Monday, January 31, 2005

Tales from the Weekend

This weekend was a little odd. At any given time, things were either stupefyingly mundane or completley bizarre. Like I was either lazily watching Con Air on USA or I was drunk at a party full of strangers, watching incredibly toned dancers play strip Twister. That sort of weekend.

Next weekend is already shaping up to be eventful, what with the Peer Gynt performance and two different parties, one at Laurel and Trumbo's place, and another in honor of Alan's impending birthday.

UPDATE: I think I can safely lump last night's choir rehearsal with Michael York into the "not every day" category from this past weekend. Oh, and I get a line all to myself! I threaten to boil Peer Gynt to a broth. Such imagery!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Misadventures in test screenings

So last night Matt, Emory, Leslie, Paul, Frank, Jess and I went to a preview screening of The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Pandemonium ensued.

First Jess, Matt and Frank weren't in line with us when the lady came by to stamp our passes, so they each had to hunt her down individually. Poor Jess got rebuffed by jerky staffer twice before actually finding the woman we told her about.

Then, once we got up to the front of the line, Paul and I (we were pass buddies) were whisked into the theater lobby and into the line for the screening only to notice that everyone in line had golden tickets of guaranteed entrance except us. So we had to run back outside and talk to three different people before we were directed to the correct ticket guy where we then had to explain that somehow, and we weren't grifting him (yet), he simply had not handed us tickets when we walked past him earlier. Thankfully, he believed us. Finally, with tickets in hand, we made our way back in line, only to realize that Matt was still outside, since apparently the screening had reached its maximum amount of 25 year-olds halfway through our merry band, and the ticket guy had turned him away. Frank and Jess only got in by claiming to be 23. We all felt horrible, since not only was Matt the only one not to get in, he was the one who had gotten us the passes in the first place. I wanted to go talk to him, but he had already vanished outside.

Anyway, we got decent seats all sitting next to each other, but we were really bummed about Matt. Paul and I went out to the lobby to get our complimentary popcorn and Coke only to run into Matt, who had a change of heart about leaving. They had given him a free pass for another movie, and he decided to see The Life Aquatic. But seeing that he hadn't left, I decided to enact my elaborate ticket grifting plan.

See, to get into the screening you needed your magical golden ticket. But if you left the screening theater for whatever reason, they stamped your hand so you could get back in. So I, at Paul's suggestion, did a little test run to see if you could get back in the theater with just your handstamp. It worked. Once back inside, I ran into Leslie on her way out, handed her my ticket, and told her to give it to Matt, and off she went. A few minutes later, she returned and informed me that while she got in with just her handstamp, they made the guy directly behind her produce his ticket in addtion to the handstamp. The fates were with us! A few minutes after that Matt made it in and we were all content.

It was also Special Guest Star night, since almost all of us ran into someone we knew. I saw Mark from the Oxy Chorale. Nothing brings our people together like a preview screening!

Between this and Hellboy, though, I'm looking forward to seeing a screening that does not involve panic and narrow escapes. Those things are stressful!

Oh, the movie. I'll talk about it later.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Speaking of comics...

Asa and Alex have gotten their act together and produced a new Junk Science comic, this one even funnier than the last. "It, like we ghosts, goes against science!" makes me laugh and laugh. Asa's art is improving, to boot. Remember kids, old timey science = comedy!

Today's Dinosaur Comic is really funny for a couple of reasons.

1) The devil only wants to talk about video games.

2) I played way too much "Command and Conquer: Red Alert" back in college. The devil's totally right about those Tesla coils!

Another typical evening

(discussing when to arrive at a preview screening)
Paul: We want to try and get there by 5:30, since we don't want a repeat of what happened at Hellboy.
Jeff: Right, we certainly don't want to think we've missed the screening, only to run into the director of the movie who invites us in personally, where we get to sit in reserved seats and have unlimited access to the snack bar! Let's not do that again!

(Later, discussing our latest project)

Paul: Okay, we need to figure out who's playing who. Now Frank, you and Jeff do the best Ricardo Montalban impressions...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

This week's comics

A fine week, indeed.

