Throughout my life I have been
extremely lucky to have wonderful
iends. In kindergarten it was Paula
Rose who used to play Superman with
me on Saturday mornings after
sleepovers. (I was always Lois Lane, of
Then in middle school it was An-
gela who was a constant sleepover part-
ner. She and I would stay up late at
night talking about boys and flipping
through teen magazines.
* In high school, Alycia and I were
almost inseparable. We would come
home from spending the day at school
together and still soend hours on the
tells all P 4 l 3 T ivrS~ 'r3_ 7fP
phone. We shared dreams, planned for
4 llege and skipped school, always
There have been many more friends
scattered throughout my pre-college
years. And I learned something from
each one of them, although I didn't
necessarily recognize that at the time.
But now that I am older and wiser,
I recognize the lessons I learn from my
friends a lot sooner, and often while I
ill have a chance to thank them. Part
being a senior is to look back on the
time I have spent at the University and
remember all the things I have done.
The first things that come to my mind
are the amazing people I have met.
So, in today's column I want to take
some time to recognize some of the
friends who have taught me lessons
which have changed my life. Indulge
me; I need to make my appreciation
blic, and maybe this will inspire you
take a friend to lunch and tell him/her
how special he/she is to you.
Liz has taught me the value of hav-
ing someone to listen. Since we met the
very first day of high school, she has
been listening to me complain, praise,
cry and laugh. She has never let me
down and always sticks by my side.
Shedefends me even when I'm wrong.
as lucky to have her come to college
h me and will not know what to do
when distance separates us.
This summer when I went to visit
my friend Ryan in New York, he taught
me a valuable lesson in appreciation.
Ryan and I had been friends since my
first year here on campus and when he
graduated last spring, it was just an-
other friend moving on.
It wasn't until I said goodbye to him
Fifth Avenue, after my visit, that I
realized how important he had been to
e. What I had learned was that by not
alling him back when he called and
justassuming he would always be there,
had missed two special months when
e was nearby. So, thank you to him for
elping me learn not to take people for
My friend Juile is a very special
son who has just recently come into
life. She has taught me that it is
efinitely okay to be apowerful woman
ho stands up for what she believes in.
ut, even more than that she has taught
e that even powerful women need
upport; that it is perfectly natural to
all on people for help. I will forever
emember how much fun we have had
hile at the same time relying on each
reg is someone who I aspire to be
e. It is not everyday that one makes
friend who can be silly, serious, chal-
nging, frustrating, sincere and sup-
ortive, sometimes all at once. Greg is
at friend for me. He has made me
thinkmy priorities, given me support
hen I'm at my lowest and made me
ugh on a regular basis. For all of these
ings, I thank him.
is summer I had an amazing op-
nity to work with a group of 15
nique folks. Each individual touched
y heart or challenged my soul in
me special way. As a group they
ave been a source of constant support
d encouragement. as well as pro-
t r i b u t o r
one half of the aus-
picious sick and
twisted pair, Spike,
recently spent a few
from his hectic
schedule to give us
a little background
on he and his part-
ner Mike's festival.
Spike ,Like any other
named legends the beginning is cloudy.
Just how Spike and Mike came to meet
is guesswork, yet the two most preva-
lent hypothesis both involve Spike pick-
ing Mike up out of humiliation, brush-
ing him off and widening his eyes to the
world of animation.
One such tall tale describes Spike
spotting the shy Mike parading the Uni-
versity of Riverside (California) cam-
pus in clown garb, honking horns and
being just plain obnoxious without
cause. The light went on above Spike's
noggin' that this here clown would do
just about anything and he would be
perfect to promote his slightly-popular
local band, Sterno & the Flames. Seems
our man Spike is no one-trick pony.
Spike played bass for the band for a few
years (as well as bouncing) in the early
70s as they attempted to conquer the
Riverside bar and club scene.
A slightly more pathetic tale has
Spike picking up mike on the side of the
road with the then not quite as fashion-
able "Will work for food" sign in hand.
Whichever story (if either,) one is to
believe, their mutual love for both things
animated and things outlandishly gro-
tesque formed the bond and partnership
we have today.
Spike & Mike began their enterprise
by promoting early music videos and art
films, often times rent theaters them-
selves in order to exhibit them. In true
classic Warner Brothers style the two
preceded their features with animated
This fall Spike & Mike are distribut-
ing their 18th annual production of the
Sick & Twisted Animation Festival. The
two also distribute another festival of
enough titled "Fes-
tival of Animation."
This, the original
festival, has fea-
ning shorts six of;
the past seven years.
When not promot-
ing the two festi-
vals, Spike and
Mike, still living in
the Riverside area,
search the world
over for product to
By SCOT PLAGENHOEF
n childhood, Saturday morn
ings were synonymous with
cartoons. The mystery ma
chine, roadrunner, "form of
bucket of water" and oth-
ers were and are cultural staples. On
the one morning of the week in which
neither school nor church was an ex-
pectation sleep was forgone for a
morning-long foray into animation.
No, this isn't all leading to another
exercise in Gen X beer commercial
recognition skills ("Ginger or Mary
Ann?") or an early draft for "Reality
Bites II: The Secret of the Ooze."
None of these are applicable because
animation hasn't slipped into the past.
There is no need to recollect with
nostalgic sighs and clouded memo-
ries the days long gone in which we
were collectively immature enough
to watch and enjoy animation. The
medium has quite simply grown up
Animation has redefined itself as
a viable medium in post-modernist
entertainment and computer anima-
tion has entertained in films in ways
in which we do not often realize.
Pushing the envelope of what anima-
tion can do to amuse adults charging
into our sleepy college community
this weekend rides the annual "Spike
and Mike's Sick & Twisted Anima-
More sexual double talk than
"Married ... with Children." Enough
bathroom humor to make Jim Carrey
thumb his nose at its low brow antics.
Spike and Mike annually assemble a
batch of guilty pleasures, completely
unpolitically correct humor, which
can redden the face of the hardest of
The festival draws from all fields
of animation from stop-action
claymation to computer animation.
In the past the festival His featured
some more well-known works such
as "Ren & Stimpy" and "Beavis 'n'
Butt-Head" free of those nasty cen-
sors on TV, so attendess may get the
chance to glimpse at the next cult
cartoon classic. More likely, how-
ever, they will simply be bombarded
by works too off-color or sophomoric
for the little box.
The festival is as much spectacle
as it is film. Festival is the operative
word in the title (well, right after
"sick," and possibly "twisted"). A
festival atmosphere is not only ex-
pected, but encouraged. Yelling,
screaming, laughing, cheering, groan-
ing are all welcome. The plush Michi-
gan Theater lets down its art-house
guard for the most unruly nights of
operation since Mudhoney graced its
stage (and the Michigan subsequently
lost some front row seats) two springs
past. For all those who some curious
reason shun the Michigan for fear of
picking up a little culture and seeing
productions a little intelligent, don't
be alarmed. Just because it's in a real
theater and not some cardboard cut-
out multiplex doesn't mean it's not
No matter you're perception of
animation or your idea of the limits of
grotto both will be single-handedly
destroyed by Spike & Mike's extrava-
See ANIMATION, Page 7
See page 7 for a complete schedule of the Sick &
Twisted Animation Festival at the Michigan Theater.