Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Give it Up for Our Office Spouses!

I don’t know how I’d survive the work place without them. If you don't know what an office wife is, here's a little article. Every office job I’ve had has required me to attain an office wife. Sometimes I find them. Sometimes they find me. The point is we find each other in the crazy corporate world. We listen to each other’s problems and give advice. We give knowing looks when the boss says or does something stupid. We cover for each other when the boss goes on a rampage and stick-up for each other when the other is getting the shaft. Thanks to them we don’t bore our significant others with office talk, we don’t go postal at the office, and the day moves a little quicker. Through the years, all of my office wives have helped me become the tolerable person I am today. While I love them all, none have excelled at being an office wife as Megan has.

Megan came in at the beginning of season two. At that time my office wife was Annie. I was trying to get Dal the job that Megan was applying for, so I was slightly disappointed. Then she kept talking to me and asking me questions. No matter how short my answers were or how grumpy I was she didn’t relent from being friendly. Then Annie got fired and I needed another office wife. The office divorce is so much easier. Anyway, with Megan’s gift of baking and the flowers she gave me after my Mom died she won me over. We then proceeded to become
office husband and wife.

She taught me to notice when a women changes her hair or wears something new. I helped her and her husband with their stereo set-up. She knows my moods and how to handle them. I let her discuss her frustrations when work gets her down. When I had a big date she stayed late and covered for me. But best of all, once a month I get a personal batch of Megan's brownies. It's a wonder her husband's not Orca fat. Currently, Megan has moved on to bigger and better things in the production building. Still, we try to visit every day, and share our gossip and complaints. Eventually, I will need to find another office wife. I apologize to whoever that will be because you'll have some big shoes to fill.

Side Note: There is one possible negative if you become my office wife. If a certain old flame and I bump into you in Santa Monica, the old flame will probably act like she wants to rip out your jugular. But the chances of that are like one in a million unless your name is Megan.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ramblings

I had another “I won’t be denied” episode this weekend. It started off innocently enough when I went to Target for socks. I stopped by the electronics department as always. Seeing an ad for the latest Price of Persia game I decided I should pick that up to see how the story ends. Sure enough they didn’t have any. So, I went next door to Circuit City to see if they had it. Nope. Ok, I thought. Toys R Us is one the way home I’ll just swing in there. They didn’t have it either. In fact they were going out of business and for the past week have been selling their video games at 40% off. Of course I was too late, and all that was left was a bunch of Big Game Hunter 3’s. But I could’ve bought one of the cash registers and security gates if I wanted too. Frustrated, I went the long way around to finally pick it up at EB Games. Anyway, I say all this because I’ve become fed up with retail. Having spent many years in retail, I realize how much of a pain in the ass it is to work retail. Still show a little pride. Every single one of the stores I went to was chaotic. Perhaps it’s the ease of online shopping, or the size of these superstores? Maybe it’s just a generational thing. Still, when I’m standing in the checkout line and catch a whiff of noxious body odor, I shouldn’t find out it’s the cashier that’s so rank. I was fifth in line and could smell him. How can a store manager allow that to happen? I shouldn’t need a gas mask to make a purchase.

On to more enjoyable topics.

Browsing the internet, I was reminded of a childhood favorite: Escape to Witch Mountain. I’m certain it doesn’t hold up today, but I remember being entranced by the kids’ powers. And they were really aliens. To think that there could be a whole colony of aliens living in the mountains. As a kid I thought that was so cool. I will also admit that I ended up having a crush on the actress Kim Richards. Though, it wasn’t till later on after Return from Witch Mountain. When she started making guest spots on Different Strokes, Magnum P.I., and CHiPs was when the crush occurred. Odd fact: She’s Paris Hilton’s aunt. Second odd fact: Estrada was never considered for Zorro role.








If the Cubs don’t win it all this year or next, what should stop them from doing whatever it takes to win in 2008? By then it would be 100 years since the Cubs won a World Series. 100 years! Does anyone want to see it go to 101? If this means going the bankruptcy, they should do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes!

I’ve realized to succeed in TV you need to have no understanding of technology. I know it doesn't make sense, but it’s true. I’m screwed.

It was a sad day last week when Tyson and Thais were booted off of Beauty and the Geek. They were my favorite couple on the show. Tyson you were screwed by Thais. You should still be on the show solving Rubik’s cubes behind your back, and trying to be a little bit cooler.

Do we really need two weeks of Super Bowl hype? Steelers 24, Seahawks 20 is my pick. Unless the Seahawks realize what no other team apparently has; that the Steelers need to be in the lead early to win. Why do you think they start off throwing a lot? They can't come from behind.

I was surfing the channels on Saturday and came across a guy interviewing Uwe Boll. In case you don’t know, Uwe Boll is the director and EP behind such video game movies as House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, and Postal. So, he’s made tons and tons of crap. The “gamers” have gotten there week old underwear in a bunch because of how he’s desecrated their favorite video games. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it. If the companies are willing to sell the rights to him, then complain to the companies. My real problem is the unlimited financial backing he seems to have to make these movies. I wonder how many good movies aren’t being made because of lack of funds. If these films actually made some money, I’d understand. But they don’t. As proof of Uwe Boll’s hackery, I offer up this trailer from “In the Name of the King.” Try not to laugh too hard when the “noble king” shows up. Why Ray Liotta? Why? But Leelee Sobieske, you clearly deserve to be in this crap. I will admit in ten years I may own all his movies based on the unintentional comedy scale.

To counter my above rant, I admit that I am looking forward to seeing Slither. Why? Because it seems to be a ripoff homage to one of my favorite 80's B horror movies: Night of the Creeps. Oddly enough starring another celebrity crush: Jill Whitlow.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

You Can Write Only One Song

What if everyone had one good song in them? You couldn’t really sing or play for most of your life, but for one instant you could put down 3 minutes of musical joy. What would it be? Would you write something that would be used in commercials or stadiums for years to come? Those residuals would come in handy. Perhaps a great love song, or something that would shine a light on the travesties of the world? I’m sure you have good idea what my choice would be. If you thought I’d come up with something along the lines of the Afghan Whigs, you’d be wrong. Those who have really paid attention have probably decided it would be some funky R&B jam with blaring horns. You know what? You too are wrong. I would want to just write a happy pop-rock song like the one below. Ti doesn't have to be a huge hit. It just needs a good hook with handclaps and simply make the listen smile. Causing the listener to tap their foot would be a nice bonus. That’s what I’d write for my only song. But an old school R&B song is awfully tempting.