We3 #3: OMG! MOST HEARTBREAKING COMIC EVER! Well, it's not quite as heartbreaking as I originally thought it was going to be, but it's still damn heartbreaking. Quite simply, this has been one of the best comic books I have ever seen. Morrison and Quitely have, in three short issues, created a work which has emotionally wrung me out more than the last several years of any given superhero title. It's a perfect synergy between story and art. This is what comics are capable of, people. Brilliant. A+

Planetary #22: It's always a good week when there's a new issue of Planetary! This issue focuses on the backstory of William Leather, Planetary's equivalent of the Fantastic Four's Human Torch. Under interrogation by Elijah Snow, Leather reveals his lineage, which includes pastiches of The Lone Ranger and The Shadow. I'm always glad when flashbacks reveal more about Axel Brass's "League of Gentlemen" that we saw way back in issue one, and we learn a great deal more about The Spider (the Shadow equivalent) and how he relates to Leather's feelings of inadequacy and inferiority that led him to join the Four. There's also a rather chilling final sequence which suggests that Snow has not taken Melanctha's suggestion last issue to heart. Another solid issue as the series gears up for its big climax. A

Ultimate Fantastic Four #15: Ellis picks up the pace after last issue's glacial proceedings, as we get some insights into the "N-Zone" as well as amusing banter from our heroes. Ellis' best contribution to this book so far has been the dialogue, with each character's personality being clearly defined, as well as their collective youthful exuberance. This issue is no exception, as Johnny and Ben snark their way through Reed and Sue's explanations of what's going on around them. And hey, is that Ultimate Annihilus? It certainly looks that way! While the story's strong, the art is pretty sketchy. I don't know if it's the inker or what, but Adam Kubert's pencils look pretty rough this issue, with some panels actually looking pretty ugly, certainly a rare thing for one of the Kubert brothers. I'm uncertain why Kubert was brought back to pencil this storyline, rather than Ultimate X-Men. Stuart Immonen did such a stellar job on the "Doom" arc that I was hoping he'd do more FF. Kubert's pencils, even when they're at their best, seem a bit too dynamic for what's so far been a pretty low-key story. B

Ultimate X-Men #55: Speaking of Stuart Immonen, here he is penciling a straightforward action story while his talents would probably be better used elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, Immonen is a fantastic artist, but I don't think he's suited for the X-Men. His Dazzler, for instance, appears to be wearing a fright wig, rather than just having spiky hair. The layouts and acting are strong, though, just as you'd expect them to be. As far as the story goes, I'm of two minds about Brian K. Vaughn's run on this book. On the one hand, he's produced consistently good stories, doing some nice soap opera character work in the background (the Iceman/Kitty Pryde/Rogue romantic triangle has worked well), but on the other hand he seems too caught up in "Ultimatizing" every character he can get his hands on. So we get needless cameos from Ultimate Sunspot in his first arc, and Ultimate Wolfsbane in the second, and now in this arc we've got a bit villain part for Ultimate Arcade. It just seems unnecessary to throw these characters into a book that's pretty crowded to begin with. However, Vaughn has made his primary "Ultimizations" work very well. His new Mr. Sinister completely scrapped the original character concept and replaced it with something that wasn't spectacularly original, but was still superior to the Marvel Universe version. He also planted the seeds of the intriguing concept that Ultimate Apocalypse might be real, or maybe he's just a figment of Ult. Sinister's imagination. This most recent story arc, however, introduces Ultimate Longshot and Mojo. These characters have always been dodgy in current continuity, since Chris Claremont took an intriguing premise for those characters set up in the Longshot miniseries, and watered it down to a one-joke media-frenzy parody. Vaughn retains the media angle, but fortunately scraps all the "freedom fighter from another dimension" nonsense and makes Longshot a normal mutant and Mojo a bloated albino. Longshot's been framed for killing a politician in the mutant-hating country of Genosha, and Mojo hosts a Running Man-esque reality series where various assassins try to kill Longshot on a deserted island. Again, not the most original concept, but certainly one that's more sound than its Marvel universe equivalent. This issue has some nice fights and good dialogue, but the real treat for me personally is that the last page teases the introduction of Ultimate Spiral. And I don't care how nerdy this sounds, but I am so, so looking forward to Ultimate Spiral. B+

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Our typical evening

A true-life miniature play

Leslie: (on the phone, describing a co-worker) She was the one who was in the punk band.
Jeff: Is she cute? Will she date me?
Leslie: She won't date you. She's dating a huge guy with tattoos.
Jeff: I could take him.
Emory: No, you couldn't.
Jeff: I could take him with my gat.
Emory: You don't have a gat. That's only in Harsh Realm (Emory's nickname for GTA: San Andreas).
Jeff: Wait, you're telling me that I'm not a muscular black man?
Emory: I would never dream of telling you that.

Foiled again

Right after I say that "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt doesn't get used in movie trailers anymore, it goes and shows up in the teaser for Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride. Apropos, certainly. And hey, a movie I'm actually looking forward to in 2005! It'll look pretty in the very least.

