Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Your TV minute

Finally caught up on The Wire this weekend (we were about four episodes behind). Hey, this show is excellent! A surprising opinion coming from me, I know. But I mean, really. It's just so fucking good.

On the Adult Swim front, Frisky Dingo remains the standout ("And once again the mall has become my Waterloo"), although this last week saw the premiere of Assy McGee, which is sort of like the old Fred Dryer cop vehicle Hunter, except with a talking butt in the lead role that slurs its speech in a distinctly Stallone-like manner. It was pretty funny once, but I'm not sure how long that can last. Meanwhile, characters are dropping like flies on 12 oz Mouse, as the show builds to its big climax.

Every other show is doing just fine, thanks. The Mars, in parciular, seems to be on an upswing, which makes me happy.

Listen, about Thanksgiving...

...it was rad.

On the big day Leslie, Mike and I headed over to Lindsay and Lisa's. Emory stayed home because he gets sick all the time. Leslie made some vegetables (thus ensuring I would not touch her food) and I brought soda and wine, because drinking those things is where I'm a Viking. A bunch of people showed up and we all ate a ton of delicious turducken and mashed potatoes and other things that you'd expect us to eat.

Mike had brought his N64 from when he had left it at Llama School during Emory's birthday, so we broke it out after the meal. I felt kind of bad about it, since I figured there would be several people who weren't really into it, but people seemed to enjoy themselves. Lindsay and Aimee tried their hands at Mario Kart, even. I screamed a lot and made a general ass of myself in the way that makes me wonder why I continue to have friends, but it was a good time, regardless.

Friday Paul came over and we watched Emory's Netflixed copy of The Dreamers. I thought it was so-so, but Emory hated it with a monstrous passion. I will say that the best thing about it is that Eva Green is naked for seriously about 2/3 of the movie. Listen, I'm sorry, but it was awesome.

In the afternoon we headed out to see The Fountain, which earns a big "meh" on the Jeff-o-meter. I could see someone utterly despising it, and even maybe a really obtuse person totally loving it, but it was strictly middle-of-the-road from my perspective. Just another example of Aaronofsky directing the shit out of a really, really simple core idea.

We probably watched something else that night. Maybe one of Emory's newly-puchased Bond films? Maybe A View to a Kill. Yeah, I think that was it. I wandered off in the middle of it. But later Paul and I headed over to Aimee's for some hot Wii action. Wii Sports is FUN as HELL. Did you know that I am better at tennis than Aimee? I cite the evidence that Wii Sports has provided me. I also beat Paul at boxing, so I figure that means I could take him in an actual fist fight. That's what that means, right? Mike also broke out the new Zelda game which is pretty awesome. Truman Capote urges you to save Hyrule! And deal with the monkey problem! Those monkeys are simply awful.

Saturday Paul, Corinne, Aimme and I played some four square organized by Ben, who has his own league and everything. Guy is IN to four square. But he's not a dick about it, so that's nice. I totally sucked ass the first game, but did well during the second, so wound up average overall. At one point between games Aimee and I were horsing around, playing soccer with the kickball, when Aimee knocked me down and made me eat shit. I fucked up my knee (internally and externally) and got this big red welt on my shoulder. It hurt like hell. I'm just writing this to make Aimee feel guilty.

After the game it was back to Llama School for Guitar Hero and Hot Wings, two great tastes that go great together. Aimee conked out on my floor so Paul dropped her off in my bed and the rest of us went to see Tenacious D. It was just as delightful as I'd remembered it, although they cut down the sweet car chase and excised the mini-Undeclared reunion between KG, Jason Segal, and Krumholtz. But they did add a completely awesome climactic rock-off with the Devil, so everything turned out okay.

Sunday I spend a good deal of the day going through my iTunes and excising Emory's music that he put on my computer way back in the day. I also added the several new CDs I've gotten over the last few weeks. Seems I always go CD crazy at the end of each year, and this one's no exception.

Your Guitar Hero update

This is so the Thanksgiving recap post isn't all clogged up with this shit.

Last night I was playing a bit of the 2nd game after Leslie and Emory had gone to bed, and figured I was doing well. I was racking up 5-star scores on Medium left and right, so I figured what the hell, I'll try a song on Hard. HA! I tried "Shout at the Devil" which is the first and therefore EASIEST song, and I nearly got booed off the stage. The notes were running by about twice as fast as they do on medium, plus they threw in that fifth fret button to truly vex me. So yeah, I'll be sticking with Medium from now on. Probably forever.

