Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the new dramatic chipmunk?

so here is the new video of the thx lemur. it's pretty cool and frightening at the same time. you probably shouldn't watch this video if you happen to be on mushrooms or acid right now.

i don't like how he is smiling at me but i think he needs to team up with aphex twin.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

hey ya'all!

i realize that this is becoming a very pop culture heavy blog and as a result, i wanted to make a quick post about britney spears. i know, i know...kind of a lame topic that everyone and their mom has been blogging about for the last 5 years. i don't care.

my journey with britney begins back when she had that catholic school girl video. i don't remember when it came out, but i know i was way too old to be attracted to her. and such was the case, in that she never really appealed to me. i remember just not getting it. i guess she was sort of cute back in the day...but certainly less cuter than most other young female celebrities at the time. my problem with her was probably based on the dumb in her eyes. i don't care how technically attractive someone is...dumb just ruins it. case in point: jessica simpson...who i definitely do not find attractive, but am unsure if it's truly the dumb or if it's a combination of things....either way, the dumb has a big hand in it.

anyways, britney seemed to be doing well, putting out popular music that while not outright offensive in it's badness, pretty much defined inconsequential. she was in shape and the general public was unaware of the crazy that festered inside. she hooked up with and married dad of the year k-fed. then they managed to have a couple of kids.

well she got divorced and then has spent the last 2 years or so completely unraveling and being a spectacle in a manner that really could not have been more spectacular had it been done on purpose. i won't recount details as they are many and everyone knows about them.

so now her life is a mess. she's got problems...but is all of this her fault? apparently she was on star search at a real early age and then went on to be in the mickey mouse club show...or something like that. just taking a wild guess, but mom probably pushed this dream and lifestyle on a kid that didn't know any better. so she didn't really live a normal childhood and as a result is now incapable of handling adult life. she seems to have the emotional intelligence of a 12 year old and i don't see things improving.

just as i shunned her when she blew up, i empathize as she goes down in flames. i hear the associated press is already writing her obituary as they prepare for the inevitable. only time will tell.

am i changing my stance just to be difficult and against the grain?
no phil, i am not.

do i think she is an idiot? yes.

does she bring the crazy? absolutely.

is it her fault? probably not.

should she hang out with even crazier celebrities to look not as crazy by comparison? let's hope.

will my so-called "empathy" stop me from posting super-crazy and unflattering pictures of britney spears?

update: if i were britney's agent/publicist i would arrange for her to hang out with the following people:
  • bobby brown and whitney houston
  • liza minelli
  • tyra banks
  • bruce vilanch
  • tom cruise
  • star jones
  • most recent cast of the real world
  • anyone affiliated with the westboro baptist church
who else would help britney appear less crazy?

Friday, January 25, 2008

remember tv funhouse?

i have found memories of a short-lived television show, tv funhouse. this was the brainchild of genius robert smigel who is responsible for triumph the comic insult dog, the tv funhouse shorts on snl and many other retarded things. i really love triumph, but this show, at least as i remember, completely outclassed anything else smigel has done.

the basic premise was a kid's variety tv show hosted by an affable and alcoholic host. initially it would seem like a vanilla version of peewee's playhouse, but this show clearly took things to another level. first off, the show was very animal-centric, which i always appreciate. there was an absurd pairing of live animals interacting with puppet animals. the show was on long ago enough that i am having trouble remembering specifics. i also find it very odd that i never hear about this show seemed destined to live on forever as a cult show.

i searched youtube and found this clip:

that's all i could find. seriously? how did this not make it on to dvd...because i think the general public is ready for it and it would be quickly embraced.

i do have one specific memory that since i have not lost it yet, will probably be with me forever. it was a 5 minute sketch of all of these animals acting like people, eating in a restaurant. of course there was the obligatory mix of live animals interspersed among the puppet animals from which most of the dialog was coming from. anyways, the focus is on one table consisting of recurring characters on the show. they are all having a normal conversation and then order their meals. one character, which was a lobster ordered the lobster...which seemed pretty ridiculous to me at the time...but whatever...i was along for the ride. the conversation continues and then all of the meals are presented. all of the animals start chowing down and the lobster just kind of looks at his plate of lobster and nonchalantly requests a doggy bag to take his food home. the rest of the animals kind of shrug their shoulders and get back to eating. the lobster quickly and nervously takes his doggy bag and leaves the restaurant. next shot: it shows the lobster having sex with the dead lobster that he ordered for dinner.

...and i will leave it at that. these were the types of messed up things that occurred on this show that made it hard to watch and awesome at the same time. i hope to see it on dvd soon.

because i like lasagna...of course

this past week or so i have seen 2 movies that both exceeded my expectations, but also make me a little embarrassed to praise. smiley face was a movie that louise and i had had our eyes on for a while. it basically looked like harold and kumar but with a girl. that girl being the very cute and underrated anna farris (who also kind of sounds like my roommate). either way, it was very funny and i personally thought her performance was hilarious...which i don't often say about female comedic actors. it was obviously ridiculous and over the top but captured the mindset of someone who is way too high very well. her "meta" thought process on garfield was spot on and besides the image of her sloppily running down the street may have been the most memorable part of the movie for me.

