Posted on December 1st, 2011
Join the fight against AIDS. Educate yourself.
Posted on December 2nd, 2011
I seem to be running out of time for so many things lately. But, with luck, I'll manage to get caught up with all kinds of stuff this weekend... including doing the drawing for Avitable and my Movember prize package. Can't wait for that!
Today was a day of trying to do too much. This left me completely exhausted by the time I made it home. But do I ever learn? I thought I could manage a couple episodes of Game of Thrones while getting some work done after dinner, but the show is so amazing that you really have to give it your full attention. So now I'll have to re-watch the episodes again. Hopefully soon, because holy crap do I love that show.
The show I am definitely not enjoying is the three-ring circus that has become the Republican presidential arena. I am approaching near-desperation waiting for a candidate to emerge who can seriously challenge President Obama and give the American people the debate on issues and ideals that we deserve. An Obama landslide victory benefits none of us... even his more staunch supporters.
Herman Cain is almost certain to bow out of the race tomorrow. He simply cannot escape the massive level of scandal that's been escalating around him for months. But, then again, this is Herman Cain we're taking about.
Rick Perry seems perfectly content to keep reminding people how stupid he is by ridiculing himself at every given opportunity. Yes, you have to laugh at your mistakes, BUT THEN YOU MOVE ON. Who in the hell is advising him? IS ANYBODY?
Mitt Romney, who at one time "felt" the most presidential of the bunch, is now whining like a little bitch because the press is asking him the hard questions about his historical legacy of flip-flopping on every talking point in the history of politics. And we're not talking the tired old Republican go-to whining about the mythical "Liberal mainstream media" they've fabricated so they have somebody to blame whenever they say or do stupid crap... he's whining about the Conservative agenda mouthpieces at FOX "News"! There's little doubt that the candidacy is his to lose... AND HE'S LOSING IT.
Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum has now reached a level of insignificance that approaches navel lint. His never-ending attacks on the gays leaves little doubt that he is overcompensating for his massive craving for a big ol' cock sandwich. I wish he's just take a bite and shut the fuck up already.
Michele "Bat-Shit Crazy" Bachmann recently said she thinks that Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum would be the ideal vice-presidential running mate on her 2012 all-homophobe-all-the-time fantasy presidential ticket. As if that's not enough, she continues to dazzle us with misrepresentation and lies so bold that it's hard to figure out if she even knows that most everything she says is bullshit. This has gone from amusing to hysterical to sad to pathetic. At some point the Republican leadership is going to realize that her non-stop parade of idiocy is no longer a handy tool for making the rest of the candidates look good... but instead a raging embarrassment that makes them all look bad. Anybody who's seen Old Yeller knows how this one ends... it's just a matter of time.
Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have virtually no support within the Republican party. At least not enough to matter. And that's a shame, because Huntsman in particular seems like he could pose the biggest threat to President Obama in an election. If only he could somehow convince The Right that a "Conservative Light" candidate is far more appealing to undecided voters than the radical Conservative hard-asses they seem to rally behind.
Newt Gingrich gave me hope for the longest time. Sure I disagree with the bulk of his politics but, despite his many scandals, he seemed the most capable of making a serious argument for change and taking it to President Obama's front yard. He's got the vision and drive to make a serious impact, even though I don't think he has a chance of winning the election. But all of that is for naught if he can't reign in his rich bitch arrogant asshole mouth. Newt is almost joyous in his enthusiasm to kick the poor and unemployed when they're down, not seeming to realize that there are plenty of Republicans in that very situation. Who is going to listen to your ideas when you're shitting all over them? You can lighten up your demeanor without compromising your ideals... LOOK INTO IT! Because at some point you have to convince more than just your fan base that you're worthy of being their president.
And that's it! That's all she wrote! Unless somebody crawls out of the GOP woodwork to revive the run for the nomination, it's looking like Gingrich or (perhaps more likely) Romney is what we're going to get. This has me almost hoping that Sarah Palin swoops in and grabs the nomination, because at least that would be an entertaining disaster.
But oh no. If things keep going this route, President Obama is going to win in a cake-walk without having to answer for much of anything. It doesn't get much sadder than that.
Unless you're President Obama's campaign manager.
If you're President Obama's campaign manager, you absolutely live for this shit.
Posted on December 3rd, 2011
It's a Wonderful Life is playing on television. I loathe that movie. It's one of the single worst films I've ever had to endure. For the life of me I can't figure out why people are so in love with it. Is it the crappy, boring-ass story? The cheesy over-the-top acting? The nausea-inducing predictably clichéd happy ending? What?
Of course, I haven't ruled out that it's because I'm a soulless bastard. I'm totally open to that as a possibility.
It would certainly explain my joy at watching Herman Cain's presidential campaign implode.
I was really hoping he would just shut up, drop out, and go away... but apparently that's not his plan. It would seem he wants to fade into irrelevance like Sarah Palin did. Of course, she managed to make millions of dollars along the way, so there's that...
It's odd thinking back to the days when Cain was on the rise and I was actually a fan. Not so much politically, but because he had such a fantastic personality. Back then I was always tuning into his interviews because he was so darn entertaining. But then the crazy started to set in, and there's was no stopping the downward spiral that ensued.
Have to say I didn't anticipate an alleged mistress and all those sexual harassment claims hurrying things along though. If they're not true, as Cain claims, you'd think that dropping out of the race would only make him look guilty... so who knows how that's going to play out.
Guess I'll have to wait for the book.
Or the next Pokémon movie.
Posted on December 4th, 2011
Well poop. I am unable to get my video uploaded, so I guess that Bullet Sunday and the Movember contest winner will have to wait until tomorrow. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong, but I have troubles with YouTube EVERY TIME I try to send something.
But there was good news today: I made the final payment on the expenses I ran up while I was in Australia! Accumulating high interest charges on credit card debt drives me a little nuts, so this is a huge weight off my mind. I'm still mad at myself for having spent more than I could afford on vacation... but I ran out of money, so it was either break my budget or sleep on the streets and starve to death.
Fortunately it didn't take an act of Congress for me to raise my debt ceiling during a time of emergency.
Except now I'm behind on saving up money for my next vacation.
Perhaps I should make it a staycation to my bathtub, since that's about the only thing in my price range right now.
Being financially responsible sucks ass.
Posted on December 5th, 2011
Technical difficulties dictated that this edition of Bullet Sunday air on Monday. Now it's Tuesday morning where I pretend that it's still Monday. And since YouTube has been in "Read Only Mode" ever since I filmed it this morning, maybe it's actually Wednesday and I'm pretending it's Monday pretending it's Sunday? Sheesh.
• Winner! A huge "thank you" to everybody who donated to The Muskrat's Movember campaign. I appreciate it more than I can say.
Originally, I had filmed a video of me cutting up the names and putting them in the container on Sunday night. Then I had a dramatic "TO BE CONTINUED" come up so I had time to verify everybody's entries before drawing. But since I couldn't upload that video (thanks, YouTube!), I'm just going to skip to the drawing I had with the verified tickets (Monday Tuesday morning)... and hope that I can upload it...
Oog. I'm backwards! Congratulations, Remled Delmer! I'll get an email to you so we can get your AvitaToon and DaveToon under way!
• Martians. The Martian Tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs are among my favorite sci-fi books of all time. That's pretty amazing considering the first book, A Princess of Mars was published in 1917. Needless to say, I've been anxiously awaiting the big-screen adaptation by Andrew Stanton called John Carter. The new trailer for the film looks promising...
It's especially nice that Woola makes an appearance. He's as ugly-cute as I always imagined..
Here's hoping the movie doesn't suck. Given Stanton's incredible resume at Pixar, it shouldn't.
• Goose! Well, the geese are back again. Yesterday morning I got rushed in the parking lot while trying to get to my car. The vicious little bastards are fearless. When I got home they were gone from the parking lot, but a quick look out my back window AND THERE THEY WERE...
Look at them... out there plotting their next move. If you never hear from me again, alert the authorities. Or the Fish & Wildlife Department.