But I totally NAILED "Surrender" last night. NAILED IT.

Monday, November 27, 2006

It figures

Whenever I am late for the bus, the bus arrives at it stop earlier than usual. Whenever I am early for the bus (such as today), the bus decides not to show up at all. Good thing it was cold and raining!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

We don't take the holidays off

Not even a national holiday could stop us from putting up a new Atrox strip. Not that any of you are around to look at, of course. But it's there when you're ready.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What's the haps?

Man, $2 margaritas are bad news. They're just so delicious and affordable that you forget you didn't have dinner and then you have too many and you sleep right through your alarm. And you spend the day feeling oogy. But I'm having Baja Fresh with Kim for lunch, so that will heal all my wounds. I have to rest up for more Guitar Hero tonight. Paul is coming over to get his face rocked off.

Tomorrow I'm heading over to Lindsey's for delicious turducken. Some people are turducken-skeptical. These people are WRONG as HELL.

I need to come up with exciting activities for my weekend. Tenacious D movie for certain. Probably some sleeping. More on this story as it develops.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Rocking out

This weekend was Emory's birthday, so we had some folks over to Llama School before taking off to see Casino Royale. We KC folk all saw Goldeneye for Emory's 16th birthday all those many years ago, so this was nice bit of symmetry. Mike brought over his N64 with Goldeneye, natch, and we played that for a bit under some ridiculously arcane rules that Emory came up with in order to make things fair. So there was drinking and good friends and Goldeneye and there's pretty much no way to go wrong with those three elements.

Casino Royale rocked incredibly hard. Just rocked and rocked and rocked.

Speaking of rocking, Paul bought Guitar Hero II for Emory for his birthday, and that game and Emory are a match made in heaven. We played it most of the day Sunday, and Emory and Leslie even went out and bought the first game with an additional guitar controller for simultaneous rocking. Emory and I thought we were doing pretty well, and then Kim totally showed us up. She has mad Guitar Hero skills.

So should you need me in the next week or so, I'll probably be spending every waking moment at strumming a plastic guitar replica, trying to hit the chord changes on Ace of Spades. I'll see you when I beat it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rock your socks

Sure, I wish the new Tenacious D album was longer than 35 minutes, but you take what you can get, I suppose. There are a few ace tracks on here, including "Beelzeboss", which is the album's most pleasant surprise, since it appears to be an awesome scene that wasn't in the cut we saw a year ago. Sometimes reshoots work out! Let's all go see the movie next week! Tra la!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


New strip. Oh yeah.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This is stuff you need to know

So what else has been going on?

Monday night we totally punk'd Leslie for her birthday. We made it seem as if no one loved her and then all surprised her at Kabuki. Unfortunately for the bit her mood was undeterred by our efforts of indifference in advance of the surprise. But whatever. It was fun. Happy birthday to Leslie.

Last night I was deep into some Ultimate Alliance when Frank called to remind me about $2 margarita night at Big Wang's. I had forgotten all about that! So I headed over in time to catch some of the kids before they went home because they are infants. But some of us stuck around a little later, so that was nice. Chandler turned up too, randomly. It was nice.

I am so close to unlocking Silver Surfer on Ultimate Alliance it's not even funny. The Wolverine and Mr. Fantastic challenges are the greatest hurdles before me. Wish me luck.

Gangbusters Mars episode last week. Llama School finally got around to watching it last night, and I was not disappointed. Hey, the season might turn out okay! Hooray!

Both Casino Royale and Happy Feet are tracking well over on Rotten Tomatoes. Before you balk at Happy Feet, remember that it was co-written and directed by George Miller, who gave us both Mad Max and Babe: Pig in the City, so he has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Singing and marriage and college and the like

I sang again this past weekend, with the splinter group from Chorale, LAVA, at my friend Ann's wedding. It was nice to sing again, and it was particularly great to do it in honor of Ann's marriage. I was worried that my voice would be shot, having not done choral singing in over a year(!) opting instead for bombastic karaoke, but it was really easy to get back into the normal routine. I had sort of a weird feeling during the whole reception. I was seated at a table with Corinne, and my old Oxy friends Rachel and Heather plus their husband and boyfriend, respectively, and it was a little class of '02 reunion. It's weird, because they still react to me like it's still 1998, and I've just been held in stasis this whole time. Not even how I was senior year, but me as a freshman. You'd think the thought of me acting differntly EIGHT YEARS LATER wouldn't be such a shock. But while you might not think it by reading this, it was nice to see them again.

