Friday, January 30, 2009

FHF SEARCH: A Wide-Open Contest

We've seen the coaches, and quibbled over the quarterbacks. Now we get to the fun stuff: picking my FHF wide receivers!

A good receiver can change a game with just one play. Observe:

So, yeah, this time we're spotlighting the high-flyers -- and this time, you get to pick two players to make it onto my team. Here are the contenders:

Spider-Man (Marvel)
What, you thought he wasn't going to show up? Editorial mismanagement notwithstanding, Spidey's the original showboat, the guy who made heroism a suitable after-school job for generations of youngsters. People may wish they could be Superman or Batman -- but they can relate to Spider-Man.

Pluses: Unparalleled agility, dexterity -- and a motormouth that will get under anybody's nerves.
Minuses: He's a Jets fan.

Invincible (Image)
And meet Spidey -- The Next Generation. Robert Kirkman's creation has preserved the tradition of the teen hero and taken it to other worlds, literally. Want a power-set? How about Kryptonian-level strength, speed, the whole shebang. If Mark Grayson were in one of the Big Two, he'd be a superstar.

Pluses: Seemingly no limit to the kid's upside.
Minuses: Who is this kid, one might ask ...

Madman (Image)
And from way out in left field -- Snap City, to be exact -- we bring you one of comics' truly unheralded stars, the indie wonder who's half-dead, all-hero. After his death, former hitman Frank Einstein wanders his crazy-ass world, defending it against the worst of the worst. Surely he could find a spot among the best of the best?

Pluses: Abilities include superhuman learning aptitude, psychometry and clairvoyance. So in the course of a day, he can learn to play football, then figure out what the defense is looking with a mere touch.
Minuses: Dude's practically a zombie himself. Why not just start ninjas, pirates and Chuck Norris while we're at it?

Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
A woman in the midst of a career renaissance. After years as a supporting character, and some time getting a little too, uh, happy at happy hour, Carol Danvers has finally come into her own in recent years, leading an incarnation of the Avengers and now striking out against Norman Osborn.

Pluses: Ever wonder what Wonder Woman could do with U.S. military training? Carol's your answer.
Minuses: Still mentally vulnerable -- Iron Man managed to undermine her during their tenure with the Avengers.

Nova (Marvel)
The real new Green Lantern. While starring in his own critically-acclaimed relaunch, Rich Ryder has accomplished virtually everything the more-ballyhooed Hal Jordan has -- namely, survived a war in space (the Annihilation) and kick-started his own galactic police force, the Nova Corps.

Pluses: Supersonic speed has to come in handy, especially when it's fed by tremendous willpower.
Minuses: Can he go head-to-head with a Lantern and not get labeled a copycat?

Wade Wilson could be the breakout character of '09, if Ryan Reynolds can honor the character in the upcoming Wolverine movie. Beyond that, he literally puts the X in X-factor. Unhinged, unpredictable, and indefatigable -- with a healing factor.

Pluses: Batsh-t crazy. Nobody wants to face this guy.
Minuses: Batsh-t crazy. Nobody wants to be seen with this guy.

Daredevil (Marvel)
The old saying, "Keep an eye on the ball"? Not an issue here. Matt Murdock's hyper-acute senses might make him the smartest guy on the field -- he knows what's going on all around him and can maneuver accordingly. And nobody else refuses to lose as badly; the guy literally beat up the friggin' Kingpin.

Pluses: Arguably Marvel's No. 2 hero behind Spider-Man.
Minuses: Put through an emotional wringer in his own book; a football game might not mean that much to him.

FRIDAY MORNING JUKEBOX: Oingo Boingo Overload!

One of the saddest rites of passage in our culture is the yearly half-assed resurrection of Oingo Boingo by various half-assed terrestrial radio stations every October. Admit it: by the time Halloween night rolls around, you're nearly sick of "Dead Man's Party" or "Weird Science" being trotted out by whatever jocks are stuck following the cookie-cutter format sheet. And for about a generation now, I imagine, that's all Top 40 fans would know of what, to me, is one of the quintessential California bands.

