Holy crap! Is it just me, or is this season of Saturday Night Live just painfully bad? The show last night with Jamie Pressly has to be the worst episode I can ever recall seeing, and horribly embarrassing for everybody involved. Losing Tina Fey as head writer (and Weekend Update anchor) has killed what little was left of a once great show. I never thought I'd be longing for the insanely stupid "Goat Boy" to come back to SNL, but ANYTHING would be better than this. Who in their right mind will want to host a show that can make even the usually-funny Dane Cook suck ass?
It's a lazy Sunday and so it must be time for bullet points...
• Tower: Sad news this weekend, Tower Records is closing its doors around the globe. Back in high school and college I would look forward to trips to Seattle with my friends because we would often stop at Tower and browse their collection of imports and 12-inch singles. Many times, we'd hit all three locations in Bellevue, Seattle Center, and the U-District to be sure nothing was missed. Of course now-a-days eBay and online specialty shops are a far more reliable and efficient way of finding music, but Tower is responsible for filling many holes in my collection in those early years. Since the store has fond memories for me, I've always stopped at other locations I find in my travels, including shops in London, Dublin, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur... plus some shops throughout Japan, and several here across the US.
• CBGB: As if that wasn't enough, CBGB is closing its doors as well. I've only been once, but still consider it to be an essential NYC experience and am sad to see it go. Rumor has it that a new CBGB is to be opened in Vegas, which seems wrong in so many ways. If this is actually true, I don't feel so bad that my CBGB T-shirt was ruined years ago.
• Quake: Washington's own Mt. Rainier, which I fly past frequently when inbound to SeaTac Airport, was hit by a minor earthquake last night which I could feel almost a hundred miles away. It is a bit worrisome to think that volcanic activity might be in its future. If such a beautiful landmark were to become another crater (like Mt. St. Helens), it would really put a dent in Seattle's southern view...
• The Departed: As somebody who thinks that Martin Scorsese hasn't made a great film since Goodfellas, I was most pleased with The Departed which may be his best work to date. This is kind of mixed praise though, because this film is essentially a remake of the brilliant trilogy of Infernal Affairs films out of Hong Kong. In many ways, I'd say the original works are superior (and well worth renting), but it's hard to deny that Scorsese did a remarkable job with his interpretation (cops with moles battle organized crime with moles in modern-day Boston). The violence, while harsh, is nowhere near the ridiculous levels of Gangs of New York (which I loathed) and the performances by Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio are fantastic. Jack Nicholson is also great, as expected, but it's difficult to see him as his character instead of "Jack Nicholson" on the screen. About the only negative is the wholly implausible love triangle that develops unnecessarily, but it's a minor quibble. If incidents of blood and violence don't bother you, The Departed well-worth checking out.
Streaming: How is it that YouTube can serve up millions of streaming videos every day, and yet just about everybody else fails miserably at it? Every site I try to watch video on from Sony to Fox to E Online all end up re-buffering every 5 seconds which is just stupid. Why even offer video if it's going to be completely unwatchable? Just put your shit up on YouTube and let somebody who actually knows what they're doing deal with it.
It would seem that bullet-points on Sunday is getting to be a tradition. Rather than fight it, I've chosen to embrace it. From now on, I'll save up all my bullet point crap during the week for Sunday. Easy.
• There's a nifty (but too short) interview with god Steve Jobs over at Newsweek. His assessment of Microsoft's incredibly fugly media player is priceless. When asked if he was concerned about the "wireless connectivity" functionality of Zune, Jobs replies: "I've seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable." — I think I laughed for ten solid minutes after reading that.
• My favorite comic book series of all time is Superboy and The Legion of Super-Heroes. I still remember the first time I discovered it, which was in a series of Whitman/Gold Key reprint 3-Packs at the local SafeWay. The issues that hooked me were the first I read, #255-257. I then spent years filling in my collection all the way back to Superboy #197 which was when "Legion" got added to the title (not a mean feat for a kid on a fixed allowance in middle-school!). Anyway, WB Kids has created a Legion cartoon, which is surprisingly good...
Superboy is called Superman for some kind of stupid legal reason, but is portrayed perfectly. My favorite character in the cartoon is Brainiac 5, which they have changed into a full-fledged robot. I should hate that (he's humanoid in the comic), but he's just so cool that I can't manage it! If you like cartoons, you should check it out Saturday mornings.
• I watched a great show on The Science Channel called "Building the Ultimate... A Giant Out of Water" which was about the construction of Hong Kong's New International Airport. One of my regrets in life was that I never got to fly into Hong Kong's old Kai-Tak Airport on the infamous "13 Approach" (which you can read about on Wikipedia). Once they moved to the new airport, that thrill-ride was closed forever. I think that this show is actually a series, but The Science Channel's website sucks so much ass that I couldn't find out for sure. I searched for several minutes, but the site kept popping up empty windows (via Flash, because I have pop-up blocking on) and giving me errors. Why bother to have a site at all if it's totally useless?
