Dec 25, 2006

Spider Man 3 Trailer

Not to be a blog-hog, but the new, NOT teaser of Spider-Man 3 is out on the internet - namely Yahoo! Movies - and, I've got to tell you, it looks to be maybe the best of the three.


There is one hokey element to the story. Apparently, it's Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) who killed Uncle Ben, not the guy from the first movie. I don't know how I feel about that, because it seemed like such a necessary catalyst for Peter Parker to become Spider-Man in the first movie. Don't you think?

I'm not downing the movie - I think it's going to be good - but I'm reticent to acknowledge a revisionist history of the Spider-Man movie world. That sounds nerdy, but it seems to work counterpoint to the entire idea of the franchise. I don't know. Drop a comment and tell me what you think. Please.

New Transformers Trailer

There's a new Transformers Trailer out on Yahoo! Movies, and I'm now undecided about it. I am more convinced that it will be somewhat more cool than what I originally thought, but I still have my reservations. It still seems as though it will try to be too much. "Independence Day 2", if you will.

It's time that we let Michael Bay in on something: G.I. Joe was the political cartoon of the 80s, Mike. NOT Transformers. We don't need to turn such a fun franchise into some half-assed political statement about Iraq or the Middle East or whatever it is that is plaguing the world in your mind this time.

All right. It's Christmas. I didn't intend for there to be any hostility in my mind, but sometimes Michael Bay makes m'so mad, you know?

Either way, the trailer is pretty cool, although you are able to see the Bots transform in the trailer (sort of). I thought one of the things M-Bay wanted to do was not allow them to be shown transforming before the release of the movie. Oh well. I knew that wouldn't last. It would be like showing clips of Rocky's dialogue only in the previews.

Also, there are previews for Jamie Foxx's new movie, Kingdom, the QT/RR slasher double feater, GrindHouse. Now I ain't no action movie expert, like my buddy Mike Swartzwelder, but Kingdom looks like it's going to kick ASS. It's directed by Peter Berg - Friday Night Lights - and it's also starring Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner and Jeremy Piven. It's about a group of FBI agents working in Saudi Arabia to stop a bomber from killing a group of people. It sounds like high-concept and no story, but I think that P-Berg will be able to balance the two. Hopefully he will.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Dec 24, 2006

Do Nothing - I'm a Do Nothing

As promised, I have done absolutely nothing today, except play video games and watch crappy videos on the internet.

The Colbert Report is great for this kind of day. Also, the Masters of Horror series from Showtime works, too, as I have watched one of those - Joe Dante's The Screwfly Solution - and the first disc of An Evening with Kevin Smith 2.

But I don't feel that bad. I wrote 16 pages today, although I haven't read anything. Tomorrow, I believe, will be the day to finish Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I might need to eat something today, as well. Oh, but I'm starting to get sick, and I'm in the state of the sickness where nothing really tastes good, or really tastes like anything at all. That really sucks, but whatever.

Have a HAPPY HOLIDAYS, guys. Or whatever you want to say.

From the Vault

I found this video of myself playing drums when I was four. I'm way better now, but it does show where I was at one point in my life.

No, but seriously, this kid is awesome. His name is Igor Falecki, and he's a four-year-old drum prodigy (obviously). I just expect a drug overdose any day now, though. Boom. Keith Moon & John Bonham joke in a single sentence. I'm sorry. It's really not that good. The joke. Not the kid. He's awesome.

I'm just surprised to find that he doesn't have his own Wikipedia Page yet, although it shouldn't be too far into the future, should it?

Dec 23, 2006

Please Stay Home for Chistmas

Several of the strangest events in recent memory have converged to cause me to miss my first Christmas ever. Well, I'm not missing Christmas - Christmas is inside everyone, like undigested red meat - but I will not be spending it at home.

How sad, huh?

Oh, well. I guess I'll just get even more time to look at nonsense on the internet, like old SNL skits on YouTube (if NBC doesn't take them away from me) or videos of cute/horrible/disgusting/pornographic/dumb things on Filecabi.Net. It's not my way, but it's the American way.

But I have a few logistical questions in spending Christmas alone:

What restaurants are open on Christmas Day? Will it have to be like A Christmas Story? I actuary think I'd enjoy some stereotypes of Asians singing Christmas Carorrs with no Rs. Get it?

I'll do some reading (play Guitar Hero/Manhunt), work on the second novel (watch the entire first season of Dexter on OnDemand), participate in a BumFight or two, and so on and so forth.

I hope that all of you have as awesome a Christmas as I do.

