Tuesday, January 31, 2006

One More "Movie Megacheese" Quote

On the acting style of Marlon Brando:
"How far back must we travel to find a Brando performance free of laughable eccentricities and doughy backsides? Hard to say. Exempting A Dry White Season, it would have to be a very long time indeed. Though he remained mercifully clothed in Superman, he truly turned in one of the dumbest performances ever purchased for $80 million, or whatever it was he got paid.

"For the making of Superman he demanded that he not see his lines before filming, and that they be put on cue cards at all the points he was going to look during the filming of his scenes. This he learned from Stanislavsky by way of Strasberg, in a course called, "The Method: Use it to Suck."

Monday, January 30, 2006

New Music Online

All sorts of new albums on the AOL page:

The new Belle and Sebastian album, "The Life Pursuit"
The debut album of "She Wants Revenge"
The self-titled album of Marty Casey's band (!!!)
The solo album by Mozez, lead singer of Zero 7 (a band featured on the GS soundtrack)
The new Train album

As always, pay attention to "parental advisory" stickers, and don't blame me.

Hallelujah, God is Near

Just wanted to say hiya.

Friends, I'm having a great day, for no specific reason at all.

I'm just doing really well.

I wanted to share that as an encouragement. I know some of you are struggling pretty badly right now.

But God is near. He is listening every time you call out to Him. And He answers.

I'll post something more useful in the next day or two. Peace and grace.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fanboy Post Warning: Contains "Smallville" Ep. 100 Spoilers

Bear with me, non-SV-fans. I want to write this out, and don't have the patience to wade through the fansite forum. So here you go. Consider yourself warned.

===

Huh?: First, what the crap. Clark flew? Don't call it a jump, it was too controlled. The Powers that Be (TPTB) will call it a "jump" but that's bull. The boy flew. My immediate (and out-loud) reaction was, "When the CRAP did he learn how to do that?"

Lame: Also, the ring: I get the "creating-diamonds-with-his-bare-hands" bit, but there's no way he could have faceted the diamond before mounting it on the ring.

Good: Michael Rosenbaum is undoubtedly the shiz. His two near-identical drunk scenes were pitch-perfect (on his end). Lex is my hero, and frankly, I prefer him to Clark at this point.

Painful: Clark, dude, Chloe's in love with you! Quit rubbing your Lana relationship in her face. Ass.

Finally!: The end of "Clana" (the Clark-Lana relationship). Even if he pathetically holds on, which he will, it's over on her end. And it looks like Lex is gonna step right in. Good boy, be the jerk! At least Lex treats her better (not that she deserves it).

Wait-wha??: It took me reading on the fansite to figure out that Lana saved Lois from slipping and falling the first time, and that's why Lois was unconscious and nearly electrocuted in the second version of events. My problem--didn't she fall during the day? Would NO ONE have found her in the meantime, especially since it was KENT CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS and she was his CAMPAIGN MANAGER? Was she THAT unnecessary to his win?

Cool: Clark stopping the bus. Go Clark.

Duh: So Jonathon was on his way to meet Lionel the first time--that's why he showed up on the wreck scene so quickly! Geez. Would have been nice if someone had explained that better.

Zow!: Way to go JK for sucker-punching Lionel. Too bad it blew up your heart.

WOW: Amazing performance by Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent. Hello, Emmy voters, show her some love!

Nice Repetition: The presence of certain lines during the matched Lexana scenes.

Nice Repetition, part 2: Clark woke up from a "dream," and made a different choice, to keep Lana from dying--just like Lex did.

Nice Repetition, the third: Clark helping Martha put on her necklace, just like JK did.

Overwraught, sure--touching, yes: The slow-motion snowy funeral of Jon Kent. It was so cheesy, but still so nicely done. The shot of Lana's hand pulling away from Clark's. The shot of Lex, a short distance away, looking at the grave, and then at Clark and Lana holding hands. A shot of Chloe and Lois, seeing Clark and Lana together at the graveside, before they walked away. Lionel walking up behind Martha. Just nicely done all around.

...

So, final judgment? I liked it. Probably more than I should. The general consensus online is somewhere between disgust and outrage. I'm sad, but not totally.

I don't like that Lana didn't die, because I thought that it would progress the story so much more. But, Jonathon's death is canon, so it's not that bad. And it wasn't a direct trade, giving up Jonathon for Lana, because that would have been awful. In a way, it was like "The Butterfly Effect." That's why I'm not disgusted by the sort-of "time-travel" aspect of it. It wasn't time-travel in its normal sci-fi sense. It was like a "do over." And that worked for me. Like I said, I'm probably too easy on it.