• I love standup comedy, and am totally addicted to Comedy Central Presents. I've discovered so many talented comics on this show, including Mike Birbiglia, Nick Swardson, Kyle Cease, Stephen Lynch, and many others. Great, great shows. So where the f#@% are the DVDs?? You can get a few of the shows at the iTunes Store, but where are the DVD sets? This is a completely missed opportunity, because if they were priced fairly, they'd sell huge.
• In other "I wish it were on DVD news" I just saw Richard Grieco's If Looks Could Kill for the hundredth time on television. How can such a funny movie which has memorable characters by Linda Hunt, Roger Rees, and Gabrielle Anwar not be released? I want a Special Edition Director's Cut double-DVD set loaded with extras and complete cast/director commentary... yesterday.
• Betty White made a welcome (if unexpected) cameo in last week's Boston Legal that was pretty cool. I wish I could find a screen cap to post, because she totally steals the show without even saying a word! I've said it many times, but Betty White kicks ass. UPDATE: Got em'!
• Even NBC must be realizing how much the current season of Saturday Night Live is sucking ass, because they didn't even show a new episode last night. Instead, they repeated a sweet episode with Kate Hudson and Radiohead that had Will Ferrell's flawless impersonation of James Lipton from Inside the Actor's Studio. And, as an apology for just how bad SNL is sucking, they are also starting to release complete seasons of the show on DVD (with musical guests!!). I am so going bankrupt buying all these sets.
• Lastly, if you want your mind blown, here's a cool presentation in Flash of "Imagining the Tenth Dimension."
Well that was relatively painless. Look for all new bullets next Sunday.
• Despite having way too much work, I made time to go see The Prestige, because it's a film by Christopher Nolan. I thought his Batman Begins was the best of all Batman fims. Insomnia was a little dull, but still a good movie. Memento was sheer genius, and I've lost count the number of times I've seen it. I had high hopes for The Prestige, and was not disappointed. The film, much like a magic trick, is a delicate balance. The trick is putting in enough clues to make the viewer have an idea of what's happening, but not so many that the viewer figures it out too early. Sadly (just like The Sixth Sense) I had everything figured out before the end, but managed to enjoy the film quite a lot anyway. I wish I could detach myself from movies like this enough to get fooled, but it doesn't ever seem to be...
The Prestige is a film about rival magicians (played by Hugh Jackman & Christian Bale) and their ever-escalating obsession to be the best. Along the way there are some surprising turns, shocking twists, and clever casting (David Bowie?). This is one of my favorite films this year (despite being inexplicably slow in parts). I was surprised to see that it was based on a book by Christopher Priest, who wrote the totally brilliant book The Affirmation which I read years ago. To say I'm dying to read the original novel after seeing the movie is an understatement.
• Speaking of totally brilliant books, I've been reading my new DC Absolute Edition of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. The volume is absolutely beautiful (looking much like Destiny's tome!) and has raised the bar for future Absolute releases. I've read that eventually all Sandman books will be given the Absolute treatment (four volumes in all) and hope that this includes the Death mini series... Chris Bachalo's stunning art would be amazing when blown up to a larger size! Highly recommended.
• In other movie news, I finally ended up renting Bride & Prejudice (the Indian remake of Pride & Prejudice) so I could see the brutally hot Aishwarya Rai in an English film because, well, damn...
I'm not much into musicals, but having the delicious Miss Rai around made up for a lot of cheesy song and dance numbers. One surprise... Naveen Andrews has a notable role that is very different than the brooding Sayid on Lost.
• As if Washington State's absurd "Say WA Campaign" wasn't embarrassing enough... Seattle has a new campaign of absurdity all its own... "Metronatural" for which they spent a hefty $200,000 and SIXTEEN MONTHS to come up with. And now they're going to blow $300,000 promoting it, which is odd, because I'd spend $600,000 to erase all traces of it ever existing (assuming I had $600,000 burning a hole in my pocket). What the heck does "Metronatural" say about Seattle? How is "Metronatural" going to inspire anybody to see Seattle? It's utterly bizarre, and sounds badly dated. The sad thing here is that Seattle is a remarkable city with a lot going for it, and I worry that "Metronatural" may actually have the opposite effect of scaring people away.
• My ENORMOUS PHONE is starting to go flaky, which means it's time to look for a new mobile. That's kind of a bummer, because I thought I'd have time to wait for Apple's iPhone to debut. But with no release date in sight, I've had to look elsewhere. At first I wanted the beautiful new Motorola KRZR, but that was before I found the ultra-sweet LG Migo...