• Nowalla. And so Facebook bought out Gowalla. I've been using Gowalla to keep track of my travels for quite a while, but that's not the worst part. I invested a lot of time creating/updating/managing checkin spots for the service so, needless to say, this kind of sucks ass. Though, to be honest, it's not as devastating to me as it should be. They gutted all the things that made Gowalla so cool over the past couple months, so it's more of a relief than anything else. After shitting all over their users with unwelcome changes that nobody asked for or wanted, then ignoring people's pleas to fix major problems, I guess the writing was on the wall that they'd turn around and sell us out in the end...
=sigh= I will miss my custom spots for Blogography and Artificial Duck Co. though.
Annnnd... that's all she wrote this fine Sunday Monday Tuesday!
Posted on December 6th, 2011
A second blanket has been added to my bed today. A third is probably not that far off. It's December now, so this is to be expected... yet I find myself wishing that winter was ending instead of just beginning. I suppose I could turn the heat on and pretend that winter has abated for some reason, but the illusion would be shattered the minute I walked outside tomorrow morning. And not just because I'll be attacked by geese in the parking lot.
By choosing harsh reality over fantasy, I'm probably not doing myself any favors.
That day will come when I finally break down and buy an electric blanket.
In the meanwhile I'll keep bundled up at night and think warm thoughts...
...assuming I can find any warm thoughts to think.
Posted on December 7th, 2011
Dear Pizza Hut,
I love Pizza Hut breadsticks.
When I travel, I often times go from Pizza Hut to Pizza Hut so I can have your delicious breadsticks with their oh-so-crusty buttery tops covered in parmesan cheese that I love to dip in that rich, thick, sweetly flavorful red sauce. It's deliciousness I can count on no matter where I go... from London to Sydney to Tokyo to locations all over the good ol' USA. I write songs with Pizza Hut breadsticks in them. Most days I can honestly say that I'd rather have an order of Pizza Hut breadsticks than chocolate cake...
I wish I had Pizza Hut delivery in my small city, but I don't. My local Pizza Hut is thirty-five minutes away. I don't eat there very often because it's inconveniently located and usually requires a special trip. But tonight I was craving breadsticks, so I made a detour to get some.
Let me start out by saying that my server was excellent. She didn't just make me feel good about eating at Pizza Hut... she made me feel good about life. She was capable, friendly, helpful, energetic, enthusiastic, and knew exactly how to provide flawless, attentive service without being smothering. It was delightful.
But then the breadsticks came and I noticed something was wrong.
The sauce wasn't that luscious rich red color. It was kind of brownish-orangeish-red. It looked sad.
Then I went to dip a breadstick in it, and saw that it was thin and watery... not thick at all. This had the disastrous effect of turning my crispy breadstick soggy in the middle no matter how fast I took a bite after dipping.
And then I tasted it. Bland, uninspired, boring.
Are you now serving regular-old pizza sauce with your sticks instead of that sweet, succulent, scrumptiously zesty red sauce I know and love? Is that what's happening?
I sure hope not.
I hope this was just some terrible, terrible mistake. A temporary lapse of judgement, perhaps.
In this world gone mad, there's very few things people can count on. Delicious Pizza Hut breadsticks with red sauce is one of them. If that's no longer the case, then shame on you for taking a little happiness out of the universe at a time when we so desperately need it.
Right now all I can think about is my next visit to Pizza Hut and whether or not my beloved breadsticks will come with that wonderful sauce that makes life a little more bearable. I'm actually scared to go to Pizza Hut again in case it doesn't.
In happier news, there was a wonderful Google Doodle tribute to one of my all-time favorite artists, Diego Rivera, today...
If only I could Google up some real Pizza Hut breadsticks. Instead I'll just have to dream about them.
Posted on December 8th, 2011
Unlike most every other day, I didn't bring any work home with me tonight. I'm dangerously close to a major case of burn-out, and just needed one night... one night... away from work. And so I took it!
And then spent all night worrying about the work that I'm not getting done. I knew I should have picked up a fifth of Jägermeister on the way home.
Last night on the way home, I went to Costco and bought cheese. There's not a lot of foods I eat enough of to buy in bulk. Cheese and chocolate pudding are about it. Though, thanks to Costco contributing
I think we can all look forward to that.
In the meanwhile, I think I'll eat some cheese.
Posted on December 9th, 2011
The weather was not pretty today.
It was one of those hazy/misty/foggy days that made me think that my eyes were defective every time I looked out the window. Much like my life, things in the distance are a blurry mess. All I can do is focus on what's in front of me.
Not the view out my window... it's Glacier Bay in Alaska!
Unfortunately, what's in front of my right now is the possibility that telemarketers will be able to call me on my mobile phone thanks to the new "Mobile Information Call Act" that dumbfuck politicians whose mouths are permanently attached to special interest dick are trying to fuck us with.
And, I'm not going to lie to you, the very thought of having to pay for somebody to harass me is close to pushing me over the edge.
I hate... HATE... unsolicited calls of any kind. They enrage me so badly that I turn into an unbelievable bastard when somebody dares to disturb me with them. This includes charitable organizations, politicians, activist groups, credit card alerts, fraud bulletins... ALL of that shit. I don't like to talk on the phone with people I know... being bothered by people I don't know causes me to go into a thermonuclear meltdown.
The dumbfuck politicians behind it claim this is needed to modernize our laws so that critical information we need to survive is allowed to be robo-called to mobile phone customers.
There is no information... none... delivered by an automated dialer that I need interrupting my life on somebody else's terms. And, regardless of what the dumbfuck politicians say, you just know that eventually the law will lead to telemarketers being able to call. They'll exploit some loophole or bullshit technicality like they always do, then everybody with a mobile phone gets screwed.
The only law that I want on the books is one that says "YOU DON'T GET TO FUCKING CALL ME EVER!" And it should apply to everybody except those I've given my expressed permission to dial me. Permission which can be revoked at any time. Period.
This whole mess is how we know that politicians no longer serve the people they claim to represent. They serve special interest groups, lobbyists, and their wallets. Because, honestly now, who in the hell would ever want this law except special interest groups, lobbyists, and the politicians being paid by them? NOBODY! That's who. It's like asking somebody with an email account if they want spam.
Obviously our political system is very, very broken when stupid-ass shit like this sees the light of day. It's not a Democrat or Republican thing any more... that ship has sailed. Now it's just people with political power fucking over people without it. Again and again.
And we're told we have no choice but to sit down, shut up, and take their abuse.
Anarchy. It'll be here sooner than you think.
Posted on December 10th, 2011
I woke up at some ungodly hour this morning so I could watch the lunar eclipse.
I was expecting to see something like this...
Instead what I saw was this...
Clouded in again. Story of my life.
Can't catch a break when it comes to eclipseses eclipsees eclipses.
The latest Republican Debate that aired tonight was PRICELESS. Seriously, unless you saw it you just don't know. I didn't think it was possible for the entertainment value on these things to go up with Cain no longer in the picture, but there you go. It was like the nomination was pinned to a piece of raw meat that was thrown into the middle of the room and they all had to fight over it. Some of the attacks and in-fighting were so delicious that I found myself wanting to lick my television screen.
Usually, I'd run a recap of all the candidates and how they did, but it really wasn't that kind of debate. The only thing that surprised me this time around was how questions were designed to attack Gingrich in a kind of passive-aggressive way. I mean, when you ask about the importance of marriage fidelity when Gingrich is on his third marriage and everybody else is on their first, it's pretty obvious. I guess this means the honeymoon is over, and the Powers That Be have decided it's time for Newt to take a powder.
But despite it all, I'd say that Gingrich still came out on top (even if he likes to invent invented people). It wasn't hard to do when Mitt Romney was getting slapped around the entire time (and reminding everybody that he's sooooooo rich that a $10,000 bet is not a big deal didn't help his case much).
Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum and Michele "Bat-Shit-Crazy" Bachmann can't drop any lower than they already are, so I'd say the big loser of the night was Rick Perry. His folksy form of Christian exploitation and poor grasp of even basic issues makes him sound like he's mentally deficient. But what do I know... maybe that's what Republicans are looking for in a candidate. Has he had his turn as front-runner yet?
Personally, I don't want to wait for a Republican candidate to emerge victorious before debating President Obama. The entire panel seems to to nothing but attack the guy, so why not invite him to the next debate? That would be all kinds of awesome.
In the meanwhile, getting a good night's sleep would be all kinds of awesome.
If I were as insanely rich as Mitt Romney, I'd wager $10,000 it ain't gonna happen though.
Posted on December 11th, 2011
I'm sitting here watching television when it suddenly occurs to me that I haven't blogged yet today. Since Bullet Sunday was late last week, I'd better get a move on...
• Closet! And so we can add Rick Perry to the list of political assholes and religious nut-jobs who are most-likely closeted homosexuals. Why give a shit about the sex lives of consenting adults unless you've got serious sexuality issues of your own that you're working through?
Perry's disgusting new ad attacking brave men and women in our armed services is nothing more than pathetic pandering to a dwindling segment of homophobe voters. As if that weren't enough, it's also a gigantic pile of bullshit. Still, I'd love to see the outtakes from that shoot...
RICK PERRY: Not the Mormon guy, got it.
Wasn't he in the Air Force? You'd think he'd know better...
So THAT'S what he was digging around for in that pocket!
• Flash! And so this happened...
Which isn't really a big deal considering Lindsay Lohan doesn't display her downstairs business in the magazine, but has flashed her cootchie all over town for free...
In her Playboy shoot, Lohan decided to pose dressed up as an absurd Marilyn Monroe impersonator and be air-brushed beyond recognition, so I guess that's something. Or whatever.
• Whitened! When I get offers to endorse products on my blog, I always refuse so that when I do endorse something people will know it's for reals. And I gotta say, Colgate's new OPTIC WHITE toothpaste is certainly worth endorsing. It may taste like crap, but it actually works...
BEFORE OPTIC WHITE is on the left. AFTER OPTIC WHITE is on the right.
If you want whiter teeth but don't want to waste time with a whitening kit or pay tons of money for professional whitening, you might give Colgate OPTIC WHITE a try.
• New 52! Now that I'm three months into DC's "New 52" company-wide reboot, I'm still reading 35 of the 52 books. My guess is that this will drop to 30 by year's end, but that's still pretty remarkable. I would have never imagined that I'd like over half of these books considering I was buying only a dozen DC titles before the reboot.
If you'd like to see my scorecard for all 52 titles, I've put that in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on December 12th, 2011
I caught some crap for this old blog post today.
Some people are really serious about their wine, I guess. I thought I could get out of it by saying "I was only joking," but then I re-read the entry and realized that I wasn't. Oh well.
When I got home from work I was hungry but nothing sounded good to eat. Well, nothing here sounded good to eat. I would have killed for some Patatjes Met from the Netherlands. Or a Puka Dog from Hawaii. Or a plate of authentic Fettucini Alfredo from Rome. Or Pizano's Pizza and an America's Dog from Chicago. Or even just a Johnny Rockets veggie burger from Seattle...
But what I really wanted was something I can't even have any more... even if I went to Salt Lake City to get it... I WANT BIG CITY SOUP!! But it closed down years ago...
I hate it when that happens.
I hear they're making a Big City Soup Cookbook or something, but it wouldn't be the same.
I ended up having Peanut Butter M&M's and a Svenhard's butterhorn with a can of Coke...
Yo! Svenhard's... BUTTERHORN is ONE WORD, NOT TWO!
Posted on December 13th, 2011
Don't you hate it when there are tons of things for you to blog about but nothing you can actually post? That's me today.
And now I'm tired and want to go to bed. But since I have to blog about something, I just decided to go for it. Post all the crap that's been wearing me down and be done with it.
So here goes nothing...
Got a panda from my bag of Fritos and ended up stapling over the whole spaghetti stain. At first I thought "bless my credit card" but then I wonked about Latvia and thought "two seahorses on that dog vomit!" So now I say folding box the whole cheesy bread and poop waggle that burrito sauce. I'm just not blarg on that swamp cooler (if you know what I balsamic vinegar). I wish I wasn't so pirates about the electric razor, but what can I pillow case? She's such a whore.
Fonzie collated my banana clip, but I was raving with the bugle in a gift box. That undressed the whole glovebox, which meant the sunglasses had to reverse engineer Willie Nelson. Needless to pickle chip, that wasn't skipping the video tape on that blanket. So now summer squash is plunging the futon and plastic bag is vacuuming the entire moon base. This has fleegboggled the beer headphones and pencilled a sound of my spice rack. If things were any mason jar I'd have to ski to hockey jersey or I'd violin their oil filter. You can't fishing trawler this bunny puppet and expect doggie treat for my force field. What an asshole.
So there was bonsai peppercorn and Tupperware bowl on slippery feet. It was taco seasoning. But then revolver the nuclear waste and all I could newspaper was my gummy bear. I iron the butter lettuce to shark tank but the paved Zamboni never pup tent or revenge. This has subway the stairwell... and not the flushable parrot cage. FOR CHARCOAL FILM CANISTER!! What romper kitten hoe wanders that?!? Fedora grout? sandwich collar? I have no fucking clue.
Hand sanitizer. Air sickness plumber lightbulb. Carrot. Who cares?
Loading dinosaur every souvenir retro-banana, which Cozumel the finger-paint. Now muddy water tarantula the foomlargo ALL THE ANGELA BASSETT! Fall the microphone damage, because penmanship has no plaid internal. Now rubber brake crying, if marble staple poison would ever magnification warp drive into crisis hand swamp. They're pressure celery, but it's not like I can do anything about it.
Whew! Feels great to get that all off my chest. Maybe now I can get a decent night's sleep.
Posted on December 14th, 2011
In other news... Bad Monkey has a new job opportunity...
Granted, the scientists are only trying to find out if the radiation from the Fukushima meltdown is having an effect on the local wildlife, but it always seems so unfair that innocent animals have to pay for the mistakes of humans.
Though sometime, humanity manages to help out our furry friends instead of harm them.
A couple days ago there was a story about four deer being rescued from freezing waters by an Alaskan fishing charter. I can't get it out of my head, because it's such a great story...
If you haven't heard about it, you can find the story on Facebook. It's a heartwarming tale and well worth your valuable time.
And on that happy note...
Posted on December 15th, 2011
I'm not a very material guy. At least not anymore. I'd rather spend my money on traveling than on "things." As long as I have my MacBook Pro, my iPhone, and my camera, I'm pretty indifferent about any other stuff I've accumulated. So much so that for the past several months I've been getting rid of the clutter in my life by the box-full. About the only thing I want to buy is a new improved MacBook Pro, new improved iPhone, and new improved camera.
It's a frickin' onesie! It's baby pajamas for adults! How genius is that?
Even the name is genius... FOREVER LAZY!
Who doesn't want to be forever lazy? Sitting around the house eating junk food and watching television. And when that gets to be too much for you, you can just take a nap right there on the couch because you're wrapped in a blanket already. About the only effort you have to put out is when you poop. But wait... they even made that easy!
So now I'm torn. If I want to eventually upgrade my MacBook Pro, my iPhone, and my camera, then this isn't an option. It's not like the money to do all that is going to fall from the sky once I stop working to be Forever Lazy.
I need to find a way to make money at being a lazy asshole that doesn't have to think or make sense and can sit around being stupid as a hell all day long...
Hmmmm... wonder where I can find a sweet gig like that?
Posted on December 16th, 2011
I have no idea where the week went. Lately it seems as though I jump from weekend to weekend with everything between being nothing but a blur of non-stop work.
While working at home, I like to have some background noise going on. Usually it's the television or a DVD I've seen a million times. My current drug of choice is "The Science Channel" which is now called simply "Science" and which I have renamed "The We're All Going to Die Channel"...