What I hope, from this point on: Lana and Lex get together, and seek out the truth about the meteors/spaceships. In the process, Lana turns evil. Clark finally gets over Lana (quickly, please) and maybe he and Chloe can get together for a while (not likely, since it looks like she's gonna go to Crazy-Crazy-town in the next two episodes). Clark actually grows the heck up, quits being a Dawson's Creek reject, and finally assumes the mantle he was destined to. And in the finale, the showdown between Clark and Braniac/Zod.

Don't I wish. Keep your fingers crossed.

=====

Okay. Non-fans, thanks for bearing with me. Non-fanboy posting will resume next week. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Music Recommendation

Cat Power, "The Greatest"

I'm not familiar with the band's music, but this album is kind of a mix of Over the Rhine and Aimee Mann. Really good stuff. Listen online for free here.

"Let me go, I'm only letting you down..."

This is another "Marvin Gaye" post (where I let you know what's going on). Don't let the title scare you. I'm listening to Ryan Adams. (Here. Let's make it official.)

[intro music: "Sweet Illusions," Ryan Adams]

I'm in the early stages of a lot of things right now. Most of them involve changing my habits. All of them involve discipline. I'm feeling overwhelmed.

One: I'm enrolled in Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University" program. Why? Because I'm terrible with money. Not in the "oh shoot, I'm short a dollar" way--in the "another collections letter in the mail" way. And it's starting to compound. If I don't stop it now, I will never get out, and it will very likely ruin me. I'm not exaggerating. So I signed up for this class, and the first step is to take a good long look at the state of things.

I'm an evader. I do my absolute to avoid difficult things, embarrassing things. Growing up, if I ignored things, more often than not they would resolve themselves. (Like the quote from Walk the Line: Johnny tells June that when they get together, the problems sure to arise will work themselves out. June replies that problems never work that way. They only seem to because other people work them out for him.) But this problem won't be ignored. And my gracious God may just let me suffer a little bit to try to make me change my ways. I don't want that to happen.

So I'm looking at the bills, how much I owe to whom, how behind I am on this or that. It ain't pretty, folks. Not at all.

[currently: "Graduation Day," Chris Isaak]

Two: I've told some of you already, but I figure it's time to tell all. As most of you know, I'm a big guy. A real big guy. As in, the approximate weight of 2 1/2 Backstreet Boys. So finally, I made a decision to do something real and solid about it. So I joined Weight Watchers. (You know what the hardest part of that is? Telling people about it. For some reason, I have trouble saying the name of the program. It almost makes me feel fatter.) The good news is that in three weeks, I've lost more than 15 pounds.

Of course, today, my mid-week "unofficial" weigh-in shows that I've actually gained a pound since Monday. After the last two weeks of 7-8 lb. losses, this was quite a disappointment. But, as I told someone yesterday, I've felt heavier all week. Weighed down.

There are good days when I feel very confident that I am doing something good for my health and longevity. I know this is the case. But days like today, I feel disappointed in myself, let down. Yet I still have no desire to go pig out somewhere. So I'm kinda stuck in between. I've been learning to eat like a skinny person. Not easy, not always fun. But i'm getting there.

[currently: "Landed," Ben Folds]

Three: I'm working on some decisions about what I need to do with the Sunday School class. For those of you who are new to PBB, I've been teaching a singles 20's class for the past 7 months. The class attendance was already in decline, and my tenure hasn't helped. I've gotten some encouragement from a few folks recently, but the numbers aren't reflecting that. (I'm praying for God to help me stop focusing on that.) I have a few ideas for ways to help foster more connections in the class, both of which will come at personal cost, both in money and time. Is it worth it? Of course. But I'm lazy and near broke. So it's a bit of a battle to commit to this.

The sad thing is, I haven't been praying about it as much as I should. I'm even teaching a series on prayer, and I have to confess, I haven't been praying regularly like I should. I stay up too late watching TV or reading, I don't get enough sleep, and I don't pray or read the Word regularly.

Why the crap am I a Sunday School teacher again?

[currently: "High," James Blunt]

Four: I'm an absolute romantic. This isn't a boast, it's a confession. It's a diagnosis. I have a disease. I'm addicted to the emotional high of being in love. And sadly, even with more than 3 years of being "clean," the craving is still there. See, the dangerous thing is that I can get small fixes throughout the week. Television is a bigtime pusher. So is film.

