Sunday, March 28, 2010

Man Of Letters

A certain someone routinely receives brief, date-appropriate emails from his father:

** February 3, 1959. The day the music died.

** Happy Birthday, Howard Cosell

** Not only is it Janis Joplin’s birthday today, I’m sure Mom wanted everyone to know that today is also Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday.

But my favorite emails come from his mother:

** Our new neighbor’s in Tom and Sue [redacted]'s former house are the [redacted]s’ from New York. I think their names are Paul and Marlene.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2010 Winter Recap - Netflix

Hola amigos. I know it's been a while since I rapped at ya, but things have been crazy. I needed a vacation just to get over my vacation! Right? You guys get it.

When I wrote the 2009 Netflix recap, I realized it was too long for anyone to pay much attention to, and too full of great information for anyone to fully absorb. This year, I plan to review DVDs more frequently, to keep you in the loop (foreshadowing).

Here's what I've seen so far this year, in chronological order:

It Might Get Loud

I like Jack White, The Edge, and Jimmy Page, but I did not like this documentary. It skimmed the surface of each of their lives and approaches to music, but didn't delve very deep, that is what she said. It might be a movie that only guitar players like.


Moon is an excellent hard sci-fi film. If you like sci-fi films, you should watch it without researching the matter. Don't even read the synopsis on the Netflix sleeve -- go in cold and you'll really enjoy yourself. That is not what she said. Also, Sam Rockwell is so good at everything -- why isn't he in more cool movies? He's in stupid "Everybody's Fine" Robert DeNiro bullshit when he should be owning Hollywood. If you doubt his greatness, and you don't mind very obscene language, watch from 1:52 to 2:25 at this video, and behold the glory:


This titular croupier person is a young Clive Owen. He lays some broads and finds some intra-casino intrigue, but it's one of those movies where the lead character is a struggling writer. Can we be done with those movies, please? This particular movie is okay -- it will hold your interest, but won't wow you. That is what she said?


Yeah, I'd never seen Munich, and with Mossad plugging dudes in Dubai hotels nowadays, it was a good time to catch up. Without getting all spoiler alert, can we talk about Spielberg's choice to show super sweaty Eric Bana plowing his wife while obsessing about the Munich Olympics? Can we all agree that we already knew Eric Bana was obsessed, and watching him obsess-plow his wife was wholly unnecessary? Is obsess-plowing ever necessary? That is the question she asked.

The Hurt Locker

I probably would have liked it more had I not known it was going to win Best Picture.

The Invention of Lying

Three or four hilarious scenes -- basically, the scenes featuring cameos -- in the middle of an otherwise disappointing comedy. Ricky Gervais is held to a higher standard, and he did not meet it.

The Vicious Kind

Do you guys know Adam Scott? The mean guy from "Step Brothers" and the lead character in the awesome "Party Down" series?

He's in this movie, which was financed by Neil LaBute, which makes sense because it's got mean, disturbed characters like his "In the Company of Men". Adam Scott's performance is super good, and it's a really captivating movie, even if it's not an awesome movie. Does that make any sense?

In The Loop

This is an awesome movie. It's like the BBC "The Office" crossed with "Glengarry Glen Ross". It was nominated for best screenplay this year, but it lost, of course, because we had to give the Iraq film every award, even though this and "Inglorious Basterds" were both way more original. Very funny, very smart, highly recommended.

Get Carter

Michael Caine is a gangster that takes the train from London to Newcastle to find out who killed his brother. There's a lot of classic 1970's pointless camera shots, from the "shaving with an electric razor for a full minute" to the "woman in the tub splashes a little water over her breasts". Lots of nudity, Michael Caine wallops a dude with a stick -- good stuff all around.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kiss Me I'm Marshmallow

You've done it again, America:

$1 at your local Super Target. While disgusting supplies last. Do you think some poor kid is going to have his first kiss taste like purple horseshoes?

Speaking of disgusting, I went to Borders after taking this photo. My lady was showing me her book selections when I saw a man in the corner of my eye. She said she was ready to leave, and I responded, "We can't leave until I figure out what magazine that guy just kissed."

