Friday, February 29, 2008

Cereal Wars

Last night my wife came home with a box of Golden Grahams she'd picked up at the supermarket (see pic above).
me: "what the hell? Did you buy cereal in 1983?"
her: "No, it's some sort of vintage thing they're doing with General Mills."
me: "that's actually pretty genius. I mean, I can't imagine kids still eating cereal like that, and if you were born between 1070 and 1984, that's pretty much all you need to set started on your nostalgic impulse buying."
her: "I know, right? I actually want some right now just thinking about it, and I just ate"

and so we did. and it still gets soggy INSTANTLY upon contact with milk. But it was alright, because I haven't had that cereal since I was 9 and eating it there with that box in front of me (even the back was the same!) made me feel pretty much like I was a kid. So thanks for that, General Mills.
and to be fair, I like this layout. I like the brownness of it and the fact that there's no holograms or sparkle foil on it. But it also makes me feel 600 years old to look at this compared to today's cereals, even the adult ones. Seriously, of you had handed me a box of cereal from 1981, I'm not sure I would be able to differentiate it from one printed in 1968. You think I'm kidding? Check it out:
Quisp, 1983 (I was gonna insert some snide remark here about how nobody's seen Quisp in 20 years, but of course I'm WRONG).
Super Sugar Crisp, 1984 (which seems kind of cutting edge until you look closely at the bear. Check out those mini arcade games though!Incidentally, who WANTS to give their kids something called Super Sugar Crisp?)
Apple Jacks, 1980 (though I know they continued this poorly-drawn-and-nourished-kids motif for another few years at least)
Check out Raisin Bran, 1981! At what point to the hyper-development of cereal box design take place?
We can't ignore the long-forgotten cereal spokesthings, though. The Walruses, the random sexy whales (the Cap'ns been out to sea a long, long time), the leering, drunken monarch, the unsettling (at best) monkeys, and of course those other weird ass things. Seriously, who uses a scarecrow to sell children's cereal?

Boo Berry, 1981

My personal all-time favorite (character, not cereal*), though, has to be for the one cereal has the LEAST amount of nutritional value ever. Yep; Boo-berry. What fascinates me though is that again, a ghost to sell children's cereal? Not just a ghost, but one that's visibly on drugs? and on top of being a stoned ghost, he's a stoned ghost that looks suspiciously like a hovering blue turd (which might be an indication as to the byproducts of purchasing this particular cereal). Yeah, we got a stoned dead person that looks like poo. and just when you think you're in the clear -OH SHIT- a red bow-tie? and you tell me that they were buying this shit up? WAY.
So I submit to you, the cereal makers, to stop bullshitting us with all these stupid promotions and worthless sparkle and give us some good old-fashioned mascots. I don't mean that think on the Honeycomb box either. It looks like something I cough up only with googly eyes on it.

Favorite all-time cereal? Probably either Smurfberry Crunch (weird, because I've always hated the Smurfs) or Team Cheerios. what can I say, I'm getting old.

Well, I'm off to start moving again. I doubt I'll have any chances for updates until Tuesday or Wednesday, so I hope you have a good couple of days. and if you find yourself in eastern LA County over the weekend, why not stop by and help us lug some boxes? We've got Golden Grahams....

Most of the images I've used for this post came from here (hence the minimal hotlinking), which is one of the most entertaining sites I've seen in a long time. Obviously.

Greg Palast: National Treasure

It's a shame that so few read him here. His most recent is about McCain's utter lack of conscience. or loss of conscience, I guess.

Pop Smear: A Mix

02. "ShakeShakeShake" - White Denim
03. "High As an Amsterdam Tourist" - Voicst
05. "Aunty Pauline" - H Block 101
06. "This Is How We Kiss" - Throw Me The Statue
08. "The Moon I Dream Of" - Christopher Blue
09. Hard to Begin" - The Paper Makers
10."Something Mellow Buy Hope" - Priority One
12. "Colleen" - The Heavy
13. "Baby I Love You" - Erma Franklin
14. "No One Said It Would Be Easy" - Cloud Cult
16. "In Sand and Dirt" - Howlin' Rain
17. "Right Hand On My Heart" - The Whigs
18. "54-56 Was My Number" - Toots & the Maytals
20. "Mellow Down Easy" - Little Walter
21. "Dice In a Drawer" - The Mumlers
23. "Fishn' Pole" - The Mighty Hannibal
24. "California Girls" - The Magnetic Fields
26. "Taken Too Young By TTA" - Taken By Trees

Running Time 1:03:57
89.8 MB
available here.

So yes, it's time for another mix (I've been cranking these out lately, haven't I? Hopefully this isn't overkill) and this one is a veritable buket of carnival vomit. There's Aussie Oi, onion rings, greasy blues, and Aretha's sister. Also, cheap beer and fried Snickers bars. Anyways, enjoy.