I've been watching the sitcom, "How I Met Your Mother," ever since it started last fall. Only missed it a few times. Until the premiere of "24" this month, it was the only non-Smallville show I made a point to watch. It's the typical romantic sit-com. Ted, the hopeless romantic in pursuit of "the one." Barney, the player best friend, in pursuit of "the next one." Marshall and Lily, Ted's engaged friends, who are both an encouragement and a constant reminder of what he's "missing." Ted loves Robyn and she evades, because she doesn't want to settle down. Now, in the last two episodes, Ted's found another girl, named Victoria. I have to admit, even I have a crush on this girl. Here's the sad thing. I found out she'll only be in five episodes. The whirlwind romance will end. Ted will be crushed. And I'll be right there with him. Because I want Ted to find his match. I want him to fall in love for the rest of his life. I need him to. Because if he can, so can I.

Like I said, I'm addicted. HIMYM is my pusher-man. And now, here comes along Tom Cavanaugh's new "post-Ed" show, "Love Monkey." Hopeless romanticism AND the NYC music scene? It's like they're reading my blog, dude.

I've got a "love monkey" on my back. A romance craving that goes against what I know is right and healthy. The Teacher says, "Don't wake love up before its time." Sorry, Solomon, I want to follow your sage advice. But the monkey, it's there. It's getting bigger and meaner as time goes by.

[currently: "Strange and Beautiful (I'll Put a Spell on You)," Aqualung]

Five: I haven't written anything in about two weeks, outside of the odd blog post (which, as you know, haven't been frequent). I want to devote more time to it. But there are so many things I "ought to" devote time to. I ought to exercise more. I ought to pray and study for SunSco more. I ought to pick up a part time job a couple nights a week to help pay off my credit card. I ought to get more sleep.

There are too many "ought to's" in my life, and they're all getting ignored. Because when I get home, I'm tired, I'm achey, and I want nothing more than to sit and relax. I stick to my diet by cooking good food, and much beyond that, I'm too tired and frustrated to do much of anything else. It needs to change, I know that. I'm not meeting my potential as it is. But change is hard, and daunting when there are so many things that need changing.

[currently: "Busted Stuff," DMB]

Six: There are good things in my life. I don't want you to get the impression that there's not, or that i'm depressed, because generally I'm in decent spirits. I have my (relative) health. My family are all healthy and we're all getting along. I just got a raise at work, and I'm told I'll get another one soon. There are still people actually coming to Sunday School (for the most part).

I don't know. I'm just... I feel very small, compared to the tasks set before me. There is so much in my life I'm trying to change, that I vitally need to change and the sooner the better, and it just all makes me very tired to think about it.

Today's disappointing weight gain news kinda set me off a little. After two weeks of consistent losses, to pull a turnaround--okay, i'm let down.

So I'll turn up the music, bury myself in work, drink my large glass of water, and count the hours until tonight's climactic Smallville episode.

I'll worry about it all later. That's what I do best, right?

[closing music: "Grey Street," DMB]

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

This is Not the Greatest Song in the World.

I have a clock radio with a CD player that you can set so it plays the CD as your alarm. I've rotated out several songs over the years, but most recently, I have been using a mix CD that my bruthah Kelly made for me. The first track on this disc (the one my alarm uses) is "Tribute" by Tenacious D.**

So this morning, after going to bed way too late last night, and setting the alarm for what seemed like way too early, I hit the snooze (as best as I can figure it) about 14 times.

[Understand, this requires me to actually get up out of my bed. I perfected this in college, when I placed my alarm clock over 10 feet from the end of the bed, and still hit the snooze multiple times each morning. Any former roommates of mine can attest to this.]

At any rate, 14 times, I heard some segment of the beginning of this song. And somehow, in my half-REM-buried mind, I dreamt (but only between 6 a.m. and 7:25 a.m., mind you) that "Tribute" was the new fad in worship music--that church music ministers across the country were using it in their services.

Blame it on all the reading I've been doing lately--the topic of church music has been a hot one among the God-blogs this month. But I specifically remember that, in my dream, even "luminaries" like Rick Warren were coming out in support of the song as part of the new wave of sacred music. (There were a few others, but now I can only remember faces instead of names. But I'm positive Slick Rick was one of them.)

If you're familiar with the song at all, you can appreciate how wrong such a notion is.

On the other hand, "Tribute" deals more with spiritual warfare than most actual church music. So there's a case to be made...



**As a side note and by means of explanation, this is not an endorsement of the D. In fact, the music of Tenacious D is, on the whole, wrong on about 37 levels. So don't listen to it. And if you do, don't blame me.

