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by Bernadette Yarnot

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"To the POSmobile, and the far reaches of the universe!"

Rob says this, I swear to God.

"School of Scientific Packing, sigma cum load."  Emergence, by David Palmer, describing somebody's awesome packing skills.

"But we named the dog Indiana."  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

"Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more..." Henry V, Shakespeare.  You should know that.

The Neal Stephenson book in question is The Big U, which is only recently available in reprint.  It involves giant rats created by radiation in the basement.  Lemon-Mate is a product that actually exists, and is concentrated citrus.

"I sold my car, I sold my bike, I can't take a cab and the buses are on strike." The Wizard of Speed and Time, which also features a 25mph suitcase.

Waaayyy back when Dex was a summer camp counselor, there was a bear encounter.  In fact, that happened to me once too.

This petroglyph actually exists somewhere in Nevada.  However, the person who created it was kind enough to set it apart from the real petroglyphs so as not to damage them.

The original Tacoma Narrows bridge was very springy for the few months it stood before winds (not even high winds) brought it down.  Because of that, engineers today are encouraged to design several frequencies into the things they build so that they will cancel one another out.

When I was shopping for a dress, one of the ones I tried on was considered a "Jackie O." style.  My sisters, after discussion, decided it would be better if it were a different color.  For a different occasion.  In a different length, even.

"Crystal aardvark" is what you get when you ask my co-conspirator for an idea for a wedding present.

I do the present shopping.

There is, in fact, one wedding I went to where the groomsmen were wearing Hawaiian shirts.  In their defense, I must say they did wear suit jackets over them.

GUTS stands for Gonzaga University Theater Sports, an improvisational comedy group.  Improv generally works in structured "games" such as those you find on "Whose Line is It, Anyway?"  However, improv at the local level is almost always funnier, since a group can tap into the common knowledge of the community rather than relying on general humor.

I should perhaps explain "Where's Tina?"  It is a game formerly known as "Houseguest" wherein one character comes looking for Tina (or Tino).  Tina's not immediately available, so the hapless guest has to wait while various members of Tina's family search her out.  However, this family has a quirk.  They may be clowns, they may be snobs, they may be criminals or Saturday morning cartoon freaks; whatever it is makes the houseguest extremely uncomfortable as the family goes about its normal routine.  Tina is notable for never showing up.  (In four years of improv, this rule was broken only once, and that in practice... and it was the best way to save the scene.)

To give one stellar example that I saw, the quirk was that the "family" were criminals.  The houseguest was a police officer looking for "Tina", and it is one of the few examples I have seen where the "family" was more nervous than the guest!  (It was also the only time I ever saw the guest poisoned... and the mark of true great improv is that the poisoner dropped the pellets in the glass behind the back of the cop, and the cop died anyway.)

Young Einstein, featuring Yahoo Serious as the title character, is set in Australia where Einstein splits the beer atom.  Obviously, a movie to be best appreciated while drunk or under the influence of strange friends.

This actually happened.  To whom, I'm not saying.

"I'm a mother pheasant plucker; I pluck mother pheasants.  I'm the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker to ever pluck a mother pheasant."  This is a common tongue-twister used when warming up before theater practice.  Strangely enough, we never used it for the children's productions.

I am informed that one year Campion dorm built a pneumatic cannon that shot tangerines.  I am also informed that those involved will deny this.

Gordon's Flying Shish-Kebab is entirely the fault of my brother Vince.  He actually had someone convinced that it existed until he tripped up on the "fried kiwi skins"-- "Are they the fruit or the bird?" "Either way!"

The Cliffs of Insanity are from The Princess Bride.

"Where's the muffler?" "In the trunk."  Another sad but true story.

"Hungry, hungry, I am hungry.  Table, table, here I come.  I could eat a goose-moose burger... fifteen pickles and a purple plum."  This song comes from an old Dr. Seuss LP my family had, which also featured the Staring Contest, a song about crying, and the immortal "Left Sock Theivers"-- "You'll be standing there with your right sock left!"

The scary thing is that I still know the tunes.  I haven't heard that record in almost fifteen years.

Why yes, I did do this.  It wasn't nearly as interesting, though.

What is interesting is that all of the films that Phil lists are foreign, while Dex gets all the stereotypical male action movies.  I like all of them, if you hadn't guessed.