Dec 20, 2006

War on X-Mas Nonsense

I know you can't wait to burn the Yule Log, have some egg nog, sing some songs about old Saint Nick, and maybe slip under the mistletoe to celebrate CHRISTmas this year, but do you really know about the conception - er, excuse me, inception - of CHRISTmas?

Not to wage a war on CHRISTmas, but I'd just really like to share a few things about the holiday before I went to bed:

* Did you know that CHRISTmas was once celebrated on January 6th and coincided with many pagan holidays, mostly fertility rituals? Most educated people don't actually believe that Jesus was born on December 25.

* Mistletoe and holly - also the Yule Log - are in reference to pagan superstitions, also regarding fertility. CHRISTians only co-opted them for CHRISTmas in the late Middle Ages.

I don't believe people shouldn't celebrate CHRISTmas and everything, but I think that the "War on CHRISTmas" is ludicrous, making people pick sides over an effing greeting. It's stupid. That is all.

Dec 18, 2006

The Exception Does NOT Prove the Rule

I did not think that I had it in me, but I just finished my application to the New York City Teaching Fellows Program.

And you know what? I'm pretty excited about it.

I'm not guaranteed a spot in or anything, but I feel like I'm finally taking a step forward in my life. It's not easy to compoe a letter of intent, especially when you've never really thought about why you would like to teach.

But I got through it, and I'm actually kind of proud of what I wrote in the letter. It wasn't a bunch of crap that I thought I could say to get into the programs, as I imagine some people have probably tried. What I said was closer to the truth than maybe I had expected, and hopefully it will come off in the right tone to the people choosing over the thousands of applicants.

But it's not over yet. It's not like you apply and are just swept away to sunny New York City. Nope. Even if I get accepted in the application process, I still have to go for, like, an 8 hour interview in a month or two, and even then I might not make it. Fine. But if I make it through that process, I'll have to go for an eight week orientation in the middle of June, with only a 2,000 dollar stipend to tide me over. That's not bad money, but it's a little less than I'd make in an eight-week period.

Either way, it was a good, positive experience, and, even if I don't make it, at least I'm getting into the habit of applying for jobs.

For example, last night I found a web site for people looking for jobs in New York, and one of them was in sports radio at ABC. The thing is, I'm totally - or at least almost - qualified to do it. If only I had a little more experience in the booth, then I think I'd be perfect for the job. What's funny is that I'd probably be more worried about my sports knowledge than I would about my Telecommunications knowledge, and that's trivial. At least I hope that's trivial.

Dec 17, 2006

1. Three things that scare me:
the fear of death
people who don't fear death

2. Three people who make me laugh:
David Cross
The old guy from Stevie B's, whose pants fell down when he got up to get pizza.
The redheaded kid who fell down at Movie Stop

3. Three things I hate the most:
People who hate reading unless it's Harry Potter
service at fast food restaurants
Bud Light

4. Three things I don't understand:
The popularity of Ug Boots and Crocs
How some people still think W is still a great president
The humor of Dilbert

5. Three things I'm doing right now:
Deciding if I want to stop this to go Duece
Watching my German Shepherd chew on the cat
Checking my MySpace

6. Three things I want to do before I die:
Walk out on a check at a restaurant
Eat something so big that I get it for free
Kick Bono in the face

7. Three things I can do:
Be more vindictive than anyone in the room
Flummox Christians
Play the Daily Show Theme on guitar

8. Three ways to describe my personality:
With big hand gestures
By writing them down
Talking about those ways

9. Three things I can't do:
Spare your feelings
Keep my big mouth shut
Get the solos 'just right' on Expert in Guitar Hero

10. Three things I think you should listen to:
Your gut
Klyde's mother
My advice

11. Three things you should never listen to:
Your parents fighting
George W. Bush
Morning radio talk shows

12. Three things I'd like to learn:
Who killed JFK
How to read Melville without wanting to strangle myself or someone near me
Intestinal fortitude

13. Three favourite foods:
Pizza & Wings (It's like mashed potatoes and gravy)
A Heavy D Tofu Burrito from Barberitos
Cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch)

14. Three beverages I drink regularly:
Sam Adams
Green Tea

15. Three shows I watched as a kid:
Tales from the Crypt
The Wonder Years

Tis the Season!

1. Favorite seasonal movie?
Nat'l Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

2. Song you most enjoy this time of year?
Please Come Home for Christmas
3. "Holiday Greeting"?
Happy Holidays - Last time I checked, Chanukkah and New Year's counted too.
4. Decorate, inside? outside?
No. It would only be tacky if I did.
5. Do you make a list? If so, how many people are on it?
Yes, a naughty list, and everone's on it.
6. How up to the last minute do you shop?
Christmas Eve at 9:30 or 10 o'clock.
7. When do you open your gifts?
Christmas Eve at LP's place, and Christmas day at my mom's.
8. Holiday food you most savor?
All of it, EXCEPT fruit cake. Does anybody like that stuff?
9. Favorite holiday book?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
10. New Year Resolutions?
To not be so cynical next year.