Monday, January 23, 2006

No, still nothing going on.

Busy morning, as Monday mornings usually are.

(I don't know. I feel like I'm letting you down, dear blog of mine.)

Anyway. To make your manic Monday pass by just a bit quicker, take a look over at AOL's streaming album page. With 33 selections, there should be something for everyone.

Personally, I'm going to spend the next two hours listening to the new Cat Power and Duncan Sheik albums.

Happy Monday.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Funny

In lieu of actual posting, here are some of my favorite excerpts so far from Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese:

Referring to the movie "Volcano":
There's some good special effects as the lava flows down Wilshire Boulevard, burning up all the Koo Koo Roo's, Carl's Jr., In and Out Burgers, Jack in the Box, El Pollo Loco, and all those other chain restaurants with the incredibly stupid names that L.A. seems to love so much. And just what does Carl's Jr. mean? Carl's Junior...what? Carl's burger is junior? Or is it referring to persons younger than Carl? If Carl's restaurant is junior, then there'd need to be a larger restaurant named "Carl's Sr." to put it in the proper context, and there is no "Carl's Sr." Again, nitpicking, but you just can't go around naming things nonsensically and expecting everyone to buy into it. If I named my store "Clean White Cotton Underpants," and then you came in and discovered I sold nothing but custom kitchen cabinets, you'd be upset, and you'd have every right to be! Or if I called my restaurant "Phil's Double," and then just left it at that, with no explanation, I'd be hurting a lot of people. That's how I feel
about "Carl's Jr." I'm hurt and angry.

Okay, maybe it's just me. But I thought that was funny.

Here's another, this time about the film "The Shadow":
The lonely Cranston meets a woman (Penelope Ann Miller) and is immediately intrigued with her because she can read men's thoughts. That's fine for him, but frankly, what woman can't read men's thoughts? Even if she had no innate ability to read men's minds and guessed "I'd really like some ham," she'd be right most of the time. Try, "Boy, that Roy Firestone is funny," and the percentage shoots up even higher. The only people who can't successfully read men's minds are other men, despite their clumsy attempts at it--most of which involve saying, "You okay, man?"

Heh.

One more. My favorite so far, being the puncutation nazi that I am:
The first challenge one confronts with Face/Off is the curious, I might even say misplaced, "forward slash" in its title. Are "Face" and "Off" separate talents that the title has on its resume? Is there a choice between "face" and "off" that we, or one of the movie's characters, are asked to make? Perhaps "Off" is a computer file extension of the program "Face." The slash is even more confounding given the
dizzying array of character and punctuation marks one has to choose from. Was Face%Off considered and rejected and, if so, why? How did the slash win out over the altogether more approachable * character, or even the ^ ? I find it most likely that the slash was a later accretion by an ambitious promotions person trying to make a name for herself. "I'm the one who put the slash in Face/Off!" one can almost hear her bragging, completely oblivious to the soupy haze of confusion she created.

Hehehe.

And with that, have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bored? How about another bizarro dream post?

I've been distracted since I made it in to work, but I'll try to recover what I can.

===

I was in some kind of test group for something. Consumer-testing, product-testing, that sort of thing. Rather, it was just after the group meeting, and people were mingling. The room was set up with rows of those half-table desks, where two people sit behind each one and face forward.

I knew there was some kind of concert or something downstairs, so I started making my way to the doorway. (I remember passing a table of goodies, and snagging a pint of chocolate milk in a clear plastic bottle, even though I knew--in my DREAM--that it was not allowed on my diet. It's like I can't even get away from guilt when I sleep. But dang, it tasted good, even if a little luke-warm.) I follow a late-middle-aged couple out the door and down the stairs.

We came out onto the lower level, which was like one of those concert venues where it had the "barn" roof supported by poles, but no walls--all open air. (No, that doesn't logically jive with just being upstairs. It's a dream.) The floor was bare concrete, typical of such a venue. In the far corner was a stage, with a crowd of about 200 or so around it. We walked through the doors, about 10 feet further, and then down a set of four or five stairs. The couple stopped a girl, mid-twenties with brown hair in a ponytail, coming up the stairs, beer in hand. They knew she worked there. The man said, "You look like you're about done for the day." She nodded and said, "I'm about three steps away," indicating the stairs.

The man asked something else, and the girl said, "Oh, you'd need to talk to Outlaw Dan about that," and pointed at another man crossing the floor about 20 feet away. [It may not have been "Outlaw" but it was some kind of radio disc jockey name similar to that.] The couple thanked her, and went to talk to him. Outlaw Dan (radio personality extraordinaire) was overly tan, with that poofy combed back hair and receding hairline--Shadow Stevens, the later years. I seem to remember he said something to them, and to me too, and maybe gave us some cheesy radio station crap. Either way, he said, enjoy the show, and I turned to watch the music.