Tampopo is what my mom refers to as a "noodle western"; it's a Japanese movie that has the hero come into town and (in this case) shore up a woman's struggling buisiness.  There are lots of digressions, but the whole movie centers around food: eating it, playing with it, enjoying it.

Diabolique-- that is, the original version-- is a French suspense movie that is shot in black and white and is notable (for Americans) in that it does not have a soundtrack.  There are no music cues to tell us what to think.  It also has a cop that has just got to be the basis for Colombo.

Allegro Non Troppo is an Italian sendup of Fantasia.  While there are bits that are serious (such as that poor homeless kitty), most of the movie is definitely odd, with the classic bit being the evolution of life from the sludge in the bottom of a Coke bottle to the tune of Ravel's Bolero.  (Which, in itself, is a marvelous choice, as the music was conceived as a portrayal of mechanization.)

Princess Mononoke is, as you probably know, a Japanese animation that was dubbed in English after somebody made the translation coherent.

12 Monkeys presented no problems for me at all when I was watching it, as I am used to science fiction and the time-travelling stories it presents.  Just a warning: if you have to have plots explained to you, this is not your movie.

Tha Matrix was something I expected to be eye candy but actually was internally consistent, with a decent script.  If you don't know what it is about, it's more fun to go see it cold.  Again, however, a science-fiction background helps.

Armageddon is pulp, plain and simple.  But it doesn't pretend to be anything else.  Just ignore the fact that the opening sequence absolutely refuses to take continental drift into account and you'll be fine.

The "Spruce Goose" was intended to be a troop transport that could land on water.  Though "Enola Gay" might have been more appropriate, as the Spruce Goose was never used, you can't see a server mistaking it for a restaraunt dish.

Anyone who has spent time in Spokane and has been to the Onion will recognize some of their signature dishes.  I thought it was fitting as every time we didn't know where to go out, we ended up at the Onion.

"I was a Russian mail-order bride."  Indeed, that is a story for another time... mainly because I don't have my copy here with me.  But it did happen.

This story ends rather abruptly.  In fact, it ends rather more abruptly than I'd planned.  I had to do a bit of story changes... but maybe I'll bring those old guys back someday.  I rather like them.

Not only did I walk into the sliding glass door, I did it in front of the anchor and several reporters.

I got calls such as this, and they were often my only entertainment during the swing shift.

"It's boring only if you're lucky" is one of my sayings.  It refers to the fact that mechanical failure is very interesting.

You mean you don't know John Flansburgh and John Linnell?  They Might Be Giants?

You really are a Philistine.

Stalin was on the Allied side, then he got in an agreement with Hitler, then he went back to the Allies.  (Russia lost more soldiers than anyone else in World War II.) Then we had the Cold War. If you're under 20, you may not realize how real the idea of getting nuked was.

If you haven't read Sluggy Freelance, you should start.

The mockumentary This is Spinal Tap chronicled the tour of a fictional rock band with particularly ill-fated drummers.  While talking with the "director", the members of the band recalled how the various drummers died.  One choked to death on vomit-- somebody else's.  It is to avoid this fate that Dex and Phil opt for the "spontaneous combustion" death.

"I have come for your soooouls." -- Fezzik, in The Princess Bride.  Okay, he actually says "The Dread Pirate Roberts has come for your sooooouls," but anyway.

Phil is dressed up as Death from the Sandman novels, complete with teddy bear Cavendish.  The little spiral is on the wrong eye, but she doesn't know that.

"Tender Lumplings everywhere, life's no fun without a good scare."  A typical Danny Elfman lyric, this one from The Nightmare before Christmas.

Junior is daydreaming a scene very like that from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

"Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred..." -- The Charge of the Light Brigade

"I don't need a baseball bat; I need an inhaler."  This came out of a bizarre combination of The Lord of the Rings and Stephen King's It.  Basically, the original comment was "The biggest surprise of the new Lord of the Rings movies will be Sam Gamgee defeating Shelob with an inhaler."

Yes, I am a second-generation geek.

The "Polish children..." quote was on a locallized radio broadcast for a city lights display. Dad almost crashed the car.

K-Pax was a Kevin Spacey movie about an extraterrestrial much like the movie Starman. There's no more connection than that.

This is a little song I wrote for the occasion. It's not very good, but then, it's not supposed to be.

You know, "Troll", the ancient Yuletide carol.