The Cryers-Shake it Up (Ain't it Time)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Side Note:

Due to the Death Pool Draft and the half hour it took me to find a parking space, I got home a little late. I had to park farther away than I normally do. Waking up a little late this morning, I was in a bit of a rush. I walked the few blocks to where my car was parked. One problem. My car wasn’t there. What was there was a sign indicating that on Jan. 25th your car would be towed if it was parked here by order of the LBC Police. Aw shit! I saw the sign on the other side of the street last night, but I didn’t see this one. Cursing myself, I dialed the number listed on the sign to find out where my car was towed. A nice enough lady for her job answered the phone. I pleaded my case. She looked up my car’s information. Another problem. She didn’t have it listed anywhere in the system. I explained that I parked here last night and now my car is gone. It had to have been towed…or stolen? Nah. Nobody would steal my old ass car. She checked again. No records of my car or any car being towed on that block. I began to get a little frustrated. Surely, this was goof on their part. They had to have towed it. Pacing down the block, I glanced up to see a pick-up truck pull out. Sure enough there was my car a block further down. I’m such a moron. I apologized to the lady on the phone. She laughed and suggested that I cut back on the booze. I said I don’t drink. She laughed again. No really. Click. I shuffled to my car, and went to work.

A Sign I Perhaps Have No Soul

Last night coworkers and I had our yearly exercise in morbidity. We had our 2006 Dead Pool Draft. If for some reason you don’t know what a Dead Pool is, let me briefly explain. Basically you pick famous people you believe are going to die during the year of 2006. Whoever gets the most right wins the cash. Like I said it’s morbid. Though really what else would you expect from people that have to come up with creative ways for people to die every week?

Last year I came in second place with the whopping total of 3 out of 10 correct answers. Brian D. won with 4, and has been proclaiming himself the “Lord of Death” for the past three months. I plan to make that stop this year. In our format nobody can have the same person twice, which made this year somewhat difficult because we have 13 people playing this year. But, it’s also a keeper league so people who were on you list last year and didn’t die you can swap over to the next year without them going into the draft pool.

I’ll be honest and say that my keepers are so strong I kind of slacked off in the draft. My keepers were:

Brooke Astor

Mitch Miller

Lady Bird Johnson

Dolores Hope

Billy Graham

That’s a pretty solid list, especially the women. So, I didn’t really prepare that much. I picked out a few solid picks and the rest were all not so familiar names along the lines of Brooke Astor. So the rest of my list played out with:

Estelle Getty

Claude Levi-Strauss

Peter O’Toole

Judge Wapner

Sean Connery

Not bad. Estelle and Claude are solid. Connery’s a complete gamble. But really what was the last movie he was in? My major problem with the draft is that nobody knew Billy Preston. Sunil did, and Steve confused him with Billy Ocean. But you need at least half of the group to know the person for them to make the list. Anyway, that was one of the locks I was counting on. Billy Preston! The fifth Beatle! He wrote “Outta Space,” “Nothing From Nothing,” and “You are so Beautiful.” That through off the rest of the draft for me. He’s on dialysis too. Man, we are really building up some bad karma with this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stop Calling Me!

Look people I know you are an expert (or think you are) in the field that was covered in CSI: Miami last night. I know we stretched a few things on the episode last night. I’m certain you could’ve educated us better on rifling characteristics of a silencer or how to track a blog post to its author. I know it’s my job as researcher to give the writers the correct info. And you know what? I do my job. I give them the facts. The writer’s then take what I give them and make them fit the story. Yes, that means embellishing or stretching the facts a little. This is TV drama. The story comes first. I now cringe during every show when a forensic technique or science fact is not perfectly correct, because you guys are going to hassle me with calls the next day. How about you tell your friends, family, coworkers, or strangers we’re wrong? Show off to them. Just stop calling me. I have work to do, and you’re pissing me off. And you know what happens when people piss me off (See below).

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Most Disgusting Thing I’ve Ever Done or How to Stop Someone from Stealing Your Newspaper.

During my final year in Va Beach, I lived with one of the greatest guys ever, Dave. It should be known that I’m always a sucker for kids selling stuff for their school. Whether it’s magazines, candy bars, or newspaper subscriptions, I usually end up being suckered in. I had recently been suckered in to purchasing a useless newspaper subscription to the worthless Virginia Beach Pilot.

A short time after the newspaper subscription began they started vanishing. I called the newspaper to make certain they were delivered. They confirmed that I was still receiving the paper. Obviously, somebody was stealing my newspaper. Dave and I suspected that it was the next door neighbor. To catch the thief Dave setup a video camera. Yes, I realize this is a lot to go through over a newspaper I rarely read but I paid for it dammit.

Anyway, the next morning we checked the videotape and sure enough it was our next door neighbor. Dave politely went next door and asked for the newspaper back. We got all of it back except for the sport’s page. Bastard. With the confrontation I thought the situation was put to rest. I was wrong.

The guy kept stealing our paper no matter how many times we confronted him. During every confrontation the jackass kept playing dumb. After the umpteenth theft, I finally snapped. After closing Papa John’s, I stayed up all night till the newspaper was delivered. I brought the newspaper in, removed it from its plastic baggy, and put an old newspaper in its place. Inside the sports section of the old newspaper I placed a piece of note. On that note I wrote: “I Peed On This! Stop stealing my newspaper!” I then proceeded to make certain the note wasn’t an idle threat. That morning I watched with glee as the neighbor snuck over and stole our newspaper. I’m not proud of this even if it did bring me some satisfactory revenge. I admit it was immature, but he wouldn’t stop stealing my newspaper. An extreme course of action was needed because he wouldn’t listen. I refused to think Judge Wapner was a possible solution. And you know what? It worked. He never stole our newspaper again. Of course this meant I had to set my alarm to 5am, so our neighbor wouldn’t return the favor.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Holy Crap! They Actually Did It!

