $9.99 watch. They were all fine and served me well. Before that I had (and still have) a pretty nice watch I got for Christmas seven or eight years ago. I even replaced the band on it once, and replaced the battery twice. But then the battery ran out and somehow it was easier to buy a cheap watch from Walgreen's than to go somewhere and have the battery replaced. The thing about me is, I hate stores and errands, and anything I can do to avoid going to an inconvenient store I will do.

Now this watch is a fancy Citizen Eco-Drive watch that runs off of the ambient light it absorbs through its face. The idea is that the battery never needs to be replaced. It is a wonder watch, and even if it only lasts nine years, I'll have invested the same amount as nine Walgreen's watches. Plus it looks prettier.

Since I bought it off Amazon instead of at a jewelers (again, don't like to go to stores), the band is pretty big for my ridiculously wimpy wrist. Knowing me, however, I will just let it dangle for years before somehow accidentally being in a mall and thinking to ask someone at a jewelry counter to take out a few links. I think my watch will fit properly sometime around 2010.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Work Work Work

I read this book about my work at work for work. Not that I expect you to be all that interested, but it was a very helpful history. And since I'm a completest about these sorts of things, you get to hear about it anyway.

[Pictured, by the way, is the chapel at my work. It is very nice, as far as chapels go.]

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

SBW: Multitalented edition

Kris Kristofferson covers many of the SB bases with which we are now all so intimately familiar. He plays a guitar. He usually has a beard. He is in many good movies (and sometimes bad ones, but he is still good). He has eyes that can be super nice and crinkley, or ice-cold and freaky.

He is dead sexy as a young dude, and yet even sexier as an old dude.

He can somehow make a shot with Barbara Streisand look pretty hot. And I'm rather neutral toward Barbara Streisand.

And to top it all off, he is totally sexy laying in bed with Sinead O'Connor in the "This Is To Mother You" video, and I just spent 10 minutes searching the internet for a still or a YouTube version of this video with no luck. If you get a chance to see it, you will swoon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gleep Glop

After reading this article about a contest for cocktail making robots at Roboexotica in Vienna yesterday, I came home and saw a bit about it as the "funny" last piece on the local news. Obviously robot-mania is sweeping the nation.

The video in the CNN article has some nice robots-in-action shots [my favorite is the bot that utilizes those wine openers that look like little dudes with arms that go up and down], and You Tube provides some video of the German-accented awards ceremony [which shows a little tiny clip of a bunch of the bots, and also demonstrates that Roboexotica might not actually be as exciting as it sounds]. Finally, someone named their cocktail robot Cockbot, and I couldn't possibly think of a better name.

Just don't make these guys any more drinks.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Optimen and Cyborgs = Kristy is a nerd

Somehow I am still a couple of weeks behind on reporting my reading habits. I'm not sure how this happened... I do, however, have a distant memory of reading The Eyes of Heisenberg by Frank Herbert (1966). Frank Herbert is the guy who wrote the Dune books, and this is the only thing by him that I've ever read. I do remember my dad reading all the Dune books one winter when I was a kid, which is unusual because he hardly ever reads fiction books. In fact, I think those Dune books are the only fiction I can ever remember my dad reading.

If The Eyes of Heisenberg is any indication, my dad must be on to something, because this was a very good little science fiction book. Let's see how I do with the plot: In the super-future, part of the human race has evolved into Optimen -- humans that never die (provided they take their enzyme supplements), but who are sterile and can't reproduce. The Optimen have learned a great deal about genetic manipulation, and have taken control over all reproduction by exposing all the regular humans to contraceptive gas and only letting them reproduce if the Optimen think its a good idea. Even then, the embryos are genetically modified to enhance beneficial traits like healthiness and obedience, and to get rid of any unique or potentially upsetting flaws. The embryos are then raised in machine-wombs and given back to the parents after birth.

Occasionally, however, an unseen force will change the genetic pattern of the embryo -- in some cases making it impervious to the contraceptive gas and able to procreate on its own. Obviously the Optimen don't like that. But the underground movement of parents loves it. They have temporarily teamed up with the Cyborgs to overthrow the Optimen -- the Cyborgs are another branch of humanity that enhances its nature by combining with robots instead of altering their genetics like the Optimen. The Optimen don't like the Cyborgs, and mostly pretend that they don't exist.

What will become of humanity? Can people figure out how to have sex the old fashioned way? Can immortal beings actually die? And do we really want to meld with robots?

These and other fascinating questions are explored in The Eyes of Heisenberg. So check it out.

Back cover is hanging out here.

And other versions of the front cover (which I love), can be found here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I made this crappy stocking!

Josh and I decided to do stockings for each other this year instead of regular presents. The problem was, Josh already had a really nice stocking that his aunt made for him when he was a kid. Me, I've got nothing. So, to compensate I bought a $2 stocking from the HEB, cut out some crappy letters that spelled Kristy, glued them to a piece of construction paper that was accidentally a little too short, and taped the whole thing to the front of the stocking. And yet, somehow, I like it.

But if anyone knows a good place to get cool stockings, let me know. I'd like to upgrade for next year.

[In addition, this is my 500th Spacebeer post. Just in case you're keeping track.]

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


This week's Secret Boyfriend Wednesday comes to you from beyond the grave in the form of sexy voice + sexy guy = super sexy secret boyfriend Jeff Buckley.

[And I have to mention, that Jeff Buckley's father Tim Buckley is an SB himself, possibly making Tim and Jeff Buckley the only father and son sexy-voiced SB pair who both died tragically and young. That is an elite group, my friends.]

Have you heard Jeff Buckley sing? Because seriously, you really don't even need to see a picture of him if you can hear him. He could be a SB based on voice alone.

Naturally, playing the guitar and rocking out on stage adds to the S and to the B.

In conclusion, double SBs are never bad.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


How long has it been since you did a somersault? I'm guessing I hadn't done one for at least 15 years, and probably more like 20, so I busted one out this weekend. It kind of hurt my head and my back, but it was still kind of fun. I think I'm going to work them into my regular repertoire of things to do when I'm bored. I never have been able to really do a cartwheel, though.

[And I have always called those roll-over moves where you put your head on the ground and roll onto your back with your legs going over your head a somersault. But Wikipedia says somersaults are done up in the air. Who is right here? In addition, if you keep typing somersault, it will start to look really weird. Somersault.]

Monday, December 04, 2006

All Ears

I'm getting behind on my book posting, and a pile is starting to build up next to the computer. So, even though I read this guy like two weeks ago, I'll add it to the book list -- All Ears: Cultural Criticism, Essays and Obituaries by Dennis Cooper (1999).

This was, I believe, the only one of Dennis Cooper's books that I hadn't already read. He is an author that I really like, but before I'd pretty much only read his fiction, so I was interested to see what this collection of essays (mostly reprinted from magazines) would be like.

Naturally, since Cooper is an interesting and creative writer, these were all interesting and creative articles and interviews. Because the essays were all written for specific magazines and audiences, they really take you back to the 1990s, for better or for worse. There is even a really nice little interview with a young Keanu Reeves (who I generally don't like), where he comes off very sweet and kind of naive and genuine.

So, if you like Cooper, or music, or the 1990s, or Keanu, then you should probably read this book.

[I should really write these things when my reading of the book is a bit more fresh...]

Friday, December 01, 2006

Wax on, Wax off

Is anyone really surprised about this? I mean, if you work the overnight shift at a waxworks, things are going to happen, right?

[Pictured are the classy wax replicas of Beyonce, Britney Spears, and Kylie Minogue, just asking to be horsed around with.]