The traditional Christmas Eve dinner, as my family held it, consisted of white fish fried in butter with slices of hard-boiled egg, patogis ("Polish wontons") filled with potato, cheese, or prunes, boiled cabbage something or other, potato-mushroom soup (1 can each of Campbell's potato and cream of mushroom soup; yummm) and the breaking of the oplatek after the meal. As my mom would say, the names of the dishes are certainly Polish, but beyond that it's anybody's guess.

I have never gotten used to boiled cabbage, even in "corned beef and." I'll eat it when appropriate, but I will never volunteer to make it.

I did, in fact, get very ill two days before Christmas the year I worked at the radio station. I worked on Christmas Eve from 4PM until 11PM, got up in time for a 7AM shift on Christmas, and bowed out of the 6AM shift the day after because I was wiped. The programming, unusually, was unbroken Christmas music, and I did not have to read anything over the air. It was both a very horrible and a pretty neat Christmas, which I can't explain unless you've been there.

The New York Square ball-dropping was, for years, the only thing broadcast for the new year. When you live on the West Coast, the excitement is rather dimmed.

"Pull the other one; it's got bells on." Terry Pratchett uses this a lot in the Discworld series. I'm pretty sure it's related to leg-pulling.

Saigon Kick=hard rock, Radiohead=experimental rock, Queen=we will rock you; They Might Be Giants=strange rock, Rush=progressive rock, Weird Al=parody rock; Arlo Guthrie=folk, Dar Williams=folk rock, and the Celtic Nots=celtic hybrid. In other words, they don't quite match up.

It's true, the quarks known as Truth and Beauty are not found in nature; they have to be created in a particle accelerator.

Fish For Breakfast was a one-year Gonzaga band. Mott the Hoople was one of the great bands of the late 60's and early 70's. Beer for Dolphins was the brainchild of the great Mike Keneally.

Coffeehouse is a free weekly event at Gonzaga.

In case you missed it, Phil and Junior met in improv.

This is my baby bass, a Fender Standard Jazz bass. I drew the pickguard slightly wrong but other than that it's fairly accurate. It weighs a ton and has a narrower neck than a Precision Bass. It's called Shamu.

For some reason, the week Gonzaga has spring break almost always seems to display strange weather. One year, we had 70 degree days followed by snow, wind, rain, and hail in close succession. Then it went back to traditional "spring" weather.

"My Beef Mailbox" is a song by Z, the band created by Frank Zappa's son Dweezil. That should tell you something right there. "Did you get my letter? I wrote it for you. . . I wrote it on BEEF!"

There is a form of dance - Thai or something - that balances full water glasses on the palms. Not on the head, though.

This is one of those areas where the "system" of labelling interstates fails - badly.

Yup, you read right... The city of Sacramento was essentailly built on a floodplain, eventually they "raised" the city, Seattle is much the same way, however a lot of the "Old City" still exists enough for them to give tunnel tours. Incidentally, raising the city solved Sacramnento's cholera and malaria problems.

Yoda blender - attributed to Christine Ocampo.

". . . Palm trees are falling. . ." Yet another Wizard of Speed and Time reference.

That is, in fact, how Warehouse: Mercury determined our set list.

Now, of course, this particular occurence is a staple of bar bands experience everywhere. I had never expected to hear it at a TORI AMOS concert of all places. . .

For a short time there was a polar bear in the Gonzaga student center. Don't worry, he was stuffed. He was also, informally, named "Sparky."

"Mudwrestlers From Mars" Yet another WoSaT reference. Ridiculous of course, since there is no free-flowing water on Mars with which to make mud.

"Lick MyLove Pump" This Is Spinal Tap you silly person.

So Borders was selling a holiday blend coffee called "Pumpkin Spice" which immediately invokes notions of a lost Spice Girl. This was drawn to show what said Spice Girl would look like.

Note from the co-conspirator, the poor man's Old English scholar. The Old English - transliterated for modern Roman alphabet goes sort of like "Theos Offereode Thisses Swa Maeg" Roughly - That passed, so will this. If she had asked me first it would have been spelled right. Heh.

Mike Wazowski. Please tell me you all got that. OK, say you're like the co-conspirator and haven't even seen the move - Monsters Inc. (c-c PS I have seen the movie now, I got an email from my boss to go see it. Gotta listen to Mr. Jobs)

More to come.  Email me.

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