How cool is that? It looks kind of like Shrek! So I get all excited and am determined to get one when I read on and find out that it is a phone for kids, and doesn't allow you to dial anything except four pre-programmed numbers and 911. How crappy is that? So now I am going to have to find something else. Bummer.
• After watching a few snippets of Kylie Minogue's Showgirl concert on BBC America and writing about it, I decided to take up the advice in my reader comments and rent the DVD. It was... uhhhhh... interesting. Mostly because Kylie is a very entertaining performer... but more so because the show has obviously been created for an audience of women and gay men. There is so much man-candy piled on her stage that I turned at least 10% more gay just from having watched it...
There's also quite a bit of Kylie's remarkable =ahem= assets shown as well, so all is not lost...
OMG! Aren't those red shoes just like totally the most fabulous thing ever? I'd kill or die to have the calves you need to pull off that look!
Uhhhhh... okay... maybe that would be 15%...
• Clerks 2 finally has a DVD ship date here in the States of November 28th. The release is packed with six hours of bonus features (including an extended version of the infamous "donkey scene") but the highlight is bound to be the cast commentary, just as it has been in all the previous Kevin Smith DVDs. Upon reflection, I'm thinking that Clerks 2 was one of my favorite films of the year (certainly the funniest so far), and I'm anxious to give it another viewing because the three times I saw it in the theater wasn't enough. Also being released on the 28th is "An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder" which is guaranteed fun.
• Speaking of Kevin, he has a new weekly video show at mtvU called Sucks Less With Kevin Smith. I was really looking forward to seeing it... until I found out that it requires Windows Digital Rights Management, and won't play on a Mac. Sucks less? I can't think of anything that sucks MORE. I find it shocking that Kevin Smith would be party to this stupid shit! Why not release the videos DRM-free on his blog so everybody can enjoy them? Stuff like this has me wondering what would happen if other vbloggers were as short-sighted. What would I do without The Show by Ze Frank, for example?
• Speaking of suckage, I'm still waiting for my Milwaukee Admirals' team jersey. They sent me one, but it wasn't personalized like I ordered it. I thought it would be replaced by now, but a month has passed and nothing. I'm a little bummed about that. I hope it arrives before my trip to Wisconsin so I can be totally awesome...
"For the last time, those aren't hockey pucks!"
• Speaking of totally awesome, the new Hellboy animated film, Sword of Storms has finally aired on Cartoon Network. It was really well done, beautifully animated, and featured most of the actors from the film reprising their roles (Selma Blair!). As a Helboy fan from day one, I couldn't be happier...
If you don't get Cartoon Network, you'll be happy to know that a DVD will be released next February. If you can't wait that long and are looking for some interesting reading, I highly recommend the Hellboy Animated Production Diary, which offers insight into the labor of love that goes into creating good animation. I was totally addicted to it, and couldn't stop until I had devoured every entry.
• Speaking of totally addicted, I am going nuts over Last.fm since re-installing it the other day. First of all, I've been buying music like crazy as I discover brilliant stuff I have somehow missed. Second, I've been rediscovering old favorites I haven't listened to in ages. And third, I am freaking out over Blogography Group Radio which compiles musical favorites from readers who have joined. It's a cool mash-up of stuff I know and like, stuff I never expected to like, and stuff I've never even heard of before. There's 17 members so far, and the resulting charts are interesting, to say the least! What an amazing, amazing service. If you like music and haven't tried Last.fm, you owe it to yourself to have a look. When I re-do the site once "Pink for October" is over in a few days, I'll be putting up a chart from my user profile right in the sidebar.
• Speaking of "Pink for October," it was my intention to raffle a big prize package this month, then sell out my entire inventory of T-shirts and donate every penny of the profits to the Susan G. Koman Foundation for Breast Cancer. Unfortunately, I never got around to doing this because of numerous doctor visits for my eyesight problems and catching up with the work I missed because of them. This is something I still very much want to do, and plan to have the raffle ready when I return from Seattle next week. I hope everybody who liked the idea is still interested (even though Pink for October will have ended) because this is an incredibly worthy organization...
Dave & Bad Monkey love healthy boobies! Schedule your mammogram today!
• Speaking of incredibly worthy, Jenny has truly outdone herself in her latest entry at Run Jen Run. I leave you with my nomination for Blog Entry of The Year...
"In sooth, I know not why I am so hungry. It wearies me, this aching. But feed I must. Look ho! More dots, I spy."
With all haste I beseech you to click over to "Death of a Pacman: A Play in Five Acts" for the finest assemblage of dramatic prose and images I have yet seen!
Alas, there are no more bullets to dodge here until next Sunday!
Given my dead power adapter this weekend, Bullet Sunday is a day late... and this time, it's gone gay! "Queer Sunday on Monday" I'll call it...