There's actually quite a variety of shows on the network, but it seems a lot of them are sneaking in a deadly surprise. I'll be sitting in front of the television working, half-paying-attention to some show that's on, when all of a sudden I hear "...ending all life on earth" or "...destroying the planet" or ...devastating our world and everything on it. I'm guessing because 2012 is just around the corner and a lot of people have armageddon on their mind.
It usually goes like this:
Science tells us that INSERT INNOCENT HISTORIC SCIENCE FACT. If this CONTINUES/HAPPENS/HAPPENS AGAIN, then INSERT SCIENTIFIC THEORY, which would mean INSERT GLOBAL CATASTROPHE and we're all going to die!
Science tells us that the moon is drifting from earth. If this continues, then the earth's axis of rotation could become unstable, which would mean extreme catastrophic shifts in weather all over the planet and we're all going to die!
Science tells us that earth has a violent history of collisions with asteroids. If this happens again, then the resulting impact could cause firestorms across the planet, which would mean soot and ash blanketing the earth and blocking out the sun and we're all going to die!
Science tells us that earth has a number of "super volcanoes" just waiting to blow. If this happens, then huge sections of the planet could erupt in a chain reaction, which would mean global earthquakes and tsunamis ravaging the earth and we're all going to die!
And it goes on and on. Everything from "man-made super viruses" and "nuclear winter" to "running out of clean water" and "Mars leaving its orbit and crashing into the earth"... but, no matter how you slice it, we're all going to die!
And it will be a spectacular and awesome event.
I, for one, am totally psyched! Who says science can't be fun?
Posted on December 17th, 2011
Virtuous Victims Vying Vivaciously for Vindication...
Posted on December 18th, 2011
When I was a kid I remember reading the story of Sleeping Beauty. Not the Disney-fied movie version, but the messed-up Brothers Grimm original (did those guys ever write a children's story that wasn't totally messed up?). In that version, the princess is cursed to fall asleep for 100 years. Not wanting the princess to wake up and find out that everybody she knows is dead, a good fairy puts the entire castle asleep for 100 years too, then seals off the castle so nobody can disturb its slumbering occupants. Eventually a prince arrives just as the 100 years is ending and the princess wakes up when he kisses her.
Two things bothered me about the story.
First of all, why didn't the princess completely freak out when she woke up to have some strange guy kissing her?
And second, how sad was it that some poor servant boy in the castle has to sleep for 100 years just because some princess got cursed? What a bummer for that guy, especially if he has family living outside the castle. Now HE'S the one who gets to wake up and find everybody he knows is dead.
Like most Grimm Fairytales, Sleeping Beauty was totally depressing.
Then Disney came along.
In their version, the princess is cursed to sleep not for a hundred years, but until some handsome prince arrives and makes out with her, delivering "true love's kiss." They also added a totally bitchin' fight at the end where the prince battles it out with Queen Bitch of the Universe, Maleficent. After emerging victorious (spoilers!) the prince then kisses the princess, she wakes up, and everybody lives happily ever after.
All things considered, Disney obviously has the "feel-good" version of Sleeping Beauty.
Or do they?
All this weekend I found myself wishing I could just crawl under the covers and fall asleep until the year is over. But why stop there? Wouldn't it be great to fall asleep for an entire century when all your problems and worries were 100 years behind you?
More and more, I'm thinking the answer is "yes."
Now all I gotta do is piss off an evil witch and find somebody to guest-blog for me over the next 100 years.
Posted on December 19th, 2011
Hyperbole is so rampant now-a-days that figuring out the actual seriousness of a situation is almost impossible. Even with people you know. Especially with people you know. Just this morning I heard somebody say "After 15 minutes of being ignored, my head LITERALLY exploded!" And yet her head was intact, so I'm not sure what's going on there. I'm guessing she just doesn't know what the word "literally" means. I run across this a lot.
So when I say "This has literally been the worst day of my life," I can understand your scepticism.
"It can't be that bad," you say, "he's blogging after all. If this was the worst day of Dave's life, he wouldn't be blogging. Maybe he just doesn't understand what the word
And yet, sadly, I do. I literally know what "literally" means, and it's still literally the worst day of my life today.
When having the worst day of your life, I think it's only natural to compare it to other times where you were having the worst day of your life.
My previous worst day is burned into my memory and still makes me upset to think about it. The worst day before that is also very clear to me. But as I go backwards from there, the worst days of my life are fading. I'm having a hard time picking them out from the crowd. If they were truly so catastrophic, shouldn't I remember them? Maybe those earliest "worst days" weren't so terrible after all? I mean, come on... when I was five years old, the worst day of my life was undoubtedly something pretty silly... like being told I couldn't have a toy I wanted.
Needless to say, things have escalated since then.
As I sit here on literally the worst day of my life, all I can think of is what's next? What will come along that's so gut-wrenchingly awful that it replaces this day as my new "worst day ever?"
It would have to be something pretty big.
That would be a terrifying thought if not for the fact that having new "worst days" means that eventually this worst day will start to fade from my memories.
Life. It's pretty fucked up.
Posted on December 20th, 2011
Posted on December 21st, 2011
Posted on December 22nd, 2011
Maybe it's because this has been one very tough week, but I've had it with stupid-ass bullshit. I am done. And I mean done. What keeps me going is seeing other people who are tired of stupid-ass bullshit actually taking the time to confront it. And today I ran across a doozy.
As I've reiterated many, many times now on this blog, I automatically assume that anybody who makes personal attacks against someone is probably overcompensating for their own problems.
Anybody who attacks a person's sexuality probably has a problem with their own sexuality. Anybody who feels the need to attack somebody's religion probably has a problem with their own faith. Anybody who attacks how somebody looks probably has a problem accepting how they see themselves. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.
Oh... and lest we forget: Anybody railing against gay marriage probably has a problem with their own marriage...
That would be Amy Koch.
Amy Koch is the Minnesota Senate Majority Leader. She coauthored a bill to amend the Minnesota Constitution so that "Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in Minnesota." Thanks to her efforts, Minnesotans will vote next November as to whether discrimination gets shoe-horned into the State Constitution.
At least she was the Minnesota Senate Majority Leader. She recently resigned in disgrace for having an "inappropriate relationship" with one of her staffers.
In other words, a dirty cheating whore had the balls to dictate marriage morality to her constitutes.
Obviously we should blame the gays for this.
Fortunately, they have accepted responsibility and are making an apology...
Dear Ms. Koch,
On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community's successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage. We are ashamed of ourselves for causing you to have what the media refers to as an "illicit affair" with your staffer, and we also extend our deepest apologies to him and to his wife. These recent events have made it quite clear that our gay and lesbian tactics have gone too far, affecting even the most respectful of our society.
We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry. And we are doubly remorseful in knowing that many will see this as a form of sexual harassment of a subordinate.
It is now clear to us that if we were not so self-focused and myopic, we would have been able to see that the time you wasted diligently writing legislation that would forever seal the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, could have been more usefully spent reshaping the legal definition of "adultery."
Forgive us. As you know, we are not church-going people, so we are unable to fully appreciate that "gay marriage" is incompatible with Christian values, despite the fact that those values carry a biblical tradition of adultery such as yours. We applaud you for keeping that tradition going.
And finally, shame on us for thinking that marriage is a private affair, and that our marriage would have little impact on anyone's family. We now see that marriage is more than that. It is an agreement with society. We should listen to the Minnesota Family Council when it tells us that marriage is about being public, which explains why marriages are public ceremonies. Never did we realize that it is exactly because of this societal agreement that the entire world is looking at you in shame and disappointment instead of minding its own business.
From the bottom of our hearts, we ask that you please accept our apology.
And which politician or religious leader will get the next apology? My money is on Rick Santorum. Anybody who hates homosexuality that badly is bound to have a few dicks in his closet.
Posted on December 23rd, 2011
... ENOUGH WITH THE WILHELM SCREAM!!
Look, I realize that there are always going to be traditions and nods to the past in a creative endeavor. I understand that there's an urge to honor that which has come before by echoing it in the present. But it should be subtle. It shouldn't be a distraction.