the other questionable movie that i really enjoyed this week was the brothers solomon. it stars will forte and will arnett as 2 brothers trying to have a baby. it is also ridiculous and unbelievable, but manages to be hilarious, if not a little uneven. i like both actors as well as co-stars kristen wiig and chi mcbride. there weren't particularly good videos on youtube for this movie, so i won't post any. but just know that the gags are plentiful. it got awful reviews (probably deservedly so), but that didn't stop me from enjoying it and buying it when it is on sale at best buy for $4.99.

again, with both of these movies, don't expect them to be "good" or "well-written" in the traditional sense. just know that if you are in the mood for a silly movie that, if you have a similar sense of humor as me, you will find funny, then i highly recommend both.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


louise got me a bento box, which i have been wanting for a while. it is essentially a lunch container that is divided up into little sections (almost like those classic tv dinner containers, but much nicer looking). i believe the idea is to create an aesthetically pleasing array of colors with your food, while at the same time allowing for various textures and tastes. this is my first experience with a bento box. i put the meal together last night. it consists of:
  • a bean and cilantro salad i made
  • red peppers
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • pepperoncini
  • cheddar cheese
  • triscuits
  • a hard-boiled egg
  • some organic peanut butter
i really should have included some sort of fresh fruit, but i didn't feel like going to the store last night and had to make due with what was already available in my kitchen. normally these are filled with japanese food as the bento box originates and is primarily used by the japanese, but i don't really cook japanese food (although louise did make me some delicious sushi earlier this week).

now i am brainstorming other items i may want to include in future bento meals. they have to be items that do not require heating. here's what i got so far:
  • broccoli
  • dark chocolate
  • berries (black, rasp, straw, etc.)
  • watermellon
  • banana
  • chips and salsa
  • leftovers that can be eaten cold
  • carrots
  • tofu
  • sushi
  • grape tomatoes
  • orange slices
  • apple slices
  • pineapple
  • edemame
  • zours
  • string cheese
  • salad
  • jalapenos
  • avocado slices
i could obviously go on and on, but those were the first items that came to mind. do you have ideas for stuff i can put in my new bento box?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

you can call me tom hatey

maybe it is because i have been busy at work...but the last post and this one i am about to write are rant-esque...and i am sure if laura read this she would go on about how i am so angry all the time...which i don't think is true. overall i enjoyed the weekend, but the columbia thing and the nfl playoffs were unsatisfactory to me.

so we all knew that the patriots were going to the superbowl. philip rivers sucks and the patriots are the patriots. prior to the games on sunday, i was talking to dave about the playoffs and comparing it to star wars, where the patriots are obviously the dark side. tom brady is darth vader and bill belichek is the emperor. randy moss was boba fett. brett favre was supposed to be han solo. i'm not a star wars nerd, but i felt it was a fairly relevant comparison.

well favre and the packers went ahead and screwed things up. they were awful and lost a game that they should have easily won. they made eli manning look like a fairly adequate qb, which is not easy to do. maybe he's ok...i dunno...i think i just have a problem with the dumb look he has on his face all the time. the packers had soooo many chances to win the game. i don't remember a lot of game specifics, but i know the giants kicker missed at least 2 field goals from like 35 yards away..including a miss at the end of regulation that would have won the game for the giants. the packers even won the coin flip in overtime and favre threw an awful pass that resulted in an interception. it just wasn't meant to be i guess.

but now look at the awful mess of a super bowl we have. i really hate both teams, and chris' man-crush on antonio pierce aside, i don't think any of my friends wanted this either. i strongly dislike both teams and as a result, i really have no interest in watching the super bowl. i would have loved watching favre defy the odds and pull out a gritty win against the evil patriots...but instead we have stupid eli and the redskin rival giants facing the patriots in what will surely be an unamusing comedy of errors.

we had a stretch of good superbowls in the late 90's and early 00's. but the last few have been stinkers and this one may go down as my least favorite of all time. remember watching derrick mason coming one yard short of winning the superbowl at the end of the game for the titans? or remember watching john elway lead his team to victory...scrambling his old ass out of the pocket and taking a big hit that flipped him around...just to get the first down? well that's not gonna happen this year. instead we have 2 very unlikeable teams (at least to me) that will play a boring game in which the patriots will abuse the giants like i abused phil in left-handed arm wrestling.

columbia is the opposite of good

work continues to be ridiculously busy (by my standards) and i haven't been able to blog like i want to. this past weekend was nice in that it was 3 days long. louise and i made the mistake of trying to go out and eat on a saturday night (big mistake). she usually works saturday nights, so it' been a while for me, but we found that every restaurant had a waiting time. we had a gift card for the cheesecake factory and went to the one in columbia...well that was an 85 minute thanks. we then proceeded to go to various other restaurants like macaroni grill, don pablos...they all had waits of at least 45 minutes. while i acknowledge that it was kind of naive of us to assume that we could just go out and eat at an average restaurant on a saturday night without waiting more than 10 minutes...but i was annoyed anyways.

i was also annoyed with columbia, which i never liked, but am disliking more and more these days. everywhere looks the same...and there is such a strong yuppie vibe that i don't particularly care for. i'm not saying laurel is anything great (louise will always let you know it is not) but at least it has some character to it. screw you columbia...i hope to never return to your dumb planned communities and identical streets that lead to identical shopping centers. screw you....that is, until we plan on redeeming out gift card at cheesecake factory...oh and we also got a gift card to the movie theater at columbia mall...oh well, nevermind, i give in.

