Saturday, July 06, 2002


Ever since The Boss left town on summer holiday, the staff of pikers here at Piker has been scrambling to prepare the next installment of Piker. Information has been extremely difficult to come by, as The Boss has cut off his normal lines of communication with the outside world. From what we could gather, The Boss is visiting family and relaxing somewhere in South Florida. One of our resourceful staff writers, using The Weather Channel website, has learned that the weather down there is an extreme mix of sunshine and thunderstorms, which appears to be par for the course. According to one source, The Boss was spotted at The Oasis section of the Sawgrass Mills mall, taking in a matinee with his father, his father's girlfriend, and My Girl! When reached for comment, The Boss replied that Men in Black II contained some solid laughs but didn't add up to much. To celebrate the 4th of July, The Boss' mother hosted evening festivites at her new home. The Boss shared in the cooking duties on a scrumptious meal of salad, salmon, and scallops, topped off with good old fashioned apple pie a la mode. Strangely, upon tasting the scallops without sauce, The Boss' maternal grandmother requested leftover pizza. After dinner and several intense games of Rummy-Q, the family ventured out of the development and enjoyed a brilliant display of fireworks emanating from the park across the street. Other than that, The Boss has reportedly been dining out frequently, most notably at La Spada's Sub Shop and a hibachi meal at the Japan Inn. The Boss also acquired some much-needed running shoes at a local specialty store and tested them out on a relatively short job around the neighborhood. The Boss plans to do some bookstore browsing in the coming days, as he just completed the Alan Glynn book "The Dark Fields." The Boss raves about the work of fiction centering on a mysterious smart drug called MDT-48 and said it was a must-read for any self-respecting Gen Xer. By all accounts, The Boss' family has welcomed My Girl with open arms and the power couple has apparently been spending a great deal of time with The Boss' eccentric and entertaining brother. The Boss did sound concerned, however, that his mother has passed on her addiction to several computer games to My Girl.

Monday, July 01, 2002


First the good. They very very very good. I saw “Space Station” last night at the IMAX in 3-D. If the movie was just a short film, composed only of the opening credits, I’d still recommend it strongly. But it was so much more than that. For forty-five blissful minutes, “Space Station” takes you behind the scenes at NASA, places you next to the launch pad for takeoff, rockets you up into space, shows you how the International Space Station is built module by module, and then lets you hang out at while the astronauts live there… in space. And let me tell you, these astronauts are impressive individuals with tremendous coordination, composure, and skill. Unfortunately, watching them operating to their fullest potential and risking their lives every day left me with the distinct feeling that I’m not doing anything worthwhile with my life. Viewing the movie projected in three-dimensions on the immense IMAX screen was enough of a challenge for me. Many times, I had to crane my neck to take in the infinite detail of the film. Whether it was scanning up and down the length of the space station or pivoting side to side to look down on the surface of the Earth, the giant movie forced me to stay alert and continue to interact with it. I heard one astronaut who saw the movie said “Space Station” comes the closest to simulating what it actually feels like to be in space. Now, I can’t vouch for that because I haven’t actually been to space yet, but I can say that the movie is extremely visceral and it feels like you’re up there with these amazing astronauts, looking down on our beautiful blue planet. For anybody who has ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut when they grow up, this is the movie for you.

Now for the bad. The very very very bad. “American Idol” may be the worst show I’ve ever seen on television. Every moment is excruciating and it gets worse and worse as it goes along. It's so FOX. It all starts with the co-hosts – Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman. There’s a palpable irony present while watching this show – two talentless individuals hosting a talent contest. They pander to the audience, the contestants, the judges, and anybody else unlucky enough to be associated with this dreadful show. They’re slow-witted, unfunny, and entirely unaware of how bad they really are. The contestants are all super skinny and remind of those people you see on Melrose Avenue who seem like they never leave the ultra-hip strip. The production design appears to be influenced by horrid 80s office spaces, the product placement by Coca-Cola and Ford Focus is obnoxiously obvious, and Paula Abdul doesn't belong on TV. The best portions of these shows, now that they’ve reached “The Finals,” is the “reaching into the vault” segment. This is where we get to see what we’re really tuning in to see, which is the world’s worst performers embarrassing themselves on national television. If only this was the premise of the show… The only redeeming quality of the show is Simon Cowell, one of the judges. He’s British and mean and doesn’t pull a single punch in telling these wannabees what he thinks of them. He is the only element of the show that is genuinely entertaining. The rest of it is a train wreck and I can’t look away.

As for the young and restless… I’m leaving on a jet plane this evening. Taking the red eye to my hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And My Girl’s coming with me. She’ll be meeting the folks and My Brotha for the first time and I’m sure everyone will get along swimmingly. I’ll be spending an additional couple of weeks in SoFla before venturing up to NC to celebrate a very special event in My Girl’s family. I can’t reveal specifics because My Girl will have me tarred and feathered. At least, that’s what I think the standard punishment is in that part of the country. I’m leaving my zone of safety and I’m not going to lie, posting to this blog consistently will be a tall order. But, by golly, I’ll find a way to keep this thing going by hook or by crook. At least, that’s how I think they get online in those parts.