This is a new and improved link because I hate itunes and it jerks me around.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Serial Vs One-Shots

The other day I was listening to an old podcast in which they were discussing how 30 Rock is the best comedy on TV right now. They also compared it to Arrested Development in the sense that they play with a few recurring jokes as well as sometimes set up a joke that won't pay off for several episodes.

I want to state unequivocally that I hate it when people compare TV shows to AD just because they're funny, or because they're their favorites. I'm not one of those ballbags that hold the show in exalted light or anything (though it is one of my favorites of all time), but it just bothers me when people will compare a show like How I Met Your Mother* or something to AD when they's apples and oranges. I feel like this is pretty common among people like me (i.e. people that fight online about music/movies/pie charts/breeds of dog/antique sextants/etc...) and I'm just putting my foot down. NO MORE will I compare two things that have little to nothing in common!

ANYWAY, I started thinking about TV in general and how this sort of serialized, long-sell format seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance lately in all genres. Shows like Lost and Heroes and The Wire and the ones mentioned above seem to be enjoying popularity** (maybe not the Wire, sadly) and I'm wondering how this will play out. Obviously these shows require a bit more effort and dedication to truly enjoy, but I don't think that this makes them smart TV or anything, it just affords the creators more opportunity to revisit a theme and plot things out. but it's welcome after so many years of the 900 crime drama one-off shows that we're taking a new step.

Clearly, I prefer this format most of the time. I think it pays off more in the end and becomes more of a shared experience for the viewers. I wonder if this comes around every couple years in cycles like everything else. huh. I started this with a point I think, but now I have no idea where I was going with this. but I really like the way this works for a comedy. Someone should be working to bring more of this into comedy. Get crackin', TV people.

*this isn't a slight on this show, I'm just noting that it's different.. I've had it recommended to me by several trustworthy people, but I've just never gotten around to it.

**of course, I looked this up and I'm waaay off. My god you people watch a lot of crap.

News of the Apocalypse.

Prince to receive hip surgery
which I find truly depressing.

oh, and Perez Hilton might be getting an A&R job at Warner Bros. Are you guys just ASKING for us to download all your music or what?

Headline from the future

Clearly we learned NOTHING from Robocop.

Monday, February 25, 2008

“An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted” - Arthur Miller

I wasn't gonna post until tomorrow because I'm exhausted and have a HUGE pile of stuff to catch up on since I got back, but I had some links lying around and figured I could use them here. In any case, I had a great time in Portland and got to spend some time with some of my favorite people on the planet, which I don't get many chances to do anymore. Anyway, here's some stuff to look at. I'm hoping to have a mix complete by Wednesday of this week to post before I send my laptop away to be fixed. I know how many times I've threatened to do this but I really have to fix that thing sooner than later.

-I don't want to get too excited about this just yet, but it looks like people are starting to look at KBR and wonder where the hell all that money went. These people deserve worse than whatever they got coming to them. Great read from the Chicago Tribune about the hilarious world of war profiteering.

-I should probably be wary of a remotely controlled robot vigilante stalking Atlanta, but this is just awesome.

-right about now in California I'm wishing I could build a giant fucking snow fort.

-an interesting little way around smoking bans: pretend you're an actor

-I want to buy everything Luke Chueh has ever painted.

-awesomeness. Even my poor grasp of Spanish doesn't hurt this great site.

-Also, I totally didn't think this actually existed, but I heard on Jordan Jesse Go! this morning about Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden, which has to be -according to this synopsis- the greatest fucking video game of all time. You can find a download link here. Thank you, Jesse Thorn. that made my morning. Now let me know if you ever find that clip of Tracy Morgan on the sports show, because I'm starting to think it doesn't exist.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

So, I think I've mentioned my weird interest in regional dialects. I've gone so far as buy accent tapes for actors just to listen to and try to get a handle on what these accents sound like. So it should be no surprise to you that instead of packing for Portland this weekend or tying up some errands before leaving, I spend all evening playing around at the site for the University of Kansas' International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). It's the most entertaining thing I've done in weeks and even though I'm not tying together this new mix (the whole reason I started there to begin with). So instead I nudge you towards the same site in hopes that you have the same absurd interests as me.
For a quick synopsis, check out the "Arthur the Rat" story here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hey Cotton, what's been happening since we last heard from you?

kind reader
once I had done whatever I could to put my cousin in jail,
we had the first valentine's day plans we've ever made melted and bubbling in front of our eyes.
and then our apartment got broken into this morning.

nothing was taken that we know of. our cat, however adorable, has been ruled a suspect.
Or the fact that we live a block from a police station.
and it was Sunday morning

I'm not going to turn this into a cat blog, I swear to you. but one more picture because I finally got one where he doesn't look like a psycho.
see? isn't that nice? He's helping keep things calm right now. I'll be more sensible and funny and groin-grabbingly spectacular tomorrow, I swear. or the next day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