Friday, January 18, 2008

will arnett is a lucky dude

so yeah, work has been pretty busy and occasionally shitty at times, but after next week i should be back to goofing off as usual. in the meantime, i spotted the new trailer for "baby mama" starring tina fey and amy poehler. i'm with dave and dan on tina fey being cute, but i personally prefer amy poehler, who i thought was really cute even way back when she played andy's sister on conan. and before i get more yammering and arguing from phil about how these women that we think are hot don't look like latina supermodels, let me throw this bit of logic at you....shut your pie hole (but please continue to comment). i really liked mean girls and think tina fey is one of the few female comedians out there that is actually funny. i love anything amy poehler does and i particularly enjoy the look of crazy that is clearly evident in her eyes.'s the preview clip for baby mama (bonus...also including the hotly underrated maura tierney...sorry phil, she's not 17 and from bolivia)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


zombies used to frighten me. as i have gotten older, i have become more and more intrigued and fascinated by them. i love zombie movies and netflix any that i find, even thought the percentage of zombie movies that are of poor quality is very high.

a few of my favorite zombie movies are:
  1. dawn of the dead - changed my life
  2. 28 days later - fastest zombies
  3. dawn of the dead (new sarah polley version) - almost as good as the original
  4. versus - zombies that know kung fu
  5. zombie (zombi 2) - man vs. zombie vs. shark
  6. shaun of the dead - hilarious, spot on spoof
  7. dead alive - most gore i have ever seen
  8. night of the living dead - the original, classic and holds up well
  9. undead - zombies
  10. the serpent and the rainbow - realistic voodoo zombies
i currently have a dozen or so zombie movies on my netflix queue, including undead or alive, starring chris kattan of snl fame. kattan plays a lovelorn cowboy trying to survive a town of zombies in the old west. i also recently rented another winner which i believe was titled "zombies on a plane". so yeah, i rent a lot of crappy zombie movies in hopes of finding zombie gold. there is no other genre of film where i am this willing to blindly rent.

i am in no way a comic book nerd and yet i do own some zombie comics that i think are awesome. i also own the cormac mcarthy novel, the road, which i have not read yet, but i know it is zombie-filled. listing this stuff off, i am kind of surprised by the level in which i have gone to accumulating zombie stuff, and yet at the same time, i don't own any crazed zombie fan say posters or maybe some nerdy zombie movie prop. everyone else kind of has their interest that is sort of unique...but i guess i never devoted too much effort or time into any one specific hobby...maybe it's zombies...

so what does my interest and fascination in zombies say about me? probably nothing good. but i'm not alone. there are a lot of people out there that share this enjoyment of zombies. there are lots of books, movies, websites, etc. devoted to this, and i am quite sure there is some sort of big zombie convention.

i find zombies to be interesting, as well as how different directors, writers and artists choose to portray them. i also like to see the different ways that zombie epidemics are started. i like fast zombies as well as slow ones. there's also just something inherently funny about them. maybe it was because i was scared of them as a child, my reaction now is to laugh at them, especially when they are being serious and they think i should be scared (even though i know that zombies can't really have thoughts like that). i guess i compare it a little bit to my dog when she is being serious and thinks she should be respected and we just laugh and imitate her and mock her till she walks away. in a perfect world i could do this to a zombie.

this also gets me thinking about one of my favorite what-if scenarios. what if i won a million dollars? just kidding. what if something went wrong and suddenly there were dangerous zombies roaming the streets? assuming i was not part of said zombie army, what would i do to survive? what supplies would i gather? where would i go? these are burning questions that need answering. i've never really fully thought it out.

assuming this happens at home with all of my roommates there at the time, i guess our crew would be me, louise, dave, nickie and jessie aka decoy. we would need weapons. dave has a bb gun which would probably be pretty ineffective. we have some bats for zombie skull crushing. oh and we also have roomba...i bet he would come in handy at some point. we have knives, but i bet none of them are sharp enough to cut through zombie neck. what else would be good to grab? we would need water, portable food, flashlights, first aid kit, and rope (if we can find any). we would probably have to make a run for it where our location was more secure and where we had access to more weapons and food. we could arm ourselves with weapons, (maybe bats with knives tied to them?) then jump in my accord and make our way to laurel mall which is close and usually pretty empty anyways. there we could set up shelter, hopefully barricade all entrances and then live like kings. come to think about...columbia mall is much nicer, but is further away. so we would have a decision to make depending on how dangerous driving is at that point.

as you can tell i can think about this all day. i guess it would also be nice to find other friends and family member who have not yet been zombified and have safety in numbers. i guess i don't know what i would do, but that's why it's fun to think about it. assuming you were able to read to this point, what would you do during a zombie attack?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

television of 2007

i am trying to write this on a day when i am actually busy at work. also, this serves as the last of my best of 2007 lists as well as my last planned blog idea i had remaining. therefore i will try to keep it short to appease those of you who have trouble reading my long and boring posts. (update: warning, although i put this together very hastily, this blog did not end up being short)

shows that i liked

kid nation

easily my favorite reality show of 2007. i have written a lot about it before. i find reality kids much more natural and much less irritating than reality show adults. laurel, alex, sophia and jared were great...taylor and mike...not so much. that's right're getting hate via me...i guess you're going to have to realize what is happening and accept the situation.

the office

very funny show with large and funny cast. i have a serious crush on jenna fischer (who also happens to be an avid reader of this blog!)