I first heard of Boingo around 1983. I wasn't any sort of music fan, as such, but I'd hear the name bandied about by my more musically-inclined friends. Boingo was just one of those things that was part of the San Diego/Tijuana scene. With the benefit of hindsight, their rise stands out even more: they were a post-punk band that wasn't punky at all, once their sound was fully formed. Yet they weren't synth-pop; they weren't ska; they were sort of unassuming in their look -- suits? nice shoes? horns? -- but D. Elfman's sci-fi sensibility kept them on their own edge, not "cool kid" rock by any means. This was geek rock, two decades before the term was co-opted and bastardized by East Coast hipsters.

Though I noted Elfman's graduation from rock cult-stardom into the realm of elite film composers -- how many of us became Batman fans thanks to that theme? -- I didn't begin to follow Boingo as a band until I received a copy of the Boingo Alive double-record. It wasn't until even later, after I'd gotten hooked on the band thanks to "We Close Our Eyes," that I realized the tracks within were themselves re-recordings of their earlier standout tracks. And the new versions were better. How many artists would go back and not only compile a greatest-hits collection, but improve upon the originals?

By the time "Insanity" was released, I'd become an honest fan of the band -- still sorta-secret, because nobody I knew in college really "got" them. So my sadness was private when I heard about their farewell show, in -- where else? -- Los Angeles and realized my broke ass couldn't go. But I've gotten to catch up, on CD and via video, and I can say I finally attended a show of theirs ... sorta. Two years ago or so, I got to see Dead Man's Party, the near-creepily similar Boingo tribute band. It wasn't the same, of course, but I still got to swing-dance to "Goodbye, Goodbye."

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Yesterday we asked you to choose a coach for TIC's entry into Sunday's FHF battle on HOUR 42, someone who could motivate and prepare our mighty squad. But, you might be asking, who's actually going to be on the squad? Today, you get to help me figure that out, as we start selecting the players. First up, the field leader -- the quarterback. Your contenders are:

Buffy Summers (Dark Horse)
The woman who made the world change. Buffy The Vampire Slayer has been showing her leadership skills for years -- first her homegrown Scoobies, and now an army of Slayers. After facing down a Hellmouth, angry goddesses, a homicidal former first love and for heaven's sake, high school, what challenge could stand in the way of Sunnydale's pride and joy?

Pluses: Adaptable to nearly every sort of combat and situation; streak of defiance invariably throws opponents (and Watchers) off their game.
Minuses: Though athletic to no end, Buffy's never shown an interest in, y'know, playing any sports. Will her years as a cheerleader lead to awkward teenage flashbacks?

Captain America (Marvel)
This ain't your father's Sentinel of Liberty. James Buchanan Barnes -- Bucky if you're nasty (or stupid) -- did a ton of bad during his life as the Winter Soldier, but he's determined to make up for it while living up to the greatest mantle this side of Krypton, inherited from Steve Rogers himself. After starring in an excellent series by Ed Brubaker, look for the new Cap to step it up as the leader of the New New Avengers.
Pluses: Tactical training second-to-none except perhaps his fallen mentor.
Minuses: Will Steve Rogers' ghost continue to hover over Bucky's promise?

The Savage Dragon (Image)
Like Kurt Warner in the actual Super Bowl, the Dragon's story is one of relative longevity for a character who's not a Marvel or DC property; he's starred in his own book, written and drawn solely by Erik Larsen, since 1993, a Cal Ripken-like streak that's to be commended. As a character, Dragon's been one of the underrated powerhouses in comics -- nearly as strong as anybody you could name, with a singular streak of common sense in his finny head. The Dragon isn't going to lose you many games.

Pluses: Crazy-ass life in the Chicago PD (alternate worlds? Check. Dead loved ones? Check.) has prepared him for seemingly any challenge.
Minuses: Unproven on the big stage -- would he only appeal to the "hardcore" comic fan?

Three solid choices, no? But it's up to you to point the way. Who's gonna lead the way for our team against Peter Pixie's squad this Sunday? Find out on HOUR 42!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Help me choose my FANTASY HERO FOOTBALL team!

This Sunday on HOUR 42, Peter Pixie and I will be playing Fantasy Hero Football -- and I need your help fielding a team!

The rules are as such: PP said he'll use heroes from the DC Universe, and I get to cherry-pick from any other company. Good times for me, no?

With so many characters available, I wanted to open up the process and solicit help picking the right players -- and, today, the right coach. Here are the contenders:

Norman Osborn (Marvel)
I know what you're thinking: How could The Green Goblin even be an option, right? That's the beauty of it -- right now he's the biggest hero in the Marvel U.! Formerly the head of the Thunderbolts, Stormin' Norman made himself out to be the key to Earth's victory over the Secret Invasion, an act which gets him influence over the entire superhero population, including his own team of Avengers. So, who better to run my show than the guy who's effectively running the 616?