And the Wilhelm Scream has been so overused that it can't help but be a distraction...
The turning point for me was The Lord of the Rings films. Until then, I was able to ignore the Wilhelm Scream. But once Peter Jackson decided to force it into Middle Earth, I could not. And what a waste that was. Jackson and his team took painstaking care to draw you into the film and make you feel as though you were in another world. Only to rip you out of it because of a stupid, obtrusive sound effect.
And don't get me started over how Joe Johnston fucked up the best movie I saw in 2011, Captain America. There I was, basking in the glory of one of the best comic films I had ever seen and then... HeeYAAAAAahhAAAAAH!!!
Enough is enough.
Posted on December 24th, 2011
May your holidays bring you peace and good cheer.May your holidays be forever lazy and filled with hot cocoa.
Posted on December 25th, 2011
When I was a kid, Christmas was a pretty big deal.
And even though it's not much a part of my life now, it's fun to look back on my early days to remember why I enjoyed... why I still enjoy... the season so much. Despite all the headaches, craziness, idiocy, fanaticism, and commercialism, it's still a time of year when you see a lot of happy people. Especially when it comes to stupid kids who don't know any better...
If you celebrate the holiday, here's hoping your Christmas is filled with goofy smiles too.
Posted on December 26th, 2011
A week and a day late with a Bullet Sunday... on Monday!
• Toys! The LEGO DC Superheroes site is finally live. Not a lot there yet, but it's a start. The good news is that some of the sets are starting to leak out... including an awesome Superman & Wonder Woman vs. Battle Suit Lex Luthor. Kind of lame how Superman and Wonder Woman look scary-mean though...
All I can think of when I look at this set is how much I want a LEGO video game with these characters in it. I swear, the LEGO Star Wars, Batman, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean games are the most fun I've had with a video game.
• Who? The Dr. Who Christmas Special was really done this year, as usual, even if it did drag in the middle with the silly trees and stuff. All things considered, the ending was surprisingly touching...
It's been confirmed that The Doctor's companions, Amy and Rory, will be leaving the series next season. Given that they're the most entertaining thing on the show right now, this is kind of depressing. Even worse, show runner Steven Moffit has said that their relationship reaches a tragic end. I'm sad already.
• Fabulous! I don't know why, but the new AbFab Special is available in its entirety on Vimeo...
Not surprisingly, it's pretty darn funny. If you're a fan, it's worth checking out now since it doesn't "officially" air on BBC America until the New Year.
• Pano! When I went to Australia, I started taking panorama photos in HDR. The results have been pretty amazing. The HDR equalizes out the tones so that the individual photos blend a lot better...
The above pano took 33 photos to assemble at full-resolution, but I think it was worth the trouble. Now I'm kinda psyched about finding new panoramic scenery to shoot!
• Scrivener. My favorite writing app, Scrivener, was updated to version 2.0 a year ago, but I never remembered to install it until this past weekend. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but it's an even more valuable tool than ever before. The upgrade to the notecard cork-board alone was worth the small upgrade fee. If you do any writing at all, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this amazing program. You can download a free demo for Mac or Windows at the Literature and a Latte website.
As if that wasn't awesome enough... an iPad version of Scrivener is being developed for release in 2012.
Annnnnd... back to work. This is going to be a crazy week.
Posted on December 27th, 2011
I used to take absolute joy in crushing my enemies and destroying people who have wronged me. I was also very, very good at it. If somebody was deserving of my wrath, I would do almost anything to make it happen. I would call in favors long forgotten. I would orchestrate any needed scenario. I would facilitate any action. I would pay any price. And while I'm not saying I would ever be the cause of any physical harm, my vengeance could be terrible and have horrifying consequences for anybody who dared to screw me over.
But then one day after a particularly nasty revenge scenario, I realized the only person I was hurting was myself.
Ha ha... just kidding. That's lame.
Actually what happened was that I took a moment to do a victory dance after a particularly nasty revenge scenario and suddenly realized I was genuinely afraid of myself.
The person who was capable of what I had done was not somebody I wanted to be.
Which means that I actually was hurting myself after all. Which is still lame, but at least it's lame for a cool reason.
That was twenty years ago, give or take.
Since that time, I've had exactly one relapse.
I'd like to say that I'm not proud of what I had done, but that would be a total lie. The only thing I'm proud of is that I didn't go any further than I did. Because, heaven only knows, they certainly would have deserved it.
But I didn't deserve to have to live with it.
Except now I've been working my guts out while catching up on the past couple episodes of ABC's Revenge starring the brutally hot Emily VanCamp, and I'm starting to have second thoughts...
On television, everybody is having a great time dishing out wrath and vengeance.
That could totally be me!
All I have to do is sit back and wait for somebody truly deserving to come along. Given my luck, they'll be here soon enough.
Posted on December 28th, 2011
Time for my annual wrap-up of movies that came out this year.
THE TWELVE BEST...
These are my favorite movies from this year that I actually saw. Now, I fully admit that most of these were seen on an airplane or via iTunes rental on my iPad. That's about the only way I can find time to see movies anymore. Still, I don't think the small screen influenced my decision any. Stupid crap like Your Highness isn't going to suddenly become brilliant if seen on the big screen...
#1 Captain America. Captain America in the comics has been a mixed bag. When played as the American icon he was created to be, he seems cheesy and dated. When played as a straight super-hero he seems flashy and lame. But they somehow managed to sidestep both of these obstacles to not only make an awesome super-hero film, but an awesome film period. My review of the film is here.
#2 Thor. My only problem with this film... only problem is that the timing was way off. It seemed to take place over days when the events pretty much dictated that it should have taken place over months. That being said, director Kenneth Branagh and Co. did the impossible: film a magical super-hero film in a realistic way without having it turn into a big joke. Loved this movie more than I ever thought I would.
#3 Paul. Reaffirming my belief that Simon Pegg & Nick Frost can do no wrong (seriously... Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead!) they turn their engaging comedic talents to geek sci-fi. As if that wasn't an intriguing enough premise, Seth Rogan was cast as the voice of titular alien escapee "Paul." The result is a new take on the buddy comedy movie with a sci-fi twist and plenty of surprises. Genius.
#4 Mission: Impossible, Ghost Protocol. Brad Bird, the mastermind behind such animated genius as The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille, makes an effortless leap to live action in one of this year's most exciting and stylish films. Ghost Protocol is the best M:I installment yet, with the entire IMF team being disavowed and having to clear their name in one awesome action sequence to another.
#5 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. While I'm not sure that I liked this David Fincher remake as well as the Swedish original, I can say it's a great film in its own right. Dark, disturbing, beautiful, and wholly engrossing, this movie is the whole taco. Disgraced reporter Mikael Blomkvist sets out to solve an old family mystery with the help of brilliant anti-hero Lisbeth Salander. The journey is more interesting than the ultimate end, but Fincher gives us one heck of a ride.
#6 X-Men: First Class. FINALLY! After three increasingly shitty films, we finally get a decent X-Men flick. Check that, it's more than decent... it's brilliant entertainment that fully captures the promise of what an "X-film" could be. Showing the early beginnings of the Marvel Universe's most famous mutants, First Class gives us engaging characters with enough super-hero action to keep things interesting. I am hoping beyond hope that they continue this story in future films instead of sliding back to the Bryan Singer franchise shit-fest.
#7 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Make no mistake, the Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie's films is not the Sherlock Holmes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novels. He's a sad imitation that happens to be entertaining as hell. So if you can manage to leave the "real" Sherlock behind, this is a highly entertaining film with nice stylistic touches and a decent story to boot. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are both note-perfect for the material, and the addition of Jared Harris as arch-nemesis Moriarty has me liking "Game of Shadows" even more than the first film.