This afternoon I recieved a package. Inside contained a miracle of modern science. I recieved a free sample of the Gillette Fusion. Why is a razor so amazing? They actually went of up to five blades. What also is amazing it that "The Onion" predicted it. Seeing the razor, the title of the Onion column were the first things that came to mind. Yes, I'm going to use it. It has five blades!
Five!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I Coulda Been an All-Star!

Growing up I played a lot of sports. I didn’t though play a lot of organized sports. I never tried out for any of my school’s teams. Watching all the training and running they had to do, I realized I’d rather just play a pick-up game with some friends. The drills I didn’t mind. I just wasn’t big fan of running in circles. I just wanted to play. I didn’t want to train. I went to a few BJU soccer camps. But, the only organized sport I played was baseball. I played two seasons of summer league in junior high.

My first season was an absolute failure. I was the nervous skinny kid stuck in right field. I wasn’t the worst. It of course isn’t a good sign when the coach starts offering rewards to an outfielder if he’d simply catch a fly ball. I’ll be honest and say I sucked in the outfield. The main reason was I had a toothpick for an arm.

Second season was my breakout year. The big difference was that I was moved to 2nd base. My father was the coach that season, and he knew that while I didn’t have a strong arm I did have McHale arms. I didn’t even have to bend my knees to dig a ball out of the dirt. That season I had my greatest and worst moment all in the same game.

It was one of our last games of the season, and we were playing one of our rivals. They were at least a rival to me. The team consisted of players from my team last year including their star pitcher. Their star pitcher was actually in high school, but because he was born two days before the age cutoff he was allowed to play in our league. He was their starting pitcher for this game. Remarkably, my team actually scored some runs off him. Unremarkably, their team scored some runs as well. The score went back and forth, and neither team could hold onto their lead.

Cut to the top of the ninth. We are down by a run and the other team is threatening to build on their lead. With two outs, they had the bases loaded and our pitcher couldn’t pitch a strike. Finally, our pitcher threw the ball over the plate, and of course the batter smoked it. I’ve never gotten a better jump on anything in my life. The pitcher dodged the ball as it nearly took out his knee. I watched as the ball kicked up the dirt a couple feet in front of me. Being right handed I stretched the glove across my body in order to backhand the ball. Somehow, running at full speed and with the ball already behind me I snagged it. My first thought was, “Holy crap!” My second thought was, “Play it cool.” So after tagging second and being shoved in the back by the base runner, I trotted back to the dugout. With a “I do this all the time” look on my face, I nonchalantly tossed the ball on the pitcher’s mound. In the dugout my Dad patted my head, and said “Outstanding grab, son.” It’s one of the few times I’ve felt completely badass. The feeling wouldn’t last long.

So we are down one run in the bottom of the ninth. Rally time! The inning didn’t start off well. The first batter struck out. The second guy walked, but then the third batter popped up. Two outs and we had a slow base runner at first. It didn’t look good. Then a funny thing happened. Either their pitcher changed bodies with our pitcher ala Freaky Friday, or he was instantly struck with sympathy blindness, because his pitches could not find the plate at all. Two back to back walks. We now had the bases loaded with two outs. “Brad, you’re up.” I heard my Dad yell. Crap! This is what every baseball loving kid dreams of. This is one of those moments. Not only did I make an outstanding inning ending play, but now I could tie it up. Notice I said “tie it up.” I wasn’t exactly a power hitter. My hope was to make contact. Standing at the plate I felt I was in the zone. I saw the first pitch cross the plate just above my ankles. I’ve never felt so confident in how I saw the ball. “Strike!” I heard the umpire yell. W-w-what! Ok. Shake it off. The next pitch was even lower. “Strike!” When the pitcher shakes his head in disbelief, you know he’s getting calls. Being a na├»ve kid, I didn’t realize that the umpire had no plans on calling a strike. So, when the next pitch kicked up some dirt I was still surprised when I heard “Strike Three! You’re Out!” I couldn’t believe it. I had failed. I let my team down. I turned around, and saw the dust cloud where the umpire made a hasty exit. I sulked to the dugout not fully comprehending what happened. It wasn’t till later on I realized the umpire didn’t want to stick around for extra innings. That’s why he called three straight strikes. Why did he have to wait till I was up to bat to throw the game? Was it at that moment he checked his watch, and realized he was going to miss Matlock? How do you, with any conscience, throw a kid’s baseball game? The other umpire came over and apologized to my Dad, who was pretty ticked off. At that moment, I pretty much gave up participating in organized sports.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

So What Do You Do? Uh...Eep..Opp...Ork..Ah..Ah.

This week the people behind the CSI: DVD's have been running around. They've shot the writers breaking a story in "The Room," and some behind the scenes stuff for this season’s DVD box set. Today, I was made aware that tomorrow is when they are doing interviews. That's right apparently they want to interview me. It's not guaranteed, but still a strong enough possibility that I’ve already got the “flop sweat” going. Sure it’d be nice to get my mug forever embedded on a DVD for posterity sake. But that’s also the scary part. I have to speak coherently. I never speak coherently. This is damn speech class all over again. I hated speech class. Of course the first question I asked was, “Can I Still Wear My Hat?” My current plan right now, if this actually happens, is to simply play it as my character from “Goodness.” I’m so looking forward to stopping the interview mid-question so I can light up a cigarette. I need to find those sunglasses. Here’s to fifteen mintues. I'm sure I'll blow it...big time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My Delayed Pretentious Appreciation of the Film Cache Which Was Originally Titled Hidden for Cannes. Hidden is the Better Title.

Last weekend I saw the French thriller Cache starring Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil as a husband in wife in a seemingly idyllic life. He hosts a roundtable book review TV show. She works with a publisher. They live the good life with good education, high profile jobs, and security. That is until a video tape is left on their doorstep. The video tape is simply of the front of their apartment. It shows people walking by and them leaving. Simple but creepy, really creepy. They are being watched and they don’t know who or why. Then more video tapes begin to arrive that point to a secret from the husband’s childhood. The husband then begins to use clues in the tapes to hunt down the person sending the tapes. His hunt though leads to the fracturing of what was a good life and marriage. That’s all I’m going to tell of the plot in order to not ruin anything.