Pluses: Coaching philosophy could be Vince Lombardi on Super-Serum
Minuses: Coaching philosophy could also be Vince McMahon on Super-Serum

Rupert Giles (Dark Horse)
An assemblage of power needs wisdom to direct it, and good ol' Giles has plenty of that, as well as the magical know-how to tip the scales if need be -- and the occasional bit of ruthlessness to know when to use it. Unlike Osborn, though, Giles is less likely to piss people off. And much less likely to take all the credit when the game's won.

Pluses: Experience managing and motivating the most problematic personnel on Earth -- teenage girls.
Minuses: Prior disdain for American football might make him dismiss the very idea of a Big Game as "rubbish."

Reed Richards (Marvel)
A good coach needs to know his or her x's and o's. Why not go with a guy who knows x's, o's, y's, z's and any other variable you can come up with? Mr. Fantastic might be the candidate who "gets" the game the best, not just as a series of applications and probability exercises, but as a game. He'd be a teacher and a fan, and possibly the most heroic coach I could find.

Pluses: "Elastic consciousness" could give team a living playbook, creating new schemes on the fly, confounding any defense.
Minuses: Can a coach be too smart for his own team? It might be the case here.

The Doctor (IDW)
How about nearly 1,000 years of experience leading the squad? How about knowledge spanning a whole cosmos? How about creativity that probably rivals Richards'? How about a cute female assistant coach? How about the ability to pluck plays from anywhere in time? How about the ultimate motivator?

Pluses: Combines Giles' wisdom with Richards' theoretical knowledge, topped off by his own innate creativity, curiosity and tenacity.
Minuses: Might share Giles' disdain for American football, or be put off if his Companion fancies one of the players.

So there you have the nominees. Just vote on the handy-dandy gadget on the page and I'll announce the results Sunday night on HOUR 42!

Friday, January 23, 2009

FRIDAY MORNING JUKEBOX : The Triple-Shot Of Hope Edition!

As the euphoria recedes just a little and we as a country and a collection of cultures set out on what we hope will be a more positive direction for ourselves and the land around us, we wanted to serve up just a few final bits of the afterglow to help you get through the weekend.

The scene above is from Madison Square Garden this past New Year's Eve, where My Morning Jacket rang in '09 with a cover of, of all things, "Celebration" by Kool And The Gang. Not that I doubt Jim James' affinity for '70s funk, but to see the crowd embrace the moment so joyfully hints, perhaps, at where so many of us were coming from mentally, and how much more of a release the clock striking midnight, and the official end of the past 365 days, was for us.

Our second clip was one of the few bright spots in Tuesday's Neighborhood Inaugural Ball that didn't directly involve the new President and First Lady. While Beyonce's joyous cover of "At Last" has gotten the bulk of the attention coming out of the event, I thought Alicia Keys surging rendition of "No One" might have been the best overall performance that night. While "At Last" framed a perfect moment for the Obamas, Keys managed to give the crowd a moment of its' own to take home.

Watching Keys' performance that night, I found myself wishing the crowd well. Wishing they felt like I did the last time words like hope and change were bandied about with so many smiles: Inauguration Night 1993, when my generation came together behind a seemingly so-young President from Arkansas and his hyper-intelligent progressive First Lady. As the Cross Colours 1990s were beginning to hit their stride, and we hoped we'd seen the last of the trickle-down disaster and Rambo culture of the previous decade, it was Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe who seemed to usher this brave new world in for us with "To Sir With Love":

As Merchant later sang, those were days: When peace wasn't confused with cowardice; when diversity was desirable, not divisive; when cynicism seemingly wasn't necessary to get through the damn day. Hope might spring eternal, but it seemed to take eight years to become viable this time around. Here's to ... well, hoping it sticks around a bit longer.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Working on a couple of angles right now, but, a couple of notes:

* Rumour via @discotrash: Britney at Coachella?
* I have a look at 'Momma's Boys' up at Racialicious, besides our running diary on the Neighborhood Ball. Next up: Bromance?
* Your Moment of Zen comes courtesy of Jason Chan:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Arturo vs. The Neighborhood Ball -- LIVE!