When I was in high school, one year we had a teacher strike after a particularly harsh winter. It was a pretty big deal, though I missed most of it because I was out of the country. Anyway, because of the strike and weather, we'd gone over our yearly allotment of snow days, and the school board had decided to keep class in session an extra week at the end of the year.
Naturally, the student body opposed this. We made a decision to state a walkout. So at 1:20 or whatever time, we all got up and walked out smugly, proud of using a time-honored form of protest to let our feelings be known on the subject. About 70% of the students left. We stood in the back parking lot chanting or some shit ("FREE MR. CLARK") for about 45 minutes until the doors opened ans the superintendent appeared with a megaphone. He told us that he appreciated our feelings, and that this would be taken into account for the hearings they were having later that week.
I wish I could say that I felt strongly about it. that I was standing up for my rights as a student and wanted my voice to be heard. But, like most of my fellow activists, we just didn't want more school. and seriously, what better way to protest more school by cutting class? It's win-win! Anyway, the super thanked us for our time and then asked us to return to class. About half the crown started shuffling back towards the school, confident that their point had been made. The rest of us just stood there.
"Wait, we gotta go back to class?", "I'm not going back in there", "I've got a bag of mushrooms in my car", "screw this, I'm cutting my lunch right now"
so the remains of this protest were still out there, sorta wincing at the prospect of going back into class after less than an hour. We all took a step back away from the school. The super took a step towards us.
We took two steps back.
The Super started walking.
"RUN!" a friend of mine yelled, and the remaining hundred or two left just bolted off into the woods behind my school. We jumped fences, found trails and kept on running. Through the retirement community, through the woods, to the McDonald's about a mile away. A calm, suburban fast food joint went from a dead early afternoon to housing the most obnoxious and ill-intentioned group of miscreants that could be scraped from the dregs of my high school. Kids were smoking pot in the bathroom, pouring booze into their soft drink cups, just terrorizing everyone.
The bulk of us ended up going to a park or something for the rest of the day, most of us getting pretty heavily punished in the classes we'd cut. I think I might have failed French that year because of it.

So, the GOP staged a walkout today to protest the contempt charges that the Dems slipped in for Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten. Minority leader Boehner called it a partisan fishing expedition and they all got up and walked out.

Are you for real with this? Really? I only ask, because you're supposed to be the grownup party. A walkout? I wish I could say that these guys just wanted to go get high in a McDonald's bathroom, or maybe just wanted to play the monopoly game to see if they won a free cheeseburger. or even were just sick of the tedium that most accompany being locked up in that place a whopping 150 days a year. But what it comes down to is that these guys weren't gonna get their way so they wanted to throw a hissyfit and do it in front of the press.
Isn't it hard to pitch a fit about this being a partisan action when you REMOVE YOUR PARTY from the action? Also, the Dems have had many, many many occasions to stage protest at plenty of your moves, but didn't. As much as they were pissing me off, they were being the bigger men and women. I still think it was wrong, but I hold a new respect for those guys after watching an ENTIRE party in out political process act like petulant children. Stop it. Knock it the fuck off.
From here on out, you idiots (ALL OF YOU IDIOTS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE) should just stop this pissing and moaning and just grow up. Work together for this country. Make some goddamned compromises. or burn the whole system down. Because I'm sick of this fingerpointing, dirty politics shit. I hope you're sick of it, too. We're supposed to be better than this. We're supposed to be the best! I just wish you'd stop wiping your ass with the laws of this country long enough to read them.
There's dozens of people that I don't agree with at my work. There's a lot of them I don't even like. You know how I work with them, though? (wait, how do I do that?) Oh yeah, by not being completely retarded. Nut up and do your goddamned job already. Stop wasting all of our goddamned time and money with this.
Fact is, Miers and Bolten ignored subpoenas. Which is illegal. Stop acting like we're hiring a third-party group to smear them in the press by telling lies about their service to their country. and stop throwing "national security" around like you're a goddamned cheerleader. Find a new excuse. There's millions of them. Personally, I think eczema would be a funny one, but anything that isn't some bullshit about terrorists. You had 6 years of pissing all over our laws and civil rights. You bullshitted your way into out personal information and then sold it off to Choicepoint a long time ago. You've made weapons contractors richer and richer and richer in the name of national security. You've instilled a few and mistrust in this nation that will never heal in my lifetime. Thanks for that, by the way. If you haven't been able to make our country safe with this, then you're more than likely doing it wrong.

and if you're a GOP congressman that doesn't care about this, that is just going along with this so you get party support for some resolution you're working on, you're the worst of the bunch. Shame on you. If you know this is pure grandstanding and go along with it anyway, then you don't deserve to represent your pet cat, let alone the poor saps you're actually supposed to be helping.

oh and I swear if I found out that you were all humming "Battle Hymn of the Republic" or some other purple-thumbed shit while you walked out I'm driving to Washington and renting Michael Moore's ice cream truck and we'll see what sort of stuff I can make up.