I went because reading the first paragraphs of some reviews it seemed right up my alley. Juliette Binoche in a Hitchcockian thriller? I’m there. Perhaps I should have paid attention to the “French” part, because I obviously didn’t get into the right frame of mind to enjoy it. I left feeling bored by the whole event. Sure there were some chills and a couple of interesting twists, but it seemed so stagnant almost too precise in its direction. There was too much ambiguity. I could understand why critics loved it, but I couldn’t. Then I drove home.

Driving back to LB from Santa Monica, I started processing the movie. That’s when the full creepiness of the film hit me. Since then, I’ve still been trying to put the pieces together. But with what’s given in the film it’s impossible to put the pieces together. If you go to see this movie I think you should know there is no resolution. That’s the haunting brilliance of this film that I am just now appreciating. If a film can keep me thinking about it days after I saw it, then I can’t help but recommend it. It is though not for everyone.

The Blog Family Grows

I'd like to welcome my brother, Ben I., to the world of blogging. I added a link to his blog on the left. What can you get from his blog that you can't in mine? First of all, he's married and has two ubersmart and adorable little girls. I'm obviously single. So, with his blog you'll get an insight to being a responsible adult. Secondly, he lives in Columbus, OH, and I live in LA. Rather than be bored by my endless star sightings and traffic woes, he will give you harrowing tales of crossing "The Oval." For the final difference I offer you these two sentences from our blogs:

Me: "This weekend I popped my Ikea cherry."
Ben I: "I spent the whole night transcribing from Moabite the stele from Dibon."

Perhaps we aren't that different after all.












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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ramblings

Let’s get the baseball out of the way first. The Cubs finally traded Corey “I Have Five Tools” Patterson to the Orioles for some mid-level prospects. Some have been a little concerned that this might turn into another Lou Brock from Ernie Broglio trade. Which is perhaps not only the worst trade the Cubs have ever made, but it’s perhaps the worst trade in the history of baseball. I don’t think that’s going to happen. The difference is that Patterson doesn’t have the drive or a thick enough skin. If he had gone to play winter ball like management suggested and lit it up down there, he would still probably be a Cub. Patterson isn’t completely at fault either. Once again the Cubs have shown they have no patience when it comes to their young players. Wood and Prior being prime examples as well of the Cubs pushing their superstars of the future through the ranks before they are ready. I’m really surprised the Cubs even got something for Patterson.

There has been hesitation by the Cubs to extend the contracts of Hendry and Baker. Hendry I think should stay. He’s done a pretty good job fleecing some teams and getting what he needs. He has made mistakes but I think he’s done a solid job. Baker, as I’ve said before needs to go. He’s too much about people loving Dusty that I think discipline slips on the team. Don’t even get me started on his handling of a pitching staff.

How many of you out there bought the new iMac over the holidays only to find out a few months later that there is a newer version with a faster processor at the same price? Have we come to the point where the instantaneous turn around on new gadgets is completely accepted? I’m as guilty as anyone in the fact that when it comes to electronics, “new” has become such a selling point that the word has lost meaning. Also, the name of Apple's new laptop is awful. MacBook Pro? Apple can do better than that. It sounds like they just pulled names from a hat and put them together.

I would though like to give some big ups to the program Delicious Library for Mac. There's not a better program to keep track of all my CD's, DVD's, books, and video games. The borrowers list is a nice addition as well. This program and Comic Life have sold me on Mac.

For those who keep asking, I do sometimes think “What if?” when it comes to Melissa. I then quickly come to my senses.

I’ve been meaning to post this. This is my favorite Christmas card of 2005. Actually it’s in the top five easily. The thing is none of us in the office knew of Dean’s talent.







The new Beauty and the Geek season kicked off last night, and I’m fairly pleased with the way things have begun. I know it sounds like a mean setup, but trust me it’s a very sweet show. My favorite geek so far is the kid Tyson, who solved a Rubik’s Cube behind his back in a couple minutes. The girl Tristan is currently the favorite beauty. She gave a nice speech to nerds about her own insecurity. Yes, I realize how gay this makes me sound. But I don’t care. You know what else? I watch Olympic figure skating sometimes. Yeah!

Two new reasons why I love my sister Mandy: 1. She’s geeky enough to be excited for me about my new LCD monitor. 2. She used the line, “Stay on target. Stay on target,” in a conversation we had during Christmas break. She makes me so proud.

After playing it at Ben K’s, and talking with Bob, I’ve fully come to terms that I’m waiting for the PS3 and not picking up the Xbox 360 till later. I should really probably wait till I get a HDTV before I purchase either of them. So, some time in 2020 I should be able to pick them up.

Snobfest 2205: The Blog Posts

This is it. The last recap. I'm so sick of these. Snobfest has worn thin like a drunk date. Here are some of my favorite posts this past year.

What the World Sees: The Day of Papers

Not only did this bring back awful flashbacks, but the output of pages impressed me.

Krystal Ball: Gettin Presidential


I only wish I could apply it.

Tales from the Keymaster: Christmas Tradition

Often times I've heard friends talk about how crazy their family is. Often I've been disappointed by the level of craziness once I meet them. Somehow I think part of Keymaster's family would not disappoint.

Mol Jr.: 10/26/43-4/23/84


No explanation needed here.

3CT: To the Happy Couple (TS)

Classic Tim. I still go back and read this for a good laugh.

3CT: Skyr: Icelandic Yogurt / The 3rd Chair Trombone Interview (JD)

It raised the bar on 3CT.

3CT: Gilligan in Purgatory (BH)

And this one cleared the bar easily.

Now back to this blog's regularly scheduled boredom.

What Was I Thinking?

I had one of those out of nowhere memories tonight. Back in Junior High at BJU, I used to always make the suicide fountain drinks. The ones where you fill your cup with every drink that's available. What were we thinking that this was something that tasted good? Weren't there FDA warnings about mixing such things? This could easliy explain a lot of my behavior. I'm not the only what that did this right? Tim, I'm certain must have.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Snobfest 2005: The Albums

I was going to write something about each of these albums. Halfway through I realized I was simply repeating myself from my song list. So, I’ll just list them in order, and be done with this. If I’ve previously written about them, I attached a link.