The person on stage? Beck. Oh yeah.

As I started listening to the music, I was interrupted by Bree, who stepped between me and the stage, and said, "Hey man, check it out!" He had his arms spread a few feet apart in front of him, and with both hands was pointing at his face. His nose was about two feet long, and tapered up at the end. I half-nodded, and said, "Nice." I distinctly remember thinking, "Show-off."

Bree left and I turned my attention back to the stage. It was at the end of a song, and Beck was doing his Beck thing. There was a guy to the right of the stage, and Beck was doing this kind of call-and-answer thing with the guy. Beck would be all into it, intense "hip-hop" arm waving, lots of movement, when it was his turn; then immediately he turn and would look the other way and stand in a kind of nonchalant hipster pose when the other guy answered. The funniest part of this was, the "call and answer" was just alternating saying some variation of "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!" (all in a four-count).

So it was like this:
"yeah YEAH YEAH yeah YEAH YEAH yeah YEAH!'"
"YEAH yeah yeah YEAH Ye-yeah ye-yeah YEAH!"
"YEAH yeah yeah yeah YEAH yeah yeah!"
"YEAH ye-yeah YEAH ye-yeah YEAH YEAH!"

The other guy doing this with Beck would pull the same poses Beck did on his "off" turns. (I saw this guy clearly, and he kinda reminded me of the guy from OBU who looked vaguely similar to Craig the Sigma, but less interesting.)

Finally, at the end, people cheered. The guy jumped up on stage, and gave Beck a hug (a "man-hug" with the slapping of the back). But I saw, in the guy's hand behind Beck's back was a chrome .45. But Beck was cool with it, and the guy wasn't threatening with it.

--The End--

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"I put my post upon the page--when I link, you link, we link..."

No, I haven't forgotten you.

I pray you all are well.

Posts later this week (tomorrow if meetings permit, or Thursday). Meanwhile, interesting links to check out and DISCUSS BELOW (hint, hint).

  • This makes me laugh. It's so hard to practice diplomacy with fictional kingdoms. (h-t: Pop Candy)
  • This is an important story and should be more widespread than it is. For too long, we've ignored Chinese human rights violations for the sake of commerce. We need to decide what's more important to us--people or profits. (Sadly, in many places, I think we already know the answer to that.)
  • Here's a great article about embracing the gift of solitude as part of our spiritual journey. Though written for singles, the principles of the article cross marital lines.
  • Vince Young or Reggie Bush? Tim Gerheim at Fox Sports gives his solution. (Personally, I think the Texans should pick one and trade him for Ohio State's A. J. Hawk and an offensive lineman. But that's just me.)
  • More singles essays: Camerin Courtney and Todd Hertz assess "the State of the Date."
  • Slate rips on whiny twentysomethings. And personally, I think they have a point.
  • Centurion rips on the Christian Booksellers Association. Again, a good point.
  • And, I'm a week early, but I want to wish everyone a Happy Wintereen-mas.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

"But I keep on a-comin' here, standing in this state..."

[intro music: "Galaxie," Blind Melon]

"Why no posts, Dave? It's been three days."

Yes it has. Three long days. This week hasn't started off great, mainly due to my attitude and lack of work ethic. Things I'm slowly working on.

I've been reading a book about godly disciplines. If you are not now aware, be forewarned: reading such books is a most dangerous practice. An unforeseen (though allegedly expected) result being, it actually starts affecting how you behave.

Slowly. Ever slowly. But affecting, nonetheless.

Last night, I read about disciplines of integrity, tongue, work, and perserverance. Here's what is happening within me as a result:

--I have been again confronted with the fact that when I spend hours, literal hours, surfing the web and not working, I am stealing company time. That's not an overstatement. It's the truth. That must end. I will not be a thief.

--I have been again confronted with the fact that I sometimes use words as weapons, or worse yet, machines to manipulate the emotions of others for my own ends. This realization has caused me to want to start speaking more carefully and circumspectly, both aloud and in print.

--I have been again confronted with the fact that I am in many things a quitter. I allow myself to become easily discouraged, at which point my overbearing emotions take over. By the time I have to buckle down and accomplish a list of things, I'm in too sad a state to focus on anything. This realization has caused me to want to commit to growing in perserverance, diligence, and self control. My emotions and laziness must not be my masters.