Q: What kind of asshole wears black & blue on Valentine's Day?

A: The same kind of asshole that can be seen frequently chasing his wedding ring down the hallway in his workplace.

I managed to cram some flowers in a mailbox, though. They're kind of smushed, but the sentiment was totally there.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

horrible and painfully funny quote of the day:

"I'm pretty sure that Fergus has developed Feline AIDS just from watching this Bret Michaels dating show"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How I get lost without leaving my living room

I was recently asked my how I end up "researching" the crap that I do online. How I go to check the basketball scores from the night before and end up looking at the Hand of Glory or wondering what the dark red liquid is that's all over the control room of reactor three at Chernobyl*.

So last night I sat with a pen and paper and tried to map out how exactly this happens. I wanted to map where I go and how I got there. and looking back on it, I failed spectacularly. I started by checking out what the most recent list on Oobject (this along with Buzzflash, Warren Ellis, BoingBoing, or Fark are generally my starting points for stuff like this, see bar at left for links to all these places), and they had a list of "weird outlaw radio transmitters". Which is pretty awesome as it is. Between that and the page for the B-25 (the plane I took a picture of and posted over the weekend. I wasn't sure if it was a B-25 or a B-26, but I've since learned it was actually a B-25J) I managed to go on a clicking spree that took me from the furthest reaches of experimental artillery to micronations and pirate radio. From painter Thomas Luny to the Stratellite communications airship. Oddly enough, I ended up at the site of this Burlesque Revue, which I was invited to attend this weekend and promptly declined**.

Anyway, excuse my childish penmanship and bear with me. There's no actual diagram here, but it made sense to me as I was writing it. There's a completely logical sequence here, and I can tell you why looking at the wikipedia page for the B-2 bomber would cause me to look up the St. Louis Arch (namely because the picture on the B-2 page shows it flying over St. Louis for some reason and I didn't know you could actually go inside the Arch. Moving on, this was more an experiment for me than anything, and an unproductive one at that. But now I know what the Child Ballads are (see image above). Most of these were wikipedia or directly referred to by wikipedia, with the exceptions of the etymology site, the Fort Flagler stuff, and the Burlesque page. I'm sorry I haven't linked all of that because it would take me for fucking ever. So enjoy this half-assed attempt at explanation:

*As it turns out, it was a heavy foam that was sprayed in the air to remove the floating radioactive particles in the dust from the air that the cleanup crews were breathing.

**I've got my own numerous reasons for doing so, but mostly because I fear my eyes would actually detach their retinas and start rolling my head like windows on a slot machine. Not in a "take it off" way, but more of a "seriously, you already won. I respect your femininity, but it's boring the shit out of me" sort of way.

In other news, I'm rapidly approaching post #400. Which means I should do something celebratory. I almost certainly will not.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

after the 60 Minutes Dem candidate interviews (nothing that new from either camp, but I didn't really pay attention) the next segment was questioning the logistics of continuing to press pennies and nickels every year, despite them being worth less than the material it's printed on. It was more interesting that you'd think. or at least than I'd think. But it was the sight of a disoriented and ornery Andy Rooney stumbling around the Super Bowl with what may or may not be a midget or midget-level dog doing most of the camera work. First, has getting denied access at like 6 parking lots in a row. He makes crankyface at the camera and then proudly drives around some more (the camera undoubtedly skipping over the scores of citizens he must have run over) until he finds the appropriate lot. Then, it was just him walking around, drinking wine and looking generally annoyed the entire time. It was the funniest thing I've seen in a while. The best is when ht shines the camera on himself while at his seat and there's this young guy next to him like "great. this guy. thought I was gonna be sitting next to playmates or Stephen Baldwin or something and I get Andy Rooney. and he's got a camera with him..."

developments in both the primary season and the writer's strike. huh.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sometimes a wrong turn can lead to the coolest stuff. and sometimes accidentally driving out onto an airport runway can be pretty awesome.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Green Bastard

It's easy for me to say I had an easy choice in making my decision for the primary. I wish I could say that I still had a candidate I agreed with more often than not that's still in the election. But my little midget is out. and I'm stuck here with two candidates that, sure they're better than those guys, but they're still a far cry from where I think government should be headed. But it's reasons like this that led me to make the decision I did. I'm sick of bullshit maneuvering. I'm tired of playing to the polls. I want politics to inspire me for the first time. Jesus, can you imagine how nuts I'd be if I was actually enthused about a politician? I certainly can't.
But I just wanted to share this endorsement with you, because it's the only one that's meant sweet fuck all to me this election. It's got nothing to do with who's giving it or even who it's for. but it's damned refreshing.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

With Romney out, this would mean that the logical choice for most social conservatives would be Huxtabee, right? Ooooh does this mean we get to hear him talk about fried chicken more?
I know that my posting has been erratic (in content, at least) and moody at best lately, and I apologize for it. There's some very serious family stuff going on right now in my life and as a result I'm not really sleeping and am pissier than normal. My apologies and believe me, the sooner it's over the happier I'll be, I promise.