30 rock

equally as funny as the office and it helps that they schedule these shows right after one another. tracy morgan and alec baldwin are hilarious. dave thinks tina fey is hot.

the ultimate fighter

i have also blogged about this show. while i don't totally agree with the format of the show (show more fighting, less house drama), it is mma. it was particularly fun watching matt serra get the better of matt hughes through most of the show. his hughes impression was spot-on.

friday night lights

it's too bad not many people are watching this show, because it is kind of genius. not that i have ever spent any time in small town middle america or texas for that matter where football appears to be a big part of life, but everything about this show is about as perfect as you can get. incredible acting, writing, all comes together and shame on you for not watching. seriously, this show gives me goosebumps every week. plus there's tons of hot girls in the point where it makes dave hesitant to watch it.

late night with conan o'brien

i go to bed much earlier than i used to, but i know this is my favorite late night talk show. conan and his writing staff are always ridiculous. i would also add the daily show along with conan in that i know it is quality and funny, but i just rarely see it.

good eats

while i can pretty much watch anything on the food network, certain hosts annoy me...and no, i'm not talking about ray-ray. either way, alton brown's nerdy science + cooking show is always fun and informative.

i decided not to include shows i didn't like in that i really didn't watch them. but i know that grey's anatomy, family guy, desperate housewives, big brother, that charlie sheen show, that jim belushi show (is it even still on the air?), and the real world are all shows i despise and will be better if i never see them again.

what do you think? was i way off base? did i miss anything? comment!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

will you ever be fresh again?

dear will smith,

ah fresh prince (or will smith)....what has happened? things started off so well for you, but the last 15 years or so have been quite the rollercoaster ride, eh?

early on in your show biz career, you had a lot going for you. you had a music career as a goofy and generally family-friendly rapper along with your sidekick/dj jazzy jeff. i honestly didn't really listen to your music back then, but it was a good start. then you went on to do what i consider the highlight of your career. you starred in the fresh prince of bel air. my expectations were very low coming into the project...but boy was i wrong. not only were you great in it, many of the other characters in the show put on incredible performances. alfonso ribiero...genius. jazz getting thrown out the door...never gets old. the show was similar to married with children in that a) it was consistently funny b) the same jokes were used over and over again (and we all loved it). you were so funny and charming...i figured "i am a will smith fan....for life!!!"

then one day i discover, you had a supporting role in an indie movie playing a con man...hmmm...sounds interesting...what's that?...will smith playing a gay con man?!?!?!, that is awesome. i saw the movie and you were great. very understated and a nice departure from your work as lovable class clown in fpoba. "this guy has a huge future!" i said out loud to myself. things are only looking up for the fresh prince.

fresh prince ended it's long run on tv and you went ahead and starred in the explosion-fest, independence day. while i enjoyed it at the time, little did i know this was the beginning of the end for you. this began your run starring brainless big budget movies. you then went on to star in men in black the next year, officially earning you the role of summer box office go-to guy. lots of people liked it i guess...i thought it was dumb...especially with your stupid men in black song and video where you did that dumb dance...seriously that was dumb.

do i really need to discuss wild, wild west? that was a piece of shit and you know it...quit acting like you thought it was a fun family movie. you finally do a movie of note and play muhammad there's a feather in your was a very good performance in an ok movie...but then what? another men in black the next summer? then another bad boys? seriously...give it a rest already. what happened to the hip and fun fresh prince i knew and loved? you heard my cry and responded with....i

well surely you will take a break the following summer...or maybe do some interesting character work in some low budget indie movie to earn back some of your made the "movie" hitch. seriously??? come on will.'s been a while since we've seen jazz...if you're gonna make shitty movies, at least throw him a bone....maybe working with him will help. if you need help...i can definitely write a script involving the 2 of you in some sort of hilarious situation.

this year you present us with i am legend...i actually had cautiously high hopes for this one. i always enjoy zombie or last person on earth type movies and i had heard the book that this is based on was very good. i haven't seen it but i heard it sizucks! your movies are commercially successful, even though i generally dislike them all and consider your career a let down. at least i could think, "well his movies suck doodoo, but i know he's still that funny, charming and intelligent guy from fpoba. while i don't like his career choices, i can't truly hate on someone for taking the big money. but today i hear that you are now teaming up with tom cruise (tommy girl as he's known throughout the blogging community) and are trying to recruit people to join your sci-fi religion of scientology. are you sure that's how you wanna roll? do you not see the crazy that is burning so deeply in cruise's eyes? you want to alien(ate) yourself from people like him? i don't really care about other people's religions...i just don't really like the way some people have to push it onto others so strongly...and from what i've heard, scientology is pretty aggressive and weird about it. i realize this sounds a little ranty against scientology...which is not my intention...believe in whatever alien leaders you want...just know that being associated with tom cruise...this will probably not end well. i also heard zenu is kind of overrated. that is the breaking point for me. i can no longer have anything to do with you.


a concerned ex-fan

i donut about that

at various times over the last 6 months or so i have had an interesting thing occur while driving to work. after i pass by 695 while traveling up 95, i encounter a certain smell. it is always just prior to exit 52 to russell street. the first few times i smelt it, i couldn't figure out what my nose was smelling. then one day that familiar, yet puzzling smell returned and i realized what it was. i smelled donuts! you wouldn't think that donuts had such a specific odor, and yet they do. there is no mistaking it. i realized that i have not had a donut in a long time...maybe 5 years? i've always thought of them as ok.