What do these resolutions and realizations mean vis a vis this website?

Hopefully, it means that I'll be a little more careful about what I post here. Not in a censorious way, necessarily, though I think that may occur to some extent. But hopefully, my words will become a little more profitable than the great gales of hot air I sometimes belch out in this venue.

It means that I may post a little less often, since I am committing to not abuse my job's flexibility and the availability of "free" internet. Most often, I'll be posting during lunch or after hours. If I find I have something really important to say, I'll wait and type it up at night, and bring it in to upload the next day. This may also help with the whole "circumspect speech" area as well.

I don't intend to change the style or substance of this blog, so nobody freak out or anything. But if changes come to pass, I hope they will be changes for the better, because that's the type of change I'm pursuing personally.

[ending music: "Dumptruck," Blind Melon]

Monday, January 09, 2006

Dream a Little Dream

[Dream post: meaningless to most of you, but maybe interesting to a few.]

So I'm in a coffee shop of some kind in a city. One of these storefront shops, long and cramped, darker inside than the light shining through floor-to-ceiling storefront windows. I'm sitting at a table with a friend (dunno who), sipping coffee. Playing on a wall-mounted TV is an episode of the show "A Different World." One of the later seasons, where they bring in the token white character. I look up, and the token white character is Aaron Willis. I turn to my friend and say, pointing, "Hey, I know that guy!"

Then, I look over at the front windows (about 30 yards away--I'm in the very back), and I see Willis walking past the shop, wearing an overcoat, and bundled against the cold. I jump up and run toward the door.

I stumble outside, in the blue-white overcast morning, and see him just ahead down the sidewalk. His hair is on the longer side, natural medium brown with blonde highlights. (For some reason, this detail struck me.) I say, "Willis, what the crap, man! How are you?"

He turns around startled. "Oh. Hey." And then keeps walking away. I follow. He's about to walk into a store (or a restaurant, I can't remember exactly which). I'm right behind him, saying, "I haven't seen you in--"

He turns and holds his hand out, halting me. "Come on, man, you can't come in here... I can't be seen with you."

"What? Why?"

He shrugs and nod-gestures inside. I look through the window, and see an old girlfriend with her fiance and a few others. Willis looks down. "Sorry, man." And walks inside.

I'm left out on the sidewalk, confused and vaguely insulted. I shake my head and walk away.

--The End--

"Hair today..."

I cut my own hair yesterday. Oh yes I did.

Short.

Electric clippers, 1/2 inch widget.

Public response has been running about 60% against. Which makes me sad. And self-conscious.

Oh, well. It'll grow on them. And if it doesn't, it'll still grow on me, so eventually it won't be an issue.

Of course, I will have to figure out what to do with my inevitable white-boy-fro.

===

[what's that you say? posts owed? bosh. ]

Attention: Michael Buble fans.

I know there is at least one of you out there. *cough*Stace*cough*

So here you go.

Michael Buble's Valentine's Day EP, available only at Hallmark stores--streaming online.

You're welcome. Happy Monday.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Democracy in Action!

In case you missed it, the official "Slackie" ballots (two parts) are up! Go vote, comment, argue, all that.

Busy today, but coming up this evening: my in-depth review of King Kong. If you haven't seen the film, you still have time to do so before I completely ruin the plot for you.

Kong falls off the Empire State Building and dies.

Whoops. Too late. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh, and by the way, Tyler Durden doesn't exist, Bruce Willis' character was dead the whole time, and Vader is Luke's father.

Later.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Official 2005 PBB "Slackie" Awards Ballot!!! (Part 2)

Board Game of the Year:
Monopoly
Apples to Apples
Cranium
Operation (Homer Simpson edition)
Texas Hold 'Em
Mancala

Burrito of the Year:
Chipotle burritos (any combination)
Reeser's frozen burrito (plus sour cream and La Rosarita sauce)
Cheesy Gordita Crunch (ruled eligible)
Plain bean burrito plus sour cream
Taco Cabana's Burrito Gigante

City of the Year (American):
New Orleans, LA
Dover, PA
Houston, TX
Grand Forks, ND
WRITE-IN

City of the Year (International):
London, England
Giza, Egypt
Edinburgh, Scotland
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Moscow, Russia
Tehran, Iran ("for me to poop on!")
Paris, France
Turin, Italy ("Shroud capital of the world!")