I've been debating whether or not to address it here, and maybe I will later in some vague way but for now it's better not to drag the lives of those I love any further into this than they are. In the meantime, though, you can expect me posting a lot more in hopes of forgetting about it and maybe even making a funny or two. I hope. anyway, here's a sad puppy:

Year of the Rat

-Wow. We should all just take a minute to thank Mitt Romney for his selfless withdrawal from the race for the GOP nomination. He threw himself on the grenade so that America wouldn't fall into the clutches of hated white-flaggers such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Thanks for the effort, you smirking d-bag. We'll see you in 2012 when you're bragging about how much more liberal you are than the rest of your party.
Hey, now that your sons aren't working on the front lines of your campaign anymore, are they gonna head off to fight the war that you're so crazy about?

-Lieberman Zell Miller blah blah blah.

-Haliburton managed to force a very serious sexual harrassment case made against them into secret arbitration, which means that they'll pretty much laugh at her behind closed doors and toss the case. Note the last sentence of the article, where it states that Halliburton/KBR seeking to have her pay for their costs of defending their right to arbitrate.

-Mother of three dies as "nonhostile death" in Iraq. ON HER THIRD TOUR.

-as if heaven knew I needed cheering up today, the trial of the hilarity that is Milton Street begins today.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Seriously, what the crap is this all about?

Recreational Simulations 1 is a collection of 4 doses on CD: Marijuana, Cocaine, Opium, and Peyote. Each audio track contains our advanced binaural beats that will synchronize your brainwaves to the same state as the recreational dose. Mixed with our advanced auditory pulses are soothing backtracks of ambient soundscapes to help the brain induce of state of mood lift, euphoria, sedation, and hallucination. For the truly serious psychonaughts only.
I wonder how many times I could listen to all of these at once before I drop out of society to go work on a turnip farm under the assumed name of "Rusty Trapeze" and have daily freakout parades in the 1986 Toyota Carolla that poses as my living room.

Duper Wednesday

I'm tired from staing up all knight staring at a computer screen. Like usual, I'm so mad that I even bothered. Nothing is settled, and I knew that nothing would be figured out by now. But goddamned if that analysis isn't riveting. Plus, and this is kind of embarrassing, but I ALWAYS like to watch Tom Brokaw when he shows up for these things. I miss that guy. His slightly humble attitude and glottal L have earned a spot in my rusty trap of a heart. Still, I'm pretty much in the same place as I was yesterday.

Anyway, I came into work this morning and yelped with excitement when I saw on PTW that a new Man Man song has been released. This and the new Breeders albums are probably my two most anticipated albums of the new year, and of course I could use a lift today.
But 3 seconds into this song I realized that this song isn't that new. They've been playing it live for at like 2 years. I like this recording of it, but still I was hoping for something I didn't know the words to. And thinking of it, it's weird that I do know the words to it.
and this isn't to sound like one of those snotty indie kids (too late, probably). Because I really, really don't like that whole thing, and it always pisses me off. Also, I have half a point here.
This is a very similar to my reception of Patton Oswalt's Werewolves & Lollipops. It's a great album, and it made me laugh. But by the time it came out I'd seen him perform the entire album and heard it performed at least 2 or 3 more times on top of that. Does this mean I should stop attending live shows? Only attend live shows? Avoid comedy? I'm lookinog for answers here, people. Right now, my head is a fuzzy little beehive of polling numbers, statistical anomolies, and misplaced Lehrer fallout. So I pretty much am incapable of thought. My apologies.

PS. I've got two coffee thermoses in front of me and I've tried to pour from the empty one into my mug twice in a row now.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ballot Busters '08

I voted on my way in to work this morning. Our polling place is a retirement community that we circled for twenty minutes trying to find. It wasn't until the handwritten sign "NO PARKING PARK ON STREET TO VOTE" that we knew where we were going. So I parked in the lot and strolled in to vote.
I am not even being facetious when I say that I was the only voter there that wasn't in a rascal. I was also cut off by two people in said scooters while waiting in line. This is my life.
Anyway, I was all ready to go in there and demand to see the paper trail from my vote on the machine (this sounds paranoid, I know. But I do NOT trust those electronic machines). and was surprised to see that they were using paper ballots. Which, of course, I was the only person who didn't know how to fill it out. It's not just a "write a name" thing, but rather a punch card, thingy. Furthermore, as a registered independent, I had a slightly more confusing one.
Yes, I had a room full of seniors sighing loudly as I struggled to figure out how to vote. Huh. so that's what it's like.