#8 Horrible Bosses. By all accounts, this movie should have been an embarrassing mess. The previews assured me that it was one of those "so stupid it's stupid" flicks instead of one of those "so stupid it's funny" treasures. But my sister wanted to see it, so off we went... to one of my favorite films of 2011. I loved the way all the various plot-threads resolved themselves at the end. I loved that the characters were funny and felt three-dimensional and unique. I love that the "horrible bosses" were note-perfect in every way. Kevin Spacey was given room to be pure evil psycho genius. Colin Farrell was plain reprehensible. And then there was Jennifer Aniston... holy crap. Jennifer Aniston was not only brutally hot, but hysterically funny.
#9 Source Code. Duncan Jones, who gave us the utterly brilliant sci-fi film Moon, now gives us a thinking man's time-travel sci-fi thriller as a follow-up that doesn't disappoint.
#10 Bridesmaids. You will note that The Hangover 2 does not make my list. That film was just a pathetic retread of the original movie in a different location. The worthy successor to the R-rated comedy crown of The Hangover is actually Bridesmaids, which takes a similar idea to all new territory.
#11 Attack the Block. This flawless British sci-fi horror flick was a complete surprise as I was trying to kill time on the long, long flight back from Australia. It's action-sci-fi thrills that don't disappoint. Aliens are descending on street gang's turf in London and the war is on.
#12 Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. I have no idea where this redneck-buddy-comedy-horror-movie came from, but it was a guilty pleasure that was worth watching from start to finish. The film is more inline with the genius that is Shaun of the Dead or Evil Dead than stupid crap like Scary Movie. As if that weren't enough, it's got an actual message to it.
THE HONORABLE MENTIONS...
Winnie The Pooh. Go ahead. Laugh. But as an animation-lover who has been a fan of Pooh for as long as I can remember, this movie was amazing.
Here are some movies that might have made the list had I the time to have seen them...
Miyazaki genius Arrietty; Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed 3D epic Hugo; Cancer buddy comedy 50/50; Cold War LeCarre thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Romanian black comedy Tales from the Golden Age; Johnny Depp animated madness Rango; Monkey armageddon in Rise of the Planet of the Apes; Disease outbreak thriller Contagion; Classic cartoon adventure with The Adventures of Tintin; Heavily-praised chase film Drive; Silent B&W art flick The Artist; and Planet-demolishing mind-bender Melancholia.
THE SIX WORST...
There were quite a few disappointments in 2011 (like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) but there were few movies I actively loathed (though none of them as badly as the steaming pile of crap called Black Swan from last year)...
#1 Green Lantern. One of my favorite comic book characters was completely butchered on the big screen with a hot mess of a story and an over abundance of shitty CGI effects. Yeah, It's probably not the worst movie of the year, but such a crushing disappointment made it feel that way. You can read my review here.
#2 Sucker Punch. Zack Snyder is a fascinating director. His take on 300 was genius. And, despite my disgust at the unnecessarily altered ending, I thought his take on Watchmen was also excellent. So when I saw the jaw-dropping visuals in the trailer for Sucker Punch, I was understandably excited. Finally Zack Snyder was giving us a world he wrote instead of reinterpreting what he'd seen in a comic book. Unfortunately, the film was absolute garbage. Sexist, convoluted, trite, boring, senseless, asinine, garbage. Abused girl is dropped into a mental institution to be lobotomized, but "escapes" into her imagination in sequences that alternate between pole dancing and super-heroics. This film is the epitome of style over substance and failed on just about every level. Let's hope Snyder doesn't bury his Superman movie under such a huge layer of idiotic crap like he did Sucker Punch.
#3 Tree of Life. This was a beautiful turd of a film. Wonderful to look at, but ultimately a pile of self-indulgent bullshit that was so pointless and boring that I was praying for it to just END already, even if it took the destruction of the entire earth to make it happen. I keep seeing this movie on people's "Best List" and am completely clueless over what I missed as I was being bored to tears.
#4 Cars 2. Holy shit... a Pixar film made my "worst list?" What is the world coming to? Admittedly, I wasn't a big fan of the original Cars, but it had enough charming moments to make me ultimately like the film. The sequel tosses all that out the window and instead gives us an extended Larry The Cable Guy comedy routine that is stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID! How in the hell this film ever made it out of the storyboarding room at Pixar is a complete mystery to me. An obvious cash-grab by Disney if there ever were one.
#5 Arthur. If you would have ever told me that I would have a movie with Helen Mirren end up in my "Worst List" I would have bitch-slapped you so hard your teeth would fall out. It's inconceivable that an actor of such renown would ever agree to be in such a film. And then the shitty and embarrassing Arthur remake happened. Holy crap what a soulless pile of shit. I guess my sole consolation is that Helen Mirren was the best thing in this worst film.
#6 Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Chicago is one of my favorite cities on earth, and the opportunity to see it blown to shit was too good to resist. Even if it meant having to suffer through another crappy "Transformers" movie with crappy Shia LaBeouf as the crappy focus instead of the fucking cool Transformers as it should be. Shockingly, these movies continue to be successful, so I'm guessing a fourth one will be crapped out of Michael Bay's ass any day now.
THE HONORABLE MENTIONS...
The movie so bad it couldn't be saved if Cameron Diaz was nude the entire time Bad Teacher; The "OMG I can't believe I watched it even if I was bored on an airplane" Mr. Popper's Penguins; So stupid it's stupid medieval farce Your Highness; This year's sci-fi answer to last year's absurdly stupid "Skyline" is the absurdly stupid Battle: Los Angeles; Shameless retread of a terrific original The Hangover 2; Insanely stupid and disrespectful adaptation of a great character in The Green Hornet; Scary trailer for a not scary and totally shitty movie with Apollo 18.
Posted on December 29th, 2011
Time for my annual wrap-up of my favorite TV shows this year.
THE TWELVE BEST...
I am a total television whore. Anybody who has read this blog for any length of time already knows this. But this year was particularly bad. I watched more television than ever before, and have no idea where I found the time to do it. Though I'm usually working while it's on, and a lot of time I save it for when I'm traveling (thank you, iPad!), so that's something I guess. I sincerely hope that 2012 has a lot more crappy television so I can spend my time on more worthwhile pursuits (though I don't know what those might be yet).
#1 Raising Hope. I simply cannot express how much I love this show. It is flawlessly cast and the stories are always winners. Jimmy's family still has their hands full with baby Hope (who's starting to grow up!) and the outlandish situations just get more imaginative with each new episode.
#2 Happy Endings. This was hands-down my favorite show this past year. Now that we're in the second season... something is missing, and I can't put my finger on it. Yet it's still a fantastic series that's laugh-out-loud funny.
#3 A Game of Thrones. Peter Jackson's brilliant film adaptation of Lord of the Rings proved that adapting richly complex fantasy novels is not impossible. So I had a little hope when I heard that the Song of Ice and Fire novels were being brought to television. Then I found out it wasn't TV, it was HBO, and I was really hopeful. The result? George R. R. Martin's epic was faithfully brought to the small screen with a series that was literally too good to be true. Not to say that I don't have my worries for the future of the series, but I can't wait to see what they do next.
#4 Shameless. Well, wow. Nothing I can say about this show will do it justice. It's based on a British series I've never seen, and stars William H. Macy as a non-functional poverty-stricken alcoholic who has a family of six kids that have to raise themselves. The show is sometimes shocking... always interesting... and captivating in a way that I never expected.
#5 Dr. Who. Matt Smith didn't "sell" me as The Doctor until the absolutely flawless episode called "Vincent and the Doctor" (which I lovingly review at length here). It opened my eyes to the show in an all-new way, and the magic sucked me back into the wonderful adventures of our favorite Time Lord. I've since re-watched the last couple series and am now a bigger fan of the show as I've ever been. Really great television.
#6 Revenge. Yeah, it's a guilty pleasure... no question about it. But it's such a good guilty pleasure. When girl-done-wrong comes back to town in a new identity and decides to take down the people who contributed to the death of her father, delicious revenge ensues. And it is delicious. I admit that I'm not a fan of how the "vengeance of the week" awesomeness has died down, but the overall story is just too good to resist.