Post-It Color of the Year:
Light Blue
Cosmic Orange
Pink
Pale Yellow
Neon Green
Black (with white ink)

Buffoon of the Year (any arena):
Pat "Fire and Brimstone" Robertson
President G. W. Bush/V.P. Dick Cheney
Tom "Don't be glib!" Cruise
The Ax Gang
Cindy Sheehan, once she switched from grieving mother to ideological tool
The entire world

THE "YOUR 15 MINUTES ARE UP" AWARD FOR MOST BOGUS NEW CELEBRITY (or phenomenon) OF 2005:
Kevin "More Trailer than Trailer" Federline
TRL's rap-star rotation
Kate Moss (Judge's ruling: career "resurrection" is ruled eligible)
The "8-Mile" Effect (rap stars' playing a thinly-veiled version of "themselves")
WRITE-IN

THE "YOU'RE STILL HERE???" AWARD FOR MOST BOGUS LINGERING CELEBRITY OF 2005:
Tom Cruise
Nicole Richie
Paris Hilton
Martha Stewart
Charles Darwin
Mariah Carey

Blog of the Year:
The "SpecialKid" Exposee
Junkmail for Blankets
Christopher Hitchens' "Fighting Words" in Slate
This Beautiful Mess
Taking Off and Landing
Perfect Blue Buildings

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE--Achievement in Late-Night Comedy:
"TV's Craig Ferguson," The Late Show with Craig Ferguson

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That's all, folks! Thanks for voting! Voting will close Sunday night at 11:59 p.m., and the winners will be posted Monday!




Note: All voting is still for entertainment value only and has no bearing on actual contest results. Contest winners are decided based on the PBB panel of expert judges, and all results will be verified by the accounting firm of Fine, Howard, and Fine. All ties will be decided by scientific methods such as a coin toss or picking a number between one and ten. Winners will be notified within three years via Pony Express. The management and staff of PBB/ATDTT, Inc. waive all responsibility of any injuries, arguments, or hurt feelings that may result from this contest or the ensuing voting in the comment box. Don't say we didn't warn you. You must be at least 5 years old in order to vote in all categories. Still void in New Hampshire and Wyoming, but there's no one interesting from there anyway.

The Official 2005 PBB "Slackie" Awards Ballot!!! (PART 1)

Welcome to the official ballot for the Second Annual PBB "Slackie" Awards. This contest is a celebration of the year-in-review in pop culture and personal amusement.

Some categories will have slots where you may suggest a nominee, and each "write-in" candidate that you suggest will be considered and then summarily ignored. This way, it's like you're actually participating in the electoral process!

Let the Voting Begin!

[Note: Last year, I provided all sorts of helpful links for every category. If you used them, thanks, but I'm thinking most of you didn't. Due to time constraints, this year's ballot can't be as user-friendly. So if you need to look up something, might I suggest Google?]

Movie of the Year (extended ballot):
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Cinderella Man
Crash
Walk the Line
Elizabethtown
Serenity
On a Clear Day
Batman Begins
40-Year-Old Virgin
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Sin City
Syriana
Godzilla: Final Wars
WRITE-IN

Album of the Year:
Death Cab for Cutie, Plans
Sufjan Stevens, ...Illinoise
Nickel Creek, Why Should the Fire Die?
The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
Coldplay, X & Y
Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound
Over the Rhine, Drunkard's Prayer
David Crowder Band, A Collision

Book of the Year:
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Charles Mann, 1491
Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
Michka Assayas, Bono: In Conversation
Lauren Winner, Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity
Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

TV Show of the Year (returning):
Whose Line Is It, Anyway? (technically legal)
Lost
Veronica Mars
The West Wing
Smallville
Arrested Development
The Office
WRITE-IN

TV Show of the Year (new):
How I Met Your Mother
Supernatural
Miami Ink
My Name is Earl
Everybody Hates Chris
WRITE-IN

Worst Movie Remake of the Year:
Bewitched
Dukes of Hazzard
Doom
Guess Who
The Honeymooners
Bad News Bears
Alone in the Dark

Underrated Artistic Endeavour of the Year (any medium):
Online Comics (specificially "Questionable Content")
The Chronic(What?)cles of Narnia Rap
Red vs. Blue
LIVE 8
The film Elizabethtown
The musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Overrated Artistic Endeavour of the Year (any medium):
The film The Phantom of the Opera
The "careers" of Lohan/Hilton/Ritchie/Simpson (both)/Federline
Coldplay, X & Y
X-Box 360
Desperate Housewives
The musical Spamalot
The MTV music rotation
Beat Poetry
Reality television
Rappers-turned-actors