In any case, I was told later that there are 27,000 machines currently in storage in nearby Riverside. They've been used twice. I don't even want to think about how much money that wasted, or how much of it, through Diebold, went into candidates' pockets.
Anyway, super tuesday is over for me. It was nice to get to vote in a Primary for the first time since registering Green in 2002, and it was nice to vote in a primary that's early enough to matter for the first time since, well, ever. But that said I just am sick to death of this and can't wait until it's over so that work can actually get done. I'm far more interested in the Senate races in Colorado, New Hampshire and New Mexico than I am about the presidential crap. Unless McCain wins. Then I start praying.

oh wait, and Minnesota. If Al Franken gets elected to the senate, I will kiss each and every Minnesotan on the mouth. I just think it'd be funny to have Stuart Smalley in the U.S. Senate. Maybe he could talk some confidence into the Democratic party.

On a completely different subject, the CIA admitted to torturing three people. Hey assholes, do you think that after denying it for five years that we'll believe you when you admit that yes, you did use it, but only on three people?

I think my file just grew.

"Yes we are world champions. If they had won, they would have been world champions. We beat the hell out of a machine."

As the Spectrum's days are numbered, the Sixers are going to play one last game there. I wish I could make it, though, as some real tribute. I saw my first concert there, and attended my first professional sporting event. I saw an elephant take a shit that dwarfed the clown nearest it and then take a piss that actually endangered the crowd. Man, I love the circus.
I saw a Harlem Globetrotter pants a toddler, who proceeded to cry like the world was coming down on him. I saw not one, but two friends of mine get caught trying to steal a case of beer from a vendor at a professional wrestling event. I saw Bruce Springsteen, by myself, for about twenty minutes before getting ejected myself.
I met people at the Kate Smith statue while barely capable of standing. I did whippets with bikers in the parking lot and saw a guy fall face first into a filthy puddle with broken glass in it. I saw a friend's mom's car get keyed. I saw Charles Barkley at the height of his career there, and Dr. J at the end of his. I got to see Moses Malone. I only wish I'd gotten to witness the batshit insanity of one Chocolate Thunder*. To be honest, I don't think I've ever looked fondly on the place until now, and I'm still almost certain that I can smell the urine stench of the upper levels.
I know I'm not the only one who has fond memories of a giant, borderline awful stadium. and I'm not even that much of a sports guy. But it's one more place that exists only in the minds of people who can recite Clarence Weatherspoon stats, or look upon Dave Brown with anything but the scorn normally reserved for rabid badgers and Amway reps. It was also the site of several of the greatest dunks in history, namely this one.
Shit, there were several major championships won there (including those by the greatest Ice Hockey team that has ever existed) and countless minor ones (go Wings). They beat the Red Army there! in 1976! How fucking classic is that? Bobby Clarke lost like 7 lives worth of teeth in that building. Christian Laettner... I probably wouldn't even know who that was if he hadn't pulled off that famous shot over Kentucky in the Spectrum. I'm just saying it was a stink-ridden piss hole. But it was ours. and for that alone I guess I'll miss the dump.

oh, it also has an Elvis jumpsuit named after it** and was the site of the genesis for "Comfortably Numb". No shit!

* As a fan of insane sports personalities, you really can't beat Darryl Dawkins. The proof? umm:

Dawkins named the backboard-breaking dunk "Chocolate Thunder Flying, Glass Flying, Robinzine Crying, Babies Crying, Glass Still Flying, Catch Crap, Rump Roasting, Bun Toasting, Thank You, Wham, Bam, I Am Jam."

He named other dunks as well: the Rim Wrecker, the Go-Rilla, the Look Out Below, the In-Your-Face Disgrace, the Cover Your Head, the Yo-Mama, and the Spine-Chiller Supreme. The 76ers also kept a separate column on the stat sheet for Dawkins’s self-created nicknames: "Sir Slam," "Double D," and "Chocolate Thunder."

Also, he claimed to be an alien from planet Lovetron where he spent off-season practicing "interplanetary funkmanship" and where his girlfriend Juicy Lucy still lived.

**Elvis fans are fucking crazy. I was going to mention how insane it is that fans would pay such close attention to jumpsuitage, but in thinking about this I'm forced to recall a writeup of a Grateful Dead show in Vegas or something in the early nineties, the healine of which read (I wish I was kidding) "Jerry wore shorts!". That still makes me laugh.

as I type this, there are 21.5 tons of butter on the Northeast extension. Which means it's probably moving faster than it ever has before.

Dead Pets Society

A diary of the animals a vet tech puts down. My GOD this is sad. But it makes me happy that we adopted this furry little monster that's licking my feet as I type this.

