Super*Market @ Meltdown

As some of you know, I'm one of the co-creators of Hot Mexican Love Comics and as such, I, along with my cohorts Bean Robot and Señor Ira, usually make the comic convention rounds to hawk our wares. This Sunday, Ira and myself made it on down to Meltdown Comics in Hollywood to participate in their Super*Market showcase. We didn't really have anything new to push since our 2008 book is still being put together but we decided to show up anyway.

It was a pretty relaxed show. Very small, but enjoyable. Sales were less than spectacular, I think we made a grand total of $34, a dollar less than the $35 entry fee but still, it was fun. Our friends Louie Del Carmen and Rob Goodin were there pushing their own books too so at least we knew some people there.

We made a new friend in Jose Cabrera who publishes the supremely awesome Crying Macho Man series. Check out Louie's and Jose's pages for more pics from Super*Market. I also scored a sweet stuffed piece of bacon from Dan Goodsell, the genius behind the very, very fine Mr. Toast.

Anyway, thanks to all of our friends, old and new, for their support. Hope to see you all again at the San Diego Comic Con in July.


Los Angeles Is A Cesspool

Generally speaking, I don't like to attend live sporting events. Mostly because I'm a big sports fan and while I do get a bit of a rush being there in person, I can't help being aware of just how much of the game I'm missing. I've grown accustomed to all the slow motion, freeze frame instant replays, the oh-so-useful tidbits from announcers (a good example, Reggie Miller explaining what a "titty" is) and thanks to NBA League Pass sometimes I get to see super low budget regional commercials starring average joe ball players.

Sure, I'm super stoked that I was lucky enough to attend Kobe Bryant's 81 point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 but part of me wishes that I watched it in the comfort of my own living room, on my 48 inch big screen TV, endlessly looping Tivo to my heart's content.

So with my dislike of live sporting events established, why did I agree to attend an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox at the Coliseum?

Because I'm a moron, that's why.

First of all, exhibition games are worthless. Exhibition baseball games are even more so. No team is going to risk playing their star players in what is essentially a practice game so you usually end up watching players that never actually play (legitimate benchwarmers), or guys that are about to be sent down to the minors. This particular game was even more useless because for some dumb ass reason, the official season has already started for the Boston Red Sox. So get this, the Sox traveled to Japan last week, played two games against the Oakland A's that actually count towards their regular season record, and then they came back to play two totally bullshit exhibition games against the Dodgers.

Had I thought it out I probably would've skipped the whole damn thing but I guess I was too caught up in a "Hey, let's go to a Dodger game!" moment. So not only was the game completely meaningless, but it was being played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The reason is was being played here was that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles and the Coliseum is where they played while Dodger Stadium was being built. Plus this game was promoted to support of the Dodgers' new ThinkCure charity so the tickets had a face value of $2 each with 100% of the proceeds being donated to charity. Which means that the 100,000+ capacity Coliseum sold out instantly.

I already wrote about attending a sporting event with the dregs of humanity a few weeks back. Well, take that experience and multiply it by fifty. I had no idea that the organizers of this event were attempting to break the all time attendance record for a baseball game, which explains the cheap ass price for the tickets. The whole event was a disaster. It was poorly planned and poorly executed top to bottom.

I knew that with that many people attending, getting in and out of there was going to be a nightmare. But I figured, hey, I'm a smart guy, I'll take the Metro! I thought it'd be the best course of action anyway. One, there'd be a ton of traffic so I'd skip that and two, I was meeting a friend there so I'd have a back up ride home in case the Metro was bogus. Which it was.

I remembered Bean Robot's take on public transportation but I thought, how bad could it be? I rode public buses 20 years ago and that was kinda ok, so it shouldn't be that terrible, right? Wrong. Now, the trip itself was surprisingly efficient. One train there from my house, bus stop was right outside the train station, train goes directly to the Coliseum. Easy. Except for the horde of mentally ill homeless people that I was trapped on the bus with. And it got better. Whether it was the muscled Korean dude that held his 85 pound girlfriend off the ground with one arm that got on at Olympic, or the mariachi trio that boarded on Exposition, each stop brought an new and exciting cast of characters on to the bus. It got so fascinating to me that I almost didn't want to get off the bus. Then the homeless guy 2 rows back started dry heaving and I jumped off with the quickness.

I finally arrive at the Coliseum and I call my friend to find out where we're meeting. Our conversation went like this....

"It's Larry. I'm here, where are you?"