i have 2 main donut memories. the first one takes place during a week at the beach with my family and louis. i'd say i was probably 14 at the time. my mom went out one morning before anyone woke up and bought a dozen donuts for everyone. apparently she walked out of the kitchen for about 2 minutes and a half awake louis walked in. when she returned to the kitchen louis had eaten like 4 of the dozen donuts. i guess technically i wasn't there when this happened...but i have sure heard about it plenty as it has become my mom's go-to story whenever she sees louis or his name is mentioned in her presence. i have heard this recollection dozens of times and while the story itself does not crack me up, my mom finding it hilarious does.

my other donut memory is also not interesting. during our freshman year at maryland, nam and i attended these morning get-togethers that were intended for commuters. there they served coffee, tea and donuts. this took place during my get as much free stuff as often as i can period of life which meant, eat 2 donuts and take 2 for the road...or something like that. the point is, i ate a lot of donuts once a week, not because i particularly liked them, but because they were free.

so now a couple of times a week i get to relive those donut memories during my drive to work...i haven't smelled them in a while as it is the middle of winter, but thanks to global warming we get freakish 70 degree weather in january. my only question now is, where exactly is this smell originating from. the area is strictly industrial, so that kind of befuddles me. is there some giant donut factory in the area? is some company ordering an obscene amount of donuts for their employees every day? who knows? the problem is, my initial reaction to the smell is to look around, hoping to spot the secret krispy kreme factory. this will most likely result in me crashing my car into a cop car and i don't think my reason of "i was looking for the donut smell..." is gonna sit well with them.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

music of 2007

i am attempting to get caught up on planned blog entries, but at the same time i realize that once i do catch up...i won't have anything to blog about...quite the more best of lists you ask? indeed.

i enjoy music...maybe not quite as much as when i was a teenager...but i still listen and enjoy plenty for everyone. some (phil) often accuse me of not liking things that are considered mainstream. that's just not true. i like some mainstream music. the problem is, a lot of it is crap...specifically formulaic crap or shiite (for my british readers). lots of indie or unknown music is just as bad as the lame mainstream music, the difference never hear it. only the good stuff gets through. there's not a similar filter in popular music, where if a record company puts enough money behind something, it will be popular. but as i mentioned before, i'm not saying all music you hear on mtv is bad...just enough of it to not bother watching.

similarly to my movie list, i will just list whatever i think of first (not in order of how like them)...with the hopes that it did come out in 2007. there will probably be glaring omissions...but oh well.

beirut - the flying club cup

sort of like traveling through some shady corner of eastern europe accompanied by gypsies and the man with the most hypnotic voice i have ever heard. probably the album i sing along with most when i am alone in my car even though i don't know many of the lyrics.

the arcade fire - neon bible

this is what most alt-rock should strive to be...they pick up where funeral left off and continue to take chances, make me feel something and remain genuine.

amy winehouse - back to black

hmmm...she sure is fucked up looking...and crazy, but all that matters is her ridiculously soulful voice. i don't know if she wrote these songs, but whoever was involved in the writing and especially the production of this album are genius (please don't be kanye). every song is a winner and could be on the radio.

arctic monkeys - favourite worst nightmare

i didn't think i would like this band when they first came out...considering they are called the arctic seemed like one of those let's just combine some random "hilarious" terms to form a hip band name type situations. well their first album was ridiculously catchy and this sophomore follow-up is probably equally as good. the album has 13 tracks, each probably around 3 minutes of pop joy.

bat for lashes - fur and gold

ok, so i had never heard of this band before seeing the donnie darko-esque video for what's a girl to do, but about 30 seconds in, i knew i would like this album. i also like that the lead singer resembles bjork.

midlake - the trials of van occupanther

kind of lake grandaddy if they never mentioned technology, this album is another one i can find no fault with, unless i am not trying to listen to music that tells somber stories with soft melodies.

burial - untrue

i've read others refer to this album as perfect music to walk around alone in a big city to. i guess that makes sense. not for everyone, but it has gotten much play in my ipod....although not usually whilst in a big city.

radiohead - in rainbows

they're radiohead...

lcd soundsystem - sound of silver

yet another genius entry from james murphy and company, this album is kind of a musical buffet covering a spectrum of sounds, styles and emotions. all-you-can-eat? more like all-you-can-listen-and-love!!!

gogol bordello - super taranta!

more gypsy music...this of the more upbeat and celebratory vibe. best use of accordions since weird al? also, the lead singer might be out of his mind and it works to awesome effect.

feist - the reminder

she's mainstream...take that phil! anyways, incredible voice...check! wonderfully light and airy pop songs...check! apple commercial...check! i find the hip shake starting at the 00:26 mark of 1, 2, 3, 4 particularly killer for some reason.

dr. dog - we all belong

ugh...i hate hate hate this band name....but i think that means that i actually like it. while this album is kind of uneven and i wonder if i might find these guys questionable were i to meet them, there is little doubt that this album contains some incredible catchy neil diamond inspired gems.

food for animals - belly

ok...i waivered on whether to include this, as i am a bit biased in that i know well at least 2 of the 3 main members. at the same time, i think part of why i liked the first album so much is that i was around them a lot during the whole process, so i really got to see the songs in various forms and can kind of associate tracks with specific moments and memories. now i find myself enjoying the new album but not in the same way as the first one, even though i know it's technically an improvement. maybe this speaks more to me growing apart from people and thus probably too personal to write about without feeling embarrassed. either way, this album is great as i expected. if you like crazy noise and non-dorky political want this album.

ok, that's a lot more albums than i had intended or expected to mention. i guess i really didn't listen to much hip hop in 2007...i tend to go through phases where it's all or nothing. i still have not heard the new lil wayne or ghostface albums, but i am sure they are good...i'll get them soon. hopefully 2008 will be another good year in music and maybe i will have some music project that i can add to the list?...probably not. what did you think of the list? agree? disagree? what did i leave out? next up (hopefully) tv of 2007.