1.The New Pornographers-Twin Cinema

1a.The Hold Steady-Separation Sunday

2.Greg Dulli-Amber Headlights

3.Clap Your Hands Say Yeah-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

4.The National-Alligator
A noir album with a sense of humor.

5.Okkervil River-Black Sheep Boy/Black Sheep Boy Appendix
You should really buy the Appendix EP since it fills a few holes inthe story of the Black Sheep Boy.

6.The Magic Numbers-The Magic Numbers

7.Bloc Party-Silent Alarm

8.Danger Doom-The Mouse & The Mask
MF Doom + DJ Danger Mouse + Adult Swim should equal a mess. Instead it's the funniest rap
album in years.

9.Sufjan Stevens-Illinoise
Enough people have described the greatness of this album

10.The Decemberists-Picaresque
This album is another step up for these indie darlings.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Finally!

After nearly four years of working on a top ten show, myself and the other employees finally have been offered insurance. It's about damn time! I don't how it finally happened, but I'm glad it did. I'm going to go break my arm to celebrate. Of course this makes the decision I need to make at the end of the season that much more difficult.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Snobfest 2005: Boob Tube

A little warning: There are some spoilers below. So, if you are still catching up on episodes you may want to wait.

“I Wasted an Hour a Week for this Crap?” Award: Nip/Tuck

"What Don't You Like About Yourself?" How about the fact that I kept watching this season of Nip/Tuck? You know when you’re dating someone where their potential keeps you in the relationship? There are small little moments that keep you around, but then they do something frustrating that completely undercuts those moments. I haven’t, but I’ve heard people mention such things. That has been my relationship with Nip/Tuck. It’s always been a guilty pleasure. With its ridiculous story lines, and lack of decency I had become addicted to the show. This was the season where we finally discover who “The Carver” is. The thing is everyone already guessed who it was by the first episode of the season. I clearly gave the creators too much credit by arguing that the person was simply too obvious, and nobody would be stupid enough to be that obvious. To make it worse the rest of the show was just as frustrating. Nip/Tuck has always been “on the nose” and wildly over the top. Usually the over the top nature and twists fit in with the characters, and it made for highly entertaining TV. This season everything outlandish story device undercut the whole show, and the characters. Julie’s mother dies in a plane crash causing her to come to terms with her relationship with her mother. The problem is the mother never got on the plane! Those clever writers. So everything that Julie experienced is now mute. Way to go Nip/Tuck. That’s part of the problem with the show now. They keep trying to throw you with some clever twist, but the twist usually negates what we as a viewer have experienced. Just keep with the outlandish stories that push the characters to make decisions, and stop trying to fool us. I wash my hands of this show.

“Wake Me When Something Happens” Award: Lost

Eventually the teasing begins to bore. That’s what has happened to Lost. The first few episodes were pretty good, well except for the “let’s sit on a raft for an hour” episode. Then they got to wandering the jungle for 40 days and 40 nights. Here’s my problem. We don’t need the new people. They don’t progress the story in any way that our original castaways couldn’t. Don’t introduce new characters simply because you’re afraid you’ll run out of stories for your original stories. I feel like this is when sitcoms add the “cute adopted kid” to spice things up.

"Better Than I Thunk." Award: Invasion

The one reason I began watching this show was Shaun Cassidy. Yes, the one from the Hardy Boys Mysteries. That’s not the reason, though. The 1995 TV series “American Gothic” was one of my favorite shows back then even though it didn’t last a full season. Based on that show, created by Shaun Cassidy, I took a chance with Invasion. I have been pleasantly surprised. Sure the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” premise has been bludgeoned to death, but keeping everything within a small Florida town was a smart move. The show has also been smart enough to give enough information to satisfy, but still leave us asking more questions. William Fichtner's Sheriff Tom Underlay is Cigarette Man creepy. When he had that fellow abductee chop off his newly grown arm to keep his abduction a secret...shivers.

“The Close the Blinds” Award: Beauty and the Geek

Screw it. I’ll fess up and admit that I really enjoyed this show even though there is no reason I should. Rather than go sensational with the beauties and make fun of the geeks, the show wisely just lets them go to see what happens in the competitions. You get your villains and heroes of both sexes and some actually seem to learn something. My one problem with the show is that they boot them out of the house too early. The competition almost doesn’t matter because watching the dynamic between these polar opposites is pretty entertaining.

“The Crossed Fingers” Award: Rescue Me

I’ve enjoyed this show so much that I have looked past its slight errors. Second season wasn’t quite as good as season one. There is constant feeling of doom on the show that has lead to predictablility. You always know that no matter how good things get that something worse is just around the corner. Usually these moments were countered with cynical sense of humor. They pushed the limits last season when Leary’s son was killed by a drunk driver. Suddenly, the bad thing wasn’t a result of their own negligence or faults. This made the efforts at lightening things up feeling forced and awkward. It’s a slight hiccup that put a damper in a solid season. I have my fingers crossed they can pick things up next season. For more on the show, read my previous post.

“Gone Too Soon” Award: Arrested Development

Once again the networks clearly have no idea what they are doing. AD gets canceled after winning an Emmy, but they keep other shows like Stacked that has gotten the same or worse ratings? Come on. If you haven’t experience the brilliance of AD, rent some DVD’s now.

“They Can’t Possibly Do Anything Else.”Award: 24

This is getting ridiculous. This is what happened is season 4. Terrorists kidnap the Secretary of Defense in order to distract from them causing nuclear power plants to melt down. They then shoot down Air Force One to steal nuclear launch codes of a warhead they stole. The warhead is launched, a Chinese Ambassador is killed, and Jack has to fake his death. Am I the only the one that hummed The Incredible Hulk end theme when Jack walked off into the sunset? Still I love the show, and am completely addicted. I have no clue what they have planned, but I’m certain it will be completely unbelievable. Lost and other serial television shows should take a cue from 24. They run their episodes non-stop. There are no reruns during the season. If this means I have to wait a little longer for Lost to start there season, that’s fine with me. I hate these hiatuses.