"Yeah, I'm not going. Too much traffic."

"You realize that I'm at the Coliseum right now."

"Yeah but I decided to cut my loses and skip it. Sorry."

Fucking great. I thought about heading home but I figured that after all the bullshit I went through to get there, I might as well watch the damn game. But now I was stuck at the Coliseum with no backup plan home. I was totally dependent on public transportation to get home. Screw it, I'd figure that out later.

Inside the Coliseum was another nightmare. Apparently someone thought it'd be a great idea to set up the concession stands in the walkways surrounding the inside of the stadium. This forced people to line up perpendicular to the throng of people attempting to make their way to their seats. It was a natural barrier every 20 feet. Also keep in mind that the Coliseum is almost 85 years old. The gateways and aisles were constructed for much, much slimmer people. I can guaran-fucking-tee you that the Parkinsons never even dreamed that their grand stadium would someday be jam packed with 300 pound parents, in undersized Dodger jerseys, standing in ridiculously long lines just to purchase cotton candy for their already obese children. Anyway, after 25 minutes of slogging through the great unwashed masses seemingly composed entirely of drunken Raider fans, I finally make it to my aisle. Moving up the stairs, an usher directs me to my seat. I'm in Row 90.... out of 93. To give you a better idea of where I am in the Coliseum, I took the picture above, then spun 180° and took this picture. So yeah, I was in the nosebleed section.

For the next 2½ hours I get to watch Dodger luminaries like Greg Jones and Mike Koplove get pounded by Red Sox superstars Bobby Kielty and Jed Lowrie. I wanted to cut out early but before I knew it, it was the 7th inning. And this being Los Angeles, the 7th inning is when a lot of fans start heading for the door, you know, to beat the traffic. Which would be a pretty good plan if 40% of the fans in attendance didn't have the exact same idea. So, again being really super smart, I decided to watch the whole game, figuring that it'd be easier to navigate my way out of the Coliseum with fewer people around.

Another bad move.

Once I got out of the stands and into the outside walkways, I discover that apparently 50,000 other people had the exact same idea that I did. When the game was finally over, all I had to do was head back to the bus stop where I got dropped off at and head over to the train station. 20 minutes tops! More like 20 minutes to get outside the Coliseum, another 40 to make it through the throng of people to the bus stop and then another 90 minutes to get on an actual bus.

Finally, thanks to the kindly assistance of two girls who were far more versed in the ways of public transportation than I, I finally make it on to my train to begin my journey home. More than two hours after the game ended. This experience was so shitty that it actual tainted my view of the Dodgers this year. Something tells me that I'm not going to make too many trips out to Dodger Stadium this season.

All You Can Eat Pavilion or no All You Can Eat Pavilion.


the many moods of larrydigital, pt. 6

To download podcast: Click here.

Ok, so this episode came out a little later than I wanted it to. I never intended for February's bonus episode to replace the March episode but that's almost what happened. I guess I got a little ahead of myself with the whole "I had time on my hands" thing.

Episode 6: Everything Can Be Replaced Tracklist

1. larry's intro
2. "9th Wonder (Blackitolism)" by Digable Planets
3. "Haboglabotribin" by Bernard Wright
4. "Fried Neckbone & Some Home Fries (DTA Remix)" by Willie Bobo
5. larry's interlude #1
6. "Dance, Dance" by The Lebron Brothers Orchestra
7. "Don't Let No One Get You Down" by War
8. larry's interlude #2
9. "Sway" by Rosemary Clooney & Pérez Prado
10. "It Had Better Be Tonight" by Lena Horne
11. "But I Was Cool" by Oscar Brown Jr.
12. larry's interlude #3
13. "Jump Around (Pete Rock Remix)" by House of Pain
14. "Frontin'" by Taggy Matcher
15. larry's interlude #4
16. "Music" by The Dynamics
17. "I Shall Be Released" by Freddie McGregor
18. larry's interlude #5/outro
19. "Fade Away" by Junior Byles

This month's theme song is "Mañana (Is Good Enough For Me)" by Jackie Davis.


Just When I Think I'm Out...

They pull me back in.

I guess I'm not exactly what you'd call a party animal. Once maybe but definitely not these days. So while I'm still a pretty social guy, more often than not I prefer the comfort of my own company. These days I usually spend my free time reading, or writing, or working on my podcast. And being a totally awesome husband, of course!