He was a late 20s - early 30s man in very casual clothes, sweats and sneakers, holding an issue of "M" magazine. I can't be sure which page he kissed, but I don't think I saw him flip the page away from the Miley Cyrus article/photo. Also, he smelled bad. Also, shut it down. Shut all of it down.

Have a good St. Patty's Day this week. Pour some out for our fallen leprechaun.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Creole My My, Creole Hell Yes

Last weekend was Jack Serpentine's bachelor party, held in New Orleans. As we all know, what happens in New Orleans drowns in New Orleans. But not the tales from this adventure!

On Friday night, some of us trekked to renowned Bourbon Street to drink renowned and rum-laden Hurricanes.

Later, Gav sampled another local bad idea, the grain-alcohol-laden Hand Grenade.

Later, Al told us about the eastward (?) progression of Bourbon Street. "In a couple of blocks, it's going to get really gay, and then it's going to get really dangerous." He marched us on, past the police car parked next to a group of college kids. "Be careful man! We just got mugged down there!" a young man said to me in his pathetic southern drawl. We pushed on, because Al wanted to show us a bar off the beaten path.

We did not make it to that bar. ...Because it was closed! I think! It's kind of a blur! But we did venture in a different bar, where a local man took off his overshirt before taking on Gav in foosball. Gav responded by taking off his overshirt and losing -- that local was crazy good at foosball. The best I've ever seen.

Then our group walked home.

The following night, largely identical things happened, until Gav suggested listening to a band. The bar was called Sing Sing, and the guitarist wore a Naval costume of some sort.

But it was cool, because he could really shred Hendrix-style! And the rest of the cover band was good, too! And Gav kept buying shots, so we got pretty into it! Fist pump!

During the fifteen-minute performance of "Purple Rain", this nonsense happened:

There was a lot of love in the room. We all became fast friends, and ten years from now we're all going to meet up at that very bar and reminisce, which I just spelled correctly on my first try, no big deal.

Mr. Serpentine wanted to have a nightcap with Gav and I before we went back to the hotel, so we wandered into one of Bourbon Street's rare daiquiri shoppes sometime after 4. A certain someone proceeded to order three 36-ounce frozen drinks. "What kind?" the barkeep asked. "The Best One," a certain someone replied. She gave us some formula designed to taste like astronaut Tang. I had a dozen sips; I think I drank the most. Like all transactions in the Big Easy, it was money well spent.

The next morning/lunchtime, I looked like this:


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Feelin' Saucy

Exciting footage from my trip to New Orleans coming soon, but in the meantime, may I ask what is up with all this duck sauce? Why are you giving me all this duck sauce, Chinese restaurants? I don't want your soy sauce packet, and I especially don't want your duck sauce. WAKE UP.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Cisco & Transco

A few weeks ago I was in a post-asleep, pre-awake purgatory where all I could think about was the Cisco commercial starring Ellen Page and two group of schoolchildren shouting "hello" in Chinese to each other. An endless cycle of NI HAO!!!!! It was unpleasant.

I guess Cisco advertises because no one knows what they do. Routers? What does that even mean? I always think of the Simpsons episode that shows an email transmission -- it travels through Patty and Selma's fiber optic cable, makes a brief stop at a Cisco router, and continues on to Artie Ziff's computer.

Anyway, no one knows what Cisco does, so it only makes sense that they recruit the world's most famous actress, Hard Candy star Ellen Page, to portray herself. She visits various settings in a small Canadian town, and is wowed by how Cisco connects them to the world. She visits this classroom, and sees a video conference set up between the Canadian kids and a school in China.

The Canadian kids are super excited to see their Chinese counterparts. Being the polite maple leafers they are, they greet the Chinese with a hearty "NI HAO!!!!!"

The kids in China respond by shouting "NI HAO!!!!!".

Uh, China? Pretty fucking rude, guys. According to the zero fact checking I've done, you don't own Canada like you own the U.S., and you haven't defeated Canada in a great war. Show some respect and greet them in English! Or even better, in Canadian: "Howdy, eh?".

And now, even though I've explained it all in perfect detail, I will embed the commercial in question below. Ellen and Cisco went through all that work to get this out to the people, and I'm honored to be the first website ever to social media the shit out of it: