Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Party Down just got canceled. I'm not sure how it would've fared with Adam Scott moving to Parks & Rec, but still sad to see it go. But, I guess at this point with me, cancellation is pretty much the true mark of a top-tier comedy show. I can't think of any that weren't canceled (Mr. Show, Arrested Development, Home Movies) or beset by tragedy or cast turnover enough to force cancellation (Newsradio), so I guess it's something of a validation. Still, what a great show. If you haven't seen it, I can't recommend it enough.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Also from Twitter

I had a very surreal dream last night that my dad was teaching me how to drive a motorcycle. Nevermind that I sort of already know how, or that he's been dead for over 3 years, it was nice. I don't have dreams like that very often, and I remember them even fewer and further between. Sometimes I think about how that folder in my brain is more or less closed. Aside from the occasional story from one of his friends or an older relative, there isn't anything else I'm going to experience with my dad to pad that up. A dream like the one I had is like some little appendix to that folder, it it's nice because it means I get to pull it out of my file cabinet of a brain, dust it off, and page through it fondly. I've had the luck to do that twice in a few hours last night; the dream came just a few hours after my sister told me a story from last summer that was downright chilling. Not in a malevolent sort of way, but in those "LIFE AFTER DEATH!(?)" ways that might cause you to look over your shoulder late at night without realizing it. It's not a story I feel comfortable publishing on the internet, because technically it's my neice's, but ask me nicely and maybe I'll tell it in person.

But back to the motorcycle. My dad never had a motorcycle. Aside from a picture on my grandmother's wall back home, I've never seen him on one. In that picture, he's on some little dirtbike, in St. John's or St. Bart's or one of those places that I've lumped into a liturgical micronesia in my geographically challenged brain. He looks happy and healthy, and it's always been a favorite of mine, and more than likely the inspiration of my dream.

Anyway, my dad never had a motorcycle. He did, however, prolong his life significantly when some anonymous motorcyclist* with an organ donor card crashed and died, giving him a liver to replace his diseased one. I've thanked that guy a thousand times, and once considered tracking down any family that may have survived him to show them that his death wasn't entirely in vain. (Donate your organs, people).

This morning, I remembered the dream suddenly and blurted it out to Carrie over breakfast before it could slip back into my subconscious, and she reminded me where his liver came from. Then, she remarked "maybe he wants you to ride a motorcycle because he's after your liver".

This is the kind of thing that probably anyone else would find unsettling, or even ghoulish, and understandably so. But it made me laugh and I bet it would've made my dad laugh if he heard it. It was also a pretty fucking great reminder of how lucky I am.

I wanted to post that picture of my dad on the bike, but to be honest I'm not even sure if it survived the move from my grandmother's house. Maybe I'll find it someday.

*weird, right? I feel like "biker" might not be appropriate, either. I mean, they can't all be Hell's Angels or Malcolm Forbes.

Are you kidding me?

I put this up on Twitter a few days ago, but it's dumb enough that I had to repeat it here.

What's the opposite of dry?

What's the opposite of dry?

I don't mean desert dry, or dry martini, or any of that. I mean that reserved, understated dry. The one that so many writers appear to have married their favorite characters to. It's a characteristic that has been trounced through decades of apemanship, and one that feels like it would be fun to write. Everyone wants to be aloof and cool.

But what's the opposite of that? Sensational? Dramatic? Clingy? Huggy? I feel like that's too strong, like the results of a grab bag search of words that one with a dry, caustic wit would lob as an insult to someone they don't like. They're also words some of which could be applied to almost anyone I know at some time or another, myself included. How can you have so much presence with one side of this coin, and a complete void on the other? Why does that bother me so much?

Maybe I'm not smart enough to be coy. Maybe it's more indicative of my reading habits than the fictional world at large. Maybe I don't drink enough to have the deadened feelings of these characters.

That's another thing. It's always described how people drink to dull the pain of something or to use as the emotional Neosporin to prevent infection of the emotional scarring of some trauma or another. Has that EVER worked? Maybe I'm not doing it right. I don't think I'd want to. There's probably pills for that.