Man, Ann's married. She was president of the Glee Club when I was started at Oxy, and we wound up having a friendship that could modestly be called eventful. But I'm glad it worked out, and I'm glad that she's happy.

Monday, November 13, 2006


The distinct lack of Venom in the new Spidey trailer cheers me considerably, since any sane person would posit that you should introduce the black costume in one movie then have Venom be the heavy in the next one.

Of course there was the Comic Con exclusive trailer that shows Venom at the end, but that could easily show up at the end of the film.

At least, I hope so. But if Venom were the main villain, they would promote that shit. Because Venom is awesome. But all the teaser stuff centered around just the costume, and the new trailer is very Sandman-centric, with a dash of Harry Osborn for good measure. It's going to be a busy film regardless, so fingers crossed about having minimal Venom.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Did I mention how glad I am that John is still blogging, even sporadically?

The D

In all the excitement of Borat and upcoming anticipation for Casino Royale, I keep forgetting that the Tenacious D movie finally comes out late this month. It will be really sweet to see what they did to it since the last time I saw it. And the soundtrack comes out Tuesday! A new Tencious D album! I will totally go buy it as soon as it comes out. That will make it the first album I have bought on the day of release since.... uh, let's see... Soul Coughing's El Oso back in 1998. Not really a big music guy, me.

What's the deal, subconscious?

I've been having pretty vivid dreams lately, which is strange because I normally don't remember my dreams at all. Last night I was running around high school trying to keep Kim from finding out that I was secretly dating Young Nicole Kidman (Nicole Kidman, except in her 20's, or high school age maybe, since we were at a high school?). Yeah, I don't know. It was pretty stressful, though. Then I woke up and Odin wouldn't stop batting at my glasses on the bedside table and being a general pest, so that was stressful in a whole different way.

In news that feels like a (fever) dream, Alan Moore is totally going to guest-star on The Simpsons. Yes, really.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Quick hits

Why yes, there IS a new Kitty-Face Kitty comic up at the Lair, thank you for asking.

Last night was Brooke's birthday so a group of people met up at The 3rd Spot to celebrate. Since we didn't know anybody else, Frank, Chandler, and I wound up sitting in the corner and talking about comics like the socially-awkward nerds we are. Later some guy tried to get us all to fly to India and found some sort of artistic collective. The details were fuzzy, because he was pretty drunk. But he definitely wanted us to fly to India THAT VERY NIGHT. It was nice to see Brooke, since her work schedule prevents her from hanging out too often.

This sentence is here to make it look like I had a thrid thing to talk about, when in fact I don't.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

That's a heartbreaker

My dad lost his bid for state district representative by 147 votes. He was the only Dem running for distrcit rep to even give the incumbent a run for his money. But still, MAN. That is crazy close.

Still, a Dem took that Missouri senate seat. Could be worse.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The third season reset button

Lost - So the hatch is gone, the tailies have been eliminated (save for Bernard), and the black smoky monster and dead loved ones are back?

Battlestar - So everyone's back on Galactica, searching for Earth? Balthar's back to relying on Hallucination-Six in order to keep his head above water? And Apollo's dropped his weight and Kara's cut her hair short?

And House just introduced David Morse as a character who doesn't take any of House's shit and abuses his power to get the better of him. Ring any Chi-McBride-in-season-one bells?

This isn't criticism, actually. Just an observation. I'm digging Lost much more this season, since it's dumped the button, gotten Locke back to functionality, and gone back to acknowledging weird, dropped stuff from season 1 (black cloud, dead loved ones, and those adorable polar bears), plus it's got the Others stuff for freshness. Having a much better time there. I was surprised Galactica dumped the prison camp angle so quickly. But now we're right back to where we started (except half the cast is now married to the other half), plus the Cylon stuff for freshness. And what was with the directing in that last episode? I felt like I was watching Evangelion for a second. It doesn't really matter what House does, since any over-arching plot always takes the back seat to the episodic formula. I do like David Morse, though.

