09 May 2005

the blog is here

Greetings all.

Holy crap, has it really been since March since I last sent one of these? Sheesh. Well, from now on you can get on-demand rants at http://themadhapa.blogspot.com/

"Behind the Orange Curtain" received the most votes for blog name, but, I didn't want to make that the URL because I don't plan on living down here forever. The spacing on the the old email posts is a little wonky, and apparently I can't spell the word "across," but other than that it's good to go. Refinements will come later. I tried to bleep out any personal contact information, but, if you come across any, will you let me know? Do you think I should bleep out my employer''s name? Probably, huh?

Okay, on with the update.

April was a big "whatever" spent playing a highly-addictive Japanese video game called Katamari Damacy. Yes, you heard me, a video game. I put aside the Tom Robbins novel and the Sleater-Kinney advance CD to spend hours mindlessly glued to the television. I also owe Barry an apology. When he said he was going to buy a Play Station 2, I said "Video game consoles are for people who either don't have or don't want girlfriends." Well, it turns out I just needed a gateway drug. . . I mean game.

Katamari Damacy (http://www.namco.com/games/katamari_damacy/) doesn't sound all that great on paper, but, isn't that always the way with highly-addictive things? Here, eat this fried potato slice; drink this sludgy frozen coffee; roll up random Japanese objects into a ball. It all sounds so unappealing until you actually try it.

The game starts out where you're this little green guy rolling up candy and thumb tacks into a ball. By level eight or so you're rolling up people, fish, bears, park benches, etc. All the while the "King of the Universe" taunts you -saying your katamari is not large enough and have a funny-shaped head. Inexplicably, the King of the Universe has an enormous package.

So that was pretty much the month of April.

Towards the end of the month, our favorite bar, Kelly McCue's, burned down. It wasn't the greatest bar, but it was ours. The jukebox played Creedence Clearwater and Talking Heads, the one and only karaoke night was a huge failure, and the whole place was lit by neon signs and (muted) televisions. The lighting thing is key because, really, do you want to have a clear view of your fellow patrons or your bar food? Nuh-uh.

Alas, our bar is no more and it's not like we can just go to the bar on the next corner. Just about every bar around here is plagued by blaring TVs and an obnoxious waitstaff that look like they were yanked from a Clearasil commercial and pumped with uppers. The watering hole nearest to work serves beer in fishbowl-sized glasses but manages to screw up anything consumable that doesn't come out of the tap (sandwiches, nachos, etc). It is truly a dark time –especially since I discovered I really kick ass at Katamari Damacy with three or four beers in me.

Perhaps we'll find our late-night paradise at the newly opened "Diablo's Rockin' Cantina." God, what a name. The Crow and I are debating the genesis of "Diablo's." I think it went something like this:

"Honey, you'll never guess! The old dance club next to Kaptain Kreams closed down! I know you're going to this is crazy, but, I think it's a sign that it's finally time for me and my brother . . "

wait, wait, I can do better, let me give this another go . . .

"Honey, I think it's time for me and YOUR brother to open that bar we've always wanted! We've already picked out the name . . . 'Diablo's Rockin' Cantina' isn't that great? 'Diablo'' you know what that means heh heh heh. Honey where are you going? I was just going to tell you about our slogan: 'What happens at Diablo's stays at Diablo's, get it?'"

Luckily, I got to leave town at the end of the month for nearly two weeks in Grand Cayman. It was a work trip much like the Cozumel one in November (this event went much better, we had a broken leg but everyone left home with all the organs they arrived with). Evidence of Hurricane Ivan was everywhere, but the island is in recovery. Interestingly, the number of available hotel rooms is only one-third of what it used to be. As a result, the island is relying heavily on cruise ship traffic which, in my opinion, only brings out the worst in a destination. Just look at P.V., Cancun, and just about any place in the Florida Keys.

Hopefully people will start to trickle back. Cayman has a lot to offer and the people are incredibly nice. The diving was good and I finally got to swim with a turtle!

Now it's back to the old grind. My next big trip will likely be up to Portland in July. I can't wait! Hope this missive finds you all well.

Until next time . . .

-MD