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The Dark Side Of The Moon

July 11, 2002

"Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive"
-Jackson Browne "Running On Empty"

"And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon"
-Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon"

This morning was one of those high/low mornings where the good and the bad of my daily work routine really played out. And in the end, it turned out well. But getting there wasn't all that easy.

We had breaking news, which is usually a complicated thing due to a number of factors I won't get into here. But, we knew about it well ahead of time. Having time to plan goes a long way. So there were some close plays with that, and then there's the whole other story with the station before us in the USA Today Live order that can't get out on time to save their life. Made it with five seconds to spare. If I was in the showcase showdown on The Price Is Right, I'd win the double showcase. But here, I just won a good scare. C'mon Columbia, South Carolina -- get your act together. Don't make me call in a favor and have J.C. Cuadra make the trip down to "help" you time your show. Nobody wants that.

But on the flipside, we had Edge from the WWF (errr... WWE) in for a 6:25 AM interview. How's that for a nice surprise to start off your day at work? Yeah, Edge is gonna be swinging by. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet him (since I was in the booth producing the show), but it was a nice surprise. And luckily I know wrestling and was able to change the intro, which referred to him as "The Edge". I'd hate to have U2 on the phone pissed off.

In the end, the show went well, though it was one of those "luck was on my side" deals on a couple of things. I feel like a goalie in hockey who puts up a shutout, but is saved by the post a time or two. Take 'em when you can get 'em, I say.

Is it just me, or is "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World a really cool song? I dig it. Nothing lyrically profound enough for me to put it at the top of the page, but a fun song with a strong hook. Plus my friend Carl Weitlauf tells me they're great live in concert.

I hear Bruce Springsteen is coming to Tampa in concert in November. That might be a show I'll cough up some cash to go see. Has anyone out there seen him live before? I could use a yay or nay recommendation on this one. I'm not a hardcore Springsteen fan, but I do like his work.

My cell phone's been on overdrive with the FFL Draft just four days away. Lots of speculation about what might happen, but gotta think most people are holding back a couple of cards. Or bluffing. Or maybe not. Will Donte Stallworth really go in the first round? We shall see.

Really need to hit the video store and rent some movies. I can hold my own on the pop culture circuit in most categories (music, sports, celebrities, etc.), but movies are my achilles heel. Don't get me wrong, I love movies. DVD technology is a wonderful thing (in comparison with VHS or even laserdisc). But I'm pretty particular about the movies I like. It needs to hold up to analytical tests, even when you throw in things like suspension of disbelief and plausable deniability (but like Velvet and I once discussed, some people don't even know what that means... which means their likelihood of using that as a criteria for movie quality is likewise low). But I shell out good money to Time Warner to have all these movie channels on my TV, which I barely have time to watch, and it's sometimes tough to justify driving to the video store, renting the movie(s), getting them back on time, etc. It was different in Evansville, when we literally had a Movie Gallery in walking distance. Then again, we had a bar almost in our backyard there. Those were different times, but good times. Of course I have a freaking 16 screen movie theatre in walking distance that I've been to a grand total of one time here, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

Back when Brian Kargus still worked at WTSP, he and I and Scott Massey would sometimes talk in the parking lot after work. This was mostly 2001 we're talking about here (the year, not the movie). Normal shoot-the-shit type stuff, but then Brian or Scott would refer to some movie and crack up and recite some memorable lines and scenes while I'd stand there with a blank/befuddled/confused look on my face. Not different from the face I made in Germany the first time I rode the trolley there and tried to comprehend what the driver said in muffled German over the scratchy audio system like Charlie Brown's teacher (was that Schwanthalerstrasse or Mallingerstrasse???)

Invariably, there's movies people have seen that they are shocked and amazed that I haven't seen. The whole "I can't believe you've never seen _________" (enter the name of your favorite movie) phenomenon. I wonder if that ever happens to Roger Ebert.

But so what if I've never seen The Princess Bride, or Spiderman, or the vast majority of 1980's comedies? Does that make me a less well-connected person? Just because you got conned into seeing The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood and I didn't? Please. I'll save my duckets and go see Springsteen play. Or go to San Diego (someday I will make it there). Or buy the Mr. Show season one and two DVD's and tell the movie buffs to go stick it.

Have you ever seen a movie because of the "I can't believe" line? I did last December. Rhonda from Red Dawg couldn't believe I hadn't seen the John Cusack movie Better Off Dead. So I rented it from Hollywood Video. And... it was alright. But not "I can't believe" worthy. No way.

The most memorable "I can't believe" line came in 1998, about a movie that was truly worthy of the billing -- Casablanca. In one of the all-time classic classroom scenes, Dr. Stepsis flipped out when Casey Casperson told him in British Studies class that he'd never seen Casablanca. Now I'd never seen it either at that point, but I knew better than to mention that to Stepsis. In an unintentionally hilarious move, Stepsis flipped out and said that he couldn't believe he hadn't seen the movie and that he was going to save Casey's life. He then gave him a 50 pence piece (the cost of renting a movie at Harlaxton in the fall of 1998). "Casey, I'm going to save your life. Here's 50 P. I want you to watch Casablanca." Andy Holland and I about lost it laughing on that one. Up there with some of the great Steel & Shamesh moments. Good times.

Time's up for me -- it's past my bedtime. Which means sleep, no matter what's on cable TV right now...

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