Thursday, November 24, 2011

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Drinking Game

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? Sorry about that. Here's one way to pass the time. Do a shot of, I dunno, "eggnog," every time you see the following:

• Broadway performance based on a movie you'd forgotten about years ago

• A floating balloon portraying a pop culture character you've never heard of

• Cheesy segue from weather report to some product, film, or television show

• Kid wearing a generic Christmas present-box costume

• Commercial for anything related to Black Friday

• Apple-faced high school marching band-kid drops an instrument

• Musical performance by someone who hasn't had a hit in over ten years

• Stilted interview with the star of new TV show (that won't last the season)

• Musical performance with obvious lip-synching

• Commercial repeats for tenth damned time [2011 ed.: Justin Bieber spot]

Bonus Ten

• Salute to the troops

• TV host who would rather be anywhere else but here

• Performer whose song stops when the float begins to move off-camera

• Reference to 70s-fashion, culture, or music

• Overhead view of marching band

• Earnest country singer extolling the lyrics of simple living

• Awkward reference to Native American traditions

• High-kicking [bonus if performers are not Rockettes]

• Nameless corporate hack waving from car (or on a float)

• Commercial aired for the twentieth damned time

Bonus Death-Match Play-rules

• Anytime someone says the word "Macy's"

• Anytime you're reminded of just how old you are

Monday, November 21, 2011

NCA 2011

Funky NOLA
I'm back from the National Communication Association's annual conference in New Orleans - this after barely escaping an avelanch of projects all coming due at the same time. I'd just unveiled my Global Technology Initiative documentary on Wednesday night - and Thursday morning, I was waiting to catch an early flight to Louisiana when I really just wanted to be in bed. The trip turned out to be a tonic, though, a welcome respite from an epically, gloriously, insanely intense semester. I did the stuff I needed to do - responding to a group of swell papers on "regional rhetorics" and presenting my essay about teaching millennial students. I looked at new books, I chatted with far-flung colleagues, and I picked up some ideas for next year's classes and writing projects.

A night at Preservation Hall
I also took some time to catch up with a tight group of good friends from my Berry College days: Chip Hall, Randy Richardson, and Kathy Richardson. Rooming with Chip meant hours of delightful conversation about our families, our current adventures, and our mutual loves of music and movies. One night, we grooved to three sets of Leroy Jones at Preservation Hall; the next, we walked over three miles to catch The Shining at the Prytania (a midnight show that actually began at 12:45). Chip and I also enjoyed several delightful meals with Randy and Kathy, our professors back at Berry who continue to remind me how meaningful those years in northwest Georgia turned out to be. Hanging out with this crew was the best part of New Orleans.

L to R: Andrew Wood, Chip Hall, Randy Richardson, and Kathy Richardson
Along the way I also spent some time wandering Old Easy streets alone. I bought a cheap pipe for some equally cheap cherry tobacco, lounged awhile in the Old Absinthe House, and lingered on the side streets in search of a little stencil art. Listening to a busker belting out "House of the Rising Sun" on a street corner, I found my love for NOLA rekindled [I also made a few interesting friends - especially when folks saw my pipe and presumed I was smoking weed]. I never did grab a Sazerac or any of that decadent pecan pie for which I'd been pining, but I had a wonderful time, all the same.

Bourbon Street Reflection
(Photographs by Andrew Wood)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Global Technology Initiative Video

[Revised February 3, 2012] Here it is - my documentary project for the SJSU College of Engineering Global Technology Initiative. This project is one reason why I've taken some time away from regular blogging. I hope you find the results to be worth the hiatus.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Corpse Wedding

This year's Halloween porch theme was a throwback to our first all-out family production: a corpse wedding. And with Vienna joining in, our show was a neighborhood hit!

Vienna was a beautifully eerie bridesmaid.

The "sinister" wasn't up to officiating. 

Happy Halloween wishes from Scotts Valley!

The "Fright" and the "Goon" welcome the kids to our creepy wedding.

Previous Years

• 2010: Alien Autopsy II [Pix and Story] [Video]

• 2009: Zombie Apocalypse [Pix and Story] [Video]

• 2008: Dr. Freightmarestein's Haunted Laboratory of Horrors [Pix] [Video]

• 2007: Psycho Circus [Pix] [Video]

• 2006: Alien Autopsy I [Pix]

• 2005: Just Buried [Pix]

• 2004: Pirate Dungeon [Pix]