Some other things from TV recently:

12 oz Mouse - "Because, duh, it's HIS hand!" Totally called it. Not that it was the world's hardest mystery, but I take my victories where I can.

I finally got around to watching last week's Veronica Mars only to find that it was lousy with people I know or at least met a few times in passing. Jamie Ray Newman's shown up as the dean's wife, and Sam's old roommate Blake was one of the campus security guards. Funny. Kind of a crap episode, though. What was Veronica's damn problem? But I did like her groupie.

Kind of a placeholder episode of Heroes, with the dialogue a bit clunkier than usual. I couldn't get too excited about Radioactive Man, since that exact plot is straight out of Squadron Supreme. I naturally have to acknowledge how derivative Heroes is simply by nature, but I do have my limits. I did dig the scene with Micah and Niki on the phone with each other, since Micah totally had her number. Nice one.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Three days of adventures

Friday night was Bregan and Ben's housewarming party, so a contingent of us met up at their charming apartment in Culver City. It was a pretty signigicant PHS party, now that Danny and Ben are around. The party pretty neatly split along our group and Bregan's co-workers, but that was all right. I know plenty of people as it is.

The next day Kim and I lay around the apartment, watching some Arrested Development and playing some Ultimate Alliance. In the evening we all headed over to Frank's place, since it was his birthday and he is an old, withered man now. It was a smaller gathering, which was pretty nice, then we headed over to the Mann 6 to catch Borat, which was the funniest thing that ever funnied. Afterwards we went back to Frank's where discussion turned to whether or not (and to what degree) Pam Anderson was in on the joke. What do you, the viewers at home think?

Sunday Kim had to take off early to go to a meeting, so I spent a chunk of the afternoon unlocking various things in Ultimate Alliance (hello, Black Panther and Spider-Man's black costume!) before heading over to Mike's for the Episode I Rifftrax. Woo-ee, that was a good 'un. You'd think that Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy making fun of the outrageous Asian accents on those aliens would grow old, but YOU'D BE WRONG. I hadn't seen Episode I in its entirety since the theater, and WHOA MAN is that movie dull as hell. Seriously so, so boring. Almost stupefyingly so. Lucas certainly showed the basics of narrative a thing or two when he made that one, yes indeed.

After that it was time for bed, except I stayed up another hour playing more Ultimate Alliance. I don't think I'll be able to rest until I've unlocked the Silver Surfer. Stupid video game.

Holy crap

Borat was number one at the box office this weekend.

This despite the fact that two weeks ago the studio drastically cut down on the amount of theaters it was going to be released to. Obviously they were hoping to avoid Snakes on a Plane disappointment. Then again, Borat is actually good. I bet you anything Hollywood won't be able to tell the difference. "Wait, Snakes had a bunch of hype, and totally failed, and Borat had a bunch of hype and totally succeeded and ERROR ERROR ERRROR" and then their heads explode. Or something.

Anyway, go Borat!

Friday, November 03, 2006

New actual Atrox

Leslie's back and there's a new full-color strip up at The Lair.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Atrox comics

Leslie will have a new "official" Atrox comic up tomorrow, but for now I've got your back. Be sure to read both my contributions, since I'd hate for you to miss out on Squishface Sexybuns.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Checking in with TV

Top Model has seen fit to dispatch some of my favorite ladies in the past couple of weeks. Granted, AJ had totally checked out and Brooke couldn't take a picture to save her life, but I liked them. Now my hopes are pinned on CariDee and the twins. Pretty dull bunch of girls this round, all told.

The new Aqua Teen season has started, and seems to have a mandate to be extremely blue. I mean, one episode was dicks, the next one was man-rape. They were both funny as hell, but how are they gonna keep this up?

Remember the days before Sealab got completely incomprehensible/not-very-funny? Frisky Dingo's like that. And it's by the same guys! (Okay, fine, Sealab had good episodes through its whole run. They just increasingly infrequent.)

Slept right through the Queen Victoria episode of Doctor Who last night, but I figure I didn't miss much.

I'd talk about the new Veronica Mars, but Frank and I were distracted saving the Skrull homeworld from the mighty Galactus. That's the kind of shit that takes precedence.