“Genius” Award: The Shield

Gritty, tough, compelling, and genius are all words that can describe the best show on TV right now. The fourth season of the Shield was all about rebuilding the Strike Team after deconstructing it in season three. Before the season began, I though the major coup was signing Glen Close on. I was wrong. Not that Close wasn’t outstanding. She was. Her struggle of needing Mackey to put her plan into action, but knowing he could also sink it was great to watch. The coup was having Anthony Anderson as the season’s bad guy. Who knew he could be this good? I mean it’s the guy from Kangaroo Jack! If he isn’t nominated for an Emmy it’s a shame. It’s one of those career changing performances that alters the way you view an actor. For him to be the most ruthless, smart, and evil bad guy from any season of the Shield is saying something. Then there is the rest of the stellar cast. Acevada’s turn from lackey Captain to asshole City Councilman was great. When he works with Anderson’s character to get what he wants, you see how far he’ll go to save his ass. Yes, they tend to write away peripheral characters with no explanation. It’s forgivable with the uncompromising and compelling television they turn out each season. Season five starts tomorrow night.

I Am Jack

This weekend I popped my Ikea cherry. I know it seems surprising that it took me this long. Usually, I steal my furniture from relatives and ex-roommates. Now that I can actually afford some things, I figured it was time to get a new desk. The one I recently had was of the fiberboard cart like things. It had deteriorated so much that I was scared to touch anything because it might collapse. So off I went to Ikea. Why have I been so hesitant to step foot into Ikea? It’s a ridiculous reason. I hate to admit it but it has a little to do with the movie “Fight Club.” Remember the scene where Norton walk’s through his apartment and all the Ikea furniture appears. That left an impression in my mind. With my gadget fetishism, and love of entertainment, I didn’t want to risk obtaining one more addiction by buying Ikea. A few years ago, I eventually realized that it’s just furniture, and I really, really needed a desk. Ikea is all little overwhelming at first. They force you to go up three stories and then have to work your way down through the various sections. I felt like a mouse in a maze. Eventually, I found a desk that fit my needs and picked up my cheese at the end. Of course, I picked up an office chair to replace my metal folding chair. I understand the draw of relatively cheap and decent looking furnishings, but the process takes to long for me. Maybe it’s only this store’s layout, but it’s impossible to run in and run out. That’s something I want in a store.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Snobfest 2005: The Songs

A few days late but here we go. Here's some of my favorite songs from 2005. I wanted to stop at around fifteen, but kept going. I've linked each of the songs to an mp3, so you can take a listen. Some of these have shown up previusly on the Bits O Music portion of this blog. If you don't know how to click "save link as...," or I surpass my bandwidth, or you are simply too lazy to click, I'll glady mail you a disc of these songs and any of the previuos Bits O Music that aren't on this list.


Cigarettes-Greg Dulli-Amber Headlights

I was going to say this was my theme song for 2005, but with such lyrics as

get the wheel let's go for a ride
if you're trouble then i'll follow you down

I thought I’d come across as a self-destructive fool. So let’s simply say that this is the pure rock song of 2005. The fact that it comes off an album that was shelved years ago makes it that much more remarkable.

The Bleeding Heart Show-The New Pornographers-Twin Cinema


This song is all about the coda. When I first listened to this song I was pleased with the slow build. Then the coda hits with a choir singing “Hey Na’s” and the Neko Case comes in singing “We have arrived too late to play the bleeding heart show” and I got the goose bumps and that smile of hearing a great song.

Like Eating Glass-Bloc Party-Silent Alarm


I’ve already posted this song before in the Bit’s O Music segment of this blog. I still love listening to this song. I still think it’s the best song on a fantastic album. I still point out the bass and drums when I introduce someone to this song.

The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

First, the title is brilliant. Second, it’s catchy as hell. Third, it has the following lyrics:

Explaining that the sky holds the Wind
the sun rushes in
and a child With a shotgun
can shoot down Honeybees that sting
BUT THIS BOY COULD USE A LITTLE STING!

Beats me, but it makes my chuckle.

Mirror Kissers-The Cribs-The New Fellas

It’s all about the Woah’s.

Old School (feat. Talib Kweli)-Danger Doom-The Mouse and the Mask

I find it interesting that veteran Kweli brings one of his best performances on a track in which MF Doom name drops his favorite cartoons. As for DJ Danger Mouse’s production why aren’t main stream rappers swiping his beats up? Maybe he’s wisely staying out of that game?

Huddle Formation-The Go! Team-Thunder, Lightning, Strike


I know this album was technically first released in 2004. That was in the UK though. The US version wasn’t released till 2005. Taking advantage of that loop hole, I’m placing this joyous toy-hop song.

How a Resurrection Really Feels -The Hold Steady-Separation Sunday

she crashed into the easter mass with her hair done up in broken glass. she was limping left on broken heels. when she said father can i tell yr congregation how a resurrection really feels?

Mr. Finn has a way with telling sad stories with a hint of humor. Here he tells of Holly a Hoodrat’s return from a life of hell. It’s a sad song but the coda emphasizes the point that “today she finally came back.”

I See You, You See Me-The Magic Numbers-The Magic Numbers

This is one those songs that are perfect for that time between Friday night and Saturday morning when you’re driving and see that faint trace of sunlight on the horizon.

King-Rex Aquarium-The Back Of The Room

There’s a nice little Caribbean flair to this track. Sure it’s a “cheesy” love song, but sometimes that sweetness can do are cold hearts some good.

Na Na Na Na Naa-Kaiser Chiefs-Employment

Along with handclaps, cowbells, ooohs, and whoah’s, na na na’s make can help propel a song to the top of my favorite’s list. The fact that the song is actually titled “Na na na na naa” puts it over the top. Let me take this opportunity to say this about their album. It’s been awhile since I’ve come across an album that has such a stellar first half and then completely falls apart the rest of the way. They had a catchy brit-pop classic and then decided to bore us.

Power-Blackalicious-The Craft

New wave rap? A living and breathing backing band? Ass shaking bass line? Why didn’t this become a hit?

Autonomy-Heartless Bastards-Stairs and Elevators

Someday I'd like to play a part in the life I waited to start.