• Neil Patrick Harris! First George on Grey's Anatomy announces he's gay, and now Barney on How I Met Your Mother has done the same. The strange thing is that it hasn't been exactly a secret. I only visit online gossip sites rarely, yet I've read the stories for years. I've just never cared...
Yeah, there's that in-between period that kind of gave it away...
He's an actor, and he's great, so he can play any character he wants to play and I'm just glad he's out there (and OUT there). This doesn't change my enjoyment of Barney on HIMYM at all, just like it didn't change anything for George on Grey's. It's called ACTING.
• Pet Shop Boys! The first ever Pet Shop Boy concert in Seattle was... interesting. Their music consists of Neil Tennant's singing, Chris Lowe's keyboards, and not much else. Because of this, a simple recital concert would get boring pretty quickly. At the other end of the spectrum, an overly-extravagant production would overshadow their thoughtful, pondering songs. Wisely, the Pet Shop Boys decided to hit somewhere in the middle with a kind of art-show performance piece. The stage backdrop is a huge white cube that can be reconfigured in a variety of different ways (and to compelling effect). Other than that, they've got a few dancers, singers, and cube-movers thrown in for good measure...
Photo taken from the very excellent Rock 'n' Roll Star!
Going to the concert was kind of a last-minute decision, so decent tickets were expensive (but the front-row, first balcony view was awesome in Seattle's Paramount Theater). I didn't want to go alone so I asked a friend to come along... she's not a fan, but had a good time (it's entertainment everybody can love!). Overall, the show was brilliant, and I am totally psyched that I finally got to see Pet Shop live. Most every song was flawless, and their only mis-step was a sappy acoustic rendition of the otherwise excellent Home and Dry (which is a favorite). The INTERESTING thing about the concert was the audience... which was almost entirely gay men. It was much like what I'd imagine a pride rally in San Francisco would be like (but without the costumes, parade floats, and glitter), and raises the question: at what point did all the 80's synth-pop I love become totally gay? I could have sworn it was only partially gay back in the day. Anyway... for more terrific photos and a nice wrap-up, head over to Rock 'n' Roll Star, who did a much better job of talking about the concert than I did.
• Midnighter! The nastier half of the very cool gay-super-duo of "Midnighter and Apollo" (of The Authority fame) has his own book! As if the awesome Garth Ennis doing the writing wasn't enough, they got the brilliant Chris Sprouse for the artwork on the new Midnighter comic...
You've been a bad, bad monkey...
It is an amazing, ass-kicking read and will absolutely go on the top of my reading list each month. If Batman isn't tough enough for you, this is the book to get.
• Rev. Ted Haggard! I hope you get to burn in the hell that YOU YOURSELF HAVE CREATED for gay men and women everywhere you lying hypocrite. You've been condemning homosexuals and working overtime with President Bush to restrict the rights of gay Americans for something YOU do. I don't find the fact that you've been caught paying for gay sex ironic, "reverend," I find it pathetic you stupid asshole...
Hypocrisy, thy name is Ted...
The truly sick part of this is that now he'll go into seclusion and, with spiritual help, "cure" himself of his "sinful" homosexuality and probably make millions on a book deal where he can renew his gay-bashing on an entirely new level. Now THAT'S ironic!
Tomorrow Blogography returns to its regularly-scheduled bullet-free programming...
Time for your bullet-proof vest... SUNDAY IS HERE!!
• Cars! I never managed to catch Pixar's latest film Cars while it was in the theater. Now that I see how beautiful it is on DVD, I'm really regretting it. Because, while I had a hard time buying into a world populated entirely by automobiles, it was just so amazing to look at that I didn't care. Every detail was painstakingly represented and, if you've ever seen a NASCAR race, the track action was superb. The icing on the cake was the top-notch voice acting by Owen Wilson, who convincingly conveys a surprising emotional range as race car "Lightning McQueen"...
Awww... cute! It's an adorable talking race car!
I still don't think that the Pixar cars are as clever as the Aardmann cars for those Chevron commercials (is it just me, or do the Pixar cars all look cross-eyed?)... but this film does have the benefit of being the only funny thing I have ever seen "Larry The Cable Guy" associated with. It's no Toy Story or Monster's Inc. but still a lot of fun (unlike John Tucker Must Die, which was a boatload of crap and one of the worst movies I've seen in recent memory).
• Stats! Last month my "unique visitor counts had dropped for the first time in years. Now they've jumped by 36,000 for late October/early November... I guess people just love a monkey eating urinal cakes.