...on the playground's where i spent most of my days...

louise and i took a nice holiday trip to philadelphia. we only stayed 3 nights, but we got see most of the things we wanted to and after 3 days, louise starts to miss jessie too much. whenever i am away and wonder what jessie is currently doing...i usually picture something like this...
let's see..we stayed at the radisson hotel right in the middle of the city next to rittenhouse square. the room was huge and had a plasma screen so you know it was balla. we did some walking around the first day...and after about 20 minutes i realized i wasn't ridiculously cold like i expected. we got some subs from some place called jimmie johns...i think...delicious. while walking around, my keen eye also spotted a bus that may or may not have contained souljah boy.

later that night we went out and went to an irish pub called irish pub. it was nice and not too busy...but not dead. we found our own little area in the corner. louise drank some of their local beers, while i drank a lot of maker's mark and the beer that louise did not end up drinking. i was feeling good and tipsy. i remember sitting there with her really engaged in our conversation, feeling appreciative that i have a girlfriend that i really enjoy talking to.

the next day we visited the reading terminal market which was sort of like baltimore's lexington market, but much nicer and with a more pleasant aroma. we walked around and looked at amish stuff and lots of food. we bought stuff for louise's parents. i found a vegetarian food booth that served veggie cheese steaks. well i figured, since i'm in philly...might as was...not great.

tastes like dissapointment

later that night we visited south street, which was mostly disappointing. louise bought some shoes and we ate at this nice and cheap mexican restaurant where louise did some eavesdropping on the other cutomers.

the last full day we were in philly was devoted to visiting some museums. i had intended on going to the museum of art to do the rocky steps run, but we decided on the ben franklin science institute and the mutter museum. the bfsi was cool and interactive. we checked out exhibits on sports and the human heart. i got to mix it up a little with mia hamm. we also saw an imax movie on ancient sea monsters which was cool except it was all cg.

the mutter museum was interesting. it was very similar to the walter reed museum i visited on a school field trip. there were a lot of medical anomalies and oddities that served well to make me uncomfortable and uneasy. no photography was allowed in the museum, which was probably a good thing unless my blog reader were interested in seeing unborn fetuses in jars.

one another thing i wanted to write down before i forgot was the diner across the street from our hotel. we ate their twice and really liked their food, prices, being open 24 hours as well as their name, little pete's.

Monday, January 7, 2008

big money

so i am approaching this writing of my goings-ons in reverse order as i have yet to write about my philly trip, but here's a rundown of my trip to atlantic city.

we left saturday and i went with phil, chris, dan, laura and sean. it took us like 5 hours to get there because of traffic and people needing to stop everywhere and buy food and beer and gas, etc. as we got to close to all of the casinos, i got excited...but then all of a sudden we got off on some exit that took us away from the main strip of casinos and i cried foul. i realized that we were apparently going to give our business to the hoity-toity borgata and their smart garage layout.

anyways, we walked through the casino and laura decided to get a sandwich...we stood around waiting for about 3 minutes when i could take it no more...i had to lose money and i had to lose money right then and there. i walked to the closest slot machine and lost $10 in 2 minutes...ah...that's more like it. not to be shown up by a simple money stealing machine, we sat at a black jack table. there was no love for kevin at this table. while everyone was winning more often than not, i got more 14's and 15's than really should have been statistically possible. the female supervisor asked the dealer "do you have an envelope?" the dealer replied "no...why?" she then points to me and says, "cause this guy should just mail his money to us..." i didn't really understand the joke but i understood that i was getting clowned. i responded by losing the rest of my $40.

following that pleasant experience, we were off to find the sports book so that people could bet on the redskins game as well as find a nice place to watch it. well apparently dan had dreamt that this was available in atlantic it was not. we shifted around from bar to bar...never getting sound. laura, sean and phil returned to gambling while dan, chris and i settled on the dimly lit bar that had 3 slutty waitresses. we were ignored by said whorish servers for about 30 minutes. i gave up and went to the bar to get a drink. chris waited a few more minutes. he and one of the scantily-clad waitresses made eye contact...but even that did not send her our way...but it did send chris over the deep end. he walked up to the bar and lectured the bartender about our poor service. i realized then and there, i was not going to order another drink. the waitress walked by us again and this time i made eye contact with her...there was a pause and like a cornerback i saw her movements before she was gonna make them...she was definitely going to walk right by us again...i gave her the international "over here waitress" hand gesture and it worked. chris and dan got their fruity berries and cream drinks that were surely 2 parts gay and 3 parts saliva and we peacefully watched the redskins humiliate themselves on national tv.