Will Bunch has to point out again why endorsing both McCain and Obama is completely stupid. I honestly at this point have become concerned about this whole thing. As I head into the voting booth tomorrow, I honestly have to decide which party I want to vote for (registering as an Independent in CA allows me to do this) because while I want Obama to win, I really want McCain to lose. I honestly just can't even fathom our nation being bullheaded enough to vote for this guy after the 7.5 years of bullshit we've just been through. Seriously.

I had this image hanging over my bed for 8 years and had completely forgotten about it until just now.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I refuse to get excited about this, especially since even if it is made, it could be terrible. Nonetheless, I'd still totally pay to see it.

"Arrested Development movie becoming more likely"

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Stolen from Fark

While I bemoan the state of ignorance that our culture seems to be nosediving into, it's somewhat comforting to know that we're not the only ones. 1 in 4 Britons think that Winston Churchill was a fictional character, that Sherlock Holmes was real.

OK Prostitute had her kids waiting in the car.

Stephen King on the popularization of the Presidential election.

What made my day today: For a brief moment, Tom Petty's wikipedia page had him listed has having been born on January 20, 1260.

What are ya, some kinda doomsday machine, boy?

You may have noticed that I've rearranged the links and gone back and tagged the past year or so of entries. Yeah, look at me go. Anyway, the tags are about as inconsistent as the posts.

So, in a fit of celebration*, I've allowed myself a few glasses of wine. and I'm sitting here, looking at the copy of Halloween II that I bought a few months ago, eager to finish this bottle of Chilean Cabernet and provide something of a play-by-play of my watching it. Because I'm sure if you're reading this now you haven't seen it, or even weirder, but I haven't seen it in quite a bit and I've love to bore you with reasons why I think it's very close to being as good as the original. But, some other time I suppose.
Instead I'm watching Live & Let Die, which might be the most underrated Bond movie of all time. I watch this fondly, thinking of an old friend I first saw this with and haven't seen in ten years. I think of McCartney, killing it and Jane Seymour being fucking gorgeous, and that New Orleans funeral, which was certainly the first I've learned of the tradition. It immediately replaced the Viking funeral as my death celebration of choice. You could say this is morbid for such a young age, but I'd interject that this is more of an obsession with going out in style than an obsession with death. Anywho, I'm just now at the famous boat jump scene, which made the Guiness Book for dozens of years an may still be there today.

Question: Did Guns 'n Roses help or hurt the legacy of the song "Live & Let Die"

*to what, you may be asking? I've given my consent to adopting a cat, despite A) always having been a dog person, B) not having a pet since moving out of my parents' house, and C) not technically being allowed to have them in out apartment. It's not that I had the final say in this o course, but I've tried to be a voice of reason, you see.
He's a cute little bastard, I promise. and the look on my wife's face when she first saw him was absolutely worth every penny and minute of litter changing. Pics to come once he's not terrified of me.
Wait, for reference, this is the piture that made us go and take a look. Yes, this was his first impression:
if he's half as crotchety and irritable as this picture suggests, he'll be a perfect fit.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Writer's Strike: By the numbers

So, as one with too much time and a desperate need to avoid reality television, I've been looking things over.

The 1960 and 1988 writer's strikes lasted 21 and 22 weeks, respectively. The current writer's strike has lasted 12 weeks and 4 days.

Bad News Bears:
This means that even if the strike were to end now, there would be no TV for a few weeks at the least.
Almost every show on TV is out of new episodes. See if your favorites are here.

Half of the new season of Lost was completed, which means yet another delay in their programming schedule. Look froward to lots of stupid teasers and an incredibly tense hanging-on point (thanks for dicking around with the season again, guys).
The same can be said for Battlestar Galactica.
Somehow, 12 new Simpsons episodes are in the can and ready to be aired. I have no idea how this is possible, considering how much longer it takes to produce animated shows.
South Park is not affected by the writer's strike at all. Unfortunately, this means they'll keep puttin the new shows out in that really odd 4-week-season-every-2-months crap schedule.

The Good News
-The Wire was finished up. I guess there's a good side to cutting your season down to 10 episodes.
-Scrubs may not even get a season finale. This pleases me for some reason. I don't know why, because NBC has pretty much blown their wad as far as the rest of their shows.
-Entourage might get cancelled. Maxim subscribers everywhere shudder at the thought.
-This might make the Summer rerun desert a LOT shorter, which would be a dream. In all likelihood, though, we're screwed.

I'm still not entirely sure about how this affects movies. I don't like the idea of Tyler Perry's Tyler Perry Presents Tyler Perry Meets the Browns sitting in theaters for 11 weeks because nothing new is coming out. This might really screw up the box office for the year.