• The Office! For a while there I was getting really tired of Steve Carell's constant idiocy in the Americanized version of The Office but, after seeing his brilliant performance in Little Miss Sunshine, I decided to start watching again. Now I'm like a teenage girl, because I find myself saying things like "OMG! Isn't Jim and Pam going to be like the cutest couple ever?!" And who thought I would ever feel sorry for Roy? Oh well... I am so totally in love with Jenna Fischer now! She was great on Letterman, and looked brutally hot compared to her frumpy character on the show.
Now I'm mad that I stopped watching! They sell episodes at the iTunes Music Store, so I'm going to have to shell out some coin and get caught up.
Awww... cute! It's an adorable talking girl!
• Lost! And on the other end of the television spectrum... I've been complaining for months about what a suck-fest Lost has become after that brilliant first season. Unlike excellent shows like Veronica Mars which wrap shit up and move on to something better... Lost just lingers on, never providing a payoff. Now I notice that more and more people are feeling the same way, including this article at New York Magazine. I don't know if it is the writers, producers, or network that are insisting on being so frakkin' stupid, but if things keep going like this the show will be cancelled before they ever bother to answer anything. What a waste of time. But that seems to be typical for television lately.
• Veteran's Day! It was my intention yesterday to write a Veteran's Day entry but, given the drama of my dying PowerBook, I didn't get around to it. Even so, there's never a wrong time to be grateful to those who have served...
Bad Monkey's new best friend: Buddy Poppy
• Sucks Less! Several people have brought to my attention that Sucks Less with Kevin Smith is now being streamed via Flash for Mac users. You can check it out right here. The Smith intros are pretty funny, though some of the actual clips in the show are kind of lame. Something that is NOT lame is Clerks 2 which is finally dropping on DVD in a mere 16 days. Time to start watching all of my Kevin Smith DVDs so I am ready to go.
And on that note, I'm off to work. Monday deadlines blow.
Gaaah! It's the revenge of the bullet points!
• ZOON DOOM! Uh yeah... saw Zune, played with Zune, pitched Zune to the curb. The iPod has nothing to worry about here. The only thing that I'm envious of is the larger screen, everything else... from the clunky looks to the crappy software... sucks ass. Once Apple finally gets off their ass and gives us an iPod with a decent size display for video, Zune will be nothing more than a bump in the road. Yet another failed catch-up effort that doesn't measure up. You'd think with billions of dollars in the bank, Microsoft could innovate rather than keep imitating. Badly.
• COUCH BANANA! Scene No. 4 has been animated. Bring on the dream sequence...
• MEEEEEEEEAT! Many of the vegetarians I know (and all of the vegans) are sickened by the smell of cooking meat. I don't have that problem... I'm totally indifferent to the smell, though I'd rather do without if given the choice. On the way home from work tonight, somebody was barbecuing steaks and the aroma filled the air. Much to my surprise, it smelled so good that I very nearly had a carnivore relapse. It was all I could do to keep from running off howling into the night, hunting down that grill so I could tear into yummy cow flesh. Instead I had a can of Coke with Lime and some Pop Tarts. Yeah, that hit the spot.
• GOLDEN GLOBES! Elizabeth Hurley was looking her usual perfectly hot self in Berlin this week...
• WII-DUNDANCY! How sad is it that people stand in line to buy Nintendo Wii consoles and Sony PlayStation 3 consoles so they can sell them on eBay instead of letting the people who actually want to play them buy them? Though it's hard to blame anybody for doing it... a PS3 can net you $1000 minimum profit, whereas a Wii gets you double your investment. I wish that manufacturers wouldn't launch until they have plenty of supply built up so this crap could be avoided. Now I'm going to have to wait until I hear some kid bragging about getting a Wii so I can break into his house and steal it.
• BROTHERS & SISTERS! Tonight is a fresh episode of a show I never thought I would watch called Brothers & Sisters. When I first heard of it, I was intrigued because of the amazing line-up of talent behind it. I'm a sucker for good acting, even if it's in a weepy family melodrama...
The show revolves around a woman (Sally Field), her dead husband (Tom Skerritt), her brother (Ron Rifkin from Alias), and her five children... Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal), Balthazar Getty (also from Alias), Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under), and two guys I never heard of. When I first saw the cast, I thought "who are the two poor bastards who are going to try and hold their own against that kind of star power?" Turns out exactly the opposite is true. The two unknowns (Matthew Rhys and Dave Annable) actually have the best characters. But it's Annable's totally f#@%ed up "Justin Walker" that is the most challenging role on the entire show. Last episode he reached the breaking point, and I've been waiting all week to find out what's going to happen next. I hope it was worth the wait.
Now can somebody please tell me where I can buy a Mayor Adam West Cat Launcher? Seth McFarlane is genius.
It's another Bullet Sunday, but I'm shooting blanks.