I'm also looking forward to Sin City. The more of the stories I read (I just finished "A Dame to Kill For" and "The Long Goodbye") the more excited I am.

Have you met my two friends?

The IMDB really needs to get a new picture of current SAG president Melissa Gilbert. It's of her at some awards show and her dress is ridiculously cut. It's like, "Hi, I'm Melissa Gilbert. And these are my tits." They use that picture in all their SAG news stories. "Current SAG president Melissa Gilbert had no comment. Neither did her tits."

And the Oscar goes to...


If you haven't seen the list of Oscar nominees yet, you can view it here.

Nothing too surprising, eh? I actually have yet to see most of the Best Picture contenders, although I really want to check out Million Dollar Baby. Then again, my favorite movies this year (The Incredibles and Kill Bill 2) were never really considered Best Picture contenders.

While I'll do a bigger rundown when we get closer to Oscar time (and when I've seen a few more big nominees), here are my big hopes.

The Incredibles for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Screenplay. How great would it be for Incredibles to best Dreamworks' two outdated-pop-culture-reference-laden, souless corporate constructs? Pretty damn great. And I think it's going to win. It will most likely not win for Best Original Screenplay, but I'll settle for Eternal Sunshine to take that category.

Clive Owen for Best Supporing Actor in Closer. Sure, Thomas Haden Church winning would be swell, and Morgan Freeman deserves an Oscar more than almost any other working actor (with the exception of Jeff Bridges), but Clive Owen walked away with Closer. Possibly my favorite performance this year.

Speaking of overdue Oscars, just give Martin Scorcese the statue, already. As embarassing as it would be to hand him the Oscar in a really lackluster year for cinema overall, the man has deserved one many times over. Clint Eastwood has one already, to boot.

And, well, that's really it. Not a lot to get super excited for this year. I like Sideways a lot, but I know it won't win. And I really enojoyed so few other films this year that it just leaves the films I liked "okay" to duke it out. This Oscar race is shaping up to be like two years ago, and that's not a good sign.

UPDATE: Liz also talks about the nominations, and she's more thorough than I am. And has seen more of the movies.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Identity crisis

No, not the ultimately disappointing DC miniseries. This is a personal anecdote.

Jess and Frank are always getting calls at their apartment landline from giggly teenage girls looking for Jessica Simpson. It's because Jess is listed in the phone book by her full name, and her last name resembles "Lachey," but only if you pronounced it like it was French. I mention it because someone called three times in a row when I was over there this afternoon. Frank just let it ring the last time and this young girl left a message consisting of "Call me back! Bye!" (The time before that she had lost her nerve and hung up on the machine.) I guess she thought Jessica Simpson would have caller ID, and would of course call back whoever left that message.

You know, to be polite. As Jessica Simpson is.

Simpsons season 5

It's just the best thing that ever happened. To be more specific, it is the funniest season of TV that has ever existed. Looking over the episode list, I thought "Hey, these are good episodes!" but now that I'm actually watching them, episodes that I didn't remember that well turn out to have some of my favorite lines or gags ever. When I think fondly of The Simpsons, they're the lines I think about. Some examples:

"Mmmm, sacrilicious."
"Done and done. And I mean done."
"I'm cold and there are wolves after me."
"I'll bash you good!"
"Bart, I don't want you to be alarmed, but there may be a Boogeyman or Boogeymen in the house!"
"Are you going to release the dogs? Or the bees? Or the dogs with bees in their mouths so when they bark the shoot bees at you?"
"20 dollars can buy many peanuts!"
"Return to your homes and places of businesses."
"I call him Gamblor, and I will snatch your mother from his neon claws!"
"Don't praise the machine."
"Oh my God! It just disappeared! It's a ghost car!"
"This bird's gonna fly!"
"Aw, they were just gonna show some closeups of the rod."
"No one who speaks German could be an evil man!"
"Oooh, a head bag! It's full of... heady goodness."

And on and on and on.

It's really dear to me, is what I'm saying.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Pulling into a sleight lead

Okay, enough of not getting you. Let's talk TV.

You know, considering Veronica Mars' consistent increase in quality, and Lost's increasing insistence on pointless, meandering episodes (IS ANYONE GONNA LOOK FOR CLAIRE!) combined with the fact that it has fake-killed two of its leads, and I have no choice but to come to the conclusion that Veronica Mars is a consistently better show than Lost. I just caught an episode of Mars I had missed a couple of weeks back (the one with the serial killer) and I just keep enjoying that show more and more.