#7 Castle. Nathan Fillion and über-hot Stana Katic have chemistry that never diminishes. Sure this is basically Murder She Wrote for a new generation, but it's done really well. Even better, the supporting cast isn't just comic relief or incompetent foil for the leads... they are fully-functional and three-dimensional characters who contribute to the story in a meaningful way. And it just works.
#8 Sons of Anarchy. This brilliant biker gang drama did not get off to the greatest of starts this season. Indeed, I was worried that it had jumped the shark in the worst possible way. But then... something happened. The show took a turn for the better in a really good way. We were rewarded for our patience with some of the very best episodes ever to air on television, largely thanks to... Katey Sagal? (PEG BUNDY? SERIOUSLY?!?) As a fan of the show, I am glad to see that it is actually heading somewhere. As a fan of television I'm positively thrilled.
#9 Homeland. Damian Lewis, who I loved in Life, was the only reason I checked out this "homeland security" CIA love-fest. Surprise, it's an amazing show. It's just such a deep and rewarding investment of my time that I can't help but love it.
#10 Archer. This deeply disturbed cartoon series about the most self-centered (but capable!) spy in the world is so wrong. But it's addictive in a way that most shows only dream of.
#11 The Big C. A show where the lead character is dying from inoperable cancer. Hilarious, right? Oddly enough... yes. I still can't believe that this show manages to bring a smile to my face every episode.
#12 Fringe. This series is just not firing on all cylinders right now, but its past greatness has me holding on. In any event, it's still great television and well worth my time. I just hope that the show-runners have some ideas up their sleeves that will return the show to greatness. We need it so badly.
ALL THE REST...
And here's all the other noteworthy shows I am watching in some capacity or another. Sad, I know.
Rules of Engagement. I can't give up this show because I've grown overly-attached to the characters. The only problem is that the prolonged engagement between Adam and Jen that was meant to show the before/after contrast with Jeff and Audrey is growing increasingly unrealistic. They need to finally get married so the show can go to wherever it's heading after Jeff and Audrey's baby is born.
Community. As I've said every year since the show began, this is the most consistently funny comedy on television.
Breaking Bad. Easily the most messed-up show on television, it's also one of the most engrossing. You just can't wait to see what happens next. And it's usually even more messed up than what happened before.
30 Rock. I love... love... Tina Fey. And Alec Baldwin plays his role like nobody else ever could.
Louie. Surprisingly funny look into the life of a stand-up comedian (played by the brilliant Louie C.K.) that actually has some depth to it.
Justified. This show fascinates me with just how great it works given the "Lawman of Redneckistan" premise. The acting talent alone makes this a must-watch.
Parks & Recreation. I thought the shake-up this season would be the death-knell for the show. But adding Rob Lowe and Adam Scott was a ploy that actually worked.
Futurama. I like this show a magnitude better than The Simpsons because it never seems to get old. Probably because the setting allows for a lot more imaginative stories than just keep getting better.
Suits. Now this was a pleasant surprise. A new lawyer show that's actually a NEW lawyer show! I enjoyed the series quite a lot, though it's getting a little predictable near the end there.
The Big Bang Theory. Speaking of predictable... but they added Amy Farrah Fowler (played by Mayim Bialik) to the mix, which is good for all kinds of laughs. Th brilliant Wil Wheaton guest spots don't hurt either.
Boardwalk Empire. Remarkable show, but I'm losing my enthusiasm for it as time goes on.
2 Broke Girls. This show is really uneven in laughs, but it has its fair share so I keep watching.
Grey's Anatomy. Do not know how they keep this show fresh as long as they have. The problem is that they are running out of interesting medical problems, so they're focusing more on the drama, which is bad.
How I Met Your Mother. Still not tired of this show even though I should be because the premise has been worn paper-thin. A part of me really hopes that they'll just reveal the damn mother and end the show already. It's really time. But damn if I don't keep hanging on in the hopes of another Robin Sparkles episode!
Psych. The episodes kind of all blend together for my now, but every once in a while they do something that makes me love the show all over again.
Hot in Cleveland. Betty. White. What else can I say?
Modern Family. Not as fresh as it was. Growing really sick and tired of the "Stupid-Ass Phil Dunphy Dumbass Act of the Week."
Fairly Legal. I was really mixed on this show at the beginning, but grew to love it when I re-watched all the episodes in reruns. Really looking forward to a new season to see if they can keep it fresh.
White Collar. I may be growing a little tired of this one now, but they continue to come up with interesting cases, so I keep watching.
Episodes. Matt LeBlanc came back from the (career) dead in order to parody himself in an unexpected but very funny way. Two highly successful British television writers are seduced by the lure of Hollywood and a remake of their popular series for American audiences. AS one would expect, disaster (and LeBlanc!) ensues.
Burn Notice. This show wore out its welcome a couple years ago. But I love Fiona (played by Gabrielle Anwar) so hard that I cannot give up the show. In all honesty, I wish that they would spin her off in something new.
Dexter. Losing its charm with each new year. If next season doesn't have anything interesting to grab me, it's over.
Whitney. And not for Whitney Cummings, who is a little too annoying... it's the rest of the cast that makes this show worth watching.
The Walking Dead. One of my favorite shows of last year was completely trashed this year. SO not the series I fell in love with now. But the comic book is such an awesome source material that I can't stop watching.
Top Chef/Project Runway/Survivor/Cupcake Wars. The four "reality television" shows I can tolerate. Note that the "reality" is a competition and/or creativity, which is why I can enjoy them.
AND THE SIX WORST...
The biggest disappointments this past year.
#1 New Girl. How in the hell they managed to make one of the hottest, most remarkable women on the planet (Zooey Deschanel) become unbearably annoying is beyond me. And the secondary cast is even worse. This show is like nails on a chalkboard to me, despite how much everybody else seems to love it.
#2 Harry's Law. They jettisoned everything I like about this show... then kept all the things I hated. It's just more of the same now.
#3 Terra Nova. How in the hell can a show that has both time travel and dinosaurs be this bad? There is not a single character on this crapfest that I don't want dead. Horrible, horrible television.
#4 House of Lies. This show has Don Cheadle, Josh Lawson, and KRISTEN FRICKIN' BELL... WHAT HAPPENED? It is mind-numbingly boring between the good bits, and never seems to end... that's what. Yes, the good bits are really good, but it's SO not worth the shit you have to sit through to get there. The "time-freeze" moments which allow Don Cheadle to interrupt the show to explain terms and back-story DO NOT WORK. They are an interruption that actually interrupts the show in a horrible fashion. EPIC FAIL!
#5 X-Factor/American Idol/TheVoice. I have yet to hear anybody on any of these shows that I would want to listen to in real life.
#6 The Bachelor/The Kardashians/Jersey Shore/Whores Love Money For the love of God, please get all this "whores will do any stupid shit for money" crap off my television.
Posted on December 30th, 2011
2011 was an interesting time for music. I swear that I spent more time rediscovering old stuff than trying anything new. When I did try something new, it was usually to get hooked on an awesome single only to be disappointed by the rest of the album (I'm looking at you, Grouplove!). This got really tiring after a while, but that's what happens when none of your favorite bands release an album that year! Still, there were some noticeable highlights on the album front, and I've got my top six right here...
#1 Torches by Foster The People.
It's odd when you've been following a band only to have them hit the big time. I remember heading to Seattle to see Mother Love Bone (which morphed into Pearl Jam) and Nirvana play before the whole "Grunge" scene exploded, and it was both wonderful and horrible at the same time. On one hand you're overjoyed that a band you like has found success... on the other hand, you have trouble finding tickets to see them perform! Foster the People kind of flew under the radar for a while, but I became a massive fan from the very first time I stumbled across them on the internet. And look where we are now. Sold out shows everywhere they go. In the end, I can't really blame people for loving the band, because the eclectic influences Mark Foster incorporates into his music makes everything sound so new and fresh. Their debut album incorporates the songs from their awesome EP and adds even more musical genius to make Torches my favorite album of 2012. Yeah, it's overplayed, but Pumped Up Kicks is such genius that it never gets old.
