October 2003 Archives

Post-Disney Resort Weekend

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Earlier this month, the Cute Little Red-Headed Girlfriend and I went to the Disneyland Resort for the Official Unofficial Gay Day Weekend at Disneyland. We decided to stay at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, a blend of Western architectural and decorative styles (rustic lodge, Arts and Crafts Bungalow, large doses of Mission) in oversized, Las Vegas-style proportions. Since we were vacationing less than 45 minutes away from our home, it seemed appropriate to stay in a hotel designed to be a simulacrum of the experience of living in our state.

Our first day was spent at California Adventure, the new Disney theme park that first gained notoriety among So Cal locals for how much it sucked. Some work was done to improve the park after that but the bad rep hasn't completely faded. It's definitely different from Disneyland--more edutainment than entertainment--but it has some great attractions like the Soarin' Over California ride, which was the closest thing to a virtual reality experience I've had anywhere.

I made a beeline for the Animation attraction, which I hoped would be different from but as good as the Magic of Disney Animation attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios in Florida. It actually comprised several attractions, including a presentation on Walt Disney's life and career as an animator, a synchronized live and animated presentation on the process of creating animated characters, an exhibit on character animation and a series of "interactives." The interactive area included hands-on examples of early animation technology and a karaoke kiosk that let you record your voice over an animated segment. I couldn't help but think of my fellow animation enthusiasts, like Steve Wintle (who has just left blogging) and Mark Hebert.

Disneyland was, as usual, nothing more nor less than the happiest place on earth. Sharing it with the Cute Little Red-Headed Girlfriend, who had never been before, was a treat. She fell in love with many of the rides, including the Enchanted Tiki Room, which I'm pleased to say is looking a bit sharper than the last time I saw it, when it was facing the possibility of forced retirement. I was surprised to see that graphic artist Shag had several Tiki Room-related items for sale inside the park, which are also available through his web site.

The Haunted House had been thoroughly renovated the day before with a "Nightmare Before Christmas" theme. It was really well done, but I had to wonder if the Disney folk hadn't been reading Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which revolves around a similar Haunted House renovation. Art imitating fandom, once again?

Disneyland was crawling with queers, and nobody seemed to bat an eye at it. My favorite gay scene in the park was just outside the "Hungry Bear" restaurant, where we all gathered for an informal lunch. I stood in line behind five gay gays, all with roughly the same build as John Goodman, wearing mouse-eared hats embroidered with their names: "Mary," "Mary," "Mary," "Mary," and "Mary."

DOS Attack brings us down

My hosting service suffered a denial of service attack yesterday, which kept In Sequence offline for a while.

Man behind the toon

Last week, I heard a very engaging story on NPR about voiceover artist Daws Butler, the creator of vocal personalities for many cartoon characters, including Yogi Bear, Smedley, and Quick Draw McGraw, among others. The NPR audio piece showcased Daws' method for teaching voice acting, with snippets from recordings he had made over the years illustrating his technique. Daws, who was self-taught as a voice actor, developed a physical technique for creating voices, based on his belief that if he could look like a character, he could sound like that character, too. If you have the time to listen, it's worth it--especially if you have good memories of Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

Birthday time

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I'm celebrating my birthday today: thirty-nine. I'm a Libra, in case you're interested.

Apocalypse Now In Progress

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I love the smell of napalm and strudel in the morning, don't you? This morning as I awoke to the results of yesterday's election, I was reminded of an old single I have in my 45s collection, the Dead Kennedy's "Kill the Poor" (A side) and "California Uber Alles" (B side).
The sleeve bears a black and white photo of a car engulfed in fire and smoke
The single is an import because though our Constitution may wind up protecting the free speech rights of telemarketers, it didn't do much for the Dead Kennedys back in 1980 when the band was trying to get their first record out. If you're not familiar with these great songs, may I suggest you "look them up" sometime soon.
I suppose Arnold's win does in a sense show the greatness of this country, and how even a poor, immigrant son of a Nazi SS officer can make it to the top with just a handful of steroids and a dream.
Last night, around 9:30 pm, when news of Arnold's win was starting to spread, I thought for sure I heard the distinctive sound of LAPD choppers headed for a fly-over the ghettos and barrios of South Los Angeles, where--coincidentally, I'm sure--there didn't seem to be enough polls for everyone to vote. I'm not surprised the cops were on their toes--it seems to me that the LAPD is in a good position to predict where all this will end. With so many members of the state's National Guard and police force getting shot at in Iraq, I wonder if our new Governor will be able to find enough people to drive in the tanks if the city starts to burn.
On other political fronts, George W. now has his own blog, though I can't bring myself to link to it right now.

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