• SNOW! Shortly after waking up, I was in bed checking my email and heard somebody outside stomping their feet. This could mean only one thing... the day I have been dreading has finally arrived. Our first snow. I am not a fan of the snow, and never have been. Even when I was a kid. It's cold, it's wet, and it's no fun if you don't ski or snowmobile. And did I mention that it's cold? A quick look out my back window verifies that six inches have fallen overnight and it's still coming down...
The horsies must not mind the snow, because they seem perfectly happy to be standing outside in it.
• DEPOT! Despite the crappy weather, I was needing some ink for my printer so I drove to Wenatchee over hazardously icy roads to get some. When I arrived, there were three employees but no customers which should mean that the service would be excellent. But the entire time I was in the store trying to find the correct ink cartridge, not ONE of the three asked if I needed any help. They were too busy talking about how slow business was. After five minutes at the ink counter followed by another five minutes in the paper section, I didn't find anything I was looking for and left. Customer service is dead.
• WARE! The incredible Chris Ware (whose Chicago exhibit I visited with Jenny and Gary) had created four amazing Thanksgiving covers for The New Yorker this past month. Fortunately, the magazine has graciously posted them online (with enlargements) so anybody can see them. It's well worth checking out...
• MADONNA! While working yesterday, I had Madonna's "The Confessions Tour" concert running in the background off my TiVo. I was not impressed. Madge seems to have forsaken the music in favor of being an over-indulgent, annoying, foul-mouthed bitch. She's come a long way since her "Who's That Girl" and "Blond Ambition" tours... and not in a good way. Kind of a pity, because I actually liked the album.
• CUPID! Today I decided to have something I know I would enjoy playing in the background while I worked... the best show ever to air on television: Jeremy Piven's Cupid. The complete series is being seeded on BitTorrent, and so I grabbed it. The quality is crap, but the show is absolute genius. This is probably my twentieth time watching all fourteen eps they made, and my love of the series has not diminished (I'm not an overly-emotional kind of guy, but when I get to the end of the "Heart of the Matter" episode I get a lump in my throat every time). I remain infuriated that it has not been given a DVD release, and am still fuming that ABC cancelled it seven years ago. Dumbasses. How hard would it have been to give it a decent time slot and let it find an audience? Of course, after they did the same thing to Sports Night, you have to wonder if that's something they are even capable of.
• SLEEP! Ah, I almost forgot... there's a new all-natural sleep aid on the market called "Midnite." I've heard it doesn't work for everybody, but it sure does a great job for me. I've been consistently falling asleep in about 15-20 minutes after chewing a tablet. The beauty of it is that it only stays in your system for three hours, so you can take it in the middle of the night if you wake up. Of course, if somebody likes to slam doors in your apartment complex and you don't have the three hours, there's unfortunately nothing Midnite can do for you.
And just like that, Sunday is over.
Live from Wisconsin — IT'S BULLET POINT SUNDAY!
• TIMELY! Much to my shock and awe... and despite the weather problems plaguing Seattle and Chicago recently... every one of the three flights I took today was on-time. It's probably one of the best travel days (connection-wise) I've ever had, even though it started at 3:45am.
• COLD! It is unbelievably ass-numbing testicle-shriveling cold here. As I drive down the road, the heater cannot keep up with the freezing temperature, so you roast where the heat comes out and are chilled to the bone everywhere else. I don't handle the cold well at all, so I am understandably miserable most of the time.
• CAMERA! My Canon S400 compact camera has been a piece of crap since day one, and today it finally stopped working altogether. Since every other Canon I've ever owned has been awesome, I'm chalking this up to bad luck and will probably be buying a new Powershot SD800 tomorrow to replace it (known as Ixus 850 outside the US). Traveling without a camera... even to places I've been dozens of times before... makes me feel naked. I simply must have a camera in my pocket to feel whole. The nice thing about this model is that it has true optical image stabilization, which will hopefully help diminish the number of blurry photos I take...
• DOLLS! Now that they've released a "Doctor" Laura talking doll to go with the Ann Coulter talking doll, the "Hypocritical Dumbass Whore Talking Doll Line" is nearly complete...
All we're missing is Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.
• GEOGRAPHY! A foreign reader of Blogography questioned my calling Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio "The Midwest" when, if you divide the USA in half, the "midwest" would be Montana, Idaho and such. This may be true geographically, but the various regions of the US are influenced by historical factors as well. I admit that not everybody divides up the nation the same way but, in general, the way I cut it up here is more-or-less considered correct...
• GOODNIGHT! A full day of travel after three hours sleep has left me exhausted. It's 9:30pm in my new time zone, so I'm using that as an excuse to call it a day.
Oooh! It's Bullet Point Sunday in the snow! Well, not really, because I don't see any snow falling outside... but that's what my weather widget is telling me. Darn you to heck you lying weather widget!
