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Learning new lessons in interesting places...

You have to believe me when I say I don't understand the concept of a weekend anymore.

For I don't know how long, the Latino Comedy Project shows (more about that in a bit), shooting filmed segments for the shows, getting a few work hours in, updating the site for Mondays and running random errands have taken so much of my off-work time that I don't really know what it's like the face an open weekend.

Not that this is a bad thing. I've said it before and I'll say it once more: I like being busy. But next weekend, I'll be kicking it in Los Angeles for the E3 video game expo (fun, fun, FUN!) and a few weeks later, there's a wedding I may go to in Oklahoma City and, well... that takes us all the way into June without a regular, stay-at-home weekend.

Which made it odd on Saturday afternoon when I found myself with a few hours to kill. That I'm not used to. As it happened, it wasn't totally down time: I had to find a mother's day gift.

I scrambled to the mall and eventually found what I was looking for, but not before I was stalked. Or maybe I was doing the stalking. I'm still not really sure. Let me explain.


The Mall Stalkers


At Sears, I was looking at these automatic car devices that install and allow you to start your car from inside the house (for very cold or very hot morning when you want the A/C or the heater to crank up), and which will do the keyless entry thing for your car. My dad, via cell phone, told me he didn't think that would be such a hot idea for a gift given that my mom's car doesn't have automatic locks.

So... I ran into some friends from work and just as I was talking to them, a youngish couple was walking by. They were both attractive, dressed in summery clothes and holding hands. Nice. So I talk to my friends and then get back on the gift buying.

This mall robot is only slightly less relentless than a mall stalker couple.

Later on, I ended up near Suncoast to look at DVDs. That same attractive couple from before walks by, probably looking for matching sunglasses or something from the Sunglass Hut. Cool. No problem.

But then I saw them again. In front of the Electronic Boutique. And later by Spencer Gifts. It got to where every place I went, there they were, walking their tanned, thin bodies across the mall. It got to where I began to wonder if they thought I was stalking them. I would purposely cross to the other side of the walkways or change direction just to avoid them. It was crazy behavior, but I didn't know what to do. I mean, I'm one guy. They're a couple. A couple can't stalk a single person, can they? None of their body language seemed to indicate an invitation to a three-way. So what? Why were they everywhere? Who were they? Are they cloning? What do they want with me? Do they think I'm crazy? Dangerous? Attractive?

I don't know. I was too freaked out, so I left the mall.


The Talky Party Girl


Later that night, after our last two, very fantastic LCP shows, we had a cast party. I have to say first that this last show has been an amazing experience, and we're all awfully proud of how the show turned out. Allison and Chris came up from San Antonio (after having gone down from Dallas) and they made a special trip to see the show. Now that's some devotion. I can't even get some of my Austin-based friends to see our work.

So we were all exhausted and giddy at the cast party, which began at 1 a.m. because we had two shows back to back. At roughly 3 a.m., I saw this pretty flirty woman who seemed to know everybody, but who I only vaguely recognized. Did I know her? Why did she look familiar?

Because it was a relatively small party, I eventually ended up talking to her. Turns out she was in a play with some very good friends of mine and I'd seen her perform in that. She'd seen us perform, and well, good for everyone.

About 10 minutes later, after all the "Now where do I know you from?" I realized that the reason she was wandering from person to person was because nobody in particular wanted to talk to her. Okay, maybe that's harsh. Maybe I'm all wrong. But 10 minutes of her talking about her New Jersey roots and her doing variations of her own Italian accent ("Everybody thinks I'm Latina, but I can't do a Latina accent! But I can do Lawng-Island. Tee hee!") was quite enough, and I started to look around futilely for someone to bail me out of the conversation. It didn't happen. For another 15 minutes, I stood there, listened to her talk. And talk. And talk. It was nearly 3 a.m. by this point. I mentioned The Sopranos just to keep myself awake. I looked around, hoping her boyfriend was getting jealous that she was talking to me so he could at least come and beat me up and I wouldn't have to listen anymore.

It was bad. Really bad. I tried to find some graceful way to exit, but when the pain threshhold was finally reached, I think I tried to combine several exit strategies at once unsuccessfully: "Can you excuse me? I need to go get another beer in the bathroom and give someone a ride home while I'm in there."

Party Talker Girl. No wonder everyone was drinking so much.

The randoms: (Because I haven't talked about my life at all lately and it's time to update a bit)

Got Radiohead tickets for their Houston show in June. I am, of course, ecstatic. I'm really liking the songs I'm hearing from the new album, Amnesiac, and the video for "Pyramid Song" is beautiful.

Going to L.A., like I mentioned above, this Thursday and staying at the home of Pamie and Mr. Ray. From all that I've read and heard, it is a mystical place. I look forward to getting to see them, as well as Heather and some of the good folks from MightyBigTV. It's going to be a fun weekend. And because it's E3, there will be chingos de video games. Can't wait.

Before you do anything else today, go check out what Pamie and Stee wrote together in a caffeine-fueled haze. It's the single funniest thing I've seen all month. A long time ago, Pamie wrote an entry where she mentioned something about, "It puts the lotion in the basket," and I knew that somehow, some way, she'd find a way to bring that back around. Bravo to them. It's funny as Hell.

Allison asked folks to contribute some lyrics for Destiny Child's huge hit "Survivor." The explanation is here and the results of many back-and-forth e-mails are posted on this page. We think we're awfully funny. Hope you agree.

Nintendo was nice enough to send me a Game Boy Advance and two games for it to review. I can safely say that this little marvel is going to end up under a lot of your Christmas trees later this year. Seriously, it is a fantastic system. I love Game Boy Color, and this blows Game Boy Color not only out of the water, but out of the entire ecosystem housing that water. And it's only going to cost $30 more than the Game Boy Color does now. Look for it when it comes out next month. The Mario game for it (a pretty direct port of Super Mario 2 from the old SNES) is pretty sweet.

I'm sure there's lots more to say, but I'll remember it as the week goes on.


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