Lost was flailing a while back, but then they came up with those awesome two episodes where Claire gets kidnapped and Charlie should've died. But if Charlie had died, that might have spurred the cast into actually DOING something, and we can't have that! Instead we get Kate trying to open a suitcase for an hour, and get no real explanation of what's inside. Then the next episode focuses on Boone and Locke and hey, maybe we'll get to see what they're digging up! Ha, no we won't! Instead a good chunk of the episode will be a hallucination! Thanks, Lost! I haven't seen this past week's episode yet, the one focusing on Mercutio or Link or The Guy Who Gets Eaten By the Bear in The Edge or whatever you want to call him, but if someone doesn't go look for Claire, or if we don't find out what Locke and Boone have discovered, then I'm going to be mighty pissed. Matt's got the tape, so I guess we'll watch it this weekend. But for me the mystery is now not so much "intriguing" as "frustratingly drawn out."

When Lost works, it really works. Better than the best episodes of Veronica Mars. It's just that Lost doesn't really click all that often. It's rarely actively bad (Sawyer and Charlie's backstories are the only one that felt really hackneyed to me), but it rarely reaches its potential.

Lost aims higher, but misses often. Veronica Mars aims lower, and almost always hits the mark. We'll see how their mysteries play out.

In conclusion...

I know I Do Not Get You Day was yesterday, but I think I need at least three to justify the whole exercise. Plus someone's been doing my selected behavior this morning at work!


People who repeatedly say "I'm hungry!"... I DO NOT GET YOU!

I mean, it's one thing to say "I'm hungry. Let's go get dinner," and then you head off and eat. That's fine.

What I'm talking about is the repeated moans of "I'm hungry!" when no action is taken to do anything about it. My co-worker has spent the last fifteen minutes moaning.

"I'm hungry!"
"Oh, I'm soooo hungry!"
"I'm so hungry, I've got to go eat!"

You know, scientists have invented a cure for hunger. It's called "eating." Perhaps you should try it. It's one thing if you're trapped in an elevator or something, but if you're sitting at your desk, with money in your pocket, in an office building connected to a big mall, at a corner where you can't turn around without seeing another food estalishment, and yet you make no action to go and EAT SOMETHING, then suffice to say...


Thursday, January 20, 2005

He just annoys me, is all

Here we go again!

People who are fans of The O.C. in general and Adam Brody in particular... I DO NOT GET YOU!

I'm not getting up on my high horse, here. I am not opposed to angsty teen soaps in general. I will happily admit that Paul and I had a very amusing love/hate relationship with the first season of Dawson's Creek. But everything on The O.C. feels so calculated and crass. And the leads are such bad actors. Except Peter Gallagher, of course.

I confess I haven't seen that many episodes, but still, if you introduce a show-within-a-show called The Valley that all your characters adore, that's a level of smugness I'm not really interested in embracing. But I think I might enjoy the show more if I saw several episodes in succession. Maybe I could get swept up in the ridiculousness of the whole affair. I leave the possibility open that I may one day enjoy the show on some level.

The same cannot be said for Adam Brody. I'm not knocking his acting. Of the four young leads, he seems to be the best actor (although I would not say he is great). However, on every episode I've seen, his character walks and talks exactly like the most annoying kid I ever knew back in high school. One day I'm glad I never have to see that kid again, then the next day here he is on my TV screen, and what's worse, EVERYONE ADORES HIM. And not only is he annoying, but he has co-opted all my own geek interests! So now the celebrated pop culture face of geekdom is THAT KID I COULDN'T STAND IN HIGH SCHOOL!

I know. It's a personal problem. It's not you, it's me. You did not know this kid, so your love of Adam Brody continues outward unabated. Yet the fact remains that...


I Do Not Get You Day, part 1

Welcome to I Do Not Get You Day! It's a day to focus on people or behaviors that I, despite my best efforts, do not get.

Now if you should happen to have an opinion that is featured today, please don't think I'm berating your or criticizing you or calling you out. I just simply do not understand. In fact, feel free to look at it as though I am simply ignorant to your superior ways. Let's get started!

People who prefer thin crust on their pizza... I DO NOT GET YOU.

A miniature play:
"Hello. Papa John's."
"Yes, I'd like to order a pizza."
"Okay, what would you like on it?"
"Pepperoni and extra cheese. Oh, and I would also like less food volume for the same price, please."
"We can totally do that!"