I’m really kind of cheating on this song. I stumbled across the demo for this song online about two years ago. Finally this year their debut album was released. When I first heard this song I thought for sure it was a guy singing. It’s not. Her voice is a sort of combination of Hynde and Robert Plant. It’s amazing a voice this strong comes out of a little Ohio girl like her. She also just lets her voice go warts and all. There is no holding back. Add the foot stomp rock n roll of the rest of the band and you have a fantastic grit of a rock song.

It’s All in My Mind-Teenage Fanclub-Man-Made

Did you really think I wouldn’t put a Teenage Fanclub song on the list? It’s like a requirement for me every time they release a new album. With their new album you don’t have to go very far to find that power-pop sugar rush. It’s All in My Mind has a classic TF hook, and the hook is huge. Throw in the backbeat and the trademark harmonies and you have musical bliss.

Emily Kane-Art Brut-Bang Bang Rock & Roll

Of the Brit bands (Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, Futureheads) that have gained an audience over here there’s always some that undeservedly fall through the cracks. Art Brut I believe will end up being one of those bands. There’s a hint of Pulp in their attitude and sound. Take this bouncy simple song about not being over his first love.

Lit Up-The National-Alligator


My bodyguard shows her revolver to anyone who asks
And yeah she comes to attention when you come up to me too fast.

In case it hasn’t become obvious but I like a little cynicism in my lyrics. The effortless almost lazy delivery of the lead singer’s Nick Cave like baritone voice contrasts well with the anthemic chorus. Perhaps this is the year of the anthemic chorus.

Black-Okkervil River-Black Sheep Boy

Or I’d call, some black midnight, fuck up his new life where they don’t know what he did, tell his brand-new wife and his second kid. Though I tell you, like before, that you should wreck his life the way that he wrecked yours, you want no part of his life anymore.

The year’s best song about exacting revenge.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Only By the Grace of God Will You Get Out of Debt.

I recieved this sadly funny spam this morning. Do they ask for proof of being a Christian?



Detoured

I know I said we'd get into the good stuff of Snobfest 2005, but I had a little detour. My sister, Anne, was in town visiting her boyfriend. She came down to see the set. I think her boyfriend was more impressed then she was. I then introduced her to the brilliance of an In N Out burger. Seeing her off, I then discovered I had a flat. Which wouldn't have been a problem because I bought a spare after it was stolen from my car. The problem was I didn't think to buy a new jack. Luckily Megan and Eric were nearby and helped out. By the time I got home (after hunting for a parking space for half an hour) I was too burned out. So, later on today or tonight I'll finish it. I know you are all extremely dissapointed. Try to make it through today if you can.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

With This Kiss I Claim Thee Woman as Mine, Mine, Mine!

Maybe it’s just me? But I’ve noticed a lot of “Kiss Claiming” going on. To give you an example of “Kiss Claiming” let me offer you an example. When you are talking to someone of the opposite sex and their significant other comes in out of nowhere and makes a point to kiss them. Then while they apply the kiss, they give you that look like you are a G6 away from sinking their battleship. That's a classic example of "Kiss Claiming." Which is usually such a shitty move even the kissee rolls their eyes. Perhaps this baffles me because I’m as threatening as a kitten in mittens. I don’t even hit on single women. What makes you think I’m going to make a move on someone in a relationship? Are you really that insecure to be threatened by the likes of someone whose family still questions his sexual orientation? If anything, your possessive move is giving me the upper hand. Now I just have to throw in little barbs about trust and possessiveness through that door you just opened for me. So calm down and show a little confidence. No matter how better looking that guy is who’s talking to your girlfriend/wife just play it cool. Show a little trust not only in her but yourself as a person.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Music Snobfest 2005

It’s that time again where I bestow upon you what you should've listened to in 2005. I’ve been working on a “best of” for movies, but it’s been a struggle. The reason is that I just haven’t been thrilled with the movies that were released this year. It appears I'm not the only one. Also, I’m a little behind on a few that are apparent must-sees. Once I catch up on things perhaps a 2005 movie post will arise. The lack of a movie post means I get/need to stretch out Snobfest 2005 into multiple posts. So sit back and enjoy or lambaste Music Snobfest 2005.

Classic Song of 2005:

The Spinners: Rubberband Man

Those who know me are aware that I have a penchant for R&B. I’m not exactly where it comes from. Perhaps it’s from struggling on the streets of downtown Columbus, or simply because I wish I had an ounce of soul. This love of R&B extends into my Afghan Whigs fanboyishness and my dabbling into old school hip-hop. This year one band stood out among the others I purchased in order to build up my R&B catalogue. It’s the the Spinners. Their list include such brilliant classics as, It’s a Shame, Could it be I’m Falling in Love, Ghetto Child, and Living A Little, Laughing a Little. All of these could’ve easily been my Retro Song of 2005 if not for Rubberband Man. I never clicked next on my iPod all year when this song came on. I credit the bass intro as being the hook the grooves my soul.

Honorable Mentions: Queen: Don’t Stop Me Now, The Outfield: Your Love, Nice & Smooth, Sometimes I Rhyme Slow, Neil Diamond: Forever in Blue Jeans, The Ramones: Howling at the Moon.

Guilty Musical Pleasure of 2005:

Amerie: 1 Thing

I came across this song during one my sleepless nights where I flip through all my music video channels. My first impression was, “Wow. That’s an attractive woman.” Then I heard the beat and that single guitar chord. I was hooked. I still find myself getting that song stuck in my head. This song is all about that beat.

Musical Hatred of 2005:

The Black Eyed Peas

The term “sellout” is constantly thrown about at artists. Sometimes the term fits and sometimes the term is simply used by annoying fanboys when their band reaches the mainstream. The Black Eyed Peas though emphatically sold out. Their first album wasn’t that bad. They came out during the influx of LA underground rap acts like Jurassic 5, Blackalicious, and Dilated Peoples in the early 2000’s. They weren’t as good as the other groups but they had promise. After their second album failed to become a hit they then proceeded to “sellout.” They added a female singer and ripped off numerous bands along the way. I though I had reached my pinnacle of hate when their song was used during the NBA playoffs. Sadly, I was wrong. “My Humps” is easily the worst song of 2005, and I would even question it actually being a song. Please Black Eyed Peas, go away!