following that debacle we moved on to video poker. it was a version i had never played before where you could play up to 50 hands at once. i'm not calling myself a gambling genius, but i did turn a miniscule $20 into a whopping $37.60. i had intended on taking a picture of me holding up my earnings...but i forgot.

then we were all off to craps...which was apparently all the rage last time everyone was in a.c. i didn't have a clear grasp of the game so i figured i would watch phil and laura quickly lose tens of dollars rather than do it myself.

we continued to drink and walk around as our evening wound down. everyone lost money...some more than others, but i believe everyone had a good time. next time i'll probably gamble some poker...i just had a bad feeling about my luck after black jack. i thought my night was over...but on the way home, dan stopped at a wawa. laura visited the bathroom and when she returned, a flowing 3 foot piece of toilet paper followed her around the store. it was pretty absurd, to the point where i initially thought she was joking. dan saw it...laughed hard and didn't tell laura. below is a picture i tried to covertly take but it obviously did not turn out well...i also attempted to draw a picture re-enacting the hilarious event, but it also failed. i will have to rely on the mental image.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

movies of 2007

along with television, i also watch a lot of movies. i don't go to the theaters much because it is expensive, there are often inconsiderate people in the theater and it is also expensive. instead i have a netflix account that i love and which i have discussed in a prior post. i have seen a bunch of movies in 2007. the last few years definitely blend together a lot for me, but here are the movies i believe i experienced for the first time in the year 2007 that i really enjoyed.

no country for old men

this is the last great movie i saw this year, so it is fresh in my mind. a pretty simple story about a guy who finds a sack of money at a drug deal gone bad. he keeps it and is pursued by a crazy guy who wants the money. all the while, a small town sheriff is sort of trying to get the crazy guy. directed by the coen brothers, james brolin plays the money finder and is actually pretty badass. tommy lee jones plays himself as he sort of realizes he is old and kind of half-heartedly goes after the crazy guy. javier bardem who played gay cuban poet reinaldo arenas in before night falls transforms into a fucking unstoppable killing force while maintaining some sort of dumb and dumber style haircut. the goofy haircut makes things even scarier some how. again, i don't remember ever seeing a movie character that frightened me as an adult like bardem in this movie.

knocked up

i mentioned this movie in an earlier post while discussing my appreciation for judd appatow, seth rogan and the rest of their crew. it was an honest romantic comedy disguised as a hilarious movie with a lot of assy people playing themselves and behaving like i thought when i was 19 years old. everyone (except for dumb katherin heigel) is cast perfectly in this movie.

tekkon kinkreet

while i usually fall asleep half an hour into most anime movies, this one really kept my attention. first of all, the animation is beautiful. the story revolves around 2 orphans living in this big city. the city is just vibrant and really seems alive. there is equal parts action, tear jerking drama and straight up weirdness. that formula works for me!

the bourne ultimatum

ok, so technically i was so drunk when i saw this in the theater, i literally remembered nothing about this movie. well i watched on dvd last week and it was awesome. not quite as awesome as the first one...but it was definitely fun to watch from beginning to end. who knew matt damon could fuck your shit up like that?


a luc besson movie where an angel falls to earth to help save a down on his luck con man. they fall in love. it may sound simple, but it was simply charming. the girl is ridiculously hot too. this was probably the most surprising movie for me last year.

there were countless other movies that i also enjoyed, but those were the first ones i thought of. while i have seen many crappy movies within the last year, mainly awful low budget horror movies that i netflix in hopes of discovering a hidden gem, there were many movies i chose not to see because i knew they would not be good.

movies i did not see but hate

wild hogs

when i think about this movie i throw up in my mouth a little bit. i really hate john travolta and tim allen. ugh...soooo unfunny. but the whole premise of old guys in midlife crisis mode buying motorcycles and finding adventure was so busted form the beginning. while i like martin lawrence and william h. macy, it really makes no difference. the mere existence and subsequent success of this movie really makes me question our country's culture. they should have just replaced macy and lawrence with nicholas cage and robin williams....

shrek the 3rd

i hate mike meyers. his stupid scottish accent got old before when i married an axe murderer. wayne's world was good. the first austin powers was great...but fuck mike meyers and his stupid shrek movies.

pirates of the caribbean 3

i only saw the first one and some may disagree...but it was lame and about 90 minutes too long. i can only assume things got worse.

state of television

i watch a lot of tv. i don't have a ton of shows that i love...and yet i still find myself watching a lot of it. this is besides the point. the issue i am currently thinking about is this writer's strike and how it affects my television viewing. i have read up on the issues surrounding the strike a little, but am in no way knowledgeable on any of it. (ir)regardless, as a fellow writer, i side with the writers. ok obviously i cannot put myself in the same category as the s.a.g writers since i think my writing is generally awesome 100% of the time. also, i still have it rooted in me that i am for the people and against the big evil corporation (or whatever entity), so i had really chosen sides before i knew anything about it.