So, is it the crispiness that you're looking for? Is the texture really worth having food that's much less filling? Whenever I have thin crust I end up having to eat way more than I usually do in order to make up the difference. I just don't understand!


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Pain don't hurt

So I wrote this big post about how great Roadhouse is, but then Blogger ate it. Boooooo! Anyway, if you haven't seen Roadhouse, you haven't truly lived. It takes place in an alternate universe, not disimilar to our own, but where bouncers are famous celebrities. And it has choice dialogue like this:

"Pain don't hurt."
"It's my way or the highway."
"That girl has entirely too many brains to have an ass like that."
(during sex) "You're going to be my regular Saturday night thing."
"I used to fuck guys like you back in prison."
"You fuck with him, you seal your fate."'
"What if somebody calls my momma a whore?" "Is she?"

And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Let's not forget Sam Elliot and his greasy mane of hair. Or villainous Ben Gazzara and his blatant disregard of traffic laws!

I had forgotten that the movie takes place in Missouri, "outside Kansas City." It just makes the whole thing even dearer to my heart.

I'm in my third trimester

Seriously, time to start exercising or something. After a big meal I start looking like Claire on Lost.

Line up, ladies!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


I had choir rehearsal last night. It was our first time back since the holidays and our participation in Beethoven's 9th. Our first concert this year is going to be with the Pasadena Symphony again, this time on a staged reading of Edvard Grieg's musical adaptation of Ibsen's Peer Gynt.

Now you all know at least part of the music from Peer Gynt, whether you realize it or not. There's an orchestral section that's one of those pieces you always used to hear in movie previews, right up there with the opening of Carmina Burana (Do titles of music pieces get quotes or italics? (moment of research) Italics, I guess.) Of course now the only movie preview I can remember it being featured in is Needful Things and that was a ways back. It's the creepy music that just gets faster and more frenetic as it goes along. You'd know it if you heard it.

Except in the musical that piece has words. Now I sing in a choir and all, but I know precious little about choral music as a whole, so I almost never have heard a piece we do before we sing it. So finding out this piece has words was like finding out the lyrics to the original Star Trek theme. It's just something that wouldn't show up on your radar until you were right on top of it. Not only does it have lyrics, but get this:

In that section of music the chorus plays a mob of angry trolls.

Faaaantastic. Apparently at this point in the plot the lout Peer Gynt runs afoul of the Troll Kingdom. Last night we're looking at the music and our choral part consists almost solely of the line "Kill him! The Christian dog has seduced the fairest daughter of our Troll King! KILL HIM!" "This is hysterical," I thought. "People are going to be paying a lot of money to see this. How could this project become any more personally amusing to me?"

Then our conductor told us that Peer Gynt was being played by Michael York.

Yeah, I KNOW!

Anyway, I thought I should share. I'm so excited I can't see straight. You can read about the concert and the piece here.

Monday, January 17, 2005


While I was on lunch I couldn't help but notice that the mall was full of people. At first I was like "Where did all these people come from?" Then I remembered that today is a holiday for most of the nation. Yet I'm stuck here at work while everyone else gets to enjoy a nice three-day weekend. Grrr.

So let it be known that if you have the day off today I DO NOT LIKE YOU and we are NO LONGER FRIENDS.

Sorry, but it's how I feel.

Worst spy ever

Emory and I trucked through the first 13 or so episodes of Alias over the weekend (no, my weekend wasn't very productive, thank you for asking). I am enjoying the show what with its spying and running and kicking dudes in the head, but it's certainly far from perfect. Emory's long-running joke has been that Sydney is constantly crying, and now that we're actually watching the episodes, it's sort of true. Emory's even been tallying the number of times she starts sobbing. That's all well and good, Emory loves his little pet projects, but the hilarious aspect of the show that no one ever told me about is that Sydney's a terrible spy. The show likes to make it seem like she is really competent, but what she is actually good at is getting her cover blown, kicking dudes in the head, and running like hell.

I think the show has a pretty fundamental problem at its core. On the one hand, JJ Abrams wants a Felicity-esque angsty young-people-in-their-20's soap opera sort of deal. But he also wants a show about spies, wherein our young heroine will go on super-important missions that involved elaborate disguises and deception, and she will very often be in very legitimate mortal danger. So we wind up with an agent who's had seven years of training but still has severe problems controlling her emotions, and will happily skip out in the middle of an important op to prevent her roommate from marrying a no-good cheater. I'm just saying if you're the type of person who deals with having your teeth forcibly extracted with a wink and a smile, you probably won't burst into tears when your dad stands you up for dinner. The show wants both aspects of Sydney's life to have equal weight, but that just ends up making Sydney a terrible spy. But I find that aspect really hilarious.