• WARNING! What is it with these stupid-ass warnings on DVDs now-a-days telling you not to steal movies? I JUST BOUGHT THE MOVIE... why in the heck do you waste my time telling me not to steal something I just bought... EVERY TIME I PLAY IT?
• ASSHOLES! I am getting so f#@%ing pissed off at all these f#@%ing idiots who drive down the f#@%ing road with two feet of f#@%ing snow heaped on top of their f#@%ing roof that comes flying off and f#@%ing smashes into my f#@%ing windshield...
One of these days I am going to follow one of these f#@%ing dipshits back to their f#@%ing house and get rid of that f#@%ing snow by setting their f#@%ing car on fire. Assholes.
• SHOP! Adobe released a public beta of Photoshop CS3 that runs super-sweet on my Intel Macs, and the speed increase alone is worth the massively huge download. The problem is that Photoshop CS2 never gave me any problems other than running slowly. What I need is a public beta of Adobe Illustrator CS3, because that CS2 sucker crashes constantly, and there are dozens of little quirks that drive me insane on a daily basis. I don't know if the icon change is temporary or not but, even though it lacks imagination, it sure beats the shit out of the horrendous old icons.
• FLAT! My local grocery got in some pricey pizza-type frozen entrees by "American Flatbread" which are simply amazing. I've only ever found the "three cheese" version, and am dying to try the other varieties but, alas, they are nowhere to be found in the valley. This is the first time I have ever eaten a frozen "pizza" which didn't taste like it came from a freezer, making it well worth the cost. I highly recommend giving one a try if your local grocery should happen to have them in stock...
• ZOOM! My Flickr Pro Account is running out and I am debating whether or not I want to renew it considering the good people at Zooomr will give bloggers a pro account for free. After all, if Zooomr is good enough for Thomas Hawk, a photographer I totally idolize, then surely it's good enough for me. My initial goofing around with the service has been good. There's only two negatives bothering me so far... 1) Logging in with OpenID is kind of clutzy because you aren't taken directly to your account, you instead get to muck about in the OpenID server and have to backtrack to get into Zooomr. 2) The interface is way cluttered compared to Flickr, and all that excess crap distracts from viewing the photos. That being said, the Zooomr community seems more closely-knit and active than Flickr. I uploaded just one photo and received five nice comments in barely any time at all. I suppose it doesn't hurt to nab my free account and figure it all out this weekend...
Foggy Day on The Great Wall of China
• MARS! Season Three of the amazing Veronica Mars is now available for sale at the iTunes Music Store. This will come in handy since TiVo WON'T GET OFF THEIR F#@%ING ASSES AND RELEASE A F#@%ING MEDIA PLAYER FOR MACINTOSH! What f#@%ing asswipes. Oh well, when I am away from home and can't get American television, the iTunes Store is probably more convenient than trying to mess around with BitTorrent. Holy shit I hope that Apple is working on a TiVo-like solution so I can kick my f#@%ing TiVo bullshit to the curb once and for all.
How can I be so exhausted yet not be able to sleep?
I went to bed at 9:30 and was relieved that I might actually catch up on some much-needed shuteye. But then I woke up at midnight, and haven't been able to get back to sleep all night. Insomnia sucks ass, but it did give me time to write the final Bullet Sunday of 2006... BLOGOGRAPHY'S BEST OF THE YEAR LIST!
• Best New Television Show... For nine glorious weeks, Project Catwalk featured Elizabeth Hurley being Elizabeth Hurley which makes it one of the greatest shows ever. At least it was, until this tragic event occurred.
• Best Returning Television Show... How does one choose between Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica? (if you are a guy, trust me... you want to follow those links!).
• Best Guest Appearance on a Television Show...
Betty White in "Peterotica" from The Family Guy.
• Best Movie... This is a tough call, but I was taken completely by surprise at how much I loved Little Miss Sunshine. A close second is The Prestige, which haunted me for weeks.
• Best Bad Movie Hype... I went to Brokeback Mountain because of all the hype and was so bored that I consider this to be one of the worst films ever. I prefer my remake, Bareback Monkey. "I wish I could quit you, Captain Crunch!"
• Best Video Game... Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy. I only wish I had time to play it.
• Best Funny... I never claimed that Blogography was a humor blog but, when I set my mind to it, this can be the funniest blog ever.
• Best Poetry... I hate to be tooting my own horn here, but my Seven Odes From My Day-Trip To Chicago kick ass! I should totally write a book of poetry!
• Best Charitable Cause... There is nothing more important right now than immortalizing my greatness. Give generously to the Dave Monument Fund.
• Best Explanation of Why I Am The Way I Am...
Yes, the world really does revolve around me.
• Best Reason to Have a Blog... Davecago was one of the year's biggest highlights for me.