Constant Disappointment of 2005

Weezer

How I used to love these guys. I still think Pinkerton is one of the greatest albums of the 90’s. Maybe that’s my problem. Pinkerton is obviously the least popular album in its discography. It did though basically create the “emo” niche. I was rather excited when the green album came out. My excitement was quickly downgraded to disappointment.
Every album after that has brought me to near dislike. Don’t even get me started on “We Are All on Drugs” vs. “We Are All in Love” thing either.

That’s all for now. Tomorrow we will start hitting the good stuff.

Lucha vavaVaVoom!

With the uneventful months (at least entertainment wise) of Jan. and Feb. upon us. I finally have something to look forward to. Thanks to the info from co-worker Flava D, I just bought tickets to perhaps the greateset thing I will experience this year. Lucha Vavoom! I got tickets for the 16th, so those in LA at the time that would like to join me for one of the greatest nights of your life you are welcome to. I'm so looking forward to seeing Super Porky! I'm also saving up to purchase a wrestling mask.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Taste My Samurai Blade You Alien Bastards!

I had another one of those dreams last night. I dreamt that I went with a group of people on a vacation to a cabin in the woods. One of the guys in the group happened to be a former fling of the girl I was dating in my dream. While hanging out in the cabin some of my fellow vacationers were alienized ala Invasion of the Body Snatchers. These aliens had no emotion. That was how they differentiated the humans from themselves. My girlfriend in the dream happened to be one of the ones that were alienized. They started knocking off the other fellow vacationers one by one. Realizing emotion was the give away; I acted like one of them till I could figure a way out. She, though, suspected I was still human. To test me she kept hooking up with not only her former fling but also other guys in the group. She made a point to hook up in front of me. It took all I could to bury my anger and disgust. Which is surprising since I knew she was actually an alien. Then the wheels of my dream came off as I found a samurai sword and eventually was able to take out the aliens with my newfound skill with the blade. I eventually woke up while being pursued by the police, who thought I was killing people rather than aliens. That’s why you don’t eat salt and vinegar potato chips at 2 in the morning.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Christmas Break Recap (Pt. 2)

Dec. 27th:

I had a lot of plans for this day. None of it happened. I planned on going to the German Village, but I had to babysit. Then I had to wait to pick up my brother in law and stepfather at the movie theater. While I was waiting, one of the nephews, Alex, cracked his head open when he fell of a chair. Being somewhat knowledgeable of the area, I was summoned to be the driver. We drove to the theater so Jennie could pull her father out of the movie to look at her son's head. So, both her husband and father missed the end of King Kong. By the time we got back, it was too late for the 7 o’clock showing of Munich. I then aimed for the 10:35 showing, but was once again stuck babysitting while one kid got his head stitched up, and everyone else was running last minute errands. I’m pushing reset and trying again tomorrow.

Dec. 28th:

I wake up to 60 degree weather on my birthday. See, even God gives birthday presents. We went to Schmidt’s Sausage Haus for my birthday. Man, their Bahama Mamas are outstanding. Then we hung around and dropped by the stepfamily’s second get together. To cap off the day we saw Munich which was half and hour too long and lacking in emotional involvement.

Dec. 29th:

With my Dad back in town from visiting “Bob Jonesville,” I drove out to see his new house. He said it was a ways outside of Columbus, but I thought he was perhaps exaggerating a little. After driving for an hour I realized I was wrong. It’s a cozy little place where he can plant his trees and have his garden. Basically he finally got his “cabin” in the woods. Still not a fan of the drive.

Dec. 30th:

Went back to my father’s place to have the Iten Christmas dinner with my brother and his family. We had the usual duck. Evie was feeling better, so she was running at full steam. The nieces played with legos, and I got to show my lego mastery in building. It takes years and years of practice. It’s not easy fitting big wheels on a boat.

Dec. 31st:

Anne Marie left to visit her boyfriend in California, so for a day it was simply Mandy and me. Tomorrow Ben K. and Julie were getting back into town. That meant rebuilding the house from the utter destruction left by the rest of the family. Mandy and I rang in the New Year as we watched Dick Clark in HD. I don't know if that's a pro or con. The first thing they cut to after the ball dropping was Clark kissing his wife. Not exactly the first thing I want to see in 2006.

Jan. 1st:

What better way to celebrate the New Year than more cleaning? With half an hour to spare I finally got the house presentable. Picked up Ben K. and Julie from the airport, and we had our own little Christmas exchange. I think I quickly rose up the favorite brother-in-law with getting Julie the deep fryer.

Jan. 2nd:
For Christmas my stepbrother, Sam, received a PSP. Finally I have someone to play online with. Unfortunately, he lives in London. So he called the other day because he wanted to play online. Apparently, his train from Ireland to London has wifi. So, I woke up early to play videogames. Yes I need help. Problem was that this train didn’t have wifi. I woke up for nothing. Except that right when I was about to fall back asleep, I hear the phrase, “Xbox 360!” Whispered through my door. Sure enough I walk down and Ben K. is unpacking an Xbox 360. That morning he had gone into Target to pick up some jeans for his wife. Stopping by the electronics department he sees that they had just gotten in some of the systems that morning. What are the chances? Of course the day before I was telling him that he probably won’t be able to pick one up till Feb., unless he really wanted to search for one. He just walks in the next day and buys one. So we played it till the Ohio State vs. Notre Dame game. It’s nice to be able to watch some Buckeye football with the family. Watching it in HD makes it even better. Watching it while eating fries and chicken wings freshly fried in my Christmas gift to Julie makes it the best.

The Buckeyes proved once again that speed kills, and that they clearly underperformed this year. I will say that being a Buckeye fan is a different experience of fandom from being a Cubs fan. The Buckeyes are consistently decent particularly since Tressel arrived. Still being a Cubs fan spills over and I always expect the worse. Then the Buckeyes prove my fears wrong. I can’t tell you how conflicted I was when they one the National title in 2002. I was truly lost.

Jan. 3rd:

I fly home today.

It’s been a pretty good Christmas. Thanks to Ben K. and Julie for putting me up...again. Some day I’ll make it up to you. I can’t wait till you add to the niece/nephew count next year. Once again this Christmas proves my family rules. Kayla and I bonded as well.