Mind you, I'm enjoying the show. Quite a bit, really. DVD is the perfect format for Alias, since it insists on that weird structure of having a cliffhanger ever episode, then resolving the plot at the 35-minute mark so they can set up for the next cliffhanger. But it's the perfect structure for trucking through several episodes in succession. We'll probably wrap up the season before the end of the week. I hope Gina Torres shows up some more!

Friday, January 14, 2005

I haven't slept enough

I’m going to create my own webcomic. It shall be entitled “Bluebeard and Son” and will chronicle the adventures of Bluebeard the Pirate and his son, a nebbish telekinetic with OCD. They will focus their vast powers of piracy and telekinesis (and washing one's hands 'til they bleed) on thwarting the efforts of real estate developer Victor DuCharme, who intends to turn the world’s oceans into housing for low income families. It will either be set in the past or in a future so distant human civilization has lapped itself so society is like it was in the past, only it’s the future.

The fortune I accumulate due to the success of the above webcomic will be VAST.

This brain, this traitor

I just got up, walked halfway around the office, then stopped, unable to remember why I got up in the first place. I could only remember an urgent need to get up and walk somewhere, apparently for no discernible purpose.

Stupid brain.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I just want some privacy

WARNING: The following warning contains crass generalizations about the sexes. Pay it no heed.

WARNING: The following post is about going to the bathroom. Ladies with delicate sensibilities should avert their eyes, or hide behind a fan, or whatever it is you ladies do. Women with more robust character, such as those who wear slacks or play golf, will probably be okay. All dudes are okay, too. Because dudes love this sort of shit. Am I right, dudes? Yeah.

Our office is moving to Burbank next Friday. This bodes ill for my lunch hour, since the variety of eateries will be greatly diminished, and plus I won't be right near a Border's where I can just read comics for an hour like I do every Mondy, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (Wednesday I go to the comic shop). However, this bodes very well for our bathroom situation. By which I mean we'll have more than one of them. There's a single solitary toilet for all the men on this floor. Suffice to say, it's not uncommon to find that which you need most being occupied by a fellow employee. If the situation is dire enough, I head down to the 10th floor and handle things there.

This allows for an immense sense of freedom. Gone is the dread that the head of the company will walk in right after you've finished taking a crap. Who cares who walks in on a different floor? They're all strangers to you! When you're all finished you just head back up to the 11th floor, leaving no one the wiser. And once you're leaving, even if you do have to look someone in the eye after you've befouled their floor's restroom, the odds of you having to share an elevator with them later are slim. You may just as well have beamed in from another planet to do your business.

Listen, today has been the BORNINGEST DAY ON EARTH. It has left me with way too much time to think about this stuff.

UPDATE: Wait, this is just more material for the scat fetishists to find me, isn't it?

Can I get a scoop?


That comic appeared on my birthday.

Most people don't believe me when I tell them I know all the lyrics to "Shoop." I don't see what's so complicated about it. My family first got cable in the early mid-nineties, and "Shoop" was on more or less constantly (MTV played videos back then, and MTV and Comedy Central were all I watched). "Shoop" also had a TON of radio play back then. So I know all the lyrics to "Shoop." Even the rap by that dude who comes in near the end that was only in the video and not on the radio ("S and the P wanna get with me/Cool, cause I'm Wicked G..."). I keep swearing that one night at karaoke I'll get extremely drunk and just perform the damn thing, but that has yet to happen. I think I can feel fortunate for that.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The tube

So I guess we can add another hatch mark under the "Deaths That Turn Out to Be Bullshit" column as far as Lost is concerned. This one was just a wee bit more acceptable this time around, since we got some cool insights into Boone and Shannon's relationship.

Is it wrong that I had guessed they had slept together? I mean, that's been my one theory about them from the get-go. I guess I'm just gross.

I just wish they'd stick with one thing and fully explain it. Knock it off with your bullshit mysteries, Lost! Just give us one goddamn answer! I'm losing patience.

This week's Veronica Mars was vastly superior. See Veronica sing Blondie! See Wallace actually be useful! See Mrs. Echolls maybe commit suicide! Yes, Veronica Mars has a season-long myster just like Lost but Mars actually gives clues every single week, and wraps up smaller mysteries as it goes along. (We are not, for example, still in suspense about who took those photos of Veronica with the target on her head. In comparison, when was the last time we even heard the monster on Lost? Not to mention that Kate's had two goddamn flashback episodes and we still don't know a damn thing about her.) There's suspense, and then there's driving your audience nuts with vagueness.