• Best Shock... Randomly running into fellow blogger Timothy while in New York City just before he's off to Uganda. What are the odds? Considering he previously lived in American Samoa before moving to Africa, he would be voted the Blogger I'm Least Likely To Ever Meet, yet there he was in the middle of one of the biggest cities on earth.
• Best Non-Government Holiday... Yeah, it would be pretty hard to top Day of Slayer! (and getting to meet Mistress Eve and Dave3 a month later was icing on the cake).
• Best Garfield Strip in 25 Years... Well, it's not like Jim Davis was ever going to get around to doing it. You may think I'm joking here, but I'm totally not.
• Best Bad Influence... Bad Monkey really is bad... he's teaching kids to smoke cigarettes and then getting them into trouble at school.
• Best Blog Fan... Turns out that I'm not good-looking, not funny, and not nice, and somebody was kind enough to point it out to me.
• Best Identity Theft... And here I only thought I was joking about people wanting to be me...
Who could possibly want to be me with hair like this?
• Best Bad Robert Story... Well, of those stories I was actually able to share without getting sued, I guess it would have to be Bad Robert's Blue Balls.
• Best Advice... How to make your blog be like every other blog (though some people hated me for this one).
• Best Way To Hide a Fart... Who knew a pack of gum would make the best odor eliminator ever?
• Best Lie... Bob is a psychopath.
• Best Lesson Learned... One thing at a time.
• Best Blogography Entry... How can I choose when they're all so good? I've narrowed it down to these ten...
• Best Reader... It's totally you! How could it be anybody but you? Thanks for stopping by, and we'll see you next year.
I can't believe it's the two-hundred-and-twenty-seventh episode of Bullet Sunday! That's like 60% of a full year's worth!
• Needle! Today is the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking for Seattle's Space Needle. Originally created for the 1962 "Century 21 World's Fair," it quickly became a symbol of the city (if not the entire Pacific Northwest). What I love about the structure is that it doesn't look dated despite its classic 1960's styling. On top of that, it's a beautiful cornerstone of the Seattle skyline and a cool tourist attraction...
I've visited dozens of times, and the view from the top still takes my breath away. If you'd like to read more about the history of Seattle's landmark, there's a nice wrap-up at Wikipedia.
• Happy! What's kind of a mash-up between Friends and Coupling but somehow manages to be uniquely hilarious television in its own right? It's Happy Endings! I have to admit, I thought the whole "group-of-six-friends-half-girls-half-boys" sitcom concept had been played into the ground (usually to horrible effect). But I was dead wrong. Happy Endings is funny, funny, stuff. The premiere episode is available for FREE on iTunes and well-worth your time to check out...
• Proof? On the other end of the spectrum... the new television drama Body of Proof is just so bad. Dana Delany is great as a surgeon-turned-medical-examiner, but just about every other character on the show is total crap. The writing is so lame that it's almost comical. It's as if they set out to make everybody be intentionally annoying and unwatchable. I was hoping for another
• Collectorz. If you're a Macintosh whore who wants to enter your comic book collection in a computer database, you're pretty much screwed. Years ago I used a program called "ComicBase" which was originally created for Macs, but then they switched to Windows and dropped development for the Mac version (nice!). Over the years there's been a few new programs for Mac, but they haven't been very feature-rich. Enter "Comic Collector for Mac OS X" which is coming May 17th. It looks fairly complete and very affordable ($29.95 or $49.95 for a "pro" version)...
It pulls data and cover images off their web server, and allows for quick and easy barcode entry. In anticipation of its release, I've been using a trial membership for their companion "cloud" service: "Comic Book Collector Connect." It's a little cumbersome for adding comics, but still very cool. What's sweet about this company is that even if their OS X software sucks, I can still use the online Connect service to index my collection (unlimited access and database size for $19.95 a year!). If you're a fellow Mac whore with a comic book collection, check it out.
• AirPrint. One of the more serious omissions from iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) was printing. Apple finally addressed this a while back with a technology they call AirPrint. The problem is that this "feature" is half-baked at best. First you either have to buy an AirPrint-Enabled printer or find a 3rd party solution which makes your non-Airport printer be recognized by the iOS. And then the fun begins... figuring out which apps can actually print worth a crap. Most don't. Apple's "Photos" app, for example, doesn't allow you to fill the page with your photo when you print it. Instead, it prints a tiny image in the middle of the page. Other apps print okay, but the lack of control over orientation, scale, and placement is a serious detriment. Only apps which are specifically designed for printing (like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) seem to produce expected results. This is kind of embarrassing for Apple. Usually they don't release something until it's polished and functional, and AirPrint isn't there yet. Still... it is a promising glimpse of the functionality that devices like these will need in a "post PC world."
Annnnnd... now it's time for the new Burn Notice movie... The Fall of Sam Axe! As a huge fan of Bruce Campbell, it's must-see TV.