As a result, I guess you can say that I'm into video games. Or at least I used to be really into video games. As recently as 5 years ago, it wasn't unusual for me to spend 7 hours playing video games. But these days, not so much. I think I just got burned out and lost interest. I still bust out my PSP from time to time (Me & My Katamari forever!) but I haven't dusted off my PlayStation in over a year.

So imagine my surprise when I suddenly found myself bitten by the video game once again. I thought I'd completely kicked the habit but alas, I was wrong. And what was it that brought me back into the comforting electronic arms of a video game console..... Guitar Hero.

Now, this game isn't exactly new. It's been out for a while but I was never that interested in it. I mean, sure, I thought about buying it but I only had a PS2 and I didn't feel like spending hundreds of bucks on a new console for one game. But then I found out that the latest version, Guitar Hero III, was going to be released on the Nintendo Wii platform. I'd been thinking about getting a Wii anyway, since it was cheaper than an Xbox 360 and a PS3, and finding out that Guitar Hero would be available for it just sort of sealed the deal.

First of all, the game is amazing. The variety of songs they have available is amazing. I'm big into music and everything but never did I expect to be so excited to play a Pat Benatar song. Seriously, I was into it. I even into a bunch of songs that I would never listen to outside the game. Crap like Disturbed and Slipknot. Normally, you couldn't pay me to listen to trash like Slipknot but here I am rocking out to their song "Before I Forget" in Career Mode. I recently read that there are new band-specific expansions on the way so I'm totally jazzed. The rumor of Guitar Hero: The Beatles has me stoked.

But the fun didn't stop there with Guitar Hero. Oh no.

Last weekend, my sister-in-law mentioned a game for the Wii called American Idol: Karaoke Revolution and asked if she could keep the game at my place. Since she didn't have a Wii herself, you know. Thinking she was kidding I said yes. An hour later we were coming home from Best Buy with the game in hand. We turned it on and as I'm sure you've guessed it's a karaoke game, complete with a plug in microphone.

First impression, this game was retarded. There was no way I was playing this dumb ass game.

Two songs later... ok, give me the mic.

The highlight of my American Idol experience was when after I finished off a particularly amazing version of "Heart of Glass," a pixelated Simon Cowell craned his awkwardly rendered head towards me and asked "Where have you been hiding?"

I learned something about myself that day.

I learned that I can sing Corinne Bailey Rae songs like a motherfucker.


Ron Weasley: Marked for Death

This morning I stumbled upon an article from last year that suggests natural redheads could be extinct within 100 years.

Apparently, redheads were originally the result of a mutation amount Europeans that increased the body's ability to create Vitamin D from sunlight. Over time, as redheads moved around the globe, the gene pool got a little diluted so now, the chances of two natural redheads meeting and reproducing have decreased, leading to the shrinking number of natural redheads. Sure, in some cases, a redheaded child can be born from a couple with only one redheaded parent but the chances are not as likely they would be if both parents were redheads.

There's a chance that rather than going completely extinct, the redheaded gene can just go dormant and return in a few centuries but that's all speculation at this point.

For now, only one thing thing can be said sure... your days are numbered, Conan O'Brien.


Can't I Just Owe You?

I've always believed that CDs should be more expensive.

Sure, an average CD costs about $15 these days and it's a lot already but I've always felt that CDs should really cost anywhere between 25 and 30 bucks. My main line of thinking here is that if an actual album costs more then artists will have to work harder to earn their piece of the consumer pie since less people will be inclined to make the bigger investment. Those who do spend that cash though would be much more satisfied, right? That all depends on whether or not the recording artist actually wants to earn your hard-earned cash. Some will say that artists already work hard enough as it is, why should they have to do even more work for us fickle fans? To those people I ask, how's that latest Maroon 5 record?

So like, if I, larrydigital, was going to put down $30 for an album, then the album better be worth $30. Know what I mean? I also believe that movies should run a minimum of three hours, books should be at least 900 pages and meals should always be seven courses. Always.

When I read that Jill Sobule, primarily known for her 1995 semi-hit "I Kissed A Girl," created a website to solicit funding for her latest album, it got me thinking. Independent artists have existed far longer than the institutions they're independent from, but is this really where we've come to? I mean, no offense to Jill Sobule or anything, I'm absolutely positive that she's a 1000 times more talented than I am but if she's that talented, shouldn't have other outlets available to her? I know the record industry is in the toilet and all and that's a tremendous shame. Smaller artists like Jill Sobule have to work much, much harder to get their work out but hey, even John Mayer got a record deal, didn't he?