I'm losing patience with Lost, is what I'm saying.

Television Without Pity is really useful for following shows that I would never actually watch. Like reality shows. It's far more enjoyable to read a sarcastic recap than to actually experience an hour of The Apprentice. At this point the only reality show I would consider watching is The Amazing Race. I am automatically in favor of any form of media that emmulates The Chipmunk Adventure.

How weird is it that the villainess from Chipmunk Adventure turns up in Atlantis: The Lost Emprire? Those characters look exactly the same. It's like the cartoon character is an actress who just took a new part. It's weird.

Try to do a guy a favor...

Apparently since I quoted that bit from McKenna's blog, my blog shows up on google searches that involve things like "scat party" or "scat fetish," etc. Hello, visitors from foreign lands! I am not interested in scat! Please turn your attentions elsewhere!

This is only going to increase the number of times it comes up in searches, won't it?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Science fueled by lust

I'm going to build a time machine specifically so I can go back in time and make out with Naomi Watts while she was filming Tank Girl. It's the glasses and the dark hair and the accent and the Davy Crockett hat all working in conjunction to turn me into a blathering idiot. And she wasn't as damn skinny as she is now. I mean, look at her! How can you resist?

This of course means I'll be able to channel my own time-travelling-to-meet-movie-star-I-have-a-crush-on experiences into the character in Party All the Time Machine who will only travel in time to meet Olivia Newton-John. Write what you know, as they say.

Tank Girl is still a terrible movie, though. Shame.

Monday, January 10, 2005

TV at the moment

Frank has mentioned to me about how nowadays, instead of steadily getting better as in ye olden times, most TV shows peak during their first season or even their pilot, and then just get steadily worse. The season premieres of both 24 and Alias reminded me of this, although Smallville is certainly a candidate (at least according to Frank; I've never seen an episode of that show that I've liked), and Lost continues to disapoint rather than thrill me. Arrested Development, while certainly still funny, has yet to achieve the brilliance of season 1, and Emory has also vocally expressed concerns about the quality of the upcoming season of Deadwood, considering how goddamn awesome its first season was.

For some time I thought The Wire would fall into this category, since its first season, in my mind, was a perfect, glittering jewel, brilliant in its execution, with an ending so fitting and inevitable that when a second season was announced I was full of both anticipation and dread. Dread that what was to come could not possibly match what came before, and anticipation because it was the fucking Wire, man, and even if it was worse that season one, it would still be better than 99% of all television, ever.

In the end, I was right. The second season of The Wire was disjointed and unfocused, having to devote a good chunk of time to reuniting our heroes in a plausible manner. (Like I said, the ending of season 1 was pitch-perfect, including scattering the protagonists to the four winds.) A few characters were left adrift (I’m thinking of Herc and Carver, here), showing up regularly without any discernible purpose. Other characters started to veer into cartoonishness. While McNulty getting drunk, crashing his car, entering a restaurant to nurse his wounds and then banging his waitress is amusing, it’s a far cry from the gritty realism of season 1. A few of the new characters were engaging, Frank Sobotka and the female officer who joins Team Wire in particular, but the Greek proved a faceless and unengaging villain. One might argue that the real villain of the season was, as David Simon put it, "the death of work," but while that looks good on paper, it doesn’t make great television. Meanwhile, the show still continued to focus on drug kingpin and season 1 villain Avon Barksdale, stuck in prison, and his leuteniant Stringer Bell, attempting to hold his empire together on the outside. What was really frustrating was that their side plotline had no payoff by season’s end, instead coming to a head (beautifully, might I add) in season 3. Barksdale and Stringer’s plot seemed like a distraction amidst the union corruption and Slavic villains. Despite my gripes, it was still a damn good season when compared to most television.

Of course, once Season 3 got underway, all was forgiven. And now that season 3 has concluded, with an ending that Emory described as "nihilistic," but I would call more "pessimistic" and "misanthropic" (all is right for most of our heroes, but the world is still pretty fucked), I'm glad they kept going, because season 3 is the best Wire season yet, which firmly places it in the top five season of television ever. Entertainment Weekly is largely embarassing (my mom keeps renewing my subscription and I keep forgetting to tell her not to bother), but they're totally right in naming The Wire the number one show of the year.

You know what else doesn't suck? Veronica Mars. I mean, it's not relentlessly brilliant, but it's a good time. And it's steadily improving, too. And I love Kristen Bell. LOVE HER.