News Event of the Year (serious):
Hurricane Katrina and government response
The London Bombings
The French riots
The continued Iraqi conflict
The multiple Iraqi elections
The ONE Campaign
The death of Pope John Paul II

News Event of the Year (ludicrous):
The marital status of Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and Angelina Jolie
The impending marriage/spawning of TomKat
The spawning of Spears and Federline
The spawning of Affleck and Garner
The rumored return of the Chappelle Show
The "runaway bride" story

Sports Story/Athlete of the Year:
The Chicago White Sox winning the World Series
Lance Armstrong wins Tour de France...again
Hockey returns
Patriots win the Super Bowl...again
Ryne Sandberg inducted into Cooperstown
How much the Texans suck

Government Screw-up of the Year:
The Iraqi War
The (ignored) illegal immigration problem
Hurricane Response (on all levels)
Unfulfilled AIDS Relief Promises
Not prosecuting Sandy Berger for stealing classified documents

Ice Cream Topping of the Year:
Hot Caramel
Hershey's Sundae Syrup
Coconut
Cookie Dough
Hot Fudge
Brownie Batter (wow)

Beverage of the Year (adult):
Killian's Irish Red
beer
Brandy Old-Fashioned
Blush Champagne (it's from espan~a)
Port (you cheeky wee donkey)
Tanqueray Gin

Beverage of the Year (non-adult):
Tang
Diet Coke with Lime
Pulp-free Orange Juice
"bizarre" energy drinks
Root Beer
Lipton Green Tea with Citrus (yummy)


PART 2 OF THE BALLOT IS COMING UP!!!

Morning Link-drop

To get you through the rest of your A.M. ...And then some.

  • First, required reading: Michaela gives a tour of some workplace (*cough*Starbucks*cough*) employee archetypes. Well worth your time. The quote from "The Joker" made my morning.
  • I know you've already seen it, but it's worth another look: The Chronic(what)cles of Narnia Rap.
  • Speaking of CON, here's a Slate report on Turkish Delight. Apparently, Edmund had really bad taste in candy.
  • Tara Cobble writes about how evangelicals may be too hastily embracing Bono as their hero. She's likely guilty of over-reaction, but she raises questions worthy of consideration.
  • Much is written about C.S. Lewis' conversion, but Anne Morse looks at his wife Joy Gresham's journey to faith. I had never heard this side of the story before.
  • Patrick Cranshaw has died. "You're my boy, Blue! You're my boy!"
  • Anti-Christian clothing brands. That's cute. [/sarcasm]
  • On a serious note, here's a new round of reports on the side effects of the "morning-after pill." Submitted without commentary, for your informational needs.
  • Found a funny online comic. Very "gamer-centric." It's called "Ctrl-Alt-Del." (Archives here.) Note: Uses "adult language," so be advised.
  • The funniest new show on TV, in my opinion, is "How I Met Your Mother." There are two episodes online here, though I don't know for how long. Worth watching on your lunchbreak. NOTE: Also contains "adult language/situations." Not obscene, I don't think, unless you find the show "Friends" to be offensive. So be advised.
  • The Strokes' new album is streaming free online. Also contains bad language. (Geez, what is this, a running gag?)
  • Finally: I found this old post while searching the archives for something else. I have to say, I'm still proud of it, and it's still relevant. It's a rant, and it may tick some folks off a bit. But I think it has a lot to say. So there you go.

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Non-linky, but I'm excited, so I thought I'd share. Took my giftcard and coupon to Halfprice Books. Picked up Dunn's Geek Love, Coupland's Eleanor Rigby, Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese, and the ever-elusive MST3K Amazing Colossal Episode Guide (which I've only seen once before, anywhere).

Total after gift card and coupon? About 3 bucks. Oh yeah.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

Hope you all survived unscathed, or at least scathed in a good way.

I don't know what that means.

I've got a bevy (that's right, a bevy ) of posts coming up this week. Most importantly, the Slackie ballots will be posted tomorrow. Because of this, I'm extending the Slackie nominations until tonight, so if you put if off in true SLG fashion (I'm so proud!), get your votes in now.

Posts this week will include:

  • two posts about a bizarre New Year's Eve party, which included craziness with people's "exes," a hot tub, two dogs, a "Bono" cowboy hat, backyard wrestling, meatballs, Deftones, and a phonecall from the one of the coolest girls i've never "met;"
  • a long-winded, bitterly sarcastic, and hopefully funny review of King Kong ;
  • general gabbery of a somewhat personal nature; and
  • some interesting links.

So stick around. Should be entertaining.

Starting 2006 off with a bang? You betcha.