I admit, I spent most of Inauguration Day taking it all in quietly. Even my cynical heart warmed a little during the day. I didn't have a thing to make fun of. Thank the stars ABC gave me the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball.

8:10 -- Delayed start, but: Mary J. looked GREAT, and struck a good note -- addition by subtraction of Fergie, perhaps?
8:19 -- W. had Ricky Martin. O has Maroon 5. This is progress?!
8:20 -- Robin Roberts! Yay! I remember when she was a SportsCenter rookie ...
8:21 -- Nick Cannon is as much a DJ as George Bush was a Decider.
8:22 -- Mariah has a blinged-out mic stand. Take that, Mary J.!
8:25 -- Oh shit, Denzel is there?
8:30 -- Denzel arrives! PLYMOUTH ROCK, GET THE FUCK OFF!
8:31 -- Mariah can't lend the President her mic stand?
8:32 -- "How good-looking is my wife?" Epic.
8:34 -- Is that Faith Hill next to Denzel?
8:34 -- Beyonce nails the first note ...

8:35 -- Beyonce's mic also had some bedazzle to it. Is this the next arms race?
8:40 -- Homeland Security U.S.A. advert -- Good to know Republicans still have some programs to watch.
8:41 -- For a comedian, Jamie Foxx is a hell of a singer
8:42 -- Shakira's music sucks nowadays, but DAMN
8:43 -- Nice to see Sting is growing another rainforest on his chin
8:45 -- We have a president who bumps people. This might work out after all.
8:45 -- @Soulcamp: "The President may think he's got good music at his party, but I get to see Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings this week. I win." Can't argue with that.
8:49 -- These "all-star jams" rarely go well. Damn you, ABC, for not trusting Stevie Wonder to do his own damn song.
8:50 -- For a comedian, Ray Romano is a hell of a waste of space.
8:51 -- "I can't believe I'm here." I can't believe you're there either, Romano.
8:53 -- This moron is DYING out there. Somewhere, there's a hotel lounge missing a headliner ...

8:55 -- Ooo-wee-ooo, Jigga looks like Buddy Holly!
Oh Oh, where's Beyonce Tyler Moore?

8:57 -- Is it me, or does Jay sound like he's out of breath?
8:59 -- Y'know, when I wore glasses like those in fourth grade, I got my ass kicked. Now they're in fashion?
9:03 -- "Destiny calls." You go straight to voicemail, Lost.
9:03 -- Who in the blue hell is Kate Walsh?
9:05 -- I don't think I've ever seen Alicia Keys do a song badly.
9:08 -- This might be the song of the night, up there with Beyonce
9:09 -- Send in the clowns tumblers people jumping around on weird-looking shit!
9:10 -- Info from @duffcalifornia on miss Walsh: "Best known for playing Addison Sheppard on Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice on ABC. Don't judge me for knowing that." No, but I will quote you!
9:11 -- The crowd doesn't know what to make of the tumblers. Was the wrestling bear booked?
9:12 -- The tumblers are cut off. For the first time in my television-watching life, I wish we'd gotten more commercials.
9:16 -- If I sent a text from Tijuana, would Mexico get a star on the Map of Vague Good Feelings?

9:17 -- Shakira's butchering "The Right Side Of The Road," but DAMN.
9:18 -- Shakira, harmonica. Harmonica, Shakira.

9:23 -- Stevie! Seriously, who needed The 5 Maroons?
9:26 -- SW is stealing the show right from Alicia
9:30 -- Grover on Scrubs? I thought Zack Braff was the only sock puppet allowed on that show.
9:32 -- Even Biden gets a pop!
9:33 -- Even Biden gets an "AWWWWW"!
9:34 -- Even Biden gets a dance!?
9:36 -- Make that half a dance.
9:38 -- Which final 20 minutes will be worse: the Neighborhood Ball's or the average SNL's?
9:40 -- Who in the blue hell is Carrie Washington?
9:40 -- Faith Hill just answered my question. I apologize, Lorne Michaels.
9:44 -- Playing Joan Jett as bumper music is just a fucking cruel tease.
9:46 -- Hey, Gitmo might be closing soon -- are the CMT Awards looking for a new site?
9:49 -- Sting + Stevie doing "Brand New Day." Could be worse -- that could be Shakira playing harp.
9:50 -- @Soulcamp: "Looks like Sting is practicing tantric shaving"
9:52 -- If we're rehashing '90s inspirational pop for this, why not just book Jesus Jones?
9:55 -- Watching the Frost/Nixon advert, wishing for the sequel: Olbermann/Bush.
9:57 -- Looks like the end of an SNL episode, doesn't it? Too bad Obama didn't close with "Thanks to all of our guest-stars ... and Ray Romano."
9:58 -- We're closing with the tumblers? I miss Ray Romano!
10:00 -- ABC News says, "The balls are in full swing." Now that is how you end a party. YES WE CAN change the channel now.