And don't get me wrong. I have great admiration for the independent artist. I even kind of like to consider myself one, since my podcast is independently produced (in the case of my podcast, "independent" means "not listened to") and plus there's the whole independent comic thing I participate in.

My main issue is this, why should I have to pay for an album that isn't even completed yet? And it isn't, otherwise I wouldn't have the option of possibly singing on said album. Why do I get the "honor" of fronting your experiment? Hypothetically speaking, let's say I kick in a certain amount of dollars in to get this show on the road, what guarantee do I have that this album will be worth what I put into it? My main reason for wanting higher album prices is because I want to get what I pay for. I want my $30 album to be worth $30. So what if I pay $10,000 ("Weapons-Grade Plutonium Level" sponsorship, according to her site) to get on the record... and the song sucks. Again assuming that I'm a Sobule fan, what if I don't even like the song I've paid so handsomely to be a part of? I think from that perspective, it takes a little bit of balls to ask for contribution for such a sight unseen project. Here, pay for this, you'll love it. Trust me.

But hey. That's just me.

If you'd like to participate in the creation of Jill Sobule's next record, the cleverly titled "Jill's Next Record," click here. The tally currently stands at $60,000, about $15,000 short of her $75,000 goal.


Also, the Sport of Welfare Recipients

Today was the day of my semi-annual trip to the Santa Anita Park to enjoy the sport of kings... horse racing. Despite the cloudy weather peppered with the occasional drizzle, it was a fairly crowded day. Probably because KROQ's Microbrew Festival was taking place in the Infield Area. It's strange because I never actually partake in the beer festival myself but I always seem to be there when it's going on.

The track is a weird place. I enjoy the activity of the race track with the horses and junk but I'm always amazed by the mass of humanity that seems to accumulate there. As one of my friends mentioned, should the entire race track be gassed that day, there's likely to be at least a 3% drop in the local crime rate. I understand that it's wrong to stereotype a person by their appearance and all but something tells me that the 5' 3" gangsta with an "LA" tattooed on to the back of his shaved head (his fucking head!) probably doesn't have a straight job. I saw this lady stuffing apple sauce into the face of her tiny, tiny baby between the fifth and sixth races so I gave Angry Bob permission to kill me if I ever bring a wildly underage child to the race track. No words would be necessary either, just the sweet release of death.

I can understand if you want to bring your child to experience the majesty of the horses or whatever but cradling your baby with your right arm so you can place an Exacta bet with your left is probably a little inappropriate. And that's not mention that there seemed to be a whole mass of people that looked like they really should use their cash on a sandwich or something instead of playing the ponies. The grizzled guy in the tattered Members Only jacket and the busted pants zipper is a good example. Seriously dude, don't bet that money, go get something to eat.

For the second straight year, I tried Bean Robot's patented method of horse betting... divide the number of horses in a race in half and bet on the half with the best odds while your friend bets on the other half. One of your is guaranteed to win, right? Right! Of course, 50/50 odds sounds good on the surface but when you factor in the odds of winning for the individual horses (some horses were offering a craptacular 1:1 payout), there's a good chance that you won't make your money back even if you win. Now, last year, I was pretty successful and walked out of the park in the black. This time, the bottom fell out and I left in the red. It wasn't too bad though, especially when I got my biggest payout of the day in the 11th and final race. Thank you, Wine On the Porch! I'm pretty sure I fared worse out of everyone but I only lost about $40 so it wasn't a huge deal. Mertz was definitely the big winner of the day, hitting 3 separate Trifecas. Shocking.

There's a Dave & Buster's right next to the track, which I think is a fun place. It's got video games and stuff and it's mostly marketed as a Chuck E. Cheese for adults. And hey, that's perfectly fine with me. But I knew that I couldn't stay too long because there was a work-related birthday party going on there that night. I'm only vaguely acquainted with the birthday girl and I didn't want to seem like I was crashing the party... Oh, hey there, co-workers that I see every day. I know I wasn't invited and I totally knew you were all going to be here but I just happened to be in the area... Which was completely true by the way but still. Too bad though, because I had a totally awesome present to give her, courtesy of Santa Anita Park. Your loss, Kimi!

All in all, it was a fun day. I don't get a chance to go to the track too often but I always have a good time when I do. Truthfully, I didn't even mind the track's $9 sandwiches and $6 dollar beers. There was something strangely familiar about it. I guess those prices, coupled with the overabundance of pregnant cholas with peroxided hair, why... it's just like being at Dodger Stadium!