so yeah, i guess the strike is serious stuff....but as i mentioned before, in the kevin-centric blog, i wanted to discuss how this affects me. i have 3 situational comedies that i truly enjoy.
  • the office (version americana) - they stopped showing new episodes at least a month ago and with it they leave a gaping hole in my comedic heart
  • 30 rock - there is apparently one episode left where i can be amazed by the crazy stuff that comes out of tracy morgan's mouth
  • it's always sunny in philadelphia - their season is over and they were unaffected by the strike
there is only one dramatic show that i love.
  • friday night lights - this is the show that nobody seems to be watching...but it's so good that i would watch it even if connie britton wasn't in it...well i think they also have one more episode left...and with their shitty ratings, who knows if it will ever come back...
late night shows are also affected. while snl is usually lame, it was generally a decent diversion if wasn't doing anything else. last night most of the late night talk shows came back after about 6 weeks of being off the air. conan and letterman sported the strike solidarity beards. i saw a little of conan's show and it was funny, if not a little more awkward, but equally retarded. didn't watch leno, but i heard he's in trouble with the guild. apparently, the hosts could perform, but couldn't prepare any material beforehand. they had to just make it up as they went. lamo admitted to writing his awful schtick before the show. he's so fucking lame. summed it best:

Late Night talk shows returned to the air waves last night, with Conan O’Brien and David Letterman demonstrating their “Guildy Consciences” with two very impressive strike beards on display. Jay Leno, however, refused to grow a beard, as it disguised his single recognizable feature: Having no sense of humor.

so now what does that leave me with? you guessed it...reality tv! i am a little ashamed by my enjoyment of certain reality shows. i get real excited when american idol starts airing. i believe it was last season where i was introduced to the yellow-shirted singer/entrepreneur flawless, who i thought was awesome. instead of enjoying the office and 30 rock, tonight will be the premiere of the apprentice. while the apprentice has been lame since the second season, this season the players will be "celebrities". while it looks like the use of "celebrity" to describe these contestants is very liberal, tito the apeman ortiz is on the show. and while i am not particularly fond of him, he actally seems pretty smart and i guess i will be rooting for least initially. upcoming we also have the new american gladiators with mma beauty gina carano.
hopefully the writers' strike will be resolved soon so i can get the most out of my tv viewing. in the meantime, i think these reality shows will help ease the pain. we'll see.

back at work which means more bloggin time

i admit it. i have seriously slacked on my blogging. my main excuse is that my computer had some ridiculous virus on it and i had to go to work to get a windows disc. my other excuse is that i am lazy.

winter break was pretty good. as i mentioned before, we had lots of presents, eating and drinking during christmas. louise and i took a nice trip up to philadelphia which i will recap soon. i also managed to achieve a non-embarrassing amount of my winter break goals.

here's an awesome anticlimactic tale for you. i got my oil changed and also took my car in for emissions inspection. nevermind that i was a little nervous that my accord wouldn't make the grade, the main thing to take away from inspections was the old man in the little car in front of me. he seemed harmless enough...kind of looking like an older, grizzled anthony bourdain. well we were sitting there in line...all the cars are in park....or at least i assumed they were. when all of a sudden, i notice that his geo metro is slowly getting closer to my car. i assume that he was trying to....hmmm...i dunno what i assumed, but i didn't think much at first. well he kept getting closer and closer. my brain reacts with a quickness normally associated with animals that react quickly. i start honking my horn. he keeps on keepin on. my horn honks get more and more rapid along with my heart beat. i give him the wtf look he glances in the rear view mirror and gives me a shoulder if to say "not my problem". i cannot believe we fucking make eye contact and yet the issue is unresolved. i can only assume that he is approaching me with the obvious intent of property damage. the whole thing is reminiscent of austin powers slowly rolling over that henchman with the steamroller. i check behind me and there's nobody there. i again react with razor sharp reflexes. i put my car in reverse and back up at least 10 feet. he continues to slowly come at me like an angry senior citizen but then eventually stops about 5 feet away from me. well now i am more confused than angry but am considering getting out of my car to act tough and yell at him...hoping he's not actually like that giant man in the tiny car that teaches nelson a lesson on making fun of others. just as i am about to do it, an mva employee comes running out to our lane and begins to yell and chastise the old man. i end up changing lanes, giving him a dirty look as i pass him by. my lane moves fast and i am out of there before him. my car passes the test and i leave satisfied.

i managed to maintain a reasonably healthy existence while on break. i didn't drink nearly as much as i might have a year ago. i made it to the gym 3 times during that 6 day period...didn't reach my goal of 4 trips, but i am feeling ok with 3. i ate reasonably healthy except for the giant stocking full of candy that was constantly tempting me. i didn't get my windshield crack fixed...but that can wait. i did reinstall windows and thusly fixed my computer. i cleaned out my closet and while i didn't throw much away, i at least moved a bunch of clothes i don't think i want to the basement. i sorta cleaned out the fridge.

i met up with jevon up at his place in baltimore. i tried to get in touch with eskay but never heard back. either way, i am really glad that i got hang out with him. like eskay and amanda, he's definitely somebody who i don't see as much as i should. i seem to always have an interesting time with him. he still has that political fire and idealistic outlook that i formed along with him back during our towson years. so discussing politics and the like always kind of recharges me a little. he is also living with froilan and phil that round out the towson crew that i know. this paragraph doesn't make much sense as i read it, but i guess i was just mentioning that i had fun and also pwnd jevon in cod4. froilan pwnd us both.

all in all, it was a pretty good winter break. i didn't get everything done. i should have blogged more and i should have started some sort of art or music project. but i also didn't have that bad, regretful feeling i can sometimes get when i am just wasting my time off. this will be a winter break to build off of so that next year's will be fitter. happier. more productive.