So, the lesson of the night? The audacity of hope can conquer anything ... except bad music. If it wasn't for Beyonce, Alicia and Stevie, the Ball would've made Dick Clark's NYE show look like Soul Train.

Normally you could blame this on events like MTV and the Youth Ball (what would you rather have watched, Sting and his kite-eating beard or Kanye and Fall Out Boy?), but for cripes' sake, Common was at the Obama Home States Inaugural Ball. That's like deciding the national football championship at the Humanitarian Bowl. I can only hope that someday, we as a nation and as a people can come together to get actual hip-hop and rock artists on a "major network" gala event. But hey, there's always 2012, right?

* All photos courtesy of Reuters

Friday, January 16, 2009


As a longtime Franz Ferdinand fan, I'm happy to devote the first FMJ of 2009 to their return at the end of the month with Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. I'm not necessarily big on the crowd they seem to attract -- hipsters are not my cup of tea -- but I can't blame the band. Assuming you haven't gotten sick of this track on your normal radio outlets, enjoy "Ulysses."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Batman, B.I.A.B.?


Is Batman/Bruce Wayne dead? Short answer: I don't think so, despite the conclusion reached in this spoiler-rific commentary on Final Crisis #6. Why? There's many reasons beyond "He makes the company too much money."

1. This latest Crisis started with a resurrection nobody wanted expected, Barry Allen. When a character whose primary contribution to comics was dying is resurrected, that doesn't bode well for any other "deaths" that transpire during the story.
2. In the same issue where Batman is seemingly charbroiled by Darkseid, we're introduced to a "Miracle Machine" entrusted to Superman. Gee, I wonder what Clark would wish for regarding his best pal?
3. There's already proof the "Omega Sanction" Darkseid blasted Bats with isn't fatal; in Crisis writer Grant Morrison's much-ballyhooed but ultimately-forgotten Seven Soldiers series, the new Mister Miracle is hit with the Sanction, basically an advanced mind-whammy that forces the recipient into a series of successively worse lives. Not only did Mr. M survive the experience, he escaped. And if he could do it, is there any reason Batman couldn't?
4. There's still one issue left in Final Crisis, so there's still time for a reboot button to be it -- allowing Bruce Wayne to survive, just maybe not as Batman.

So, while there's potential to resurrect the character, rehabilitating him might end up being trickier. Because in that final confrontation, Morrison wrote Batman as shooting Darkseid with the same Magic Bullet that killed Orion. And as hackneyed as the phrase "betrayal of the character" has been made by endless commenters on endless message boards, this is one instance where it might actually stick. For the guy whose entire mission was based on taking down evil without actually killing it to suddenly make a "once-in-a-lifetime exception," as Morrison wrote is going to be really hard to swallow and reconcile for readers, let alone the character whenever he returns.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Did the TARDIS miss the boat? Arturo v. The Eleventh Doctor!

A message-board buddy of mine summed up my reaction perfectly: "And just who the hell is Matt Smith?"

Turns out the 26-year-old is the Eleventh Doctor, as confirmed Saturday. But, on one level, Matt Smith will represent, to me, a wasted opportunity.

Not that I think Smith will make a bad Doctor, necessarily; despite what some old-school Whovians may tell you, the series is hardly ever bad. But at a time when both the oddsmakers and popular opinion were backing the idea of the first Doctor of color, or the first female Doctor, this was the perfect chance for incoming executive producer Stephen Moffat to finally make good on the idea that “The Doctor could be anyone.”

For most of the nine weeks speculation ran amok about the Eleventh Doctor's identity, the name on seemingly everybody's lips was Patterson Joseph. Joseph had amassed a sizable resume on BBC television, most recently in Jekyll, also produced by Moffat; animated series Chop Socky Chooks (yeah, it sounds pretty bad); and the post-apocalyptic drama Survivors. One could say that the support toward casting Joseph, a known commodity, showed parallels to Peter Davison's taking over the role after the last pre-eminent Doctor, Tom Baker. Davison had already become popular in his own right before taking on the role, taking some of the pressure off himself before embarking on his run.