Tales from the Weekend

My sister was here! Hooray! Granted, I only saw her one day, but still. She was in town because the Catholic organization she's interning for was having a conference. Of course, it was pouring rain all day yesterday, so we didn't have many adventures. Unless you count watching season 5 Simpsons episodes and going to see Sideways adventues. And you might. I don't know. It was nice to see her, though. She got to see our new apartment set-up.

Emory and Leslie bought a new TV stand for the apartment and then proceeded to re-arrange all the furniture, which was cool. Leslie really wants to paint some of the walls, as long as the landlord will allow it. Let's hope so.

Boy, did I like Sideways! Yes indeed I did. Alexander Payne rules.

Friday night I went over to Frank's and we were talking and I kept bugging him to not fall asleep, but then we started watching an episode of Batman: TAS, and I fell asleep about ten seconds in. Frank then just left me in his recliner, where I didn't regain consciousness until 4 AM. Just wake me up, man!

In other Frank news, Frank hates his job. And twist ties. Don't mention them to him under any circumstances! He will throw himself to his death!

Paul gets back soon! Hooray!

Leslie got her Ms. magazine internship! Hooray!

Decent week for the LA-based PHS alumni, all told.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Those dudes died for real and it was awesome

Am I the only one weirded out by this rash of first-person shooters set during real wars? I think it's the Vietnam ones that really get me. Those guys are all still alive! I wonder if my old English teacher Mr. Trent wants to play one. He lost a good deal of his hearing over there. Do you end up winning the war at the end of the game?

Emory and I were at Best Buy the other day and came up with the idea of a war game where you play as soldiers who actually died, and your missions are to recreate their deaths as realistically as possible. "Okay, he was clipped by a sniper two clicks south of here. Better get moving." We're going to make a mint!

They just seem really morbid and tasteless to me, is what I'm saying.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

They didn't blow it

After I already figured they would just give All-Star Batman and Robin to Jeph Loeb and wrote the book off in advance, it's now official that none other than Frank Miller is going to be writing the book, with Jim Lee penciling.

This is, of course, totally awesome. And it now means that everything I'm most looking forward to, comic-wise, in 2005 is DC stuff. Who would have thought?

Frank was bugging me the other day about what continuity these All-Star books take place in, and I confessed to not really knowing, since interviews from the creators have left it pretty vague. Robin is going to be Dick Grayson, so it's clearly not current continutity. It's all pretty nebulous, because I don't think anyone wants to say this is a specific alternate continuity, a la the Ultimate line. I think DC just wants uncluttered books that they can sell to new markets. And I don't blame them. I'm eager to see how these play books play out.

Bullet? Dodged.

When I left work yesterday afternoon, there had been some sort of massive problem over at our Las Vegas call center, meaning that everyone who had ever been a CSR here in LA would have to take calls all day today. They even asked how to get in contact with Corinne and Grady. I spent the entire evening last night dreading having to wake up and return to one of my most hated professions, i.e. interacting with angry people.

But then I got here this morning and everything was fine in Vegas and they didn't need me to take calls anymore. Crisis averted! You cannot imagine my relief. Seriously. Don't even try.

I didn't say it was an interesting story.


In other news, Blogger refuses to acknowledge the hour of 12, either AM or PM, in its timestamps. Whenever I try and post between 12 and 1, it says it's 1. What do you have against 12, Blogger? What are you trying to hide?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Rest in peace

Will Eisner has passed away.


The third and final issue of We3 comes out this month. It is sort of embarassing that it was my favorite miniseries of 2004 despite only having two issues out. But those two issues are masterpieces.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed 1602 and Smax, but they were larks written by authors who can do better. And Identity Crisis suffered from a positively hackneyed ending.

But ohhhh, We3. And a new Planetary this month, too! Two single issues I want in a month! I'm getting soft.

The year in kissing

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but thinking back on this past year and what I would have liked to have done differently, one thing positively jumps out. So this year, I resolve to STOP KISSING GIRLS WHEN I'M DRUNK. I'd like to say this hasn't been a regular problem throughout most of the year but then I'd be lying. And it's cut both ways. So if you are a woman, and I'm drunk, and I try to kiss you, PUNCH ME IN THE MOUTH. I'll thank you for it.*

*Probably not right then, since I'll be drunk and in pain. In fact, in that moment I will probably say things I will regret. But I'll thank you later. And apologizing for yelling when you hit me. Trust me, this is for the best.