Dec 12, 2006

How to Play Glasses?

Tonight during the Nip/Tuck season finale, there was a Tanqueray commercial in which an old man plays martini glasses like an instrument. I have never seen it done in real life, so I wondered if it was actually possible.

Only, I have no idea how to search for it. What is it? What is the act of playing half-full glasses called? I don't really want to lear, but I would at least like to know how it is done and what logic lies behind it. Also, the history would be coold as well.

Anyone out there an expert on the subject?

Bad Food Nation

Eric Schlosser, author of non-fiction book Fast Food Nation was on Countdown with Keith Olberman tonight, and he mentioned just how deregulated our food system in America has become.

Apparently, during the 1970s, there were more than 34,000 health inspections in restaurants per year, which is horrible compared the the less than 3,500 that are going on each year now.

He hinted at the idea that our food system has been weakened by the big food lobbies, especially the beef and chicken lobbies, and - I would guess - the onion and scallin lobbies.

That's a load of crap. How are we supposed to trust these restaurants (especially one that I like so much, Taco Bell) when so little regulation is going on. I mean, I know a lot of the right-wingers out there are saying that the federal government has no business telling a company what it can or cannot serve, but this is ridiculous.

When it involves the public's safety, then I think it becomes an issue for the government. I'm sorry, guys, but it's just what I believe. It should absolutely be in the government's interest to keep harmful food off of the shelves.

Now, these attacks - is that the right nomanclature? - are few and far between but that is not the issue. We should still keep a very close eye on the quality of our food. It's just that simple. I don't care if there is a government committee or whatever to keep up with it, but we can't let our food get back to the pre-Upton Sinclair days simply because a few Honkey, Cracker, WASPS want to make a few million dollars on skimping regulations.

Dec 11, 2006

So the Magic Couldn't Last Forever...

So, I'm sitting on the computer at LP's house, waiting for her TiVo to delete everything on the hard drive.


Because the guys and gals at TiVo have no idea what in the Hell is wrong with the box she got. Simple as that.

As a last resort, they had me delete everything on the hard drive, including the stuff we haven't watched, just so we could see if that would *fix* what is wrong.

And what is wrong? The channel line-up is all wrong. All Effed-up. It sucks, but if deleting everything and restarting the system will work, then I'm all for that. If it doesn't, then TiVo says that it will replace the box. The company damn sure better, for all of the crap that we've gone through over this thing.

But anyway, I'm stuck in that Purgatory of "Well, will it work? When will it work?" It never seems that anything I get works to its fullest potential, and I can't stand it. I know the TiVo isn't mine, but it just seems that something I did screwed it up. That's not the truth, but my touch does the opposite of the King Midas thing.

Other than that, life is grand.

The Beetis

This is one of the best videos I've seen on YouTube lately. It doesn't deserve the wall (yet) but it's still pretty good.

Actually, I was surprised that most people don't even know who Wilford Brimley is. He was in John Carpenter's The Thing, people! And Cocoon! You should at least know him as the Quaker Oats Guy! Come on.

I have to disavow any connection to Liberty at this point. The above video is in no way an endorsement of the service. Thank you.

Dec 10, 2006


Okay, so last night was not my best night, first off. After work, LP and I met my roommate, Laura, and local raconteur Dee Wheeler at a restaurant (which, for the parties involved, shall remain nameless) for some pizza and, for those who drink, drinks.

And, before I finish, let me explain something: each of the guys in the group has a "thing" that sets him off.

Mine is the awkward exchange with members of the wait staff.

So, anyway, we go to said establishment and find that there is only one seat available at their booth. We walk over and the man running the place - a very old gentleman - told us that we may not be able to put a chair at one end of the booth because of fire hazard concerns. They could be fined, he tells me. But, he says that he would go check.

Poof! he's gone to the back.

I assume that I could sit there for the moment, while we waited for our answer, and as soon as my ass touches the forbidden seat, a waiter taps me on the shoulder.

"I'm sorry, sir, but you can't sit there. It's a fire safety concern, and the Fire Marshall can fine us for this," the waiter tells me.

And then he just stares blankly at me. I can feel a female waitress on the other side behind me, and something - I cannot tell you what it is - rose up in me like vomit.

"There's a guy checking to see if we can be seated like this," I tell him. "I did not do this of my own accord," I continue. For some reason, I can feel anger flashing inside of me.