On another front, a group of female scientists began a public campaign urging Moffat and company to pick a woman for the role, arguing that a female Doctor would “bring the issue of the important contribution women can and should make to science in the public domain.” Indeed, names like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Helen Mirren began to pop up in consideration, though the bookies apparently had former Companion Billie Piper getting “promoted.” And really, how cool would it have been to have The Doctor, arguably the most brilliant person in the universe, be a woman for a few years? Imagine the slashfic gender-expectation-bending possibilities!

It's tough to find an American equivalent to the character of The Doctor. Even if many people have played, say, Batman, the character has always been defined as the secret identity of Bruce Wayne. By contrast, not only has the mantle of The Doctor been worn by 10 different actors, but the role itself has changed with each re-generation. The character is still an arch do-gooder, of course, but David Tennant's interpretation was different than Christopher Eccleston's, which was different than Paul McGann's, and so on. He's part superhero, part science hero, part professor, part Bugs Bunny.

And, as regards Tennant's run, The Doctor is money -- the centerpiece of a multimedia franchise covering books-on-tape, toys, fan magazines, conventions, memorabilia and three(!) spinoff series. “Journey's End,” the fourth-season finale, was the No. 1 rated show in the whole U.K., the first Doctor Who episode to reach that level of viewership, capping off a week in which seemingly everyone in the country was wondering whether Tennant's time had run out early. Put it this way: without Christian Bale and David Goyer, would anybody who didn't read comics take Batman seriously anymore?

Charged with continuing all that success, the show's creative team played it safe. Smith gives them not just another (white) bloke, but an actor they can mold into their Doctor. One could also argue that Smith also gives them an actor who would work more cheaply than Joseph, or Chiwetel Ejiofor, or many other contenders. BBC Wales Drama head Piers Wenger is quoted as saying, "It was abundantly clear that [Smith] had that 'Doctor-ness' about him. You are either the Doctor or you are not." While that may or may not be true, this time around, Wenger and Moffat had the opportunity to make the statement "You are the Doctor" mean just a bit more, and chose not to take it.

In The Valley Of The Cam Dolls: Arturo v. Yahoo Chat!

Well, it didn't take me long to make my first blunder of the new year.

I came home Friday night and wasn't quite tired, so I thought I'd hop on to my usual boards to see if anybody was up for a quick chat, maybe even a voice-chat thingamabobber, so I could use the swank microphone The Mortician provided me El Secreto for use on Hour 42. No dice. No surprise, I guess. Then I figured, why not try Yahoo Chat?

I have a history with chat rooms. Back in the Cenozoic era -- the mid '90s, that is -- I made a gaggle of friends, online and off, via various rooms and boards. Even learned to drink at quite a few of the parties those folks threw. If you were around and of age during those days, I'm sure you also remember the feeling of exploration each of those gatherings fostered. I was convinced at the time that our get-togethers would someday be looked at as the spiritual heirs to the early Beatnik gatherings. What can I tell you? I was a dope in college.

I even met a few nice folks thru YChat while living in Kansas. Unfortunately, the only thing I remember from those meetings was the woman who told me she only heard about the Wichita Chat party from her boyfriend, the rather older gentleman sitting next to her. "We met in the Fisting Room," she cheerfully told me. It takes diff'rent strokes, indeed ...

Notwithstanding all that, I figured a quick check of the old YStompingGrounds couldn't hurt. I've rarely been so wrong.

Ten windows popped up before I even filled out the widget confirming I wasn't a spambot, with similarly-worded greetings.

Hey baby, wanna chat?

Hey gorgeous.

Hi! 25/f/Poland. I'm sitting here in my bra and panties.

It might surprise you to learn that I don't always get that kind of reception when I walk into a room away from teh interwebz, as the kids call it these days. It wasn't any better inside the chat itself; it seemed like a dozen different "independent models" were lonely for attention. If only some kind gentleman, they all whined, would join them for a chat!

"Is anybody here not a bot?" I asked. The next post was someone asking for help testing their new cam. Settled that question. Not that I'm against the free market, but I like my webcam/cast fare a bit funnier. Next time I'll just go straight to bed.