Anyway, I'm hoping that this doesn't come off like some weird cry for help or frustration, because it really isn't, it's just me assessing my reading habits and wondering why I can't think of an antonymous description of the characters I encounter so often. Maybe you have an idea.

*weird footnote, if you start to google dry, the first recommendation it goes to is "dry socket". What the fuck is wrong with you, world?

**other potential topics for this post: my feelings on the reissue of Exile on Main Street, Me and Douglas Coupland: Are we cool again?, my feelings on long-abandoned military battery installments (not as geeky as it sounds), and SPIES: Me and my cold war obsession as of late. Hopefully one of these will be up by the end of the week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Failure is too exhausting to bother repeating

Wikipedia fun: Tarantella

During ancient times in the area around the Greek colony of Taranta in southern Italy, a type of poisonous spider was so prevalent that it took the name Lycosa tarantula. Its venom caused a hysterical condition known as Tarantism, the symptoms of which were an irresistible need for a wild and rapid whirling motion bringing the victim to the point of exhaustion, also known as Tarantulism. For long time, the local population believed that the only way to suppress the symptoms and to cure the bite was by using a very rhythmic and fast music. The music played for the cure became known as Tarantella.
I love that the medieval cure for a tarantula bite was dancing. It's something, how completely and utterly stupid most antique medical practices were. Except leeches. That's the one thing we always give them credit for.
This all comes as a result of my semiannual researching of the dancing plagues and manias that cropped up all over Europe in the middle ages. I was also looking into whirling dervishes, which means I might have some sort of weird obsession with dancing going on. It's worth pointing out that I rarely dance, and when I do it probably looks a lot more like the dancing described above than the ballroom dancing I took in 6th grade.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

haha, Donnie Darko:

What the heck are people talking about when they say this movie is boring. If you are into flashy plotless un thoughtfull [sic] movies that america loves to pump out, yeah I would say don't watch this movie. I like an array of movies and I felt that this movie was a nice mix of American Beauty style dialogue with a great twist. Deffinately much better than 1 star??? There are some great lines in this movie that had me laughing. The music soundtrack had some great songs in it that were even choreographed to segments of the movie. Well shot, especially for a budget of half a million dollars. Its about a kid who has a link between his future and his present. Discovers accidentally through his connection with a dark suited bunny who trys to save him. Patrick Swayze plays a great creepy role that all too well suits him. All in all I would say this is almost a five star but I gave it a 5 becuase it deserves more than a 4. This is original
(84 out of 95 members found this review helpful)

Monday, June 21, 2010

So, I've been kicking around the idea of starting a new blog, not one to replace this, because despite my utter lack of posting since finishing grad school (that's right, I'm DONE), I will always have something dumb to post and a need for a place to post it.

This potential new one would be a chronicle of the horrifically stupid restaurant reviews I've encountered on Yelp.  I'm sure we've all seen these, and I'm not sure if you might get as annoyed reading these as I do (patent pending). But I'm hoping to get that going sooner than later. My problem is mostly that it'll be mostly based on restaurants that I've been to, since those are the pages that I tend to visit and it's hard to figure out how stupid someone is being about a place until you've seen it.


Now I'm rethinking this whole idea.

While I retool this, though, I'm also thinking about doing the same thing for stupid movie reviews I've seen on Netflix. Tonight we were talking about Cocoon: The Return and I wanted to see if Steve "The Gute" Guttenberg was around for that. What I found was this:

This was like watching the first one; same script, same mood, same old people acting silly. I liked the first better, but maybe because I saw it when I was young. There was a LOT of language in this one, so dont be fooled by the age 9+ rating. I was tired of the cussing out of the mouths of senior citizens by half-way through. Ok, not the F-bomb, but still offensive to me.
 To summarize, this person was "young" when the first one came out, so probably not far from me in age. But they were offended by the language in the second one? I'm sure that if you get Wilford Brimley worked up, the guy will curse a blue streak. But Don Ameche reprising an Oscar-winning role? Interesting... I might have to make better use of this. Okay, get ready for the unveiling of dumb Netflix reviews. And Maybe Yelp ones.