Ground Control To Capsule Toys

Posted Posted in artsy fartsy, comedy, gay, trivia, Uncategorized

Modern postscript: Please thank my 2006 Sony Clie for these crappy photos!  I loved that thing.  Maybe as much as I love my Iphone.  I know that’s blasphemy.

 

Here is the bank of capsule toy machines in Singapore, with a child pretending to fight a cutout robot. They are the sophisticated, collectible cousins of the machines that sell useless crap in American supermarkets. The uselessness of the toys is not different, nor their intevitable fate as something unpleasant to step on in the dark, but the marketing and interest is much different. There are some “rare” toys that are more desirable, and entire sets can be bought at stores at huge markups, just to keep from having to pump dollar coins into the machines. There is a large box next to the arcade of toy machines to collect empty capsules for reuse. Here are some of the most special displays.

Sure, every kid wants a trinket of Dig Dug, a game from when his parents were in elementary school.

How can you think that the sound of a dog barking is How How?” This is one of the capsule toys that doubles as a cell-phone trinket, for the 8 year old that wants to distinguish himself apart from just having a Nelly ringtone.

Please note some of the things the frogs say as they are driving their vehicles: “I love surfing!” and “I am No. 1!” That’s what it is to be an American.

Why would a child want an automatically sliced wooly Mammoth steak?

A capsule machine from my favorite weird Sanrio imitator, San-X. That bunny is also a mummy, or possibly he’s just horribly injured.

This one is a panda machine operated by another, tiny panda, and it reads “Let’s try to find our future!” If my future involves evil dual Panda overlords, I don’t want to find it.

Little boys still like sex, right?

When lucky dragons attack! Holy Shit!

Step right up and get your Golden Dinosaur!

Jack Skellington’s career keeps on going in Asia, just like Roy Clark’s does in Branson, MO.

This one was so mysterious that I had to plunk three dollar coins in. What was it? Am I really gonna get a hunched-over, vomiting cellphone charm?

And that’s exactly what I got. This one is vomiting up a tiny Flying V guitar, which makes him the “Rock” Hackman. If you are what you eat, surely you are what you later vomit up.

Bizarre small-world postscript: A friend was in Tokyo a week later, and met Hackman’s designer, who sent me another a Hackman capsule. She explained that Hackman comes in twos, because when you are sick, your friend will come to your aid.

 

 

One down, 999 to go

Posted Posted in Bridgetown Comedy Festival, comedy, gay, portland, Uncategorized

Another one of my favorite people, Eddie Izzard, says that in order to get good at stand-up, you just have to do it a thousand times. I finally put my mike where my mouth was last night at the Boiler Room. Here’s that file:

When I first walked in with my posse, I assumed that roughly every third person was there to do a five minute set, but it was clear by midnight that every single person in attendance wanted mike time. Straw fedoras and “wacky” t-shirts abounded. The night was such a sausage party that I sailed into the ladies’ room past three anxiously waiting gentlemen, which never happens. As new meat, I was bounced 21 times and finally went on at a quarter of midnight. That explains something about the recording- the reason why it seems like only six people are laughing is that there were only seven in attendance at this point. I was pleased that everything got some kind of laugh, and was winding up for my finish when a cute but very inebriated metrosexual (it turned out to be Bobby Hacker) got up and started taking his clothes off, which was okay, but then he started taking my clothes off and putting a flashlight down my shirt, to what end I am not sure. So I took off abruptly, in the midst of the Emcee yelling “You’re gonna get kicked out again, Bobby!” All in all, I am fairly happy with how it went – I got a good reception from the few remaining patrons and comedians, and I plan to go back most Mondays and practice some more.

Wherefore Art Thou, Famous

Posted Posted in comedy, costume, portland, Uncategorized

  This is a picture of my favorite person in the whole world, the FAMOUS MYSTERIOUS ACTOR.

  For a brief, shining moment that many consider the “golden age” of Comcast Portland public access, his talk show was broadcast on Sunday nights. Now Famous appearances are few and far between, the show at Holocene last Wednesday was ominously plugged as “final”, and it has just whet my appetite for more. Say it isn’t so, Joe!

  Guests were strictly single-named, and included human beatbox (and so much more) Fogatron, Shoehorn, who tap danced and played saxophone simultaneously and took hits off a glass bottle of Wild Irish Rose in between, and KUFO radio DJ Marconi. However, there is no writing about this show. Impromptu moon-boot sand dance with Pixie sticks and jumping on a desk to do a re-enactment of Famous’ favorite film, Sweet Sal, lays flat on the page. In person, however, it rocks like an avalanche. Or a hurricane. Or some kind of natural disaster that kills people.

    It’s a group effort, and could not soar without the help of German-speaking emcee Cutter, handsome wingman John Schmitt, security chief Denny, Intern Kris, producer J.D. Fischer, and Joanie loves Chachi the Tiger. However, Famous is the star. He lives up to his name and more- this show is much funnier than anything on network television. So I guess this is just a bottled letter cast adrift on the stormy seas of the interweb- I need more !

POSTSCRIPT: Finally, someone has come to my aid on Youtube and posted a scant minute of Famous’ craft, a bit ingeniously entitled Candied Bird Dick.

We’re Baaack!

Posted Posted in comedy, Uncategorized

The spouse and I have just returned from a trip to NYC, celebrating the occasion of our fourth wedding anniversary. It’s not so impressive that we have been married four years so much that it’s been consecutive. I celebrated a lot of it by following him from record store to record store to record store.

One of the high points of the trip for me was seeing Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper, and Nellie McKay in the Threepenny Opera.  Alan played Mack the Knife as if he were a bisexual hustler. Nellie was fantastic as Lucy, and Cyndi looked mighty foxy in her Pirate Jenny hooker-wear. Costume design by Isaac Mizrahi, who is a hack. I could put rubber pants and a priest’s collar on a chorus member as well as anyone!

We had a great time attending a party for the Ron and Fez XM radio show, and one thing led to another and we sat in on the show the following Tuesday. I really enjoyed it, despite being nervous, and if I had not looked at the message boards for that show immediately afterwards I never would have realized that I am am unfunny asshole.

Our only surprise celebrity sighting this trip was Russell Simmons, enjoying a vegan brunch with an attractive young lady the day before his break with Kimora broke in that bastion of newsworthiness, the New York Post.

Beloved Spouse thinks he saw Karlheinz Stockhausen in Central Park, but it could have been Stockhausen syndrome.

Another feature of the trip was seeing the Munch exhibit at MOMA, and you may think you’ve seen a lot of Munch, but it included a painting that was just discovered in 2004. It looks like a nightmare Gauguin!

We enjoyed hanging out with our gracious hosts and some other friends, and we got to see Stephin Merritt at his DJ night at the Beauty Bar, where we were showered with candy and girl-group hits, so it was really a nice time all around.