"I know, but you are still going to have to get up," he says, and continues staring blankly at me, a deer in headlights.

Maybe he is shy. Perhaps he sees in me the hatred that is clawing to get out, but his eyes are wide, like a deer's.

I stand up and say something. I can't remember exactly what it is, but it is something virulent and robust. It is also very loud, and everyone is staring at me as if I have just gone on a Michael Richards-style rant at this waiter.

I stand back, holding my head down because I know I have just embarrassed everyone with whom I'd been sitting, and wait for the aftermath. Initially, I expect to get kicked out. I don't think it's far from the truth, but I don't think anyone had the gall to kick me out at that particular moment, not with the look in my eyes.

"Whoa, what's with all the tension?" the waitress says, cleverly trying to diffuse the situation. "I just want to take some orders!"

So, there you have it: the rare, but existent, explosion in polite society, as best I can remember it. I don't do things like this often, but they do happen. It's like I need to do something embarrassing once every other month or so just to keep up a nice average.

The fallout from the incident was that a friend got embarrassed and left and I ended up leaving after ordering only a water.

I have more stories from that night, but this post has already dragged on too long.

Should I go on David Letterman and use Jerry Seinfeld as a human shield so I can apologize?

Dec 7, 2006

A Big Ad

Why not?

Dec 6, 2006

Britney's Spears (Thanks, Drew!)

Oh, by the way, I finally saw the "Britney" pics everyone's been talking about lately, and man, what a non-story. I always imagined her Kibbles N Bits to be much more dramatic. She looks like a Shar-Pei. All I'm sayin'.


I finished Augusten Burroughs's memoir, Dry, today. It is the post-Running-with-Scissors tale of Burroughs's battle with alcoholism.

Uh, I don't know if the word "harrowing" can be used here, but I'll say that it's more horrible than anything James Frey could ever make up. But I really liked it, and, even though it's weird to say it, I think I can identify with him a little bit, even though he is a gay recovering alcoholic who spends a good bit of time taking care of a friend named Pighead who is dying of HIV.

You can watch a Fishbowl interview him him on

If you've never read anything of his, you should. Burroughs's memoirs read like fiction, and he has a real ear for these sorts of tales. It's almost hard to think of it as real life as you read it, and I think that's another reason it's so good. You go, "I can't believe this is actually happening! Jesus!"

Which brings me to my next point. I've read a few memoirs in my lifetimes, and they all seem to be these larger-than-life pieces, and I guess they're supposed to be. No one wants to read about the most boring person on Earth. Well, maybe that's not true. But when it comes to alcholism, it's always these over-the-top stories that make the reader think, "Hey, I'm not as bad as that guy, so I must not be an alcoholic." When, in truth, probably a good bit of those people are alcoholics and just don't realize it. The stories have fooled them. You don't have to lose your job or kill someone to realize you're an alcoholic, and that's a notion most people don't understand. A working addiction is one that lies just beneath the surface but is killing that person nonetheless.

Oh well, I guess I've gotten off on a tangent right now. But, if you get a chance, you should read some of Burroughs's stuff.


Okay, so the movie that got sent to me was The Break-Up. I find it ironic that THIS was on the cover of the New York Post today. (It's coverage of the Vennifer Aaughn breakup).

If I Were Michael Vick...

I can kind of understand Michael Vick's actions right now. Well, no, I can't, but I thought that it would be a good title for a post. Sorry it's been so long since I last posted, but you know how things go sometimes.

So, today's angry letter to the world is about a certain DVD club. Okay, here's the scenario: I joined this "club" with the intention of buying great new DVDs to add to my collection. I was like, "Yeah, I can do that. 2 DVDs in two years. How can I not."

Well, I was very sly at the time and decided to just use the default paper system - you send me a sheet of paper and I check "No I don't want this selection" and send it back to you - so that I wouldn't have to use the online system and thus let that "club" have my credit card number. No, I'm not a Luddite. It's how they get you. If you get sent a movie you don't want and you have your credit card number up there, then by the time you get the movie your card has already been charged. My way is easier because even if Ii forgot to check the box and send the paper then it wouldn't matter, because my card would not have been charged.


So I forgot to check the box several times and have been sent several DVDs over the course of the last six months. Which is okay, because I would promptly return them and not have any sort of flux on my card.

Well, two days ago I receive a movie I don't want and today I check online to see what my status is and, guess what, they've cancelled my account and won't let me do anything but pay for a movie I don't want! Lady Protocol already has the movie anyway!

I'm really pissed, but I guess I'll just have to take my lumps and pay for the damn movie. But at least I can get a little return on it by selling it on Amazon, right?