#2 Holy Ghost by Holy Ghost.
Holy Ghost hit my radar last year when they did a "Battle EP" vs. Friendly Fires. In my humble opinion, they won hands-down with their cover track Hold On despite my being a big fan of Friendly Fires. But who in the heck was "Holy Ghost?" I'd never even heard of them before. Then their self-titled debut was released and the only thing that mattered was that I know who they are now. This album is lethally infectious and jam-packed with catchy 80's-flavored pop singles that never leave your head. As if that weren't enough, they got Michael McDonald(!) to collaborate on one of the tracks! The only real criticism I have is that some of the songs have repetitive bits that can drive you crazy. Slow Motion is almost unlistenable it's so bad. Hold My Breath has fucking amazing music, but the ever-repeating "I took some money from the joint account" line is irritating as hell and makes little sense. But, that's Holy Ghost for you, for better or worse. Regardless, the minute I start up the album and hear that intro beat for Do It Again, I'm hooked all over again... which is why this is my #2 album for 2012.
#3 Wasting Light by The Foo Fighters.
My favorite FF album is their self-titled debut and I played the shit out of it back in 1995. Alan Wilder had just left my favorite band of all time (Depeche Mode) and it was the Foo Fighters who came to my rescue in a time of musical crisis. Seven albums later, along comes Wasting Light to remind everybody what a rock album sounds like. While not quite on the level as the more commercial tracks I love, it's nice to hear Grohl & Co. moving forward. Sure there's catchy favorites like Walk and Rope as you'd expect... but there's also raw, blistering tracks like White Limo to keep things interesting. I've come to assume consistently great work from the Foo Fighters, but it took something different to make me really appreciate them as a band all over again. In addition to amazing music, Foo Fighters have some of the best videos ever. The intro for Walk goes on a little too long, but I love it anyway because it sets up the song so wonderfully.
#4 Last Night on Earth by Noah & the Whale
I'll be straight with you, this album isn't going to set the world on fire. It's an acceptable blend of pop and folk that is a pleasant diversion from the standard radio fare, and that's about it. Except... some of the songs are so beautifully executed that I find myself playing Last Night on Earth far more than I normally would. When I was preparing this list I was plenty shocked at the play counts I'd racked up in iTunes. It's almost as if I play it non-stop, which I probably do when I'm working. Reason enough to have this as my #4 for 2011.
#5 Panic of Girls by Blondie
Their last album left me sick with disappointment, so I was reluctant to hop on the Blondie bandwagon again... but boy did they deliver with Panic of Girls! This is a terrific album and a decidedly more mature effort than their early works. I love that the sound for each track is subtly eclectic and interesting... but also so uniquely "Blondie" sounding. Nice to know that Deborah Harry can still belt out a song with the best of them... I'll take her over Adele any day of the week.
#6 Days by Real Estate
Bordering on "easy listening," this album filled with hazy dreamy drifting songs that sparkle just enough to keep you awake. That may sound like a bad thing, but there are times when I'm working or driving that this is exactly what I need in the background of my life.
And before I go...
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR!
The Murf by Rendezvous.
Though, quite honestly, this could very well be the best music video of the decade...
Amazing. Just amazing. I've watched it dozens of times and see something new each time. BOW DOWN BEFORE THE ALMIGHTY SQUID YOU WHALE-WORSHIPING BLASPHEMERS!
SINGLE OF THE YEAR!
Midnight City by M83.
This innovative musical dreamscape that combines a lot of distinctly different elements into a really sweet track had me really excited for the album it came from, Hurry Up We're Dreaming. Unfortunately, the other songs there didn't grab me enough for the album to make my list. Still, the video is pretty darn cool...
I could have just as easily dropped Tounge Tied by Grouplove here. Amazing single, not so amazing album.
And that about sums it up. I'd list my "Worst Albums of 2012," but I never really latched on to anything truly bad this year. I suppose I could ask "What happened to The Decemberists with their new album "The King is Dead?" What's with the twang? Have they gone country? Have they gone INSANE? A huge misstep that may have cost them a fan... but still, there were nice bits too, so it's not like I could even label it as one of the "worst" I had heard this year.
I guess Lady Gaga could get the honor since Born This Way was pretty shitty. It was supposed to be some kind of gay anthem, but she ended up mocking the people she professed to be helping by putting bones on her face and shoulders then giving birth to herself from a giant egg. Well, baby, nobody is fucking born THAT way. All you did was turn yourself into exactly the kind of freak that simple-minded morons already label the gays with, which means the people who could have been influenced by your music were turned away. If you truly wanted to make a difference, you should have put your "art" on the back burner and sang the songs in jeans and a T-shirt or something. But still, her heart was in the right place and I'm guessing she managed to touch those she intended to lift up with her music, so I guess it's not so terrible after all? I dunno.
Anyway... here's hoping that next year all my favorite bands are back with new material in 2012 so I'll have an easier time making my list next December.
Posted on December 31st, 2011
For those who only read one of my posts each year... or anybody wanting a recap of the past year here at Blogography... this post is for you! I've jettisoned loads of the usual junk so this entry is "mostly crap" instead of the "total crap" they usually are.
Overall, it was an okay year. Launched a new magazine. Got to escape the country and go to Venice, Spain and Australia. Got to meet one of THE BEST BANDS IN THE WORLD, Matt & Kim, in London. Didn't kill anybody. And any year you don't have to kill somebody can't be all bad, right?
• Wrote an essay on Violence and America.
• Decided that I needed a new zodiac sign.
• Explained why it doesn't suck to be me when it comes to travel.
• Had an amazing day in Marbella, Spain.
• Ate some PATATJES MET!!
• What the world needs now is Unity and The Golden Rule.
• Had to take an unexpected detour that ended up being worth the inconvenience.
• Was horrified by the monsters who believe that a child lucky enough to have two daddies who will love and cherish him forever is unacceptable... but a child who is orphaned, unwanted, or unloved is somehow better off. Little Samuel is home at last.
• One of the biggest events of my year: launched Thrice Fiction Magazine.
• Took a break for a vacation in Venice, Italy.
• Had the absolute best birthday of my life when I got to hang out with Matt & Kim in London!
• Oh yes. Now that he's home, it sure looks like having two dads for parents is ruining poor little Samuel's miserable life.
• As if meeting Matt & Kim wasn't amazing enough, I got to see OMD in concert AND got to attend their rehearsal before the show!
• Found out that Donald Trump is nothing but a big liar on the Pee-Wee Dave Show.
• Gave a behind-the-scenes look at how the cover of Thrice Fiction came to be.
• Speculated that I'm not the only one whose life has been put in danger by a baking addiction.
• Went to Hawaii for work... and my Puka Dog addiction.
• Wondered for the hundredth time why Americans aren't rioting in the streets when they have so many good reasons to do so.
• Everybody panic... IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD!
• I'm corrupting America's youth, one breakfast at a time.
• Had some Photoshop fun in the face of a riot on "Don't Give a Fuck Day."
• Showed some love for National Chocolate Pudding Day.
• This year, a Very Special Davelanta.
• Went ghost-busting at the most haunted place in America.
• My sleep routine leaves a lot to be desired.
• Was traumatized to find out THIS happened to one of my favorite restaurants on earth.
• Took a short break for some hero worship.
• Saved a baby and pondered the fickle finger of fate.
• Finally managed to take that Trip to Australia that I always wanted.
• Hiked around Uluru (Ayer's Rock) as the Lord of the Flies in the Australian Outback.
• Fulfilled a life-long goal of diving The Great Barrier Reef.
• Um, yeah... went sailing in Fiji.
• Took time out for some EXTREME snorkeling with sharks and sea snakes in Fiji... then hung out with dolphins.
• STUPID DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME explained on Guy Fawkes Day.
• A deer tale... a feel good story if there ever was one.
And that about wraps up 2011. Not a bad year, I guess. And you?
Hope your 2012 is a good one, and thanks for reading!