This has been your depressing moment.

or your exciting moment if you're one of those asswipes that says things like "I don't watch TV." or "I just watch Nova" or "Stop touching me, I'm just paid to show off the car" or "Sir, this isn't the bathroom" or "For the last time, just because you live in your car doesn't mean you can have your mail forwarded there."

you uptight dicks.

RE: Lost

okay, I'm glad you're back, even if it's just an 8 episode reprieve from the barren writerless landscape of TV that we have right now. and I'm going to watch your show despite the niggling suspicion that it could turn from suck to blow at any minute. But if you think FOR A SECOND that I'm going to take part in the wankery of your cross-promotional viral marketing schemes, you're fucking crazy. I'm not watching Eli Stone (and seriously, do you think putting George Michael in the show is going to help anything?) to see some fake commercial. I'm not going to buy comic books because of some tiny add that you think is clever. I don't care if it spells out the entire series for me, give it up. Appreciate that I'm still watching the damned show and put that money into something new you'll need when this wraps up, because face it, ABC is a garbage dump for most of the week.

That said, I'm thankful I'll be able to watch Pitt trounce* UConn tomorrow morning.

*and seriously, they'd better trounce them. I'm starting to look at my diploma and wonder how I can alter it to make it look like I went somewhere else. "University of Piffsburgh?" "yeah, they have a kickass basketball program. I'd tell you to check out their website, but it's, um...under construction"

Two people I salute this day

Lincoln Chafee and Montel Williams.

I didn't see this coming either.

Chafee is a former Senator (R-RI) who was the lone Republican to vote against the war, and had a history of going against the GOP a lot of the time when he didn't agree or wanted to exercise common sense (against gay marriages, for stem cell research, etc...). which I respect more than probably 90% of the politicians we've voted in. It's admirable enough to vote for what you believe in, but when you consider how many of our representatives roll over when their national party asks them too, especially the GOP, it's goddamned heroic. In any event, he's got a new book out, and while he's displaying the 20/20 hindsight hat seems to plague former Senators, I'm always interested in what he has to say, especially when he's attacking both sides of the aisle. Good for you, Linc.

Montel Williams... Lets just say I've learned a LOT about him in the past week, and I couldn't admire him more for going on Fox news and taking them to task for spending days to talk about Heath Ledger's death but not about the 28 soldiers that have died in this year alone. Williams is a former Marine and naval officer, for those keeping score. Extra points for totally duping them into thinking he'd be talking about Heath Ledger. He lost his job for it, but he's gained my lifelong respect. Though seriously, dude. Telling high school journalists that you can blow them up...not cool.
I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned Jeph Loeb on here before, but for those without the nerd-leanings, Loeb is a pretty successful comic book writer (he, along with frequent collaborator Tim Sale, have written some of the best adaptations of popular characters ever, specifically the 3 or 4 Batman books they did), movie writer (Teen Wolves 1 and Too!, Commando*!) and TV writer/producer (Lost, which he left to help start Heroes), and all around man about LA.
Make no mistake, Jeph Loeb is a giant nerd, and hearing interviews with him convinces me that he's a bit of an obsessive weirdo, but in a fun sort of way. He displays a lot of common sense, at least for a guy whose career has spanned across several entertainment mediums.
Anyway, Jeph lost his son Sam to Cancer in June of 2005. Sam was by all accounts a good kid, and clearly affected a lot of people. The eulogy his father gave for him was famously given again for Captain America last year, and it's truly one of the most touching things I've ever read. Even in the context of being for a fictional character with wings on the side of his head (no, not Hermes, you asshole).
I was flipping through an old stack of books getting ready to throw them out the other day and came across one that Sam had plotted, and 26 of the most talented people to ever work in the (or any) industry scripted and drew in tribute to him. It's really a testament. But what I completely forgot about was the story attached, that was done by the incredible creative team of Loeb/Sale that I mentioned above. It's pretty bare bones; six pages and B&W, but still incredible moving. It puts Sam in the fictional DC Universe, as a childhood friend of Clark Kent.
It's an astounding piece of work, and it hits me like a sucker punch to the chest. You can read details about it here, and I'm going to post to all six pages below. Don't read it if you don't want to, but it's really not something you have to be into comics to get and to be moved by. It will take 4 minutes of your time and is worth it.
and it won't turn you into a sweaty nerd, I promise.
Anyway, thanks to the sweaty nerds at Newsarama for leaving it up long enough for me to link to them. If the pages are too large on your screen to read, try clicking the actual pages in the link above.

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6

*I have to figure out a better footnote system, but I recently found out that the original plot for Commando involved an ex-Mossad agent and was written with Gene Simmons in mind. Just think about that for a second and imagine a power-mad Gene Simmons hurling a heating pipe through someone's chest cavity.

My lunch today

2 slices of muenster with a small handful of roast beef between them.

for real.